Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Davide on EVAT

SC to issue 'very good decision' on e-VAT law--chief justice

Tetch Torres

THE SUPREME Court will issue a "very good decision" on the Expanded Value Added Tax (e-VAT) Law, according to Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. on Wednesday.

But Davide, whom reporters interviewed at the Lyceum University College of Law, refused to give a hint on what the high tribunal's decision would be.

"It will lose the beauty of the issue," said Davide who attended the opening of the 8th Chief Justice Davide Lecture Series.

But Davide said they would try to resolve the constitutional issue on the e-VAT law "as soon as possible."

"We are coming with it as soon as possible (because) this is a matter of public interest," Davide said, adding that they are halfway in the deliberations.

A source told on Tuesday that the high court deferred its decision after justices for and against the e-VAT extended their discussions.

The Supreme Court was supposed to have issued a ruling Tuesday.

Last July, the high tribunal stopped the government from implementing the e-VAT law after several lawmakers questioned its constitutionality.

Among the issues raised include the "undue delegation of legislative powers to the President" and the alleged "insertions" and "deletions" of some provisions in the bicameral conference committee that had not been tackled by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

FBI Snub

FBI turns down request to authenticate wiretapped tapes

Margaux Ortiz
Inquirer News Service

THE FEDERAL Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has turned down the request of Congress to have the controversial wiretapped recordings examined and authenticated at its laboratory.

In a letter to National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Reynaldo Wycoco, US Embassy Legal Attaché Stephen Cutler said: "It is the policy of the FBI laboratory to decline examination of materials that have been the subject of previous examination by other laboratories and scientists."

"We understand that the tapes, on which an examination is requested, have already been examined by other laboratories," Cutler said in his August 19 letter.

The House committee on public order and safety had written the NBI last August 16, asking the bureau to assist it in requesting the FBI to authenticate the alleged wiretapped compact discs and audio cassettes.

The controversial recordings allegedly caught former election commissioner Virgilio Garcillano and President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo discussing ways to ensure an Arroyo victory in the 2004 presidential polls.