SUPREME Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen has elevated to the en banc his letter complaint against The Manila Times for running a story about his “misbehavior” at a recent convention in The Hague, Netherlands.
In the story published on June 17, the Times reported that Leonen, the court’s most junior magistrate, drew the ire of his colleagues for his “tantrums” directed at the American Bar Association (ABA), which organized the 10th International Judicial Coloquium on Insolvency from May 18 to 19.
Leonen accused the ABA officials of “deliberately shaming him” after he was mistakenly referred to as “Court of Appeals Justice.”
In the cover page of his letter to Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno and his fellow magistrates, Leonen stated he was submitting to the en banc the document, complete with attachments.
Earlier, the Times obtained a three-page draft of the same letter addressed to this reporter dated June 17, 2013. The copy was provided by one justice who said he resented Leonen’s “misbehavior.”
Leonen admitted that he had been incorrectly registered as a “Justice of the Court of Appeals” during the event. He also corrected that it was organized by the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals and not by the ABA as claimed in the original article.
Sandra Mae Casal-Rapatan, Leonen’s executive assistant, has raised the issue and lodged a complaint before the ABA organizers on orders of Leonen who felt he was “demoted.”
The justice told the Times that Rapatan e-mailed Victoria Pratt and Robert La Mont of the ABA after Leonen got angry over the incident.
In his letter, Leonen said that while it was true he was referred to as a “CA Justice,” he said that he did not want to be misrepresented.
Leonen also denied the report that he boycotted the event to dramatize his displeasure, although he did not attend the last session because of a “migraine.”
An unimpeachable source said Leonen did not attend the “workshops” in The Hague.
Leonen said he has no reason to believe that his fellow justices wanted him disciplined for
his actions. He lamented that he was not given a chance to air his side of the story.
The Times stands by its story that the high court justices have witnessed Leonen’s tantrums.