SC to file case vs Baguio judge linked to drugs
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) found basis to file administrative charges against a Baguio trial court judge earlier named by President Rodrigo Duterte as being involved in illegal drugs.
Retired SC Associate Justice Roberto Abad gave credence to the affidavit of a certain Melchora Nagen who implicated Baguio Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 1 Judge Antonio Reyes in drug bribery cases.
According to Abad's resolution, Nagen admitted in her affidavit that she paid P50,000 to be able to escape drug charges and get out of jail. At present, authorities cannot locate Nagen.
Nagen said the payoff happened through her fellow drug detainee Norma Domingo, who was earlier ordered released by Reyes. Nagen said Domingo visited her in jail and said she could get the judge to also acquit her for the price of P100,000.
Nagen bargained for P50,000 which was allegedly accepted by Reyes.
Nagen also said she eventually joined Domingo in their racket of visiting drug detainees and offering similar payoffs.
Abad said there were also anonymous letters by lawyers who said their clients were acquitted because of the same scheme.
Reyes has denied all the allegations against him.
By virtue of Abad's fact-finding report, the SC has also ordered the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) to conduct an inventory of all the cases decided by Reyes. This will initiate the probe into the meat of the case: did he or did he not accept bribe money in drug cases?
The SC also instructed OCA to investigate whether Reyes' driver received money from litigants in behalf of the judge. The OCA was also directed to request the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to locate Nagen and other witnesses.
Abad was tasked to investigate the involvement of several judges accused by Duterte of being involved in illegal drugs.
Abad cleared Judges Exequil Dagala of the Dapa-Socorro, Surigao Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Adriano Savilla of Iloilo City RTC, and Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, Aklan RTC after the Philippine National Police and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency failed to submit evidence against the 3. – Rappler.com