6 session days to Dec. 16 target for passing BBL; CSOs await Ombudsman’s action on lawmakers’ “chronic absenteeism”

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 05 December) – There are only six session days left from December 7 to December 16, the supposed target date for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) and as civil society organizations are trying variousways to get members of the House of Representatives to attend sessions, they are also awaiting response from Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on their letter urging her office to investigate the “chronic absenteeism” of lawmakers.

Civil society organizations (CSOs) in Cotabato City and the provinces of Maguindanao, Sulu and North Cotabato that have been monitoring the progress – or lack of it — of the deliberations on the BBL in the House of Representatives have asked the office of Morales to conduct a probe as “chronic absenteeism” in the House is “eroding public trust” and is a “public display of neglect of duty.”

“This is taxpayers money, for God’s sake!” the November 30 letter signed by representatives of 29 predominantly Moro organizations, said as they asked Morales to “please investigate this matter with outmost dispatch as it practically turns the legislative branch into a state of paralysis.”

The letter, coursed through and stamped received by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman in Mindanao in Davao City on December 1, said records of the House of Representatives “can easily prove the veracity of this complaint.”

ALMOST EMPTY. The plenary hall of the House of Representatives is almost empty as the debate on House Bill 5811 or the Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region continued in this photo taken morning of June 10, 2015. The period of interpellation was suspended as Congress adjourned sine die that night. It will resume interpellation on August 4. MindaNews file photo by Toto Lozano
CHRONIC ABSENTEEISM.’  Civil society organizations have complained to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to probe the “chronic absenteeism” of members of the House of Representatives.   MindaNews file photo by Toto Lozano

The House has 291 members and 146 members are required to constitute a quorum. Since the BBL was elevated to the plenary on June 1, however, sessions had been adjourned several times due to lack of quorum.

In October, Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., set December 16 as their new target date for passing the BBL. Since Congress resumed sessions on November 3, however, no interpellation of the BBL has been done at the House.

The groups said they are seeking Morales’ help out of a “deep sense of civic duty and utter desperation.”

“It is a matter of public knowledge for the past several months since Congress formally opened in July, sessions after sessions were suspended and adjourned at the House of Representatives for lack of quorum. This can be easily verified with the official records and the live streaming coverage of the plenary session where you can immediately spot there are more empty chairs than people there,” the letter to Morales said.

The letter noted that on November 25, the session opened with “less than 10 legislators present.”

It also said that civil society organizations and peace advocates had been raising the issue of lack of quorum for months now “through public statement, letters, door-to-door campaigns in their offices and appeal to the leadership of the house to do something about this problem.”

Speaker Belmonte had repeatedly appealed to the Representatives to attend sessions, to no avail.

Manila-based Sister Arnold Maria Noel of Balay Rehabilitation Center and the Mindanao Solidarity Network, who has been among CSO representatives attending the sessions at the House since June to monitor the deliberations on the BBL told MindaNews that there was no interpellation again on December 1 and 2 as sessions were again cut short due to lack of quorum.

But Deputy Speaker Pangalian Balindong of Lanao del Sur and Rep. Tupay Loong of Sulu managed to deliver a privilege speech on December 1 and 2, respectively. Their speeches focused on the importance and urgency of passing the BBL and appealed to their colleagues to be present. But only a few representatives were around to hear their speeches.

The CSOs asked Morales: “Are these honorable members of the house of representatives exempt from basic government policy on reporting for duty? What is the policy for their absences? Can they still claim compensation even if they are absent from work? How come ordinary soldiers, policemen and teachers in far-flung areas can manage to report for work while our own lawmakers could not? Since when have they been exempt from reporting for work? The message that the House of Representatives is telling the Filipino people is loud and clear —‘We are above the law.”

In Rome last Friday, President Aquino, according to a report posted on the Presidential Communications Operations Office website, told Malacanang reporters who covered the President’s visit there that he thinks “the movement towards having the BBL in its present form or with a little modification is really just a question of time. It will happen.”

