2016 in Philippine law and politics

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The following are the events in related to Philippine law in 2016. This includes developments in criminal investigations of national notability.

Events[edit]

Ferdinand Marcos wealth[edit]

  • January 4 – The Sandiganbayan Special Second Division has finally ordered Alfonso Lim Sr., a crony of the late president Ferdinand Marcos to return to the government all properties he acquired.[1]
  • April 20 – The Sandiganbayan Special Fourth Division has acquitted former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chairman Camilo Sabio from graft and malversation of public funds cases, which stemmed from his alleged misuse of almost P12 million worth of recovered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses.[2]
  • June 14 – The two Cessna aircraft sequestered from the late Alfonso Lim, an alleged crony of the Marcos family, is sold by the Sandiganbayan at a measly amount of P140,000.[3]

Jejomar Binay alleged corruption probe[edit]

  • January 26 – The Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee concludes its hearings on the corruption allegations against Vice President and UNA presidential candidate Jejomar Binay.[4]
  • February 19 – The Office of the Ombudsman files graft and documents falsification charges before the Sandiganbayan against former Makati City mayor Junjun Binay and 22 others over the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Parking Building II.[5]
  • July 14 – The Office of the Ombudsman files graft, falsification and violation of the government procurement law charges against former Vice President Jejomar Binay in connection with the overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II project.[6]

Priority Development Assistance Fund scam[edit]

  • January 7 – The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has denied the bail petition of Senator Jinggoy Estrada in connection with his alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.[7]
  • March 3 – The Office of the Ombudsman files charges against five former Representatives including former Muntinlupa congressman Ruffy Biazon, in connection with the PDAF scam.[8]
  • March 15 – Former Bukidnon Rep. Candido Pancrudo Jr. and five other individuals were charged with graft and malversation over their alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.[9]
  • April 6 – A group calling itself iBalik ang Bilyones ng Mamamayan (iBBM) filed a complaint for plunder against Senator Bongbong Marcos for his alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.[10]
  • April 12 – The Office of the Ombudsman has formally filed graft and malversation charges against former Oriental Mindoro Representative Rodolfo Valencia and 16 other individuals over their alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.[11]
  • April 13 – The Sandidganbayan Fifth Division grants the petitions for bail of former APEC party-list Representative Edgar Valdez, former Masbate Representative Rizalina Lanete and Janet Lim Napoles who were facing plunder charges in connection with the PDAF scam.[12]
  • April 14 – Former Davao del Sur Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas IV and former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Zenaida Ducut, along with 23 other individuals, are charged with graft and malversation of public funds in connection with their alleged involvement in the PDAF scam.[13]
  • May 2 – The Office of the Ombudsman has formally filed criminal charges against former South Cotabato representative Arthur Pingoy Jr., former Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Zenaida Ducut and several other former government officials in connection with their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.[14]
  • July 12 – The Supreme Court upheld its decision granting a bail plea of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.[15]
  • July 13
    • The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of charges for graft and malversation against former Nueva Ecija fourth district Rep. Rodolfo Antonino for his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.[16]
    • Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of graft, malversation, and direct bribery charges against detained Davao del Sur governor Douglas Cagas Sr., for his involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.[17]

Mamasapano clash[edit]

  • February 5 – The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) files the usurpation case against former PNP Chief Alan Purisima due to usurping his role in his involvement in the Mamasapano clash.[18]
  • April 5 – The Office of the Ombudsman finds probable cause to file charges against former PNP chief Alan Purisima and former SAF director Getulio Napeñas for the Mamasapano operation that saw 44 SAF troopers killed, the biggest loss of the police in recent history.[19]

