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The process of justice and injustice

The Avila sex bar in Calapandayan, Subic town, Zambales has been closed with a steel gate since the hand of justice came to that place on February 6, 2013, when we rescued young girls from sex slavery and the domineering power of the owner, US national Arthur David Benjamin, 49. Along that national road, many other [...] The post The process of justice and injustice appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource: manilatimes_net manilatimes_netMay 26th, 2018

Environmentalists praised closure of 23 mining firms

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Environmentalists and anti-mining groups lauded the closure of nearly two dozen mining firms and vowed to support government efforts to curb destructive mining practices in the country. Environment Secretary Gina Lopez ordered the closure of 23 metallic mines in the country, while suspending five more, for serious environmental violations discovered during the industry-wide audit conducted by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) since July last year. “My issue here is not about mining. My issue here is social justice. If there are businesses and foreigners that go and utilize the resources of that area for their benefit and the people of the island suffer, that’s social injustice,” Lopez said. She said the closure orders were based on the final results and recommendations of the multisectoral audit teams formed to look into the compliance of mining operators with the existing environmental laws and regulations. The mining firms ordered closed were the following: Benguet Corp. Nickel Mines Inc., Eramen Minerals Inc., Zambales Diversified Metals Corp., and LNL Archipelago Minerals Inc., all in Zambales province, due mainly to siltation of rivers, destruction of a functional watershed and illegal tree-cutting. Mt. Sinai Mining Exploration and Development Corp., Emir Minerals Corp., and TechIron Mineral Resources Inc. in Homonhon mainly for siltation of coastal waters and destruction of functional watershed. AAMPHIL Natural Resources Exploration, Kromico Inc., SinoSteel Philippines H.Y. Mining Corp., Oriental Synergy Mining Corp., Wellex Mining Corp., Libjo Mining Corp., Oriental Vision Mining Phils. Corp., in Dinagat Islands mainly for siltation of coastal waters. ADNAMA Mining Resources Corp., Claver Mineral Development Corp., Platinum Group Metals Corp., CTP Construction and Mining Corp., Carrascal Nickel Corp., Marcventures Mining and Development Corp., and Hinatuan Mining Corp. in Surigao del Norte mainly for siltation of coastal waters and mining in functional watersheds. Benguet Corporation in Itogon, Benguet and Ore Asia Mining and Development Corp. in Bulacan were likewise issued suspension orders by Lopez. &'160; She also deferred to give a decision on the fate of Filminera Resources Corp. pending further investigation. The five mining companies that were issued suspension orders are Berong Nickel Corp., OceanaGold Phils., Lepanto Consolidated Mining Corp., Citinickel Mines and Development Corp. and Strong Built Mining Development Corp. According to DENR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Maria Paz Luna, the companies can file for a Motion for Reconsideration to the DENR within 15 days from receipt of the order. Luna said the DENR decision can still be appealed to the Office of the President. The DENR had earlier assured the mining sector and the general public that due process was “meticulously observed” in the audit of all existing metallic mines nationwide. It also assured that the audit results “really promote the common good and social justice” espoused by Lopez and President Rodrigo Duterte. A staunch advocate of responsible mining, Lopez has made it clear that the common good and the protection of the environment would be her paramount concern, not money. She emphasized that no mining company can operate in a functional watershed which protects water sources. “Water is life. We will not allow the water of our people to be at risk for any business interest,” Lopez said. 16 Audit Teams Barely a week at the DENR, Lopez ordered an industry-wide audit in July last year to look into the adequacy and efficiency of environmental protection measures taken by the mining companies, determine gaps in those measures and identify the appropriate penalties for violations of mining and environmental laws. A total of 16 audit teams were formed to review the environmental compliance of mining companies in all regions in the country. Each team is composed of representatives from the DENR central and regional offices, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau, the Department of Health, the Department of Agriculture and civil society organizations. The audit focused on safety and health; mine environmental management; social development; mining tenement; and compliance with laws on clean air, clean water, hazardous waste and solid waste. Technical experts from the different government offices that have been invited to conduct the audit all abide in the standards of truth, service, and the common good. “We based the checklist of the criteria for the audit on the items in compliance with the different mining and environmental laws. A cross-audit was also done, which means that the auditors who reviewed one site, have come from a different region,” Lopez said. “We also gave seven days for the companies to respond to the results of the audit, providing a leeway for them to clear the issues that were raised. We had to review the reported results of the audit for five months before we have to release it, ensuring that we followed the process meticulously.” Lopez said the issue is not about mining, but social justice. “If there are businesses and foreigners that go and utilize the resources of that area for their benefit and the people of that island suffer, that’s social injustice. We assure the industry and the general public that due process was meticulously observed in the mining audit conducted by the agency and that the results would be always anchored on integrity, social justice, and the common good,” she said. Zamboanga del Sur, Tawi-Tawi Environmentalists also urged Lopez to review again the mining operations of TVI Resource Development (Phils.) Inc. in Zamboanga del Sur’s Bayog town where Subanen natives opposed the entry of the company in [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 6th, 2017

