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/ 07:07 AM July 21, 2018

Martires tops voting, moves closer to Ombudsman post

Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires on Friday took a step closer to succeeding outgoing Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales as he topped the voting of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) in its search for the country’s next top graft-buster.

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The JBC’s unanimous vote was a shot in the arm for Martires, a former Sandiganbayan associate justice, who was instrumental in the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno as Chief Justice when he joined seven other justices in granting Solicitor General Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition on May 11.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, who earlier admitted asking President Duterte to “designate me as Ombudsman,” was disqualified from the race, according to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, an ex officio member of the JBC.

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“Based on records, [Bello] has pending cases under preliminary investigation [in the Department of Justice]. But I’m checking now whether this is accurate,” Guevarra said in a text message. Another top contender, Edna Batacan, the President’s former lawyer, was also excluded from the shortlist, which will be forwarded by the JBC to Malacañang.—MARLON RAMOS

Gordon to PNP: Stop religious, racial profiling of crime suspects

The police should stop labeling and identifying crime suspects based on their religion as this is not only unnecessary but also tends to besmirch the reputation of the religious organization, Sen. Richard Gordon said.

Gordon, who chairs the Senate justice and human rights committee, called on the Philippine National Police to stop the religious and racial profiling of suspects.

“Membership of an accused in a religious organization has nothing to do with the commission of a crime. Such labeling violates the constitutional right to free exercise of religion and could bring disrepute to the religious organization,” he said. He cited the arrest of a suspected bomber in Zamboanga City who was labeled “Muslim type.”—LEILA B. SALAVERRIA

Albayalde confers posthumous medal on slain rookie cop

The Philippine National Police conferred on Friday a posthumous medal on a rookie policeman killed during an antinarcotics operation in Nueva Ecija early this week.

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PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde visited the wake of Police Officer 1 Mariano Emmanuel Caparas of the General Tinio town police and conferred on him the Medalya ng Kadakilaan in recognition of his “heroism and bravery.”

The award qualifies Caparas’ family for additional financial assistance. Caparas took a bullet in the chest after the subject of a police drug sting in Barangay Pias allegedly fought back.

Police said the suspect, identified only as “Abet,” reportedly opened fire when he realized that he had been caught in an entrapment operation. The suspect was allegedly killed by the other policemen.—JAYMEE T. GAMIL

How to end PH hunger? It’s all about rice, says NAPC

The government can address the problem of hunger in the country by ensuring rice sufficiency for every Filipino family, but it must also break free from the bondage of rice importation, National Anti-Poverty Commission chair Liza Maza said on Thursday.

She said rice self-sufficiency was pivotal in ensuring food security since 85 percent of the country’s population depended on rice as staple food.

“In order to achieve true rice self-sufficiency and food security, breaking away from import-dependency must be coupled with the initiative to boost our agricultural output and to support our local farmers,” Maza said ahead of Friday’s interagency dialogue on rice sufficiency and food security.—MELVIN GASCON

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TAGS: Judicial and Bar Council, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Maria Lourdes Sereno, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Philippine news updates, PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde, rice, Richard Gordon, Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires
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