Thursday, July 31, 2008

Court of Appeals Controversy Part 3: Who is the Mysterious Businessman?

Justice Sabio's letter to Presiding CA Justice Conrado Vasquez reveals a clear case of bribery. According to Justice Sabio, a Makati businessman waited until the end of his Law School class to see him. The Makati businessman was brokering for MERALCO. The Makati businessman offered PHP 10 M for Justice Sabio to give way to Justice Reyes in the MERALCO case. Justice Sabio's letter states,

Then sometime on July 1, 2008, a Makati businessman whom I knew way back then, called me up and requested for an urgent meeting. Since I had classes from 6 pm to 8 pm that said businessman waited to see me in the Law School after my class. It turned out that he was brokering for MERALCO. He started by explaining to me the problem between Justice Reyes and myself, and who should continue to handle the case. I was surprised why he came to know about this matter considering that it was an internal problem and that it only happened very recently. He then proceeded to explain to me that their lawyers wanted to directly challenge my stand but another lawyer advised them that it might become messy. So, they were talking of a win-win situation, which meant offering P10M for me to give way to Justice Reyes. I politely declined the offer and told the emissary that it was not only a matter of principle but that it will affect the integrity of the Court. Before he left, he told me that they were still hoping that I could see it their way. In their eagerness to succeed on that aspect, the emissary even called up a close family friend in Cagayan de Oro to help them convince me to accept the offer.


Commentary:

it will only be a matter of time before Justice Sabio is forced to reveal the identity of this mysterious businessman. With the Court of Appeals now holding a session en banc, a discussion of the bribe offer and the details surrounding will surely take place and Justice Sabio's story is going to be scrutinized to the last detail. This also brings us to the point: Why did Justice Sabio did not reveal the name of the Makati businessman who made the bribe offer? Why, instead of filing a case for bribery, did Justice Sabio choose instead to write a letter of Complaint to the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals? Further, as can be seen from the narration of Justice Sabio there was a clear conspiracy to ease him out of the case. The conspiracy appears to include even the lawyers of MERALCO (Note: I don't know who they are as their names are not revealed in the papers) as shown by the fact that they filed a "Motion for Justice Reyes to Assume Chairmanship". According to Justice Sabio, he found the motion strange and stupid. As a legal practitioner myself, I would say Justice Sabio's comment appears to not unfounded.

2 comments:

DJB Rizalist said...

Interesting. I hope it leads to more public inquiry into corruption in the Judiciary, especially at the highest levels of the CA and the SC. We all know that billions are decided upon daily in these Courts. Can the cynical and skeptical be blamed for thinking the worst of our judges?

Was it not the duty of Sabio to blow the whistle immediately upon being offered a bribe? Are any of their hands clean?

marvin said...

PMELANIE

I am not attached to MERALCO or to GSIS. I don't work for people who screw electric consumers or government employees.

But I once prayed for the day when the CA would be revamped.

That day has come. That day is today.

Btw, it took you more than 2 mins to type your comment. I have you engaged.