JUSTICE Secretary Leila De Lima was able to escape the contempt raps from the Appellate court justices after she accused them of partiality.
This after the Court of Appeals (CA) junked the petition for indirect contempt filed against De Lima by the camp of former Palawan gov. Mario Joel Reyes after he made public statements accusing the court of partiality.
In a six-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Franchito Diamante, the CA’s Fifteenth Division dismissed outright the petition filed by Reyes’ lawyers Demetrio Custodio Jr. and Love Joy Cecilia Brillantes.
Reyes’ had asked the CA to adjudge De Lima guilty of indirect contempt and punish her accordingly.
The case stemmed from De Lima’s statements in reaction to an unfavorable judgment against the justice chief on the petition lodged by the former governor.
De Lima stated in a media interview that she received a reliable information that “something happened” in this case. She also questioned why the magistrates who cleared Reyes in the case were the same justices who cleared one of the accused in the Globe Asiatique case. The DOJ chief did not name the two justices in particular.
In absolving De Lima, the CA held that Reyes’ did not sign a certification of non-forum shopping on the matter.
The appeals court added that it found no legal ground to cite De Lima for contempt.
Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices Celia Librea-Leagogo and Melchor Sadang.