Tag Archives: Supreme Court Justice Reynato Puno

Militant group to avail CJ Puno’s “writ of nature”

By Kaka Esteban and Mama Mila Liguasan

Manila, Philippines-The left-leaning fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said it will avail the writ of “kalikasan” (nature) which will be promulgated by the Supreme Court before Chief Justice Reynato Puno retires on May 17.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the writ of kalikasan which is authored by the Chief Justice will be tested on various environmental cases which his group will file against the Macapagal-Arroyo government and its private clients pertaining to anti-people and anti-environment development projects in Manila Bay, Laguna Lake, offshore mining projects in Palawan, Cebu-Bohol Strait and Lingayen Gulf and offshore reclamation in Panglao, island province of Bohol.

Pamalakaya is confronting the issue of anti-fisherfolk and anti-environment state projects in Manila Bay particularly the reclamation of not less than 12,000 hectares of coastal areas along Bacoor Bay, which the government intends to develop as R-1 Expressway Extension Project and the rehabilitation and expansion of Sangley Point as an international shipping port in Southern Tagalog region.

The militant group is also opposed to various eco-tourism projects in Laguna Lake, including the grand plan of Manila Water and Maynilad to source potable water from the 90,000 hectare lake. Pamalakaya is also against the reclamation of not less than 10,000 hectares of lake shores in Laguna Lake.

Pamalakaya will also bring to court the controversial 465 hectare offshore reclamation in Panglao island in Bohol, and the oil and gas explorations in Palawan, Cebu, Bohol and Lingayen Gulf provinces– Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.

“We will explore this writ of nature to defend our rights to livelihood and sound environment. But the main fight for social justice will be decided in the battlefield as provided by the parliament of the street and the court of public opinion,” the Pamalakaya leader added.

Hicap appealed to Puno to rush the finalization of the writ of nature, saying fishers group like Pamalakaya and other environmental advocacy groups have been waiting for said writ since 2008, when the idea was first brought during the high tribunal’s consultations with grassroots organizations and advocacy groups.

“However, we welcome this development. We hope the writ of nature will not become a toothless tiger and will be of big use to people defending their livelihood and rights to healthy ecology,” added Pamalakaya.

Puno announced on Saturday that he wants the high court to finalize rules that will institute the writ of ‘kalikasan’ (nature) before he retires in May, saying that this new legal remedy would lead to a better implementation of the country’s environmental laws.

The Chief Justice announced the SC committee on the revision of the Rules of Court, which he chairs, is set to promulgate the rule governing the issuance of the writ of ‘kalikasan’—an order that a court can issue to protect a person’s right to a healthy environment—in one or two months.

Puno described the writ of ‘kalikasan’ as a “most effective” means to ensure that the Filipinos’ constitutional right to “balance and healthful ecology” is realized.

The soon to retire Chief Justice said the new writ aims to encourage more citizens to file suits involving violations of the country’s environmental laws, and to solve the problem of delays on the disposition of pending environmental cases, which have now reached 3,000.

In January 2008, the high tribunal approved the creation of 117 environmental courts—also called the “green courts” to expedite the resolution of all pending environmental cases. The writ of ‘kalikasan’ can solve the overclogging of these courts.

Police conducting checkpoints in broad daylight as encountered by the recent Lakbayan

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Expulsion of GMA ally in JBC sought

By Kaka Esteban

Manila, Philippines- Leftwing activists identified with the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya)on Thursday urged members of the influential Judicial and Bar Council (JBC)to expel Quezon City Rep. Matias Defensor for “terrorizing” the body by pushing it to submit a next list of nominees for the next Chief Justice to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In a press statement, Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap asked the 7 other members of JBC that instead of toeing Malacanang line of removing the current SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno, they should come out with a solid position rejecting Defensor’s proposal and immediately pass a collective position calling for the expulsion of an Arroyo lapdog in JBC.

“The JBC people should rise above the occasion and frustrate Palace plot to control the Supreme Court by putting a Supreme Court Justice who is a puppet of Malacanang, who will agree with the agenda of Malacanang to place the entire country under Martial Law and who will subscribe to the idea of failure of elections in 2010,”added Hicap.

