Department of Justice - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Department of Justice


Supreme Court hands off in DOJ's stricter drug plea bargain rules

Jul 13, 2020 - 2:15 PM

Dissenting Justice Benjamin Caguioa says the Supreme Court's efforts to declog court dockets of small-time drug cases will be put to waste

Phishing is top PH cybercrime during pandemic – authorities

Jul 12, 2020 - 6:42 PM

Online selling scams and the proliferation of misinformation that cause panic among the public are the other cybercrimes often committed as Filipinos grapple with the COVID-19 outbreak, says the National Bureau of Investigation NBI-Cyber Crimes Division

'For law and order in troubled times:' Guevarra declines 'last' chance for SC

Jul 05, 2020 - 6:18 PM

'This opportunity comes at a time when my services as Secretary of the Department of Justice are most needed'

SECRETARY OF JUSTICE. DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra defends his department's 2020 budget during at a budget hearing in September 2019. Photo by Darren Langit/Rappler

Ex-Wirecard COO was not in PH in June; immigration data faked

Jul 04, 2020 - 6:33 PM

(UPDATED) The immigration officers who encoded Jan Marsalek's supposed flight records have been fired

WIRECARD. Picture taken on September 18, 2018 shows the company logo at the headquarters of the technology and financial services company Wirecard in Aschheim near Munich, southern Germany. Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP

Novartis pays over $700 million to settle U.S. kickbacks case

Jul 02, 2020 - 4:50 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Novartis is accused of having hosted tens of thousands of speaker programs and events which the United States Department of Justice says were used to bribe physicians

NOVARTIS. The Novartis facility in Stein, Switzerland, on February 18, 2020. Photo from Shutterstock

'Do not be fooled:' Groups say panel probing drug war deaths 'damage control'

Jul 01, 2020 - 1:31 PM

(UPDATED) International group Human Rights Watch calls the panel 'nothing more than a ruse to shield the country from international scrutiny'

MEDIA OFF. Police seal off a crime scene following a TokHang operation in Manila on November 7, 2016, that led to the death of the suspect. Rappler file photo

To avoid ICC, Duterte admin forms panel to probe deaths in police operations

Jun 30, 2020 - 6:45 PM

(UPDATED) Justice Secretary Guevarra however tells the UN Human Rights Council the panel will engage the Commission on Human Rights as an independent monitoring body

UN COUNCIL. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra delivers a message at the 44th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on June 30, 2020. Screenshot from UN HRC

DOJ main office to reopen on June 29 after virus lockdown

Jun 28, 2020 - 8:10 PM

The 11-day lockdown, enforced after 5 employees and an outsourced security guard tested positive for the coronavirus, will be lifted as disinfection has been completed

The Department of Justice building in Padre Faura, Manila

Returning OFWs priority as gov't studies reentry of foreign workers

Jun 24, 2020 - 3:17 PM

The IATF may have a decision next week if they will allow the reentry of foreign workers who hold permanent and long-term visas

AIRPORTS. Domestic passengers checks in at the NAIA Terminal 3 on June 5, 2020. Domestic flights will resume as Metro Manila transitions to a more relaxed general community quarantine. Photo by Czar Dancel/Rappler

Sharon Cuneta plans to sue man who threatened to rape daughter Kakie

Jun 21, 2020 - 10:57 AM

Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says Sharon Cuneta sought his help in dealing with the man who threatened to rape her daughter Kakie Pangilinan

ON OFFENSIVE. Sharon Cuneta. Photo by Rob Reyes/Rappler

DOJ on lockdown after 5 confirmed to be coronavirus positive

Jun 17, 2020 - 7:04 PM

72 personnel test positive in rapid tests, but only 5 are validated in confirmatory tests

LOCKDOWN. The DOJ is on lockdown until June 29 after 5 are confirmed positive for coronavirus. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

2 months since, DOJ yet to start hearings on Pimentel quarantine breach

Jun 16, 2020 - 9:48 PM

The justice department instead puts the pressure on complainant Rico Quicho to submit hard copies of his evidence

QUARANTINE BREACH. Senator Koko Pimentel is sued for violating the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases Act for breaching quarantine rules. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Consider the Constitution': Groups urge DOJ to recommend veto of anti-terror bill

Jun 16, 2020 - 8:24 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will submit the review to Malacañang on Wednesday, June 17. He will not make it public unless Malacañang releases it from their end.

