SC fires Pasay court judge for insubordination, sexual harassment
MANILA — A Pasay City lower court judge would have to lead a new life this 2017 after the Supreme Court let the axe fall on her for gross insubordination and for sending sexually explicit messages to a fellow judge.
In an 85-page consolidated ruling, the high court ordered the immediate dismissal from service of Judge Eliza B. Yu of the Pasay Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 47 after she was found guilty of several administrative complaints filed by her fellow judges and court personnel.
Yu, a former government prosecutor, was also directed by the tribunal to explain in writing why she should not be disbarred for violation of the Lawyer’s Oath, the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Canons of Professional Ethics.
“The grossness and severity of her offenses taken together demonstrated Judge Yu’s unfitness and incompetence to further discharge the office and duties of a judge,” the high court said in its Nov. 22 ruling, a copy of which was made public last week.
“The administration of justice cannot be entrusted to one like her who would readily ignore and disregard the laws and policies enacted by the court to guarantee justice and fairness for all,” it added.
The administrative complaints against Yu stemmed from her refusal to comply with the Supreme Court’s administrative order in 2011, which established “night courts” to expedite the handling of criminal cases of foreign tourists arrested at nightttime in Pasay and Makati cities.
Said the court: “To tolerate her insubordination and gross misconduct is to abet lawlessness on her part. She deserved to be removed from the service because she thereby revealed her unworthiness of being part of the judiciary.”
Yu was also found guilty of sending “inappropriate messages with sexual undertones” to a fellow judge through Facebook and email when she was still a state prosecutor.
In addition, she was held responsible for unlawfully issuing show-cause orders on her colleagues which, the court said, “revealed her utter disrespect towards and disdain for them,” and for displaying “oppressive acts” on her subordinates.
While he agreed with the majority that Yu should be removed at once, Associate Justice Arturo D. Brion argued that she should also be immediately sacked as lawyer due to the “severity and grossness of the various administrative offenses she had committed.”
“Judge Yu had been accorded every opportunity to defend her professional standing as a lawyer sufficient to warrant the ultimate sanction of disbarment… Judge Yu is a disgrace to both the bench and the bar,” Brion said.
Besides her dismissal as court officer, the high court also moved to forfeit all her benefits, save for accrued leave credits, and imposed a lifetime ban on her from working in any government office. SFM