A.M. NO. P-06-2223 [Formerly A.M. NO. 06-7-226-MTC), June 10, 2013 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. LORENZA M. MARTINEZ, CLERK OF COURT, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, CANDELARIA, QUEZON. Respondent.
A.M. NO. P-06-2223 [Formerly A.M. NO. 06-7-226-MTC), June 10, 2013
OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. LORENZA M. MARTINEZ, CLERK OF COURT, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, CANDELARIA, QUEZON. Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
Judiciary Development Fund
Total Collections P 917,847.69 Less: Total Remittances 905,574,36 Balance of Accountabilities P 12,273.33 Fiduciary Fund
Total Collections P 4,288,212.50 Less: Total Withdrawals 3,020,712.50 Unwithdrawn Fiduciary Fund as of November 30, 2005 P 1,267,500.00 Less: Bank Balance per LBP SA No. 2611-0011-02 net of unwithdrawn Interest of P816.98, as of November 30, 2005 385,250.00 Balance of Accountabilities P 882,250.001
1. There were collections without the date of collection appearing on the face of either the duplicate or triplicate official receipt and were found undeposited, viz:chanroblesvirtualawlibraryActing on the report and recommendation4 of the OCA, the Court, in its Resolution,5 dated August 2, 2006, directed Martinez to (1) explain her failure 1.a] to collect fees accruing to the General Fund and Mediation Fund, 1.b] to present the JDF official receipts and monthly reports covering the period from March 1985 to December 1995, and 1.3] to deposit her collections on time; (2) explain the discrepancies of the entries in the original and triplicate copies of the official receipts of the FF collections; (3) explain why she used the original OR for the FF collection and its corresponding duplicate or triplicate copies for the JDF collections; (4) explain the double withdrawal of the bonds and their withdrawal without the necessary court orders; and (5) restitute her shortages. The Court also ordered her suspension pending resolution of the case and issued a hold departure order against her to prevent her from leaving the country.
OR No. Case No. Amount 11445587 01-214 P 75,000.00 11445589 01-218 6,000.00 11445590 01-257 2,000.00 11445592 01-245 2,000.00 11445593 01-306 5,000.00 11445594 01-306 5,000.00 11445595 01-306 5,000.00 11445596 01-305 2,000.00 11445597 01-284 10,000.00 11445598 02-16 6,000.00 11445599 02-17 2,000.00 Total P 120,000.00
There were also collections with different dates appearing on the face of the original and triplicate copies of OR2 (Annexes 1.1 to 1.5), as follows:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
OR No. Date of Original OR Date of Triplicate OR Date of Deposit Case No. Amount 11445553 12-21-00 1-5-01 1-5-01 00-267 P 5,000.00 11445554 12-21-00 1-29-01 1-30-01 00-268 5,000.00 9972352 6-7-99 7-1-99 7-1-99 99-107 12,000.00 9972357 9-21-99 10-11-99 10-14-99 99-228 10,000.00 9972388 5-10-00 5-20-00 5-25-00 27420 & 27421 4,000.00 Total P36,000.00
In all cases, the duplicate and triplicate copies of OR will be carbon reproductions in all respects of whatever may have been written on the original. However, this was not observed by Ms. Martinez, instead she issued official receipts for collections received with the date of actual receipt posted on the original OR, while the duplicate and triplicate copies were left undated. She first used the money received as collections and when she regained it, the same was deposited, and that was the time when she posted a date on the duplicate and triplicate OR which is different from the date of the riginal OR. This was to cover her practice of delaying the remittance of collections. There were also times that the collections were not remitted at all, and the duplicate and triplicate ORs were remained undated up to date, as what had happened to the above undeposited collections of P120,000.00.
2. Ms. Martinez used a single OR for both JDF and FF collections, the original OR was used for FF and its corresponding duplicate and triplicate copies were used for JDF (Annexes 2.1 to 2.11), viz:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
OR No. JDF FF Date of Collection Amount Date of Collection Case No. Amount 9972099 12-10-98 P 10.00 6-6-95 4470 P 6,000.00 14392168 10-17-01 10.00 10-18-01 01-234 5,000.00 11445533 11-9-00 10.00 5-21-99 99-103 to 106 30,000.00 9972266 5-7-99 10.00 2-23-99 99-50 30,000.00 9972267 5-7-99 10.00 2-24-99 99-50 30,000.00 9972789 4-18-00 10.00 11-20-99 99-235 40,000.00 9972410 7-9-99 10.00 5-15-99 99-97 15,000.00 9972265 5-7-99 10.00 1-20-98 5561 10,000.00 9972838 5-24-00 10.00 11-12-96 5098 2,000.00 11445534 11-9-00 10.00 10-7-98 5619 10,000.00 14392156 10-12-01 10.00 6-27-01 01-128 10,000.00 15381554 7-10-02 10.00 6-7-02 02-135 12,000.00 15381257 2-4-02 10.00 2-1-02 01-28 30,000.00 Total 130.00 P 230,000.00
Verification revealed that the P130.00 collections for JDF were reported and deposited. On the other hand, the P230,000.00 collections for FF were unreported and undeposited. This practice was a clear violation of the following provisions of Circular No. 22-94 dated April 8, 1994:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
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3. A total of P90,000.00 were accounted as bonds that were withdrawn twice. Details are as follows:chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
OR No. Case No. Date of 1st Withdrawal Date of 2nd Withdrawal Amount 4491458 4320 4-21-95 9-19-02 P 12,000.00 4491470 4290 & 4295 4-28-95 7-16-97 6,000.00 5129970 4557 8-10-00 12-15-00 3,000.00 6419483 5089 6-9-00 2-28-02 12,000.00 9972398 00-88 8-16-00 2-8-01 10,000.00 7557979 5090 8-10-00 9-26-02 12,000.00 7557997 99-97 7-9-99 12-7-99 15,000.00 9972356 99-227 5-25-00 3-14-01 10,000.00 9972357 99-228 5-25-00 3-14-01 10,000.00 Total P 90,000.00
The above double withdrawals were made possible because only Ms. Martinez signed the withdrawal slips, in violation of Circular No. 50-95 dated October 11, 1995 which requires both the signatures of the Executive Judge/Presiding Judge and the Clerk of Court in making withdrawals of FF. Hon. Felix A. Caraos, Presiding Judge, when informed on this matter, immediately wrote a letter to the manager of LBP, Candelaria Branch (Annex 3), notifying the same that he will be jointly allowed to withdraw from the FF account of the court with Mr. Apolonio M. Sugay, designated Officer-in-Charge on December 6, 2005.
