Here are the stories ANC will be covering today:
Scramble for BOL
President Duterte must have caused some kind of commotion in the Palace after he revealed in a speech in Zamboanga Sibugay that he had signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL). Both presidential assistant Bong Go and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President hadn’t signed the law yet. But later, the duo scrambled to say the law was indeed signed. Next up is the plebiscite that would ratify the BOL. Is the Comelec ready? Ghadzali Jaafar will be guest on ANC’s Early Edition to talk about the prospects after the BOL has been signed.
A senior lawmaker told ABS-CBN that after Pantaleon Alvarez was given the boot as House Speaker, his partymates at the PDP-LABAN are set to bolt the party and transfer to the Hugpong ng Pagbabago party of Presidential daughter Sara Duterte and Imee Marcos. In addition, the Lakas party of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who replaced Alvarez, is set to coalesce with Hugpong. Rep. Gary Alejano will be guest on ANC’s Early Edition to talk about the rise of GMA in the lower House and the movements of congressmen among parties.
Major problems in the House minority
The minority in the lower House still has to be sorted out with various groups still jockeying for positions. The Liberal Party, which did not vote for Arroyo, has started branding itself as the “only legal and valid” minority in the House, as per its statement yesterday. The Makabayan bloc said it is willing to join groups to form the minority. But the current minority looks like they are in a bind. They are led by Rep. Danilo Suarez who said he voted for Arroyo. Under House rules, members of the minority are those who didn’t vote for the winner of the Speakership race, or abstained from the vote. Rep. Lito Atienza of the Suarez group insisted the majority and the minority stay as is even after the change in the leadership.
New graft buster
President Duterte said he signed the appointment papers of Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires as the next Ombudsman. Martires has said he went to San Beda but is not a fraternity brother of the President. In 2011, he junked a graft case against Duterte. Martires also signed a SC resolution upholding the plea bargain agreement with Gen. Carlos Garcia. He signed the warrant of arrest for Juan Ponce Enrile and voted to oust Sereno. Also, since Martires leaves his post in the Supreme Court (he was due to retire in January) to serve a seven-year term as Ombudsman, there will be a vacancy in the Supreme Court. This will allow President Duterte to appoint another member of the SC. Outgoing Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales will be in a FOCAP forum 2 p.m. Martires just might visit her at her office in the morning.
Bullying at the highest level
According to former local government secretary Rafael Alunan III, he learned from President Duterte himself that Chinese Premier Xi Jinping threatened to go to war with the Philippines if the country insisted on disputing territories in the West Philippine Sea. What do our analysts say about this bullying at the highest level?