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CA terminates habeas corpus case filed by BuCor officials cited by Senate in contempt

The Court of Appeals (CA) has terminated the petition for habeas corpus filed by three Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials ordered detained by the Senate for contempt, since they have already been released.

In a recent 3-page resolution, the CA 6th Division agreed with Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Major General Rene Samonte, Jr. that the case had become moot and academic.

“In such a case, there is no actual substantial relief to which a party would be entitled to and would be negated,” read the resolution penned by Associate Justice Ramon Bato, Jr.

“Under the moot and academic doctrine, the Courts will abstain from expressing its opinion or resolving the case if no legal relief is needed or could be granted,” it added.

The petition was filed on September 18 by Records and Documents Section chief CTSO3 Ramoncito Roque, Legal Division and Internal Affairs Service chief Fredric Anthony Santos, and New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital medical officer Ursicio Cenas.

Senate justice committee chair Senator Richard Gordon ordered the detention of the three at the Office of the Sergeant-At-Arms of the Senate on September 12.

The three officials claimed to be “arbitrarily cited in contempt” for allegedly lying in the inquiry on a supposed scheme to earn bribes from the favorable computation of prisoners’ good conduct time allowance (GCTA) credits.

Named as respondents were Samonte, Gordon and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

Samonte, in his return dated October 3, informed the CA that the three petitioners were released at 5:10 p.m. on September 19, a day after the petition was filed.

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