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National Business News

Nationwide round-up (12/09/20)

nationwide round up 12 09 20 - Nationwide round-up (12/09/20)

House leader says impeachment trial vs Leonen ‘not possible this year’ 

THERE is not enough time this year to begin the panel deliberations on the impeachment complaint against Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Mario Victor F. Leonen, a House of Representatives leader said Wednesday. Deputy Speaker Rufus B. Rodriguez, one of the vice chairpersons of the House committee on justice, said the impeachment proceedings may only start next year as the 40-page complaint filed by Edwin E. Cordevilla has yet to be referred to the committee. “We are waiting for the order of business and referral to the committee,” he said in a press briefing. “I think we will be already having our recess on Dec. 18, so we will really not have material time. So it will probably reach next year for the determination of form and substance.” Under House impeachment rules, the House Speaker has 10 session days to have an impeachment complaint included in the chamber’s order of business. Mr. Rodriguez assured that the committee “will decide based on the law” and the evidence presented in the complaint. “The decision will really be based on the merits of the case,” he said. Mr. Cordevilla, in his complaint, cited Mr. Leonen’s alleged failure to file his Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) and the alleged backlog of cases assigned to him. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

Gov’t officials face third administrative complaint for red-tagging from lawyers’ group

OFFICIALS of the government’s anti-communist task force are facing the third administrative complaint filed against them for red-tagging organizations, individuals and elected members of the House of Representatives. In the latest complaint, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) names the following respondents: National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr.; General Antonio Parlade, Jr., head of the National Task Force to End Local Communist Insurgency; and Presidential Communications Undersecretary Lorraine Marie T. Badoy, who also serves as the task force’s spokesperson. The 47-page complaint cites various instances when the respondents allegedly used public funds to “viciously” link the NUPL to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).  The complaint said the respondents violated Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of  Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, for displaying prejudice and an utter disregard “of the rights of NUPL and its members to exercise their vocation and engage in advocacies free from labeling, profiling, threats and persecution in loyalty to persons or party.” The complainant said the respondents also violated R.A. 9851, or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International  Humanitarian Law, Genocide, and Other Crimes Against Humanity, for their persecution of NUPL and its members using public resources. Human rights group Karapatan’s Secretary General Christina Palabay and Kabataan Party-list Rep. Sarah Jane I. Elago earlier filed their separate complaints before the Ombudsman against the task force’s officials and former Presidential Communications Operations Office Undersecretary Mocha J. Uson. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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