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Fariñas elevates House minority woes to SC

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Ilocos Norte Representative Rudy Fariñas

MANILA, Philippines – Ilocos Norte Representative Rudy Fariñas on Wednesday (September 12) filed a petition in Supreme Court (SC) questioning the retention of Quezon 3rd District Representative Danilo  Suarez as the House minority leader.

Fariñas argued that the Suarez should no longer be holding the position as he was among the front runners of electing Pampanga Representative Gloria Arroyo as House Speaker.

According to House rules, any congressman who votes for the winning House speaker automatically becomes part of the majority bloc.

Aside from Suarez, also respondent to the complaint are House Speaker Gloria Arroyo and House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr.

Meanwhile, Suarez leaves it to his legal team to answer the filed petition.

“I have my lawyers to answer on that but that’s their right. Sanay naman ako na nadadala sa Supreme Court sa minority leadership issue. All of these are not new to me,” Suarez said. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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Supreme Court denies Sen. Trillanes’ bid for TRO vs. void amnesty

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has denied Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s plea for a preliminary injunction and the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Proclamation 572 voiding his amnesty.

With this development, the High Court leaves the decision to the Makati Regional Trial Court whether or not to issue an alias warrant of arrest and a hold departure order against Trillanes.

“Only a trial court and in certain cases, the Court of Appeals are trier of facts. Hence it is appropriate that the Makati RTC should be given leeway in exercising their concurrent jurisdiction,” read Atty. Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, the SC’s acting Chief PIO.

Trillanes’ camp sought to restrain on Friday the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s revocation of his amnesty granted by former President Benigno Aquino III.

The senator insisted that the nullification was unconstitutional because it proceeded without the approval of Congress which, Trillanes’ claimed, was a clear violation of his right to due process.

However, the SC maintained that the issuance of an alias warrant of arrest should be acted upon by the lower court before proceeding to the arrest.

“The court takes judicial notice of the categorical pronouncement of President Duterte that Senator Trillanes will not be apprehended, detained or taken into custody unless a warrant of arrest has been issued by the trial court and thus there is no extreme and urgent necessity for the court to issue an injunctive relief considering that the respondents have acknowledged Senator Trillanes’ right to due process,” the decision further states.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was pleased with the decision and the High Court’s recognition of the Makati Regional Trial Court’s jurisdiction as it has set the trial on the case on September 13 and 14.

“More significantly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the issue the of validity of Proclamation 752 involves factual questions that only the trial courts may properly resolve. In the process, the Supreme Court has also acknowledged the trial courts’ continuing jurisdiction over the coup d’ etat and rebellion cases, notwithstanding the alleged ‘finality’ of the orders of dismissal based on the grant of amnesty to Sen. Trillanes,” said Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

Trillanes’ camp welcomes the SC decision.

“We are gratified by the ruling of the Supreme Court. We are happy also that the Supreme Court required the respondents to comment on the petition,” explained Atty. Rey Robles, Trillanes’ legal counsel.

The respondents were given 10 days to comment on the petition. – Mai Bermudez / Marje Pelayo

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Impeachment complaint vs. 7 SC magistrates ‘insufficient in substance’ – HOR

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The House Committee on Justice


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – The House Committee on Justice ruled on Tuesday (September 11) that the impeachment complaint filed against the seven magistrates of the Supreme Court (SC) is insufficient in substance.

The House committee members voted 23-1 to drop the complaint filed by Albay Representative Edcel Lagman against SC Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardaleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes, Alexander Gersmundo and now Chief Justice Teresita De Castro.

During the hearing, Lagman insisted that the magistrates committed an impeachable offense for not inhibiting from the proceedings of the quo warranto petition filed against former CJ Maria Lourdes Sereno despite them being vocal of their grudges against her, and also for bypassing Congressional power to impeach an impeachable official.

“The Supreme Court cannot be supreme in its errors, particularly in the malicious decision. There is always a way in getting account and that is through impeachment,” Lagman argued.

On the other hand, several lawmakers opposed Lagman’s argument citing that the magistrates acted only as mandated by their judicial duties.

“The justices of the Supreme Court were duty bound to decide on the petition. Their fidelity of to their judicial duty is not an impeachable offense simply because none disagreed with their decision,” said Angkla Party-list Rep. Jess Manalo.

Cavite representative Strike Revilla said there is no reason to punish the magistrates while Rep. Henry Oamenal of Misamis Occidental said: “If the complaint would succeed then there would be no quorum in the Supreme Court.”

But according to House rules, the House Committee’s decision can still be contested and reversed if the complaint obtains 1/3 of the votes in the Lower House. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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House finds impeachment complaints vs. 7 SC magistrates ‘sufficient in form’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 4th, 2018

House Committee on Justice unanimously approve sufficiency of impeachment raps against seven SC justices


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Twenty-one members of the House Committee on Justice, chaired by Representative Doy Leachon agreed that the impeachment complaint against the seven magistrates of the Supreme Court (SC) is sufficient in form.

The respondents involve SC Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin, Diosdado Peralta, Francis Jardaleza, Noel Tijam, Andres Reyes, Alexander Gesmundo and now Chief Justice Teresita de Castro.

The Committee said the filing of the case has gone through the proper procedure. The complaint was verified by the House Secretary General and it was signed and sworn in by the complainants Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, Magdalo Party List Representative Gary Alejano and Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat.

The grounds the Court stated against the seven magistrates include culpable violation of the Constitution for surpassing the authority of Congress to oust an impeachable official specifically referring to the case of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Meanwhile, a separate case of betrayal of public trust was filed against Associates Justices Peralta, Bersamin, Tijam, Jardeleza and Chief Justice De Castro for their alleged refusal to inhibit from voting in favor of the quo warranto petition against Sereno. This, despite them being vocal about their grudges against the former chief justice during the impeachment proceedings.

“We do not want to condone the knowing rendition of a malicious and unjust judgment by the 7 respondent justices which are offensive to the constitution and violative in a requisite impartiality and judiciousness of neutral magistrates,” said Lagman.

The Committee decided to continue the probe on September 11 when they will discuss if the complaints are sufficient in substance. – Marje  Pelayo (with reports from Grace Casin)

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