Sabio warrant junked by CA

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The Court of Appeals (CA) on Tuesday announced that it has junked the arrest warrant issued last year against lawyer Jude Sabio — who sued President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court last year.

The CA – in its 15-page order – directed the Trece Martires Regional Trial Court Branch 23 to lift and recall within five days the warrant of arrest dated 7 March, 2018 as well as the alias warrant of arrest dated 6 April, 2018 against Sabio.

The appellate court noted that it disagrees with then Trece Martirez Judge and now CA Associate Justice Emily Aliño-Geluz decision to order Sabio’s arrest, saying she had no authority to put the lawyer in prison for his non-compliance with the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) for lawyers.

To recall, Geluz issued the arrest warrant after Sabio failed to pay the P2,000 fine the judge had imposed on him after his MCLE compliance certificate expired.

But the CA said under Section 12, of the Implementing Rules of B.M. No. 850, non-compliance with MCLE requirements will result in the listing of the non-compliant lawyer as a delinquent IBP member, subject to disciplinary power of the IBP, not with the imposition of a fine with subsidiary imprisonment.

The CA said Geluz sould have communicated with the IBP regarding Sabio’s expired certificate, so the organization could conduct an investigation and make necessary recommendations.

“By taking it upon herself to discipline the petitioner and even order his arrest, the public respondent acted in a manner that may validly be the subject of a writ of certiorari,” ruled the CA.

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