The Court of Appeals has dismissed the petition of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. assailing the validity of the warrant of arrest issued against him by a Manila City regional trial court in connection with criminal charges filed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for allegedly securing P350- million loan from the Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgages Bank.
In a three-page resolution dated Sept. 12, the CA’s Former Ninth Division ruled that Yasay’s petition was premature since he has a pending motion for reconsideration before the sala of Manila RTC Branch 10 Judge Danilo Leyva, which issued the assailed warrant of arrest last March 8.
Joining Yasay as petitioners were several former officials of Banco Filipino namely Maxy Abad, Francisco Rivera, Teodoro Arcenas and Albert Aguirre.
The appellate court said that a petition for certiorari only becomes available when there is no other course for a plain, speedy and adequate remedy available to the petitioner in the ordinary course of law.
“Here the petitioners’ pending motion before the court a quo essentially prays for the lifting of the herein assailed order and the quashal of the herein assailed warrant of arrest. Clearly, said motions afford the petitioners adequate and expeditious relief because the issue or whether or not a court a quo acted correctly or erroneously in the issuance of the assailed order and warrant of arrest could be raised and was actually raised by the petitioner’s therein,” CA decision penned by Associate Justice Apolinario Brusales Jr. said.
“The premature invocation of the intervention of the Court while said motions are still unresolved is fatal to the instant petition,” it said.
In its comment before the CA, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said that the petition is premature because Yasay and his co-accused still have pending motions before the Manila RTC.
Associate Justices Myra Garcia-Fernandez and Geraldine Fiel-Macaraig concurred with the ruling.
Yasay and his co-accused are facing four charges for violating Republic Acts 8791 and 7653 or the General Banking Law and the New Central Bank Act in connection with the P350-million loan.
Yasay denied the charges, saying he joined Banco Filipino in 2009 and the alleged crime committed took place 2003 to 2006.
He also vowed to fight what he said as an “abuse of process and travesty of justice” after he was arrested by the police last Aug. 22.
He has since posted P240, 000 in bail for his temporary liberty.