Court stops Junjun Binay's suspension indefinitely

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) has extended indefinitely the restraining order it issued stopping the suspension of Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr.

In a resolution issued on Monday, April 6, the appellate court's 6th division granted Binay's plea for a writ of preliminary injunction against the Ombudsman's order preventively suspending Binay and other city officials over the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II.

The CA issued a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) last March 16, stopping the implementation of Binay's suspension.

In its resolution, the appellate court enjoined the Ombudsman and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) from enforcing the suspension order and to "respect and preserve the status quo before the issuance of the aforesaid Joint Order."

The CA clarified that the TRO it earlier issued seeks to preserve the status quo – "the last actual peaceable uncontested status which preceded the pending controversy."

The court said the status quo "could not be that where petitioner was preventively suspended since the suspension did not precede the present controversy; it is the controversy."

The CA also ordered Binay to post a P500,000 bond.

The court's resolution comes a week after it heard oral arguments on Binay's petition challenging his suspension and the contempt petition he filed against the Ombudsman and the DILG.

Binay earlier filed a petition to cite the Ombusman and the DILG in contempt for refusing to honor the CA order stopping his suspension.

The Ombudsman and the DILG said the court's TRO was moot and academic because it was issued hours after the suspension order against Binay had already been served.

The situation has resulted in a power struggle in Makati between Binay and Vice Mayor Romulo Peña. (READ: Peña won't sign pay checks of Makati councilors, staff) – Rappler.com