SC dismisses Bongbong Marcos’ poll protest vs Robredo

Robie de Guzman   •   February 16, 2021   •   357

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC), sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), on Tuesday junked the election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo over the results of the 2016 vice presidential race.

In a statement, the Supreme Court Public Information Office (PIO) announced that the court unanimously voted to dismiss the protest of Marcos against Robredo.

Of the 15 magistrates present during Tuesday’s meeting, seven justices “fully concurred” in the dismissal while eight “concurred” in the result, the SC PIO said.

SC Spokesperson Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka could not say if the decision can be appealed.

“The deliberation of the tribunal is highly confidential, this is our announcement. This is the first time we are announcing this. The parties will be provided a copy of the resolution as usual,” he said.

A copy of the resolution detailing the reason or reasons for the dismissal will be uploaded in the high court’s website once available, the SC PIO said.

Marcos filed the protest in June 2016, claiming that the vice-presidential race was marred by fraud. He lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 elections.

Part of Marcos’ protest sought for a recount, revision and re-appreciation of ballots from three provinces he chose: Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.

Marcos also sought the annulment of election results in three provinces in Mindanao – Lanao del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao – due to alleged terrorism, intimidation, voter harassment and pre-shading of ballots.

Both camps of Marcos and Robredo said they have yet to receive a copy of the ruling, but assured they will issue their statements on the matter as soon as they have established the facts based on PET’s official pronouncement.

SC modifies interpretation of ‘psychological incapacity’ as ground for nullity of marriage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) has modified its interpretation of ‘psychological incapacity’ as a ground to nullify marriage.

“The Court in the case of Tan-Andal v. Andal, G.R. No. 196359, unanimously modified the interpretation of the requirements of psychological incapacity as a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage found in Article 36 of the Family Code,” the SC said in a statement released on Wednesday (May 12).

Under the the new Leonen ruling, it said that “psychological incapacity is not a medical but a legal concept.” Due to this, testimony of psychologist or psychiatrist is not mandatory in all cases to prove psychological incapacity.

“[Psychological incapacity] is a personal condition that prevents a spouse to comply with fundamental marital obligations only in relation to a specific partner that may exist at the time of the marriage but may have revealed through behavior subsequent to the ceremonies,” the new ruling stated. AAC

 

 

 

Judges, court personnel hospitalized due to COVID-19 to get financial aid — Supreme Court

Robie de Guzman   •   April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Judges and court personnel who contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be provided with financial assistance from the Supreme Court, the Office of the Court Administrator said Wednesday.

In a circular issued by Court Administrator Midas Marquez, the cash assistance will range from P15,000 to P30,000 for those hospitalized depending on the severity of their illness.

Families of those who succumbed to death, whether hospitalized or not, will receive P50,000.

The financial assistance was approved by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo with the concurrence of the members of the Court en banc.

“Considering that there are judges and court personnel of the first and second level courts who contracted COVID-19 while in the performance of their functions there is a need to help them defray the hospitalization expenses incurred in treating COVID-19 infection,” the circular read.

Potential recipients of the assistance are required to submit a copy of the positive result of the RT-PCR test from March 2020 onwards, a medical certificate stating the clinical findings of the illness caused by COVID-19, a death certificate indicating that the patient died of COVID-19 or its complications, disbursement voucher, and obligation request.

The SC Public Information Office said that some 1,113 judiciary personnel tested positive for COVID-19 with 20 fatalities.

Supreme Court: Oral arguments on anti-terror act to resume April 27

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The oral arguments on petitions questioning the legality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will resume on April 27, the Supreme Court (SC) said.

In an advisory, the SC said the next oral arguments would be held via videoconferencing “given the current public health situation.”

“Oral arguments shall resume on April 27, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. which, per prior order, is two weeks after the lifting of enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Judicial Region,” the SC said.

“This arrangement shall be pro hac vice [for this occasion only] vis-à-vis these consolidated cases. Personal appearance before the Court En Banc remains to e the primary mode of conducting oral arguments,” it added.

The proceedings will be streamed online but will only be limited to an audio feed, the high court said.

The oral arguments on the 37 petitions lodged against the measure were put on hold since last month due to the spike of infections and other COVID-19 concerns.

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