Monday, March 30, 2015

Good Friday crucifixions for Filipinos only

NO ROLE PLAYING  Danish filmmaker Lasse Spang Olsen steals the limelight after being nailed to the cross in Barangay San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga province, on Good Friday in 2014. Olsen, 49, could be the last foreign national to take part in the reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ after local officials banned foreigners from participating in the annual Holy Week rites. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS/ CONTRIBUTOR
NO ROLE PLAYING Danish filmmaker Lasse Spang Olsen steals the limelight after being nailed to the cross in Barangay San Pedro Cutud in San Fernando, Pampanga province, on Good Friday in 2014. Olsen, 49, could be the last foreign national to take part in the reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ after local officials banned foreigners from participating in the annual Holy Week rites. E.I. REYMOND T. OREJAS/ CONTRIBUTOR
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—For the safety of everyone, city officials are making Good Friday crucifixions in three villages here a strictly Filipino affair—and for true penitents only.
Councilor Harvey Quiwa, cochair of the Malelo (Holy Week) 2015 Committee, said on Monday that a ban on the crucifixion of foreigners covered the neighboring villages of San Pedro Cutud, Santa Lucia and San Juan.

The crucifixion of foreigners was also prohibited last year, but Danish filmmaker Lasse Spang Olsen managed to join 11 Filipino men who had themselves nailed to crosses in the annual rites for the atonement of sins, seeking favors from God and giving thanks for answered prayers.

The village council of San Pedro Cutud allowed Olsen to join the rites after he claimed that he had been converted to Roman Catholicism.

Local officials said the ban on foreign participation had been prompted by the disrespect for the local Lenten tradition shown by some foreigners.

In 2008, a Briton made a scene before backing out at the last minute, they said.
Once, a Japanese man used the footage of his crucifixion as an insert in a pornographic film, they said.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Comelec appeals to opposing camps in Bulacan recall case

Pimentel pushes ‘hating kapatid’ in taxes for LGUs


MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Monday sought bipartisan support for his proposed measure that would give local government units (LGUs) “expanded and bigger” shares from national taxes.

Known as the “Bigger Pie, Bigger Slice” bill, Pimentel said the measure seeks to change the limited internal revenue allocations (IRAs) of LGUs into “expanded and bigger shares” from national taxes.

The change, he said, would give LGUs a larger share of 50 percent from the current 40 percent of the total tax collections that would include both revenues collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Bureau of Customs.

“The new formula means more available funds for more benefits and better services made available to more people, and envisioned to result in more positive quality of life changes in the lives of more Filipinos,” the senator said in a statement.

“Hating kapatid,” said Pimentel of the proposed 50-50 formula between the national government and LGUs in keeping with the constitutional mandate to give the latter an equitable share from the national wealth.

On April 14 to 16, the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP), which has 1,490 members, will hold its 2015 General Assembly at the Manila Hotel to press Congress, among others, to prioritize the proposed measure.

Pimentel said the municipal mayors are expected to make an appeal to President Benigno Aquino III, who has been invited as guest of honor and speaker, to make the bill an urgent and certified measure of Congress.

If passed into law, he said the bill would contribute greatly in the empowerment of LGUs “because the added funds would translate to LGUs’ ability to provide more services and offer more opportunities to their constituents.”

“All these substantial increases in funding are meant to benefit the LGUs and their constituencies,” said the senator, adding that it would mean more schools, better health care, more sustainable livelihood projects and more jobs.

Pimentel said the bill was envisioned to practically double the annual automatic allocations of LGUs, namely the barangays, municipalities, cities and provinces, from the general appropriations act. CB



Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/682306/pimentel-pushes-hating-kapatid-in-taxes-for-lgus#ixzz3VqU9pRFS 

Aguinaldo doctrine

Erring officials can’t escape liability under Santiago bill



Reelection should not allow a public official to escape administrative liability for misdeeds during his prior term as this would lead to a “ludicrous” situation, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said.

Santiago has filed a bill to ensure that elected officials would be made to answer administratively for illegal acts committed during their preceding term, after the camp of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay claimed he should not be held liable for alleged irregularities in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II during his first term in 2010-2013.

Binay’s camp cited a Supreme Court ruling that said a public official could not be removed administratively for misconduct committed during a prior term, as reelection effectively condoned the official’s misconduct.

“That is a cross-eyed simplification of the problem. The first qualification for a public office should be honesty and integrity,” Santiago said in a statement.

Santiago, a former trial court judge, said this reasoning could spur public officials to commit wrongdoing since they would have a way out in the next election.

“The result would be ludicrous. Any public official will feel free to commit a crime, including plunder, and then win reelection, if it automatically means his previous crimes are condoned,” she said.

Her bill would insert a new section in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act stating that “any elective official shall be liable for any violation of this act committed during a prior term despite reelection.”

In her explanatory note, she said it was well-established policy that public servants should have the highest virtues of integrity, honesty, discipline and uprightness.

But she lamented that contrary to this policy, the Supreme Court in a 2010 case reiterated the doctrine of condonation enunciated in another ruling handed down nearly 60 years ago.

That ruling in the case of Pascual v the Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija prohibited the disciplining of an elected official for a wrongful act committed during his immediately preceding term.

It said the court should not remove a public official for acts committed prior to his current term, as this would deprive the people of their right to elect their officials.
It said that when people voted for the official, it must be assumed they did it with knowledge of his life and character, and that they had disregarded or forgiven his faults or misconduct.
This ruling, Santiago said, provided a blanket defense for elected officials to evade liability by getting reelected.

“By merely asserting the doctrine of condonation, erring elective officials are automatically given a clean slate once reelected. Thus, there is a need to evaluate this doctrine in light of the express constitutional mandate that public office is a public trust,” she said.
Earlier, Santiago took the Office of the Ombudsman’s side in its dispute with Binay over the suspension order against him.

Based on jurisprudence, the Ombudsman can order the immediate suspension of a sitting mayor, she said.


Read more: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/682066/erring-officials-cant-escape-liability-under-santiago-bill#ixzz3Vm5cFeBQ
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Saturday, March 14, 2015