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Ombudsman still confident with Justice Tang on Syjuco graft case

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The Ombudsman still trust Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang even though former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Augusto Syjuco Jr. does not.

Because of this, the Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) asked to keep handling the graft case of Syjuco over the alleged anomalous awarding of P79.9-million worth of scholarships in 2009.

“The prosecution maintains its trust and confidence with Honorable Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang that she will act on these cases with impartiality and based on the merits of the cases,” said the OSP in a pleading before the Sandiganbayan Third Division that is handling the case.

Syjuco, a former representative of the second district of Iloilo, filed a motion seeking the inhibition of Tang from his case since the Presiding Justice is an appointee of President Benigno Aquino III whom he has criticized openly.

However, prosecutors explained that “the ground for inhibition cited by accused Syjuco is highly speculative” and are “not valid and concrete proof that would relate to the Honorable Justice’s credibility and integrity in hearing the cases.”

The OSP said that the Supreme Court had already declared that without clear and convincing evidence “a judge’s ruling not to inhbit himself should be allowed to stand.”

Despite this, prosecutors indicated that it is still Tang who is “in the best position to decide whether it is imperative for her to inhibit from the cases.”

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