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News Briefs: July 4, 2019

/ 05:20 AM July 04, 2019

Duterte cautions courts again vs issuing injunctions

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte again appealed to courts to be more judicious in issuing injunctions, especially in criminal cases.

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In a speech at the anniversary of the Philippine Air Force on Tuesday, the President said he could go hard against corruption, but court orders had been a hindrance at times.

“As President, I can go hard but there’s always the injunction … I hope you would stop the practice of issuing injunctions, especially in criminal cases,” he said.

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The issuance of these orders must be backed by “clear and convincing evidence,” he added.

The President believes money changes hands in the issuance of these orders. He has railed about courts’ issuances of injunctions or temporary restraining orders (TROs) in previous speeches.

In 2017, he warned courts against issuing TROs that would delay government projects and said he may ignore these orders. —Leila B. Salaverria

Tighter PH border security sought after Sulu blasts

MANILA, Philippines — The apparent involvement of foreigners in the suicide bombing in Indanan, Sulu province, on June 28 should prompt the government to take drastic measures to counter similar attacks in the future, a party list lawmaker said on Wednesday.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Rep. Jericho Nograles said that besides amending the Human Securities Act by “giving it more teeth,” Congress should include in next year’s national budget sufficient funds for the tightening of the country’s border security.

“Terrorists can go in and out of the country by using our airports and seaports because we do not have the ability to automatically cross-match people … using existing database of terrorists and international criminals,” he said.

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The twin blasts at a military camp, for which the terror group Islamic State claimed responsibility, killed eight people and injured 22 others. —Melvin Gascon

COA: P47.6M for soldiers wounded in Marawi remains unused

The Commission on Audit (COA) has asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines to explain why P47.64 million in cash donations intended to help soldiers who were wounded during the 2017 terror siege of Marawi City has remained unused. In its annual audit report, the COA said that of the combined P235-million Marawi Fund from the AFP General Headquarters and private donors, about 20 percent, or P47.64 million, remained unused. In the same report, the audit body said the Army overpaid the heirs of 118 soldiers killed during the siege by about P9.98 million. It said 117 beneficiaries were given P1.085 million each while one beneficiary was given P1.035 million. The allowed assistance per beneficiary is capped at P1 million, based on an AFP directive, the COA said. —PATRICIA DENISE M. CHIU

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TAGS: Commission On Audit, news briefs, Philippine Air Force, President Rodrigo Duterte, Sulu blasts
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