MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) is expected to end this week the standoff over the leadership of Makati City emanating from the suspension of Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. for alleged irregularities in the construction of Makati City Hall Building 2.
Binay, who maintained that the graft charges filed against him before the ombudsman are trumped up, has refused to yield power to Vice Mayor Romulo “Kid” Peña, who insists he is the lawful mayor of Makati.
The Sixth Division of the appellate court will resolve Binay’s petition for a halt order that would extend for an indefinite period the temporary restraining order (TRO) it issued on his six-month preventive suspension order by the ombudsman.
After oral arguments last week, the CA submitted for resolution Binay’s plea for issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction that would enjoin the ombudsman and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) from implementing his suspension.
Binay’s lawyers, led by Claro Certeza, told the CA of the urgent need to issue a resolution in order to end the impasse between Binay and Peña who are both sitting as mayors.
The CA will also rule on Binay’s separate petition to cite in contempt Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
Associate Justices Jose Reyes Jr., Eduardo Peralta Jr. and Francisco Acosta heard the contempt case in oral arguments in which government lawyers representing Morales and Roxas were grilled for their alleged defiance of the TRO.
De Lima and Peña have yet to answer the contempt charge in their comments to be filed until tomorrow.
Developments on Binay’s case are not confined with the CA after the ombudsman elevated it to the Supreme Court (SC) last week.
The high court is expected to tackle the plea of Morales questioning the CA TRO in a full court session of the justices in Baguio City tomorrow.
The SC will receive today the comments of Binay and CA justices on Morales’ petition seeking to void the 60-day TRO and stop the appellate court from further hearing the case.
The Office of the Solicitor General has asked the CA to suspend proceedings on Binay’s petition as a matter of judicial courtesy to the pending case in the SC.
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