Judicial delays: cost and causes

The constitutional right to due process has always been foundational for the Philippines. Yet an unfortunately resignedly accepted aspect thereof is the delay with which justice is dispatched. Surely, “justice delayed is justice denied” but other consequences -- particularly on the economy -- also prevail......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsJul 12th, 2018

Injust-tiis system

In an effort to better understand why the Philippine Justice system is such a mess and so slow, we dedicated an entire week of AGENDA to interviewing the key stakeholders involved in the process and the system......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

PH eyes shorter visa on arrival process for Chinese travelers

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is eyeing a shorter processing time for visas issued on arrival to Chinese travelers. Department of Tourism (DOT) Spokesperson Bong Bengzon bared the plan to members of the Hotel, Sales, and Marketing Association on Thursday, July 5. "DOJ (Department of Justice) Secretary Menardo Guevarra had agreed to explore ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 5th, 2018

Rebuild, strengthen High Court

“Noynoy named Sereno in place of Corona, thus leapfrogging senior SC justices in a move that many considered was motivated by political and self preservation..” The start of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) process in choosing nominees for the next Chief Justice should also signal the removal of the aberration created in the judiciary […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 27th, 2018

JBC starts application process for next chief justice

In a statement sent through the Supreme Court Public Information Office, the JBC said that it has opened the application for chief justice. The deadline for filing and completing all requirements is on July 26, 2018......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 25th, 2018

JBC kicks off CJ search next week

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday said that the Judicial and Bar Council is set to convene next week to start the selection process for the next chief justice. “The JBC en banc will meet on Monday and will surely take this up. It is expected that the JBC will direct….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2018

It’s final: Sereno is out

THE Supreme Court (SC) made final on Tuesday its decision to sack Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, reiterating its order to begin the process of selecting a new chief magistrate. The Supreme Court en banc maintained its May 11 ruling with a vote of 8 against 6, as predicted by The Manila Times on Monday. In a 27-page resolution penned by [...] The post It’s final: Sereno is out appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJun 19th, 2018

DOJ: BI can cancel, not forfeit Fox’s visa

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday nullified the Bureau of Immigration’s order forfeiting the visa of missionary Sr. Patricia Fox for being illegal and directed the agency to initiate the process of cancelling her visa. The nullification of the visa forfeiture order was contained in a resolution issued by DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra in […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 18th, 2018

EDITORIAL - Election injustice

The administration of justice is not the only thing that moves slower than molasses in this country......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 11th, 2018

