Trial court stenographer dismissed on fake marriage annulment ruling

Published March 24, 2019, 6:32 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Rey Panaligan

The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed from the service a trial court stenographer who falsified a decision on annulment of marriage for P150,000.

Dismissed with forfeiture of all benefits, except for accrued leave credits, was Cesar D. Calpo, stenographer III of Branch 16 of the regional trial court (RTC) in Cavite City, who was found guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

Calpo was also barred from re-employment in the government and his dismissal was without prejudice to the filing of appropriate criminal and civil cases, the SC said.

A summary of the decision released by the SC’s public information office (PIO) stated:

“The administrative case against Calpo stemmed from the complaint of Philippine Coast Guard member Zenmond D. Duque. According to Duque, Calpo, in 2010, voluntarily offered his services to help secure an annulment of Duque’s marriage for P150,000, paid in three equal installments as evidenced by receipts duly signed by Calpo.

“A year later, Calpo gave Duque a decision purportedly issued by Executive Judge Perla V. Cabrera-Faller of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Dasmariñas Cavite, Branch 90 granting the annulment of Duque’s marriage.

“Duque, however, subsequently learned that there was no such case and that Judge Cabrera-Faller had not issued any such decision as her signature on the decision was a forgery.”

It said the SC adopted the findings and recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator in Calpo’s case.

Quoting from the decision, the PIO said:

“[Calpo’s] actuations clearly demonstrate an intent to violate the law or a persistent disregard of well-known rules. Respondent deceived complainant into believing he had the power to obtain an annulment order in complainant’s favor. Receiving money from complainant, on the consideration that he can obtain a favorable decision from the court, falsifying a court decision, and forging the signature of the trial judge, undeniably constitute grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.”