SC sets oral arguments on petitions against martial law extension

UNTV News   •   January 11, 2018   •   3252


MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) seeks to study anew the basis of the government in extending for another year the enforcement of military rule in Mindanao.

In line with this, the high tribunal has set a 2-day oral argument to discuss the petitions questioning the martial law extension.

The SC also ordered the consolidation of the petitions filed by Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman and other groups.

“The submission of comment on GR No. 236061 by the Solicitor General’s Office not later than 5:00 in the afternoon of January 13, 2018 (Saturday) with the comment to be served personally on counsel for petitioners,” SC Spokesperson Atty. Theodore Te said.

“The court further directed the conduct of oral argument on the consolidated petitions on January 16, 2018 at 2:00 in the afternoon and January 17, 2018 starting at 10:00 in the morning,” Te added.

The petitions are asking the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the 1-year extension of the military rule in the southern region of the country.

They argued that there is no actual rebellion in Mindanao that calls for the extension of martial law.

The government’s move, they note, also violates the Constitution that limits the enforcement of a military rule.

Solicitor General Jose Calida initially argued that there is an urgent need to extend martial law in Mindanao since there remains a threat of terrorism in the region.

It can be recalled the high tribunal affirmed last December 5 its decision in favor of the previous and first extension of the military rule in Mindanao.  – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue

JBC extends deadline for Chief Justice application, nomination to Sept. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   August 23, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has extended until September 2 the deadline for application and nomination of the next Chief Justice of Supreme Court, a panel member announced on Thursday.

According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, the council decided to extend the deadline to invite more applicants to the position.

The application for the next chief justice initially closed on August 20.

Only four Supreme Court justices have filed their application and acceptance of nomination, namely, Associate Justices Diosdado Peralta, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Andres Reyes Jr and Jose Reyes Jr.

Perlas-Bernabe and Peralta were among the five SC senior associate justices who were automatically nominated for the post. The other three magistrates are Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, Associate Justices Marvic Leonen and Benjamin Caguiao who all rejected their automatic nominations.

Carpio earlier said he declined his nomination as he is set to retire in October. Leonen and Caguiao, however, did not cite their reasons.

The chief justice position will be vacated when CJ Lucas Bersamin will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 on October 18.

Bersamin was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as chief justice on November 28, 2018.

Malacañang keeps distance from SC decision lifting TRO on Mamasapano trial

Maris Federez   •   August 7, 2019

The Office of the President has distanced itself from the Supreme Court (SC) decision that lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the hearing of the case against former president Benigno Aquino III on the Mamasapano encounter.

Read: SC lifts TRO on Mamasapano trial at Sandiganbayan

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has refused to further comment on the issue as the palace would not want to be accused of meddling with the decision of the judiciary which is a co-equal branch of government.

“[W]e refuse to comment on the action undertaken by the Supreme Court, which belongs to a separate and independent branch of government from ours. We cannot and we do not intend to interfere with the functions of other branches which are distinct from the Executive,” Panelo said.

The palace, he added, would rather see the judicial process roll on its own accord.

“We will, as usual, let the law take its course,” Panelo said. (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

SC lifts TRO on Mamasapano trial at Sandiganbayan

Maris Federez   •   August 7, 2019

The Supreme Court has lifted the temporary restraining order (TRO) it had issued on the Mamasapano trial at the Sandiganbayan.

SC spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka in a statement on Wednesday said that the justices have voted the lifting of the temporary restraining order during Tuesday’s en banc session.

“I would like to confirm that the Supreme Court has lifted the TRO on the Mamasapano trial before the Sandiganbayan,” Hosaka’s statement said.

“With the lifting of the TRO, the Sandiganbayan may now proceed with the trial and act on pending matters filed before it,” he added.

The decision is expected to pave the way for possible action on the withdrawal of the graft and usurpation of authority charges against former President Benigno Aquino III in connection with the Mamasapano clash that killed 44 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos on January 25, 2015. 

The charges were filed with the Sandiganbayan in November 2017 by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Charged with Aquino were former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and former PNP-SAF director Getulio Napeñas, Jr.

Aquino was scheduled to be arraigned, but the SC issued a TRO that halted the proceedings in the case in February last year, acting on a petition by relatives of two of the slain elite policemen that Aquino be charged instead with reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.

In June this year, Ombudsman Samuel Martires moved to withdraw the graft and usurpation charges against the former president, saying he found no sufficient ground and evidence.

Martires, however, added that his decision was without prejudice to the filing of appropriate charges against the accused after the conduct of a preliminary investigation.

In July, Sandiganbayan, on the other hand, said the anti-graft court will wait for the SC to lift the TRO before it could act on the Ombudsman’s motion. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf

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