2015 Iglesia ni Cristo leadership controversy[edit]

  • January 20 – Former Iglesia ni Cristo evangelical worker Lowell Menorca II is arrested by Manila Police District policemen in civil clothes without any warrant of arrest showed due to libel charges filed by SCAN International Lanao del Norte chapter while he trying to attend a hearing in Court of Appeals.[20] The INC categorily denied the involvement in commotion between the policemen and Menorca.[21]
  • April 26 – The Court of Appeals has dismissed the writ of amparo petition for the protection of former Iglesia ni Cristo minister Lowell Menorca II and his family.[22]
  • June 17 – The Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branch 12, has ordered the two siblings of Iglesia ni Cristo executive minister Eduardo V. Manalo, expelled members Angel and Lottie, to vacant from a property of the religious sect in No. 36 Tandang Sora Street, Quezon City.[23]
  • July 19 – The Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 96 recovered five of the 16 vehicles registered under the name of Iglesia ni Cristo inside of its property at no. 36 Tandang Sora Avenue, Quezon City.[24]

2016 Philippine election[edit]

  • February 3 – The COMELEC 1st Division denied all the disqualification cases against PDP–Laban presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.[25]
  • March 8 – Voted 9-6, the Supreme Court has affirms Grace Poe's natural-born status and declares she is qualified to run based on her 10-year residency.[26]
  • March 29 – The Commission on Elections has decided not to stop the broadcast of senatorial candidate Manny Pacquiao's boxing match on April 9.[27]
  • April 7 – Neil Llamanzares, the husband of presidential candidate and senator Grace Poe, formally renounces his American citizenship before a barangay chairman in San Juan City.[28] Neil Llamanzares' American citizenship has been a subject of controversy among Grace Poe's critics.
  • April 9 – The Supreme Court declares that their vote on Grace Poe's natural-born status and 10-year residency is final and executory and she is eligible to become president.[29]
  • April 17 – Presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte causes controversy when a video of him making a joke about the rape of a murdered Australian missionary goes viral.[30]
  • April 27 – Voted 4-3, the COMELEC en banc has officially cancelled the voting on the selected malls scheduled on May 9.[31]
  • May 2 – Vice presidential candidate and senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Atty. Sal Panelo, lawyer of presidential frontrunner and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, visits the Bank of the Philippine Islands branch along Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig, in a bid to settle the lawmaker's allegations of hidden wealth against the mayor.[32]
  • May 5 – A negative advertisement, paid by Antonio Trillanes IV, targeted presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte using children was aired, causing dismay among netizens.[33] A 72-hour TRO was issued by Regional Trial Court in Taguig City to stop any TV stations from airing the negative advertisement.[34]
  • May 31 – The Supreme Court dismisses the appeal of former MMDA Chairman and senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino to stop the proclamation of Win Gatchalian, Ralph Recto and Leila de Lima, the top 10, 11 and 12 senators in the Philippine Senate election, 2016 respectively.[35]
  • June 7 – The Supreme Court dismisses the petition filed by Atty. Elly Pamatong, a presidential candidate classified as nuisance that seeks to null and void the votes of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and to stop his proclamation by the National Board of Canvassers.[36]
  • June 14 – The Supreme Court dismisses a petition that sought to stop the lease of 70,977 optical mark reader (OMR) machines for P6.286 billion that were used in the May 2016 elections.[37]
  • June 16 – The COMELEC en banc grants the Liberal Party's request and several similar petitions that they be allowed to file their Statement of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) beyond the June 8 deadline long before the May 9 elections.[38]
  • June 21 – The Commission on Elections en banc accepts the resignation of senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim as head of the Campaign Finance Office (CFO), following the extension of the filing of their statements of contributions and expenditures.[39]
  • June 28 – The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by retired Army Col. Justino Padiernos and Atty. Manuelito Luna, questioning the Commission on Elections' decision to extend the filing of the statements of contributions and expenditures of candidates and political parties in the 2016 election.[40]

