Malacañang asks Congress to grant emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte

by Bernie V. Franco
Mar 22, 2020
Palace is seeking from Congress emergency powers for President Rodrigo Duterte purportedly to aid government's fight against the COVID-19 crisis.
PHOTO/S: Photo grabbed from RTV Malacañang (YouTube)

Hiniling ng Malacañang sa Kongreso na pagkalooban ng “emergency powers” si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte.

Ito raw ay
upang makapag-atas ng mga direktiba ang Pangulo upang masolusyunan ang COVID-19 crisis sa bansa.

Sa dokumentong may petsang March 21, 2020, na nilagdaan ng Pangulo, nanawagan si Duterte sa Kongreso na magsagawa ng special session para magpasa ng bill ukol dito.

Ito ang nilalaman ng dokumento:

"I, RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE, President of the Philippines, do hereby call the Congress of the Philippines to a special session on March 23, 2020, or as soon as practicable to authorize the President to exercise powers necessary to carry out urgent measures to meet the current national emergency relating to the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), to provide ample latitude to utilize appropriate funds to strengthen governmental response against the threat of the said disease; and to continue providing basic services to the people, in addition to the urgent and critical measures implemented pursuant to the Proclamation Nos. 922 and 929, series of 2020, declaring a state of public health emergency and a state of calamity throughout the Philippines."

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May formal letter din, na nilagdaan si Presidente Duterte, para kay Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III.

Isinusulong ng panukalang batas ang pagdeklara ng national emergency hinggil sa COVID-19.

Kasabay nito ang pagbibigay ng kapangyarihan sa Pangulo "TO EXERCISE POWERS NECESSARY AND PROPER TO CARRY OUT THE DECLARED NATIONAL POLICY AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.”

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Tatawagin itong “Bayanihan Act of 2020.”

SPECIAL SESSION for "BAYANIHAN ACT 2020"

Magkakaroon ng special session ang Kamara ngayong Lunes, March 23.

Lumabas sa social media ang kopya ng House Bill na hindi pa nabibigyan ng numero.

Nakalista rito ang mga sasaklawin ng Pangulo sakaling maipagkaloob sa kanya ang emergency powers.

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Sa Section 3 (Declaration of Policy) ng Bill, hinihiling ng Pangulo ang emergency powers sa panahon ng pandemic para mabawasan, kung hindi man masupil, ang epekto ng virus.

Hangad din daw matugunan ng Pangulo ang mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga pamilyang apektado.

Makapagbigay ng healthcare sa mga pasyente.

Mapatupad ang recovery at rehabilitasyon sa lahat ng apektadong sektor.

Magkaroon ng sapat na pondo sa gitna ng krisis.

At maasikaso ang pangkabuuang kapakanan ng Pilipino sa panahon ng banta ng virus.

Sa House Bill: “By reason thereof, and in order to optimize the efforts of the President, to carry out the tasks needed to implement the aforementioned policy, it is imperative to grant him emergency powers subject to such limitations as hereinafter provided.”

big, NEW POWERS FOR THE PRESIDENT

Nakasaad sa House Bill ang mga magiging dagdag na kapangyarihan ng Pangulo.

Kapangyarihan ng gobyernong mag-takeover ng private businesses.

Ayon sa Bill: "Take-over or direct operation of any privately-owned public utility or business affected with public interest to be used in addressing the needs of the public during COVID-19 emergency as determined by the President…”

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Kabilang din ang kapangyarihang mag-takeover ng private hospitals at medical health facilities, hotels, “and other similar establishments.”

Kasama rin ang kapangyarihang mag-takeover ng telecommunications entities, na sa simpleng salita ay takeover ng Smart, Globe, TV networks at iba pa.

Para raw ito “to facilitate uninterrupted communication channels between the government and the public."

Kapangyarihang maglimita sa operasyon ng mga transportasyong pang-lupa, dagat at himpapawid, pribado man o pampubliko, na ibig sabihin ay sakop ang PAL, Cebu Pacific, SuperFerry, Pantranco atbp.

Kapangyarihang mag-regulate sa lahat ng kalsada, tulay, at lahat ng daraanan.

Kapangyarihang mag-regulate ng kuryente, fuel, at tubig.

At kapangyarihan galawin ang buong 2020 national budget.

Nakasaad: "reprogram, reallocate, and realign any appropriation of the 2020 national budget...for whatever purpose the President may deem necessary."

Sa itatagal naman ng emergency powers, tanging nasa discretion ito ng Presidente.

These powers “shall be in full force and effect only for two (2) months or longer if the calamity will persist, as may be determined by the President, without prejudice to the powers that the President may continue to exercise under the Constitution or other laws.”

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SOTTO REACTS TO DUTERTE'S REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY POWERS

Samantala, tinukoy ni Senator Sotto na ang kontrobersiyal sa panukalang batas ay ang pag-takeover ng gobyerno sa private companies.

Hindi raw ito papayagan ng Senado.

"Perhaps one controversial provision in the bill [is] about the takeover of businesses, but that won't fly in the Senate. The main proposal of the bill is to distribute cash to the 16.5 million families badly needing help," sabi ni Sotto sa ulat ng GMA News Online.

Binanggit din ni Sotto na nagkasundo ang mga kinatawan ng Malacañang, Senado, at Kongreso sa isang meeting nitong Sabado, March 21, na ang ipapasa nilang batas ay hindi magbibigay ng emergency powers sa Pangulo.

"That was precisely my point in the meeting yesterday that this is not an emergency powers bill. We agreed that it is not," ani Sotto.

Ngunit hindi niya binanggit kung meron pang mga probisyon ang Bill na nakakabagabag sa kanya.

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Palace is seeking from Congress emergency powers for President Rodrigo Duterte purportedly to aid government's fight against the COVID-19 crisis.
PHOTO/S: Photo grabbed from RTV Malacañang (YouTube)
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