SC issues show cause order vs. Mamba, lawyers over petition on House detention

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 30) — The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba and his legal counsels to explain why they should not be disciplined or held in contempt over their inconsistent actions regarding the House of Representatives’ contempt and detention orders against the local chief executive.

The SC on Wednesday said it issued the show cause order after holding deliberations on Mamba’s case on Tuesday.

On Aug. 17, two House committees approved a motion seeking the governor’s detention after his failure to attend hearings on his alleged public spending violation during the election period. 

Mamba then filed an instant petition before the SC, asking it to nullify and declare the House orders as unconstitutional. He also requested for a temporary restraining order (TRO) pending further directives from the court.

The SC earlier said it received Mamba’s petition on Aug. 22. It granted the plea for a TRO on Aug. 24. 

However, hours before the court announced its issuance of a TRO, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said the governor had already surrendered to the House.

“Petitioner voluntarily surrendered to respondents without promptly informing the court of such supervening development,” the SC said.

Mamba has also filed a manifestation and motion to withdraw his earlier petition, it added.

The SC said these instances effectively rendered useless the TRO it issued.

“The Court, before acting on the Manifestation and Motion to Withdraw Petition, resolved to require Mamba and his counsels, Macalintal Law Office, to show cause why they should not be disciplinary dealt with or held in contempt for acts that constitute ‘abuse of or any unlawful interference with the processes or proceedings of a court not constituting direct contempt’ and/or 'improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice,” the SC said.

They were given 10 days from notice of the show cause order to submit their explanation.