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ARNEL CORTEZ MANALOTO, the lawyer of Andal Ampatuan Jr. who purchased eight of his properties in Davao City, is actually a young, recently married trial lawyer based in Angeles City, Pampanga, roughly a thousand kilometers north of the home province of his more famous client.

IT impeached and prosecuted then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona for his failure to declare full and truthful details of his wealth in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). Yet, three months after Corona was convicted, the House of Representatives has yet to let the public fully access the SALNs of all its members.

PRESIDENT Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III said it best when he declared dissatisfaction over the short list of chief justice candidates that was handed to him by the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) over a fortnight ago. Indeed, despite the big hoopla about the live television coverage of the public interviews, citizens fielding questions via email, Twitter, and Facebook, the JBC’s recently concluded selection process can apparently stand vast improvement.

A NUMBER of local government units (LGUs) have joined the pork-barrel bandwagon and launched slush funds for their councilors. The funds usually come from the Local Development Fund (LDF) that is equivalent to 20 percent of the internal revenue allotment (IRA) that all LGUs collect from national government, based on their population size and capacity to collect taxes.

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