PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE: Since 1997 © Copyright (PHNO) http://newsflash.org



HEADLINES NEWS THIS PAST WEEK...
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

THE FEUD: DU30 WARNS CJ SERENO AGAINST 'MEDDLING' IN DRUG WAR
[DUTERTE TO SERENO: “Madam Chief Justice, you must be joking. You must be joking. Both of us are lawyers… You know how long it will take for the government to secure a warrant of arrest,” he added. “I warn you. Don’t create a crisis because I will order everybody in the executive department not to honor you.”]
[RELATED: CJ chooses to keep quiet - Sereno refused to comment on Duterte's remarks against her]


AUGUST 9 -Army troops listen to President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to the headquarters of the 3rd Infantry Division in Camp General Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on August 5. Presidential Photographers Division/Ace Morandante, file A fiery President Rodrigo Duterte warned Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday that he would order his officials not to honor the judiciary if she creates a “crisis” and continues what he called her meddling in his crackdown on illegal drugs. Duterte, who promised to launch a ruthless and brutal war against illegal drugs and crime, was visibly ticked off by Sereno’s statement that judges who are linked to illegal drugs should not surrender unless there is a duly-issued arrest warrant against them. In a speech delivered before soldiers in Cagayan de Oro, the president could not hide his displeasure over the chief justice’s pronouncement, saying he cannot afford to wait for arrest warrants while people are being “slaughtered” by drug users. “You know, chief justice, there is a slaughter going on. Mind you, you are appointed by the government there in your office as chief justice at a time when the government is doing nothing. Why wait for warrant of arrest? There are 600,000 people addicted to drugs?” Duterte said. “Madam Chief Justice, you must be joking. You must be joking. Both of us are lawyers… You know how long it will take for the government to secure a warrant of arrest,” he added. “I warn you. Don’t create a crisis because I will order everybody in the executive department not to honor you. You want me to be frank?” Duterte said it takes about two to three months before an arrest warrant can be secured. He noted that cases take years or even “forever” before they are resolved by the court. “In the Supreme Court (SC), tell me. What is the fastest decision you made on criminal cases?... You’re asking for warrant of arrest for 600,000 Filipinos. In the meantime, what do we do with the addict? We let them stay there to resume their criminal activity?” the president said. “Ma’am huwag tayo magbolahan (let’s not fool each other) and don’t force the issue. I respect your comment but it is…a rigmarole to me,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, Chooses to keep quiet: Sereno refused to comment on Duterte's remarks against her...

ALSO Sereno to Duterte: No warrant, no surrender
[Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno does not want judges linked by President Duterte to the illegal drug trade to surrender, unless arrest warrants are issued against them.]

[RELATED: Chief Justice chides Rody over hit list: ‘Du30 exposé premature’]


AUGUST 9 -In a four-page letter to the President, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno described as premature President Duterte’s public announcement of the names of officials and judges supposedly linked to illegal drugs.
Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno does not want judges linked by President Duterte to the illegal drug trade to surrender, unless arrest warrants are issued against them. In a four-page letter to the President, Sereno described as premature Duterte’s public announcement of the names of officials and judges supposedly linked to illegal drugs. Duterte has urged the seven to surrender and report to the Supreme Court (SC)“I would caution them against surrendering or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any duly issued warrant of arrest,” Sereno said, as she invoked jurisdiction of the SC over cases filed against judges. “As the sole entity charged with the discipline of judges, the Supreme Court decides when judges are excused from bench duty and report to it,” she added. Meanwhile, Malacañang contradicted Sereno’s claim that Duterte’s expose’ was premature. Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the announcement could be advantageous to the judges concerned, as it would give them an opportunity to clear their names through the media, than when cases are formally filed against them in court. Sereno warned the President of the repercussions of the “premature” announcement, especially on the safety and performance of duties of the judges. “It would matter greatly to our sense of constitutional order, if we were given the chance to administer the appropriate preventive measures without the complications of a premature public announcement,” she said. The Chief Justice said it is important for the high court to know the source and basis of any allegation linking judges to the illegal drug trade, noting the SC has administrative supervision over all lower courts. READ MORE...Chief Justice chides Rody over hit list: ‘Du30 exposé premature’...

ALSO IN FEUD WITH CJ SERENO: Duterte dangles martial law threat
[There will be a constitutional issue in a war against drugs. You are the kingpin in the judiciary. If this continues and you restrain me, would you rather that I declare martial law?” a fuming Duterte addressed Sereno.]

[RELATED: Sereno cautions 'narco-judges' vs surrender without warrant]


AUGUST 10 -Lashing out at Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno for reprimanding him in a letter on his revelation of names of government officials, including judges connected to the illegal drugs trade, President Duterte threatened to declare martial law in a speech in Cagayan de Oro City before members of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. Sereno wrote Duterte saying the revelation of members of the judiciary allegedly involved in the illegal narcotics trade was premature and she indirectly pointed to the poorly reviewed list since some of the named were dead and most of the judges named do not handle narcotics-related cases. “If you (Sereno) order me, I won’t follow you. There will be a constitutional issue in a war against drugs. You are the kingpin in the judiciary. If this continues and you restrain me, would you rather that I declare martial law?” a fuming Duterte addressed Sereno. “I’m warning you: Do not create a crisis because I will order the whole executive brnach not to follow you. I will honor and defend the Constitution, but do not start a conflict because we will not understand each other,” the President added. Under section 18, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution, the President may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law “in case of invasion or rebellion, or when the public safety requires it . . . for a period not exceeding sixty days.” It provided that “within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President.” “Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it,” it added. The Constitution also requires “Congress, if not in session, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or suspension, to convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call.” “The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing,” the Constitution provided.  READ MORE...RELATED, Sereno cautions 'narco-judges' vs surrender without warrant...

ALSO: Retired SC justice to probe 4 judges named on narco list
[RELATED: CJ Sereno opted to avoid word war with Duterte on 'narco-list']


AUGUST 10 -The High Court is set on opening the probe of the judges who were named by President Duterte by appointing a retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice to investigate the allegations.
To hasten the investigation, the SC justices, in a regular en banc session, directed Duterte’s Executive Secretary to submit to the High Court the formal complaint-affidavits against the four judges within seven days and furnishing the judges with a copy of the complaint, for them to answer the complaints-affidavits.It appears that the SC will be fighting Duterte and his lists, fire with fire.But Duterte threatened to delcare martial law if the SC tries to thwart his orders.Four incumbent lower court judges who landed in Malacañang’s list of officials allegedly protecting drug syndicates in the country have been placed under investigation by the Supreme Court (SC) .During its regular en banc session, the High Court ruled to treat the judges named by the President’s as a formal complaint against the judges. Only four out of the seven judges in the “war on drugs” list are still active, namely Judge Exequil Dagala of the MTC, Dapa-Socorro, Surigao, Judge Adriano Savillo, RTC, Branch 30, Iloilo City, Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan and Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, Benguet.Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was directed to submit formal complaint-affidavits against the four judges within seven days and furnishing the judges with a copy of the complaint to which the four judges are in turn required to submit their answer to the complaint within a day from receipt of the complaint.Retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad was named the head of the fact finding panel to conduct the investigation and submit his recommendation to the SC en banc within 30 days. Sereno earlier said Judges Dagala and Savillo do not have jurisdiction over drug cases while Casiple is the judge of a court of general jurisdiction without jurisdiction over drugs cases until the Court’s recent decision to make all RTCs as drugs courts under an administrative circular. Judge Reyes presides over the designated drugs court in that multi-sala court.  Three judges in the list had been killed. Another dismissed from the service and the third reached compulsory retirement last June. READ MORE...RELATED, CJ Sereno opted to avoid word war with Duterte on 'narco-list'...

