Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon said he will oppose any move to abolish the Court of Appeals that was created in 1936 by Commonwealth Act No. 3.
House Speaker and Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao Del Norte has threatened to dissolve the appellate court after one of its divisions issued an order compelling the House of Representatives to release six employees of the Ilocos Norte provincial government.
“We will oppose any move to abolish the CA [Court of Appeals] as it would affect the entire judicial system,” Drilon said.
Drilon urged Alvarez to avail of the remedies under the law instead of resorting to threats.
“I strongly advise Speaker Alvarez to respect and follow the judicial process by seeking legal remedies under the law,” he said.
The Senate minority leader said the dispute can be settled in the Supreme Court. “Any error that may have been committed by a division or by the members of the court should not be taken against the CA as an institution,” he stressed.
Drilon said the Senate has had its share of victories and defeats in the courts over the years.
“However, it is not right to use the powers of Congress against the CA or any institution just because we do not agree with their decision. We may run out of courts if that were so,” he said.
“Our judges and justices sometimes commit errors of judgment or jurisdiction, but the institution should not be made to suffer from such mistakes,” he added.
The appellate court, Drilon noted, being the second highest tribunal of the land, “plays a critical role in upholding the Constitution and the rights of the people.”
Feasible to dissolve
The call of Alvarez to abolish the Court of Appeals is theoretically feasible since the court was created by law, according to Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd.
Pimentel stressed this point when asked in an interview over dwIZ whether Congress has the power to dissolve the appellate court.
“Through a law. Theoretically, Speaker Alvarez is right. The CA is a creation of law. All laws can be repealed,” Pimentel said. The senator added that he already asked Alvarez to “develop” his position.
Alvarez’s threat to abolish appellate court stemmed from its order to release six employees of the Ilocos Norte provincial government detained at the House allegedly for being “uncooperative” in the congressional investigation on the questionable purchase of motor vehicles using tobacco funds.