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Emergency powers for Duterte backed

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 397

THE 14-member Eastern Visayas bloc in the House of Representatives is for granting emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The lead convenor, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, said the lawmakers believe that there is a need to grant President Duterte emergency powers to solve the worsening traffic especially in Metro Manila.

The emergency power, which was stated in a manifesto, should also cover congestion in air traffic.

“We believe that the President, through emergency powers, will be able to deal with incongruent national and local government policies and it will serve as the key to solve the traffic crisis, once and for all,” the manifesto read.

“Aggravated by the people’s daily economic activity (the situation) has deteriorated to a national crisis needing final and immediate resolution,” the solons added.
   
The Eastern Visayas bloc is the first group to openly support the call to grant President Duterte emergency powers.
   
Among the signatories of the manifesto are Evardone, Yeddah Marie Romualdez,  Carlos Cari, Lucy Torres-Gomez and Vicente Veloso; Samar Reps. Mila Tan and Edgar Sarmiento;  Biliran Rep. Rogelio Espina; Southern Leyte Rep. Roger Mercado; Northern Samar Rep. Edwin Ong; An Waray Rep. Victoria Noel and AANGAT Tayo Rep. Neil Abayon.

Safeguards needed
   
Senator Grace Poe is “not afraid” to grant President Rodrigo Duterte emergency powers to address but there should be enough safeguards against abuse.
   
She stressed this point on the eve of the resumption of the Senate public hearing on the proposed emergency powers for the President.
   
Poe, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said that Congress has the power to “withdraw it” if there will be abuses in implementing such special authority.
   
She was referring to a proposed congressional oversight committee that will oversee the implementation of the emergency powers as well as scrutinize contracts.
   
“So in my case, my conscience will be clear in granting it as long as I know that we have the necessary safeguards there,” said Poe during a media forum.   
 
With Bernadette E. Tamayo