Lagman: SC decision a triumph of rule of law
MANILA, Dec 7(Mabuhay) – House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman praised the Supreme Court for junking the Truth Commission, a move that, he said, signals the triumph of the rule of law.
In a press release, the main opponent of the Truth Com- mission before the high court said: “Partisan hostility and discrimination under the pretense of search for truth and closure cannot be legitimized.” Lagman said the SC’s decision should be respected since “it remains to be the sanctuary of civil liberties.” He said the high court rightly saw the flaws of the executive order that created the Truth Commission, which is supposed to check the anomalies during the 9 years when former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was in office. He reiterated the Truth Commission was unconstitutional for stepping on the powers of Congress to create and fund a public office.
It also “unlawfully duplicates and supplants the constitu- tional and statutory jurisdiction of the Ombudsman,” he said. He added it “illegally targets solely the officials [of the past administration] in violation of the equal protection clause of the Constitution.”
Lagman, one of the most vocal allies of Arroyo, said he initiated the petition not to protect the latter from prosecu- tion but “to preserve the separation of powers between the executive and legislative departments and protect the people from unequal treatment of the government.” Iggy Arroyo: Waste of people’s money Negros Occidental Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo, in a state- ment, added: “Why does [Aquino] want to waste the people’s money. The courts were established for things like this. Not only is it redundant, but the commission can be mislead for their own agenda.” A militant group that has long sought for Arroyo’s pros- ecution added the SC’s decision proved that the present administration was not serious in its promise. “The fact that this EO, which the regime describes as very important in its statements to the media, is now being junked by the Supreme Court for being unconstitutional prods us to ask: Was it faulty by design and was it programmed to fail?” Kilusang Mayo Uno chairman Elmer Labog said. As early as day 1 since its inception, the commission has al- ready earned many criticisms – even from Arroyo opponents. “We cannot help but think that the Aquino regime is sabotaging efforts to attain truth, accountability and justice over Arroyo’s numerous grave crimes against the people,” Labog said.
He noted the appointment of its head, former Chief Jus- tice Hilario Davide, Jr., was already questionable from the beginning. Davide is allegedly a loyal supporter of Arroyo. He added the SC’s decision will surely bring down the popularity level of Aquino, who just got a 79% rating in the last Pulse Asia survey. (MNS) ■
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MANILA, Dec. 6 (PNA) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday said that the issuance of a “shoot-to-kill” order against fugitive Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is not possible. Earlier, Mary Ong alias “Rose Bud,” a former civilian anti-nar- cotics agent turned whitle-blower, asked DOJ for the issuance of a “shoot-to-kill” order against the fugitive senator.
Justice Undersecretary Fran- cisco Baraan III said that the
December 08, 2010 Balita
‘Shoot-to-kill’ order vs. Lacson not possible – DOJ
“shoot-to-kill” order is not ap- plicable on the case of Lacson in the sense that he is not yet convicted of the murder charges in connection with the death of noted publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito in November 2000. Baraan said that the statement of Lacson, saying that he would rather hide and die than detained innocent, cannot be a basis for the issuance of a “shoot-to-kill” order against the senator.
Baraan also said belied al- legations that the DOJ was not treating fairly the case against Lacson such that the action of the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) were based on the order of the court that handles the case.
Baraan also assured that they were dead serious in the hunt for Lacson, contrary to the claims of the critics that the operation of the NBI was just for a show. ■
Aquino most popular gov’t offi cial among Filipinos, Pulse Asia survey shows
MANILA, Dec. 6 (PNA) – President Benigno S. Aquino III remains as the most popular top government official among Filipinos, registering 79 percent performance rating, the latest survey of independent pollster Pulse Asia showed. Vice President Jejomar Binay received the second highest per- formance rating of 78 percent, followed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who got 61 percent.
House Speaker Feliciano Bel-
monte Jr. garnered almost the same percentages of Filipinos
MANILA, December 5, 2010 (AFP) – Filiponos were Sunday advised to avoid lavish Christmas parties and take it easy on the traditional roast pig in keeping with President Benigno Aquino’s austerity measures for the mainly Catholic country.
