MANILA – Court of Appeals Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao, a well-known Muslim jurist, is the latest appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte to the Supreme Court (SC).Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Dimaampao’s appointment in a press statement issued Tuesday… Read More
Dimaampao named SC justice, second Muslim in 34 years
COTABATO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed Court of Appeals Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao to the Supreme Court, making him the second Muslim member of the High Tribunal after more than three decades.
Reports about Dimaampao’s appointment, though coming from sources not authorized to make any announcement, went viral in the social media like the Mindanao Tapatan Lane where over 10,000 nitizens aired praises in less than a day of posting.READ MORE
MANILA – The House of Representatives justice committee on Thursday approved a committee report formally junking the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen due to insufficiency in form.A total of 21 lawmakers voted to approve the committee report and the… Read More
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has named Court of Appeals (CA) Justice Jhosep Lopez as Supreme Court Associate Justice, completing the 15-seat roster of the high court.Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed Lopez’s appointment in a Palace press briefing.“Kinukumpirma ko po… Read More
A female judge was shot dead by her clerk of court inside her office at the Manila City Hall on Wednesday.In a spot report, Maj. Rosalino Ibay of Manila Police District (MPD) identified the victim as Judge Maria Theresa Abadilla, 44.The suspect, lawyer Amador Rebato, committed suicide… Read More
Senator Richard Gordon on Wednesday called for the immediate passage of a bill creating the Philippine Marshal Service that will act as an independent arm to ensure the security of the judiciary.Gordon made the call as he strongly condemned the killing of Manila Regional Trial Court… Read More
MANILA – Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday slammed the decision of an Olongapo court to approve the early release of United States (US) Marine Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton, who was convicted of killing transgender woman Jennifer Laude in 2014.In a statement, Roque was dismayed… Read More
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo played sadist on Sunday by rubbing salt to injured pride of the political opposition and its supporters whose much-touted million-people Oust Duterte People Power Protest Rally in the capital on Saturday, February 22, miserably went pffft!, with only a few hundred people turning up for the mass action.
Skewering the event as a futile attempt by critics, led by the opposition Liberal Party, to oust President Rodrigo, Panelo said calls to oust the President from office could never succeed.
Less than 100 protesters attended the rally. (Ousting the President) is just a pipe dream, he said.
The Saturday event, three days ahead of the 34th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted then dictator President Ferdinand Marcos, was planned by organizers to generate public support that would culminate in massive nation-wide protest rallies on February 25.
In an interview on Sunday with dzIQ, Panelo reiterated that removing Duterte from office is a mere “wishful thinking.”
He also taunted the number of protesters who gathered at the People Power Monument in Quezon City on Saturday afternoon and to demand Duterte’s resignation.
“Wala pang 100 yata ang dumating. ‘Yun ang sinasabi ko. Pipe dream lang yun (Less than 100 protesters, perhaps, attended the rally. That’s what I’m saying. It’s just a pipe dream). It’s a wishful thinking. Iyan ang statement we have to make. Wala yun (That’s the statement we have to make. It’s nothing),” Panelo said.
Members of the Oust Duterte Movement, led by Kilusan Kontra China, Bunyog, and Confederation against Federalism flocked to the People Power Monument on Saturday to express their anger at Duterte.
The Quezon City Police District estimated that the crowd at the monument was only around 100. Public support and enthusiasm for the protest rally could have been doused with cold by Vice President Leni Robredo, who distance herself from the rally.
The protesters flashed their placards with a call saying, “Duterte, resign now!”
Panelo said Duterte’s critics always wanted to unseat the President but never succeeded.
“They can always try. Wala. Hanggang doon na lang sila (But it does not flourish. That’s what they can only do),” he said.
Calls for Duterte’s resignation came just three days before the anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, along with reports that some military officials are hatching up a coup d-etat to remove Duterte from Malacanang..
Last week, communist founder Jose Maria Sison claimed that there was also an attempt from some officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stage a coup against Duterte following the Philippines’ termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.
Sison alleged that the coup plotters are AFP officials who served as “assets” of the US Defense Intelligence Agency and Central Intelligence Agency and are “loyal to their pocketbooks rather than to the Filipino people.”
AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. already dismissed rumors that some military officers have expressed opposition to the abrogation of VFA. (with PNA report)
Malacañang on Sunday said it already expects that the call for President Rodrigo Duterte’s ouster will not thrive.
Present during Thursday’s hearing were Trillanes’ counsel Reynaldo Robles while the prosecution had acting Prosecutor General Richard Anthony Fadullon and Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera.
The order came after Robles asked the court to give his client enough time to file a reply on the DOJ’s motion.
State prosecutors: Proclamation 572 valid
Fadullon and Navera insisted before the Makati RTC that Proclamation 572 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte is valid until annulled.
Proclamation 572 voided the amnesty given by President Benigno Aquino III to Trillanes due to the senator’s failure to comply with the basic requirements of submitting an application form and admitting his guilt.
