In or out?

Fifteen lawmakers have not made any official declaration on their position on the proposed Constituent Assembly yet. Since most of them are members of the majority, it is highly possible that they have already committed their support in favor of the new Constituent Assembly resolution. However, even if all of them decided to support HR 1230, the House majority is still short of twelve signatures to be able to convene a Constituent Assembly on its own (following a literal interpretation of the Constitution).

Note that two members of the majority, Rep. Rolando Andaya and Rep. Ronaldo Puno, have been appointed already to the Cabinet, and thus they have been excluded from our count.

Legislators with no official position on HR 1230 yet:

ALMARIO, JOEL MAYO Z.
2nd Dist, Davao Oriental
N-202, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7381 or 9315837

ALVAREZ, ANTONIO C.

1st Dist., Palawan
N-413, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7372 or 9315469

ARROYO, JUAN MIGUEL M.
2nd Dist., Pampanga
S-202, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7263 or 9316697

BONDOC, ANNA YORK P.
4th Dist., Pampanga
S-410, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7251 or 9316594

CASTRO, FREDENIL H.
2nd Dist., Capiz
N-502, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7401 or 9316247

CUA, GUILLERMO P.

Party list Representative, COOP NATCO
N-603, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7422 or 9315740

LOCSIN, TEODORO, JR. L.

1st Dist., Makati
S-507, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7285 or 9315883

MACARAMBON, BENASING, JR. O.

2nd Dist., Lanao del Sur
S-317, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7238 or 9315243

MITRA, ABRAHAM KAHLIL B.

2nd Dist., Palawan
RVM-428, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7055 or 9518922

PARAS, JACINTO V.
1st Dist., Negros Oriental
S-101, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7200 or 9315135

PICHAY, PROSPERO, JR. A.

1st Dist., Surigao del Sur
RVM-406, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7011 or 9518891

PINGOY, ARTHUR, JR. Y.
2nd Dist., South Cotabato
S-502, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7280 or 9316313

REYES, EDMUNDO, JR. O.
Lone Dist., Marinduque
S-109, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7210 or 9316427

SEÑERES, HANS CHRISTIAN M.
Party list Representative, BUHAY
N-106, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7325 or 9316442

VELARDE, RENE M.

Party list Representative, BUHAY
N-605, House of Representatives
9315001 loc. 7424 or 9315974

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May 29, 2006 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

Who said no…

Fifty-one legislators signed Resolution 1211 to block the plans of the House majority to convene a Constituent Assembly even without the concurrence of the Senate. The resolution effectively bars the pro-administration camp in the House from amending the 1987 Constitution unilaterally.

Support the legislators below and urge them to remain firm in their position against charter change.

Click here to read the resolution.


Authors and Co-authors of HR 1211:

ABAD, HENEDINA R.
Lone Dist., Batanes
N-307, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7346 or 9321664

ABAYA, JOSEPH EMILIO A.

1st Dist., Cavite
S-206, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7267 or 9316381

ACOSTA, NEREUS, JR. O.
1st Dist., Bukidnon
N-215, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7394 or 9316733

AGARAO, BENJAMIN, JR. C.
4th Dist., Laguna
N-417, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7376 or 9315722

AGUJA, MARIO “MAYONG” J.
Party list Representative, AKBAYAN
S-514, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7292 or 9316575

ALCALA, PROCESO J.

2nd Dist., Quezon
N-119, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7338 or 9315769

ANGARA, JUAN EDGARDO M.
Lone Dist., Aurora
N-518, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7417 or 9315435

ANTONINO-CUSTODIO, DARLENE R.
1st Dist., South Cotabato
N-105, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7324 or 9316691/9315340

AQUINO, AGAPITO S.
2nd Dist., Makati
N-107, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7326 or 9315249

AQUINO, BENIGNO III C.
2nd Dist., Tarlac
S-510, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7288 or 9316730

ASISTIO, LUIS A.
2nd Dist., Caloocan
N-219, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7399 or 9315197

BACANI, RODOLFO C.
4th Dist., Manila
S-411, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7252 or 9316283

BELTRAN, CRISPIN B.
Party list Representative, ANAKPAWIS
S-602, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7300 or 9316615

BIAZON, ROZZANO RUFINO B.

