Chief Justice vows fair probe of ‘narco-judges’

April 08, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte

CHIEF Justice Lucas Bersamin yesterday assured the public of a fair investigation into the inclusion of 13 judges in the narco-list of President Duterte.

In a chance interview at the SC compound in Baguio City where justices are holding their annual summer session, Bersamin revealed that they are closely monitoring the controversy.

“It’s not a small thing for anyone to accuse sitting judges of violations as serious as drug-related ones... These are serious allegations that we cannot just ignore,” Bersamin said.

“This information came from the Office of the President so we cannot really ignore and so we thought of assigning Justice (Diosdado) Peralta to look into this matter. It was only natural for the Supreme Court to assign one of its most senior members to look into these allegations and if there are any bases for these allegations then we would proceed against the judges concerned. That’s a very perfectly natural reaction,” he explained.

The SC chief further revealed that Peralta would be given ample time to complete the investigation.

“We will give him all the time and we will not rush things. And at the same time, we cannot just condemn our judges so readily without basis. So we have to go slowly,” he said.

Bersamin pointed out that the High Court has been responsive to serious allegations against members of the judiciary.

“Every time there is allegation like this from, the executive department, the media or any quarter about misbehaving judges, the Supreme Court automatically looks into it,” he added.