Former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should be disqualified from the presidential race, vice presidential aspirant Lito Atienza said after the filing of a petition seeking to invalidate the presidential bid of the late strongman’s son in the 2022 polls.
Atienza believes that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) should consider the merits of the petition to cancel Marcos Jr.’s certificate of candidacy.
“If you don’t pay taxes, you are a violator, a criminal at that. And you should not be allowed to run for any office not even the presidency, not even as a councilor of Laoag,” he explained.
Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza as his running mate
Senator Manny Pacquiao has filed his certificate of candidacy for president in the 2022 national elections in a race that would pit him against the candidate of President Rodrigo Duterte, a former political ally..
Boxing champion optimistic about his winning chances
Pacquiao is by analliance composed of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Probinsya Muna Development Initiative (Promdi), and the People’s Champ Movement (PCM).
Pacquiao said an alliance was sought since there is still a problem with PDP-Laban.
“We have an alliance PDP-Laban, Promdi and PCM…since there is still a problem with the party, we opted to use Promdi,” he said in a briefing after filing his COC.
The boxing champion is optimistic about his chances in next year’s polls.
A faction of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas, led by the boxer-turned-senator himself, earlier nominated Pacquiao as their standard-bearer for the 2022 polls.
Pacquia, filed his candidacy along with Rep. Lito Atienza (Buhay Party-list), who will be his running mate.
Pacquiao’s wife Jinkee accompanied him in filing his candidacy before the Commission on Elections on the first day of filing on Friday.Read More
Deputy Speaker and Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza on Sunday called for “bold reforms in the economic provisions of the 1987 Constitution” to enable the country to swiftly attract large-scale foreign direct investments badly needed to rebuild Philippine industries shattered by the… Read Mo
The chairman of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments on Monday urged senators to keep an open mind in the proposed amendments to certain economic provisions in the 1987 Constitution to attract foreign investments.In a statement, Ako Bicol Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said the… Read More
The House of Representatives on Wednesday formally rejected Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano’s offer of resignation as Speaker. A total of 184 lawmakers voted to reject Cayetano’s resignation, one voted to accept, while nine abstained from voting.The nominal voting… Read More
Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza on Wednesday said Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano should resign from his post on October 14 to honor his word during the speakership meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte.Atienza said it was agreed upon during Tuesday’s meeting in Malacanang that… Read More
Philippine legislators are dismayed at being arm-twisted into supporting a bill re-imposing death penalty and are after the head of the Speaker of the House of Representatives for rail roading approval of the controversial bill with threats.
“We should find another Speaker,” said Representative Lito Atienza of the party-list Buhay Party. Party-list groups have a 20 percent representation in the 286-member House.
“We are here not for the pleasure of the Speaker or the President,” said Gabriela partylist Rep. Emmi de Jesus, chairperson of the House committee on poverty alleviation.
With his arm-twisting, the Speaker is losing the support of his allies, said Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque.
In what is seen as an attempt to railroad approval of the bill, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on February 8, gathered members of the House “Super Majority” in a caucus to press support for House Bill No. 4727 that has drawn widespread criticism from the public, including opposition and administration legislators.
Vice President Leni Robredo has added fire to the fray by urging legislators opposing the bill to stand up against Alvarez, an ally of President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte has asked the House to prioritize approval of the bill.
Robredo said members of the House can prove their leadership if they spurn Alvarez and vote against the controversial bill.
This is a “defining moment” for legislators, said Robredo.
HB 4727 has now reached the plenary after House justice committee chairperson Reynaldo Umali tossed the bill for 2nd reading on February 7.
Alvarez had earlier warned that House Deputy Speakers and chairmen of committees would lose their posts if they would not support the bill that would send to death row people committing heinous crimes.
Imposing capital punishment had been removed from the statutes by the Philippine Congress in 1986.
Alvarez reiterated his warning to unseat Deputy Secretaries and House committee chairmen, and kick out legislators from the majority bloc, if they would not support the bill, during the January 8 caucus.
Legislators, in interviews with media, expressed dismay at Alvarez’s arm-twisting as soon as they emerged from the caucus.
In a news conference, apparently aware of Alvarez’s arm-twisting, Robredo urged lawmakers to vote based on principles on the death penalty bill.
