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CA seeks Trillanes comment on Binay contempt plea

The Court of Appeals has ordered Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV to comment on a contempt plea lodged by Makati Mayor Junjun Binay against him for alleging that two CA justices accepted P50 million in bribes to rule in favor of Binay.

In a two-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Stephen Cruz, the CA Eleventh Division gave Trillanes 10 days from receipt of notice to file his comment on Binay's contempt charge.

"Without necessarily giving due course to the petition, respondent is Directed to file his Comment thereon (not a motion to dismiss), within 10 days from receipt hereof which shall be considered as his answer to the petition should it be given due course," the CA said.

After Trillanes files his comment, Binay will be given another five days to submit a reply to the senator's comment.

"Upon filing of the said comment and reply, or upon the expiration of the period to file the same without pleadings being filed by either party, the petition shall be considered as submitted for decision unless we issue a directive to hear the case or require the parties to submit memoranda," the CA added.

Concurring with the decision of Justice Cruz were CA Associate Justices Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Melchor Sadang.

In his contempt plea, Binay said Trillanes should be held in contempt of court for hurling "baseless" accusations that CA Justices Jose Reyes Jr and Francisco Acosta each received P25 million to stop the six-month preventive suspension of Binay over alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

The Binay camp has a separate and pending contempt charge against Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Makati Vice Mayor Romulo Peña and several others, in connection with Binay's preventive suspension.

Binay, son of Vice President Jejomar Binay, said they should be held in contempt for defying a CA temporary restraining order stopping his preventive suspension. The CA eventually issued a writ of preliminary injunction, still in favor of Binay. —KBK/KG, GMA News