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Rey G. Panaligan

SC directs FDA to conduct hearing on contraceptive drugs, implants

The Supreme Court (SC) has struck down “as violative of the constitutional right to due process” the certifications and re-certifications issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for 77 contraceptive drugs and implants. In a press briefing, Spokesman Theodore O. Te said the SC directed the FDA to conduct public hearing on the contraceptive drugs and implants, including Implanon and Implanon NXT, to determine whether they are abortifacients or non-abortifacients. “The Court found that the FDA-certified, procured and administered contraceptive drugs and devices, without the observance of the basic tennets of due process, without notice and without public hearing, despite the constant opposition of petitioners,” Te said quoting from the SC resolution. The SC said that “though the law creating the FDA vests it with power as the primary agency to determine …

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SolGen speaks at SC for Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

Solicitor General Jose C. Calida told the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday that burying former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani “is not to honor him as a hero, even if by military standards he is, but to accord him the simple mortuary befitting a President.” A the resumption yesterday of oral arguments on several petitions challenging Marcos’ Libingan burial, Calida – representing the government in the cases – said the Libingan in Taguig City is not only for heroes;    it is primarily for soldiers and statesmen. The solicitor general pointed out that Marcos was not only former President as he was a member of Congress, Senate president, and a recognized military and war veteran. He was neither dishonorably discharged nor convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.  Dishonorable …

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SC set to tackle Torre de Manila issue today

The Supreme Court (SC) is set to tackle today during its full court session the plea of the project developer of the 46-storey Torre de Manila condominium project to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) that stopped its construction. On June 16, 2015, the SC “resolved to issue a TRO effective immediately and until further orders from the Court enjoining respondent DMCI Project Developers, Inc. (DMCI-PDI) from continuing with the construction and development of the Torre de Manila condominium project.” It acted on the petition filed by the Order of the Knights of Rizal (OKR) which claimed that Torre de Manila would ruin the sightline of the Rizal Monument in Luneta Park. After the issuance of the TRO, the SC conducted oral arguments on the case. Since then, the case has been pending …

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CA clears Maliksi in ‘ghost’ rice deliveries case in 2007

The Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the 2007 ruling of the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) which dismissed the criminal and administrative cases filed against former Cavite Governor Erineo “Ayong” Maliksi in connection with the purchase of 7,500 sacks of rice for P7.5 million in 2004. In a decision written by Associate Justice Marie Christine Azcarraga-Jacob, the CA ruled that the findings of the Ombudsman “are conclusive on this Court, there being no showing that they were arbitrarily or capriciously made.” “Substantial evidence has concretely shown in no uncertain terms that respondent Maliksi had no wrongful intention or furtive design in procuring the subject sacks of rice,” the CA said. Thus, it said, the Ombudsman “correctly ordered the dismissal of the administrative charges for misconduct and abuse of authority against respondent Maliksi.” With …

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Ongpin counsel assails introduction of new evidence against him

The legal counsel of businessman Roberto V. Ongpin assailed Thursday the introduction of new evidence against him before the Court of Appeals (CA) on charges of 174 counts of insider trading in connection with the trading of his Philex Mining Corporation shares on Dec. 2, 2009. On July 8, 2016 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed a P174-million fine on Ongpin on the insider trading charges. The imposition of the fine was elevated by Ongpin before the CA which issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO). The CA ordered hearings on Ongpin’s petition. Interviewed after yesterday’s closed-door hearing at the CA, Ongpin’s lawyer Estelito P. Mendoza said the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) which represents the SEC cannot introduce new evidence on the issue since it has been elevated before the …

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SC justices divided on Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani

Even Supreme Court (SC) justices have conflicting views on the decision of President Duterte to bury the remains of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City. Justice Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro said there is no system of evaluation to determine who are qualified to be buried at the LNMB. In her interpellation of the petitioners in the six cases against the Marcos burial at LNMB, De Castro pointed out that most of the people interred at the LNMB were those with military connections. She said that “even spouses of the secretaries of national defense are buried there.” Then she asked: “Are they heroes?” Justice Jose Portugal Perez said “there is no established body or agency which can determine who is a hero or …

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Leni backs disposal of poll materials amid protest

Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo asked the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) yesterday to allow the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to dispose of the materials used in the last May 9 elections despite the protest filed against her by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. In a comment required by the PET, composed of all the 15 justices of the Supreme Court (SC), Robredo said: “The Comelec has given lawyers and poll watchers of each political party ample notice before closure and stripping of the machines where they would also be allowed to send representatives to observe." Thus, she said, there is nothing wrong with the bid of the Comelec for a PET order allowing it “to immediately conduct stripping activities for all the vote counting machines and consolidation and canvass system …

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SC justices have conflicting views on Marcos burial issue

Even Supreme Court (SC) justices have conflicting views on the decision of President Duterte to bury the remains of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City. Justice Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro said there is no system of evaluation to determine who are qualified to be buried at the LNMB. In her interpellation of the petitioners in the six cases against the Marcos burial at LNMB, De Castro pointed out that most of the people interred at the LNMB were those with military connections. She said that “even spouses of the secretaries of national defense are buried there.” Then she asked: “Are they heroes?” Justice Jose Portugal Perez said “there is no established body or agency which can determine who is a hero or …

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SC hears oral arguments today on Marcos burial at Libingan

The Supreme Court (SC) hears starting this morning oral arguments on the burial of the late former President Ferdinand E. Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB) in Taguig City. Six petitions have been filed against the burial ordered by President Duterte. The SC has issued a status quo ante order that stopped temporarily its implementation until Sept. 12. The SC has invited as resource persons Chairperson Maria Serena Diokno of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, former Local Government Secretary Rafael M. Alunan, and representatives from the Presidential Commission on Good Government, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Human Rights Claims Board, and the Commission on Human Rights. Among the procedural concerns to be tackled by the parties are whether the issues presented in the petitions constitute a judicial controversy, …

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SC affirms Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause vs Napoles, 3 others over PDAF misuse

The Supreme Court (SC) affirmed yesterday the filing of criminal charges for graft, malversation of public funds, and corruption of public officers against Janet Lim Napoles in connection with the outlawed Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Also affirmed were the charges filed against Napoles’driver John Raymund de Asis, former Technology Research Center (TRC) Antonio Ortiz and former National Agribusiness Corporation president Alan Javellana. In a press briefing, SC Spokesman Theodore O. Te said “the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge petitioner Janet Lim Napoles with three counts of graft, malversation of public funds and corruption of public officers and the charges were made in connection with the anomalous disbursements of the priority development assistance fund (PDAFP) of former Congressman Constantino Jaraula for 2004-2007 amounting to P50,500,000.” Te said the SC also affirmed the …

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