Tuesday, 31 March 2015 11:44
(BY: ATTY. BATAS MAURICIO) LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS:“… maintain justice in the courts…” (Amos 5:15, the Holy Bible).
SC, JBC PROBE ON APPEALS JUSTICE: Daxim Lucas, writing for the column “Biz Buzz” of a major Manila newspaper, put out an item about a Court of Appeals’ justice which, to say the least, is highly scandalous and should require a prompt investigation by both the Supreme Court and the Judicial and Bar Council JBC).
Lucas wrote, in so many words, that the justice, allegedly a former elected official of a province from the south, is “for sale”, especially on matters of writs of injunction, which could explain why, Lucas said, he is “reported to be living beyond his means…”, setting up “another home elsewhere inhabited by… uhm…`someone else’…”
Lucas should be called by the high tribunal and the JBC if they want to find out the truth behind his allegations and accusations and put on the record the identity of the justice, if he really is a justice. Too, even columnist Ramon Tulfo from the same major Manila newspaper should be summoned, and required to shed light on his own allegations of corruption in the Court of Appeals.
SERENO: JOURNALISTS AS WHISTLEBLOWERS VS. CORRUPTION: For all intents and purposes, Lucas and Tulfo could be considered by the Supreme Court and the JBC as “whistleblowers” and “perfect partners” in their fight against corruption in the judiciary, which Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno extolled in a speech given to the Metrobank Foundation and Probe Media Foundation.
Sereno said: “The journalists, in this respect, can play a crucial role in our national drive against corruption. Their inquisitiveness can lead public figures to be alerted to conflict of interest situations, to disclose enough facts for transparency, and to be prepared for hard questioning regarding their intentions as to the dispensation of public duties…
“I acknowledge, as well, the media’s effort to encourage whistleblowers to come out. By taking an active stance on issues involving accountability, the media helps anti-corruption initiatives. The quest for accountability can be less difficult and daunting if everyone – public servants, private citizens, and the media – do their part in the process,” Sereno added in the same speech.
MEDIA COLUMN ON CORRUPTION ON JUDICIARY: Here is a sample of Tulfo’s columns on corruption in the Court of Appeals, which appeared in the June 8, 2013 online issue of the major Manila newspaper, and which must be investigated as well: “As the last court employee leaves the Court of Appeals building after office hours, luxury or flashy cars start to arrive within the compound of the appellate court, according to my moles.
“The occupants of the cars are lawyers of litigants, or litigants themselves accompanied by their lawyers, who follow up their cases. They lobby—to use a euphemism—with the corrupt justices for their cases to be decided in their favor.
Some of the lawyers reportedly bring decisions already written for the corrupt justices to sign.
“Normally, a case on appeal takes many months, even years, for the Court of Appeals to reach a decision. But a decision was reached in record time recently for a much publicized case. My sources said P10 million changed hands between the ponente (the justice who wrote the decision) and the favored litigant…”
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