FORMER Sandiganbayan justice Gregory Ong has given up the battle for a seat in the Supreme Court following questions on his citizenship.
Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye said Ong personally called up Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita on July 25 to inform him that he was voluntarily withdrawing from the appointment earlier issued to him “in order to give the President a free hand to appoint another to the Supreme Court.”
“Justice Ong added that while he has heeded the directive of the Supreme Court in its decision and has thus accordingly sought the judicial correction of his birth certificate to properly reflect his status as a natural born citizen, he did not want his personal predicament to stand in the way of the Supreme Court’s functioning as a 15-man tribunal as envisioned by the Constitution,” Bunye added.
Ong was appointed by the President two months ago to the high tribunal but he failed to assume his post following revelations that he was not a Filipino citizen.
The Supreme Court ruled that he could not take a seat in the high tribunal unless corrections to his birth certificate were first made before the lower court.