2 former SC justices join probe on ‘Ma’am Arlene’-A A +A
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
RETIRED Supreme Court magistrates Alicia Austria-Martinez and Romeo Callejo will help Associate Justice Marvic Leonen in finding out the truth behind the alleged corruption and case-fixing in the judiciary.
Martinez was magistrate from April 9, 2002 to April 30, 2009 while Callejo served in the SC from August 26, 2002 to April 28, 2007.
The panel will oversee investigation in coordination with the Court of Appeals, the Office of the Court Administrator and the National Bureau of Investigation, said SC spokesperson Theodore Te on Tuesday.
"It is vested with all necessary powers including the power to designate its own resource persons, call upon witnesses to give testimony and avail itself of whatever assistance the court can provide to perform its functions," said Te, adding the panel will provide recommendation to the SC en banc based on its findings.
Specifically, the SC is looking into reports that a certain "Ma'am Arlene" asked favorable rulings for her wealthy clients by throwing parties and showering gifts to the appellate court justices, judges and their relatives.
The SC was still checking if a certain Arlene Angeles Lerma who left for Singapore last October 16 was the same woman implicated in the controversy.
Lerma had a couple of trips abroad this year, reportedly to seek treatment for a serious illness. She was scheduled to return to the country on Tuesday, according to the Bureau of Immigration. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)