Counting has commenced in the BOL referendum. And angrier voices against an attempt to lower the age of criminal liability. Here are stories ANC will be covering today:
Historic but typical
The votes have been cast in a referendum that was historic but typical of Philippine electoral processes. The BOL referendum in Mindanao was peppered with reports of flying voters, intimidation and some violence. Yet officials label the exercise as “generally peaceful.” At least there was a sizable voter turnout. So it’s now on to the counting of the votes. Ghazali Jaafar and Cotabato City Mayor will be on Early Edition to give their assessment.
Age of liability
The House Committee on Justice has approved a bill lowering age of criminal liability from 15 to 9 years old. The measure is still drawing criticisms. The Commission on Human Rights will hold a 10 a.m. press conference together with UNICEF Philippines and other concerned groups. Rep. Doy Leachon, chair of the Justice Committee will be on Headstart to defend the measure. The Senate Committee on Justice will lead a hearing on the same issue at 12 noon hearing.
Reports said the Philippine Navy will be sending one of its vessels to an international fleet review to mark the 70th founding anniversary of the Chinese Navy reportedly in April. This is the first time the Philippine Navy is sending a ship to the event. The announcement comes in the heels of a visit of three Chinese warships to the country. The significance shouldn’t be lost to us given that the Philippines and China are involved in a maritime spat over areas in the South China Sea.
The peso fell for the fourth day on Monday. On the budget, the Senate passed on third and final reading the proposed P3.7 trillion budget for this year. Senators slashed the budget of the Department of Public Works and Highways and gave the Department of Health an extra P20 billion. The controversial P75 billion insertion in the DPWH budget was deleted entirely.
President in Lucena
The President is due in Lucena City at 4 p.m. for an event with provincial leaders. ANC will be alert for a possible speech. Topics include the BOL referendum, lowering the age of criminal liability, the war on drugs, the shift to federalism, etc. Recent surveys put the President in a good light despite recent controversies.