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CJ dared: Do more than ask for reform funds

/ 12:03 AM April 11, 2015

Coalition of Filipino Consumers secretary general Perfecto Tagalog was reported to have claimed he has evidence to prove what has been just a rumor about the rampant “sale” of temporary restraining orders in the Court of Appeals (“Alleged corruption in CA Sereno’s call, says Palace,” News, 4/7/15). The same report also brought to mind the Supreme Court’s supposed investigation of “a certain ‘Ma’am Arlene’ who facilitated the sale of court decisions, influencing justices in favor of her clients for a price.” That investigation was said to have been set in motion more than a year ago (“Will the real Ma’am Arlene please stand up?” Front Page, 10/21/13), which up to now has not been heard of despite its jarring impact on the nation’s faith in the judiciary.

Lawyer Tagalog risked his law practice by coming out so boldly. He said he got it all from the horse’s mouth: No less than a sitting Court of Appeals justice is finally spilling the beans about “justice for sale” in that den of iniquity. To be sure, that has been a long time coming! But as the nation waits with bated breath, questions bug many, like: Will that Court of Appeals justice find the guts to really come out in the open and tell all? And if he does, will anything ever come out of it? It is not at all farfetched to imagine that some members of the Supreme Court, who came from the Court of Appeals, might themselves be involved in those shenanigans!

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And lest it be forgot, the investigation of “Ma’am Arlene” seems to have gotten nowhere! The Office of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has been deafeningly quiet about it such that it has given rise to the suspicion that perhaps the whole idea was just to sit on that scandal until it shall have blown over. So then, we hope and pray, for lawyer Tagalog’s sake, that Chief Justice Sereno’s promise to reform the judiciary goes beyond asking for more money this time (“Sereno seeks more funds for judiciary reforms,” Inquirer.net, 9/24/14) and being supposedly God-fearing herself. We hope she shows more balls in pricking the conscience of her fellow magistrates whose core values have really gone to the dogs! Neal Cruz’s description of our government as “rotten to the core” (“State of the nation: rotten to the core,” Opinion, 7/14/14), including the judiciary, alas, still resonates to this very day!

—RAMON NORMAN TORREFRANCA,

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TAGS: Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno, judicial reforms, judiciary, letters, Supreme Court
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