515 Phil. 648
On December 2, 2004, the OCA required Falcotelo to file a comment on the letter of Atty. Flores. 
- On October 4, 2004, (Sheriff Falcotelo) and the representative of our law firm, upon the invitation of defendant, held a conference at his office to discuss settlement of the case;
- On said date, our representative and defendant arrived at a settlement, and thereafter, they proceeded (to) Prudential Bank, Navotas Branch (defendant's bank) to secure a Manager's Check payable to DIVINA S. REMOLLINO, the President of the plaintiff corporation, in the amount of P900,000.00;
- Accordingly, by reason of this settlement, the scheduled Sheriff Auction Sale on October 5, 2004 was cancelled and reset to October 21, 2004;
- However, the Branch Manager of Prudential Bank, Navotas Branch, informed them that there was a prior Notice of Garnishment issued by the Court Branch Sheriff and that the amount of P900,000.00 corresponding to the amount of the Manager's Check cannot be withdrawn without lifting the Notice of Garnishment;
- This prompted the Court Branch Sheriff to serve the said bank a Notice To Deliver The Garnished Amount, in the presence and with conformity of the defendant/depositor;
- After having been served with a Notice To Deliver The Garnished Amount of P900,000.00, the Branch Manager referred the matter to their Legal Department for Clearance on the delivery of the garnished amount of P900,000.00;
- The Legal Department approved the delivery and release of the amount of P900,000.00;
- Before the Manager's Check of P900,000.00 could be issued, our representative, with the conformity of the Sheriff, requested that the Manager's Check of P900,000.00 be made payable to DIVINA S. REMOLLINO, the President of the plaintiff corporation;
- The Branch Manager sought the advice of their Legal Department and thereafter, informed our representative that it cannot grant the request since it was not stated on the Notice to Deliver the garnished amount that the amount should be payable directly to DIVINA S. REMOLLINO;
- Thus, the Branch Manager issued a Prudential Bank Manager's Check No. 0000019460 for P900,000.00 payable to the Order of REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 276, MUNTINLUPA CITY thru FELIX FALCOTELO SHERIFF IV;
- However, the Court Branch Sheriff countered that the check should not be made payable to him;
- Since the Manager's Check of P900,000.00 was already issued by the bank in the name of the Court thru the implementing Sheriff, our representative adviced the Sheriff that the check be replaced with another check in the name of DIVINA S. REMOLLINO;
- On October 5, 2004, two (2) of our representatives, FLORIAN T. GALERA and SOFRONIO GONOWON, and the Court Branch Sheriff proceeded to the Land Bank of the Philippines, Muntinlupa Branch to deposit the said Manager's Check of P900,000.00 and to order/purchase a Manager's Check of P900,000.00 payable directly to the plaintiff DIVINA S. REMOLLINO. But, the bank refused since the said check is not directly payable to Sheriff FELIX FALCOTELO but to the RTC, Branch 276, Muntinlupa City;
- Instead, the bank advice (sic) us to coordinate with the Office of the Clerk of Court of Muntinlupa;
- The Court Branch Sheriff and our representatives proceeded to the Office of the Clerk of Court of Muntinlupa and adviced our representative to make a report on the incident. 
Attached to said Supplement is a copy of a letter of Atty. Rempillo to Atty. Flores, dated October 13, 2004, stating that the subject check was issued by the bank by virtue of a Notice of Garnishment served upon them by the implementing Sheriff of the RTC of Muntinlupa City, Branch 276 in connection with Civil Case No. 95-172 which was erroneously made payable to the latter court and that the manager's check should have been made payable to the plaintiff in said case for the purpose of satisfying the writ of execution against defendant. 
