SC Associate Justice Samuel Martires vies for Ombudsman post

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 16 2018 12:35 PM | Updated as of May 16 2018 12:46 PM

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administers the oath of office for the newly-appointed Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires during a simple ceremony at the Music Room of Malacañan Palace on March 8, 2017. File photo/King Rodriguez, Malacanang Photo

MANILA - Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel Martires is vying for the post of Ombudsman.

Martires, President Rodrigo Duterte’s first appointee to the high court, will reach the mandatory age of retirement of 70 in the judiciary on Jan 2, 2019.

If chosen to replace Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Martires will have to go on early retirement.

The 69-year-old Martires served as trial court judge in Agoo, La Union prior to his appointment to the Sandiganbayan on October 15, 2005 by then-President Gloria Arroyo.

He obtained his law degree from San Beda College, the alma mater of Duterte and some Cabinet members like Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Martires penned the controversial Sandiganbayan decision that approved the plea bargain deal entered into by alleged plunderer retired Major General Carlos Garcia and the Office of the Ombudsman.

In 2011, Martires also wrote the Sandiganbayan decision that junked graft charges against then-Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte over the demolition of a park built by his political rival, Prospero Nograles.

Martires penned the high court decision in connection with the survivorship claims of spouses of deceased judges and justices that paved the way for a uniform interpretation of the survivorship law and fast-tracked the release of benefits.

He also voted with the majority in granting the Office of the Solicitor General’s ouster case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The Judicial and Bar Council terminated the acceptance of nominations for the anti-graft office’s top post on May 15.