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Ex-TESDA official, wife convicted

The Sandiganbayan has sentenced to maximum ten years imprisonment a former provincial director of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and his wife after finding them guilty of graft.

Testifying before the House Committee on Justice hearing the impeachment case, three Supreme Court colleagues of the embattled Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno gave testimonies that blamed her, albeit indirectly, for the delay in the release of retirement benefits for surviving spouses of Judiciary officials.

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The absence in tomorrow’s impeachment hearing of Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio does not bear any impact on the strength of the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, complainant Lorenzo Gadon said yesterday.

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Supreme Court Associate Justice Noel Tijam encouraged yesterday Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno to face the House impeachment panel, saying her failure to do so “constitute a culpable violation of the Constitution.”

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Six Court of Appeals justices and the vice dean of a law school were nominated by the Judicial and Bar Council yesterday to the lone vacancy next month in the 15-member Supreme Court.

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After several hearings late last year, the Court of Appeals last week handed down a decision that denied the plea of residents in Aroroy, Masbate for an environmental protection order against the operation of a gold mining firm in their town.

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