Nationwide round-up

Advertisement
Font Size

COA flags Supreme Court’s P48.7M unliquidated fund transfers

By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter

THE COMMISSION on Audit (CoA) has flagged the Supreme Court (SC) over P48.7 million in unliquidated fund transfers to other government agencies.

In its 2017 report, the auditing body said the amount, intended to finance the construction and renovation of courts, remained outstanding for “three to 12 years due to lack of monitoring.”

Of this amount, P35.6 million was allocated for the construction of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) Building III; while the remaining P13.1 million was utilized for the construction or renovation of Halls of Justices in the following municipalities: Argao, Cebu; Sasmuan, Pampanga; Ibajay and New Washington, Aklan.

The CoA found the funding for the CTA Building remained outstanding as the total budget for the project awaits the approval of the SC’s chief justice.

“The construction of the project with an estimated budget of P307 million was still subject to funding approval by the Chief Justice,” the CoA report read.

Moreover, the auditing body reported that the high court resorted to “shopping” instead of going through public bidding in purchasing P7.9 million worth of computer sets and printers.

House committee formally drops impeachment complaints vs SC justices

THE HOUSE of Representatives committee on justice formally dismissed on Tuesday the consolidated impeachment complaints against the seven Supreme Court (SC) justices who voted for the ouster of former chief justice Ma. Lourdes P.A. Sereno.

The committee, with 22 affirmative votes and zero negative, adopted the report which junks the complaints filed by three opposition lawmakers, led by Representative Edcel C. Lagman of the 1st District of Albay.

“There being zero against the motion… with about 22 votes in favor of the motion, the seven impeachment complaints against the chief justice of the Supreme Court as well as the six associate justices of the Supreme Court, the impeachment complaints are hereby dismissed and the committee report is now considered approved,” Panel chair Salvador C. Leachon said during the third deliberation of the complaints.

Mr. Leachon was acting on the motion of panel vice chair Henry S. Oaminal of the 2nd District of Misamis Occidental.

The committee had earlier dismissed the complaints after finding it insufficient in form.

CHALLENGE
Mr. Lagman, in a press briefing, said he and co-complainants Magdalo Rep. Gary C. Alejano and Ifugao Rep. Teddy B. Baguilat, Jr. will challenge the decision.

Citing rules of the House on impeachment proceedings, Mr. Lagman said, “Any resolution to dismiss an impeachment complaint should be… approved by an absolute majority of all members of the committee.”

He explained that for the decision to be valid, the committee should have gathered a total of 35 votes, considering there are a 68 panel members. — Charmaine A. Tadalan

House committee formally drops impeachment complaints vs SC justices

THE HOUSE of Representatives committee on justice formally dismissed on Tuesday the consolidated impeachment complaints against the seven Supreme Court (SC) justices who voted for the ouster of former chief justice Ma. Lourdes P.A. Sereno. The committee, with 22 affirmative votes and zero negative, adopted the report which junks the complaints filed by three opposition lawmakers, led by Representative Edcel C. Lagman of the 1st District of Albay. Mr. Lagman, in a press briefing, said he and co-complainants Magdalo Rep. Gary C. Alejano and Ifugao Rep. Teddy B. Baguilat, Jr. will challenge the decision. — Charmaine A. Tadalan