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House probe sought on CA controversy; resolution filed

By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 13:19:00 08/05/2008

Filed Under: Graft & Corruption, Congress, Legislation

MANILA, Philippines -- A resolution seeking a congressional inquiry into reported bribery allegations against one of the justices of the Court of Appeals on a case involving the Manila Electric Co. has been filed at the House of Representatives.

In filing House Resolution 705, Manila Representative Bienvenido Abante Jr. urged the House leadership, through the committees on energy and justice, to look into the controversy by calling on responsible officials of Meralco and the appellate court justices.

?There is an urgent need for the people to know the whole truth about the matter as this involves the administration of justice and that there is also need to prevent the recurrence of a similar situation in the future,? according to the resolution.

Justice Jose Sabio Jr. came out last week, claiming he had been offered P10 million by a supposed emissary of Meralco to inhibit himself from a case involving a petition filed by the private power firm against an order by the Securities and Exchange Commission that stopped the elections of the Meralco board.

Sabio claimed that the ruling by appellate court was attended by ?irregularities that would cast serious doubt on the integrity of such resolution and that of the Court and its members.?

?This is a very serious matter that should be looked into with dispatch as it affects the integrity of the second highest judicial tribunal of the land and that of its members, especially in the light of allegations of graft and corruption and/or questionable transactions involving high government officials,? it said.

The controversy, it added, would once more put in issue the country?s credibility and standing in the international community, and would further erode the people?s faith in the administration of justice.



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