SC Justice Leonen: Corruption still exists in courts
Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen urged lawyers on Thursday to speak out against corruption, saying it still exists in the government, including the judiciary, and remains “a significant factor in engendering inequality in our society.” “Impartiality suffers when corruption infects courts,” Leonen said at the 19th National Convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in Davao City, according to a tweet by the Supreme Court public information office.
According to him, any court that is corrupt “becomes an instrument only by those in power and will favor only those who have resources.”
“A public office is always a public trust,” Leonen said, emphasizing that “corruption weakens the rule of law and therefore the confidence of people in the government.”
To lawyers attending the convention, he encouraged them to report any incident of corruption, especially when it involves attempts to rig decisions in cases, even including those pending in the high tribunal.
“No retired justice of the Supreme Court has control of any member of the [Supreme] Court, let alone a majority of the court,” Leonen said.
“Should any of them imply, should any of those that came from the judiciary imply that they can facilitate the outcome of a case pending in our court, you are obliged to report them to us, through the Office of the Chief Justice,” he added.
“This applies to any former member of the Judiciary who approaches you, be it a judge, former judge, a Justice of an appellate court, or of the Supreme Court,” he stressed.
Previously, Leonen said that keeping silent allows the abuse of the system to favor those who have the means, can legitimize greed and cause injustice.
With this, he urged lawyers and law students to have the courage to do what is right.
“These times call on all of us to do our part, look at things differently, go outside what is comfortable, do what is just,” he said. “The line of fire has always been the line of honor.”