It is not clear what Aquino meant by “BBL in its present form or with a little modification” as what Congress is deliberating on are the substitute bills, HB 5811 and SB 2894, both titled “Basic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region” (BLBAR) and both criticized for having watered down the provisions of the draft BBL submitted to Congress on September 10, 2014 and making the future Bangsamoro less autonomous than the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that it seeks to replace.

Civil society organizations had earlier issued a statement saying “no to BLBARand the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) had repeatedly said they will not accept a watered down version of the BBL.

The PCOO report quoted Aquino as saying the BBL is not his personal monument.

“Pero ulitin ko nga, hindi naman personal kong monumento ito… at sigurado akong mangyayari ito. Kailan mangyayari? Sana sa panahon ko, pero kung hindi, palagay ko inevitable na magkakaroon tayo ng ganyang batas (But I repeat, this is not my personal monument… or that I am sure this will happen. When will this happen? Hopefully during my time, but if it does not happen, I think it is inevitable that we will have the law), Aquino said. The PCOO report did not expound on the last sentence.

Aquino met with MILF chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim in August 2011 in Tokyo, Japan to “fast-track the peace process.” Both leaders agreed to sign a peace agreement within the first half of the President’s six-year term (2010 to 2013) so that implementation of the peace pact can be done in the last half of his administration, from 2013-2016. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)


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  1. I am against corruption that’s why I am against corrupt ombytchwoman cunntcheater capro morales!

    Carpio-Morales is a corrupt ombudsman, neglecting her job in order to advance the interest of the Liberal Party of the Philippines. Erineo “Ayong,” Maliksi, a Liberal Party member’s graft and corruption case was dismissed by the court due to “inordinate delays” by Carpio-Morales even though the court found “reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed.”. “’Suffice it to state that based on obtaining facts, there is reasonable ground to believe that an offense has been committed. Be that as it may, however, it behooves the Court to state that the other ground of inordinate delay … is an overriding consideration…’ the court said in its resolution”. “The court also noted that the Ombudsman only released the joint resolution finding probable cause July 8, 2014, four years after the consolidation of the three cases. The resolution did not even include the third PCSO complaint, the court said. ” newsinfo**Inquirer**Net/673013/govt-seeks-reinstatement-of-case-vs-maliksi


    2. Why do you praise ombytchwoman Cunntcheater corruptbytch when she hasn’t won a single big case against the corrupt like GMA, in fact only not guilty verdicts are out?

    3. I filed a case against the FDA with overwhelming evidence and I lost!WTF!!!!

    Ang alam ko number 1 corrupt si ombytchwoman as she was entrusted with the power to counter corruption yet she condones corruption!

    The FDA is extremely corrupt. List of people at the FDA and DOH who are corrupt: Atty Romela Devera, Sec. Garin, Dr. Miriam Sales, Atty. Lutero III, Jesusa Cirunay, Dr. Peter Glenn Chua, Agnette Peralta, MArivic Paulino, Atty. Jasper Lascano and Atty. Emilio Polig and former employees: Sec. Ona, FDA chief Suzette Lazo, FDA chief Kenneth Hartigan-Go (and now undersecretary of Health)! are extremely corrupt!

    Wicked_Lia(r) said, ” mukhang kilala mo ang mga tao sa FDA aH!

    nakakatransaksyones mo ba?

    lahat naman ng ahensya may mga BULOK……..”

    Yan na! Inamin ng corrupt silang mga N0ytard at MARnanakaw!

    Why hasn’t Ombytchwoman Cunntcheater Capro MoralLess Corruptbytch held Purusama in contempt of court by violating the suspension order on him? Corrupt much?

