Ex-Napoles lawyer in hot water for judicial corruption claims

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

(Updated) LAWYER Lorna Kapunan, former counsel of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles, was ordered by the Supreme Court (SC) to expound on her accusations that a member of the country’s highest tribunal is corrupt.

"The Court resolved to direct Atty. Lorna Kapunan to explain her answers in her interview in ‘Umagang Kay Ganda’ on November 21, 2013 regarding corruption in the judiciary, within ten (10) days from notice hereof," stated the resolution dated November 26.

Kapunan’s interview also touched on the alleged corruption in the Court of Appeals (CA), where she said one can secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) by paying as much as P5 million.

“I welcome the opportunity to cooperate in light of the statement made by Chief Justice (Maria Lourdes) Sereno that maybe it’s time for the legal profession to cleanse its rank,” she said.

Sereno earlier called on lawyers to unmask those "hoodlums in robes."

But if caught lying, Kapunan may be held in contempt which carries a penalty of fine and/or imprisonment.

A three-man panel led by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen is already probing allegations of corrupt practices in judiciary including case-fixing.

Specifically, the SC is looking into a report 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.

“Ma’am Arlene” was also said to have influenced the results of the elections for the presidency of the Philippine Judges Association last October after spending for the accommodation of some 50 judges in a Makati hotel.

Quezon City Judge Ralph Lee, who won the race over two other candidates, denied the report. (Sunnex)

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