The Supreme Court (SC) First Division enjoined the Sandiganbayan to stop the hearing of the graft charges against Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap in relation to the allegedly anomalous car loans granted to former officials of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice).
The SC First Division issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) dated May 3, 2019 which halted the proceedings of the case at the 6th Division of the Sandiganbayan.
The dispositive portion of the TRO issued by the SC reads: “NOW, THEREFORE, effective immediately, and continuing until further orders from this Court, you, the Sandiganbayan, and/or all persons acting upon your orders or in your place or stead, are hereby ENJOINED from conducting proceedings in Criminal Case Nos. SB-18-CRM-0003 to 0004 with respect to Petitioner Arthur Cua Yap.”
Yap’s lawyer received a copy of the TRO on May 6.
The resolution was issued in response to Yap’s petition for certiorari with application for the issuance of a TRO and/or a writ of preliminary injunction filed on April 24.
Citing grave abuse of discretion, amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, Yap filed a Petition for Certiorari before the Supreme Court, questioning the Sandiganbayan’s decision in pursuing the case against him.
Yap has earlier said that he and PhilRice official Remedios de Leon were not present during the meeting when the guidelines to govern the Philrice Car Plan were allegedly approved and ratified.
The Ombudsman dropped the complaint against De Leon and she was not charged before the Sandiganbayan.
In his April 24, 2019 petition, Yap sought “to annul and set aside the Resolutions dated December 5, 2018 and February 27, 2019 of the Sandiganbayan and ordering the quashals of the informations in Criminal Case Nos. SB-18-CRM-0003 to 0004.”
Yap pointed out that “a TRO, followed by a writ of preliminary injunction, must issue because, unless immediately restrained, the Sandiganbayan will continue to hear the criminal cases against” him, “subjecting him to grave injustice, undue vexation, and irreparable injury.”