JBC not doing its job selecting justicesBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Court of Appeals has exposed a Parañaque City judge’s incompetence in handing out decisions.
Regional Trial Court Judge Jaime Guray was chastised by the appellate court for committing grave abuse of discretion when he junked for lack of probable cause the filing of a multiple murder case against eight policemen who were involved in a shootout in 2008.
The incident resulted in the killing of innocent bystanders, two of whom were a vacationing seaman and his 7-year-old daughter.
Guray rejected a Department of Justice resolution recommending the filing of murder charges against the policemen.
The appellate court described the judge’s decision as “a rush to judgment without deliberate evaluation of the evidence from both sides demanded by a full trial.”
Instead of conducting a trial, Guray dismissed outright the murder case against the cops, the appellate court said.
So, what do we do with Guray who either didn’t know his law or was too lazy to conduct a “full-blown trial,” as the Court of Appeals puts it?
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In this country, judges who hand down wrong decisions are not punished for their incompetence.
They go on making more.
Worse, some of them are even promoted to the Court of Appeals.
Obviously, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC), which screens nominations for judges and justices, is not doing its job well.
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There’s an appellate court justice whose psychological make-up should have been scrutinized by the JBC when this justice was nominated.
The Court of Appeals justice is so paranoid a gap in the door of his office is covered by tape.
The justice stays in the office the whole day and does not entertain visitors, according to appellate court employees I interviewed.
His daily ration of mineral water is allegedly brought home by this justice so he can use it when he takes a bath, my sources claimed.
Why can’t this justice use tap water for bathing?
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But the weirdest of all magistrates was the one the Supreme Court fired years ago for consulting “duwendes” (elves) before he made decisions.
This judge publicly admitted he talked with duwendes.
If candidates for the police and the military undergo neuro-psychiatric tests, why not candidates for the bench since they make vital decisions?
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Why should the government worry over an Arab TV journalist, Baker Abdulla Atyani, who didn’t follow regulations imposed on visiting foreigners in Sulu province for their own safety?
The government should be worried about the two Filipinos who acted as Atyani’s crew.
Atyani is a Muslim and he came here to interview Muslim rebels.
Muslim rebels and bandits don’t harm their fellow Muslim, much more Arab journalists who may sympathize with their cause and give them good publicity in Middle East countries.
Atyani is probably being lavished with Muslim hospitality in the hinterlands of Sulu.
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But even if he’s being held hostage by Muslim rebels whom he came here to interview, that was his own lookout.
Atyani had it coming to him since he didn’t coordinate with the security forces in Sulu before going into the jungle.
The government should be concerned more about the safety of Atyani’s Filipino crew, especially if they are Christians.
More from this Column:
- How easily voters forget
- Dead man biggest winner
- My fearless forecasts
- Jojo Binay’s juvenile tantrum
- Our twisted system of justice