SC’s OCA looks into incident of judge who helped release drunk taxi driver

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2020 07:00 PM

MANILA – The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) is now checking the case of a Baguio City judge who facilitated the release of a taxi driver who tested positive for alcohol.

“The OCA is already looking into this issue,” Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez said in a text message Thursday.

“We would like to get all available information before we require the concerned judge to comment,” he added.

Supreme Court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka also confirmed that the OCA is investigating the matter.

The Baguio City police earlier said they were studying lodging an administrative case against Judge Roberto Mabalot for intervening in the case of a taxi driver who cursed at and threatened to run over a police officer who flagged him for parking near the Baguio City Hall on New Year’s Eve. 

Video footage showed the taxi moving towards the police officer, who had to cling on to the car’s hood to avoid being run over.

According to city police chief Col. Rae Co, the driver tested positive for alcohol.

Mabalot supposedly arrived at the police station while the taxi driver was undergoing inquest and told police officers the incident only warranted fines. 

He left with the taxi driver within 5 minutes.

Mabalot, the presiding judge of Municipal Trial Court in Cities Baguio City, Benguet Branch 1 based on the SC website, is allegedly a relative of the taxi owner. 

In an interview with ABS-CBN Baguio on Wednesday, the judge said he was not tolerating the taxi driver’s behavior and insisted he had a good conversation with the cops.