MANILA - The contempt petition filed by Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin "Junjun" Binay against Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and Makati Vice-Mayor Romulo Peña has been set for hearing by the Court of Appeals (CA) on May 11 and 12, at 2 p.m.
The appellate court's 6th Division gave De Lima and Peña the opportunity to present their respective oral arguments since they were not among those heard last March when hearings were set on Binay's petition.
Binay urged the appellate court to cite them in contempt after "defying" the temporary restraining order (TRO) the court had issued on the Office of the Ombudsman's 6-month preventive suspension order.
De Lima, in her comment on Binay's petition, however, stressed that she may not be impleaded in the contempt petition because she is not a party to the case filed by Binay with the CA against the suspension order. De Lima also pointed out that she merely issued a legal opinion on the matter of the suspension and TRO issued on it after having been asked by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). De Lima stressed that she meant no disrespect to the CA and her opinion did not supplant the authority of the court.
Peña, for his part, said he was merely taking orders from the DILG which installed him as acting city mayor after the suspension order was officially served on Binay.
Aside from De Lima and Peña, Binay also asked the CA to cite Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, interior and local government Secretary Mar Roxas, and several police officials in contempt.
The Ombudsman issued the preventive suspension order in connection with an ongoing investigation at the anti-graft office against Binay, his father, Vice-President Jejomar Binay, and several others in connection with the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building 2.