Category Archives: Legislation

Photo from the Senate Public Relations and Information Bureau/Joseph Vidal

MIRIAM LAMBASTS VIP TREATMENT OF PEMBERTON

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee, said that the U.S. has “engineered sham Philippine custody over Pemberton,” after presiding over a hearing on the VFA and the Pemberton case.

“He arrived by helicopter, protected from accusing eyes. He is detained in an air-conditioned facility. Outside his door are American guards. Outside the facility are Philippine soldiers. The mere physical arrangement indicates that he is being guarded against his Filipino critics,” she said. Continue reading

MIRIAM RENEWS CALL TO SCRAP VFA

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the Senate foreign relations committee and the Legislative Oversight Committee on the VFA (LOVFA), renewed her call to scrap the RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), on the ground, among others, of “gross disparity” in the provisions on jurisdiction and custody.

“The failure to produce the body of Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton before the Olongapo city prosecutor is already an indication that the U.S. is not in good faith, a reflection of the lopsided attitude of the VFA,” she said. Continue reading

MIRIAM SLAMS BINAY FORUM SHOPPING

Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago said that the continued refusal of Vice-President Jejomar Binay to defend himself at the Senate hearing on plunder charges against him is tantamount to “forum shopping,” which is prohibited and penalized by the Supreme Court.

Binay has said that he prefers to defend himself at the Office of the Ombudsman, where the same plunder and other cases have been filed, and has claimed that certain senators have prejudged him.

Santiago said that Binay’s attempt to escape scrutiny at the Senate is similar to prohibited forum shopping in the courts which, according to the Supreme Court, takes place “when a person avails of several judicial remedies in different courts, raising substantially the same issues.” Continue reading

SENATE

MIRIAM WANTS SENATE “QUESTION HOUR” WITH ABAD

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago wants the Senate to conduct a “question hour” with Secretary of Budget and Management Florencio Abad on the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

According to Santiago, the “question hour” is provided for by Article VI, Section 22 of the Constitution. Under this provision, the head of a department of the Executive may be requested by the Senate or the House of Representatives to appear and answer questions pertaining to their department.

Santiago filed a resolution requesting Abad to appear before the Senate, and to bring with him a list of the total DAP amounts distributed to every senator and representative. Santiago also wants Abad to specify the projects for which each disbursement from solons’ DAP was released; and to answer questions from the senators.

Continue reading