House panel tasks BIR to look into Sereno’s possible tax liabilities

Since the missing Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno remain missing, the House committee on justice that has been holding hearings on the impeachment case against the top magistrate in the High Court has directed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to begin an investigation on the possible tax liabilities of Sereno, owing to her having failed to file her SALNs for 17 years when she was still a law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP). At the resumption of the impeachment hearing to determine probable cause on the complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno, panel chair Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali asked BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa to produce a report on or before February 19 Sereno’s tax payments. Among the basis cited by Gadon in his complaint was Sereno’s alleged failure to declare in her SALN from 2010 to 2016 her earnings as one of the private counsels of the government in the expropriation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in the Piatco case amounting to P30 million. Based on documents Gadon was able to secure, Sereno reportedly filed her SALN in 1998, 2002 and 2006, even as she was employed as a professor by the UP College of Law from 1986 to 2006.Guballa, who submitted the Chief Justice’s income tax return from 2004 to 2009, said Sereno declared her income as a lawyer from a law office.Asked about Sereno’s income tax payments representing her earnings from the Piatco case, Gubala said they are still in the process of investigating this.“We can answer those questions when we will have conducted a formal investigation,” said Guballa, adding they will try to come up with a proposed deficiency or anything with regard to Sereno’s income in two weeks.“We are still collating information. We can answer those questions when we have conducted a formal investigation,” he said.“We will try our best in two weeks. . . . I will try my best to come up with a proposed deficiency or whatever we can made regarding the income the Chief Justice had made,” Guballa added.Sereno’s camp had said the Chief Justice received the Piatco fee in tranches so the full amount does not appear in her 2010 statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.The camp of Sereno had a statement explaining that “Chief Justice Sereno has accurately and properly declared all her earnings as government co-legal counsel in the PIATCO cases.”Lawyer Josa Deinla, serves as Sereno’s spokeswoman.Deinla added that the BIR has not served any deficiency assessment notice to Sereno during the years she filed her income tax returns.“This only means one thing: All her income tax filings when she was a private lawyer were accurate and proper,” she said.“We are confident that the plan of the House committee to have the CJ’s ITR filings looked into by the BIR would prove that the Chief Justice had paid the corresponding taxes for the income she earned while in private law practice,” she added.Gadon, in an interview at the sidelines of the hearing, lauded the order of the panel to the BIR saying this would bolster his complaint aganst Sereno.“First we got certifications she did not file her SALNs during her tenure with the UP College of Law. Now, we will get a clearer picture of how she might have avoided paying taxes for her earnings on the Piatco case,” said Gadon.“In fact, the statement of the BIR, CJ Sereno declared her earnings from 2004 to 2009 as income for her practice as a lawyer and not as a professor from a state university which is something she should have to explain, too,” the lawyer added.Gadon also said that 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. Hearing on CJ’s IT consultantIt was also a time for the justice panel to hear from IT consultant Helen Macasaet, who has been paid hefty consultant fees, with a monthly paycheck much higher than what the Supreme Court justices get paid.Macasaet admitted before the committee that she was paid a hefty P250,000 a month as a consultant of the High Court, which is higher than what SC justices are earning.Macasaet defended her consultancy fee saying it was much lower than what she used to earn in her previous engagements.According to Macasaet, she used to earn P925,000 a month as an IT consultant for the GSIS. The House panel is on its 14th hearing on the impeachment case, this time, to determine if there was probable cause to impeach her.In a press statement issued by Gadon, it said that in the hearing conducted yesterday, it turned out that the IT contract of Macasaet 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 whims and caprices of determining the amount of the increase and the renewals in violation of procurement laws . Worse, these violations and anomalies were done with the express approval of Sereno. Even worse , it turned out that the IT consultant was allowed to work at some point without the contract having been signed yet! All the procedures of procurement were clearly violated by Sereno, Gadon said.GMA Online reported that a court attorney from the office of the Chief Justice also yesterday during the hearing confirmed that it was the head staff of the high magistrate who had introduced the IT consultant allegedly anomalously hired by the Supreme Court.“At the resumption of the House Committee on Justice hearing, court lawyer Michael Ocampo from Sereno’s office admitted that he was the one who submitted the curriculum vitae of IT consultant Helen Macasaet who was allegedly hired by Sereno “with an excessive compensation and without public bidding.”He admitted that he submitted the CV of Macasaet to the BAC when he was requested to do so.But when asked if the court lawyer knew Macasaet personally, he said he did not but was introduced to him by CJ’s chief of staff as an IT expert,” referring to lawyer Oliveros.Oliveros eventually admitted that Macasaet is her friend.Oliveros said she can only recommend somebody’s character. I know nothing about the EISP (Enterprise Information System Plan) and about ICT.Oliveros narrated that Sereno told her that the court’s EISP had been stalled for a while, and the position of the chief of the management information system office was vacant at the time.“The chief justice requested a meeting precisely because she wanted to talk, exchange ideas with Ms. Macasaet regarding the state of the EISP. And after that initial meeting she wanted to meet Ms. Macasaet and introduce her to the person in charge of the EISP which was Atty. Michael Ocampo at the Office of the Chief Justice,” she said.Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, one of Sereno’s spokesmen said there was nothing irregular in Macasaet’s hiring as IT consultant.“The Supreme Court hired Ms. Macasaet from among three choices through negotiated procurement because her services are highly technical in nature and, therefore, exempted from public bidding under Section 53.7 of the 2009 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9184,” he said in an earlier press statement.The House justice panel is conducting deliberations to determine probable cause in the impeachment complaint lodged against Sereno.    With GMA online report.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

