SC orders Cabanatuan RTC judge to answer charges

Published January 27, 2021, 3:59 PM

by Rey Panaligan 

The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered a Cabanatuan City Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge to answer charges of gross misconduct, gross incompetence, and gross ignorance of the law filed by Mayor Sylvia C. Austria of Jaen, Nueva Ecija.

Supreme Court (SC) (MANILA BULLETIN)

RTC Judge Angelo C. Perez was named in the administrative complaint in relation to his order last December that unseated Austria and installed former Mayor Antonio P. Esquivel as the town’s chief executive.

The judge’s order to enforce his decision led to a situation where two mayors were administering the affairs of the town until the Commission on Elections (Comelec) intervened and reinstated Austria early this month.

Perez’s decision to unseat Austria granted the election protest filed by Esquivel. The judge ruled that Esquivel won the last mayoralty election with 18,737 votes as against Austria’s 14,000 votes.

In an order issued by Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez, Perez was directed to answer the complaint “amounting to violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Gross Incompetence.”

In a separate complaint, Austria also filed administrative charges against clerk of court Maureen R. Genetiano-Pabaira and branch sheriff Jorge L. Battung.

Austria claimed there was deceit in Perez’s issuance of the writ of execution on December 7, 2020 as she did not receive a copy of the ruling, denying her the right to appeal the case.