Former Bukidnon congressman Neric Acosta files contempt charges against critics

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BUKIDNON ONLINE | BUKIDNON NEWS | CONTROVERSIAL – Seems like the feud is really far from over. Form Bukidnon First District congressman and defeated Liberal Party senatorial candidate Neric Acosta has filed contempt charges before the Sandiganbayan against Fr. Venancio Balansag, Jr. of Bishop’s House along Mampaalong Street, Malaybalay City, Felix Vergara, Jr. of the Bukidnon Crusade Against Crime and Corruption, Philippine Star Vice President for Advertising Lucien Dy-Tioco and several others.

Acosta slammed his critics for allegedly discussing merits of pending cases filed against him in an effort to block his appointment as cabinet secretary.

Acosta was a strong contender to replace Ramon Paje as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). A few weeks before his alleged appointment, however, full page ads as well as open letters were published on national broadsheets. The ads were about pending cases filed against him at the Sandiganbayan.

In a statement, Acosta said that all those were part of a smear campaign against him.

Then, a few days later, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, widely known as one of Acosta’s longtime political foes, delivered a privilege speech before the Senate asking for President Benigno Aquino III not to appoint individuals who have court cases, among others. Senator Migs Zubiri said that this should be done in keeping with PNoy’s call for a “Daang Matuwid.” Read Senator Miguel Zubiri’s full speech here.

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Aside from Balansag, Vergara (who is also a board member of the First Bukidnon Electric Cooperative) and Dy-Tioco, the other respondents of the case filed by Acosta are:

Commission on Audit (COA) auditor Carlo Matias, a certain “Rolly” (who allegedly paid for the newspaper ads) and Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon residents Divino O. Bornidor Jr. and Maria Emma B. Lee.

Acosta asked the court to impose a month’s imprisonment against the respondents of the case plus a P5,000 fine against each of the respondents.

Meanwhile, various manifestos of support for Acosta have been released. One of them was from the Mindanao Coalition for Neric Acosta, which was printed here on

Also, ran a mini-survey among its readers to ask whether they wanted Acosta to be appointed DENR Secretary. The results, which can be found here, show that more people wanted Acosta to be appointed as DENR Secretary.


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  • @Haleem, one month imprisonment is like having a 30-day Ignatian retreat, a welcome respite for my busy schedule. Unfortunately, for Neric, he has to prove first that we sent those documents to media outlets. Because the burden of proof lies in the petitioner and not in the respondents. That’s how I understand procedural law. I am looking forward to a knock-out in the later rounds of this legal boxing.

    • Hi Fr. Jun, did you and the other respondents issue a response or statement with regard to this contempt case? Would be happy sana to write a separate article with your official response. Or may I just use your comment here?

  • yes, one month is too light a punishment for someone who ruined the reputation of Dr. Juan Acosta. A man I considered more beneficial to humanity than both Joe Zubiri, Migz Zubiri and Jun Balansag combined.

  • With all due respect, I think Fr. Balansag et al deserve to be slapped with contempt charges.. What they did to the family of former cong. nereus acosta is truly unchristian and a cowardly act.. What happened to your priestly education(jcl at that!) fr jun? I am really shocked with what your group did…. May the good Lord forgive you for this….

  • hi Delfin, my priestly education told me to strive for the “summum bonum”, for the greatest good, to fight for good governance, to denounce corruption. I am a canon lawyer myself and I know my procedural law, perhaps more than you do. Am I dumb to write an open letter to the President of the Philippines, while a pending case is being heard at the Sandigang Bayan? Violating the sub judice rule is contempt of court. Alleging that I violated the sub judice rule has to be proven first beyond reasonable doubt. The burden of proof lies in the plaintiff, and not in the respondent.
    As far as I am concerned, the far greater sin is sin of ommission – not doing what ought to be done. Fence sitters are truly the most unchristian and coward people.

  • Hi Fr Balansag, I’m fully aware that you are a canon lawyer from ust and that you know your procedural law very well. Well,well, the pharisees were also masters of the law during their days, but it does not necessarily follow that they also pursued your so called “summum bonum”. If you have no involvement with that so called “open letter”, why did you just fence-sit after it was published? If you are really for the rule of law, then you should have filed a complaint against the newspaper for using your name without your permission..tsk..tsk.. Is this not a concete example also of a “sin of omission”? What other cases have you filed against Bukidnon public officials in keeping with your so called “summum bonum” advocacy? Have you and your “crusade” tried to investigate the Zubiris?
    Of course not….
    Maybe it’s too close to home?huh…

  • @Haleem: filing a case against someone ought to be supported with evidences, facts, documents, not hearsays. That’s how imputability is built.

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