ICC to inquire on raps vs Rody

ROQUE: MERE PROCESS TO DETERMINE BASIS President Duterte intends to defend himself, “if need be,” on the crimes against humanity charges that his opponents filed against him before The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC), presidential spokesman Harry Roque said yesterday. Roque, an international law expert, explained that the ICC’s recognition was simply a proceeding to determine if the case has basis to proceed or not.Roque said Malacañang has received ICC’s notice for a “preliminary examination” on the complaints filed by the lawyer of self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) assassin Edgar Matobato, who is under the care of Duterte’s chief critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.Roque said the 72-year-old Chief Executive is ready to submit himself before the proceedings once he is summoned to The Hague.“The President and I met about this extensively for two hours last night. The President welcomes the preliminary examination because he is sick and tired of being accused,” Roque told reporters. “Obviously, this is intended to embarrass the president. They will fail. The President said that if need be, he will argue his case before the ICC,” he added.Matobato’s counsel Jude Sabio, in April last year, submitted to the ICC a petition against Mr. Duterte on the basis of his apparent admission of “killing” suspected drug traffickers and criminals in Davao City when he was still its Mayor.By June, Trillanes and Magdalo Partylist Rep. Gary Alejano filed a supplemental complaint against the Chief Executive also at the ICC. The complaint is based on the series of extrajudicial killings attributed to the Duterte administration’s narcotics crackdown.Sabio, in a text message, claimed that the given development is already a victory on their end.“I feel so elated and vindicated. Finally, Mr. Duterte and his cohorts will face criminal investigation by the ICC prosecutor as a prelude to formal criminal investigation,” Sabio said. “It is a huge triumph toward justice. Duterte’s system of death squad killings that he continued in his war on drugs will be investigated and hopefully an arrest warrant will be issued against him and justice will be done,” he added.“I am confident that, based on my communication, as well as that of Sen. Trillanes’ and (Magdalo) Rep. (Gary) Alejano’s, we will hurdle this first big step, and hopefully a warrant of arrest will be issued soon by the ICC against Duterte and his cohorts,” he added. Critics overjoyedTrillanes, for his part, claimed that the ICC’s recognition of their complaint should remind Mr. Duterte that he is not above the law.“This development should jolt Duterte into realizing that he is not above the law. More importantly, this is the first step for the victims’ families’ quest for justice,” the senator said.But Roque said Trillanes and his group should not celebrate yet.“No one should claim victory… If they think the President has been indicted, they are so wrong,” he said.“There will be no formal investigation to be conducted in the country because at the level of the preliminary examination, where the Court does not include the budget for the prosecutor to come to the Philippines because it is not yet a preliminary investigation,” he said.“Now the objective is to determine if there is reasonable basis to proceed with the formal investigation,” he added.In Sabio’s complaint addressed to ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, he said that the international criminal court’s action “would... be the beginning of the end of this dark, obscene, murderous and evil era in the Philippines.”“Crimes against humanity are crimes of universal jurisdiction, but where a State like the Philippines fails to assume such universal jurisdiction for crimes against humanity continuously being committed in its very own territory, then the International Criminal Court will have to intervene into a situation that is grave by any human standard,” Sabio said.“The grim statistics of more than 7,000 drug-related killings cannot be anything but grave, especially if viewed in the context of just seven months since Rodrigo Duterte became the President, compared to only about 3,000 committed during the 20-year Marcos regime. These more than 7,000 drug-related killings translate to roughly 1,000 killings per month,” he added.Two other opposition senators urged Malacañang, instead of criticizing this development, to deal with the issues being hurled at the President.“That shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the magnitude of deaths reaching thousands upon thousands in less than two years,” Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.“This is the chance for the government to answer the accusations raised against them. There is no reason to be afraid if the administration is not hiding anything,” Sen. Bam Aquino said.Aquino said this should be a welcome opportunity for the administration to make their case to an unbiased and globally respected tribunal. Villarin wants Roque charged, tooAkbayan Rep Tom Villarin said the entry of the ICC into the issues raised against Duterte gives hope to the thousands killed under the latter’s war on drugs. “It is a welcome development and gives hope to thousands of EJK (extra judicial killings) victims that finally justice will be served,” Villarin said.“This will also hold President Duterte and other top officials involved in the bloody war against drugs accountable as well as it gives us an opportunity to implead other enablers of EJKs, including possibly Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque,” Villarin added.While the Akbayan lawmaker said that the investigation may not lead to Duterte’s puster, he said that it will be damning and damaging to his administration in the eyes of our people and the international community.“I am hopeful that people will now realize the truth and demand accountability from him with all constitutional options available,” Villarin said.Alejano said that the preliminary examination will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant an investigation. “I hope that the preliminary examination will be allowed to carry on – unhindered and with full cooperation from concerned authorities, organizations, and personalities,” Alejano, one of those who brought the EJK issue before the ICC, said.“I am confident on the communication we sent to the ICC and strongly believe that President Duterte and those who perpetuate and defend this policy of killing should be held accountable before the law,” Alejano said. Angie M. Rosales, Gerry Baldo.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Sereno appeals ouster from Supreme Court

Ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno yesterday appealed the Supreme Court decision removing her through a mere quo warranto petition, noting that the SC violated her constitutional right to due process and overstepped its power......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

No Need to Probe Calida Security Agency’s Gov’t Contracts: DOJ

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Tuesday said there is no need to probe Solicitor General Jose Calida over the deals between his family’s security company and some government agencies since these underwent the required procurement process. “I’m sure that the SolGen (Calida) can explain his statement from the viewpoint of the DOJ, what is important […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

No ‘Flores de Mayo’ but antityranny protest in UP

Instead of wearing flowers in their hair and silken gowns like those worn by beauty queens in the traditional "Flores de Mayo" (Flowers of May), the five women wore signs of injustice as they paraded around the Sunken Garden on the campus of the University of the Philippines Diliman on Saturday in what organizers called "Protesta de Mayo Laban sa Tiraniya" (May Protest Against Tyranny). Eleanor de Guzman, daughter of detained National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) consultant Rafael Baylosis and partner of Tondo trade union organizer Marklen Maojo Maga, marched as "Reina de la Justicia" (Queen of Justice). Dressed in black and gold and carrying scales, De Guzman rep...Keep on reading: No ‘Flores de Mayo’ but antityranny protest in UP.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 28th, 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

Christian Monsod: Senate should protest Sereno’s ouster

One of the framers of the 1987 Constitution said the Senate should protest the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno via quo warranto proceeding because the upper chamber was denied the exercise of its power to remove a chief justice. "Senate should protest because the exercise of Supreme Court civil action is a derogation of the powers of the Senate who co-opted this process,"said Atty. Christian Monsod during the Quo Vadis, Quo Warranto Forum held at the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. "The people are watching what they will do," added Monsod, a member of the 1986 Constitutional Commission. Under the 1987 Constitution, at least one-third of the House members n...Keep on reading: Christian Monsod: Senate should protest Sereno’s ouster.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

It’s not just about Sereno

The unprecedented removal through quo warranto proceedings of Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno from her post isn’t only about her, or solely about the Supreme Court, the rule of law, the Constitution, or the Duterte regime and its autocratic pretensions. Even more crucially is it about the fate and future of the democratization process that […] The post It’s not just about Sereno appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

Leonen: Quo warranto a legal abomination

‘Sereno created too much of a political narrative’ LEONEN, J.: (Excerpts from dissenting opinion) I dissent. This Petition should have been dismissed outright and not given due course. It does not deserve space in judicial deliberation within our constitutional democratic space. Even if the Chief Justice has failed our expectations, quo warranto, as a process [...] The post Leonen: Quo warranto a legal abomination appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

JBC set to convene after Sereno’s ouster

The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is set to convene to begin the process of replacing Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was ousted as chief justice by the Supreme Court last week. This is to comply with the directive of the Supreme Court en banc to immediately open the application and nomination process for the position. [...] The post JBC set to convene after Sereno’s ouster appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018