Cultist Gang-Rape River Pastor Wife
~3.2 mins read
Suspected members of a dreaded cult group have kidnapped and gang-raped to death a mother of two identified as Mrs. Chigbewejim Steward, in her community Abarikpo in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State.

The suspected cult members allegedly belonging to the Iceland cult were said to have abducted the woman and wife of a pastor in the wee hours of Sunday and a few hours later reportedly gang-raped her to death.

It was gathered that her lifeless body was found at about 10am in the community with multiple injuries and blood stains in her private parts.

Speaking to newsmen, the deceased’s husband, Pastor Lawyer Steward, confirmed the incident, saying he was informed that a known cultist accused his wife of always gossiping with his name.

Steward stated, “I am the husband of Chigbejim, who was murdered yesterday by a group of boys. After raping her, they murdered her.”

Asked if he had problems with anyone prior to the incident, the cleric said he was neither a cultist nor had issues with anyone.

“I am not a cultist; I am an Assistant Pastor in charge of Evangelism in the Seventh Day Adventist Church Abarikpo. Everybody in my community knows I am not a cultist.

“She gave birth to three children, one is late. My daughter is seven, while the little one, a boy, is three years’ old.

“One boy, Sunday, a cultist, claimed he slaughtered my wife because she gossiped and spoke against him. That people told him my wife always spoke against him.

“That is the reason he murdered her. He is a cultist,” said the distraught man. He revealed that the Ahoada Divisional Police Officer visited the scene on Sunday evening.

Steward called on the law enforcement agencies and the government to apprehend the perpetrators and make them to face justice.

“I am calling on the government to help me find those boys that kidnapped my wife, raped and murdered her.

“Let the government and the police help to arrest them and make them pay for what they did to my wife,” the cleric stated.

Speaking, the Public Relations Officer of Igbu Akoh Clan Youth Congress, Ahoada East LGA, Ekeakita Chinem, also confirmed the incident, saying the community had been experiencing a series of killings in recent times.

“So, like we have been having a series of killings in Akoh. When they kill, nobody goes after the bad boys. No security person goes after the bad boys.

“Mrs Steward was kidnapped around 1am. Only for us to find out around 10am this morning that she was lifeless after being raped.

“She had bruises in her private parts, especially on her thighs. There was blood all over her body too.

“So, people are living in fear, nervous that no political leader or government agency goes after them. You report or don’t report, what will happen,” he said.

Asked if the matter was cult-related, Chinem answered in the negative, saying she was a married woman.

He recalled, ” Late last year, we witnessed 11 killings in that same community. A member of one of the cult groups went to their camp and collected the AK-47 of their master and ran away to their community at Abarikpo.

“Only for the cult leader to send his boys after him and innocent lives, about 11 persons were killed.

“And till today, there is no investigation, no action was taken by the police to fish out the perpetrators from where they are hiding. Nothing at all.”

Meanwhile, a group, the Centre for Basic Rights Protection and Accountability Campaign, has condemned the abduction and rape of Mrs Steward, leading to her death.

The National Coordinator, Prince Wiro, called on the police to carry out proper investigation with a view to apprehending the culprits and making them face justice.

Wiro stated,” It is important that the police get to work. They must carry out a thorough investigation to ensure that the culprits are arrested so that the woman gets justice.”

Efforts to reach the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, proved abortive, as she did not respond to calls put across to her.

Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, had yet to reply to a text message sent to her mobile telephone as of the time of filing this report.
Death Penalty • Throwback
~1.4 mins read

 On June 25, 1996, we rendered our decision in the instant case affirming the conviction of the accused-appellant for the crime of raping his ten-year old daughter. The crime having been committed sometime in April, 1994, during which time Republic Act (R.A) No. 7659, commonly known as the Death Penalty Law, was already in effect, accused-appellant was inevitably meted out the supreme penalty of death. 

G.R. No. 117472 February 7, 1997 

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,

vs. LEO ECHEGARAY y PILO, accused-appellant.


• It is a rudimentary principle of law that matters neither alleged in the pleadings nor raised during the proceedings below cannot be ventilated for the first time on appeal before the Supreme Court. 

• An affidavit of desistance is merely an additional ground to buttress the accused's defenses, not the sole consideration that can result in acquittal. There must be other circumstances which, when coupled with the retraction or desistance, create doubts as to the truth of the testimony given by the witnesses at the trial and accepted by the judge. 

• [Rape is heinous crime] At any rate, this court has no doubts as to the innate heinousness of the crime of rape, as we have held in the case of People v. Cristobal:

"Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, Freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act . . . an outrage upon decency and dignity that hurts not only the victim but the society itself." 

Full text of the case



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Cinque Terre
~0.7 mins read

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday urged Filipinos to pay the "correct amount" of taxes on time to bolster the country's economic recovery.

"I encourage the public to pay the correct amount of taxes on time to support the country's economic recovery and expansion so critical in this time," Marcos said during the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) tax campaign kickoff.

