BAGUIO CITY – The City Legal Office underscored the subpoenaed enforcer of the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) who apprehended a Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) judge in Cabanatuan City for illegal parking and violation of the number coding ordinance in the city’s central business district will no longer be required to appear in the sala of the said judge as the Supreme Court (SC) already acquired jurisdiction of the case.
Assistant City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes pointed out that there is no point for the subpoenaed PSD enforcer, Bernard Batnag, to appear before MTCC Cabanatuan City Judge Nelson Largo because his order already became moot and academic after he was ordered by the Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez to explain his side on the viral issue.
Further, he argued that Judge Largo cannot become the complainant, prosecutor and judge all at the same time this defeats the administration of fair justice to the POS enforcer who was simply discharging his assigned duties and responsibilities when he confiscated the license plate of Judge Largo’s car that was illegally parked in one of the streets in the central business district area.
Largo subpoenaed Batnag to appear in his sala on November 29, 2019 to explain his side on the confiscation of the license plate of his car that reportedly caused the delay in the administration of justice in his court considering the time he had to spend to pay the prescribed fine for his violation and retrieve his license plate with the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO).
Rabanes claimed that his office is also awaiting the submission of a number of affidavits of some individuals to support and bolster a case that may be filed against the alleged erring judge as the matter has also been brought to the attention of Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong through a letter.
The assistant city legal officer said that the city government will wait for action from the Office of the Court Administrator on the erring judge and that the appropriate affidavits and testimonies will be provided to the SC once the same will require the POSD enforcer to respond to the said case for the imposition of any penalties that may be imposed against him for his alleged unprofessional actions.
On October 25, 2019, Batnag reportedly found that Judge Largo’s car was allegedly illegally parked along Kayang St., particularly along the area being used by public utility jeepneys as loading area, and subsequently issued the required traffic citation ticket as well as detached the license plate number of the judge that was illegally parked and also violating the city’s number coding scheme.
After having settled his fine with the concerned offices of the city government, the judge reportedly issued a subpoena for the POSD enforcer to appear in his sala on November 29, 2019 in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija to explain why he should not be cited for direct contempt for having caused the alleged delay in the administration of justice due to the serious delays as an offshoot of having been issued the traffic citation ticket for his violations of the city’s traffic rules and regulations.
By Dexter A. See