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Sotto doubts impeachment is the only way to remove an impeachable official

  Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III remains neutral on the Senate resolution urging the Supreme Court to review itsruling on a quo warranto petition that led to the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. However, at the Kapihan sa Senado on Thursday, Sotto expressed doubts that impeachment was the only way to remove impeachable government officials. He cited the case of Vice President Leni Robredo, the subject of an election protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. "Kung sinasabi natin, ini-insist natin, ang impeachable officer para maalis lang lang ay by impeachment lang, papaano kung ang protesta ni Senator Marcos nanalo...Keep on reading: Sotto doubts impeachment is the only way to remove an impeachable official.....»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerMay 24th, 2018

Quo warranto vs. elected impeachable official allowed – SC

Granting a quo warranto petition, the mode used to remove Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, can also be used against an "invalidly elected impeachable official," according to the Supreme Court. Section 2 Article XI of the Constitution provides that "the President, the Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman may be removed from office" by impeachment. But impeachment is not the only way to remove some government officials from office, according to the 153-page decision disqualifying Sereno as chief justice, which was made public Friday evening. The six justices who dissented from the majority ruling, as ...Keep on reading: Quo warranto vs. elected impeachable official allowed – SC.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 12th, 2018

Lagman: 8 SC justices who ousted Sereno ‘deserve to be impeached’

    The eight Supreme Court (SC) justices who voted to oust former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno "deserve to be impeached," the leader of the House Magnificent 7 opposition bloc underscored on Friday. "The immutable rule is that injustice does not pay," Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman said in a statement. "If magistrates who are sworn to uphold the Constitution, subvert the very fundamental law by arrogating jurisdiction over an impeachable official, perforce they deserve to be impeached," he added. Lagman's statement comes after Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin bared a plan, supported by the Magnificent 7, to file impeachment complaints against Associate Just...Keep on reading: Lagman: 8 SC justices who ousted Sereno ‘deserve to be impeached’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

The cards are stacked against Sereno but she may have an ace up her sleeve

Some political watchers say that the SC, through its decision, handed tremendous powers to the solicitor general—to be able to remove an impeachable official through a quo warranto petition......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018

The cards are stacked against Sereno but she may have an ace up her sleeve

Some political watchers say that the SC, through its decision, handed tremendous powers to the solicitor general—to be able to remove an impeachable official through a quo warranto petition......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 12th, 2018

‘Darkest hour in PH democracy’: Senators slam SC ruling vs Sereno

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Friday invoked the Senate's exclusive right to try an impeachable official as he called on the Supreme Court to give ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno "the opportunity to file a motion for reconsideration."   "In impeachment matters, the Supreme Court is not supreme because the Senate is the one and only impeachment court," Pimentel said in a message to reporters.   Senators from both sides of the political fence on Friday voiced their disagreement over the Supreme Court ruling, but none of the Senate leaders have so far indicated that they would formally contest it, saying that the decision had "mooted" t...Keep on reading: ‘Darkest hour in PH democracy’: Senators slam SC ruling vs Sereno.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 12th, 2018

Lorenzana says federalism remains confusing

        Another Cabinet official has expressed doubts the Philippines is ready for federal form of government because everything still confuses him.   In an interview with the media in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City on Thursday afternoon, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana of the Department of National Defense (DND) shared his observation with reporters, saying the Philippines is "not yet" ready for the change in government system.   "So many don't understand it yet. It's confusing," Lorenzana said in Tagalog, when asked for his opinion on the shift to federalism.   Lorenzana's statement follows apprehensions expressed by Finance ...Keep on reading: Lorenzana says federalism remains confusing.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 10th, 2018

Villarins wants 'ZeroBudgetPCOO after Mocha’s ‘Pepedederalismo’ jingle

Opposition lawmaker Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin is pushing for a zero budget allocation for the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) following the controversial "Pepedederalismo" jingle video of Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson with a pro-Duterte blogger. Villarin said in message to reporters that if "this is where our taxes go, perhaps it's time to remove its budget and use it for what our people truly need." He then added the hashtag #ZeroBudgetPCOO. The opposition lawmaker said a presidential office is "not a comedy bar." Uson, he added, should "better remember that she is already a public official who must perform, not lewd acts of comic materi...Keep on reading: Villarins wants #ZeroBudgetPCOO after Mocha’s ‘Pepedederalismo’ jingle.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 6th, 2018

