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JBC quizzes Supreme Court aspirants on controversial cases

The Judicial and Bar Council on Thursday held its public interview of the six applicants for the seat of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., who is due to retire on August......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJun 14th, 2018

JBC quizzes Supreme Court aspirants on controversial cases

The Judicial and Bar Council on Thursday held its public interview of the six applicants for the seat of Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., who is due to retire on August......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

Sandiganbayan justices vow to address delay in cases if appointed Ombudsman

MANILA, Philippines – Friends, colleagues, but now rivals for a highly-coveted post. Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz; former Sandiganbayan Justice and now Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires ; former Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and now Special Prosecutor Edilberto Sandoval are among the 10 applicants to be Ombudsman. ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 20th, 2018

Sereno asks SC to nullify show cause order vs her

Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Friday asked the Supreme Court to nullify the show cause order it issued against her for allegedly violating the ban on public discussion of ongoing cases and casting ill-motives on some members of the tribunal......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 15th, 2018

SolGen asks high court to throw out Sereno plea

THE Office of the Solicitor General has asked the Supreme Court to junk the motion for reconsideration filed by ousted chief justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno seeking to reverse the May 11 ruling that removed her from her post. Solicitor General Jose Calida said the high court in issuing the controversial….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

SC justice applicants stumble on freedom of expression question

  MANILA, Philippines – What are the elements of freedom of expression? This was the question asked by Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) member and retired judge Toribio Ilao to Supreme Court Associate Justice aspirants.  The subject matter is usually tackled during the first year of law school, yet none of ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

JBC interviews aspirants for Supreme Court associate justice

MANILA, Philippines – The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) on Thursday, June 14, interviewed applicants for the position of Supreme Court (SC) associate justice. A total of 12 applicants are vying for the post to be vacated by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr who will retire in August.  (READ:  SC justice applicants stumble on freedom of expression question ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

