SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASES AGAINST JUDGES IN THE PHILIPPINES
BY JUDGE ELIZA B. YU, LLM, DCL
The following are sexual harassment cases against judges in the Philippines:
1. Judge in violent kissing incident was dismissed.
Based on the foregoing findings, the Investigating Justice made the following
conclusions: a) that there is sufficient evidence to create a moral certainty that
respondent committed the acts complained of, especially the violent kissing incident
which transpired last December 6, 1995; b) that complainant and her witnesses are
credible witnesses who have no ulterior motive or bias to falsely testify against
respondent; c) that respondent's denials cannot prevail over the weight and probative
value of the affirmative assertions of complainant and her witnesses; d) that
respondent's poem has damned him, being documented proof of his sexual intentions
towards the complainant; e) that by filing her charges imputing to respondent a crime
against chastity and with her background as a lawyer and a court employee,
complainant was well-aware that her honor would itself be on trial; f) that it is
unbelievable that complainant, a demure newly-married lady and a religious person,
would fabricate a story with such severe implications on respondent's professional and
personal life just to get even with respondent for an alleged simple scolding incident;
and g) that by doing the acts complained of, respondent has tempted the morals of not
only complainant but also the other court employees over whom he exercised power
and influence as Executive Judge. The Investigating Justice thereupon, recommended
that respondent be dismissed from the service with prejudice to re-appointment in any
other government position and with forfeiture of all benefits and privileges appertaining
him, if any. The Court has reviewed the record of this case and has thereby satisfied
itself that the findings and recommendations of the Investigating Justice are in truth
adequately supported by the evidence and are in accord with applicable legal principles.
The Court agrees and adopts such findings and recommendations (Tabons v. judge
Arceo, A.M. No. RTJ-96-1336, July 25, 1996).
2. Dismissal of complaint against an alleged kissing Judge inside a comfort room.
Going over the testimonial and documentary evidence thus adduced during the
investigation, the proof-beyond-reasonable-doubt threshold required under the premises
has not been hurdled. As it were, circumstances obtained and/or credible evidence
presented tended to cast a heavy cloud on complainantâs credibility and, necessarily,
her case (Alcuizar v. Judge Carpio, A.M.-RTJ-07-2068, August 7, 2007).
3. Judge who allegedly kissed a clerk on the lips was exonerated.
In the case at bar, while it is true that the element of moral ascendancy is present,
respondent being the person who recommended complainant to her present position,
complainant has failed to prove the alleged sexual advances by evidence other than her
bare allegations in the affidavit-complaint. Even her own actions or omissions operate to
cast doubt on her claim. With no witnesses presented to prove or refute the allegations
of the complaint, the case becomes a battle of complainantâs word against respondentâs
(Alegria v. Judge Duque, A.M. No. RTJ-06-2019, April 4, 2007).
4. Sexual harassment case against a Judge was dismissed.
Under Section 3 of A.M. No. 03-03-13-SC (Re: Rule on Administrative Procedure in
Sexual Harassment Cases and Guidelines on Proper Work Decorum in the Judiciary),
work-related sexual harassment is committed by an official or employee in the Judiciary
who, having authority, influence or moral ascendancy over another in a work
environment, demands, requests or otherwise requires any sexual favor from the other,
regardless of whether the demand, request or requirement for submission is accepted
by the latter. It is committed when âthe sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring
or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in
granting said individual favorable compensation, terms, conditions, promotions, or
privileges; or the refusal to grant the sexual favor results in limiting, segregating or
classifying the employee which in any way would discriminate, deprive or diminish
employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect said employee.â In this case,
while respondent exercised moral ascendancy over Ripdos and Herradura, his
subordinates at Branch 145 where he had temporarily presided as Pairing Judge at the
time, the alleged sexual advances by respondent were not proven with moral certainty.
We find that the totality of evidence failed to convince that respondent committed the
acts imputed against him.
*Makati RTC Judge was placed in a preventive suspension during the duration of the
investigation, and he was exonerated from the administrative case, were there
payments of the compulsory premiums and mandatory withholding taxes as provided by
**An exonerated Judge under a preventive suspension is entitled to back salaries and
allowances in the Civil Service Rules and jurisprudences that are not tax free under the
National Internal Revenue Code.
***Payments of compulsory premiums are determined solely by employer and employee
relationship (Franklin Baker v. SSS, G.R. No. L-17361, April 29, 1968).