Makabayan bloc to file TRO in SC vs Chico River Irrigation project

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 29, 2019   •   1519

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc will challenge the legality of the loan agreement between the Philippine government and China for the P4.3 billion Chico River Irrigation project.

The group will file a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) at the Supreme Court (SC) to temporarily stop the implementation of the said project.

“Ang immediate na relief na hihingin ay ang TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) tapos idi-declare na unconstitutional (The immediate relief we will request is the TRO then the declaration of unconstitutionality)” Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao said

They will also question the patrimonial assets of the Philippines which was reportedly going to be collateral in case the country is unable to pay its debts with China.

“Hindi pa dini-disclose ng gobyerno, ano pa ang mga assets niya na parang nilagay niya sa kaniyang collateral(The government still hasn’t disclosed the assets they are going to use as collateral),” Arilao said.

The Makabayan bloc also said the Philippines is at a disadvantage when it comes to the workforce of the project because a huge percentage of them will be Chinese.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said it is open to any move to question its actions.

“The Palace always welcomes any move to question its action, if they feel it’s not within the law,” presidential spokesperson and chief presidential legal counsel, Sec. Salvador Panelo said.—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

SC overturns decision to disqualify Camarines Norte gubernatorial bet

Marje Pelayo   •   September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Voting 8-6, the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (September 10) granted the petition of Camarines Norte gubernatorial candidate Edgardo Tallado who questioned his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the last May 19 elections.

Tallado was allowed to run after the SC issued a Status Quo Ante Order (SQAO) following Comelec’s decision to disqualify him from the race.

The SC decision, penned by Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, stated that the Court En Banc overturned the Comelec’s decision to disqualify Tallado to run in the gubernatorial race.

The SC Public Information Office will issue a copy of the decision through its website once they receive the official copy from the Office of the Clerk of Court En Banc.

Concurring with Bersamin were Justices Diosdado Peralta, Alexander Gesmundo, Andres Reyes Jr., Jose Reyes Jr., Amy Lazaro-Javier, Henry Jean Paul Inting and Rodil Zalameda.

Dissenting were Justice Francis Jardeleza, Antonio Carpio, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, and Rosmari Carandang.

Comelec had disqualified Tallado to run due to what the poll body says as questionable years of service as governor of Camarines Norte, pointing out that should they grant Tallado’s certificate of candidacy, it would have already been his 4th term as governor.

The law provides that gubernatorial post is only limited to three consecutive terms.

However, Tallado took his case to the Supreme Court questioning the decision of the Comelec, insisting that he is still eligible to run for the May 2019 polls as he was suspended from office in 2015 and was reinstated only in 2018.

Tallado won as the governor of Camarines Norte after garnering 149,002 votes against his rival Cathy Barcelona-Reyes who had 104,635 votes.

Comelec has yet to comment on the matter as it yet to receive a copy of the SC decision. — Marje Pelayo

JBC resumes public interview of applicants for SC posts

Maris Federez   •   September 9, 2019

The applicants for the soon-to-be-vacated posts in the Supreme Court (SC) went through the close scrutiny of the members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), as day-2 of the public interviews resumed today.

Among the applicants who waited in line were Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, Atty. Jeremy Gatdula and Atty. Cesar Villanueva.

The soon-to-be-vacated positions in the Supreme Court are that of Associate Justice Francis Jardaleza who is set to retire on September 26, and Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio who will be retiring on October 26.

Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin, on the other hand, will also be retiring on October 18.

The JBC will start conducting public interviews on applicants who will be vying for the position of chief magistrate of the Supreme Court on October 2. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Makabayan Bloc slams transfer of 10 high-profile inmates

Maris Federez   •   September 6, 2019

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate

The Makabayan Bloc has blasted the move that transferred 10 high-profile inmates from the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) to a Marine Barracks.

The 10 high profile inmates included several witnesses against Senator Leila de Lima.

Bayan Muna Carlo Zarate said the transfer of the 10 is highly questionable.

“Bakit nandun sila sa marine barracks na ito? Ito ay nakapagtataka if not highly irregular, ano. Dahil these are convicted felons so dapat nandun sila sa Bilibid Prisons or sa custody mismo ng BuCor [Why are they at this marine barracks? This is something dubious, if not highly irregular, right? Because these are convicted felons so they should be inside the Bilibid Prisons or under the custody of BuCor],” said Zarate.

For the Makabayan Bloc, this can be considered a special treatment especially on bigtime drug lord Peter Co.

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra, however, denied such thing happening.

 “As long as a court approval is secured I guess that should be okay because the intention is not to provide any special treatment but to secure precisely these people who are to my understanding or recollection will be or are witnesses in an existing case so it’s not for the purpose of giving them special treatment. But because their personal security is under threat,” the DOJ official said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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