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SolGen: “De Lima is Philippines’ Public Enemy No.1”

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, December 19th, 2016

Solicitor General Jose Calida (L) and Sen. Leila de Lima (R).

Solicitor General Jose Calida (L) and Sen. Leila de Lima (R).


A top government lawyer said he can’t accept Senator Leila de Lima’s tirades against President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.

Solicitor General Jose Calida called on the people to unite against Sen. De Lima whom he tagged as the country’s top enemy.

“[Illegal] drugs is our enemy. And who is espousing the proliferation of drugs? wasn’t it former SOJ De Lima? And therefore she is Public Enemy No.1,” the solicitor general said.

Calida said they will utilize the resources of his office against De Lima.

The Office of the Solicitor General usually represents the government in litigation but this time, Calida said, they can help the complainants pursue the cases against De Lima since public welfare is already at stake.

‘As the people’s tribune, the OSG offers its legal services to the complainants who sued Sen. De Lima in the DOJ, Ombudsman and other venues for her criminal participation and complicity in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary,’ said Calida.

He, however, clarified that they are not persecuting the senator but only upholding the rule of law.  This is the first time that the OSG will be directly involved in the prosecution a criminal case.

“She’s a very powerful person. Our complainants are just private citizens. In order to strengthen their resolve, I will lend the prestige and gravitas of my office to defend them and help them in their cases against Sen. De Lima,” Calida added .

Civil society groups led by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) formed a coalition against illegal drugs to guard the cases against De Lima.

“Some groups formed this coalition out of concern that we are diverting from the real issues of the country which is illegal drug trading,’ said VACC founding chair Dante Jimenez.

In a statement, De Lima said she will not dignify yet another act of lunacy. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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Solicitor general defends one-year extension of Mindanao martial law

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Government soldiers based on Marawi CIty

MANILA, Philippines — Solicitor General Jose Calida defended the year-long extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Calida argued, there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of Congress when it granted the request for another extension.

He said the Senate and the Lower House were given the sole discretion to decide on how long the extension should be.

“Under the Constitution, it is the Congress which will approve the extension, approve or disapprove,” said Calida.

He added that the rebellion of various groups in Mindanao persists hence martial law is necessary to protect the safety of the people.

AFP justifies request for martial law extension

The Armed Forces of the Philippines made a presentation of their report on the implementation of martial law.

This is to show that terrorists and rebel groups are still capable of launching attacks in different parts of Mindanao.

Based on intelligence data, about 3,000 members of the New People’s Army, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Abu Sayyaf Group, Dawlah Islamiyah or Islamic state including Maute group are still operating in Mindanao.

Local terrorist groups were able to recruit 400 members, 250 of which joined Maute Group.

Calida lauded the presentation made by the military.

“It was a good presentation. I hope the justices will be able to consider it in their decision,” he said.

AFP chief of staff General Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the data was verified by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

He told the court they are not asking for additional powers but for the justices to trust the military. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue

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NCRPO vows to level up efforts against illegal drugs this year

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The number of illegal drug users ballooned during the period when the Philippine National Police (PNP) was not part of the war on drugs campaign of the government.

National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Director Oscar Albayalde said illegal users had more courage to return to their vice within the two months the PNP has no anti-drug operations.

“Maraming barangay officials na nagsabi na harap-harapan pa sa kanila nagtatarya sila at tapos sasabihin nila, hindi naman kami pwedeng hulihin ng pulis ngayon,” said Albayalde.

(Many barangay officials say illegal drug would conduct a pot session in front of them saying they could not be arrested by policemen.)

Now that the PNP is back to the war on drugs scene, Albayalde vowed to intensify the NCRPO’s anti-illegal drug campaign this year.

According to the general, the Oplan Tokhang and the Oplan Double Barrel of the PNP are effective in resolving the problem in illegal drug use and trading.

“Those millions of people would not have surrendered, and those thousands more would not have been arrested if this campaign is not effective,” said the NCRPO chief.

Proof of this, said the chief of the Metro Manila police, is the lower number of crimes related to illicit drugs in 2017.

He said that illegal drug-related crimes were lower by 18 percent in 2017 compared to the recorded number in 2016.

“The continuous decrease of these eight focused crimes is attributed to the NCRPO’s intensified implementation of Project Double Barrel Alpha, Project Double Barrel Reloaded and the intensified implementation of our enhanced managing police operations,” said the police chief.

Albayalde said the NCRPO will conduct more anti-drug operations this year.

He noted that the police will visit individuals, whose names are on the drug watch list, and will ask them to stop their illegal activity.

The NCRPO chief clarified that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) will still focus on high-value targets, while the PNP will go after drug suspects in communities.

The NCRPO has yet to set a date on when its campaign against illegal drugs will begin. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue


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Makabayan bloc urges SC to issue TRO vs. TRAIN law

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Makabayan bloc of Congress is asking the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion or TRAIN law of the Duterte administration.

In a petition filed by Representative Carlos Zarate of party-list group Bayan Muna, ACT Teachers party-list Representative Antonio Tinio and Anak Pawis Representative Ariel Casilao, they argued that the TRAIN law had not been properly ratified by the Lower House of Congress.

They said the deliberations on the then TRAIN bill had no quorum, and that the majority did not give other members of the Congress the chance to question the proposal.

“Hinihiling natin sa pestisyong ito na i-TRO na itigil muna ang implementasyon ng batas na ito (We asked in the petition to issue a TRO to stop the implementation of the law),”  said Tinio.

“Kung ganito nang ganito ang gagawin ng mga liderato ng Kongreso naipapasa kahit na sagasaan ang aming sariling rules at nakatakdang probisyon ng Konsitution ay hindi natin papayagan iyon, said Zarate.”

(If the leadership of Congress will continue to pass a bill without following the rules and provisions in the Constitution, then we will no longer allow this)

The group of lawmakers said that they are looking for loopholes in the said law and afterward, will file another petition.

“The first one we filed is procedural because what happened in Congress is that before we can discuss the substantive requirements, theoretically, there is no such law in which we have discussed these substantive contents. But nevertheless, we still insist in our petition despite the fact that our first petition questions it in terms of its procedural side, there are still substantive infirmities therein,” said Atty. Maria Christina Yambot.

Meanwhile, Solicitor General Jose Calida has not expressed concern over the petition of the said group.

Malacañang is also confident that the Supreme Court will not rule in favor of the said petition and insists that there had been no irregularities in the passage of the proposal.

“There’s overwhelming presumption of regularity because of the enrolled bill doctrine, that the TRAIN was signed by the Senate president and the speaker of the house before it was signed by the president into law. That’s entitled to full respect from our courts,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. — Aiko Miguel | UNTV News & Rescue



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