MANILA: Citing “humanitarian reasons,” the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) has lifted its ban and allowed a retired justice penalised for leaking a draft decision of the tribunal to a litigant to resume his law practice.
But in lifting the ban on retired justice Ruben Reyes, lawyer Theodore Te, the SC spokesman, said the tribunal reiterated its decision for his perpetual disqualification from holding public office and teaching.
In addition, Te said the SC stood firm in its ruling to fine Reyes $12,000 charged to his retirement benefits after he was found guilty of gross misconduct.
In 2008, a three-member SC investigating committee recommended that Reyes be penalised for leaking a photocopy of a draft decision involving an election protest filed against a congresswoman in Negros Oriental province in the Visayas in Central Philippines.
The High Court upheld the committee’s recommendation to penalise Reyes for violating his “unqualified and invariable duty to be a living example of uprightness in the performance of official functions in order to preserve the good name and standing of the judiciary in the community.”
Significantly, the committee included then associate justice Conchita Carpio Morales who was appointed Ombudsman, the country’s chief graft-buster, by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino when she retired from the High Court.