Tuesday 12 December, 2017
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Naadik sa teleserye? SC fines retired Lucena judge for watching TV in court while staff works

The Supreme Court (SC) has slapped retired Lucena City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 59 Judge Dinah Evangeline Bandong with a P40,000 fine for passing her duties to her staff and watching television at work.

In a recent 20-page decision, the SC 1st Division, acting on 2 anonymous complaints, found Bandong guilty of gross misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of SC rules, directives and circulars.

The fine would be deducted from Bandong’s retirement pay, which were earlier withheld by the SC in a November 2013 resolution.

The SC adopted the Office of the Court Administrator’s (OCA) findings regarding Bandong’s tendency to delegate the mediation of cases to court personnel.

She also relieved the workload of clerk-in-charge Eduardo Febrer by assigning his duties to process server Eric Atienza instead. Lastly, the OCA found substantial evidence about her habit of watching television instead of holding court hearings.

“It bears to emphasize that a judge’s ‘high and exalted position in the Judiciary requires [her] to observe exacting standards of x x x decency and competence. As the visible representation of the law and given [her] task of dispensing justice, a judge should conduct [herself] at all times in a manner that would merit the respect and confidence of the people,'” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Mariano del Castillo.

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