Patriots owner s prostitution case heads to appellate court

By TERRY SPENCER Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Prosecutors charging New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft with twice buying sex from massage parlor prostitutes will attempt to save their case this week by arguing to an appeals court that his rights weren't violated when police secretly video-recorded him in the act. Prosecutors will tell the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal during an online hearing Tuesday that a county judge erred when he invalidated the January 2019 search warrant allowing police to install secret cameras at Orchids of Asia spa as part of an alleged sex trafficking investigation. The judge said the warrant didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages, and he barred the videos’ use at trial as well as testimony about what they showed. If the ruling stands, it will deal a fatal blow to the prosecution's case. “Mr. Kraft's guilt is a virtual certainty” and he has no right to benefit from any possible mistakes police made involving innocent customers, Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa wrote in court documents. Kraft's attorneys vehemently disagreed, arguing that if the three-justice panel allows the videos' use, “civil liberties cherished in Florida and beyond” will be endangered. “If the state wins this appeal, then everyone loses, not just the accused,” attorney Frank Shepherd wrote. “Government could run roughshod over privacy and constitutional rights while evading scrutiny.” The Jupiter police recordings led to misdemeanor charges against Kraft and two dozen other alleged Orchids of Asia customers. The spa owners and some employees are charged with prostitution-related felonies. Most cases are in limbo while the appeals are heard. If prosecutors can’t use the videos, they would almost certainly dismiss any misdemeanor charges awaiting trial. Some defendants took plea deals but Kraft refused. The felony cases could proceed, as those have other evidence besides the videos. Kraft, a 79-year-old widower and part-time Palm Beach resident, has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology. He faces a possible one-year jail sentence if convicted, but would likely receive a fine, community service and other sanctions. Kraft, whom Forbes Magazine ranks as the 82nd richest American with a worth of almost $7 billion, is employing several high-priced attorneys to fight the charges. DeSousa submitted several arguments against Palm Beach County Judge Leonard Hanser's ruling. Among them: — The warrant is valid because police minimized any privacy invasion by having only three detectives monitor video. Any further minimization, such as recording only snippets of each massage, would have made the investigation impossible. — Kraft illegally paid for sex and is lawfully covered by the warrant, even if the justices determine police violated innocent customers' privacy rights. — If the warrant is invalid, the detectives relied on it “in good faith” and a sanction banning the video is too extreme. Shepherd submitted several counterarguments for Kraft. They include: — Detectives' privacy protection efforts were insufficient because they recorded seminude men and women receiving legal massages, making the Kraft recordings also illegal. — Police had enough evidence to charge the spa owners with felonies without recording, making the cameras “wholly gratuitous." — The evidence detectives presented to obtain the magistrate's warrant approval was “deliberately misleading,” negating any argument they acted in good faith. The justices won’t immediately rule after the hearing; decisions usually takes weeks. The losing side will likely appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, which could accept the case or let the justices’ ruling stand. Authorities say the Orchids of Asia investigation was part of a multicounty probe into possible sex trafficking by spa owners who they believe brought women from China and elsewhere to work as prostitutes. About 300 people were charged with various felonies and misdemeanors, but no trafficking charges were pursued — prosecutors say they received no cooperation from masseuses whom they suspect were trafficked. According to police, Kraft's chauffeur drove him to Orchids of Asia on the evening of Jan. 19, 2019, where detectives recorded him engaging in a sex act with two women and then paying an undetermined amount in cash. Investigators said Kraft returned the next morning and engaged in recorded sex acts with a woman before paying with a $100 bill and another bill. Hours later, Kraft was in Kansas City for the AFC Championship game, where his Patriots defeated the Chiefs. His team then won the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta, the Patriots’ sixth NFL championship under his ownership. Prosecutors offered to drop the charges if Kraft entered a diversion program for first-time offenders. That would include an admission he would be found guilty if the case went to trial, a $5,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and attending a class on the dangers of prostitution and its connection to human trafficking. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT Tuesday on the court's YouTube channel......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 29th, 2020

Judges question warrants in Kraft massage parlor sex case

By TERRY SPENCER Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida appellate judges on Tuesday questioned the legality of search warrants that let police secretly video record New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others paying for massage parlor sex, pressing a prosecutor on his contention that the warrants were legally valid. Deputy Solicitor General Jeffrey DeSousa found himself repeatedly queried by the three-judge panel as he tried to persuade them that the warrants and searches met all constitutional protections and that they should overturn lower court rulings that barred the recordings' use at trial. Misdemeanor charges against Kraft, 79, and other customers would have to be dropped if those rulings stand, although felony charges against the spa owners might proceed as there is other evidence against them. Kraft and others were charged in February 2019 in a multi-county investigation of massage parlors that included the secret installation of video cameras in the spas' lobbies and rooms. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them. Police say they twice recorded Kraft, a widower, paying for sex at the Orchids of Asia massage parlor. Kraft has pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology. Judge Robert Gross, who presided at the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal hearing, seemed taken aback by DeSousa's contention that he and his colleagues should primarily consider the plain language of the Fourth Amendment. It says judges can issue warrants if police demonstrate probable cause of a crime, that warrants must specify the place to be searched and what can be seized. Gross told DeSousa he seemed to be ignoring numerous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court expanding Fourth Amendment protections since the 1960s, including some that restrict electronic surveillance by police. “You are getting us off on the wrong foot by focusing on the language of the Fourth Amendment when we should be focusing on the Supreme Court jurisprudence....that is heavily weighted against you,” Gross told DeSousa. The 90-minute hearing included arguments on whether cameras were necessary; on whether the police violated the privacy of customers who simply received massages; and on the proper sanction if the defendants' rights were violated. The attorneys for Kraft and the other defendants argued that police failed to minimize the privacy violations they committed by recording innocent customers, including women, who received legal massages. “These cameras, that were put into private massage rooms where patrons would be undressing as a matter of course, they recorded everything," Kraft attorney Derek Shaffer said. He said Kraft “had the same reasonable expectation of privacy that any massage patron going to a licensed facility would be entitled.” Attorneys also argued the cameras weren't necessary as police already had enough evidence to charge the spa owners, including bank records, website advertising, outside video surveillance and napkins containing bodily fluids retrieved from garbage bins. The only proper punishment for prosecutors and police, they argued, is to throw out all recordings. DeSousa argued that police and prosecutors need the recording to convict the owners of felonies. The owners must be shown receiving payments from the prostitutes and the only way to get that is to install cameras, he said. He said detectives had to fully record all massages, because the sex acts happened at their conclusion and 95% of male customers received one. While no female customers paid for sex, they were few in number and to not record them could be seen as discriminating against men, he said. DeSousa said even if the court finds police violated innocent customers' privacy rights, the Supreme Court has ruled that in most circumstances, only improperly seized evidence should be thrown out. Since Kraft, the other men and the masseuses were engaged in crimes, their recordings should be permitted, he said. “Given the unique and difficult circumstances confronting these officers, the conspiracy, the logistics of the operation, what they reasonably anticipated they would see and the difficulty of knowing at the start of any given massage will this end with a happy ending or will it not, we think what law enforcement did here was entirely reasonable,” DeSousa said. The court usually takes weeks to issue rulings. The losing side will likely appeal to the state Supreme Court, which could accept the case or let the decision stand. If convicted, Kraft would likely receive a fine, community service and other sanctions, but he could also be suspended or otherwise punished by the National Football League......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 1st, 2020

