Duterte did not influence dismissal of high profile cases — Sandiganbayan

admin   •   December 22, 2016   •   6387

Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang

 

Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang has clarified that no one, especially the current administration, influenced the anti-graft court in the cases it ruled upon this year.

This is particularly in reference to the dismissed cases of high profile officials like former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former agriculture secretary Jocjoc Bolante.

The magistrate said, it just so happened that their resolutions were promulgated in the time of the Duterte administration.

Cabotaje-Tang said, “The court will never be swayed by change in government or change in the political leadership because we adhere strictly to the requirement that whenever we render judgement or promulgate resolution it should be based on what is before us, meaning the evidence before the court.”

She also said that compared to last year, disposal of cases this year is much faster with the help of the two divisions added in the graft court.

The Sandiganbayan added that they treat all cases equally and denied that they only prioritize high ranking officials

Cabotaje-Tang said to expect more case disposals next year because they are looking for the speedy resolution on the coco levy fund and other Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) cases.

Currently, there are still many pending cases involving high profile officials in the graft court, like the case of former vice president, Jejomar Binay.

Also pending are the graft cases of suspended senator JV Ejercito; dismissed Makati mayor Junjun Binay and all those involved in the PDAF scam. — Mon Jocson |UNTV News and Rescue

Philippines yet to receive formal request from ICC for proof of probe into drug war deaths – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has yet to receive a formal request from the International Criminal Court (ICC) to provide concrete information that it is conducting investigations into allegations involving the government’s campaign against illegal drugs, Malacañang said Wednesday.

Acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles issued the statement following reports that ICC Prosecutor Khan will ask the Philippine government to provide substantiating information regarding its probe into allegations of crime committed under its war against drugs.

“We would like to clarify that we have yet to receive a formal request with regard to this matter. That being said, we reiterate our position that the ICC has no jurisdiction to probe our campaign against illegal drugs,” Nograles said.

“Clearly, the ICC prosecutor’s request for information is an acknowledgment that alleged victims can seek redress in Philippine legal institutions because these are independent, impartial, and competent,” he added.

Moreover, Nograles said that the ICC prosecutor’s statement “validates our earlier position that the ICC is the court of last resort, one that can be utilized when a State Party is unwilling to investigate and prosecute those who violate its laws.”

“This is simply not the case in the Philippines. Our criminal justice system continues to be capable and functional, and a case in point is the signing of the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation of an agreement to conduct cooperative investigations,” he said.

Nograles stressed that this serves as “evidence that a culture of impunity does not exist in our country as local institutions have demonstrated their commitment to accountability.”

Khan, in a statement posted on Tuesday, said the Duterte administration must submit concrete proof that its is investigating allegations involving its war on drugs after the ICC deferred its probe upon the request of the Philippine government.

The ICC deferred the probe after the government said that investigations on reported deaths during anti-drug operations are underway.

“Such information must consist of tangible evidence, of probative value and a sufficient degree of specificity, demonstrating that concrete and progressive investigative steps have been or are currently being undertaken,” the statement read.

Philippine Ambassador to the Netherlands Eduardo Malaya wrote Khan that the country’s Department of Justice (DOJ) has already referred to the National Bureau of Investigation the 52 cases it reviewed, where administrative liability was found on the part of concerned law enforcers.

Members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers and the Free Legal Assistance Group have called on the ICC to resume its probe, saying the DOJ is only looking at several cases out of tens of thousands of killings allegedly linked to the drug war.

Malacañang leaves naming of cocaine-using candidate to President Duterte

Maris Federez   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang will leave it to President Rodrigo Duterte to name the presidential candidate in the 2022 national and local elections whom he disclosed is into cocaine.

Duterte made the disclosure during his speech on Thursday in the province of Oriental Mindoro.

“May kandidato tayo na nagko-cocaine ‘yan. ‘Yung anak ng mayaman. Kaya nga nagtaka ako. Anong nagawa ng tao na yan? I am just asking what contribution has he made para sa Pilipinas? ‘Yan lang ang gusto kong tanungin,” Duterte said.

Acting Presidential spokesperson Secretary Karlo Nograles believes that Duterte has a strong basis for his revelation, pointing out that the President has access to varied sources of information to back his claims.

Nograles said it is up to the president to name the said presidential aspirant at a proper time.

“Si Pangulo siyempre has access to many resources including intel reports on naming the said individual,” Nograles said,

“We will leave it to the sound judgement of the president. So nasa discretion na po ng pangulo kung papangalanan ba niya at kung kailan at kung magdesisyon ba siya na pangalanan ang indibidual na yan,” he added.

Nograles stressed that as the war on drugs is the foremost campaign of the Duterte administration, it doesn’t discriminate against whoever is involved in illegal drugs.

He said there are proper agencies that will investigate and file cases on the said individual.

“Ang ating mga law enforcement agencies especially drug enforcement agencies siyempre alam naman po nila ang kanilang mandato. So, whatever social status at kung sinoman may nakuhang mga intel reports alam na po ng ating mga law enforcement agencies kung ano ang dapat gawin,” Nograles said.

He added that it is up to the presidential candidates to clear their names and prove that they do not use illegal drugs.

“There’s always been the clamor and it’s really up to the candidates to show that they take the test and that they clear the drug test. So ang nangyayari every election voluntary na lamang yan,” Nograles said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

Sara Duterte takes oath as member of Lakas-CMD after quitting Hugpong

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte has joined national party, Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).

A photo and video shared with the media showed Duterte taking her oath of membership before Lakas-CMD chairperson Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and party president, House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

She took her oath at the Revilla Farm in Silang, Cavite around 6 p.m.

This developed after Duterte tendered her resignation as chairperson of regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago on Thursday morning.

The move is seen as a step closer to a potential run for higher office in the 2022 elections.

Sara Duterte’s latest actions have fuelled speculations she will be gunning for a national post in the 2022 elections. It remains unclear what position she will be running for as she has yet to give details about her political plans.

Lakas-CMD fielded its member, Anna Capela Velasco, for its presidential candidate during the filing of certificate of candidacy last October. Another party member named Lyle Fernando Uy is also listed as its vice presidential bet.

Lakas-CMD secretary general Prospero Pichay earlier admitted that they were simply fielding a placeholder for its candidates as they are eyeing Sara Duterte as their standard bearer.

Lakas-CMD had been wooing the presidential daughter but Duterte earlier said she had no intention to seek a higher post. She eventually filed her certificate of candidacy for a third and final term as mayor of Davao City.

Other political parties, such as PDP-Laban, have also urged Duterte to run for president.

Sara Duterte has consistently topped opinion polls on preferred candidates for president.

Lakas-CMD is the political party of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Sara Duterte is known to have close ties with Arroyo, and was believed to be instrumental in the latter’s ascent as House Speaker in 2018.

Political parties wanting to change candidates for the 2022 elections have until November 15 to file their substitution

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