Dear Congressman Nograles, if you condemn MILF’s Iqbal for using an alias, condemn Senator Jinggoy and Mayor Estrada, too

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By Raïssa Robles - Critics of the Bangsamoro Basic Law are thinking up all excuses to stop its passage. The latest one is the funniest. Congressman Karlo Nograles demanded to know yesterday whether Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal has been using an alias in his passport. Nograles even warned that the use of aliases is in violation of two laws, one of which bars anyone from using pseudonyms in official documents.

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Dear Bishops, please ban all elected officials from standing as wedding and baptismal sponsors of non-relatives

Just my opinion by Raïssa Robles - On its own, the Catholic Church can greatly help reduce corruption and political dynasties by banning all elected officials from standing as "ninong" or "ninang" in weddings and baptisms of those not related to them up to the second degree. The ban can be lifted the moment the politician leaves office.

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I’ve been invited to two events – the Asia Society forum on “FOI” and the PEN Conference on “writing and the crusade against corruption”

Hi guys, I will be a panelist at tomorrow's wide-ranging discussion on the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) law at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) in a forum organized by the Asia Society. I said yes to the invite because I will be the lone panelist speaking for professional journalists. I will be talking partly from my own experience digging up information in the bowels of the government bureaucracy.

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Just before dying, Vicente Paterno called dictator Ferdinand Marcos a thief

By Raïssa Robles - Thirty one years after leaving the Marcos government, former senator Vicente Paterno , finally broke his silence about what he really thought of Marcos in a memoir which he personally launched a week before dying peacefully in his sleep. Earlier, just before his November 11 book launching, I was sent a copy of the draft manuscript and I had noted the glaring absence of his personal assessment of Marcos' heinous crimes.

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Congress cannot repeal a People’s Initiative law, Bayan Muna congressman insists

Things got even more interesting. Bayan Muna Congressman Neri Colmentares is standing his ground that Section 10 of the draft People's Initiative law is constitutional. Earlier, I wrote a piece asking - Is the draft law being pushed through a People’s Initiative unconstitutional? Former Congressman Teddy Casino posted the following on his blog: In the interest of clarifying concerns regarding the constitutionality of the proposed PI bill abolishing the pork barrel system, I’m posting Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares’ memo on the controversial Section 10 of the said bill.

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Is the draft law being pushed through a People’s Initiative unconstitutional?

Analysis by Raïssa Robles -- Is the Scrap Pork Network behind the People's Initiative promising something that might get shot down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional in the end? Something even Congress can easily overturn? Why didn't any official in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines see the potential constitutional defects and suggest amendments to the draft law entitled "An Act abolishing the presidential and congressional pork barrel system, strengthening the system of checks and balances over public funds, prohibiting certain acts, and providing penalties therefore?"

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Pass the Freedom of Information Act – the Right, the Left and Center all urge President Aquino

Analysis by Raïssa Robles - In the wake of President Benigno Aquino’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), various groups have made their voices heard about what they want from the president in his last two years in office. They’re all united in one thing: They want the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) passed. Big business wants it, the moderate Left wants it. So does the extreme Left.

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Read for yourself the actual motion for reconsideration on DAP

By Raïssa Robles - I asked the Office of the Solicitor General for a copy of the Motion for Reconsideration (MR) on the Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP. Other reporters were earlier given the same documents. I have decided to upload these documents so that you can directly read them and make your own conclusions. The MR consists of the actual 52-page petition and five annexes.

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Fr. Joaquin Bernas probably forgot the Admin Code came AFTER the 1987 Constitution

By Raissa Robles - Father Joaquin Bernas, a constitutionalist and Jesuit priest whom I deeply respect, has posted a short note on his Facebook page presumably commenting about my legal arguments on DAP.

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