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133 accused in the Zamboanga siege, feared to be released

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


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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Sec. Aguirre: No “fishing expedition” in Rappler case probe

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, January 19th, 2018

Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre has denied the statement of Rappler that the probe to be conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will just be a fishing expedition with the aim to suppress the freedom of the press.

According to Aguirre, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is just doing its job to probe the alleged violation of the online news site of the constitution and other laws.

He said that he orders the investigation after receiving a letter from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that contains its decision on the case against Rappler.

According to the Justice Secretary, Rappler should welcome the NBI probe since it will be given the opportunity to prove its innocence.

Aguirre also called on Rappler to cooperate with the investigation and help the government reveal the truth. — UNTV News & Rescue

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DOJ petition seeking to declare CPP-NPA as terrorist group nears submission

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Thursday, January 4th, 2018

Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army or CPP-NPA

MANILA, Philippines —  The Department of Justice is about to complete within the month the petition it will file before the Supreme Court that seeks to officially declare the Communist Party of the Philippines- New People’s Army or CPP-NPA a terrorist group, in accordance with the provision of the RA 9372 or the Human Security Act.

According to Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong, the DOJ is just waiting for other evidence they will incorporate in the said petition.

“Perhaps within the month we can complete this because of the so many incidents I am still waiting for the reports to come in, certified true copies of the reports,” Ong said.

It can be recalled Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea ordered the DOJ to file a petition before the high tribunal to declare the communists as a terrorist group.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte verbally proclaimed the CPP-NPA as such on December 5, 2017.

Ong reasoned that they have strong evidence against the communists, noting they have recorded 10 cases of attacks committed by the CPP-NPA during the term of the Duterte administration.

The latest attack, Ong said, was the rebels’ ambush of government troops during a rescue operation in Katubig Northern, Samar after the onslaught of typhoon Urduja.

He noted they have also received similar reports of attacks from the local prosecution office.

“We were able to gather incidents of their… we call it ‘atrocities’ they call it ‘tactical offensive’… whatever those incidents of terrorist acts, terrorist activities of theirs were, ” said Ong.

He clarified that they are focusing on the organization and not on individuals to be tagged as terrorists.

“We are not petitioning Joma, but the organization itself. In my prayer in this petition, actually in the title, ‘Petition to declare Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army as terrorist organizations, associations and group of persons,’ I am not focusing on the individuals. Although I made mention their names because they are officers of the CPP-NPA,” he added.

He said many of their reports come from Surigao del Norte. They also have with them the names of the CPP-NPA’s alleged commander of platoons and their Lumad platoon.

The DOJ has yet to determine the court where to file the petition especially now that there are alleged attacks happening in various areas of the country.

DOJ’s partner in creating the petition are various government agencies like the NBI, AFP and PNP.  — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

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PRRD believes some provisions of the Bangsamoro Basic Law are not in accordance with the Constitution

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 21st, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte calls on lawmakers to address the provisions in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), which the Chief Executive said, are against the Constitution.

This had been the statement of the President, Tuesday, during the signing of the 2018 proposed budget and the first package of the Tax Reform Bill at Malacañang.

“I don’t think it will hurdle constitutional… I read it over and over, constitutional barriers. But if we fail to deliver it, kindly help me think of ways how to do it because the other choice is, if we go to war, it opens the floodgates of Mindanao to everybody else,” Duterte said.

However, the President did not mention the provisions of the BBL he claims are not in accordance with the Constitution.

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is the proposed law that aims to create a Bangsamoro political entity.

This is the solution the President sees in resolving what he described as historical injustices committed against the Moros of the southern part of the Philippines.

According to the President, the said issue should be addressed at the soonest possible time since rebel groups might take war as an option in resolving the matter.

The Chief Executive also believes there is a need to pursue the state’s peace negotiation with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF and the Moro National Liberation Front or MNLF.

The proposed BBL had not been passed during the previous administration following the bloody Mamasapano clash, which killed 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force during an encounter with members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and MILF. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

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