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

admin   •   June 8, 2018   •   3181

 

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

DOJ asks PNP to suspend re-arrest of GCTA-freed heinous crimes convicts

Robie de Guzman   •   September 20, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the Philippine National Police (PNP) to temporarily suspend the operation to re-arrest heinous crimes convicts wrongly released under the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law after the deadline for them to surrender lapsed.

In a radio interview on Friday, Justice Undersecretary Markk Perete said they made the request on Thursday night in order to thoroughly check the list of heinous crime convicts submitted by the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Perete noted the list contains some errors which could pose possible violence and other problems such as mistaken identity during the manhunt operation.

Also included in the list were some names of prisoners released under parole and pardon.

At least 1,950 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) surrendered to authorities as of midnight of Thursday when President Rodrigo Duterte’s 15-day deadline ended.

The number of surrenderers is higher than the 1,914 heinous crime convicts on the original list given by BuCor.

Perete said they already ordered BuCor to immediately release the persons who turned themselves in even if they are not included in the list.

The 1,914 heinous criminals were freed earlier because their sentences were shortened for good behavior under the Republic Act 10592.

Duterte earlier ordered these convicts to surrender within 15 days for the recomputation of their good conduct credits or be treated as fugitives from justice after the deadline.

He also offered P1 million bounty for the capture of each freed heinous crime convicts.

DOJ orders warrantless arrest of GCTA-freed PDLs who won’t surrender by Sept 19

Maris Federez   •   September 17, 2019

Two days more to go before the expiration of the deadline set by President Rodrigo Duterte for the persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who were freed by virtue of the good conduct time allowance (GCTA).

In the latest Department of Justice (DOJ) data, only around 700 of them have surrendered and are now under the custody of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

This prompted the DOJ to mull over coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) in capturing these freed PDLs even without warrants of arrest, should they fail to surrender after the September 19 deadline.

“Each minute, each hour, each day that you refuse to turn yourself in is a continuing commission of an offense and for that reason, law enforcement agencies may arrest you even without a warrant,” DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said.

The DOJ said they are ready to face anyone who will elevate the matter to the court.

“He may go to court and ask for any relief you wish to obtain from the court, but for now that is how we intend to (do it) and the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) through the PNP (Philippine National Police) is ready to do so after the 19th,” said Guevarra.

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila College of Law Dean Attorney George Erwin Garcia, however, said this is a blatant violation of the Constitution.

Garcia said that based on the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, every individual has the right to due process and can only be detained if there is court-issued warrant of arrest or if he is caught in the act of committing a crime.

Garcia said any convict who wishes to challenge this government’s move may file a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court.

The Writ of Habeas Corpus orders an individual or government official who has custody of a person to bring that person to the Court to determine if his detention was legally done.

The latest DOJ data shows that of the 1,914 PDLs freed under the CGTA, 692 have already surrendered and are now under the custody of BuCor. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

SC affirms Sandiganbayan’s decision to convict Sabio for graft

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

The Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed the Sandiganbayan’s decision to convict former Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) Chair Camilo L. Sabio for violations of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

This was after Sabio filed a petition for review on certiorari to question his conviction by the Sandiganbayan. Sabio has claimed immunity from suit for being the president’s alter ego.

The SC has ruled that immunity from suit does not cover presidential alter egos as they junked the petition of Sabio.

“As correctly ruled by the Sandiganbayan, Sabio’s acts unmistakably reflect ‘a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong; a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will,” the SC said.

In a 10-page decision promulgated on July 15, 2019, the SC said Sabio cannot claim immunity from suit by being the president’s alter ego.

“It was the PCGG, through Sabio and his Commissioners, not the President, who entered into the subject lease agreements without the requisite public bidding,” the decision states.

“The rule is that unlawful acts of public officials are not acts of the State and the officer who acts illegally is not acting as such but stands in the same footing as any other trespasser,” the decision added.

The graft case filed against Sabio stemmed from the lease of 11 motor vehicles entered into by the PCGG without the required competitive bidding.—AAC

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