SC dismisses Misamis Oriental judge for borrowing money from litigants
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—The Supreme Court has dismissed a Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge in Misamis Oriental for borrowing money from litigants in a case pending before his court.
According to the Court’s Public Information Office, RTC Branch 20 Judge Bonifacio Macabaya’s actuation constitutes gross misconduct that violates the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
Apart from dismissing him from the service, the Court also forfeited Macabaya’s retirement benefits and was “perpetually disqualified from reemployment in the public service.”
The en banc decision was promulgated on February 4.
The case stemmed from the complaints of Leonaria Neri, spouses Abeto Salcedo Jr. and Jocelyn Salcedo, Evangeline Camposano, and Hugo Amorillo Jr., accusing Macabaya of borrowing a large sum of money from them while their respective cases were pending before his court.
“The complainants were executed before the Cagayan de Oro RTC Executive Judge which forwarded these to the Office of Court Administrator (OCA).
The OCA endorsed the complaints to the Supreme Court, which assigned a Court of Appeals justice to do the investigation.
Macabaya has denied the allegations, claiming that the complainants were “only coerced to file a complaint against him as part of an alleged grand design by an OCA official and other judges to discredit him.”
“The SC held that Judge Macabaya’s general denial carries little weight. It stressed that judges must adhere to the highest standards of judicial conduct and public accountability lest his action erode the public faith in the Judiciary,” the Court’s PIO said.
As of this posting, Macabaya could not be reached to get his side regarding the SC decision.
Edited by JPV
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