IF '3 KINGS" LOSE BINAY, UNA WILL FIELD OWN PRESIDENTIAL BET 

If one of the kings goes, the other will step in. Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said yesterday that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) would put up its own presidential candidate if Vice President Jejomar Binay runs for president under the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections. Estrada, Binay and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile are the so-called “Three Kings” that make up the three-man executive committee of UNA, an opposition coalition of Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) which the trio created in 2010. Estrada said that he would run again for president should Binay run under LP. Asked for comment by The STAR in a telephone interview, Estrada said his chance now of running for president in 2016 is still “50-50.”  But Estrada said he will be forced to run should UNA fail to find a replacement candidate for Binay. “I will be forced to put up our own candidate in the opposition. Democracy will be lost if the opposition will have no candidate,” Estrada said. Estrada, who ran for president in the 2010 presidential elections with Binay as his running mate, said the opposition should have a candidate in 2016. “We will lose democracy should we have no candidate to field. There must be a presidential candidate for the opposition,” Estrada said. “We will see if we can get our own candidate. If we cannot get a candidate, then that is the only time that I would run. But still it’s 50-50 percent,” Estrada said. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Mar Roxas wants longer term for PNoy  

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is still mum on whether he will be running for president in 2016, but he believes President Benigno Aquino III deserves a longer term. In an exclusive interview with Lynda Jumilla on ANC's "Beyond Politics," Roxas dodged the question on whether he will likely be Aquino's anointed candidate in the next presidential elections. Instead, he revealed that if only it were up to him, he would want Aquino to extend his term and continue his "tuwid na daan" governance. "Kung ako lang ang tatanungin -- at ito walang pahintulot sa Pangulo ito, wala ring konsultasyon sa partido ko ito, ito ako lang ito -- dapat mas mahaba ang termino ni Pangulong PNoy kasi nakita na natin kung saan niya tayo dinala. At sino pa ba kundi siya ang pinakamabuti, pinakamahusay na makapagpatuloy nito," he said.

He said Aquino has proven himself as clean, reformist leader who has done a lot for the Filipino people. "Hindi corrupt, malinis... Walang 'tong-pats.' Walang issue sa pagbubulsa," he said. "Sino pa ba kundi ang Pangulo na nakapagpakita na ng kanyang sinseridad, determinasyon, at kakayahan na gabayan tayo at dalhin tayo sa magandang bukas," he added. Roxas clarified, however, that he is aware this would require an amendment to the Constitution, which limits the president to only one 6-year term. Some people, through the "One More Term for PNoy" page on Facebook, have been calling for the "re-election" of Aquino. But Malacañang has distanced itself from this social media campaign, maintaining that the President is committed to serve only one term. ON PRESIDENCY: NOT FOR ME TO SAY --* READ MORE...

ALSO: Binay running with or without PNoy's support - UNA 

Expect more demolition jobs against VP, says Tiangco - With or without the endorsement of President Benigno Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay will be United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) standard-bearer, secretary general Toby Tiangco said. "The Vice President will definitely run as the UNA standard-bearer. President Aquino's anointment is not a pre-condition to his candidacy," Tiangco said in a statement. Nonetheless, personal support from Aquino is a welcome gesture of trust and confidence, he said. "The closeness of the Aquino and the Binay families goes beyond politics. It's a kinship forged by adversity, trust and shared democratic principles and values--at hindi political convenience," Tiangco said. * READ MORE...