- That before the sought after Manager's Check could be issued, the judgment creditor requested that the aforesaid check be named after or be directly made payable to DIVINA REMOLLINO, the President of Polilio Shipping Lines, Inc., the plaintiff in the case, but because of the complications that might arise in the process as it was not Mrs. Remollino who is the actual plaintiff in the said civil case, the legal department of the said bank instead advised that the Manager's Check No. 0000019460 in the amount of Nine Hundred Thousand (Php.900,000.00) Pesos be made payable to the order of Regional Trial Court Branch 276, Muntinlupa City thru Felix M. Falcotelo, Sheriff IV, which manner of issuance was well within the conformity of all parties concerned with herein respondent advancing his vehement opposition thereto, but to no avail;
- That on October 05, 2004, the judgment creditor, through its representatives, and accompanied by herein respondent proceeded to Landbank of the Philippines, Muntinlupa Branch, with the Prudential Bank Branch Manager advising herein respondent to just deposit the aforesaid check in his account, as he was the one named therein, for the mere purpose of having the check expeditedly cleared or withdrawn in favor of the former;
- That in the process, the Manager of Landbank advised the representatives of judgment creditor to coordinate the matter with the Office of the Clerk of Court of Muntinlupa City maybe to determine the propriety of the transaction but instead, the Clerk of Court, Atty. Jose Ricuerdo P. Flores took in his possession the manager's check and herein respondent's bankbook over the vehement opposition of the counsel for the judgment creditor;  (Emphasis supplied)
The version of the respondent Sheriff is that the manager's check in the amount of Nine Hundred Thousand Pesos (P900,000.00) issued by the Prudential Bank in favor of the "Regional Trial Court, Branch 276, Muntinlupa City, thru: Felix M. Falcotelo, Sheriff" was at the instance of the counsel for the plaintiff.The parties manifested that they are willing to submit the case for resolution on the basis of the pleadings filed. 
As culled from the records, it appears that the manager's check was issued by the bank pursuant to the Notice of Garnishment served by the implementing sheriff of RTC, Branch 276, Muntinlupa City in connection with Civil Case No. 95-172 entitled, "Polilio Shipping Lines, Inc. vs. Mariano V. Buquia." After the Notice of Garnishment was served upon the bank, the representative of the judgment obligee and the respondent sheriff requested the bank Branch Manager to make the manager's check payable to Divina S. Remollino, President of the plaintiff corporation. But since it is not stated in the Notice to Deliver Garnished Amount that the amount should be paid directly to Divina S. Remollino, the Branch Manager of the bank issued a Manager's Check payable to the order of RTC, Branch 276, Muntinlupa City, thru Felix Falcotelo, Sheriff IV. The representative of the plaintiff and the respondent sheriff proceeded to the Land Bank of the Philippines, Muntinlupa Branch to deposit the Manager's Check in order to purchase a Manager's Check in the same amount payable directly to Divina S. Remollino.
The fault of the respondent Sheriff was when he prepared the Notice to Deliver the Garnished Amount not in favor of the judgment obligee for which reason, the Manager of the Bank made a check payable to the Regional Trial Court of Muntinlupa, Branch 276, thru Felix Falcotelo, Sheriff IV.
Respondent can also be faulted for attempting to deposit the manager's check in his Lank Bank personal savings account. Only the presence of mind of the Manager of the Land Bank prevented the consummation of the transaction. What respondent Sheriff should have done was to deliver the Manager's Check to the Clerk of Court that issued the writ or deposit the amount to a fiduciary account in the nearest depository bank of the RTC in the locality. "The Clerk of Court shall thereafter arrange for the remittance of the deposit to the account of the court that issued the writ whose Clerk of Court shall deliver said payment to the judgment obligee in satisfaction of the judgment. xxx" (Section 9, Rule 39, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure).
xxx Respectfully submitted for consideration of the Honorable Court is the recommendation that the instant IPI complaint be RE-DOCKETED as a regular administrative matter and respondent be SUSPENDED from office for six (6) months with a STERN WARNING that repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. 
It must be stressed that high standards are expected of sheriffs, who, play an important role in the administration of justice. At the grassroots of our judicial machinery, sheriffs and deputy sheriffs are indispensably in close contact with the litigants, hence, their conduct should be geared towards maintaining the prestige and integrity of the court. The Court condemns and would never countenance any conduct, act or omission on the part of all those involved in the administration of justice, which would violate the norm of public accountability and diminish or even just tend to diminish the faith of the people in the judiciary. Under paragraph (c), Section 9, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court on garnishment of bank deposits, the executing sheriff is mandated to observe the same procedure under paragraph (a) of the same Rule with respect to delivery of payment to the judgment obligee, to wit:
Sec. 9. Execution of judgments for money, how enforced. ---Respondent failed to comply faithfully with said Rule.
