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WB report shows up why Marquez loyal to Corona

/ 12:55 AM January 23, 2012

Now the cat is out of the bag. We have been wondering why Supreme Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez is overzealous in his defense of embattled Chief Justice Renato Corona. He explains that he is only doing his job as the high tribunal’s spokesperson.

The Inquirer, in its Jan. 15 issue, reported on irregularities in the use of the multimillion-dollar funded Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP), of which Marquez has complete control. It appears that the Chief Justice has given Marquez complete authority in the management of the fund: Marquez is the requestor of goods/services to be procured; recommends and approves the procurements; signs the contracts covering the procurements and the checks issued for the payment of the goods/services. In other words, there is a total absence of an internal check and balance mechanism in the use of JRSP funds. It is, therefore, not surprising that many irregular disbursements were made from these funds.

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Marquez owes his great powers to his benefactor, the Chief Justice. This is the reason he is doing everything to defend him, just like what Corona has done for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Talk of “utang na loob.” If Corona is removed as Chief Justice, Marquez may also be stripped of his control over the financial transactions of the Supreme Court. Marquez has conflicting interests in the functions he is exercising in the Supreme Court. He should therefore resign. The Commission on Audit should look closely into the transactions of the Supreme Court to ferret out other irregularities in this branch of government.

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—MYRON SANTILLAN, [email protected]

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TAGS: corona impeachment, Government, Jose Midas Marquez, judiciary, politics, Renato corona, Senate, Supreme Court, world bank
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