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Opinion

A head-turning high court justice

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

Newly appointed Supreme Court Justice Jose Midas Marquez was a nemesis of corrupt and abusive judges when he was  a court administrator.

The 55-year-old Marquez, a head-turner in a crowd, was responsible for the dismissal of several judges, and recommendations for disciplinary actions on judges.

Among the dismissed magistrates were Joselito Villarosa and Winlove Dumayas. Both were from the Makati Regional Trial Court.

Marquez and this columnist collaborated in the firing of the two judges.

Villarosa confiscated all the equipment of a business process outsourcing office owned by a Swedish national and his Filipino wife, in a case that did not involve their business.

The case involved the question of ownership for a building in Makati, where the couple’s business was renting office space.

Villarosa wouldn’t listen to the couple’s plea that their business be excluded from the ejection case, as they had nothing to do with it.

Mats and Isabel Hillerstam sought my help after Villarosa ignored their plea.

I referred the couple to Court Administrator Marquez. They found him amiable and approachable.

Checking on Villarosa’s background, Marquez found the judge interfering in criminal and civil cases that didn’t concern his court; in short, the judge was in it for the money.

Villarosa had been warned several times in the past about his behavior, but he was adamant. He was forced to return the equipment to the couple; Villarosa was dismissed, nevertheless.

Marquez also took a look at the decision of Dumayas, who meted out a light sentence on four young men who killed US Marine Maj. George Anikow. His wife was a consul at the US embassy.

During the course of the altercation (over what was a small matter) between Anikow and the four youths that happened at the Bel-Air Village gate, he was stabbed three times.

The murder case filed against two of the four youths was downgraded to homicide by Judge Dumayas; the other two were acquitted.

Homicide is a much lesser offense than murder, which is punishable by life imprisonment.

Marquez learned about the judge’s injudicious decision from my column in a previous newspaper.

Apparently, money changed hands between the wealthy parents of the youths, who were residents of a gated subdivision, and the judge.

Actually, a court administrator doesn’t have the power to dismiss erring judges, but his recommendations to the high tribunal carries a lot of weight.

Marquez, upon my request, also helped a doctor who was charged in court with “carnapping” (car theft) by her estranged husband.

The doctor, a psychiatrist in a big hospital in Metro Manila, sought my help when she sensed that the woman judge who was handling the case seemed to favor her husband.

How could a husband file a case of theft against his own wife, I asked Marquez, when the court doesn’t even allow a spouse to testify against or in favor of his or her partner?

*      *      *

A customs official is a sugar mommy of a former player of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), according to my little birdies in the Bureau of Customs.

She’s so enamored of the former PBA player that she lavishes him with expensive gifts.

The latest gift to her lover is a late-model Toyota Fortuner, according to my sources.

Now, where does she get all that money to spoil her gigolo?

This customs official holds a position that is considered lucrative by her peers.

*      *      *

Based on my long experience as a reporter, female government officials are hard to bribe or corrupt.

Unlike their male counterparts in government, most women officials don’t have vices, or they try to avoid having one.

Women guard their reputation in the workplace the same way maidens try to protect their virginity.

But when a woman becomes part of the corrupt system in government, she’s ten times more corrupt or abusive than her male counterparts.

One example is a policewoman who was assigned as a police director in an island province in Luzon years ago.

This official tried to introduce jueteng, an illegal numbers game, to the province’s capital, but was rebuffed by local officials.

She strutted around with civilian bodyguards armed with Uzi machine pistols, frightening residents in the peaceful town.

The woman “PD” (police director) sold dynamite to illegal fishermen.

She kicked and pummeled a carpenter for the delay in finishing her beach resthouse.

People in the province trembled in her presence because of her vaunted violent nature.

The woman met her match in a police major who threatened to shoot her inside his office.

“Ma’am, please leave my office because I’ll shoot you if you don’t,” said the police major, her subordinate.

The reason for their quarrel was the arrest of her civilian bodyguards who were caught terrorizing voters in a town during a national election years ago.

The colonel was supporting the provincial governor who was running for reelection.

The police major, a native of the province, didn’t want a dayuhan (stranger) throwing her weight around, even if she happened to be the provincial police chief.

Another corrupt, and abusive, woman official is a former customs collector.

She and a broadcaster and columnist of a tabloid were lovers.

Being a lawyer, she would feed information to the journalist about the activities of her corrupt colleagues. She herself was corrupt as well – she didn’t like competition.

She’s an example of  “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

She filed extortion cases in court against her lover after they broke up.

The journalist denied the charges in court and even described their torrid relationship.

He was asked: Why did they break up?

He said that she resented him telling her to wash up during the heat of their lovemaking, because she smelled down there.

MIDAS MARQUEZ

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