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VP Robredo calls for lifting of martial law declaration in Mindanao

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo said she is not against the proclamation of martial law in Mindanao, especially since it was the Supreme Court itself that declared it constitutional.

However, the Vice President believes the administration should lift the declaration of military rule in Mindanao, and immediately begin the rehabilitation of strife-torn Marawi City.

“Nung sinusulong ito ang sabi niya necessary lang. Sana sa lalong madaling panahon ma-lift na ito kasi marami din yung nagrereklamo na naaapektuhan ang turismo, hanap buhay at maraming umaasa ditong hanap buhay, (When he [Duterte] was pushing for this, he said it was necessary. I hope that he could lift it at the soonest possible time because many are complaining that their tourism, their livelihood are affected. Many livelihoods are depending it)” said the vice president.

According to Robredo, the Office of the Vice President will help in the conduct of rehabilitation in the heavily damaged area.

She noted many of their Angat Buhay partners have already expressed readiness to build infrastructures for the affected residents.

“Marami na kaming kausap na partners na willing to help magbigay ng ng school buildings gamit sa paaralan yung shelter kits para sa mga nawalan ng bahay. Marami na nag-pledge. Lahat lang naghihintay para magkaron na ng clearance (We are in talks with many partners who are willing to help build school buildings, provide school supplies, shelter kits for those who were displaced. Many have pledged. They are waiting for clearance)”, said Robredo.

However, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Spokesman Major General Restituto Padilla believes a consultation will take place first before the government releases a decision on the lifting of martial law in the entire Mindanao.

Although the matter is a political concern, Padilla said the AFP will create recommendations regarding the lifting of the military rule in the region.

Padilla also assured the public that the situation in every part of Mindanao will soon return to normal.

“But there is a greater threat here that needs to be addressed and the need for the maintenance of martial law in some parts is really important because of the network, the existence of the network of all these terrorist groups,” said Padilla. — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue

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Solicitor general defends one-year extension of Mindanao martial law

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Government soldiers based on Marawi CIty

MANILA, Philippines — Solicitor General Jose Calida defended the year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Calida argued, there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Congress when it granted the request for another extension.

He said the Senate and the Lower House were given the sole discretion to decide on how long the extension should be.

“Under the Constitution, it is the Congress which will approve the extension, approve or disapprove,” said Calida.

He added that the rebellion of various groups in Mindanao persists hence martial law is necessary to protect the safety of the people.

AFP justifies request for martial law extension

The Armed Forces of the Philippines made a presentation of their report on the implementation of martial law.

This is to show that terrorists and rebel groups are still capable of launching attacks in different parts of Mindanao.

Based on intelligence data, about 3,000 members of the New People’s Army, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Abu Sayyaf Group, Dawlah Islamiyah or Islamic state including Maute group are still operating in Mindanao.

Local terrorist groups were able to recruit 400 members, 250 of which joined Maute Group.

Calida lauded the presentation made by the military.

“It was a good presentation. I hope the justices will be able to consider it in their decision,” he said.

AFP chief of staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the data was verified by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

He told the court they are not asking for additional powers but for the justices to trust the military. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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Lower House outlines structure of its proposed version of PH federal gov’t

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Lower House of Congress has released its version of a proposed federal form of government.

Based on the said proposal, the country will be called the Federal Republic of the Philippines which will have a parliamentary form of government with the president as head of state.

The president will still have the oversight power over all agencies of the government and will remain as the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

However, in the Lower House’s proposal, there will be no vice president.

The Lower House will serve as a federal assembly which will be led by the House speaker himself, while the Senate will remain and will be led by the Senate president.

The Senate and federal assembly will elect a prime minister.

The prime minister will prepare the proposed yearly funds of agencies that will be in charge of contracts and loans of the country.

He or she will also have the power to appoint and remove heads of executives offices, Cabinet members, and police officials.

Under the proposed federal form of government, the Philippines will be divided into five states.

These will be Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region and Metro Manila. Each will have three state senators.

Party-list representatives will remain to represent marginalized sectors.

The president, prime minister, senators, members of the federal assembly, local government official and state officials will be in power for five years and may seek re-election.

The proposal also includes having a two-party system. The first election under the proposed new constitution will be held in may of 2022.

Aside from the office of the president, the lawmakers also propose the abolition of the Office of the Ombudsman and Judicial Bar Council (JBC).

The House of Representatives’ version also limits the freedom of the press, speech, and expression.

Meanwhile, when asked if President Duterte could still run for president under the new proposal, the committee on constitutional amendments chairman Rep. Mercado said,“Yes, he still can because he’s still in the first term. It can be as long as it’s in accordance with the Constitution.” — Grace Casin | UNTV News & Rescue


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Former Senator Bongbong Marcos does not intend to run in the 2019 elections

by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr. has no plans of returning to the Senate.

The former Senator said he wants to focus first on the electoral protest he filed against Vice President Leni Robredo.

“Why would I run for Senate when I won as vice president? My job now is to work on my proclamation so that the true results would come out,” said the former senator.

Marcos has also expressed dismay over the slow pace of the resolution of his complaint. He claims that he felt like he is at the disadvantage.

Despite this, the former senator is still confident that he has the necessary documents and witnesses for the electoral protest. However, he sees no major development yet up to now.

“The process of recounting has not started yet. The electoral tribunal has already asked me to pay millions for the election protest. I paid on time but the result for what I paid for was given to the opposite camp. They do not want us to get it,” said Marcos.

In response, Commission on Elections (Comelec) Director James Jimenez said that the poll body is just following the orders of the presidential election tribunal.

Jimenez noted that the mandate of Comelec is to reveal the results of the previous elections. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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