The Philippine Supreme Court has suspended a metropolitan judge in Manila for homophobic slurs in court and for the use of his own religious beliefs in a court proceeding.
Judge Jorge Emmanuel Lorredo of Manila Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 26 has been suspended for 30 days and fined PhP50,000 for simple misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a judge.
The case stemmed from a 2019 complaint filed by Marcelino Espejon and Erickson Cabonita who alleged that the judge “showed bias and partiality” against their sexual orientation.
Espejon and Cabonita claimed that during a court proceeding, the judge showed bias and partiality against homosexuals.
Lorredo denied the allegations, saying that as a Christian, he only tried to guide lawyers and litigants to arrive at a settlement using the help of the Bible.
He also claimed that he has settled 101 cases through the help of the Holy Book. He said he was only warning the complainants about God’s punishment for violating the commandments.
“[P]agka-bading, tomboy, lesbian, ayaw ng Diyos yun (Gays, lesbians, God doesn’t like that),” the Supreme Court cited the judge’s pronouncements based on court records.
“So pag meron kang lesbian relationship, paparusahan yung anak mo. Dengvaxia, di ba? [Kayo din] kasi may may kasalanan kayo sa Diyos eh (If you have a lesbian relationship, your child will be punished, Dengvaxia, right? Because you have sinned against God),” the judge reportedly said.
In the ruling, the Supreme Court said such remarks are homophobic slurs, “which have no place in our courts of law.”
“The fact that they were made by no less than a magistrate should rightfully upset the Court and must perforce be penalized,” read the Supreme Court decision through Justice Alfredo Caguioa.
“It should come as a matter of course for all judges to desist from any word or conduct that would show or suggest anything other than inclusivity for members of the LGBTQIA+community,” said the high court.
The Supreme Court said the judge violated Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 01-0940 on work-related sexual harassment.
The Court also said that Lorredo’ use of his religious beliefs interfere with his work, resulting in his failure to fulfill his duty to not only act with impartiality but to appear impartial at all times.