SC ‘invites’ PNP, PDEA heads to submit complaint vs judges
The Supreme Court has issued another resolution, this time “inviting” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) Director General Isidro Lapeña to submit a complaint-affidavit against the four judges identified by President Rodrigo Duterte as having links to illegal drug trade.
Dela Rosa and Lapeña have seven days to submit a complaint-affidavit or other information against the four judges.
The four judges facing investigation are Exequil Dagala of the Dapa-Socorro, Surigao municipal circuit trial court; Adriano Savillo Iloilo City regional trial court; Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, Aklan RTC; and Antonio Reyes of Baguio City, Benguet RTC.
Last week, the high court said it will treat Duterte’s speech where he identified the judges as a complaint and directed Executive Secretary Salvador C. Medialdea to submit complaint-affidavits against the four judges.
At a press conference on Tuesday, high court’s Information Chief Atty. Theodore Te refused to answer if the recent “invitation” to Dela Rosa and Lapeña supersedes last week’s directive to Medialdea.
He also refused to answer whether Dela Rosa and Lapeña could opt not to submit the complaints since the word used in the order was only “invite.”
In the recent order by the high court, taking into consideration Duterte’s clarification, it noted that the President’s speech where he named the seven judges is no longer a complaint but a mere “information” and that the fact-finding investigation on the judges is now on its own initiative.
“The Court today [Tuesday] resolve to treat the speech of President Duterte as information against Judges Exequil Dagala, Adriano Savillo, Domingo Casiple and Antonio Reyes and on the basis of such information, order the conduct of a motu proprio fact-finding investigation into whether they are involved in illegal drugs,” the high court’s recent order stated.
But the high court kept its order for the four judges to submit their answers within seven days from receipt of the complaint of information to be submitted by anti-narcotics authorities.
The court has also reiterated its designation of retired Associate Justice Roberto Abad as the investigator who would conduct the probe in 30 days from submission of the answers from the four judges.
It likewise ordered Abad and all officials of the high court to observe strict confidentiality of the administrative proceedings as required by their rules.
Earlier, Malacañang questioned the Supreme Court’s directive to Medialdea citing separation of powers.
Apart from Dagala, Savillo, Casiple and Reyes, Duterte named three other judges who are no longer with the judiciary.
Judge Roberto Navidad of the Calbayog City, Samar RTC was killed on Jan. 14, 2008 at age 69, while Judge Lorenda Mupas of Dasmariñas, Cavite MTC was dismissed in 2007 for gross ignorance of the law.
Judge Rene Gonzales of Iloilo City MTCC retired last June and did not handle drug cases in his sala. RAM/rga
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