Marquez investigating 'Mrs. Napoles' of judiciary
MANILA - Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said he is already investigating, albeit discreetly, alleged corruption in the judiciary perpetrated by a certain “Ma’am Arlene".
In a text message, he said: “The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) has been monitoring these reports as early as first week of September and conducting a discreet investigation. It appearing that all these are related to the recently concluded elections of the Philippine Judges Association, the OCA, even before the elections, issued a circular reiterating the guidelines on the conduct of election of judges' associations, particularly the prohibited acts and practices relative to elections.”
He said the investigation is still ongoing even if the elections have already been concluded. He said the candidates for the president of the PJA were also asked to comment.
Columnist Jarius Bondoc, in his opinion piece in the Philippine Star on Monday, said the judiciary has its own version of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles. The news has been circulating as early as September, however.
The person, known only as “Ma’am Arlene,” supposedly “throws birthday bashes for Appellate Court justices and trial court judges, and bankrolls their family junkets abroad. She is the magistrates’ go-to girl if they need to give an offspring an expensive graduation or wedding gift. She makes them dependent on her, for a reason.”
Citing sources, the columnist said the fixer’s connections extend also to the Department of Justice and Office of the Ombudsman.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has urged whistleblowers who know about these activities to come out.
“I assure you that if the cases filed are serious and supported by evidence, the justices of the Supreme Court will see to it that the axe will fall on whoever deserves it, even if it falls close to us,” Sereno said during her recent speech before the Philippine Bar Association (PBA).