Supreme Court lenient with erring judges
Chief Justice Reynato Puno may be mistaken. The oligarchs do not rule. But they hold sway because corrupt executive, legislative and judicial officials do business with them. Let us not demonize the tycoons because they are simply forced to play by the dirty rules of our officials.
Our officials have made a mockery of the constitutional prescription that “Public office is a public trust.” For them public office is for private gain.
The Chief Justice should spend less time going around the country, mobilizing the “moral force.” He should spend more time focusing on his turf and he should realize that much more has to be done to make the judiciary the model government institution that it should be.
One thing he should not do is protect his justices and judges from criminal prosecution for the grievous wrongs that they have committed. For instance, recently we read of a judge who was simply dismissed for extorting P30,000 from a litigant. But his stenographer, the bag man (who presumably was acting upon the orders of the judge), was not only dismissed but also recommended for criminal prosecution. The judge should have been prosecuted and the stenographer made state witness.
In another case, Court of Appeals Justice Vicente Roxas, who was accused of committing improprieties in the Meralco case, was simply dismissed while Francis de Borja was referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution for merely trying to broker a P10-million bribe to Court of Appeals Justice Jose Sabio who was being asked to inhibit himself from the case. De Borja should have been made a state witness.