(ALSO) Binay: Mar's bid for Aquino term extension 'selfish' 

In this May 2012 photo, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II (leftmost) flashes the "Laban" sign associated with the Liberal Party currently led by President Benigno Aquino III (rightmost). — Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday slammed the statement of Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II to extend the term of President Aquino as "selfish." Binay said the proposal put Aquino on the spot and made the object of criticisms, "which he doesn't deserve." "It was a selfish proposal to begin with, motivated more by personal rather than national interest," Binay, who defeated Roxas in the 2010 vice presidential race, said in a statement. Binay similarly called the idea a "politically-divisive sentiment" that dampens the President's respect for laws made through the administration of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, allowing only a single term for each head of state. "President Aquino, through Secretary [Herminio] Coloma, has made known his sentiments on term extension. We must respect his decision," Binay said. "Those who made the proposal don't know the President. He is a decent person who will not cling to power. He is a student of history, and he won't tarnish his mother's good name just to please some personalities," he added * READ MORE...

ALSO: Palace hands-off on social media calls to ‘re-elect’ Aquino 

PHOTO: Screengrab from Noynoy Aquino fanpag. Despite being prohibited by the Philippines Constitution, some netizens are calling for the re-election of President Benigno Aquino III.
Reminding the public of the constitutional ban on re-election of presidents, Malacañang on Sunday said it had no hand in the said campaign. “Unang-una po ay malinaw ang sinasabi sa ating Konstitusyon na ang bawat halal na Pangulo ay mayroon lamang iisang anim na taon na termino. Kaya kahit na ano man po ang sabihin nila, ang Saligang Batas po natin ang iiral hinggil diyan,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over the radio. (First of all, the constitution clearly states that a president only has one six-year term. The constitution will always prevail.) He said Filipinos should respect the Philippine Constitution. “Wala po kaming kinalaman sa pagpapahayag na ganyan. ‘Yan po ay spontaneous at natural na pagpapahayag ng saloobin,” he added. (We had nothing to do with such claims. That is just a spontaneous and natural expression of their feelings.) On Aquino’s Facebook Page, which has 4 million followers, supporters have been posting messages and photos bearing the words “ One More Term” and “Re-Elect Pnoy for 2016.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Bongbong Marcos on becoming president: ‘Not now’ 

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday talked about the presidency but said he is not considering it now. “Not now,” Marcos told reporters. “You are always considering me to run for president but I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about it and I don’t go to sleep at night thinking about it.” Unlike his mother, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, the senator said he has not dreamed of becoming a president. “As I sit here now, I’m not thinking about it,” he said. “It has never been a dream.” Just last month, his mother talked about returning to Malacañang, saying her senator-son was qualified join the presidential race in 2016.
“Well of course that’s her dream…As I said, if she could nominate me for the position of pope she would because she’s my mom. My mother loves me,” he said. “She’s been dreaming that since she was born. I’ve been hearing that since I was a child…The first time I heard it I was three years old. It’s not a question kung pagbibigyan mo or what, it’s just who can predict the future?” he said. * READ MORE...

ALSO: Enrile also runs to SC, wants trial stopped 

Detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday sought relief from the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with his trial on plunder and other cases related to the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam. Through his legal team led by former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza, the former Senate president asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the third division of the anti-graft court from proceeding with the pre-trial of the case. In a 73-page petition filed last Wednesday afternoon, Enrile specifically assailed the ruling of the Sandiganbayan last July 11 denying his motion for a bill of particulars or for production of the prosecution’s evidence against him. He alleged that the anti-graft court division chaired by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang violated his constitutional right to a fair trial.

“The denial by the Court of petitioner Enrile’s motion for bill of particulars now compels him to go to trial with one eye blindfolded,” read the petition. Enrile said the Constitution provides that a person accused of crime is not only presumed innocent until final conviction but should also be accorded due process of law by informing him of the nature and cause of the accusations against him. “There cannot be a more blatant act of a Court that is without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to a lack or excess of jurisdiction than one which violates the rights of an accused under the Constitution and precludes the fairness of a trial,” he argued. Petitioner also cited section 9, rule 116 of the Rules of Court, which provides that “the accused may, before arraignment, move for a bill of particulars to enable him properly to plead and prepare for trial.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Sandigan dismisses Enrile bid to junk ‘pork’ scam case 