ALSO: CJ Sereno doesn’t get the purpose of naming alleged drug protectors, Duterte says ["Ako tong gituyo. Wala makuha ni Justice Sereno eh [I did it on purpose. Justice Sereno did not get it]," he said in a speech delivered mostly in Visayan to the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. Duterte defended his decision to read a list which included a judge who passed away and some who are no longer in government service.]


AUGUST 10 -Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno doesn't understand what he is trying to do when he names public officials, including judges, who are allegedly involved in illegal drug operations, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday.
"Ako tong gituyo. Wala makuha ni Justice Sereno eh [I did it on purpose. Justice Sereno did not get it]," he said in a speech delivered mostly in Visayan to the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. Duterte defended his decision to read a list which included a judge who passed away and some who are no longer in government service. "Ako tong gituyo. Tangtangon nako ang mga security nila para ako silang pangutan-on nganong nadawit ka sa droga. Ngano, naa diay balaod na dili nako kapangutana...? Ako, presidente ko, I have every right to ask you [I did it on purpose. I want their embedded security removed so I can ask them why they were linked to drugs. Why? Is there a law blocking me from asking people? I am a president. I have every right to ask you]," he said. In his speech in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, Duterte asked Sereno if she would rather that he declare martial law than allow the government's war on drugs to continue umimpeded. Malacañang on Wednesday said that Duterte's reference to martial law was more rhetorical than an actual threat. To which, Sereno replied, "Many things have been said. The chief justice sees no need to add to what are being said." Misconstrued Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told reporters that Sereno misunderstood Duterte. READ MORE...WATCH VIDEO...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Duterte warns chief justice against 'meddling' in drug war


Army troops listen to President Rodrigo Duterte during his visit to the headquarters of the 3rd Infantry Division in Camp General Macario Peralta Jr. in Jamindan, Capiz on August 5. Presidential Photographers Division/Ace Morandante, file

MANILA,
AUGUST 15, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Alexis Romero August 9, 2016 - A fiery President Rodrigo Duterte warned Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Tuesday that he would order his officials not to honor the judiciary if she creates a “crisis” and continues what he called her meddling in his crackdown on illegal drugs.

Duterte, who promised to launch a ruthless and brutal war against illegal drugs and crime, was visibly ticked off by Sereno’s statement that judges who are linked to illegal drugs should not surrender unless there is a duly-issued arrest warrant against them.

In a speech delivered before soldiers in Cagayan de Oro, the president could not hide his displeasure over the chief justice’s pronouncement, saying he cannot afford to wait for arrest warrants while people are being “slaughtered” by drug users.

“You know, chief justice, there is a slaughter going on. Mind you, you are appointed by the government there in your office as chief justice at a time when the government is doing nothing. Why wait for warrant of arrest? There are 600,000 people addicted to drugs?” Duterte said.


CHIEF JUSTICE SERENO

“Madam Chief Justice, you must be joking. You must be joking. Both of us are lawyers… You know how long it will take for the government to secure a warrant of arrest,” he added.

“I warn you. Don’t create a crisis because I will order everybody in the executive department not to honor you. You want me to be frank?”

Duterte said it takes about two to three months before an arrest warrant can be secured. He noted that cases take years or even “forever” before they are resolved by the court.

“In the Supreme Court (SC), tell me. What is the fastest decision you made on criminal cases?... You’re asking for warrant of arrest for 600,000 Filipinos. In the meantime, what do we do with the addict? We let them stay there to resume their criminal activity?” the president said.

“Ma’am huwag tayo magbolahan (let’s not fool each other) and don’t force the issue. I respect your comment but it is…a rigmarole to me,” he added.

READ MORE...

"Pigilin mo ako sige...Pag nagwala, would you rather I declare martial law?" he also said.

READ: Supreme Court orders probe on 'narco judges'


President Benigno S. Aquino III congratulates newly sworn Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno during the oathtaking ceremony at the Rizal Hall, Malacañan Palace on Saturday (August 25). Sereno is the 24th Chief Justice of the High Tribunal and the first woman to assume the post PHILIPPINE NEWS ONLINE AUGUST 2012

Duterte blamed the Aquino administration for its failure to curb the drug menace in the country “Six years have passed and nothing happened,” the tough-talking president said.

Former President Benigno Aquino III named Sereno chief justice in 2012 after the ouster of SC chief Renato Corona, who was found guilty by an impeachment court of failing to declare some of his assets.

Duterte said he is ready to step down once federalism is established and the problem of drugs is resolved.

“I’m ready to retire if federalism is ready two to three years from now. I’ll give way and I’m good for retirement,” he added.

The president stressed that he did not make an “accusatorial utterance” when he linked more than a hundred officials to narcotics trade.

“It is in consonance to my duty as president of the Philippines to let everybody know the people around them,” he said.

---------------------------------

RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Chooses to keep quiet: Sereno refused to comment on Duterte's remarks against her By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated August 10, 2016 - 2:28pm 2 307 googleplus0 0


Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno refused to comment on President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks against her. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Wednesday chose to keep quiet about President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks against her, saying there is no need for her to respond.


Follow SC PIO (Official) @SCPh_PIO "Many things have been said, the Chief Justice sees no need to add to what are being said." - the CJ on the President's Aug 9 speech. 1:55 AM - 10 Aug 2016 34 34 Retweets 35 35 likes

Supreme Court Public Information Office chief Theodore Te, who announced the response on Sereno's behalf, said he did not want to add nor editorialize when asked for details.

The Sereno Supreme Court has generally refrained from commenting on political issues and even on cases it decides on, a policy that the judiciary adopted in 2012.

“Wisdom leads me to seek to return the Supreme Court to its days of dignified silence—when its justices were heard when read through their writings, and when the actions of the court were best seen in their collective resolutions,” Sereno, who rarely gives media interviews, said when she assumed office.

While speaking before soldiers in Cagayan de Oro on Tuesday night, Duterte questioned Sereno’s advice to judges allegedly linked to illegal drugs not to surrender to police unless a warrant is issued for their arrest. She also said the announcement of the names was premature and tended to endanger the lives of the judges named.

