High Court disbars Cotabato judge-A A +A
Friday, June 15, 2012
THE Supreme Court (SC) dismissed and disbarred a judge from Cotabato City after finding him guilty of gross misconduct and dishonesty.
In a decision promulgated April 10, former chief justice Renato Corona and other 14 associate justices ruled that Judge Cader P. Indar, Al Haj, presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 in Cotabato City and acting presiding judge of the RTC Branch 15 in Shariff Aguak, Maguindanao, be dismissed from service after he issued decisions on annulment of marriage cases without complying with the stringent procedural and substantive requirements of the Rules of Court.
The SC also ordered that Indar be disbarred for violation of Canons 1 and 7 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and his name ordered stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.
The decision showed that Indar made it appear that the annulment cases underwent trial, when the records show no judicial proceedings occurred.
The case stemmed from the reports by the Local Civil Registrars of Manila and Quezon City to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) saying that they have received an alarming number of decisions, resolutions, and orders on annulment of marriage cases allegedly issued by Indar.
A total of six cases were questioned in the complaint as to whether there were petitions for annulment of marriage filed and whether proceedings were actually had before Indar’s sala.
"There is nothing to show that proceedings were had on the questioned cases; docket fees had been paid; the parties were notified of a scheduled hearing as calendared; hearings had been conducted; or the cases were submitted for decision," the decision read.
The OCA verified and conducted a judicial audit in RTC Shariff Aguak Branch 15, where the Audit Team found that the list of cases submitted by the Local Civil Registrars of Manila and Quezon City do not appear in the records of cases received, pending or disposed either by the RTC Shariff Aguak or RTC-Cotabato.
The SC ordered to forfeit all the benefits due to Indar, except accrued leave benefits, if any, with prejudice to re-employment in any branch of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations.
The SC also directed the OCA to investigate Lawyer Umaima L. Silongan, the acting clerk of court of the RTC Cotabato City, on her alleged participation in the authentication of the questioned Decisions on the annulment of marriage cases issued by Indar.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 15, 2012.