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Thread: OBJECTION Your Honor! Mag-Legal Legal-an muna tayo.

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  1. #651
    End is near for annoying late-night videoke sessions if…

    By: Pathricia Ann V. Roxas - Reporter / @PathRoxasINQ INQUIRER.net / 05:56 PM March 13, 2018

    The House of Representatives Committee on Public Order and Safety has begun tackling a bill seeking to limit the use of sing-along and other sound amplifying equipment between 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. in residential areas.

    The measure, proposed by Quezon 4th District Rep. Angelina Tan, aims to prevent unnecessary disturbance to residential areas, as well as to stop the negative social and health effects of such activities.

    Under House Bill No. 1035 – “An Act Prohibiting the use of Videoke/Karaoke systems and Other Sound Amplifying Equipment that Cause Unnecessary Disturbance to the Public within the Residential Areas, and Providing Penalties Therefor” – the operation of such equipment audible within 50 feet distance from the source should be considered as evidence.

    Other equipment enumerated in the bill were radios, CD players, television sets, amplified musical instruments, and loudspeakers.

    Regardless of the occasion, Tan said individuals or groups would only allowed to use or operate such equipment from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

    According to the measure, any person or business entity violating the rule would face a fine of P1,000 or an imprisonment of not more than six months, or both, based on the discretion of the court.

    For succeeding offenses, both penalties would apply, in addition to the revocation of the license to operate a business, Tan said.

    If the violation is committed by a corporation, partnership, association, or similar entity, the president, general manager or most senior officers would be held liable, she added.

    During the committee hearing on Tuesday, Tan stressed the need for national legislation on the issue, saying it “has not only caused quarrels and divisions among our neighborhoods but also death to some individuals.”

    Ruby Palma, volunteer from Friends of the Environment in Negros Oriental (Fenor), underscored that the “proliferation of videoke business gave rise to serious neighborhood quarrels,” and has “compromised the resting time especially of children, pregnant women and the elderly.”

    Palma suggested five points to be added to Tan’s bill:

    - designation of areas where videoke/karaoke and similar equipment would be allowed

    - requirement of structural sound-proofing

    - setting maximum sound volume level

    - setting maximum time use for private and home use of equipment

    - monitoring, reporting, and evaluation of the law’s implementation

    Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. also suggested the specific decibel level to be allowed under the bill.

    “Kasi pwede kung ano yung loud sayo, pwedeng hindi sa kanya dahil bingi sya,” he said.

    Antipolo City 2nd District Rep. Romeo Acop, who also chairs the committee, pointed out, however, that the existing presidential decrees already addressed noise pollution.

    But Tan acknowledged in her bill these existing anti-noise pollution laws – such as the Philippine Environmental Code (Presidential Decree No. 1152) and the National Pollution Control Decree (PD No. 984).

    But she said these laws did not “squarely address President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy pronouncement of enforcing a 10 p.m. ban on videoke/karaoke singing.”

    Under PD 1152, “appropriate standards for community noise levels” as well as “limits on the acceptable level of noise emitted from a given equipment for the protection of public health and welfare” should be established.

    Duterte earlier pressed local government units to stamp out noisy late-night karaoke sessions.

    The President has also imposed the same ordinance when he was mayor of Davao City. / atm
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  2. #652
    Dole orders Jollibee, Burger King to regularize 7,000 workers

    By: Tina G. Santos - Reporter / @santostinaINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 07:06 AM April 05, 2018

    In an order that rattled the country’s business community but hailed by labor groups, the Metro Manila office of the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) on Wednesday directed fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) and one of its subsidiaries, Burger King, to regularize more than 7,000 of their workers.

    The office of Labor Regional Director Henry John Jalbuena reported to Undersecretary Joel Maglunsod that it had ordered Jollibee to regularize 6,482 workers deployed by two of its contractors, according to a Dole statement on Wednesday.

    A similar compliance order was also issued to Perf Restaurant, also known as Burger King, to regularize 704 workers deployed by three of its contractors.

    In a statement, Jollibee said it would appeal the order.

    The reports on the order sent Jollibee shares closing down almost 4 percent.

    The Dole order, however, will benefit only Jollibee and Burger King workers in Metro Manila. There was no immediate word on whether other Dole regional offices had issued the same order in their jurisdictions.

    Employers prefer contractualization to regularization of their work force to reduce labor cost, but the hiring scheme denies security of tenure to workers.

