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Estelito Mendoza to Alvarez: Respect the judiciary

Marcos era solicitor general stresses separation of powers amid CA-House row on 6 Ilocos Norte employees
/ 06:58 PM June 15, 2017

Atty. Estelito Mendoza (INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO / NOY MORCOSO)

MANILA — Estelito Mendoza, the Solicitor-General of dictator Ferdinand Marcos, reminded House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez about the separation of powers amid the legislature’s continued defiance of a court order.

Alvarez on Tuesday cussed out the three Court of Appeals justices who ordered the release of six Ilocos Norte provincial officials detained since May 29 for contempt during a congressional inquiry.

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“That’s gross ignorance of the law! Mga gago yang tatlong justices na yan (Those three justices are idiots),” Alvarez said in a message to reporters.

He was re­fer­ring to Court of Appeals Spe­cial Fourth Divi­sion members, As­so­ci­ate Jus­tices Stephen Cruz, Ed­win Soron­gon and Nina An­tonino-Valen­zuela, who granted the habeas cor­pus pe­ti­tion filed by the so-called Ilocos Six.

Sought for comment, Mendoza, the lawyer of the detained officials, said: “Ako naniniwala namang mayroon pa tayong gobyerno. Mayroon pa tayong Saligang Batas (I believe that we still have a government. We still have a Constitution).”

Mendoza stressed that the Court of Appeals should be respected  as an “independent part of the judiciary” and “the judiciary is an independent and separate part of government.”

He said it was “shocking” to see the House refusing to comply with the Court of Appeal’s order even as the officials have posted the necessary bond.

Al­varez had or­dered them ar­rested af­ter they were held in con­tempt for al­legedly re­fus­ing to an­swer ques­tions dur­ing a con­gres­sional in­quiry into the al­leged ir­reg­u­lar pro­cure­ment of P66.45-mil­lion worth of ve­hi­cles by the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

Pe­dro Ag­caoili, chair of the bids and awards com­mit­tee and pro­vin­cial plan­ning and de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer; pro­vin­cial bud­get of­fi­cer Evan­ge­line Tab­u­log; pro­vin­cial trea­surer Josephine Cala­jate; ac­coun­tant Eden Bat­tulayan, and trea­sury of­fice staff Gene­dine Jam­baro and En­car­na­cion Gaor have been de­tained since May 29.  SFM

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TAGS: co-equal branches of  government, congressional hearing, contempt citation, Court of Appeals, defiance of court orders, detention at the House of Representatives, Eden Bat­tulayan, En­car­na­cion Gaor, Estelito Mendoza, Evan­ge­line Tab­u­log, Gene­dine Jam­baro, House of Representatives, House Speaker, Ilocos Norte provincial government, Ilocos Six, Josephine Cala­jate, Judiciary, malversation of public funds, misuse of tobacco funds, Pantaleon Alvarez, Pe­dro Ag­caoili, refusal to implement court orders, separation of powers, Speaker of the House of Representatives, writ of habeas corpus
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