Co-ownership presumed in void marriages

Last week, I wrote about the partition of properties that follows after the marriage between spouses is declared null and void. As discussed then, whatever property regime (absolute community, conjugal partnership or complete separation) the parties followed during marriage will not come into play once the marriage is annulled. This is so because as expressly declared by Article 147 of the Family Code, properties acquired during cohabitation after the same has been declared null, shall be considered co-owned by the parties. By co-ownership means, the once-married spouses now own them fifty-fifty. But note that said provision of the law expressly states that “in the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares.” From the above, co-ownership is a disputable presumption.  So for as long as a party proves otherwise, the fifty-fifty presumption will not be upheld by the courts. Ok, so what if during the marriage, husband A buys a house. In the title, the registered owner is only him, although it explicitly states that he is married to his wife B. B, on the other hand, purchases a condominium unit. The title this time bears only her name as the registered owner, without even any express mention that she is married to A. Let us just say that one day, one of them obtains a declaration of nullity of their marriage and partition of property follows. So we all know that whatever properties they obtained during the time they lived together will be co-owned by them, correct? Yes, that is right. But can A claim that the house he bought is his alone as borne by the title itself. Had they, A and B, jointly bought them, then the registered owners should be them both. Following that argument, can B now claim that her title to the condominium unit is enough proof to show that it was acquired solely through her efforts?  Well as things seem, yes; the presumption of co-ownership has been overcome. And necessarily, the house must go to A alone while the condominium to B exclusively. Will this be a correct interpretation of the provisions of the Family Code? Here is how the Supreme Court resolved the issue in Virginia Ocampo v. Deogracio Ocampo (G.R. No. 198908 promulgated on 3 August 2015).  “From the foregoing, property acquired by both parties through their work and industry should, therefore, be governed by the rules on equal co-ownership.  Any property acquired during the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts.  A party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property shall be considered as having contributed to the same jointly if said party’s efforts consisted of the care and maintenance of the family household. Efforts in the care and maintenance of the family and household are regarded as contributions to the acquisition of common property by one who has no salary or income or work or industry.  In the instant case, both the trial and appellate courts agreed that the subject properties were in fact acquired during the marriage of Virginia and Deogracio.  We give due deference to factual findings of trial courts, especially when affirmed by the appellate court, as in this case. A reversal of this finding can only occur if petitioners show sufficient reason for us to doubt its correctness.  There is none, in this case.  Likewise, we note that the former spouses both substantially agree that they acquired the subject properties during the subsistence of their marriage.  The certificates of titles and tax declarations are not sufficient proof to overcome the presumption under Article 116 of the Family Code.  All properties acquired by the spouses during the marriage, regardless in whose name the properties are registered, are presumed conjugal unless proved otherwise.  The presumption is not rebutted by the mere fact that the certificate of title of the property or the tax declaration is in the name of one of the spouses only.  Article 116 expressly provides that the presumption remains even if the property is ‘registered in the name of one or both of the spouses’. Thus, the failure of Virginia to rebut this presumption, said properties were obtained by the spouses’ joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be jointly owned by them in equal shares.  Accordingly, the partition of the former spouses’ properties on the basis of co-ownership, as ordered by the RTC and the appellate court, should be affirmed.” Clear as day then.  The fact that a title is solely in the name of a spouse does not overcome the presumption of co-ownership.  It takes more than that.  What then is needed to overcome the presumption?  Consult your counsel. The quoted provision of the decision is from the case mentioned above. The post Co-ownership presumed in void marriages appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 14th, 2023

