[A.M. No. MTJ-93-881. June
Quoted hereunder for your information a resolution of this Court
dated JUN 10 2003.
A.M. No. MTJ-93-881(Jocelyn Grefaldo vs. Judge Rica H. Lacson.)
In our Decision of 3 August
1998, Rica H. Lacson, Presiding Judge, MTC-Sorsogon, Sorsogon, was
dismissed from the service for Gross Inefficiency, Falsification of Official
Document, and for her defiant and contumacious refusal for three (3) years to
heed repeated directives from this Court to answer the complaint against her.
Concomitant with the penalty of dismissal, respondent's accrued retirement
benefits and other privileges were ordered forfeited and her dismissal was with
prejudice to re-employment in any branch, agency or instrumentality of the
government, including any government-owned or controlled corporation.Her First and Second Motions for
Reconsideration were denied on 22
September 1998 and 27 April
In her Letter of 30
October 2002 respondent requests that our Decision be modified by
restoring to her all her accrued retirement benefits and other privileges.
In appealing for "compassionate understanding" respondent cites
her financial woes and other difficulties she suffered since her dismissal from
the service: foreclosure of her residential house, hospitalizations for nervous
breakdown, and an operation for retinal detachment of the left eye which
rendered her physically incapacitated to work for her daily sustenance and
educational support of her children. Respondent likewise cites her thirty-five
(35) years of government service in appealing for' a favorable' response from
Respondent claims she is now almost sixty-five (65) years old.
Even before accrued leave credits were explicitly excluded from
those benefits liable for forfeiture, in whole or in part, concomitant to a
penalty of dismissal,cralaw this
Court had already demonstrated compassion in a number of cases involving judges
and court personnel by removing such penalty of forfeiture. To cite a few, we
allowed the respondent judges in Cathay
Pacific Airways, Ltd. v. Romillo, Jr.,cralaw and Prudential Bank v. Castro,cralaw
to enjoy all vacation and sick leave benefits earned' during the period of
their government service upon letters seeking the Court's compassion and out of
humanitarian considerations. Again we granted the same benefit in' Sabitsana, Jr. v. Villamorcralaw
upon respondent's plea for compassion and mercy, allowing him to enjoy all
vacation and sick leave benefits earned by him during the period of his
Out of humanitarian consideration, we extend the same benevolence
to respondent in the instant case. Moreover, we take note of the "Manifesto" dated 31
August 1998 signed by three (3) judges in Sorsogon, several law practitioners,
and number of court employees who commiserated with the, plight of respondent,
acclaimed her, as "conscientious, honest,
approachable and compassionate to everyone regardless of status in life,"
and pleaded for mercy and temperance on her behalf.
ACCORDINGLY, the Court
Resolves to GRANT, as it hereby grants respondent Rica H. Lacson, former'
presiding judge, Municipal Trial Court, Sorsogon, Sorsogon, the money
equivalent of all her accrued sick and vacation leaves. To this extent, the
dispositive portion of our Decision of 5
August 1998 is MODIFIED.
Very truly yours,
(Sgd.)LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO
Clerk of Court