Fight vs online libel goes to the UNHCR

Lawyer Harry Roque files motion for reconsideration vs Cybercrime law.

Lawyer Harry Roque files motion for reconsideration vs Cybercrime law.

Last Tuesday, while in Baguio City for their summer session, the Supreme Court denied all the Motions for Reconsideration on Online Libel which it upheld in its Feb. 18, 2014 decision.

It will be recalled that in its Feb. 18 decision, the High Court struck down as illegal the authority given to the Department of Justice) to restrict or block access to any online post which it deemed violating the law without any court order.

But it upheld the constitutionality of the online libel that increased the penalty twelvefold. From a minimum punishment of six months imprisonment under the Revised Penal Code, the Cybercrime Prevention Law increased it to six years. The maximum punishment was doubled from six to twelve years in prison.
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April 24, 2014 10:24 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Justice, Media  One Comment

The other side of Palawan

Mention Palawan and what comes to mind are Underground River and El Nido in the northern side of this richly-blessed province from its capital, Puerto Princesa.

'We return the favor by replenishing the soil and replanting the trees, shrubbery, and grass to restore the natural habitats of the flora and fauna and recreate God's creation as it is meant to be.'- Nickel Asia

‘We return the favor by replenishing the soil and replanting the trees, shrubbery, and grass to restore the natural habitats of the flora and fauna and recreate God’s creation as it is meant to be.’- Nickel Asia

Three weeks ago, we went to the southern side- in Rio Tuba, where Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation is.

This is my second time to visit RTNMC and it was good to note that the road was better and the trip was shorter by two hours. Five hours (including a lunch stop in Narra) this time compared to seven hours two years ago.

It shows how fast development in Palawan is. I was reading “Jewels of Rio Tuba,” the coffee table book on RTNMC and I was fascinated by anecdotes about Rio Tuba in the early 70’s. There were no roads. To go to Rio Tuba from Purto Princesa, the pioneers of RTNMC travelled by land to Brooks Point and from there, a four-hour boat ride to a landing along the river.
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April 24, 2014 8:45 pm  Tags:   Posted in: Travel  No Comments

The return of Gigi Reyes

This is going to be fascinating.

Will she stand by or turn against JPE?

Will she stand by or turn against JPE?

Atty. Gigi Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile who is included among those accused of plunder in connection with the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund, came back last Saturday.

Reyes left last August when her name came up as one of those who were dealing directly with pork barrel operator Janet Napoles . She was reported to have gone to Macau, then to other countries.

In the resolution approved last April 1, the Ombudsman said they found probable cause for Enrile ,Reyes, Napoles, Ruby Tuason, Ronald John Lim, and Raymond de Asis to have committed plunder.

Plunder is punishable by lifetime imprisonment and forfeiture of ill-gotten wealth in favor of government.
The Ombudsman also found cause to indict Reyes together with Enrile and others for 15 counts of violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).
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April 20, 2014 9:20 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption  7 Comments

Standing by up in the air

Thanks to Philippine Flight Network for this photo.

Thanks to Philippine Flight Network for this photo.

As our flight from Iloilo (Philippine Airlines 934) was starting its descent to the Ninoy Aquino International Airprt, the pilot announced that we were number 12 in the queue for landing and that our arrival would be delayed by 30 minutes. Reason: traffic congestion.

This kind of delay due to traffic congestion at NAIA has become a standard happening. It has become a practice.
Two weeks ago when we went to Palawan, our departure was delayed for about 30 minutes.

We were already seated, our seatbelts fastened yet we were not taking until after half-an-hour later. Same reason: traffic congestion.
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April 17, 2014 12:02 am  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Tourism, Travel  10 Comments

Wishing they were April Fools Day jokes

We wish these three reports were April Fools Day jokes:

Spinbusters writes 30

Spinbusters writes 30

One, Spinbusters saying goodbye.

