[Blueboard] Newsbriefs 24 January 2012 Afternoon

SLB slb at admu.edu.ph
Tue Jan 24 17:44:28 PHT 2012

 (The contents of this newsbrief service do not necessarily reflect the views of SLB. News and opinion are summarized from various sources; and headlines are retained as they are in the original. Rights on the article remain on the websites indicated. For more detailed information about any story in this bulletin visit the website indicated in every news item.)

Newsbriefs 24 January 2012 Afternoon

Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan


Comelec wants Gloria transferred to regular jail (ABS-CBN News)


"MANILA, Philippines - Commission on Elections (COMELEC) lawyers have filed an omnibus motion before a local court asking for the transfer of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to a "regular" detention facility.


Mrs. Arroyo is under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) for charges of electoral sabotage at the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 112.

Prosecution lawyer Atty. Jane Valeza said they have received information that the former president is now well. Proof of this is Arroyo's alleged meetings with members of the House minority in the past few weeks, she said. 


"We requested the court to determine her medical condition by summoning the director of Veterans Hospital or her attending physician. If she is well, then she should be transferred to a regular detention facility as soon as possible," she said." 


Prosecution: Defense using technicalities to hide truth on CJ Corona's assets (www.philstar.com)


"The prosecution team on Tuesday accused Chief Justice Renato Corona's lawyers of resorting to technicalities to escape transparency and accountability on the chief magistrate's properties.


"Huwag natin pigilan 'yung paglabas ng mga dokumento. They have the best defense lawyers, pero huwag pigilan ang paglabas ng konsepto ng accountability and transparency lalo na kung alleged ito sa complaint," Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo, one of the prosecution's spokesmen, said at a press briefing.


Quimbo made this statement after the defense camp submitted a memorandum to the Senate impeachment court asking the senator-judges to stop the prosecutors from presenting evidence on Corona's assets because it is not included in the Articles of Impeachment.

"Most importantly, Article II of the Grounds for Impeachment does not charge CJ Corona [with] ill-gotten wealth and/or graft and corruption," the defense said in a memorandum on Tuesday.


"Clearly, Article II of the Grounds for Impeachment does not charge CJ Corona [with] failing to disclose properties in his SALN.  It does not charge him [with] inaccurate disclosure of properties in his SALN.  It does not charge him [with] undervaluing the disclosed properties in his SALN," the memorandum said."


Corona's 'illegal wealth' as part of impeach complaint questioned (INQUIRER.net )


"MANILA, Philippines - The issue on whether Chief Justice Renato Corona has illegally acquired his wealth was put to a debate at the resumption of the impeachment trial on Tuesday.


Corona's lead counsel, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Serafin Cuevas insisted that the allegation was not part of Article 2 of the impeachment complaint filed against his client that only referred to the alleged failure of the Chief Justice to declare his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.


"There's no mention whatsoever dealing with illegally acquired wealth," said Cuevas."


Corona lawyers seek to bar documents, testimony on magistrate's properties (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


"MANILA, Philippines-Defense lawyers on Tuesday filed a legal memorandum asking the Senate to prevent prosecutors from offering as evidence documents and testimony  on properties under the name of Chief Justice Renato Corona at his impeachment trial.


In the memorandum, the defense maintained that the prosecution was injecting an entirely new charge into Article II of the impeachment complaint, which alleged that Corona failed to disclose his statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALNs).


Corona's lawyers said that the failure to include the new allegations in Article II showed the complainants' "lack of any personal knowledge at the time they filed the verified complaint of the ultimate facts concerning suggestions of graft and corruption and accumulation of ill-gotten wealth."


"Complainants did not base their charges on their personal knowledge, much less on authentic documents, at the time they filed the verified complaint," according to the memorandum signed by lead defense counsel Serafin Cuevas and four others."


Censure instead of removal for Corona?(ABS-CBNnews.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago on Tuesday said the Senate impeachment court could decide to censure or reprimand Chief Justice Renato Corona instead of removing him from office if he is found guilty of any wrongdoing during his impeachment trial. 


Speaking before reporters, Santiago said the Constitution clearly states that if an impeached public official is convicted "the sentence will go no further than removal from office."


"That means we can go less than removal from office. That might surprise even the senators. Look at the way it is worded -- hindi ka pwede lumampas. Hanggang removal from office at disqualification from public office so you can just mete out the punishment of reprimand or censure. Pwede rin yung ganun," she said." 


Impeach solons launch 'Movement 188' (ABS-CBN News)

"MANILA, Philippines - Congressmen who signed the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Renato Corona launched Tuesday an information drive titled "Movement 188", which seeks to enlighten constituents about the ongoing impeachment trial.


Misamis Occidental Rep. Loreto Leo Ocampos said the pro impeachment solons are conducting information drives in their respective districts on Corona's culpable violations of the Constitution, graft and corruption and betrayal of public trust that justify his ouster from the High Court.  


He said their constituents should know why their congressional representatives are supporting the conviction of Corona in the impeachment trial. 


Ocampos said Corona's defense team is using the court's rules and motions to "bedazzle the public on live TV with their legal acumen and foist upon them the illusion of Corona's innocence."


Former House speaker testifies on Arroyo, Abalos golf round with ZTE execs (Philippine Daily Inquirer)


"MANILA, Philippines-Former House Speaker Jose de Venecia testified at the  Sandiganbayan graft court on Tuesday  that former elections chairman Benjamin Abalos was present at a 2006 Shenzhen golf game involving former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and officials of China's ZTE Corp.


De Venecia said he was surprised at Abalos' presence at the gathering. He also said it was Abalos who was arranging who would play with whom at the golf course.


He said the group later went to the ZTE headquarters where the latter's proposal for a Philippine project was discussed over lunch.


ZTE had been awarded the $329 million national broadband network project, but the deal was later cancelled amid allegations of overpricing and kickbacks."


Clear up loan mess with WB, SC told (www.philstar.com)


"MANILA, Philippines - A Malacañang official advised yesterday Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez to clear the ineligible expenses incurred in the SC's $21.9-million loan before the World Bank (WB) and not through media.


"That is something that they have to clear up with the World Bank," presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said during a press briefing at the Palace.


Lacierda said Marquez should question the media outfit - rappler.com - which broke the news rather than the critics who are questioning the irregularities in the way the disbursements were made when Chief Justice Renato Corona assumed office in May 2010.

"Probably he should be talking to the media outfit who did that, not us. We were not the first ones to release the findings to the public. We released it only after WB confirmed it," Lacierda stressed.


Lacierda said that they had to make public the WB report following insinuations it was a "fabrication" and they were "being blamed (as) the source of the fabrication."



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