SC slaps Albay judge with fine for accosting policewoman

LEGAZPI CITY 7/12/17 (Bicol Standard) -- The Supreme Court has ordered a judge from Albay to pay a fine of P10,000, after he was found guilty of conduct unbecoming of a judge.

The case stemmed from the complaint of PO1 Myra S. Marcelo against Judge Ignacio C. Barcillano of Branch 13 of the Regional Trial Court, Ligao City, Albay.

Complainant Marcelo alleged that she and her companion PO1 Jovie Batacan were “harassed and humiliated” by Judge Barcillano on July 4, 2014.

Marcelo narrated that she and PO1 Batacan were on duty as security officers at the Ligao Regional Trial Court Building (Hall of Justice) when they were approached by Judge Barcillano and Atty. Ernesto Lozano, Jr.

“Although PO 1 Batacan immediately stood up to greet the newcomers, complainant, who claims to have been taken by surprise, took a while before she was able to stand up, bow her head, and greet them ‘Sir.’

Despite this, she alleged that Judge Barcillano asked Loma Roquid, an RTC employee sitting with the police officers at the security desk at the time of the incident, to leave and told complainant to sit down next to him.

When she complied, Judge Barcillano asked her to go back where she was previously seated. Complainant was asked to do this repeatedly which embarrassed her.

Complainant also narrated that Judge Barcillano thereafter asked her if she knew who he was.

When, in her state of nervousness, she got his name wrong, Judge Barcillano asked for her name several times and even insulted her by saying 'PO1 ka lang.'”

Judge Barcillano, with Atty. Lozano, also harassed complainant about her firearm, according to the complainant.

Meanwhile, in his Comment dated December 4, 2014, 15 Judge Barcillano essentially denied the allegations of grave misconduct and harassment made by complainant and her witnesses. He claims that the complaint is a result of his disagreement with Executive Judge Rosero, the Executive Judge, on some matters.

The Court, in a seven-page decision penned by Associate Justice Francis H. Jardeleza, ruled: “At the outset, we hold that the motives behind the filing of an administrative complaint are irrelevant.

Judge Barcillano's dissatisfaction with Executive Judge Rosero's decision to post police officers in the Hall of Justice does not justify his acts of accosting complainant.

Regardless of the reason or motive behind the altercation, Judge Barcillano, being a magistrate, should have observed judicial temperament which requires him to be always temperate, patient, and courteous, both in conduct and in language."