By Armando Fenequito Jr.
DAVAO CITY — Presidential daughter and City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte has filed her opposition to the possible appointment of Court Administrator of the Supreme Court (SC) Jose Midas Marquez as Associate Justice, replacing Samuel Martires who was appointed Ombudsman by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
In a copy of her three-page affidavit obtained by Manila Bulletin, she believed Marquez was not fit for the position.
The young Duterte said she discovered that Marquez and a certain Gemma Sotto were interfering on the disbarment case filed against her after she punched court-sheriff Abe Andres in 2011.
The mayor narrated that Sotto sent her a text message on the first week of September, requesting for a meeting with her.
“Not having received any response from me, it appeared that she sent messages to Atty. Bruce Rivera informing him that she was requesting for the meeting because she will hand-carry a Supreme Court document and personally deliver it to me,” she said.
Duterte said she consistently refused to meet Sotto, until the latter was able to contact her chief-of-staff lawyer Raul Nadela, and met him last September 13 .
“During the said meeting, Ms. Sotto informed Atty. Nadela that she and Atty. Marquez worked together to push Sheriff Abe Andres to execute an affidavit about my case and require the complainants to file a Motion to Withdraw their complaint based on the said affidavit,” she said.
The mayor said when the document handed by Sotto was shown to her, she was shocked by the audacity of the latter and Marquez to interfere in her ongoing disbarment case.
“I felt humiliated by their actions because the complainant, witnesses and the public might think I have a hand in this manipulation so if Atty. Marquez is included in the shortlist of candidates and maybe appointed by the Office of the President,” she said.
Duterte said. her reputation and honor were very important and to cast doubt on these is unacceptable on her part.
“I have patiently waited for the decision of the Supreme Court as I have always maintained from the beginning that I will face the consequences of my actions which have been the subject of the said cases,” she said.
She said Sotto approached her in Malita, Davao Occidental on August 6, asking her if she had any objections or disagreement with Marquez, and she replied no.
“Thereafter, I learned that Ms. Sotto has been going around lobbying around with friends of President Duterte for the appointment of Atty. Marquez as an Associate Justice,” she said.
The mayor believed that actions of Marquez, using her influence and authority to meddle in her disbarment case and damaging her reputation showed the lack integrity and probity required in the position he is aspiring for.