Change of address information failure

If you are party to a case, it is vital that you inform the court where you want to receive its orders and decisions. Failure to do so might lead to disastrous consequences. Imagine losing the opportunity to file a motion for reconsideration solely because you did not inform the court about your change of address. Good if you won the case. At least there is nothing for you to ask the court to reconsider. But what if you lost? In Patrica Q. Austria-Carreon vs. Luis Emmanuel C. Carreon (G.R. 222908 promulgated on 6 December 2021), petitioner Patricia filed for a declaration of nullity of her marriage to her husband Luis. The trial court, after due proceedings, found the case meritorious and declared the parties’ marriage void. The State, through the Office of the Solicitor-General however, did not agree. It appealed the case to the Court of Appeals, which eventually decided the case in favor of the OSG’s argument. It reversed the trial court’s decision. The Court of Appeals after rendering said decision, furnished the parties a copy of the decision at their official addresses on record. Prior to the decision, however, petitioner Patricia’s counsel withdrew from the case. Said counsel requested the court that in lieu of his address, all orders of the court be furnished to Patricia at her own address. And accordingly, the appellate court did so. Unfortunately, petitioner Patricia, by the time the decision was sent to her address, no longer lived there. She, however, did not inform the court about her new address. The decision then became final and executory. Months ensued and Patricia asked her new counsel to check on the status of the case. Her new counsel found out there was already an entry of judgment, meaning the decision was no longer subject to reconsideration. Patricia argued in her motion for reconsideration that she never received the decision. Her argument did not merit the nod of the appellate court. Thus, the petitioner took the issue to the Supreme Court. This is the Highest Court’s pronouncement. “The records reveal that only petitioner could be faulted for her failure to receive a copy of the CA Decision. From the time of Atty. Bihis’ withdrawal of appearance as petitioner’s counsel on 12 September 2012, which was done with her conformity, until 12 January 2016, when petitioner’s new counsel filed a Formal Entry of Appearance with Motion for Reconsideration with the CA, the petitioner did not bother to secure the services of a new counsel. Worse, she transferred to another residence without informing the CA of her new address, which led to her failure to track the notices of the case.  The records of the case also showed that the petitioner no longer filed the required appellee’s brief before the CA. The general rule is that where a party is represented by an attorney in an action or proceedings in a court of record, all required notices must be given to the attorney on record. The service of the court’s order upon any person other than counsel on record is not legally effective and binding upon the party, and it may not start the running of the corresponding reglementary period for the subsequent procedural steps that may be taken by the attorney.  Here, there was no counsel of record at the time the CA rendered the assailed decision because the petitioner’s former counsel withdrew his appearance, with her conformity. As such, the CA sent all notices to the petitioner’s address on record. The notices were then returned unserved for the reason that the petitioner had ‘moved out.’  Indeed, petitioner cannot successfully invoke denial of due process in failing to receive the CA decision because of her own fault.  Petitioner slept on her rights; first, by not securing the service of a new counsel after the withdrawal of representation by her former counsel with her conformity; and second, by not informing the CA of her new address.  To countenance petitioner’s act would put a premium on negligence and encourage the non-termination of cases simply by not informing the courts of a new forwarding address.”   See how devastating a simple mistake can do.  Had she informed the court about her new address, she could have been informed right away about the court’s decision.  More importantly, she could have done what was necessary; that is file a motion for reconsideration, within the period allowed by the rules.  And had she done so, she may not have lost the fight. The facts and quoted salient portion of the decision are from the case mentioned above. The post Change of address information failure appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 21st, 2023

Princes Harry, Andrew out in the cold at coronation

Princes Harry and Andrew will both attend the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday but will have no formal role in proceedings -- confirming they remain out in the cold. Charles's younger son Harry and his American wife Meghan quit royal duties in 2020 and have since unleashed a string of barbed attacks on the monarchy. Andrew, the king's brother, has been frozen out over his past association with the disgraced late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and a related sexual abuse allegation which was settled out of court. Harry, 38, the Duke of Sussex, and 63-year-old Andrew, the Duke of York, will attend the coronation service at London's Westminster Abbey but will not perform any duties. The pair will also be absent from the public procession behind the Gold State Coach carrying the newly crowned king from the abbey back to Buckingham Palace after the ceremony. But they may yet appear on the palace balcony. Harry is fifth in line to the throne, following his brother Prince William, and William's three children -- Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis of Wales. Andrew is eighth in line, coming after Harry and his children -- Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet of Sussex. After finally deciding to attend, Harry's every move will be heavily scrutinized. He rejoins his family for the first time since subjecting them to a torrent of stinging criticism in his memoir "Spare" and in a series of television interviews. Meghan has remained in California with the children, thereby avoiding potentially awkward interactions with her in-laws. At the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the royal dukes each paid personal homage and allegiance to the monarch, in a public vow of loyalty. They pledged to "become your liege man of life and limb, and of earthly worship; and faith and truth I will bear unto you, to live and die, against all manner of folks. So help me God." But this time, only William, the heir to the throne, will speak "the words of fealty" and pay "the homage of royal blood", as the coronation liturgy calls it -- sparing Harry from having to kneel before his father. Buckingham Palace has not said whether Harry and Andrew will or will not appear on the palace balcony following the ceremony. At Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations last June for her 70 years on the throne, the balcony appearance was restricted to working royals only. But her coronation in 1953 featured multiple balcony appearances, so Harry and Andrew might potentially appear in a wider royal family gathering. Saturday marks Archie's fourth birthday, so Harry might make a swift exit back to his home in California. Andrew's links with Epstein -- boyfriend of the prince's friend Ghislaine Maxwell -- came back to haunt him. A US woman, Virginia Giuffre, said she was pressured to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 after being delivered by Epstein, who was convicted in 2008 of procuring a child for prostitution. Andrew denied the allegations in a November 2019 BBC interview that nonetheless went down badly. Within days, he stepped back from his patronages and in May 2020 he permanently resigned from all public roles. The case was settled out of court in February 2022, with Giuffre accepting a donation to her charity and no admission of liability from Andrew. Andrew took part in events surrounding Queen Elizabeth II's funeral but, beyond mourning his mother, Charles has shown no sign of allowing him a return to public life. The post Princes Harry, Andrew out in the cold at coronation appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 6th, 2023

