SC: Limiting martial law to Marawi City renders it useless

admin   •   July 6, 2017   •   3786

MANILA, Philippines — The declaration of martial law in Mindanao has sufficient factual basis and is constitutional.

This is the finding of the court as it dismisses the petitions against President Rodrigo Duterte’s Proclamation 216.

Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo penned the decision which was concurred in by 10 other justices.

The court says, it is no longer important whether all the president’s bases for the declaration are absolutely correct.

It is enough that he had shown evidence that would support the belief that there is rebellion happening in Marawi City.

The court noted, nowhere in the Constitution it says that martial law should be limited to the place of armed uprising.

Imposing martial law in Mindanao is also to avoid enemy reinforcement and to cut their supply coming from other parts of Mindanao.

Limiting it to Marawi will defeat the purpose and will only make it useless.

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa agreed with the declaration but it should be limited to three provinces in Mindanao.

These are Lanao del Sur, where Marawi is located, and Maguindanao and Sulu where significant support from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and Abu Sayyaf are coming from.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio is convinced that martial law should be declared in Marawi,

But it would be against the Constitution to declare it in other parts of Mindanao where there is no actual rebellion.

Justice Marvic Leonen is the lone justice who opposed the martial law declaration

He said, it is unnecessary since there is no rebellion and the military can defeat the terrorist groups without it. — Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News & Rescue


9 on JBC shortlist for Supreme Court justice post

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Friday nominated nine applicants for the position of the Supreme Court (SC) associate justice, the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said.

In a document released to the public, the shortlisted candidates are the following:

• Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang
• Former Ateneo de Manila University School of Law dean Sedfrey Candelaria
• Court of Appeals Associate Justice Ramon Cruz
• CA Associate Justice Japar Dimaampao
• Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Geraldine Faith Econg
• Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Rafael Lagos
• Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez
• CA Associate Justice Maria Filomena Singh
• Deputy Court Administrator Raul Villanueva

The SC PIO said the shortlist for the position of the SC associate justice has been submitted to Malacañang for the selection of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The post was vacated by Alexander Gesmundo following his appointment as chief justice in April.

Duterte has 90 days from the vacancy to name a new SC associate justice.

SC employees under A4 group receive COVID-19 vaccine shots

Robie de Guzman   •   June 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday announced it has started the inoculation of its employees who are included in the government’s A4 or fourth priority group for the COVID-19 vaccination program.

In a statement, the SC Public Information Office (PIO) said the vaccination was held at its Training Center in Padre Faura, Manila, in coordination with the National Task Force Against COVID-19, the Department of Health, and the city government of Manila.

“The immediate vaccination of Court employees is among the short-term plans for the Judiciary of Chief Justice Alexander G. Gesmundo,” the high court said.

The Supreme Court earlier said that more than 1,900 judiciary personnel have been infected with COVID-19; 33 of them died and 115 are active cases.

More than 30,000 judiciary personnel have been included in the A4 sector of the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The A4 priority group includes frontline personnel in essential sectors, uniformed personnel, and local officials.

The SC PIO said that upon Gesmundo’s assumption into office, the court partnered with the Philippine National Red Cross and the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS- CSB) on the use of the temporary isolation and quarantine facility for the employees of the Judiciary working in the ‘National Capital Region (NCR) Plus who are infected with COVID-19.

“Likewise, the Court has established an Emergency Care Unit (ECU) at the SC Compound in Manila which will temporarily accommodate and house the employees of the High Court and third-level courts afflicted with COVID-19 and are awaiting hospital confinement or referral to appropriate quarantine facilities,” it said.

The ECU has a total capacity of 55 beds to temporarily accommodate confirmed COVID-19 patients, either asymptomatic patients or with mild or moderate symptoms, who are awaiting transfer to quarantine facilities or hospital confinement due to room or bed unavailability, it added.

SC eyes releasing body cam guidelines by July

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Supreme Court (SC) is eyeing to release the guidelines on the use of body cameras in police operations by July.

SC Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo said the high tribunal will tackle the matter starting June 15.

“The proposed rule is to be taken up as soon we resume session on June 15. And our colleagues have submitted their respective inputs. Hopefully and I’m optimistic that maybe after 2 or 3 deliberations we will come up with the final version,” he said.

“Our judges know the responsibility that they have to comply with what the Constitution and the Rules of Court should provide. So, we hope that with the issuance of these rules on body-worn cameras, these issues will be addressed specifically. It’s in the works. By July perhaps, we will have the final version and we’ll approve it for implementation immediately,” he added.

The proposed body-worn cameras was recommended after reports of corruption and abuse by authorities. Based on the record of the Philippine National Police (PNP), there are over 7,000 cases related to suspects getting killed during the government’s anti-drug campaign.

PNP Chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar has previously ordered the use of body-cameras during operations in the NCR. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)


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