Ex-Misamis Oriental guv penalized for harassment suit vs CA justice

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


MANILA -- Former Misamis Oriental governor Homobono Adaza was ordered to pay P5,000 by the Supreme Court (SC) after he was found guilty of indirect contempt for filing an administrative case against a Court of Appeals (CA) justice.

Adaza is the lawyer of a certain Tomas Merdegia, who has a pending case with the CA division where Associate Justice Vicente Veloso is a member.

Merdegia asked Veloso to step aside from the case but the justice denied it, prompting him to file a complaint with the SC through Adaza.

Adaza said he was only forced by his client to file a complaint against Veloso but the Court found his explanation wanting. It also junked the complaint against the CA justice last October 3.

"Attorney Adaza's explanation, read together with the totality of the facts of the case, fails to convince us of his innocence from the contempt charge," the decision stated.

The SC warned Adaza that a "similar misbehavior" in the future may be a ground for initiating disciplinary proceedings against him.

Veloso was also controversial last year when the camp of then Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia moved for his inhibition in the petition seeking to stop the six-month suspension imposed on her by the Office of the President in December 2012 for grave abuse of authority.

Garcia said Veloso made "sweeping statements" against her petition for temporary restraining order (TRO) in a hearing on January 10, 2013. The former governor’s plea was dismissed.

Garcia, now representative of Cebu's third district, was suspended for allegedly reducing the budget of the Office of the Vice Governor and hiring employees of the Provincial Board without authority from political rival, then Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez.

She said her suspension was aimed at undermining the political opposition in Cebu, an accusation denied by Malacañang. (Sunnex)

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