Senator told to prove bribe raps vs CA justices in open court
Senator Antonio Trilllanes 4th has been given his day in court to defend his accusations that two members of the judiciary had accepted bribe money in exchange for favorable decisions in the case of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.
In a resolution of the Special 5th Division of the Court of Appeals, dated July 28, 2015, and penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, Trillanes was ordered to appear for oral arguments on August 14, 2 p.m., at the Paras Hall.
“Be that as it may, we believe that there are matters to be clarified, hence, there is a need to set a hearing to allow parties to be heard and for this court to propound classificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses,” the court ruled.
Concurring with the ruling are Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Maria Luisa Quijano-Padilla.
Trillanes also on Tuesday said he will abide by the order of the CA and will show up in the August 14 hearing.
According to him, he will let his lawyers do what needs to be done in connection with the case.
“But it should go both ways, if I was summoned and compelled to appear then I will appear but they should also be ready to appear,” Trillanes told reporters.
The senator said he will stand by his claims about the bribery incident, adding that he has sources to back them.
When asked if he is willing to identify his sources, Trillanes replied that he has to protect his sources and the court cannot force him to name them.
The CA ordered Trillanes to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for making baseless allegations.
Binay had asked the appellate court to cite Trillanes in contempt for issuing irresponsible statements against the two CA justices handling a petition of the city mayor.
He scored Trillanes for accusing magistrates of the CA of receiving bribe money in exchange for issuing two orders that halted Binay’s preventive suspension order.
CA Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta were accused by the senator of receiving P25 million each in exchange for favorable resolutions in the Binay case.
The CA 6th Division, composed of Reyes, Acosta and Justice Eduardo Peralta issued a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction that halted Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ order of preventively suspending Binay.
“Trillanes made several baseless and sweeping statements against the independence, integrity and reputation of the [CA] and the justices in the 6th Division,” the Special 5th Division said.
“[I]n the face of respondent’s [Trillanes] disrespectful act and unrelenting malicious attacks toward the [CA] and its justices, there is a need for the [CA] to protect and preserve its dignity and independence. It, therefore, behooves the [CA] to cite respondent Trillanes for indirect contempt and mete out the appropriate punishment on him,” it added.