Lone Dist., Muntinlupa
S-506, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7284 or 9316239

CASIÑO, TEODORO A.
Party list Representative, BAYAN MUNA
S-616, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7315 or 9315911

CAYETANO, ALAN PETER S.
Lone Dist., Taguig-Pateros
N-302, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7341 or 9315408

CHIPECO, JUSTIN MARC SB

2nd Dist., Laguna
N-103, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7322 or 9315735

CRISOLOGO, VINCENT P.
1st Dist., Quezon City
RVM-417, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7033 or 9510892

DILANGALEN, BAISENDIG G.
1st Dist., Maguindanao
S-313, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7234 or 9316317

ENRILE, JUAN, JR. C.
1st Dist., Cagayan
S-401, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7242 or 9316621

ESCUDERO, FRANCIS JOSEPH G.
1st Dist., Sorsogon
N-108, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7327 or 9314896

FABIAN, ERICO BASILIO A.

Lone Dist., Zamboanga City
N-319, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7358 or 9315773

GOLEZ, ROILO S.

2nd Dist., Parañaque
S-111, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7212 or 9316624

GUINGONA, TEOFISTO III DL
2nd Dist., Bukidnon
S-505, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7283 or 9316527

HATAMAN, MUJIV S.
Party list Representative, ANAK MINDANAO
S-408, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7249 or 9316364

HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL, ANA THERESIA “RISA”
Party list Representative, AKBAYAN
S-611, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7310 or 9315210

JAWORSKI, ROBERT VINCENT JUDE B.
Lone Dist., Pasig
S-504, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7282 or 9316686

LOPEZ, RUY ELIAS C

3rd Dist., Davao City
S-112, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7213 or 9315813

MAGTUBO, RENATO “KA RENE” B.
Party list Representative, PARTIDO NG MANGGAGAWA
S-310, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7231 or 9316331

MALAPITAN, OSCAR G.
1st Dist., Caloocan
RVM-402, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7003 or 9518881

MAMBA, MANUEL N.

3rd Dist., Cagayan
S-316, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7237 or 9316411

MANDANAS, HERMILANDO I.
2nd Dist., Batangas
N-519, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7418 or 9315582

MARCOS, IMEE R.
2nd Dist., Ilocos Norte
N-311, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7350 or 9315292

MARIANO, RAFAEL V.
Party list Representative, ANAKPAWIS
S-615, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7314 or 9316397

MARTINEZ, CLAVEL M.
4th Dist., Cebu
S-409, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7250 or 9316435

MAZA, LIZA M.

Party list Representative, GABRIELA
S-309, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7230 or 9316268

NOEL, FLORENCIO GABRIEL G.
Party list Representative, AN WARAY
S-216, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7277 or 9315488

OCAMPO, SATURNINO C.
Party list Representative, BAYAN MUNA
RVM-416, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7031 or 9511027

PLAZA, RODOLFO RODRIGO G.
Lone Dist., Agusan del Sur
N-403, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7362 or 9315430

REMULLA, GILBERT CESAR C.
2nd District, Cavite
N-316, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7355 or 9316531

REMULLA, JESUS CRISPIN C.

3rd Dist., Cavite
S-304, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7225 or 9316235

ROSALES, LORETTA ANN P.
Party list Representative, AKBAYAN
S-511, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7289 or 9316288

SANTIAGO, JOSEPH A.
Lone Dist., Catanduanes
S-519, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7297 or 9316055

SERAPIO, ANTONIO M.
2nd Dist., Valenzuela
RVM-429, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7057 or 9518669

SUPLICO, ROLEX T.
5th Dist., Iloilo
N-205, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7384 or 9315832

TAÑADA, LORENZO III R.
4th Dist., Quezon
N-409, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7368 or 9316478

UMALI, ALFONSO, JR. V.
2nd Dist., Oriental Mindoro
S-606, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7304 or 9316617

VILLANUEVA, EMMANUEL JOEL J.
Party list Representative, CIBAC
N-317, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7356 or 9315442

VILLAR, CYNTHIA A.

