Possession of TRO copy enough proof of service
I take exception to Diosdado Calonge’s view of the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the suspension of Makati Mayor Junjun Binay (“TRO on Binay suspension: merits over technicalities,” Opinion, 3/31/15). He argued (1) that the suspension order was not validly served by the mere posting of it, and (2) that merits should prevail over “technicalities.”
It is ironic that while he frowns on “technicalities,” he cavils over the TRO’s service as not being in accord with the Rules of Court. To my mind, he was being more “technical” than he could ever be! When Binay filed his petition for injunction (with application for a TRO) with the Court of Appeals, he had a certified true copy of the “suspension order” attached to it (without which that petition would not have reached first base!). So, he already received a copy, albeit through his lawyers. That was “service” as valid and binding as it could be! Anything else said against it is just beating around the bush!
Yes, substantive law should really prevail over adjective (procedural) law. And speaking of “merits,” what could be more attuned to the true intent and spirit of the law than ensuring that public documents are preserved for trial purposes? And the only way to do that is to keep incumbent officials at bay, thereby stopping them from tampering with such documents.
Given that Binay is still, to this day, entrenched and enthroned in the City Hall of Makati, what are the chances of those documents being still useful as evidence? Gofers could be working overtime burning and shredding incriminating documents and files—and the Court of Appeals has just given them more time to do that! Where, oh God, is this country headed?
—JANNO MARKO MONTECRISTO, [email protected]