House panel tasks BIR to look into Sereno’s possible tax liabilities

Since the missing Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno remain missing, the House committee on justice that has been holding hearings on the impeachment case against the top magistrate in the High Court has directed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to begin an investigation on the possible tax liabilities of Sereno, owing to her having failed to file her SALNs for 17 years when she was still a law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP). At the resumption of the impeachment hearing to determine probable cause on the complaint filed by lawyer Larry Gadon against Sereno, panel chair Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali asked BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa to produce a report on or before February 19 Sereno’s tax payments. Among the basis cited by Gadon in his complaint was Sereno’s alleged failure to declare in her SALN from 2010 to 2016 her earnings as one of the private counsels of the government in the expropriation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 in the Piatco case amounting to P30 million. Based on documents Gadon was able to secure, Sereno reportedly filed her SALN in 1998, 2002 and 2006, even as she was employed as a professor by the UP College of Law from 1986 to 2006.Guballa, who submitted the Chief Justice’s income tax return from 2004 to 2009, said Sereno declared her income as a lawyer from a law office.Asked about Sereno’s income tax payments representing her earnings from the Piatco case, Gubala said they are still in the process of investigating this.“We can answer those questions when we will have conducted a formal investigation,” said Guballa, adding they will try to come up with a proposed deficiency or anything with regard to Sereno’s income in two weeks.“We are still collating information. We can answer those questions when we have conducted a formal investigation,” he said.“We will try our best in two weeks. . . . I will try my best to come up with a proposed deficiency or whatever we can made regarding the income the Chief Justice had made,” Guballa added.Sereno’s camp had said the Chief Justice received the Piatco fee in tranches so the full amount does not appear in her 2010 statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth.The camp of Sereno had a statement explaining that “Chief Justice Sereno has accurately and properly declared all her earnings as government co-legal counsel in the PIATCO cases.”Lawyer Josa Deinla, serves as Sereno’s spokeswoman.Deinla added that the BIR has not served any deficiency assessment notice to Sereno during the years she filed her income tax returns.“This only means one thing: All her income tax filings when she was a private lawyer were accurate and proper,” she said.“We are confident that the plan of the House committee to have the CJ’s ITR filings looked into by the BIR would prove that the Chief Justice had paid the corresponding taxes for the income she earned while in private law practice,” she added.Gadon, in an interview at the sidelines of the hearing, lauded the order of the panel to the BIR saying this would bolster his complaint aganst Sereno.“First we got certifications she did not file her SALNs during her tenure with the UP College of Law. Now, we will get a clearer picture of how she might have avoided paying taxes for her earnings on the Piatco case,” said Gadon.“In fact, the statement of the BIR, CJ Sereno declared her earnings from 2004 to 2009 as income for her practice as a lawyer and not as a professor from a state university which is something she should have to explain, too,” the lawyer added.Gadon also said that the action of the justice committee directing the BIR to investigate the tax payments and tax compliance of Sereno is living proof of the principle that the law should apply to all, even to the highest magistrate of the land. Hearing on CJ’s IT consultantIt was also a time for the justice panel to hear from IT consultant Helen Macasaet, who has been paid hefty consultant fees, with a monthly paycheck much higher than what the Supreme Court justices get paid.Macasaet admitted before the committee that she was paid a hefty P250,000 a month as a consultant of the High Court, which is higher than what SC justices are earning.Macasaet defended her consultancy fee saying it was much lower than what she used to earn in her previous engagements.According to Macasaet, she used to earn P925,000 a month as an IT consultant for the GSIS. The House panel is on its 14th hearing on the impeachment case, this time, to determine if there was probable cause to impeach her.In a press statement issued by Gadon, it said that in the hearing conducted yesterday, it turned out that the IT contract of Macasaet was renewed without bidding despite changes in the terms of reference and increase of the amount of more than double the original contract. “It turned out also that the legal staff of Sereno had the whims and caprices of determining the amount of the increase and the renewals in violation of procurement laws . Worse, these violations and anomalies were done with the express approval of Sereno. Even worse , it turned out that the IT consultant was allowed to work at some point without the contract having been signed yet! All the procedures of procurement were clearly violated by Sereno, Gadon said.GMA Online reported that a court attorney from the office of the Chief Justice also yesterday during the hearing confirmed that it was the head staff of the high magistrate who had introduced the IT consultant allegedly anomalously hired by the Supreme Court.“At the resumption of the House Committee on Justice hearing, court lawyer Michael Ocampo from Sereno’s office admitted that he was the one who submitted the curriculum vitae of IT consultant Helen Macasaet who was allegedly hired by Sereno “with an excessive compensation and without public bidding.”He admitted that he submitted the CV of Macasaet to the BAC when he was requested to do so.But when asked if the court lawyer knew Macasaet personally, he said he did not but was introduced to him by CJ’s chief of staff as an IT expert,” referring to lawyer Oliveros.Oliveros eventually admitted that Macasaet is her friend.Oliveros said she can only recommend somebody’s character. I know nothing about the EISP (Enterprise Information System Plan) and about ICT.Oliveros narrated that Sereno told her that the court’s EISP had been stalled for a while, and the position of the chief of the management information system office was vacant at the time.“The chief justice requested a meeting precisely because she wanted to talk, exchange ideas with Ms. Macasaet regarding the state of the EISP. And after that initial meeting she wanted to meet Ms. Macasaet and introduce her to the person in charge of the EISP which was Atty. Michael Ocampo at the Office of the Chief Justice,” she said.Lawyer Jojo Lacanilao, one of Sereno’s spokesmen said there was nothing irregular in Macasaet’s hiring as IT consultant.“The Supreme Court hired Ms. Macasaet from among three choices through negotiated procurement because her services are highly technical in nature and, therefore, exempted from public bidding under Section 53.7 of the 2009 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 9184,” he said in an earlier press statement.The House justice panel is conducting deliberations to determine probable cause in the impeachment complaint lodged against Sereno.    With GMA online report.....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

