Saturday, November 3, 2012

Prosecutors oppose appointment of an "outsider"

Samonte with Lawyer and former Governor Tomas Martin.

MALOLOS CITY—Ranking prosecutors in Bulacan are opposing the appointment of a private lawyer as provincial prosecutor citing lack of experience.

They also stressed that appointing an outsider would demoralized members of the national prosecution service of the Department of Justice (DOJ), many of whom has been serving the government for 20 years or more.

In a one page manifesto, Bulacan prosecutors asked the President Aquino to give priority to members of the national prosecution service in the province.

The manifesto was signed by Rita Gammad, senior deputy provincial prosecutor, Eduardo Dela Cruz, 2nd assistant provincial prosecutor, Antonio Buan, and Eufracio Marquez, city prosecutors of the Cities of San Jose Del Monte and Meycauayan.

All four ranking prosecutors are applicant to post vacated by former Provincial Prosecutor Alfredo Geronimo who had reached his compulsory retirement last June 7.

The prosecutors insisted in their manifesto that they have been in the service under the DOJ for more than 20 years and have devoted their lives to serve the people.

“Our qualifications, competency, hardwork and dedication cannot be ignored compared to an applicant/outsider who has no experience whatsoever as a government prosecutors,” the manifesto said to which they refer to Lawyer Renato Samonte as an “outsider.”

In an interview, Buan said that Samonte is a good lawyer, but he expressed doubts over his capability to handle and lead the national prosecution service in Bulacan.

 “He is a very good private practitioner but he was never a prosecutor,” Buan said noting that that Samonte’s appointment will cause demoralization among members of the prosecution service.

He said that for years, many of them are hoping to be promoted to higher position, along with other lower ranking prosecutors noting that “they too are looking forward for promotion, but it won’t happen if someone from the outside will be appointed as out chief.”

Buan also clarified Samonte’s earlier statements claiming that he has been appointed to the post vacated by Geronimo’s retirement.

“As far as we are concerned, he is just a candidate, because we have not seen any formal appointment,” he said.

Buan added that the President can stop demoralization among members of the Bulacan prosecution service by appointing candidates who are experienced.

He insisted that Samonte has no experience and not a member of the government prosecution service.

A long time lawyer, Samonte came from Bulakan town and has an extensive law practice in  Metro  Manila and Central Luzon spanning three decades.

He  finished A.B. Political Science at the Ateneo de Manila University and graduated from the San Beda College of Law in 1980.       

His adept skills as a trial lawyer was honed and polished during his more than 10 years practice at the Law office of Dakila F. Castro where he litigated high-profile criminal cases, one of these was the libel case filed by then President Corazon C. Aquino.

Samonte is well-remembered for the brilliancy he displayed during Day 34th and 35th of the impeachment trial of SC Chief Justice Renato C. Corona where he crossed-examined former Manila Mayor Lito Atienza.

Then lead counsel for the defense, Justice Serafin Cuevas, was blanked and rebuffed not once but thrice by Prosecutor Samonte while grilling ex-Mayor Atienze in connection with the irregularity in the sale of the Basa-Guidote property in  Legarda, Manila.  (Dino Balabo)