Panelo denies Duterte asking for emergency powers amid COVID-19 crisis
MANILA, Philippines — Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Sunday denied reports that President Rodrigo Duterte is asking Congress for emergency powers to address the crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
“The letter to Congress signed by the Executive Secretary says powers necessary to carry out urgent measures to implement the national emergency, not emergency powers,” Panelo said in a text message to reporters.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also earlier denied that Duterte was asking for emergency powers.
“Not true. Read the title [of the bill]. Nothing there says emergency powers,” Sotto said in a text message when asked if Duterte had asked Congress for emergency powers in a letter sent to him by Malacañang.
Congress is scheduled to hold a special session on Monday to pass a bill that will allow Duterte to realign funds from the available budget to cushion the impact of the pandemic on Filipino families whose livelihoods were affected by the crisis.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.