Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Olongapo RTC judge fired

The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the dismissal of the original presiding judge of the Subic rape case due to gross misconduct, gross ignorance of the law, gross negligence and inefficiency.

A report on the Supreme Court website said the high tribunal ordered the dismissal of Renato J. Dilag, presiding judge of the Olongapo City, Zambales Regional Trial Court branch 73. Concepcion Pascua, a court stenographer assigned in the same sala, was also ordered dismissed for graft and corruption.

In a 28-page consolidated per curiam decision, the court found Dilag guilty of serious charges under section 8 of Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, namely gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct for signing conflicting decisions and gross ignorance of the law or procedure, as well as gross negligence or inefficiency for failing to administer proper supervision over his staff when a fake registry return receipt and entries of judgment were effected in separate cases.

He was meted the maximum penalty of dismissal because he had already been administratively sanctioned in De Jesus v. Dilag wherein he was fined P30,000 also for gross ignorance of the law.

The charges against Dilag and Pascua stemmed from the complaint-affidavit of Court Stenographer Nilda Verginesa-Suarez, also assigned in the same court, who accused of them receiving money from litigants in exchange for favorable judgments in cases for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage. Pascua purportedly receives the cash payment from the litigants.

The tribunal ordered the forfeiture of all retirement benefits, excluding accrued leave benefits, and the perpetual disqualification from public office of Judge Dilag and Pascua. The case against Pascua was also referred to the Office of the Ombudsman for appropriate action.

The court also dismissed for lack of merit the counter-administrative charges of falsification, negligence in the transcription of stenographic notes, and absence without official leave against Suarez who has since resigned. abs-cbnNEWS.com

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