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MOP, Bk 6, v.5, 30

[ ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 53, April 23, 1948 ]


This is an administrative case against Mr. Esteban T. Bumanglag, justice of the peace of Talipao and Maimbung, Province of Sulu, on the following charges:

(1) That contrary to standing regulations, the respondent does not reside within his jurisdiction but in the municipality of Jolo;

(2) That in criminal case No. 90 of the Court of First Instance of Sulu against Amirul and Amilasan, for rape, which was tried on March 12, 13 and 19, 1947, the respondent appeared as counsel de parte for the accused; and that despite his absence from his office as justice of the peace on these dates, he collected his salary corresponding thereto by making it appear in his time record that he actually rendered service; and

(3) That in one instance, the respondent demanded and collected the sum of ?60 from a person who had a case brought in his court.
Although the first charge has been satisfactorily established, in that respondent violated existing regulations, there is, however, no evidence that he neglected his official duties as a result thereof. Drastic disciplinary action for such violation is, therefore, not warranted.

With respect to the second charge, the record shows that in criminal case No. 90 of the Court of First Instance of Sulu against Amirul and Amilasan, for rape, which was tried on March 12, 13 and 19, 1947, the respondent appeared as counsel de parte for the accused. Having acted as such, he had no right to collect, as he did, his salary as justice of the peace of Talipao and Maimbung for the days that he was absent to attend to the trial of the case. This irregularity is aggravated by the fact that to enable himself to collect his salary, he falsified his daily time record so as to show that he was present in his office when in fact he was not. This act of respondent reflects strongly against his honesty and integrity as a public official. However, as it appears that he held office in the morning of March 19, 1947, before leaving his district for Jolo to attend to the continuation of the trial of criminal case No. 90 which was held in the afternoon of said date, he is entitled to his salary for that day, so that only the salary for March 12 and 13, 1947, was illegally collected.

As regards the third charge, it appears that in April, 1947, a daughter of Moro Ambut was forcibly abducted and raped by persons from the municipal district of Talipao. The provincial fiscal to whom the incident was first reported conducted the necessary investigation and thereafter advised Moro Ambut to take all the papers to the respondent for action. Instead of accepting the criminal complaint, the respondent told Moro Ambut of his desire to settle the ease amicably. At first Moro Ambut refused to have the case settled, fearing that the fiscal might not conform thereto, but the respondent told him not to worry about the fiscal’s attitude inasmuch as the case was already in his court. In view of respondent’s manifestation, Moro Ambut agreed to compromise the case for which he was paid ?200, a gold bullion worth $25 and a cow by the offenders.

In the course of the amicable settlement, the respondent became interested in a ring which he saw on Ambut’s finger and borrowed it, promising to return it later. On the day the amicable settlement was concluded, Ambut requested the respondent to return the ring, but the latter refused to do so unless Ambut first paid him the sum of ?60. After consultation with his friends who advised him to pay because the ring was worth ?150, Ambut decided to meet the respondent’s demand. Later, Ambut denounced the respondent to the fiscal for having exacted from him ?60, and the fiscal accordingly filed an information for estafa against the respondent in the justice of the peace court of Jolo. Before the case could be heard, however, the respondent, through Justice of the Peace Flor of Parang and Indanan, returned the ?60 to Ambut. On July 28, 1947, the fiscal asked for the dismissal of the case for lack of interest on the part of Moro Ambut, which motion was granted the following day.

Public officials like the respondent who, for the service they owe to the public and for which they are duly paid, not only expect but even demand something extra-legal for rendering it, are unworthy to minister unto those they are sworn to serve in all fidelity. This administration will not hesitate to purge the service of corrupt and mercenary public officials who are wont to abuse their positions for purely personal ends.

Wherefore, respondent Esteban T. Bumanglag is hereby removed from the office of justice of the peace of Talipao and Maimbung Province of Sulu.

Done in the City of Manila, this 23rd day of April, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and forty-eight, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the second.

President of the Philippines

By the President:

Executive Secretary
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