Salceda urges SC to halt provincial bus ban on EDSA

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2019   •   1556

MANILA, Philippines – Albay Second District Representative Joey Salceda on Monday urged the Supreme Court (SC) to halt a local policy banning provincial buses and terminals on Edsa, which is set to take effect in June.

Salceda filed his petition, asking the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the plan of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to enforce its Regulation No. 19-002, series of 2019 which seeks to prohibit all provincial buses from loading and unloading passengers along Edsa.

Under the resolution, local governments are urged to revoke or prohibit the issuance of business permits to all terminals and operators of public utility buses and vehicles on Edsa.

When this policy takes effect in June, provincial buses will be required to drop off passengers at government-constructed terminals like those in Parañaque, Valenzuela City and Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where they could transfer to city vehicles. 

The MMDA earlier said the impending policy is one of the best alternatives to decongest Metro Manila roads.

READ: MMDA: EDSA bus ban one of the best options in decongesting Metro Manila

But Salceda argued in his petition that the policy will not solve traffic congestion on one of the country’s busiest roads. He said only around 3,300 provincial buses use Edsa on a daily basis, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.

He further stated that the MMDA overstepped its authority and violated the franchises of affected buses as granted by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, as well as the lease agreements between bus operators and terminal owners.

Salceda added that the regulation is “oppressive and unfair” to the public as the new routes will only add burden to commuters.

This is the second petition filed before the SC, seeking to stop the MMDA’s bus ban on Edsa.

In April, the AKO-Bicol party-list also asked the high court for a TRO on the said policy, arguing that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council have no authority to implement the ban as they were not authorized to enact ordinances or approve resolutions.

The group added that these are acts of police power that only individual local government units can exercise.

CJ Peralta hopes verdict on Maguindanao massacre will be issued before year-end

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Journalism students of Bulacan State University light candles in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre in front of Bulacan Capitol, Malolos City, Bulacan. Photo taken November 21, 2013. | PVI/Junnel Aquino

The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes a 30-day extension in issuing her verdict on the Maguindanao Massacre case.

The case has already been submitted for resolution on August 22 and the court was supposed to come up with a verdict within 90 days or until the third week of November but Judge Reyes requested an extension.

CJ Peralta said they understand Reyes’ predicament due to the voluminous records and evidence that she had to consider which prompted the Supreme Court to approve her request for a one-month extension.

“We also allow meritorious motion for extension and we understand her predicament,” said Peralta.

The chief magistrate, however, expressed hope that Judge Reyes will no longer ask for another extension in issuing her verdict on the case.

“I hope that she will no longer ask for another extension so that before the end of the year those cases will finally be decided,” he said.

According to the memorandum that the SC sent to Reyes, she has until December 30 to arrive at a decision and it is already non-extendible.

On November 23, 2009, armed men ambushed 58 individuals, including 32 members of the media, in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Among the slain was the wife of former Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who was supposed to file his certificate of candidacy for Maguindanao gubernatorial election, opposing the Ampatuan clan.

The Maguindanao Massacre is considered the world’s worst election-related incident of violence and the deadliest attack against the members of the media. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

CJ Peralta ensures swift action on alleged narco judges

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2019

Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralto

Supreme Court Chief Justice Diosdado Peralto on Friday gave his assurance that his office will conduct swift action against the alleged narco judges.

Based on the narco list or the roll of personalities involved in illegal drugs in the possession of the president, included in the record are 13 judges and 10 are prosecutors.

Peralta said several recommendations related to this had been filed before the Supreme Court and they will issue their decision in the nearest possible time.

“There are also recommendations submitted to the court en banc in due time we will coming up with some with resolutions on these alleged narco judges,” Peralta said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

CJ Peralta proposes to Congress: install marshals in Phl courts

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2019

The Supreme Court is set to urge Congress to file a law that will create a position of marshals in the judiciary amidst the growing number of judges getting slain in the country.

A recent addition to that record is the gunning down of Regional Trial Court Judge Mario Anacleto Bañez in La Union on Tuesday (November 5).

Aside from ensuring security in courthouses, the marshals will be given investigative power like that of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta said they will have the same functions as that of the marshals in the United States.

“Our marshal can do the work, in other words, they can investigate, they can summon witnesses to appear in an investigation. Likewise, ask the different agencies to help us,” said CJ Peralta. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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