VP poll protest: SC allows release of pilot recount result from 3 provinces

Maris Federez   •   October 15, 2019   •   678

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of former senator Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday (October 15) once again staged a show of force in front of the Supreme Court (SC).

Both camps were expecting that the SC, which acts as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), will release its decision on the preliminary recount report by Justice Benjamin Caguioa from the three provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Camarines Sur, in relation to the protest that Marcos filed against Robredo on the alleged massive cheating and anomaly in the 2016 vice-presidential elections.

However, the SC en banc session instead discussed about releasing the result of the pilot recount in the three pilot provinces.

With 11 – 2 votes, the tribunal has allowed the release of the report on the revision and recount in the said provinces.

“The tribunal has decided to release to the parties the report on the revision and appreciation of ballots in the three provinces, and for them to comment thereon,” said SC spokesperson, Atty Brian Keith Hosaka.

Both Justices Antonio Carpio and Caguioa dissented the said resolution.

The PET also directed the two camps to submit their position, comments or disagreement over any issues presented in the preliminary report on the recount.

“The tribunal likewise required the parties to submit memoranda on the various issues relating to the jurisdiction and other matters relating to the jurisdiction and other matters relating to the third cause of action, which is the annulment of election results for Vice President in the provinces of Lanao Del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao, within a period of 20 days from receipt of the notice,” Hosaka said.

This has been the fourth time that the voting on the Caguioa report on the result of the initial recount has been suspended.

The voting will determine whether the High Court will continue to hear or dismiss Marcos’ protest. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

SC suspends transfer of convicted inmates to BuCor due to COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 29, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered the courts in the country to temporarily suspend the issuance of commitment order for the transfer of convicted inmates from detention facilities to the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

In a circular posted on the Supreme Court’s Twitter page, Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said that all convicted persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who should have been transferred to the BuCor should remain in the facilities of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) from July 29 to August 31, 2020.

This is in line with the request of BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag to the Office of the Court Administrator to temporarily suspend the issuance of commitment orders to BuCor to prevent the further contamination of COVID-19 and to minimize the movement of inmates.

Both the BuCor and the BJMP have recorded cases of COVID-19 in their facilities with reported fatalities.

Detained persons awaiting or facing trials are placed under the custody of the BJMP while those convicted are under the BuCor.

DOJ hopes SC will rule on merit, not personalities behind petitions vs anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Friday expressed hope that the Supreme Court will resolve the questions on the legality of Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 based on the merits, and not the number and personalities behind lawsuits.

“All these petitions, no matter how many they are, will boil down to a common set of constitutional issues. The Supreme Court will resolve these issues on the merits of the arguments advanced by the parties concerned, and not on the basis of their number or personal or professional stature,” Guevarra said.

At least 16 petitions have been filed before the Supreme Court against the controversial measure which came into effect this month.

Among those who questioned the validity of the law were law professors and former officials of the Executive branch and retired Supreme Court Justices.

The petitioners questioned the vague and broad provisions of the law that may lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and malicious prosecution of innocent people.

Petitioners also urged the high court to declare the entire law unconstitutional and to stop its implementation.

Morales, Carpio, UP law profs file petition vs anti-terror law

Robie de Guzman   •   July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, and law professors at the University of the Philippines on Wednesday filed a petition before the high court against the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

In their 86-page plea, Carpio, Morales and several lawyers urged the Supreme Court to declare the entire law unconstitutional and to stop its implementation.

Carpio and Morales were joined by UP Law professors Dante Gatmaytan, Jay Batongbacal, Theodore Te, Victoria Loanzon and Anthony Charlemagne Yu, former Magdalo Party-list Representative Francisco Ashley Acedillo and student leader Tierone James Santos.

The petitioners questioned the vague and broad provisions of the law that may lead to arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement and malicious prosecution of innocent people.

The group also blasted the powers granted to the Anti-Terrorism Council that, they say, are greater than those given to the president in times of invasion and rebellion, including the power to authorize the arrest and detention of suspected terrorists for up to 24 days without court intervention.

This is the 11th petition to be filed against the anti-terrorism law. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

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