Makati City government allots P600 million for ‘Libreng Gamot para sa Mamamayan’ program - Friday, 24 March 2017
Friday, 24 March 2017 00:00 Published in Headlines
Contrary to Sen. Leila de Lima camp’s claim, both the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) yesterday said there is no conflict between their positions on the criminal charges filed against the detained lawmaker.
“If there’s conflict in the information filed by the panel of prosecutors and the OSG’s interpretation, there should already have an amendment but we did not amend the information since there is no conflict,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II stressed.
He made the statement in response to the claim of de Lima’s lawyer, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, stating that there is a discrepancy between the two offices’ positions during the oral argument on de Lima’s petition before the Supreme Court.
De Lima is currently detained at the PhilippineNational Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame after she was charged before a Muntinlupa court with three counts of violation of Section 5 of the drugs law, which penalizes the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs.”
Section 26 (b), meanwhile, penalizes “any attempt or conspiracy to commit sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of any dangerous drugs.
Solicitor General Jose Calida echoed Aguirre’s position, saying there is no truth to Hilbay’s claim.
Hilbay, during the oral arguments held by the SC, highlighted the discrepancy between the comment filed by Calida and the charges filed by the DoJ before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court that led to the arrest and subsequent detention of de Lima.
“The Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General do not agree on the nature of the charge against petitioner. While the DoJ has charged petitioner with the crime of illegal drug trading under Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, the OSG now says that the charge against petitioner is conspiracy to engage in illegal drug trading under Section 26(b) of the same law. So, while the DoJ alleges in its defective information that petitioner is an actual drug lord – a master of puppets – the OSG is now saying petitioner is a theoretical drug lord – a drug lord in words and not by deed – one who merely conspired to trade in drugs with alleged co-conspirators but actually never did so,” he told the magistrates.
Hilbay said in essence, Calida was saying that Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero found probable case and issued a warrant of arrest against de Lima for the wrong case.
“Your honors, the stunning discrepancy in the understanding of the DoJ and the OSG violates petitioner’s constitutional right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against her and palpably indicates that the government doesn’t really have a case. For this reason alone, and without further arguments, the case against petitioner should be immediately dismissed. She should be released without further delay,” he stressed.
Calida, however, said de Lima was properly charged with conspiracy to commit drug trading under section 26 (b) of RA 9165.
“It’s very clear there is no conflict between our positions. The conflict is just a figment of their imagination,” he stressed.
The next oral argument on the petition is set for March 28.
Calida is representing Judge Guerrero and the PNP as respondents in the case.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) yesterday said operatives of the NBI-Anti Organized Transnational Crimes (NBI-AOTCD) have arrested a female illegal recruiter during in an entrapment operation in Pasay City.
In a statement, the NBI- AOTCD identified the suspect as Gloria Javillonar who was arrested last Wednesday morning for five counts of illegal recruitment in an entrapment operation in Pasay City where she was supposed to meet other possible victims.
The case is based on an order from the Regional Trial Court of San Jose, Oriental Mindoro that issued against Javillonar who did not resist when arrested by operatives of NBI-AOTCD and was brought to the NBI Manila for booking procedures and medico-legal examination.
According to NBI’s record, the suspect has a string of pending cases in various courts such as four cases of illegal recruitment and estafa in Paranaque City and Lipa City, Batangas.
The suspect is currently detained at NBI headquarters in Manila and is set to face charges.
Friday, 24 March 2017 00:00 Published in Metro
President Duterte’s birthday wishes are simple — more strength to complete his work and a quiet time with his family.
“So my wish really, my prayer to God is that bigyan niya ako ng konting lakas na lang to do our work, time because it is needed,” he said during a press briefing held at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport upon arriving from his official visits to Myanmar and Thailand.
The President, who will be turning 72 on March 28, said 24 hours are not really enough for the presidency, unless one wants to sleep more than just about four hours.
“I only ask God to give me a little bit of time, a little strength to surmount the problems of the country and that I’d be able, not really to solve but maybe mitigate some of the rigors of governance,” Duterte said.
He added the only gift he would like on his birthday is time with his loved ones.
“I would be very glad to spend my time with my newest grandson Stone and the rest of my children and grandchildren. That would have been the greatest gift that I can ask in this planet. Iyon sa akin tama na,” he said.
Duterte said he could no longer ask for more since God had already given him everything.
“Naibigay na ng Diyos ang lahat ang dapat ko. I have reached the highest — the apex of anybody’s dream,” he said.
He added he would also offer a prayer for the Philippines.
“Nakuha ko na lahat. No more gifts — except maybe a prayer to God for my country,” Duterte said.
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