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    CJ Sereno remains calm amid complaint of impeachment

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

    MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno remains calm amid the impeachment complaint she is now facing before the House of Representatives.

    In her speech at the gathering of the Philippine Trial Judge League incorporated in Palo Leyte on Wednesday, Sereno reiterated that she has a clear conscience.

    The chief justice also noted that she has never lied, or deceived others.

    Sereno said that she trusts the public and that institutions of the government would disclose the lies being hurled against her.

    She said she is just doing her job as the Supreme Court’s top magistrate.

    This is her first public appearance after the House justice committee affirmed that complaint against her has sufficient basis.

    Sereno also urged the judges to perform properly their sworn duties and to not let politics affect their work.

    The chief justice emphasized as well that she did not attend the event to seek support from the judges. — UNTV News & Rescue

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    Drug charge against De Lima fake, pure invention – Justice Carpio

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Monday, October 16th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — In his dissenting opinion, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio enumerated the essential elements of an illegal drug trading case, which  Sen. Leila de Lima is facing.

    To establish a case, the buyer and seller must be identified, the kind of illegal drugs and the transaction must be confirmed.

    These were absent in the case of De Lima which also said that she received P10-million drug money and a P100,000 weekly “tara” or grease money from each of the high profile inmates in the New Bilibid Prison.

    For Justice Carpio, the charge against De Lima is fake and pure invention and it will be a gross injustice if the court will allow her continued detention.

    He said that the Sandiganbayan, not the RTC should try the case since the allegations happened when De Lima was still the DOJ secretary.

    Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno agrees that De Lima’s arrest must be nullified and let the Ombudsman handle the investigation.

    Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa said the Muntinlupa RTC should have dismissed the case.

    For Justice Bernabe, the RTC has no jurisdiction and Judge  Guerrero has no choice but to dismiss the case.

    Justice Leonen noted that De Lima is a vocal critic of the Duterte administration and the charge is only meant to silence the senator.

    Justice Caguioa said Judge Guerrero gravely abused her discretion and it is only right for De Lima to seek remedy with the Supreme Court.

    For Justice Francis Jardeleza, the RTC judge violated De Lima’s rights when she ordered the arrest without first resolving the question her jurisdiction in the case.

    De Lima can still seek a reconsideration of the high court’s decision.

    But two justices need to change their position to reverse the ruling in her favor. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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    Senator Leila de Lima to file motion for reconsideration

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — In a statement, Senator Leila de Lima said she was dismayed and saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court on the two petitions she filed.

    The senator said that she will continue the fight, further maintaining her innocence in the accusations against her.

    De Lima’s camp is set to file a motion for reconsideration regarding the Supreme Court’s decision.

    Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano, meanwhile, believes the SC’s decision on De Lima’s case is a form of revenge.

    “What is happening is, the law is being forced to agree to the policies of the administration. That’s right. It will further encourage authorities that even without evidence… because imagine a case which is drug trading. How could you be involved in drug trading when they have not recovered any illegal drugs in your possession,” said Alejano.

    In a vote of 9-6 yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition of De Lima to nullify the arrest against her and to transfer her illegal drug trading charges before the Office of the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan.

    The high tribunal explained that her arrest has a basis and that the anti-graft court has no jurisdiction over cases involving illegal drugs.

    Attorney Marwil Nacor Llasos, a law reform specialist from the University of the Philippines College of Law, is worried over the decision of the country’s high tribunal, noting it seems to show a pattern that one can easily predict.

    Llasos cited as examples the SC’s decision to allow the burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the implementation of martial in the entire Mindanao, and lastly, the arrest and detention of the government’s staunch critic, Senator Leila De Lima.

    “The Supreme Court has been so polarized already and I doubt it if it still already based on the hard facts of the law and the facts of the case or there are political realities involved,” said Llasos.

    “In terms of the case of De Lima, the government achieved its purpose which is to silence her, to put her behind bars so none will criticize the actions of the administration.

    However, for House Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez, the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of De Lima is appropriate.

    “I’ve seen the menace of drug problem and for 6 years, she should have been at the front against it. But she was the one who was supporting it, so why would you let it escape?” said Suarez.

    Malacañang, on the other hand, refused to comment on the issue. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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    Supreme Court dismisses De Lima’s petition to void her arrest

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    Senator Leila de Lima

    MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima will remain in detention for drug charges in relation to her alleged link to illegal drug trading inside the New Bilibid Prison.

    Voting 9-6, the Supreme Court dismissed her petition to nullify her arrest and stop the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court from proceeding with her case.

    “The court voted 9-6 to dismiss the petitions in Leila de Lima versus Judge Guerrero. . . there are 12 opinions in all,” Supreme Court Spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te said.

    The decision was penned by Justice Presbitero Velasco Junior and concurred in by Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo and President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointees to the high court, namely, Justices Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo.

    Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno dissented together with Senior Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

    The court said Judge Juanita Guerrero did not gravely abuse her discretion in ordering De Lima’s arrest because there is enough basis to the allegation that she conspired to sell illegal drugs.

    The SC also pointed out that the Regional Trial Court has the sole jurisdiction to try drug-related cases and the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction is limited to violations of the anti-graft laws.

    In a Twitter post, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay who represented De Lima in the case, said justice for De Lima is not easy.

    But he said DOJ lawyers are more worried here since they have to establish a case without evidence.

    The SC Spokesman said De Lima can still appeal the ruling.

    “Under the rules, everyone who loses has a recourse to file a motion,” Atty. Te said.

    Solicitor General Jose Calida expressed his gratitude to the justices of the Supreme Court.

    He said the decision is proof that the government’s “war on drugs” is not exclusively targeting the poor.

    Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre said they are vindicated in their position that the RTC has jurisdiction over the cases of De Lima.

    Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the arraignment and trial of the senator can already proceed. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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