Slow ‘pork’ cases? Sandigan’s Tang blasts Ombudsman
Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang on Friday hit the Ombudsman for accusing the antigraft court of delaying the pork barrel scam cases.
During the bail hearing of accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles before the antigraft court Third Division, Tang said she would not tolerate accusations that it is the court which is intentionally delaying the plunder and graft cases pertaining to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
“The court cannot be accused of delaying the case. The court takes exception of that… The court does not want to be accused of delay,” a disappointed Tang said in a stern voice, pointing a finger and shaking her head.
Tang made the reaction after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales in an interview with ABS-CBN complained of the slow disposition of pork cases. Morales is a retired Supreme Court justice.
Tang blew her top after Napoles’ lawyer Dennis Buenaventura moved for continuance of his cross-examination on the witness principal whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Tang said the court would do all means to expedite the case.
“We don’t want any more postponement… If we have to do it morning and afternoon, we’ll do that,” Tang said.
Associate Justice Samuel Martires took the cudgels for his colleague, saying if the Ombudsman is blaming the court, the prosecutors’ bosses must have no idea how court proceedings are done.
“We’re reacting because of an interview… The court is always blamed for the delay in the disposition of cases. What the people or your bosses don’t know is that it’s not the court. We are willing to listen even if we’re tired of listening,” Martires said
Martires said he understands that the defense and the prosecution have cases to juggle with the controversial PDAF scam cases.
“But we appeal: Do not use the court. Unless your bosses have not yet stepped inside a courtroom. Because if then your bosses would not understand,” he added
“We appeal: Please don’t use the court as an excuse in the delay of disposition of cases,” he said
The antigraft court is hearing the plunder and graft cases of senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and former representatives Rizalina Lañete and Edgar Valdez, as well as the malversation cases of former solons Samuel Dangwa, Rodolfo Plaza and Constantino Jaraula.
Revilla and Estrada are detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center, while Enrile is under hospital detention. Lanete and Valdez are detained at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig. IDL
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