Judge forces court employees to have SEX with him

It is well settled that in administrative proceedings, the complainant has the burden of proving by substantial evidence the allegations in his complaint. Substantial evidence is that amount of relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. In the cases at bar, the complainants Ms. Tan and Ms. Villafranca were able to adequately substantiate their allegations.

The Supreme Court finds totally unacceptable the temerity of Judge Pacuribot in subjecting the complainants, both his subordinates, to his unwelcome sexual advances and acts of lasciviousness. Over long periods of time, he persistently solicited sexual favors from Ms.Tan and Ms. Villafranca. When they refused, he made their working conditions so unbearable that Ms. Tan was eventually forced to transfer to another office and Ms. Villafranca to seek employment abroad. Certainly, no judge has a right to solicit sexual favors from any court employee, even from a woman of loose morals. Judge Pacuribots conduct indubitably bears the marks of impropriety and immorality. Not only do his actions fall short of the exacting standards for members of the judiciary; they stand no chance of satisfying the standards of decency even of society at large. His severely abusive and outrageous acts, which are an affront to women, unmistakably constitute sexual harassment because they necessarily x x x result in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employee[s].
The Supreme Court need not detail again all the lewd and lustful acts committed by Judge Pacuribot in order to conclude that he is indeed unworthy to remain in office. The narration of the Investigating Justice was sufficiently thorough and complete. The audacity under which the sexual violation of the complainants were committed and the seeming impunity with which they were perpetrated by Judge Pacuribot shock our sense of morality. All roads lead us to the conclusion that Judge Pacuribot has failed to behave in a manner that will promote confidence in the Judiciary. His actuations, if condoned, would damage the integrity of the Judiciary, fomenting distrust in the system. Hence, his acts deserve no less than the severest form of disciplinary sanction -- dismissal from the service.

On his part, Judge Pacuribot put up the defense of denial, attributing ill feelings and bad motives to Ms. Tan and Ms. Villafranca.

Already beyond cavil is the evidentiary rule that mere denial does not overturn the relative weight and probative value of an affirmative assertion. Denial is inherently a weak defense. To be believed, it must be buttressed by strong evidence of non-culpability; otherwise, such denial is purely self-serving and is with no evidentiary value. Like the defense of alibi, denial crumbles in the light of positive declarations. Denial cannot prevail over the positive identification of the accused by the witnesses who had no ill motive to testify falsely. Moreover, in the case at bar, there is utter lack of basis to sustain the purported ill motives attributed by Judge Pacuribot to the complainants. The Investigating Justice correctly disregarded Judge Pacuribots imputation. No married woman would cry sexual assault, subject herself and her family to public scrutiny and humiliation, and strain her marriage in order to perpetrate a falsehood. The only plausible and satisfactory explanation for us is that the charges against respondent are true.

Judge Pacuribot and his witnesses failed to overcome the evidence presented by the complainants.

Let it be remembered that respondent has moral ascendancy and authority over complainants, who are mere employees of the court of which he is an officer. His actuations are aggravated by the fact that complainants are his subordinates over whom he exercises control and supervision, he being the executive judge. He took advantage of his position and power in order to carry out his lustful and lascivious desires. Instead of acting in loco parentis over his subordinate employees, he was even the one who preyed on them, taking advantage of his superior position. (A.M. No. RTJ-06-1982-1983; December 14, 2007)