    Proponents of contractualization say the scheme is necessary because not all workers are needed the whole year, especially during slack business periods. But seasonal work or during a temporary surge in business would require additional workers.

    Jollibee said it “remains committed to complying with the law and Department Order No. 174, which allow contracting arrangements with legitimate service providers.”

    Business chambers

    “In compliance with regulations, we only deal with reputable service contractors that had been duly accredited and registered with Dole. We have been cooperating and will continue to cooperate with Dole,” it said.

    The head of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business group, questioned the validity of the order, saying it should have been issued by the labor secretary himself.

    “The regional director can only recommend,” PCCI president Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco said in a text message to the Inquirer.

    “Once such recommendation is formally made to the labor secretary, the affected company can have a platform to appeal and explain their side,” she added.

    John Forbes, senior adviser for the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, said contract workers played an important role in a modern economy.

    “Companies should not be forced to make every employee a regular worker, but nor should companies fail to regularize employees who perform regular work over a long period of time and who qualify for a permanent job,” he told the Inquirer.

    The president of the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines said his group supported the protection of labor rights and fair employment but “there must be careful evaluation of the short, medium and long term effects” of such an order from Dole.

    “We are hopeful that both sides will come to a fair and equitable solution for all,” Guenter Taus said in a text message to the Inquirer.

    Workers’ refund

    The Dole also directed Jollibee to refund illegally collected payments to 426 workers amounting to P15,432,305 for cooperative shares, Christmas party, “paluwagan” fund and cooperative savings fund.

    Five other Jollibee contractors were ordered to return P4,137,158.15 in unlawful wage deductions, bonds, donations, shares and other illegal payments collected from 412 workers.

    Leading the list of liable contractors is Citiwide Basic Commodities and Manpower Services Inc. with a total financial obligation of P1,853,578 to 40 workers for refunds on cash bonds for motorcycle rentals and unpaid service incentive leaves and holiday pay.

    Generation One Resource Service and Multi-Purpose Cooperative was ordered to refund share capital, cooperative shares, membership fees and “damayan” fund and to compensate the unpaid holiday pay of 287 workers for a total amount of P1,180,363.15.

    Labor inspections

    The Dole directed the Integral Care Formation Service Cooperative to return P440,300 to 24 workers from whom it had collected cooperative shares and payments for uniforms.

    Toptrend Services Corp. was ordered to refund a total of P464,012 to 47 workers for motorcycle rentals. MetroGuards Security Agency Corp. was told to return donations and reimburse the unpaid holiday pay of 14 workers amounting to P199,905.

    The Dole said it would continue inspections of popular food chains in the country in line with its crackdown on illegal labor contractualization practices.

    It has set schedules to inspect McDonald’s and KFC restaurants to ensure their compliance with labor laws.

    McDonald’s Philippines does not practice contractualization and has not used the services of manpower agencies since it started operations in 1981, according to Adi Timbol-Hernandez, the company’s senior communications manager.

    Last month, Dole field offices in the cities of Makati and Pasay met with the management of Chowking, with more dialogues set this month. A separate meeting with the management of Mang Inasal has also been set by the Quezon City field office.

    Maglunsod said the department would inspect fast-food chains in other regions as part of its “relentless campaign to stop illegal work contractualization practices.”

    Trade Union Congress of the Philippines president Raymond Mendoza said both Jollibee and Burger King must immediately comply with the order to regularize their workers.

    “These workers are undertaking tasks which are directly related to the main business of these fast-food chains and working under the supervision of Jollibee and Burger King,” Mendoza said.

    ‘Very good news, if true’

    Julius Cainglet of the Federation of Free Workers (FFW) welcomed the Dole order as “very good news, if true.”

    He said the FFW was willing to help Dole to monitor compliance to the order by Jollibee and Burger King.

    In addition to Burger King, Chowking and Mang Inasal, Jollibee’s subsidiaries include Greenwich, Red Ribbon and Highlands Coffee.

    In 2016, the the fast-food giant had 978 Jollibee stores nationwide, more than half of them company-operated and the rest under franchise. It also had 35 stores in the United States, 84 in Vietnam, 26 in the Middle East, 14 in Brunei, four in Singapore, three in Hong Kong and one in Canada.

