Tuesday, August 21, 2018

An eye for an eye: House panel issues show cause order vs. ‘inferior’ CA justices over Ilocos 6’s case

Jun 20, 2017 @ 20:29

The House of Representatives has responded to the Court of Appeals’ release order for the six detained employees of the Ilocos Norte provincial government with a show cause order asking why the justices should not be held in contempt over its directive.

In a unanimous vote, the House committee on good government on Tuesday (June 20) agreed to issue a show cause order against CA Special Fourth Division magistrates Stephen Cruz, Erwin Sorongon and Nina Antonino-Valenzuela.

They will be asked to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for issuing the release order for the so-called “Ilocos 6.”

The justices will also be asked to appear before the House panel so lawmakers will “be able to better understand powers of the three independent, co-equal branches of government,” said Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

The lawmaker called the CA “an inferior court” and not a co-equal branch of the House of Representatives.

“When an officer of Congress is now being required to show cause, this will equally warrant show cause of these justices, who unwarrantedly issued the resolution and caused the issuance of the release order,” he said.

The CA earlier issued a show cause order asking Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the House sergeant-at-arms, retired Lt. Gen. Roland Detabali to explain why they should not be cited in contempt for refusing to release the six provincial employees who have been detained at the House since May.

The House has been investigating the Ilocos Norte government’s P66.45-million purchase of motor vehicles through the alleged misuse of tobacco excise funds.

The following Ilocos Norte provincial employees have been detained since May 29 after being cited by the House panel in contempt: Bids and Awards committee and Provincial and Planning Development Unit chair Pedro Agcaoili; Provincial Treasurer Josephine Calajate; accountant Edna Battulayan; Provincial Budget Officer Evangeline Tabulog, and Treasury Office employees Genedine Jambaro and Encarnacion Gaor.

Alvarez has threatened to dissolve the CA over “gross ignorance of the law” and file a disbarment case against the three Special Division magistrates.

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