The Sandiganbayan denied Friday an appeal by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to dismiss the plunder case against him in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam. In a resolution released by the Third Division, the anti-graft court also denied Enrile’s appeal for bail. The court said Enrile’s arguments were rehashed and it has ruled on it prior to the issuance of a warrant for his arrest. It added that Enrile’s claim that the information or charge sheet was confusing was due to the absence of more information. “In truth, the allegations that accused Enrile…want to see from the subject information pertain to matters of evidence which need not be alleged in criminal information. It has been held that while it is fundamental that every element of the offense must be alleged in the information, matters of evidence – as distinguished from the facts essential to the nature of the offense – need not be averred,” the anti-graft court said. On his motion to fix bail, the anti-graft court said Enrile was not entitled to bail. The court said bail for Enrile was not a matter of right because he was facing a capital offense.
The court explained that before a bail could be fixed, there has to be a hearing where the prosecution would present its evidence. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.


READ FULL REPORT HERE:

If '3 Kings' lose Binay, UNA to field own bet

MANILA, AUGUST 11, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Jose Rodel Clapano - If one of the kings goes, the other will step in.

Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said yesterday that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) would put up its own presidential candidate if Vice President Jejomar Binay runs for president under the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections.

Estrada, Binay and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile are the so-called “Three Kings” that make up the three-man executive committee of UNA, an opposition coalition of Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) which the trio created in 2010.

Estrada said that he would run again for president should Binay run under LP.

Asked for comment by The STAR in a telephone interview, Estrada said his chance now of running for president in 2016 is still “50-50.”

But Estrada said he will be forced to run should UNA fail to find a replacement candidate for Binay.

“I will be forced to put up our own candidate in the opposition. Democracy will be lost if the opposition will have no candidate,” Estrada said.

Estrada, who ran for president in the 2010 presidential elections with Binay as his running mate, said the opposition should have a candidate in 2016.

“We will lose democracy should we have no candidate to field. There must be a presidential candidate for the opposition,” Estrada said.

“We will see if we can get our own candidate. If we cannot get a candidate, then that is the only time that I would run. But still it’s 50-50 percent,” Estrada said.

FROM ABS-CBN

Mar wants longer term for PNoy by Kathlyn dela Cruz, ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 08/05/2014 9:44 PM | Updated as of 08/05/2014 11:56 PM


SCREENGRAB FROM TV NEWS PATROL: Roxas: Running for presidency for the people to say

MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is still mum on whether he will be running for president in 2016, but he believes President Benigno Aquino III deserves a longer term.

In an exclusive interview with Lynda Jumilla on ANC's "Beyond Politics," Roxas dodged the question on whether he will likely be Aquino's anointed candidate in the next presidential elections.

Instead, he revealed that if only it were up to him, he would want Aquino to extend his term and continue his "tuwid na daan" governance.

"Kung ako lang ang tatanungin -- at ito walang pahintulot sa Pangulo ito, wala ring konsultasyon sa partido ko ito, ito ako lang ito -- dapat mas mahaba ang termino ni Pangulong PNoy kasi nakita na natin kung saan niya tayo dinala. At sino pa ba kundi siya ang pinakamabuti, pinakamahusay na makapagpatuloy nito," he said.

He said Aquino has proven himself as clean, reformist leader who has done a lot for the Filipino people.

"Hindi corrupt, malinis... Walang 'tong-pats.' Walang issue sa pagbubulsa," he said.

"Sino pa ba kundi ang Pangulo na nakapagpakita na ng kanyang sinseridad, determinasyon, at kakayahan na gabayan tayo at dalhin tayo sa magandang bukas," he added.

Roxas clarified, however, that he is aware this would require an amendment to the Constitution, which limits the president to only one 6-year term.

Some people, through the "One More Term for PNoy" page on Facebook, have been calling for the "re-election" of Aquino.

But Malacañang has distanced itself from this social media campaign, maintaining that the President is committed to serve only one term.

