Dobleng parusa! SC sacks Eastern Samar judge—on top of upholding suspension by Ombudsman
Oras, Eastern Samar, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 5 Judge Juliana Adalim-White has found herself subject of not just one, but two disciplinary sanctions!
The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed Adalim-White from her position, on top of upholding her 1-month suspension by the Ombudsman for an offense she committed before becoming a judge.
Since she was given the pink slip in the recent 13-page decision, the SC said the Ombudsman’s May 28, 2003 suspension order for simple misconduct—which had not been executed—would be converted into a fine equivalent to her 1-month salary.
Adalim-White’s dismissal came after the SC found her guilty of dishonesty—for failing to disclose the Ombudsman ruling to the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) when she applied for the position of judge in February 2004.
The SC said her dishonesty in her personnel data sheet (PDS) “affect her competency and conduct as a judge in the discharge of her official functions.”
Adalim-White said she thought the word “guilty” in the PDS referred to a judgment that had become final and executory. At the time of her JBC application, she was still appealing the Ombudsman sanction before the Court of Appeals (CA).
However, the SC noted that as early as 1999 and 2002, it had decided in the cases of Development Bank of the Philippines v. Malaya and Alday v. Cruz, Jr., that administrative penalties were immediately executory.
Adalim-White’s suspension by the Ombudsman involved an offense she committed as district public attorney of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) in Borongan, Eastern Samar.
She was held liable for acting as a legal counsel for her brother, then-Taft, Eastern Samar, Mayor Francisco Adalim, without a written authority from the PAO regional director.
Aside from these issues, the SC added that it already reprimanded Adalim-White in several disciplinary proceedings, which put “her competency in the discharge of official duties into very serious doubt.”
These cases concerned her filing of baseless suits against a fellow judge and her attendance of a political rally in support of her brother’s unsuccessful bid for reelection.
In one case, Adalim-White was even fined for taking part in a public consultation between her brother and 22 terminated municipal employees in Taft.
In another case, Adalim-White was even suspended for 1 year for granting a murder suspect several furloughs based on defective motions that were not set for hearing. She was even found to have tampered with the transcript of stenographic notes (TSN) in the said case.
“The totality of all these findings underscores the fact that respondent Judge Adalim-White’s actions served to erode the people’s faith and confidence in the judiciary,” read the SC’s per curiam decision.