Manila (dpa) – The Philippine Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an anti-graft court judge for dishonesty and impropriety in denying links with the alleged mastermind in a multimillion-dollar congressional fund scam.
The high tribunal also banned associate justice Gregory Ong from working in any government office, and ordered the forfeiture of his retirement benefits, court spokesman Theodore Te said.
Ong denied having any links with Janet Napoles, the key suspect in the alleged misuse 10 billion pesos ($250 million) worth of congressional funds.
A Supreme Court investigation showed that Ong had visited Napoles twice after acquitting her in a graft case in 2010. Witnesses also testified that Ong was a key contact and frequent guest at her parties.
The “totality of the circumstances of such association strongly indicates (Ong’s) corrupt inclinations,” the Supreme Court said in its ruling.
It said Ong’s association with Napoles had dragged the judiciary into the corruption scandals. Three senators, their top aides and Napoles are detained and facing trial for plunder for allegedly conspiring to funnel congressional funds to false or non-existent projects and foundations.a