Trillanes told to explain bribery raps vs 2 CA justices or face contempt
The Court of Appeals has ordered Senator Antonio Trillanes to explain why he should not be cited in contempt of court for accusing two of its justices of receiving P25-million bribe to rule against the suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
In a two-page resolution dated May 6 but made public on Monday, the appeals court Special 11th Division gave Trillanes to comment within 10 days upon receipt of the resolution.
“Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, respondent is Directed to file his Comment thereon (not a motion to dismiss), within 10 days from receipt hereof which shall be considered as his answer to the petition should it be given due course,” the appeals court said.
The Binay camp has five days to file a reply if they want to.
“Upon filing of the said comment and reply, or upon the expiration of the period to file the same without pleadings being filed by either party, the petition shall be considered as submitted for decision unless we issue a directive to hear the case or require the parties to submit memoranda,” the appeals court said.
The appeals court resolution was written by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz and was concurred by Justices Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Melchor Sadang.
The contempt case was filed by Mayor Binay against the senator for casting aspersion not only on the justices of the appeals court’s 6th division that issued the restraining order and writ of preliminary injunction but also against the entire appeals court.
The petition said Trillanes’ allegations have brought “the authority of the courts and the administration of the law into disrepute.”
“Respondent’s malicious and baseless utterances and imputations against the Honorable Court and the Justices of the 6th Division of the Honorable Court show that he has blatantly displayed his lack of respect for the Honorable Court and the judicial system as he whimsically and capriciously attacks the integrity and independence of the Honorable Court and its members without any evidence whatsoever, thus, tending to bring the authority of the Court and the administration of law into disrepute,” the petition stated.
Trillanes said CA justices Jose Reyes Jr. and Francisco Acosta each received P20 million in exchange for issuing the restraining order and an additional P5 million for issuing the writ of preliminary injunction. The restraining order is in effect for 60 days.
With the issuance of the restraining order, the preventive suspension order cannot be implemented until the appeals court has ruled on the merits of Mayor Binay’s petition that questions the legality of the suspension order.
Both justices already denied the accusations and pleaded to spare the judiciary from political mudslinging.
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