    In the same year, it had about 12,000 permanent and contractual employees. - WITH A REPORT FROM STEPHEN C. CANIVEL
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  3. #653
    Trillanes amnesty voided; senator faces charges, arrest

    ABS-CBN News

    Posted at Sep 04 2018 10:26 AM | Updated as of Sep 04 2018 02:01 PM

    MANILA - (4TH UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte has invalidated the grant of amnesty to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for failure to comply with its minimum requirements, Malacanang said Tuesday.

    The Department of Justice and the Armed Forces' court martial were instructed to "pursue all criminal and administrative cases" against Trillanes over military uprisings in 2003 and 2007, according to a copy of Duterte's proclamation, which was confirmed by Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

    The military and the police were also ordered to "employ all lawful means to apprehend Trillanes" so that he could be detained.

    "I guess all of these would have to proceed and if taking him into custody is an automatic effect of that, then so be it," Guevarra told reporters.

    For his part, Trillanes denied allegations that he did not even file for amnesty.

    "Hindi ka bibigyan ng amnesty kung wala kang application. Maliwanag yun. Kaya nga ito it's a clear case of political persecution dahil wala silang mahanap na kaso sa akin so kailangang mag-imbento," the senator told reporters.

    (You won't be granted amnesty if you have no application. That's clear. It's a clear case of political persecution. Since they can't find any case against me, they have to make one up.)

    Former presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte also tweeted a video of Trillanes filing his amnesty application. "Sen. Trillanes did not file an amnesty application? Too much bukbok rice, it seems. Here’s a video of the filing of that application," she said.

    Trillanes questioned the timing of the release of the Palace order when the Senate is set to investigate allegations that a security agency owned by the family of Solicitor General Jose Calida bagged 10 government contracts right after his appointment.

    He said the Palace order was published in a broadsheet at the same time that President Rodrigo Duterte is in Israel.

    Duterte's predecessor, former President Benigno Aquino, granted amnesty to Trillanes and several other military rebels in 2011, leading to his release from detention.

    As a Navy lieutenant, Trillanes and his Magdalo band of soldiers and junior officers occupied the Oakwood Hotel in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Hotel in 2007 to protest alleged corruption under then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    Trillanes won a seat in the Senate in 2007, campaigning from detention. He was reelected in 2013. In 2016, he campaigned against then Davao City Mayor Duterte.

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo in March said a review may be done on the amnesty given to Trillanes.

    NO APPLICATION?

    The Duterte proclamation, signed on August 31, said that Trillanes was granted the amnesty even if he did not file an Official Amnesty Application Form according to a certification from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel that "there is no available copy of his application for amnesty in the records."

    The former soldier also "never expressed his guilt for the crimes that were committed," it said.

    It quoted Trillanes as saying "they were not admitting guilt to the mutiny and coup d e'tat charges lodged against them both in the civil and military courts" and "I would like to qualify that we did not admit to the charge of coup d e'tat or anything na i-finile sa amin kasi we believe na hini iyon ang nararapat na i-charge sa amin."

    The proclamation noted that at the time of the amnesty, Trillanes was facing trial for non-bailable coup d'état before a Makati court and a separate trial before the military tribunal for mutiny or sedition, conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman, and all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, and all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the military service defined and penalized under the Articles of War.

    DID HE REALLY FAIL TO FILE?

    Trillanes, then already a senator, formally applied for amnesty, which requires an admission of guilt, on January 5, 2011.

    In his application form, Trillanes signed a portion acknowledging his involvement in uprisings that entail "a violation of the 1987 Constitution, criminal laws, and the Articles of War" and recanting his statements in the past that are contrary "to this express admission of involvement/participation and guilt."

  4. #654
    Duterte cannot void amnesty on his own: legal experts

    ABS-CBN News

    Posted at Sep 04 2018 04:04 PM | Updated as of Sep 04 2018 04:18 PM

    MANILA – An amnesty cannot be undone by a unilateral act.

    Legal experts had this take Tuesday following President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to void the amnesty granted his critic Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in 2011 for leading uprisings against the government more than a decade ago.

    For constitutionalist Florin Hilbay, a former Solicitor General, Duterte could not take the unilateral act of voiding an amnesty granted by his predecessor.

    Former President Benigno Aquino III had granted Trillanes amnesty and several others for mounting uprisings in 2003 and 2007 – a decision that also went through rigorous proceedings in the military.

