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133 accused in the Zamboanga siege, feared to be released

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_091917_ZAMBOANGA SIEGE

Zamboanga City Government is waiting for the decision of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the plea bargaining proposal of the individuals accused in the 2013 Zamboanga siege.

Under the said plea, the suspects are asking authorities to downgrade to sedition the rebellion charges filed against them.

Atty. Jesus Carbon, the City Legal Officer of Zamboanga, said Judge Maria Rowena San Pedro of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court has initially approved the request of the accused.

The city has already filed a motion for reconsideration which asks the DOJ to not approve the plea of the suspects.

“We inquired why everything is so silent now there is no movement what’s happening we found out that there is yet no still comment on our motion for reconsideration because as you can remember Judge San Pedro approved the plea bargaining agreement from rebellion to sedition,” said Carbon.

Atty. Carbon noted the suspects might be released from prison once the DOJ accepts their plea.

Sedition has a punishment of 2 to 4 years of imprisonment only, while rebellion has a penalty of reclusion perpetua or lifetime imprisonment.

The city government plans to appeal the DOJ’s decision to a higher court if the need arises.

Meanwhile, the primary suspect in the bloody siege, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding Chair Nur Misuari, remains at large.

“Even Misuari we don’t know what is going on with respect to the Misuari case,” Carbon said.

Despite this, the Zamboanga City officials stand firm that they will not withdraw the case or allow the approval of the plea bargaining proposal by the camp of the MNLF. – Rajel Adora | UNTV News and Rescue

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DOJ to summon ex-PNoy, Garin, et. al over Dengvaxia anomaly

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, April 20th, 2018

(Left-Right) Former President Benigno Aquino III, former Health Secretary Janette Garin and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) will summon former President Benigno Aquino III in the scheduled hearing on Dengvaxia anomaly on May 15.

The justice department also sent summons to former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former Health Secretary Janette Garin and other health officials and several employees of Zuellig and Sanofi Pasteur.

They are facing charges of corruption, violation of the procurement law, technical malversation and criminal negligence.

During Friday’s hearing, boxes of documents were submitted by the complainants led by the Volunteers against Crime and Corruption (VACC), to provide evidence on the alleged bidding anomaly of the controversial dengue vaccine.

“In so far, as the planning stage, this project is really a cart-before-the-horse maneuver. We can prove that,” said Atty. Laurence Villanueva, the legal counsel of the complainants.  — Roderic Mendoza| UNTV News & Rescue

 

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Self-confessed ISIS-member nabbed in Makati

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018

The self-confessed Tunisian ISIS member, Fehmi Lassoued

MANILA, Philippines —National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) cops insists that they have arrested self-confessed Tunisian ISIS member, Fehmi Lassoued at a hotel in Ermita, Manila.

At the hearing of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong repeatedly asked them about it.

However, in the CCTV footage submitted by the Ayala Corporation, the suspect can be seen walking at Ayala Triangle in Makati City at around 10 in the evening last February 16.

Afterwards, cops in civilian clothes approached them and brought them to a van.

The video confirmed the statement of Lassoued that they were not arrested at their apartment after being served the search warrant.

The CCTV footage of the Casablanca Hotel also shows that his live-in partner Anabel was the only one being brought out from the room by the police.

The DOJ initially dismissed the illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges against the suspect as the evidence was found to have been planted.

The lawyer of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) also plans to file charges against the cops who arrested Lassoued.

The PNP chief PDG. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa has expressed dismay over the dismissal of the justice panel of the complaint against  Lassoued due to a technicality.

Dela Rosa also defended the cops handling the case.

“Yung airtight case talaga na walang butas. Walang singaw. Kailangan talaga, minsan kasi nagmamadali at limitado ang oras dahil may reglementary period. Minsan ang imbestigador natin ay nagmamadali at macha-charge naman sila ng arbitrary detention paglalampas sa reglamantary period so nagmamadali sila kaya nagko-commit ng blunder,” said PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa.

(The airtight case has no loophole. Sometimes they are in a hurry and there is limited time due to reglementary period. Sometimes our investigators are in a hurry to charge them with arbitrary detention after the reglementary period. Because of haste, they commit blunder.)

Lassoued is now in the custody of the Bureau of Immigration and is facing deportation proceedings for using a fake passport. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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Aguirre discards panel’s dismissal of drug charges vs Espinosa,  et al.

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

FILE PHOTO: Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has scrapped the dismissal of drug charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and other alleged drug lords such as Peter Lim, Peter Co, and others.

For now, the justice department is giving the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the accused, enough time to submit new sets of evidence.

Among those that can be submitted to the DOJ are the transcript of Espinosa’s travel records and his admission before the Senate hearing that he is a drug dealer.

“The motion for reconsideration pending before I assumed the power of automatic review is now deemed moot and academic,” Aguirre said.

The official added that he will have a lawyer that will focus on the gathering of evidence and the investigation of the PNP on the cases.

PNP said they are preparing the evidence that will pin down Espinosa on his involvement in illegal drug operations.

PNP Drug Enforcement Group (DEG) Director PCSupt. Albert Ferro said that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has already obtained a copy of the extrajudicial confession or the evidence of Espinosa’s admission in November 2016 that he is involved in the illegal drug operations.

“The Senate transcript is actually same with the extrajudicial confession of Kerwin because when it was presented, Kerwin had no prepared speech so his judicial affidavit was presented,” said PNP-DEG Legal and Investigation Division chief PSupt. Enrico Rigor.

Meanwhile, Aguirre admitted that some prosecutors were unhappy about his order to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on those who are involved in the case dismissal.

Despite this, the official said that he will not stop the investigations.

“Naiintindihan ko iyong (I understand) where they are coming from. But they should also understand that because of the backlash caused by some people with ill-motives coupled with politics, nagkaroon po ng hindi magandang perception ang public dito sa isyung ito (the public had a negative perception on this issue),” Aguirre said. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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