October 18, 2017, 3:40 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.0717 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20871 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03475 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33813 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0248 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03475 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03905 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.57731 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03233 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00736 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.79539 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02637 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13393 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0616 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2666 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19953 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 390.86294 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.039 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02447 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01905 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.09684 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12863 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 57.20812 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.07243 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.82351 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42558 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.46544 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12309 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.92112 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.21712 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25865 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3441 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.52519 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01653 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0399 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01467 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01471 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08578 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.91761 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 173.50644 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14337 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.9752 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15244 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45638 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12402 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.19621 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.08551 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 263.17844 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0682 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.26328 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.78407 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 667.88363 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04705 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48653 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01381 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.1829 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.01386 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.33715 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 78.73877 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.09352 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.57126 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.9875 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00589 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01601 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.51054 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 161.47403 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.39672 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 2.99785 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.29988 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25908 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05952 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01212 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02662 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18372 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33809 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.01269 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 26.59117 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 47.89145 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.157 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 7.04803 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65892 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.3034 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.98223 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37125 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0823 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25884 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.89184 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59176 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15391 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.0285 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02714 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00751 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06338 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06228 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.05076 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07005 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 109.88871 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07106 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07576 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.11582 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.21398 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07321 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15248 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26667 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13003 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15841 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02638 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01468 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43354 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 148.77001 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.91371 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 405.15812 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17083 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.05428 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25884 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.64526 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04826 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04364 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07093 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13039 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.58821 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.69387 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51738 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.10504 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01952 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57321 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 156.77469 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19475 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 443.49862 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03026 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0495 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.83639 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05271 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.75752 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.96193 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.87895 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.259 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 101.31784 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.0656 Zimbabwe dollar

The BBL is essentially unconstitutional.

PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino’s proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is “essentially unconstitutional” and so it cannot be passed by Congress because the establishment of a new autonomous region for Muslims in Mindanao and Sulu requires the amendment of the 1987 Constitution.

This is how members of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws, chaired by Senator Miriam Defensor, described the original BBL draft submitted for approval by President Aquino to both the Senate and the House of Representatives. And this was the same conclusion arrived at by the Senate Committee on Local Governments headed by Senator Ferdinand E. Marcos, Jr., which was tasked to study the same proposal.

Both Senate committees have been conducting public hearings on the Malacañang BBL draft, which was opposed in its present form by many legal experts, including former chief justices and associate justices of the Supreme Court and other constitutionalists, who cited its numerous unconstitutional provisions.

Santiago’s committee conducted two public hearings before coming out with its report, while Marcos’ committee has been conducting hearings in Sulu, Zamboanga and other concerned Christian and Muslim groups in Mindanao. It has not submitted its own report yet. 

Santiago warned that if approved in the form Aquino and the Moro Islamic Freedom Front (MILF) want, the proposed BBL will be challenged in the Supreme Court over doubts about its constitutionality, particularly on issues of sovereignty, autonomy, the creation of a new state, and territorial integrity. Marcos, too, said that it is inevitable the original BBL bill, as drafted by Aquino’s peace panel and the
MILF’s, will be challenged before the high tribunal, and that is why his panel will ensure that its own version will withstand any constitutional challenge. 

The reports of the Marcos and the Santiago committees will either be consolidated with that of the committee on peace, unification and reconciliation chaired by Senator Teofisto Guingona III. Either way, it is
expected to form the basis of plenary debates which could take a long time to end. 

The senators can’t be rushed into “railroading” the approved of the proposed BBL in the same manner that President Aquino did to members of the Ad Hoc Committee of the House of Representatives, who all succumbed to his blandishment!

***

In its 27-page report, the Santiago committee found out that many provisions in the BBL draft as submitted by President Aquino suffered from “constitutional infirmities” which must be addressed by Congress. 

Congress cannot just pass the proposed BBL bill because it effectively “seeks to change certain constitutional provisions on local autonomy,” the report pointed out, citing two points that showed the constitutional flaws in BBL draft. 

First, it failed to conform to the constitutional provision for the establishment of “autonomous regions in Muslim Mindanao...within the framework of the Constitution, the national sovereignty and territorial integrity” of the Republic of the Philippines. 

Second, President Aquino, as head of the executive branch of government, appointed a peace panel to negotiate with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), resulting in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). Thus, the proposed BBL would be “ultra vires” (invalid) because a simple government office that negotiated with a non-government organized group cannot amend the Constitution.

