The CA hearing-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
THE 12th Division of the Court of Appeals will hear today the petition filed by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to overturn the six-month suspension imposed on her by the Office of the President.
Hopefully, the Court will allow live coverage of the hearing. If it doesn’t, let us refer to the CA’s Rules of Internal Procedure (promulgated in 2009) and imagine what is likely going to happen starting with the entrance of the justices.
The chairman of the Division enters first, followed by the two members of his division, according to seniority. The same order will be followed when the justices exit after the hearing.
As the chairman enters the session hall, the Division Clerk of Court announces, “The 12th Division Clerk of the Honorable Court of Appeals, presided by its Chairperson, is now in session. Silence is enjoined.” The chairman then reaches for his chair, bangs the gavel and all the three justices take their seats.
The chairman controls the proceedings, ruling on all motions and objections, in consultation with the members. He may, however, allow any of the associate justices to preside over the hearing and exercise his powers as chairman.
Today’s setting is supposed to be for oral arguments on Garcia’s application for a temporary restraining order but it is possible that the CA will instead treat the prayer for a preliminary injunction (which has the same effect and function as a TRO but has a longer lifetime). Its Rules grant the court the discretion to hear and receive evidence on an application for an injunction.
The decision of the three justices must be unanimous. If one of them dissents, two justices shall be added and, together with the original members, shall constitute a special division of five. The concurrence of three of the five members of the special division is sufficient to approve a resolution or decision.
Who are the justices who compose the 12th Division? A visit to the Court’s official website (ca.judiciary.gov.ph) reveals that they are justices Vicente S.E. Veloso, Jane Aurora C. Lantion and Eduardo B. Peralta Jr., chairman, senior member and junior member respectively.
According to the same source, Veloso was born in Tacloban City on January 7, 1945 and is an honor graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University (Class 1971). His experience includes serving as Senior Associate of the ACCRALaw Offices and Chief Legal Counsel of ALU-TUCP. He was a commissioner of the National Labor Relations Commission before he was appointed to the CA.
Lantion was born on Jan. 29, 1950 and is a sister of former Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Thompson and former Comelec Commissioner Ralph Lantion. Also a graduate of the Ateneo Law School, she held positions in the Tanodbayan and the Regional Trial Court.
Peralta obtained his law degree from San Beda College and was the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Manila before his promotion to the Court of Appeals. The author of a number of law books, he established a record of sorts at the University of Santo Tomas where he obtained a flat 1.0 grade in all academic subjects, including foreign languages, when he pursued his doctoral degree. He is also a member of the sub-committee on the Revision of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, created by the Supreme Court.
On these two gentlemen and the only rose among the thorns (as Lantion is described in the CA website) rest the fate of Garcia and the Cebuanos’ hopes of a just end to the impasse at the Capitol.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.