Others[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

  • March 5 – The Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian and 6 others over the deadly blaze that hit footwear factory Kentex Manufacturing Corporation, killing at least 72 people in May last year.[45] On March 15, The Ombudsman also ordered the filing of graft charges against Gatchalian and seven other individuals in connection with this case.[46]
  • March 15
    • The Supreme Court dismisses several petitions by several party-list groups to issue a TRO to stop the implementation of the K+12 education program of the Department of Education.[47]
    • The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee has begun its inquiry into the alleged money laundering of $100 million that has dragged into this one of the country's leading financial institutions.[48]
  • March 16
    • BIR employee Rhodora Alvarez, who blew the whistle on the alleged anomalous deal, filed a plunder complaint against Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin over a P1.2 billion helicopter deal in 2013.[49]
    • Disqualified Laguna Governor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito and eight other individuals were charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan over an alleged anomalous insurance deal entered in 2008.[50]
  • March 18 – Former Camarines Norte Governor Roy Padilla Jr., is arrested over his failure to return a firearm issued to him in 1992.[51]
  • March 22
  • March 28 – Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) general manager Neric Acosta has been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years of imprisonment after being found guilty of one count of graft by the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division in connection with the misuse of his pork barrel funds as district representative of Bukidnon.[54]
  • March 30 – The Office of the Ombudsman filed graft and technical malversation cases against Sen. JV Ejercito, before the Sandiganbayan over the alleged anomalous purchase of high-powered firearms worth P2.1 million during his term as mayor of San Juan City.[55]
  • March 31
    • The camp of businessman Kim Wong handed over to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the $4.6 million he volunteered to return to the Bangladesh government, supposedly after learning that the money was part of the $81-million money laundering scheme.[56] On April 4, Wong turned over an additional P38.28 million to the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) office.[57] On April 19, Eastern Hawaii Leisure Co. Ltd., the company of casino junket operator Kim Wong has turned over P200 million to the AMLC.[58]
    • Addong Salahuddin, suspect in the bombing incident at the Zamboanga City Airport on August 5, 2010, where two people were killed and 28 others injured, including former Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan has surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation.[59]
    • For failure to exhaust all available administrative remedies, the Court of Appeals has dismissed the Philippine Heart Center's (PHC) bid for exemption from payment of real property tax.[60]

April[edit]

  • April 4 – The Olongapo Regional Trial Court Branch 74 denies the petition of US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton to reverse his conviction for his homicide case of Filipino transgender Jennifer Laude.[61]
  • April 5 – The Ombudsman orders the filing of graft charges against re-electionist Cebu 3rd District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia and 11 other former officials over the alleged anomalous construction of the P833-million Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) in 2006.[62]
  • April 19 – Lester Ivan Rivera, a former bank security guard was found guilty of three counts of rape with homicide with theft and sentenced to three life imprisonment terms in connection with the 2011 rape-slay case of University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) student Given Grace Cebanico.[63]

May[edit]

  • May 6
    • Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of graft charges against dismissed Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima and 11 other police officers for their alleged involvement in the anomalous courier services contract with Werfast Documentation Agency Incorporated in 2011.[64]
    • Mario Reyes, former mayor of Coron, Palawan and one of two brothers accused of masterminding the 2011 murder of journalist and good governance advocate Gerry Ortega is granted bail by the court trying the case.[65]
  • May 11 – The Sandiganbayan absolves former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos' graft charges over the botched $329-million ZTE-National Broadband Network (NBN) deal in 2007.[66]
  • May 30 – The Congress proclaims Rodrigo Duterte and Leni Robredo as President-elect and Vice President-elect of the Philippines, respectively, based on the canvassing of votes by the National Board of Canvassers for President and Vice President from May 25 to 27.[67]

June[edit]

