Retired La Union judge penalized for laziness-A A +A
Friday, October 18, 2013
MANILA -- Retirement benefits of a former judge in La Union will be reduced by P40,000 for sitting on cases due for decision, the Supreme Court said.
In a ruling, the SC Second Division found Judge Santiago Soriano guilty of gross inefficiency and gross ignorance of the law. Soriano was a judge at the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, branch 2 in San Fernando City, La Union and in the Municipal Trial Court in Naguilian town.
Soriano resolved 12 cases on the day he bowed out of the judiciary on July 25, 2006, an action found intolerable by the SC. The Court said Soriano could have issued decisions much earlier.
Judges are required to retire at age 70.
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), which supervises lower courts, had warned Soriano to resolve pending cases after an audit showed 57 out of 59 cases in San Fernando MTCC were already beyond the period to rule.
Naguilian MTC, on the other hand, had 39 unresolved cases. Soriano followed the OCA’s directive but still failed to decide a total of 36 cases submitted for decision in the MTC and MTCC.
“Judge Soriano’s inefficiency in managing his caseload was compounded by gross negligence as evidenced by the loss of the records of at least four cases which could no longer be located or reconstituted despite diligent efforts by his successor,” stated the ruling penned by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio.
A judge is mandated to diligently discharge administrative responsibilities and maintain professional competence in court management under the Code of Judicial Conduct. (Sunnex)