CJ’s psych test result of 4 grade confirmed, rules call for her disqualification

Finally, after previous newspaper reports stated that then candidate for the position of Supreme Court chief justice, Lourdes Sereno, then a junior associate justice, obtained a low grade of 4, the second lowest grade, with 1 as the highest and five the lowest. This low grade was the result of her psycological and psychiatric tests, a prerequisite of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) for every candidate for judiciary posts.These reports have finally been confirmed by a former clerk of court in the Supreme Court Wednesday admitted before the House committee on justice that Chief Justice Sereno obtained the second lowest grade in her psychological test, which under the JBC rules, she should have been disqualified for the top position in the High Court.It has not been explained by the JBC why, despite her low marks and disqualification for the post, Sereno’s name landed in the JBC list that was submitted by then President Benigo Aquino.Aquino also appointed Sereno first from a JBC list, despite her having no bench experience.Aquino did not pick any of the senior SC justices for the top post. Instead, he picked Sereno, then already a junior associate justice who would serve in the SC for at least 20 years.It was speculated then that President Aquino wanted Sereno as Chief Justice, for him to be protected by the incumbent justice.Sereno’s voting record in the SC mainly favored Aquino’s cases while he was president.Lately, her vote still favors Aquino, although hers is always a minority vote.Vidal almost failed to testifyFormer SC clerk of court Vidal almost failed to testify as the hearing dragged until late Wednesday night.It was only after Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte called the attention of the panel chair that Vidal had not yet been asked any questions.At that point, panel chair, Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali asked Vidal regarding the results of Sereno’s psychological test.Although pointing to Sereno as having received the second lowest grade, Vidal, who was also the ex-offico secretary of the JBC at that time being the SC clerk of court then, said there were others who also got ratings of 4.She however said she could no longer recall their identities.This only means that no other candidate for the High Court’s top post made it to the JBC list submitted to Aquino save for Sereno.It will be recalled that the JBC refused to provide the justice panel with the results of the psychological and psychiatric tests of Sereno. Impeachment complainant lawyer Larry Gadon said Vidal’s testimony was a big boost to his case against Sereno as the JBC had earlier rejected his request for copies of psych exam report of the chief justice, citing confidentiality of records under its rules.In his complaint, lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon said Sereno failed the psychological exam administered by the JBC and under the existing JBC policy, ‘an applicant to any position in the judiciary with a grade of 4 is unfit for the job,’” his complaint stated.There quickly went Sereno’s defense, with the usual claim that such does not constitute an impeachable offense.Everything to Sereno and her defense team is not an impeachable offense, whether she failed to file her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALNs) for 17 years or whether she hired an IT consultant with at first a P100,000 a month negotiated contract, after which, Sereno’s consultant had her pay increased which meant revisions in the contract which pay went on without passing through the usual route.Macasaet’s fees had increased from P100,000 per month during her first six-month contract to over P252,000 per month after it was renewed.The head of the SC’s Management Information Systems Office testified that the continued renewal of the contract of the IT consultant hired by Sereno raised a red flag.IT consultant Helen Macasaet’s six-month contract was renewed for over four years, which enabled her to earn roughly P11 million in total.The point in all this establishes that indeed, Sereno is unfit for the job of chief justice, as she has been found to be breaking too many rules and does things without the nod of the other justices.Sereno claims that all the charges raised by Gadon are not impeachable offenses. A reported psychologically unfit Chief Justice is to be retained in her post and for the next 15 to 20 years or so.The two doctors will be attending the next session.At the same time, Gadon lauded the House panel’s directive to the BIR to probe on Sereno’s possible tax liabilities. “The action of the Justice committee directing the BIR to investigate the tax payments and tax compliance of Sereno is living proof of the principle that the law should apply to all , even to the highest magistrate of the land,” said Gadon.Gadon also cited the case of Sereno’s IT consultant whose contract was renewed without bidding despite changes in the terms of reference and increase of the amount of more than double the original contract. “It turned out also that the legal staff of Sereno had the whim and caprices of determining the amount of the increase and the renewals in violation of procurement laws,” Gadon said.“Worse these violations and anomalies were done with the express approval of Sereno,” he stressed.“Even worse , it turned out that the IT consultant was allowed to work at some point without the contract having been signed yet!” the lawyer said.Gadon stressed that Sereno had violated all known procedures of procurement. The head of the SC’s Management Information Systems Office testified that the continued renewal of the contract of the IT consultant hired by Sereno raised a red flag.IT consultant Macasaet’s six-month contract was renewed for over four years, which enabled her to earn roughly P11 million in total......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Guidelines ng plea bargaining sa drug cases inilabas ng Supreme Court

Virac, Catanduanes- Natanggap na ng Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) ang guidelines na inilabas ng Supreme Court kaugnay sa pinakabagong jurisprudence ng plea bargaining sa drug cases. Sa isang legal consultation day na isinagawa ng PAO sa Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)- Virac District Jail noong Mayo 7, 2018, inilatag nina Atty. Christian R. […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  bicolperyodikoRelated NewsMay 30th, 2018

