SC ruling on party-list system backed Created on April 15, 2013, 4:54 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines - A former magistrate yesterday expressed his support for the Supreme Court’s recent ruling revising standards in the country’s party-list system.

Retired Justice Vicente Mendoza, a known constitutional expert, supported the move of a majority of SC justices to allow national and regional groups not belonging to “underrepresented and marginalized” sectors to participate in the polls.

Mendoza said the initial purpose of making the party-list system exclusive to sectoral groups has been achieved.

“They were given three terms or nine years where half of the party-list seats had been reserved exclusively for them. That three terms already ended, and the intention of the Constitution is that it will be opened up after those nine years,” he said in an interview.

The former justice also downplayed fears raised by critics, especially militant party-list groups, that the April 5 SC decision discarding the previous criteria set in “Ang Bagong Bayani case” will pave the way for domination of the party-list system by “rich and powerful politicians.”

“If after those nine years of exclusive seats those party-list groups are not yet strong politically, then that only means they are weak and not chosen by the people to represent them. Party-list groups must be allowed to evolve according to the wishes of the people, not according to the wishes of militant party-list groups,” he added.

Comelec eyes improvement of overseas absentee voting system Created on April 15, 2013, 4:53 am Posted by nup

HONG KONG — Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is looking at improving the system of overseas absentee voting (OAV) in preparation for the 2016 presidential elections.

Speaking to Filipino community leaders in Hong Kong, Brillantes said the Comelec will adopt online voting to encourage more overseas Filipinos to exercise their right to vote.

“We hope to do something for the OAV,” he said.

“We are also looking at changes and revisions to our party-list system and the anti-dynasty.”

Hong Kong’s list of registered voters totaled 115,088, but the allocated ballots for the Chinese territory remained at 83,147.

A total of 536 voters cast their ballots in the first day of the OAV the other day at the Bayanihan Kennedy Town Centre in Hong Kong.

WikiLeaks? JPE frets about ‘leaking’ eye Created on April 12, 2013, 9:03 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines - For Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, dealing with a “leaking” eye is tougher than being confronted with a negative WikiLeaks report about his only son.

Making light of the WikiLeaks report linking his son Jack to a decades-old homicide case, Enrile said blood leaking from his right eye had hampered his sight and made him skip a campaign sortie yesterday with senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), which include his congressman son.

Enrile told The STAR in a phone interview that he was “OK,” but that he has to undergo a medical procedure on Saturday.

“I just cannot go out because my right eye has bleeding condition. I just came from my doctor. I’m going to have injection this Saturday. He saw three points in my eye as the source of ‘leaking’ blood, the injection will arrest it with special drugs,” the Senate president said.

“The WikiLeaks are like my blood vessels. Let us laugh it off,” he said.

Enrile said he would have wanted to simply stay quiet amid the controversy, but decided to give an interview anyway to set the facts straight regarding the death of Ernest Lucas Jr., a Navy official’s son, in 1975 when he was defense minister.

Jack: I will not be stopped Created on April 12, 2013, 9:00 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines - Cagayan Rep. Juan “Jack” Ponce Enrile slammed yesterday reports reviving allegations of his involvement in a decades-old homicide, saying these were meant to deter him from his campaign for a Senate seat.

“I refuse to be intimidated, I will not be stopped,” Enrile said in a statement.

He also told The STAR that he is “a good son” to his famous father and he has “always been a good public servant.”

Enrile, a senatorial candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and only son of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, was reacting to a WikiLeaks report on his investigation for the murder in 1975 of a son of a former Philippine Navy chief.

The WikiLeaks report was based on classified diplomatic cables sent to the State Department by the US ambassador to Manila from 1973 to 1977, William Sullivan, when the case was being investigated. Jack’s father was defense minister at the time under dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Obviously, in the last few weeks of the election campaign, our opponents who do not like us are probably looking for things to raise, and they

Inquirer hosts forum for senatorial bets Created on April 11, 2013, 9:09 am Posted by nup

MANILA, Philippines — Several senatorial candidates both from the Team PNoy and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) are set for a showdown Wednesday as they participate in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s first Senate Forum with the topic “How Does the Senate Really Work?”

Reelectionist senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Loren Legarda, and Aquilino Pimentel III of the Liberal Party-led coalition, and former senators Richard Gordon, Ernesto Maceda of UNA, and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. of LP will all attend the event.

The event at the University of the Philippines Film Center is open to the public.

This is the first of a series, with two other fora to be held on April 18 in Baguio and on April 26 in Cebu.

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