SC orders PNP, PDEA chiefs to submit drug complaints vs ‘narco judges’
Rosette Adel ( - August 16, 2016 - 5:10pm

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Philippine National Police Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency chief Isidro Lapena to submit complaint-affidavits or other information on illegal drugs against the four active judges whom President Rodrigo Duterte included in his 'narco list'.

In a press briefing, SC Public Information Office chief Theodore Te said the SC en banc invited Dela Rosa and Isidro to submit five copies of complaints and information since they are the heads of the statutory authorities mandated to obtain information on illegal drug activities.

Dela Rosa and Isidro were given seven days from the day of the receipt of the order to submit the copies of their complaints to the Secretariat of the Fact Finding Investigation through the Legal Office, Office of the Court Administrator. Likewise, the four respondents were also given seven days to comment upon receipt of the complaints from the PNP and PDEA chiefs.

The four “narco judges” whom Duterte named are Ezekiel Dagala (Municipal Trial Court –Dapa, Siargao), Adriano Savilo (Regional Trial Court – Branch 13, Iloilo City), Domingo Casiple (Kalibo, Aklan) and Antonio Reyes (Baguio City).

Te said the SC has appointed retired Justice Roberto Abad as the sole investigator to handle the complaint-affidavits of Dela Rosa and Isidro as well as the responses of the four judges in assistance to the fact-finding committee handling the case. He was directed to conclude the investigation within 30 days from receipt of the answers of the four judges and was authorized “to issue notices of the hearing to the four judges and all other necessary parties upon commencement of the probe."

Abad and the secretariat were asked to treat all the proceedings with confidentiality. The direct clerk of court en banc and any division clerk of courts were also asked to administer oath to any witness who may give testimony or to attest to the veracity of any documents that may be submitted by the parties.

The SC’s directive to the PNP and PDEA chiefs came after the en banc meeting on Tuesday also resolved to treat Duterte's speech as information against the four judges. Te said the court considered the “president’s subsequent clarification that his Aug. 7, 2016 speech in Davao City where he named seven judges was not an accusation but only information against them (judges).”

Probe vs unnamed 'narco judge'

Meanwhile, Te also gave an update on the probe against a judge who was not on Duterte's list. He said the judge, who the SC refused to name, will be facing a formal administrative complaint and has already been suspended until further notice.

“His identity cannot be revealed as administrative complaints are confidential in nature until resolved,” Te said noting that the use of “his” was generic.

 Aside from the probe, Te also said Dagala, one of the alleged 'narco judges' still in active duty, submitted his irrevocable resignation but the court did not accept it since there was a prior probe conducted against him in connection with other offenses. Te stressed that the magistrate remains under the jurisdiction of the SC as far as administrative discipline is concerned.

Te said Dagala will be be subject to the fact-finding investigation that Abad will conduct.

"It’s (resignation) not up to him (Dagala). In government, no one can leave your post until you have been allowed to leave your post, so it’s not up to him. It’s up to the court," Te said when asked about Dagala's resignation.

RELATED: Supreme Court orders probe on 'narco judges'

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