MANILAA Cavite court has issued a warrant of arrest against lawyer Jude Josue L. Sabio for appearing before the court despite his non-compliance to Supreme Court (SC) rules requiring Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).
Sabio is the lawyer who had initiated the controversial complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte before the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Acting Presiding Judge Emily Reyes AliAo-Geluz of the Trece Martires City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 23 issued the arrest warrant directing local and national units of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to arrest the 51-year-old lawyer.
The warrant specified Sabio's address at the "Narido and Sabio Law Office,No. 5 Tan Apartment, 12-22 Sts. Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City" or "elsewhere in the Philippines."
An alias warrant has subsequently been issued by the court sustaining the original warrant issued last March 7.
The warrant said Sabio "is to serve a subsidiary imprisonment of 15 days for failure to comply with Bar Matter No.1922 as amended."
The warrant was issued following an order issued by the same court in view of Sabio's non-payment of the fine imposed upon him on February 28.
Sabio's travails arose from the proceedings in a land case docketed as LRC Case No. 5964-075-15, where lawyer Clarissa A. Castro who was Sabio's opposing counsel in the case pointed out Sabio's "appearance (before the court) and all his pleadings should not be taken cognizance by the court due to his non-compliance to the MCLE requirement."
Upon his admission that he had not indeed complied with the MCLE requirements, Sabio was sentenced to pay a fine of PHP2,000 with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency.
"Failure to pay this fine within three days from today shall be construed as Atty. Sabio's being insolvent to pay the same," the court said in its order.
In the case, Sabio who represented the oppositor filed an administrative case against the magistrate after he insisted that he be allowed to participate as an oppositor.
In turning down Sabio, the magistrate had explained that the case, a petition for issuance of a writ of possession of real property is "ex-parte" and "summary in nature," where the petitioner applying for the writ by himself may file his evidence to the exclusion of other parties.
The SC in precedent cases had held a judge liable for converting one such case of petition for the issuance of a writ of possession proceeding into an ordinary civil proceeding.
Source: Philippine News Agency