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It has been about five years since the hapless victims of a preneed company filed complaints for large-scale or syndicated estafa with the Department of Justice.
Almost two years since a baffling report by a joint fact-finding panel of the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation cleared the military of any liability for the unfortunate deaths in a Leyte forest of top botanist Leonard Co and two of his aides, the Commission on Human Rights has restored the balance on the side of reason and justice.
DEEPLY DISTURBING. That may be the best way to describe the decision of the Special Fifth Division of the Court of Appeals invalidating the creation and thus the conclusions of a second panel of prosecutors that had investigated last year’s murder of Palawan environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
With the murder of state witness Alfredo Mendiola, a clear message was sent to the government: The car theft syndicate against which he testified is not one to pull its punches. The state of Mendiola’s corpse and two others (each bound, gagged, and with a bullet wound in the head) and the speed with which he was neutralized (not long after he gave his guards in the Witness Protection Program the slip) indicate that the reach and resources of the syndicate have not waned despite the arrest and incarceration of its leaders. The government should act swiftly to banish the impression that it is operating from a position of weakness.
ELECTIVE OFFICE is an escape route that has been used by criminals to avoid prosecution and conviction for many crimes. As the 2013 elections near, the Commission on Elections may find it worthwhile to work with the judiciary and the Department of Justice to stop criminal suspects from using this escape route. Many suspects in [...]
By Solita Collas-Monsod
The latest (February) data on the performance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) should provide more than a small amount of comfort to those who are beginning to despair over the Aquino administration’s competence. While one month’s performance of these agencies is obviously no indication of a trend, it is still a very encouraging sign. Kim Henares of the BIR and Ruffy Biazon of the BOC deserve the applause of the Filipino people for jobs well done.
The Department of Justice has recommended the filing of a kidnapping case against retired general and former congressman Jovito Palparan and several military officers in connection with the abduction in 2006 of college students suspected of being members of the communist New People’s Army. The Melo Commission, headed by retired associate justice Jose Melo, had recommended in 2007 the filing of similar charges against Palparan by virtue of command responsibility since he was the head of the Army battalion allegedly responsible for the abductions. But the recommendation was not adopted by the former administration. Palparan was allowed to retire without a hitch and he even got the administration’s blessing to run as a party-list representative in 2007. He won, but he wasn’t reelected in 2010. Now the day of reckoning may have come.
By Michael L. Tan
Signs reading “Cave canem” (Beware of dog) were used by the ancient Romans. But for my column today, I refer not to barking and biting dogs, but to human underdogs. I was in a restaurant in a city in Mindanao watching the TV coverage of government officials blocking the departure of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo [...]
By Raul C. Pangalangan
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima rightly says: “To have [our legal system] depend on faith and on the goodwill of the defendant/respondent is to make our criminal justice system the laughingstock of the entire world.” The Department of Justice has denied former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s request for an allow-departure order to seek medical care abroad. [...]
By Conrado de Quiros
A joint Department of Justice and Commission on Elections investigating team will soon file charges of electoral sabotage against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and 46 others for rigging the 2007 electoral polls. The others include former Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos, former Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer and former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan. In its report, the DOJ-Comelec probe [...]
Ah, how the tables are turned. In June 2010, then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo approved the issuance by Justice Secretary Alberto Agra of a circular governing the department’s issuances and implementation of hold-departure orders, watch-list orders and allow-departure orders. Section 2.b of the circular specifically says a watch-list order may be issued by the DOJ “against the respondent, irrespective of nationality, in criminal cases pending preliminary investigation, petition for review, or motion for reconsideration before the Department of Justice or any of its provincial or city prosecution offices.”
While the Department of Justice has lifted the watch list order (WLO) against former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, the Supreme Court cannot just dismiss the latter’s petition assailing the legality of the order on the simplistic ground that the lifting of the order has made the issue “moot and academic.” The admission by the [...]