SC sacks court interpreter in Basilan


THE Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed a court interpreter in Basilan Province for soliciting and receiving various amounts of money from party litigants. In an En Banc decision, the court, led by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno, found Padma Sahi guilty of grave misconduct and dismissed her from the service. Sahi used to work for the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC) of Sumisip, Maluso, and Lantawan in Basilan. Aside from dismissal, the SC also forfeited her retirement benefits (except leave credits) and barred her re-employment in any branch, instrumentality or agency of the government. The case stemmed from the administrative complaint filed by MCTC Judge Juan Gabriel Alano, accusing Sahi of brokering for party litigants and soliciting money and gifts in exchange for a favorable decision in an election protest that is pending before his court. Sahi reportedly did this despite Judge Alano’s constant reminder to never demand, solicit, or receive money, gifts from party litigants. The SC stressed that “the conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice is circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility.”


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