Palace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLPalace, Congress team up for BOLCongress in the Philippines - House of Representatives

Malacañang and Congress have asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the petition assailing the constitutionality of the Bangsamoro Organic Law.
In a 118-page comment, the Palace and both Houses of Congress, through the Office of the Solicitor general, asked the high court to dump the petition filed in October by the Sulu provincial government seeking to strike down the BOL or Republic Act 11054 and to stop its implementation.
Solicitor General Jose Calida said the BOL does not violate section 18, Article X of the 1987 Constitution, which authorized only one Organic Act to establish the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
He rejected the argument of the petitioner that the law should have had the approval of Sulu and the other provinces under the ARMM through majority voting as separate units, saying this was not required by the Constitution.
“The [separate] voting requirement provided in Section 18, Article X of the 1987 Constitution applies only to the creation of an autonomous region, not to the amendment of the law, nor to the expansion of its territorial jurisdiction,” Calida says in his comment.
He says the law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte in July last year, which created a Bangsamoro Autonomous Region, was not exactly a creation of a new autonomous region as described in the Constitution, but rather an amendment of the organic act and an expansion of the territorial jurisdiction of the ARMM.
“When Congress decides to expand the territory of the autonomous region, the requirement does not apply to the subsisting provinces, cities of geographical areas of the autonomous region, but only to those provinces, cities or geographical areas proposed by Congress to be added therein,” the Executive and Legislative department said in their comment.
“A majority of the votes in all constituent units put together is sufficient for those provinces, cities or geographical areas already part of the autonomous region.”
Calida says the expansion of the ARMM does not require an amendment more info of the Constitution since Congress only needs to amend or repeal the Organic Act on ARMM.
“Congress retains the plenary power to amend and repeal the Organic Act that created the ARMM. The power to amend and repeal laws is included in the general and express grant of legislative power under Section 1, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution,” Calida said.
“The creation of an autonomous region in Muslim Mindanao is through an organic law, categorized as a statute passed by Congress. As a statute, the organic law may be amended or repealed by Congress pursuant to its general legislative power.”
Calida, in invoking the powers of Congress to amend and repeal statutes, says the high court has no power to review the BOL because the issues raised by the petitioner involves political questions.
“The issues raised in the present petition are purely political questions that this Honorable Court is not permitted by the 1987 Constitution to examine,” Calida said.
He said the BOL complied with the requirement for the governmental setup for an autonomous region under the constitutional provision.
Calida also rejected the petitioner’s assertion that the law erased the identity of the indigenous cultural minorities in Sulu by automatically including it in the BAR without their knowledge and consent and also against their will and in violation of their rights.

Duterte Breaking News



President Rodrigo Duterte is not dying, his spokesman said Friday, even as House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is among those who think the Chief Executive can still function normally despite a “growth” found in his digestive tract.
Duterte not dying­­—Palace
Roque said he will suggest to the President to issue a medical bulletin to put to rest speculation about his health.
Asked if the President was on the brink of death, spokesman Harry Roque said: “I don’t think so. That’s why I showed a video of the President yesterday to show that he is healthy.”
“But he also said yesterday, name a 73-year-old who does not have an illness. So, if he really has an illness, he thinks it’s not out of the ordinary,” Roque added.
Arroyo, a key ally of Duterte, vouched for the President’s ability to execute his duties, citing her own experiences.
“I’m also going through treatment, right? But even I can go through a six o’clock adjournment [in Congress],” the 71-year-old Arroyo said. “So it can be done.”
Reporters sought the opinion of the former President and Pampanga lawmaker on Duterte seeking medical treatment for an admitted “bad case” of Barrett’s esophagus, which could lead to cancer.
READ: Cancer risk in Barrett’s disease
As Manila Standard reported Friday, the President revealed he is awaiting the results of fresh medical tests at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan City—adding that “if it’s cancer, it’s cancer.”
Duterte, 73, is the oldest person ever to be elected president in the country, and speculation about his health has cropped up regularly since he took power in 2016.
Arroyo, meanwhile, had been diagnosed with degenerative bone disease, among other ailments, and wore a neck brace for a while. She was under hospital arrest for a plunder charge for nearly four years starting in 2012 at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City.
Roque, who said he did not know about the tests until later, said the President underwent an endoscopy to learn more about a growth in his digestive tract.
“Right now, we don’t know [if it’s serious] because he went for a diagnostic exam,” he said.
Roque said he will suggest to the President to issue a medical bulletin to put to rest speculation about his health.
“He is still entitled to privacy in this matter. I do not know. If I am still here next week then I will tell him perhaps we need to issue a medical bulletin whether or not it’s serious,” said Roque, who also admitted that he was considering resigning (See separate story—Editors).
“I assure you, as a lawyer, he knows what the Constitution says. If it’s a serious illness, he will inform the nation,” Roque said.
In a speech late Thursday, the President said he underwent an endoscopy and colonoscopy about three weeks ago but that he was advised this week to repeat the tests—and so he went to Cardinal Santos on Wednesday, apparently without the knowledge of Presidential Spokesman Roque.
READ: Duterte: I've undergone colonoscopy
“I don’t know where I’m at now physically, I have to wait for that. But I would tell you that if it’s cancer, it’s cancer,” he said.
“And if it’s third stage, no more treatment. I will not prolong my agony in this office or anywhere,” he added.
Speculation began after Duterte missed a Wednesday Cabinet meeting and another public event.
Duterte keeps up a punishing schedule of appearances ranging from shopping mall openings to police funerals, and frequently delivers multiple, lengthy speeches per day.
The government had denied the leader was having health problems, with spokesman Harry Roque saying the president “just took his day off.”
“I assure you that I have no information that he went to a hospital,” Roque added.
However, in Duterte’s Thursday speech he said: “There was supposed to be a Cabinet meeting, that was yesterday, but... Somebody advised my doctor just to repeat and get some [medical] samples.”
Duterte has said previously that he suffers from daily migraines and ailments including Buerger’s disease, an illness that affects the veins and the arteries of the limbs, and is usually due to smoking.
He has cited his ill health as the reason for skipping events during summits abroad.
The President, known for his deadly crackdown on drugs, also revealed in 2016 that he used to take fentanyl, a powerful painkiller, because of a spinal injury from previous motorcycle accidents.
Section 12 of Article 7 of the Constitution says if the President is seriously ill, the public will be informed about the state of his health.
“The members of the Cabinet in charge of national security and foreign relations and the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, shall website not be denied access to the President during such illness.” With AFP
READ: Rody in hospital ‘for 2nd opinion’
READ: Pray for Rody's health—Bishops

Latest News Mocha Uson Blog Philippines



‘Mocha isn’t off the hook just yet’
Mocha Uson
READ: Three tales of ‘endo’ in government service: Bowed out

Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Uson’s resignation had nothing to do with the ongoing probe of the complaints filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Akbayan Youth and the Philippine Federation of the Death.
On Sept. 28—the day Uson resigned—Martires said the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office sent a letter ordering her and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar to file their own comment within 10 days on the complaint filed by the Philippine Federation of the Deaf.
The letter, signed by Asst. Ombudsman Joselito Fangon told Uson to submit within 10 days a written explanation or comment on a complaint filed by four complainants over a video she posted on her Facebook page that mocked people with disabilities.
Uson also faces complaints about an earlier video in which her sidekick, blogger Drew Olivar, danced while pointing to his crotch and breasts as mnemonic devices for federalism.
Although Uson may no longer be suspended or dismissed, she could be disqualified from public office, effectively stopping her from running in the next elections.
Uson on Thursday shot back at Vice President Leni Robredo, whose spokesman had said her resignation would not spare her from liability for her lies and scandals.
Talking to UNTV, Uson said it was the vice president who was full of lies, and that even her position was a big lie—a reference to the election protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr

Assistant Secretary for Communications Margaux “Mocha” Uson has been the fair-haired girl of the Duterte administration—much to its detriment.


The former sexy dancer turned blogger had actively campaigned for Mr. Duterte in 2016 and was rewarded with a high-paying job at the Presidential Communications Operation Office.

Since her appointment, Uson has committed a series of gaffes, and in all of these blunders, she had defended herself haughtily, arrogantly. Ironically she and her legion of defenders dismiss her critics as purveyors of fake news or out to bring down their check here revered “Tatay Digong.”
It has escaped us for long why the Palace has continued to stand behind Uson despite her misadventures. Our best guess was that her millions of followers gave her enough clout to do as she pleased in the name of spreading the word. Proof of her good standing at the Palace is the decision to tap her services in the information campaign for the proposed federal form of government.
This weekend, however, Uson crossed the line.
In a video posted on her Facebook blog Sunday, Uson, along with companion Andrew Olivar, attempted a federalism tutorial complete with an obscene song-and-dance number, a simplistic analogy and a script of dubitable accuracy read aloud like a high school class report.
If Uson succeeded in anything, it is in insulting the hard work of the consultative commission that proposed a draft constitution that, if approved, would govern the transition to the federal form.
It is in denigrating the sober matter of governance and trivializing hopes that a new structure of government would improve the lives of millions of Filipinos.
Uson successfully turned people against federalism, not because people were able to weigh its foreseen benefits against the costs, but because it is now associated a lewd Tagalog equivalent and equally lewd dance moves.
She easily made the Duterte administration, which she is supposed to speak for and represent, look stupid, irreverent and laughable.
With any luck, her latest stunt should convince the President that he has risked enough in having her on board—and getting the rest of us to foot her insanely high commanding price.
What would be the most vulgar of all is if Uson gets to keep her cushy job and continue to enjoy her perks despite the near-universal outrage at her acts.

Latest News Mocha Uson Blog Philippines



‘Mocha isn’t off the hook just yet’
Mocha Uson
READ: Three tales of ‘endo’ in government service: Bowed out

Ombudsman Samuel Martires said Uson’s resignation had nothing to do with the ongoing probe of the complaints filed by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Akbayan Youth and the Philippine Federation of the Death.
On Sept. 28—the day Uson resigned—Martires said the Ombudsman’s Field Investigation Office sent a letter ordering her and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar to file their own comment within 10 days on the complaint filed by the Philippine Federation of the Deaf.
The letter, signed by Asst. Ombudsman Joselito Fangon told Uson to submit within 10 days a written explanation or comment on a complaint filed by four complainants over a video she posted on her Facebook page that mocked people with disabilities.
Uson also faces complaints about an earlier video in which her sidekick, blogger Drew Olivar, danced while pointing to his crotch and breasts as mnemonic devices for federalism.
Although Uson may no longer be suspended or dismissed, she could be disqualified from public office, effectively stopping her from running in the next elections.
Uson on Thursday shot back at Vice President Leni Robredo, whose spokesman had said her resignation would not spare her from liability for her lies and scandals.
Talking to UNTV, Uson said it was the vice president who was full of lies, and that even her position was a big lie—a reference to the election protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr

Assistant Secretary for Communications Margaux “Mocha” Uson has been the fair-haired girl of the Duterte administration—much to its detriment.


The former sexy dancer turned blogger had actively campaigned for Mr. Duterte in 2016 and was rewarded with a high-paying job at the Presidential Communications Operation Office.

Since her appointment, Uson has committed a series of gaffes, and in all of these blunders, she had defended herself haughtily, arrogantly. Ironically she and her legion of defenders dismiss her critics as purveyors of fake news or out to bring down their revered “Tatay Digong.”
It has escaped us for long why the Palace has continued to stand behind Uson despite her misadventures. Our best guess was that her millions of followers gave her enough clout to do as she pleased in the name of spreading the word. Proof of her good standing at the Palace is the decision to tap her services in the information campaign for the proposed federal form of government.
This weekend, however, Uson crossed the line.
In a video posted on her Facebook blog Sunday, Uson, along with companion Andrew Olivar, attempted a federalism tutorial complete with an obscene song-and-dance number, a simplistic analogy and a script of dubitable accuracy read aloud like a high school class report.
If Uson succeeded in anything, it is in insulting the hard work of the consultative commission that proposed a draft constitution that, if approved, would govern the transition to the federal form.
It is in denigrating the sober matter of governance and trivializing hopes that a new structure of government would improve the lives of millions of Filipinos.
Uson successfully turned people against federalism, not because people were able to weigh its foreseen benefits against the costs, but because it is now associated a lewd Tagalog equivalent and equally lewd Latest News Mocha in the Philippines dance moves.
She easily made the Duterte administration, which she is supposed to speak for and represent, look stupid, irreverent and laughable.
With any luck, her latest stunt should convince the President that he has risked enough in having her on board—and getting the rest of us to foot her insanely high commanding price.
What would be the most vulgar of all is if Uson gets to keep her cushy job and continue to enjoy her perks despite the near-universal outrage at her acts.

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