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Answer oppositor, rehab czar Lacson told

/ 06:36 AM February 12, 2014

Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson to comment on a petition questioning his appointment, even as it denied the petitioner’s bid for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to prevent the former senator from assuming the post.

Court spokesman Theodore Te said the high tribunal denied the request for a TRO sought by Louis Biraogo.

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Biraogo had filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and injunction with a prayer for a TRO or writ of preliminary injunction against Memorandum Order 62 issued by President Aquino on Dec. 6 which created Lacson’s office.

According to Te, the petitioner challenged the constitutionality of the memo, arguing that it violated Republic Act No. 10121—the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act of 2010—which established the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC “for the purpose of creating the postdisaster rehabilitation programs of the government.”

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Which was why, Biraogo said, there was no need for the new office under Lacson.

Biraogo also said the memo amended RA 10121 and thus usurped the legislative power of Congress.

“(The law) designates the secretary of national defense as the head of the NDRRMC and, thus, MO 62 cannot convey upon the presidential assistant the authority conferred by law on the secretary of defense,” he said.

The high court ordered Lacson to comment on Biraogo’s petition within 10 days of receiving its order.

President Aquino designated Lacson as head of the massive rehabilitation efforts in the areas devastated by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas on Nov. 8 last year.—Christine Avendaño

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TAGS: Panfilo Lacson, Rehabilitation, Supreme Court, Yolanda
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