SC rejects resignation of judge in Duterte's 'drug list'
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court has rejected the resignation of a judge in President Rodrigo Duterte's so-called "drug list," as he is already being investigated in connection with other alleged offenses.
SC spokesperson Theodore Te said in a media briefing on Tuesday, August 16, that the High Court, in its regular en banc session, rejected the "irrevocable resignation" tendered by Judge Exequil Dagala of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in Dapa, Surigao del Norte.
"The resignation was not accepted by the Court because the judge, prior to his being named by the President, was already being investigated in connection with other offenses," Te said.
"He remains under the jurisdiction of the Court as far as administrative discipline is concerned and will be subject to the fact-finding investigation to be conducted by retired Justice Roberto A. Abad," he added.
On August 9, the SC ordered a probe on 4 of the 7 judges in Duterte's so-called "drug list." (READ: The Duterte list: Judges, mayors, police officials linked to drugs)
The 3 others in the SC probe are Judge Adriano Savillo, Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 30, Iloilo City; Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan; and Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 61, Baguio City, Benguet.
Three other judges were included in Duterte's list, but Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno informed the President in a letter that the 3 were no longer with the judiciary.
Judge Rene Gonzalez, formerly of the MTCC, Branch 7, Iloilo City, retired in June, former Dasmariñas Judge Lorenda Mupas was dismissed in 2007, while Judge Roberto Navidad, formerly of RTC, Branch 32, Calbayog City, Samar, was killed on January 14, 2008.
Meanwhile, the Court on Tuesday also announced the suspension of a judge who was not in Duterte's list but has been linked to the drug trade.
The Court did not divulge the identity of the judge, pending the resolution of the administrative complaint that would be filed against the judge.
“The judge will be facing a formal administrative complaint and has already been suspended until further notice. The identity cannot be revealed as administrative complaints are confidential in nature, until resolved,” the SC said. – Rappler.com