The secretary of justice has ordered the filing of criminal charges against Quezon City trial judge Theresa de la Torre-Yadao who sentenced to death former Occidental Mindoro representative Jose Villarosa.
A few days before she resigned as justice secretary for run for a House seat, Agnes Devanadera directed the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office to file criminal charges against Yadao for “knowingly rendering an unjust judgment” when she convicted Villarosa for the December 1997 murder of the two sons of his political rival Ricardo Quintos.
“(T)here is a prima facie basis to believe that respondent judge had criminally and knowingly rendered an unjust judgment, and that she should be held answerable in our courts of law,” Devanadera said
The Court of Appeals in March 2008 reversed Yadao’s verdict convicting Villarosa, husband of House Deputy Speaker Amelita Villarosa, for the murders of Michael and Paul Quintos. He was ordered released.
The former lawmaker then filed a complaint before the DOJ, accusing Yadao of purposely ignoring his testimony and the evidence he presented. But State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera threw out his complaint, concluding that Quezon City judge acted “in good faith.”
Devanadera overturned Navera’s resolution.
“Nobody, not even this office, can claim that he or she could read the mind of the respondent judge, as to be able to conclude with certainty that she acted with or without malice,” said Devanadera.
She added that Yadao “had willfully and feloniously rendered a judgment that was not in conformity with the evidence and had acted with full knowledge aforethought with the criminal intent to render an injustice upon the petitioner.”