January 28, 2012 03:44 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 28, 2012) - Generally echoing the reasons Sen. Franklin Drilon put forward why he would not inhibit from the ongoing impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, presiding officer of the impeachment court, yesterday said he would not act on the defense motion asking Drilon to be disqualified as a judge for losing “open neutrality.”
“We will not act on that. I don’t know if they want to discuss that in the caucus. I will not even present that to the members of the court,” Enrile said.
January 28, 2012 02:40 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 28, 2012) - The prosecution team is lining up 100 witnesses who shall testify against Chief Justice Renato Corona for culpable violation of the Constitution and betrayal of public trust in the ongoing impeachment trial.
The prosecution submitted yesterday a 39-page document that contains the list of possible witnessesand documentary evidence that it likes to present during the impeachment trial. The witnesses listed reportedly include 5 justices of the Supreme Court and journalists.
January 26, 2012 01:59 PM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 26, 2012) – Earlier reported as clinically dead maintained only by life support system in a hospital in London, Negros Occidental Rep. Iggy Arroyo was declared dead at 11 AM (Philippine time today).
This was confirmed by election lawyer Romulo Macalintal who said he was authorized to speak for Rep. Arroyo's brother, former first gentleman Mike Arroyo.
January 26, 2012 04:32 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 26, 2012) – Despite persistent opposition of the defense on technicalities, Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares was able to present the tax records of Chief Justice Renato Corona and his wife, Cristina, at the resumption of the Corona impeachment trial yesterday.
The decision to allow Henares' testimony was arrived at yesterday morning in a closed door caucus of senators, acting as impeachment court judges, who allowed the prosecution to present and mark the evidence on properties Corona acquired while in government service. The senators, however, did not allow the presentation of evidence on Corona's alleged ill-gotten wealth mentioned in paragraph 2.4 of the Article 2 of the 8 Articles of Impeachment. The presentation of the tax records of the Corona children and in laws was also disallowed.
January 22, 2012 11:54 PM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 22, 2012) - Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said the House of Representatives will conduct its own inquiry into alleged irregularities in the Supreme Court’s use of a $21.9-million loan from the World Bank as it tackles at least two resolutions calling for the probe.
“We will refer these to the committee on good government, which we will ask to start the inquiry as soon as possible,” he said.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone filed the first resolution, while Bayan Muna Representatives Teddy Casiño and Neri Colmenares authored the second.
January 22, 2012 12:29 AM
FORT BONIFACIO, Taguig City (Jan 22, 2012) --Yet to heal, the wounds brought by Tropical Storm “Sendong” in Northern Mindanao are bringing communities shattered by a worse natural disaster closer.
In the city of Iligan, for instance, calamity-stricken folks have started rebuilding their lives from whatever rubble “Sendong” had left through cooperation. Neighbors helping each other reconstruct homes or sharing meals are not uncommon.
January 21, 2012 02:14 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 21, 2012) - President Aquino urged Chief Justice Renato Corona yesterday to explain the apparent discrepancies and mismatches between his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) and his declared properties rather than evading the issues at hand.
“Those who are experts in doing the spin (for a story) call this squid tactics,” he said.
“What is being asked is, ‘Did you file the SALN? Did you disclose it publicly?’ He can only say: ‘I filed on this date and it came out in this newspaper’ in meeting the public disclosure requirement of the Constitution.”
January 20, 2012 10:16 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 20, 2012) - Working on the premise that any asset that a government employee owns but not declared in his Statements of Assets Liabilities and Networth (SALN) is deemed ill-gotten, the prosecutors said that discrepancies in the SALNs submitted by Chief Justice Renato Corona for the period 2002 to 2010 are enough to convince the impeachment court to convict him.
Spokespersons for the prosecution said that through Corona’s SALNs and evidence of existence of undeclared properties owned by him, they would be able to prove that the Chief Justice has amassed ill-gotten wealth.
