Former Judge Florentino Floro has hit the big time. When I first read about him, his story was featured in Reuters. Now he is in the Wall Street Journal story which was picked up by one of my favorite blogs.
Then and now, his claim is that he should not have been relieved of his position because
"It shouldn't matter what I believe in, whether it's Jesus, Muhammad, or Luis, Armand and Angel,"On the face of it, he is absolutely correct, it does not matter what he believes in, as long as he does his duties as a Judge fairly and honestly. And the Philippine Supreme Court resolution that relieved him of his position actually states this fact
"There is no indication that Judge Floro is anything but an honorable man. And, in fact, in our disposition of the 13 charges against him, we have not found him guilty of gross misconduct or acts or corruption"But he was not relieved of his position because of what he believed in, he was relieved of his position because of
"the findings of psychosis by the mental health professionals assigned to his case indicate gross deficiency in competence and independence."In the WSJ article, it states that
"He passed a mandatory psychiatric evaluation applied to all prospective judges and was sworn in as a regional trial-court judge in November of that year, handling both civil and criminal cases in Malabon, a district in greater Manila."What is not stated in the article, that he failed two previous psychiatric tests in 1995 and 1998 because as stated by the evaluating psychologists in 1995
"evidences of developing psychotic process"and in 1998
"he is at present not intellectually and emotionally equipped to hurdle the responsibilities of a judge and he may decompensate when exposed to anxiety-provoking and stress-laden situation"but
Because of his impressive academic background, however, the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) allowed Atty. Floro to seek a second opinion from private practitioners. The second opinion appeared favorable thus paving the way to Atty. Floro’s appointment as Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge of Branch 73, Malabon City, on 4 November 1998.The Supreme Court came to regret this decision by the JBC because despite all the psychoilogical findings against former Judge Floro, the SC states
"It goes without saying that Judge Floro’s appointment as RTC judge is fait accompli. What awaits us now is the seemingly overwhelming task of finding the PROPER, JUST AND EQUITABLE solution to Judge Floro’s almost seven years of suspension in the light of the fact that the penalty imposed herein does not merit a suspension of seven years."The Philippine Supreme Court tried to do the just and equitable thing, and judging by Judge Floro's actions after his relief, I say the Philippine Supreme court succeeded.
Links to Judge Flortentino Floro's actions after being relieved of his position.
A thread he started in badscience.net
Blog post from Lowering the Bar on Judge Floro
Blog post from A Criminal Waste of Space
News story from Sun.Star Manila