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Controversial decisions

/ 01:17 AM April 28, 2015

MOST of the time, a crusader for truth and justice fights a lonely battle.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno has been receiving flak from fellow lawyers for trying to right a wrong committed by the Supreme Court many years ago.

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Sereno scolded the lawyer of Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay for invoking the condonation doctrine during oral arguments before the high court to argue against his six-month suspension by the Ombudsman for alleged corruption.

Lawyer Sandra Marie Coronel used the doctrine laid down by the high court itself in 1959 that administrative offenses of an elected official are considered forgiven upon his reelection.

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Coronel said since they reelected Binay, Makati’s voters have forgiven him for the alleged gross overprice of the Makati City Hall Building II.

Sereno said Coronel was making use of an “unfortunate doctrine made on legally insecure foundations.”

But retired Supreme Court Justice Vicente Mendoza said Sereno should not have scolded Coronel over the condonation doctrine.

“Don’t scold lawyers for invoking the doctrine. After all, that doctrine was laid down by the [Supreme Court] itself,” said Mendoza, who served in the high tribunal from 1994 to 2003.

Following Mendoza’s argument, it’s okay for an elected official to rob his constituents blind because they reelected him anyway.

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Makati City Judge Joselito Villarosa, who issued an order closing down a call center which was later revoked by the Supreme Court, has a history of issuing decisions which were eventually reversed or revoked by the Court of Appeals.

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Here are some of Villarosa’s other boo-boos:

1) He ordered the Central Bank to release P25 billion in financial assistance to Banco Filipino despite the absence of any form of legal settlement between the two parties.

2) He invalidated a writ of preliminary injunction issued by the Court of Appeals by ordering the release of P1.465-billion worth of DMCI shares held by Export and Industry Bank, despite the fact that the bank was not the one being sued.

3) In a commercial case involving Stelsen Corp., Villarosa accepted a motion for reconsideration of a judgment in an intracorporate dispute despite knowing that the motion was a prohibited pleading.

4) He issued a temporary restraining order against the Department of Transportation and Communications in the procurement of 48 train cars amounting to P3.77 billion on the motion of a losing bidder.

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The layoff of at least 80 employees and talents at the GMA Network is being blamed on Ramon S. Ang, a new player in the radio and television network.

RSA (that’s what the president and CEO of the San Miguel conglomerate is called by his subordinates) is being blamed for something he had no knowledge of!

The old fogeys at GMA 7, particularly those in the news department, are the ones creating the noise, according to my sources inside the network.

The same sources said the old hands want to retain their positions because “they earn a lot on the side” from some government officials and politicians.

By creating a big issue out of the layoffs, which are taking place in the network’s Visayas regional stations, the noisemakers want the layoffs or reshuffle confined at the regional level and not in the Manila home office.

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TAGS: Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, condonation doctrine, GMA Network, Junjun Binay, Metro, News
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