“Leaders should be ready to defy the orders (that) are not aligned with their beliefs,” said the Vice President, adding her voice to the opposition. Robredo run and won the vice presidency in the May 2016 polls under the banner of the then administration Liberal Party of then outgoing President Benigno Aquino whose standard bearer former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas was soundly defeated by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino\Laban (PDP/Laban). Robredo is in the forefront of criticizing some programs of the Duterte administration. The death penalty bill is a priority of the President.
Robredo said legislators would have their “defining moment” when the death penalty bill is placed on a vote. “This could be a defining moment … and (the legislators’) chance to… stand firm on what they believe in,” she said.
Her urging helped spark speculations over a rumored plan by legislators to unseat Alvarez as House Speaker for arm-twisting legislators into supporting the bill. The rumor spread after the January 8 caucus.
There is a yawning divide among members of the House over Bill No. 4727.
But number, and Alvarez’s arm-twisting, is a crucial factor that could ensure the passage of the bill.
The so-called “Super Majority,” a coalition led by the PDP-Laban, has 269 members of the 286-member House. With the majority bloc’s “party vote,” the bill could easily sail to approval.
At the forefront of the opposition to the bill is the Makabayan bloc, a seven-member group of progressive party-list legislators. “Unfair,” said Gabriela partylist Rep. Emmi de Jesus, chairperson of the House committee on poverty alleviation, of Alvarez’s attempt to railroad passage of the bill by arm-twisting legislators with threats.
“We are here not for the pleasure of the Speaker or the President. It’s unfair for us because we are here (for) pro-people issues,” she said.
Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque warned the arm-twisting could result to Alvarez losing support of allies in the Super Majority.
“Alvarez (is) driving people to the arms of the (opposition). Do not drive away our numbers to the enemy,” Roque, whose party has joined the Super Majority, advised Alvarez.
Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said Alvarez’s threat to disenfranchise deputy speakers and committee chairmen is shaking down the majority bloc allied with Duterte, who considers HB 4727 a priority bill.
“If Speaker Alvarez is twisting the arms of (the majority legislators), then he’s committing a very serious mistake … because he is now trampling on the principles of each member of the majority,” said Atienza, a vocal oppositor of capital punishment.
This “could lead to the members of the majority to think twice in following their leader. Maybe we should go find another Speaker,” he added.
Atienza urged legislators to deal the bill with a “conscience vote not a party vote.”
With his arm-twisting, Alvarez, according to Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr, “risks losing the support of the political parties comprising the super coalition.”
“Most of the parties have adopted a policy of conscience vote. But if the Speaker insists, then he wants Congress to become an authoritarian body, not a democratic one,” said Baguilat.
Kabayan’s Roque, said Alvarez’s latest statement could drive several congressmen to rejoin the once-ruling LP, that now leads the minority in the House.
“This is not the right time to discuss the death penalty because it is very divisive. This gives the enemies of this administration the traction they need to get stronger support in the House,” said Roque.
According to sources, about 50 legislators, including administration allies, are expected to interpellate the bill’s sponsors when the bill is deliberated at plenary.
In the Senate, President Franklin Drilon said the death penalty bill would face rough sailing with 10 of the 24-member Senate against re-imposing death penalty.
We only need two more votes to kill the bill, said Drilon, who adds the bill is on the priority list of Senators.
Even if approved by both the Upper House and Lower House, the death penalty bill would run into trouble with the Supreme Court when the legality of the bill is questioned.
Drilon said the Philippines is bound by an international covenant which banned signatory countries from imposing capital punishment.
Drilon said the High Court respects international treaties and was expected to honor the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which the Philippines signed in 1966.
ICCPR was ratified by the Senate in 1986, on the year that it killed death penalty.
After Sen. Noynoy Aquino finally announced, after one week of supposedly “soul-searching” to find the right answer, that he was running for President in 2010, the common assumption was that he would pick Sen. Mar Roxas to be his running mate.
Mar gave up his presidential bid to give way to Noynoy as the Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer, so it’s only proper that he gets picked as LP’s vice presidential bet.
