"I have nothing against the network, per se. I am against people like the Lopezes."
Congress actually has some remedies to the situation of Congress’ adjournment tomorrow, June 5, in relation to the Bayanihan Heal As One Act that gives President Duterte emergency powers to address the COVID-19 pandemic. This law says that such powers would cease on June 25.
The first remedy is for Congress not to go into adjournment.
Second, the President may call a special session starting on June 6 to at least June 25. If a special session is conducted, and should Congress decide to extend Mr. Duterte’s emergency powers beyond the original three-month period, then it (Congress) must pass a law pursuant to Article VI, Section 23 (2) of the Constitution.
Note that emergency powers will cease once Congress adjourns, no ifs and buts about it.
As I understand, Congress may not adjourn tomorrow as scheduled, and for two reasons. The consensus seems to be for non-adjournment.
One reason is to avoid the cessation of the President’s emergency powers. The other reason, as my source tells me, involves the grant of a fresh 25-year franchise to Lopez-owned broadcast network ABS-CBN. There are at least 13 bills pending for this purpose.
Somebody asked me why I am against the Lopez network. I am not against ABS-CBN itself because I believe in freedom of the press. But I speak this way because I am against people like the Lopezes who use and control the network for their own purposes --- for money, politics and power.
This was evident when the Lopezes still had The Manila Chronicle.
Insofar as the ABS-CBN network is concerned, there are still many questions raised against it that have not yet been addressed adequately. Among them are the issuance of Philippine Depositary Receipts to foreign investors. The Securities and Exchange Commission has in its possession the controversial documents.
Solicitor General Jose Calida also filed a quo warranto (by what right) petition against the network before the Supreme Court. He said the network violated the terms of its franchise.
The fact that Eugenio Lopez III (Gabby) was born in the US, and thus is a US citizen, is also an issue, Santa Banana!
An interesting issue has developed in connection of the shutdown of ABS-CBN by the National Telecommunications Commission. The House of Representatives is now in a quandary over the sub-judice rule on whether Congress can even probe the shutdown.
Of course, Congress can inquire. It is an institution separate from the Supreme Court. No less than former Comelec chairman Christian Monsod, one of the framers of the 1987 Constitution, said so.
The sub-judice rule applies to public officials like Calida and the NTC commissioners.
The people are entitled to know the full background of the ABS-CBN shutdown.
The President will deliver some kind of a State-of-the-Nation Address from Davao City today. It is not too difficult to guess what he will talk about. He has approved the shift to General Community Quarantine in Metro Manila and other places, because the Department of Health believes that the coronavirus curve is flattening.
I am sure many disagree with the President’s assessment. I myself disagree. I think we are in a hurry to the new normal.
I am all for the President speaking regularly on COVID updates. We need to hear the information from him, Santa Banana!
There are now two viruses hitting the United States – first, COVID-19, and the second, the protests and violence arising from the killing of an African American man, George Floyd. The protests are going overseas, too!
The US has a long history of racism, and it will go on for much longer.
If US President Donald Trump succeeds in stopping these protests, he will surely win the elections and be president for four more years.