April 13, 2019
The Court of Appeals (CA) has junked the arrest warrant issued against Jude Sabio, the lawyer who filed a communication with the International Criminal Court (ICC) against President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
In a 15-page decision dated March 29, a copy of which ABS-CBN News obtained Saturday, the CA 9th Division ruled that there was no basis for a Trece Martires City, Cavite judge to order Sabio’s arrest over his non-compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) program for lawyers.
All Philippine lawyers are required to take MCLE classes every 3 years.
CA Associate Justice Emily Aliño-Geluz, as then Trece Martires City Regional Trial Court Branch 23 Judge, had issued an arrest warrant against Sabio on March 7, 2018 after Sabio failed to pay the P2,000 fine which the judge imposed as his MCLE compliance certificate had expired.
Sabio asked the judge to reconsider her order but she ignored the motion and instead issued another warrant of arrest in place of the previous unserved one in April 2018.
The President appointed her as CA associate justice on April 30, 2018 shortly after she issued the arrest warrants against Sabio.
In its ruling, the appellate court said Geluz gravely abused her discretion when she imposed the penalty of a fine with imprisonment and later on issued the warrants of arrest against Sabio.