By Ellson Quismorio
House Deputy Speaker, Sulu 2nd district Rep. Munir Arbison is asking the Court of Appeals (CA) to cite Judge Grace Tillah-Alasco of RTC Branch 4 Parang, Sulu in indirect contempt of court.
In a petition filed Friday, Arbison claimed that Tillah-Alasco openly disregarded, disobeyed and made a mockery of the writs and processes of the CA when she kept reissuing the same order subject of an injunction from the appellate court.
The Mindanao lawmaker also wants cited in contempt three officials of Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) Region 9.
These are CIDG chief Director Roel Obusan of CIDG-Region 9, officer-in-charge Supt. Richard Vercelez, and Sulu Provincial Police Office director Supt. Pablo Labra II.
According to Arbison, Tillah-Alasco could not feign ignorance of the CA’s order for her to “cease and desist” from implementing her September 4, 2018 order for his arrest.
An indirect contempt is committed by any person who “disobeys” or “resists a lawful writ of a court,” or “impedes, obstructs, or degrades the administration of justice.”
Arbison filed the “very urgent petition” to cite the respondents in indirect contempt following attempts by the CIDG to execute warrants issued against him by Tillah-Alasco despite the issuance of the temporary restraining order (TRO) by the CA.
The House official stressed that the cases against him were filed two decades ago. On top of this, most of the supposed complainants were already deceased or have migrated to Malaysia.
On October 3, 2018, the CA’s Special 23rd Division issued a TRO, “ordering the Regional Trial Court, 9th Judicial Region, Branch 4, Parang, Sulu, the agents and persons acting in its behalf, to cease and desist from implementing the order dated 04 September 2018.”
Arbison also rued the recurring absences of Tillah-Alasco, which has prevented him from securing certified copies of documents from the court.
Persons held in contempt of court may be penalized with fines of up to P30,000 or imprisonment of up to six months or both.