Amid standoff in Makati, VP Binay says rule of law must prevail
MANILA, Philippines—“Since when can an opinion and speculation overrule a court order?”
That’s how Vice President Jejomar Binay described the actions of the executive branch and the Ombudsman in ignoring the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the Court of Appeals in favor of the suspension against his son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
Speaking before the members of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) during their 15th National Convention in Cebu Friday, Binay said the rule of law must be upheld at all times.
“‘Without which justice can never prevail nor the stability of the social order preserved,” he said.
“The rule of law provides predictability in the outcome of conflicts arising from transactions in commerce and industry. That is why upholding the rule of law is actually a pre-requisite to progress,” he added.
Mayor Binay was suspended by the Ombudsman on March 11 due to the allegedly overpriced Makati City Building II. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) served the suspension order on Marh 16 but the Court of Appeals (CA) issued a 60-day TRO on the same day.
Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II sought the legal opinion of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima amid the legal confusion.
De Lima said the TRO was “without legal force and effect because it is already moot and academic.”
The justice secretary has said Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña is the acting mayor and should start discharging his duties.
The Ombudsman also maintined Mayor Binay’s suspension despite the CA order.
The Vice President said their refusal is “a stubborn display of political arrogance.”
In a press briefing Thursday at the Makati City Hall, Mayor Binay said De Lima has no authority to ovrturn the CA’s decision.
“How could a justice secretary overturn the ruling of the Court of Appeals? She has no authority to do that,” the younger Binay said after a petition to cite for contempt de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita carpio-Morales was filed before the CA.
The Vice President also thanked the members of the IBP for “asserting the primacy of the temporary restraining order” issued by the appelate court.
“I am, indeed, thankful that all lawyers of note and legal experts, including our IBP president, have struck a blow for the rule of law by asserting the primacy of the temporary restraining order over the unilateral interpretations of the two executive departments and the Ombudsman,” he said.
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