ON PRESIDENCY: NOT FOR ME TO SAY

* According to Roxas, he still has no plans for the elections in May 2016 despite being eyed by his party-mates as the standard-bearer of the administration's Liberal Party (LP).

He said he remains focused on his job as secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

"Hindi ko iniisip. Wala sa radar ko. May panahon para sa trabaho, may panahon naman para sa ganung mga bagay," he said.

He added that it is not for him to say if he is qualified to become the country's next President.

But he said he is ready to face whatever challenge may come.

"It's not for me to say. Merong kasabihan tayo na 'di ba regalo or mula sa tao yang posisyon na yan. At para sa akin, dun tayo naka-focus sa ating trabaho.

"Handa tayong harapin kung anuman ang hamon na darating. Pero sa ngayon, ang hamon ay maiangat mula sa kahirapan ang ating mga kababayan, tumotoo tayo sa daang matuwid, na araw-araw tumotoo tayo sa mga programa ni Pangulong PNoy," Roxas said.

'NOT BEHIND RAPS VS BINAYS'

The DILG chief also reacted to several intrigues and controversies in the past months.

The most recent is the opposition's claim that his group was behind the filing of a plunder complaint against Vice President Jejomar Binay, Binay's son Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, and other Makati officials over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Parking Building.

Roxas said he is not even aware of the details of the case.

He said the allegations against him are purely due to politics.

Roxas was Binay's rival in the vice presidential elections in 2010. He lost to Binay but he later filed an electoral protest.

"I don't know the person who filed it [plunder complaint], never talked, spoke, whatever. As I understand it, these are local Makati politics. Ganun lang yun 'di ba? Lahat na lang ng nangyayari, si Mar Roxas ang nasa likod nito."

He said this is also the case with respect to the opposition's criticisms over the DILG's program to relocate informal settlers living along Metro Manila's waterways.

The opposition says the program should be left to the housing agencies, and not to the DILG.

"Ang punto dito ganito: Ang objection ba nila, yung puna nila ay 'yung programa? Or the fact that Mar Roxas is in DILG at ako ang gumagawa nito?" he said, pointing out that the program started not under his leadership but under the late Jesse Robredo.

SLOW RESPONSE?

The DILG chief has also been slammed for his alleged slow response to the Zamboanga siege in September and the onslaught of super typhoon "Yolanda" in November last year.

Roxas pointed out that he and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin immediately flew to Zamboanga a day after the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) laid siege to the city, and they even flew to Tacloban, Leyte a day prior the super typhoon struck the country.

"How much faster can you be?" he said.

Roxas, meanwhile, said he does not think too much now about his supposed word war with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez, which was caught on video and became viral online.

He maintained that he was only being careful so that the President would not be accused of outrightly taking over the local government of Tacloban, which was worst hit by Yolanda.

He also clarified that he does not consider himself "above any rule" when he had an encounter with employees of the Wack Wack Golf and Country Club regarding an apparent confusion over the new policy involving the green fee of a guest.

'HURT BY CRITICISMS

With all the bashing he's been getting, Roxas admitted that he also feels hurt.

"We're also just human. We try and do the best we can. I console myself by saying, well, at the end of the day, you can look at every decision that I made and everything that I've done. And I can stand by it," he said.

He said he has been using the President's "Kayo ang aming boss" policy as his guide.

"At the end of the day, we ask ourselves, 'What would PNoy do? Where is the best and highest interest of the people?' And if you go by that compass, you can't go too wrong," Roxas said.

Binay running with or without PNoy's support - UNA ABS-CBNnews.com
Posted at 08/05/2014 7:55 PM | Updated as of 08/05/2014 7:55 PM

Expect more demolition jobs against VP, says Tiangco

MANILA - With or without the endorsement of President Benigno Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay will be United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) standard-bearer, secretary general Toby Tiangco said.

"The Vice President will definitely run as the UNA standard-bearer. President Aquino's anointment is not a pre-condition to his candidacy," Tiangco said in a statement.

