Tuesday, March 7, 2017

"President Duterte has brought back the tradition of promoting insiders in the judiciary for positions in the Supreme Court (SC), naming Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Samuel Martires as his first appointee in the high court."

"x x x.

During an interview, Martires supported the SC ruling last year allowing the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

He agreed with the concurring opinion of Associate Justice Jose Mendoza that the case involves a political question beyond the review power of the judiciary.

Martires was also among the three Sandiganbayan justices who approved the plea bargain deal between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the Office of the Ombudsman for a P303-million plunder case which stemmed from the general’s alleged amassing of wealth when he was in the military.

In its 2011 ruling, the Sandiganbayan Second Division, in which Martires was then a member, allowed Garcia to plead guilty to lesser and bailable offenses of direct bribery and money laundering.

In August last year, the Court of Appeals affirmed the validity of the plea bargain deal.

Martires also voted to dismiss the perjury case against former chief justice Renato Corona over alleged misdeclaration of the latter’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN). He was, however, outvoted by members of the Third Division.

During his JBC interview for the SC post, Martires said he concurred with the high tribunal’s ruling acquitting former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of plunder over the alleged misuse of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office funds.

x x x."