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SC steps in: Calida, Trillanes ordered to comment on plea to stop Senate probe on SolGen

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The Supreme Court (SC) has acted on the petition of Solicitor General Jose Calida which sought to stop Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to conduct a Senate inquiry against him.

The SC has issued a resolution which decided to “give due course to the petition” due to “allegations, issues and arguments” adduced in the petition.

With this, the high court directed Calida and Trillanes “to submit their respective memoranda within thirty days from notice thereof.”

The SC reminded that the memoranda should only indicate the statement of the case, statement of the facts, statement of the issues, the argument, the relief, and table of authorities.

“No new issues may be raised by a party in the Memorandum, and the issues raised in the pleadings but not included in the Memorandum shall be deemed waived and abandoned,” it warned.

In his petition, Calida asked the SC to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Senate inquiry and “permanently prohibit” Trillanes from conducting the legislative inquiry.

Calida pointed out Trillanes proceeded with the inquiry “on his own and without legal authority from either the Senate or the Committee.”

“His acts amount to grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction,” he stressed.

Calida pointed out that he and his family will “suffer injustice and irreparable injury if Respondent will not be restrained from conducting the inquiry.”

“The conduct of Respondent’s intended inquiry will result in an unjustified invasion of Petitioners’ private affairs. Respondent will intrude into questions that fall outside of a defined subject matter and delve into extraneous issues. Petitioners will thereby be unduly and irreparably prejudiced, along with Vigilant, which has carried out legitimate operation since 2001,” he said.

“Moreover, the likelihood of Respondent extracting evidence to be used against Petitioners is high and would result in the infringement of Petitioners’ Constitutional rights against self-incrimination and to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise,” he added.