MANILA- The Supreme Court has ordered the Office of the Bar Confidant to investigate the alleged Christmas solicitation of a Sandiganbayan sheriff from Stephen David, lawyer of alleged “pork barrel” scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
In a resolution promulgated on July 11, the High Court ordered the OBC to evaluate David's refusal to cooperate in the investigation on the alleged solicitation of Sandiganbayan Security Guard 1 Ronald Allan Cole Cruz.
The court noted that while David attended the clarificatory hearing for the fact-finding investigation, he did not give any statement on the matter.
David refused to give any statement as he has yet to obtain a copy of the court resolution.
The case stemmed from the alleged solicitation made by Cruz in December 2014, discovered by other Sandiganbayan security personnel when David told them that he had already given his “pamasko (Christmas gift)" for the boys.
The handing of the money supposedly happened inside a comfort room, after a hearing on one of the cases that stemmed from the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
Cruz purportedly admitted to some security personnel that he received money from David, but only in the amount of P10,000.
The court noted in the resolution that David was in the best position to state whether Cruz received money from him through improper solicitation, but he has yet to speak on the matter.
“As a lawyer, he is an officer of the court who has the duty to uphold its dignity and authority and not promote distrust in the administration of justice,” the SC said.
Napoles, David's client, is facing several graft and plunder cases at the Sandiganbayan for allegedly orchestrating the pork barrel scam, where state funds were purportedly funneled to fake non-government organizations allegedly in collusion with lawmakers.