Around the Nation

Article excerpt

Ermita admits delays in review of dismissals

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita yesterday admitted that his office had been taking its time in reviewing recommendations by the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) for the dismissal of 17 presidential appointees, but said the delays in the review process are meant to ensure that due process is given to those recommended for dismissal.

Ermita said the PAGC has transmitted for his approval the recommendations for dismissal of the 17 presidential appointees, and that some of these recommendations have not been decided upon within the prescribed review period of 30 days.

"There are pending cases from PAGC here at the Office of the President, particularly at the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs. I checked on those and our lawyers, led by Deputy Executive Secretary Manuel Gaite, briefed me on the status of these cases," Ermita said.

Ermita admitted that some of these cases had not been decided within the agreed upon review period of 30 days for him to affirm or overturn recommendations of the PAGC, a power granted to his office recently by Executive Order No. 531-A.

Ermita had been criticized by opposition groups for allegedly delaying PAGC's recommendation for the dismissal of National Printing Office (NPO) Director Felipe Evardone on charges of corruption. (David Cagahastian)

Top poll lawyers unite for 'Lecture for a Cause'

For the first time in the field of election law practice, five prominent election lawyers have joined together to conduct a lecture on election laws, rules, and regulations for the benefit of a diocese which is in need of financial assistance for the construction of its formation house for priests and laity.

Election lawyers Romulo B. Macalintal, Sixto S. Brillantes Jr., Pete Q. Quadra, Leila de Lima, and Alberto Agra will hold the lecture on March 28, at 6:30 p.m., at the Century Blossoms Hotel, J. Bocobo corner Padre Faura Sts., Ermita, Manila.

A fee of R5,000 will be charged per participant to cover snacks and lunch, a compact disc containing relevant resolutions of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the 2007 polls, updated materials on the latest practice and jurisprudence in election, discussion on the much vaunted election cheating and how to prevent cheating at the polls, rules in the appreciation of ballots, and discussion on election-related issues based on actual experience of the five top lawyers, with actual demonstration of the ballot box, ballots, election returns, certificates of canvass, certificate of voters, statement of votes by precinct, and other election-related documents. …