The Supreme Court has ordered the dismissal of a court stenographer after finding him guilty of falsifying a decision on annulment of marriage.
The high court likewise suspended a lawyer who failed to file a petition for annulment of marriage despite receiving payment from her client.
In a six-page en banc decision, the SC ordered the forfeiture of all benefits, except accrued leave credits, of Cesar Calpo, court stenographer III of Cavite City Regional Trial Court Branch 16.
The court also ordered the perpetual disqualification from reemployment from public office of Calpo, who was found guilty of grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.
The administrative case against Calpo stemmed from the complaint of Zenmond Duque, who claimed that the court stenographer, in 2010, voluntarily offered his services to help secure an annulment of marriage for P150,000.
The money was paid in three equal installments as evidenced by receipts duly signed by Calpo.
A year later, Calpo gave Duque a decision purportedly issued by Executive Judge Perla Cabrera-Faller of the Dasmariñas RTC Branch 90 granting the annulment of Duque’s marriage.
However, Duque subsequently learned that there was no such case and that Cabrera-Faller had not issued any such decision.
In a separate decision penned by Justice Estela Perlas-Bernabe, the SC found Grace Buri guilty of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility and imposed on her a two-year suspension, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same would be dealt with more severely.
The tribunal also ordered Buri to pay a P5,000 fine and to return to complainant Pia Marie Go the P188,000 in legal fees that the lawyer received.