Miriam flays colleagues for sitting on key bills

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SEN. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Saturday said she was disappointed in her colleagues for not acting on several measures at the Senate, including the proposed Anti-Signage of Public Works Bill and Senate Bills No. 55 and 1580, which seek to ban political dynasties.

“I am disappointed. Without public clamor, these bills will never see the light of day. The committees to which these bills were referred are sitting on them,” Santiago said in a statement.

The Anti-Signage of Public Works Bill was referred to the committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization chaired by Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, while the Anti-Political Dynasty bills were referred to the Committee on Electoral Reforms and People’s Organization chaired by Senator Aquilino Pimentel 3rd.

Santiago has requested both senators for a public hearing on her bills, which she claimed “have been pending in the Senate for a prolonged period of time.”


“It would be best for the legislative process to ensure that the bills are at least reported out to the plenary session, considering their wide implications on our political system,” she said.

Aside from the two measures, other priority legislations have yet to be acted upon by the chamber. They include S.B. No. 56 or the Deceased Organ Donor bill; S.B. No. 57 the Magna Carta for Call Center Workers; S.B. No. 186 or the HIV and AIDS Policy and Plan bill; and S.B. No. 185 or the Certificate of Intention to Run for Public Office (Cirpo) bill.

The Cirpo bill requires any person seeking public office to file a certificate of intention to run six months before the deadline for the filing of a certificate for candidacy.

As the principal author of S.B. No. 53 or the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (MCPIF), Santiago earlier wrote to Sen. Ralph Recto, who heads the Committee on Science and Technology, requesting an immediate public hearing.

She emphasized that her bill sought to repeal Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which was upheld in part by a Supreme Court ruling on February 18.

“My bill – in stark contrast to the Supreme Court ruling – characterizes the crime of online libel as unconstitutional, because the provision violates both the ‘void for vagueness,’ and ‘overbreadth’ doctrines in constitutional law.

Moreover, the Supreme Court ruling appears to go against the global inclination to decriminalize libel,” Santiago explained in her letter.

Recto has set the committee hearing for the MCPIF on Monday next week. Santiago has offered to co-sponsor the bill with Recto.

“But first there has to be a public hearing so that netizens can be given a forum for airing their opposition to the recent Supreme Court decision, particularly where the decision upholds the constitutionality of online libel,” she said.

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5 Comments

  1. I am incline to agree with the two Brits opinion. The way i look at it. The poor in the Philippine will remain poor and the errant Politicians will continue to get away with plunder, corruption and the like. Is this what Philippine stands for? Corrupt Politician and more corrupt Politicians??

    Another point. Doesn’t the Supreme have the power to convene a special court to trial those accused Senators and others of corruption under the pork-barrel scam? It does not make any sense for the DOJ, Ombudsman and Prosecution witnesses to wait indefinitely and let the culprits conveniently slip away.

    Look at your neighbors e.g Singapore. They prosecute corrupt officials once the Police have sufficient evidence. No nonsense. Very prompt and extremely efficient so that the guilty will not get away scot-free.

  2. Im english & lived here for a total of 4 years & i criticise lots of things here in the philippines & it doesnt seem to matter who is in power things just dont change. The whole system needs to change, but the powers that be dont want that, they all want to hold onto power at any cost. I also like mirriam but i sometimes disagree with her as in the chief justice impeachment case, i think he was as guilty as hell, she thinks he was innocent & shouldnt have been impeached. I still dont understand why. When i listen to anyone questioning government officials they just never seem to ask the right questions & are so easily fobbed off with the most stupid of excuses or reasons or whatever you want to call them. I want to see a government that truly cares about the people & gets things done. For instance this pork barrel scam, it will go on for years & years with very few getting punnished, it needs to be in court within 12 months & a verdict reached within a few weeks. Then if guilty extremly strong punnishments handed down, but watch it wont happen. Look at the maguamindanao massacre situation, it is nowhere yet we know who did it. I think people at the top are incompetent, corrupt & useless, thats every single person, i fear for this country & im 61 & when i die it will still be the same. If you are a poor person your case will be sorted very quickly but if you are a prominent powerful person, it wont.

    • ernesto albay on

      As you have observed, there is two standard of justice here in the philippines. considering rhe pork barrel scam, what does the anti money laundering law (AMLA) been doing, the people involved had profited from committing crime thru malversation of funds. commercial crime will have to do their quick investigation without impedement. freeze the account, sealed their offices and cannot access nor take out any documents in their premises. investigation will be facilitated since everything is intact. they problem with it is that they accuser is not fully prepared and still gathering information and no enough evidence to prove the guilt the accused. they have a very good laws but never implemented.

      Just the case of maguindanao massacre that had been resolved long time ago if these people in the justice system do their part. they are party to the corrupt that is why justice is delayed.I do not know when these people in the goverment will be awaken to render their services to the people in efficient manner…….

  3. SEN. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is a real force of nature here in the Philippines. From what I understand both these Bills are really important.

    I have just blogged on the subject of extra judicial killings or the contract killing culture here in the Philippines. The other demon is definitely the need to curtail the power of political dynasties.

    I am British and been here now for 18 months, and from what I understand Aquino is basically OK. But there is a definite feeling of “pinoy time” with the legislators here. Be it the RH bill, and these very important Bills, very little happens.

    But SEN. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is on their”case”.

    I really admire her no nonsense approach, very much needed here. She would be useful back in the UK where the British Government seem to behave a bit like head less chickens.

  4. The senate is just standing true to form – being a do-nothing senate. All the senators care for is how to bilk the government coffers of the taxes paid by taxpayers out of their hard-earned salaries. The senate has been doing nothing for a long time now that it is time for it to be abolished being an institution that costs the government a lot of money to maintain in exchange for nothing.