- The Supreme Court had formed a panel to probe the four trial court judges named by President Duterte as having involvement in the illegal drugs
- The four judges are Adriano Savillo of Iloilo City, Antonio Reyes of Baguio City, Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, and Exequil Dagala of Dapa-Socorro in Surigao province
- The SC said that it would help the judges clear their names and prove their innocence
The Supreme Court had formed a committee on Tuesday to investigate the four trial court judges who were named by President Rodrigo Duterte as having involvement in the illegal drug trade.
The court appointed Roberto A. Abad – a retired Associate Justice – to lead the fact-finding committee and to submit a report in 30 days. However, the SC stated that Malacañang needs to file its complaints first against the judges before the investigation could begin.
“The court today resolved to direct Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea to submit complaint affidavits against the four judges within seven days, furnishing the respondent judges with a copy of the same,” spokesperson Theodore Te read the resolution to the media.
The high court also ordered the four judges – Adriano Savillo of Iloilo City, Antonio Reyes of Baguio City, Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, and Exequil Dagala of Dapa-Socorro in Surigao province – to share their side of the story within seven days after the Palace files their complaint. Te said that the investigation would help the judges clear their names if they really are innocent of the drug allegations.
The spokesperson also spoke about the danger of naming and shaming the judges, saying that it exposes them to the possibility of becoming victims of summary killings. Some statistics say that there had already been over 200 cases of summary execution since Duterte assumed office, while others say that the numbers are as high as 600.
As for the other three judges named by Duterte, Chief Justice of the SC Maria Lourdes Sereno said that judge Lorenda Mupas of Cavite had already been dismissed in 2007 for misconduct; Judge Rene Gonzales of Iloilo City had already retired last month; and Roberto Natividad of Samar had already been dead for over eight years already.
Sereno also reminded Duterte that the High Court can only probe and discipline the current members of the judiciary. –Kami Media