The Pamalakaya official rebuked “Defensor’s defense” that Malacanang has nothing to do with his proposal for JBC to take up the replacement of SC Chief Justice Reynato Puno, asserting that the lawmaker from Quezon City is a topnotch puppet of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Defensor denied that the move was initiated by Malacanang, adding that he was on his own when made the appeal to JBC to nominate three names from which the President could choose the next Chief Justice.

“Defensor’s stints in JBC these days were authored and orchestrated by the ruling Arroyo clique in Malacanang. The inglorious lawmaker and political bastard will not act on his own, that’s totally outrageous,” added Hicap.

Pamalakaya theorized that Malacanang is planning something big and something sinister and one way of effectively ensuring these plans is to forced the early resignation of Puno and the latter’s replacement of a new Chief Justice that could dance and sing well with President Arroyo and the militarist operators in Malacanang.

Chief Justice Puno will retire in May 17, which is covered by the election period where appointment of government officials is banned, thus Arroyo can no longer appoint his replacement.

Article VII Sec. 15 of the Constitution bars the President from making appointments two months before the next presidential elections and up to the end of his or her term. But Rep. Defensor warned against a vacuum in the position even for one day.

Defensor argued that an acting Chief Justice, picked by the justices themselves, “may not command as much respect” as the one formally appointed by the President.#

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SC chief Justice Puno urged to lead proposed national inquiry on Ondoy and Pepeng

SC chief Justice Puno urged to lead proposed national inquiry on Ondoy and Pepeng

By Billy Javier Reyes and Maria Stella Recuerdo del Carriedo

Manila, Philippines-Leftwing activists identified with the fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Sunday said a independent investigating body should be formed to find out the roots of the humanitarian crisis and all-out disaster caused by tropical storm Ondoy and typhoon Pepeng.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap said the probe body, which his group proposed should be headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Reynato Puno, and shall be composed of representatives from the Philippine Senate, the House of Representatives, environmental groups and experts, people’s organizations, the church community represented by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)and the protestant National Council of Churches in the Philippines.

“The proposed national indepent inquiry should be deputized by the Senate and the House of Representatives in aid of legislation,” the Pamalakaya leader said. According to Hicap, the results of the national inquiry shall be presented to the Filipino public.

Hicap said the inquiry can focus on the impact of large-scale mining and logging operations and other mega infrastructure activities in Bicol Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Cagayan Valley and other parts of Northern Luzon, the operations of major dams and lakes in Luzon island like the San Roque Dam, Angat Dam, Pantabangan Dam, Caliraya Dam, Laguna Lake, as well as Manila Bay to mention a few.

“This national inquiry is necessary move. Malacanang should not prevent or spoil it and let it happen in accordance with national interest and collective will of the Filipino people,” said Hicap.

Pamalakaya criticized moves of Malacanang and the Department of National Defense(DND)requesting the US embassy in Manila to re-deploy US troops in calamity stricken areas in Northern Luzon due to typhoon Pepeng.

Aside from US troops re-deployment Malacanang and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro had also asked the US embassy to deploy its amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry to help rescue residents isolated by the heavy flooding in Pangasinan province.

“President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Secretary Teodoro are white elephants and hopeless puppets of the United States. They are hopeless cases. Instead of agitating the Filipino people and relying on their collective strength and political determination, Mrs. Arroyo and her presidential wannabe played their true-to-life puppet card to the hilt. This is a preview of what kind of presidency we have under Teodoro’s command in case he is elected as president,” the group said.

Pamalakaya said the gestures displayed by Mrs. Arroyo and Sec. Teodoro in seeking US help were overwhelmingly irrational and grossly insulting to the collective intelligence and political determination of the Filipino people.

“Instead of rallying the Filipinos to rise above the occasion and ask for their tested collective action, Mrs. Arroyo and Secretary Teodoro begged the US government for help and made our Filipinos appeared like hopeless people and or a nation of people under an across-the-country state of paranoia,” the group said.

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