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SC nomination should not be used as trap for judicial independence January 23, 2007

Posted by s511 in Political Crisis, The Judiciary.
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January 23, 2007

Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today expressed fears that the Supreme Court vacancy could be used to sway suppossedly independent judicial courts such as the Sandiganbayan towards decisions favorable to cronies or for political concessions.

“The presence of Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Teresita Leonardo de Castro and Court of Appeals justices is otherwise acceptable,” said Rosales, “but in the context of the times when courts like the Sandiganbayan is deciding on so many controversial cases such as the coco levy case, Eraps’ plunder case, etc., we hope that such nominations do not undermine the independence of these bodies.”



Judicial independence should be hailed December 20, 2006

Posted by s511 in Press Releases.
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with CA decision refusing TRO:
Judicial independence should be hailed

Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today filed a resolution hailing the judicial system’s refusal to turn over Smith to US embassy officials for “detention” while his case is on appeal, saying “it is a triumph of the rule of law and justice against the unnecessary politicking surrounding the case.”  In the same breath she expressed elation over the Court of Appeals’ decision to deny a TRO on the custody issue.

Rosales said that “the decision to hold Smith in the Makati City Jail has single-handedly restored public confidence in the justice system by displaying that the courts are still not caving in to monumental pressure coming from the highest powers in the land, and the CA decision only reflects the soundness of that decision.”

“The conviction and the denial of the petition for US embassy custody of Smith reflects the sovereign will of the Philippine Republic through its criminal justice system, which must be respected by the US government,” Rosales added.

At the same time, Rosales laments the position taken by the DOJ.  “As an extension of the Executive, the DOJ should respect a co-equal branch of government and its decision as an expression of the sovereign will of the people through the courts and desist from lawyering for the US.”

The Office of the Solicitor-General meanwhile, according to Rosales should also support the independence of the courts, “since it is the lawyer of the government and not just the Executive, it should also move to protect and uphold the sanctity of the Makati Regional Trial Court’s decision.”

“The challenge is to make sure that with the petition for custody looking like it is headed to the Supreme Court; the same judicial independence is asserted,” suggested Rosales.

Akbayan solon warns against CONAss revival with majority refusal to restore Rule 105 December 14, 2006

Posted by s511 in Uncategorized.
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Akbayan solon warns against CONAss revival with majority refusal to restore Rule 105
December 14, 2006

Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today moved for the amendment of House Rule Section 105 to reiterate the deleted provision from last week’s heated debates that paved the way for the ramming of the constituent assembly bid.

“The indefinite archiving of HR 197 is not enough,” said Rosales.  “Since this could be taken to mean that at anytime the majority can again ressurect ConAss.”

“The leadership of the House admitted its mistake,” added Rosales, “but there must be a sincere gesture from the House that the issue is deader than dead and unfortunately there is none of that since the Rules are intact in its mangled form; a Senate-less Constituent Assembly format.”

“Thus, archiving without restoring Sec. 105 to its original formulation doesn’t mean anything,” added Rosales.  “and with the session called off until Monday the challenge is for the majority to summon enough people again to corect this mistake.”

Rosales added, “They broke it, they should fix it.”

HB 634 update: Manila solon blocks 2nd reading of Anti-Discrimination bill November 27, 2006

Posted by s511 in gays and lesbians, Human Rights, Legislation.
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We are making available to the public a verbatim copy of Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante’s speech last Nov. 20 seeking to block the proposed Anti-Discrimination Law or House Bill 634 and House Bill 3773 or the proposed Reproductive Rights Health Law.

By blocking this measure, Rep. Abante warns against “invoking the wrath of God” if such measures were approved. He also said, among others, that “to penalize acts which they (LGBTs) claim to be discriminatory to them, they are, in truth and in fact, creatig another facet of discrimination, and this time, a discrimination (sic) is directed against the straight-laced men and women in our society who have equally valuable rights as the LGBTI (sic).”

HB 634 and HB 3773 were scheduled for 2nd reading two weeks ago but Abante stood up and questioned the quorum. Twice. Democracy at work or bigotry using the same old tricks in the book? You judge.

Download Abante’s backward speech here .

For more information regarding the campaign to enact HB 634, visit LAGABLAB’s website .

Manifestation on the Lingering case of Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran November 20, 2006

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, left killings, Political Crisis, Press Releases.
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November 14, 2006
Mr. speaker I would like to rise on a matter relating to the continued detention of Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran. It has been months since Ka Bel was arrested in the wake of the supposed February 24 botched coup attempt and the subsequent declaration of a State of National Emergency.


PCGG should back off and give up hopeless pursuit of Arelma decision November 8, 2006

Posted by s511 in Human Rights, Marcos Wealth.
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Akbayan Rep. Etta Rosales today called on the PCGG to give up its hopeless pursuit of the US 9th Circuit Appelate Court decision junking the PCGG’s motion for reconsideration to get government’s hands on $35-million worth of Marcos assets in a dummy corporation called Arelma.


Speech: A Call to Revisit and Strengthen the Overseas Absentee Voting Law November 8, 2006

Posted by s511 in Legislation, OFWs, party-list system and elections.
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November 7, 2006

Mr. Spekaer, I rise today to speak on a matter that relates to our continuing efforts at empowering Filipinos no matter where they may be located – here or abroad. The Overseas Absentee Voting Law was enacted in February 13, 2003 to enable otherwise disenfranchised Filipinos to have a say in the way that this government is run by upholding their right to suffrage.

Republic Act No. 9189 was enacted pursuant to the constitutional mandate provided under Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines that “The Congress shall, among others, provide a system for absentee voting by qualified Filipinos abroad.”


Akbayan rep calls for review of absentee voting law November 8, 2006

Posted by s511 in Legislation, OFWs, party-list system and elections, Press Releases.
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Akbayan Representative Etta Rosales today called on the legislature to draw attention to amending the overseas absentee voting law to enable more OFWs to vote in next year’s elections.

Ina privilege speech delivered Tuesday at the House of Representatives, Rosales said “With the past elections marred in so much controversy, it is the absentee votes that could put a definite swing towards greater transparency and accountability in our leadership with a process that has proven fraud-free so far.”


Akbayan solon opposes Yap return to DA October 19, 2006

Posted by jvcruz in agrarian reform, corruption.
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Akbayan solon opposes Yap return to DA
October 19, 2006

Akbayan Representative Etta Rosales today joined the chorus of voices opposing the re-appointment of Presidential Management Staff Chief Arthur Yap back to the Department of Agriculture, raising questions over unresolved cases that hounded Yap out of the office a year ago.


Posted by s511 in foreign affairs, Human Rights, sovereignty, Speeches.
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Good morning: Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Alain Destexhe, Judge Akua Kuenyehia, fellow members of Parliament, my colleagues from the Philippine Congress, members of the diplomatic corps, kindred spirits from the NGO community, distinguished guests, friends.

I have been requested to stand before you in this lovely rainy day for three reasons:  1] to share with you a Philippine work over the past eight years in seeking the ratification of the Rome Statute; 2] to remind ourselves how and why we are all gathered here this morning, an idea we had put together while meeting in the third PGA Consultative Assembly against the chilly winds of Wellington last December 2004; and 3] to suggest what we hope to accomplish within these two days of work.