CA justice declines to inhibit from Ampatuan case

April 18, 2012 10:59 pm 

BAGUIO CITY, April 18 – A Court of Appeals (CA) Associate Justice declines to inhibit from handling a petition of former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Gov. Zaldy Ampatuan.

The detained former ARMM governor would like the CA to exclude him from the Maguindanao massacre case.

Ampatuan sought the inhibition of Associate Justice Noel Tijam, saying that, he has already prejudged his case.

Tijam is one of the justices who dismissed the petition of former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan, Sr. also asking that he be excluded as among the principal accused in the Maguindanao massacre case.

In a ruling issued on Wednesday by the CA's Special Former Eleventh Division, Tijam said that the former ARMM governor failed to prove his allegation that he was bias.

"Barren of any proof cannot force him to shark away from bounded judicial duties and functions as a magistrate. Otherwise, his sworn responsibility to decide cases without fear or favor will just become a hollow oath," Tijam said.

He said that the petition of the Ampatuan patriarch and Zaldy arose out of only one unfortunate incident.

"While each of these two cases has its own set of peculiarities, this Court did not, however, waste its precious time and resources to try and pain two completely different pictures of only one and the same scenario," Tijam said.

"The dictates of prompt and efficient disposition of justice may have impelled the undersigned ponente (Tijam) to adopt albeit only to some extent and as far as practicable the statement of facts…However, this should not in any way diminish his credibility as neutral impartial judge," he said. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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