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Sereno’s Resolution – Marcos Protest to be Dismissed if he Fails to Pay Deposit

Marcos





welcome By: Elena Grace Flores

Chief Justice Lourdes Aranal-Sereno ultimately delayed the release of the resolution. The late release of the resolution put Bongbong Marcos at a disadvantage because if he fails to pay the amount on time, the electoral protest against Leni Robredo will be dismissed.






Youtube video by; Rappler
[VIDEO]: The Supreme Court orders a cash payment of P81.46 million to proceed with the election protest of former senator Bongbong Marcos against Vice President Leni Robredo.



Sits at Sereno’s Office

George Erwin Garcia, Marcos’ lawyer receives the resolution on April 10, 2017. The court en banc ruled on the matter on March 21, 2017. It is obviously held at Sereno’s office and released only during the Holy Week.



Automatic Deadline

Under the Rules of Court, if the deadline falls on a holiday, the payment shall be made on the next working day. This means that Bongbong Marcos is obliged to pay the deposit on April 17, after Easter Sunday.



Confusing Calculations

The PET ordered Marcos pay P500 for the 132,446 precincts where he requested a recount for the vice presidential election votes. In his protest, he questioned the election result in 39,221 clustered precincts. If the calculation is per clustered precinct, it could only be P19.610.500 instead of P66,223,000. It just doesn’t make sense. Can a Vice President make that much in terms of salary?









Coincidence

The April 17 new deadline is a day to watch for because this coincides with the rally of Marcos loyalists at the Supreme Court. They initially would call for a recount but since it can only be done after the payment, perhaps their call should be to compromise for the hefty price of justice in the country.




http://www.manilatimes.net/sc-orders-marcos-pay-p66m/322257/




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Sereno inquires to honor both Ferdinand Marcos and alleged Martial Law Victims

Ferdinand Marcos





welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
The Supreme Court under Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno weighs the balance to  allow the burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani of Ferdinand Marcos. Protests against it are happening by alleged martial law victims.

Sereno Inquires

Would it be right and just if public honors are accorded both to the victims of human rights violations and the one allegedly responsible?

Marcos

These, in effect, were the related questions that Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno posed to Solicitor General Jose Calida. He represents the administrators of Libingan. This is evident in her questioning before the end of oral arguments at the Supreme Court last Wednesday.

Second Round of Oral Arguments

It was the second round of oral arguments on the petitions to stop the burial of Marcos’ remains at the Libingan. It is authorized by President Rodrigo Duterte. A week earlier, the petitioners had argued their case. The Court allows four women to narrate their horrible experiences of torture and detention under martial law.




RA 10368 in 2013

The Chief Justice premises her questions on the fact that Congress has enacted a law (RA 10368 in 2013). It declares as State policy “.  The law recognizes the heroism and sufferings of all Filipinos who were victims of summary execution, torture, enforced or involuntary disappearance. It also includes other human rights violations committed during the regime of (Marcos). It covers the period from September 21, 1972 to February 25, 1986 and restore the victims’ honor and dignity.”

Government’s Moral Obligation

The same law also declares that the State “acknowledges its moral and legal obligation to recognize. Also to provide reparations to said victims and, or their families for the deaths, injuries, sufferings, deprivations. and damages they suffered under the Marcos regime.”




Monetary and non-monetary Reparations

Sereno went as far as to say that the recognition and reparations (both monetary and non-monetary) provided under the law may not suffice to make up for the losses and sufferings of the victims.

Aggravating the victims’ plaint is the fact that the implementation of RA 10368 . It took over a decade to be approved by Congress – has yet to yield benefits to them. No one has yet received any monetary reparation since the compensation board created. It is still going through the 75,000 applications filed to determine who should be paid and the amount to be paid corresponding to the type or degree of violation each one suffered.

Memorial of Victims

The law also provides for the establishment of a memorial/museum/library (initially funded with P500 million) wherein the names of the HRV victims will be inscribed in a roll and their records of sufferings shall be preserved and made accessible to the public via the Internet. This too has yet to be established.




More Injustice after Marcos’s Hero Burial

Thus it would truly heap more injustice on the victims if the body of Marcos were allowed to be buried at the Libingan. May it be before or after the provisions of RA 10368 have been carried out.

Respecting Collective Injuries

Adding further pain to the victims’ collective injuries were the statements by Calida and the private lawyer representing the Marcoses that the former’s emotions and feelings have no relevance to the burial issue because they could seek remedies under other laws.

Under questioning by the magistrates, Calida cited varied reasons for Duterte’s decision, among them being what he called the “wisdom and propriety of the President’s well-meaning desire to put closure to this divisive issue.”




Marcos as a hero

He got himself in a knot by first averring that the President doesn’t intend to bury Marcos as a hero, but as a soldier and former president. Later he asserted that, having been awarded a Medal of Valor for alleged World War II gallantry (given when he was already President in 1966), the dictator has effectively been declared a war hero. Worse, under Justice Marvic Leonen’s rapid-fire questioning, Calida was compelled to admit, impliedly, that it was Marcos himself who issued Presidential Decree No.1687 recognizing a Medal of Valor awardee as a hero, on March 24, 1980.

AFP Rules and Regulations

Sereno upbraided Calida for repeatedly citing mere AFP rules and regulations to justify Marcos’ burial at the Libingan. The solicitor general kept referring to AFP Regulation No. G161-375. (Coincidentally, an online petition and house-to-house campaign launched in Ilocos Norte. It’s the Marcos’ home province, to collect a million signatures to support his burial at the Libingan. It cites as authority AFP Regulation No. G161-137.)

