By Rey Panaligan
The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the plea of former Foreign Affairs secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. and several former officers of the defunct Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank challenging the issuance by the Manila regional trial court (RTC) of an arrest order against them on charges of violations of banking laws.
In a resolution, the CA said the petition of Yasay and his group was premature because of their pending motions before the RTC on the lifting of the arrest order.
“Here the petitioners’ pending motion before the court a quo (RTC) essentially prays for the lifting of the herein assailed order and the quashal of the herein assailed warrant of arrest. Clearly, said motions afford the petitioners adequate and expeditious relief because the issue or whether or not a court a quo acted correctly or erroneously in the issuance of the assailed order and warrant of arrest could be raised and was actually raised by the petitioner’s therein,” the CA said.
It ruled: “The premature invocation of the intervention of the Court while said motions are still unresolved is fatal to the instant petition.”
The resolution was written by Associate Apolinario Bruselas Jr.
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) had opposed Yasay group’s petition because of their pending motions before the Manila RTC.
“In fact, the petitioners just moved for the suspension of the proceedings before the court a quo until the said motions are resolved,” the BSP said in its comment.
Aside from Yasay, the petitioners in the CA case were former Banco Filipino officers Maxy Abad, Francisco Rivera, Teodoro Arcenas, and Albert Aguirre.
They were charged with violations of Republic Act Nos. 8791 and 7653 or the General Banking Law and the New Central Bank Act in connection with an alleged anomalous P350-million loan from Banco Filipino from 2003 to 2006.
The Manila RTC issued an arrest order against them last August.