Monday, March 13, 2006

Junk EO464!

Lomibao a no-show in Senate hearing on 1017
First posted 11:22am (Mla time) Mar 13, 2006
By Veronica Uy

CITING Executive Order 464, Philippine National Police chief Director General Arturo Lomibao did not attend the second Senate hearing on the effects of Presidential Proclamation 1017 on media.

Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan, head of subcommittee of the committee on justice and human rights, said Monday that he received a call from Lomibao's office, which informed him that the police chief was not able to secure a clearance from the office of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“This is unfortunate because we won't be able to clarify the policies laid down by the executive both in aid of legislation...and as check to the executive,” he said.

Pangilinan said that the Senate investigations were for the review of both the Public Assembly Act (Batasan Pambansa 880) and the Custodial Investigation Act (Republic Act 7438).

EO 464 prohibits officials from the executive, police, and military from attending congressional inquiries without the President's consent.

Arroyo issued Proclamation 1017 on February 24 that placed the country under a state of national emergency following a foiled attempt to topple her administration.

The declaration also allowed police to raid the Daily Tribune, a pro-opposition newspaper, and seize materials that were deemed "subversive."

Media personalities and organizations branded the raid as a suppression of press freedom.

When Arroyo lifted the emergency declaration on March 2, police also pulled out of the publication.

The legality of EO 464 and Proclamation 1017 has been questioned before the Supreme Court by various sectors.

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