SC spokesman Marquez says Sheriff Andres is safe MANILA, Philippines – Supreme Court (SC) spokesman Jose Midas Marquez on Tuesday said he fears the mauling of Regional Trial Court sheriff Abe Andres by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte could lead to similar incidents in the future.
Marquez said the Office of the Court Administrator has ordered Davao City Executive Judge Manuel Carpio and Andres to submit a written report and sworn statements respectively about the incident.
“As Court administrator, I am really looking at what could be done to protect the sheriffs. Ang ayaw nating mangyari ay pwede pang mangyari ito sa ibat ibang lugar kung saan may makikialam na ibat ibang tao sa regular court processes. We will wait for the testament of Sheriff Andres and the executive judge,” he told radio dzMM.
TV footage showed the mayor repeatedly punching the court sheriff for implementing a court-ordered demolition of shanties in Agdao district last Friday. Duterte has refused to apologize to Andres, saying that she merely wanted the sheriff to delay the demolition for 2 hours to allow her to talk to the affected residents.
Both Duterte and Andres have taken a leave from work while the Department of the Interior and Local Government investigates the incident.
‘The sheriff is safe’
Marquez said he was able to talk to Andres’ sibling, who is a judge from Digos, Davao del Sur, who told him that the sheriff was safe.
This came following news Monday that the sheriff has been incommunicado and did not appear in a meeting with the Sheriffs Confederation of the Philippines.
The SC spokesman noted that the High Court cannot sanction Duterte directly since she is under the jurisdiction of the DILG. He said any move to disbar Duterte is the call of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
Marquez said he talked to the Sheriffs Confederation of the Philippines who expressed their sentiments about the mauling.
He also said the Supreme Court needs to determine the exact events last Friday.
“There are certain facts we need to straighten out. We heard that the mayor wanted to delay the demolition for 2 hours but some said the demolition hadn’t started. I also heard that the geodetic engineer just arrived to survey what area is covered by the demolition when the tension started,” he said.