People are talking about:
1. The Supreme Court’s decision affirming its acquittal of Hubert Webb. [Inquirer, January 19]
This is not really a big surprise, considering the Constitution’s prohibition against double jeopardy, i.e., no accused should be put in jeopardy for punishment of the same offense.
2. The rescheduling of the Philippine bar exams to November 2011. [Malaya, January 20]
This is both a blessing a curse to law graduates – one more month to study but one more month of stress. The exams will be held at UST after years of being held at DLSU.
3. The filing by 5 former Secretaries of Health of a petition before the Supreme Court in support of a Department of Health regulation that required graphic health warnings to be placed on tobacco product packages. [BusinessWorld, January 17]
Esperanza I. Cabral, Francisco T. Duque III (current chairman of the Civil Service Commission), Jaime Z. Galvez-Tan, Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr., and Alfredo R. A. Bengzon are asking the Supreme Court to settle all questions on the validity of AO 2010-0013 in favor of the DoH.
4. Assumption of COMELEC chairmanship by election lawyer Sixto T. Brilliantes. [Inquirer, January 17, 18]
However, some members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) are concerned about the possible conflict of interest between the Chairman’s’ job and cases handled by his law firm.
5. Quezon’s threat to auction the Pagbilao power plant for unpaid real property taxes. [BusinessWorld, January 19]
The local government of Quezon is trying to collect real property taxes from the plant owner, who points to National Power Corporation as the entity responsible for the payment of the tax. It appears that a compromise initiated by the President will avert the auction.
(Note: Photo of UST fountain from Wikimedia Commons.)