CA sets own probe on alleged 'case-fixer'
MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) will conduct its own "internal investigation" into the reported "fixing" of cases by a certain "Ma'am Arlene," even as Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has already asked the Department of Justice (DOJ), through Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, to investigate the controversy.
CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes, Jr. decided to order the probe after the appellate court was tagged as one of the institutions hounded by the "case-fixing" controversy.
Plans are being finalized as to how to undertake the CA probe, which will run parallel not only to the DOJ investigation, but also to the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Supreme Court's Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), headed by Atty. Jose Midas Marquez.
CA en banc Clerk of Court Teresita Marigomen may be tasked to take the lead in the appellate court's probe, and its Ethics Committee may also be tapped.
The findings of the CA probe will be submitted to the SC OCA, which will, in turn, submit its findings to the Supreme Court En Banc.
News broke about the influential "fixer" identified only as "Ma'am Arlene" after she supposedly influenced the outcome of the recently-concluded Philippine Judges' Association (PJA) election of officers.
The Supreme Court and the Office of the Ombudsman are on initial talks to address corruption issues in the judiciary.
SC Public Information Office (PIO) chief Atty. Theodore Te earlier relayed a statement from the Office of the Chief Justice (OCJ), baring that plans are underway for the conduct of lifestyle checks on members of the SC, Court of Appeals (CA), Court of Tax Appeals (CTA), Sandiganbayan, and all lower courts.