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Sandiganbayan sides with Enrile on pork barrel case

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

The Sandiganbayan has ordered the Office of the Ombudsman to produce the evidence against former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile on the P172.8 million plunder case against him.

This is in response to the petition filed by the camp of former lawmaker before the Sandiganbayan Third Division to order the Ombudsman “to produce and permit the copying or photographing of any and all documents” as specified in the bill of particulars.

They argued that they need time “to study and consider the materials before trial is held.”

In its 6-page resolution issued on April 24, the graft court granted Enrile’s motion.

The Sandiganbayan said, “Enrile has absolute control on how to go about his defense. If in his mind, he needed to inspect or copy pieces of evidence [not privileged] which are material for him to make an intelligent defense, then he is allowed by the court to ask for the inspection or production of these documents.”

The court cited Section 10, Rule 116 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure which allows the former Senate president to avail this remedy, considering the prosecution made use of government resources to prepare its case.

Therefore, on the argument that the request is equivalent to premature presentation of evidence, the court said “Ombudsman prosecutors were wrong to call Enrile’s motion premature.

The Sandiganbayan, however, said the scope of the evidence that Enrile may access is only limited to documents related to the itemized charges against him.

Enrile is accused of pocketing some P172.8 million of his pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) by channeling the money to the fake nongovernment organizations of convicted plunderer Janet Lim Napoles.

He was initially detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City but was later released by the court on humanitarian grounds considering that he is already 95 years old.

Associate Justice Ronald Moreno wrote the resolution, with the concurrence of Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.  –Maris Federez

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Bato apologizes for ‘shit happens’ remark

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

Senator Ronald dela Rosa

Senator Ronald dela Rosa has issued a public apology for his “shit happens” remark last week.

The senator’s statement stemmed from the death of a three-year-old girl during an anti-illegal drugs operation of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Rodriguez, Rizal last June 29.

Dela Rosa admitted using wrong choice of words in detailing the said incident.

“Klaruhin ko na lang, hindi maganda ang dating doon sa parents ng bata na namatay. I would like to apologize to the family yung aking wrong use of term. Dapat ang sinabi ko doon instead na ‘shit happens’, dapat unfortunate [I would like to clear, it didn’t sit well with the parents of the dead child. I would like to apologize to the family for my wrong use of term. I shouldn’t have said “shit happens” but, rather, unfortunate],” Dela Rosa said.

The newbie senator promised to be very careful with his choice of words now that he is already a lawmaker. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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PNP reshuffles officers in 3 key positions

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has reshuffled officers in several key positions effective June 25.

Police Colonel Domingo Cabillan is now the acting deputy regional director for administration of the Police Regional Office 11 or Davao region.

Meanwhile, Police Colonel Florendo Quibuyen is now the acting executive officer of the Directorate for Research and Development from his former post as officer-in-charge of the Eastern Police District.

Police Brigadier General Nolasco Bathan will take over as the director of the Eastern Police District replacing PBGen. Christopher Tambungan who was relieved for spanking a lady cop.

According to PNP Directorate for Personnel and Records Management Director PMGen. Lyndon Cubos, the newly assigned officers were recommended by the Senior Officers Promotion and Placement Board following assessment of their merits and performances on duty. – (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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PNP returns to normal operations as election period ends

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Thursday, June 13th, 2019

The Philippine National Police has lowered its alert status as the election period comes to an end.

PNP spokesperson PCol. Bernard Banac said only a few areas that have reports of the presence of threat groups such as the Abu Sayyaf, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, and communist groups, are still on full alert.

These include Police Regional Office 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Banac, however, stressed that these areas are not under security threat.

“Wala namang security threat sa naturang mga lugar, nakafull alert pa din ang mga lugar na yun dahil martial law,” Banac said.

Banac added the past election period has been generally peaceful and validated election-related incidents had been low as compared with the 2016 Presidential Elections. (with reports from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

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