Palace assures Congress: Rody won’t abuse special powers to fight COVID-19

first_img Both chambers of Congress have received a draft bill from Malacañang on Sunday seeking to allow Duterte to lead COVID-19 responses through certain special powers while the Philippines is under a state of calamity. “Our legislators would note that the powers we have requested today have their own expiry date as they will last only as long as the COVID-19 crisis would last and Congress itself will be able to closely monitor the actions of the Executive through the oversight committee to be created by the proposed law,” he added. Medialdea also said that the Congress must take cue from the martial law declaration in Mindanao by Duterte before where the administration did not do away with democracy in the south, after fighters from the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups laid siege to Marawi in 2017. The House version of the measure seeks to declare a national emergency arising from the COVID-19 crisis, and authorizes the President to exercise powers necessary to carry out the declared national policy on the issue. “When this administration declared martial law in Mindanao, there were similar speculations that we were about to do away with our democratic institutions but martial law in Mindanao came and went peacefully without the abuse prevalent in martial law,” Medialdea said. The Duterte administration will not abuse the additional powers sought from Congress to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, says Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. PCOO “The intent of the proposal was simply to grant to government a standby power–a power which we do not consider necessary to be exercised at all times,” Medialdea said.center_img Among the controversial provisions of the measure is the proposal to allow the Chief Executive to take over businesses, hospitals, and public utilities to maximize necessary resources, but Medialdea clarified this as a “standby power.” MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will not abuse the additional powers sought from Congress to curb the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic in the country. “We assure Congress and our countrymen that this administration has no intent to abuse the powers we are asking of you today,” said Medialdea. Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea made the assurance on Monday when he addressed the House Committee of the Whole during the deliberation of the lower chamber on House Bill 6616. The Philippines now has total number to 396 confirmed cases, with 33 deaths and 18 recovered patients./PNlast_img

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