Ong can still appeal case – Sandiganbayan


Associate Justice Gregory Ong can either appeal the Supreme Court (SC) ruling dismissing him from the service or voluntarily vacate his office, the Sandiganbayan said on Tuesday.

The anti-graft court has not yet received an official copy of the High Court’s ruling as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang.

Executive Clerk of Court IV Renato Bocar said the SC ruling, while immediately executory, is not immediately final.

Bocar said Ong can file a motion for reconsideration “if he so desires” within 15 days from receipt of the ruling.

If the 15 days lapse without an appeal, the ruling will be final.

“Now, once an official copy is received by court [Sandiganbayan], the Presiding Justice will probably endorse the same or issue a memo to Justice Ong for the proper implementation of the resolution,” Bocar said.

Ong may also voluntarily vacate his office or refrain and desist from performing any other function as an Associate Justice of the Sandiganbayan, he added.
Ong did not give an official statement about the High Court’s ruling.

Bocar said the SC’s ruling will not disrupt the functions of the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division, which Ong heads.

If the SC ruling becomes final, the most senior member–Justice Jose Hernandez–will replace Ong as Fourth Division chairman.

Bocar said a lawyer, one researcher and a driver will also lose their jobs because their appointments are valid only for as long as Ong sits as division chairman.


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