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Leonard Postrado

PAO asks Kidapawan MTC to junk case filed against farmers

The Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) asked yesterday the Kidapawan Municipal Trial Court (MTC) to junk the criminal case that the police filed against the farmers who figured in the violent clash with them last April 1. Speaking to reporters, PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta revealed that their local public attorneys representing 52 of the more than 70 detained farmers filed before the Kidapawan municipal trial court a motion to quash the charges for direct assault, frustrated murder and illegal assembly filed against them by local police. Acosta said they questioned the legality of the arrest and filing of the case against the farmers, which included three pregnant women, six senior citizens and several minors. For this reason, she said local PAO lawyers led by Orlando Daño also asked the court to suspend the proceedings …

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PAO chief rues mass exodus of public lawyers

Public Attorneys Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta yesterday rued the mass exodus of public lawyers, who were tasked to help indigents with their legal needs, especially after the government decided to increase their social insurance share contribution to nine percent. As of January 2016, Acosta said at least 300 lawyers have left PAO to seek greener pastures with careers in the judiciary, National Prosecution Service (NPS) or private practice. She expressed apprehension that more PAO lawyers might also leave after the government decided to increase the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) RLIP government share contribution from three to nine percent. The nine percent will be deducted from the salaries of PAO lawyers. “They leave PAO because they probably think it will be a waste of their time and effort,” Acosta said. “They feel that they …

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SC upholds CA’s power to review orders issued by the Ombudsman

The Supreme Court (SC) has denied the appeal of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales seeking the reversal of a decision which upholds the Court of Appeals’ (CA’s) power to review and enjoin suspension orders issued by the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) against elected officials facing criminal cases before the OMB. At a news conference, SC Spokesman Theodore Te said the SC maintained the decision it issued in November 2015 which declared ineffective Section 14 of Republic Act No. 6770 (Ombudsman Act). The section gives the power to review and stop the implementation of administrative orders issued by the Ombudsman only to the SC. “The Court denied the motion for reconsideration filed by ptitioner Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales from its decision dated November 11, 2015 which partially granted the petition,” Te said. In the same ruling, the …

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P100-M PSE scam case closed

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has closed its probe into the P100-million Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) investment scam that was allegedly perpetrated by a former stock broker. The (DOJ) has concluded its preliminary Assistant State Prosecutor Rodan Parrocha, who handles the case, annnounced that the DOJ is wrapping up its preliminary probe on the criminal complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against PSE employee Jose Cecilio “Jay” Peñaflor, his brother Angelo, John Benedict Aguzar, Rafael Sigua and a certain Mike. The five respondents are facing a complaint for violation of Article 315 (Swindling) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, in relation to Presidential Decree 1689 (Syndicated Estafa). The prosecutor said he submitted the case for resolution after complainant Joyce Marie Jao filed a reply-affidavit and opted not to file a …

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SC to deliberate appeals on Poe DQ case on Tuesday

Will Senator Grace Poe finally be able to heave a sigh of relief amid questions on her qualifications to run in the 2016 presidential elections? This will be known on Tuesday (April 5, 2016) as the Supreme Court (SC) is set to deliberate and vote on whether or not to grant the appeals and reconsider their majority ruling that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) committed grave abuse of discretion in disqualifying the senator earlier for material misrepresentations in her citizenship and residency eligibility for the presidency. An SC insider bared that the appeal of the Comelec is one of the important agendas to be tackled by the magistrates of the high tribunal in their first, annual summer sessions in Baguio City. The SC, which considers cases related to the upcoming general elections a …

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2010 Zambo airport bomber surrenders

The suspect in the Zamboanga International Airport bombing in 2010 that killed two people and injured dozens of air travelers has surrendered before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Zamboanga airport bombing suspect Addong Salapuddin, who is facing multiple murder and multiple attempted murder cases before the Zamboanga City Regional Trial Court Branch 17, surrendered to representatives of the NBI last Wednesday evening in Zamboanga City. He was flown to Manila yesterday morning, where he was subjected to booking procedures. In a press conference, Salapuddin said that he ended his more than five-year run from the law as he was constantly being bothered by his conscience. He said that he was only following the orders of a certain Imam Casim. “Nakokonsensya ako kaya ako sumuko, pero hindi ako yung nagbomba ng airport,” Salapuddin, who is …

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NAIA, CDO airport receive terror warning — sources

Law enforcement agencies are warning for possible terror attacks at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro, days after the bombings in the Belgium airport. The two sources, who refused to be named, confirmed to the Manila Bulletin of receiving an information from the Office of the Assistant General Manager - Security and Emergency Services (OAGMSES) of terror plots in NAIA and Laguindingan airport. They, however, did not elaborate on whether the fresh terror warning was related to the intelligence report that the government received on six Yemeni nationals who were plotting to conduct terror attacks in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, as tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran escalates as a result of the January 2 executions of 47 people, including Shia religious leader Nimr al Nimr. "Just received …

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Phase-out of PUJs cannot start without Aquino’s OK

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) cannot implement the phasing out of old public utility jeepneys (PUJ) without the approval of President Aquino. This was stressed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a legal opinion it issued in response to the queries of DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse R. Bonifacio. In a four-page opinion rendered by Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas, the DOJ maintained that the PUJ Modernization Program fell under a type of credit program that required the President's specific approval. Under Executive Order No. 558-A, “all other credit programs” that do not concern poverty alleviation or focus on areas unserved by financial institutions require the President's specific authorization. The DOJ explained that since the DOTC phase out program provided for the Development Bank of the Philippines to extend loans to drivers or …

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Phasing out of old jeepneys needs Aquino’s approval – DOJ

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) cannot implement the phasing out of old public utility jeepneys (PUJ) without the approval of President Aquino. This was stressed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a legal opinion it issued in response to the queries of DOTC Assistant Secretary Sherielysse R. Bonifacio. In a four-page, opinion penned by Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas, the DOJ maintains that the PUJ Modernization Program falls under a type of credit program that requires the President's specific approval. Under Executive Order No. 558-A, "all other credit programs" that do not concern poverty alleviation or focus on areas unserved by financial institutions require the President's specific authorization. The DOJ explained that since the DOTC phaseout program provides for the Development Bank of the Philippines to extend loans to drivers or operators who will be …

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SC orders Manila Times to explain bribery report on Poe DQ case

The Supreme Court (SC) has asked The Manila Times to explain why they should not be cited in contempt of court, in connection with the bribery allegations concerning the disqualification case of Senator Grace Poe. In a one-page Notice of Resolution dated March 15, 2016 and signed by Clerk of Court Atty. Felipa Anama, the High Court ordered The Manila Times senior reporter, Jomar Canlas, to explain within five days why he should not be cited for indirect contempt. According to the SC, the allegations contained in the story, written by Canlas, tends to affect the administration of justice. "It appears that certain statements and innuendos in Mr. Jomas Canlas' news report tend, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice, within the purview of Section 3(d), Rule 71 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure," …

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