6 10' AJ Edu excited for dream tandem with 7 2' Kai Sotto

Everyone is raving about the dream youth tandem of Kai Sotto and AJ Edu nowadays. On one side you have Kai, the 7'2" skyscraper that is still somehow growing. On the other end you have AJ, the 6'10" Fil-Nigerian who is supremely athletic. The Philippines has never had a combo quite like this before and there's legit reason to get excited about Batang Gilas' new frontline. Fortunately, we don't have to wait long as the U-18 national team with Kai and AJ will see action right away in the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships in Thailand starting Sunday. Batang Gilas will go for a U-19 World Cup slot and we get to see the official debut of our newest, and perhaps best, Twin Tower combination. "Like the fans, I'm excited," Edu said when asked about him teamming up with Kai Sotto. "Everyone's been saying nicknames like Twin Towers and stuff and it's really cool. Me and Kai have a good relationship right now, on and off the court, and I think that can develop to something really good in the future," he added. For their first tournament together, Edu promises to go all out with Kai and the rest of the U-18 Batang Gilas crew. He also expects to mesh well with his equally-imposing counterpart as AJ is a natural power forward and Kai is a natural 5. Only great things will come from this towering combo. "I think we'll link well with him [Kai] being the 5 and me being the 4 so yeah, it will be good," Edu said. "We're going to give our hearts out," he added.   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2018

Maldives tourism thrives amidst political crackdown

Foreigners are flocking to the Maldives in ever-greater numbers despite an outcry abroad over the strongman president's crackdown on political dissent and the locking up of opponents, official figures showed. The number of tourists visiting the white-sanded Indian Ocean archipelago soared 10 percent year-on-year to 726,515 in the first half of 2018, according to tourism ministry data released Wednesday. President Abdulla Yameen imposed a 45-day state of emergency in February to fend off impeachment after the top court ruled that nine rebel MPs sacked by Yameen be reinstated. The chief justice and another Supreme Court judge were then arrested along with Yameen's half-brother...Keep on reading: Maldives tourism thrives amidst political crackdown.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 22nd, 2018

Festival vets make up 1st 4 entries in this year’s MMFF

THE Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2018 selection committee has announced the first four official entries for this year’s film festival and the list includes festival veterans including Jose Marie “Vice Ganda” Viceral, Marvic “Vic” Sotto and Rodel “Coco Martin” Nacianceno......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2018

Patricia Fox, Tito Sotto, PNP vs. ‘tambays’ | Evening wRap

Today on Rappler: DOJ: Australian nun Patricia Fox can stay in PH for now. Tambays? PNP wrongly detains group waiting outside friend's home. Sotto says Inquirer will remove articles on Pepsi Paloma . South Korea conducts war games to defend against Japan. Former Theranos biotech star indicted on fraud charges......»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

Sotto asks Inquirer.net to remove Pepsi Paloma stories

Published: 7:14 a.m., July 17, 2018 | Updated: 11:34 p.m., July 18, 2018 The Inquirer.net articles linking him to the withdrawal of charges against the suspects in the alleged rape of movie starlet Pepsi Paloma were the "original fake news," according to Senate President Vicente Sotto III. Sotto said he expected these to be removed from the site. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, which criticized his request to remove the articles from the website, do not know what really happened and should talk to the Inquirer, he said. "That is the original fake news, so do not make a big deal out of it," Sotto told reporters at the Senate on Monday. Asked if he ...Keep on reading: Sotto asks Inquirer.net to remove Pepsi Paloma stories.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Sotto says Inquirer will remove articles on Pepsi Paloma

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senate President Vicente Sotto III said online news site Inquirer.net will take down articles insinuating that he whitewashed the rape case of the late actress Pepsi Paloma in 1982. Sotto said this in a chance interview with reporters on Monday, June 18. "They will [take it down]... ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Sotto sees Inquirer.net taking down stories linking him to Pepsi Paloma ‘rape’

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Monday expressed confidence that Inquirer.net would remove the articles online that linked him to the alleged rape of the late actress Pepsi Paloma. “They will. Because it’s fake news, it’s original fake news,” Sotto told reporters. Source link link: Sotto sees Inquirer.net taking down stories linking him to Pepsi Paloma ‘rape’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