68 DOJ employees test positive in coronavirus rapid test

Jun 14, 2020 - 2:24 PM

With a shortage on swab tests for mass testing, the national government and local governments have been relying on rapid antibody tests

INFECTIONS. The Department of Justice building in Padre Faura, Manila. File photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

On eve of Independence Day protests, DOJ says rallies 'temporarily banned'

Jun 11, 2020 - 2:50 PM

Is it legal to ban rallies during quarantine?

DISTANCE IN RALLIES. Protesters observe physical distancing during the anti-terror bill rallies on June 4, 2020. Photo by Anjo Lapresca

DOJ's precarious role in the contested anti-terror bill

Jun 09, 2020 - 7:09 PM

Will prosecutors be independent of the Secretary of Justice who will sit in the anti-terror council?

Will Facebook dummy account probe look at govt too? DOJ says 'all angles'

Jun 08, 2020 - 8:01 PM

The DOJ promises it will not misuse user data that will be submitted to them in the course of an investigation

DOJ defends terror bill's dissent exception, but leaves out 'killer' caveat

Jun 08, 2020 - 5:26 PM

DOJ Spokesperson Markk Perete says Section 4's exception on dissent 'should calm concerns,' but he leaves out a 'killer' provision. It's the provision on intent.

ANTI-TERROR BILL. Protesters gather inside the University of the Philippines campus on June 4, 2020, to protest the passing of the anti-terrorism bill. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

DOJ cybercrime office to probe dummy Facebook accounts

Jun 07, 2020 - 5:35 PM

(UPDATED) Computer-related identity theft is a crime, and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says he's worried over the surge in fake Facebook accounts

DOJ starts review of constitutionality of anti-terror bill

Jun 06, 2020 - 6:17 PM

'You appear to be a decent and honorable man, unlike many. Your principal will not be there forever, but your reputation and integrity will outlive you,' human rights lawyer Edre Olalia pleads to fellow Atenean lawyer Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

REVIEW. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says the Department of Justice (DOJ) will review the constitutionality of the highly contested anti-terror bill. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

DOJ asserts: 'Gabby Lopez is a Filipino citizen since birth'

Jun 03, 2020 - 3:54 PM

Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay Villar also tells a joint House panel that ABS-CBN chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez did not lose his Filipino citizenship when he used his American passport to travel

ABS-CBN OFFICIALS. Executives of embattled network ABS-CBN listen as their chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez answers lawmakers' questions through video conferencing app Zoom in joint House hearing on June 3, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

'Vital witness' in Ampatuan massacre survives attack in South Cotabato

Jun 03, 2020 - 2:35 PM

(UPDATED) 'Sangki is a vital witness in the second wave of prosecution for the Maguindanao massacre, and it is not far-fetched that his ambush today had something to do with the horrible case,' says Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

END IMPUNITY. Militant groups protest for justice during the Ampatuan promulgation outside Camp Bagong Diwa on December 19, 2019. Photo by Alecs Ongcal

Reports of sexual abuse of children triple during lockdown

May 25, 2020 - 6:13 PM

The justice department receives nearly 280,000 reports from March to May. It blames telecommunications companies for not proactively blocking access to forms of online sexual exploitation of children

[PODCAST] Ang mga problemang dulot ng warrantless arrests

May 21, 2020 - 7:10 PM

Bakit tila ang due process ay para sa mga kakampi lamang ng Duterte administration?

117 convicts get parole amid pandemic

May 21, 2020 - 4:01 PM

Over 400 other convicts also eligible for parole are awaiting clearance. Retired military generals Carlos Garcia and Jovito Palparan are not qualified, according to the Department of Justice.

BILIBID. Workers use heavy equipment as they dismantle illegal structures as ordered by newly installed BuCor chief Gerald Bantag and PNP Directorial Staff Chief Guillermo Eleazar inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City on October 9, 2019. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

With indictment of teacher, media told be careful when interviewing suspects

May 16, 2020 - 5:38 PM

Ex-SC Spokesperson Ted Te says the NBI agents are still liable for the arbitrary detention of teacher Ronnel Mas

ARRESTED. A 25-year-old teacher who tweeted about offering a P50 million reward to kill President Rodrigo Duterte is arrested by the NBI. Photo courtesy of Allan Sison

In PH pandemic: Due process for allies, warrantless arrests for the rest

May 13, 2020 - 7:06 PM

(UPDATED) Justice Secretary Guevarra commits the NBI to look into the prohibited mass gathering for the birthday of Metro police chief Sinas – when other people in previous mass gatherings were just picked up and jailed

