SC OKs inhibition of Velasco in cybercrime cases

By Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Oct 23 2012 06:13 PM | Updated as of Oct 24 2012 07:27 AM

MANILA - The Supreme Court (SC) approved on Tuesday Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr.’s move to inhibit from the petitions filed against the provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The decision was arrived at during a full court meeting this morning, sources said. A justice also confirmed this to reporters this afternoon.

Velasco earlier said: “While the allegation of bias on [his] part…is totally baseless and bereft of truth…, he will nevertheless recuse from the consolidated petitions to erase any doubt or suspicion that preconception may influence or even taint the adjudication of said cases.”

Velasco said he was, in fact, the one who proposed the issuance of a halt order on the law.

Acting on 15 petitions against the law, the high court on October 9 issued a 120-day Temporary Restraining Order. The case was raffled to Velasco’s sala.

Journalists and several groups earlier raised concern over Velasco's bias since he had filed a libel case against journalist Marites Vitug.

The case was withdrawn in mid-2012 after a meeting between Velasco and Vitug with their lawyers.