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The Supreme Court En Banc Sets Martial Law Extension Petition Argument Next Week

Supreme Court
By: Elena Grace Flores

Solicitor General Jose Calida files his comment on the petition recently. He insists that rebellion still exists. “The issue of whether such rebellion persists must have the verification of the executive department. Then, the approval by the legislative department must follow. These are the two of the three co-equal branches of the government. The Supreme Court en banc sets the oral arguments of the petition against martial law extension on January 22 and 23. z

YouTube video byGMA Public Affairs

[VIDEO]: Kamakailan lamang ay muling ipinalawig ni Pangulong Duterte ang Batas Militar sa Mindanao hanggang Disyembre 2019. Ano-ano na nga ba ang naging epekto nang pagpapatupad nito noong nakaraang taon?

Martial Law Extension Resistance

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice previously says that martial law extension reflects on the military’s performance and that this is not necessary for Mindanao. The Magnificent 7 lawmakers led by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman earlier files the first petition. On top of that, another group of opposition lawmakers challenges the factual basis of President Rodrigo Du30’s third extension of martial law before the Supreme Court.

The Opposition Group’s Arguments

The lawmakers argue that the government fails to prove that this specific public safety requirement exists.” They said that Du30 requests for its extension with general terms instead of factual arguments. The President allegedly did not submit a more detailed report to support his administration’s statement of continuing rebellion in Mindanao. The members of Congress did not receive such document. They believe that the rebellious incidents do not endanger public safety. This a ground to impose martial law under the Constitution, they added.

The Anti-Martial Law Lawmakers

The Makabayan bloc is composed of House Representatives Carlos Isagani Zarate of Bayan Muna, Emmi De Jesus and Arlene Brosas of Gabriela, Ariel Casilao of Anakpawis, Antonio Tinio and France Castro of ACT Teachers and Sarah Jane Elago of Kabataan party list.

Defending the Country’s Sovereignty through the Supreme Court

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana assures the public that the military “will continue to uphold its mandate of defending the sovereignty of our state. Then, to retain the integrity of the country’s territory and protect the democratic way of life of our people. This with full respect for human rights, international humanitarian law and the primacy of the rule of law, of course.”

The Able Respondents

Named as respondents are President Rodrigo Du30, Congress of the Philippines represented by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Jr., and Philippine National Police Director General Oscar Albayalde.

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Election 2019 Substitution: Imee Marcos’ Son Matthew Runs for Governor Opposite Rudy Fariñas

election 2019


By: Elena Grace Flores

Imelda Marcos’ grandson, Ilocos Norte 2nd District Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc, will run for governor instead of her. Manotoc, the son of Ilocos Norte Governor and bet for Senator, Imee Marcos, originally filed his candidacy for vice governor. This makes the previous politicizing in the Congress launched by Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas against his mother clearer than ever. The Ilocos 6 suffered a great deal just for Fariñas to get an edge over Manotoc-Marcos for the election 2019. How could Ilocos Norte forget?


Youtube Video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: Rep. Imelda marcos, umatras sa kandidatura sa pagka-gobernador; papalitan ni BM Matthew Manotoc


Substituting Imelda Marcos

Matthew Marcos Manotoc, incumbent Senior Provincial Board Member, will run for Governor of Ilocos Norte. Previously, he had filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for Vice Governor of the province but decided to finally substitute his grandmother, 2nd District Rep. Imelda R. Marcos, in the 2019 gubernatorial race.


Opposing the No. 1 Detractor

Manotoc will be running against Ilocos Norte 1st District Representative Rodolfo “Rudy”  Fariñas, who substituted for former Barangay Bengcag, Laoag City Jesus Arimbuyotan as the gubernatorial bet recently. Fariñas strategy seems to boomerang to him. He is now opposed by the more younger and charming Marcos. Manotoc’s mother, Imee’s ordeal in the Congress definitely failed. Imelda Marcos is also smart enough to pretend that she is really running despite her old age.


Ferdinand Marcos’ Kin Runs for Vice Governor

Board Member Mariano “Nonong” Marcos has substituted Manotoc for the vice gubernatorial race as well. Nonong Marcos is the son of Pacifico, the younger brother of Imelda’s husband and former President, the late Ferdinand Marcos whose works still exist at the present time in service to the Filipino people.



Politics in the Congress

The House of Representatives allowed majority leader Rodolfo Fariñas and House accountability committee chairman Johnny Pimentel to harass Gov. Imee Marcos. It detained six officials of the Ilocos Norte provincial government on the strength of what it construes as “contempt of the House” or “obstruction of justice”. The six detained officials, who are known as “Ilocos 6,” are Pedro Agcaoili, chairman of the planning and development office; Josephine Calajate, provincial treasurer; Eden Battulayan, Encarnacion Gaor and Genedine Jambaro, staff at the treasurer’s office; and Evangeline Tabulog, provincial budget officer.

