Gender sensitive judges awarded
The winners of the Gender Justice Awards II were announced yesterday at the Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City, during the kick-off ceremonies of the 18-day campaign to end VAW. The Gender Justice Awards II is geared towards the elimination of gender bias and gender insensitivity experienced by women litigants in the courts.
After a year of gathering nominations from non government organizations (NGOs), private individuals and other judges and Sandiganbayan Justices, six judges were awarded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), Commission on Human Rights and Supreme Court who led the search for gender-sensitive judges who have handled cases who have rendered gender-sensitive decisions on VAW cases during the period January 2004 to December 2008.
The following three local judges and three Sandiganbayan Justices were recognized as Outstanding Gender-Sensitive Judges and Justices for the Gender Justice Awards II:
1.Hon. Judge Victoria Isabel A. Paredes
Judge Victoria Isabel A. Paredes is hailed as the “Outstanding Gender-Sensitive Judge in the Philippines” for her gender-sensitive decisions on the cases of violation of RA 8353 (Anti-Rape Law of 1997) in “People of the Philippines vs. Jaime Ibag, promulgated in 2008; and violations of RA 7610 (Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act) in “People of the Philippines vs. Melchor Ingel, promulgated in 2007 and “People of the Philippines vs. Jaypee De Jesus”, promulgated in 2009.
Judge Victoria Isabel A. Paredes graduated at the University of the Philippines, College of Law in 1979. She worked for the private sector from 1975 to 1985 and began government service in August 1985 as State Counsel I of the Department of Justice. She has been appointed as a judge since 1996 and is currently the Executive Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 124 of Caloocan, City.
2.Hon. Judge Marilyn L. Yap
Judge Marilyn L. Yap of Regional Trial Court Branch 28 of Mandaue City, Cebu is the “Outstanding Gender-Sensitive Judge for Visayas” for her gender-sensitive decision on the case of violation of RA 8353 (Anti-Rape Law of 1997) in “People of the Philippines vs. Dexter Lao” promulgated in 2009.
3.Hon. Judge Albert S. Axalan
Judge Albert S. Axalan of Regional Trial Court Branch 20 of Digos City, Davao Del Sur is the “Outstanding Gender-Sensitive Judge for Mindanao” for his gender-sensitive decision on the case of violation of RA 8353 (Anti-Rape Law of 1995) in “People of the Philippines vs. Lolito Gemillo”, promulgated in 2007.
4.Sandiganbayan Division Award
For rendering gender-sensitive decisions on two cases in violation of RA 7877 (Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995) in “People of the Philippines vs. Emilito Abines” and “People of the Philippines vs. Getulio Maralli”, both promulgated in 2007, three members of the former Third Division were awarded as the Outstanding Gender-Sensitive Justices of the Sandiganbayan. The awardees were Associate Justice Efren N. Dela Cruz, Associate Justice Norberto Y. Geraldez and Ret. Associate Justice Godofredo Legaspi.
Other partners of Gender Justice Awards were the UP Center for Women’s Studies Foundation Inc. (UPCWSFI), United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Philippines National Committee, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Zonta International District 17 Area 5.