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    Roxas, Sueno to possibly face plunder and graft cases over Rosenbauer firetruck deals

    by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, April 21st, 2017

    MANILA – A lawyer for former ABAKADA partylist Congressman Jonathan Dela Cruz bared that they are preparing plunder and graft charges against officials involved in the Rosenbauer fire truck deals.

    Among those who are likely to face charges are former DILG Secretaries Mar Roxas and Ismael Sueno.

    “We are just gathering some more documents which I have already initiated,” Atty. Leo Romero said.

    In June last year, Dela Cruz filed a petition with the supreme court to nullify two supply contracts entered by DILG and BFP with Austrian company Rosenbauer.

    The contracts are worth over 3 billion pesos for 152 fire trucks.

    The Aquino administration obtained a loan from the Austrian government to finance the deals.

    But Dela Cruz claimed the contracts are defective since there was no bidding, and congress did not allocate funds for it.

    It is also one of the reasons for the dismissal of Sueno who visited Austria in January.

    This is despite the advice of DILG Legal Office not to proceed with the contract while a case is pending before the Supreme Court.

    “Precisely, Secretary Sueno was unceremoniously dismissed from his position due to some anomalies which the President validated to be true,” Romero added.

    Dela Cruz cited this incident in asking the high court once more to stop the implementation of the deal.

    “I hope the Supreme Court will resolve the motion with immediate dispatch considering the magnitude of the issues involved,” said Romero. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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    CJ Sereno remains calm amid complaint of impeachment

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, October 12th, 2017

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno

    MANILA, Philippines — Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno remains calm amid the impeachment complaint she is now facing before the House of Representatives.

    In her speech at the gathering of the Philippine Trial Judge League incorporated in Palo Leyte on Wednesday, Sereno reiterated that she has a clear conscience.

    The chief justice also noted that she has never lied, or deceived others.

    Sereno said that she trusts the public and that institutions of the government would disclose the lies being hurled against her.

    She said she is just doing her job as the Supreme Court’s top magistrate.

    This is her first public appearance after the House justice committee affirmed that complaint against her has sufficient basis.

    Sereno also urged the judges to perform properly their sworn duties and to not let politics affect their work.

    The chief justice emphasized as well that she did not attend the event to seek support from the judges. — UNTV News & Rescue

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    Senator Leila de Lima to file motion for reconsideration

    by UNTV   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    MANILA, Philippines — In a statement, Senator Leila de Lima said she was dismayed and saddened by the decision of the Supreme Court on the two petitions she filed.

    The senator said that she will continue the fight, further maintaining her innocence in the accusations against her.

    De Lima’s camp is set to file a motion for reconsideration regarding the Supreme Court’s decision.

    Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano, meanwhile, believes the SC’s decision on De Lima’s case is a form of revenge.

    “What is happening is, the law is being forced to agree to the policies of the administration. That’s right. It will further encourage authorities that even without evidence… because imagine a case which is drug trading. How could you be involved in drug trading when they have not recovered any illegal drugs in your possession,” said Alejano.

    In a vote of 9-6 yesterday, the Supreme Court dismissed the petition of De Lima to nullify the arrest against her and to transfer her illegal drug trading charges before the Office of the Ombudsman and Sandiganbayan.

    The high tribunal explained that her arrest has a basis and that the anti-graft court has no jurisdiction over cases involving illegal drugs.

    Attorney Marwil Nacor Llasos, a law reform specialist from the University of the Philippines College of Law, is worried over the decision of the country’s high tribunal, noting it seems to show a pattern that one can easily predict.

    Llasos cited as examples the SC’s decision to allow the burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the implementation of martial in the entire Mindanao, and lastly, the arrest and detention of the government’s staunch critic, Senator Leila De Lima.

    “The Supreme Court has been so polarized already and I doubt it if it still already based on the hard facts of the law and the facts of the case or there are political realities involved,” said Llasos.

    “In terms of the case of De Lima, the government achieved its purpose which is to silence her, to put her behind bars so none will criticize the actions of the administration.

    However, for House Minority Floor Leader Danilo Suarez, the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of De Lima is appropriate.

    “I’ve seen the menace of drug problem and for 6 years, she should have been at the front against it. But she was the one who was supporting it, so why would you let it escape?” said Suarez.

    Malacañang, on the other hand, refused to comment on the issue. — Victor Cosare | UNTV News & Rescue

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    Supreme Court dismisses De Lima’s petition to void her arrest

    by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

    Senator Leila de Lima

    MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima will remain in detention for drug charges in relation to her alleged link to illegal drug trading inside the New Bilibid Prison.

    Voting 9-6, the Supreme Court dismissed her petition to nullify her arrest and stop the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court from proceeding with her case.

    “The court voted 9-6 to dismiss the petitions in Leila de Lima versus Judge Guerrero. . . there are 12 opinions in all,” Supreme Court Spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te said.

    The decision was penned by Justice Presbitero Velasco Junior and concurred in by Associate Justices Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Diosdado Peralta, Lucas Bersamin, Mariano del Castillo and President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointees to the high court, namely, Justices Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes Jr. and Alexander Gesmundo.

    Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno dissented together with Senior Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Marvic Leonen, Francis Jardeleza and Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa.

    The court said Judge Juanita Guerrero did not gravely abuse her discretion in ordering De Lima’s arrest because there is enough basis to the allegation that she conspired to sell illegal drugs.

    The SC also pointed out that the Regional Trial Court has the sole jurisdiction to try drug-related cases and the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction is limited to violations of the anti-graft laws.

    In a Twitter post, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay who represented De Lima in the case, said justice for De Lima is not easy.

    But he said DOJ lawyers are more worried here since they have to establish a case without evidence.

    The SC Spokesman said De Lima can still appeal the ruling.

    “Under the rules, everyone who loses has a recourse to file a motion,” Atty. Te said.

    Solicitor General Jose Calida expressed his gratitude to the justices of the Supreme Court.

    He said the decision is proof that the government’s “war on drugs” is not exclusively targeting the poor.

    Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre said they are vindicated in their position that the RTC has jurisdiction over the cases of De Lima.

    Now that the Supreme Court has ruled, the arraignment and trial of the senator can already proceed. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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