Deputy presidential spokes-
woman Abigail Valte said govern- ment offices would also spend less for Christmas parties, while the education department has issued a directive for schools to temper the fun.
“In keeping with the auster- ity policy given by the Aquino administration, we can celebrate a meaningful Christmas with our office mates without going over the top,” Valte said.
The government, she said, was
MANILA, Dec 6 (Mabuhay) – An administration ally in the Sen- ate is “extremely disappointed” with Malacañang for submit- ting to them an inaccurate list of beneficiaries of the amnesty proclamation, which includes a fellow senator and members of the communist party.
who expressed their approval (45 percent) and indecision (43 percent).
Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, on the other hand, received 35 percent approval rat- ing. He also registered 18 percent public disapproval.
The survey also showed that four Cabinet members and public officials enjoyed high approval ratings – Social Welfare and Development Secretary Corazon Soliman (65 percent), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (60 per- cent), Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim (55 percent) and Health Secretary
also advising the public to eat in moderation for health reasons. “Enjoy the season in good health... go slow on lechon,” she said.
Enrique Ona (52 percent). Other officials who obtained high approval ratings include Ed- ucation Secretary Armin Luistro (49 percent), Labor and Employ- ment Chief Rosalinda Baldoz (41 percent), Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda (41 percent), Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno (40 percent), and Armed Forces chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ricardo David (42 percent).
The survey was taken from Oct. 20 to 29, 2010, with 1,200 respondents. ■
Avoid lavish Christmas parties, Filipinos told of January.
Lechon is the traditional spit- roasted pig, a Filipino delicacy served on special occasions but blamed by many doctors for a spike in reports of high blood pressure during the holidays. More than 80 percent of Fili- pinos are Catholics, making the impoverished Southeast Asian country a bedrock of the religion in the region. Arguably, the country also has the longest Christmas season in the world, which officially begins with nine pre-dawn masses nine days before December 25 and typically extends to the first week
Education Secretary Armin Luistro also issued a directive to the country’s 43,000 elementary and secondary schools to keep Christmas parties simple. Teachers are barred from col- lecting money for parties from parents – a common practice which Luistro said added to the burden of many poor families. “I would like to remind our dear teachers and students to con- tinue observing austere measures as they prepare for Christmas par- ties in schools,” he said. “Let us remember that the true spirit of Christmas is not in grand celebrations but in spread- ing love and sharing our hearts to those who are in need this holiday season.” ■
Aquino gov’t makes another amnesty blooper gether,” Guingona said Monday, referring to Malacañang. Guingona noted that even Ex- ecutive Secretary Paquito Ochoa could not explain the list, which they got from the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Senate peace, unification and reconciliation chairman Teofisto Guingona III had to suspend the hearing on Monday because of the inclusion of Sen. Gregorio Honasan, a former rebel soldier, and members of the Communist Party of the Philippines-National Democratic Front in the list of those involved in the 2006 stand- off of the Marines.
“I decided to suspend the hear- ings until they can get their act to-
“It is very obvious that they did not consult each other. You can see in their body language,” Guigona told reporters after the hearing.
Asked when the hearing would resume, the senator said, “We wait, wait, and wait until they submit a list that is acceptable to me.”
Monday’s hearing was the second time Guingona’s com- mittee tackled the proclamation. Immediately after the first hear- ing on October, the committee
approved President Aquino’s Proclamation 50.
The proclamation was revised,
however, because of unclear and incorrect parts like the effectivity clause, which states that the am- nesty takes effect as soon as the President signs the proclamation. Poor staff work
Senator Franklin Drilon, also an administration ally, said the mistake was an “indication of the lack of preparedness” of the Palace and of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Asked if it was part of the “learning curve” of a new govern- ment, Drilon said it was certainly “poor staff work.” “They didn’t even examine the list submitted to us...ve
ry poor staff work,” he said. ■
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