Daughter explains Gwen’s legal gambit-A A +A
Saturday, January 12, 2013
THE camp of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia chose to file a petition for review because there are a lot of “questions of fact” that they wanted to bring up, including the manner in which her suspension order was served.
Lawyer Christina Frasco, one of the governor’s daughters and lawyers, said they chose to avail of a remedy under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court so they would not be kept from raising questions of fact.
Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice Vicente Veloso, in last Thursday’s hearing of Garcia’s petition, said that Garcia should have filed a petition for certiorari, under Rule 65.
For such a petition, Veloso added, the CA can issue a TRO and the rights of the party will be protected.
Frasco, however, pointed out that under Rule 65, the parties cannot contest questions of fact, which is why the governor’s lawyers chose the remedy under Rule 43.
She added that Rule 65 is applied if there is no other plain, speedy or adequate remedy available under the law.
“To simplify matters, if you avail of Rules 65, our petition could be easily dismissed on the technicalities because Rule 65 only allows decisions that are interlocutory, meaning there is something more to be done about that petition,” Frasco said.
But the Rules of Court also provide that decisions of the Office of the President, like the order to suspend Governor Garcia for six months, are appealable before the Court of Appeals.
“Since we question the validity of the decision, the remedy available to us was a petition for review under the Rules of Court,” Frasco explained to reporters.
She believes that Justice Veloso was merely presenting all the remedies available to their party. Veloso himself, she recalled, “said in the proceedings that our petition is not dismissible, then the court will now adjudicate upon our prayer for TRO as it has submitted the same for resolution.”
“We do have remedies available to us in the Supreme Court,” she also said.
Frasco said they are grateful that they were able to present during the oral argument last Thursday “two very crucial admissions”: one, that a photocopy of the suspension order was left in the governor’s office, and the other was the date of the issuance of the decision from the Office of the President.
The suspension is Governor Garcia’s penalty in an administrative complaint filed in 2010 by then Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr. and resolved long after his death.
“The mere fact that the decision is final and executory does not mean that a TRO is not available to us, precisely because the decision of the President can still be reviewed,” Frasco said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2013.