|Lagman takes up cudgels for Sandiganbayan|
|Lifestyle - News and Events|
MANILA, Philippines - A senior lawmaker has taken up the cudgels for the Sandiganbayan after President Aquino criticized the court for approving the plea bargaining agreement between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the Ombudsman.
In a statement, House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman said Aquino got it all wrong when he criticized the anti-graft court for making the decision "in a vacuum" without considering testimonies of witnesses who criticized the plea deal.
"The President is oblivious of the ideal norm that a judge or jurist must formulate his decision in a 'vacuum', unperturbed by the mob, uninfluenced by public opinion, insulated from “recommendations” of extrajudicial fora and free from partisan intruders," he said.
"This 'vacuum' is the judicious environ the magistrates should 'live in' to assure the cold neutrality of an impartial judge," he added.
Lagman said Aquino only wants the judiciary to surrender to public opinion on the matter of the plea deal.
He said both the executive and legislative branches must respect and preserve the independence of the judiciary for the rule of law to prevail.
"Justice is forged in an independent furnace wherein issues and cases are adjudicated based on competent and admissible facts and pertinent laws," he added.
President Aquino on Tuesday said he was surprised at the court's decision to uphold the Ombudsman’s plea bargain.
Information taken from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/