The grant of Emergency powers to Duterte 'invalid, wrong' - Lagman

The grant of Emergency powers to Duterte 'invalid, wrong' - Lagman

Albay representative Edcel Lagman was the one who voted against the granting of emergency powers for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in dealing with the novel coronavirus 2019 disease or COVID-19 health crisis.

Lagan slams the way the new system of virtual plenary session and distance electronic voting, under which House Bill No. 6616 was adoptedfor being illegal because the innovation was not validly effected by a proper amendment of the existing House rule requiring the physical presence of Members in the plenary hall for the determination of a quorum and ascertainment of the requisite vote.

“The suspension or amendment of the Rules of the House was not even formally moved, requested or required," he said.
Albay Representative Edcel Lagman and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(photo credit to owner)

He said the special session is a sham after the House Speaker announced the presence of a quorum without a roll call and with a declaration that practically all members are purportedly on “official business” in their respective constituencies in order to consider them “present” but without the right to vote in absentia.
As regards the merits of the proposal, he call it unconstitutional as it is prohibited under the Constitutuion.
“This extraordinary budgetary power may constitute “transfer of funds” prohibited by Section 25 of Article VI, and therefore, unconstitutional,” he said.

For Lagman, House Bill No. 6616 is a surplusage because there are adequate response funds in the 2020 GAA, including the President’s Contingent Fund of P13 billion which is barely touched, all of which can be readily implemented without need for realignment.
Under the General Provisions of the GAA, Section 66, the President is authorized to use legitimate savings in the Executive Department and to augment deficient appropriations from such savings.
“In fact, the bill does not even include a supplemental budget and or an economic stimulus package. The expected rise in the number of patients who will test positive for COVID-19 is due not to the escalation of the deadly virus but because of the increase and more extensive use of test kits which have been made more available recently. There is also no need for legislation for the provision of ample supply of test kits and protective personal equipment (PPEs),” he said.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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