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SC suspends Malabon judge

The Supreme Court has ordered the preventive suspension for six months of a Malabon City Regional Trial Court judge for alleged indiscriminate issuance of search warrants.

Preventively suspended on recommendation of the Office of the Court Administrator was Judge Zaldy B. Docena.

“The Court resolved … to preventively suspend, effective immediately, Judge Zaldy B. Docena, RTC Branch 170, Malabon City, for six months pending the completion of a more comprehensive and detailed investigation on the issuance of search warrants,” the SC resolution stated.

The OCA headed by Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez was directed to “immediately seal/secure all records/folders pertaining to the applications for search warrant received by Judge Docena.”

The alleged indiscriminate issuance of search warrants was discovered when the OCA conducted a spot audit of the Branch 170 headed by Docena.

As a result of Docena’s suspension, Malabon City RTC Executive Judge Celso Raymundo Magsino was relieved of his post. The SC included him in the investigation.

The resolution stated that Magsino is relieved of his duties as executive judge and “include him in the investigation in view of the apparent irregularity in the raffle of applications for search warrants.”

The resolution also ordered the designation of Judge Jimmy Edmund Batara, Branch 72, and Judge Emmanuel Laurea, Branch 169, as executive judge and vice executive judge, respectively, of Malabon City RTC. (REY G. PANALIGAN)