Sotto asks Inquirer.net to remove Pepsi Paloma stories - Inquirer.net

Sotto asks Inquirer.net to remove Pepsi Paloma stories - Inquirer.net.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 17th, 2018

Sotto asks Inquirer to remove articles on Pepsi Paloma

By Aika Rey/rappler.com – Senate President Vicente Sotto III has asked online news site Inquirer.net to take down articles tagging him in the controversial rape case of sexy actress Pepsi Paloma in 1982. In a letter dated May 29, 2018, Sotto wrote to Inquirer President Paolo Prieto asking them to Read more ».....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated NewsJun 17th, 2018

Sotto asks Inquirer to remove articles on Pepsi Paloma - Rappler

Sotto asks Inquirer to remove articles on Pepsi Paloma - Rappler.....»»

Category: newsSource:  googlenewsRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Sotto asks Inquirer to remove articles on Pepsi Paloma

MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III has asked online news site Inquirer.net to take down articles tagging him in the controversial rape case of sexy actress Pepsi Paloma in 1982. In a letter dated May 29, 2018, Sotto wrote to Inquirer President Paolo Prieto asking them to remove ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

Strife remains despite joint plea on recount

By Charlie V. Manalo and Pat C. Santos A day after a joint manifestation was signed by the camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, it has become evident that Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo is not willing to withdraw her pending motions before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Marcos’ spokesman lawyer Vic Rodriguez said.Marcos personally signed the document “withdrawing all and any pending motions relative to his election protest” but it was Robredo’s counsel, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal who signed for the Vice President.Rodriguez stressed Robredo has no intention of withdrawing her pending motions because she did not sign the joint motion that her lawyer presented to media. Macalintal, however, said the Vice President is heeding the challenge “in withdrawing all motions before PET to pave the way for a ballot recount.” “We accept the challenge of Mr. Marcos and his lawyer to sign a joint motion to withdraw any and all pending motions and incidents at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal which may cause the delay of the recount of ballots from the pilot provinces of Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental,” Romulo Macalintal, Robredo lead counsel said in a statement.Rodriguez in his joint motion, however, said only the name of Robredo’s counsel, lawyer Romulo Macalintal, appeared on the document.“A joint manifestation is a major pleading and it cannot be done through counsel alone. It should also be signed by the client because it needs his or her conformity. Since Mrs. Robredo did not sign the pleading together with her lawyer, it is obvious that she has no intention to withdraw her motions,” Rodriguez said.According to Rodriguez, the absence of Robredo’s signature puts into question her sincerity to hasten the pace of the electoral ‘Robredo can disown motion’ It likewise casts doubt on the authority of Macalintal who signed the motion. Robredo could later on even disown the motion because it was made without her conformity.“Without Mrs. Robredo’s signature, the motion is a mere scrap of paper and may be later disowned by her as having been signed without her authority. It seems that she merely wants to think fraudulently,” Rodriguez said.Rodriguez also questioned the joint motion prepared by Macalintal saying the same only covered pending motions and not future motions that may delay the proceedings. He said Marcos’ joint manifestation was more sincere because it covered both present and future motions in the election proceedings.“Atty. Macalintal is saying they are withdrawing but if you will read their joint motion, it only pertains to pending motions and not to future motions. In our case, it is all encompassing, from pending to future motions. Why are they backing out?” Rodriguez remarked.Rodriguez also took exception to the assertion made by Macalintal in his joint motion that Marcos has a pending “Partial Motion for Reconsideration” dated December 4, 2017 asking the PET to reconsider its earlier ruling allowing them to secure soft copies of the ballot images.Rodriguez pointed out that the said Partial Motion for Reconsideration had already been resolved by the Tribunal in its Resolution dated January 10, 2018.“It seems Atty. Macalintal has not studied the case of his client because that was resolved a long time ago. And he should know there are pending motions before the PET,” Rodriguez stated.Rodriguez also emphasized that if Macalintal was indeed serious about withdrawing all motions, he should have done it through the official route and not meet in a fast food restaurant for the signing.