ABS-CBN petition vs NTC closure order to be raffled on Monday – SC

Robie de Guzman   •   May 8, 2020   •   562

MANILA, Philippines – The ABS-CBN’s petition against the shutdown order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will be raffled on Monday, May 11, the Supreme Court (SC) said.

In a statement on Friday, the SC Public Information Office confirmed receipt of ABS-CBN Corporation’s petition which seeks to nullify and set aside the cease and desist order issued by the NTC.

The SC said the media network also pleaded for the release of a temporary restraining order (TRO) and/or preliminary injunction “to prevent grave and irreparable injury” to the network and its employees.

“The Supreme Court received yesterday, May 7, 2020 at 3:16 pm a Petition for Certiorari with prayer for TRO and/or Preliminary Injunction filed by ABS-CBN Corporation against the National Telecommunications Commission,” the SC said.

“The petition will be raffled to a member-in-Charge on Monday, May 11, who will then make a recommendation for the consideration of the Court En Banc,” it added.

The NTC issued a cease and desist order on May 5, directing ABS-CBN to stop operating its various TV and radio broadcasting stations nationwide due to the expiration of its legislative franchise. The network’s franchise expired on May 4.

In its petition, the media network said the NTC acted with grave abuse of discretion and violated its rights to equal protection and due process by issuing the order.

The company claimed that the NTC should have deferred to Congress that have earlier sent a formal letter asking the agency to allow ABS-CBN to continue operating while bills seeking for its franchise renewal remain pending in the House of Representatives.

Malacañang earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte is “completely neutral” on the issue, stressing that the president has already accepted ABS-CBN’s apology over his unaired political advertisements in 2016.

The Palace also said that the president wanted his allies in the Congress to vote on the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal according to what their conscience dictates.

SC suspends transfer of convicted inmates to BuCor due to COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the courts in the country to temporarily suspend the issuance of commitment order for the transfer of convicted inmates from detention facilities to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

In a circular posted on the Supreme Court’s Twitter page, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said that all convicted persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who should have been transferred to the BuCor should remain in the facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) from July 29 to August 31, 2020.

This is in line with the request of BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag to the Office of the Court Administrator to temporarily suspend the issuance of commitment orders to BuCor to prevent the further contamination of COVID-19 and to minimize the movement of inmates.

Both the BuCor and the BJMP have recorded cases of COVID-19 in their facilities with reported fatalities.

Detained persons awaiting or facing trials are placed under the custody of the BJMP while those convicted are under the BuCor.

DOJ hopes SC will rule on merit, not personalities behind petitions vs anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday expressed hope that the Supreme Court will resolve the questions on the legality of Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 based on the merits, and not the number and personalities behind lawsuits.

“All these petitions, no matter how many they are, will boil down to a common set of constitutional issues. The Supreme Court will resolve these issues on the merits of the arguments advanced by the parties concerned, and not on the basis of their number or personal or professional stature,” Guevarra said.

At least 16 petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court against the controversial measure which came into effect this month.

Among those who questioned the validity of the law were law professors and former officials of the Executive branch and retired Supreme Court Justices.

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.

Petitioners also urged the high court to declare the entire law unconstitutional and to stop its implementation.

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)

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