Wanted: Ong’s replacement
MANILA, Philippines–The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) is looking for a one good justice to fill the seat vacated with the dismissal of Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory Ong for his links to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
In newspaper ads published Sunday, the JBC set the deadline for applications and recommendations to the Sandiganbayan post on Nov. 6. The supporting documents for the applications may be submitted until Nov. 21.
The JBC in the same ads sought applicants for the position of Court of Appeals associate justice to fill the seat of Justice Vicente Veloso who is retiring on Jan. 7.
The seven-member JBC, chaired by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, vets nominees for judicial posts then forwards its list to the President for his selection.
The Supreme Court last month ordered Ong’s dismissal after he was found guilty of “gross misconduct, dishonesty and impropriety” for his links to Napoles, who is detained and facing trial for allegedly being behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam involving several legislators.
Ong’s dismissal became final last week.
“The totality of the circumstances of such association strongly indicates his corrupt inclinations that only heightened the public’s perception of anomaly in the decision making process,” the high court had said in its decision.
Ong was accused of being Napoles’ contact in the Sandiganbayan. He had acquitted Napoles in the Kevlar helmet case in 1998 which involved the sale of inferior helmets to the Philippine Marines.
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