THE Office of the Ombudsman on Friday said it was able to secure the conviction of former Daet City Regional Trial Court Judge Owen Amor of Camarines Norte for demanding P400,000 from a police officer in exchange for a case dismissal in 2000.
The Sandiganbayan said Amor violated Section 7(d) of Republic Act 6713 or Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
Amor was sentenced to imprisonment of three years and was disqualified from holding any public office.
Prosecutors presented witnesses who testified that in January 2000, Amor unlawfully solicited and accepted P400,000 from Supt. Danilo Manzano in exchange for the dismissal of the criminal cases pending before the sala of Amor.
Manzano told the court that Amor invited him to go to his residence, and that the judge explained “the gravity of his cases and that his opponent who is very influential offered him P1 million” to convict him.
Quoting Amor, Manzano said “that he [Amor] favored the police more and asked Manzano to produce half of his opponent’s offer for his acquittal.”
Manzano then sought the assistance of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force that conducted surveillance and entrapment operations.
On Jan. 24, 2000, Amor was entrapped at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City caught in the hand of receiving and accepting the boodle money.
In a Dec. 1 decision, the Sandiganbayan resolved that “the facts and evidence presented by the prosecution positively show that indeed, Judge Amor solicited and accepted money from P/Supt. Danilo Manzano.”
“The accused, who is not a mere court employee but a Presiding Judge who is entrusted by the public to render impartial judgment free from influence, should be reminded that the nature and responsibilities of public officers” and that “those involved in the administration of justice must live up to the strictest standards of honesty and integrity in the public service.”