Chief Justice Maria Lourdes has urged the country’s lawyers to blow the whistle on erring judges, saying such "hoodlums in robes" are besmirching the reputation of the judiciary.
In her speech at a gathering of the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) Wednesday night, Sereno said she is aware of complaints about judges who are allegedly corrupt and bias in their resolutions and decisions.
"It is common in lawyers’ circles to talk of judges engaged in below-the-table dealings, which has besmirched the reputation of the bench. You talk about law firms and lawyers with vaults in their offices that are ready to churn out hard cash for pay- offs," Sereno said.
"Yet, you discuss these evils in hushed tones and through blind items. It is seldom that a lawyer comes up to the Supreme Court, armed with evidence to kick these culprits out of the bench and bar," she added.
It was one of the most anticipated events of the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York: a panel on "women decision-makers" headlined by Hillary Clinton.
But 45 minutes into the event Wednesday, the former secretary of state still hadn’t appeared on stage — and reporters who had descended in droves on the meeting to look for clues about her political future were starting to wonder if they had wasted their time.
Clinton finally arrived 10 minutes before the session was set to end. And once there, she offered no guidance on her political plans — announcing instead she would lead an effort to evaluate women’s progress around the world to coincide with the 20th anniversary of a United Nations conference on women’s rights held in Beijing in 1995.
That conference marked a pivotal moment in Clinton’s rise as a recognized champion of women’s rights around the world — a moment when, as first lady, she spoke out more forcefully against the abuse of women and girls in China and elsewhere than other American diplomats had at the time.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada delivered a scathing privilege speech Wednesday castigating Commission on Audit (COA) chairwoman Grace Pulido Tan for her commission’s "biased" and "selective" report on alleged anomalies involving pork barrel funds.
The son of former President and now Manila mayor Joseph Estrada also aimed his tirades at his fellow members of Congress, calling them "hyporcrites" for supposedly turning a blind eye on alleged pork barrel anomalies pointed out by a COA special report involving administration allies.
Estrada, one of the three senators facing plunder charges over the alleged scam, described the recent COA report as "incomplete" as it only covered some agencies and local government agencies.
The senator also criticized Tan for her alleged frequent trips abroad.
"Chairman Grace, gumising ka na. Mukhang lagi ka naje-jetlag sa kababyahe niyo sa ibang bansa," Estrada said.
A commercial hub besieged by heavily armed guerrillas, hundreds of houses gutted by fire, helicopters raining rockets on rebel positions. The images from the Philippines this past week sit uncomfortably with its new-found reputation as an emerging market success story and one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies.
The violence in Zamboanga City in the country’s long-troubled south will have little immediate economic or investment impact as long as it doesn’t spread in coming weeks, government officials and economists say.
Pope Francis has urged a break with the Catholic Church’s harsh "obsession" with divorce, gays, contraception and abortion, in an interview signalling a dramatic shift in the Vatican’s tone.The Argentine pope has brought a series of fresh perspectives to the notoriously rigid Church since his election in March, and his latest remarks on some of its key doctrines sent shock waves around the world.
"Revolutionary words", remarked Italy’s biggest newspaper Corriere della Sera on Friday, while the International Herald Tribune’s front page headline read: "Bluntly, Pope pushes shift in church."In the 30-page interview published in Jesuit journals on Thursday, the pope urged "mercy" and understanding for those who often feel most discriminated against by the Church."We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible. I have not spoken much about these things, and I was reprimanded for that," Francis said.
The remaining Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels were told that it is not yet late for them to consider surrendering to end the standoff.
This was the strong message of President Benigno Aquino, III Thursday, saying he valued life and told the remaining rebels to examine if they too valued their own lives.
"Hindi pa huli ang lahat doon sa mga natitrang pwersa ng kalaban. Sa akin mahalaga ang buhay baka gusto niyong tingnan kung mahalaga din ang buhay niyo, at di pa huli ang lahat para tapusin ito ng mabawasan yung mamatay o masusugatan, nasa inyong kamay yan," President Aquino stressed.
The President issued the message as he said the government is ready to talk peace and to confront those who will place in danger the lives of the people.
At least 86 MNLF rebels were killed while 108 others were captured or surrendered in the continued military action as the standoff enters the 11th day Thursday.
The fighting started last Sept 9 when hundreds of MNLF rebels led by Habier Malik have infiltrated this city through the shores of Barangay Rio Hondo and other nearby barangays.
Malik, a Sulu-based MNLF commander is one of the trusted field commanders of MNLF founding-chair Nur Misuari.
A Manila councilor yesterday urged the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to reconsider their decision to replace the old flagpole in Luneta Park with a P7.8-million modern flagpole.
The resolution authored by Councilor Don Juan "DJ" Bagatsing said the project is ill-timed as the country is reeling from disgust and discouragement over the pork barrel scam issue. According to Bagatsing, the NPDC and the DPWH should take a cue from the negative reactions of the people who are questioning the appropriateness of the project. Some have called it "pointless" while the officials involved have been labeled "insensitive."
"The said flagpole, situated in the heart of the city of Manila, indeed serves a certain degree of importance in our heritage not only for being the reference point known as ‘kilometer zero’ or the spot in the Philippines wherein all distance measurements begin from , but more significantly, for being the literal prime flag bearer of the country," Bagatsing said.
While the flagpole should evoke a sense of national pride, Bagatsing said it should not be associated with any controversy.
Leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they reached an agreement on Tuesday on a draft authorization for the use of military force in Syria that was much narrower than the request made by President Barack Obama, paving the way for a vote by the committee on Wednesday.
Among other provisions, the draft, which was obtained by Reuters, sets a 60-day limit on U.S. military action in Syria, with a possibility of a single 30-day extension subject to conditions.
Obama is asking Congress to back his call for limited U.S. strikes on Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians during a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people.
The compromise deal reached by Senator Robert Menendez, the Democratic chairman of the panel, and Senator Bob Corker, the top Republican, includes a provision banning any use of U.S. armed forces on the ground in Syria, according to the draft document.
Expect the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) to hurdle the Senate after majority of its members agreed to put on top of their priority bills set to be passed in the first 100 days of the current 16th Congress.
Senate President Franklin Drilon on Monday said he asked the Senator Grace Poe, Senate committee on public information and mass media head, to speed up the committee hearings on the proposed measure.
"The committee report will be prepared after one or two weeks. We intend to debate on that before we adjourn (on Sept. 28)," Drilon said in a media interview.
The FOI bill is expected to face no big challenge in the Senate as senators filed respective versions of the measure.
Among the senators who either filed or re-filed the FOI bill are Senators Teofisto Guingona III, Loren Legarda, Majority Leader Alan Cayetano, Francis Escudero and two neophytes Grace Poe and Sonny Angara.
The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) is expecting sugar production to reach 2.45 million metric tons (MT) for crop year 2013-2014.
The SRA has issued Sugar Order No. 1 allocating production into the following percentages: 86 percent for domestic market, 12 percent for world market and 2 percent for the United States market.
Domestic demand is estimated at around 2.1 million MT for the coming crop year.
The agency is also encouraging the use of "D" or world market sugar for bio-ethanol production in pursuit of its mandate to expand marketing of sugar and its by-products.
"The price situation in the world market remains volatile, and the bio-ethanol mandate could very well absorb the surplus sugar at viable price levels," SRA Administrator Regina Bautista-Martin said.
Data from the SRA show that sugar production reached 2.457 million MT which is up by 9.5 percent year-on-year.