In its April 1 entry titled “Silly blog concedes writes 30”, the media watchdog wrote, “There’s no going around it, beating around the bush, and running in circles. With bitterness, sadness, and deep regret, we have decided to shut down The Spin Busters. For good.”

Except for the fact that the persons behind the witty blog were anonymous (and therefore deliberately avoiding accountability) I like their scathing criticisms of media.

I will miss it.
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April 4, 2014 6:56 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Media, Philippine National Police  20 Comments

Holy Week in prison for Enrile, Estrada, Revilla?

The PDAF kings

The PDAF kings

Now that the Ombudsman has approved the resolution to file plunder charges against those involved in the malversation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, it looks like Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla would be observing their Holy Week in jail.

It is reported that Revilla and his family are in Holy Land to seek for “divine intervention.” Let’s see if his wish would be granted.

The accused will be given time to submit a motion for reconsideration, after which the Ombudsman will file the Information with the Sandiganbayan. The graft court will determine whether there’s a basis for the case to proceed.
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April 1, 2014 10:23 pm  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Graft and corruption, Malaya  26 Comments

Is the Philippines ready for China’s retaliation?

Xi Jingping and Benigno Aquino III
No ifs and buts about it: the Philippines and China are no longer friends.

That’s a decision that the Philippines made when it hauled China to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal over the latter’s all -South -China -Sea-encompassing 9-dash line map. As former ambassador to the United Nations Lauro Baja said, “When we filed a case against China at the U.N. that was the end of diplomacy.”

The submission of the Memorial on the case today at the U.N. Court’s headquarters at The Hague further reinforced the hostility.

As a sovereign country, the Philippines has every right to choose who to be friends with and who to take on. The Aquino government has chosen to battle with China. It’s a move applauded by allies who are uncomfortable with the enormous strength of modern China but are hesitant to antagonize the world’s second largest economy.
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March 30, 2014 10:46 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya  50 Comments

PH files Memorial in UN case vs China

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario and Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza.


By Ellen Tordesillas, VERA Files

The Philippines submitted its Memorial before the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in The Hague, Netherlands in the suit it filed to nullify China’s 9-dash line map, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said today.

China’s reaction: http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/xwfw/s2510/t1142356.shtml

Del Rosario said the 4,000 page Memorial consisting of 10 volumes “demonstrates that the Arbitral Tribunal has jurisdiction “over the case and that every claim in the Statement of Claim filed on Jan. 22, 2013 “is meritorious.”

China’s 9-dash line map covers almost the whole of South China Sea and encroaches on several parts of Philippine territory.
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March 30, 2014 9:39 pm  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files  One Comment

Discover Antique this summer

Calachuchi blooms perfume the island of Nogas. Thanks to www.philippinelife.com for the photo.

Calachuchi blooms perfume the island of Nogas. Thanks to www.philippinelife.com for the photo.

Looking for places to visit this summer?

Try the not-so-trodden paths. Try the perfumed island of Nogas in Antique.

Located in the northern most part of Antique, Nogas Island is 24 hectares of deep and lush forest. If you want to explore it, better get a guide familiar with the island. It’s easy to lose one’s way exploring the inner part of the islands because of the lack of pathways.
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March 29, 2014 1:33 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Malaya, Travel  2 Comments

PH ignores China request to delay filing of Memorial vs 9-dash line

China's 9-dask line

China’s 9-dash line


By Ellen T. Tordesillas, VERA Files

Despite Chinese requests to delay it, the Philippines is filing on March 30 its memorandum challenging before the United Nations China’s territorial claims over the South China Sea.

The memorandum, called a Memorial in international law, will be filed with the Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) at The Hague in the Netherlands, contesting China’s 9-dash line territorial rule.

Under the 9-dash line rule, China claims almost the whole of the South China Sea as part of its territory, but the Philippines and three other Southeast Asian nations are staking various claims to parts of the area.

Sources said the Chinese government had asked President Aquino through back channels to wait a little longer before filing the Memorial.
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March 28, 2014 12:45 am  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Vera Files  18 Comments