May 3, 2021 @ 13:06

SC reprimands Manila court interpreter for failure to pay debts

The Supreme Court (SC) has reprimanded Manila Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) Branch 19 court interpreter Nonita Lorenzo after finding her guilty of willful failure to pay just debts.

In a 4-page minute resolution on A.M. No. P-21-002, the SC 3rd Division also sternly warned Lorenzo that a commission of the same offense would be dealt with more severely.

The sanction arose from an administrative complaint filed by TJ Lending Investors, Inc. (TJLII), represented by Maria Victoria delos Santos, regarding Lorenzo’s failure to heed the February 23, 2016 demand for P57,262.

This was the unpaid balance for the P70,762 interest-free loan covered by a February 11, 2015 promissory note. The loan was supposed to be paid in 10 equal monthly installments from March 31, 2015 to December 31, 2015.

Lorenzo claimed that she had a previous loan agreement with TJLII for P14,000 and paid back P8,000 of the amount. She claimed that because of her failure to pay the remaining P6,000, TJLII forced her to execute the promissory note for the P70,762 loan.

The SC, however, said Lorenzo’s claim was “not supported by any evidence on record” and stressed that her alleged unpaid balance of P6,000 did not correspond to the amount stated in the promissory note that she said she was forced to execute.

It also noted that Lorenzo’s assertion of willingness to pay the P57,262 balance “constitutes an acknowledgement on her part of the existence of such debt,” making it clear that she failed to comply with her obligations.

“Willful refusal to pay just debts, much like misconduct, considers punishment of errant publlic officers or employees whose acts or conduct may inevitably impair the image of the judiciary,” read the minute resolution signed by Division Clerk of Court Misael Domingo Battung III.

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