SC releases copy of decision on Marcos’ electoral protest

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021   •   367

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has released a copy of its decision junking the electoral protest filed by former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.

Based on the 91-page decision of the SC Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), Marcos’ “allegations appeared bare, laden with generic and repetitious allegations and lacked critical information.”

It also junked the third cause of action of the electoral protest which is the annulment of elections in three provinces: Maguindanao, Lanao Del Sur, and Basilan.

After the recount, Robredo got a total of 14,436,337 votes, while Marcos got 14,157,771 total votes.

Last February, the SC dismissed Marcos’ electoral protest; however, the former Senator said it does not include their third cause of action.

According to the tribunal, Marcos also failed to prove there was an anomaly during the elections and that Robredo was behind it. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Judges, court personnel hospitalized due to COVID-19 to get financial aid — Supreme Court

Robie de Guzman   •   April 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Judges and court personnel who contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will be provided with financial assistance from the Supreme Court, the Office of the Court Administrator said Wednesday.

In a circular issued by Court Administrator Midas Marquez, the cash assistance will range from P15,000 to P30,000 for those hospitalized depending on the severity of their illness.

Families of those who succumbed to death, whether hospitalized or not, will receive P50,000.

The financial assistance was approved by Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo with the concurrence of the members of the Court en banc.

“Considering that there are judges and court personnel of the first and second level courts who contracted COVID-19 while in the performance of their functions there is a need to help them defray the hospitalization expenses incurred in treating COVID-19 infection,” the circular read.

Potential recipients of the assistance are required to submit a copy of the positive result of the RT-PCR test from March 2020 onwards, a medical certificate stating the clinical findings of the illness caused by COVID-19, a death certificate indicating that the patient died of COVID-19 or its complications, disbursement voucher, and obligation request.

The SC Public Information Office said that some 1,113 judiciary personnel tested positive for COVID-19 with 20 fatalities.

Supreme Court: Oral arguments on anti-terror act to resume April 27

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The oral arguments on petitions questioning the legality of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 will resume on April 27, the Supreme Court (SC) said.

In an advisory, the SC said the next oral arguments would be held via videoconferencing “given the current public health situation.”

“Oral arguments shall resume on April 27, 2021, at 2:30 p.m. which, per prior order, is two weeks after the lifting of enhanced community quarantine in the National Capital Judicial Region,” the SC said.

“This arrangement shall be pro hac vice [for this occasion only] vis-à-vis these consolidated cases. Personal appearance before the Court En Banc remains to e the primary mode of conducting oral arguments,” it added.

The proceedings will be streamed online but will only be limited to an audio feed, the high court said.

The oral arguments on the 37 petitions lodged against the measure were put on hold since last month due to the spike of infections and other COVID-19 concerns.

Supreme Court extends physical closure of courts in NCR Plus until April 18

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Physical courts in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus will remain closed until April 18, the Supreme Court (SC) announced on Saturday (April 10).

Based on SC Administrative Circular no. 21-2021, all courts in the NCR Plus will continue to operate through videoconferencing and judges can conduct fully remote hearings online.

“Considering the unbated rise of COVID-19 cases, the requests of judges and court personnel, and upon the concurrence of the members of the court en banc; all the courts and judicial offices in the National Capital Judicial Region and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal shall remain physically closed until April 18,” the circular reads.

The SC said its offices in the NCR Plus can be reached via hotline and email addressed posted on its website.

Meanwhile, the time for filing and service of pleadings and motions during this period is suspended and shall resume “seven calendar days counted from the first day of physical reopening of the relevant court.” AAC

 

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