CONTEMPT OF COURT

Binay targets Morales, De Lima

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ONE CITY, TWO MAYORS Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., who was preventively suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman, continues to hold office at the city hall as he insists that he remains in authority by virtue of a temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals as Vice Mayor Romulo Peña carries out his function as the city’s ‘acting mayor’ in his de facto office at the old city hall building. PHOTOS BY RENE DILAN

ONE CITY, TWO MAYORS Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr., who was preventively suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman, continues to hold office at the city hall as he insists that he remains in authority by virtue of a temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals as Vice Mayor Romulo Peña carries out his function as the city’s ‘acting mayor’ in his de facto office at the old city hall building. PHOTOS BY RENE DILAN

Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay has asked the Court of Appeals to cite Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in contempt as he accused them of  showing “their ill motives and bias against the Binays” and for “insulting the integrity” of the court for defying the temporary restraining order stopping the implementation of his suspension.

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The Binay camp on Thursday filed a supplemental petition to include the two officials. The 37-year-old mayor’s lawyers earlier on Tuesday filed a similar petition against Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd,  Makati City Vice Mayor Romulo Peña, Director Renato Brion of the Department of the Interior and Local Government National Capital Regional (NCR) office, Director Carmelo Valmoria of the NCR Police Office, Chief Supt. Henry Rañola of the Southern Police District and Senior Supt. Elmer Jamias, ground commander of the police force deployed in the Makati City Hall premises for defying the TRO.

Binay claimed that Roxas, Peña, De Lima, and Morales, “acting in unison in defying the Court of Appeals’ Restraining Order shows their ill motives and bias against the Binays.”
“Worse, their actions insult the integrity and competence of the Court of Appeals. Thus, they should be cited for contempt of court,” the petition read.

The 6th Division of the CA on Monday issued a TRO stopping the DILG from carrying out the Ombudsman’s order to preventively suspend Binay for six months in connection with a complaint that he together with several city government officials were involved in the anomalous bidding and construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

The release of the TRO came just a few hours after the DILG through Director Brion served the Ombudsman’s suspension order and swore into office Vice Mayor Peña as acting mayor.

The Ombudsman also on Tuesday filed a manifestation with the CA that the TRO was already “moot and academic” with Carpio quoted as saying “there is nothing anymore to restrain”.

De Lima at the same time issued a similar legal, saying the TRO had no legal effect because the acts sought to be restrained had already been performed.

The DILG meanwhile said Binay has no basis to back his contempt case against the officials who served the suspension order against him.

According a statement quoting Interior Undersecretary Peter Corvera, the DILG officials  “merely acted as an agent of the Ombudsman in implementing the suspension order.”

“If the DILG did not comply with the Ombudsman’s order, then there would have been basis to cite the DILG in contempt,” the statement read.

The political standoff in Makati City has now reared its ugly head on administrative matters at City Hall with the payroll for 8,000 of its employees now in limbo.

Vice Mayor Romulo Peña wrote City Hall’s depository bank informing them that he is now the city’s local chief executive.

In the same manner, Binay also sent documents to the bank showing them that he is still the mayor.

Binay called on Peña not to muddle City Hall’s bank transactions as this will affect the release of the salaries of the city government’s 8,000 regular and casual employees.

Binay issued a memorandum which was posted in various bulletins in city hall, informing the employees that he is still the mayor and that department heads should report to him.

Peña said he will sign today the payroll of some 2,000 employees and the budget of city health office and the University of Makati.

With Jaime Pilapil

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12 Comments

  1. What is Honorable about This person? Are there honor among thieves? The Justice System itself has a questionable Honor. If the Justice system is weak and non existent and has plausibility in implementing the Law. The whole society will be corrupt and vulnerable to chaos. Fix the justice system before anything else. but first you have to put a gag order On all Padre Damasos. Because they are the root of EVIL in out Society.

  2. Eliseo Jr. P.Tenza on

    The stupid court of appeal did not conduct the hearing. Theys just issued the TRO.
    Why So fast? The Justices must be fair and not biased.

  3. TRO came out like magic it means the crook Justices of 6th division CA didnt even study the suspension order.Bring in the SAF commandos and kick the crook Mayor payong out of the overprice city hall.Much better shot his ass.

  4. I leave it to your own interpretations…
    RA 6770 Section 14. Restrictions. — No writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to
    delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there
    is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the
    jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.
    No court shall hear any appeal or application for remedy against the decision or
    findings of the Ombudsman, except the Supreme Court, on pure question of law.