Nonetheless, personal support from Aquino is a welcome gesture of trust and confidence, he said.

"The closeness of the Aquino and the Binay families goes beyond politics. It's a kinship forged by adversity, trust and shared democratic principles and values--at hindi political convenience," Tiangco said.

* He said Aquino's inclusion in his State of the Nation Address of how Binay helped him during the 1987 coup may have left a bad taste in the mouths of some Liberal Party hopefuls.

“The downside is that those who are loyal to Mar Roxas will become more desperate in their demolition job against the VP. We are certain that the group identified with Roxas will point to the so-called plunder complaint as reason for not adopting the VP. This complaint has been exposed as a sham because even the COA found the project cost reasonable and did not give any adverse findings over the years. Pasado sa COA, kaya walang basehan at paninira lang," Tiangco said.

He said some quarters will try to move heaven and earth to try to pressure Aquino into changing his mind.

"We cannot dictate upon who the President wishes to support. He has his own political party and we also have our own machinery and political alliances. As a family friend, the Vice President is open to PNoy's personal endorsement. So, if ever PNoy personally endorses VP Binay, it will be up to the LP members if they will follow PNoy or not," Tiangco said.

FROM PHILSTAR

Binay: Mar's bid for Aquino term extension 'selfish' By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated August 8, 2014 - 4:31pm 2 53 googleplus0 0


In this May 2012 photo, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II (leftmost) flashes the "Laban" sign associated with the Liberal Party currently led by President Benigno Aquino III (rightmost). PNA

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Jejomar Binay on Friday slammed the statement of Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II to extend the term of President Aquino as "selfish."

Binay said the proposal put Aquino on the spot and made the object of criticisms, "which he doesn't deserve."

"It was a selfish proposal to begin with, motivated more by personal rather than national interest," Binay, who defeated Roxas in the 2010 vice presidential race, said in a statement.

Binay similarly called the idea a "politically-divisive sentiment" that dampens the President's respect for laws made through the administration of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, allowing only a single term for each head of state.

"President Aquino, through Secretary [Herminio] Coloma, has made known his sentiments on term extension. We must respect his decision," Binay said.

"Those who made the proposal don't know the President. He is a decent person who will not cling to power. He is a student of history, and he won't tarnish his mother's good name just to please some personalities," he added.

* Binay has made known his plans to run for president in the 2016 national elections, posing a challenge to the ruling Liberal Party's likely endorsement of Roxas for the top post.

Binay, an opposition leader under the United Nationalist Alliance, has recently raised the possibility that he will be adopted by the Liberal Party.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, a Liberal Party stalwart, rejected Binay's claim and said that the group will support Roxas' possible bid for the presidency.

Roxas, however, has not openly expressed his plans for a higher political post in the coming polls. - with PNA

FROM THE INQUIRER

Palace hands-off on calls to ‘re-elect’ Aquino By Kristine Angeli Sabillo |INQUIRER.net2:26 pm | Sunday, August 3rd, 2014



Screengrab from Noynoy Aquino fanpage

MANILA, Philippines – Despite being prohibited by the Philippines Constitution, some netizens are calling for the re-election of President Benigno Aquino III.

Reminding the public of the constitutional ban on re-election of presidents, Malacañang on Sunday said it had no hand in the said campaign.

“Unang-una po ay malinaw ang sinasabi sa ating Konstitusyon na ang bawat halal na Pangulo ay mayroon lamang iisang anim na taon na termino. Kaya kahit na ano man po ang sabihin nila, ang Saligang Batas po natin ang iiral hinggil diyan,” Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said over the radio.
(First of all, the constitution clearly states that a president only has one six-year term. The constitution will always prevail.)

He said Filipinos should respect the Philippine Constitution.

“Wala po kaming kinalaman sa pagpapahayag na ganyan. ‘Yan po ay spontaneous at natural na pagpapahayag ng saloobin,” he added.
(We had nothing to do with such claims. That is just a spontaneous and natural expression of their feelings.)

