CA stops late vice guv’s daughter from presenting argument vs. Gwen’s TRO-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
THE Court of Appeals (CA) has blocked the camp of the late Cebu vice governor Greg Sanchez Jr. from presenting their legal stand during the oral arguments in Manila last Thursday.
Associate Justice Vicente Veloso said Grecylda “Gigi” Sanchez-Zaballero, daughter of Sanchez, is not a party to the petition filed by suspended Gov. Gwen Garcia, who sought the issuance of a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO).
Veloso, CA 12th Division chairman, pointed out that while Zaballero was furnished a copy of the petition, she was not impleaded in the case.
“Furnishing (her) a copy of the petition does not make her a party to the case,” Veloso reminded Waldemar Gravador, lawyer of Zaballero.
Last Thursday, the appeals court heard the oral arguments of Garcia’s lawyers and the Office of the Solicitor General.
The governor asked the court to reverse her suspension. No TRO was issued after last Thursday’s proceedings.
Contrary to Garcia’s claim, Veloso said, the governor may still get back-wages if her suspension is later found to be illegal.
Lawyer Tranquil Salvador III presented the governor’s legal defense in a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation. When he was done, Gravador informed Veloso that they would also present their legal argument since his client is a private respondent.
But Salvador objected, saying Zaballero was not named respondent in the petition.
Justice Veloso agreed, saying that there is nothing in court records to show that Zaballero was impleaded to the petition.
Interviewed by phone yesterday, Zaballero said they were not saddened by the CA’s decision. She said they were satisfied with the outcome of the proceedings as it ended smoothly and on time.
She said they attended the oral arguments to assist government lawyers, in case they would be needing documents relevant to the case.
Zaballero said it was “embarrassing” for Garcia’s lawyers to be lectured by Justice Veloso for filing the “wrong” petition.
Veloso, during the proceedings, told Garcia counsels that they should have cited Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which provides for the protection of the rights of both parties, in asking for a TRO.
Garcia’s lawyers invoked Rule 43 of the Rules of Court, citing “irreparable injury” as ground for the TRO.
“In Rule 65, we can issue a TRO, in Rule 43, we cannot,” Veloso said. “The Court is at a bind. Shall we consider your petition as not properly filed or give it due course?
The court does not know what to do,” Veloso said.
Garcia’s daughter, lawyer Cristina Frasco, told reporters after the hearing that Veloso did not categorically state that the CA has no jurisdiction over their petition.
Salvador voiced his confidence about the outcome of the hearing. “It (CA) will issue a resolution on TRO,” he told Sun.Star Cebu in a text message.
But Zaballero disagreed, saying chances of getting the TRO are “dim.”
The Office of the President suspended Garcia for six months for grave abuse of authority. The order stemmed from a complaint filed by Sanchez, after the governor hired consultants in 2010 without authority from the Provincial Board and slashed the budget of the office of the then vice governor.
Garcia, who is serving her last term as governor, defied the suspension by not vacating her office at the Capitol since Dec. 19.
The governor called her suspension “illegal.” Her camp said it violated the Local Government Code provision giving the President 30 days from submission of the findings in an administrative case to issue an order.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2013.