The 6th Division of the Court of Appeals on Monday issued a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the Office of the Ombudsman and the Justice and Interior departments from enforcing an order to suspend Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. pending review of an administrative case filed against him, as well as resolution of legal issues over his suspension.
“The court hereby resolves to grant Junjun Binay’s prayer for issuance of writ of preliminary injunction enjoining respondents Ombudsman, DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] and their agents and all representatives from enforcing the joint order dated March 10, 2015 and to respect and preserve the status quo before the issuance of the aforesaid joint order relative to petitioner’s preventive suspension for six months,” the resolution read.
The CA also ordered Binay to post a bond of P500,000, “which may answer for whatever damages which may be sustained by reason of this preliminary injunction in the event that it is finally decided that petitioner is not entitled thereto.”
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales issued the suspension order on March 10 to preventively suspend Binay along with other city officials for six-months in connection with an administrative case over the allegedly overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.
A 15-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Jose Reyes ruled that the injunction will finally settle the issue that the Ombudsman suspension order shall be halted.
“To avoid any confusing interpretation, the appellate court opines that the injunction order shall regain the previous status before the preventive suspension of Binay.
“The resolution speaks clearly that it shall revert back to the previous position before the Binay suspension with the force and effect of a status quo ante order,” the resolution also read.
The appellate court earlier issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) against the suspension but the DILG pressed on with Binay’s suspension, arguing that the order was already moot and academic as the Ombudsman’s order was already carried out.
Binay filed a petition to hold the Ombudsman as well as DILG officials and Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña in contempt. The CA last week conducted a two-day hearing on Binay’s petition contesting his suspension as well as his contempt plea.