MANILA – Four regional trial court (RTC) judges are now under investigation before the Court of Appeals (CA) following their alleged involvement in the fixing of cases and influence peddling by a certain “Ma’am Arlene.”
The four judges were identified as Rommel Baybay of Makati RTC Branch 132, Ralph Lee of Quezon City RTC Branch 83; Marino Rubia of Biñan, Laguna RTC Branch 24, and Lyliha Aquino of Manila RTC Branch 24, in a Philippine Star report.
The investigation of the case was assigned to Associate Justices Ramon Garcia, Romeo Barza and Celia Librea-Leagogo.
An insider said in the same report that the probe aims to determine whether the judges, who have been summoned to explain their links with “Ma’am Arlene,” violated the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
Ma’am Arlene was identified as Arlene Lerma, a former employee of Manila City Hall.
“The respondents were ordered to appear before the investigating justices or submit judicial affidavits. Several witnesses were also summoned,” the insider said.
An ad hoc committee chaired by Associate Justice Marvic Leonen found last July that the four judges committed violations of laws and rules in the conduct of elections of officers of the Philippine Judges Association (PJA).
The Court of Appeals was recently given 90 days to finish the investigation and submit their reports to the Supreme Court.
“Upon raffle, the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court is ordered to furnish the investigating judges confidential copies of the attached summary of preliminary findings of the investigating committee pertaining to the judges,” the SC said.
“The investigation shall be conducted with utmost confidentiality and the report and recommendation shall be directly submitted to the Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court in a sealed envelope.”