No special treatment for Imelda Marcos, says 2 Sandiganbayan justices
Two Sandiganbayan justices denied that the anti-graft court gave special treatment to former First Lady Imelda Marcos who was allowed to post bail despite being convicted of several counts of graft.
“Personally, I do not believe that there has been preferential treatment accorded to Mrs. Marcos,” Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang told members of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
Tang is one of the 20 candidates vying for the Supreme Court Associate Justice position that will become vacant upon the retirement of Justice Noel Tijam on January next year.
Marcos has been convicted of seven counts of graft and corruption and was allowed to post P150,000 bail for her temporary liberty.
“These charges are bailable offenses and as a rule, even after conviction where cases are bailable, an accused may still be allowed provisional liberty,” Tang said.
Associate Justice Efren Dela Cruz, another candidate for the SC post, echoed Tang’s statement.
“The policy in our court is whenever an accused is convicted of a bailable offense, we require that the accused post a double the amount of the bail and we will allow the accused to enjoy provisional liberty. That has been the policy of our court,” Dela Cruz said.
Tang added that the members of the 5th Division that issued the ruling on Mrs. Marcos “merely exercised what is proper under the circumstances. I do not believe that they have abused or much less gravely abused their discretion granted under the circumstances.”
Aside from Tang and Dela Cruz, other candidates interviewed by the JBC are Court of Appeals Associate Justices Ramon A. Cruz, Eduardo B. Peralta Jr., Ricardo Rosario, and Ramon M. Bato Jr.
There is a total of 20 candidates vying for the post, but the 16 other candidates have been previously interviewed by the JBC when they vied for other vacancies in the Judiciary. Public interview is valid for one year. /je
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