January 19, 2012 09:10 PM
Based on the initial investigation conducted, it has been established that the cheques for the premium payments of Accenture Inc. did not reach PhilHealth. However, these cheques were encashed in at least two branches of Metrobank in Batangas.
To ensure non-detection of the irregularity, the supposed premium payments were illegally uploaded in the Treasury Database and posted in the individual accounts of the Accenture employees, to make it appear that their health insurance premium contributions have actually been remitted, and will therefore make them eligible for benefits availment.
January 19, 2012 02:30 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 19, 2012) – Supreme Court (SC) Clerk of Court Enriqueta Vidal hesitantly surrendering to the impeachment court the Statement of Asset and Liabilities and Networth (SALN) of Chief Justice Renato Corona was the biggest development on day 3 of the impeachment trial of the chief magistrate.
Even when there was advance information that Vidal would appear in yesterday's hearing in compliance of the Senate's subpoena duces tecum, no one had a clue that she brought Corona's SALNs to the impeachment court.
January 18, 2012 11:28 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 18, 2012) - The World Bank (WB) confirmed yesterday it issued an aide memoire that referred to some “ineligible expenditures” and demand for refund of disallowed disbursements in connection with the $21.9-million loan the bank extended to the Supreme Court (SC).
The aide memoire summarized the findings and recommendations of a WB task team, pointing out implementation issues that include the ineligible expenditures.
January 18, 2012 07:56 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 18, 2012) – On the second day of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona yesterday, the prosecution panel asked the Senate Impeachment Court to postpone the proceeding after questions on the admissibility of computer generated pieces of evidence were raised.
Rep. Elpidio Barzaga said they would not present a witness but only computer-generated evidence, which were ready for marking.
Presiding Senator-Judge Juan Ponce Enrile said he would allow the marking of the documents but warned that the rules of evidence say that documentary evidence should be authenticated by qualified witnesses and failure on presenting the witnessses may result on adverse ruling against the prosecution.
January 17, 2012 06:38 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 17, 2012) – On the first day of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona, the Senate impeachment court denied a series of motions filed by the defense, including the motion for preliminary hearing.
With the move, the prosecution panel believed it has successfully blocked the attempt of the Corona team to delay the impeach proceedings against the chief magistrate and presentation of evidence can start as early as today.
January 15, 2012 04:20 AM
MANILA ,Philippines (Jan 15, 2012) – Ahead of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona tomorrow, the beleaguered chief magistrate faces a new allegation that the Supreme Court misused a million-dollar World Bank(WB) loan under his watch, even as he has his hands full explaining initial "tip of the iceberg" evidence in the form questionable real estate acquisitions made public recently.
A World Bank “aide memoire” reveals that a portion of the a $21 million loan released to the Supreme Court as additional funding for its Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP) was disbursed for procurements and expenses outside of its original purpose, including printing supply of the Court Reporter’s Case Index, purchase of laptop computers, speaker’s fee for seminars, registration fee of justices attending international conferences, and foreign travels of justices and their staff (including airfare, hotel accommodations and meal allowances).
January 12, 2012 09:16 PM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 12, 2012) - Officially ruled as a case of suicide, the death of Philippine Navy Ensign Philip Andrew Pestaño aboard a navy ship 16 years ago sprang back to life after the Office of the Ombudsman yesterday filed murder charges against 10 officials and officers of the Philippine Navy.
It was believed that Pestaño was murdered for trying to reveal that the navy ship BRB Bacolod City was being used to transport illegally-cut logs, guns and narcotics.
January 11, 2012 09:48 PM
DOJ denies ABS-CBN's motion to dismiss the filing of a criminal complaint for libel against its executives and talents
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently ordered the City Prosecutor of Quezon City to file libel charges against ABS-CBN for malicious imputations aired over its broadcast platforms in relation to the alleged "stolen" footage by broadcast giant GMA Network.
The case is in relation to the alleged unauthorized airing of Iraqi captive Angelo Dela Cruz's arrival footage taken at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport over GMA's newscast in July 2004.
