Bayanihan 2 implementation questioned at SC
This photo taken October 14, 2020 shows President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talking to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila.
Presidential Photo/Robinson Niñal Jr.
Bayanihan 2 implementation questioned at SC
( - October 29, 2020 - 5:36pm

MANILA, Philippines — Former Government Corporate Counsel Philip Jurado asked the Supreme Court to stop President Rodrigo Duterte’s exercise of emergency powers under the Bayanihan 2 law, which he claims expired when Congress’ regular session adjourned in the middle of House Speakership row.

In a 51-page Petition for Certiorari, Jurado asked the SC to also declare as invalid and void disbursements of public funds made after October 12, when he said the Congress' regular session ended.

“Republic Act 11494 ceased to be effective on 12 October 2020 when Congress’ regular session was automatically adjourned to give way to its special session scheduled on 13 October to 16 October 2020,” the petition read.

Jurado said that the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act expired on October 12, pursuant to its provision on Section 18 that states that the law “shall remain effective only until the adjournment of Congress.”

Jurado argued that while Section 18 of the law mentions the date Dec. 19, 2020, it was only stated since it is the date Congress intended to adjourn following the legislative calendar.

“On 6 October 2020, however, the House of Representatives suddenly suspended its session without passing or finalizing the national budget,” he said.

Then-Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig-Pateros), in the middle of a power struggle with current Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, abruptly announced that the House will suspend sessions until November 16. This also prompted Duterte to call for a special session from October 13 to 16 to resume deliberations on the proposed national budget.

Emergency powers ceased when law expired

While the law had provisions explicitly stating some portions will remain effective beyond the expiration of the law, the section providing emergency powers for the president is not included in these.

“Congress, however, effectively divested the President of his emergency powers when it adjourned last 12 October 2020, not only because Section 18, RA 11494 limited the President’s emergency powers until Congress adjourns, but more so because Section 23(2), Article VI of the Constitution provides that such powers shall cease upon Congress’ adjournment,” Jurado said.

Section 4 of the law cited Article VI Section 23(2) of the law which read in part that in times of war or other national emergency Congress may authorize the president to exercise powers necessary to carry out national policy. “Unless sooner withdrawn by resolution of the Congress, such powers shall cease upon the next adjournment thereof,” it read.

But even beyond the supposed expiry of the law and Duterte’s emergency powers, the government continued to release, and is set to release, billions of funds to different agencies, Jurado said.

These actions, the petitioner said, were done without an enforceable and effective law. “There being no legal basis for their actions, respondents undoubtedly acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of their jurisdiction,” he added.

“As such, their actions is disbursing billions worth of public funds, supposedly pursuant to RA 11494 should be voided and declared illegal by the Honorable Court,” Jurado also said.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 23, 2020 - 10:43am

President Rodrigo Duterte signed the bill that grants him special powers to address the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Philippines. Bookmark this page for updates. 

November 23, 2020 - 10:43am

Cabinet members are flying to Davao City for the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

Part of the meeting, where the president addresses the people, is usually aired on Monday nights.

September 20, 2020 - 1:38pm

In the sweltering heat and humidity, 31-year-old Caitlyn Tojanes grumbles about having to wear a face shield over her mask as she waits in line for her bus in the Philippine capital Manila.

"It's uncomfortable. Combined with the long queues it means we get to work already tired and bathed in sweat," said Tojanes, whose commute involves three buses and takes several hours.

But she is resigned to the new normal in the Philippines, where it is now compulsory to wear both masks and plastic shields in indoor public spaces and on public transport to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

"With Covid, it's up to the people to maintain discipline," said Tojanes, who works as a store manager in the sprawling capital of 12 million where most of the country's infections have been recorded. — AFP

September 16, 2020 - 1:27pm

The government should prioritize buying locally-made Personal Protective Equipment, Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto says.

"Not all of the things we need today should be sourced from China, even if it is the world’s factory," Recto says in a press statement.
"What we can manufacture locally, let’s go for it, because doing so will ramp up manufacturing that creates jobs for our people."

He says a coalition of garment manufacturers has committed “an army of 10,000 sewers” ready to go into the production of protective gowns and masks. 

September 11, 2020 - 7:50pm

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the Bayanihan 2 bill into law on Friday. 

Bayanihan 2, which seeks to allocate P165.5 billion to the government’s pandemic war chest and to economic revival programs, was ratified by the two chambers of Congress late last month.

August 31, 2020 - 12:05pm

Sen. Risa Hontiveros calls on the government to buy more locally-made personal protective equipment to help protect health workers and also help local manufacturers and businesses.

"Hindi kailangang maging martir ng mga health workers natin. Even six months into this pandemic, ensuring adequate protection for them continues to be a problem.  Too many doctors and nurses have died in the line of duty. We have to better ensure that every health worker in every city or province has access to effective and affordable PPE," she says in a statement.

Hontiveros has filed a resolution for the Senate to look into how the Bayanihan PPE Project, a government initiative for local PPE manufacturing, has been doing. The initiative was launched to address tight PPE supply early in the pandemic.

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