Taguig asks High Court to dismiss from service biased CA Justice
For violations of Code of Judicial Conduct
The Taguig City Government is asking the Supreme Court to dismiss from government service Associate Justice Marlene Gonzales-Sison of the Court of Appeals.
Taguig City’s legal action is predicated on the dubious conduct of the magistrate in the suit between Taguig and Makati over the ownership of Fort Bonifacio that is pending with the Special former Sixth Division of the Court of Appeals.
In its complaint dated 28 March 2016 signed by Mayor Lani Cayetano, it says that the obstinate refusal of Gonzales-Sison to inhibit herself from the case despite her patent lack of impartiality required of a justice renders her administratively liable for gross misconduct constituting violation of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
Taguig claims that there is clear and convincing evidence of bias of Gonzales-Sison against Taguig on account of the undeniable political connections of her husband with Makati and the political party (UNA) of the Binays which the justice deliberately did not disclose to the parties and the other members of the division handling the case.
It turned out that Atty. Cassy Sison, the husband of the associate justice, is an incumbent councilor in Manila who ran under UNA in the 2013 elections. He is running for re-election under Asenso Manileño which is reportedly affiliated with UNA. These political connections, according to Mayor Lani , render the justice incapable of making an impartial judgment in the resolution of the case between the two cities.
Mayor Lani said, “Associate Justice Sison did not voluntarily disclose her husband’s political connection with the Binays and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). We are thus questioning her impartiality. She violated many canons in the New Code of Judicial Conduct particularly Section 4, Canon 4, which provides that judges shall not participate in the determination of a case in which any member of their family represents a litigant or is associated in any manner with the case”.
Taguig City’s complaint declares: “In this light, it would be infantile for respondent Justice Gonzales-Sison not to have a personal interest in her husband’s career. It is only natural that a wife makes her husband’s interests her own. Surely, any defeat or victory, or any failure or success, in her husband’s career— whether in the recent elections or in his future endeavors — will seriously affect her and her family. To claim otherwise would render marital unions intrinsically meaningless.”
Taguig City also wants to have Gonzales-Sison administratively held liable for clear gross ignorance of the internal rules of the Court of Appeals as she continues to act and preside over the case despite the city’s Urgent Motion to Inhibit. Instead of resolving this issue within 10 working days as required by the internal rules of the Court of Appeals, Justice Gonzales–Sison as ponente brazenly ignored the rules and proceeded to resolve other pending incidents. This stubborn unwillingness to recuse herself from the case despite meritorious grounds that would prompt any magistrate of good decency to immediately inhibit , according to Taguig’s complaint, cemented the well-founded suspicion that the said justice would never act with impartiality and fairness.
Taguig City therefore is praying that the Supreme Court find Justice Gonzales-Sison guilty of serious misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and, accordingly, order her dismissal from government. ###