Judge Contreras is back; new judge set for RTC 42
posted 19-Dec-2018  ·  
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After serving her two-month suspension issued by the Supreme Court for a still-undisclosed offence, Judge Lelu P. Contreras resumed her duties at Branch 43 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Virac, with a judge from Legazpi City RTC to take over Branch 42.

Since the first week of October 2018, there have been no hearings or transactions at the Hall of Justice, especially for the 245 pending cases in Branch 43 and another 434 cases in Branch 42.

Contreras, however, will no longer act as Executive Judge as the High Court has already designed Legazpi City RTC Branch 10 Presiding Judge Maria Theresa San Juan Loquillano as acting presiding judge of RTC Branch 42 and at the same time the Executive Judge of the two RTC branches in Virac.

Pursuant to the order, she is supposed to appear as acting presiding judge of RTC Branch 42 for about one week each month, from Monday to Saturday.

A court official disclosed that while Judge Loquillano received the designation order in October a few days after the Contreras suspension order was issued, she has yet to report to Virac RTC.

The judge has reportedly filed a motion with the Supreme Court asking for the recall of her designation as Virac acting judge as she reportedly handles other cases in some RTC branches.

Just the same, Judge Loquillano should have already reported to her additional post in Virac, the court official stated, pending action on her motion.

Her continued absence has delayed the filing and raffling of cases in both courts as they have to be conducted by the executive judge.

Two judges from RTC Tabaco City – Judge Alben Rabe and Judge Mamerto Buban – are handing 12 and nine cases, respectively, where Judge Contreras had inhibited herself from hearing the cases.

However, Judge Rabe is reportedly recovering from a brain operation after suffering a stroke. While he was supposed to be back by the end of October, it is now claimed that the judge will retire early this coming January, with his 12 cases set to land on Judge Loquillano’s lap.


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