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News Briefs: Sereno shouldn’t have been CJ candidate, say colleagues

/ 07:07 AM February 13, 2018
maria lourdes sereno

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Sereno shouldn’t have been CJ candidate, say colleagues

Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno should not have been a candidate for the position in the first place, Supreme Court Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta said on Monday.

During a hearing on her impeachment by the House of Representatives’ justice committee, Peralta cited Sereno’s failure to submit her statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which he headed during the 2012 selection process.

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Similarly, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, who lost the appointment to Sereno, said “a grave injustice” was done to the other candidates.

“(Sereno) should have been also excluded from the interview, but she was interviewed,” De Castro said.

She added that the other candidates complied with the JBC’s “very strict” requirements on asset disclosure and the waiver of confidentiality of local and foreign currency bank accounts, especially since the seat was vacated by Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was impeached for perjury over his SALN.

JBC executive officer Annaliza Ty-Capacite told lawmakers that Sereno wrote a letter explaining she could no longer locate her SALNs covering the years when she was still a professor at University of the Philippines College of Law. Peralta said the letter was not presented during the 2012 deliberations. “I don’t think I was fully aware. I would have objected,” Peralta said. —VINCE F. NONATO

 First in 2 months: Oil firms cut diesel, gasoline pump prices

Oil companies slashed pump prices after two months of increases as growth in crude prices, which reached three-year highs in January, eased earlier this month.

Starting 6 a.m. on Monday, prices of diesel dropped by P1.30 per liter while those of gasoline went down P1 per liter.

Those that have announced price changes included Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., Eastern Petroleum Corp., Flying V, Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. and Seaoil Philippines Inc.

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Shell, Flying V and Seaoil also cut the kerosene prices by 85 centavos per liter.

Based on monitoring by the Department of Energy, the latest round of price cuts brought diesel prices in Metro Manila to within P33.70 to P44.40 and that of gasoline to P45.76 to P57.02 a liter.  —RONNEL W. DOMINGO

Senate unanimously passes proposed Anti-Hazing Act

Voting 19-0, the Senate approved on third and final reading on Monday the proposed Anti-Hazing Act of 2018, which bans all forms of hazing in school fraternities, sororities and organizations.

After the measure was approved, family members of three hazing victims—Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, Guillo Cesar Servando and Alexander Miguel Josef Icasiano—presented white roses to the 19 senators who voted for the approval of Senate Bill No. 1662.

Especially emotional was the family of Castillo, a freshman law student from University of Santo Tomas who died in September last year from injuries during initiation rites by the Aegis Juris fraternity.

The killing of Castillo became the center of the investigation by the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs led by Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who sponsored the measure. —CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO

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TAGS: Alexander Miguel Josef Icasiano, Anti-Hazing Act, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo De Castro, Guillo Cesar Servando, Horacio “Atio” Castillo III, Judicial and Bar Council, oil price rollback, Philippine news updates, Sereno impeachment, Supreme Court Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta
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