SC sacks Pasig court sheriff for demanding P100K from litigant
The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed Pasig City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 71 sheriff Jerry Marcelino from public service for demanding the payment of P100,000 from a litigant.
In a recent 10-page en banc decision, the SC found Marcelino guilty of serious dishonesty and dereliction of duty, and dismissed him with prejudice to his reemployment by the government.
The case arose from the complaint filed by abogado Antonio Litonjua regarding the fees charged by Marcelino in May and July 2005 in connection with the execution of an ejectment ruling in favor of Fruehauf Electronic Phil. Corp.
When the Court of Appeals (CA) set aside the trial court ruling in favor of Fruehauf, Litonjua in August 2009 wrote Clerk of Court Reynaldo Bautista to seek a refund of the fees. Bautista then informed him that his office never received any payment through Marcelino.
Marcelino denied receiving P50,000 in May 2005 but admitted to receiving the other P50,000 in July 2005 which he claimed was “voluntarily” given to him by Litonjua.
The SC, however, found greater merit in Litonjua’s claim as shown by the vouchers presented by the abogado. Even so, it said that regardless of the true amount, Marcelino was shown to have committed “an act that was prohibited from him as a sheriff.”
“Clearly, in this case, the purpose for which Marcelino allegedly received the money was not sanctioned under the rules. He might have thought that his claim of voluntary payment was sufficient defense for his failure to remit the amount to the court. Such voluntary payments, however, are proscribed under the rules and covered by settled jurisprudence,” read the decision.