Category Archives: Columns

Disagree, but not disobey

Several congressmen are restive. They are dismayed by many alleged “flip-flopping” decisions of the Supreme Court and are threatening to disobey some of these and to impeach the justices for their “bad” rulings. Continue reading

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Are the PDAF ‘realignments’ constitutional?

Did the “realignment” made by nine senators of their Priority Development Assistance Fund in the 2014 national budget violate the unanimous landmark decision of the Supreme Court declaring the PDAF unconstitutional (Belgica vs Ochoa, Nov. 19, 2013, penned by Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe)? In short, are the senatorial “realignments” unconstitutional and void? Continue reading

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SC hastens Maguindanao massacre cases

Unknown to many, the Supreme Court issued “motu  proprio” (on its own volition) a resolution, dated Dec. 10, 2013 (a copy of which I got a few days ago), instituting five new measures or guidelines to speed up the Maguindanao massacre trial. Continue reading

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What retired SC justices do

The Constitution states, “Members of the Supreme Court and judges of lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office.” Readers ask: What do Supreme Court justices do after they retire? Given their reclusive life on Mount Olympus, how do they adjust to “normal” life? Continue reading

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Freedom of information

Good news! Prior to its adjournment for the holidays, the Senate started plenary deliberation on the freedom of information (FOI) bill. Buried in the legislative mill for the last 14 years, the bill was resurrected by Sen. Grace Poe in the Senate committee on public information, which approved it last September. Senate President Franklin Drilon expects the entire chamber to pass it by the end of March. Continue reading

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SC: Seniors’ discounts constitutional

The Supreme Court assured a “Merry Christmas” for our senior citizens when it affirmed the constitutionality and mandatory character of the 20-percent discount on their purchases from or use of “hotels and similar lodging establishments, restaurants and recreation centers, medicine… funeral and burial services… theaters, cinema houses and concert halls, circuses, carnivals and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement… medical and dental services.” It also validated the implementing rules and regulations of the discounts. Continue reading

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Power sharing

The recent signing of the “Annex on Power Sharing” of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) is a significant milestone in the elusive search for lasting peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Continue reading

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Political dynasties: bane or boon?

The committee on suffrage and electoral reforms of the House of Representatives recently approved a bill prohibiting political dynasties. Titled “Anti-Political Dynasty Act,” the bill seeks to enforce Art. II, Sec. 28 of the Constitution: “The State shall guarantee equal opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law.” Continue reading

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Beyond the PDAF decision

Almost universal acclaim greeted the Supreme Court’s decision slaying the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF. Although the reasons used were quite technical and legalistic, the Court nonetheless calmed the seething anger against the scams associated with the PDAF, but heightened the clamor for the prosecution of the scammers. Continue reading

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Major milestone

The Supreme Court decision banishing the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and directing “within the bounds of reasonable dispatch” the prosecution of the scammers is a major milestone in nation-building. Penned by Justice Estela M. Perlas-Bernabe, the ruling champions good governance and abhors corruption. Continue reading

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