MARCH 22, 2017
Philippine stories you need to know this Wednesday
News Briefs: March 22, 2017
Sandiganbayan affirms graft cases vs ranking cops
MANILA, Philippines – Three police officers failed to convince the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan to dismiss 28 counts of graft filed against them by the Office of the Ombudsman.
In a 5-page resolution dated March 15, the Sandiganyaban’s Sixth Division affirmed the graft charges against Chief Superintendent Raul Petrasanta, Superintendent Nelson Bautista, and Chief Inspector Ricardo Zapata Jr, saying their motion was “devoid of merit.”
Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr penned the resolution with Associate Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Michael Frederick Musngi concurring.
The cases, filed in 2015, alleged a conspiracy among Petrasanta, former chief of the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office; 11 other Philippine National Police officers; and private individuals in the alleged anomalous issuance of firearms licenses.
Prosecutors accused Petrasanta and his co-defendants of having unduly favored Caraga Isla Security Agency (Isla), Claver Mineral Development Corporation (CMDC), and JTC Mineral Mining Corporation for approving their applications for firearms licenses despite incomplete or falsified documents and supporting papers. – Rappler.com
De Lima pushes for Senate probe into road accidents due to gov't neglect
MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima has filed Senate Resolution No. 314 seeking an inquiry into road accidents due to government neglect.
De Lima said the proposed inquiry will determine the progress of concerned government agencies in administering a "regular, systematic and credible" inspection of all land-based vehicles for road safety.
"Major road accidents emanating from negligence in inspections have been a perennial problem in our society, taking hundreds of innocent Filipino lives in the process," said the former justice secretary.
She cited, among others, the bus mishap that killed 15 students of Bestlink College in Tanay, Rizal, on February 20 which “could have been abated by implementing stricter inspection procedures and enforcing penalties to erring licensing authorities.”
De Lima said the proposed inquiry seeks to enact reforms in the vehicle inspection and registration procedures to be "passed in order to ensure that officials are administering regular, systematic and credible check-ups on all vehicles to warrant road-safety." – Rappler.com