4. The bonds posted in Case Nos. 5528 and 5529 entitled “PP. vs. Amelita Ramilo for Violation of BP 22” amounting to P26,000.00 each were reported as withdrawn on November 1999. However, records revealed that there were no court orders that were issued to support the withdrawals. Therefore, the withdrawals made were unauthorized. The signatures of Ms. Ramilo on the herein attached acknowledgement receipt (Annex 4) were clearly forged as these were totally different to her signatures that were retrieved on the casefolders of the above cases (Annex 5.1 to 5.2).
5. The bond posted in Case No. 00-88 under OR No. 9972398 in the amount of P10,000.00 was withdrawn on August 16, 2000. However, through a fictitious court order (Annex 6), the same was again withdrawn on February 8, 2001. Said fictitious court order was accomplished by altering the Case No. from 5662 to 00-88. All the entries in the herein attached court order of Case No. 5662 (Annex 7) were the same with the entries in the fictitious court order except that of the case number. Also, the signature in the acknowledgment receipt of Ms. Lerma M. Mediavillo (Annex 8), the accused of Case No. 00-88 and not Ms. Nila Carreon as appearing in the fictitious court order, was forged because this was entirely unlike her signature that was retrieved on the casefolder of Case No. 00-88 (Annex 9).3
1) Ms. Lorenza M. Martinez, Clerk of Court, MTC, Candelaria, Quezon, be DISMISSED from the service for gross dishonesty resulting in malversation of judiciary funds, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits, excluding accrued leave credits, with prejudice to re-employment in any government office, including government- owned and controlled corporations; 2) the Office of the Administrative Services (OAS), Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), be DIRECTED to COMPUTE the balance of earned leave credits of Ms. Lorenza M. Martinez, and forward the same, together with her Official Service of Records and Notice of Salary Adjustments (NOSA), to the Financial Management Office (FMO), OCA, for the processing of her terminal leave pay; 3) the Financial Management Office, OCA, upon receipt of the records and documents from the OAS, OCA, be DIRECTED to COMPUTE and APPLY the withheld salaries and the monetary value of the earned leave credits of Ms. Lorenza M. Martinez to the cash shortages incurred in the Fiduciary Fund; 4) Mr. Apolonio M. Sugay, Officer-in-charge, MTC, Candelaria, Quezon be DIRECTED to DEPOSIT the check representing the total amount of the withheld salaries and monetary value of the earned leave credits of Ms. Lorenza M. Martinez to the Fiduciary Fund account, as partial payment of the cash shortages incurred, within five (5) days from receipt of the check from the Checks Disbursement Division, FMO, OCA, and FURNISH immediately the Fiscal Monitoring Division, Court Management Office, OCA, with a machine validated copy of the deposit slip; 5) Hon. Judge Felix A. Caraos, MTC, Candelaria, Quezon, be DIRECTED to STRICTLY MONITOR Mr. Apolonio M. Sugay, Officer-in-Charge, MTC, Candelaria, Quezon, to ensure strict compliance with the circulars and issuances of the Court, particularly in the handling of judiciary funds, otherwise, he shall be held equally liable for the infractions committed by the employee/s under his command/supervision; and 6) the Legal Office, OCA, be DIRECTED to proceed with the filing of the appropriate criminal case against Ms. Lorenza M. Martinez.
1Rollo, p. 10.
2 Official Receipts.
3 Id. at 6-8.
4 Memorandum dated June 30, 2006, id. at 1-3.
5 Id. at 41-47.
6 Id. at 55-56.
7 Id. at 67.
8 Certifications from the Fiscal Monitoring Division and OCA, id. at 78-79.
9 Id. at 80.
10 Id. at 82-83.
11 Id. at 89-93.
12Office of the Court Administrator v. Fontanilla, A.M. NO. P-12-3086, September 18, 2012, 681 SCRA 17.
13Office of the Court Administrator v. Cruz, A.M. No.P-11-2988, December 12, 2011, 662 SCRA 8, 11.
14Office of the Court Administrator v. Marasigan, A.M. NO. P-05-2082, November 29, 2011, 661 SCRA 464, 480.
15 Office of the Court Administrator v Recio, A.M. NO. P-04-1813, May 31, 2011, 649 SCRA 552, 572.
16 520 Phil. 434 (2006).
17 521 Phil. 32 (2006).
18 A.M. NO. P-06-2287 [Formerly A.M. NO. 06-11391-MTC], October 12, 2010, 632 SCRA 678.