MANILA, OCTOBER 14, 2013 (INQUIRER) ON TARGET - By Ramon Tulfo - Vote-buying marred the election of officers of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA) which held its convention at the Century Hotel in Manila, according to my sources.

Many judges-members were billeted at the five-star hotel allegedly for free, courtesy of a lobbyist who has reportedly a great influence on many magistrates and Court of Appeals justices.

If you think the judiciary is free of corruption, you must have been born yesterday or in another planet.

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The judiciary is as corrupt as, if not more corrupt than, the legislative branch, prompting Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno to call on trial lawyers to tell on judges who demand bribes.

I volunteer this space for lawyers and litigants who want to expose corrupt judges, as well as prosecutors.
Informants’ identities will be held in strict confidence.

Judges or justices and prosecutors who demand bribes from litigants or prosecutors will be exposed in this space after I have gathered strong evidence.

If you are a litigant who is being hustled by a judge or prosecutor to come up with a bribe, come to me and I will help you set a trap for the corrupt judge or prosecutor.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police are ready to entrap judges or prosecutors who decide cases based on bribe money and not on merit.

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In Thursday’s column, the first paragraph of the last item read: “Is it true that lawyer Hermie Aban, who was appointed by Puerto Princesa City Mayor Cecilio Bayron to head the city’s antidrug task force, is defending persons accused in drug-related cases?”

Yesterday, I received this text message from a source at the Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Force (AIDSOTF) based in Camp Crame, in reaction to Thursday’s column:
“atty hermie aban is the lawyer of albert chin whom aidsotf arrested last aug 11, 2013, with 433 kgs of shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride—RT) in subic, zambales…the cases against albert chin and 5 others have been filed with the doj last Monday in zambales and pampanga..albert chin is a bigtime drug trafficker, sir.”
Needless to say, my AIDSOTF source is very reliable.

In Puerto Princesa, Mayor Bayron appointed Aban chief of the city’s antidrug task force, probably not knowing that he has been accused of defending persons charged with drug-related cases.

This does not bode well for the city which was practically free of drug pushers during the time of Edward Hagedorn.
I should know because I am a part-time resident of the “city within a forest.”

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From the grapevine at the Bureau of Customs: Newly-appointed Deputy Commissioner Jessie Dellosa, who holds two hats—deputy for intelligence and deputy for enforcement—will retain his position as intelligence chief.

The position of enforcement chief will be given to a newcomer, my sources say.

But Dellosa, former Armed Forces chief, never had a background in intelligence work when he was in the military.
A square peg in a round hole at the customs bureau?


Corruption in the judiciary exists – Philippine Judicial Academy AIE BALAGTAS SEE, GMANews.TV 09/11/2008 | 11:55 PM

MANILA, Philippines – A retired Court of Appeals justice on Thursday admitted that corruption is not new in the judiciary, but said it most of the times starts with lawyers and not with judges and magistrates.

“Yun yung corruptor eh, ‘yung justices corrupted lang (The lawyers are the corruptor, while the judges are the corrupted),” said former CA Associate Justice Hilarion Aquino in an interview by Jun Veneracion in GMA’s 24 Oras.

Aquino, chairman of the ethics committee of the Philippine Judicial Academy (PJA), made the statement following the sacking of a magistrate and the suspension of another one over the bribery scandal that rocked the Court of Appeals recently.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the relief of CA Associate Justice Vicente Roxas after he was found guilty of multiple violations of the canons of the Code of Judicial Conduct, grave misconduct, dishonesty, undue interest and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.

This was in connection with the controversial ruling he issued last July 23 favoring the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) in its legal war against the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Another CA magistrate, Jose Sabio Jr, was meted with a two-month suspension after he was found guilty of simple misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a justice of the CA.

In the television report, Aquino explained that there would be no corruption if there is no corruptor.

Saying that corruption is “habit-forming,” Aquino said he always reminds those who are attending his seminars in the PJA not to be lured by money.

“I used to tell the judges and the ministers ‘you know corruption is habit forming. We start with little things eventually it escalates to million,’” he said.

Veteran lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre echoed Aquino’s statement that lawyers are to be blamed for the corruption in the judiciary.

“Kumakalat na ang corruption sa judiciary (corruption is spreading in the judiciary) and the judges are not only to blame but the lawyers are also to blame,” Aguirre said.

According to the report, in a span of 30 years, from 1947-2007, there were at least 94 lawyers disbarred by the Supreme Court for alleged improprieties.

But nobody wants to complain against these lawyers, the report said.

Lawyer Frank Chavez of the Operation Clean Hands, meanwhile, the chain of corruption will not be completed if not through the help of justices.

“Kahit na anong gawin ng abogado pag ayaw ng justice, wala din (No matter how corrupt the lawyer is, if the judge will not participate, then there’s no corruption). So it takes two to tango,” Chavez said. - GMANews.TV

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