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House of Representatives Vice-Chairman of the Appropriations Committee Cong. Celso Lobregat supported on Wednesday the approval on third and final reading House Bill 7773, seeking to institutionalize the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act.

Lobregat said, Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon (Lone District, Muntinlupa City) is the principal author of the bill, a poverty alleviation measure that aims to prioritize investments on human capital, provide resources, and improve delivery of services - particularly education, health, and nutrition - to the poor.

SS surely hopes beneficiaries of the program are truly the poor. Per personal observations, several individuals who go to 4P’s gatherings, such as meetings and in funds withdrawal from ATMs are clad in jewelry and even drive cars.

Poor? My foot.

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Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV spent the night at his office in the Senate after Pres. Duterte voided the amnesty granted to him in 2011 and ordered his arrest.

Trillanes briefly faced members of the media Tuesday night while his camp met about their next course of action on the revocation of the former Pres. “Abnoy” Aquino-granted amnesty.

The opposition senator said he will stay in Senate until the issue is resolved, whether in his favor or not.

The Senate leadership has allowed Trillanes to remain in his Senate office, where a member cannot be arrested within the upper chamber’s premises.

Both Trillanes and Sotto may be acting on that privilege on lawyers advice, which SS tends to believe, otherwise law enforcers would have already swooped down on him there.

But earlier my view was that a legislator may escape arrest only when the body is in session, and not adjourned.

Trillanes’ legal counsel Reynaldo Robles said their camp plans to file a lawsuit on Wednesday regarding the issuance of the proclamation, but is still doubtful on several factors, such as to what specific complaint, as well as in which court to file.

Robles said the administration’s effort to revive the charges against Trillanes was “wishful thinking,” saying the revocation of amnesty and the arrest order has no legal basis.

But government has found another possible loophole in the amnesty grant questioning the validity of the congressional concurrence that is a requisite.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo pointed out there was no publication of the resolution of Congress giving concurrence to the amnesty proclamation as required by law.

Nonetheless, Panelo said “even assuming that the congressional concurrence was indeed validly given,” Trillanes should have complied with the conditions of the amnesty proclamation “that he fancies to fall under,” such as to plead guilty of charges leveled against him and to apply for the amnesty, which were not complied with.

“Therefore, he could not have at any point in time been entitled to the privilege of amnesty. In other words, any amnesty claim as regards Senator Trillanes is void ab initio,” he said.

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With unanimity, the House Justice Committee consolidated impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro and six other Supreme Court justices were found to be sufficient in form on Tuesday, September 4.

The committee, however, still has to determine whether the complaints are sufficient in substance in the next hearing on September 11.

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Government is moving fast to put in place the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Comelec has scheduled the plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) on January 21, 2019.

But Zamboangueños need not fret a bit. Our Cong. Celso Lobregat has made sure that Zamboanga City is out of the BARMM jurisdiction.

Unless a barangay here petitions to join BARM, there will not even be a single plebiscite here.

And if one does, the move is to be decided by the entire city electorate. In addition, only time suppression of the petition will be allowed. We will forever be free from its bondage.

We have only to thank Lobregat and his colleagues who went along with his initiatives.




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