MANILA— The Supreme Court has ordered the dismissal of two lower court employees –a clerk of court, who took out from court a computer set containing information on drug cases; and a court sheriff, for soliciting money from a complainant.
In a statement Friday on the cases decided last April and June, the SC said it found Lou D. Laranjo, Clerk of Court II of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC), Lugait-Manticao-Naawan, Misamis Oriental guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty and dismissed him from service.
In a letter to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) of MCTC Presiding Judge Renato T. Arroyo said Laranjo “surreptitiously took away” the computer set used by MCTC Court Stenographer I Neza L. Malinao and returned it to the Municipality of Naawan, Misamis Oriental, which had earlier donated it to the court.
The computer files of Malinao allegedly contained sensitive information, such as the identities and testimonies of confidential agents and informants in search warrant applications in illegal drug cases.
Laranjo’s act was arbitrary and unauthorized as the computer set was taken during nighttime and on a weekend, court records showed.
The High Court noted the OCA’s observation that the circumstances cast doubt on Laranjo’s real intention in taking out the computer set, considering his arrest for involvement in illegal drug activities.
In the second case, the SC also dismissed Alan C. Javier, Sheriff IV of the Regional Trial Court (RTC)-Office of the Clerk of Court, Tanauan City, Batangas, who was found guilty of grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
The Court affirmed the report of OCA, which found substantial evidence to prove that Javier had violated Section 10 Rule 141 of the Rules of Court for soliciting and accepting money from complainant Roman P. Trinidad.
It, however, increased the recommended penalty of OCA from suspension to dismissal. Benjamin Pulta / PNA – northboundasia.com