SC to decide on NTC legal battle vs. Newsnet

National Telecommunications Commission is taking its legal battle against News and Entertainment Network Corp. to the Supreme Court after the appellate court decided to favor the petition of the network to reinstate its nationwide operations. Responding to reports that the Court of Appeal’s Former Eighth Division junked its Motion for Reconsideration, the NTC reiterated Wednesday that since the decision is not final, it will elevate the case to SC. The NTC said it has yet to receive a copy of the CA resolution but it maintained that the mandamus could no longer be enforced after the Anti-Red Tape Authority reversed its 12 February 2022 decision. It directed the Commission to automatically approve Newsnet’s application to install, operate and maintain a local multipoint distribution system or LMDS. LMDS will enable Newsnet to deliver interactive pay television and multimedia services nationwide in the 25.35GHz-26.35GHz frequency range. The ARTA, in a resolution dated 17 June 2022 recalled its previous decision favoring Newsnet, a move that was eventually upheld by the Office of the President. “The ARTA has already reversed itself so there is no ARTA Decision that can be subject to mandamus. On 31 March 2023, the Office of the President affirmed ARTA’s action, saying that "Thus, ARTA’s vacating of its orders were like executing of or complying with the DOJ  ruling that it did not possess the power to issue its 12 February 2020,” the NTC said. “For having been issued more than its powers, the 12 February 2020 Order never became final and was properly vacated,” it added. The OP dismissed Newsnet’s appeal to reverse ARTA’s order nullifying its earlier ruling on the “automatic approval” of Newsnet’s application. The OP held that ARTA had no jurisdiction over the assignment of frequencies, the recall of ARTA’s 12 February 2020 order was only proper having been rendered without jurisdiction, and the expiration of Newsnet’s franchise rendered its application moot. Meanwhile, the NTC insisted that Newsnet could no longer be allowed to operate and be assigned a radio frequency after its legislative franchise expired in August 2021. “The Supreme Court, in a long line of decisions, which includes Divinagracia v. Consolidated Broadcasting System & People’s Broadcasting Service, Inc. and Associated Communications and Wireless Services United Broadcasting Networks v. NTC, has put to rest the ‘no franchise, no operations’ doctrine for broadcast companies, which include Newsnet which will use radio frequencies in its LMDS operations,” the NTC pointed out. “The latest SC decision in point is ABS-CBN Corporation v. National Telecommunications Commission,” it added. The regulatory body, in a decision dated 18 May 2022 in NTC Case 2021-175, already made permanent the cease and desist order against Newsnet. In the same ruling, the NTC had already recalled all of Newsnet’s frequencies for lack of a valid congressional franchise. The post SC to decide on NTC legal battle vs. Newsnet appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 26th, 2023

Rape allegation against Trump heads to civil trial

A civil trial over an allegation that ex-president Donald Trump raped a prominent former American columnist three decades ago got underway Tuesday with jury selection. The writer E. Jean Carroll says Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York department store and then defamed her after she went public with the allegation years later. Trump, who is facing a barrage of legal woes that threaten to derail his 2024 run for a second presidential term, has repeatedly denied the allegations. The start of the trial, which stems from a lawsuit Carroll filed against Trump, comes just weeks after Trump's historic arraignment on criminal charges related to a hush-money payment made to a porn star. Carroll, a former columnist for Elle magazine, says she was raped by Trump in the changing room at the luxury Bergdorf Goodman department store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 1995 or 1996. The now-79-year-old said the attack came after Trump asked her for advice on buying a women's lingerie gift. Carroll, who was in court for the start of proceedings Tuesday, first made the allegation in an excerpt from her book published by New York Magazine in 2019. Trump responded then by saying he has never met her, that she was "not my type" and that she was "totally lying." Carroll initially sued Trump for defamation in 2019 but was unable to include the rape claim because the statute of limitations for the alleged offense had expired. But a new law took effect in November last year in New York that gave victims of sexual assault a one-year window to sue their alleged abusers decades after attacks may have occurred. Lawyers for Carroll filed a new suit that accused Trump of battery, "when he forcibly raped and groped" her. It also included defamation for a post that Trump made on his Truth Social platform in October where he denied the alleged rape and referred to Carroll as a "complete con job." Psychological harm The suit seeks unspecified damages for "significant pain and suffering, lasting psychological and pecuniary harms, loss of dignity and self-esteem, and invasion of her privacy." It also asks that Trump retracts his comments. Around a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. He has denied all the allegations and has never been prosecuted over any of them. No criminal prosecution can stem from the Carroll case but if Trump loses it will be the first time he has ever been held legally liable for an allegation of sexual assault. Trump has provided sworn testimony in the case and is not expected to take the witness stand during the trial as Carroll's lawyers have said they do not intend to call him. The trial in Manhattan is likely to last between one to two weeks. Trump became the first sitting or former president to have ever been charged with a crime when he was arrested in the hush-money case earlier this month. He pleaded not guilty to 34 counts related to the payment made just before the 2016 election that propelled him to the White House. Trump is also being investigated over his efforts to overturn his 2020 election loss in the southern state of Georgia, his alleged mishandling of classified documents taken from the White House, and his involvement in the storming of the US Capitol on 6 January 2021. The post Rape allegation against Trump heads to civil trial appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 25th, 2023

Libelous jealousy

Dear Atty. Peachy, I recently broke up with my boyfriend of six months. I felt like we do not share the same values and decided to end the relationship. My ex-boyfriend tried to woo me back and asked me to give our relationship a chance but I was adamant to end it. Three weeks ago, I went to Japan for an incentive trip with my boss and my workmates. A few days after the trip, several of my friends who are also Facebook friends of my ex informed me of my ex-boyfriend’s Facebook post allegedly about me. The post says, “I gave you everything but it was apparently not enough. I hope you had a great time in Japan and your boss’ wife and family did not find out about your affair. Perhaps you were looking for a father figure since your dad left you and your mom for another woman. I was hoping you learned from that experience and would not break another family but apparently, not.” I was shocked and humiliated. My ex had been so jealous of my boss during our relationship but I have assured him several times that there is nothing between my boss and me other than our professional relationship. After the feeling of shock and humiliation, anger filled me. I called my best friend and told her about my plan to file a libel case against my ex. She said that, while she understands how I am feeling, my case might not hold water in court because libel involves something that was said on print and not on social media. She also pointed out that I was not even particularly mentioned in the post. Is she correct that I do not have a cause of action for libel against my ex? Rachelle ***** Dear Rachelle, You have a cause of action for libel against your ex-boyfriend. Nowadays, raves and rants are easily taken to social media. However, while one can use freedom of speech as an excuse to post anything, it does not give them a blanket license to say anything defamatory against any person. Defamatory remarks that can destroy a person’s reputation can make someone liable of the crime of libel. Netizens should be careful and not abusive of their statements posted online. Defamation law has evolved throughout the years. The Internet has allowed more free speech than before and more opportunities to anyone who has access thereto to easily destroy someone’s character with just a post or a comment in social media. Prior to the enactment of the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, there was a debate on whether the required “publication” in libel encompasses social media, which was not yet in existence when the RPC was enacted. RA 10175 ended that debate. The crime of libel in the Philippines is defined and penalized under Article 353, in relation to Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code. Online libel is simply libel, in its traditional sense, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future. The traditional elements or requisites of libel still apply. For an imputation to be libelous under Art. 353 of the RPC, the following requisites must be present: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be malicious; (c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable. A fifth element or requisite is added under RA 10175 for online libel, that is, the act must be committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future. Your ex-boyfriend may be held liable of online liable as he made the post available to the public through social media, unless he will be able to prove that what he stated in his post is true and he posted it in good faith and without malicious intent. As regards the element of the identifiability of the victim, please note that, even if the name of the person is not indicated in the post, the owner of the post is still liable so long as the other persons who read the libelous post can identify the person alluded to by description or reference to facts and circumstances. In your case, at least one person (more than one, in fact) was able to identify you as the object of the post made by your ex-boyfriend. Atty. Peachy Selda-Gregorio The post Libelous jealousy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2023

