Mike Arroyo files supplemental motion seeking to nullify creation of DOJ-Comelec panel

November 21, 2011 11:03 pm 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo Jr.

MANILA, Nov. 21 — Former First Gentleman Atty. Jose Miguel “Mike” Arroyo filed on Monday before the Supreme Court (SC) a supplemental motion seeking to nullify the creation of the joint Department of Justice-Commission on Elections (DOJ-Comelec) committee.

In a 12-page "very urgent motion" for immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) filed through his legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Arroyo alleged that after the filing on Nov. 15, 2011 of the first motion for immediate issuance of a TRO, there was "undue haste and unfairness displayed by the respondents," particularly the DOJ-Comelec Joint Committee, in the conduct of preliminary investigation, as well as their blatant disregard of his rights.

In his petition, Arroyo also protested the alleged unjustified outright denial by the Joint Committee of his motion to defer proceedings, as well as other motions of his co-respondents, and the consequent termination of the preliminary probe and submission of the case for resolution, despite the pendency of the present petition and similar petitions before the SC, assailing the authority and jurisdiction of the Joint Committee to proceed with the preliminary probe.

Arroyo argued that with the acts displayed by the respondents, it was evident that the Joint Committee "intended to rig and railroad the preliminary investigation of the subject electoral sabotage case to deprive him and his co-respondents of the right to secure effective relief from the SC by unjustifiably precipitating the case and making inutile any injunctive relief that petitioner may be able to secure."

In a separate petition for certiorari and prohibition filed by Arroyo against DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima, et al., subsequently consolidated with a similar petition by his wife, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, the Arroyo couple sought the nullification of DOJ Circular No. 41 and the Watch List Orders (WLOs) against them.

The SC issued a TRO on Nov. 15, 2011, which was “effective immediately and continuing until further orders from this Court,” enjoining De Lima and Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. from enforcing or implementing DOJ Circular No. 41 and the three WLOs.

However, De Lima refused to comply with the SC’s TRO and instructed BI officials and other law enforcement agencies to prevent the Arroyo couple from leaving the country.

Hence, BI officials at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) refused to process the travel documents of the Arroyo couple, precisely upon such directive of respondent DOJ Secretary.

Subsequently, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a motion for reconsideration (MR) of the SC’s TRO.

On Nov, 18, 2011, respondent Comelec en banc resolved the preliminary investigation conducted by the Joint Committee and subsequently filed electoral sabotage charges against Mrs. Arroyo, former Maguindanao Governor Andal Ampatuan Sr. and former Election Supervisor Lintang Bedol before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

The petitioner claimed that without the basic notice as required by the Rules of Court, the case was immediately raffled off and was assigned to Pasay City RTC Branch 112 Judge Jesus Mupas

SC Spokesman and Court Administrator Atty. Jose Midas Marquez announced that the High Court, in a special session, denied the MR filed by the Solicitor General, explaining that the TRO remains in full force and effect.

The SC also ordered Secretary De Lima to show cause within a “non-extendible” period of 10 days from notice why she should not be held in contempt for not implementing the TRO.

Arroyo asked the SC to issue a TRO enjoining and restraining all respondents and their agents, assigns, subordinates and all persons acting under their command, from continuing to discharge any duties or performing any acts in pursuance of the subject preliminary investigation, under and by virtue of the assailed Joint Order No. 001-2011.

He said that within the period of the effectivity of the TRO, the issue of whether or not the preliminary injunction shall be granted be determined.

He asked that his petition be resolved the earliest possible time. (PNA)

DCT/scs/PTR/ssc

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