Appeals court employees hit Trillanes' bribery claims: Show proof
MANILA, Philippines – Employees of the Court of Appeals (CA) on Monday, April 20, challenged Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to present evidence of his accusations against two justices of the appellate court and bring his allegations to the proper forum.
Shortly after Monday's flag raising ceremony at the CA grounds, white-clad employees held a short protest to show their support for associate justices Francisco Acosta and Jose Reyes Jr.
Trillanes has accused the two of receiving bribes in exchange for issuing resolutions favoring Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay in his row with the Ombudsman.
Amiel de Vera, president of the Association of Court of Appeals Employees, said they would welcome any investigations and efforts to clean up the judiciary, but stressed that the senator should make his allegations before the proper forum.
“We are not against any move to clean the judiciary, but it should be done the right way since we are a nation governed by laws. Kung may ebidensya siya (Trillanes) dapat i-raise niya ito sa proper forum at hindi sa media lalo na lawmaker siya,” De Vera said.
(If Trillanes has evidence, he should raise it before the proper forum and not before the media, especially as he's a lawmaker.)
He added, “Ibigay niya kay Chief Justice [Maria Lourdes] Sereno, kasi habang salita siya nang salita sa media, nasisira ang institusyon at pati na rin kaming mga simpleng empleyado lamang ng hukuman."
(Bring the allegations before Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, because while he keeps making these accusations before the media, the institution suffers including the employees.)
Citing "reliable sources privy to the matter," Trillanes last week claimed that Acosta and Reyes of the CA's Sixth Division received a total of P50 million ($1.12 million) from lawyer Pancho Villaraza, in exchange for issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) and a writ of preliminary injunction stopping the implementation of the Ombudsman's preventive suspension order against Binay.
Both Villaraza and the CA denied Trillanes' accusations and challenged the senator to present credible proof of his claims.
Trillanes earlier filed a resolution asking the Senate to investigate allegations of corruption in the judiciary. He has also asked the Supreme Court to conduct its own investigation.
But SC spokesman Theodore Te said the High Court would need evidence of wrongdoing by members of the judiciary to proceed with an investigation.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines also said Trillanes should present proof to back up his claims.
Trillanes' allegations stemmed from the orders issued by the CA stopping the Ombudsman's 6-month preventive suspension against Binay. The Ombudsman's order was based on a complaint over an allegedly overpriced Makati city building. – Rappler.com