File photo by Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB
MANILA, Philippines – Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to cite Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in contempt for claiming that the Binays paid off two CA justices to obtain court orders stopping the suspension order against him.
In a petition for contempt filed on Thursday, April 16, Binay said Trillanes' "malicious and baseless" allegations attacking the credibility of the court and its justices constitute indirect contempt of court.
Citing Section 3, Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, Binay said Trillanes' statements fall under "any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice."
On Monday, Trillanes alleged that CA Justices Jose Reyes Jr and Francisco Acosta of the 6th Division got a total of P50 million ($1.12 million) to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the Ombudsman's 6-month preventive suspension order against the Makati mayor.
The CA denied Trillanes' allegations, calling his claims "baseless" and a form of harassment that sought to threaten the justices for performing their duties.
In their petition, the Binay camp asserted that Trillanes' public accusations against the CA justices without credible proof "degrades the administration of justice as well as embarrasses the Honorable Court and its Justices."
"Worse, Respondent Trillanes has even made threats to the Justices of its 6th Division to the detriment of the independence, stability and permanence of the Honorable Court. Clearly, there is indubitable ground to cite Respondent Trillanes in contempt," the petition read.
Citing a Supreme Court ruling, the Binay camp added that uncorroborated statements like Trillanes' claims cannot justify an accusation of bribery.
Binay pointed out that Trillanes himself admitted that he had no factual evidence for his allegations, citing only "reliable sources privy to the matter."
Binay said that in Trillanes' interviews with reporters, the senator merely cited his use of "intelligence," a term used in the military for information gathered for "decision-making."
Trillanes first insinuated last week that the Binays bought the injunction the CA issued upholding its TRO on Binay's suspension.
The senator's claims stem from the appellate court's rulings stopping the 6-month preventive suspension order issued by the Ombudsman against Binay over the alleged overpricing of a Makati City Hall parking building.
The CA earlier issued a 60-day TRO stopping Binay's suspension on the same day the order was served.