LAWYER Rogelio Bagabuyo on Tuesday warned that Mayor Vicente Emano could end up behind bars for allegedly defying a court order.
"I will bring this matter even if it reaches the Supreme Court because Emano no longer respects the court. If he can’t respect the court, how can he be expected to respect ordinary Cagayanons?" asked Bagabuyo.
Bagabuyo’s warning came even as the 17th branch of the Regional Trial Court here gave Emano and Bugo leader Nerio Obliosca 10 days to explain why they should not be held in contempt.
Judge Florenciana Abbu issued the order after Obliosca admitted that he continued to perform the duties of barangay chairperson despite a 20-day temporary restraining order issued by the court.
In a courtroom early this week, Obliosca said he was merely following Mayor Emano’s orders.
On June 16, Abbu ordered Obliosca to refrain from exercising the powers of a village chief in Barangay Bugo.
"He (Obliosca) admitted during cross exams. Despite his receipt of the TRO and advise by his counsel to obey it, still Obliosca defied the order," Bagabuyo said. "Defying a lawful order from the court is a criminal offense."
Bagabuyo said Obliosca and Emano violated Rule 17 of the Rules of Court.
Bagabuyo said Obliosca violated the order by attending a meeting for barangay chairpersons at Pearlmont Hotel. Obliosca maintained that it was Emano who ordered him to attend the meeting.
Obliosca said he also received an invitation from the ombudsman to attend the activity.
"Mayor Emano personally asked me to attend through a letter," Obliosca said.
The TRO was issued after lawyer Perseverando Araña staged a comeback last month. He was elected barangay chairperson but he submitted a resignation letter to Emano early this year, prompting the mayor to name Obliosca as his replacement. Arana said President Arroyo never accepted his resignation.
"That can be read at Gold Star Daily"