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- 2 more Sandigan justices to be probed After the dismissal of Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong, 2 more magistrates of the anti-graft court could be investigated for the acquittal of alleged pork barrel fund scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles in a malversation case. Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen posted this in his concurring opinion as the high court affirmed with finality its dismissal order against Mr. Ong last Tuesday. Justice Leonen believed the dismissal of the malversation through falsification of public documents case against Mrs. Napoles involving the sale in 1998 of 500 Kevlar helmets to the Philippine Marines by the fourth division of Sandiganbayan was highly irregular. And since the decision was collegial, Justice Leonen said doubts could also be cast on the integrity and probity of 2 other magistrates in the division who approved the acquittal of Mrs. Napoles, Justices Jose Hernandez and Cristina Cornejo. Justice Leonen cited for instance the decision of the Sandiganbayan division to split the complex crime into 2, malversation and falsification of public documents, that led to the immediate dismissal of the more grave crime of malversation and left the lesser offense of falsification for trial.
- Energy crisis next year could cost economy up to P23.3Bn Economic losses from a power shortage that is expected to strike Luzon in summer next year could total as much as P23.3 billion, Pres. Aquino III said yesterday. Speaking before a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines forum, Pres. Aquino said estimated costs range from P9.3 billion to P23.3 billion, depending on duration of outages. “The lower figure assumes power outage of 2 hours a day on average for 3 months. The higher figure assumes a worse scenario of 5 hours a day also for 3 months,” he explained. The estimates, he added, do not include “foregone investment and tourist arrivals arising from negative impact of the power outage on the country’s image as investment and tourist destination.” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan confirmed the estimates, saying via text they “pertain to... GDP (gross domestic product) lost from stoppage of economic activities.” Asked if the estimates put 2015’s 7-8% growth goal at risk, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said: “Those figures apply to projected 2015 full-year GDP.”