CA has jurisdiction on Junjun Binay case – SC
THE Supreme Court affirmed the power of the Court of Appeals to act on petitions questioning the orders issued by the Office of the Ombudsman.
Court insiders said the ruling was due to the petition raised by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales who questioned the appeals court authority to stop the implementation of the first suspension order against Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
Sources said the high court rejected the position of the Ombudsman that that under Section 14 of the Ombudsman Act, it was the Supreme Court and not the Court of Appeals that has jurisdiction to handle the case of Binay.
Section 14 of the Ombudsman Act provides that “no writ of injunction shall be issued by any court to delay an investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman under this Act, unless there is a prima facie evidence that the subject matter of the investigation is outside the jurisdiction of the Office of the Ombudsman.
Binay went to the Court of Appeals after the Ombudsman issued a six month preventive suspension order in connection with his alleged involvement in the overpriced Makati Parking Building.
The appeals court’s 6th division ruled in favor of Binay and stopped the implementation of the suspension order.
The Ombudsman then took the case to the high court.
The high court, according to sources, said such provision was declared ineffective.
At the same time, the high court has abandoned the condonation doctrine which is commonly being used by elected officials to escape liabilities for acts committed during their previous terms in office.
Condonation doctrine, which was first introduced by the high court in a 1959 ruling, states that re-elected officials cannot be held administratively liable for offenses during a previous term because their re-election meant their constituents have already forgiven them for their offenses.
However, court insiders said the doctrine is prospective in application and could no longer be invoked in future cases.
No other details were made available as the high court has yet to release the promulgated copy of its ruling.
Sources said the decision was written by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.
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