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A challenge to the Ombudsman

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In most legal complaints filed in the courts, we may encounter the phrase “contrary to law” at the end of a summation of the facts. We can imagine these three words peppering the plunder charges that the Ombudsman has filed against the three senators and their chiefs of staff, the heads of the implementing agencies of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), and Janet Lim Napoles. The phrase cogently captures the legal point of view. It expresses the code that lawyers, prosecutors, and judges use when they observe the world and communicate what they find in it.

Posted: June 8th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Flip-flops undermine justice

The ongoing drama in the graft case against Efren Alvarez, mayor of the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, bears watching (Inquirer, 11/8, 26, 30/12). Filed in the Sandiganbayan on Aug. 6, 2006, the case took over six years to resolve, with the appeal process reaching the Supreme Court. Documents of suspicious origin suggest that both the Sandiganbayan and the Supreme Court want to revisit it, risking the outbreak of violence in Nueva Ecija and hinting at massive corruption in the justice system.

Posted: January 20th, 2013 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Decision-making 102

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This is a sequel to my Oct. 7 column in which I opined that judicial decision-making could be reduced, in its simplest terms, into an Aristotelian syllogism, and that most of the time, the crucial part of the syllogism is the minor premise on whether the facts alleged in the complaint or information have been duly proven.

Posted: December 29th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Pagcor caught in middle of Okada-Wynn fight

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Two House committees are investigating the reported $30-million bribe given to a former consultant of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) by billionaire Japanese casino operator Kazuo Okada in exchange for a license to operate in Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Pasay. The Committee on Games and Amusement chaired by Rep. Amado Bagatsing and the Committee on Good Government chaired by Rep. Jerry Treñas should not forget that the root cause of all this is the rivalry between Okada and his erstwhile partner and now bitter enemy Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts. The motive: Pagcor’s Entertainment City in the Philippines would pose a direct threat to Wynn’s casinos in Macau.

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

PCSO board members are not automatons

Let me react to the column of Solita Monsod where she wrote about the irrationality in the plunder case involving the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office (Inquirer, 11/24/12). She bristled against the unfairness of lumping together all those whose signatures appeared in the paper trail leading to the diversion of “intelligence funds” in the hundreds of millions of pesos. Indiscriminately accused with former President Gloria M. Arroyo and former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, the minions/members of the PCSO board of directors are crying foul as they were only exercising “ministerial” functions in connection with the allegedly unlawful disbursements, Monsod suggested.

Posted: December 3rd, 2012 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

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