'Mystic dwarves' judge loses job

A judge in the Philippines who claimed to have psychic powers and communicate with imaginary "dwarf friends" has lost his appeal to keep his job.

    Court officials said on Friday that the Supreme Court was not convinced of the judge's mental state and rejected his appeal.

    Florentino Floro, who presided in a suburban Manila court, was sacked on March 31 on "administrative grounds" after he failed a psychiatric test ordered by the Supreme Court.

    The judge, who started his court sessions with a reading from the Bible's Book of Revelation, lodged an instant appeal.
      
    Floro was also understood to have claimed supernatural  abilities, the ability to read the future and to have held "healing  sessions" in his chambers. He also apparently claimed to have been seen by several people in two places at the same time.

    The rule of law

    "The psychological finding of mental unfitness, when taken together with Judge Floro's claimed dalliance with 'dwarves' poses a serious challenge to such required judicial detachment and  impartiality"

    The Philippine Supreme Court

    The final ruling, written on August 11, said "judges are expected to be guided by the rule of law and to resolve cases before them with judicial detachment" to ensure that the public maintained its confidence in the judicial process.
      
    "The psychological finding of mental unfitness, when taken together with Judge Floro's claimed dalliance with 'dwarves' poses a serious challenge to such required judicial detachment and  impartiality," the ruling said.
      
    This would "eventually erode the public's acceptance of the judiciary as the rational guardian of the law, if not make it an object of ridicule.
      
    "His insistence on the existence of 'dwarves', among other beliefs, conflicts with the prevailing expectations concerning judicial behaviour and manifests a mental state that should lay to rest any doubts about his valid removal from office for lack of the  judicial temperament required of all those in the bench."

    SOURCE: AFP


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