CA justice inhibits from Janet cases
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 2, 2013 - 1:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals (CA) magistrate implicated in the pork barrel scam has inhibited himself from the pending cases involving Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the multibillion-peso racket.

Associate Justice Danton Bueser, former Laguna third district representative for three terms and whose name was listed in the Commission on Audit (COA) report as one of the lawmakers who transferred their pork barrel funds to bogus non-government organizations, said he inhibited himself from the cases to protect the integrity of the appellate court.

“To (remove) any doubt and speculation in the mind of the public which could affect the dignity of the court and my credibility as a magistrate, I am recusing myself from handling these cases,” Bueser said in a statement over the weekend.

He made the decision even before the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) could seek his inhibition.

Justice Sec. Leila de Lima said last Friday the OSG would study a possible bid for Bueser’s inhibition in the Napoles cases, and that his inclusion in the COA report was “an important point.”

Bueser is a member of the fourth division of the CA, which handles Napoles’ petition questioning her indictment for alleged serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy.

Bueser is also a substitute member of the second division that ordered the freezing of Napoles’ bank assets.

In both cases, the justice said the CA issued orders unfavorable to Napoles. The fourth division did not issue a temporary restraining order sought by Napoles against her arrest, while the second division ordered the Anti-Money Laundering Council to probe her assets.

Bueser also vehemently denied involvement in the scam, saying his signatures were forged in the documents used by the COA in its report and he would face any investigation.

“I will ask the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the authenticity of the documents and the signatures appearing thereon because to the best of my knowledge I have not made any endorsements to these organizations, much less transacted business with these entities,” he said in the same statement.

“I am very much willing to cooperate with the authorities because I strongly believe my signatures were forged,” he added.

Based on the COA report, Bueser allegedly allocated P9.6 million to the Philippine Environment and Economic Development Association (PEEDA) and P9.8 million to the Aaron Foundation Philippines.

PEEDA and Aaron are two of the 82 dubious NGOs that received pork barrel funds. But the COA clarified that they were not linked to the corporations of Napoles.

 

AARON FOUNDATION PHILIPPINES ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING COUNCIL ASSOCIATE JUSTICE DANTON BUESER BENHUR LUY BUESER COURT OF APPEALS JANET LIM-NAPOLES JUSTICE SEC NAPOLES NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
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