The BBL bill creates an entire state within the Philippine state, the report noted. It seeks to allow the Bangsamoro government the power to diminish national sovereignty in providing it with three different kinds of powers – reserved, concurrent (it shares power with the national government) and exclusive (Bangsamoro on occasion even exercises power independently of the national government). 

The reference to the BBL as a “basic law” is questionable, the report stated, pointing out that the BBL by its own terms is intended, by those who drafted it, to have the same effect as the “constitutional law” of the territory that is designated as “Bangsamoro”, and to have the same primacy and consequences as the 1987 Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines. 

Another unconstitutional provision confers on the “Bangsamoro entity” a parliamentary form of political structure, its own security force, security force, commission on audit, commission on elections and trial courts, which give it the features of a new state, with powers normally reserved for the national government. 

Still another questionable provision provides that “the creation of the autonomous region shall be effective when approved by majority of the vote cast by the constituent units in a plebiscite called for the purpose, provided that only provinces, cities and geographic areas voting favorably in such plebiscite shall be included in the autonomous region”, instead of a nationwide plebiscite in which the entire Filipino people can vote on such a proposed law with its far-reaching national consequences.

Indeed, a nationwide plebiscite will no doubt let all Filipinos– Christians, Muslims and Indigenous People alike – decide if the proposed BBL is truly a final chance for peace in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago. 

There are so many other questionable provisions in Aquino’s BBL proposal which should be scrutinized thoroughly by both houses of Congress. 

***

Significantly, a former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, along with a former secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Governments, and a former ambassador of the Philippines, are against the approval by Congress of the President’s proposed BBL.

Apart from the BBL’s constitutional flaws, former Chief Justice Reynato Puno warned that BBL could lead to a national crisis, whether or not it becomes law. “Regardless of the outcome,” Puno said, “the BBL cannot guarantee peace in Mindanao and Sulu. If Congress passes the BBL as proposed by Malacañang, it will most likely be questioned before the Supreme Court. If it is found unconstitutional, that would put the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in a quandary.”

The prospects for peace will be uncertain because it did not include all stakeholders in Mindanao and Sulu, Puno pointed out. “You could have disorder, especially with the presence of different groups with different agendas, including radical ones, and it could also inspire other regions of the country to demand similar treatment and privileges accorded the MILF, which could mean problems throughout the country... The BBL is a wake-up call for us to address the country’s problems by re-examining the whole Constitution.”

Former Secretary of the Interior and Local Governments Rafael Alunan III said the Bangsamoro Basic Law, as drafted, will not work because it is “a veiled attempt at usurping the Constitution.” He pointed out that “Basic Law” means “constitution” and “Bangsamoro” means “nation or state”. The Philippines cannot have two nations with two constitutions, he stressed. 

Former Philippine Ambassador to Rome Jose Romero also doubted the validity of the proposed BBL. He came out with the startling revelation that it was actually drafted in Kuala Lumpur “by some of the best and brightest Malaysian legal minds, probably schooled in my alma mater Cambridge or Oxford, who belong to the fraternity that took away Sabah from us in the sixties, and now have become the mentors of the MILF.”

No wonder, in the words of Senator Santiago, the foremost constitutionalist in the Senate, President Aquino’s BBL has “many insidious doubts on its constitutionality”. 

***

The writing on the wall has been written all along from the time President Aquino stumbled into Malacañang Palace five years ago up to the present time and until he departs when his six-year-term ends on June 30, 2016. 

Aquino has mangled the Constitution (which, by the way, was ratified in 1987 during the presidency of his mother Cory Conjuangco Aquino) and other laws of the land, spewed his vindictive ire against his perceived political enemies, and showed his incompetent governance in tackling national and foreign policy issues, especially the simmering disputes with China in the South China Sea and the West Philippine Sea, and his proposed BBL, which would lead to the balkanization or dismemberment of the Republic of the Philippines. 

It is a true shame that Aquino will leave a shallow legacy when he ends his inglorious presidency in 2016. But it wouldn’t matter any longer because he is now a “lame duck”, which is a nice term to say that his political influence is vanishing fast!

***

Thought of the Day: “The principles of a Constitution are irrevocably lost when the legislative power is exercised by the executive!” --- Anon.
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