The Supreme Court has already announced a probe on four judges included in a list that Duterte read in public past midnight on Sunday.

Duterte criticized Sereno on Sunday saying the issuance of warrant takes months and the resolution of criminal cases also takes years or even “forever”.

READ: Duterte tells Sereno: Don’t create a crisis

The president stressed Sereno must know the judicial system being a lawyer herself and asked her to sop creating a crisis regarding his anti-drug campaign. Duterte asked the chief justice if she would rather have him declare martial law to fight the drug menace and warned her that he could order the members of the executive branch to ignore legal orders and decisions from the judiciary.

Palace: It was a rhetorical question


ANDANAR

On Wednesday, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said “the president merely asked a rhetorical question and said it under the context that his anti-drug campaign cannot wait for the slow wheels of justice, Philippine style.” He said Duterte simply used his executive powers to impose urgent action against the drug problem of the country.

“We have an action man for a president who believes justice delayed is justice denied. He is the type who at the onset of his presidency, simply wants to hit the ground running and rid society of drugs, crime and corruption with urgency,” Andanar said in a statement.


PHILSTAR

Sereno to Duterte: No warrant, no surrender By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 9, 2016 - 12:00am 58 3014 googleplus0 1


In a four-page letter to the President, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno described as premature President Duterte’s public announcement of the names of officials and judges supposedly linked to illegal drugs.

MANILA, Philippines - Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno does not want judges linked by President Duterte to the illegal drug trade to surrender, unless arrest warrants are issued against them.

In a four-page letter to the President, Sereno described as premature Duterte’s public announcement of the names of officials and judges supposedly linked to illegal drugs.

Duterte has urged the seven to surrender and report to the Supreme Court (SC).

“I would caution them against surrendering or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any duly issued warrant of arrest,” Sereno said, as she invoked jurisdiction of the SC over cases filed against judges.

“As the sole entity charged with the discipline of judges, the Supreme Court decides when judges are excused from bench duty and report to it,” she added.

Meanwhile, Malacañang contradicted Sereno’s claim that Duterte’s expose’ was premature.

Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the announcement could be advantageous to the judges concerned, as it would give them an opportunity to clear their names through the media, than when cases are formally filed against them in court.

Sereno warned the President of the repercussions of the “premature” announcement, especially on the safety and performance of duties of the judges.

“It would matter greatly to our sense of constitutional order, if we were given the chance to administer the appropriate preventive measures without the complications of a premature public announcement,” she said.

The Chief Justice said it is important for the high court to know the source and basis of any allegation linking judges to the illegal drug trade, noting the SC has administrative supervision over all lower courts.

READ MORE...

She pointed out that while the high tribunal supports Duterte’s anti-illegal drug campaign, it has been careful in handling investigation of administrative cases filed against judges, so as not to tarnish their reputation.

“A judge’s reputation is his or her primary badge of credibility and legacy.”

The SC chief also expressed concern for the safety of the judges named by Duterte.

“Too many of our judges have been assassinated – 26 since 1999, a large proportion of them reportedly at the behest of crime lords, specifically drug lords. Our judges may have been rendered vulnerable and veritable targets for any of those persons and groups who may consider them as acceptable collateral damage in the war on drugs,” she said.

Sereno appealed to Duterte to reconsider his order to disarm the seven judges, until investigation shows that criminal charges should be filed against them.

She assured the President that the judiciary is mindful of the need to cleanse its ranks of members involved in illegal drugs.

“We are currently investigating a judge who may be involved. He is not on the list,” she said.

The Chief Justice is the highest official so far to speak out against Duterte’s public announcement of personalities supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

She confirmed that three of seven judges in Duterte’s list are no longer with the judiciary.

She said Judge Roberto Navidad of Calbayog City Regional Trial Court in Samar was killed on Jan. 14, 2008 and Judge Lorenda Mupas of Dasmariñas Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in Cavite was dismissed in 2007 for gross ignorance of the law.

Judge Rene Gonzales of Iloilo City MTCt retired last June and had not handled any drug case.

Three other judges in the list – Exequil Dagala of Dapa-Socorro MTC in Surigao, Adriano Savillo of Iloilo City RTC and Domingo Casiple of Kalibo RTC in Aklan – are not handling drug cases.

Judge Antonio Reyes of Benguet RTC handles drug cases in Baguio City.

Reyes refused to comment on the issue, although he vowed to speak at the proper time as he was still “trying to process the situation.”

CHR warns admin The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) has warned the Duterte administration against violating people’s rights to be presumed innocent in the wake of its name-and-shame campaign in fighting the drug problem.

“Naming and shaming cannot be substitute to probable cause under our due process system,” CHR chief Chito Gascon told journalists yesterday.

The CHR chief dared the government to file charges in court, if they have sufficient evidence against the suspects.

“Otherwise the name-and-shame campaign may undermine the presumption of innocence guaranteed by our Constitution,” he said.

Gascon expressed alarm over reports that listing of drug suspects is also being done in barangays.

“Unlike the list provided to the President, which we assumed underwent investigation, the people in the barangay lists have no opportunity to question their inclusion,” he said.

CHR lawyers are planning to file a writ of amparo to stop the listing of drug suspects in barangays.

Review justice system Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat urged the government to review the country’s criminal justice system and the implementation of its laws in the wake of the administration’s intensified war on drugs.

“While we criticize the drug campaign, it’s difficult to find solutions,” Baguilat said, as he blamed the country’s weak criminal justice system and implementation of the laws for the proliferation of drugs.

Baguilat has filed House Bill 61 seeking to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings of drug suspects.

While Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said that a congressional probe is not needed since there is no law covering extrajudicial killings, Baguilat said he would continue to speak against the killings of drug suspects.

“Otherwise people may think that extrajudicial killing is justice in itself,” he said. – With Alexis Romero, Helen Flores, Artemio Dumlao, Ghio Ong

-----------------------------

RELATED FROM  THE MANILA STANDARD

Chief Justice chides Rody over hit list: ‘Du30 exposé premature’ posted August 09, 2016 at 12:01 am by Rey E. Requejo, John Paolo Bencito and Lance Baconguis


Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno

CHIEF Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno on Monday admonished President Rodrigo Duterte for naming seven judges who have been accused of coddling drug lords, describing his exposé as “premature” and saying it could put their lives at risk.

In a four-page letter to Duterte, Sereno also said she would caution the judges implicated by the President not to surrender to the police in the absence of an arrest warrant.

“Mr. President, a premature announcement of an informal investigation on allegations of involvement with the drug trade will have the unwarranted effect of rendering the judge veritably useless in discharging his adjudicative role,” Sereno said.

“With all due respect, Mr. President, we were caught unprepared by the announcement. It would matter greatly to our sense of constitutional order, if we were given the chance to administer the appropriate preventive measures without the complications of a premature public announcement,” she added.

