8 Kandidato sa Pagka -Chief Justice, Pasok sa Shortlist ng JBC; Sec. De Lima, Na-Disqualify

admin   •   August 13, 2012   •   3292

FILE PHOTO: Dep’t. of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines – Walong mga kandidato sa pagka-chief justice ang nakasama sa shortlist na isinumite ng Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) sa palasyo ng Malacañang.

Nanguna sa listahan si Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio na nakakuha ng 7 boto, sumunod naman sina Associate Justice Roberto Abad, Associate Justice Arturo Brion, Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno at dating Congressman Ronaldo Zamora na nakakuha ng tig-aanim na boto.

Pasok din sa listahan sina Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro at Attorney Cesar Villanueva na nakakuha naman ng tig-limang boto.

“We decided to vote 8 names and whoever gets five votes will be included in the list, and it turned out eight names get at least five votes,” pahayag ni JBC Member at Iloilo Representative Niel Tupas Jr.

Tuluyan namang dinisqualify ng JBC bilang kandidato sa pagka-chief justice si Secretary Leila De Lima.

Ang desisyon ng JBC ay bunga pa rin ng nakabinbing disbarment cases laban sa kalihim.

“With respect to the previous motion on suspension of the rules, no consensus on that, that’s why hindi na rin nag-push through ang motion and disqualified si Secretary De Lima.”

Nailigtas naman sa disqualification si Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza na kabilang ngayon sa shortlist.

Paliwanag ni Tupas, walang “prima facie evidence” ang kaso laban kay Jardeleza kaya’t hindi ito maituturing na isang regular case na dahilan upang ma-disqualify.

Dismayado naman si Secreatary De Lima sa pag-disqualify sa kanya ngJBC.

“I honestly don’t know how to react. Ang ano lang is why was i singled out for disqualification? Yun lang muna ang gusto kong itanong sa kanila.”

Samantala, kinondena naman ng Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) ang pag-dismiss ng Korte Suprema sa disbarment case na inihain ni Lauro Vizconde laban kay Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio.

Kanina, nag-protesta sa harap ng Korte Suprema ang ilang miyembro ng grupo sa pangunguna ni VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez upang ipahayag ang kanilang pagkadismaya sa naging desisyon ng korte.

Ayon kay Jimenez, malinaw na may basehan ang reklamo ni Vizconde hinggil sa umano’y pambabraso ni Justice Carpio upang mapawalang-sala ang mga akusado sa Vizconde Massacre.

Nitong nakaraang Biyernes ay dinismiss ng Korte Suprema ang inihaing kaso ni Vizconde at sinabing hindi maaaring kasuhan ng disbarment si Justice Carpio dahil requirement sa hinahawakan nitong pwesto ang pagiging miyembro ng bar at maaari lamang alisin sa pamamagitan ng impeachment. (Ito ang Balita ni Rey Pelayo, Roderic Mendoza/Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

DOJ to file petition vs De Lima camp over public statements on drug trial

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday said it will file a petition for contempt against the lawyers of detained Senator Leila De Lima for issuing public statements over the trial proceedings of her drug-related cases.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra argued this is in violation of the sub judice rule.

“We do not want to tackle with the media the merits of an ongoing case. Oo kasi that’s really an act that may lead you to be cited for contempt. Nakakaapekto yun sa appreciation of the evidence by the judge who alone has that power,” Guevarra said.

Prosecutor General Ben Malcontento said the petition is expected to be filed by next week.

Last week, De Lima’s legal counsel said in a statement that a prosecution witness testified in a hearing on Friday said he did not give money to help fund De Lima’s senatorial campaign. This, the lawyer said, was in contrary to his previous claim that he contributed money to the senator’s campaign in 2016.

Malcontento asserted that both camps are prohibited from discussing the merits of an ongoing case outside of courts.

“We will just do our legal battle in courts kasi sub judice yan e so we will not do a media war or media battle with lawyers of De Lima,” Malcontento said.

