[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 7 September Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan slb at admu.edu.ph
Thu Sep 7 11:54:56 PHT 2006

Newsbriefs 7 September Morning

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan



Congressmen eye term extension under revised Charter (www.philstar.com)
Members of the House of Representatives are planning to extend their term of office by at least six months if they succeed in amending the Constitution by themselves and without the participation of the Senate. 

The six-month extension is contained in Resolution 1285 that proposes a package of amendments, some of which are different from those contained in Resolution 1230, which the House constitutional amendments committee approved on Tuesday. 

However, Resolution 1285, of which Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. is principal author, appears to enjoy wider support in the House than Resolution 1230, authored by Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Constantino Jaraula, constitutional amendments committee chairman. 

As of yesterday, one party-list representative who plans to sign the Pichay measure told The STAR that he saw 191 signatures on it. The Jaraula resolution had 173 signatures. 

Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. and Majority Leader Prospero Nograles signed both resolutions, but Nograles said he was shifting his support to Pichay's Charter change (Cha-cha) proposals. 

The majority leader said the proposals could be introduced as amendments to the already-approved Jaraula version of the revised Constitution when this is taken up in plenary session possibly starting next week. 

Under Pichay's version of the rewritten Charter, the next election would be for the interim parliament and local officials, and it would be deferred to second Monday of November 2007 instead of second Monday of May next year as the present Constitution prescribes. 

Interim parliament members and local executives elected in November next year would assume office on Jan. 2, 2008. Their terms would expire on June 30, 2010, which is also the date of expiration of the tenure of President Arroyo and Vice President Noli de Castro. 

Effectively, Pichay's proposals would extend the stay in office of House members, governors, mayors and other local officials, and possibly the 12 senators elected in 2001 by six months, from June 30, 2007, when their terms are to expire, up to the end of next year.

Senators banking on SC to junk con-ass bid (Inquirer)

SOME senators are banking on the Supreme Court to address, if not junk, the unilateral move of the House of Representatives to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to amend the Constitution for a shift to parliamentary-unicameral government.

Voting 30-7, the House committee on constitutional amendments on Tuesday approved Resolution No. 1230 seeking to convene Congress into a constituent assembly to overhaul the Charter and abolish the presidential-bicameral system.

Sen. Richard Gordon welcomed the House resolution, but said that senators would have no choice but to ask the high court "to correct a grave abuse of discretion" if the House insisted on its position that it could go it alone on constituent assembly (con-ass).

"If the House of Representatives refuses to abide by the Constitution, decides on voting jointly to propose amendments or revision of the Constitution, and insists that they outnumber us in the Senate, then the Supreme Court would have to be called to exercise its judicial power to correct grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the House," he said.

People power commission backs 'initiative' (www.philstar.com)


The EDSA People Power Commission (PPC) has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to uphold the petition for people's initiative to amend the 1987 Constitution. 

In an open letter to the Supreme Court, the 12-member PPC, led by Bro. Rolando Dizon, said the people's initiative is one of the unique features of the 1987 Constitution which was drafted and ratified in the wake of the EDSA I people power revolt. 

The EDSA uprising led to the ouster of President Ferdinand Marcos who had ruled the country for more than 20 years. 

"The provision enabling direct democratic action by citizens to recall elected public officials, compel government to submit policy issues to a referendum or amend even the basic law of the land by means of a popular initiative are unique features of the Constitution drafted and ratified in the wake of the EDSA revolution," the PPC told the SC.


Palace eyes ConCon as an option (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

MALACAÑANG said yesterday it would push for a Constitutional Convention if all other efforts to amend the Constitution fell through. 

"We are resolved to amend the 1987 Charter and we are willing to try [a Constitutional Convention] if both the people's initiative and the constituent assembly fail to take off," Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said. 

But he acknowledged that of all three options, a convention with elected delegates would take the most time. 

Gag order imposed on oil spill coverage (www.manilastandardtoday.com)

NUEVA VALENCIA, Guimaras Island-A government agency has ordered its regional offices to avoid giving statements to reporters on the oil cleanup operations here to avoid giving them wrong or inaccurate information, an official said yesterday. 

Only the National Disaster Coordinating Council is authorized to brief reporters on the campaign to sop up the bunker oil spilled by the tanker Solar 1 off Guimaras on Aug. 11, according to presidential adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela. 

He said only Defense Secretary and Disaster Council head Avelino Cruz may give statements on the cleanup or authorize someone to make statements in his behalf or in behalf of the council. 

"The NDCC has noted different variations of news being reported by the reporters and apparently, this does not give a positive picture of Guimaras," Coscolluela said. 

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