Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1977 > July 1977 Decisions > A.M. No. 61-MJ July 28, 1977 - DOMINADOR TARECTECAN v. PEDRO T. CRISTOBAL:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[A.M. No. 61-MJ. July 28, 1977.]

DOMINADOR TARECTECAN, Complainant, v. MUNICIPAL JUDGE PEDRO T. CRISTOBAL of Mabini, Pangasinan, Respondent.


R E S O L U T I O N


FERNANDO, J.:


It was a serious charge that had to be faced by respondent Pedro T. Cristobal who, as Municipal Judge of Mabini, Pangasinan, was proceeded against administrative for misconduct by virtue of a complaint instituted by one Dominador Tarectecan. He was accused of having acted on a complaint for estafa filed by his own son and having thereafter issued a warrant of arrest against respondent herein, complainant Tarectecan, who as a consequence was jailed for four days until he could furnish the bail. Only then did respondent Judge disqualify himself. That was the finding of the investigating judge, Gregorio A. Legaspi, of the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan. It was so admitted by respondent Judge at the hearing before this Court. His attention was likewise called to Administrative Order No. 248 removing from office Municipal Judge Pedro R. Rabago of Cagwait, Surigao del Sur. 1 There, it was shown that respondent Judge Rabago did appear in a civil suit as counsel for his son-in-law, who thereafter filed three criminal cases against the opposing parties, heard at the stage of preliminary investigation by such respondent Rabago, although thereafter desisting from further acting thereon in view of his relationship to the complainant. In such administrative order of President Ferdinand E. Marcos of November 17, 1970 removing such respondent from office, there is this relevant excerpt: "Evidently respondent cannot validly plead ignorance of the circumstances antecedent to and surrounding the filing of these criminal cases, considering that he is the father-in-law and legal counsel of Nicostrato Logronio in Special Proceedings No. 49. In conducting the first stage of the preliminary investigation and issuing warrants of arrest against the accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 512 and 614, respondent Judge was obviously actuated with improper and vengeful motives. He used the powers of his office not to apply the law with an even hand but to oppress the opponents of his son-in-law and former client. Respondent’s actuations clearly show that he is guilty of gross abuse of the powers of his office constituting serious misconduct and that he is unfit to remain in the judicial branch of the Government." 2 Respondent Cristobal, however, did seek to distinguish the above administrative order by stressing his good faith as contrasted with the alleged political harassment and persecution that motivated the actuation of respondent Rabago.

However, no further action need be taken by this Court, as his resignation had been accepted by the President on August 25, 1975. All that need further be said is that the other alleged misconduct imputed to him, namely, the fabrication of a case of estafa against complainant Tarectecan, was shown to be without basis.chanrobles law library

WHEREFORE, the complaint is dismissed for being moot and academic.

Castro, C.J. Teehankee, Barredo, Makasiar, Antonio, Muñoz Palma, Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., Martin, Santos, Fernandez and Guerrero, JJ., concur.

Endnotes:



1. 66 O.G. 10698 (1970).

2. Ibid, 10699.




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