MANILA- The Supreme Court has suspended a judge for 2 years and fined another over the mishandling of search warrant applications.
Both judges are with the Malabon City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
In a vote of 10-4-1, the high court, in a decision penned by Justice Mariano del Castillo and promulgated last Sept. 5, suspended without pay Judge Zaldy Docena of RTC Branch 170, Malabon City for gross neglect of duty for the mismanagement of search warrant applications.
Meanwhile, Judge Celso Magsino Jr of RTC Branch 74, Malabon City, a former executive judge of the Malabon City RTC, was fined P20,000 after he was found guilty of simple misconduct for imposing his own internal policies and practices in lieu of the existing rules in the raffle of search warrant applications involving ordinary cases.
In coming up with the decision, Justice del Castillo was joined in the majority by Justices Presbitero Velasco, Jr., Teresita Leonardo-de Castro, Estela Perlas-Bernabe, Francis Jardeleza, Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa, Samuel Martires, Noel Tijam, and Andres Reyes. Jr.
Justice Diosdado Peralta, meanwhile, dissented saying the high court should have found Judge Docena guilty of gross ignorance of the law, gross negligence, and gross misconduct, and should have been dismissed from service. He was joined in his opinion by Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Justices Lucas Bersamin and Marvic Leonen.
Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was on official leave, while Justice Alexander Gesmundo took no part.