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Emergency powers cease

"Congress will adjourn on June 5."

 

 

The 25-year franchise of Lopez-owned radio-television network renewal was finally deliberated by the House of Representatives last Tuesday. I had thought earlier that there were 11 bills filed for purposes of renewal; actually, it turns out, there are 13.

Reports say that last Tuesday’s session of the House was the second reading. But when was the first reading? I ask this question since Article VI, Section 26 (1) of the 1987 Constitution is precise that the readings of a bill, to become a law, must be done on separate days unless the bill is certified urgent by the President.

In any case, with so many bleeding hearts for ABS-CBN in Congress, it’s almost certain that the bill renewing the franchise of ABS-CBN will be enacted, my gulay!

Lest I am misunderstood, I am not against the network itself. It serves a purpose. But I am against the owners using the network for their own purposes, specifically money, politics and power to demonize their competition.

Recall that during the heyday of the Lopezes and the sugar bloc, the family used the network and Manila Chronicle to gain political power, corrupting politicians and even members of the media for their own purposes. Even the president had to kowtow to the Lopezes – they were that powerful! Fernando Lopez even became Vice President.

I have no complaints about people making money. They work hard and persevere. They are patient. The likes of the Sys, Lucio Tan, Andrew Tan, the Gokongweis, Enrique Razon, the Tys, Bobby Ongpin, the Ayalas, Manny Pangilinan, Manny Villar – all of them work hard and give back to the people. They are patriots.

**

Metro Manila mayors are now thinking of easing lockdown restrictions after May 31.

No doubt, there are certain areas where those found positive for coronavirus are becoming fewer in number. But there are areas where the number is rising. This is precisely why we have to defer to experts.

Mayors, who are politicians, may be giving in to pressure from their constituents who have lost jobs and livelihood.

Still, I believe as many others do that until that curve really flattens, it will remain very risky to experiment on the lives of people.

**

There are reports that Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Ano has a list of 153 local government and barangay officials found to have committed anomalies with regard to the Social Amelioration Program. He should make this list public so we know who these people are.

It’s unfair to the honest officials who are doing their job during these difficult times. We have to resolve this before the second tranche of the SAP is distributed.

It’s really the system of governance that breeds corruption. So long as there is human discretion involved, people will always be tempted to take what is not theirs.

**

This was passed on to me by my nephew, lawyer Rudolf Philip Jurado, former government corporate counsel. The President’s emergency powers under the Bayanihan Law will expire on June 5, even if the technical expiration date is on June 25.

Under Section 23 (2) Article VI of the Constitution, the emergency powers granted by Congress to the President to address the national emergency shall cease upon Congress’ next adjournment, unless sooner withdrawn by a congressional resolution. Note that the present Congress sessions are scheduled to adjourn on June 5.

Once Congress adjourns, all emergency powers granted to the President will cease.

The three-month effectivity of the law cannot prevail over an express and unambiguous provision of the Constitution. The latter should always prevail.

Topics: Emil Jurado , House of Representatives , Congress , ABS-CBN , Secretary Eduardo Ano , Social Amelioration Program , emergency powers , Bayanihan Law
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