(a) Immediate payment on demand. --- The officer shall enforce an execution of a judgment for money by demanding from the judgment obligor the immediate payment of the full amount stated in the writ of execution and all lawful fees. The judgment obligor shall pay in cash, certified bank check payable to the judgment obligee, or any other form of payment acceptable to the latter, the amount of the judgment debt under proper receipt directly to the judgment obligee or his authorized representative if present at the time of payment. The lawful fees shall be handed under proper receipt to the executing sheriff who shall turn over the said amount within the same day to the clerk of court of the court that issued the writ.
If the judgment obligee or his authorized representative is not present to receive payment, the judgment obligor shall deliver the aforesaid payment to the executing sheriff. The latter shall turn over all the amounts coming into his possession within the same day to the clerk of the court of the court that issued the writ, or if the same is not practicable, deposit said amounts to a fiduciary account in the nearest government depository bank of the Regional Trial Court of the locality.
The clerk of said court shall thereafter arrange for the remittance of the deposit to the account of the court that issued the writ whose clerk of court shall then deliver said payment to the judgment obligee in satisfaction of the judgment. The excess, if any, shall be delivered to the judgment obligor while the lawful fees shall be retained by the clerk of court for disposition as provided by law. In no case shall the executing sheriff demand that any payment by check be made payable to him.
In case where the judgment obligor voluntarily pays in cash or certified check the judgment debt and the judgment obligee is not present, Section 9 of Rule 39 requires the sheriff to receive the payment. However, the sheriff must turn over the amount within the same day to the clerk of court. If it is not practicable to deliver the amount to the clerk of court within the same day, the sheriff shall deposit the amount in a fiduciary account with the nearest government depository bank. The clerk of court then delivers the amount to the judgment obligee in satisfaction of the judgment. Indeed, issuing checks in the name of sheriffs is fraught with danger. In Philippine Airlines, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals,  where the judgment debtor issued a check in the name of the sheriff who later absconded with the money, the Court explained why checks should not be made payable through sheriffs:
It is, indeed, out of the ordinary that checks intended for a particular payee are made out in the name of another. Making the checks payable to the judgment creditor would have prevented the encashment or the taking of undue advantage by the sheriff, or any person into whose hands the checks may have fallen, whether wrongfully or in behalf of the creditor. The issuance of the checks in the name of the sheriff clearly made possible the misappropriation of the funds that were withdrawn. Respondent argues that he never had any intention to misappropriate the amount of P900,000.00 covered by the subject check since the issuance of the same was with the conformity of both the plaintiff and the defendant in Civil Case No. 95-172.
The attention of this Court has been called to the bad practice of a number of executing officers, of requiring checks in satisfaction of judgment debts to be made out in their own names. If a sheriff directs a judgment debtor to issue the checks in the sheriff's name, claiming he must get his commission or fees, the debtor must report the sheriff immediately to the court which ordered the execution or to the Supreme Court for appropriate disciplinary action. Fees, commissions, and salaries are paid through regular channels. This improper procedure also allows such officers, who have sixty (60) days within which to make a return, to treat the moneys as their personal funds and to deposit the same in their private accounts to earn sixty (60) days interest, before said funds are turned over to the court or judgment creditor xxx. Quite as easily, such officers could put up the defense that said checks had been issued to them in their private or personal capacity. Without a receipt evidencing payment of the judgment debt, the misappropriation of funds by such officers becomes clean and complete. The practice is ingenious but evil as it unjustly enriches court personnel at the expense of litigants and the proper administration of justice. The temptation could be far greater, as proved to be in this case of the absconding sheriff. The correct and prudent thing for the petitioner was to have issued the checks in the intended payee's name.
The pernicious effects of issuing checks in the name of a person other than the intended payee, without the latter's agreement or consent, are as many as the ways that an artful mind could concoct to get around the safeguards provided by the law on negotiable instruments. An angry litigant who loses a case, as a rule, would not want the winning party to get what he won in the judgment. He would think of ways to delay the winning party's getting what has been adjudged in his favor. We cannot condone that practice especially in cases where the courts and their officers are involve xxx.