Tag: President Rodrigo Duterte

On the President’s Threat to Terminate the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement

ph-us

The Visiting Forces Agreement between the Philippines and United States is a BILATERAL accord that went through some back-and-forth diplomatic discussions prior to ratification by the Senate, after some intense plenary deliberation.

On the other hand, the US visa is a conditional authorization UNILATERALLY given to a visiting foreigner which may be granted, canceled or even denied outright, without need for explanation or justification.

In the absence of a Philippine Supreme Court ruling on the President’s power to unilaterally break a treaty or bilateral agreement like the VFA without the consent of a 2/3 supermajority vote of the members of the Senate, the President can do that without the Senate’s approval or consent.

Having said that, the Supreme Court should act soonest on whether the Senate’s consent is needed before the executive department can terminate a treaty or bilateral agreement – an issue raised in a petition filed before it by members of the Senate.

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On the Proposed P30-Billion Supplemental Budget for Taal-Affected Areas

Image courtesy: The Daily Tribune

We will have to find out how much is readily available in calamity funds of the national government (NDRRMF, or National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund) and the LGUs affected (LDRRMF, or Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund). As per the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010 or RA 10121, LGUs are mandated to allocate at least 5% of their regular sources of income, including their IRA, for their LDRRMF. If unexpended since there are no calamities, the cumulative LDRRMF are kept in a special fund to be used in situations like the Taal eruption.

The same provision of RA 10121 applies to all the municipalities and barangays affected or not by calamities.

Batangas province in this instant case had allocated P183 million in their 2019 annual budget alone for their PDRRMF although it appears 70% has been allocated for overhead expenses like MOOE, and only P55 million was for calamity. The same is true for the different municipalities and barangays within the province.

Counting five years backwards from January 2020 when Taal erupted, as RA 10121 mandates that unexpended LDRRMF shall accrue to a special trust fund solely for the purpose of supporting disaster risk reduction and management activities of the LDRRMCs within the next five years, I can imagine they may still have sufficient funds. That, and to be augmented by the national government, should all be taken into account when we deliberate on the P30-billion supplemental budget being pushed by the President.

There is no saying that I am not supporting the expeditious passage of the budget measure. I’m only saying we have to find out if P30 billion is a bit more or even not sufficient to help the LGUs affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.

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Interview on DWIZ: Payo sa Bagong Chief PNP; Kaltas sa 2020 Calamity Fund | Jan. 18, 2020

In an interview on DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– Priorities of Archie Gamboa as new PNP chief
– P4B cut in 2020 calamity fund going to pork?

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Interview on DWIZ: Payo sa Bagong Chief PNP; Kaltas sa 2020 Calamity Fund | Jan. 18, 2020”

Ping, May Buwelta vs Fake Witnesses

SB 28 False Testimony Act

Mas matalas na batas laban sa pagsisinungaling ang susi sa dumarami nang insidente sa korte at lehislatura sa kabila ng pagiging “under oath” ng mga pinagsasalita.

Ito ang nakikitang solusyon ni Senador Panfilo Lacson para matigil na ang pagkakalat ng mali at mapanirang impormasyon gaya ng ginawa nina Atty. Jude Sabio, Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula, Rodney “Ninja Cop” Baloyo IV, Edgar Matobato, Arturo Lascañas, Cezar Mancao II at Mary “Rosebud” Ong.

“Naging tig-singkong duling na lang ang pagsisinungaling under oath sa Pilipinas. That is why there is a compelling need for a stronger perjury law,” banggit ni Lacson.

Related: Lacson Stresses Need for Heavier Penalties vs Lying Witnesses
Continue reading “Ping, May Buwelta vs Fake Witnesses”

Lacson Stresses Need for Heavier Penalties vs Lying Witnesses

What do lawyer Jude Sabio, Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula, Rodney “Ninja Cop” Baloyo IV, Edgar Matobato, Arturo Lascañas, Cezar Mancao II, and Mary “Rosebud” Ong have in common?

They are all reasons for the need for a stronger law that would impose heavier penalties on lying witnesses – including public officials and employees who may be behind them, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson said Wednesday.

Naging tig-singkong duling na lang ang pagsisinungaling under oath sa Pilipinas. That is why there is a compelling need for a stronger perjury law,” he said, stressing this is “a matter of punishing not personalities but the act of giving false testimony.”

Related: Ping, May Buwelta vs Fake Witnesses
Continue reading “Lacson Stresses Need for Heavier Penalties vs Lying Witnesses”

#PINGterview: On Creation of an Office on Disaster Resilience; PNP Procurement Mess | Jan. 14, 2020

In an interview with Senate media, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– removal of procurement powers from the PNP
– creation of an office on disaster resilience
– proposed cloud seeding at Taal

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: On Creation of an Office on Disaster Resilience; PNP Procurement Mess | Jan. 14, 2020”

#PINGterview: ‘Early’ Judgment of Anti-Drug War; ‘Veto’ vs Pork in 2020 Budget | Jan. 8, 2020

In an interview with media in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– VP Robredo’s claim that the war vs drugs is a ‘massive failure’
– Filipinos affected by tension in the Middle East
– pork in the 2020 budget
– PNP physical fitness policy

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterview: ‘Early’ Judgment of Anti-Drug War; ‘Veto’ vs Pork in 2020 Budget | Jan. 8, 2020”

Interview on DWIZ: Nasa Pangulo na ang Pag-Veto ng Pork sa 2020 Budget | Dec. 21, 2019

In an interview on DWIZ Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– ‘early’ signing of the 2020 budget in January 2020
– reinstatement of cops acquitted in Maguindanao massacre case
– NPA hit list and anti-terror bill
– assessment of 2019 and expectations in 2020

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Interview on DWIZ: Nasa Pangulo na ang Pag-Veto ng Pork sa 2020 Budget | Dec. 21, 2019”

Interview on DZBB: Galawang Ninja? Ping Details How Pork is ‘Hidden’ in 2020 Budget | Dec. 15, 2019

In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson detailed how pork items that violate the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling outlawing pork are ‘hidden’ in the 2020 budget.

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “Interview on DZBB: Galawang Ninja? Ping Details How Pork is ‘Hidden’ in 2020 Budget | Dec. 15, 2019”

#PINGterviews: Strong Political Will ng Pangulo, Kailangan vs Pork! | Dec. 14, 2019

In interviews on DZRH and DWIZ, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– need for strong political will by PRRD to veto pork
– continued blatant violations of the SC ruling vs pork in 2020 budget
– moves to counter pork and other ‘insertions’
– investigation of issues on the 2019 SEA Games organizers

QUOTES and NOTES:
Continue reading “#PINGterviews: Strong Political Will ng Pangulo, Kailangan vs Pork! | Dec. 14, 2019”