VIOLATIONS. Composite photo of a San Roque resident arrested for mass gathering (left) and NCRPO chief Debold Sinas enjoying his birthday party attended by dozens (right). San Roque photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler and Sinas photo by NCRPO

House, DOJ could have done more for ABS-CBN – FLAG

May 05, 2020 - 8:52 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra defends his refusal to issue a formal legal opinion for ABS-CBN, a document that could serve as a legal defense for the NTC

CEASE AND DESIST. The National Telecommunications Commission(NTC) has issued a cease and desist order to the giant network ABS-CBN effective immediately. May 5, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

DOJ: Order vs ABS-CBN 'immediately executory'

May 05, 2020 - 5:34 PM

Should it stop broadcasting immediately? That is the pressing question now for the network giant.

ABS-CBN OPERATIONS. Hundreds of fans marched along Mother Ignacia and Sgt Esguerra Streets in Quezon City during the Kapanilya Fandom to support ABS CBN and the renewal of its broadcasting franchise.  Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

DOJ promises to assess 100 convicts per week for parole, clemency

May 04, 2020 - 9:00 PM

The Board of Pardons and Parole is now reviewing the records of an initial batch of 200 convicts

BILIBID. A look at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa on October 29, 2019. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

Guevarra counters Calida: ABS-CBN can operate while franchise renewal ongoing

May 04, 2020 - 5:40 PM

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says 'there is sufficient equitable basis to allow broadcast entities to continue operating' while franchise renewal bills are pending in Congress

CLASH. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra and Solicitor General Jose Calida clash on whether ABS-CBN can continue operating without a franchise while hearings are ongoing in Congress. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

TIMELINE: The bid to release low-risk, sick, elderly prisoners in PH

Apr 28, 2020 - 7:40 PM

Time is running out as the government decides whether or not to release eligible persons deprived of liberty, given the pandemic

Officers from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) conducts an awareness seminar regarding COVID-19 to detainees in Manila City Jail on March 12, 2020. Photo by Lisa Marie David/Rappler

DOJ relaxes parole and clemency rules, excludes heinous crime convicts

Apr 22, 2020 - 3:27 PM

The relaxed rules lower the age of sickly prisoners who may avail of executive clemency from 70 to 65

STATE PENITENTIARY. The New Bilibid Prison. Photo by Lisa Marie David

Elderly correctional inmate tests positive for coronavirus

Apr 18, 2020 - 7:27 PM

(UPDATED) The female inmate is 72 years old, has pneumonia and has been transferred to the Sta Ana Hospital in Manila

CORRECTIONAL. Inmates at the Correctional Institution for Women in Mandaluyong City on March 4, 2020. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

With GCTA suspended, low-risk convicts stranded in BJMP facilities

Apr 18, 2020 - 5:51 PM

This means that low-risk convicts, who are clearly convicted of non-heinous crimes, cannot avail of early freedoms even as the pandemic threatens Philippine jails

SLEEPING. Some PDLs find any spot to sleep inside the Quezon City Jail on March 27, 2020. Photo by Maria Tan/AFP

'Takot na takot kami': While government stalls, coronavirus breaks into PH jails

Apr 18, 2020 - 1:01 PM

Like the prisoners, their families also feel trapped with nowhere to go. Their fear is compounded by the agonizing wait for the Duterte government's action.

In this photo taken on March 27, 2020, prison inmates lie to sleep at the crowded courtyard of the Quezon City jail in Manila. - UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has urged countries to protect people held in overcrowded prisons and other enclosed facilities by releasing vulnerable detainees, saying COVID-19 "risks rampaging through such institutions". (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)

[PODCAST] Coronavirus: Bakit kailangang palayain ang mga low-risk, may sakit, elderly prisoners?

Apr 16, 2020 - 7:15 PM

Ano ang hakbang na dapat gawin upang masiguradong maayos ang proseso kung ito'y matutuloy?

DOJ needs 'one more week' to decide on release of low-risk convicts

Apr 15, 2020 - 4:10 PM

For convicts serving their sentence, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra says any release would be a purely executive decision that needs no permission from the courts

BILIBID. A file photo of inmates queuing for water rations inside the New Bilibid Prison Maximum Security Compound. Photo by KD Madrilejos/Rappler

DOJ summons Koko Pimentel over quarantine breach complaint

Apr 14, 2020 - 5:03 PM

(UPDATED) The preliminary hearing is scheduled on May 20

PIMENTEL AND QUICHO. File photo of Senator Aquilino Pimentel III by Angie de Silva/Rappler. Image of Rico Quicho from Facebook.

