Mar 302015
The Office of the Solicitor General has asked the Court of Appeals to suspend hearings on Makati Mayor Junjun Binay’s petition contesting his preventive suspension.

Assistant Solicitor General Hermes Ocampo said the CA hearings should be stopped pending the resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman’s petition with the Supreme Court against Binay’s petition.

“We filed a motion to suspend proceedings on the grounds of judicial courtesy, considering last week, March 25, respondent Ombudsman filed a petition for certiori before the honorable Supreme Court,” Ocampo told the CA justices from the Sixth Division.

“While the SC has not issued a TRO (temporary restraining order), we respectfully invoke the limited and qualified application of the doctrine of judicial courtesy,” he added.

CA Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr., however, thumbed down the suspension plea.

“The principle of judicial courtesy should be applied with prudence and caution on order for justice to be served,” he said.

Ocampo said pushing through with the CA hearing would render the petition with the SC “moot and moribund.”

In response, Binay lawyer, Claro Certeza, opposed the solicitor general’s request, saying, “There is no basis for this honorable tribunal to suspend proceedings.” He cited Rule 65, Section 7 of the Rules of Court.

Section 7 on “Expediting proceedings; injunctive relief” states: “The court in which the petition is filed may issue orders expediting the proceedings, and it may also grant a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction for the preservation of the rights of the parties pending such proceedings. The petition shall not interrupt the course of the principal case unless a temporary restraining order or a writ of preliminary injunction has been issued against the public respondent from further proceeding in the case.”

The Office of the Solicitor General represents the Ombudsman, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Philippine National Police.

Last week, the SC did not issue a TRO requested by the Ombudsman against Binay’s petition, but instead ordered the respondents—CA and Binay—to file a comment on or before April 6. —KBK, GMA News

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