Dec 1, 2020 @ 13:31

SC junks case versus Leyte sheriff over alleged mauling, says blotter entry ain’t proof

The Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed the administrative complaint filed against Carigara, Leyte, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 36 sheriff Edilberto Darantinao for allegedly kicking open the door of a man’s house and then mauling him.

In a recent 6-page minute resolution, the SC 1st Division said complainants Lilia Basea-Padulla and Rodolfo Reyes, Jr., failed to substantiate their charges of grave misconduct, oppression, and conduct unbecoming of a court employee.

The complainants only presented a certificate of police blotter entry as evidence. The SC said this was not conclusive enough to hold Darantinao liable.

“Entries in the police blotter should not be given undue significance or probative value as they are not evidence of the truth of their contents but merely of the fact that they were recorded,” read the minute resolution signed by Division Clerk of Court Librada Buena.

“Considering that there is a dearth of substantial evidence in this case, it follows that the administrative complaint against respondent Darantinao should be dismissed,” it added.

The complainants claimed that on March 23, 2010, Darantinao’s son Brian challenged Reyes to a fistfight, but he ignored it. Brian allegedly attacked Reyes suddenly, until he was stopped by the latter’s cousins.

Brian allegedly returned with his father, kicked the door of Reyes’s house open, and took turns in beating him up. Reyes accused Darantinao of arrogantly uttering: “Get out of there and I will finish you here!”

Darantinao denied the allegations and said it was Reyes who chased Brian while the latter was riding a motorcycle. When Reyes caught up, he allegedly boxed Brian.

The sheriff claimed he went with his son to Padulla’s house, where Reyes supposedly boxed Brian again. Darantinao said he could not participate in the fistfight because of the pain in his left arm.

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