MANILA, Philippines – Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz died on Friday, February 21. He was 64 years old.
"It's Justice Rey Cruz who died. Please pray for him," Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang told reporters, confirming the information.
Tang said Cruz died of pneumonia.
Cruz was appointed to the Sandiganbayan in January 2016 by former president Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
Cruz was previously an undersecretary at the Office of the Executive Secretary in Aquino's Malacañang.
Cruz is part of the Sandiganbayan 4th Division. One of the last decisions he concurred in was to press on law enforcers to explain why Joseph Estrada's co-accused in the former president's plunder case were not arrested yet.
Cruz also concurred in the suspension of Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay Jr over a graft case involving the Local Water Utilities Administration.
Cruz concurred in the controversial 3-2 decision to grant bail to plunder defendant and former senator Jinggoy Estrada in the pork barrel scam cases.
Cruz would have served in the anti-graft court until 2025.
This opens up a new spot in the Sandiganbayan bench. – Rappler.com