On Aquino’s Facebook Page, which has 4 million followers, supporters have been posting messages and photos bearing the words “ One More Term” and “Re-Elect Pnoy for 2016.”

* Coloma, however, said that such calls were not surprising because of the nature of social media.

“Wala naman pong kumokontrol niyan. Kaya sa kabila ng mga pahayag na ’yan, ang ipapaalala lang po natin sa kanila ay ‘yung probisyon ng Saligang Batas hinggil sa iisang termino lang na anim na taon, at doon naman po ang puno at dulo ng lahat ng usapin hinggil diyan,” he said.
(No one has control over social media. So despite such calls, we would just have to remind the public of the constitutional provision that a president only has one term consisting of six years, and that is where that discussion should end.)

Aquino has lately been receiving flak for various issues, especially the Disbursement Acceleration Program.

But while his performance ratings have been on a decline, Aquino’s followers have also started drumming up support for the beleaguered president.

Bongbong Marcos on becoming president: ‘Not now’ By Maila Ager |INQUIRER.net7:53 pm | Wednesday, August 6th, 2014


Senator Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos. AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday talked about the presidency but said he is not considering it now.

“Not now,” Marcos told reporters. “You are always considering me to run for president but I don’t wake up in the morning thinking about it and I don’t go to sleep at night thinking about it.”

Unlike his mother, former First Lady and now Ilocos Norte Representative Imelda Marcos, the senator said he has not dreamed of becoming a president.

“As I sit here now, I’m not thinking about it,” he said. “It has never been a dream.”

Just last month, his mother talked about returning to Malacañang, saying her senator-son was qualified join the presidential race in 2016.

“Well of course that’s her dream…As I said, if she could nominate me for the position of pope she would because she’s my mom. My mother loves me,” he said.

“She’s been dreaming that since she was born. I’ve been hearing that since I was a child…The first time I heard it I was three years old. It’s not a question kung pagbibigyan mo or what, it’s just who can predict the future?” he said.

* Senator Marcos reiterated that he was not considering running for president.

“Again, I know I’ve said this 1,000 times, it’s too early, it’s just too early. As a purely practical matter, it’s too early to be thinking about it,” he said.

“I know you like the subject so much…but it’s really, really premature… All of those people who have declared their candidacy, I think they have made a mistake,” the senator added.

Being the son of the late President Ferdinand Marcos, the senator said he had witnessed the “personal sacrifices” that have to be made in order to become a good leader.

“Most people only see the grandeur and then of course the power that is wielded by the president,” he said.

“But I’ve also seen the other side of it because I saw my father at the end of the day, at the beginning of the day, the kind of problems that you have to face, the kind of very serious sacrifices that you have to make if you’re going to be a good president… I know the personal sacrifices that have to be made.”

The senator pointed out, “Anybody can be president but not anybody can be a good president.”

“So there’s no use being a president if you’re not going to be a good one. It’s very, very hard,” he further said.

FROM PHILSTAR

Enrile also runs to SC, wants trial stopped By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 8, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile yesterday sought relief from the Supreme Court (SC) in a bid to stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with his trial on plunder and other cases related to the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

Through his legal team led by former solicitor general Estelito Mendoza, the former Senate president asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining the third division of the anti-graft court from proceeding with the pre-trial of the case.

In a 73-page petition filed last Wednesday afternoon, Enrile specifically assailed the ruling of the Sandiganbayan last July 11 denying his motion for a bill of particulars or for production of the prosecution’s evidence against him.

He alleged that the anti-graft court division chaired by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang violated his constitutional right to a fair trial.

“The denial by the Court of petitioner Enrile’s motion for bill of particulars now compels him to go to trial with one eye blindfolded,” read the petition.

