Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions


Philippine Supreme Court Resolutions > Year 2008 > April 2008 Resolutions > [A.M. No. MTJ-07-1681 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1878-MTJ) : April 30, 2008] ALEXANDER NARANJO, COMPLAINT VS. ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE PIO M. PASIA, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 79, LAS PIÑAS CITY [PRESIDING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, SAN LUIS, BATANGAS], ARTURO S. BONDOC, BRANCH CLERK OF COURT, AND JEFFREY CABELIS, CLERK-IN-CHARGE OF CIVIL CASES, SAME COURT, RESPONDENTS.:




SECOND DIVISION

[A.M. No. MTJ-07-1681 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1878-MTJ) : April 30, 2008]

ALEXANDER NARANJO, COMPLAINT VS. ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE PIO M. PASIA, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 79, LAS PIÑAS CITY [PRESIDING JUDGE, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, SAN LUIS, BATANGAS], ARTURO S. BONDOC, BRANCH CLERK OF COURT, AND JEFFREY CABELIS, CLERK-IN-CHARGE OF CIVIL CASES, SAME COURT, RESPONDENTS.

Sirs/Mesdames:

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated 30 April 2008:

A.M. No. MTJ-07-1681 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1878-MTJ) - ALEXANDER NARANJO, complaint versus ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE PIO M. PASIA, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 79, Las Pi�as City [Presiding Judge, Municipal Trial Court, San Luis, Batangas], ARTURO S. BONDOC, Branch Clerk Of Court, and JEFFREY CABELIS, Clerk-in-Charge of Civil Cases, same Court, respondents.

Complaint Alexander Naranjo charged respondents Judge Pio M. Pasia, Acting Presiding Judge, Metropolitan Trial Court of Las Pi�as City, Branch 79 (trial court), Clerk of COurt Arturo S. Bondoc and Clerk Jeffrey Cabelis, same court, of infidelity in handling case records and/or gross misconduct.

Naranjo is the defendant in Civil Case No. 6364, for ejectment. After trial, the trial court ordered Naranjo to vacate the subject property. Thereafter, plaintriff Joseph Leo Nonato filed a motion for execution. The trial court ordered Naranjo to comment on the motion. On September 4, 2006, Narnajo filed his opposition. On October 16, 2006, Judge Pasia granted the motion for execution and noted in his order that Naranjo failed to file any opposition to the motion. Judge Pasia denied Naranjo's motion for reconsideration.

Hence, Naranjo filed this complaint.[1] Naranjo alleged that the trial court' statement that he did not file any opposition to the motion for execution shows respondents' infidelity in handling case records because he has filed an opposition to the motion.

On August 1, 2007, qwe reffered this matter to the Executive Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Las Pi�as City for investigation. In his Report, Honorable Executive Judge Leopoldo E. Baraquia recommends that Naranjo's complaint be dismissed for lack of merit.

We adopt the recommendation of Judge Baraquia.

As aptly noted by Judge Baraquia, Judge Paisa issued an order on September 11, 2006 acknowledging the existence of Naranjo's opposition in the records. In said order, Judge Pasia required the plaintiff, if he so desires, to file his reply to Naranjo's opposition.[2] Clearly, Judge Pasia had earlier noted NAranjo's opposition before the October 16, 2006 Order. Thus, we agree with Judge Baraquia that the charge of indelity in handling case records must be dismissed.

Notably also, in a criminal charge of infidelity in the custody of documents under Article 226[3] of the Revised Penal Code, the public officer shall have removed, destroyed or concealed documents or papers officially entrusted to him. In this case, there was no removal, destruction or concealment of Naranjo's opposition. On the contrary, the opposition became Judge Pasia's basis to order the plaintiff to file a reply thereto.

We also add that Naranjo has failed to substantiate his charge of gross misconduct against respondent. It was not shown that respondents committed a flagrant, shameful, unlawful conduct prejudicial to Naranjo's right.[4]

Nonetheless, we find it proper to remind Judge Pasia to be more careful in issuing orders. He admitted that the statement in his October 16, 2006 Order that Naranjo did not file an opposition to the motion for execution is erroneous.[5] Had Judge Pasia carefully read the September 11, 2006 Order before issuing the October 16, 2006 Order, he would have prevented his error. He would have seen that he had previously considered Naranjo's opposition.

WHEREFORE, we DISMISS the charge of infidelity in handling case records and gross misconduct against respondents for insufficient merit and REMIND respondent Judge Pio M. Pasia to be more careful in issuing orders.

SO ORDERED. Morales, J., on leave; De Castro, J., designated member.


Very truly yours,

(Sgd.) LUDICHI YASAY-NUNAG
Clerk of Court

Endnotes:


[1] Rollo, pp. 5-6.

[2] Report of Judge Baraquia, pp. 14-15.

[3]
ART. 226. Removal, concealment or destruction of documents. - Any public officer who shall remove, destroy or conceal documents or paper officially entrusted to him, shall suffer:

x x x x

[4]
See Manaois v. Leomo, A.M. No. MTJ-03-1492, August 26, 2003, August 26, 2003, 409 SCRA 596, 604.

[5]
Supra note 2, at 6.



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