Blog shows ruling on annulment of mayor’s marriage, psychiatrist’s diagnosis

THE court decision on the annulment of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama's marriage has been posted online apparently to project him as a person with personality disorder.

A scanned copy of the July 2000 judgment of Regional Trial Court Branch 22 Judge Pampio Abarintos on the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage filed by Araceli Francisco, the mayor’s former wife, was posted by a blogger known as I Love Cebu on mikerama.blogspot.com.

A link to the blog was posted on the Facebook page of Tommy Osmeña (Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña).

In the court document, Abarintos said psychiatrist Dr. Pureza Oñate diagnosed the mayor as “suffering from thrimonic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, and obsessive/compulsive disorder.”

The ground cited by Francisco in the petition is Rama’s alleged psychological incapacity.

The mayor described the posting of the court judgment as a “cheap shot” that does not worry him. “It's a rehash. That happened a long time ago. It's cheap and they're desperate,” he said.

He did not say who he suspected was behind it, but the mayor is vying against Osmeña for the mayoral seat.

Rama said the move did not surprise him as he anticipated “dirty politics” from his opponents. “I don't want to rehash the issue on addict or Ecstasy (a party drug). It's not my cup of tea,” the mayor added but refused to explain.

Osmeña said he did not care for the mayor’s opinion. “If it is not true, I am willing to pay for a full page ad of a certified true copy from the court. If not, I will have to apologize to the Cebuanos for endorsing a psycho case for mayor,” he added.

“This personality disorder is complacent, maladaptive pattern of personality that is impervious to treatment, because most of the people suffering from these personality disorders cannot even appreciate the defects that they have,” the court judgment quoted the psychiatrist’s report on Rama.

But Rama said these are normal findings in annulment cases with psychological incapacity as ground.

Osmeña thinks otherwise. “I just read it in full and whether it's true or not, it sounds like him,” he said.

RTC Branch 13 Judge Meinrado Paredes said resolved annulment of marriage cases are not confidential.

The promulgated cases, he said, are included in the Supreme Court Reports Annotated books.

“It is for the public to know,” he said in a phone interview.

He said hearings on an annulment of marriage case are held before a family court and the judge may release his decision to the media after the involved parties have been given the document.

The family court, however, cannot give records of cases that involve minors, said Paredes.

But lawyer Earl Bonachita, former president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Cebu City chapter, said documents under the jurisdiction of a family court are confidential in nature.

“Unless the court orders its publication,” he.

If Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama felt aggrieved by the blog, Bonachita said, Rama can file civil and criminal complaints against the perpetrator. He said only a court can issue an order to delete the documents from the Internet.

Republic Act 8369 or the Family Courts Act of 1997 states that “records of the cases shall be dealt with utmost confidentiality and the identity of parties shall not be divulged unless necessary and with authority of the judge.”
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