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MANILA, Philippines – It is preposterous, premature, and it stinks.
These are some of the words used by the dissenting justices of the Court of Appeals (CA) and Solicitor General Jose Calida to describe the decision of Justice Normandie Pizarro to free former Palawan governor Joel Reyes who was accused of murder.
Pizarro’s ponencia stopped a Palawan court from proceeding to hear the case, ruling without trial that the evidence is insufficient.
Calida said they are ready to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court (SC).
Pizarro has been making controversial decisions lately.
He was the justice who penned the ruling which acquitted Janet Lim Napoles in her case of serious illegal detention. That was in May 2017.
A month before that, in July, he penned the ruling that nullified a Hawaii court decision that granted $2 billion worth of damages to victims of the Martial Law period.
In January this year, he affirmed that decision. Former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales, also a petitioner in the Hawaii case, said they will appeal at the Supreme Court.
In 2016, Pizarro inhibited himself from the case against businessman Roberto V. Ongpin who was accused of insider trading in the sale of Philex Mining Corporation shares back in 2009.
Pizarro said one of the Philex shareholders was his “relative by consanguinity.” In December 2017, CA cleared Ongpin.
A report by The Philippine Star said Pizarro will retire next month, ahead of his mandatory retirement in February 2019.
Justice Pizarro served as trial court judge of Vigan and Candon, Ilocos Sur before being appointed to the Court of Appeals. – Rappler.com