While the Supreme Court, which supervises all trial courts nationwide, supports Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs,

Sereno said that it has been careful in handling investigations and administrative cases against judges.

The administrative process in the judiciary is very sensitive so as not to affect the good reputation of judges, which is their “primary badge of credibility and the only legacy that many of our judges can leave behind,” Sereno said.

Sereno also expressed concern for the safety of the judges that Duterte named.

“Too many of our judges have been assassinated, 26 since 1999, a large proportion of them reportedly at the behest of crime lords, more specifically, drug lords… Our judges may have been rendered vulnerable and veritable targets for any of those persons and groups who may consider judges as acceptable collateral damage in the ‘war on drugs’,” she said.

Sereno appealed to the President to reconsider his order to disarm the judges he implicated to drugs “until a proper investigation concludes that formal criminal charges should be brought against them.”

Disagreeing with Duterte’s order for the seven judges to surrender, Sereno said: “I would caution them very strongly against ‘surrendering’ or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any duly-issued warrant of arrest that is pending.”

Sereno invoked the Court’s jurisdiction over cases against the so-called narco judges. “As the sole entity charged with the discipline of judges, the Supreme Court decides when judges are excused from bench duty and report to it,” she said.

“The Court would consider it important to know the source and basis of any allegation that specific judges are involved in the illegal drugs trade in line with its duty to exercise administrative supervision over all lower court,” she said.

Nonetheless, the Chief Justice assured the President that the judiciary is mindful of the need to cleanse its ranks of members involved in illegal drugs.

“We abhor [illegal drugs’] ability to even destroy public institutions, thus our proactive investigation of any report that judges and court personnel abet the drug trade. We are currently investigating a report on a judge who may be so involved. He is not on the above list,” she said without offering other details.

Sereno is the highest official to speak against Duterte’s announcement of the names of officials and personalities allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.

The chief magistrate confirmed that three of the seven judges named by Duterte are no longer with the judiciary.

She said Judge Roberto Navidad of the Calbayog City, Samar regional trial court was killed on Jan. 14, 2008 at age 69, while Judge Lorenda Mupas of Dasmariñas, Cavite municipal trial court was dismissed in 2007 for gross ignorance of the law.

On the other hand, Judge Rene Gonzales of Iloilo City municipal trial court in cities (MTCC) already retired last June and did not handle drug cases in his sala.

Three other judges on the list - Exequil Dagala of the Dapa-Socorro, Surigao MTC; Adriano Savillo Iloilo City RTC; and Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, Aklan RTC – are not handling drug cases, either, she said.

“It would be very helpful if the investigators who included the names of Judges Dagala and Gonzales inform the Court how these MTC judges can be considered as influencing the drug trade,” Sereno said.

Sereno said only Judge Antonio Reyes of Baguio City, Benguet RTC presides over the designated drugs court.

The chief presidential legal counsel, Salvador Panelo, defended the President.


PANELO

“I beg to disagree with the Chief Justice’s comment. The announcement is to the judges’ advantage as it will give them the opportunity to clear their names through the media rather than when cases are formally filed against them, which will give them a short time to file their counter-affidavits, and preclude from discussing their defense in public because it will become subjudice,” Panelo said.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, on the other hand, said the list of names that Duterte publicized might have been outdated, but said the information had gone through a stringent process of verification, validation and revalidation.

“It is an old list,” he said.

The Palace came under fire for naming one judge that had already died.

Four of the police officers from Northern Mindanao named are also behind bars, and of the 17 Mindanao mayors named, only seven are in office.

“The PDEA, the PNP will have to talk to different agencies to vet the list,” Andanar said.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Ismael Sueno said Monday Duterte was sad that he had to name some of his friends who were on the list.

“Few people helped him in the campaign but it hurts him that some who were with him are in the list but he cannot do anything. It’s hard for him,” Sueno told radio dzMM.


ANDANAR

“Just to eliminate the drug menace, he doesn’t mind whoever will be affected. That’s how passionate he is to eliminate drugs in the country,” he added.

In his speech, the President said his duty to the country outweighs his friendship with the drug-linked officials.

Sueno said Duterte first presented his list of “narco-politicians” to his Cabinet secretaries before announcing it in a live televised speech.

Many Cabinet secretaries, he said, were shocked when they discovered that some of the President’s close friends, including the few people who helped in his campaign, were identified in the list.

Sueno added that more names of public officials, including congressmen, governors and even barangay captains involved in illegal drugs would soon be announced.

He said incumbent local officials tagged by Duterte may face charges and immediate suspension.

On Sunday night, the most wanted suspected drug lord in Central Visayas surrendered to Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa in Camp Crame.

Franz Sabalones yielded to Dela Rosa in Camp Crame and admitted having assumed control of Cebu’s drug trade following the death of drug kingpin Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz in a police encounter last month.

Sabalones is the brother of Fralz Sabalones, the incumbent vice mayor of San Fernando, Cebu.

The vice mayor was also identified by Duterte but he denied the allegations against him.

Dela Rosa said there was no arrest warrant for Sabalones’ brother, however.

He said Sabalones confided that an unidentified police colonel was receiving P200,000 weekly payola from illegal drugs deal.

However, he declined to reveal the name of the police colonel.

“He told me the amount he also gives to the chief of police. He also disclosed some names [of those who] are involved in illegal drugs,” said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa on Monday berated 31 policemen who surrendered after being tagged by Duterte.

“I really want to melt in shame because of what happened. I am the Chief PNP, I am leading the PNP with people who are involved with drugs syndicates,” Dela Rosa said.

“We are policemen, [expletive] we are here to serve yet you collect money from drugs [expletive],” Dela Rosa said.

“[Expletive] we are here to solve the illegal drugs but you are the ones adding to the problem,” he said.

Dela Rosa said he could not bear the shame upon hearing the names of policemen from the mouth of President Duterte.

There were 163 policemen on Duterte’s list.

Among the police districts, the Manila Police District had the highest number of drug-related killings, data from the National Capital Region Police Office showed.

The NCRPO said that the number of drug suspects killed were recorded from July 1 to Aug. 7 in its five police district offices.

Topping the list was the MPD with a total of 66 drug suspects slain during the period.

The NCRPO said the five police district offices have recorded a total number of drug suspects killed at 168 since July. With Francisco Tuyay and Sandy Araneta


TRIBUNE

IN FEUD WITH CJ SERENO: Duterte dangles martial law threat Written by Ted Tuvera Wednesday, 10 August 2016 00:00

Lashing out at Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno for reprimanding him in a letter on his revelation of names of government officials, including judges connected to the illegal drugs trade, President Duterte threatened to declare martial law in a speech in Cagayan de Oro City before members of the 4th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army.

Sereno wrote Duterte saying the revelation of members of the judiciary allegedly involved in the illegal narcotics trade was premature and she indirectly pointed to the poorly reviewed list since some of the named were dead and most of the judges named do not handle narcotics-related cases.

