SC junks administrative rap vs De Castro

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 30 2018 07:53 PM

The Supreme Court (SC) did not find merit in the administrative complaint against its fourth most senior magistrate, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro, as it junked the case during its en banc session Tuesday.

A well-placed ABS-CBN News source bared that the high court unanimously, with Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno inhibiting, dismissed the complaint filed by the group Filipino Alliance for Transparency and Empowerment (FATE). 

The complaint, filed in November 2017, accused De Castro of leaking confidential court matters during the November 22 hearing of the House Justice Committee on the impeachment complaint of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon against Sereno. It, however, did not point out what these confidential matters are. 

De Castro has been appearing at the House hearings to honor the committee’s invitation and has testified on the following accusations against Sereno:

- Sereno’s alleged falsification of the temporary restraining order in the case of the Senior Citizen’s party-list group, a case raffled to her (De Castro); 

- alleged manipulation and illegal clustering of the shortlist of the Judicial and Bar Council for six vacancies in the Sandiganbayan, which was also raffled to De Castro; 

- alleged illegal creation of the Regional Court Administration Office (RCAO) in Region 7; 

- alleged misrepresentation of the high court en banc when Sereno made it appear the magistrates wanted to do away with their voting to recommend nominees to SC vacancies; 

- alleged manipulation of the Judicial and Bar Council, causing the illegal clustering of shortlists for vacant posts in the Sandiganbayan; 

- alleged delay and non-raffle of the Department of Justice’s request for the transfer of trial of cases against suspected Maute local terror group members and sympathizers; 

- and Sereno’s Statement of Assets, Liabilitites and Net Worth (SALN) woes. 

In its complaint, FATE called on the high court to “accordingly penalize” De Castro for allegedly being “the cause of, or had participation in, the leakage of confidential court matters.”