News Briefs: Nov. 18, 2018
Bersamin wins Gusi Peace Prize award
Supreme Court Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin would lead a group of honorees and awardees in the prestigious Gusi Peace Prize International Awards.
Bersamin is the third most senior justice of the high court. Ceremonies for the Gusi Peace Prize International Awards would be held on Nov. 28 at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Honorees from other countries would be at the ceremony.
Bersamin is one of two Filipinos to receive the award this year. During his stint as a regional trial court judge of Quezon City, Bersamin received awards for best decision in civil law and best decision in criminal law.
Bersamin had penned the landmark decision that upheld the appointment by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the late Justice Renato Corona as Chief Justice.
He also led a group of justices which declared the congressional pork barrel and Disbursement Acceleration Program as unconstitutional.
20 applying to fill Tijam’s SC seat
Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang was among 20 applicants for a seat in the Supreme Court to be vacated by Justice Noel Tijam when he retires in January next year.
Edgar Aricheta, Supreme Court clerk of court, said six of the applicants would be interviewed on Dec. 5.
At least 16 of the applicants had already been interviewed. Aricheta said complaints or reports against the applicants may be sent to the Judicial and Bar Council not later than Nov. 27.
Tijam’s tenure in the high court will end on Jan. 5, 2019, when he reaches the the mandatory retirement age of 70.
Also set to retire next year were Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio and Justices Mariano del Castillo, Francis Jardeleza and Lucas Bersamin. —Jerome Aning
DPWH exec in kickback scandal suspended
A Cordillera district engineer, who allegedly demanded kickbacks from a highways contractor in Ifugao province, has been suspended while being investigated, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar announced in Baguio City on Friday.
Lorna Ricardo allegedly tried to secure P10 million from the contractor so he could land the Lagawe-Caba-Ponghal Road Development Project, according to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission.
“She is now relieved,” Villar said.
“We have no tolerance for any kind of corruption and it will be dealt with harshly,” he told reporters after attending the 14th national conference of Department of Public Works and Highways district engineers at Camp John Hay.
Ricardo was absent from the event. —Kimberlie Quitasol
CHR: Address root of drug use first
Government should address the root cause of drug use among the youth, instead of subjecting them to mandatory drug tests, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Thursday.
In a statement, CHR spokesperson Jacqueline De Guia said the CHR was cautioning the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) against the risk of shifting the burden on the youth.
CHEd chair J. Prospero De Vera III issued on Oct. 26 a memorandum listing rules for mandatory drug tests for all students in colleges and universities.
The memo said schools had the prerogative to require students to undergo drug tests before enrollment. —Melvin Gascon
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