But even their fellow members in the opposition have thumbed down a possible Noynoy-Mar tandem.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, who heads the United Opposition, says: “The big problem here is Mar … You’re not talking already of a coalition because Mar and Noynoy would come from the same party.” So how can they unite the opposition?
Binay correctly pointed out that forging a coalition required concessions, which meant that the vice presidency should not go to an LP member.
Political columnist Lito Banayo, the presidential adviser on political affairs of then-President Erap, said the presidency will not be a walk in the park for Noynoy, especially if he will not go beyond the LP in forming an opposition coalition.
“The Liberal Party has no infrastructure in Mindanao… He cannot rely only on the LP. He needs more vehicles. He needs to unite the opposition minus Erap and Villar,” Banayo noted in his Malaya column.
So, Mar is indeed a big headache for Noynoy.
Lastly, the other side of the LP faction, led by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Lito Atienza, has been harping about the “elitism” within the LP, which was made more pronounced with Noynoy as its standard bearer and with Mar as a possible running mate.
Atienza seems to be saying that if Mar were to be Noynoy’s vice presidential running mate, then we would have a tandem akin to the Philippines’ version of a monarchy.
Atienza has been hammering on the point that the privilege of running for high political positions shouldn’t be limited by the LP for those whose parents’ faces appear on our peso bills.
At the height of the LP intramurals, Atienza had complained that the LP’s woes stem partly from the fact that the other faction where Roxas belongs to are composed of elitist politicos who have nothing but contempt for LP members bereft of political pedigrees. In short, Mar and ilk would have nothing to do with masa members of the LP, like barangay officials.
Despite all his efforts to underplay his elitist background, first through his “Mr. Palengke” ads and later, through his “Ramdam ko kayo” and “padyak” infomercials, plus his “bakya” attempts to open his personal life to the masa via a televised pamanhikan and a church-hopping spree to choose a wedding venue for his marriage to TV celebrity Korina Sanchez, Mar always betrays his true colors.
Case in point: When the Atienza faction of the LP held a national convention at the Manila Hotel about three years ago, Mar and his stooges belittled the event by claiming that it was a pseudo congress because it was attended only by barangay officials.
Does Mar mean that barangay officials are lesser mortals who do not deserve even his scant attention or to become members of the LP? Does he mean that if they couldn’t speak English with an Arneow accent or hurl invectives in Spanish, they don’t deserve to be treated like equals, much less as LP members? Que barbaridad!
We thank Mar for withdrawing his plans to run for President, not because he’s making a sacrifice, but due to the fact that he will at least spare us his “kaplastikan” on TV.
Now, his next step should be to scuttle his vice presidential bid altogether as a favor to the masa who can see through all his pretensions.
He cannot fool the masa with his costly TV infomercials. This is why he has failed to get enough traction in the public opinion polls—poor Filipinos, who comprise an overwhelming majority of voters, don’t buy his crap. Hence his relatively poor SWS and Pulse Asia ratings despite the hundreds of millions of pesos squandered on his supposedly pro-poor infomercials.
Atienza calls for convention to choose standard bearer
Come now, Sen. Noynoy Aquino as standard bearer of the Liberal Party is not a done deal.
The other side of the Liberal Party faction led by Environment Secretary Lito Atienza has called on Senator Mar Roxas, the president of the party, to call for a convention to choose the LP’s standard-bearer next year.
Atienza says this move is necessary to “allow a fair election within the party, and open up the process for the selection of party candidates for next year’s election.”
On this point the former mayor of Manila is right. The LP claims to be a political party that espouses democracy and social equality. Such values should emanate from the party itself instead of being merely motherhood statements spewed by its leaders.
A party convention is the democratic approach in choosing the LP’s standard-bearer and other candidates for the 2010 elections.
Roxas’ failure to heed Atienza’s call would only give more credence to the latter’s claim that an “elite clique” appears to be steering the LP’s selection process.
“(The) machination of a small group (is) forcing itself on the whole of the LP,” Atienza had said.
Roxas has nothing to worry about because Atienza said his wing would support anyone who would win the party election as well as nominees who would be selected in a fair and democratic process.
But Atienza could not help but bare his feelings and asked this question:
“Should the privilege of running for high political positions be reserved only for those whose parents’ faces appear on our peso bills? “