Retired judge fined; another gets axed
Judges judge—and get judged.
A retired Pasay City judge has been ordered by the Supreme Court to pay a fine of P500,000 after he was held administratively liable for refusing to inhibit from a case involving a property of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).
In Cavite, the axe has fallen on a judge who absolved the suspects in the tragic death of Marc Andrei Marcos, the freshman law student from San Beda College who died after undergoing the hazing rites of Lex Leonum fraternity.
The high court found former Judge Pedro Gutierrez of Pasay Regional Trial Court Branch 119 guilty of gross ignorance of the law, undue delay in issuing an order, bias and partiality in connection with a complaint filed by CCP officials when he was still in active service in 2013.
“(T)here were several valid and significant grounds for him to inhibit from the case voluntarily yet he refused to do so for unknown reason,” the court said in a statement.
A greater sanction was imposed on Judge Perla Cabrera Faller of Dasmariñas City, Cavite Regional Trial Court Branch 90, who was sacked from the service by the Supreme Court for gross ignorance of the law and for violation of Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct for judges.
The Office of the Court Administrator had previously handed down a six-month suspension order on Faller based on a complaint filed by retired Judge Martonino Marcos, the victim’s grandfather.
The 15-member tribunal also ordered in its Jan. 24 ruling, which was made available to the public yesterday, the forfeiture of her retirement benefits and barred her from joining the government service.
Faller was found guilty of the administrative offense after she recalled the arrest warrant against suspects Richard Rosales, Mohamad Alim and Chino Daniel Amante and placed the case on archive on June 13, 2013, or just 10 days after she had ordered their arrest.
The judge, who had claimed that she issued the arrest warrant inadvertently, eventually dismissed the criminal case against the Lex Leonum members on Aug. 15, 2013, for lack of probable cause.