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  • RTC 15 judge demands explanation from Acosta’s legal team over social media posts


THE REGIONAL Trial Court (RTC) Branch 15 gave former Mindanao Development Authority chairman Ma. Belen Acosta and lawyer Israelito Torreon 10 days to explain why they posted “false and untruthful narratives” on social media.

RTC Branch 15 Presiding Judge Mario C. Duaves issued the show cause order on June 4 following an “official statement” posted by Acosta on her Facebook on June 3.

“Your official statement contains extremely incorrect facts that corrupted the true nature and substance of the Court orders and processes,” the order said.

The judge directed Acosta and Torreon to submit a written explanation in 10 days and show why they should not be cited in contempt.

“You have caused a necessary confusion to the public amounting to improper conduct tending to degrade the administration of justice and judicial processes of this Court,” the order stated.

The judge further ordered Acosta to take down the “pretentious Official Statement” in social media, online platforms and media outlets, within the same period.

In Acosta’s Facebook post, she declared that the dismissal of the quo warranto that her legal team initially filed on May 27 was “reversed.”

“This is to inform the public that the quo warranto case that was initially dismissed is now reversed. The regional trial court has granted the Motion for Reconsideration,” the post said.

Acosta added the respondent, Sec. Leo Tereso Magno, the newly installed MinDA chair and Presidential Assistant for Eastern Mindanao, was given 15 days to respond.

The “official statement” added that Acosta would perform her duties regularly to avoid hindering the office’s daily operations.

As of press writing, Acosta has yet to issue another statement and the Facebook post has not been taken down.

The court dismissed Acosta’s quo warranto petition because “it is an improper remedy as it is not anchored on the respondent’s qualification.” Moreover, the suit directly challenged the act of the President.

To recall, Acosta was appointed as MinDA chair by former President Rodrigo Duterte on Jan. 6, 2022, took her oath, and assumed the position on Jan. 13.

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. appointed Leo Tesoro Magno on May 13, 2024, and took the oath of office on May 21 after the latter took an oath before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin.



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