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Duterte appoints Thomasian alumnus as new CJ

One of the most controversial and highly contested decisions in the Supreme Court he penned was allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2016. 

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Photo courtesy of PhilStar

Former Thomasian law professor and alumnus Diosdado Peralta was appointed as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (SC) by President Rodrigo Duterte, Wednesday, October 23. 

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed the appointment of the 26th top magistrate and expressed confidence in his leadership and integrity. 

“We are certain that with (Peralta) at the helm of the SC, the Judiciary will continue to be well-managed as it thrives to uphold the principles of judicial excellence, integrity and independence,” the Malacañang statement read. 

A Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointee on the Supreme Court as Justice back in 2009, Peralta will serve as the Chief of the High Court until he reaches the mandatory retirement age of 70 on March 27, 2022. 

He has served the SC for 10 years and the most senior among the other aspirants, namely, Associate Justices Estela Perlas Bernabe and Andres Reyes Jr. 

Peralta obtained his law degree at the University in 1979, later joining the Bar the following year. He also taught  criminal and remedial law the University’s Faculty of Civil Law. 

Major decisions penned

One of the most controversial and highly contested decisions in the SC he penned was allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani in 2016. 

In Macapagal-Arroyo’s plunder case, however, he voted to acquit the former president of plunder in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) funds issue. 

He also wrote the decision to allow the plea bargaining agreement in small-time drug cases and voted in favor of the constitutionality of the K-12 curriculum. 

Furthermore, he favored the constitutionality of Martial Law and its extensions in Mindanao. He also voted for the ouster of Maria Lourdes Sereno. 

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‘Duterte regime falls deaf to people’s cries’ –CSC, LSCs

Central Student Council (CSC), along with the Local Student Councils (LSC), denounced President Duterte’s lack of COVID-19 response roadmap in his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address yesterday, July 27. 

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Carmina Beatriz Dizon/TomasinoWeb

Central Student Council (CSC), along with the Local Student Councils (LSC), denounced President Duterte’s lack of COVID-19 response roadmap in his fifth and penultimate State of the Nation Address yesterday, July 27. 

“As we reflect upon the state of our nation, so stands our responsibility to address incompetence, the lack of national response from the administration in implementing the need for mass testing and systematic protocols in containing the virus, and its blatant value for militarization over medical solutions,” CSC’s said in a unity statement released yesterday. 

The councils demanded accountability from public officials such as Senator Kiko Pimentel, NCRPO chief Debold Sinas, and Malacañang spokesperson Harry Roque. 

They also called on lawmakers who created “rushed laws that impede fundamental humans rights and freedom of speech.”

‘This is not how democracy works’ 

As Thomasians, the council expressed that they “could no longer sit idly” and watch the government compromise and abuse the country’s freedom. 

“As President Duterte falls deaf towards the cries of his people, his self-serving and personal interests prevail,” CSC said. 

According to them, this is not how democracy works. 

“[I]t is our utmost responsibility that we use our voice to speak for the silenced and oppressed,” the council said. 

“[W]e will embody the resistance and furbish our strength until it extends to the majority of our fellow Filipinos, the true cradle of our sovereignty,” the council added. Paolo Alejandrino 

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Youth groups, student leaders file 14th plea vs anti-terror law

The University’s Central Student Council (CSC), along with different youth groups and student leaders, filed a petition that questions the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) before the Supreme Court yesterday, July 23. 

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The University’s Central Student Council (CSC), along with different youth groups and student leaders, filed a petition that questions the unconstitutionality of the Anti-Terror Law (ATL) before the Supreme Court yesterday, July 23. 

“Members of these organizations continue to experience red-tagging, harassment, and intimidation from security forces for actively engaging in protests and different forms of advocacy work and for speaking out on the current administration’s policies,” their statement read.

The petition was filed by Atty. Dino de Leon on behalf of 16 youth organizations “to protect their members and their fellow youth from the dangerous provisions of the Act.” 

CSC, which was represented by Arts and Letters student Therese Ifurung, was joined by De La Salle University Student Government, Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila, University of the Philippines – Diliman University Student Council, National Union of Students of the Philippines, Student Council Alliance of the Philippines.

Other youth-led and youth-serving organization co-petitioners were Kabataang Tagapagtanggol ng Karapatan, Youth for Human Rights and Democracy, Youth Act Now Against Tyranny, Millennials PH, Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan, Good Gov PH, Youth Strike 4 Climate Change Philippines, Liberal Youth of the Philippines, Aksyon Kabataan, La Salle Debate Society.

Earlier petitions were filed by a coalition of university law professors, human rights groups, labor unions, partylist blocs, constitutional framers Christian Monsod and Felicitas Arroyo, and retired justices Antonio Carpio and Conchita Carpio-Morales. 

Another petition is expected to be filed yesterday from the Bangsamoro sector, which is set to bring the total number of petitions to 15.

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Take part in SONA protest, student council presidents urge

University of Santo Tomas student leaders, along with different national organizations, urged the youth to participate in the nationwide protest for the incoming fifth State of the Nation Address of President Duterte on July 27.

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Screengrab from SONAgKAISAng Kabataan sa Paglaban press conference

University of Santo Tomas student leaders, along with different national organizations, urged the youth to participate in the nationwide protest for the incoming fifth State of the Nation Address of President Duterte on July 27. 

“It is imperative that we take a stand on the different social issues that our country is currently facing,” Artlets Student Council acting president Paolo Jericho Manuel said during a webinar today, June 20.

Manuel said that democracy, development, and justice are compromised right now due to the government’s incompetence and misplaced priorities, citing the 11,000 ABS-CBN workers who lost their jobs and the signing of the “vague” Anti-Terrorism Act into law. 

Manuel stressed that there is an urgent need for government action in addressing the problem with the accessibility of education.

Department of Education records showed that six million students from last year failed to enroll for the incoming academic year 2020-2021. 

‘Evil move’ 

Central Student Council president Robert Dominic Gonzales called on the youth to stay vigilant in this time of injustices. 

Gonzales said that the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Law is an “evil move” by the government to silence its critics. 

“We will still be haunted by the horrors that this administration has caused,” he said. 

Gonzales also lauded the sacrifice of the frontliners during the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged the public to protect and support them. 

The webinar, “SONAgKAISAng Kabataan sa Paglaban,” was organized by the Youth Act Now Against Tyranny (YANAT). Raheema Velasco 

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