Revilla’s plunder case to resume after 3 years of waiting

UNTV News   •   June 21, 2017   •   3409

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_062117_Senator Bong Revilla

After three years of waiting, the trial of former Senator Bong Revilla’s plunder case will finally begin.

The prosecution will present Thursday witnesses from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Bureau of Treasury (BTr) and Department of Agriculture (DA).

Revilla’s camp has high hopes that he will be able to prove his innocence in court.

“The issue is very simple, whether any kickback was delivered to Senator Revilla. But that is not sufficient for plunder. That money must be delivered in consideration of overt act defined under Section 1D of the Plunder Law on the basis of the allegations of the information that overt criminal act is an endorsement of the project to certain NGO’s and that endorsement are not those enumerated under Section 1D which may constitute an overt criminal act,” said Revilla’s Lawyer, Atty. Estelito Mendoza.

It was in September 2013 when the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed plunder complaints against Janet Lim Napoles, and then Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla Jr.

The complaints are in connection with their alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF scam.

In 2014, the ombudsman announced its decision to file charges against Napoles and the three senators.

The accused appealed the case but it was rejected by the ombudsman. The plunder and graft cases were formally filed against them at the Sandiganbayan on June 6 of the same year.

Sixteen counts of graft were filed against Revilla, whose cases were being heard by the first division of the Anti -Graft Court led by Justice Efren Dela Cruz.

It was on June 19, 2014 when the first division released the arrest warrant for Revilla. The morning after, Revilla voluntarily went to Sandingbayan and in the afternoon, he was detained at PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame.

On June 26, 2016 Revilla was indicted together with his former staff and co-accused Richard Cambe. They both pleaded not guilty to the cases.

On July 2014 the pretrial conference for the cases began, but was cancelled for several times.

The period allotted for the hearing of the motion and appeals of the prosecution and defense was from 2014 until June 2017.

And after three years of waiting, the pre-trial order was signed on June 15, 2017 that would formally start the trial, on June 22.

“We have been detained here for three years now by June 20. So we are really in a difficult situation. Despite this, we are not losing hope that the truth will come out,” said Revilla.

Meanwhile, the date of the trial for the plunder case against Enrile is yet to be set as he still has a pending motion.

The signing of the pre-trial order for the case of Estrada has already been done.

On the other hand, PDAF scam queen Janet Lim Napoles has asked the Sandiganbayan to exclude all her 2014 scam admissions from the prosecution evidence.

In her motion, Napoles said that her 2014 affidavits are inadmissible in Revilla’s plunder trial as she made them for her failed bid to be a state witness.

Napoles also invoked her right against self-incrimination in blocking the use of her 2014 affidavits submitted by the Department of Justice to the Senate

The affidavits were only meant for then-DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News and Rescue

 

DA assures PH pork still safe for consumption

Marje Pelayo   •   August 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) maintains that pork items in local markets are still safe for consumption despite reports of sudden pig deaths in some areas in the country.

“We assure the public that the meat in the market today is safe (because) it’s sourced from areas (that) are not infected,” assured Noel Reyes, spokesperson of Agriculture Secretary William Dar.

The Department has already imposed a major disease protocol in the areas of concern though the DA has not yet named where the specific locations are and what have caused the pigs death.

In accordance with the protocol, all pigs within the 1 kilometer radius have already been culled while those within the 7 kilometer radius have been placed under control where entry and exit of pigs are prohibited.

Meanwhile, pig handlers within the 10 kilometer radius from the infected site are obliged to report immediately if there is pig mortality in their area.

Reyes said the DA suspected that the reported deaths of pigs could have been caused by ‘swill’ or food leftovers that’s why the DA advised all hog raisers to refrain from feeding their pigs with swill.

Reyes noted that hog raisers may have resorted to swill because it is cheaper.

The DA sais it may take up to two weeks to three months before the result of the confirmatory test on the infected pigs’ samples is released to determine what type of pig disease hit them.

The department assured that in the next bulletin, they will include details of assistance that affected hog raisers may avail to cope up with the problem. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

DA confirms swine deaths despite no declaration of hog-related disease

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is being careful when it comes to declaring what virus could have caused the latest infestation of pigs in the country.

According to Agriculture Secretary William Dar, he was informed about the swine deaths last Friday (August 16) but he refused to name the exact location.

