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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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DOJ on denying Lim’s plea to drop prelim probe : ‘We’re ready to defend our actions’

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, June 8th, 2018


The Department of Justice (DOJ) is ready to defend before the Supreme Court its decision to deny the appeal of Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim to stop the new preliminary probe into the drug cases filed against him.

This, after Lim, asked the High Tribunal to issue a temporary restraining order against the ongoing DOJ re-investigation and to reinstate the first decision of prosecutors that cleared him of the drug charges.

Lim claims in his 47-page petition for certiorari that the DOJ violated his constitutional right to due process when it opened a fresh probe over public uproar on the dismissal of his case.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra is confident the Supreme Court will affirm their decision. — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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DOJ Chief: No need to investigate Calida security firm deals

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Solicitor General Jose Calida


Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will not probe government deals won by Solicitor General Jose Calida’s security agency unless there’s a question to the validity of the contracts.

Ten government contracts were bagged Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Incorporated which is owned by Calida’s family.

This has prompted calls for the resignation of SolGen Calida citing conflict of interest.

Representative Edcel Lagman said, “After going ballistic for the removal of Chief J ustice Maria Lourdes Sereno by filing and pursuing a guo warranto petition against her before the Supreme Court, Solicitor General Jose Calida is now himself facing ouster moves for conflict of interest in the enterprise of his family which cornered multi-million government contracts for security services.”

Calida’s agency has two contracts with the Department of Justice (DOJ) worth P12 million.

In a statement, Guevarra said,“What’s important is that all procurement laws, rules and regulations were observed when it entered into these contracts.” — Mai Bermudez | UNTV News & Rescue

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NHA admits design failure in Zamboanga housing project

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Housing units built for residents displaced by the 2013 Zamboanga siege 
(UNTV News)

QUEZON CITY, Philippines –The National Housing Authority (NHA) admitted failure in the design of the housing resettlement projects for the victims of the 2013 Zamboanga siege in Sitio Hong Kong, Barangay Rio Jondo.

According to NHA General Manager Marcelino Escalada Jr. the variety of wood that was in the original plan were Yakal and Tambulihan. However, Escalada claimed, the plan did not push through because the Local Inter-Agency Council (LIAC) replaced the wood with Acacia mangium and Gmelina.

Similar type of wood was also used in the collapsed footbridge on April 26 where the members of the House Committee on Housing and Urban Development and some local officials were drenched.

Escalada vowed that similar problems will be avoided in the remaining Phase 4 or 40 percent unfinished part of the project.

“We will look into the affairs and project implementation as far as our employers are concern as well as the other hand of contractor developers,” said Escalada. – UNTV News &

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