Lone Dist., Las Piñas
S-107, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7206 or 9316311

VIRADOR, JOEL G.
Party list Representative, BAYAN MUNA
S-617, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7316 or 9316166

ZAMORA, RONALDO B.
Lone Dist., San Juan
N-210, House of Representatives,
9315001 loc. 7389 or 9316722

May 26, 2006 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

Who said yes…

We’ve heard Speaker de venecia and House Committee on Constitutional Amendments Chair Rep. Constantino Jaraula claim that more than 180 legislators have already signed HR 1230, the new Con Ass resolution. On the assumption that the Senate and the House of Representatives can actually vote as one body to convene a Constituent Assembly, the House leader, Speaker de Venecia in particular, has claimed that they only need to gather 195 to initiate the "great Cha-Cha debate."

When we checked with the Bills and Index secretariat of the House of Representatives, however, the number of authors and co-auithors of HR 1230 is only 168. No new co-author has been added since the filing of the resolution on April 25, 2006. Meanwhile, the secretariat of the House Committee on Consitutional Amendments said that the list of co-authors is not yet final.

The question is: after the failure of PIRMA, the junking of the first Con Ass resolution (HCR 26), and the rising unpopularity of the moves to amend the constitution, will the House leadership be able to come up with the necessary numbers to convene a Constituent’s Assembly on its own?

We shouldn’t wait, though, until they are able to muster enough signatures. Below is an alphabetical list of legislators who signed HR 1230. Contact them and pressure them to withdraw their signatures. Note that there are some legislators who expressed certain reservations on the resolution: Rep. Fuentebella, for instance, said that he is in favor of the convening of a Constituent Assembly BUT only with the concurrence of the Senate.

Click here to get a copy of the resolution.

Main authors and co-authors of HR 1230:

ABALOS, BENJAMIN, JR.
Lone Dist., Mandaluyong
South Wing-208, House of Representatives
9315001 loc 7269 or 9316265
comment: Yes to Con Ass, but no to NO-EL

(more…)

May 25, 2006 at 1:51 pm Leave a comment

Con Ass, Part II: Another dance of desperation

The filing on April 25, 2006, of a new resolution to convene a Constituent Assembly (Con Ass) is a veritable proof that the government-backed people’s initiative has already fizzled out. House Resolution 1230 is substantially no different from the earlier resolution, HCR 26, except for some revisions introduced by the minority bloc. However, HCR 26 is virtually dead – the Senate has refused and continues to refuse to deliberate on the resolution.

HR 1230 restores the no-election scenario, a transitory provision that Rep. Roilo Golez, with the support of the minority bloc, was able to remove in the first Constituent Assembly resolution. The new proposal was supposed to be discussed today, but due to questions on the status of the previous resolution and in light of the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) proposal to have a dialogue on Cha-Cha between the Senate and the House, the debate on HR 1230 was suspended today.

What the dialogue would be able to accomplish remains unclear. That a dialogue will take place, however, means that the House leadership blinked. Below is our press release on the proposed dialogue:

Dialogue with Senators and new ‘Con Ass’ resolution an act of desperation

AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros- Baraquel today said that the dialogue with the Senators on issues related to charter change is an act of desperation. “What the administration lawmakers did not admit, or do not wish to admit, is that the effort to resolve the tiff between the two chambers is an act of desperation,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

The solon said that the House majority, in particular Speaker De Venecia and Rep. Constantino Jaraula, Chair of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, are simply not admitting that the whole Cha-Cha express is losing steam. “The whole business of introducing a new ‘Con Ass’ resolution despite the absence of any concrete House decision on the fate of House Concurrent Resolution No. 26 already proves that the Senate has succeeded in blocking the first attempt to amend the constitution. The filing of the new resolution is also a way of saying that PIRMA has failed, and the ball should be brought back to the House of Representatives, where presumably the administration has more control” Rep. Hontiveros said.

