Malacañang hopes another SC justice will pen Malampaya ruling

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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Malacañang hopes another SC justice will pen Malampaya ruling

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Malacañang says a new motion will ask the Supreme Court to 're-raffle' the case as the assigned ponente, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, is on indefinite leave

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said it hopes another Supreme Court (SC) justice will draft the ruling on the Malampaya fund case, where Palawan invokes its right to receive 40% of gross revenues from the Malampaya natural gas project.

Ang huling ponente po diyan si Chief Justice. Pero ngayon pong siya ay on forced indefinite leave ay meron na pong ihahaing mosyon na mare-raffle na iyon para maaksiyunan naman ng isang justice na talagang gagawa ng desisyon,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing in Palawan on Wednesday, March 7.

(The last ponente of the case is the Chief Justice. But now that she is on a forced indefinite leave, there will be a motion to re-raffle the case so that it can be acted upon by a justice who will really write the decision.)

“We are hoping,” Roque said, that the case will be “re-raffled.”

What’s the Malampaya case?

The Malampaya fund case has been pending before the SC for 9 years. Roque represented the petitioners who filed the case on February 25, 2009.

The case was assigned to then SC Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who became chief justice in 2012 and is now on indefinite leave as she faces an impeachment case. 

What’s at stake

“The province of Palawan wants 40% of gross revenues, citing the Local Government Code, while the national government says everything should go to them because they claim that the project is outside the territory of Palawan,” wrote Rappler editor at large Marites Dañguilan Vitug in a Thought Leaders piece in 2013.

The government “expects revenues of up to $10 billion from Malampaya’s 20-year operations,” Newsbreak reported in 2009.

– Rappler.com

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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior multimedia reporter covering religion for Rappler. He also teaches journalism at the University of Santo Tomas. For story ideas or feedback, email pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.