Nov 292013

A former Davao del Sur congressman, linked to the pork barrel fund scam allegedly run by Janet Lim-Napoles, is in danger of being cited in contempt after criticizing what he called a “deceitful” Supreme Court decision that would pave the way for the creation of the province of Davao Occidental.

In a four-page notice, the high court asked lawyer Marc Douglas Cagas IV to explain within five days from receipt why he should not be cited in contempt of court for the letter he sent Court Administrator Midas Marquez.

Cagas’ letter to Marquez read in part: “The recent SC decision… did not surprise me. What struck me was the level of deceitfulness of whoever wrote the decision. It can poison the minds of law students.” The ruling was penned by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.

Marquez received Cagas’ letter on November 11.

In his letter, Cagas said he was also sending DVDs to Marquez so the latter could show it to the SC justices “para malaman nila ang totoo.”

In response to Cagas’ letter, the high court said: 

“Legitimate criticisms that out flaws in this Court’s decisions, judicial reasoning, and conduct of office pave the way for a responsive, effective and efficient judiciary.”

“However, upon evaluation of Cagas’ letter and videos, we find that his allegations and innuendos against the Supreme Court en banc in general and Justice Carpio, as ponente, in particular, tend, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice,” the SC added.

In the said SC ruling, the high court sitting en banc dismissed the petition filed by Cagas seeking to stop the plebiscite for the creation of a new province.

The plebiscite was held simultaneously with the October 28 barangay elections within the whole province of Davao del Sur, except Davao City.

Cagas sent 15 DVDs which showed videos of: 

  • alleged links between pork barrel fund scam “mastermind” Napoles to Benjamin Bautista, Franklin Bautista, Claude Bautista, and Lorna Bandigan of Davao del Sur;
  • relative poverty of the people as well as the “ghost” government projects in the Second District of Davao del Sur;
  • alleged patterns of cheating in the May 2013 elections due to the use of Precinct Count Optical Scan machines; and
  • Cagas’ campaign against the creation of the province of Davao Occidental
Incidentally, Cagas on Friday was named as among the new respondents charged criminally for his alleged involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam allegedly masterminded by Napoles.

Davao Occidental was created by Republic Act 10360, which was signed by President Benigno Aquino III on Jan 14, 2013.

The law states that the incumbent representatives of Davao del Sur shall continue to represent their respective districts until the expiration of their terms. It also states that Davao Occidental will have its own legislative district in the next national and local elections.

The new province is composed of the municipalities of Sta. Maria, Malita, Don Marcelino, Jose Abad Santos and Sarangani of Davao del Sur. —KG, GMA News

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