CA orders removal of phrase 'forcibly taken' from Menorca's judicial statement

December 2, 2015 6:37 am 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo

MANILA, Dec. 1 (PNA) –The Court of Appeals' (CA) Seventh Division on Tuesday ordered the "deletion" of phrase "forcibly taken upon orders of the INC" in the affidavit of former INC Minister Lowell Menorca.

During Tuesday's oral arguments at the CA, Menorca was barred from testifying after the lawyers of the INC, headed by Atty. Patricia Ann Prodigalidad, stopped him from taking the witness stand due to his questionable judicial affidavits.

Prodigalidad scored the Menorca camp for violating the judicial affidavit rule on the ground that his document contained only opinions, conclusions and speculations.

Prodigalidad, legal counsel for INC Executive Minister Eduardo Manalo and other officials of the INC, claimed that Menorca's judicial affidavit was purely generic.

Under the Judicial Affidavit Rule, the document must contain the particulars, specific questions with specific answers.

Because of this, the CA Seventh Division chaired by Associate Justice Magdangal De Leon, granted the first objection to erase lines 15-18 of the Question 3 of the judicial affidavit of Menorca.

The CA ordered the deletion of the portion that Menorca was "forcibly taken" by the INC.

"That he was taken by force by several men upon orders of the INC," was not deleted upon orders of the CA.

The CA gave its approval for deletions of the same since Menorca "has no authority and personal knowledge" with what he was claiming.

Prodigalidad argued that the conclusions and opinions made by Menorca are similar to a telenovela or soap opera.

She added that the same are not supported by evidence at all and must be stricken out.

There were 117 objections posed by the INC camp against the Menorca document.

The CA set the next hearing on Jan. 20, 2016.

Likewise, the CA issued a ruling which sanctioned and penalized the Menorca camp.

In a two-page resolution, the CA Seventh Division issued the ruling imposing a fine of Php2,000 against the Menorca camp for its failure to furnish respondents with copies of the affidavits of Lowell and his brother, Anthony.

"Over and above the objection of respondents, and in the exercise of sound judicial discretion, the Court hereby admits the Judicial Affidavits of Anthony Menorca, Roni Charmaine Dumalo and Lowell Menorca, but Directs counsels for petitioners to pay a fine, for late filing, in the amount of P2,000 cash," the CA ruling written by Associate Justice Victoria Isabel Paredes said.

Concurring with the ruling were Associate Justices De Leon and Elihu Ybanez. (PNA)



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