SC urged to fire Davao judge

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Monday, June 23, 2014

A GROUP of farmers asked the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday to dismiss a Davao City judge for allowing the release of 91,800 bags of suspected smuggled rice.

In its complaint, the Alyansa Agrikultura and the National Rice Farmers Council wanted Judge Emmanuel Carpio out of the judiciary for alleged ignorance of the law.

"Judges should never forget what the Court categorically declared in Mison v. Natividad that "[b]y express provision of law, amply supported by well-settled jurisprudence, the Collector of Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings, and regular courts cannot interfere with his exercise thereof or stifle or put it to naught'," the petition stated.

The group said Carpio, presiding judge of Davao City Regional Trial Court branch 16, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in December 12 last year against the Bureau of Customs in the case filed by businessman Joseph Ngo without giving the government a chance to defend the seizure of the rice shipment, which has no import permit.

Carpio supported Ngo's argument that import restrictions under the World Trade Organization (WTO) had expired on June 30,2012.

The farmers, however, said Ngo is not in the position to invoke the WTO agreement.

Ngo imported the rice on behalf of Starcraft International Trading Corp., which has been linked to alleged big time smuggler Davidson Bangayan (aka David Tan). (Sunnex)

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