Filed out of time

Here you see the strict application of the rules of procedure; where non-compliance results in the disallowance of the review of the merits of a case You may have noticed that I usually write about annulment cases. What I write about today is also about annulment but has nothing to do with the merits of the case. Rather, it focuses on the procedure involved in annulment, and how crucial compliance is. As I emphasized before, rules of procedure must be strictly followed. Its compliance can mean the case’s victory; while non-compliance, its demise. In Republic of the Philippines v. Teresita I. Salinas (G.R. 238308 promulgated on 12 October 2022), the wife filed for an annulment. After due proceedings, the court granted the petition and accordingly, declared her marriage null and void. The Office of the Solicitor General or OSG, however, disagreed. It filed a motion for reconsideration. The court denied its motion on 27 July 2015. The OSG received the denial on 4 August 2015. Under the rules, any appeal should be done within 15 days from receipt of the order. Thus, the OSG had until 19 August 2015. An appeal may be filed personally with the court or sent by registered mail to it. The OSG opted to mail. Problem is, it did so only on 5 October 2015, said date having been stamped on the envelope by the post office where the notice of appeal was mailed. This filing date is obviously way beyond the 19 August 2015 deadline. Naturally, the court denied the appeal ruling it was time-barred. The OSG elevated the matter before the Court of Appeals. Upon review, the appellate court did not grant the appellant its nod. It was of the considered view that the OSG was not able to timely appeal its cause. This is even though the OSG presented its official records showing that the appeal was filed within the prescribed period. Not being sustained by the appellate court, the OSG had no other source of relief but the Supreme Court. Failure to obey leads to a case’s sudden end no matter how meritorious it is. When this issue was posed, the Highest Court ruled, “plainly, the pleading’s filing date can be proved either by (1) the post stamp on the envelope, which is considered part of the records; or, (2) the registry receipt. Thus, no grave abuse of discretion can be imputed to the RTC in considering the date stamped on the envelope of the Republic’s Notice of Appeal, which was 5 October 2015, as the date of the filing. Contrary to the CA’s ruling, the photocopy of the OSG Inner Registered Sack Bill cannot be equated to a registry receipt nor given probative value. Unlike a registry receipt, the OSG’s Inner Registered Sack Bill was not issued or signed by the postmaster or any authorized receiving personnel of the concerned post office; hence, unverified to be authentic. It was merely a list of mail matters supposedly sent out by the OSG with corresponding entry and registry numbers, addresses, and posting dates. “Thus, even if we admit the authenticity of the OSG Inner Sack Bill, it cannot be a sufficient basis to conclude that the mail matter pertaining to the Notice of Appeal listed on it was actually dispatched and received by the Ermita Post Office on 18 August 2015. The Republic attempted to bolster its claim of timely filing by presenting a Certification issued by the Ermita Post Office postmaster. Contrary to the Republic’s argument, this certification does not suffice to prove that it filed its Notice of Appeal on 18 August 2015 given that a different date appears on the envelope containing such pleading. “We reiterate, under Section 3, Rule 13 of the Rules, the date of filing is shown either in the post office stamp on the envelope or the registry receipt. Thus, while the postmaster’s certification is usually sufficient proof of mailing, its evidentiary value is different in this case as it is not merely intended to prove the fact of mailing, but to prove that the date stamped on the pleading’s envelope was either incorrect due to the post office’s inadvertence or not stamped by the post office. “We stress, the envelope and the date appearing on it is made part of the records; hence, it carries the presumption that the date stamped on it was done in the course of the official duties that have been regularly performed, unless proven otherwise. Starkly, the Certification is bereft of any explanation as to the discrepancy between the date appearing on the envelope and the date stated in the Certification. “At this juncture, it is noteworthy that the Republic provided us with no means of ascertaining whether the RTC erred in appreciating the genuineness of the date appearing on the envelope since it did not attach the Notice of Appeal with the affidavit of service, if any, and the subject envelope. Note that even the pertinent RTC orders were attached to this petition for our reference and evaluation. Hence, we are constrained to uphold the factual findings of the RTC, which was able to actually see the questioned document/s.” Here you see the strict application of the rules of procedure; where non-compliance results in the disallowance of the review of the merits of a case. It is imperative to adhere strictly to these rules to avoid any fatal technical infirmity. Failure to obey leads to a case’s sudden end no matter how meritorious it is. The facts and ruling are from the case cited above. The post Filed out of time appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsApr 23rd, 2023

Fox News settles defamation case for $787.5-M

American conservative news television channel Fox News has settled a defamation lawsuit from a voting technology company to the tune of P787.5 million. Judge Eric Davis announced Tuesday the last-minute agreement after the 12 jurors had been selected and the Delaware Superior Court was readying to hear opening arguments on the case. The largest settlement ever for a defamation case was triggered by the news network’s reporting of Dominion’s vote-counting machines as used for rigging the 2020 United States election in favor of Joe Biden. Dominion sued Fox News for $1.6 billion in March 2021, alleging it promoted Donald Trump’s baseless claim and aired the lies despite knowing they were untrue. Fox News denied defamation, claiming it was only reporting on Trump’s allegations, not supporting them. Under the settlement agreement, Fox hosts are not required to apologize on-air or admit spreading falsehoods. The agreement also spares its star anchors, such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, to avoid appearing on the witness stand. Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch also avoided a high-profile trial that would have compelled him to testify in open court. “We acknowledge the court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false,” Fox News said in a statement, adding it was pleased to have ended the dispute, Agence France-Presse reported. Dominion CEO John Poulos told reporters outside the court that Fox had “admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees, and our customers. Nothing can ever make up for that.” The post Fox News settles defamation case for $787.5-M appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 19th, 2023

