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House leaders urged: Respect CA order on ‘Ilocos 6’

The Philippine Star
House leaders urged: Respect CA order on âIlocos 6â

A law dean and former official of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines  has urged leaders of the House of Representatives to honor the orders of the Court of Appeals for the release of the so-called Ilocos 6 as support for the appellate court’s decision mounts. File

MANILA, Philippines - A law dean and former official of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) has urged leaders of the House of Representatives to honor the orders of the Court of Appeals (CA) for the release of the so-called Ilocos 6 as support for the appellate court’s decision mounts.

This time, Jose Vicente Opinion, dean of Eastern Samar State University College of Law and former IBP governor, supported the CA and urged the House to recall their show cause order against the three justices who granted relief to the six provincial officials who have been detained for over a month after being cited in contempt by lawmakers in the probe on the capitol’s alleged misuse of the tobacco excise tax.

Opinion said the resolution to the impasse and prevention of possible constitutional crisis would depend on the action of the House.

“There is a separation of power among the three branches of government. If the House of Representatives continues to disregard the lawful orders of the Court of Appeals, there will really be a constitutional impasse,” he stressed.

Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr. earlier issued a similar statement calling on the House leaders to rescind the show cause order and instead consider legal remedies under the Rules of Court in questioning the CA orders – including possible petition before the Supreme Court (SC).

The IBP and Philippine Bar Association have also issued similar statements.

Opinion also supported calls made by the Philippine Constitution Association for the SC to intervene in the row between the CA and the House.

“The CA should not be bullied. The next best thing for the Ilocos 6 is to go to the Supreme Court, which is the only one that can resolve this impasse,” he said.

Opinion explained that while lawmakers have the power to cite the local government employees in contempt in congressional inquiries conducted in aid of legislation, the case of the Ilocos 6 is different.

“But it seems to me the purpose is to investigate an anomaly in the implementation of a law, in which case that is already beyond their jurisdiction,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, several groups in Ilocos Norte have urged Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos not to attend the hearing before the House committee on good government and public accountability on July 25.

The Marcos supporters made the call after the House showed to national media a detention room being prepared “just in case” Marcos is cited in contempt and detained.

The Bayanihan Bayan Movers-Pangasinan Organization of Genuine Inhabitants (BBM-POGI) and Buong Bansa Magkaisa (BBM) Youth Movement believe that the governor would be subject of political vendetta by the political rivals of the Marcoses, particularly Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas.

“What is the purpose of going there to attend if in the end, they will not believe what she will say and their real intention is to detain Governor Imee?” Philip Terry of BBM-POGI stressed.

Harrold Toledana of the 31,000-strong BBM Youth shares this opinion.

The Katipunan ng Pilipinong Makabayan and KAbataan SAndigan at Gabay ng Pilipino Inc., both headed by Roberto dela Cerna, dismissed the House probe as hogwash and pure politicking.

Dela Cerna believed any statement to be made by Marcos before the House will not matter to legislators because they already have a decision.

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