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U.S. Supreme Court rules for baker in gay wedding cake case

WASHINGTON, USA – The US Supreme Court on Monday, May 4, ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to design a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, in a closely-watched case pitting gay rights against religious liberty. In a 7-2 decision, the high court ruled that while the Colorado ........»»

Category: newsSource: rappler rapplerJun 4th, 2018

SC applicants agree with U.S ruling favoring baker in gay wedding cake case

MANILA, Philippines – Three applicants for a spot on the bench at the Supreme Court (SC) said that they agree with the ruling of the United States Supreme Court which upheld the religious right of a Christian baker to refuse to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Court of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

[ANALYSIS] Unjust to De Lima, unjust to all

Perhaps it is an instructional coincidence that 2 days before the Supreme Court denied Senator Leila de Lima’s motion for reconsideration to allow her to appear in the oral arguments on the ICC Case, Zaldy Ampatuan was attending his daughter’s wedding by virtue of a furlough ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 3rd, 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

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

SC upholds R-II builders

High Court rules with finality: R-II Builders can sue NHA, HGC to recover P4B THE Supreme Court has declared as final its ruling that affirmed the right of R-II Builders, Inc. to file a case before the Quezon City regional trial court (RTC) to recover more than P4-billion from two….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMar 22nd, 2018

Group asks SC to probe de Castro for disclosing ‘confidential matters’

An anticorruption group on Monday urged the Supreme Court to investigate and punish Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro for allegedly breaking the high court's internal rules by disclosing "confidential matters" that were used in the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno in the House of Representatives. The information that De Castro allegedly gave to Manila Times reporter Jomar Canlas was cited by lawyer Lorenzo Gadon in the impeachment complaint he brought against Sereno. De Castro, the high court's second most senior justice, on Wednesday denied being the source of Canlas in a report he wrote about a court ruling that Sereno allegedly tampered wit...Keep on reading: Group asks SC to probe de Castro for disclosing ‘confidential matters’.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 28th, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court to rule on wedding cake that split America

WASHINGTON, United States – When Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig entered the "Masterpiece Cakeshop" bakery in a Denver suburb on July 19, 2012, they were giddy about choosing their wedding cake. The two men could not for a moment imagine that their cake-shopping excursion would wind up before the US Supreme ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2017

How Trump’s health care loss will shape his presidency – CNN News

The fate of Donald Trump's presidency may hinge on what he does next. His failure to convert the core campaign promise of repealing and replacing Obamacare &'8212; even with a GOP monopoly on power in Washington &'8212; has left the White House reeling. Trump and his advisers must now regroup and try to figure out how to avoid another legislative debacle on their next big issue, tax reform. They will do so knowing that a second failure could throttle his presidency. Once, Trump's aides viewed health care reform, presumably an easy early win, as a way to deliver momentum to his presidency and to build toward more sweeping change picked from his ambitious agenda. But the effort's ignominious defeat Friday has severely weakened the President, electrified Democrats and left Trump's declarations that he is the ultimate dealmaker who can change Washington looking increasingly hollow. Trump surprised some of those close to him with his reaction to Friday's health care collapse. He did not vent or rage. Instead in the Oval Office afterward Trump was &'8220;sullen and quiet&'8221; as he contemplated his first blow, dealt by the Washington swamp he had vowed to drain, one insider source said. The President was well aware he failed to deliver on an issue that stirs the passions of his political base. He was also mindful that the health care disaster would make his quest to tackle a behemoth tax package that much more difficult, the source said. Indeed, the early failure means that hundreds of billions of dollars in federal savings that the White House had earmarked to bankroll a tax code overhaul are nowhere to be seen. &'8220;It makes everything harder moving forward,&'8221; one Trump adviser said. Another senior administration official told CNN's Gloria Borger that tax reform could now have to be a &'8220;smaller version,&'8221; than originally planned and the problem would be explaining to the public that because the repeal of Obamacare didn't happen, there's &'8220;a trillion dollars less to deal with.&'8221; Already casting an eye toward the midterm elections, which typically hurt the President's own party, some of Trump's advisers fear Obamacare's underdog survival will provide a rallying point for their political foes. &'8220;Democrats will feel emboldened and their base will feel emboldened,&'8221; a senior administration official said. As the White House grasps for a bounce back strategy, his team must take another look at one of the most important questions that Trump faced when he took power, one lent more urgency by his humiliation over health care. They must consider whether his brand as an outsider &'8212; with broad strokes politics that exacerbates grievances, has little time for dissenters and is anchored around his imposing, unpredictable personality &'8212; can actually prosper in Washington. Ironically, it was the same forces of inertia and division in the capital that soured Trump's voters on the political establishment and helped elevate him to power that combined to defeat him in his first legislative venture. &'8220;I think what happened is that Washington won,&'8221; said Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney, in a frank moment Sunday on NBC's &'8220;Meet the Press.&'8221; &'8220;I think the one thing we learned this week is that Washington was a lot more broken than President Trump thought that it was,&'8221; said Mulvaney, adding &'8220;the status quo wins and, unfortunately, the folks back home lost.&'8221; Mulvaney's comments marked a stunning admission, given that he works for a President who brashly predicted he knew politics better than the politicians and would soon bring the city to heel with his negotiating flair and mastery of sealing a deal. Instead, two-thirds of the way through his crucial First 100 days, Trump is nowhere near any significant legislative victory. And health care reform's failure is not his only problem. His travel ban on citizens on a list of predominantly Muslim nations has twice been turned back by the courts. His budget, which features steep cuts in diplomacy spending to finance an increase for the military, is facing stiff resistance in Congress. A building intrigue over his campaign's ties to Russia is clouding the White House's mood. It now appears that the most tangible success of Trump's first months in office will be the expected confirmation of his Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil Gorsuch &'8212; though even that will further polarize Washington. Republicans are vowing to invoke the &'8220;nuclear option&'8221; by changing Senate rules so that Gorsuch can be confirmed with 51 votes, along party lines, rather than with the super-majority traditionally required for nominees to the nation's top bench. In one sense, it should not be surprising that Trump is struggling. He is the most inexperienced new president in history, and lacks the political networks and insider contacts that most commanders-in-chief take for granted when they take office. Capitol Hill sources report that the President appeared unfamiliar with the in-depth details of the health care bill, as he tried to move votes in meetings with holdout Republican lawmakers. And while his processor, Barack Obama, spent months marshaling Obamacare through Congress, Trump tried to ram through the repeal bill in a matter of weeks. That was part of a White House strategy to get a fast start in the First 100 Days to create a shock-and-awe sense of momentum. But the tactic appears to have backfired &'8212; especially in the case of Obamacare and the travel ban where too little time was spent assessing the political and [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 27th, 2017

