‘Ilocos 6’ urged to elevate case to Supreme Court
The so-called “Ilocos Six” should bring their case to the Supreme Court to put an end to the stalemate between the Court of Appeals (CA) and the House of Representatives over their continued detention, according to a former official of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).
Jose Vicente Opinion, dean of the Eastern Samar State University College of Law, warned that a constitutional crisis would result from the House’s defiance of the decision of the appellate court’s Special Fourth Division granting the writ of habeas corpus of the six Ilocos Norte officials and employees.
“The CA should not be bullied. The best thing for the ‘Ilocos Six’ [to do] is to go to the Supreme Court which is the only one that can resolve this impasse,” he said.
Opinion said the House committee on good government and public accountability may have gone beyond its authority to conduct a legislative inquiry if its intention was “to investigate an anomaly in the implementation of a law.”
“There is a separation of power among the three branches of government. If the House… continues to disregard the lawful orders of the [CA], there will really be a constitutional impasse,” he said.
The six Ilocos Norte officials have been held by the House since May 29 for supposedly refusing to answer questions during an inquiry into the allegedly anomalous purchase of P66.45-million worth of vehicles by the provincial government.
The officials are provincial planning and development officer Pedro Agcaoili, provincial budget officer Evangeline Tabulog, provincial treasurer Josephine Calajate, accountant Eden Battulayan, and treasury office staff members Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor.
Led by the IBP, the legal community has been closing ranks behind the three CA justices — Associate Justices Stephen Cruz, Edwin Sorongon and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela — who were facing contempt charges in the House for issuing their June 9 order.
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