He assured, however, that the government is on top of the situation and is working to address the issue.

“Kung ano ang suspected na may disease ay kina-cull-out, inaalis, binu-bury at dini-disinfect ang lugar (The pigs suspected of the disease are culled out, removed (from the herd), and buried; then the place is disinfected),” according to Secretary Dar.

The secretary wants to see the result of the confirmatory test first being done by foreign experts before declaring what type or kind of disease has caused the deaths of the pigs.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), likewise, said they cannot risk committing mistakes by making hasty conclusions like what happened to other countries.

“September 2018 ay nagkamatayan din ang mga baboy sa Japan at ito ay naging national issue, naging international issue (In September 2018, swine deaths were reported in Japan and it became a national issue and had gotten international),” explained BAI Director Ronie Domingo.

“(Ang) ginawa nila, ang kanilang laboratory procedures, diagnosed that it was hog cholera. Pero 75,000 na ang kanilang na-cull na baboy, (What they did, based on their laboratory procedures, was diagnose that it was hog cholera. But they have already culled 75,000 pigs,)” he noted.

The confirmatory test may take up to two weeks to three months.

The possibility of African Swine Fever (ASF) infestation surfaced when the Taiwan government beefed up its customs regulations by banning entry of pork products and checking of carry-on baggage of travelers from the Philippines.

The DA maintains that the Philippines remains ASF free and has banned entry of pork products from 19 ASF-infected countries. – MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

Taiwan starts checking carry-on baggage from PH due to alleged African Swine Fever

UNTV News   •   August 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Taiwan government has started checking carry-on baggage of travelers coming from the Philippines for entry of pork and pork based products.

The new policy was announced on Sunday (August 18) by Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC) as a precaution against African Swine Fever (ASF).

Under the new rule, all carry-on bags from the Philippines will be examined by X-Ray machines at the airport and other ports of entry.

According to a report from Taiwan News, the CEOC was informed by a reliable source that ASF cases have been detected in two provinces.

This, despite no confirmed reports from local authorities have been submitted to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) yet, the center said.

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary William Dar on Monday (August 19) confirmed that there were reported pig deaths in certain areas in the country but refused to identify the location.

The Department, however, is still waiting for the result of the confirmatory tests being made on pig specimens to make sure what type of disease infested the pigs, according to Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Ronie Domingo.

“Noong 1998, ang Malaysia, namatay ang mga baboy nila at nagkasakit ang mga tao din at sabi nila ang sakit na ito kuwan lang ito Japanese encephalitis. Kayat gumawa sila ng control measures nila laban sa Japanese encephalitis,” recalled Domingo.

(In 1998, Malaysia reported pig deaths which also infected humans. They said it was Japanese encephalitis so they imposed control measures against Japanese encephalitis.)

“Nag-fogging sila at kung ano-ano pa pero tuloy-tuloy ang mortalities lalo na doon sa mga nag-aalaga ng baboy and then ito ay naging national issue, naging international issue siya. Halos nag collapse ang kanilang swine industry pero later on na-discover nila it was Nipa virus. Wrong diagnosis,” he added.

(They did fogging and many other measures but the mortality continued especially among pig handlers. It became a national issue even an international issue. (Malaysia’s) swine industry almost collapsed but later on, they discovered, it was Nipa virus. (So) wrong diagnosis.)

Taiwan’s checking of carry-on baggage of incoming travellers from the Philippines takes effect Monday (August 19).

Travelers who will be caught carrying pork product starting August 19 from non ASF-infected countries without declaring them to the authorities will face a fine of between NT$10,000 (US$316) or P16,500 to NT$30,000 (US$950) or P50,000 for bringing pork products from non-ASF-affected countries.

Meanwhile, bringing in to Taiwan pork products without reporting to authorities will incur penalties of NT$200,000 (US$6,300) or about P300,000 for first offense and NT$1 million (US$31,600) or P1.6-M for committing the offense twice. — MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+63) 396-8688 (Tel)

(+63) 2 920.8336 (Fax)

info@untvweb.com (General inquiries)

support@untvweb.com

UNTV News and Rescue Emergency Hotlines:

LANDLINE (+63) 396-8688

ADVERTISE WITH US

(+63) 2 442.6244 Loc. 143, 144, 162, 164

advertising@untvweb.com

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.