This refers to the article titled “Palace asked to suspend Southern Leyte governor,” (News, 11/28/14).
The Office of the President and the provincial prosecutor of Southern Leyte are expected to junk outright the administrative and criminal complaints filed by a certain Winsor Calamba against me and some police and environment officials because these charges constitute out-and-out malicious and sham prosecution, in the nature of a “strategic lawsuit against public participation” as defined under Section 1, Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure of Environmental Cases (Supreme Court AM No. 09-6-8). The complaints are meant to harass, vex and exert undue pressure and/or stifle the legal recourse I have taken against the complainants in enforcing environmental laws, rules and regulations as well as in protecting the environment and in asserting the rights of the province under Section 16 of the Local Government Code of 1991 (Republic Act No. 7160). “As a body politic endowed with government functions, a local government unit has the duty to ensure the quality of the environment” (Republic vs City of Davao, GR No. 148622, Sept. 12, 2002, 388 SCRA 691).
By Randy David
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.
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.
By Artemio V. Panganiban
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.
By Neal H. Cruz
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.