A. M. No. 99-12-192-MTC - January 26, 2000
HOLD DEPARTURE ORDER ISSUED BY ACTING JUDGE ANICETO L. MADRONIO, Municipal Trial Court, Manaoag, Pangasinan in Criminal Case No. 5275.
This refers to the indorsement, dated January 15, 1999, of the Secretary of Justice concerning a "hold-departure" order- issued on December 22, 1998 by Acting Judge Aniceto L. Madronio, Jr., Municipal Trial Court, Manaoag, Pangasinan, in Criminal Case No. 5275, entitled "People of the Philippines v. Christopher Castrence," which is for forcible abduction with rape and homicide. The Secretary of Justice calls attention to the fact that the order in question is contrary to Circular No. 39-97, dated June 19, 1997, of this Court.
Indeed, the said circular limits the authority to issue hold departure orders to the Regional Trial Courts in criminal cases within their exclusive jurisdiction. It provides the following guidelines on the issuance of hold departure orders:
In his comment, Judge Madronio admits his mistake, stating that he signed the hold departure order through oversight and pleading for leniency in view of his cardiac illness which required surgery and his assignment to three salas in addition to the Municipal Trial Court in Manaoag.
In several recent cases1 involving similar violations, this Court imposed the penalty of reprimand on the offending judges. Indeed, this is not the first time that a complaint for violation of Circular No. 39-97 has been filed against Judge Madronio. In our Resolution, dated August 17, 1999 in Administrative Matter No. 99-7-105-MTC, Judge Madronio was found guilty of a similar violation of Circular No. 39-97 and reprimanded with warning that a repetition of the same or similar act would be dealt with more severely. His illness, additional assignments, and the fact that he issued the second hold departure order in violation of Circular No. 39-97 prior to the release of our Resolution cannot excuse him. However, considering that the act complained of in this case was committed on December 22, 1998, before the decision in his previous case, the Court agrees with the recommendation of the Court Administrator that as in the previous case, Judge Madronio be simply reprimanded.
WHEREFORE, Judge Aniceto L. Madronio, Jr. is REPRIMANDED with WARNING that a repetition of the same offense will be dealt with more severely.
Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Melo, Puno, Vitug, Kapunan, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Purisima, Pardo, Buena, Gonzaga-Reyes, Ynares-Santiago and De Leon, Jr., JJ., concur.
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