Ombudsman set back at SC on ’Junjun’ case

8

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales suffered a setback at the Supreme Court (SC) after the tribunal refused to stop the Court of Appeals (CA) from proceeding with its grant of a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the preventive suspension of embattled Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay by Morales’s office.

Advertisements

Instead, the SC issued an order mandating the CA and Binay to file their comment to a petition of the Ombudsman on or before April 6.

The SC held a special en banc session on Thursday on an urgent petition of Morales to halt the CA from serving the TRO in favor of Binay and stopping its proceedings as well.

It will start its Holy Week break on Monday, will not have its regular en banc session on Tuesday and will begin its session in Baguio City on April 5. Hence, the SC decided to hold the special en banc hearing on the Ombudsman petition after the special en banc session in the morning on results of the 2014 Bar examinations.

With the High Court allowing the CA to serve the TRO, the appellate court may proceed with hearings on March 30 and 31.

In a 31-page petition for certiorari and prohibition filed on Wednesday, Morales asked the SC to block the CA 6th Division from continuing with its hearings on the Binay case scheduled for March 30 and 31.

Morales had accused the CA of grave abuse of discretion in issuing the TRO in favor of Binay and in mandating the Ombudsman to explain Binay’s plea to cite her in contempt for clear defiance of a lawful court order.

Despite Morales having been a former SC associate justice, she insisted that she can defy the CA ruling because the appellate court’s order has y become moot and academic since Vice Mayor Romulo Pena already sits as Makati City acting mayor.

“This petition [of Morales]is triggered by respondent Court of Appeals’ unwarranted intervention in what should have otherwise been a regular administrative proceeding… [t]he intervention of the Court of Appeals has resulted in chaos and total confusion of the people of Makati and those transacting official business with the city government,” it was pointed out.

Morales said the Office of the Ombudsman is an independent constitutional body that must be protected from the “unconstitutional interference of respondent Court of Appeals.”

“The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent body created by the 1987 Constitution to curb corruption and abuse in government. It was deliberately ‘constitutionalized’ and placed outside the ambit of the political branches of government to… free it from ‘the insidious tentacles of politics,’” the petition read.

“[T]he preventive suspension imposed by the Office of the Ombudsman on respondent Binay is not only permissible under the law but necessary given the prevailing circumstances of the case. The suspension order was dictated by prudence and the need to preserve the integrity of the ongoing administrative adjudication,” it said.

Morales noted that she is an impeachable officer and cannot be subjected to contempt proceedings, since it is criminal in nature.

“As an impeachable officer, petitioner can only be subjected to criminal proceedings after she steps down from office. Otherwise, the constitutional guarantee against her removal from office except through the extraordinary process of impeachment would be rendered nugatory .

. . Such immunity, common to all impeachable officers, is but another manifestation of the intent of the 1987 Constitution to make the Office of the Ombudsman a truly independent body insulated from politics,” it was pointed out.

The Senate blue ribbon committee has ordered an inquiry into transactions and assets of Binay on the basis of testimonies of Mercado, Renato Bondal and Nicolas Enciso VI.

Mercado, Bondal and Enciso filed plunder raps against Vice President Jejomar Binay and his son Junjun before the Office of the Ombudsman.

They filed the complaint on the basis of their expose about the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2, an 11-story structure that cost P2.3 billion.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

8 Comments

  1. What is going on right now on Binay’s case is dirty politics, pure and simple. Based on simple common sense, CA, Ombudsman, DILG, DOJ should not fight CA. Each should respect each other irrespective of party affiliation, if all of these agencies’ prime purpose is to obtain legal results to the problem. Everybody should ACT PROFESSIONALLY!

  2. The Supreme Court has to grant the Ombudsman’s petition for certiorari and prohibition to give due course to he investigation of graft charfges against the Binays, otherwise it will be prejudging the Binays as innocent and not liable for all the charges against them.

  3. Onie Villanueva on

    yan morales, medyo pahiya ka dun ah. di ko talaga siya feel baka kasi siguro nakikita at naaasociate ko siya sa mga epal na tulad nila Mar Roxas and Pres. Aquino. sana naman di talaga siya biased, let’s have the truth, hindi porket kaibigan eh yun na ang papanigan. tsk tsk

  4. I felt sad in reading this news. Not because of how these justices act but because of how the Ombudsman rule. She is now acting not because she wants a better nation for the Filipino but because somehow her “pride” was “naapakan” in a way. It is seen at how she talks and act kasi eh. That’s I don’t like her, it is because she seems to proud like something yellow that I know of… hmmm… Sad that she was corrupted in that kind of politics just because she chooses to be friends with a certain yellow thing… hmmm…

  5. In the interpretation and appication of our laws, common sense and wisdom should be the primordial consideration. Any deviation from this approach is easily suspected to have been influenced by corruption in a country where corruption have been unabated. We are glad that our Ombudman has been receptive of its’ role on this national malady.

  6. Three attack dogs of PNoy are working hard to insist on their illegal activities. Why punch on Mayor Binay when there is already a TRO. As former Congressman Mila Magsaysay said in her TV Program comment (GNN TV Station), the OMbudsman and the DOJ should heed to the TRO of the Court of Appeals because this branch is part of the Judicial branch and it is it’s duty to interpret the law, and not the DILG, the DOJ, or the Office of the Ombudsman. When the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court speaks up, they three attack dogs of Pnoy should listen.

    • and you listened to and believed former Congw Magsaysay, who is not only a non-lawyer, but more importantly, a GMA mouthpiece? Which part of “moot and academic” did you not understand? the order of the CA was to uphol the status quo. The status quo at the time the order took effect was that Mayor Binay was already suspended by the Ombudsman. So there was no defiance to speak of because the Ombudsman released the Order first, and by the time CA ordered the status quo, it was already MOOT because at that point Mayor Binay was already suspended.

      In fact, CA had no business interfering with the administrative investigation of the Ombudsman, who is a constitutionally mandated office. The preventive suspension is exactly that: PREVENTIVE, in aid of its constitutional powers to investigate officials accused of corruption. It is not punitive. It is done to make sure that Mayor Binay does not use his office to tamper the evidences/documents in relation to the transactions pertaining to the investigated case.

      CongW Magsaysay is just a political, NOT an objective voice. she has always been a political person, a mouthpiece of interests she represents, and has never been an objective source of opinion for any public discourse.