News Briefs: Dec. 11, 2018
Enrile plunder trial to begin in February
Former Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. may have already been acquitted, but the trial of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile in connection with his P172.8-million plunder case will start only in February.
The Sandiganbayan Third Division has scheduled the presentation of the Ombudsman’s evidence in Enrile’s plunder case on Feb. 19, four years and eight months after it was filed on June 5, 2014.
Hearings will be held every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, according to division clerk of court Dennis Pulma.
The pretrial conference, where prosecutors and defense lawyers mark their respective pieces of evidence, was terminated only on Friday last week.
Like Revilla, Enrile is accused of receiving kickbacks in exchange for diverting his Priority Development Assistance Fund allocations to bogus foundations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles. —Vince F. Nonato
Senate ratifies landmark universal health care bill
The Senate on Monday ratified a landmark bill providing for universal health care (UHC) coverage and giving Filipinos access to a full spectrum of medical services.
Without any objections, the chamber adopted the consolidated version of the Senate and House bills, which would grant coverage to all Filipinos, even migrant workers, under the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.
“[A]ll Filipinos are covered under the national health insurance program,” said Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito, chair of the Senate health panel, who sponsored the bill.
“Whether they are young, old, female, male or member of the LGBT community, PWD (person with disability), any Filipino, under the UHC, the government will assist them if they get ill,” he added. —DJ Yap
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