Palace: No Duterte hand in Senate bill giving President emergency powers
MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing to do with the filing of a Senate bill which seeks to give the Chief Executive emergency powers for two years to address the country’s traffic crisis, Malacañang said Thursday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo issued the statement after Senator Francis Tolentino, who served as Duterte’s political adviser before winning a six-year Senate term last May, filed Senate Bill No. 213, or the Special Emergency Power Act.
READ: Senate bill seeks emergency powers for President to address traffic crisis
A similar bill filed in the 17th Congress was listed as part of Duterte’s legislative agenda. The measure reached third reading at the House of Representatives but was passed only on first reading at the Senate.
Asked if Duterte asked Tolentino to file the bill, Panelo said: “No, matagal ko nang naririnig sa kanya iyan eh, nung member of the Cabinet pa siya. Sinasabi niya na, kailangan meron talagang ganoon.”
Duterte earlier admitted failure to solve traffic along Edsa and blamed Congress for not granting him the emergency powers needed to fix the problems of the major thoroughfare.
READ: Duterte admits failure to solve Edsa traffic
Under Tolentino’s bill, the President is authorized to utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power and, and employ executive actions and measures, among others, to solve the traffic problem. /muf
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