The North Remembers in the Election 2019

It is a sure win for Manotoc, a champion amateur golfer like his dad, Tommy Manotoc is a viral comment over social media. Given the stunts of Fariñas, it is likely that most Ilocos Norte voters would go for a Marcos whose family is known to prioritize their people than their position. Surely, Imee Marcos is right that the North indeed remembers.


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The Reason Behind Anti-Marcos Media Noise VS. Silent Reality at the Congress

Congress


By: Elena Grace Flores

The Filipino people are not anymore reliant to mainstream media news for information on major public interests. Instead, most of them exert efforts to verify facts. Recently, the noise about Former First Lady Imelda Marcos’ alleged graft conviction and bail was everywhere. It highlights that the Sandiganbayan records show that former senator Bongbong and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos were beneficiaries of the Swiss foundations earlier found to illegally exist under an unknown law. Naturally, the direct beneficiaries are the children. However, the 3rd Marcos sibling, Irene is not a politician. There’s rarely any mention of her name. Whereas the first two are strong contenders to the country’s top posts. Currently, Rep. Marcos is back to the Congress like nothing happened.



Youtube Video by INQUIRER.net

[VIDEO]: Imelda Marcos back in the House after bail.


Back to the Congress

The former first lady was an early bird for the 3 pm plenary session at the Batasang Pambansa, arriving at the hall around 2:30 pm. She was wearing a pink terno-inspired long blouse and matching pants. The 89-year-old widow of the late President Ferdinand Marcos did not grant any media interviews. She was at the Congress on Monday, November 19. It was as usual.


Anti-Graft Court’s Show

On November 9, the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan found Marcos guilty of creating and maintaining private organizations in Switzerland. However, no law was cited why is this illegal. She earned at least $200 million from interest and investments for the “private benefit of the former first family. It is stressed out that the transaction is private because the deposits are privately owned.


Supreme Court’s Reversal is Expected

She was sentenced to prison for 6 years and 1 month to 11 years for each of the 7 counts of graft. Marcos, who is running for Ilocos Norte governor in 2019, can only be perpetually disqualified from holding public office if the conviction becomes executory. The Supreme Court is likely to reverse the ruling on Rep. Marcos – just like the previous dollar-salting case. The evidence was based on hearsay. Despite the documents from Swiss authorities, only two witnesses with no personal knowledge testified.



Shallow Media

An infamous yellow media even covers a Facebook post. It claims that the late Philippine President Marcos holds a Guinness World Record. That is for being the ‘Most Brilliant President in History’. Guinness did not give him such accolade, it clarified. It does list him as the one responsible for the ‘Greatest robbery of a Government,’ it added. It is odd that this publication goes to that extent of destroying the reputation of the dead. Obviously to discredit the rest of the family. These kinds of media give a bad name to journalists. They are either competing with bloggers or act as LP’s announcer.

Stopping the Marcoses’ Leadership

Meanwhile, Sandiganbayan records signify that the former senator whose electoral protest against the presumptive VP Leni Robredo is about to get a ruling from the PET for the recount on his pilot provinces. On top of that, the 80% ghost voters found in ARMM of the LP bets also made his case looks good. There’s no stopping the rising popularity of Ilocos Imee Marcos as well who is a survey favorite for Senator in the upcoming election. Many mainstream media are really desperate knowing that their faction can be wiped out soon.


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UN Ambassador Becomes DFA Secretary as Cayetano Vies for the Congress

congress


By: Elena Grace Flores

President Rodrigo Du30 said they began to look for the outgoing Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano’s replacement. This is right after the latter revealed his plan to vie for a seat in the Congress again. The President said that United Nations Ambassador, Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. might take Cayetano’s place.  Locsin replied by saying that he accepted Du30’s offer.



YouTube video by Filipino Top 10

[VIDEO]:  SI TEDDY BOY LOCSIN JR. NA NGABA ANG ATING BAGONG DFA SECRETARY


Trust is a Big Factor

Locsin, a lawyer, politician and former journalist, had served as the representative of the 1st district of Makati from 2001 to 2010. He talks highly of the president. He said that he can trust Du30’s decision since his uncle Chito Ayala also trusted him. Locsin believes in the Philippine leader’s wisdom when he was first appointed as the Philippine Representative to the United Nations.

Cayetano’s Last Trip before Trying His Luck at the Congress

Meanwhile, Cayetano’s Bali trip with the President for the ASEAN Leaders’ Gathering would be his last overseas travel as DFA secretary. After filing his certificate of candidacy next week, Cayetano said he would not work as foreign affairs chief anymore. No more foreign trips with the President as well. This includes the ASEAN Leaders Summit in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Papua New Guinea next month.


