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Only 180 days for plunder trials

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How long will the trial of the pork barrel plunder cases last? Answer: The Supreme Court directed trial courts “to terminate the regular trial within 180 days, or the trial by judicial affidavits within 60 days, reckoned from the date trial begins, minus the excluded delays or postponements specified in Rule 119 of the Rules of Court and the Speedy Trial Act of 1998.”

Posted: July 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The DAP decision

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Araullo vs Aquino (July 1, 2014, penned by Justice Lucas P. Bersamin) declared unconstitutional four “acts and practices under the Disbursement Acceleration Program, National Budget Circular No. 541 and related issuances.” It did not declare the DAP unconstitutional, only the “acts and practices under” it, unlike Belgica vs Ochoa (Nov. 13, 2013) which plainly declared the Priority Development Assistance Fund unconstitutional. The four are worded in deep legalese and need to be explained for lay readers.

Posted: July 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Supreme Court speeds up bail hearings

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As required by the Constitution, the justices composing the First and Fifth Divisions of the Sandiganbayan (SBN) “personally” determined the existence of “probable cause” in the plunder and graft cases arising out of the pork barrel scam.

Posted: June 29th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

How to hasten the pork cases

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That the Supreme Court allowed the Sandiganbayan (SBN) to raffle the pork barrel cases to its different divisions, despite the pendency of a request by the Office of the Ombudsman (OOO) to create two special divisions, indicates that these high-profile cases will get no special treatment, at least for now. Full speed ahead. Since the [...]

Posted: June 22nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Spotlight on Sandiganbayan

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With the filing of plunder and graft (violation of Sec. 3-e of the Anti-Graft Law) information against three senators, Janet Lim Napoles and several others by the Office of the Ombudsman (OOO) for their alleged complicity in the pork barrel scam, the Sandiganbayan (SBN) will now be the focus of public scrutiny.

Posted: June 15th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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