“If you (Sereno) order me, I won’t follow you. There will be a constitutional issue in a war against drugs. You are the kingpin in the judiciary. If this continues and you restrain me, would you rather that I declare martial law?” a fuming Duterte addressed Sereno.

“I’m warning you: Do not create a crisis because I will order the whole executive brnach not to follow you. I will honor and defend the Constitution, but do not start a conflict because we will not understand each other,” the President added.

Under section 18, Article 7 of the 1987 Constitution, the President may suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or place the Philippines or any part thereof under martial law “in case of invasion or rebellion, or when the public safety requires it . . . for a period not exceeding sixty days.”

It provided that “within forty-eight hours from the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, the President shall submit a report in person or in writing to the Congress. The Congress, voting jointly, by a vote of at least a majority of all its members in regular or special session, may revoke such proclamation or suspension, which revocation shall not be set aside by the President.”

“Upon the initiative of the President, the Congress may, in the same manner, extend such proclamation or suspension for a period to be determined by the Congress, if the invasion or rebellion shall persist and public safety requires it,” it added.

The Constitution also requires “Congress, if not in session, within twenty-four hours following such proclamation or suspension, to convene in accordance with its rules without need of a call.”

“The Supreme Court may review, in an appropriate proceeding filed by any citizen, the sufficiency of the factual basis of the proclamation of martial law or the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus or the extension thereof, and must promulgate its decision thereon within thirty days from its filing,” the Constitution provided.

READ MORE...

The Constitution also states that “a state of martial law does not suspend the operation of the Constitution, nor supplant the functioning of the civil courts or legislative assemblies, nor authorize the conferment of jurisdiction on military courts and agencies over civilians where civil courts are able to function, nor automatically suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

“The suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall apply only to persons judicially charged for rebellion or offenses inherent in, or directly connected with, invasion,” the Constitution stated.

“During the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus, any person thus arrested or detained shall be judicially charged within three days, otherwise he shall be released,” it added.

Duterte also questioned Sereno’s credibility and as well as the administration of former President Aquino, his immediate predecessor, for not doing anything to end the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country in the last six years.

“Ma’am Chief Justice, you must remember that you were appointed at a time when the drug problem was growing. Well, the past administration has been in there for six years and nothing happened,” Duterte said.

“Madam Chief Justice, let us not kid each other. We are both lawyers. There’s a slaughter going on, you must be joking,” he added.

Also frustrated by the snail-paced justice system, Duterte strongly criticized Sereno’s technical or rather legalistic approach which he deemed a hurdle to his declared war on the narcotics trade.

“I respect your comments but it is a rigmarole to me. Government can’t wait for an arrest warrant in its campaign against illegal drugs,” the President said.

“Ma’am Chief Justice, Do you know how long it would take government to secure a warrant of arrest? In the Supreme Court, tell me. What was the fastest action that you made? Now you’re asking for warrants for 600,000 Filipinos?” he added.

Duterte also said that he is aware that his list of narco government officials included names of those who are already dead.
He rationalized that it was meant to include dead persons to show to the public how the previous administrations accordingly tolerated the drugs menace.

“When your name is mentioned in the list, it is the work of people involved over time. It has to be validated,” Duterte explained.

Palace concerns rise


ABELLA

Malacañang, nonetheless, admitted mistakes in his administration’s declared war on illegal drugs.

In a press briefing, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella confessed that the tough-talking President who is actually prone to his “I will kill you” pronouncements is surprisingly sad with the spate of killings whether in legitimate police operations or mere salvage victims which qualify as extra judicial killings.

“[President Duterte] is in fact admitting there are mistakes, the reason for the investigations called,” Abella told reporters.
The killings which now apparently amount to some 900 dead, attributed by critics to the President who has earned the notoriety of influencing the vigilante-like justice manner, is bothered by the effects of his war on drugs.

“I don’t think he is happy about it. I don’t think happiness is the word to use. He is concerned and bothered,” Abella said.

However, given the bloodshed, the Palace mouthpiece said that the President appreciates the message implied by the killings that, truly, the illegal narcotics trade is rampant.

“I think he appreciates the fact that people are more and more aware of the situation. If there is anything at all people are aware of, it is the depth and breadth of clear and present danger of drugs menace,” he added.

Abella, meanwhile, shrugged off criticisms that only poor narcotics suspects are being gunned down while big time drug lords or their political, military or Police backers are given the chance to explain their sides neatly.

“Maybe you should look at it from different perspectives… Most probably the number of killing is happening at the level of those who supply and those who retail drugs. Maybe that’s where most of the killings are happening,” he said.

Hundreds of people have been killed since Duterte became president. By some estimates it is anywhere from 400and 600 other estimates are many as 800 people who have been killed as suspected drug dealers.

Quota system — Erice
The political opposition yesterday charged that the alleged vigilante groups who are behind the spate of extra judicial killings in the country are police officers tasked to run after suspects in the illegal drug trade.

Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, a member of the so-called “Legitimate 8,” posited that these policemen have been given quotas by their officers to kill a certain number of drug pushers or users and make it appear that these are the handiwork of vigilante groups.

Erice disclosed that the police operations against drug suspects would net over 24,000 deaths for the duration of Duterte’s presidency.

“I’m very certain that the killings, perpetuated by the vigilantes are either police and or commissioned by the police,” Erice said in a press conference called by the small group who detached themselves from the minority bloc headed by Quezon Rep. Danilo Suarez whom they tagged as the majority’s minority leader.

Erice, a stalwart of the Liberal Party (LP), claimed that the spate of killings is being staged just like in the movies when bonnet-clad armed men barge into the drug dens, shoot the culprits and leave. A little later, the police arrive, together with the PNP-SOCO (Philippine National Police - scene of the crime operatives) together with the coroner.

Often the media are also present along with the police.

Erice said that he has information that police officers have to meet their quota to kill drug suspects in their respective jurisdictions unless they want to be relieved of their posts.

“Who are going to have the courage to enter these places in bonnets? There are reports that they have been goven quotas.If they do not meet the quota, they (the policemen) are going to be relieved of their posts,” Erice said.

The Caloocan lawmaker said that at the rate of 11 killings per day, 24,000 could be killed in the duration of Duterte’s presidency.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman, who appears to be the one of the leaders of the “Legitimate 8” said there are two kinds of killings that is being espoused by President Duterte in his campaign against the illegal drug trade.

“As of now, there are two kinds of killing. One is extrajudicial killings with actual summary executions of perceived offenders and the other kind of killings, killing reputation by publicity. They defy the tenets of due process and rule of law,” said Lagman in reference to Duterte’s high profile list of drug lords, coddlers and psuhers.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat criticized the list as just a list unless those listed in it are charged.

Solon: narco-politicos  should quit

Politicians should serve as role models and not as bad influences to their constituencies.

This is what Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) Rep. Sherwin Tugna had to say on the alleged involvement of local chief executives, judges, congressmen, police officers in the illegal drug trade in the country.

