Monday, September 24, 2018

Mayor Bongat clarifies Emergency Shelter Assistance status in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Hounded by incessant follow-ups on the release of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) for victims of 2016’s Typhoon Nina, Mayor John Bongat called for a press conference this morning to announce updates.

Bongat said that the press conference is the best way to explain to the public they had exerted all efforts to expedite the release of the assistance.

However, for reasons beyond the control of the city government, the assistance has not been released to this day.

“We have coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Regional Office and the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur,” the local chief executive said.

Now the ball is in the hands of the DSWD, he added.

“But we assure the victims of typhoon Nina that there is assistance that is earmarked for them,” he said.

PHOTOS | OK sa DepEd at Calauag Elementary School

Calauag Elementary School pupils join Principal Maria Theresa Rebueno Ruizo and Clinic Teacher Kai De La Cruz during the launching of OK sa DepEd, the flagship health program of the Department. (Photos courtesy of Hazel Rose Sumpay)

CASE IN POINT | President

Power of appointment of Justices at SB; clustering of nominees is not constitutional.

The Judicial & Bar Council submitted several lists of nominees for possible appointees to the vacancies in the Sandiganbayan. The nominees were clustered into several lists like for example 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st with five (5) nominees for each cluster. President Aquino appointed Justice’s to the vacant positions, but did not pick the appointees from the clusters concerned but appointed justices from one cluster to another position. Petitioners who were listed in the cluster for the 17th Justice questioned the appointments. They contended that the President could only choose one nominee from each of the six separate shortlists for each specific vacancy and no other and the appointment made in deviation of this procedure is a violation of the Constitution. In ruling that the contention is not correct, the Supreme Court

Held: The power to recommend of the JBC cannot be used to restrict or limit the President's power to appoint as the latter's prerogative to choose someone whom he/she considers worth appointing to the vacancy in the Judiciary is still paramount. As long as in the end, the President appoints someone nominated by the JBC, the appointment is valid. President Aquino was not obliged to appoint one new Sandiganbayan Associate Justice from each of the six shortlists submitted by the JBC, especially when the clustering of nominees into the six shortlists encroached on President Aquino's power to appoint members of the Judiciary from all those whom the JBC had considered to be qualified for the same positions of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice.

The JBC, in sorting the qualified nominees into six clusters, one for every vacancy, could influence the appointment process beyond its constitutional mandate of recommending qualified nominees to the President. Clustering impinges upon the President's power of appointment, as well as restricts the chances for appointment of the qualified nominees, because (1) the President's option for every vacancy is limited to

the five to seven nominees in the cluster; and (2) once the President has appointed from one cluster, then he is proscribed from considering the other nominees in the same cluster for the other vacancies. The said limitations are utterly without legal basis and in contravention of the President's appointing power.

In view of the foregoing, President Aquino validly exercised his discretionary power to appoint members of the Judiciary when he disregarded the clustering of nominees into six separate shortlists for the different vacancies. This did not violate Article VIII, Section 9 of the 1987 Constitution which requires the President to appoint from a list of at least three nominees submitted by the JBC for every vacancy.

The President is not bound by the clustering of nominees by the JBC and may consider as one the separate shortlists of nominees concurrently submitted by the JBC. The requirements and qualifications, as well as the power, duties, and responsibilities are the same for all the vacant posts in a collegiate court; and if an individual is found to be qualified for one vacancy, then he/she is also qualified for all the other vacancies (Hon. Philip Aguinaldo, et al. v. Aquino, et al., G.R. No. 224302, November 29, 2016, Leonardo-De Castro, J).

THE SUNNY PHILOSOPHER | Afraid of strangers?

If you find yourself in a remote village or a small town, and you do not know anybody there, do not expect a warm welcome. The folks may be friendly-looking but they won’t readily open their doors to you.

You are a complete stranger and that description makes you a suspicious character in their eyes. Not that hospitality is a thing of the past to them. They are just careful.

They have heard stories about strangers robbing or worse, killing their hosts and escaping with money and valuables. The stories were brought to the living room by television.

Not all strangers are evil men. But the crimes of a few have created hideous creatures out of such people.

In rural communities, you will find inhabitants trustful. But do not count on such niceties. In their eyes, you are still a stranger.

If a local folk offers his house, if he prepares a feast for you, that is rare. In most cases, you will be asked to go spend the night at the town’s inn or hostel.

In cities like Legaspi or Naga, where cheap hotel rooms are available, consider yourself extremely lucky if a family invites you to lodge in their house gratis et amore.

Complete strangers are never trusted in the city.

You do not know if the over-friendly garbage man, the sad-looking trader, the funny driver or the man or woman sitting next to you on the jeepney is after your money or expensive cellphone.

Lawless men lurk everywhere.

Have you heard of well-dressed men with their lovely lady companions holding up big bazars and shooting it out with the police when cornered? Or of decent men emptying a retiree’s savings?

Most swindlers pose as respectable professionals. They appear incapable of harming a fly.

In San Roque, Legaspi City, a story goes, a family invited a stranger to spend the evening with them. At midnight, he vanished into the dark night with the host’s meager valuables.

The following story is quite different.

During a fiesta in my barrio many years ago, a young man who introduced himself as the son of a datu, strayed into a neighbor’s house. He was fed, given the only bed in the evening and told to feel at home, no questions asked.

Things like this occur only in the movies.

In my barrio today, strangers do not have to lodge in a private home. Several air-con hotels cater to local and foreign tourists.

My barrio is now a tourist paradise. Go see it for yourself. You will not be treated as stranger.

PHOTO | Inspiring young minds

Inspiring young minds is the foremost advocacy of Mrs. Jo Fortuno (in green shirt), a former teacher who is aspiring to be the representative of the fifth congressional district of Camarines Sur (Rinconada Area). This photo was taken on the recent District Kindergarten Family Day of Balatan Central School.


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Mayor Bongat clarifies Emergency Shelter Assistance status in Naga City

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Hounded by incessant follow-ups on the release of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) for victims of 20...