NBI ordered to probe fixer in judiciary
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to create a team that would investigate “Ma’am Arlene,” a decision broker in the judiciary.
“The NBI is hereby directed to form a dedicated team tasked to conduct an investigation. The team shall file a report with the Chief Justice, without need of any clearance from the [Justice Secretary], as soon as its investigation is concluded,” De Lima said in a memorandum issued to NBI OIC Director Medardo De Lemos.
De Lima said she gave De Lemos freehand to act on any recommended action or request from Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
The Justice Chief made the directive after a meeting with Sereno.
However, De Lima said she is stepping away from the investigation due her pending contempt and disbarment case.
De Lima has been slapped with a contempt and disbarment case after she defied the temporary restraining order regarding the implementation of her Department Order when she stopped former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to travel abroad.
Any findings of the NBI, De Lima said, shall be submitted directly to the Chief Justice.
The controversy is being linked to the equally controversial election of officers of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) in which “Ma’am Arlene” was said to have worked her ‘magic’ to influence the selection process.
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