Last Friday, a letter from Court of Appeals Justice Mario Guarina III was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s letter section. In the letter, he speaks his sympathy for the dismissed Justice Vicente Roxas, and insinuates that Roxas was merely a sacrificial lamb to address the perceived corruption in the Court of Appeals.
Perhaps Justice Guarina should read the findings of the Supreme Court panel convened to investigate the CA mess. While Roxas was not involved in the bribery case of Justice Sabio, he was clearly found by the panel to have been discourteous and dishonest. He was also found to have acted in undue haste in coming out with his decision, which unduly favored Meralco. The Supreme Court found enough evidence existed to warrant Roxas’ dismissal.
It should also considered that Roxas wasn’t all that pure to begin with, having been fined P15,000 for having violated the Code of Judicial Conduct in a recent case. It should have been that Roxas should have learned his lesson from that experience. But it appears that such was not the case.
I’m not sure what compelled Guarina to send his letter to the press, instead of expressing his discontent to his presiding justice, or even to the Supreme Court.
What I am sure about is that it is bad form to criticize one’s place of work in public. In doing so, Guarina demonstrates contempt for the processes which govern his line of work. Perhaps if he sympathized with Roxas that strongly, then he should have resigned and criticized to his heart’s content. With his letter, however, he shows that the Court of Appeals has a long way to go before it can rehabilitate its tarnished image.