SC justices slam De Lima

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SUPREME Court justices on Sunday cautioned Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to stop criticizing the courts because she is in no position to review the decisions of magistrates.

The justices were angered by de Lima’s recent verbal attacks against the Court of Appeals (CA). The Justice secretary lambasted the appellate court for “meddling” after it issued a resolution stopping the Department of Justice from filing a P5-billion smuggling case against Phoenix Petroleum.

The High Court justices reminded de Lima that she is still facing disbarment in connection with the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) she issued in 2011 stopping former president Gloria Arroyo from leaving the country despite the issuance of a Supreme Court ruling allowing her to seek medical treatment abroad.

A magistrate of the high tribunal said it is De Lima who is meddling with the decisions of the court.

“She does not know any better because she was just an election lawyer before,” the justice said.

Last week, De Lima criticized the CA justices for interfering with the justice department’s filing of a complaint against Phoenix Petroleum and its customs broker, Jorlan Capiin Cabanes.

The appellate court held that Cabanes was deprived of his right to a full-blown preliminary investigation after an initial assessment on the case revealed the extraordinary swiftness of the DOJ in reversing itself and in rendering its resolution.

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