MANILA—Judges linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drug trade are being investigated by the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno confirmed Thursday.
Speaking in Manila for her annual meet the press, Sereno said the judiciary is still conducting a fact-finding investigation on five lower court judges.
“The one referred to in my letter to the President has been suspended. Together with a formal investigation, it’s already been docketed, while others are going through a fact-finding investigation,” she said in response to a question by the Philippines News Agency.
She was referring to Judge Lorenda Mupas of the Dasmariñas, Cavite Metropolitan Trial Court who was dismissed in 2007 for gross ignorance of the law and misconduct.
Duterte’s ‘narco list’ included Judge Antonio Reyes of Baguio City RTC Branch 61; Judge Adriano Savillo of Iloilo City RTC Branch 30; Judge Domingo Casiple of Kalibo, Aklan RTC Branch 7; retired Judge Rene Gonzales of Iloilo City MTCC; Judge Exequil Dagala of MTC Dapa-Socorro, Surigao; and deceased Judge Roberto Navidad of Calbayod City RTC Branch 32.
Duterte’s public naming of the judges supposedly involved in the illegal drug trade led to a word war with Sereno, with the chief justice defending the judges and the President threatening to declare martial law, which was later clarified by Malacañang.