Enrile seeks inhibition of Sandiganbayan’s top justice
MANILA — Former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile has sought the inhibition of Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo M. Cabotaje-Tang from his pork barrel cases, hinting that her appointment by former President Benigno Aquino III might influence her decisions.
In a 15-page motion dated May 26, Enrile, through top defense lawyer Estelito Mendoza, described how Aquino bypassed Tang’s seniors when he selected the junior justice to head the anti-graft court on Oct. 7,
Although the motion stated there could “hardly be any doubt” as to her qualifications, it cited the “subconscious forces,” which could affect the verdicts in “the momentous cases she decides.”
It quoted a three-page portion of United States Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo’s classic 1921 book, The Nature of the Judicial Process, which described the “subconscious forces” that shape a judge’s thought processes.
Part of the quote read: “Deep below consciousness are other forces, the likes and the dislikes, the predilections and the prejudices, the complex of instincts and emotions and habits and convictions, which
make the man, whether he be litigant or judge.”
During a Thursday hearing, Tang gave prosecutors a non-extendible period of 10 days to comment on Enrile’s motion. He will in turn be given another seven days to reply to the comment. SFM/rga
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