DOJ: Early release of sick, elderly prisoners ordered before virus crisis

Apr 12, 2020 - 7:20 PM

The Department of Justice says it ordered the release of old and sickly prisoners even before the coronavirus outbreak. Groups say these vulnerable inmates remain behind bars.

In this photo taken on March 27, 2020, prison inmates lie to sleep at the crowded courtyard of the Quezon City jail in Manila. - UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet has urged countries to protect people held in overcrowded prisons and other enclosed facilities by releasing vulnerable detainees, saying COVID-19 "risks rampaging through such institutions". (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)

Coronavirus patients urged to waive confidentiality: ‘Being diagnosed not a crime, stigma’

Apr 05, 2020 - 1:45 PM

'By being candid, the COVID-19 patients and PUI’s will help most their family members, friends, co-workers and those they were close with,' says a joint statement by 3 organizations of doctors and lawyers

CONTAINING A PANDEMIC. The National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Quezon City installs triage at the hospital's compound to evaluate and categorizate patients on March 29, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

DOJ 'leaves it to NBI' to decide legality of own probe on Vico Sotto

Apr 02, 2020 - 8:21 PM

'The DOJ will monitor and provide such guidance as may be requested,' says Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

SUMMONED. Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto is summoned by the NBI for temporarily allowing tricycles to operate in his city. Photo by Rappler

SC, DOJ, DILG urged: Issue joint order not to arrest light offenders

Apr 02, 2020 - 2:51 PM

'Otherwise we will have a situation where the more we lock people up, we're creating newer problems that we don't really need actually,' says former SC spokesperson Ted Te

VIOLATION. QCPD Police Personnel apprehend violators of the curfew along Timog Avenue, Quezon City. Photo by Jire Carreon/Rappler

DOJ sticks to arrest policy, but rolls out electronic inquest

Mar 30, 2020 - 6:23 PM

There are calls to be lenient and just allow violators to go home after booking them because of lack of suitable jails

VIOLATORS. 120 adults and 15 minors sit in a social distancing manner after they were apprehended by patrolling police for violating the curfew of the enhanced community quarantine at Barangay Batasan in Quezon City on Monday midnight, March 23. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

DOJ allows release of seized medical supplies to hospitals

Mar 30, 2020 - 4:51 PM

Government will be given priority in the auction of these items, says the justice department

MEDICAL SUPPLIES. Workers repack around 300,000 face mask and 2,000 thermal scanners at Manila City hall on March 25, 2020 donated by Guangzhou municipal government of China to the Manila City government. Photo by Inoue Jaena/Rappler

[PODCAST] Law of Duterte Land: DOJ and warrantless arrests

Mar 29, 2020 - 6:55 PM

In the 2nd and final part of the 'War on the Law' podcast, we take a look at the evolving definition of warrantless arrests under the Department of Justice

'Compassion': DOJ not investigating Pimentel quarantine breach without complaint

Mar 25, 2020 - 8:27 PM

The justice department also rules out a warrantless arrest, as Secretary Guevarra appeals for compassion

COMPASSION. File photo of Senator Aquilino Pimentel. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler‹

Prosecutors' offices to be closed nationwide, but officers on call for urgent matters

Mar 21, 2020 - 10:56 AM

This means legal remedies will become a challenge for those who will be arrested during the lockdown

PHYSICAL CLOSURE. Prosecutors offices nationwide will physically close soon, with a mechanism that will require officers and staff to report for work for urgent matters. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

DOJ stands firm on warrantless arrests – even if courts scaled down, prosecutors stranded

Mar 20, 2020 - 8:32 PM

(UPDATED) 'Otherwise, we will have a breakdown of law and order,' says Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra

WARRANTLESS ARREST. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra stands by his pronouncement that there are legal basis for warrantless arrest during the lockdown. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

DOJ: Police can arrest violators of Luzon lockdown even if they do not resist

Mar 17, 2020 - 5:46 PM

The government turns to a broad law to justify this policy: RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases which punishes 'non-cooperation'

LOCKDOWN. Commuters were stranded at the boundary of Valenzuela and Meycauayan after police locked down the area on Tuesday midnight, March 17. Photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler