Author Topic: Plan to postpone 2010 polls inserted in resolution - lawyer  (Read 235 times)

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Plan to postpone 2010 polls inserted in resolution - lawyer
« on: November 25, 2008, 01:22:53 PM »
Plan to postpone 2010 polls inserted in resolution - lawyer
11/25/2008 | 06:00 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A provision to postpone the 2010 presidential elections and extend the terms of office for all elective officials has been inserted into a House Resolution currently pending before the House committee on constitutional amendments.

This was revealed Tuesday by human rights lawyer Neri Colmenares, secretary general of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, as he belied earlier allegations by the pro-administration congressmen when they defended their proposals to amend the Charter.

The chairman of the House panel on constitutional amendments, La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, himself initially denied that any of the bills and resolutions referred to his panel contained a proposal for term-extension.

"The term extension is merely talk, rumors or ‘chismis’. The committee has not received any resolution … for any extension of term. I can assure you that not one member of this committee wants to extend our terms," Ortega said.

But when Colmenares produced a copy of House Resolution No. 550 filed by Batangas Rep. Hermilando Mandanas, he suddenly changed his tone.

“As far as the committee is concerned, hindi pa talaga napapag-usapan yan. Naka-refer lang pero di pa talaga nade-deliberate," Ortega said, as he quickly backtracked.

“The committee is not going to act on it (HR 550) until we are finished with all the public hearings. It’s not really a priority,... we will treat all the proposed measures equally," he told reporters in an interview.

But Colmenares said HR 550 has already undergone ‘initial deliberations’ on August 12, 2008, adding that this was based on a report he secured from the committee secretariat.

“It is already in the agenda. That means they can already vote on it, even today or perhaps tomorrow. This proves that all previous assurances that there are no proposals for term extension being considered were misleading," the lawyer added.

In HR 550, the sponsor had recommended an additional year to the terms of office of members of the House of Representatives and all local government executives although it retained the limitation of three consecutive terms.

The Mandanas resolution also proposed that the presidential elections scheduled for May 10, 2010 be reset instead to May 9, 2011.

This, he said, was ‘to better synchronize local and national elections and to afford time for the necessary transitory preparations and the required adjustments.’

This means that ‘all elected officials whose term will end at noon on June 30, 2010’ - including President Gloria Arroyo - will be serving on hold-over capacity ‘until noon of June 30, 2011’.

Meanwhile a group composed of University of the Philippines Social Sciences Professor Roland Simbulan, Black and White Movement convenor Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan secretary general Renato Reyes and Lyceum College of Law dean Pacifico Agabin warned congressmen against pushing through with the plan to amend the constitutioin.

They said that all initiatives to change the 1987 Constitution emanating from Congress is being regarded by the public with suspicion.

“An anomalous mode of charter change will only serve anomalous interests," Reyes, the Bayan leader said.

For his part, political scientist Jose B. Abueva said that amendments of outdated provisions of the 1987 charter ‘is long overdue.’

He cited the need to amend the ‘built-in’ conflict among the executive and legislative branches, shift to a federal form of government to promote regional development, and removing restrictions to foreign investments in mining and utilities.

Even as he acknowledged the people’s mistrust of the moves in Congress to revise or amend the Charter, Abueva stressed that an overhaul of the Constitution was needed.

This, he said, was to enable reforms that will improve governance and accountability.

“President John F. Kennedy once said that those who refuse to make a peaceful revolution possible make a violent revolution inevitable," he warned. - GMANews.TV

source: ... n---lawyer

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Plan to postpone 2010 polls inserted in resolution - lawyer
« on: November 25, 2008, 01:22:53 PM »

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