Fox News settles defamation case for $787.5M, avoiding trial

Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement Tuesday in a defamation case brought by voting technology company Dominion that alleged the network knowingly aired false claims linking its machines to a conspiracy to undermine the 2020 US election. The agreement to end the case avoided what most experts suggested would have been a damaging, high-profile trial for the conservative channel in which owner Rupert Murdoch would have been compelled to testify in open court. Judge Eric Davis announced the last-minute agreement after the 12 jurors had been selected and the Delaware Superior Court was readying to hear opening arguments. Fox News said in a statement it was "pleased" to have ended the dispute and added: "We acknowledge the court's rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false." Dominion CEO John Poulos told reporters outside the court that Fox had "admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees, and our customers. Nothing can ever make up for that." The proceedings, trailed by the New York Times as "the defamation trial of the century," had been due to test the limits of free speech rights for media in America when wilfully broadcasting misinformation. Analysts had predicted it could be one of the most consequential libel hearings in US legal history. The settlement, believed one of the largest in a defamation case ever, means star anchors, such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity will also avoid appearing on the witness stand. US media reported that the agreement does not require Fox hosts to apologize on-air or admit spreading falsehoods. Dominion sued Fox News for $1.6 billion in March 2021, alleging it promoted Donald Trump's baseless claim that its machines were used to rig the presidential election he lost to Joe Biden. Dominion argued that Fox aired the lies despite knowing they were untrue. It said the network began endorsing Trump's conspiracy because the channel was losing audience to smaller rivals after it became the first television outlet to call the southwestern state of Arizona for Biden, effectively projecting the Democrat would win the presidency. Fox News denied defamation. It claimed it was only reporting on Trump's allegations, not supporting them, and was protected by free speech rights enshrined in the First Amendment of the US Constitution. The protection makes it difficult for plaintiffs to win defamation suits in the United States. In pre-trial hearings, Davis ruled that there was no question Fox aired false statements about Dominion. For Dominion to have won however, it would have been required to prove that Fox News acted with actual malice -- knowing the information was wrong or having a "reckless disregard" for the truth. The tough burden has been a bedrock of US media law since 1964. Dominion released a trove of internal Fox News communications in which some commentators and executives balked at Trump's claims and even expressed a dislike of the ex-president despite praising him on air -- evidence, it said, of malice. A filing showed that Murdoch described comments by former Trump advisors Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell pushing Trump's claim that the election was stolen from him as "really crazy stuff. And damaging." Murdoch also admitted in a deposition in the case that some on-air hosts had "endorsed" the lie but he denied that the network in its entirety had pushed it, according to court documents filed by Dominion. Carlson told staff he couldn't wait until he could "ignore Trump most nights," adding: "I hate him passionately." Fox News accused Dominion of "cherry-picking and taking quotes out of context." John Culhane, a professor at Delaware Law School at Widener University, said high-profile Fox names defending themselves in court would have been much worse for the network than the settlement. "The audio would have been replayed a thousand times, forever," he told AFP. Fox News has overcome several crises in recent years and was the most-watched cable news channel for a seventh year in a row last year, well ahead of competitors MSNBC and CNN. It employs some traditional news reporters, but the majority of its airtime is given to conservative commentators, including in prime-time shows. "The network has been completely exposed as a partisan propaganda outlet that is willing to do anything for profit and power," said Media Matters advocacy group president Angelo Carusone, reacting to the settlement. The post Fox News settles defamation case for $787.5M, avoiding trial appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 19th, 2023

CA junks Ampatuan plea on hospital confinement

The Court of Appeals announced on Tuesday that it has affirmed its decision rejecting the plea of murder convict and former Autonomous Region on Muslim Mindanao Governor Datu Zaldy Ampatuan for hospital confinement. In a resolution dated 11 April 2023 but was only released Tuesday, the CA’s Former Seventeenth Division (Special Division of Five) denied Ampatuan’ motion for reconsideration of its decision issued last 4 July 2022 upholding the ruling issued by the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City  Branch 221 denying the petitioner’s urgent motion  to be transferred from the New Bilibid Prisons to a hospital at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Ampatuan’s camp previously claimed that he was vulnerable to contracting Covid-19 while inside the NBP due to his delicate condition, having suffered stroke on three different occasions. He added that he was also suffering from hypertension, diabetes and chronic atrial fibrillation. However, the request was denied by the trial court, saying that the NBP has its own facility where he could receive proper medical treatment, if necessary and was upheld by the CA in a seven-page decision issued on 20 July 2022. The appellate court stressed that Ampatuan failed to justify how the “clear and present danger” rule applies to his case considering that the issues he raised neither involved the freedom of expression nor of religion. It noted that the petition was filed by Ampatuan  when general community quarantine was still being implemented due to high Covid-19 infections and vaccines against the virus were not yet available. The CA pointed out  that the number of Covid-19 have  significantly gone down following the roll-out of the vaccination program by the government  in March 2021. “These developments are based on and affirmed by official statements of the government and are also of public knowledge of which judicial notice may be taken. And while the Court in the case at bar is called upon to make a determination of whether respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed order, these events and developments have supervened, thereby rendering the reliefs prayed for moot,” the CA ruled. The post CA junks Ampatuan plea on hospital confinement appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsApr 18th, 2023

