CA justice debunks P50-M bribery rap in Junjun case
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – A Court of Appeals (CA) magistrate has debunked the P50-million bribery claim of Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in connection with the case involving the preventive suspension of then Makati mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Associate Justice Jose Reyes Jr. said he and the other members of the CA’s Sixth Division, which stopped Binay’s suspension by issuing a temporary restraining order (TRO) and writ of preliminary injunction last year, have been vindicated by the lack of evidence in the alleged bribery.

Reyes said the Supreme Court (SC) upheld the appellate court’s TRO in a ruling in November 2015.

“With the SC decision, we felt vindicated because no less than the high court said that writ of preliminary injunction we issued was correct,” Reyes said following his interview on Friday with the Judicial and Bar Council for his nomination to the SC post to be vacated by Associate Justice Martin Villarama Jr., who will retire this week.

Reyes penned the CA ruling, which stopped Binay’s suspension for the allegedly overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building 2.

It was the first time that Reyes, one of the two CA justices accused of receiving P25 million each from Binay in exchange for the TRO, addressed the bribery issue in public.

The appellate court had earlier called for an ethics probe on Trillanes’ allegations. The magistrates were not required to formally comment about the issue.

“There is no case, probably there is really no evidence, so that’s why,” Reyes said.

He admitted getting hurt by Trillanes’ accusations. But he said he has remained steadfast amid the controversy.

“It was a serious and unfounded allegation. It hurt me but I kept silent. My conscience is clear. The CA ruling was based on existing jurisprudence,” said Reyes, referring to the condonation doctrine, which clears a public official of administrative liability upon reelection.

The doctrine has been struck down by the SC in the same ruling on Binay’s case.

In its ruling, the SC said the appellate court did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it issued a writ of preliminary injunction against the ombudsman’s suspension order on Binay.

Reyes maintained they issued the TRO and writ of preliminary injunction after a thorough and impartial evaluation of the petition filed by Binay questioning his suspension.

The SC ruling stemmed from a petition filed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales challenging the CA’s restraining order.

Trillanes had filed a resolution calling for a Senate inquiry into the alleged system of justice for sale at the CA.

He alleged that Reyes and the CA’s Sixth Division chairman, Associate Justice Francisco Acosta, received P25 million each to stop Binay’s suspension on March 16, 2015.

Trillanes accused the two justices of receiving an additional P5 million each upon the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to stop Binay’s suspension indefinitely.

Binay, who was ordered dismissed by the ombudsman prior to the SC ruling on the same case, has filed a libel complaint against Trillanes before the Department of Justice over the bribery claim.

A COURT OF APPEALS ACIRC ANTONIO TRILLANES ASSOCIATE JUSTICE FRANCISCO ACOSTA ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JOSE REYES JR. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARTIN VILLARAMA JR. BINAY BINAY JR. REYES SIXTH DIVISION TRILLANES
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with