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/ 05:12 AM August 23, 2019

Graft, usurpation charges vs Noynoy dropped

The Sandiganbayan fourth division has granted Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ motion to withdraw the graft and usurpation of authority cases filed by his predecessor against former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III. The resolution by the court released on Thursday said the records of the case “are bereft of any evidence that would merit further proceedings” against the accused. The court also ordered the release of Aquino’s bail bond of P40,000 and the lifting of a hold-departure order against him. The case stems from findings of probable cause by then Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales’ over the 2015 Mamasapano operation that led to the killing of 44 members of the Special Action Force by Moro rebels. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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Albayalde cites agreement with UP on access to campus

Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde on Thursday cited a 1989 agreement between the defense department and the University of the Philippines (UP) on access to its campus. “There is a need to review (the agreement with UP) because that is state-owned, state-run. What the students there are using are taxpayer money. It doesn’t mean that when you’re enrolled in that school, you’ve bought it or you own it,” Albayalde said in a radio interview.  “(But) we do not take any action (inside schools) unless, of course, we have coordination especially with private colleges and universities.” —Jeannette I. Andrade

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Bato outraged by own remarks thrown back at him

Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Thursday lashed out at a student leader for bringing up his statements on rape-slay convict Antonio Sanchez at a Senate hearing on the proposed revival of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Raoul Manuel, deputy secretary general of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, argued that if law enforcement and rights awareness would be difficult to uphold, it would be because “we have a senator who says that it’s OK to free and give a second chance to a rapist mayor while it is easy to subject the poor to ‘tokhang.’” “That’s far from the topic. That’s an affront,” Dela Rosa said in response. “I take offense [at] what you said, that ROTC is a misrepresentation of nationalism. What do you think of us? You judge us just like that?” he added. “You’re bringing up an irrelevant issue to become personal with me.” —Leila B. Salaverria

Turn in high-powered guns, security agencies told

The Philippine National Police (PNP) warned private security agencies on Thursday to surrender their high-powered firearms or face the revocation of their license to operate. PNP Civil Security Group director Brig. Gen. Roberto Fajardo issued the warning following Monday’s raid at a power plant in Misamis Oriental where communist rebels took five AK-47 rifles and several ammunition from security guards posted there. —Jeannette I. Andrade

Ex-mayor beats malversation charge

The Sandiganbayan fourth division has dismissed a malversation case against Wilson “Kitty” Nandang due to inordinate delay. Nandang’s case stems from his allegedly receiving his salary despite being under preventive suspension. On the other hand, the court ruled the case dismissed, since it took the Office of the Ombudsman more than five years from preliminary investigation to the filing of the case information. “There were only two respondents before the Ombudsman, and the charge is only for a single count of malversation. In other words, the case did not involve a complex or novel issue that would have justified the number of years it took the Ombudsman to resolve,” the court said. —Patricia Denise M. Chiu

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TAGS: 2015 Mamasapano operation, Bato dela Rosa, Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Ombudsman Samuel Martire, Oscar Albayalde, Reserve Officers Training Corps, UP
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