‘Kissing’ judge, now a changed man, gets SC clemency



The Supreme Court building in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The “Gods of Faura” are also merciful.

The Supreme Court (SC) has granted judicial clemency to a 71-year-old former Pampanga judge who was dismissed from government service after sexually harassing his clerk 16 years ago and writing her a “lascivious” poem.

He also supposedly appeared before another clerk clad only in his briefs.

In an eight-page resolution, the court en banc granted the petition for judicial clemency filed by former Judge Hermin Arceo and lifted the “perpetual ban” against his employment in any government office.

“Respondent has sufficiently shown his remorse and reformation after his dismissal from the service meriting the court’s liberality,” said the resolution penned by Associate Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe.

“While it may be conceded that respondent at 71 years old had already reached retirement age and can no longer be eligible for regular employment in public service, yet, considering his achievements and mental aptitude, it cannot be doubted that he could still be of service to the government in some other capacity,” it added.

1996 dismissal


The high court kicked out Arceo from the judiciary in 1996 after it was proven that he had sexually harassed his female clerk, Jocelyn Talens-Dabon.

“Whenever he had the opportunity he would make bodily contact  with her and certain female employees. Twice as she was about to go out the door respondent would approach it in big strides so that his body would be in contact with hers and he would press the lower part of his body against her back,” the court said, quoting the report of an investigating justice.

“When complainant introduced her fiance to him, respondent asked her why she was playing with her forefinger, at the same time gesturing with his to signify sexual intercourse,” it added.

The court also noted that in November 1995, respondent kissed the complainant on the cheek, “a fact admitted by him in his testimony, and also admitted kissing witnesses Marilyn Leander, Ester Galicia and other female employees.”

Another employee, a court stenographer, testified that at one time, “respondent summoned her to his chamber and she found him clad only in briefs.”

“When she turned around to flee, respondent called after her saying ‘Why are you afraid? After all, this is for you,” the court added.

The last straw was when Arceo wrote the complainant a “lascivious” five-stanza poem that included the line: “Kapalaran ay malupit, di kita makatalik sa ngayon at bukas pagkat di mo ibig (Fate is cruel, I cannot have sex with you because you do not want it).”

“We need not repeat the narration of lewd and lustful acts committed by respondent judge in order to conclude that he is indeed unworthy to remain in office. The audacity under which the same were committed and the seeming impunity with which they were perpetrated shock our sense of morality,” the tribunal had said in its order sacking Arceo.

The court said that Arceo had failed to behave in a manner that will promote confidence in the judiciary. “His actuations, if condoned, would damage the integrity of the judiciary, fomenting distrust in the system,” it added.

Private practice


But in its resolution dated Nov. 20, 2012, the high tribunal noted that since Arceo’s dismissal from the service in 1996, he had returned to private practice and most of his cases “involved poor litigants, neighbors and close friends.”

He also got commendations from the woman executive judge of the Malolos Regional Trial Court and the president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in Bulacan. In August 2011, he was given the Gawad Bunying Abogadong Bulakenyo award.

“The court also notes the many years that had elapsed from the time of his dismissal and recognizes respondent’s dedication, citations and contributions to the legal profession and to the judiciary prior to his dismissal from the service,” the high court said.

The tribunal also noted that while the Sandiganbayan found Arceo guilty of violating the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law and the Revised Penal Code, the records “reveal that he was granted probation and finally discharged after having complied with all the conditions thereof.”

“Concommitantly, all his civil rights which he had lost as a result of his conviction, including his right to be employed in the public service, were restored,” the high court said.

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Barak_O

    ako ay may alaga

    sawa na mahaba

    pag napasok sa lungga

    nagagalit at dumudura

    • batangpaslit

      lumalabas ang pagka henyo ah
      ayos ah

    • henri_see

      pinakita ni judge ang kanyang legal brief.

  • $37644997

    Well indeed he’s changed,getting old,ugly,and not having enough strength down below meanwhile viagra is getting cheaper and available for someone like you.

    • batangpaslit

      another budding poet, eh?

  • Luthmar

    I do not understand the article.  Was this sex maniac judge jailed?

    Hopefully, he has truly repented and that he will not do again what he did before.

    • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

      No. He was only dismissed from government job. The case was administrative. After he was found guilty, he was only dismissed from government service and the complainants did not pursue the case further by filing criminal case.

  • JV Velarde

    i hope the Philippines comes out with a legal system registering these sex offenders, same like in the US.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAU43R25CAHGNYPHE6HLAM3V6Y Benjamin

    putulan ng turatot para di makapaminsala,,,

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NDH6O6PNTAJ23SNYTA6LSYY47Q Butuan

    Baka ang sunod na New Flash e si CORONA ang mag karoon ng SC clemency? 

  • Pablo Juan

    Morally and ethically unfit for ANY job… is OK.  That’s what the SC is saying.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XTXAV2X3EGKHW7N4L35WY2S6HM JudgeJuanDeLaCruz

    We still have many judges and “gods of Faura” worse than “kissing judge” Arceo. What are going to do about them?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UZMYIL5FXLVIHRZXBQGONZS6U4 Jhune

    Sorry for those who are not lawyers, he is a member of the integrated bar he got dismissal on the case.  

  • diamond_digger

    The subject ex-judge astonishingly did the far-third-ranked options available to people in such cases – to continue practicing law with poor clients. The first and would be logical and practical first two options would have been: jump off from a 20-storey building head first, and second, go and live in the most remote forest away from civilization and possibly among wild animals and century-old trees and or unexplored caves. Now he has the temerity to ask for leniency of the SC, which expectedly granted it for the sake of the ‘old-boys-club practice. Shame on all of you!

  • batangpaslit

    chuckles….ayos ah. si Judge, magaling pala gumawa ng erotic poem ah
    aba, kung sinulatan nia ang publisher ng Playboy, baka na publish pa ang kanyang tula,
    di may royalty pa sia

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MOSRMAS3HEMOMYHBYOGN3EQS34 Leo Calo

    Likas talaga sa ating mga Pinoy ang romantiko, ‘yun nga lang ang ibang mga kababaihan ay namimis-interpret ito.. Haaayyy Binibining MASIKIP… 

    • ApoNiLolo

      Huwag mong idamay ang iba. Ang libog ay likas kahit kanino, hindi lang sa pinoy. Ngunit hindi normal ang sobra-sobrang kalibogan, katulad ng akala mo at ng matandang abugago na tinutukoy dito. Manyak ang tawag dyan at tinuturing na sakit sa pag-iisip ng mga nagpakadalubhasa sa saykolohiya.

  • henri_see

    Ang manyak minsan ay manyak palagi.
    Kaya lang pinatawad yan dahil hindi na kayang tumayo ni manoy.

  • $25214711

    At hindi parin sya natangalan ng lisensya?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/36O4ZGE5JY24XE4XQOXBM6O4WE Klepto

    Clearly lawyers and Philippines courts are not worthy of respect.
    Dapat diyan sa ari niya ay ipakagat sa vice at gagamitan ng grinder para mapudpud.

  • ApoNiLolo

    Pa-consuelo de bobo ng kapwa abogago sa huklubang makati ang nasa ibabang ulo. >: (

  • aristeosj

    ang ari ni manoy hindi na makatindoy
    kaya napilitan syang hindi na ipagpatuloy
    ang kamanyakang nangangamoy!

  • beerhunters

    FOOLED YA, SC nincompoops!! BWAHA HA HA

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XTXAV2X3EGKHW7N4L35WY2S6HM JudgeJuanDeLaCruz

    Please prove to us that he is a changed man. What measure was used?

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