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Muntinlupa, Bulacan make MPBL quarters

Monday, 19 March 2018 00:00 Published in Sports

MALOLOS CITY -- Muntinlupa gave Bataan a free ride to the quarterfinal round after the Cagers subdued the Imus Bandera-GLC Truck and Equipment, 81-69, and completed the final eight cast in the MPBL-Anta Rajah Cup at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium Saturday here.
The Cagers' win, which is their sixth in nine games, forged a three-way tie with the Bulacan Kuyas-Ligo Sardines and the Valenzuela Classic-Yulz and made the main game between the Kuyas and the Bataan Defenders-BaiShipping a no-bearing contest.
Bulacan outlasted Bataan, 81-74, to claim the second spot, owing to its superior quotient over Muntinlupa and Valenzuela.
The Defenders, on the other hand, advanced to the next round after ending elimination round with a 2-7 mark, tied with the Bandera, who were eliminated due to the win over the other rule.
For the Kuyas, winning their fifth consecutive game is a good momentum builder heading to the playoffs.
The Kuyas will face the Parañaque Patriots-Gamboa Coffee in the best-of-three quarterfinal round where they carry a home court advantage.
James Martinez and Stephen Siruma finished with 15 points apiece to lead the Kuyas while JR Taganas went a game away from finishing another double-double performance, tallying 14 points and nine boards.
Allan Mangahas led Muntinlupa with 25 markers.

Better luck next time, ICC

Monday, 19 March 2018 00:00 Published in Editorial

The primacy of Filipinos’ interest above the dictum of foreign powers was clearly behind President Duterte’s decision to withdraw the country as signatory to the Rome Statute, the international covenant that created the International Criminal Court, an idea which the ICC has totally missed.
President of the Assembly of States Parties O-Gon Kwon said the ICC is “concerned” over the withdrawal of the country from the Rome Statute saying the move “would negatively impact our collective efforts towards fighting impunity.”
“All States Parties have the opportunity to voice their concerns before the Assembly, and I call on the authorities of the Philippines to engage in dialog in this regard”, Kwon said.
The Assembly of States Parties is the management oversight and legislative body of the ICC. It is comprised of representatives of States that have ratified and acceded to the Rome Statute.
Points raised in the note verbale to withdraw, primarily the assurance of the government of existing national legislation punishing atrocity crimes in the Philippines, have addressed the concerns of Kwon.
The position of the government was clear that it will not allow outside interference in the conduct of domestic affairs which the notice said was a principled stand against those who politicize and weaponize human rights.
The intervention of outside interests happen despite a judicial system that continues to function in the country.
The note said the Philippine government “continues to be guided by the rule of law embodied in its Constitution, which also enshrines the country’s long-standing tradition of upholding human rights”.
“The Government remains resolute in effecting its principal responsibility to ensure the long-term safety of the nation in order to promote inclusive national development and secure a decent and dignified life for all,” the letter read.
Rody has been pushing back against efforts to meddle in the country’s affairs that resulted in a campaign against him and the Philippines that distorts the human rights situation.
Cayetano said it is doubly lamentable that members of the international community, who include the country’s partners in the war against terror, have allowed themselves to be used as pawns by these individuals and organizations in undermining the administration’s efforts to restore the rule of law.
The black propaganda against Rody stems from his war on drugs and the supposed extradjudicial killings (EJK) that resulted from it.
The government maintained the anti-narcotics campaign is a legitimate law enforcement operation designed to protect all Filipinos and uphold the rule of law.
Rody, however, maintained that it is the inherent responsibility of the government to adopt and implement measures consistent with domestic laws to effectively address threats to the safety and well-being of their citizens.
Since the start of his term, Rody had identified the proliferation of illegal drugs and its link to other forms of criminality as a serious threat to people that had to be immediately addressed.
There is no argument about the duty of any State to protect its people and the war on drugs was one such fulfillment of such duty. Rody had committed that the conduct of the campaign is guided by the rule of law embodied in the Constitution, statutes, and its long-standing human rights obligations.
With the delivery of the notice, the countdown for the one-year withdrawal period from the ICC officially began on March 15, 2018.
The ICC is a voluntary grouping of countries that is not even widely accepted since major countries such as the United States, China and Russia are not even part of it. Many African countries are also pulling out from the ICC.
The frantic calls of the ICC head for Rody to consider was a good indication of the body that made itself available as the tool of the hypocritical campaign against Rody which has the ultimate aim of dislodging him from power.

WPP bid won’t affect Napoles cases, says Chiz

Sunday, 18 March 2018 00:00 Published in Headlines

Plunder cases on businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles before the Sandiganbayan will not be affected by her provisional admission under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DoJ), Senator Francis Escudero said.
Napoles is the alleged “brains” behind the P10-billion pork barrel and the P900-million Malampaya fund scams.
Escudero said on radio that since it was the DoJ’s decision to consider putting Napoles under the WPP, the case filed by the Ombudsman against her remains.
Napoles’ lawyers also asked the Sandiganbayan last Friday to transfer her custody to the WPP.
In a three-page urgent motion filed before the Sandiganbayan, the lawyers of Napoles said she should be transferred from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Camp Bagong Diwa to the DoJ following her provisional admission to the WPP.
The camp of Napoles attached a certification from the DoJ, which states that Napoles “has been provisionally covered by the Witness Protection Security and Benefit Program effective Feb. 27, 2018.”
Escudero said unless the DoJ requests the Ombudsman that she also be made state witness for cases filed against her, Napoles’ provisional WPP coverage will not have an effect on cases pending with the Sandiganbayan.
“Those cases will be pursued and any changes that will be sought will have to  be brought before the presiding judge,” Escudero said.

Motion to quash pends
Last March 13, Napoles has asked the Sandiganbayan to dismiss the graft and malversation cases filed against her on the so-called P900-million Malampaya fund scam since she is not a public official.
In a 21-page quashal motion dated Feb. 20, and filed before the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division, Napoles said she should not be facing 97 counts each of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and malversation of public funds, which could only be committed by a public officer.
She argued that the anti-graft law and malversation, as defined under the Revised Penal Code (RPC), only prosecute government officials who control public funds and have conspired with other public individuals to misappropriate them.
“This element can only be committed by a public officer charging administrative, judicial, or official function. Not being public officers, herein accused could not possibly commit the acts that they are charged with,” Napoles said.
“The charge of malversation is misplaced and absolutely baseless. As defined, the accused cannot be made liable for malversation. She is a private individual and the crime of malversation can only be committed by a public officer,” her motion added.
Napoles is a co-accused of former Department of Budget and Management secretary and incumbent Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., and former Department of Agrarian Reform secretary and now Masui City, Lanao del Sur Mayor Nasser Pangandaman.
The case arose when they allegedly misused P900-million worth of Malampaya funds from the relief operations, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of areas affected by Tropical Storm Ondoy and Typhoon Pepeng through the Napoles-led foundations between 2009 and 2010.
Napoles argued that the Office of the Ombudsman “miserably failed to establish conspiracy” between her and her co-accused.
She added the Ombudsman had failed to clearly state the place and date in its charge sheet as to when the alleged crime took place, thus disabling her ability to defend herself.
“Certainly, it would be perplexing for the accused to admit or face the charge, by not knowing how, when, and where, during the span years, were the alleged ‘over criminal acts’ have been committed,” Napoles’ motion read.






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