Friday, October 21, 2011

PALEA files complaint vs. Pasay judge and sheriff as TRO on picket is denied

Press Release
October 21, 2011

The Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) filed this morning a complaint at the Supreme Court (SC) against Pasay Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Edwin Ramizo and Sheriff Virgilio Villar for violation of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary and the Code of Conduct for Judicial Personnel respectively. PALEA president Gerry Rivera filed the complaint thru a letter addressed to SC Administrator Midas Marquez. Sheriff Villar’s attempt to implement an order from Executive Judge Ramizo led to the scuffles at PALEA’s protest camp last Wednesday.

Also this morning Pasay RTC Judge Maria Rosario Ragasa denied the motion of Philippine Airlines (PAL) to extend the temporary restraining order earlier issued by Executive Judge Ramizo against PALEA’s occupation of the In-Flight Center perimeter. Meanwhile PAL has a pending motion to inhibit against Judge Ragasa that has not been acted upon.

“We thank Judge Ragasa for exercising prudence and integrity in her decision and recognizing PALEA’s right to maintain its peaceful protest at the IFC. Apparently PAL is unable to use its magic on Judge Ragasa so it asking her to inhibit,” Rivera asserted.

Rivera argued that “In its insistence in dismantling PALEA’s campout, PAL is exposing its contradictory claims. PAL says that the 2,400 PALEA members cannot be accepted back to work since the airport services, in-flight catering and call center reservations departments have been closed and outsourced. So how come PAL alleges that the IFC which houses the catering department is essential to its operations. This raises the suspicions that it will allow Sky Kitchen, a supposed separate entity that at present provides substandard catering service according to reports reaching PALEA, access to the facilities of the IFC.”

PALEA’s complaint assailed Executive Judge Ramizo for granting a 72-hour TRO though the case involves a labor dispute and deciding ex-parte or without benefit of a hearing for all the parties concerned despite the lack of extreme urgency. Further PALEA criticizes Executive Judge Ramizo for issuing an order to Sheriff Villar after the case had already been raffled off to Judge Ragasa.

Meanwhile PALEA’s complaint faults Sheriff Villar for implementing the order on Wednesday afternoon despite being confronted with the status quo order of Judge Ragasa that morning. PALEA likewise berates Sheriff Villar for being accompanied and assisted by some 100 unidentified men in the dispersal attempt.

“These men are PAL’s goons who were acting in concert with Sheriff Villar since every time he tried to tear down tents and streamers, the goons moved with him,” Rivera recalled. PALEA has vowed to defend its “occupation” which it has announced to be inspired by the
Occupy Wall Street
protests and part of the global movement against corporate greed and corruption.

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