Duterte welcomes Senate panel’s move to challenge his memo before SC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday (October 25) welcomed the move of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to challenge his memorandum before the Supreme Court (SC).

Duterte assured they will defend the memorandum prohibiting Executive Department officials from attending the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearings on the procurement of pandemic supplies. The Senate panel wants to challenge the legality of Duterte’s said memo.

“At last, the members of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee have finally seen the light. We welcome this move of bringing the legality of the memorandum to the Supreme Court and we would like to congratulate the members for realizing, albeit late. That it is the court which should eventually decide on the constitutionality of the order and we will defend it,” the President said during his weekly public address aired Monday night.

“This is by far the most decent thing the committee has done and we are most eager to answer whatever questions you have regarding my not allowing officials of the Executive to attend your hearings that are legislative purposes,” he added.

The president again criticized the panel’s way of questioning resource persons, saying executive officials are made to wait for a long time but are not called to speak.

“Iyong mga tao ko sa gobyerno, iyong ipinapatawag ninyo at pahintayin ninyo ng ilang oras at hindi naman ninyo tatawagin at kung nandoon iniinsulto ninyo, para bang walang alam,” he said.

Duterte added that the SC is the only venue where the disagreement with the Senate panel may be settled.

“You have to be courteous if you want to be treated with courtesy,” he said. AAC

SC moves bar exams to January, February 2022

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday (September 28) announced that it will reschedule the bar examinations.

Bar Chairman Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, in a bulletin said that the SC will be resetting the bar examinations to January 16, 23, 30, and February 6, 2022. The previous schedule was set for November 2021.

The SC said that the rescheduling was due to the country’s pandemic situation and advice of various experts.

Activities, including selection of the applicants and downloading the secure exam delivery program, will continue however, application period will not reopen.

“Treat this as an opportunity. Keep your momentum. Remember that you study not only to pass the Bar, but also so that you will best serve others,” Leonen said. AAC

NCR courts ordered physically closed until September 30

Marje Pelayo   •   September 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered all courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) closed due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in the region.

In a circular issued and signed by Court Administrator Midas Marquez, the temporary closure of all NCR courts is also in consideration of the pilot-testing of granular lockdowns after placing all cities in the region, except Manila, under Alert Level 4.

“All courts in NCR, except the Supreme Court, shall remain physically closed to court users until 30 September 2021 notwithstanding the NCR will be under general community quarantine beginning 8 September 2021,” the circular read.

However, the courts in the NCR will continue operating online, the circular said.

This means hearings on pending cases and all other matters may be addressed through videoconferencing so as not to delay the trial of cases and court processes.

Meanwhile, Marquez said the time of filing and service of pleadings and motions during the period of physical closure remains suspended and shall only resume after seven days counted from the first day of reopening of the relevant court.

For inquiries and other matters, all NCR courts may be reached through their respective hotlines and email addresses posted on SC’s official website.

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