    “The important point here is that once the amnesty is given and accepted, succeeding administrations such as the present administration can no longer nullify that without any court judgment,” Hilbay told ANC.

    He said voiding such contract required a separate court action and could not be done just by a unilateral executive act.

    “Given that it has already been accepted (by Trillanes), that amnesty is already final. You need a separate judicial declaration of nullity of that amnesty for it to be really nullified. Otherwise, the president cannot on his own unilaterally withdraw or declare as null and void the amnesty,” he said.

    Legal and governance expert Tony La Viña held the same view, saying no incumbent could reverse the previous administration’s grant of amnesty, a political act.

    “What is important is [former Defense] Secretary [Voltaire] Gazmin, the board and military and President Aquino did their job and granted that amnesty. You do not question that ever,” he said.

    Duterte’s Presidential Proclamation No. 572 released Tuesday voided the amnesty granted Trillanes, rendering it null upon issuance, for the senator’s supposed failure to comply with requirements including his admission of guilt.

    MILITARY HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER TRILLANES

    Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, who Duterte put in charge of government while he is away on an official trip to Israel, said the effect of the proclamation is that the amnesty if “void ab initio…as if it never existed.”

    The proclamation also ordered the military and police “to employ all lawful means to apprehend” Trillanes, a former Navy lieutenant.

    But with Trillanes already a civilian, the military no longer has jurisdiction over him, Hilbay said. He said any grant of an amnesty also terminates all civil and criminal proceedings against its beneficiary.

    “Given that he is no longer part of the military, it simply follows that the military will no longer have jurisdiction over him,” Hilbay said.

    La Viña meanwhile also called the action “unfortunate,” citing possible dire consequences on future amnesty negotiations with rebels.

    “It’s unfortunate not just for the legal aspect but also for the policy aspect…. It’s unfortunate and it has an impact for the future because we’re always negotiating this amnesty in all our political settlements, and now you’re basically saying we open everything every time we don’t like what you say,” he said.

    La Viña said those who may negotiate an amnesty with government in the future, for instance Moro rebels, may be left second-guessing.

    “People that are negotiating with us, the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) amnesties, they have to have second thoughts whether they will accept an amnesty or not, if it can be changed anytime,” he said.

    Trillanes has vowed to fight Duterte's proclamation and said he would stay in Senate custody.

  5. #655
    OPINION: My second encounter with Senator Trillanes

    Raïssa Robles

    Posted at Sep 05 2018 12:11 AM | Updated as of Sep 05 2018 04:27 AM

    The most dramatic thing I expected to happen this morning was that the Supreme Court would stop the Senate hearing where I was invited to appear as a resource person to talk about “conflict of interest” in government.

    I was wrong.

    Soon after I got there, I received this message from my hubby Alan:

    “Duterte just revoked presidential pardon of Trillanes"

    Senator Antonio Trillanes, a failed coup plotter who was jailed for years then given a presidential pardon, was to conduct this morning’s hearing.

    If his presidential pardon had been revoked, does that mean he would be arrested? Would continue with this morning’s hearing, which Solicitor General Jose Calida had earlier tried to stop on the ground that it would invade his privacy.

    You see, the hearing was originally supposed to investigate the government contracts of Calida’s private security agency. I happened to have written two blog posts on this topic.

    And so I tweeted this –

    Mhere at a Senate hearing. Invited to Senator Trillanes's hearing as resource person. Is it his last one? Since Duterte just revoked presidential pardon of Trillianes. Abangan. pic.twitter.com/n9FimbNhqz — Raissa Robles (@raissawriter) September 4, 2018

    A roomful of men and women waited for Trillanes to appear. Waited to see what he would do. Would he flee? About an hour later –

    Sen Trillanes has arrived at the session hall. Whwn I asked him if he was about to be arrested, he gave me a half smile. — Raissa Robles (@raissawriter) September 4, 2018

    It was the second time for me to see him face-to-face. The first time was when I was invited to appear as a resource person in another Senate investigation to probe the alleged hidden wealth of then Vice President Jejomar Binay.

