CA ignores Leviste plea

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — THE Court of Appeals (CA) ignored the plea of Gov. Jose Anto­nio Leviste of Batangas for an oral argument questioning the murder case filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against him.

In a two-page resolution of the CA Special 8th Division, it ruled that the motion of Leviste must be held in abeyance until the parties were able to submit the pertinent documents.

These would include the comment from respondents Makati RTC Judge Elmo Alameda, Justice Secretary Raul M. Gonzalez, Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco and the family of victim Rafael de las Alas.

“Wherefore, action on petitioner’s urgent motion to set case for hearings and oral argument and urgent manifestation and motion is held in abeyance, pending submission of respondents’ comment and petitioner’s reply,” according to the resolution.

The appellate court also ordered Leviste to submit its reply after the submission of the comment before it will decide whether the hearing sought for will be granted or not.

In February the CA junked Leviste’s plea for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to restrain Judge Alameda in pursuing the trial of his murder case.

Associate Justice Abdul­wahid Hakim and concurred by Justices Marina Buzon and Arturo Tayag ruled that the prayer for a TRO to enjoin the Department of Justice and the Makati RTC for reinvestigation and to accept its recommendation to file murder is now junked because he failed to prove that there was undue haste in upgrading the charges against him.

Prosecutor Velasco filed before the Makati RTC the murder charges against Leviste since it is established due to the presence of aggravating circumstances to upgrade the case.

These are the circumstance of cruelty due to the number of bullets fired and wounds received by the victim, evident premeditation and treachery since the victim was shot while he was seated based on the affidavits and evidence submitted to the DOJ. Velasco also concluded that there was tampering of the crime scene before the arrival of policemen. One proof is the positioning of the gun in the right hand of the victim, Rafael de las Alas, as such suggesting that more than one person was involved in the killing.

But Leviste sought refuge from the appellate court to restrain Velasco from conducting reinvestigation and prohibit the court from accepting the charge of murder.