NABUNTURAN, Compostela Valley – A town mayor accused a local judge of abuse of power and gross ignorance of the law after allegedly granting bail to a murder suspect without hearing the case.

A town mayor accused a Regional Trial Court judge of abuse of power and gross ignorance of the law after allegedly granting bail to a murder suspect without even conducting a hearing and violating the separation of powers.

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In an administrative case filed before the Supreme Court, Nabunturan Mayor Macario Humol accused Regional Trial Court Judge Hilarion Clapis Jr. of "gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of discretion, violation of Canon 1, Canon 2, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, violation of the lawyer's oath."

In his complaint, Humol said Clapis has been consistently accused by his constituents of bias and unjust decision.

"At first, complainant did not take action respecting the principle of separation of powers between the three branches of government. However, when the number of disgruntled residents of Nabunturan grew, the LGU deemed it necessary to take a stand to preserve its constituents' trust and confidence in the courts,” Humol said.

Among the cases cited by the complainant were:

1. Multiple murder case against Johnny Jusayan Sr. where Judge Clapis allegedly granted bail to the accused without hearing.

2. Murder case against Rosalino Gonzales wherein Judge Clapis also granted bail to the accused.

3. Murder case against spouses Francisco and Teresita Calapan where Judge Clapis allegedly showed abuse of discretion by not issuing warrants of arrest for the accused.

Humol said even the local government units of Nabunturan was not spared from the machinations of Clapis, when the judge issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the implementation of a municipal ordinance without the mandatory requirements of bond, hearing, and sufficient evidence.

Councilor Alfonso Tabas filed a civil case against Humol and other municipal officials over the enactment of Municipal Ordinance No. 2008-10.

Municipal Ordinance No. 2008-10 is entitled "An Ordinance Authorizing Bond Flotation of the Municipality of Nabunturan in the Amount of P90 Million to Finance the Planning, Design, Construction and the Development of the Proposed Nabunturan Public Market Project."

Efforts to get the side of Clapis on the matter proved futile as of this posting. (Ben O. Tesiorna)