“The people cast their votes for politicians who they believe will best represent their beliefs and fight for this aspirations,” said Tugna.

“I call out to those publicly named by the President to surrender and submit to the necessary investigation. I challenge them to take a drug test and once tested positive for drug use, the incumbent officials should immediately resign from office out of delicadeza and respect to the people who voted for them,” said Tugna.

The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) is also expecting more than P8 billion in losses by illegal drug syndicates if the drug users and pushers, who voluntarily surrendered, would stop using or peddling prohibited substances.

Undersecretary Isidro Lapena, PDEA director general, said that “based on the consumption estimate per intake of a drug dependent, if the indicated number of surrenderees will stop using illegal drugs for the next six months, it means a reduction of 1,645 kilograms of shabu in the market,” said Lapena.

“This can be translated to P8.22 billion loss in the income of drug syndicates,” he added.

One kilogram of shabu has a street value of about P5 million.

Deluge of denials

Most of the 30 local government officials, who presented themselves to Camp Crame after being included in Duterte’s list ofpersonalities involved into illegal drugs, denied any links to the menace –with only three making confessions and provided information that may help authorities.

Chief Supt. Roel Obusan, acting director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), said that he is saddened that most of those who surfaced and went to Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Ronald dela Rosa only made denials.

As of noontime yesterday, 30 town execuitves have already surfaced in Camp Crame since Friday.

Of those who subjected to questioning, Obusan said that only Mayor Mamaulan Abinal Mulok of Maguing town, Lanao del Sur, and former Marantao Mayor Abinal Mohhamad Abu confessed participation into illegal drugs trade.

They admitted distributing illegal drugs from 2000 to 2002 in Cavite, Caloocan and Quiapo in Manila. The two vowed full support to Duterte’s all-out campaign against illegal drugs.

The two were tagged as among the underlings of former Maguing Mayor Marimar Macabuat, tagged as a big time drug lord in Lanao, who was arrested a few months ago.

Obusan begged off to identify the third mayor who provided information to the CIDG.

Obusan said that suspected drug lord Franz Sabalones, who also presented himself to Dela Rosa on Monday, was the “best catch” so far. Mario J. Mallari, Gerry Baldo, Charlie V. Manalo

---------------------------

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

Sereno cautions 'narco-judges' vs surrender without warrant ABS-CBN News
Posted at Aug 08 2016 04:19 PM | Updated as of Aug 08 2016 10:36 PM


SERENO

MANILA – Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno on Monday said she will advise judges being linked to the illegal drug trade not to "surrender" to authorities unless an arrest warrant is issued by a local court.

In a letter addressed to President Rodrigo Duterte, the Chief Justice expressed her concern about the President's decision to reveal the names of 159 officials, including seven judges, who allegedly have links to the illegal drug trade
Some of those named have turned themselves in to the police to deny the allegation.

In her letter, Sereno stressed to Duterte the importance of the source and basis of the allegation against the judges, as the high court exercises administrative supervision over all lower courts.

''With all due respect, Mr. President, we were caught unprepared by the announcement,'' she said.

''It would matter greatly to our sense of constitutional order, if we were given the chance to administer the appropriate preventive measures without the complications of a premature public announcement."

Sereno said Duterte's ''premature'' announcement ''will have the unwarranted effect of rendering the judge "veritably useless" in discharging his adjudicative role. ''

''In order not to cause disruption to public service, we have administrative mechanisms in place to ensure that another judge take over the place of a suspended or disciplined judge,'' Sereno said.

''As it appears now, the announcement of the names of some judges is expected to cause problems with the scheduled hearings and conferences in their salas."

The people ''named and shamed'' by Duterte have been encouraged to turn themselves in and clear their names.

However, Sereno urged the judges very strongly against "surrendering" or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any duly-issued warrant of arrest that is pending.

She added Duterte's announcement may have put the lives of the judges in danger, as the so-called vigilantes may consider these judges ''veritable targets'' and ''acceptable collateral damage'' in the war on drugs.

Thus, Sereno asked Duterte to continue allowing the judges to carry defensive firearms.

WHERE ARE THE JUDGES?

The seven judges named by Duterte are Lorenda Mupas of Dasmariñas, Cavite; Judge Antonio Reyes of Baguio City; Judge Adriano Savillo of Iloilo City; Judge Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, Aklan; Judge Rene Gonzales of Iloilo City; Judge Roberto Navidad of Calbayog City, Samar; and Judge Exequil Dagala of Dapa-Socorro, Surigao.

Sereno, however, noted that Navidad, was killed on January 14, 2008 at the age of 69. Reports said Navidad had just come from a pharmacy when he was shot dead by a lone assailant.

The chief magistrate said Mupas was dismissed in 2007 as MTC Judge of Dasmarinas, Cavite for gross ignorance of the law/misconduct.

''We request that her dishonorable discharge be duly considered and that she be not referred to as part of the judiciary as of nine years ago,'' Sereno said of Mupas.

Sereno said judges Gonzales, Dagala and Savillo do not have jurisdiction over drug cases. She also noted that Gonzales retired last June.

Casiple, on the other hand, belongs to a court of general jurisdiction without jurisdiction over drugs cases, until the SC decided recently to make all RTCs as drugs courts.

Reyes presides over the designated drugs court at Baguio City RTC Branch 61, Sereno said.

Sereno said the high court is investigating a report of a judge who may be involved in the illegal drug trade. The said judge is not in Duterte's initial list, she said.

''Even an informal report from the President or his appropriate alter egos would be sufficient to spur us to action and conduct the investigation immediately without need of requiring them to report physically to any entity and cancel scheduled court activities,'' she said.

Duterte said the so-called narco-officials will be investigated for criminal and administrative charges.

He said the names were validated by the police and the military.

The tough-talking president has shrugged off calls that he give due process to officials and individuals accused of being involved in the drug trade.

Human rights advocates have also raised the alarm over the rising number of people being killed in the name of Duterte's war on drugs.

FULL TEXT OF SERENO LETTER
PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
President of the Philippines
Malacañan, Manila

Through: Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre
Department of Justice
Dear Mr. President:
I hope that this letter finds you in an excellent state of health and spirit as the country needs the leadership that only its President can provide. I congratulate you for outlining very timely and responsive peace and development objectives in your State of the Nation Address.
Allow me to give some observations on seven judges whom you had named in your speech on Sunday morning in Davao City as being involved in illegal drugs, namely:
1. Judge Mupas of Dasmarifias, Cavite
2. Judge Reyes, Baguio City
3. Judge Savilo, RTC Branch 13, Iloilo City
4. Judge Casiple, Kalibo, Aklan
5. Judge Rene Gonzales, MTC, (unknown province)
6. Judge Natividad, RTC Calbayog City
7. Judge Ezekiel Dagala, MTC, Dapa, Siargao
Lorenda Mupas was dismissed in 2007 as MTC Judge of Dasmarinas, Cavite for gross ignorance of the law/misconduct. We request that her dishonorable discharge be duly considered and that she be not referred to as part of the judiciary as of nine years ago.
Judge Roberto Navidad, formerly of the RTC, Branch 32, Calbayog City, Samar was killed on 14 January 2008 at the age of 69.

