A former Sandiganbayan justice, who was sacked in 2014 for corruption, has been granted clemency by the Supreme Court.
In doing so, the high tribunal partially restored the benefits and pension of Gregory Ong, citing “compassion to those deserving” and also lifted his disqualification of being employed in the government, including GOCCs.
The Ong ruling was reportedly promulgated in January 2021, but only released to the public this month.
Reports said Ong was dismissed by the SC in 2014 for “gross misconduct, dishonesty and impropriety” in aiding businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles (the supposed brains behind the infamous P10-billion pork barrel scam) gain acquittal in the Sandiganbayan in connection with the ghost purchase of 500 Kevlar helmets for the Marines in 1998.
Of course it didn’t help him any after a photo surfaced in 2013 showing him exchanging pleasantries with Napoles and plunder defendant Sen. Jinggoy Estrada.
In begging for judicial clemency, Ong told the magistrates he was experiencing “a difficult medical and financial state” since his dismissal.
“Ong’s demonstration of remorse and reformation, along with his dire state, compels us to mitigate his penalty,” the SC said.
Another notable beneficiary of the SC’s largesse was the late ousted SC Chief Justice Renato Corona whose full benefits were also restored to his widow.