CA voids arrest warrant vs lawyer who sued Duterte before ICC

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The Court of Appeals (CA) voided the arrest warrant issued against lawyer Jude Sabio, who filed a communication against President Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, for non-compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program.

This was after the CA issued a resolution granting Sabio’s petition questioning the legality of the warrant issued by then Trece Martires regional trial court and now appeals court magistrate Emily Alino-Geluz in 2018.

Geluz was appointed by Duterte to the CA.

“While it is true that non-compliance with MCLE requirement merits a fine, nowhere is it provided in the MCLE rules that subsidiary imprisonment shall be imposed for non-payment or insolvency,” the CA said.

“Worse, nowhere is it stated that the courts may even penalize non-compliance with MCLE rules,” it further read.

The case stemmed from Sabio’s failure to comply with the MCLE program requiring lawyers to attend them every three years.

The CA pointed out that the CA should have just informed the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) about Sabio’s non-compliance of MCLE citing Bar Matter No. 850, which stated that non-compliant lawyer should be listed as delinquent member only.

Geluz issued an arrest warrant against Sabio when the latter failed to pay a P2,000 fine after learning his MCLE compliance certificate had expired.

Sabio appealed before Geluz who denied it, prompting him to bring the case before the CA.

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