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SC junks petition on Lacson appointment

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has junked a petition questioning the legality of the appointment of former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson as presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery of areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

In session yesterday, the high court dismissed for lack of merit a petition filed by Louis Biraogo seeking to void Lacson’s appointment and office created under Memorandum Order No. 62 signed by President Aquino on Dec. 6, 2013.

“The Supreme Court dismissed the petition as there was no grave abuse of discretion committed,” SC spokesman Theodore Te told reporters in a press conference.

Earlier, the high tribunal issued a resolution denying petitioner’s motion seeking to stop the implementation of the assailed order.

In February, Biraogo filed a petition alleging that the MO 62 violates Republic Act 10121, which created the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) tasked to carry out post-disaster rehabilitation programs of the government.

Biraogo said there is no need for the new office, which Lacson currently occupies and that the MO 62 amended or modified RA 10121.

As rehabilitation czar, Lacson manages not only funds from the national government, but also millions of dollars in foreign assistance meant for Yolanda-hit areas in the Visayas.

Biraogo gained prominence in 2009 when he accused former chief justice Renato Puno of sitting on a high court ruling affirming the disqualification of Jocelyn Limkaichong as representative of the first district of Negros Oriental for being a Chinese citizen.

He was also a petitioner in the 2010 case questioning the legality of President Aquino’s first executive order that created a truth commission to investigate alleged anomalies in the previous administration.

The high court granted his petition and voided EO No. 1.

BIRAOGO IN FEBRUARY JOCELYN LIMKAICHONG LACSON LOUIS BIRAOGO MEMORANDUM ORDER NO NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL NEGROS ORIENTAL PRESIDENT AQUINO SUPREME COURT
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