    Considering what had just happened to him, Trillanes walked like a man just strolling in a park. His face looked a bit sad, though, and he had eye bags. And so I tweeted –

    For someone abt to be arrested Sen. Trillanes is Mr. Cool. Frankly, I dont know why I was "invited" to the hearing to discuss the proposed amendment to the Code of Conduct and Ethics for public officials and employees#JustAJourno pic.twitter.com/iBYmxIX2FD — Raissa Robles (@raissawriter) September 4, 2018

    I noticed, though, that Senator Trillanes was not as thorough as former Senator Alan Peter Cayetano in coordinating with resource persons who are invited. When I appeared in a joint hearing of Senators Cayetano and Trillanes four years ago, the chief-of-staff of Cayetano met with me beforehand in order to assess the basis of what I wrote in my blog.

    Still, I appreciated the fact the Sen.Trillanes did not scrap the hearing altogether. He found a way to continue with it by turning the investigation on Calida into a deliberation of a proposed amendment to the Code of Conduct of Public Officials and Employees.

    It turned out later that most of the arresting officers cooled their heels outside the Senate, waiting for the hearing to end:

    Elements of the PNP CIDG waiting outside the Senate building to arrest Sen. Trillanes. pic.twitter.com/1WJURC78kR — Raissa Robles (@raissawriter) September 4, 2018

    The government of President Rodrigo Duterte was not able to arrest Trillanes today.

    Could the attempt to arrest Trillanes have been timed in order to stop today’s Senate hearing which would touch on SolGen Calida’s conflict of interest issue? Because Calida was unable to get the Supreme Court to stop Trillanes from proceeeding.

  6. #656
    ^^^ (Continued)

    In any case, this is the statement I made during the Senate hearing, regarding “conflict of interest” and the issue involving Calida and his security agency:

    Senator Antonio Trillanes, chairman of the Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation, Senator Risa Hontiveros –

    Good morning.

    I was invited to attend today’s hearing, as a journalist and resource person. And so I will be sharing my views as a journalist. Frankly, I don’t even know why I’m here. I was assured by a Presidential Communications Office official that nobody reads my blog.

    In 1989—twenty-nine years ago—I witnessed the making of a ground- breaking law. One that lawmakers thought would curb corruption.

    They had no illusions about cutting corruption down to zero, as one top government official insists today that he could. They just wanted to reduce it drastically. And punish those who violated the law.

    The country was then coming out of the most corrupt regime in the Philippines. The regime had left the government bankrupt and most Filipinos very poor.

    And so lawmakers made a law, Republic Act 6713, called an Act Establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, to address this twin problem.

    Our history has demonstrated to us so dramatically and painfully that Corruption keeps most Filipinos poor. What should go to the citizens is often diverted to the pockets of a few politicians and their crony businessmen.
    Has RA 6713 made a difference? The results are mixed.

    No less than a sitting President was convicted for violating RA 6713 and a sitting Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was impeached. Ironically, President Joseph Estrada was among those who signed RA 6713 into law.
    Today, removing public officials for violating this law has become more frequent, even routine.

    However, RA 6713 has gaps that clever officials have exploited.

    One of those gaps is the definition of “conflict of interest”.

    Another gap is something I have long hoped that lawmakers would plug. So I am taking this opportunity. RA 6713 punishes both private citizens who bribe officials and officials who accept bribes. But we have no law punishing public officials who bribe media men, especially with state funds. Such transactions put journalists in a conflict of interest situation.

    Time and again, lists of newsmen on the payroll of public officials have surfaced. But the officials cannot be charged, nor can newsmen complain, because there is no law against it.

    Anyway, I thought I would mention this as something I hope lawmakers would think about.

    Now, back to the “conflict of interest” provision of RA 6713.

    The present provision defines “conflict of interest” this way –

    Section 3. Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act, the term:
    (i) “Conflict of interest” arises when a public official or employee is a member of a board, an officer, or a substantial stockholder of a private corporation or owner or has a substantial interest in a business, and the interest of such corporation or business, or his rights or duties therein, may be opposed to or affected by the faithful performance of official duty.

    Mr. Chairman, you propose to add the following sentence to this subsection:

    Exerting undue influence in government dealings for one’s benefit or personal gain is also considered conflict of interest.

    Mr Chairman, when I was initially invited to appear before this Committee the thrust was to conduct an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the conflict of interest of Solicitor General Jose Calida, arising from security service contracts between national government agencies and Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, Inc., which Calida continues to own and control, although his son is now the CEO.

    Among the clients of Vigilant are—The National Economic Development Authority; National Anti-Poverty Commission; Department of Justice; National Parks Development Committee; Department of Justice; House of Representatives; Pagcor; and National Electrification Administration.

