DOJ may adjudicate on UP-DND Pact termination – Guevarra

Robie de Guzman   •   January 20, 2021   •   258

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) may end up adjudicating on the ongoing dispute between the University of the Philippines (UP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) relating to the abrogation of an agreement that has, for decades, barred the entry of government troops into UP campuses without prior coordination, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

In a message to reporters, Guevarra said this is pursuant to Presidential Decree (PD) 242, which prescribes the procedure for administrative settlement or adjudication of disputes, claims, and controversies between or among government offices, agencies, and instrumentalities, including government-owned and -controlled corporations.

“The ongoing dispute between the UP and the DND, both national government agencies/instrumentalities, regarding the cancellation or abrogation of their 1989 agreement may end up with the DOJ for administrative adjudication pursuant to PD 242 (which remains good law),” Guevarra said.

Because of this, the Justice secretary said he will decline to state his stance on the matter.

“It will therefore be premature for the DOJ to make any comment on the dispute at this time,” he said.

The DND unilaterally ended the 31-year-old agreement with UP, citing information that the New People’s Army is recruiting students inside UP campuses.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana earlier explained that the deal is ‘obsolete’ and that UP has become “a breeding ground” and “a safe haven for enemies of the state.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

DOJ orders NBI to probe PNP-PDEA ‘misencounter’

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct its own probe into the shooting incident that transpired between members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) on Wednesday night.

The shooting incident between operatives of the PNP and PDEA occurred near a mall along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.

“This is separate and distinct from the probe to be conducted by an ad hoc joint PNP-PDEA board of inquiry earlier announced by PNP chief Debold Sinas,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

“I gave them (NBI) 10 days to submit a report,” he added.

Sinas earlier said that a joint PNP-PDEA Board of Inquiry has been created to determine what transpired and who should be held liable for the incident.

The PNP chief appointed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) as the lead investigating body, while the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) has been designated “to speak on any updates from the PNP in order to keep the public updated with accurate and relevant information.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Up to NBI to include Mon Tulfo in probe on use of unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine, DOJ says

Robie de Guzman   •   February 25, 2021

Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he will leave it to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to decide on whether to include special envoy to China Ramon Tulfo in its ongoing probe on the alleged illegal inoculations of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

Tulfo earlier admitted that he was administered last year with Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, which is still unregistered in the Philippines.

“I do not dictate upon the NBI as to how it should conduct its investigation. I will leave it to the NBI to determine if it’s necessary or relevant to invite Ramon Tulfo to shed light on the matter,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters on Wednesday, February 24.

Guevarra earlier directed the NBI to conduct a probe into the alleged importation, entry, sale, distribution, and administration of COVID-19 vaccines that are not authorized by or registered with the Food and Drug Administration.

He also ordered the agency “to file appropriate charges against all persons involved and found responsible for any unlawful act” in connection with the matter.

According to the DOJ chief, the NBI has yet to submit a report about its investigation.

“I have no info on whether the NBI has in fact completed its probe; that’s why I’m asking for a progress report,” he said.

Guevarra earlier said that a private person who voluntarily agrees to be inoculated with an unregistered vaccine is answerable only to himself.

But a higher sense of ethical responsibility is demanded of a public officer who is expected not only to follow but also to uphold the law, he added. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

CHED facilitates UP-DND talks on terminated 1989 agreement

Marje Pelayo   •   February 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) confirmed on Thursday (February 4) that the long-awaited dialogue between the Department of National Defense (DND) and the University of the Philippines (UP) regarding the abrogation of the 1989 accord finally pushed through.

The dialogue between UP President Danilo Concepcion and DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, was facilitated by Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairman Prospero de Vera III in Quezon City.

“I thank Secretary Lorenzana and President Concepcion for their statesmanship and openness to talk to each other and to raise their concerns and observations on the DND-UP accord,” said De Vera.

“As I have said in my previous statement, both DND and UP have publicly stated their continuing commitment to protect academic freedom, promote the welfare of students, and enforce national laws – all embodied in no less than the Constitution itself,” he added.

De Vera said he initiated the talk so that “both sides can have an open and frank exchange of views over a wide range of issues related to the accord.” 

De Vera emphasized that the Senate has adopted a Senate Resolution No. 616 urging the DND and UP to revisit the agreement on military presence in the state university’s campuses and called for a dialogue between both parties. 

Thus, he asks full support for the effort.

“I ask everyone to support the efforts of UP and DND so we can continue to build trust and a common direction for the future,” De Vera said.

“The joint statement issued today is a good start in ensuring that the dialogue will continue,” De Vera added.

As stated in the UP-DND joint statement, both parties agreed that the “dialogue afforded the key leaders the opportunity the way forward and possible areas of cooperation on how both institutions can promote their mutual aspirations to ensure a safe and secure environment conducive to learning.”

Also, the two institution agreed to hold “subsequent meetings to continue the dialogue.”

No photo description available.

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