Lawyer Boni Tacardon, the spokesperson of De Lima’s camp, said they will not issue a comment on the plan of Malcontento to cite their team in contempt.

“The defense team opt not to make any comment at this time in deference to the advice of the court to refrain from making any public statements in relation to the case of Sen. De Lima,” Tacardon said in a message to reporters.

“We will just wait for the action of the DOJ and will reply appropriately,” he added.

De Lima has been in detention since 2017 over drug-related charges filed against her before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.

The senator is facing allegations of abetting illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice Secretary from 2010 to 2015. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Morales, Carpio, UP law profs file petition vs anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and law professors at the University of the Philippines on Wednesday filed a petition before the high court against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

In their 86-page plea, Carpio, Morales and several lawyers urged the Supreme Court to declare the entire law unconstitutional and to stop its implementation.

Carpio and Morales were joined by UP Law professors Dante Gatmaytan, Jay Batongbacal, Theodore Te, Victoria Loanzon and Anthony Charlemagne Yu, former Magdalo Party-list Representative Francisco Ashley Acedillo and student leader Tierone James Santos.

The petitioners questioned the vague and broad provisions of the law that may lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and malicious prosecution of innocent people.

The group also blasted the powers granted to the Anti-Terrorism Council that, they say, are greater than those given to the president in times of invasion and rebellion, including the power to authorize the arrest and detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days without court intervention.

This is the 11th petition to be filed against the anti-terrorism law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

De Lima camp assessing effect of Jaybee Sebastian’s death on her drug cases

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima said her lawyers are now assessing the effects of the death of high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian on the drug-related charges filed against her.

“My lawyers are still assessing the effect of Sebastian’s death on the cases against me, considering that he is or was the Duterte regime’s supposed ‘star’ witness,” De Lima said in a dispatch from Camp Crame on Monday.

“However, all testimonies coming from the inmates and some other so-called witnesses are all fabrications anyway. One less fabrication might be good in my case, but let us not forget all the other testimony fabrications. Whether the fabricator is dead or alive does not change the fact that their stories are all lies, and that the cases against me are all fake,” she added.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday said that Sebastian was among the nine high-profile inmates of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City who succumbed to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra made the confirmation following a meeting with Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director General Gerald Bantag on Monday afternoon. 

Bantag earlier refused to reveal the name of inmates who died from COVID-19 citing Data Privacy Act.

Guevarra has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an investigation into the deaths of the inmates after Bantag informed him of the protocol in the event of an inmate’s death from coronavirus disease which include the mandatory cremation of the cadaver within 12 hours to prevent the spread of the infection.

Sebastian was the key witness in the alleged Bilibid drug trade and drug trafficking cases against De Lima which are currently pending before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court.

The senator, who is one of the Duterte administration’s vocal critics, has been detained since 2017.

“The Duterte regime can have 100 live witnesses for all I care. But this still does not change the fact that the charges against me are absolutely false and fictitious. Conversely, the regime’s witnesses can all be dead, but this will not prevent Duterte and his operators from inventing other evidence to keep me in jail,” De Lima said.

“My point is, under normal conditions, these cases would have been dismissed a long time ago. But under conditions of a dictatorship where it is the dictator himself who has a very personal stake on the cases, and given the state of our justice system, I will not wonder if dead witnesses can still be made to rise from the grave and made to testify,” she added.

Meanwhile, De Lima raised alarm anew over the “dire conditions” existing in the country’s jails during the public health crisis, and even the pre-pandemic times.

“COVID-19 is not a joke, as the Duterte regime has treated it, especially in our prison system that hosts the perfect conditions for the spread of the virus,” she said.

“Regardless of who the dead are, whether free citizens or PDLs, they shall remain to be counted as the victims of the incompetence, indifference, and impunity of the Duterte Administration in dealing with the pandemic that has resulted in more suffering for our people, not to mention the devastation of the economy after months of lockdown but with absolutely nothing to show for it,” she added.

She then called on the Duterte administration to “step down, and hand over the reins of government” to Vice President Leni Robredo.

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