2 SC justices told: Back off DQ cases if ties with Duterte proven
The two associate justices of the Supreme Court (SC) being linked to presidential aspirant Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte should “abstain” from all cases involving him and rival Senator Grace Poe if the reported link was indeed true, a senator said on Wednesday.
Citing a source, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Justices Jose Catral Mendoza and Bienvenido Reyes had allegedly tried to coax presidential aspirant Roy Señeres to withdraw from the race in favor of Duterte.
“Since the news report was already confirmed by Cong. Seneres, then it would be proper for the two named SC Justices to air their side,” Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who is backing Poe’s presidential bid, said in a text message when sought for comment.
“If they (two justices) would confirm the meeting, then they are expected to abstain from participating in all of cases involving Poe and Duterte that would be brought to the SC,” Trillanes added.
Poe and Duterte are both facing disqualification cases. One of the petitions against Poe filed by presidential wannabe Rizalito David seeking to unseat her as senator over questions on her citizenship has already been elevated before the SC.
Quoting a source, the report said that Mendoza was a founding leader of Lex Talionis and is currently a member of the Troika, the fraternity’s highest governing body. Reyes and Duterte are allegedly members of Lex Talionis.
“If it’s true, then it will be an ‘add on’ to mayor Duterte’s campaign,” Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, who is also supporting Poe, said in another text message.
Sotto was among the five member-senators of the Senate Electoral Tribunal who junked David’s case against Poe.
Asked how he thinks the connection of the two justices could affect Poe’s case at the SC, Sotto said: “I don’t think it has anything to do with the case of Grace. To each his own.”
“It has its own merits,” the senator added. IDL
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