TRO halts higher real property tax collection of QC gov’t

admin   •   April 19, 2017   •   4589

MANILA — The Supreme Court has ordered the Quezon City local government to temporarily halt its collection of higher real property taxes.

Through a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court, the Quezon City government no to implement a new ordinance which has been effective since January.

Through the ordinance, the value of land and buildings in the city was raised two up to five times.

This is equivalent to the raising as well of annual real estate taxes paid by Quezon City residents.

“The Court issued a temporary restraining order effectively immediately and until further orders from the Court enjoining respondents from implementing, collecting upon, or enforcing Quezon City Ordinance no. 2256 (series of 2016) which approved the fair market value of lands and basic unit construction costs for buildings and other structures for the revision of real property assessments in Quezon City,” said Supreme Court spokesperson, Atty. Theodore Te.

Apart from this, the Supreme Court has also asked Mayor Herbert Bautista to respond to the petition of Alliance of Quezon City Homeowners’ Association in ten days.

Meanwhile, the Quezon City local government refused to comment about the issue since it does not have yet the copy of the Supreme Court order. — Leslie Longboen | UNTV News & Rescue

Supreme Court OKs live coverage of Ampatuan massacre promulgation

Robie de Guzman   •   December 10, 2019

(FILE) Filipino Mayor Datu Andal Ampatuan Junior (R), prime suspect in the massacre of 57 civilians in a southern province, is shoved with photos of the mass murder victims as he arrives at the Department of Justice in Manila, Philippines on 18 December 2009. EPA-EPE/FRANCIS MALASIG

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court en banc on Tuesday approved the request for live coverage and broadcast of the promulgation of the Maguindanao massacre ruling set on Thursday, December 19at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.

Supreme Court Spokesperson, Atty. Brian Keith Hosaka said the en banc voted to allow the live streaming of the promulgation but did not elaborate if the voting was unanimous.

“After the en banc session of the SC this morning, they granted the request for the live broadcast and coverage of the promulgation of the decision of the case ‘People vs Ampatuan’ which is pending before Branch 221 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City,” Hosaka told reporters.

The request for open and live coverage of the case promulgation was filed earlier by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and several media networks.

The Maguindanao massacre, which occurred on Nov. 23, 2009, is considered as the worst election-related violence and attack on press freedom in the Philippines.

The gruesome incident left 58 people dead, including 32 media personnel, some members of the Mangudadatu family and several civilians.

The ambush happened when they were on their way to a local Commission on Elections office to cover the filing of then gubernatorial bet Esmael Mangudadatu – a political rival of the Ampatuans.

Datu Andal Ampatuan Jr. and his brother Zaldy Ampatuan are the primary accused in the case.

Of the 197 original suspects facing multiple murder charges, 101 were put on trial and could face sentencing soon.

Hosaka said a set of guidelines for the media coverage will be released by the SC Public Information Office.

This will include the number of reporters who will be allowed inside and outside of the courtroom as well as the rules on the use of mobile phones, cameras, and other recording devices.

A room will also be prepared where members of the media may monitor court proceedings during the case promulgation.

“However, due to space limitations and security concerns that the court has imposed. These are in broad strokes the actual resolution and guidelines will be out possibly at the end of the week,” Hosaka said.

QC bans single-use plastic, Palace hopes other LGUs will follow

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2019

The Quezon City government approved an ordinance that will ban single-use plastic effective January 1, 2020.

According to the Quezon City government single-use plastics and other disposable materials will no longer be allowed in establishments in Quezon City such as in hotels, restaurants and other business establishments.

Chariman of the Committee on Parks and Environment in Quezon City, Hon. Dorothy Delarmente said hotels will no longer be allowed to distribute shampoo and soaps inside plastic sachets and single-use containers.

“Regardless how it was made or manufactured for as long as its purpose for single-use it is covered by the ordinance,” she said.

Establishments that will violate the said ordinance will face the following penalties:

1st Offense P1,000 Penalty
2nd Offense P3,000 Penalty
3rd Offense P5,000 Penalty + Revocation of Business Permit and Closure Order

Meanwhile, Malacañang hopes that other local governments will follow Quezon City’s ordinance on the single-use plastic ban.

“I suppose all local government would follow suit, since the president has already made a stand on that,” according to Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.—AAC (with reports from Dante Amento and Rosalie Coz)

Trump asks Supreme Court to block subpoena for his tax returns

Robie de Guzman   •   November 15, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump waves as he walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return from a campaign rally in Bossier City, Louisiana; in Washington, DC, USA, 15 November 2019. EPA-EFE/YURI GRIPAS / ABACA / POOL world rights

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump’s personal attorneys on Thursday asked the US Supreme Court to quash an attempt by prosecutors in New York to obtain his tax records for the last eight years.

The filing comes after a US district court and a federal appellate panel ruled that Trump’s accountants, Mazars USA, had to comply with a grand jury subpoena for the documents.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose office has been trying to enforce the subpoena, said he would delay action to allow the president’s lawyers to ask the Supreme Court to consider the case in the current term, according to The New York Times.

“For the first time in our nation’s history, a state or local prosecutor has launched a criminal investigation of the President of the United States and subjected him to coercive criminal process,” Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said. “Politically motivated subpoenas like this one are a perfect illustration of why a sitting president should be categorically immune from state criminal process.”

The dispute goes back to August, when Vance’s office demanded that Mazars hand over the tax records as part of an investigation into whether the Trump campaign’s 2016 hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal violated the laws of New York State.

Both women said they had affairs with Trump, who denies the claims.

On Wednesday, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals let stand an earlier ruling that Mazars must also provide eight years of Trump’s tax returns to the Oversight and Reform Committee of the US House of Representatives.

The committee is seeking the tax records for “legitimate legislative pursuits, not an impermissible law-enforcement purpose,” the appellate judges concluded.

Trump’s legal team plans to ask the Supreme Court to take up that case as well.

While the US Department of Justice has long held that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, Trump attorney William S. Consovoy has maintained that his client enjoys “temporary presidential immunity,” not only from prosecution, but also from investigation. – EFE-EPA

llb/dr

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