  • June 1
    • The Office of the Ombudsman orders the filing of criminal charges against former Valenzuela representative and senator-elect Sherwin Gatchalian, former Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) chairman of the board Prospero Pichay Jr. and 24 other former government officials and private individuals for alleged anomalous acquisition of a thrift bank by in 2009.[68]
    • The Sandiganbayan Third Division dismisses the perjury and violation of the code of conduct cases against the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.[69]
    • The Antipolo Regional Trial Court dismisses the double-murder case against ex-Colonel Red Kapunan, in connection with the deaths of former Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) leader, Rolando Olalia and his driver, Leonor Alay-ay on November 13, 1986.[70][71]
  • June 8 – The Office of the Ombudsman upholds the decision of the Manila Prosecutor’s Office dismissing treason and inciting to sedition complaint filed last year against outgoing Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Deles, peace negotiators Miriam Coronel-Ferrer and Mohagher Iqbal and members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).[72]
  • June 16
    • The Sandiganbayan First Division acquits former Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman William Ramirez of graft in connection with the alleged anomalous procurement of cycling equipment in 2007.[73]
    • Malacañang temporarily stops the Department of Justice (DOJ) from filing criminal charges against newly elected 1-Pacman party-list Representative Mikee Romero, who was alleged to have committed qualified theft against Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI).[74]
  • June 23 – The Department of Justice dismisses criminal complaints filed by American missionary Lane Michael White, against airport employees, including four aviation police officers, in connection with the alleged bullet planting scheme at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.[75]
  • June 28 – The Supreme Court has dismissed a petition filed by Greco Belgica and former Tarlac Governor Tingting Cojuangco that seeking the prosecution of all the authors, proponents and implementors of both the pork barrel system and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).[76]
  • June 30Rodrigo Duterte is inaugurated as the 16th President of the Philippines with Leni Robredo being inaugurated as the 14th Vice President of the Philippines, marking the beginning of the Rodrigo Duterte administration.[77]

July[edit]

National legislation[edit]

  • January 14 – President Aquino vetoes House Bill No. 5842, which intends to increase the pension of the members of Social Security System.[97]
  • January 19 – President Aquino approves Republic Act No. 10742 or the SK Reforms Act of 2016 that will enable reforms in strengthening the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) political system.[98]
  • January 27 – The Bangsamoro Basic Law supposed to be passed on its final reading in the House of Representatives before January.[99] But due to no proper quorum in the Congress, the bill had no chances to pass in the House of Representatives in the 16th Congress.[100] Aside from the BBL, Aquino administration's priority bills, the Anti-Dynasty, Anti-Discrimination and the Freedom of Information bills, "killed" in the 16th congress as the Session will temporarily adjourned in preparation for the 2016 elections.[101]
  • January 31 – In the latest report by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Philippines places second in the list of most dangerous places for journalists.[102]
  • February 19 – President Aquino signs Executive Order 201 (under the proposed Salary Standardization Law of 2015) that increases the salaries of government agency workers and adding additional benefits to civilian and military uniformed personnel.[103]
  • March 29 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10754 into law a bill authored by Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez granting persons with disabilities (PWDs) exemption from the 12-percent value-added tax (VAT) on certain goods and services.[104]
  • May 18 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10821 or the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act which seeks to provide children with comprehensive relief and protection in the aftermath of disasters.[105]
  • May 23 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10844 into law, which creates the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).[106]
  • May 31 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act which amends some previsions of the Tariff and Customs Code of 1978 and to modernize the operations of the Bureau of Customs.[107]
  • June 16 – President Aquino vetoes House Bill No. 6411 and Senate Bill No. 2720 that seeks to improve the nursing profession, including raising the minimum monthly salary of nurses to almost P25,000.[108]
  • June 27 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10868 into law a measure that will grant a P100,000 cash incentive and additional benefits and privileges to Filipino centenarians.[109]
  • June 28 – President Aquino signs Republic Act No. 10867 into law, that mandating the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)’s reorganization and modernization, 69 years after the creation of its first charter.[110]
  • July 4 – President Rodrigo Duterte signs his first executive order, entitled Reengineering the Office of the President Towards Greater Responsiveness to the Attainment of Development Goals, allowing his Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco, Jr. to oversee 12 national government agencies in coming up with a set of programs to reduce both the incidence and magnitude of poverty.[111]
  • July 20 – New Anti Carnapping Law of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 10883) that increasing the penalty for carjacking and makes it a non-bailable offense is lapsed into law.[112]
  • July 23 – President Duterte signs his second executive order for the implementation of the Freedom of Information (FOI) in the Executive branch.[113][114][115][116][117]

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