Duterte aide under fire over firm contracts

MANILA: A close aide of President Rodrigo 'Rody' Duterte whose petition led to the controversial Supreme Court (SC) decision to oust the chief justice is himself under fire following disc.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 27th, 2018

‘Magnificent 7’ to 8 SC justices: Recant quo warranto decision or face impeach raps

If the eight Supreme Court (SC) justices who ousted former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno "insist and persist on their unwarranted and unconstitutional decision," the House Magnificent 7 opposition bloc would proceed with its "crusade" and file impeachment cases against each of them, the group's leader, Rep. Edcel Lagman, declaredon Tuesday.   "If they (eight justices) recant and reconsider then it is no problem. But if they insist and persist on their unwarranted and unconstitutional decision, then we are going to file the impeachment cases," Lagman said in a press briefing.   READ:Lagman: 8 SC justices who ousted Sereno 'deserve to be impeached'   ...Keep on reading: ‘Magnificent 7’ to 8 SC justices: Recant quo warranto decision or face impeach raps.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 22nd, 2018

Solon Mulls Impeachment Vs. 8 SC Justices in Sereno Ouster

A party-list lawmaker mulls to file impeachment complaints against the eight Supreme Court (SC) justices who voted to grant a quo warranto petition that disqualified Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. In a press conference on Thursday, Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin said the impeachment cases against the eight magistrates would be based on the ground of […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsMay 18th, 2018

Controversial decision

The Supreme Court is the court of last resort, the highest court in the country and at the top rung of the Judicial Branch which is a separate and independent branch of the government. Its decisions which have already become final are considered part of the law of the land and must therefore be strictly obeyed and followed......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

Militant lawmakers want to impeach Supreme Court justices

NOW the eight Associate Justices are facing impeachment. Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin, a member of the House Minority Magnificent 7 bloc, said he plans to file impeachment cases against the eight Supreme Court Associate Justices who voted in favor of the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida.….....»»

Category: newsSource:  journalRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

SC s Martires joins list of aspirants to be next Ombudsman

SC Associate Justice Samuel Martires. (Photo by NOY MORCOSO / INQUIRER.net) Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Samuel Martires has joined other aspirants to replace Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Mora.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philippinetimesRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

Akbayan Rep to file impeachment cases vs 8 SC justices who voted to oust Sereno

    An opposition lawmaker on Thursday has bared a plan to file impeachment cases against the eight Supreme Court (SC) justices who voted to grant the quo warranto petition which ousted former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin announced his intention to file the impeachment cases at a media forum. He said the move is being supported by the House Magnificent 7 opposition bloc. "The next proper and logical move is to file an impeachment case against the eight justices for culpable violation of the Constitution," said Villarin. Villarin said the eight justices "made a very unconstitutional violation by usurping the powers of the Congress"...Keep on reading: Akbayan Rep to file impeachment cases vs 8 SC justices who voted to oust Sereno.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 17th, 2018

OSG, PNP seek extension o submission of drug war records

THE Office of the Solicitor-General (OSG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) have sought a 60-day extension of a Supreme Court order directing them to submit the government’s records on its anti-drug campaign. Thus far, submitted to the high court as of April 26 were 29 case folders on 35 death and injury cases, 35 […] The post OSG, PNP seek extension o submission of drug war records appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 16th, 2018

How Supreme Court justices voted in major cases under Duterte administration

The Supreme Court decision to oust Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno with a vote of 8-6 has brought into light a division among justices that is also evident in their voting pattern on major cases under the Duterte administration. Bail of Juan Ponce Enrile  Vote: 7-6 in favor of allowing Enrile to post bail On […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMay 14th, 2018

Manila SC dismisses chief justice

MANILA: In a landmark and historic but controversial decision, the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday voted 8-6 to dismiss Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno who became the country's first constitut.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 13th, 2018

SC: No constitutional crisis despite CJ ouster without impeachment trial

The Supreme Court dismissed warnings that a constitutional crisis could arise if it would allow the removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno without an impeachment trial. In its 153-page decision that disqualified Sereno from holding the top magistrate position, the SC said there could not be a constitutional crisis considering that Constitution itself had given them the authority to resolve quo warranto cases. "The Court's exercise of jurisdiction over an action for quo warranto falls within the ambit of its judicial power to settle justiciable issues or actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable," the high court said. Resolving quo warranto cases i...Keep on reading: SC: No constitutional crisis despite CJ ouster without impeachment trial.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 12th, 2018