Junjun Binay loses bid to inhibit Sereno
THE Supreme Court denied the petition of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay that sought to inhibit Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and two other justices from the case regarding his question on the preventive suspension order imposed by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Aside from Sereno, Binay also sought the inhibition of Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Martin Villarama.
At a press conference, high court’s Information Chief Theodore Te said “the individual justices concerned have indicated that they are not voluntarily inhibiting from the proceedings; the motion to inhibit is denied.”
Binay sought Sereno’s inhibition for allegedly showing bias during the oral arguments held last April in Baguio City when she interpellated counsel Sandra Coronel.
On the other hand, Binay sought Carpio’s inhibition for being the cousin of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, the one who imposed the six months preventive suspension.
Villarama’s inhibition was sought because he admitted that he knew “a lawyer from the Ombudsman office.”
The mayor filed the motion after four justices already inhibited from his case last month – Associate Justices Presbitero Velasco Jr., Diosdado Peralta, Arturo Brion and Francis Jardeleza.
Velasco inhibited from the case after his participation in the case following a news report that revealed he inhibited from handling a previous case involving Dr. Elenita Binay. Velasco said he inhibited from Mrs. Binay’s case because he knew one of the parties in the case. However, he insisted that he does not know Mrs. Binay.
On the other hand, Brion inhibited from the case because his wife works as a confidential attorney for one of the Justices at the Court of Appeals while Jardeleza participated in the case as a solicitor-general. Peralta, meanwhile is the first justice to inhibit from the case. He did not sit during the first session of the oral arguments in the case.
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