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Rey G. Panaligan

CA upholds arrest of 8 Navy men in Pestaño death case

The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the arrest warrants issued by the Manila City regional trial court (RTC) against eight Philippine Navy personnel who were charged with the 1995 murder of Ensign Philip Pestaño. In a resolution written by Associate Justice Nina Antonio-Valenzuela, the CA found no reason to reverse its April 29, 2016 decision. “As we stated in the decision of April 29, 2016, the respondent judge based her finding of probable cause and issued the corresponding warrants of arrest after personally examining the records of the case,” the ruling stated. Those who challenged their warrants of arrest before the CA were: retired Navy Capt. Ricardo Ordoñez Cmdr. Reynaldo Lopez Lt. Cmdr. Luidegar Casis Lt. Cmdr. Alfrederick Alba Lt. Cmdr. Joselito Colico Hospital Man 2 Welmenio Aquino Machinery Repairman 1st class Sandy Miranda Petty Officer 2nd Class Mil Leonor Igcasan. Retired …

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Marcos burial still on hold

The burial of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City remains uncertain. The much-anticipated Supreme Court (SC) decision yesterday did not happen as the High Tribunal failed to resolve the legal issues raised in seven petitions against the decision of President Duterte to bury the late strongman at the LNMB. Instead, the SC decided to extend until November 8 the status quo ante order (SQAO) it had earlier issued on August 23 against the LNMB burial of Marcos. The first SQAO expired on September 13 and was extended until October 18. Sources said the justice to whom the consolidated cases were assigned by raffle failed to submit his draft decision days before yesterday’s session. Thus, several justices pleaded for more time to study …

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SC: No decision yet on Marcos burial issue

The Supreme Court (SC) failed to resolve on Tuesday the legal issues raised in seven petitions against the decision of President Duterte to bury the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City. But the SC, during its full court session, decided to extend until November 8 the status quo ante order (SQAO) it issued on August 23 against the LNMB burial of Marcos. The first SQAO expired on September 13 and was extended until October 18. Sources said the justice to whom the consolidated cases were assigned by raffle failed to submit his draft decision days before the session.  Thus, several justices pleaded for more time to study the draft. The same sources said one justice had earlier submitted his opinion on the legal issues involved in several petitions. He …

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SC may decide on Marcos burial today

The Supreme Court (SC) will deliberate and is expected to decide this morning (Tuesday) on the issue of the burial of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City. Several petitions have been filed challenging the decision of President Duterte on Marcos’s burial at the LNMB. But the President has said that he would respect the SC decision on the issue. “We will follow what the Supreme Court says, for after all, it is the Supreme Court which interprets the law and decides which public interest is served among the contending parties,” the President said in Davao City before he departed for his six-day official visit to Brunei and China. SC quo ante order The SC’s status quo ante order (SQAO) that stopped temporarily …

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CA upholds ruling on Globe Tel vs PCC

The Court of Appeals’ (CA) sixth division has upheld its ruling that rejected the plea of Globe Telecom, Inc. to stop the probe by the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) on its purchase, together with the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), of the P70 billion telecommunications assets of San Miguel Corp. (SMC). Despite the rejection, however, Globe can still seek refuge in the ruling issued by the 12th division of the CA which granted the plea of PLDT for an injunction to stop the PCC investigation. This is because the case of Globe against PCC with the CA’s sixth division has been ordered consolidated with the case of PLDT with the 12th division. The PCC opposed the consolidation of the two cases, but the CA’s sixth division denied the opposition. PLDT and Globe had …

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DOH asks SC anew to lift TRO on contraceptive implants

The Department of Health (DOH) has renewed its petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to lift the restraining order on the government’s sale and promotion of contraceptive implants. The health department’s petition, filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida Monday, October 10, pleaded that the injunction, issued in June 2015 and upheld in August 2016, could jeopardize the effective methods of the Family Planning program being implemented through local government units and civil society groups nationwide. “If carried out, the SC decision could result in over 900 additional maternal deaths every year arising from almost one million unintended pregnancies that could have been addressed by the full implementation of the Family Planning Program,” the DOH said. The motion called for the SC to overturn its ruling that “struck down” the certifications and re-certifications issued by the …

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SC stops OMB suspension of Lipa City Mayor Sabili

The Supreme Court (SC) has stopped the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) from enforcing its decision that suspended for nine months Lipa City Mayor Meynardo A. Sabili for “conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.” Also covered by the SC order are the Court of Appeals (CA) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) which implements the suspension of local elective officials. In a resolution that contained a temporary restraining order (TRO), the SC’s second division granted the plea of Sabili who invoked the “condonation doctrine” that extinguishes the administrative liability of an elective public official once re-elected. The TRO is “effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court … enjoining the respondents, the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Department of Interior …

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De Lima also facing case before SET

Beleaguered Sen. Leila de Lima faces an election protest before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on a case filed by former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino. In his complaint, Tolentino, who placed 13th in the last May election with 1.3 million votes behind De Lima, wanted the SET to unseat the lady senator who is facing a House of Representatives investigation on the alleged drug trade in the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) during her time as secretary of justice. Tolentino said that De Lima cheated in the automated elections by manipulating the electronic transmission of results. “It (cheating) was with the electronic transmission. There probably was double transmission,” Tolentino told journalists covering the Supreme Court (SC). The SET is composed of three SC justices and six senators.  It is headed by …

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Ex-MMDA chair seeks to unseat De Lima, claims she cheated

Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino has filed a protest before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to unseat beleaguered Sen. Leila de Lima. In his complaint, Tolentino, who placed 13th in the May 2016 elections with 1.3 million votes behind De Lima, said the lady senator cheated in the automated elections by manipulating the electronic transmission of results. “It (cheating) was with the electronic transmission. There probably was double transmission,” Tolentino told journalists covering the Supreme Court (SC). De Lima, based on SET’s records, had answered Tolentino’s protest and denied the charges. The SET is composed of three Supreme Court justices and six senators. It is headed by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio. The lady senator is being probed in the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the alleged drug trade in the New Bilibid …

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4 NBP inmates in ‘riot’ stay in Crame

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said yesterday the four inmates involved in last week’s alleged riot at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City will stay at Camp Crame in Quezon City until the investigation is terminated. The four inmates were identified as former police chief inspector Clarence Dongail, Edgar Cinco, Tomas Donina, and Ruben Tiu. Donina was tagged by high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian as his attacker who stabbed him in the chest, back, and arm. Aquirre said the four inmates are under investigation in connection with the stabbing incident at the NBP where inmate Tony Co was killed and four others – Sebastian, Peter Co, Vicente Sy, and Dongail – were wounded. Sebastian, Peter Co and Sy were brought to the hospital, while Dongail opted to be treated at the NBP before …

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