Ombudsman: TRO vs Binay’s suspension moot and academic

By on March 18, 2015

Makati Mayor Junjun Binay (Facebook photo)
Makati Mayor Junjun Binay (Facebook photo)

MANILA — Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has found the “dispositive portion” of the Court of Appeals (CA) resolution “silent” on what the temporary restraining order (TRO) seeks to restrain.

The CA’s Sixth Division issued the TRO on Monday stopping the six-month preventive suspension without pay imposed by the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman) against Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, Jr. in connection with the plunder and graft cases filed against him and 22 others for the alleged “overpriced” construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

“To date, the Office of the Ombudsman has yet to receive a copy of Mayor Binay’s petition,” Morales said in a statement on Tuesday.

However, Morales said that the Ombudsman received Monday afternoon a copy of the CA resolution granting Binay’s prayer for a TRO, but the Ombudsman has not yet received any TRO.

Morales asserted that any TRO to be issued by the CA to restrain the implementation of the preventive suspension order has become moot and academic as “there is no more act to be restrained.”

In a manifestation filed before the CA on Tuesday, Morales informed the CA that the preventive suspension order on Binay, Jr., et al., had been served and implemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) even before the promulgation of the CA resolution.

In the DILG’s compliance report submitted by DILG-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Renato Brion to the Ombudsman, the DILG reported that on March 16, 2015 at around 8:30 a.m., the preventive suspension order was served, and at 9:47 a.m., Makati City Vice Mayor Romulo V. Peña, Jr. was sworn into office and assumed the position as Acting Makati City Mayor.

The Ombudsman insisted that strong bases exist justifying the preventive suspension order.

Meanwhile, Morales denounced the alarming practice of suspended public officials of encouraging the massing of people who obstruct or hinder the proper exercise of the functions of the Ombudsman.