“You’re using AFP regulations to force upon this Court your definition of a hero,” Sereno told Calida. “You are reducing us to a court that will legitimize everything due to a regulation by the AFP; she added. Are our pronouncements so meaningless to you. That all of them will be set aside so you can justify under just an administrative issuance [the burial at Libingan] so the President can fulfill a promise made during his [electoral] campaign?”

Peppering him with questions, to which Calida answered yes to some. He disagreed in two others. The chief justice induced the solicitor general into admitting that AFP regulations don’t carry the same weight or authority as laws enacted by Congress.

No Heroes Burial on September 18

Meantime, Marcos’ body won’t be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on September 18, as set by his family.

The Supreme Court has extended until October 18 its 20-day status quo ante order which originally would have lapsed in mid-September. Lawyers of both sides have been given 20 days to submit their respective memoranda (summation of written arguments).



Reference: http://www.philstar.com/opinion/2016/09/10/1622251/sereno-asks-can-we-honor-both-marcos-and-his-victims

http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/09/07/No-heros-burial-for-Marcos-just-yet-SC-extends-status-quo-order.html

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Philippine President Duterte boasted that Manila is now crime-free as he hits on Chief Justice Sereno

Philippine President





welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Many people would think that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is either dreaming or out of his own mind when he urged Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno to walk along the streets of Manila and find out for herself that Manila is now almost crime-free. Just recently, a 5 year-old girl was shot dead during a buy-bust operation while the war on drugs is ongoing. She was shot in the head along with 3 suspects that the police tried to arrest without warrants.

Duterte bluffed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno over her warrants speech before arresting anyone. “Madame Justice, you are again wrong when you said, ‘Do not allow yourself arrested to be arrested if there is no warrant.’ You are adding to the death toll,” Duterte said in a speech  in Panacan, Davao City.

Duterte  insisted that if the crime is “committed in your presence arrest can be made – even by citizens themselves.”
Sereno already angered the President when she had advised judges allegedly linked into the illegal drugs trade that they are making themselves “physically accountable” if there were no warrants issued for their arrest.

“It is a very dangerous statement. You will promote anarchy. There is no anarchy under my watch,” Duterte reiterated.

Reference: http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/579074/news/nation/duterte-hits-sereno-anew-over-warrants-for-arrest

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Possible Ground for CJ Sereno’s Impeachment Cited


welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno can be impeached based on the Judiciary Development Fund or JDF, also referred to as “pork barrel-like funds” when found “sufficient in form and substance.” Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said to Inquirer; “the issue over the court’s JDF “could be” a ground for impeachment “for as long as disbursements made thereon constitute graft and corruption, which is a ground for impeachment.” He added that Sereno may be impeached for “betrayal of public trust and/or culpable violation of the Constitution” for allegedly usurping the power of Congress’ purse” – which is against Presidential Decree 1949.

80-percent of the JDF is to augment the allowances of justices, judges, and court personnel; the remaining 20-percent is for office equipment and facilities.
The Chief Justice has the discretion to distribute the funds baed on the mandate of the said Presidential decree.
Umali accused Sereno of applying “double standards” when it usurped the power of Congress on their JDF even when it outlawed such practice in their decision under President Aquino’s Disbursement Acceleration Program.

“If I see a commission of an impeachable offense and the official concerned would not cease and desist from doing it, I will be the complainant myself,” Farinas, who filed a bill amending the law that created JDF, said in a text message to INQUIRER.net. He noted though that he has yet to see an impeachable offense “until I have seen the report showing the collections, disbursements, and expenditures of the JDF.” If that is the case, Sereno might be the second Chief Justicer to be impeached after the late Chief Justice Renato Corona who was impeached over false declaration of wealth which was politically motivated.

Reference: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/626991/sereno-may-face-impeachment

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Sereno Corrupting SC for not Respecting Constitution on Binay’s Suspension Order

welcome By: Elena Grace Flores
SC Abuse of Power
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno used her power in the Supreme Court by delivering a litany to City Mayor Junjun Binay’s lawyers during their second oral argument that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ suspension order on the Makati mayor is unconstitutional based on the Doctrine of Condonation.

Doctrine of Condonation in Question
The condonation doctrine was first introduced by the Supreme Court itself into our jurisprudence in the case of then Mayor Arturo Pascual vs. The Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, G.R. L-11959, in 1959. It stated that a reelected public official cannot be removed from his position for an administrative misconduct committed during his prior term because his reelection assumes the people’s forgiveness or perhaps unbelief on the allegations as per the case of Mayor Binay.

The Student vs. the Professor
Sereno losts her composure when she desperately argued with Binay’s lawyer Sandra Marie Olaso-Coronel, who was her former law student with the probable implications that the doctrine of condonation does not exclude the mayor’s case even if the allegations of corruption have not been proven yet – since they occurred during his previous term.

Sereno has no Right
Sereno did not have the right to scold Coronel because she did not author the doctrine. She should just campaign its revision if she thinks that it’s not favorable to the SC at this time unlike when it was first used.

Senator Santiago’s Take
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has all the rights to pass Senate bill 2716 to counteract the Doctrine of Condonation but she is surely disrespectful to the authors of this manifest when she criticized it. At this time of writing, the status of this bill is still “pending” thus cannot be used on the judgement of Mayor Binay’s case.

Senate Bill 2716
Senate bill 2716 amends the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act to make an elected official liable for any wrongdoing committed during a previous term even if he or she was reelected. This is not yet voted for.

Verdict?
This is a big test if our justice system under Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno if it will diligently follow our constitution – or will do otherwise to serve their own beliefs and interests!

Image Source: Inquirer.net