Trader claims Makati judge sought P15M via middleman
A BUSINESSMAN has filed an administrative complaint in the Supreme Court alleging that a Makati City judge― through a middleman―asked for P15 million in exchange for a favorable ruling in connection with his company’s insurance claim.
Abeto Uy, chair of the Batangas-based Steel Corp. of the Philippines (SCP), filed a complaint for extortion and grave misconduct against Judge Josefino Subia of Makati City Regional Trial Court Branch 138.
Received by the Office of the Court Administrator on July 20, the complaint arose from SCP’s civil case for an insurance claim after the firm incurred a $41.9-million loss because of a fire that hit the cold rolling mill of its Balayan steel plant on Dec. 9, 2009.
The Inquirer tried to get Subia’s comment but a staff member said he was unavailable for an interview at press time.
The insurance firms―Philippine Charter Insurance Corp. (now known as Charter Ping An), Asia Insurance Philippines Corp., Malayan Insurance Co. Inc., New India Assurance Co. Ltd., and Mapfre Insular Insurance Corp.―earlier filed a motion to dismiss the civil case.
Uy claimed that Rolando L. Palad, who was employed by SCP as an insurance consultant, served as a middleman between him and the judge as Palad’s wife was supposedly related to Subia.
Palad supposedly told him that the judge would deny the motion to dismiss the insurance claim in exchange for P15 million.
Uy said he negotiated through Palad to first give P7-million in downpayment and agreed to pay the balance once the motion is denied.
Allegedly as instructed by the judge, Uy delivered the P7 million to Palad while in a car driven by Subia’s nephew.
On Jan. 26, 2016, Subia denied the insurance firms’ bid to have the case dismissed. The firms appealed that order while seeking Subia’s inhibition from the case―but both motions were later denied by the judge as well.
On Apr. 26, however, the judge reversed his stance regarding his inhibition and recused himself from the case.
In the complaint, Uy claimed that Palad sent him apologetic text messages and later resigned from his work for SCP.
“It is apparent from the chain of events and the text messages of Mr. Palad that Judge Subia extorted money from me in exchange for denying the motion to dismiss filed by the insurance companies. Judge Subia’s actuation undeniably undermines the people’s faith in the judiciary and should not be allowed to continue to sit as a judge,” Uy said in his complaint. With Dexter Cabalza
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