Justice Jose Sabio – Perpetrator or Victim ?

I have had opportunity to reassess the credibility of Justice Jose Sabio in the light of certain facts extracted by the investigating committee looking into the Meralco-GSIS case, and it isn’t a pretty picture. In fact, it’s downright ugly. Justice Sabio, for all his pious posturing turns out to have been a player too.

Facing the three-man investigative panel composed of former Supreme Court Justices Romeo Callejo, Flerida Romero and Carolina Grino- Aquino, Justice Sabio admitted that his older brother, Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG) Commissioner Camilo Sabio, had asked him not to issue a temporary restraining order against the Government Service Insurance System that was in a dispute with the Manila Electric Company. It was a bald request to take the GSIS side in the case. Justice Sabio did not reveal this fact until it was elicited from him in the process of cross-examination.

I have pointed out his seeming easy approachability. This was borne out by the circumstances relating to the call from his brother, which was made on May 30. Despite this, he still met with an emissary of Meralco, in the person of Francis De Borja, on July 1. This gives rise to the reasonable suspicion that he may have been playing both sides, feeling out the highest bidder, before he commits himself to either the GSIS or Meralco. This bolsters De Borja’s claim that, at the very least, Sabio was making himself available for negotiation. This clashes with the image I had of the younger Sabio as an upright professor of legal ethics. As pointedly observed by the Inquirer:

It’s either that the Ateneo de Manila Law School’s professor of legal ethics had no comprehension of the subject he teaches or he is a plain and simple hypocrite.

Justice Sabio came forward to virtuously blow the whistle. But now the question is: Why so selectively? And while he denied allegations of Palace blandishments to do the GSIS’ bidding, he conveniently left out his brother’s intervention. He is looking more and more like a man who got a juicy Palace offer but tried to cash in quickly by basically making it obvious to the other side he would be open to a counteroffer.

Touché. It seems the good magistrate has not only painted himself into a corner, but has scuttled the already sinking reputation of the Court of Appeals in the process. Which is actually a good thing, as it has brought to light the dirty underbelly of our judicial system. Although I seriously doubt if this sordid mess will lead to serious reforms. After it all blows over, it will be business as usual in the judicial marketplace.

Disbarment case filed against PCGG Chair Camilo Sabio.

7 thoughts on “Justice Jose Sabio – Perpetrator or Victim ?”

  1. Unless you were present in the day-to-day hearings conducted by the investigation panel, you wouldn’t be able to form a reasonable and unbiased judgment on the personalities of the case, Mr. Warrior Lawyer. The PDI downright misreports every hearing. I was there. Besides, PDI could be cited in contempt for making conclusions when the panel told the media not to do so.

    Be that as it may, you are entitled to your wrong opinion.

  2. butch, whatever is the outcome of the sc inquiry, the current ca, i think, has been completely and irredeemably tarnished, as if the entire judicial system has not already been damaged to begin with. about the only decent thing for those involved in the alleged scandal, whether as accused or accuser, is to voluntarily resign if only to save the institution – the “last bulwark of democracy” – of which they are a part. they should find it in their hearts to believe that there are things that are bigger than themselves.

  3. @ The Equalizer, so his name means wise man in Spanish ? Wisdom is certainly needed at this juncture by all the parties involved, and specially by the investigating committee.

    @ Bobbie Sabio, I’m sorry if I gave offense. I might very well be wrong and will readily admit to it. In fact, my first impression was that the good Justice was the victim of a demolition job by the administration. But it is certainly odd to have revealed the attempts to influence him over the case, which is the crux of the entire investigation, and overlook the fact that there was another attempt, this one closer to home. If it had been brought up at the time the De Borja incident was mentioned, it would have made his position all the more stronger. But you are right, I should have been there to better understand the circumstances. In any case, my opinion hardly matters to anyone and I regret any umbrage I may have caused.

  4. It was the fault of Justice Sabio of going to pekeng-periodistas and so-so confidante instead of going to FBI-Academy-Trained-NBI-lawyer-agent-PMA-graduates.

    These incompetent know-nothing FBI-Academy-NBI agents could have wired him.

    Justice Sabio must have thought if he did a Joey de Venecia (instead of going to NBI he went straight to gossip&intrigue-pekeng-periodista) he’d be vindicated.

    He’s totally wrong. Well, he’s ignorant because he’s a Filipino.


    He should know better!!!

    Pyroteknik King Ayala disputed the findings of CIA, FBI, Chinese/australian intelligence and mossad that the bombing of Glorieta was done by terrorist and the pekeng-periodista didn’t ridicule him.

    If it was some brown-skinned-punked-nose filipino who made that unscientific comment the pekeng-periodistas would have rabidly attacked poor Filipino.

  5. If Sabio is a player why concentrate news article on him.






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