Enrile said the Constitution provides that a person accused of crime is not only presumed innocent until final conviction but should also be accorded due process of law by informing him of the nature and cause of the accusations against him.

“There cannot be a more blatant act of a Court that is without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to a lack or excess of jurisdiction than one which violates the rights of an accused under the Constitution and precludes the fairness of a trial,” he argued.

Petitioner also cited section 9, rule 116 of the Rules of Court, which provides that “the accused may, before arraignment, move for a bill of particulars to enable him properly to plead and prepare for trial.”

* The same rule also states that the motion should specify alleged defects of the complaint or information and the details being sought.

“The denial by the Sandiganbayan of petitioner Enrile’s motion for bill of particulars is consequently not a mere denial of a procedural right granted an accused under the Rules of Court but of rights vested in an accused under the Constitution to assure fairness of the trial of the offense charged. For, indeed, only when the trial is fair can there be a judgment that is just,” read the petition.

With these grounds, Enrile asked the high tribunal to void the assailed resolution of the anti-graft court for allegedly having been issued with grave abuse of discretion.

Apart from TRO, he also urged the SC to hear his petition in oral arguments.

Other accused in the Priority Development Assistance Fund cases before the Sandiganbayan have earlier filed similar petitions with the high court, including fellow Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

Among the information and details Enrile wanted in the bill of particulars were the names of persons who delivered and received kickbacks or commissions, the dates of delivery, breakdown of the alleged P172,834,500 worth of kickbacks or commissions, the projects financed by the pork barrel funds and the names of the non-government organization involved.

Enrile also questioned the date on which the alleged transactions took place from 2004 to 2010, adding that the prosecution should have provided a more detailed and specific date or time rather than the general period.

But the Sandiganbayan denied his motion and proceeded with his arraignment. When he refused to enter a plea, the court entered a “not guilty” plea for him.

The anti-graft court also ordered Enrile’s suspension from the Senate.

Enrile, a former defense secretary, Edsa People Power Revolution hero and martial law enforcer of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, is accused of pocketing P173 million in kickbacks from ghost projects of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

The Sandiganbayan ordered yesterday the police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to bring Enrile to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in Manila next week to undergo two days of medical evaluation.

Lawyer Dennis Pulma, clerk of court of the anti-graft court’s Third Division, said the 90-year-old lawmaker will undergo a medical check-up.

The medical examination will be used as a basis for Enrile’s request that he be continually detained at the Philippine National Police General Hospital (PNPGH) in Camp Crame, Quezon City because of his illnesses.

Pulma said the Sandiganbayan Third Division “granted and directed the CIDG and the administrator of the PNPGH to bring the person of Senator Enrile to the PGH on Aug. 11 and 12 both at 7:30 in the morning.” – With Michael Punongbayan

FROM THE INQUIRER

Sandigan dismisses Enrile bid to junk ‘pork’ scam case By Tetch Torres-Tupas |Philippine Daily Inquirer1:07 pm | Friday, August 8th, 2014


Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines –The Sandiganbayan denied Friday an appeal by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile to dismiss the plunder case against him in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

In a resolution released by the Third Division, the anti-graft court also denied Enrile’s appeal for bail.

The court said Enrile’s arguments were rehashed and it has ruled on it prior to the issuance of a warrant for his arrest.

It added that Enrile’s claim that the information or charge sheet was confusing was due to the absence of more information.

“In truth, the allegations that accused Enrile…want to see from the subject information pertain to matters of evidence which need not be alleged in criminal information. It has been held that while it is fundamental that every element of the offense must be alleged in the information, matters of evidence – as distinguished from the facts essential to the nature of the offense – need not be averred,” the anti-graft court said.

On his motion to fix bail, the anti-graft court said Enrile was not entitled to bail. The court said bail for Enrile was not a matter of right because he was facing a capital offense.

The court explained that before a bail could be fixed, there has to be a hearing where the prosecution would present its evidence. With a report from Marlon Ramos, Philippine Daily Inquirer


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