The most junior magistrate of the Supreme Court (SC) has questioned his colleagues and raised before the en banc the issue of “leakages” to The Manila Times.
According to a well-placed source in the High Court, Leonen, in one of their recent en banc sessions, wondered how the leakages were able to find their way to the media, particularly this paper.
The Manila Times was able to break stories on the SC declaring unconstitutional both the Disbursement Acceleration Program and the Priority Development Assistance Fund given to lawmakers and former president Joseph Estrada qualified to run for mayor of Manila and granting bail to Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
It was Leonen, however, who was first accused of “leaking” his dissenting opinion on internal deliberations of the court in the bail petition of Enrile over which he was lambasted by Associate Justice Lucas Bersamin.
When he raised the issue of “leakages” often obtained by this paper, he was blocked by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio by lecturing him that there were leakages even before they were appointed as SC justices,” even when mobile phones were not yet around.”
“I can’t understand how [the]leak¬ages always went to Jomar Canlas of The Manila Times,” the source quoted Leonen as saying.
Canlas is a senior reporter of this paper.
Leonen was charged by Bersamin with divulging in his dissenting opinion confidential deliberations of the SC justices on the controversial Torre de Manila case and for accusing seven other justices who signed the final ponencia of Bersamin on the case of doing so without reading it.
He “thereby accused me of misleading my colleagues in the majority by passing around for their signatures during oral arguments on the Torre de Manila case a version of my ponencia different from what had been voted on. My second impression was that Justice Leonen was blaming my colleagues in the majority for affixing their signatures on the final version of the ponencia despite not having known the contents.”
Bersamin accused Leonen of violating Section 2, Rule 10 of the Internal Rules of Court, on confidential deliberations of SC justices.