By Benjamin Pulta

(PNA photo by Yancy Lim)

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the preventive suspension of a judge and a court official implicated in a bribery scandal last week.

In a resolution, the SC En Banc initiated administrative proceedings against Judge Alberto Cansino and Officer-in-Charge/Acting Branch Clerk (OIC-BCC) of Court Mariejoy Lagman, both detailed at the Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 108, for allegedly accepting PHP6,000,000 from a litigant in exchange for a favorable judgment in a civil case.

“To enable the Judicial Integrity Board (JIB) to conduct an unhampered formal investigation, the Court ordered Judge Cansino and OIC-Acting BCC Lagman be preventively suspended for 90 calendar days,” the SC said in a statement.

According to a report from Court Administrator Raul Villanueva, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested Lagman in an entrapment last week following an anonymous complaint received by the JIB via email.

After the NBI verified the information, the operation was set using five marked one-thousand peso bills and about PHP6,000,000 in boodle money.

In addition to the money, a copy of the Order bearing the signature of the judge on the civil case was also confiscated.

The report stated that both the judge and court employee are now the subject of criminal investigations before the Department of Justice. (PNA)