Palace to study veto overturn, SC plea ‘strategy’ to ‘save’ SIM card bill – Sotto
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang will study the proposal of Senate President Vicente Sotto III to “save” the vetoed SIM card registration bill – by giving its “imprimatur” to overturn the veto in Congress and strike out the social media provision through a Supreme Court (SC) petition.
This was according to Sotto, who said he called up Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to make the proposal.
“He was silent for about 30 seconds, and then he said, ‘Pagaaralan namin [We will study that], SP (Senate President)’,” Sotto told reporters in an interview in Dumaguete on Tuesday.
“I talked to him last night. Sabi ko: ‘May strategy diyan na pwede.’ [I said, we can work out a strategy]. Because the prepaid SIM card registration bill is very vital,” he added.
This, as he stressed that the bill, if enacted into law, could address crimes aided by SIM cards.
“Bombings, sa anti-terror, tapos yung scams, blackmail, mga naninira, hindi mo ma-identify kung saan galing, so importanteng i-register yan,” Sotto said.
(Bombings, for anti-terror, scams, blackmail, and defamation, you can’t identify where it’s coming from, so it’s important to have registration.)
“Sabi ko: ‘Ayaw ninyo ‘yung internet, with your permission, ipaalam mo kay Presidente, I will overturn the veto. That means, I can get a two-thirds vote of the Senate to overturn it. Ang problema ngayon, we need the imprimatur of the President for the House to overturn also,” he added.
(I told him: ‘You don’t want the provision concerning the internet, with your permission, please let the President know, I will overturn the veto. That means, I can get a two-thirds vote of the Senate to overturn it. The problem now is, we need the imprimatur of the President for the House to overturn also.)
He also cited the need to talk to House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) party stalwarts in the lower chamber. Sotto serves as chairman of the NPC.
Once the veto is overturned, Sotto said a petition should be filed before the Supreme Court to strike out the social media provision under the bill.
“I myself will petition, I will have somebody petition the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the provision you do not like. So ‘pag dineclare ng Supreme Court na unconstitutional yun, pasado yung bill, magiging batas ang prepaid SIM registration, yung ayaw niyo maaalis,” he added.
(I myself will petition, I will have somebody petition the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional the provision you do not like. So if the Supreme Court declares that provision as unconstitutional, the prepaid SIM registration bill will be passed, the unwanted provision will be struck out.)
The proposed SIM card registration law is seen to curb fraud and other crimes aided by SIM cards.
It also includes a provision against online trolls by requiring social media account providers to mandate real names and phone numbers upon creating an account.
Duterte, however, vetoed the measure, noting that the “inclusion of social media providers in the registration requirement was not part of the original version of the bill and needs a more thorough study.”
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