RTC judge cites Mayor Bongat for contempt

NAGA CITY—Regional Trial Court Judge Zeida Garfin ordered Mayor John Bongat to pay P30,000 from his own pockets for indirect contempt.

In a hearing this morning at Branch 19, Judge Garfin said that Bongat, who is a lawyer by profession, is expected to know the provisions of the Code of Judicial Ethics which require respect to be accorded to presiding judges.

This case stemmed from the legal controversy involving the operation of the Central Bus Terminal which the city government wanted to take over last January 1.

It will be recalled that Fortunato “Tato” Mendoza, who is representing FPM Corporation, filed a civil complaint against the City Hall when the latter decided to cancel his contract for the operation of said facility.

In the exchange of words between City Hall officials and the Central Bus Terminal management, the court said that Bongat used disrespectful language when he was invited to speak before the Sangguniang Panlungsod in an open session.

Even in interviews, the court said that Bongat made remarks that the court finds to be distasteful.

After the hearing, Bongat was interviewed by the media. He expressed his apology to the court, and clarified that he did not intend any disrespect.

Bongat said that for the past thirty years that he had been a lawyer, this is the first time that he was castigated for indirect contempt.

Judge Garfin cites Mayor John Bongat for contempt


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