She also said that the future moves of the administration to amend the constitution will be defined and driven largely by desperation. “They have Speaker De Venecia in the House of Representatives and they have fielded former Rep. Ronaldo Puno to spearhead PIRMA, and yet nothing has come out of these initiatives. What the administration should realize is that the using charter change to ensure its survival and to bury persistent questions on its legitimacy simply won’t work and won’t be accepted by the public,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

Rep. Hontiveros believes that the dialogue with the Senators will be a humbling experience for the leadership of the House of Representatives. “After all the bullish pronouncements, it is a clear admission on the part of the House of Representatives that it cannot amend the constitution on its own. Even if the Senate is convinced theoretically that the 1987 Constitution has to be amended, the dialogue will open tedious but necessary processes that would derail the administration’s timetable,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

“On our part, while we believe that charter change is a fundamental and necessary component of any attempt to reform and overhaul our political order, we insist that a resolution on the legitimacy of the current government is a prerequisite of any charter change. We can never have a meaningful and democratic charter change under the current administration. We will also make sure that the process of amending the constitution itself is participatory and democratic – there can be no shortcuts, and certainly political ambitions cannot supersede the interest of deepening our democracy and promoting our people’s interests,” she added. ###

May 23, 2006 at 3:26 pm Leave a comment

Either a lie from the very beginning or plain political vendetta

There are two theories why the government ungraciously rejected the recommendations of the Rapu-Rapu fact-finding team, which the President herself created after a dialogue with the leadership of the Catholic Church: first, it was a clear case of panggo-gloria, and the President said she is willing to have the Mining Act reviewed simply to appease the Church, which has uncharacteristically been silent on the clamor for the President’s resignation. The second theory is that this is a case of political vendetta – the Church spoke against the so-called people’s initiative, thus contributing to its failure and unpopularity.

Whatever the reason, the commission did not overstep its bounds when it presented its recommendations. In fact, Speaker Jose de Venecia himself pushed for the mining law’s amendments. AKBAYAN Representatives in Congress have agreed that we will get the recommendations of the fact-finding commission to help craft an alternative mining law.

Here is our press release on mining panel’s recommendations:

AKBAYAN Solon says mining fact finding panel did not overstep its bounds, accuses Malacanang of political vendetta

AKBAYAN Rep. Risa Hontiveros today said that the government-created fact finding panel on mining did not overstep its bounds, accusing of Malacañang of political vendetta and childish double-talks. “How can a recommendation to review the Mining Act an abuse of discretion when Speaker De Venecia himself committed the House of Representatives to integrate the recommendations of the panel, in particular the review and amendment of the Mining Act?” Rep. Hontiveros asked.

She added that Malacañang either lied to the leaders of the Catholic Church when it committed to consider its anti-mining position or it is punishing the Catholic Church for its opposition to charter change. A meeting between the leaders of the Catholic Church, President GMA and Speaker De Venecia two months ago resulted in the creation of the Rapu-Rapu Fact-finding Commission headed by Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes.

“Malacañang’s turn around is not surprising. The sitting President already did this before when she promised that she would not run for President. It simply tells us that we should be forever wary of the commitments and promises made by this government,” Rep. Hontiveros added.

Ngayon naman, simbahan ang na-gloria,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

The solon said that despite Malacañang’s pronouncements, AKBAYAN Representatives shall raise the Rapu-Rapu Fact-finding Commission’s recommendations in Congress. “As far as we are concerned, Congress still should act as an independent institution. We will exact accountability from Speaker De Venecia, who already committed himself to amend the Mining Act,” Rep. Hontiveros said.

May 23, 2006 at 1:38 pm 1 comment

Anti-Terror Bill, Con Ass Resolution among GMA’s top ten legislative priorities

Malacanang and Congress, through the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council, have just released its top ten priority legislation before the 3rd regular session begins this July. The list is GMA’s survival pack, though some appears to be more crucial than the others. The passage of the Anti-Terror Bill, for instance, will help the President institutionalize certain draconian policies that the SC’s decision on 1017 nipped in the bud. The 2006 GAA offers a multi-million discretionary items for the President, a war chest for Cha Cha and to keep legislators and local officials under her patronage. The economic bills do not really target investments directly, but if most of them get enacted, they would help regain the confidence of creditors and hopefully allow the government get much-needed loans.

