The Department of Justice (DOJ) will now take cognizance of hearing a libel complaint of suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. against Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th.
The case will now be handled by DOJ State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra after Makati Chief Prosecutor Jorge Catalan recused himself from it.
According to Binay’s lawyer, Claro Certeza, the transfer of the preliminary investigation is not valid .
Certeza had lodged a motion for reconsideration of the ruling of the Prosecutor’s Office granting Trillanes’ motion for inhibition for Makati City to handle the case.
He said they believe that the appropriate venue, “under the law and under the facts,” is the Makati Prosecutor’s Office.
The preliminary investigation was supposed to be heard on Wednesday but it was rescheduled for August 13 after Trillanes asked the DOJ to grant him more time to submit his counter-affidavit.
According to the senator’s lawyer, Judy Anne Bautista, the counter-affidavit is yet to be signed by the senator.
“Senator Trillanes has a previous commitment, he is out of town… But he will make himself available next week, August 13, at 10 a.m. for the hearing,” Bautista said.
The libel case stemmed from accusations of Trillanes that Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta received P25 million each in exchange for favorable resolutions in a case involving Mayor Binay.
The CA’s 6th Division, composed of Reyes, Acosta and Justice Eduardo Peralta, issued a temporary restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction that halted Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ order of preventively suspending Binay.