THE Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the dismissal of a trial court judge in Nueva Vizcaya for borrowing money from court collections.
In a per curiam Decision, the tribunal found Acting presiding judge Alexander Balut of the Municipal Trial Courts of Bayombong and Solano, Nueva Vizcaya to have committed “unwarranted interference” in court collections.
Balut has served in the judiciary for 22 years, was meted the penalty, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits, and barred from holding a government position.
It was found out through an audit that Balut borrowed money from court funds and collections amounting to P202,774.42 in 2002.
Records showed that Balut was earlier “found guilty of undue delay in deciding 33 cases submitted for decision and in failing to resolve 101 motions within the 90-day reglementary period.”
In a separate case, the Court disbarred lawyer Romulo Ricafort after he was found practicing his law profession despite his suspension.
In a unanimous verdict, the SC ordered that his name be removed the Roll of Attorneys.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by a certain Adelita Llunar who allegedly paid him to file a suit in her behalf involving a disputed property. The Court found Recafort “guilty of grave misconduct in his dealings with his client and in engaging in the practice of law while under indefinite suspension.”