ASSOCIATE Justice Marvic Leonen, the most junior magistrate in the Supreme Court (SC), has drawn the ire of his colleagues for his alleged misbehavior that include “tantrums.”

According to a well-placed source, the latest of Leonen’s “outbursts” was directed at the American Bar Association (ABA) which organized the 10th International Judicial Coloquium on Insolvency at The Hague in the Netherlands held from May 18 to 19.

Leonen accused the ABA officials of “deliberately shaming him” after he was wrongfully referred to as “Court of Appeals Justice.”

SC Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Court of Appeals (CA) Justices Japar Dimaam­pao and Apolinario Bruselas also attended the event.

Realizing the mistake, an enraged Leonen immediately called Manila to complain about the matter.

Sandra Mae Casal-Rapatan, Leonen’s executive assistant, even raised the issue and lodged a complaint before the ABA organizers as ordered by her boss.

The source said that Rapatan even sent emails to Victoria Pratt and Robert La Mont of the

ABA to protest his “demotion” in title.

Rapatan informed the ABA that Leonen was “incredibly offended” by the mistake, charging that the act was deliberate on the part of the ABA.

Leonen who led the government panel in talking peace with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, even informed Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno of his discontent and the humiliation he suffered.

He believes that it was an “affront to his reputation” as an Associate Magistrate of the SC.


A few SC Justices who were interviewed by The Manila Times said that the issue was so petty that Leonen should not have raised hell about it.

One magistrate said that Leonen is known for being a “complainer.”

“Napaka-reklamador niyang si Marvic. Kabago-bago niya sa Court. Siya ang most junior grabe magwala dito sa Supreme Court kapag hindi naibibigay ang gusto niya. Pati sa the Netharlands nagwala noong umatend siya ng conference [Marvic complains a lot. He is very new and the most junior among us but he throws tantrums when he failed to get what he wants. He went berserk when he attended a conference in the Netherlands,” the Justice said.

Another magistrate said that if only Leonen had shown humility and kindness over the incident, it could have even earned brownie points for himself and the SC itself.

“Baka sabihin ng American Bar Association at ng International Community ganyan ang asal ng mga Justices ng Supreme Court. Nakakahiya tuloy. Ano ba naman ang mahihita ng ABA para sadyain na i-demote ang title niya [It might give the bad impression that Justices of the SC are all like him. It’s quite embarrassing. What could the ABA possibly gain for demoting him?” the source pointed out.

The SC justice further questioned the characters of the appointees of President Benigno Aquino 3rd in the High Tribunal.

“What kind of officials are the President appointing? Before, it was Sereno who earned her notoriety for being hot-headed. Now it’s Leonen,” the source bewailed.

Following his “demotion,” it was learned that Leonen decided to boycott the conference to dramatize his discontent and rage.