“It has been annulled by the President. Now, the newest proclamation is valid until annulled so from Proclamation 572, we go forward,” Navera said in an interview, noting that the Makati RTC Branch 148 – which handles the coup d’état case for the Oakwood mutiny must take off from where it left in 2010, which was the promulgation of the case.
The government prosecutor maintained there is no valid amnesty granted to Trillanes because he did not comply with the requirements.
“There is evidence. There have been statements before made by himself that he did not admit, he will not admit and will never admit the fact that he committed the offense,” Navera told reporters.
He further explained that the government is focusing on the arguments on the validity of Proclamation 75 as it has been put into question, and in fact was annulled by the President due to the issuance of a new proclamation.
“We will proceed from this new proclamation, which is valid until annulled. We can’t proceed from a void proclamation,” Navera noted.
No setback despite no arrest warrant yet
Meanwhile, Navera said they have no problem with the court’s decision to defer its ruling on their motion against the senator.
“For our HDO and arrest warrant we are waiting for the court to thresh that out. For us it is not a setback but we are moving forward as planned,” Navera said.
He added that Trillanes’ pleadings means that the latter recognizes the court’s jurisdiction over the cases against him.
“You can’t ask for a relief if there is no jurisdiction over you. He himself recognized that jurisdiction by asking time to file for the pleadings. You ask for this and that so for us it is a small step step towards to have this case promulgated. We are going there. We are going there,” Navera added.
In a separate statement, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said there is no problem with the court’s order as long as Trillanes remains in the country.
“For as long as we are assured that the risk of flight is minimal, the DOJ does not mind if the trial court wants more time to resolve the pending motions,” Guevarra said.
In 2011, the trial court dismissed the case against Trillanes and the other Magdalo soldiers by virtue of the amnesty given by the previous administration.
But the prosecution said with the proclamation issued by Duterte, the court’s order of dismissal issued seven years ago is considered void.
The same alias warrant and HDO was filed by prosecutors at the Makati RTC Branch 150, which is handling the rebellion case against the lawmaker and several others for the siege of the Manila Peninsula Hotel on November 2007.
Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda, who is handling the rebellion case against the senator over the Manila Peninsula siege, had set separate hearings on the DOJ’s motion on Friday at 9 a.m.
Based on the proclamation signed by Duterte last Aug. 31, Trillanes has no pending application for amnesty granted to all active and former personnel of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and supporters who joined the July 2003 Oakwood Mutiny, the February 2006 Marines stand-off and the November 2007 Manila Peninsula incident.
This, in effect, voided the amnesty extended to him by former president Benigno S. Aquino III through Proclamation 75 issued in November 2010. (PNA)
“Would be lucky if he survived until the middle of 2019”
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Exiled Philippine communist leader Jose Maria ‘Joma” Sison has predicted President Rodrigo Duterte’s downfall between today and mid-2019.
Saying that Duterte is “politically finished,” Sison said that the masses rising against the President’s mishandling of the economy and withdrawal of support by the police and military will be the deadly brew that would seal the coffin of the Duterte administration.
In the ABS-CBN News Channel on Wednesday, September 12, Sison said Duterte could go “anytime between now and middle of next year,” because of skyrocketing prices of goods.
The day of reckoning will come when police and military withdraw their support to Duterte.
“The moment of ouster will occur when Duterte’s own military and police forces withdraw support for Duterte upon sight and inspiration of the rising people in their millions throughout the archipelago,” said 79-year old Sison, who fired his blast at Duterte from the Netherlands where he has been in exile for nearly three decades..
Sison appears so sure of his prediction that he says Duterte is now “worried to death and desperate” about his impending ouster.
Sison told ABS-CBN News Channel that “the tipping point can come time anytime between now and let’s say middle of next year, probably. That’s a good allowance of exerting efforts in order to oust Duterte.”
Sison said that Duterte’s popularity is sinking as the people suffer hardship with prices of basic commodites shooting up.
“There is no ambiguity in the complaints of the people, the hatred of the people for the rise of prices. Most people suffer from the soaring prices and this is the manifestation of the mishandling of the economy and the aggravation of the economic crisis,” said Sison.
Sison said Duterte is “finished politically,” and would be lucky if he survived until the middle of 2019.
“I would say he’s lucky if he survives politically 2018 and he will be luckier if he would survive politically at the middle of next year,” Sison said.
Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro is the new Supreme Court (SC) chief justice, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra confirmed Saturday.
“Justice de Castro is the new CJ. I have been informed that the President’s choice has been publicly announced by SAP Bong Go and that the formal appointment will be released by Executive Secretary (Salvador) Medialdea on Tuesday,” Guevarra said in a message sent to reporters.
However, de Castro, who replaces ousted Maria Lourdes Sereno, would be serving as top magistrate for about a month as she will retire this year when she reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 on October 8.
“Her appointment as Chief Justice is (a) fitting finale to Justice de Castro’s illustrious careers in both department of justice and the judiciary,” Guevarra added.
