JPE call for CA probe by SC

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — IT is about time for the Supreme Court to finally look into alleged bribery within the judiciary, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said yesterday.

He called for the high tribunal’s action amid the revelation of Court of Appeals Justice Jose Sabio that a businessman, who he said was “brokering” for Meralco, had tried to bribe him with P10 million in exchange for inhbiting himself from the Meralco case against the Government Service Insurance System.

“It’s a blot on the reputation of the Court of Appeals that things like that are happening. A story like that will mean the departure from the service of some justices. If proven, my God, the SC would have to act. I don’t know if the members of the CA are impeachable officers. I think they are removable by the SC,” Enrile said.

Sen. Loren Legarda is also dismayed over Sabio’s accusations that other justices had been favoring Meralco in its case against the GSIS. “I laud the courage and zeal shown by Justice Sabio in exposing the reported attempted bribery,” she said.

“The gravity of the accusation raised by Justice Sabio were so damaging to the court of appeals in particular, and to the Philippine justice system in general. Thus they cannot be left unresolved,” she said.

“We have been hearing so much about activities like that in the court. It’s about time the SC looked into these and if necessary remove from the service the people who don’t deserve to be there,” Enrile added.

He also dared Sabio to identify the alleged briber. “Justice Sabio should name him because according to his story, he was personally offered P10 million by that businessman. He can go to jail if proven that his identity is revealed,” he said.

A businessman claimed the P10-million bribe offer was meant to gain a decision favorable to the GSIS in the Meralco board election case.

The claim was made by Cagayan de Oro-based businessman Francis Roa de Borja in a 10 page affidavit. He alleged that Sabio confided to him that aside from the bribe, he was being offered a promotion to the Supreme Court if he would favor the GSIS.

Sabio had not named the person who allegedly offered him the P10-million bribe.