THE Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Monday junked the motion of the camp of Janet Lim Napoles asking the judge to inhibit from handling the case.
In a three-page decision, Makati RTC Branch 150 Judge Elmo Alameda said the motion filed by lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Napoles’ legal counsel, was denied for lack of merit.
“The Presiding Judge believes that there is no just or valid reason for him to inhibit at this stage of the proceedings,” the decision stated.
The judge’s decision stemmed from the motion for voluntary inhibition filed by Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.
The motions are premised on the alleged presence of circumstances that indicate that the presiding judge’s impartiality could have been diminished especially in connection with the undue haste in the issuance of the warrants of arrests.
During the hearing on the motion for inhibition, Kapunan told the court that the judge has shown bias and gravely abused his discretion when he arbitrarily issued the warrants of arrest.
Kapunan maintained that instead of considering their urgent motions, Alameda ignored them and quickly issued the warrants of arrest against her client for the charge of serious illegal detention.
But Alameda expressed belief that he “can still maintain the cold neutrality of an impartial judge.”
Meanwhile, Lim asked the Makati RTC to temporarily suspend the hearing of his serious illegal detention case.
In a motion filed before Makati RTC Branch 150, lawyers of Lim stressed that the hearing should be first suspended pending the resolution of their motion for reconsideration filed at the Department of Justice (DoJ) and petition for certiorari pending with the Court of Appeals (CA).
In filing the motion, Raul Vasquez, Reynald Lim’s lawyer said that during the hearing of the instant case on August 30, they manifested in open court that Lim has filed with the DoJ their motion for reconsideration on the review resolution dated August 6.
Vasquez also manifested that his client filed a petition for certiorari with CA questioning the validity of the issuance of the order and the warrant of arrest issued by the court.
“The proceedings must also be suspended in the light of accused’s petition for certiorari dated August 16 filed with the Court of Appeals. The said petition questioned this Honorable Court’s August 14 order and that the Order of Arrest of even date finding probable cause for the arrest of the accused for being issued with grave abuse of discretion,” the motion stated. RITCHIE A. HORARIO