SC clarifies order to release Ex-Mayor Sanchez didn’t come from them

Maris Federez   •   August 23, 2019   •   577

The Supreme Court of the Philippines has clarified that the order to release former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez from prison did not emanate from them.

Supreme Court spokesperson Atty. Bryan Keith Hosaka said the high court only issued its interpretation of Republic Act 10592 which increased the good conduct time allowance given to prisoners.

The high court ruled that the said law can be applied retroactively, which would include the case of the former mayor.

“First the Supreme Court did not order the release of Mayor Sanchez in its recent decision in the consolidated cases.  Like all laws, the implementation and execution of RA10952 is left for the executive branch of government, again, the judiciary or the supreme court only interpreted RA10952 and ruled that it can be applied retroactively,” Hosaka said.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, meanwhile, said that they have asked the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to draft clearer guidelines as to who can benefit the credit time allowances to inmates.

Guevarra added that it will be very timely for Congress to scrutinize the implementation of the said law.

 “We have requested the Bucor through Faeldon be very clear about the guidelines kasi mukhang di pa maayos na maayos ang mga guidelines diyan [because it seems that the guidelines are not yet clearly defined]. So, this is an opportunity for the Bucor to make clear mga [the] guidelines,” said Guevarra.

Meanwhile, a group of women on Friday staged a protest in front of the Department of Justice against the impending release of Mayor Sanchez who was convicted for a rape and murder of two UP Los Baños students.

Lisa Maza, leader of Gabriela Alliance of Women said, “Ito ay isang pagsalaula sa ating justice system. Malinaw po na marami din siyang paglabag na ginawa noong siya ay nasa kulungan kaya hindi siya karapat dapat na lumaya [This is a derision to our justice system. It is very clear that he had committed a lot of violations while serving time in prison that is why he doesn’t deserve to be set free].” (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

Marshals in the judiciary, a necessity – CJ Peralta

Maris Federez   •   November 20, 2019

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta on Wednesday (November 20) attended the Senate hearing for the proposed budget of the Supreme Court of the Philippines.

CJ Peralta said they have filed their proposal for the courts to have their own marshals to ensure the security of the members of the judiciary, especially the judges.

“We have already submitted our own proposal. I think it’s already in Congress. I think they already presented the bill. I do not know yet in the Senate,” Peralta said.

The chief magistrate reiterates the necessity to have marshals installed in the judiciary in the midst of reports of judges getting killed in some parts of the country. (with details from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

CJ Peralta hopes verdict on Maguindanao massacre will be issued before year-end

Maris Federez   •   November 8, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Journalism students of Bulacan State University light candles in commemoration of the 4th anniversary of the Maguindanao Massacre in front of Bulacan Capitol, Malolos City, Bulacan. Photo taken November 21, 2013. | PVI/Junnel Aquino

The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed Quezon City Regional Trial Court Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes a 30-day extension in issuing her verdict on the Maguindanao Massacre case.

The case has already been submitted for resolution on August 22 and the court was supposed to come up with a verdict within 90 days or until the third week of November but Judge Reyes requested an extension.

CJ Peralta said they understand Reyes’ predicament due to the voluminous records and evidence that she had to consider which prompted the Supreme Court to approve her request for a one-month extension.

“We also allow meritorious motion for extension and we understand her predicament,” said Peralta.

The chief magistrate, however, expressed hope that Judge Reyes will no longer ask for another extension in issuing her verdict on the case.

“I hope that she will no longer ask for another extension so that before the end of the year those cases will finally be decided,” he said.

According to the memorandum that the SC sent to Reyes, she has until December 30 to arrive at a decision and it is already non-extendible.

On November 23, 2009, armed men ambushed 58 individuals, including 32 members of the media, in the town of Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

Among the slain was the wife of former Buluan Vice Mayor Esmael “Toto” Mangudadatu who was supposed to file his certificate of candidacy for Maguindanao gubernatorial election, opposing the Ampatuan clan.

The Maguindanao Massacre is considered the world’s worst election-related incident of violence and the deadliest attack against the members of the media. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

VP poll protest: SC allows release of pilot recount result from 3 provinces

Maris Federez   •   October 15, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of former senator Bongbong Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday (October 15) once again staged a show of force in front of the Supreme Court (SC).

Both camps were expecting that the SC, which acts as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), will release its decision on the preliminary recount report by Justice Benjamin Caguioa from the three provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental and Camarines Sur, in relation to the protest that Marcos filed against Robredo on the alleged massive cheating and anomaly in the 2016 vice-presidential elections.

However, the SC en banc session instead discussed about releasing the result of the pilot recount in the three pilot provinces.

With 11 – 2 votes, the tribunal has allowed the release of the report on the revision and recount in the said provinces.

“The tribunal has decided to release to the parties the report on the revision and appreciation of ballots in the three provinces, and for them to comment thereon,” said SC spokesperson, Atty Brian Keith Hosaka.

Both Justices Antonio Carpio and Caguioa dissented the said resolution.

The PET also directed the two camps to submit their position, comments or disagreement over any issues presented in the preliminary report on the recount.

“The tribunal likewise required the parties to submit memoranda on the various issues relating to the jurisdiction and other matters relating to the jurisdiction and other matters relating to the third cause of action, which is the annulment of election results for Vice President in the provinces of Lanao Del Sur, Basilan, and Maguindanao, within a period of 20 days from receipt of the notice,” Hosaka said.

This has been the fourth time that the voting on the Caguioa report on the result of the initial recount has been suspended.

The voting will determine whether the High Court will continue to hear or dismiss Marcos’ protest. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

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