    These companies awarded Vigilant 14 government contracts worth a total of P261 million in just one and a half years.

    By contrast, before Duterte’s election, it took the company 10 years to gross P134 million, while Calida, now the SolGen, was running the agency.

    TEN YEARS, as opposed to one and a half years under his CEO son.

    Maybe his son is a much better CEO? Or was there something else that changed?

    The only thing that changed was that Calida was back in a government post. But this time he had the ear of no less than the President, who is also a personal friend.

    Did that count?

    Yesterday, I tried asking Liza Masa, the newly-resigned chair of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, two questions. One – When Liza Masa signed the contract to engage Vigilant as the Commission’s security agency starting this January, did she know that Calida was behind it or owned it? TWO – If she knew, why did she sign the contract?

    Just by way of background, Vigilant was already the security agency at the Commission before Masa took over.

    Ms. Liza Masa gave me this statement as her reply:

    “There was already a bidding process before my time. The recommendation is to continue the contract renewable yearly subject to satisfactory performance in the agency.”

    Notice she did not answer my question whether she knew Calida was behind the agency or still owned it. Perhaps she might answer you if you subpoena her, Mr. Chairman.

    Two months ago, I wrote on my blog that 6 of the 14 government contracts—worth P61 million—that SolGen Calida’s security agency signed very likely put him in a direct & continuing conflict of interest.

    Why?

    Because if there’s any problem with these contracts, if there’s any problem with the security agency, guess who the government lawyer is who will handle it? That’s right. The Solicitor General.

    These contracts have the Office of the SolGen as the standby lawyer should any conflict arise between the government agency contractor and Calida’s security agency. The other eight contracts of Vigilant were with government-owned-and-controlled corporations and the House of Representatives. GOCCs have the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel as its standby lawyer in contract disputes. Not the OSG. Well, the House is full of lawyers so they don’t need outside help.

    When I reread Chairman Trillanes’ Senate resolution on the original investigation of this committee, however, I realized that SolGen Calida is in a direct and continuing conflict of interest with not just six but with all 14 government contracts signed by Vigilant starting July 2016 when Calida became the SolGen.

    I did not realize that until I had read the Senate Resolution.

    Coincidentally, it was SolGen Calida who placed himself in this direct and continuing conflict of interest situation by filing and THEN WINNING the quo warranto case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

    Let me explain this, and how this now ties in with Senator Trillanes’ proposed amendment of RA 6713, which has never been amended before.

    The chairman of this Committee has proposed adding that “exerting undue influence in government dealings for one’s benefit or personal gain” should be considered conflict of interest.

    What does “undue influence” mean?

    The word “undue” is used three times in RA 6713. Section 4 discourages all government officials from giving the “wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers of undue patronage.”

    Section 4 also cautions them to “not dispense or extend undue favors on account of their office” to their relatives.

    And Section 7 lists the giving of “undue advantage to anyone” as a prohibited act. But nowhere does the law use the phrase “undue influence”.

    Still, the phrase is well established in Philippine jurisprudence, but only in cases involving last wills and testaments of a testator or someone whose property is being transmitted through a last will and testament.

    Let me just read out to you two definitions of “undue influence” established through court decisions. I’m taking these from the Philippine Law Dictionary of the late Court of Appeals Justice Federico Moreno.

    In the case of Adojado v. Boncalos, “undue influence connotes the idea of coercion by virtue of which the judgment of the testator [or person writing out his will] is displaced and he is induced to do that which he otherwise would not have done.”

    The case of Abad Santos v. Abad Santos elaborates that undue influence “must in some measure destroy the free agency of the testator and interfere with the exercise of that independent discretion which the law requires the testator to possess as essential to a valid testamentary disposition.”

  7. #657
    ^^^ (Continued)

    Now just substitute the word “government official” for “testator” and you see that the same meaning can be used to help define “undue influence” by a public official.

    In the case of the Solicitor General—and I am referring to anyone who occupies this post – “undue influence” acquired a special meaning after SolGen Calida won the quo warranto case against Sereno.

    The Supreme Court decision on quo warranto recognized that—and I quote – “the Solicitor General has a prerogative in the institution of an action for quo warranto….”

    But the Court hastened “to dissuade and allay the fear that a ruling on the availability of quo warranto would allow the Solicitor General to ‘wield a sword over our collective heads…”

    Nevertheless, the SolGen can wield that power against any government official.

