Estelito Mendoza to Alvarez: Respect the judiciary
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.
“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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