Panelo is Set to Wear a New Hat

Also set to wear a new hat is presidential chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo. He is preparing to be the chief of the soon-to-be-organized Office of the Press Secretary (OPS). It will replace the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) of Martin Andanar. Panelo is the President’s choice head of the OPS after presidential spokesman Harry Roque bares his plan to run for senator.

Positioned as Spokesman

Current officials of the PCOO are going tender their courtesy resignation to give Panelo a fresh start.  Panelo is no stranger to the task of speaking for the President. It was he who had been facing the media before Roque’s appointment. His hosting the “tete-a-tete” with the President also draws speculations that he could soon become the Presidential spokesman.



Siblings Exchanging Positions

Cayetano’s sister, Pia Cayetano, currently occupies the Taguig City-Pateros, 2nd District Congress seat. It was his position in the Congress before. She is about to file her certificate of candidacy for senator in the mid-term elections. Taking turns is quite common among siblings in politics just like Gov. Imee Marcos who is running for senator in lieu of her brother, former senator Bongbong Marcos. Others may have to run against each other. Take the case of Makati’s Abby and Junjun Binay for mayor and Jinggoy Estrada and  JV Ejercito for a senatorial seat.


Dominance in Taguig Might Win a Congress Seat

Just like the Binays in Makati, Maria Laarni Lopez Cayetano also known by her nickname Lani Cayetano is the former congresswoman and the incumbent mayor of Taguig City. She is the wife of the outgoing DFA Secretary who is proud of his achievements. However, working alongside a popular president gives the latter some pros and cons among avid voters. Especially when he was a rival to the President’s choice for his successor. Running for the Congress in his territory is the best that he could do to win a seat.

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Does the Congress Insinuates that It also Doubts Robredo’s VP Election Victory?

congress


By: Elena Grace Flores

Even the Congress as the National Board of Canvassers that proclaims Leni Robredo as the VP winner in 2016 is in doubt until now if she really wins it. Congressman Vicente Veloso asked; Can we submit this Republic to that uncertainty? Are we sure that it is Robredo who is the Vice President? The question emerges as lawmakers are rooting VP out in the line of succession. This is contrary to the over-confident advice of Atty. Romulo Macalintal to Bongbong Marcos. He urges the latter to drop his electoral protest. President Du30’s resignation will never happen because Mr. Marcos will never win his electoral protest,” said Robredo’s lead lawyer. However, BBM camp’s spokesperson, Atty. Vic Rodriguez said that Macalintal is under false pretense because why would he urge Marcos on numerous occasions to let go of the protest if they are not guilty of digital fraud?



YouTube video by SMNI News Channel

[VIDEO]: DATING SEN. BONGBONG MARCOS, PINAYUHANG ISUKO NALANG ANG ELECTION PROTEST NITO LABAN KAY VP ROBREDO


Ambitious Macalintal

‘Since when did a pending election protest become the basis of succession to the highest position of the land?’ asks Robredo’s election lawyer. He is also running for Senator in the 2018 Midterm elections. On his election bid, he says that he will push for the rights of senior citizens and persons with disabilities.

Robredo Camp’s Belief

Robredo’s team expresses confidence in the face of Malacañang’s statement that President Du30 will step down if the former senator wins his poll protest against her. Du30’s resignation will never happen because Marcos will never win his electoral protest, said Macalintal.


True to His Word

The President thinks that the former Senator is one of the better-qualified leaders to succeed him and if there’s development and he will win the protest and he becomes vice president, yes he will make true to his word,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told reporters earlier before his rumored resignation as the Presidential spokesperson.

Mac Criticizes the President

Macalintal criticizes Du30 saying that he’s willing to step down except that he does not think if the constitutional successor is qualified. Marcos’ election protest is currently at the manual ballot recount stage. It covers over 5,000 clustered precincts from his three chosen pilot provinces: Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental. The results of this recount will determine whether or not Marcos’ protest will proceed with the rest of the 31,047 contested clustered precincts.

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Senators Disagree with the Revision

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto, and Minority Leader Franklin Drilon all said there’s no time to discuss the charter change. Arroyo’s proposal has no counterpart in the Senate.  A resolution calling for a separate voting of a Constituent Assembly is still pending. It has no counterpart in the House. Drilon said that before going into the details of the revisions, the Congress has to decide first whether or not to amend the Constitution and which mode to do it.


Chong the Congress Doubts

Atty. Glenn Chong, former Congressman of Biliran Island appeared before a Senate investigating committee on the 2016 Automated Elections. It revived many questions raised for all the automated elections ever held in this country since 2010. This includes the 2016 elections, of course. Right now many people are questioning the same issues in the social media network. But with the 2019 mid-term elections getting nearer and nearer, it is high time for Filipinos to exert efforts in driving Smartmatic out of the country.