Court asked to void early-release rules

The Supreme Court — CRECENCIO I. CRUZ

EIGHT convicts at the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City have asked the Supreme Court to void the rules implementing a law on the early-release of inmates for good conduct.

In a petition, the felons questioned the validity of the rules, which disqualify recidivists, escapees, habitual delinquents and convicts of heinous crimes.

They also asked the court to order jail officials to refrain from retroactively applying the exclusions in the law and recompute their time allowances.

The plaintiffs said the exclusion on credit for preventive imprisonment should not be applied retroactively

“The retroactive application of disadvantageous provisions of Republic Act 10592 would work to the prejudice of petitioners and those who are similarly situated,” they said. “The same would preclude the decrease in the penalty attached to their respective crimes and lengthens their prison stay.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

Defense chief seeks financing from Australia

MANILA has sought financing from Australia for six offshore patrol vessels that companies there will build for the Philippine military, Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana told senators yesterday.

“I have just written them a letter that we would like to avail of the financing from the government of Australia and they have not yet replied to me,” he said at a hearing. “Once I get that reply, then I will get exemption from the president,” he said, alluding to President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order to stop loan deals with countries that had supported a United Nations probe of his deadly war on drugs.

Mr. Lorenzana said Australia, one of those that voted to investigate the human rights situation in the Philippines, was willing to finance the military project.

He also said he was reviewing an agreement that would allow a Chinese-linked company to set up telecommunication towers inside military camps.

The president has ordered all agencies to reject loans and grants from the 41 countries that backed a thorough probe of his deadly war on drugs that has killed thousands. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

Court asked to reverse case dismissal

THE FAMILY murder victim Ruby Rose Barrameda has asked a Malabon City trial court to reverse its dismissal of the parricide case against the victim’s husband.

In a 32-page motion for reconsideration filed on Sept. 25, the family said Judge Edwin G. Larida, Jr. had abused his discretion when ruled out probable cause against the husband, Manuel Jimenez III.

The family said the court “gravely abused its authority and jurisdiction to dismiss the case outright.”

“In the present case, this honorable court, with all due respect, disrespected the Department of Justice’s finding of probable cause for parricide against Manuel Jimenez III,” according to a copy of the pleading.

It cited jurisprudence that an indictment should be given weight if there was no error in the finding of probable cause. The family also asked the judge to inhibit from the case.

The Office of the President, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court had upheld the indictment. Ms. Barrameda went missing for two years until her body was found inside a steel drum dumped at the Navotas fish port on June 10, 2009. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

Palace says pork ban to protect people

MALACAÑANG on Monday said it would not interfere with the decision of some local governments to ban the importation of hogs, pork and processed pork products from Luzon areas where there has been an outbreak of African swine fever.

“We have to respect them. They are only trying to protect their constituents,” presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo told a press briefing at the presidential palace.

Earlier this month, the Department of Agriculture confirmed an outbreak of the disease in the Philippines after reports of an unusual number of pig deaths in backyard farms in Rizal province.

The country has also banned pork and pork-based products from more than a dozen countries including Vietnam, Laos and China. — Arjay L. Balinbin