Palace to PNP: Shut up

Manila, Philippines — The Palace has ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the National Bureau of Investigation to stop issuing statements about the hostage incident and to let the Department of Justice (DoJ) do the talking.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said only Justice Secretary Leila de Lima would be allowed to brief the media and the public on the developments in the investigation being conducted by an inter-agency body headed by the DoJ.

Lacierda said the order was De Lima’s idea meant to avoid confusion.

The order came a day after the PNP, through spokesman Sr. Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr., said all tourists were killed by the hostage taker and not by fire from the members of the Manila Police S.W.A.T. team. Cruz cited initial forensic analysis on spent shells recovered inside the bus where the hostages were held.

Kalihim sa DILG mi angkon nga kulang sa kahanas ug kahimanan ang mga kapolisan

GI-ANKGON sa kalihim sa Department of Interior and Local Government nga si Jesse Robredo nga ang mga kapolisan kulang sa kahanas ug kahimanan nga gikinahanglan sa pagkupot og hostage situations sama sa nahitabong 11-ka oras nga hostage drama niadtong Lunes diin siyam ka tawo ang namatay, apil sa hostage-taker.

Matud pa ni Robredo nga makigkita usab siya sa mga TV networks aron pag-repaso sa protocols alang sa live coverage sama sa maong insidente.

Si Robredo nagkanayon nga ang Department of Interior and Local Government kon DILG ug ang Department of Justice kon DOJ mo tutok sa ka-kulang sa kahanas ug kahimanan sa mga kapolisan diin ang duha ka ahensiya mohimo og hiniusang imbestigasyon sa nahitabong hostage-taking.

Ang maong task force mohimo’g pakisusi sa mga posibleng sayop ug kalapasan nga nahimo sa mga kapolisan sa maong hostage-taking. (PIA-Bohol)

EO vs appointees questioned at SC

Manila, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) was asked yesterday to nullify Executive Order 2 of President Aquino revoking the midnight appointees of former President Gloria Arroyo.

In separate petitions, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) director Eddie Tamondong and Department of Justice (DoJ) Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo de Castro, both of whom would be removed from their positions, prayed for to the Supreme Court
for the temporary stoppage of the implementation of the order.

EO 2 was signed by the President last July 30. The order covered 977 officials who were appointed on or before March 11, 2010 but assumed office after such date; or appointed during the 45-day ban on appointments took effect, prior to the May 10 Elections

Eddie Tamondong argues that he should not be included in the list of former President Gloria Arroyo’s midnight appointees because he was re-appointed last March 1, or 10 days before the ban on appointments took effect. He also argued further that the
Executive Order violates RA 7227 also known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, which gives him a fixed term of six years, lapsing in March 2016. He said the order “demonstrates an arbitrary misuse executive of power.”

Tamondong, says the issue is not about keeping his job, of which he receives only P17,000 a month, but on the primacy of the law passed by Congress that is being run over by a presidential issuance.

Meanwhile, in de Castro’s petition, he claims that the order violates Art. III Section 1 of the constitution which prohibits “deprivation of persons of their property rights without just cause and compliance with the cardinal requirement of due process;” and Article IX
Section 2b of the Constitution which prohibits “deprivation of civil service employees of security of tenure and summarily dismissing them without just cause and without compliance with the requirement of due process.” He also added that Mr. Aquino usurped judicial power
in issuing the said order.

Click here for full article from Philippine Star

Palace stresses mediation role in PAL-pilots row

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Tuesday said Malacañang is aware that public interest is involved in the dispute between Philippine Airlines (PAL) and its pilots so that it has taken cognizance of the problem and ordered multi-agency mediation efforts.

Lacierda however clarified that the dispute is still at a point where it can be settled amicably without the need for laying out the basis of government intervention for reasons of national interest.

“Under the Labor Code, the secretary of labor can step into a particular controversy by way of national interest,” Lacierda said but stressed that the PAL-pilots’ row will be settled mutually.

In a Palace news briefing, Lacierda said the overriding concern of President Benigno S. Aquino III in ordering a meeting between PAL pilots and the management with facilitation by some Cabinet secretaries, is the interest of the riding public and some sectors of the economy who will be severely affected should the impasse continue.

President Aquino has ordered Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa and the secretaries of the Department of Transport and Communication (DOTC), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to meet today with PAL representatives to get to the bottom of the issue.

A number of PAL flights have been cancelled due to the dispute, which started when 25 pilots decided to move to higher paying jobs abroad. In the last two days alone, PAL had cancelled regional and domestic flights after 13 captains and 12 first officers resigned their posts to join Airlines abroad that offered more lucrative deals.

The President reminded both the management of PAL and the pilots who sought resignation that they have an obligation to the public. (PIA-Bohol)

Prosecutors mutiny in DoJ – Agra’s absolution of 2 Ampatuans trigger protest

Manila, Philippines — Justice Secretary Alberto Agra is facing a mutiny over his decision on clearing two members of the Ampatuan clan in the Maguindanao Massacre.

State prosecutors led by Chief State Prosecutor Claro Arellano Monday, protested the resolution that Agra issued on the eve of April 16, clearing the names of suspended governor Zaldy Ampatuan of the ARMM and his uncle, Maguindanao vice-governor Akmad Ampatuan Sr., from their murder cases.

Prosecutors questioned the move of Agra after having studied the evidences for only 24 hours. Arellano said that the prosecutors were hoping that justice would ultimately be served to the victims of the tragedy.

“It is along this line that we earnestly and respectfully request Acting Secretary Agra to revisit this resolution.”

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