“Signing a major pleading in a pizza restaurant shows an utter lack of respect for the judicial process. There is a proper way to do things and this involves going to the law office of your opposing counsel and handing over the proper documents to them,” Rodriguez said.This is the reason, he pointed out, the Marcos camp went to the law office of Macalintal and his co-counsel Ma. Bernadette Sardillo located at Ortigas Avenue in Pasig City. According to Rodriguez, they went there first thing in the morning yesterday to give them the complete set of copies of the joint manifestation signed by Marcos and his counsel, George Garcia, together with the corresponding cover letter.“The challenge to meet at a fast food restaurant is unbecoming of an officer of the Court. It is unlawyerly and at most more of a publicity stunt. We hope the other camp has the decency to act accordingly,” Rodriguez said.“It appears that Atty. Macalintal wants to pull fast one on the public with his publicity stunt. As far as we are concerned, the joint motion he signed has no binding effect because it was not signed by his client. For all Macalintal’s protestations, our joint manifestation is ready for him and Mrs. Robredo to sign,” said Rodriguez. “We are still waiting.” Rodriguez said. Macalintal issues own challenge“I am inviting Mr. Marcos and his lawyer today at 9 a.m. to sign a joint motion. This is to confirm that we are not causing the delay in the recount of ballots,” Macalintal added.“It is Mr. Marcos’ raising of baseless allegations and irrelevant issues that is causing the delay in the recount,” he noted.“To remove all of these accusations flying back and forth I reiterate my challenge withdraw all your motions that could serve to delay the recount, I will withdraw all my motions that has been pending so that there will be no outstanding issues, no instances that needs to be studied by the Tribunal so that we can proceed to the opening and counting of the ballots,” Marcos said in a press conference last January 29 in Manila.“That has been my contention since May 10 of 2016 until now. It has been the same, I have been consistent, I reissue the challenge to Mrs. Robredo, withdraw all your motions, I will withdraw all of mine and let us proceed with the recount,” Marcos added.Marcos issued the challenged to stop the “delaying” issues being thrown by both camps to each other.At the same time, the vice presidential candidate in the May 2016 polls bared “solid and incontrovertible” evidence of massive fraud that transpired during the national and local elections held nearly two years ago.Marcos questioned the presence of square shapes in the ballot images instead of the oval shapes which voters shaded for their choice of candidates.“When we voted, we had the oval shapes. How come in the ballot images, the ovals are gone and instead we have the squares. What does this mean?” he said.He added, “(w)e could see based on the election results summary that the squares indicated the candidates that were voted upon. But this is a new feature that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic added in the system and I had been told they did not inform the candidates of the presence of this feature in the images.”But Robredo slammed Marcos’ claims that there were “massive frauds” that transpired in the May 2016 elections.“His remarks are laughing matters as far as I am concerned. If laughter is the best medicine, then we can consider it the best medicine for us for the day,” Macalintal said in a press conference.“The excited and hysterical claim of (Marcos) and his spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez that they allegedly uncovered solid and inconvertible evidence of massive fraud that transpired in the 2016 elections’ based on their own copies of alleged ballot images used in the said election, is highly ridiculous if not outright frivolous,” the lawyer added.Macalintal said Marcos’ claims of discrepancies in the hundreds of decrypted ballot images from Camarines Sur and Negros Oriental only showed that the latter’s protest “is facing its dismissal.”“He has no evidence at all. That is why he is now using evidence outside the election protest that he filed sa Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET),” he said.Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016, claiming that the camp of Robredo cheated in the automated polls in May that year.He sought the annulment of about a million votes cast in three provinces - Lanao del Sur, Basilan and Maguindanao.In his protest, Marcos contested the results in a total of 132,446 precincts in 39,221 clustered precincts covering 27 provinces and cities.In his preliminary conference briefing, Marcos also sought for a recount in Camarines Sur, Iloilo and Negros Oriental.Robredo filed her answer in August last year and filed a counter-protest, questioning the results in more than 30,000 polling precincts in several provinces where Marcos won.She also sought the dismissal of the protest for lack of merit and jurisdiction of PET.The high tribunal, in a ruling earlier last year, junked Robredo’s plea and proceeded with the case after finding the protest sufficient in form and substance.Robredo supposedly won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

