General & Misc

SC gives Due Course to Calida suit vs Trillanes on Senate Probe

Date: 08 November 2018; Type: Legal News; Source: Philippine News Agency

MANILA, Nov 8 (PNA) - Parties in a suit filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV have until this week to file their memoranda on the case questioning the validity of the Senate's public hearing on Calida in the absence of a resolution approving the inquiry.

The Supreme Court (SC) en banc, in a resolution dated Oct. 9, resolved to "give due course" to Calida's petition and ordered the parties to submit their memoranda within 30 days from notice.

The memorandum must contain, among other things, a specification of the order or judgment, which the party seeks to obtain and a clear and concise presentation of the argument in support of each issue.

"No new issues may be raised by a party in the memorandum, and the issues raised in the pleadings but not included in the memorandum shall be deemed waived or abandoned. Being a summation of the parties' previous pleadings, the court may consider the memorandum along in deciding or resolving the petition," the ruling signed by SC Clerk of Court Edgar O. Ancheta said.

The resolution noted that Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin and Alexander Gesmundo are on official business while Justice Jose Reyes is on official leave.

Last August, Calida filed the 39-page petition against Trillanes.

Calida, along with his wife Milagros, and children Josef, Michelle, and Mark Jorel, accused Trillanes of grave abuse of discretion in setting a public hearing and summoning them over the issue “in the absence of a resolution by the Senate or any of its committees approving the proposed resolution directing the conduct of an inquiry in aid of legislation.”

Trillanes’ committee on civil service, government reorganization and professional regulation is behind the inquiry into the business interests of the Calida family.

Calida questioned Trillanes’ jurisdiction to investigate specific conflicts of interests of certain individual government officials, as he pointed out that the Blue Ribbon Committee has jurisdiction since the latter focuses on legislation needed to address accountability issues involving public officers “and not on actual or possible violations done by specific performance.”

Calida also maintained that Trillanes’ resolution was a “mere proposed resolution” and is not intended to aid legislation.

“(Trillanes) decided on his own to conduct an inquiry inviting petitioners (Calida family), as witnesses, on Proposed Resolution No. 760.

While petitioners recognize that the Senate Committees are authorized in general to conduct inquiries, petitioners assert that respondent has legal authority to order the conduct of the legislative inquiry on his own,” the complainants said.

“(T)he committee mainly consists of matters relating to rules and policies of civil service and the status of officers and employees of government as these apply or are applicable to all employees,” they added.

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