Binay camp files petition to cite Roxas in contempt
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay Jr filed a petition with the Court of Appeals (CA) on Tuesday, March 17, to cite Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II in contempt for refusing to honor a court ruling stopping the suspension of the mayor.
Also included in the petition for contempt are:
- DILG National Capital Region Director Renato Brion
- Police chief director Carmelo Valmoria
- Police chief superintendent Henry Ranola
- Police senior superintendent Elmer Jamias
- Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña
The Binay camp earlier hit the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) for insisting that the suspension order it served against Binay early Monday still stands.
The DILG said that the suspension order was served hours before the CA issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the suspension order issued by the Ombudsman last week.
The appellate court's resolution also came just hours after Vice Mayor Romulo Peña had already been sworn in as acting mayor.
"The order of the Ombudsman has already been carried out; hence, there is nothing to restrain," the DILG said, adding that it would refer the matter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for further clarification.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales echoed the DILG's position on Tuesday, saying that that the matter is now "moot and academic" since the suspension had been served by the DILG.
But Rico Quicho, spokesman for Vice President Jejomar Binay, earlier said the DILG must respect the CA ruling.
He added that neither the DILG nor the justice secretary could claim the proper interpretation of the CA decision.
"DILG as part of the executive branch implements the law. It has no power to interpret it, which is solely vested in the judiciary," Quicho said.
He added: "Even the secretary of justice cannot arrogate upon herself the proper interpretation of the Court of Appeals' Decision. To do so would clearly undermine the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals."
The TRO will be in effect for 60 days while arguments on the legality of the 6-month preventive suspension order is being heard.
The hearing of the application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction has been set on March 30 and 31. A writ of preliminary injunction will extend the TRO indefinitely.
The Ombudsman's order stemmed from a complaint over allegations of irregularities in a contract related to the construction of a Makati city building.
On Tuesday, Binay hit the DILG for insisting on its own interpretation of the court ruling, which in effect means that the DILG still considers Peña the acting mayor of Makati.
Binay said it is not part of the DILG's mandate to interpret the court's orders.
He added that the DILG was defying both the court order and the will of the Makati voters who elected him to office.
“I was overwhelmingly elected by the people as their Mayor in the last election. Let us respect their will," he said.
“I am the Mayor of Makati, and I will see to it that our constituents will not be deprived of the services and benefits they deserve from their government,” he added.
Binay also hit DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas II for the deployment of hundreds of heavily-armed police personnel to secure the city hall area.
Binay likened the "excessive and unnecessary show of force" to a "quasi-martial law."
He also questioned if it was necessary for Senior Superintendent Elmer Jamias, ground commander at the city hall complex, to go around the premises with armed troops.
“Is it really necessary for Colonel Jamias to go around City Hall premises with armed PNP personnel? They should stop pretending that they are here to maintain peace and order,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, the mayor's sister, Senator Nancy Binay, posted a photo on her Twitter account showing rows of police officers massing in the area.
"Walang peace and order problem sa Makati, Sec. Mar. Pakideploy lang po sila sa mga lugar na mas kailangan sila," she wrote.
(There is no peace and order problem in Makati, Secretary Mar. Please deploy them in areas where they are needed.)
The Philippine National Police (PNP) however denied there was "overkill" in the deployment of police personnel.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr said the police officers were deployed to ensure peace and order.
The Binays have maintained that the suspension order against the Makati mayor was the latest political ploy to derail the 2016 presidential bid of their father, Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The DILG secretary is widely perceived to be the elder Binay's rival in the 2016 polls. – Rappler.com