SC rules on DDS case: PNP can search quarry for bodies

MANILA, Philippines - Two years ago, the existence of the Davao Death Squad (DDS) was enrolled and confirmed in the dockets of the Supreme Court of the Phili.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 24th, 2016

SC rules on DDS case: PNP can search quarry for bodies

By Malou Mangahas Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism TWO YEARS AGO, the existence of the &'8220;Davao Death Squad&'8221; or DDS was enrolled and confirmed in the dockets of the Supreme Court of the Philippines. In a decision issued on Nov. 9, .....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanewsRelated NewsSep 24th, 2016

Supreme Court rules to free former President Arroyo

via CNN Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo because of insufficient evidence and ordered her immediate release from her hospital detention. The High Court had ruled i.....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated NewsJul 20th, 2016

Delfin Lee to remain in jail — DOJ

Globe Asiatique president Delfin Lee will have to remain in jail despite the Supreme Court (SC) decision that downgraded his case and allowed him to post bail, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ)......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News17 hr. 40 min. ago

SC sides with oil firms in P3-B tax case vs BIR

THE Supreme Court (SC) has denied the petition of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to compel Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. and Petron Corp. to pay their alleged delinquent tax liabilities as the tax collector deemed as invalid the oil firms’ tax credit certificates (TCC). The post SC sides with oil firms in P3-B tax case vs BIR appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated News19 hr. 7 min. ago

Sara slams SC aspirant’s ploy

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio yesterday slammed efforts of an aspirant to a Supreme Court (SC) seat to dissuade complainants from pursuing the 2011 disbarment case against her, saying it was obviously a ploy to curry favor from her. The real agenda, according to Carpio, is to seek her endorsement for an appointment to an […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

Syndicated estafa against Lee pressed

The Office of the Solicitor General yesterday asked the Supreme Court to restore the syndicated estafa case against property developer Delfin Lee. In a 47-page motion for reconsideration, Solicitor General Jose Calida asked the court to set aside its 31 July ruling downgrading the charges against Globe Asiatic (GA) founder and president Lee; his son […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

Supreme Court rules BIR can t collect P3-B tax from Petron, Shell

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled in favor of oil companies Petron and Shell, barring the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from collecting P3 billion in supposed tax liabilities from the companies over the tax scam of the 1990s.  The SC’s First Division upheld ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

PH Withdrawal from ICC: Other Issues Distract Media from Oral Arguments

WITH SO many other issues in the news, the media has not kept track of the case filed in the Supreme Court (SC), which relates to the killing of thousands of Filipinos caused by the government’s ca Source link link: PH Withdrawal from ICC: Other Issues Distract Media from Oral Arguments.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsSep 19th, 2018

DOJ appeals SC ruling downgrading case vs Delfin Lee

The Department of Justice (DOJ) sought yesterday a reversal of a Supreme Court (SC) ruling that downgraded the charges filed against property developer Delfin Lee to simple estafa and allowed him to post bail......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

Teresita de Castro won’t vote on ICC withdrawal case

The Supreme Court will rule on the case involving the Duterte administration’s withdrawal of the country’s membership in the International Criminal Court without the vote of Chief Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018

PH Withdrawal from ICC: Other Issues Distract Media from Oral Arguments

WITH SO many other issues in the news, the media has not kept track of the case filed in the Supreme Court (SC), which relates to the killing of thousands of Filipinos caused by the government's ca.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsSep 18th, 2018