MANILA, Philippines – Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Jesus Mupas is infamous.
On Thursday, June 7, former Commission on Elections chair Abalos walked out of Mupas’ court as he decried the judge’s decision involving a co-accused in a pending electoral sabotage case. He wants the court to grant him bail.
Abalos, a former judge himself (prior to his stint as Mandaluyong mayor), opposed allowing the testimony of his co-accused in relation to the latter’s petition to be discharged as accused. He found it unjust for Mupas to allow the testimony of Yogie Martirizar when this could be used against Abalos but not against herself.
Earlier, the 52-year-old judge who presides over RTC 112 was linked by Abalos to an extortion attempt by people claiming to be emissaries of Mupas.
Mupas denied the allegations and ordered Abalos to show cause for the court not to cite him in contempt for making the malicious accusations. Abalos has been charged with electoral sabotage in connection with the 2004 elections.
Scolded previously by the Supreme Court in 2008, Mupas was ordered to pay a fine of P10,000 for failing to promptly dispose of cases pending in his court. Lower courts are required by the Constitution to decide on pending cases within 3 months from the date the latest pleading was filed.
Yet Mupas very quickly, within hours, decided to issue an arrest warrant for former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in November 2011 after an electoral sabotage case was likewise filed against her by Comelec officials.
A joint Department of Justice-Comelec panel had been investigating irregularities in connection with the 2004 and 2007 elections. After concluding hearings on Nov 14, 2011, the Comelec held an emergency en banc session 4 days later to approve the filing of an electoral sabotage case.
The Comelec filed an urgent petition for a hold departure order (HDO) against the former president who earlier tried to flee the country to seek medication for her bone disease. Instead of an HDO, which would have required hearings, Mupas issued an arrest warrant “to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the accused.”
As it turns out, Mupas owes the Arroyos his assignment to the Pasay RTC.
It was the consultant of Former Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, Joseph Dy (also the husband of former Pasay City Rep Consuelo “Connie” Dy, an Arroyo supporter) who requested Mr Arroyo’s help in the transfer of Mupas to the Pasay RTC.
Rising from the ranks, he first served as Department of Justice prosecutor, after which he became executive judge in a municipal trial court in Cavite City. He was appointed judge under the Arroyo administration, on April 5, 2005. From Cavite, he was appointed in Pasay City.
When Mr Arroyo found out that his wife’s case had been assigned to Mupas, he sent feelers that he wanted to speak with the judge. Mupas however avoided him and holed up in his office before he issued the arrest warrant for the former president.
Wife was judge too
Born on Oct 23, 1959, Mupas is a 1984 graduate of the Manuel L Quezon School of Law. Originally from Burgos, Pangasinan, he lives in Cavite City because his wife, Lorinda Toledo Mupas, is from there.
She belongs to “one of the oldest” and prominent clans of Cavite, the Toledos, who hail from Barangay Malabag in Silang. A former municipal trial court judge of Dasmariñas in Cavite, Lorinda Mupas is originally from Silang. It appears she has an unflattering record as a municipal trial court judge, however.
She was dismissed by the Supreme Court in 2005 for “gross ignorance of the law and incompetence.” It ruled that because she had “thrice exhibited deplorable ignorance of truly elementary rules of procedure,” she ought to be suspended without salary and benefits. The maximum fine of P40,000 was likewise imposed on her, with her retirement benefits eventually revoked.
The Mupas couple is said to be very political. Even their son is in politics – Mark Joseph T. Mupas, presently city councilor of Cavite City, is seeking re-election in 2013. He first ran under the Nacionalista Party in 2010.
As judge, sources said he has been known to “allow litigants to have access to him,” a practice not usual among judges. Because judges are expected to be fair in deciding cases, they insulate themselves from parties whose cases are pending in their courts.
Said to be close to Brother Mike Velarde of El Shaddai, they are said to regularly meet at Tagaytay Highlands to go jogging and play mah-jong, a favorite pasttime.
Down to earth, Mupas has good relations with his staff who praise his kindness and appreciate that he takes his lunch with them. His clerk of court Joel Pelicano describes him as a “fighting judge” insofar as due process and the rule of law is concerned. – Rappler.com