    How come Ombytchwoman Cunntcheater Capro MoralLess Corruptbytch hasn’t filed charges against anyone in the North Rail project scandal? Corrupt much? wwwmbcomph/what-happened-to-northrail/

    For the information of the bloggers:

    Read Atty Salumbides et al vs. Ombudsman, G.R. no. 180917 promulgated by the Supreme Court on April 23, 2010.” This is one of the last decisions written by former Justice Carpio-Morales now, the Ombudsman herself. While the petitioners prayer for the extension of the “doctrine of condonation” was rejected because it can only be available to elective officials, Carpio-Morales asserted the doctrine of condonation and cited several cases to wit:

    “More than 60 years ago, the Court in Pascual v. Hon. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija17c?a issued the landmark ruling that prohibits the disciplining of an elective official for a wrongful act committed during his immediately preceding term of office. The Court explained that “[t]he underlying theory is that each term is separate from other terms, and that the reelection to office operates as a condonation of the officer’s previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him therefor.”18c?a

    The Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his present term of office. To do otherwise would be to deprive the people of their right to elect their officers. When the people elect[e]d a man to office, it must be assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct, if he had been guilty of any. It is not for the court, by reason of such faults or misconduct[,] to practically overrule the will of the people.19c?a

    Lizares v. Hechanova, et al.20c?a replicated the doctrine. The Court dismissed the petition in that case for being moot, the therein petitioner “having been duly reelected, is no longer amenable to administrative sanctions.”21c?a

    Ingco v. Sanchez, et al.22c?a clarified that the condonation doctrine does not apply to a criminal case.23c?a Luciano v. The Provincial Governor, et al.,24c?a Olivarez v. Judge Villaluz,25c?a and Aguinaldo v. Santos26echoed the qualified rule that reelection of a public official does not bar prosecution for crimes committed by him prior thereto.

    Consistently, the Court has reiterated the doctrine in a string of recent jurisprudence including two cases involving a Senator and a Member of the House of Representatives.27c?a

    Salalima v. Guingona, Jr.28c?a and Mayor Garcia v. Hon. Mojica29reinforced the doctrine. The condonation rule was applied even if the administrative complaint was not filed before the reelection of the public official, and even if the alleged misconduct occurred four days before the elections, respectively. Salalima did not distinguish as to the date of filing of the administrative complaint, as long as the alleged misconduct was committed during the prior term, the precise timing or period of which Garcia did not further distinguish, as long as the wrongdoing that gave rise to the public

    official’s culpability was committed prior to the date of reelection.” (end of quote)

    Did Morales forgot her recent decision before she left the Supreme Court? Why did she reasserted the “doctrine of condonation” as to elective officials when she was still a member of the Supreme Court yet now, conveniently urged the Supreme Court to revisit the time honored doctrine (60 years)? For convenience?

    Are you saying that the Supreme Court was consistently wrong in a string of several cases for 60 years reiterating the said doctrine and you are the only one correct Sereno? Are you saying that Capio-Morales was also wrong considering that the decision penned by Carpio-Morales was decided by a “court en banc”?

    “As for San Pedro, his administrative liability was rendered moot and academic owing to his reelection in the same position in 2010,” she said, referring to a Supreme Court doctrine that condones the administrative liability of an elected public official for a past offense once that official is reelected for a fresh term.

    Kaya pala! (No wonder!)

    Proof that N0ytard is condoning corruption:


    TangInang N0ytard! Kaya pala inignore yung complaint ko against the FDA, DOH, etc. He is condoning the corrupt practices of government employees! Doesn’t N0ytard know that those government employees are extorting money from the public? If we do not give, they won’t give us a permit, just like what happened to me! And I reported it to ombitchwoman and she dismissed the case.

    Once more N0ytard blames the victims:



    Blaming the victims once more and I thought he was anti-corruption? Isn’t one incident, one too many?

    Even MARnanakaw admits that there’s massive corruption: philsta**com/police-metro/2015/11/27/1526400/mar-inamin-na-bigo-ang-daang-matuwid


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