Enrile prods SB Justice Cabotaje-Tang’s exclusion from plunder case
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile continues to push for the exclusion of Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang from handling his plunder case in the pork barrel scam.
“The standard for recusal always used by the Supreme Court is not just reasonable doubt, or substantial doubt, as to the impartiality of the judge, but ‘any’ doubt,” read his comment filed before the Sandiganbayan Third Division.
“The Supreme Court has explained that ‘[a]t the outset, [a judge] should inhibit himself from the case if only to avoid any doubt or suspicion of bias and partiality against [a party]’,” he explained.
Enrile who had already filed a previous motion seeking her inhibition has expressed doubt Tang would give him fair treatment considering she got appointed to her post by former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
His co-accused and former chief-of-staff, lawyer Jessica Lucila Reyes, has also joined him in inhibiting Tang.
Apart from plunder, Enrile is also charged with 15 counts of graft in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Under the charges, Enrile is accused of having amassed P172 million in kickbacks from pork barrel scam queen Janet Lim Napoles in exchange for choosing her non-government organizations (NGOs) to implement ghost projects funded by the former lawmaker’s PDAF.