CA stops arrest of Abalos lawyer | Inquirer News

CA stops arrest of Abalos lawyer

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 02:38 AM January 12, 2012


The Court of Appeals has stopped the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC) from ordering the arrest of the lawyer of former Commission on Elections Chairman Benjamin Abalos Sr. for contempt.

The court’s 13th Division granted the petition of Abalos’ lawyer Brigido Dulay for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the arrest warrant issued on December 22 last year by Judge Jesus Mupas of Pasay RTC Branch 112, who found the lawyer guilty of contempt for making ridiculous charges against the court.


Mupas cited Abalos and Dulay for contempt and ordered them fined P2,000 each and jailed 10 days after Dulay filed a motion for inhibition alleging that certain individuals claiming to be the judge’s emissaries tried to extort money from Abalos.


“An initial review of the contents of the motion for inhibition would reveal that petitioner, as counsel for Abalos, merely relayed to the court a quo specific events which ultimately led petitioners’ client to doubt the court’s impartiality,” the appellate court said in an eight-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Francisco Acosta.

“In other words, it appears that petitioner merely performed his duty toward his client and to the court, as well, by demonstrating the bases why his client was praying for [Mupas’] inhibition. We initially find that such action by petitioner is neither illegal nor contumacious per se as the same is consistent with the dictates of due process and is in fact allowed by the rules of court,” the court ruled.

The appellate court said that judges must be reminded that “while the power to punish a person in contempt of court is inherent in all courts to preserve order in judicial proceedings to uphold the due administration of justice, such power must be exercised judicially and sparingly and … only for the preservation of the court’s dignity and not for retaliation or vindictiveness.”

Associate Justices Magdangal de Leon and Angelita Gacutan also voted in favor of the issuance of the TRO, which is effective for 60 days. Dulay was also directed to post a P4,000 bond.

The hearing for the case was set on February 10. With Tetch Torres,

Originally posted at 04:22 pm | Wednesday, January 11, 2012

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TAGS: bribery, Court of Appeals, Jesus Mupas, Judiciary, Pasay RTC

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