THE Supreme Court yesterday asked Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald de la Rosa and Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Isidro Lapena to submit complaint-affidavits against the four active judges earlier named by President Rodrigo Duterte as having links to the illegal drugs trade in the country.
In an en banc order, the SC said De la Rosa and Lapena must submit the complaints within “seven days from receipt of this order” after it treated the speech of Duterte naming the personalities allegedly involved in the illegal drugs trade as information against Judge Exequil Dagala, MTC, Dapa-Socorro in Siargao island, Judge Adriano Savillo, RTC, Branch 30, Iloilo City, Judge Domingo Casiple, RTC, Branch 7, Kalibo, Aklan, and Judge Antonio Reyes, RTC, Branch 1, Baguio City.
The SC also directed the four judges to submit their answer within seven days from receipt of the complaint-affidavits.
Meanwhile the high tribunal rejected the resignation offer of one of the judges implicated by President Duterte in the illegal drugs trade.
At a press briefing, SC spokesman Theodore Te bared that Judge Exequil Dagala of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) in Dapa, Siargao, submitted his irrevocable resignation last August 8 to Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez but this was turned down by the magistrates during their regular en banc session.
Te said the resignation of Dagala was not accepted because he was already facing administrative investigation even before he was tagged as a drug personality by Duterte.
“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,” Te added.
Dagala is one of the seven judges linked by Duterte to the illegal drugs trade, but Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno has issued a statement saying that only four of the seven are in active duty.
The SC had ordered an investigation of four of the seven judges in Duterte’s list of public officials, police and military members involved in drugs.