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Urban poor leaders advocating amendments to the 1992 Urban Development and Housing Act (UDHA) visited the House of Representatives and Senate early December to hand over copies of a letter to certain legislators. In that letter, they thanked the lawmakers for legislation that favored the poor and asked for their continued support for the poor. They also sought their help to get the UDHA amended. The group believes that the proposed amendments to the UDHA will address and solve many present-day housing issues, including eviction.
By Amando Doronila
The Second Million People March (MPM) to protest the abuse of the pork barrel, this time held in Makati City on Oct. 4, turned out to be a pathetic parody of the 1986 People Power Revolution that toppled Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship.
It’s true that the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that pork barrel funds are constitutional—at least thrice since 1994, in fact.
By Solita Collas-Monsod
Shortly after he became Speaker of the House of Representatives in February 2008—his predecessor Joe de Venecia having been removed on orders of then President Gloria Arroyo over the NBN-ZTE scandal—Prospero Nograles, together with Edcel Lagman (who was chair of the House Committee on Appropriations), released a coauthored paper titled “Understanding the Pork Barrel.” It should have been called “In Defense of the Pork Barrel,” because that is exactly what they did.
By Juan L. Mercado
Mid-July, Benhur Luy blew the whistle on the P10 billion cornered by Janet Lim-Napoles through 20 bogus nongovernment organizations. Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Gregorio Honasan, plus 23 congressmen, delivered the shekels, he claimed.
It’s nice that even in the absence of the right to reply, the Inquirer gave sufficient space to Deputy Speaker Giorgidi Aggabao for him to respond to the Aug. 19 report titled “Why Congress won’t act on call for probe.” The facts as stated by Representative Aggabao in his Aug. 27 letter may be all true. However, the Constitution did not establish Congress as or to be an eleemosynary institution.
I cannot put my finger on what the advertisement of the House of Representatives, 15th Congress, was all about (Page A4, 7/21/13). If the House leaders were thinking to impress on people’s minds that the House in the 15th Congress was really for good governance even as the JLN scandal was written all over it, I’d tell them, think again! On the other hand, if they were thinking to suppress the stink of the JLN scandal, I’d say good luck.
Should the Senate and the House of Representatives investigate the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam? The new Senate majority leader, Alan Peter Cayetano, suggests that the public look elsewhere. Because the allegations implicate at least five senators and 23 congressmen, any legislative inquiry would turn emotional, Cayetano said.
By Cielito F. Habito
Too many people see the annual State of the Nation Address (Sona) primarily as an occasion for a president to brag: “See, we’re so good that we have done so much for you!” True, talking about accomplishments is a necessary and important part of the Sona. But its importance lies more in addressing the question, “Where are we now?” to set the stage for asking “Where do we want to go?” thereby leading to the most important question of all: “How shall we get there?”
By Rina Jimenez-David
It seems to be a “constitutional crisis” of its own making. By voting to uphold a ruling of the Commission on Elections annulling the proclamation of Regina Ongsiako Reyes as representative of Marinduque, the Supreme Court has placed itself and the poll body in a direct confrontation with the legislature, specifically the House of Representatives.
Much to the dismay and consternation of well-meaning and good intentioned sectors of Philippine society, the House of Representatives failed to pass the long-awaited freedom of information (FOI) bill.
The gift of millions of pesos sourced from savings of the Senate and the House of Representatives to each of the two chambers’ members is an act made unconscionably callous amid the hunger and suffering of millions of poor Filipinos, most especially the typhoon victims.