Stop emergency powers under Bayanihan 2, SC urged

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    FORMER government corporate counsel Rudolf Philip Jurado yesterday asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop President Duterte’s exercise of emergency powers and disbursement of funds under the Bayanihan We Recover As One Act (Bayanihan 2), which he said already expired on October 12 when Congress adjourned.

    In a petition for certiorari and prohibition, Jurado asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction to prevent Duterte from further exercising the special powers, insisting that the government no longer has any legal basis to do so.

    Under the Bayanihan 1 and 2, Congress granted Duterte emergency powers as part of the administration’s overall effort to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus. The two laws likewise authorized the President to disburse and realign funds as necessary to finance the government’s COVID-19 measures.

    “This petition is filed pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, to prevent and enjoin the respondents from further executing the provisions of Republic Act 11494 more popularly known as the Bayanihan To Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 since it already expired last October 12,” Jurado said.

    He asked the SC to “declare as invalid and void the disbursement of funds made after RA 11494 expired last October 12” as well as to issue a writ of prohibition directing all persons and entities from enforcing the provisions of the law after October 12.

    Jurado said he was not questioning the legality of the law but “only its enforcement after October 12.”

    He added that while Section 18 of the law mentioned December 19, 2020 as its date of expiry, Jurado said what is more controlling is the text which limits its effectivity until “the next adjournment of the 18th Congress.”