READY

Malacanang is ready to implement the responsible parenthood or reproductive health law now that its been upheld by the Supreme Court.

Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also maintained  confidence that the position of the

court against 2 provisions of the law will not be a problem. “we have been ready from the day that it was signed by the President. So that would be the Department of Health and I understand that, yes, they have been putting it off, or at least, because of its compliance to the TRO that was issued.  “

The court reportedly struck down section 7 on the access to family planning and section 23 on the penal provisions. Valte maintained there are other sections guaranteeing access to family planning. “: Access in Section 7 is not the only provision for access. I also understand that there is a Section 10 for the process in the distribution. But again, do not hold me to that because I would need to read the entire decision, as well as the votes, the concurring opinions, as well as the dissenting opinions, if any.” Continue reading

NOTES

Malacanang urges the Commission on Elections to prepare for a plebiscite on the proposed bangsamoro basic law.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, “COMELEC should also be anticipating that. But again, the COMELEC is an independent commission, so knowing what the timeline is—we have said this time and again—we hope that the COMELEC is already also preparing for the plebiscite.”

 

A ratification in the ARMM areas as well as other contiguous places who want to join is a key requirement before the law is implemented, should it be approved by Congress.

Currently the bill for the law is still being drafted by the bangsamoro transition commission.

“ The Bangsamoro Transition Commission is now drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law based from the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.That is now working and hopefully we will receive the draft. Active engagement of the Office of the President comes in when it is submitted to the Office of the President for their review and approval. The timeline is really to submit it  (to the office of the president) as early as possible.Pagkatapos ng recess.”

 

The BTC is expected to submite the draft BBL to Malacanang for its review prior to its filing in Congress. Congress is expecting the bill by June.

 

Congress returns from its ongoing summer vacation on May 5. “ We are hoping that we can review everything sometime after that, so we can abbreviate the process of reviewing, so our purpose is to… After the review process is done, we can file this as early as possible, so…we would prefer that it… That we will be able to finalize the review process in time for filing sometime in May. But, you know, these are schedules that we are loo[king]—timetable. We are looking at the timeline and hopefully we can follow the timeline.”

 

The BBL is meant to institutionalize the comprehensive agreement on the bangsamoro signed last week by the government and the moro Islamic liberation front.

 

Continue reading

CONCERN

A palace official  expresses concern over the whether the platforms of MRT stations can withstand the long queues.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said ensuring the structural intergrity of the platforms is one of the priorities now.

“The short-term intervention again is to make sure that the… ‘Yung integrity ng platform kasi mahalaga. So baka sa sobrang dami ng tao, the platforms, it might… The structural integrity might suffer. So for that reason, we have those lines.” Continue reading

MOTIVE

 

Malacanang keeps MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol in office as it questionned the timing of Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar’s recent’s statements alleging that vitangcol and other involved in an alleged extortion attempt are “protected.”

Vitangcol went on leave  when an administrative investigation was launched by the department of transportation after news of the alleged attempt broke in  2013. A parallel criminal investigation was also launched by the NBI. However Vitangcol resumed work after the administrative probe hit a dead end after rychtar reportedly failed to cooperate with that investigation.

The investigations seeks to find out what happened in the allegations some officers of the MRT attempted to extort some 30M USD from Czech firm Inekon in exchance for the contract to supply additional MRT coaches to alleviate the long queues and address over capacity in the train system. The contract eventually went to China’s Dalian locomotive. At some point, President aquino’s sister ballsy was linked to the attempted extortion, but she has been cleared by rychtar.

Asked if Vitangcol should go on leave till the NBI probe is done, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said, “What is important is GM Vitangcol is willing to face any investigation. I am not privy if he has given already his statements to the NBI, but as of now, let’s wait for the results of the investigation. We don’t know who is culpable, who is the—what is the status of the ongoing investigation, so it’s too early to tell.” Continue reading

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