Comelec bends its own rules PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 18 June 2016 11:46

Sound Snipes

BY Jimmy Cabato

Today’s piece, unless the news bits are highly interesting may definitely be briefer that in previous times.

Writing Sniper (WS), pardon me, will have a lot of things to this day. It’s his 68th birthday today. Net surfing for newsworthy items starts.

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God be with these two captives and the other two who went ahead.

Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad and Filipina Marites, two remaining hostages snatched from a resort in Samal Island, Davao, have again appealed to the government to do something for their immediate release  by the Abu Sayyaf in Jolo island.

Their fate, if not released, rescued from captivity or by any other form, will for sure go the way of the two Canadian nationals.

In an interview over RMN’s Carta de La Vida with Melanie Guanzon and Hermie Ventura Wednesday afternoon, the Norwegian was quoted to have said, “We are sitting and waiting, we don’t know if we will be alive later on today or not,” He added that after the beheading of Robert Hall last Monday, he was told by the Abu Sayyaf that he would be the next if their demand will not be granted. (With reports of Dan Torribio, DZT)

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The Commission on Elections (Comelec) bent its own rules to extend the deadline for the filing of the Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) by the Liberal Party and all other political parties and candidates who ran in last month’s general elections.

The voting was too close for comfort, though. 4-3. An additional one dissenting vote would have placed all Liberal Party (LP) on the national level in jeopardy.

The three dissenting votes were from Chairman Juan Andres Bautista and Commissioners Louie Tito Guia and Christian Robert Lim.

Commissioners Arthur Lim, Al Parreno, Shariff Abas and Rowena Guanzon voted to extend the filing of SOCE.

In bending Republic Act (RA) 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Elections Law, the Comelec ruling also carried the effect of amending cited RA. That point was specifically mentioned in the recommendation earlier submitted to the en banc commission by Lim, chairman of the Campaign Finance Office (CFO).

In voting against the extension, Lim also cited the Omnibus Rule on Campaign Finance stating that the June deadline is “final and non-extendable.”

Guanzon, for her part, said the issue was thoroughly discussed based on how the law should be interpreted, the consequences of a strict or liberal interpretation of the law and the intent of the Comelec when it issued the resolution on the filing of SOCE.

Question - should anyone go to the Supreme Court and question the validity of the en-banc decision, how would things stand? For it is said, “Dura lex, sed lex.” The law is hard, but it’s the law.

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The release of 500 political prisoners and 20 NDF consultants is included in the terms of peace talks as agreed by the negotiators from the incoming Duterte administration and the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF.)

At first glance, the joint statement of incoming presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza and CPP founding chairman Jose Ma. Sison seemingly looked sweeping – release. Glancing further though, there surfaced cause to heave a sigh of relief. The agreement, after all, was only for the terms of the peace talks. It was a mere indication of their decision to tackle “thorny issues” that snagged previous negotiations. No actual grant as yet.

It was first glance, we repeat. Whew..!

Please bear with WS’s initial apprehension, for it was earlier reported thus, “Initially, the panels agreed to recommend the release of consultants and political prisoners to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte once he has assumed the presidency. Got it now?

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The Office of the President virtually saved newly-elected 1-Pacman party-list Rep. Michael Romero from being detained in jail. Malacañang, thru Mildred Yovela Umali-Hermogenes, Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs, directed the Department of Justice not to implement the resolution that found ground for the filing of eight counts of qualified theft against Romero and Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) vice president Edwin L. Jeremillo and chief finance officer Edwin Joseph G. Galvez.

The complaint against Romero and his two officers was filed by the group of Reghis Romero 2nd, father of the newly-elected lawmaker.

Mind you, qualified theft is a non-bailable offense.

The three were accused of falsifying documents to stake a claim on the Manila Harbor Centre Terminal, which is operated by HCPI.

Originally, Quezon City Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Dacanay had dismissed the qualified theft complaint against Romero and his two officers but Caparas issued a resolution on June 13, 2016 reversing Dacanay’s findings.

And Romero appealed the resolution issued by Caparas at the Office of the President.

Caparas had been accused by the Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment (FATE) of issuing midnight resolutions, including the present case, which was signed 17 days before he steps down from office.

The ownership of HCPTI is being disputed by Michael and his father Reghis. And if memory serves us right, in relation to that dispute, it was earlier reported that the Supreme Court had already issued a ruling favoring Pacman representative Mikee.

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At writing time, game 6 between Golden State and Cleveland is on-going, and WS had no time checking which team is taking the lead. While the Cavaliers have managed to reach a fighting distance, my bet – whether there will be a deciding 7th game or not – is WS is placing his bet on the warriors. This is so, simply due Golden State’s Stephen Curry statement tagging Game 6 of the NBA Finals as the biggest contest of his career.

With that, WS is pretty sure, today Curry will sizzle, with Thompson stepping to contribute some of his own.

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There really could be some time more to write, but space constriction has set in. Bye for now, folks.