Sexual Harassment Cases Against Judges in the Philippines

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This paper presents four sexual harassment cases against judges.


1 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 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 complainants 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 complainants word against respondents (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 the sexual favor is made as a condition in the hiring or in the employment, re-employment or continued employment of said individual, or in 3 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. 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 special laws? **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).


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