    Just as the Office of the President has been used to accumulate ill-gotten wealth, it is not beyond imagination to have a solicitor general—and I’m not referring specifically to SolGen Calida—who might use the power of quo warranto for selfish ends.

    Because of this vast power, I submit, Mr. Chairman, that whoever occupies the post of Solicitor General has the potential of asserting “undue influence”. And when it is done for personal gain, it falls within the ambit of “conflict of interest”.

    And how does one establish personal gain? When a public official, most especially a SolGen and/or together with his family, own 51% of a company which lands a government contract in any agency.

  8. #658
    Calida behind search for Trillanes amnesty records: military official

    ABS-CBN News

    Posted at Sep 04 2018 09:55 PM

    MANILA - Solicitor General Jose Calida prompted the search for the amnesty records of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, a military official said Tuesday.

    Calida kept silent on his role in a declaration voiding the amnesty granted to Trillanes on Tuesday, as he faced the inquiry of the senator's committee into the alleged conflict of interest in roughly P358.3 million worth of government contracts bagged by his family's security firm.

    The Duterte proclamation, signed on August 31, said Trillanes was granted the amnesty even if he did not file an Official Amnesty Application Form. This is according to a certification from the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, which says "there is no available copy of his application for amnesty in the records."

    When a reporter asked military spokesman Col. Edgard Arevalo who inquired at the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel, he responded: "The Solicitor General did."

    Arsenio Andolong, spokesperson of the Department of National Defense, said they have no information when Calida filed the inquiry.

    "Unfortunately, we are not privy to every communication," he said, when asked what prompted Calida to inquire about Trillanes' amnesty form.

  9. #659
    WHAT WENT BEFORE: Senator Antonio Trillanes IV’s amnesty

    07:22 AM September 05, 2018

    On January 5, 2011, Antonio Trillanes IV was among the first group of mutinous soldiers who applied for amnesty offered by then President Benigno S. Aquino III to soldiers, policemen and civilians who participated in three attempts to bring down the Arroyo administration in 2003, 2006 and 2007.

    Three weeks later, then Department of Defense spokesperson Eduardo Batac said the first group of applicants—38 military officers and 53 enlisted personnel who filed their papers between January 4 and 7, including Trillanes—were all granted amnesty, as there was no opposition to their applications.

    On January 27, 2011, Trillanes and 94 other officers and men took their oath of allegiance to the Constitution before then Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, which sealed the grant of amnesty.

    On October 12, 2010, Aquino announced that he had granted amnesty to soldiers who joined the July 2003 Oakwood mutiny led by Magdalo officers, the February 2006 failed coup attempt and Marine standoff, and the November 2007 siege of The Peninsula Manila hotel.

    On November 24, 2010, Aquino signed Proclamation No. 75, offering amnesty to soldiers and policemen who had taken part in the three uprisings against the Arroyo administration. It amended, clarified and recalled the previous proclamation issued in October 2010.

    In December, the two houses of Congress concurred with the amnesty proclamation

    On December 20, 2010, Trillanes was released after the Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) granted his petition for provisional liberty in time for Christmas.

    Trillanes was one of the leaders of more than 300 junior officers who took over the Oakwood Premier (now Ascott Makati) serviced apartments at Ayala Center, Makati City, on July 27, 2003, to air grievances against the Arroyo administration and protest corruption in the military.

    It was apparently a coup whose supporters from other military units lost their nerve and never showed up.

    After daylong negotiations, the mutineers surrendered.

    On August 1, 2003, the Department of Justice (DOJ) charged the mutineers with coup d’etat in the Makati Regional Trial Court.

    In November 2007, Trillanes and former Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim walked out of the courtroom at the Makati RTC and holed up at The Peninsula Manila, calling for the overthrow of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

    On December 3, 2007, the DOJ filed rebellion charges against Trillanes in connection with the Peninsula siege.

    In October 2010, Judge Oscar Pimentel of Makati RTC Branch 148 deferred ruling on the Oakwood case to give Congress time to decide whether to affirm the amnesty proclamation.

    Judge Elmo Alameda of Makati RTC Branch 150 also deferred hearing the Peninsula case on the request of the defense in view of the amnesty proclamation.

    In 2011, both cases against Trillanes were dismissed by the courts after he was granted amnesty. — INQUIRER RESEARCH


 
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