  5. Below is an excerpt from the legal prognosis of Atty Rode Vera at Manila speak. I find his position deep and insightful, to wit:

    As explained here, a TRO is a limited status quo order maintaining or reverting back to the situation before the TRO was issued. In this case, what was sought to be stopped was the Ombudsman’s suspension order. Can it be stopped? Can the Ombudsman’s Suspension Order be suspended (pun intended)? Yes, it can.

    From the words of the suspension order itself. It reads: “Notwithstanding any motion, appeal, or petition that may be filed by respondents seeking relief from this Order, unless otherwise ORDERED by this Office or BY ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION, the implementation of this Order shall not be interrupted within the period prescribed”. The Court of Appeals is a court of competent jurisdiction and it used a TRO based on a petition seeking relief of the suspension order. Thus, the Court of Appeals wins.

    • There is no question regarding the substance and intent of a TRO. What is unclear in this case is the timing of its delivery. Should it precede the serving of Binay’s suspension to be valid? Or is it still enforceable even if it was delivered AFTER the suspension was legally served and the vice mayor was already sworn in? Maybe Atty. Rode Vera could shed some light on this.

  6. Surely there must be a way to resolve this mess. The supreme court should intervene and issue a ruling on which camp is right in interpreting the law regarding a TRO that was served three hours too late. Should it rule that a Status Quo Ante must be issued first before Binay can be reinstated temporarily, then let this process take off and not allow him to illegally stay at city hall (remove him by force, if necessary). On the other hand, if SC says the TRO is still valid, then vice mayor Pena should accept this ruling and let Binay remain Mayor for at least 60 days.

    • I Remember... on

      No need SC here…. CA is the right court of Justice. Now if Ombudsman office not happy with results, it can go to SC.

      But it is flagrant that those S. O. B. insane people at Ombudsman office use people’s money to do politics…. and they should go to Jail now for dilapidation of people’s money.

  7. If de lima is wrong in this what does it say about her holding her position. She is the justice secretary & if she doesnt know the law or doesnt have access to information on the law then what chance do any of us have. Why is she in such an important job.
    I have no idea who is right in this but it does seem logical to me that if binay had been suspended & a new mayor sworn in then you cant get the suspension suspended as its already in force & that something else must be tried. Plus shouldnt de lima & the rest have been in court when the tro was being applied for as doesnt the court need to hear both sides before making a decision, that also seems the right thing to do. Did the court side with the binay out of friendship or loyalty to them, im just asking, as we know things like that happen here. You can buy the law in the philippines so did the binays buy the law.

    • Temporary restraining orders are short-term pre-trial temporary injunctions. To obtain a temporary restraining order, a party must convince the judge that he or she will suffer immediate irreparable harm unless the order is issued. If the judge is convinced that a temporary restraining order is necessary, he or she may issue the order immediately, without informing the other parties and without holding a hearing. These orders are intended to be stop-gap measures, and only last until the court holds a hearing on whether or not to grant a preliminary injunction. Judges’ decisions on whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order may not be appealed.

      Preliminary Injunction is a temporary injunction that may be granted before or during trial, with the goal of preserving the status quo before final judgment.

      To get a preliminary injunction, a party must show that they will suffer irreparable harm unless the injunction is issued. Preliminary injunctions may only be issued after a hearing. When determining whether to grant preliminary injunctions, judges consider the extent of the irreparable harm, each party’s likelihood of prevailing at trial, and any other public or private interests implicated by the injunction. Parties may appeal judge’s decisions on whether to award a preliminary injunction.

    • I Remember... on

      you understand nothing…. the Court can bring all to first step and make things more civilized!!! But Animals are now at work, so you get this type of highly negative events. Banana Republic stuff!

  8. Ano ba ang tawag diyan? Atat-atat sina Roxas, Morales at De Lima. Si Brion naman, nagpapa-lapad ng papel pero wala ring siyang magawa sa totoo lang. Utusan. Sa subsequent meetings ng mga regional executives ng DILG, magbi-bidahan yan.

    Ang tataas ang mga napag-aralan at mga pwesto ninyo, wala ba kayong kaunting discernment. Or pudpod na ang common sense.

    Ang nag-utos niyan ay taga Malacanang. Kahit magkaila kayo. Alam ko yan. I have been there. I was with the national government for years, longer than you guys.

    Bigyan naman ninyo ng kahit kaunting respeto ang proceso at ang korte. Hindi habang panahon ay nandiyan kayo sa pwesto ninyo. In your twilight years, and you look back, maipagmamalaki ba ninyo, by then, ang ginagawa ninyo?