Former ambassador to Mexico Francisco “Paqui” Ortigas III is seeking the inhibition of Makati Judge Marie Picardal-Tecson from handling the legal separation case filed by his estranged wife, Susana Madrigal Bayot.
Ortigas, who filed an ad cautelam motion (or a motion for security) last Aug.13, has questioned the impartiality of Judge Tecson after learning that one of the lawyers handling Bayot’s legal separation case is a business partner of Constantine Tecson, the judge’s husband.
“Judge Tecson would be acting with impartiality and candor if she inhibits herself so as not to show any appearance of bias,” Ortigas said in a press statement Thursday.
He said he was seeking the judge’s inhibition to address his persistent doubts over Tecson’s ties with Bayot’s counsels and the peculiar circumstances and timing of the judge’s appointment to Branch 144 of the Makati Regional Trial Court.
Tecson was appointed to the Makati RTC branch last May or June, just months after Bayot filed a petition for legal separation, Ortigas noted.
Alliance aggravating bias
Ortigas said his apprehension over the judge’s possible bias has been further aggravated by what he learned about the business alliance of Constantine Tecson and the unnamed lawyer handling the Bayot case.
He said that based on the general information sheet (GIS) of the companies submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Constantine Tecson and his business partner were stockholders and officers for Prestige Asia Co. and Lakefront Realty.
Based on the GIS, Constantine Tecson serves as the chairman and president of Prestige Asia while his business partner is the company’s treasurer, he said.
Lakefront Realty, on the other hand, has the person handling the legal separation case as its chair and president while Constantine Tecson is listed as one of its officers, he said.