SC ruling on ICC plea recognized limits of president’s power on foreign policy – Drilon

Robie de Guzman   •   March 17, 2021   •   882

 

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon

MANILA, Philippines – The recent ruling of the Supreme Court on the petition against the Philippines’ withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC) showed that there are limitations to the president’s power with respect to foreign policy, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said on Wednesday.

Drilon issued the remark after the SC dismissed the petition questioning the validity of President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to pull out from the ICC.

“While the Supreme Court dismissed the petition questioning the validity of the Philippine government’s withdrawal from the Rome Statute for being moot and academic, the High Court acknowledged the limitations on the power of the President as the chief architect of foreign policy,” the senator said in a statement.

Drilon was among those who filed the petition along with other current and former senators Francis Pangilinan, Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Leila de Lima, Risa Hontiveros, and Antonio Trillanes IV.

The SC, in a press statement on Tuesday, said the magistrates voted unanimously to dismiss the petition for being moot and academic.

The Philippines formally withdrew from the Rome of Statue, which established the ICC, in March 2019.

“The decision acknowledged that the President, as the primary architect of foreign policy, is subject to the Constitution and existing statutes,” the SC Public Information Office said.

“Therefore, the power of the President to withdraw unilaterally can be limited by the conditions for concurrence by the Senate or when there is an existing law which authorizes the negotiation of a treaty or international agreement or when there is a statute that implements an existing treaty,” it added.

For Drilon, the high court’s decision is “a clear recognition of the limitations of the power of the President with respect to foreign policy.”

“Most striking is the acknowledgment that the power of the President to withdraw ‘unilaterally’ can be subject to limitations by the Senate,” he said.

“It is a highly interesting decision and I will await the full text before I comment more extensively,” he added.

Malacañang earlier welcomed the SC decision.

Duterte ordered the country’s withdrawal from the ICC after it opened a preliminary examination on the ongoing drug war in the Philippines following reports of extrajudicial killings during police anti-narcotics operations.

Duterte offers DOH Secy post to OCTA fellow

Robie de Guzman   •   December 7, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has offered OCTA Research fellow Nicanor Austriaco the top post in the Department of Health (DOH) to replace Secretary Francisco Duque III.

During his weekly Talk to the People that aired late Monday, Duterte asked Austriaco if he is open to being designated as the new health chief.

“I would be happy to appoint you as the Secretary of Health. If that is okay with you,” he said after Austriaco finished his presentation on the Omicron COVID-19 variant during the public briefing.

Austriaco declined the offer.

“No po. Secretary Duque is doing a fine job po and he’s a Thomasian po,” he said.

Duterte pressed on with his offer, saying Duque has been asking to be replaced.

“He has shown — he vents a desire really to rest, you know, after all this ruckus against him,” the president said. “Sabi ko I’ve been forcing him to stay but he would be happy to give way to you, I’m sure.”

“Yes, Mr. President, to another Thomasian,” Duque chimed in.

Austriaco, a priest and a molecular biologist, is also part of the team developing the Philippines’ first vaccine against COVID-19.

 

Pangulong Duterte, wala pang pasya kung sino ang iendorsong presidential bet – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Umapela ang Malakanyang sa publiko na bigyan pa ng panahon si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte upang magpasya sa kung sino ang susuportahan nitong kandidato sa pagka-pangulo sa 2022 elections.

Kasunod na rin ito ng pag-atras sa halalan ng ini-endorso niyang si Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

“Si Pangulo has options, has choices that he has to make and we should give him the time to make those options; to make those choices; to make those decisions and give him the leeway to make the announcement kung kinakailangan at kung kailan niya gusto gawin. Hintayin na lang po natin si Pangulong Duterte,” ang pahayag ni acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles.

Una nang sinabi ni Go na umatras siya sa halalan dahil ayaw aniya ng kanyang pamilya na sumabak ito sa presidential race.

Ayaw rin umano niyang ilagay sa mahirap na sitwasyon ang pangulo dahil sa pagtakbo ng anak nitong si Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte bilang bise presidente, katambal ni presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Sinabi naman ng pangulo na iginagalang niya ang desisyon ni Go lalo’t para ito sa kapakanan ng kanyang pamilya.

Noong Martes inianunsyo ni Go ang pag-atras sa halalan ngunit hindi pa ito personal na humaharap sa Commission on Elections upang pormal na bawiin ang kandidatura.

Kasunod ng pag-atras ni Go, nanawagan naman ang mga kaalyado ng administrasyon na suportahan na lang ng pangulo ang tambalang Bongbong at Sara para sa 2022 elections.

Duterte says he respects Bong Go’s decision to drop 2022 presidential bid

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he respects the decision of Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go to withdraw from the presidential race in the 2022 elections.

Duterte made the statement during a speech before the Joint National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict in Zamboanga City on Thursday.

“Senator Bong Go, ano ba talaga, Bong? Tatakbo ka o hindi?” he said.

“Well, I would like to off-the-cuff statement. You have made a lot of people sad than happy. We respect your decision lalo na kung pamilya. Wala na tayong magawa diyan,” he added.

Last Tuesday, Go announced he won’t be pursuing his presidential bid because his family does not want him to seek the presidency. He also does not want to put Duterte in a difficult situation.

Go’s announcement came days after he admitted to having a hard time and being hesitant in seeking the country’s top post as he was already set to run for vice president.

Duterte’s former aide turned senator initially filed his candidacy for vice president under the PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

But he withdrew his candidacy to run for president under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan (PDDS) party through substitution.

Bong Go withdrew from the vice presidential race after presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte filed her candidacy for vice president under Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party.

Go has yet to formalize his withdrawal following his announcement.

The Commission on Elections earlier said aspirants must personally appear before the poll body to file their statements of withdrawal. (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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