• Tan’s SC bid may compromise ‘pork’ cases

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    DASMARIÑAS Rep. Elpidio Barzaga on Saturday said the plunder complaint filed against several lawmakers may be compromised if Commission on Audit (CoA) Chairman Grace Pulido-Tan is appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (SC).

    Tan is among the candidates nominated to replace Supreme Court Associate Justice Roberto Abad who will retire on May 22.

    Barzaga said the “pork” cases may suffer if Tan gets a seat at the High Court.

    “If she is already a justice of the Supreme Court, she will not consent to be a witness to the CoA audit, investigation and disal–lowances of the pork barrel funds,” Barzaga pointed out.

    Barzaga, who is also head of the House committee on Games and Amusements, urged Tan to hold on to her position “in the interest of public accountability by public officials”.

    “Definitely we do not want to see a justice of the Supreme Court being subjected to rigid cross-examination with sarcastic, if not insulting, questions being pro–pounded by cross-examining counsels against the former CoA chairperson,” the lawmaker said.

    Barzaga said the complaints filed against several personalities accused to have been involved in the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund or “pork barrel” will continue but prosecutors will lose a vital witness in the person of Tan is she is named to the SC.

    Tan said after her nomination that she is “up to the job” but clarified that her fate as SC justice is not guaranteed.

    Other nominees to the SC post are Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, nine justices from the Court of Appeals and Sandigan–bayan, a judge, and the law dean of the De La Salle University.

    The Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) has yet to come out with its final shortlist of candidates that will be submitted to Malacañang.

    Tan was appointed CoA chief by President Benigno Aquino 3rd in 2011.

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