Usec. Villar inhibits from review of water deals

Maris Federez   •   December 13, 2019   •   821

MANILA, Philippines — Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar will not be joining the team that will review the contract entered into by the government with Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services through state regulator Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) in 1997.

Villar on Friday (December 13) inhibited herself to dispel doubts and suspicions on the review to be conducted and the renegotiation of the government with the two water concessionaires.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he was the one who requested Villar to inhibit from the review although he deemed it unfair that the official is being subjected to allegations of conflict of interest.

“I requested Usec. Villar to inhibit herself to dispel suspicions that the DOJ contract review may not be completely objective due to an alleged possible conflict of interest. It’s unfair to Usec Villar who has always acted with professionality, but the circumstances call for it.,” Guevarra told reporters.

Guevarra reiterated that any lawyer who would look into the contract between the MWSS and the two water concessionaires would come to the same findings and conclusion — that the deal had been onerous for the government and the public.

Villar, a former Diwa Party-list representative and daughter of former national police chief Edgar Aglipay, is the wife of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar. Villar’s family runs Prime Water Infrastructure Corp. — /mbmf

DOJ issues hold departure order vs nine cops in Jolo shooting

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has issued a hold departure order against the nine policemen involved in the shooting of four army personnel in Jolo, Sulu.

In a statement, DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra has ordered prosecutors to file a motion in the court for a hold departure order against the policemen accused of killing the four army personnel in Jolo, Sulu last June 2020.

The order was issued after the Philippine National Police (PNP) released the said cops after being dismissed from service.

“The DOJ prosecutors filed the criminal information against the 9 police officers last January 4. The court was supposed to issue the warrants of arrest thereafter, but apparently failed to do so because of the current lockdown in Sulu,” he said.

Guevarra, meanwhile, hopes the accused would voluntarily turn themselves in once the warrants are issued.

“We hope that the 9 accused will voluntarily turn themselves in when such warrants are eventually released by the court. Otherwise, law enforcement agents will look for them and take them into custody,” Guevarra said. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Manila Water clients to enjoy up to P3.06 savings in January bill

Marje Pelayo   •   January 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Water Services is imposing tariff reduction on its clients’ January water bill.

Based on the company’s computation, a 14-centavo cubic meter tariff reduction is possible following the foreign currency differential adjustment (FCDA) which at present has reached 19-centavos per cubic meter.

This means residential customers with average consumption of 30 cubic meters per month will have P3.06 savings in their January bill.

Likewise, those who consume an average of 20 cubic meters per month will have P1.70 savings and P0.76 savings for those consuming an average of 10 cubic meters per month.

Meanwhile, lifeline customers or low-income residential consumers who consume 10 cubic meters or less per month are exempted from the FCDA.

This means that their lifeline rate will remain at P87 per month.

DOJ may issue travel alert order vs suspects in Dacera rape-slay

Robie de Guzman   •   January 5, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday said it may issue a travel alert order against the suspects in the rape-slay case of 23-year-old flight attendant Christine Angelica Dacera.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said the travel alert will be issued as soon as appropriate charges have been filed with the prosecutor’s office.

“For now we’ll let the PNP (Philippine National Police) handle the case. As soon as the police file a complaint with the prosecutor’s office, we may issue a travel alert order to the BI,” Guevarra said in a message to reporters.

Three persons tagged in the killing have been placed under police custody while other suspects remain at large.

Police said the three have been charged with rape and homicide.

A manhunt operation will also be launched against nine other people who were present in the party before Dacera was found dead.

Police initial investigation showed that Dacera was invited to a party with some friends at the City Garden Hotel in Makati City on December 31.

It was also learned that other than Dacera and her friends, other people were also present in the party.

She was found lifeless in a bathtub in the hotel around noontime on January 1.

Police said that while Dacera suffered from aneurysm, investigators found laceration and bruises on her body, and other markings that indicate sexual contact.

The final autopsy report is expected to be released soon. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

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