• Revamped CA panel to probe raps vs ‘Junjun’

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    The Court of Appeals (CA) has reconstituted its Ethics Committee ahead of the panel’s inquiry into bribery accusations made by Sen. Antonio Trillanes in connection with a case of Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. before the appellate court.

    Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. reorganized the committee, which will be headed by Associate Justice Sesinando Villon, with Justices Franchito Diamante and Manuel Barrios and Associate Justices Carmelita Salandanan-Manahan and Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla as members.

    Reyes had ordered the CA Ethics Committee and Special Concerns to convene and investigate the allegations of Trillanes against CA Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta.

    Reyes and Acosta were accused by the senator of receiving P25 million each in exchange for favorable resolution of the Binay case.

    Visayas Executive Justice Gabriel Ingles, Mindanao Executive Justice Romulo Borja and Justice and Ethics Committee head Marifor Punzalan-Castillo have recused themselves from handling the case.

    The CA 6th Division, composed of Reyes, Acosta and Justice Eduardo Peralta last month issued a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction that halted Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ order of preventive suspension against Binay.

    The CA said its justices are under the Supreme Court and the Senate has no authority and jurisdiction to investigate complaints against the justices.

    Under the Internal Rules of the CA, the Ethics Committee shall probe complaints against the appellate court’s justices.

    The High Court shall resolve the complaints based on the committee’s findings.

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