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Miriam asks colleagues to tackle anti-epal, political dynasty bills

Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) - March 2, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has called on her colleagues to immediately take up her proposed measures on anti-political dynasty and anti-signage of public works or anti-epal bill that have been languishing in the Senate.

In separate letters to Senators Aquilino Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV, Santiago said her bills should be taken up because of their implications on the country’s political system.

Pimentel is the chairman of the Senate committee on electoral reforms. Trillanes, on the other hand, heads the civil service and government organization panel.

“It would be best for the legislative process to ensure that the bills are, at least, reported out to the plenary session considering their wide implications on our political system,” Santiago said.

“I am disappointed. Without public clamor, these bills will never see the light of day. The committees to which these bills were referred are sitting on them,” she added.

The senator lamented that a number of her important bills remain pending in the Senate, especially SB 54 or the Anti-Signage of Public Works Bill, and SB 55 and 1580 or the Anti-Political Dynasty Bills.

SB 54, which Santiago dubbed as the anti-epal bill, seeks to ban politicians from affixing their names or any signage announcing an ongoing or proposed public works project.

This was not the first time that Santiago has pressured her colleagues to act on the bills that she filed in the current Congress.

She recently wrote Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto to immediately conduct hearings on her version of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

Recto, chairman of the Senate committee on science and technology, has scheduled a hearing tomorrow.

Santiago’s SB 53 or the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom Act characterizes online libel as unconstitutional.

“To emphasize my vigorous support of this bill, I respectfully offer to be your co-sponsor, once the bill is reported out at plenary session. But first there has to be a public hearing so that netizens can be given a forum for airing their opposition to the recent Supreme Court decision, particularly where the decision upholds the constitutionality of online libel,” Santiago said in her letter to Recto.

Other proposed measures filed by Santiago that have not been acted upon by the Senate are the deceased organ donor bill, HIV and AIDS policy and plan bill and the certificate of intention to run for public office (CIRPO) bill.

The CIRPO bill requires any person interested in running for public office to file a certificate of intention to run six months before the deadline for the filing of a certificate of candidacy.

ANTI-POLITICAL DYNASTY BILLS ANTI-SIGNAGE OF PUBLIC WORKS BILL ANTONIO TRILLANES BILL BILLS CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT MAGNA CARTA MIRIAM DEFENSOR-SANTIAGO PHILIPPINE INTERNET FREEDOM ACT SANTIAGO
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