SC forms 2 new offices to prevent judicial corruption
The Supreme Court (SC) has created two permanent offices to monitor members of the judiciary and “strengthen integrity and prevent corruption.”
In an en banc resolution dated Oct. 2 but released only on Tuesday, the SC approved the recommendation of the Technical Working Group on Judicial Integrity to create the Judicial Integrity Board (JIB) and the Corruption Prevention and Investigation Office (CPIO).
The JIB will be tasked to act on complaints against erring justices, judges, and personnel while the CPIO will conduct a lifestyle check on justices, judges, and court personnel.
The CPIO is tasked to conduct investigation, surveillance or entrapment operations, and lifestyle checks on justices from the Court of Appeals, Sandiganbayan, Court of Tax Appeals, and personnel of lower courts, including the Shari’a Courts.
It will likewise monitor officials and employees of the Office of the Jurisconsult, Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator, Assistant Court Administrator.
The disciplinary proceedings of the justices, judges, and court personnel “may be instituted, Motu propio, by the SC, in the JIB, and also through verified complaints supported by affidavits and other authentic documents or upon anonymous complaint supported by public records.
The resolution, however, noted that if the disciplinary action was filed with the JIB six months before the retirement of the erring individual and is intended to harass and embarrass the said individual, the JIB shall recommend to the SC the dismissal of the complaint. The complainant may be cited for indirect contempt.
Documents and court records of disciplinary actions that can be resolved through pleas of the parties filed or submitted to the JIB will be deemed submitted for the preparation and submission JIB’s report and recommendation to the SC within 60 days from its receipt.
However, if there is a prima facie case based on the pleadings of the parties and substantial issues are raised, the JIB shall recommend to the SC that the case be considered as a regular administrative matter.
The JIB will also conduct a formal investigation of the issues raised and submit a report and recommendation to the SC.
The JIB shall be composed of a Chair, Vice Chair, and three regular members who will be appointed for a term of three years without reappointment.
The Chair and Vice Chair must be retired SC justices, and they will be entitled to a compensation equivalent to that of an incumbent SC justice. Regular members must either be a retired justice of the CS, SB or CTA and will be entitled to a compensation equivalent to the salary of the CA, SB, or CTA. /ee
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