CA turns tables on Gwen’s lawyers
The 12th division of the Court of Appeals (CA) shall continue to handle Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s petition to stop Malacañang from implementing her six-month suspension.
The court likewise turned the tables on Garcia’s counsels for being “overly presumptuous” and directed them to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for their alleged improper conduct.
Th appellate court dismissed Garcia’s motion which sought the inhibition of Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, presiding justice of the 12th division, from hearing the case.
In a 30-page ruling, the three justices of the 12th division said they are a “collegiate court whose members reach their conclusions in consultation and accordingly render their collective judgment after due deliberation.”
They said singling out a member of the division is inappropriate. The other members of the division are Associate Justices Aurora Jane Lantion and Eduardo Peralta.
The court mandated Garcia’s lawyers Tranquil Salvador III, Victorina Calma, Leandro Abarquez, Jomini Nazareno, Amanda Marie Nograle and Glenn Tuazon to explain within 10 days why they should not be cited for contempt for their alleged improper conduct.
The appellate court said Garcia and her lawyers were “overly presumptuous” in claiming that they were able to establish the urgency and petitioner’s grave and irreparable injury during the hearing last January 10, 2013.
“The court therefore, has valid grounds to refer the perceived acts of misconduct of (Attorney Salvador III, et al.) to the Supreme Court for its necessary action under Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court… However, for now, they are merely warned, stern, that henceforth, their misconduct will be dealt with accordingly,” the three justices of the 12th division said.
Subhead: No personal attack
In a text message to Cebu Daily News, Salvador said they will prepare their explanation and avail of remedies under the law.
He clarified that asking Veloso to inhibit is not a personal attack against the justice.
When asked if they will insist on asking Veloso to inhibit, Salvador said they are “considering their options.
Garcia, through her counsels, requested Veloso to inhibit from the case, citing political bias which causes the inordinate delay in ruling on her case.
Salvador said they already elevated before the Supreme Court their plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO).
The CA’s 12th division earlier decided to no longer issue a TRO after Garcia’s camp made it appear that they are abandoning her petition for a TRO, which would last only 60 days.
Garcia’s camp, the CA said, preferred for the issuance of a preliminary injunction, which would stop the suspension while the suit is being heard.
Contrary to the appellate court’s statement, Garcia’s lawyers explained that they never decided to forego their plea for a TRO. Hence, they decided to ask the High Court’s intervention.
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