• SC wants ‘Ma’am Arlene’ probe kept under the radar

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    THE “Ma’am Arlene” probe will not turn into a circus, according to both the Supreme Court (SC) and Malacañang.

    The SC on Friday stressed the confidentiality of the information that leaked out regarding a certain Arlene Lerma, one of the alleged Arlenes who are said to be corrupting and influencing judiciary officials.

    The high court, through its Ad Hoc Committee tasked to investigate case, and chaired by Assoc. Justice Marvic Leonen, said the photograph of Lerma was published in three news dailies showing her with members of the judiciary.

    The “Ma’am Arlene” of the judiciary is said to be the equivalent of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who is the main suspect in the pork barrel scam.

    Leonen said the item was among the many pieces of documents and information it is considering in their investigation. He pointed out, however, that these pieces of documents should not be publicized piecemeal.

    Leonen said there is a “very high possibility that the proper context could not be ascribed.”

    In a statement, the committee said, “a photograph memorializes a moment. It may speak some truth but it may not be all of it. The proper context therefore must be understood and proven.”

    The SC lambasted the alleged “mad rush at getting to the truth through incomplete pictures, suggestive images of unsubstantiated contexts.”

    The committee, which tapped the services of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to assist them in its probe, has been investigating the same who are supposedly influencing the cases in the judiciary.

    The body is composed on Leonen and retired SC Justices Maria Alicia Austria-Martinez and Romeo Callejo Sr.

    For its part, Malacanang said that it would work with the SC in investigating the alleged big-time fixer in the judiciary.

    Speaking to reporters, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said that “the Executive through the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is participating and is assisting” the SC ad hoc committee.

    Valte noted that there is also “another investigation that is being conducted by the Office of the Court Administrator.”

    “Yes, the investigation is ongoing. And sumusuporta po tayo sa kanila,” she added.

    The Bureau of Immigration confirmed that Lerma has not yet come back to the country after she left on October 26.

    Immigration Spokesman Maria Angelica-Pedro said that they did not stop ‘Ma’am Arlene’ from leaving the country, noting that there was no case filed against her.

    WITH REPORT FROM ROBERTZON RAMIREZ

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