Cabinet approves draft guidelines for localized peace talks

FILE photo of Presidential Spokesperson Herminio Harry L. Roque — PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

THE DRAFT executive order (EO) on the localized peace talks with communist rebels was approved during the Cabinet meeting last Monday, Aug. 6, according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr.
“It was approved in the Cabinet meeting, so it is forthcoming,” Mr. Roque said in a press briefing at the Palace on Tuesday.
He added: “You know, I gave you the salient features earlier. So it’s still the same. It’s still based on the same framework that I discussed with you.”
The framework that was agreed on, according to Mr. Roque, includes the following features:
1. Nationally orchestrated, centrally directed and locally supervised and implemented.
2. The constitutional integrity and sovereignty will not be compromised.
3. Complete and genuine resolution of the local armed conflict, it shall cover the NPAs, organs of political power and Militia ng Bayan.
4. If there is a cease-fire, the constitutional mandate of the state to protect public safety, civilian welfare, critical infrastructure and private properties and the guarantee of rule of law and order will not be compromised at all times.
5. Government goodwill, full amnesty package based on disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration to the mainstream of society.
6. The necessary enabling environment set by the President for the formal local talks to proceed are local venue, no coalition government or power-sharing, no revolutionary taxes, extortion, arson and violent activities and the fighters to remain in their pre-designated encampment areas.
7. The substantive agenda will be based on the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan and Philippine Development Program 2040. — Arjay L. Balinbin

De Lima proposes 5-day emergency leave for workers during natural calamities

A BILL has been filed in the Senate seeking a five-day special emergency leave with pay for all public and private sector workers directly affected by natural calamities.
Filed on Aug. 6 by Senator Leila M. de Lima, Senate Bill No. 1910, or the proposed Calamity Leave law, provides employees who have rendered at least six months of service to be entitled to the calamity leave.
Qualified to the leave benefit are employees who are stranded in calamity-stricken areas, those who have incurred disease or illness, need to take care of family members, or attend to repairs and clean up their damaged properties during a calamity or disaster.
The grant of a five-day calamity leave, however, shall be subject to careful verification, including the declaration of calamity, medical certificate, announcement of work suspension, road closure, availability of public transportation, among others.
“The profound environmental effect of natural disasters and/or calamities to the nation is inevitable, and it for that reasons this proposed measure seeks to at the very least soften the blow of the unforeseen and the inescapable,” Ms. De Lima said in a statement. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

SC junks De Lima plea to join debate on ICC petition

THE SUPREME Court has dismissed detained Senator Leila M. de Lima’s plea to be allowed to personally argue for the minority senator’s petition challenging the executive department’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The SC on Tuesday voted 10-2 to throw out De Lima’s petition, saying it “found no compelling reason to have Senator De Lima personally appear during the conduct of oral arguments.”—Philstar
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