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Gerry Baldo

‘Use P100K reward for rebel killed to fix MRT’

Friday, 23 February 2018 00:00 Published in Metro

The Moro and indigenous people’s alliance Sandugo has asked President Duterte to stop blabbering about his P100,000 reward to killers of New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas and just use the taxpayers’ money to fix the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).

“Kung ilalagay na lang ni Duterte ang P100,000 niya sa pag-aayos ng MRT o sa serbisyo publiko o rehabilitasyon sa Marawi, baka mas makatulong pa siya (If Duterte allocates the P100,000 to fix the MRT, Marawi rehabilitation or to social services—he might be able to actually help the people),” Sandugo co-chairman Jerome Succor Aba said yesterday in response to President Duterte’s raising of the bounty for any Lumad who kills an NPA fighter.
“Dahil kahit magkano pa ang gawin niyang reward, hindi yan tatanggapin ng mga Lumad (Because no matter how much that reward is, the Lumad will still to reject it),” Aba said.
“Such pronouncements from the President add insult to indigenous peoples’ historic injuries. They have long been living in poverty, discrimination and government neglect. Now, Duterte wants to shower them with money to bribe them to kill,” he added.
“It is not the NPAs, nor the insurgency, that is the problem in our ancestral lands and territories but the big companies who want to encroach upon our land and plunder its resources, the Duterte regime for selling out the nation’s sovereignty and the terror of human rights violations that comes along with it,” Aba said.
“The NPA is only the effect of the long-running fundamental problems of landlessness, poverty and oppression. The Filipino people, including the national minorities, are pushed to wage a war in their hunger to change their situation,” Aba said.
“If this government wants to get rid of the war without much expenditure, Duterte should go back to the negotiating table. He should instead channel government resources to basic social services, free education and land reform and national industrialization,” he said.
“That’s where the nation’s coffers should go to—not to kill people,” Aba said.

Nationwide curfew for minors pushed

Monday, 19 February 2018 00:00 Published in Headlines

A member of the House of Representatives is pushing a bill calling for uniform national curfew that is intended to protect the minors amid increasingly alarming number of children who have gone missing.

According to Bagong Henerasyon partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, it is high time for a law that would keep minors inside their homes from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“I started this when I was Quezon City councilor because we saw the need when children are abused and exploited,” Herrera-Dy said in a radio interview yesterday.
She said minors do not have any business being in the streets in the wee hours of the night unless accompanied by an adult.
Herrera-Dy added the proposed law is not only intended to maintain public order and safety and prevent the further rise in criminality, but also to protect minors from potential threat that may arise in the remote environment which may be harmful or detrimental to their development.

Minors caught violating the curfew would be brought to the barangay hall and their parents summoned.
Parents of recidivists would be meted a fine and/or do community service.
“We see nearly every day and night on television news the CCTV footages of children and teenagers figuring in gang wars, petty theft, street crimes, and violent skirmishes,” stressed Herrera-Dy, chairman of House Committee on Women and Gender Equality.
Some cities and municipalities have their own ordinances concerning curfew on children but once enacted the impending measure would make it restricted for children to remain in the streets between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless under certain circumstances.
These exemptions are when the children are chaperoned or accompanied by either parent or guardian; traveling or commuting between school and abode; engaged in an authorized employment activity or going to or returning home from the same without any detour or stop; involved in an emergency; attending an official school, religious, recreational, educational, social, community, or other organized activity sponsored by the government, school or other private civic organization; going to or returning home from such activity without any detour or stop; or dismissed from their classes late in the evening.
“It’s just really to discipline them. We just want to ensure that they know that they are not supposed to be out at night,” Herrera-Dy said.

House to approve BBL in March – Speaker

Thursday, 15 February 2018 00:00 Published in Headlines

By Gerry Baldo

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday said the House of Representatives is set to approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) before the Holy Week recess in March.
He said that upon approval he would immediately transmit the measure to the Senate.
“I would like BBL approved before we go on a break so that we can submit it to the Senate,” Alvarez, principal author of BBL, said
today (Thursday).
The House committees on local government, on Muslim affairs and on Mindanao affairs will commence a five-week consultation in Mindanao.
The first stop will be in Cotabato City, the center of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, followed by its hearings in Midsayap, North Cotabato and Davao. Anak Mindanao party-list Reps. Amihilda Sangcopan and Makmod Mending Jr. appealed to their colleagues to back the passage of the BBL.

“This long-awaited legislation will serve as the core of a stronger regional government – one that will be stronger than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM),” said Sangcopan.
Anak Mindanao has been supporting the BBL draft that the 21-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) submitted to Congress.
“We are hoping that our esteemed colleagues in the House of Representatives will support us, people from the Bangsamoro territory, as we push for the passage of a BBL that echoes the people’s clamor for just and lasting peace in the region in particular, and in the country in general – one that is truly representative of the Bangsamoro people,” said Sangcopan.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives will await the inputs of the 19-member consultative body tasked to review the 1987 Constitution before proceeding to draft the new Charter, the Speaker said yesterday.
In a press conference, Alvarez said the lower chamber would consider the recommendations of the consultative committee, as he directed the House constitutional committee to not immediately terminate its hearings in order to discuss the proposed amendments to the 1987 Constitution of the consultative body.
“This is because the committee hearings will continue and I told them not to immediately terminate these hearings since the consultative commission whose members have been appointed by President Duterte. Let us wait for their inputs, so we know what they are. We have to cover that and consider all the inputs,” Alvarez said.
Former Se, Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel, who is a member of the consultative committee, earlier said the proposal is expected to be submitted by President Duterte in his third State of the Nation Address (SONA) this July.
Alvarez said his initial deadline in holding a plebiscite on Charter change along with the barangay elections in May 2018 might have to be pushed back until 2019.
“The timetable for the plebiscite has to be done before 2019. This should be finished by then. I think that’s already long. That’s a conservative estimate,” Alvarez said.
Based on the proposals submitted by the House constitutional amendments committee, the territory of the future Federal Republic of the Philippines will be divided into five states composed of Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, Bangsamoro, and Metro Manila.
Under the proposal, each state shall have its own State Constitution, adopt its name, and choose a capital, flag, anthem, and seal.
The proposed federal charter retains the position of the President, who would act as head of state, and introduces the position of a Prime Minister, who would be the head of the government.


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