December 17, 2017, 10:07 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07288 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.24593 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03533 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34712 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02593 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03533 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0397 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.63815 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03288 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00748 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 34.75546 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13617 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06539 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2763 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.20411 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 397.3799 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03965 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02552 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01965 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 12.62406 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13118 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 59.40849 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 11.184 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.86245 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.43364 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.50992 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12575 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.94204 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.28011 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26427 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35252 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5391 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01689 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04119 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01488 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0149 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08949 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.93628 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 177.61016 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14561 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.01171 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15502 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46602 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12717 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.24851 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.30468 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 269.45216 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0697 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.27173 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 23.50139 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 706.60975 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09111 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.47122 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01404 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.23456 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04347 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.38392 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 79.89281 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 8.1582 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.86423 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 21.58495 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00599 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01628 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.65919 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 164.78761 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 29.88289 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.0389 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.48432 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26141 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06051 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01232 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02704 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1878 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33869 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.03414 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 27.03454 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 48.15403 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15967 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.9869 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.67209 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.30905 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 14.16276 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37963 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08094 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.2608 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 7.10599 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60838 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16635 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03573 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02839 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00762 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06535 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06434 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.17745 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07099 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 111.57205 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07225 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07797 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.1679 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.58892 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07443 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15358 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26852 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13219 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16899 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02675 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01489 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44077 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 151.44898 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 11.09567 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 413.80507 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17368 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.22191 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26054 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.6449 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04961 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04557 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07666 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13159 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5944 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.30329 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54875 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.55617 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01985 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.57046 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 160.57959 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.198 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 450.55577 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.09845 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05144 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 11.07165 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05359 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 11.49782 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00337 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.96129 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26079 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 103.00714 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.18341 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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