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Supreme Court orders probe on 'narco judges'

The Supreme Court authorized the fact-finding investigation against four judges allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. File photo

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court en banc has authorized a fact-finding investigation on four judges whom President Rodrigo Duterte said are involved in the illegal drug trade.

The high court resolved to look into Duterte's allegations against Judge Exequil Dagala (Dapa-Socorro, Surigao), Judge Adriano Savillo (Iloilo City), Judge Domingo Casiple (Aklan) and Judge Antonio Reyes (Baguio City).

LIST: Public officials Duterte said are involved in illegal drugs

Retired SC Associate Justice Roberto Abad was appointed to head the fact-finding panel and to make a recommendation within 30 days.

The Supreme Court also ordered Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea to submit complaint-affidavits against the four judges within a week.

The four judges were also directed to submit their answers within a week of receiving the complaint-affidavits.

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SC Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno earlier expressed concern over the inclusion of judges on Duterte's list of officials allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade. Duterte read the names on the list during a press conference early Sunday morning.

Sereno asked for the source and basis of the president's allegations against the judges.

"With all due respect, Mr. President, we were caught unprepared by the announcement. It would matter greatly to our sense of constitutional order, if we were given the chance to administer the appropriate preventive measures without the complications of a premature public announcement," Sereno said Monday in a letter addressed to Duterte.

FULL TEXT: CJ Sereno’s letter to President Duterte

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