Right of way

Dear Atty. Joji,   I own a property, a farm to be exact. The route though, before I get to my farm, will touch a neighbor’s property. Since my farm is enclosed by other properties, can I demand a right of way? Thank you po.   Gerard   --------------------------------------------------------   Dear Gerard,   To answer your question, we shall refer to Article 649 of the New Civil Code, which reads as follows: “Article 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable, which is surrounded by other immovables pertaining to other persons and without adequate outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates, after payment of the proper indemnity. xxx” (Emphasis supplied). To be entitled to an easement of right of way, the following requisites should be met: —  The dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway — There is payment of proper indemnity — The isolation is not due to the acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate — The right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest. One of the requisites for a compulsory grant of right of way is that the estate of the claimant of a right of way must be isolated and without outlet to a public highway. In the case of Dichoso Jr. vs Marcos (GR 180282, 11 April 2011), the Court ratiocinated, through Associate Justice Antonio Eduardo Nachura, that “the true standard for the grant of compulsory right of way is adequacy of outlet going to a public highway and not the convenience of the dominant estate.” (Emphasis supplied) Hope this helps.   Atty. Joji Alonso The post Right of way appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 12th, 2023

IT school awarded legal fees after winning licensing case

MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) denied the appeal filed by an educational institution against a ruling to pay legal fees to STI Education Systems Group Inc.The appellate court affirmed on July 12 the 2020 ruling of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 146 that awarded PHP294,000 in lawy.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJul 19th, 2022

Decade-long Oracle-Google copyright case heads to top US court

A decade-old legal battle between Silicon Valley giants Oracle and Google over software rights moves to the Supreme Court Wednesday, in a case with enormous implications for copyright in the digital era......»»

Category: techSource:  thestandardRelated NewsOct 6th, 2020

Comelec: Tulfo ACT-CIS assumption no problem

The Commission on Elections disclosed on Friday that there would be no problem for Erwin Tulfo to assume the vacant seat of Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support or ACT-CIS Partylist as their fourth nominee. This comes after the poll body’s Second Division’s junked the disqualification petition filed against Tulfo over “lack of jurisdiction” due to the petition being filed out of the prescribed time by the poll body. “The petition was in fact dismissed, and then at any time, Tulfo can, in fact, ascend to the post, take the oath of office and assume that post,” said Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco. The petition challenged Tulfo’s assumption of the third ACT-CIS seat vacated by their third nominee, Jeffrey Soriano, who resigned last February. Based on rules of succession, Tulfo, being the fourth nominee in this case, should assume the post. To recall, ACT-CIS led the party-list race in last year’s elections, gaining 2,111,091 or 5.74-percent of the votes, making them the sole party to gain three seats in the 19th Congress. However, Tolentino’s petition raised concerns over Tulfo’s citizenship and previous membership in the United States’ Army, as well as his libel conviction in 2008 on ‘Tulfo v. People of the Philippines.’ In their resolution, the Comelec Second Division argued that the petition for disqualification filed by Atty. Moises Tolentino against Tulfo was long after the proclamation of ACT-CIS and its three seats in Congress on 26 May last year. Laudiangco said that the decision will be deemed final and executory five days after the promulgation – or at 30 April, unless challenged through a motion for reconsideration by Tolentino or if the Supreme Court intervened. “After the lapse of the said period on 30 May, if the petitioner failed to file a motion for the consideration, then the decision will become final and executory, unless of course, [it will be] restrained by the Supreme Court,” said Laudiangco. The post Comelec: Tulfo ACT-CIS assumption no problem appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

Another Degamo slay suspect recants statement

The case of the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has took another controversial turn as another suspect in the killing has recanted his statements, particularly the alleged involvement of suspended Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. Just like four other fellow dismissed soldiers who have taken back their testimonies, the suspect identified as Joven Javier denied knowledge of the 4 March, saying that he was merely forced to admit participation. “We have also informed the court that his life is in danger as there is a plot to have him killed,” defense counsel Danny Villanueva said in an interview. He said they will be filing a habeas corpus suit to question Javier’s continued detention. “Mr. Javier was qualified to be a state witness against others who are being pointed to as responsible for the Pamplona massacre. That is the reason why up to this time no case has been filed against Mr. Javier,” Villanueva said in a television interview. Javier was a sergeant with the Philippine Army’s counterterrorism unit Light Reaction Regiment and was regarded absent without leave in 2018. He was among the first suspects brought from Negros Oriental to Manila for their safety. Fellow suspects Jhudiel Rivero, Romel Pattaguan, Dahniel Lora and Rogelio Antipolo Jr. have all recanted and gave similar narratives of coercion on the part of the government. In his recantation confirmed on Monday by counsel Harold Montalbo, Rivero (a.k.a. Osmundo Rivero) claimed the police coerced him to admit his involvement and that he does not know Teves , the alleged mastermind. Three counts of murder and frustrated murder cases have been filed before the Tanjay, Negros Oriental Regional Trial Court against Javier, Rivero, Joric Labrador, Benjie Rodriguez and 12 other John Does. Meantime, the Department of Justice remains confident that they still have a strong case at hand even if suspects retracted one after the other as it added that the plan to transfer the suspects to the PNP Headquarters at Camp Crame will still push through. The post Another Degamo slay suspect recants statement appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 26th, 2023

