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.
If Congressman Nograles persists in pursuing this argument, then he should also question whether Senator Jinggoy Estrada signs official Senate resolutions, committee reports and proposed laws under a false name. Senator Jinggoy’s real name is José Pimentel Ejército, Jr. But he uses “Jinggoy” – his nickname and screen name – on official documents. Has he legally changed his name or merely registered this with the Comelec for campaign purposes?
See the sample of Sen. Jinggoy’s signature below:
Or take the case of Jinggoy’s father, former president Erap Estrada, who uses the name “Joseph Ejercito Estrada” and signs official documents using that monicker. His real name is Jose Marcelo Ejercito.
The violation is worse in his case because his false name is engraved on the paper money issued during his presidency. A stranger looking at his signature on our legal tender would probably conclude that Erap’s father’s surname was Estrada:
What I’m trying to say is this. Find something more serious and more relevant to charge Iqbal with.
But Iqbal has never denied that the MILF, to which he belongs, is a rebel movement.
However, if Nograles is going to pursue this line of questioning he should also question the father and son tandem of Jinggoy and Erap.
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Congressman Nograles’ line of questioning made me curious to see how he thinks. What kind of laws he has proposed.
It turns out that the first law he proposed as lawmaker is the Right of Reply to any person accused of committing or even intending to commit any crime , “or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to charges or criticisms published or printed” including on websites such as this one.
Under his bill, publication of the reply does not protect the publisher, editor-in-chief or owner from any lawsuit that may be filed for publishing “erroneous news”. The bill does not however provide for an independent body to determine whether the news was really erroneous. Nor does it fine any person who was the source of that “erroneous news”.
Even without waiting for his Reight of Reply to be passed I am inviting Cong. Karlo to reply to this piece.
You can read his proposed Right of Reply bill below:
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Another Karlo Nograles bill will in effect justify extra-judicial killings in “areas of conflict or combat zones.” Hmmm.
At first I thought it was a pro-human rights bill until I read Section 5. It states in a contorted way that any public officer, person in authority or agent of a person in authority can no longer be accused of administrative negligence “if there is an increase in the number of extrajudicial killing or salvaging in his area of responsibility” once his area has been “declared by the government as areas of conflict or combat zones.”
You can read his entire proposed bill below: