By Perfecto T. Raymundo
MANILA, Aug. 4 (PNA) — The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered Senator Antonio “Sony” Trillanes IV to appear and explain on the allegations against two CA justices of bribery for handling favorable ruling in the case of suspended Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “JunJun” Binay, Jr.
This was after the CA issued a three-page resolution ordering Trillanes to appear before the CA and explain his accusations without any evidence against the magistrates.
In the resolution of the CA Special Fifth Division dated July 28, 2015 and written by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, Trillanes was mandated to appear in the oral arguments on Aug. 14, 2015 at 2 p.m. at the Paras Hall of the CA.
“Accordingly, let a hearing be set for oral argument on August 14, 2015 at 2 pm at the Court of Appeals, Paras Hall, Ma. Orosa St., Ermita, Manila for the aforesaid purpose,” the resolution said.
The CA believes the allegations of Trillanes against the justices on issues of corruption should not be just left offhand.
“Be that as it may, we believe that there are matters to be clarified, hence, there is a need to set a hearing to allow parties to be heard and for this Court to propound classificatory questions to the parties or their witnesses,” the resolution said.
Concurring in the CA ruling are Associate Justices Ramon Paul Hernando and Maria Luisa Quijano-Padilla.
The CA ordered Trillanes to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for making baseless allegations.
The suspended Makati City mayor earlier asked the CA to cite Trillanes in contempt for issuing irresponsible statements against the CA justices handling the petition of Binay.
Binay lambasted Trillanes for accusing magistrates of the CA of receiving bribe money in exchange for issuing two orders that stopped Binay’s preventive suspension order.
Associate Justices Jose Reyes and Francisco Acosta were accused by Trillanes of allegedly receiving Php25 million each in exchange for favorable resolutions in the case of Binay.
The CA 6th Division, composed of Jose Reyes, Acosta and Associate Justice Eduardo Peralta issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) which stopped Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ order of preventive suspension against Binay.
“Trillanes made several baseless and sweeping statements against the independence, integrity and reputation of the [CA] and the justices in the 6th Division,” the resolution said.
“[I]n the face of respondent’s [Trillanes] disrespectful act and unrelenting malicious attacks toward the [CA] and its justices, there is a need for the [CA] to protect and preserve its dignity and independence. It, therefore, behooves the [CA] to cite respondent Trillanes for indirect contempt and mete out the appropriate punishment on him,” it added. (PNA)