MANILA — As the trial of the respondents are set to begin, Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and other justices of the Sandiganbayan pledged to maintain fairness and to uphold the right to due process of the respondents charged with plunder and graft.
“We will only be guided by what is on record, nothing more, nothing less,” she said.
The declaration was made during the hearing of the motions to dismiss and other pleadings of Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and his co-accused.
“We will not be swayed by public opinion,” Tang said.
In the same hearing, Associate Justice Samuel Martires made a similar pledge after hearing the oral arguments from Enrile’s camp.
Enrile, represented by his lawyer Estelito Mendoza, appealed for a thorough review of the cases filed against him.
Mendoza said that none of the evidences written in the 9,506 sheets of paper submitted by the Office of the Ombudsman would directly prove that Enrile received a total of P172 million in alleged kickbacks and commissions.
Despite this, Martires said he will not be swayed by public opinion and that the public is assured that he will thoroughly be studying the cases.
“I assure you, I will personally read those (documents),” he said. “I will do my duty.”