Judge Rene Gonzales, formerly of the MTCC, Branch 7, Iloilo City, compulsorily retired last 20 June 2016.
Judge Exequil Dagala of the MTC, Dapa-Socorro, Surigao, does not have jurisdiction over drugs cases, the same way that Judge Gonzales does not. It would be very helpful if the investigators who included the names of Judges Dagala and Gonzales inform the Court how these MTC judges can be considered as influencing the drug trade.
Judge Adriano Savillo, RTC, Branch 30, Iloilo City is a family court judge who does not have jurisdiction over drugs cases except in cases where a minor is a respondent.
Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan is the judge of a court of general jurisdiction without jurisdiction over drugs cases, i.e., until our recent decision to make all RTCs as drugs courts. is implemented with the appropriate administrative circular. It would be helpful to know the specifics on how judges without jurisdiction over drugs cases influence the drug trade in their localities.
Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, Benguet presides over the designated drugs court in that multi-sala court.
The Court would consider it important to know the source and basis of any allegation that specific judges are involved in the illegal drugs trade in line with its duty to exercise administrative supervision over all lower courts. The Court looks with alarm at the proliferation of drugs, in a consensus shared with you, Mr. President, that dangerous drugs have been destroying Filipino lives and families. We abhor its ability to even destroy public institutions, thus our proactive investigation of any report that judges and court personnel abet the drug trade. We are currently investigating a report on a judge who may be so involved. He is not on the above list.

However, Mr. President, a premature announcement of an informal investigation on allegations of involvement with the drug trade will have the unwarranted effect of rendering the judge veritably useless in discharging his adjudicative role. Thus this Court has been careful, all too aware that more often than not, a good reputation is the primary badge of credibility and the only legacy that many of our judges can leave behind. Too many of our judges have been assassinated, 26 since 1999, a large proportion of them reportedly at the behest of crime lords, more specifically, drug lords. Allow me to submit a separate update on this matter.
In order not to cause disruption to public service, we have administrative mechanisms in place to ensure that another judge take over the place of a suspended or disciplined judge. As it appears now, the announcement of the names of some judges is expected to cause problems with the scheduled hearings and conferences in their salas. With all due respect, Mr. President, we were caught unprepared by the announcement. It would matter greatly to our sense of constitutional order, if we were given the chance to administer the appropriate preventive measures without the complications of a premature public announcement.
Moreover, because of the extra judicial killings, which you had spoken out against, perpetrated by persons and groups that remain unidentified, our judges may have been rendered vulnerable and veritable targets for any of those persons and groups who may consider judges as acceptable collateral damage in the "war on drugs."
Also, because we do not have the personnel to protect our judges, we have requested the Philippine National Police to authorize them to carry defensive firearms. We request that you reconsider your reported order that the judges you named, with the above clarification on who these are, continue to bear these licensed self-defense weapons, if any, until a proper investigation concludes that formal criminal charges should be brought against them.
As the sole entity charged with the discipline of judges, the Supreme Court decides when judges are excused from bench duty and report to it. We appreciate your zeal in helping us cleanse the ranks of the judiciary of misfits but we assure you, Mr. President, even an informal report from the President or his appropriate alter egos would be sufficient to spur us to action and conduct the investigation immediately without need of requiring them to report physically to any entity and cancel scheduled court activities.
To safeguard the role of the judges as the protector of constitutional rights, I would caution them very strongly against "surrendering" or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any duly-issued warrant of arrest that is pending.

Mr. President, the judiciary shares with you and the Filipino people a common desire to see a country that is rid of drugs, in the same manner that you share with the judiciary and the Filipino people a common desire to see a country that is governed by the rule of law.
Please accept my warmest regards and my assurance of continued fervent prayers for your success.
Very truly yours,
(signed)
MARIA LOURDES P. A. SERENO
CHIEF JUSTICE

 
https://youtu.be/z90Sa14_cx4


TRIBUNE

Retired SC justice to probe 4 judges named on narco list Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Wednesday, 10 August 2016 00:00

The High Court is set on opening the probe of the judges who were named by President Duterte by appointing a retired Supreme Court (SC) Justice to investigate the allegations.

To hasten the investigation, the SC justices, in a regular en banc session, directed Duterte’s Executive Secretary to submit to the High Court the formal complaint-affidavits against the four judges within seven days and furnishing the judges with a copy of the complaint, for them to answer the complaints-affidavits.

It appears that the SC will be fighting Duterte and his lists, fire with fire.

But Duterte threatened to delcare martial law if the SC tries to thwart his orders.

Four incumbent lower court judges who landed in Malacañang’s list of officials allegedly protecting drug syndicates in the country have been placed under investigation by the Supreme Court (SC) .

During its regular en banc session, the High Court ruled to treat the judges named by the President’s as a formal complaint against the judges.

Judges on the List

Only four out of the seven judges in the “war on drugs” list are still active, namely Judge Exequil Dagala of the MTC, Dapa-Socorro, Surigao, Judge Adriano Savillo, RTC, Branch 30, Iloilo City, Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan and Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, Benguet.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea was directed to submit formal complaint-affidavits against the four judges within seven days and furnishing the judges with a copy of the complaint to which the four judges are in turn required to submit their answer to the complaint within a day from receipt of the complaint.

Retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad was named the head of the fact finding panel to conduct the investigation and submit his recommendation to the SC en banc within 30 days.

Sereno earlier said Judges Dagala and Savillo do not have jurisdiction over drug cases while Casiple is the judge of a court of general jurisdiction without jurisdiction over drugs cases until the Court’s recent decision to make all RTCs as drugs courts under an administrative circular.

Judge Reyes presides over the designated drugs court in that multi-sala court.

Three judges in the list had been killed. Another dismissed from the service and the third reached compulsory retirement last June.

READ MORE...

Judge Lorenda Mupas, Sereno said the was already dismissed in 2007 as Municipal Trial Court Judge of Dasmariñas, Cavite for gross ignorance of the law.

Judge Roberto Navidad, formerly of the Calbayog City, Samar Regional Trial Court was killed on January 14, 2008 at age 69 while Judge Rene Gonzales, formerly of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 7, Iloilo City compulsorily retired last June 20, 2016.

So what if they’re dead? Panelo says


PRESIDENTIAL LEGAL COUNSEL SALVADOR PANELO

Malacañang isn’t simply buying the appeal that some of the people on Duterte’s narcotics hit-list are dead already, particularly an Eastern Samar Regional Trial Court (RTC) magistrate who was gunned down eight years ago.

Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, in a text message to Palace reporters, said the administration’s purge on narco-politicians is truly relentless as he does not care whether Calbayog City RTC Judge Navidad is dead.

