The Supreme Court (SC) has stripped of his robes the trial court judge who stopped the preliminary investigation proceedings and the filing in court of the criminal information for syndicated estafa in 2011 against trader Delfin Lee of Globe Asiatique (GA) Realty Holdings.
The High Court, in a per curiam decision, dismissed from the service Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 167 Judge Rolando Mislang for gross ignorance of the law.
The ruling was made upon the recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) headed by Jose Midas Marquez.
The SC ordered the forfeiture of Mislang’s retirement benefits and barred him from employment in any government office.
The tribunal sacked Mislang because he issued two temporary restraining orders (TROs), a writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) and a status quo ante order in favor of Lee.
These orders stopped the preliminary investigation proceedings at the Department of
Justice on the complaint filed against Lee for syndicated estafa constituting economic sabotage. The case stemmed from P6.65-billion in loans taken by GA’s alleged “ghost” and “special” buyers from the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund) for the Xevera Housing Project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
The SC said Mislang’s orders favoring Lee “did not satisfy the legal requisites for their issuance, in gross violation of clearly established laws and procedures which every judge has the duty and obligation to be familiar with.”
“The antecedent incidents of the case brought before Judge Mislang were clear and simple, as well as the applicable rules. Unfortunately, he miserably failed to properly apply the principles and rules on the prematurity of the petition, the inapplicability of the prejudicial question, and the lack of jurisdiction of the court (RTC),” tit added.
“Considering Judge Mislang’s obstinate refusal to correct his ways despite previous warnings, the [SC] is constrained to impose the penalty of dismissal in this case [Delfin Lee case],” it added.