Marcos Jr. also expressed his support for the agency's digitalization of tax system and intensification of its operations against tax evaders.

"I assure the BIR that this administration will always give its support in your aspiration of developing a country that is conducive for employment opportunities, financial investments, and institution-building,” he said.

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📽️: Courtesy of PhilSTAR 



'You Can Hang Me,' Bato Says If Proven Guilty By PH Court, Not ICC, Over Drug War Deaths
~0.7 mins read

'You can hang me through the decision of the Filipino courts, but my god, not by a foreigner,' former national police chief Sen. Ronald dela Rosa said. 

MANILA — Former national police chief Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa said Saturday that cases related to the deadly drug war of the Duterte administration should be filed in Philippine courts, not before the International Criminal Court. 

On Jan. 26, the ICC resumed its investigation into the bloody drug war and Davao Death Squad killings in the Philippines, saying Manila's efforts to investigate and prosecute the alleged crimes against humanity in the Philippines were not satisfactory. 

More than 6,000 drug suspects were killed in police operations in the country during Duterte’s term from 2016 to 2022, authorities said, citing official tallies. 


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©️📷: Voltaire F. Domingo/Senate PRIB
Senator Raffy Tulfo Intends To Introduce Legislation To Combat The Indiscriminate Filing Of Criminal Charges.
~1.8 mins read
Senator Raffy Tulfo promised to draught legislation or a proposed bill to address the indiscriminate filing of criminal charges at the Prosecution Stage. 

Senator Raffy Tulfo on Friday announced  that some officials from Local Government Units (LGUs) manage and dominate some courts. A government official confirmed that information during a Senate hearing before the Committee on Justice. 

He stated, among other things, that it should be the sole responsibility of the Supreme Court to manage infrastructure projects in the construction of local courts. He stated that there is a low budget allocation for local court instruction, which eventually leads some Local Chief Executives to use this opportunity to interfere with the construction of Court houses, and they also volunteered to add air conditioning, refrigerators, and furnitures. The LGU also provides monetary benefits to some judges, such as a monthly allowance for court hearings, a gas allowance for transportation, rice socks, and even a car. 

According to Senator Raffy Tulfo, such cases involve conflicts of interest that jeopardise the Court's independence. Some officials in the local government have become untouchable. To support this claim, he cited, among other things, the case of one Local Chief Executive, Mayor, who abused a fisherman, and the case of police officers who falsely charged an innocent poor man with an offence. Senator Raffy claimed that those officers were later found to have planted evidence and were dismissed from the service. He also admits to assisting those victims by personally requesting bail for temporary release while the case is being heard.

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"It is about time that our Supreme Court's budget must be strengthened," he emphasized. So that the judges are independent and do not owe anything to those corrupt and abusive Local Government officials. He went on to say that this apparent conflict of interest resulted in the incarceration of many of our innocent poor citizens. 

He also promised to draught legislation or a proposed bill to address the indiscriminate filing of criminal charges at the Prosecution Stage or Inquest Proceeding by ensuring the right of suspects to be represented by counsel. He revealed that our country does not have enough lawyers to defend our poor citizens who are imprisoned despite their innocence. The presence of independent and competent counsel at that stage will prevent the indiscriminate filing of complaints or information in court[.]

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BAR BULLETIN No. 1 Series of 2023 (Highlights).
BAR BULLETIN No. 1 Series Of 2023 (Highlights).
~1.3 mins read
BAR BULLETIN No. 1 Series of 2023 
• In its continued pursuit for Bar reforms, the Court binds itself to institutionalize the technological measures already brilliantly introduced in the last two Bar Examinations. The 2023 Bar Examinations shall thus proceed as it is now – digitalized and regionalized; 
• With a further-condensed schedule and carefully-streamlined scope for administrative efficiency. 
• Successful Bar examinees can commence their practice of law as early as December 2023; 
• Multiple-Examiner Policy. 
The 2023 Bar Examinations shall adopt a multiple-examiner policy of four (4) examiners per subject (Bar Matter No. 11611) and in order to achieve an efficient, thorough review of answers despite the increasing number of Bar candidates every year. 
• Other Mechanics. 
- A bar examination is simply a qualifying test, intended to measure a 
candidate’s basic legal knowledge and competence. 
- It shall be composed of a maximum of twenty (20) straightforward, entry-level questions, in essay-type form. 
- Answers will not require computations, and will be graded from 0% to 100% or 5% for each question. 
This is not a substitute for the Supreme Court's official publication of the Bar Bulletin for the 2023 Bar Examinations. The Bar Bulletin was only highlighted in its most important sections. 
For accurate, verified, and updated information regarding the 2023 Bar Examinations, rely on the following official communication channels: (Supreme Court Official Website & Supreme Court Official Social Media Accounts.) 
Access here: http://bit.ly/3uFJOIX