De Castro bested her two co-magistrates, SC Justice Diosdado Peralta, the third most senior in the High Court, and Justice Lucas Bersamin, for the top magistrate post.
During the Judicial and Bar Council’s (JBC) public interview last Aug. 16, de Castro said despite her imminent retirement from the judiciary in less than two months, she will be able to introduce reforms in the SC once named Chief Justice.
De Castro said she has been working on key judicial reform projects since 2009.
“I’ve been working on judicial reform projects since 2009. In two years’ time, I was the seventh senior justice of the Court. There are continuing ones. Computerization of many of the functions of the judiciary,” said de Castro, who is the most senior justice among the applicants for the top magistrate post.
One of the important projects she wants to put in place is the Judiciary Case Management Information System, which will serve as a tracking system to record and monitor the progress of cases from its filing at the lower court up to the final resolution in SC.
“We already had in place terms of reference for this hiring of the consultant for the project,” she said.
De Castro also mentioned another key project, the Enterprise Resource Planning System, which aims to tackle administrative matters, such as accounting, attendance and leave of personnel.
“There are already terms of reference prepared for the bidding for consultancy services (for this project) but it was stopped,” she said.
She also wants to strengthen the Management Committee on Judicial Reforms where complaints against justices can be brought to court.
De Castro, however, lamented that the committee was not organized after the stint of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Corona was replaced by Sereno, whose appointment was voided through quo warranto proceedings in May.
“I have assumed chairmanship of the Management Committee on Judicial Reforms during CJ Puno and CJ Corona’s tenure. One of the important things I’d like to do before I retire is to reorganize the ethics and ethical standards committee. There must be a grievance machinery in SC so we can discipline our own,” de Castro explained.
De Castro is the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) and she started her career as law clerk at the SC, and then moved to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as a state counsel. She was eventually appointed as Sandiganbayan Associate Justice and even became the graft court’s Presiding Justice.
At Sandiganbayan, de Castro authored the decision convicting former president Joseph Estrada of plunder. In 2015, she also penned the decision dismissing the disqualification case against Estrada, thereby upholding the eligibility of the former Chief Executive to run for mayor in Manila. Estrada is currently mayor of the City of Manila, the country’s capital.
In 2008, de Castro authored the SC decision that affirmed the executive privilege invoked by former socioeconomic planning secretary Romulo Neri, who was tagged in the controversy surrounding the NBN-ZTE deal during the Arroyo administration.
It was also de Castro, being the justice in-charge on the case of the senior citizens’ party-list, who recommended that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) be stopped from implementing its order disqualifying the Coalition of Senior Citizens in the Philippines. The decision became controversial after she accused then Chief Justice Sereno of altering the “restraining order.”
She graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Law in 1972 with a certificate of merit award for academic excellence.
De Castro was an appointee of former president and now House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (PNA)
Malacañang on Wednesday said ousted Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno can do whatever she wants to do, including her plan to lead a “people’s movement” which she said will hold the government accountable for its actions.
“We are free. So they can enjoy whatever they want to do and she has to do something now, she is no longer Chief Justice,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with state-run Radyo Pilipinas.
Roque, however, expressed doubts whether Sereno’s so-called people’s movement could muster enough support from the Filipino people.
“Eh baka naman mabilang lang sa daliri ang kaniyang mga tagasunod (She may only have a few followers),” Roque said.
He advised Sereno to respect the Supreme Court’s final decision upholding its ruling to grant the quo warranto petition that ousted her as the country’s chief magistrate.
“The Supreme Court has decided; that’s final decision. Whether we accept it or not, we have to respect it. That’s the system of our nation,” Roque said.
Roque wished Sereno good luck as a private citizen, appealing to the people to respect the decision of the highest court of the land.
“Goodbye Meilou and good luck to the next journey of your life,” he said.
It was Solicitor General Jose Calida who questioned the appointment of Sereno by filing the quo warranto petition over her failure to file statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) for at least eight years when she was UP professor.
The SC voted 8-6 in favor of Calida’s petition on May 11 and came out with the same vote last Tuesday to deny Sereno’s motion for reconsideration.
On Tuesday, Sereno delivered a speech in a forum held at the University of the Philippines where she accused President Rodrigo Duterte of weakening the rule of law.
Contrary to Sereno’s claim, Duterte had insisted that he has nothing to do with the ouster move against the country’s first lady chief justice. (PNA)
“I stand before you now stripped of my authority and position by an unjust decision.
I do not need to be the Chief Justice to defend the laws and the Constitution. My story is not unique. It is a mirror, a warning and a call to action to each of us together as a nation,” These were the fighting words of Sereno on Tuesday’ June 19, as she accused President Rodrigo Duterte of weakening the rule of law, hours after the Supreme Court upheld its May 11 decision to grant a government petition to remove her from office.
“The responsibility for the weakening of the rule of law is his,” Sereno said in a speech to a gathering of her supporters at the University of the Philippines Diliman in Quezon City.
The gathering was held to protest the Supreme Court’s final ruling.