Palace ‘happy’ Maza can now go back to NAPC work


NAPC Chief Liza Maza — PCOO.GOV.PH

NATIONAL ANTI-Poverty Commissioner Liza L. Maza can now come back to work after being cleared of murder charges, Malacañang said on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
“Well of course, that proves that the legal system is working. We’re happy that Secretary Liza Maza can come back to work,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry L. Roque, Jr. said in a press briefing at the Palace.
He added: “Now that she has no outstanding warrant of arrest, I suppose she can go back to work.”
A court in Nueva Ecija last Monday dismissed the case filed against Ms. Maza and two former Makabayan congressmen, Satur C. Ocampo and Teddy A. Casiño, and former Agrarian Reform secretary Rafael V. Mariano.
Citing insufficient evidence, the court also junked the arrest warrant issued against them. — Arjay L. Balinbin

Robredo camp asserts use of ballot images in Marcos electoral protest

VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo has asserted the use of ballot images from 25 precincts to invalidate the electoral protest of losing candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ms. Robredo’s lawyers said they have filed a motion requesting the Presidential Electional Tribunal (PET) “to deny the motion of Marcos to hold in abeyance the use of decrypted ballot images in 25 clustered precincts in Camarines Sur and Iloilo.”
In an interview, one of Ms. Robredo’s legal consultants, lawyer Emil Marañon III, questioned why Mr. Marcos refuses to use the ballot images.
Earlier this year, Mr. Marcos was granted access to the soft copies of the decrypted ballot images by the PET, but he later questioned its “validity” in a Strong Manifestation and Strong Opposition with Motion he filed last month.
Bakit takot na takot siya malaman iyong katotohanan? [Why is he so afraid of finding out the truth?] Because as we all know, the ballot images actually will prove that the result of the election is correct, honest, and accurate,” Mr. Marañon said.
In the counter manifestation, Ms. Robredo cited the Strong Manifestation of Mr. Marcos, which states that “The decrypted ballot images are compromised and should no longer be used,” but he has so far failed to present evidence on this.
“Marcos has not filed any pleading or motion nor has he submitted any evidence to the Honorable Tribunal to substantiate his allegations that the decrypted ballot images have been compromised,” Ms. Robredo’s camp said.
The vice-president’s spokesperson on the case, Romulo B. Macalintal, said in a statement on Tuesday: “Now, as no less than four (4) documents consistently confirm the votes received by the parties and the results of the elections, protestant Marcos has resorted to misleading the Honorable Tribunal.”
“Now that the decrypted ballot images will confirm the victory of protestee Robredo and his defeat, protestant Marcos is now assailing the integrity of his own evidence,” he added. — Gillian M. Cortez

Prince Retail to invest P250M on new outlets in Luzon, Mindanao

CEBU-BASED Prince Retail Holdings Inc., will spend at least P250 million this year to open five more branches in Central Luzon and Mindanao.
Prince Retail Holdings founder and Chief Executive Officer Robert L. Go announced on Monday that the additional Prince Hypermart stores will bring their network to 50 by end-2018. Mr. Go said despite the climbing inflation rate, the retail business in the Philippines remains lucrative.
The company started its entry in Luzon this year with the opening of Prince Hypermart Nueva Ecija and Bulacan. In the next few months, “missionary hypermart outlets” will be opened in other parts of Central Luzon.
“There are also untapped locations in Mindanao,” Mr. Go said, citing the small but progressive towns. Prince Retail has been able to anchor its edge on the sari-sari store owners’ market and its membership program, with over 850,000 members across the country.
Mr. Go said while some giant retail players have expressed intent to partner with Prince Hypermart, the company is currently focused on operating and expanding on its own. — The Freeman