Teves hand in retraction ‘possible,’ says Clavano

A Department of Justice official did not discount the possibility the camp of Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. had something to do with suspects in the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo recanting their statements. “It’s very possible. We’re looking at many angles here, that’s why we need to be very careful with our witnesses,” DoJ Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said. Clavano cited the alleged attempt of a former DoJ undersecretary to talk to the witnesses at the National Bureau of Investigation. Levito Baligod, the counsel of the Degamo family, disclosed that the former official tried to bribe detained suspects to clam up. Clavano said they are eyeing the transfer of the suspects to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City. He said there is no current official of the DoJ involved in the alleged manipulation of suspects in the slaying of Degamo and nine others on 4 March. The DoJ official also denied the allegation of Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo that “someone at the agency” may be manipulating the suspects into recanting their extra-judicial confessions in connection with the killing of her husband. In an interview with reporters via Zoom, Clavano assured that the police officers and agents of the NBI  assigned in the case build-up are among “the best of the best.” “I think the statement of Mayor Degamo was out of emotion and we hope that the credibility of the DoJ is preserved in this case and for the country,” Clavano said. On Monday, Osmundo Rivero, one of the suspects in the Degamo slay case, recanted his affidavits tagging Teves Jr. and his former bodyguard Marvin Miranda as the masterminds. Rivero claimed that police investigators tortured and coerced him into admitting his participation in the crime. Through his counsel, Danny Villanueva, Rivero also filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus before the Regional Trial Court of Manila seeking to compel Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, and NBI director Medardo de Lemos to present his wife Queenie Rivero, his two-year-old son Jophiel and 15-year-old stepson Christian. Rivero said he received information that his wife and two sons were taken from their house by a team of soldiers from the Philippine Army together with members of the Municipal Police Station of Bayog, Zamboanga del Sur. He claimed his family was taken to the Office of the Provincial Police in Camp Aberlon, Pagadian City before they were turned over to the NBI. But the DoJ said Rivero’s family has been placed under the Witness Protection Program after he initially agreed to cooperate with authorities. Villanueva, on the other hand, said three more suspects identified as Rommel Pattaguan, Rogelio Antipolo Jr., and Dahniel Lora have recanted their previous statements linking Teves to the gruesome crime. Clavano denied the torture claims made by the suspects. “As far as our intelligence goes, no such thing happened. We are very careful in handling these suspects because we believe they are also victims in this case,” he said. The post Teves hand in retraction ‘possible,’ says Clavano appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023

Expensive errand boy

When confronted in a recent forum about the misdeals in his term primarily the Joint Maritime Seismic Undertaking among three oil companies of West Philippine Sea claimants, former Philippine National Oil Co. president Eduardo Mañalac reasoned that he was just taking orders from the top. In his potshots against the landmark Malampaya deal, who is he now taking orders from? Mañalac came out of the woodwork in an obvious well-funded attempt to torpedo the extension of Service Contract 38 that will allow 15 years more for the Malampaya consortium to operate and explore the natural gas field, which has so far generated at least $10 billion in government revenue. Due to the priorities of its parent company, the former operator, Shell Philippines Exploration, did not infuse money in the search for new wells since 2017. The tripartite Joint Maritime Seismic Understanding or JSMU which Mañalac brokered and packaged would have allowed state-owned oil company China National Offshore Oil Corp. and government-operated PetroVietnam to survey for oil or gas deposits on a 142,886 square kilometer area in the West Philippine Sea inside the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. During a forum on the West Philippine Sea dispute, Mañalac’s excuse for spearheading the deal that the Supreme Court found unconstitutional in a recent ruling was that it was part of the “government’s effort to acquire or reach energy independence for the people.” JMSU, he said, came at a time of “high dependence on imported petroleum and rising oil prices in 2004.” It was, he said, part of an “ambitious” five-point plan to reach energy independence. In short, Mañalac wanted the people to believe that he was merely following instructions. “It is not my idea. It is the idea of the government as part of its energy independence strategy,” he said. Since he is used to taking orders, the former PNOC chief must be making his move as part of a demolition campaign which should be a reprisal of his role in the previous regime when he was instrumental in the PNOC-Exploration Corp.’s withholding of its consent on the sale of the Spex shares. As a 10 percent partner in the consortium, the approvals of PNOC-EC were necessary for any sell-out of the partners in the energy project. The illegal JMSU has Mañalac as a signatory for the Philippines which makes him liable for the unconstitutional deal. JMSU, the former energy official insisted, did not allow exploration but “data gathering.” The deal isn’t a treaty but simply a “commercial and operative agreement between three national oil companies to jointly acquire seismic data.” Still, the SC did not share the appreciation of Mañalac on the deal. The Tribunal voted 12-2-1 in voiding the agreement. The SC debunked the argument of Mañalac as it ruled that the JSMU is unconstitutional for allowing wholly-owned foreign corporations to participate in the exploration of the country’s natural resources without observing the safeguards provided in Section 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. The term “exploration” pertains to a search or discovery of something in both its ordinary or technical sense and the JMSU involves the exploration of the country’s natural resources, particularly petroleum, according to the ruling. “That the Parties designated the joint research as a ‘pre-exploration activity’ is of no moment,” the Court added. A Constitution offender’s motive would hardly be in line with the interest of the public such as in Mañalac’s case. The post Expensive errand boy appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023

Glitches mar pres’l run launch on Twitter

Glitches marred the Twitter launch of Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ White House bid announcement on Wednesday. The crashes and delays in Twitter owner Elon Musk’s audio-only livestream with DeSantis for nearly half an hour caused only a few hundred thousand people to tune in to the virtual online assembly. The conversation repeatedly crashed as the platform’s servers were apparently overwhelmed, and many of the 400,000-plus users who were hoping to listen in missed the 44-year-old conservative throwing down the gauntlet to Republican primary frontrunner Donald Trump. DeSantis finally began speaking after almost half an hour of confusion and chaos — although what should have been an exultant launch had been thoroughly overshadowed by the time he was able to make his case for the Republican nomination. “I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback,” he told the listeners, although tens of thousands had abandoned Twitter by that point. Memes mocked the glitchy Twitter townhall but the DeSantis camp said it had raised online $1 million in campaign donation in one hour. The post Glitches mar pres’l run launch on Twitter appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023

Hong Kong sentences student bomb plotters

A Hong Kong court sentenced Thursday four students, including two minors, to five years and eight months imprisonment and juvenile rehabilitation for plotting to bomb public areas in 2021. Defendant Alexander Au, now 21, received the severest punishment for renting the room where the bombs would be made, planning and preparation, and reconnaissance of targeted buildings, senior judge Alex Lee said. His three accomplices aged 17 to 20 will be sent to training centers for rehabilitation that can last up to three years. Police arrested the four members of “Returning Valiant,” a group that promoted independence from China and called for resistance after the national security law was imposed, before they could procure explosive materials in July 2021. They had pleaded guilty this month to one count of “conspiracy to cause an explosion” instead of the primary charge of “conspiracy to carry out terrorist activities.” The former can be punished by up to 20 years in jail under the Hong Kong crimes ordinance, but the latter can lead to a life sentence under the security law. Further legal proceedings are pending for four other individuals, aged 19 to 26, in the bomb plot case. The post Hong Kong sentences student bomb plotters appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 25th, 2023