Curiously, though, the Con Ass Resolution listed below has already been replaced by a new resolution, HR 1230. The new version has restored term extension for elected officials, a provision that the minority bloc was able to insert when the Committee on Constitutional Amendments was deliberating on the first Con Ass resolution. The new version, too, has lifted the citizenship requirement for ownership in many areas, our natural resources, education, and media included. On Tuesday, May 23, 2006, we’ll see how the new resolution will fare.

The dark horse in the list is the bill on automated elections. The bill is being sidelined by other priorities, Cha-Cha in particular. We sure hope that the bill was not just included as a deodorizer of Malacanang’s legislative priorities.

Here’s the list:

1. General Appropriations Act of 2006

House of Representatives: HB 4710 (Committee Report 1410)
Status: Approved on 3rd Reading on April 4, 2006

Senate: HB 4710
Status: Pending in the Committee of the Whole

2. Anti-Terrorism Act

House of Representatives: HB 4839 (Committee Report 1154)
Status: Approved on 3rd Reading on April 4, 2006

Senate: SB 2137 (CR 34)
Status: for interpellation

3. Bio-Ethanol Act

House of Representatives: HB 4629 (CR 1002)
Status: Approved on 3rd Reading on November 11, 1005

Senate: SB 2226 (CR 55)
Status: For Sponsorship

4. Tax Relief for Low Income Earners / Simplified Net Income Taxation Scheme (SNITS)

House of Representatives: HB 5296 (CR 1581)
Status: Approved on 2nd Reading on April 5, 2006

Senate: SB Nos. 5, 74, 794, 1335, 1336, 1917 and 2210
Status: Pending in the Committee on Ways and Means

5. Rationalization of Fiscal Incentives

House of Representatives: HB 3295 (CR 98)
Status: Approved on 3rd Reading on January 18, 2005

Senate: SB Nos. 513, 1104, 798, 1328, 1332, & 1839
Status:Pending in the Committee on Ways & Means

6. BCDA / Ecozone Incentives (Amending BCDA Act to provide incentives for Clark and other Ecozones)

House of Representatives: Ecozone Amnesty (HB 4900) and Incentives for Ecozones (HB 5064)
Status: for 2nd Reading

Senate: SB Nos. 2010, 2098, and Joint Resolution No. 7
Status: Pending in the Committees

7. Anti-Smuggling Act

House of Representatives: HB 4069 (CR 614)
Status: Approved on 3rd Reading on June 7, 2005

Senate: SB Nos. 453, 455, 1058, 1969, 1976 and 2154
Status: Pending in the Committee on Ways and Means

8. Tourism Policy Act

House of Representatives: HB Nos. 298, 942, 1207, 1363, 2257, and 2625
Status: Pending in the Committee on Tourism

Senate: SB 2138 (CR 35)
Status: On 2nd Reading for Period of Interpellation

9. Automated Election System

House of Representatives: HB 5352 (CR 1604)
Status: for 2nd Reading

Senate: SB 2231 (CR 58)
Status: On 2nd Reading for Period of Amendments

10. Concurrent Resolution Convening Congress to Propose Constitutional Amendments / Revisions

House of Representatives: House Concurrent Res. 26
Status: Approved on 2nd Reading

Senate:

May 21, 2006 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Agrarian violence worsens

Another Task Force Mapalad leader got killed in Negros Occidental last Wednesday. Mario Domingo, 35, a CARP beneficiary, was shot by a worker of a landowner in front of other farmers. His killing is the most recent in Negros, which is gaining reputation as agrarian reform’s mass grave.

In a related development, a website was created by PEACE for Ka Eric Cabagnit. Yesterday, AKBAYAN Representatives in Congress filed a resolution (read below) to launch an inqury on the spate of agrarian violence through out the country.

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City, Metro Manila

THIRTEENTH CONGRESS

Second Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 1248


Introduced by Akbayan Reps. Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Loretta Ann P. Rosales, and Mario “Mayong” Joyo Aguja


(more…)

May 18, 2006 at 3:27 pm Leave a comment

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