SC bars Northern Samar mayor from office, says condonation doctrine applies only when invoked

SC told to review third division ruling allegedly done in haste

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The Supreme Court has been asked by a former board member and stockholder of the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) to set aside the ruling of one of its divisions nullifying a mortgage with the bank of a development firm.

In a letter, Jesus Arranza, chairman of the Federation of Philippine Industries and former president of the United Coconut Association of the Philippines, asked the SC to reverse the ruling of its third division, saying this would cost UCPB about P1 billion in funds that were supposed to go to coco levy funds.

He raised the alleged “irregularities” in the division ruling on the case involving the mortgage of Revere Realty and Development Corporation owned by businessman Jose Go in UCBP over properties in Lucena City.

“While the government is now the owner of the majority of the outstanding shares of stocks of UCPB, which shares have been considered part of the so-called coco levy fund, it must be stressed that this Honorable Court had also directed that the same should be utilised for the benefit of the coconut farmers and the development of the coconut industry Whatever action the Supreme Court will take in this case will definitely impact on the coconut farmers and the coconut industry, in particular, and the government, in general,” he stressed.

He alleged that the third division might have violated the Court’s internal rules in resolving the case, claiming three justices – now Ombudsman Samuel Martires, retired justice Noel Tijam and Alexander Gesmundo – voted to concur with the decision even after only two to three days since their designation to the said division.

“How could the three above-named justices of the third division (Gesmundo, Martires and Tijam) have adequately studied the cases (which I understand already consists of around 2,000 pages) only for a period of two or three days, before the decision dated August 16, 2017 was promulgate?” he asked.

Arranza cited the internal rules of SC requiring the ponente to prepare the draft decision and send to the other justices at least seven days before voting.

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