CJ’s psych test result of 4 grade confirmed, rules call for her disqualification

Finally, after previous newspaper reports stated that then candidate for the position of Supreme Court chief justice, Lourdes Sereno, then a junior associate justice, obtained a low grade of 4, the second lowest grade, with 1 as the highest and five the lowest. This low grade was the result of her psycological and psychiatric tests, a prerequisite of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for every candidate for judiciary posts.These reports have finally been confirmed by a former clerk of court in the Supreme Court Wednesday admitted before the House committee on justice that Chief Justice Sereno obtained the second lowest grade in her psychological test, which under the JBC rules, she should have been disqualified for the top position in the High Court.It has not been explained by the JBC why, despite her low marks and disqualification for the post, Sereno’s name landed in the JBC list that was submitted by then President Benigo Aquino.Aquino also appointed Sereno first from a JBC list, despite her having no bench experience.Aquino did not pick any of the senior SC justices for the top post. Instead, he picked Sereno, then already a junior associate justice who would serve in the SC for at least 20 years.It was speculated then that President Aquino wanted Sereno as Chief Justice, for him to be protected by the incumbent justice.Sereno’s voting record in the SC mainly favored Aquino’s cases while he was president.Lately, her vote still favors Aquino, although hers is always a minority vote.Vidal almost failed to testifyFormer SC clerk of court Vidal almost failed to testify as the hearing dragged until late Wednesday night.It was only after Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte called the attention of the panel chair that Vidal had not yet been asked any questions.At that point, panel chair, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali asked Vidal regarding the results of Sereno’s psychological test.Although pointing to Sereno as having received the second lowest grade, Vidal, who was also the ex-offico secretary of the JBC at that time being the SC clerk of court then, said there were others who also got ratings of 4.She however said she could no longer recall their identities.This only means that no other candidate for the High Court’s top post made it to the JBC list submitted to Aquino save for Sereno.It will be recalled that the JBC refused to provide the justice panel with the results of the psychological and psychiatric tests of Sereno. Impeachment complainant lawyer Larry Gadon said Vidal’s testimony was a big boost to his case against Sereno as the JBC had earlier rejected his request for copies of psych exam report of the chief justice, citing confidentiality of records under its rules.In his complaint, lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon said Sereno failed the psychological exam administered by the JBC and under the existing JBC policy, ‘an applicant to any position in the judiciary with a grade of 4 is unfit for the job,’” his complaint stated.There quickly went Sereno’s defense, with the usual claim that such does not constitute an impeachable offense.Everything to Sereno and her defense team is not an impeachable offense, whether she failed to file her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs) for 17 years or whether she hired an IT consultant with at first a P100,000 a month negotiated contract, after which, Sereno’s consultant had her pay increased which meant revisions in the contract which pay went on without passing through the usual route.Macasaet’s fees had increased from P100,000 per month during her first six-month contract to over P252,000 per month after it was renewed.The head of the SC’s Management Information Systems Office testified that the continued renewal of the contract of the IT consultant hired by Sereno raised a red flag.IT consultant Helen Macasaet’s six-month contract was renewed for over four years, which enabled her to earn roughly P11 million in total.The point in all this establishes that indeed, Sereno is unfit for the job of chief justice, as she has been found to be breaking too many rules and does things without the nod of the other justices.Sereno claims that all the charges raised by Gadon are not impeachable offenses. A reported psychologically unfit Chief Justice is to be retained in her post and for the next 15 to 20 years or so.The two doctors will be attending the next session.At the same time, Gadon lauded the House panel’s directive to the BIR to probe on Sereno’s possible tax liabilities. “The action of the Justice committee directing the BIR to investigate the tax payments and tax compliance of Sereno is living proof of the principle that the law should apply to all , even to the highest magistrate of the land,” said Gadon.Gadon also cited the case of Sereno’s IT consultant whose contract was renewed without bidding despite changes in the terms of reference and increase of the amount of more than double the original contract. “It turned out also that the legal staff of Sereno had the whim and caprices of determining the amount of the increase and the renewals in violation of procurement laws,” Gadon said.“Worse these violations and anomalies were done with the express approval of Sereno,” he stressed.“Even worse , it turned out that the IT consultant was allowed to work at some point without the contract having been signed yet!” the lawyer said.Gadon stressed that Sereno had violated all known procedures of procurement. The head of the SC’s Management Information Systems Office testified that the continued renewal of the contract of the IT consultant hired by Sereno raised a red flag.IT consultant Macasaet’s six-month contract was renewed for over four years, which enabled her to earn roughly P11 million in total......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018