January 11, 2012 01:01 AM
MANILA, Jan. 10, 2011— Quiapo Church rector Msgr. Clemente Ignacio said there had been a terrorist threat to yesterday’s Black Nazarene procession but nothing stopped them to hold the yearly tradition.
The church official admitted he himself received the threat even before President Benigno Aquino III announced it to the public.
“Even before President Aquino arrived here (at Quiapo Church last Sunday), our security group in contact with the intelligence is already talking about it. There was a text message sent to me with the very concrete names of the bombers,” said Ignacio.
January 10, 2012 05:03 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 10, 2012) - In spite of a previous government's warning of a possible terrorist attack, a sea of devotees took to the streets of Manila yesterday to join the biggest and longest religious procession in the country.
A massive crowd trooped to the Quirino Grandstand in morning to attend a Mass and participate in this year’s celebration of the Feast of the Black Nazarene, before the procession crawled toward the Quiapo Minor Basilica, where the religious image is housed.
January 7, 2012 07:52 AM
PANTUKAN, Compostela Valley ,Philippines (Jan 7, 2012) – A day after a landslide killed 27 people in this mining town, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo orders the closure of high-risk mining tunnels and demolition of surrounding structures in an effort to prevent communities from inhabiting risky gold rush sites.
The military, in coordination with the LGUs, will enforce the closure order of the tunnels within the week.
January 6, 2012 07:01 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 6, 2011) - Giving credence to the testimonies of a former military budget officer alleging large-scale corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) before the Senate last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) yesterday recommended the filing of plunder charges against two former military chiefs and nine other people.
According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former AFP chiefs Diomedio Villanueva and Roy Cimatu are among those who the DOJ recommended to be charged with non-bailable crime of plunder.
January 6, 2012 06:26 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 6, 2012) - The case the the "euro generals" is not put to rest after all, as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has ordered its reinvestigation.
Former interior secretary Ronaldo Puno and a dozen other former and current officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) led by retired Director General Avelino Razon Jr. will be investigated for graft and technical malversation of public funds “for approving, receiving, and/or using or allowing the use of the amount of (P2,314,096.00) from the PNP confidential/intelligence fund for travel expense and allowance of delegates to the Interpol Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia.”
January 5, 2012 04:01 PM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 5, 2012) - Former Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. disclosed yesterday that he is willing to testify against former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her Sandiganbayan trial in connection with the botched NBN -ZTE deal.
The Ombudsman has filed graft charges against Arroyo in connection with the aborted $329-million national broadband network (NBN) contract her administration awarded to Chinese firm ZTE Corp. in 2007.
January 5, 2012 01:24 PM
Just over two months under new management, the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) bared that it has uncovered and neutralized a syndicate that ripped-off a private firm’s multimillion-peso premium payment.
“We’ve already called in the National Bureau of Investigation and the Anti-Money Laundering Council to complete the investigation toward filing the appropriate criminal charges against the culprits,” said Dr. Eduardo P. Banzon, who was designated PhilHealth President and Chief Executive Officer only last Oct.17.
January 5, 2012 04:57 AM
MANILA, Philippines (Jan 5, 2012) - Found guilty of contempt for making malicious statements against the court, former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos and his lawyer were slapped a penalty of 10 days imprisonment or a fine of Php2,000.
Signed by Pasay Judge Jesus Mupas before he went on leave in the last week of December, an order cititing Abalos and his lawyer Brigido Dulay for contempt was sent by registered mail to the respondents. Copy of the order was also sent to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
January 2, 2012 08:08 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Feeling the heat after the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, two justices Supreme Court (SC) who were appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are reportedly contemplating of early retirement even if their term at the highest court go beyond that of Philippine President Benigno C. Aquino III, according to three separate sources of the Philippine Star.
The Philippine Star, however, is withholding the names of the two magistrates and the circumstances under which they would be retiring early by way of resignation.