MANILA — Supreme Court (SC) Public Information Office (PIO) Chief and Spokesman Atty. Theodore O. Te on Wednesday clarified that there is a process to be followed for all decisions being released by the SC.
In a text message, Te said that there was no delay in the release of the copy of the decision of the SC in the plunder case against former President and now Pampanga (2nd District) Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Voting 11-4, the SC on Tuesday dismissed for insufficiency of evidence the plunder case against Mrs. Arroyo involving the alleged misuse of the Php 366-million confidential intelligence fund of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
Likewise, the SC ordered the immediate release of the former president from the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC) in Quezon City where she has been under hospital arrest since 2012 due to her debilitating bone disease.
Te said that there was so-called Internal Rules of the SC, particularly Rule Nos. 13 and 14.
Under the internal rules, the SC decision must be signed by all the magistrates, including the deliberations of the case.
Likewise, in Section 9, Rule 13 of the Internal Rules of the SC, it states that the original copy of all decisions and resolutions, including the separate, concurring and dissenting opinions are submitted to the Office of the Chief Justice.
Once the decision is promulgated, the Clerk of Court shall make sure that all the parties to the case will be served with the copy of the same.
However, Te said that there was no provision in the SC internal rules which allows the Chief Justice to merely get a part such as the “dispositive portion” of the decision, which has not yet been signed and certified.
As of this writing, one of the lawyers of the former president is still waiting for the release of the official copy of the “immediately executory” ruling of the SC. Perfecto Raymundo/PNA/northboundasia.com