Waiting for the court’s move after Jan. 1


All eyes are on the Court of Appeals in Manila when it resumes office on Jan. 2.

Suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and her supporters have placed their hopes in the court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and to eventually reverse the order of President Aquino striking her out for six months.

Garcia’s petition was filed on Dec. 19, but Christmas and New Year’s Eve have passed without relief issued by the court.

The process is not expected to be quick either.

Associate Justice Gabriel Ingles of the CA Cebu station said there should be an “extreme urgency” in order for a court to restrain individuals or groups from performing a specific action.

The case was received and raffled off to the CA 12th division.

Ingles said Garcia has to wait for the return of two of three justices of the 12th division since Associate Justices Vicente Veloso and Jane Lantion are on holiday leave.

Only Associate Justice Eduardo Peralta was around.

He said Peralta, a junior justice, would likely wait for the two other justices to return instead of acting alone.

As a general practice, said Ingles, the court will ask the opposing party to file a comment, in this case the Office of the Solicitor General representing the President, if they don’t find merit in the petition for the issuance of a TRO.

A hearing may be called.

Garcia, who is spending her 13th day in the Capitol to protest what she calls an “illegal” suspension order and “power grab”

Garcia was ordered suspended based on an administrative complaint filed by the late Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez in 2010, accusing her of usurpation. After he died in April 2011, his daughter Gigi Sanchez Zaballero pursued the case. Several hearings were held in Cebu, with the governor represented by her daughter Christina Codilla Frasco leading the legal defense team.

On recommendation of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo in July, the Office of the President found Garcia guilty of “grave abuse of authority”. /Reporter Ador Vincent S. Mayol

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