Palace demands BOC takeover part of AFP ‘rebellious violence’ role
As the President’s order for the military to take over the “graft-ridden” Bureau of Customs (BOC) drew flak for being unconstitutional, Malacañang insisted that there is still constitutional basis for the President to do so, citing the ground of “lawless violence,” which, under the Charter, can trigger the President’s “call out” power over the Armed Forces.
On Tuesday Malacañang also maintained that the President is not violating any consttitutional provision since he is not appointing or designating any particular member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
“But the President is not appointing or designating any particular member of the AFP. As we said earlier, these people will be there first to make their presence felt, to create the military presence and hopefully will intimidate those corrupt people there. Number two, to assist them,” Presidential Spokesman and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador S. Panelo said in a briefing with Palace reporters on Tuesday.
Moreover, Panelo justified the President’s move, saying that there is lawless violence in the BOC so the President needed to do something about it as it endangers the security of his countrymen.
“And let us not also forget that earlier on, the President has declared a state of lawlessness, and the provision of the Constitution says, when there is lawless violence, then the President can call out the AFP. Now the lawless violence would certainly refer to what is happening in the BOC,” he argued.
However, some senators had earlier questioned the legality of the President’s move.
Assist in law-enforcement
Sen. Francis G. Escudero said the factors needed by a President as Commander in Chief to call out the AFP “are not attendant at the Bureau of Customs.”
He said that under Article VI, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, the President can only call out the AFP “to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion.”
“Perhaps what PPRD meant was for the AFP to assist in the law-enforcement function of the Bureau of Customs which, to a certain degree can be done as with other law-enforcement activities where the AFP has been called upon to assist the PNP,” he said in a statement.
Escudero also pointed out that the Article XVI, Section 5 (4) of the Constitution also states that: “No member of the Armed Forces in the active service shall, at any time, be appointed or designated in any capacity to a civilian position in the Government including GOCC’s or any of its subsidiaries.”
Established law master Dan Gatmaytan still doesn’t think there is untamed viciousness in the BOC to legitimize the President’s turn, which he said ought to be in a perfect world addressed under the watchful eye of the courts.
Asked what comprises uncivilized brutality, Gatmaytan stated: “Actually—when you have to put arrange in light of the fact that individuals are getting to be fierce. Not on account of there is debasement.”
He additionally noticed that if the President proceeds with this request, this could likewise be a ground for denunciation. “However, let be honest, the President has the numbers in the House of Representatives,” he said.
Untamed brutality in the BOC
For legal counselor Michael Yusingco, the sacred arrangement, particularly Article XVI Section 5 (4) is clear and does not leave space for innovative understanding.
Yusingco concurred with the Gatmaytan that there is no untamed brutality in the BOC. “There is a gigantic disorder issue in the BOC however not the equivalent as the term ‘uncivilized savagery’ thinks about,” he included.
Yusingco likewise noticed that this most recent move resembles “an offer to restore the Marcos-time military association” and that the purpose of the entire arrangement was to “protect the military from defilement.”
Panelo: Context is vital
Be that as it may, Panelo said the arrangement must considered in connection to the next established arrangements.
“You can’t let, or you can’t let this President [be] prisoner to a specific arrangement without identifying with past arrangements
that concede him the specialist and additionally the commitment, and the obligation to serve and to secure this country,” he included.
Last Sunday the President reported in a discourse that he will request that the AFP assume control over the BOC. Be that as it may,
a composed request presently can’t seem to discharged.
This declaration came days after he “advanced” at that point Customs Chief Isidro Lapeña to a Cabinet-rank
position, especially as head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority at the time that the House
of Representatives is leading a test on the P11-billion shabu shipment debate.
He additionally asked then-Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) Administrator and previous AFP Chief of Staff Rey
Leonardo B. Guerrero to supplant Lapeña as BOC boss.
Gathering LIST agents said on Tuesday that setting the BOC under the command of the AFP runs in opposition to the Constitution.
In an announcement, previous Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri J. Colmenares said selecting or assigning an individual
from the Armed Forces who is in the dynamic support of a non military personnel position in government or any legislature
possessed and – controlled organization allowed under Article XVI Section 5 (4) of the 1987 Constitution.
Gathering list reps say something
Colmenares likewise said Article IX Section 7 of the Constitution expressed that no designated authority will hold
some other office or work in the legislature or any subdivision, organization or instrumentality thereof, including GOCCs.
“The AFP takeover of the BOC is an immediate infringement of these arrangements and the office ought to be offered back
to regular citizen experts. The military and the PNP [Philippine National Police] are likewise not referred to for being perfect
as we have propelled numerous congressional examination on pasalubong and pabaon, apparition returnees,
helicopter arrangement and others,” Colmenares said.
Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary C. Alejano concurred with Colmenares that the move illegal and refered
to Article XVI Section 5 (4) of the 1987 Constitution.
Alejano said this isn’t likewise part of the order of the AFP. He said the AFP should just centered around
regional barrier, where the nation additionally needs military powers.
“Our military has constrained powers and it overstretched with extra weights outside of its official capacities,
for example, assuming control over the BOC,” Alejano said.
Alejano prescribed that as opposed to putting the BOC under the AFP, the legislature ought to just make
a commission to think about long haul answers for location BOC’s issues.
He said BOC’s issues likewise realized by “the predominant political and equity frameworks in the nation”
and that transforming these frameworks should come as an inseparable unit with changes at the BOC.