CA issues writ of preliminary injunction on Binay suspension

April 7, 2015 5:12 am 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, April 6 (PNA) — The Court of Appeals (CA) on Monday ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the preventive suspension order against Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, Jr.

The Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) earlier imposed an “immediately executory” six-month preventive suspension on Binay and 22 others for graft and plunder cases in connection with the alleged “overpriced” construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

The CA Sixth Division earlier issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Ombudsman order.

In a 15-page resolution, the CA Sixth Division chaired and written by Associate Justice Jose Reyes, ruled that the injunction will finally settle the issue that the Ombudsman suspension order shall be stopped.

To avoid any confusing interpretation, the CA said that “the injunction order shall regain the previous status before the preventive suspension of Binay.”

The CA resolution said that “clearly that it shall revert back to the previous position before the Binay suspension with the force and effect of a status quo ante order.”

Department of Justice(DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales allegedly ignored the CA TRO issued on March 26, 2015.

De Lima, Roxas and Morales have interpreted the TRO of the CA before to be of no force and effect because it should be considered moot and academic since Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Pena has already assumed as Acting Mayor of Makati City prior to the TRO issuance of the CA.

This prompted the Binay camp to file a petition before the CA to cite them in contempt.

This also prompted the Ombudsman to elevate the case to the Supreme Court (SC).

However, the SC refused to stop the CA with its proceedings.

In the current CA ruling, it also ordered the Binay camp to post a Php500,000 bond.

The dispositive portion of the resolution on the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction signed by Associate Justices Jose C. Reyes Jr., Francisco P. Acosta, and Eduardo B. Peralta Jr. state:

“Accordingly, in view of the foregoing premises, the Court hereby resolves to: 1. grant petitioner’s, Jejomar Erwin Binay, Jr., prayer for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction, enjoining respondents Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Interior and Local Governments and their agents and or representatives from enforcing the joint order dated March 10, 2015 and to respect and preserve the status quo before the issuance of the aforesaid joint order, relative to petitioner’s preventive suspension for six months; 2. order petitioner to file a bond in the amount of P500,000 which may answer for whatever damages which may be sustained by reason of this preliminary injunction in the event that it is finally decided that petitioner is not entitled thereto; 3. direct the Division Clerk of Court to issue the corresponding writ of preliminary injunction against respondents upon proof of petitioner’s posting of the requisite bond. So ordered.”

In his petition, Binay argued that the Ombudsman committed a grave abuse of discretion and violated his rights in its suspension order on a mere complaint for corruption raps lodged against him.

He further argued that Morales “whimsically and capriciously disregarded and violated established laws and jurisprudence.”

Binay said that he was suspended even without asking for his counter-affidavit.

He stressed that a SC jurisprudence stated that a mere signature or approval appearing on the document is not enough to sustain the charge of conspiracy among public officials and employees.

Binay also argued that the case filed against him before the Ombudsman is weak and does not warrant a preventive suspension. (PNA)

FPV/PTR/EDS

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