“The Judge may be dead but that does not erase the fact that he was a drug protector when he was still a judge as the intelligence reports say,” Panelo explicitly said, despite the fact that neither Duterte nor any of his Palace executives and bureau chiefs has provided any evidence at all to prove their claims.


ANDANAR

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar demanded that Judge Navidad’s family that has reportedly migrated to the US after his assassination should submit the slain magistrate’s death certificate to prove that he is already dead.

“His family has yet to produce a death certificate to clear his name. His name is still stuck on the list,” Andanar told reporters in a presser in Cagayan de Oro City.

“The intelligence reports when presented to the court by the intelligence agents become evidence with probative value,” he added.

Apparently, if President Duterte who named “Judge Navidad” in his list of government officials that are allegedly involved in the illegal narcotics trade is legally safe from libel raps, it will be a different story for his top lawyer Panelo.


ABELLA

Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code states that “to blacken the memory of one who is dead” is a ground for libel charges.
Rody not interfering with Judiciary’s independence—Abella

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said that the President is not interfering with the judiciary’s independence after urging those living six Trial Court judges to submit themselves to the Supreme Court for clearing purposes.

“In a sense, his position as a parent of the nation transcends this particular legality of constitutional independence. He is actually exercising his position as father to the nation, and calling attention to what is an extraordinary situation facing society,” Abella said in a press briefing, adding that there’s no such thing as a constitutional crisis any time soon.

-------------------------------

RELATED FROM ABS-CBN

CJ Sereno avoids word war with Duterte ABS-CBN News Posted at Aug 10 2016 01:44 PM


President Rodrigo Duterte and Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. File/Composite

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno refused to engage in a word war with President Rodrigo Duterte, opting instead to keep mum after the latter told her not to interfere in the government's campaign against the drug menace.

"Many things have been said. The Chief Justice sees no need to add to what are being said," Supreme Court spokesman Ted Te told reporters.

President Duterte earlier warned Sereno to let him pursue a deadly anti-crime campaign that has left hundreds of suspects dead, suggesting otherwise he would impose "martial law."

Duterte to Sereno: Would you rather I declare martial law?

This is after Sereno criticized Duterte's public shaming of seven lower court judges for alleged involvement in the narcotics trade, adding that one of the judges was murdered eight years ago.

Duterte names politicians, cops, judges in drug trade

"Go ahead and try to stop me. Would you rather that I declared martial law?" Duterte said in a speech to soldiers during a visit to a military camp in the southern Philippines.

"Let's not kid each other ma'am, and do not force the issue," Duterte warned Sereno.

"You do not warn me. I warn you. I can order everyone in the executive department not to honor you," he added.
"Please do not create a confrontation, a constitutional war. We will all lose," the president added.

Sereno had told Duterte in a letter that it was her sole responsibility to impose punishment on judicial "misfits", and that publicly naming them, even without charges filed against them, had put their lives in danger.

"To safeguard the role of the judges as the protector of constitutional rights, I would caution them very strongly against 'surrendering' or making themselves physically accountable to any police officer in the absence of any... warrant of arrest," she added.

Sereno cautions 'narco-judges' vs surrender without warrant

Duterte, elected in a landslide in May largely on a pledge to kill tens of thousands of criminals, has previously shrugged off allegations that police were committing extrajudicial killings.

However, police have acknowledged in a new tally released Tuesday killing 513 drug suspects, allegedly for resisting arrest.
Human rights groups have criticized the killings by police as hundreds of other people have been slain by shadowy anti-crime vigilantes who often leave signs on their victims' bodies accusing them of drug trafficking.

Police have also arrested more than 7,000 drug suspects since Duterte took office.

United Nations agencies and international human rights monitors have expressed concern over the killings, and on Monday the US government, the Philippines' main military ally, weighed in on the issue.

"We are concerned by these detentions, as well as the extra judicial killing of individuals suspected to be involved in drug activity in the Philippines," State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said in Washington. With Agence France-Presse


GMA NEWS ONLINE

CJ Sereno doesn’t get purpose of naming alleged drug protectors, Duterte says Published August 10, 2016 9:21pm

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno doesn't understand what he is trying to do when he names public officials, including judges, who are allegedly involved in illegal drug operations, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday.

"Ako tong gituyo. Wala makuha ni Justice Sereno eh [I did it on purpose. Justice Sereno did not get it]," he said in a speech delivered mostly in Visayan to the 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division in Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur.

Duterte defended his decision to read a list which included a judge who passed away and some who are no longer in government service.

"Ako tong gituyo. Tangtangon nako ang mga security nila para ako silang pangutan-on nganong nadawit ka sa droga. Ngano, naa diay balaod na dili nako kapangutana...? Ako, presidente ko, I have every right to ask you [I did it on purpose. I want their embedded security removed so I can ask them why they were linked to drugs. Why? Is there a law blocking me from asking people? I am a president. I have every right to ask you]," he said.

In his speech in Cagayan de Oro City on Tuesday, Duterte asked Sereno if she would rather that he declare martial law than allow the government's war on drugs to continue umimpeded.

Malacañang on Wednesday said that Duterte's reference to martial law was more rhetorical than an actual threat.

To which, Sereno replied, "Many things have been said. The chief justice sees no need to add to what are being said."

Misconstrued

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo told reporters that Sereno misunderstood Duterte.

READ MORE...

"Like for instance, because the response of the Chief Justice said, 'Do not surrender. There is no warrant of arrest.' In the first place, the president was not asking anyone of them to surrender. He was telling them to report and explain yourself," Panelo explained.

Panelo said Duterte's announcement was a chance for the alleged drug personalities to clear their names without being constrained by the justice system.

"I think it is to their advantage because they are being given the opportunity using the media to defend themselves. If formal complaints were filed, then you only have 10 days to respond and you cannot even discuss that in the media because it is sub judice," he explained.

He added that Sereno also misappreciated the magnitude of the drug problem in the country.

"And so I think we ask the honorble CJ to kindly examine thoroughly the statements of the President as well as consider the crisis we are in which I said earlier has risen to proportions that may even call for a declaration of martial law," Panelo said.

Wait for executive department

Panelo also told the SC not to direct Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to furnish four judges and retired Justice Roberto Abad, who was tasked to investigate on the issue, complaint affidavits.

"I would like to disagree with Supreme Court to direct the executive to file another complaint. What the courts should wait is for complaint to be filed in prosecutors' office... They may invite people from executive department so they can be giving material that will be subject to the review whether or not judiciary is involved in the protection or coddling of drug lord," he pointed out.

Panelo said that it is the not the correct procedure.

"If we're invited, we will but if we're forced, I don't think we will be forced but we're willing if we will be invited," he said. —NB, GMA News

 
CJ Sereno vs President Duterte War on Drugs DailyNewsII DailyNewsII
https://youtu.be/QMukCKh0JOc


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2016 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE