FREDDY H. REYES vs. VIVIAN L. PABILANE, COURT INTERPRETER, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, TAGKAWAYAN, QUEZON, A.M. No. P-09-2696, [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-2956-P], January 12, 2011
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
x x x.
By Memorandum of August 6, 2009, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), passing on the duties of court interpreters in this wise:
x x x Among the duties of court interpreters is to prepare and sign “all Minutes of the session” (Manual for Clerks of Court). After every session, they must prepare the Minutes and attach to it the record. It will not take an hour to prepare it. The Minutes is a very important document because it gives a brief summary of the events that took place at the session or hearing of a case. It is, in fact, a capsulized history of the case at a given session or a hearing, for it states the date and time of session; the names of the judge, clerk of court, court stenographer and court interpreter who were present; the names of the counsel for parties who appeared; the party presenting evidence marked; and the date of then next hearing. In criminal cases, the Minutes also includes data concerning the number of pages of the stenographic notes. (underscoring supplied),
concluded that respondent is guilty of simple neglect of duty for failure to enter into the minutes of the hearings of April 7, 2006 and August 4, 2006 the accurate and complete documentary evidence marked, and accordingly recommended that she be fined in the amount of P3,000.00.
The Court finds the recommendation of the OCA well taken.
A court interpreter is duty-bound to prepare and sign the minutes of court sessions which is an important document, for it gives a brief summary of the events that take place thereat including a statement of the date and time of the session; the name of the judge, clerk of court, court stenographer, and court interpreter who are present; the names of the counsel for the parties who appear; the parties presenting evidence; the names of the witnesses who testified; the documentary evidence marked; and the date of the next hearing.
In the present case, respondent failed to reflect in the minutes of the April 7 and August 4, 2006 hearings in Civil Case No. 1349 the correct documentary evidence offered in evidence. Such failure constitutes simple neglect of duty, defined as the failure to give attention to a task expected of him and signifies a disregard of a duty resulting from carelessness or indifference.
Simple neglect of duty is, under Section 52 (B) (1) of the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, classified as a
less grave offense punishable by one month and one day to six months suspension for the first offense.
Under Section 19, Rule XIV of the Omnibus Civil Service Rules and Regulations, a fine may be imposed in the alternative.
Considering that this appears to be respondent’s first infraction, the Court finds in order the OCA recommendation to impose on her a fine in the amount of P3,000.00, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely.
WHEREFORE, respondent Vivian L. Pabilane, Court Interpreter of Branch 63 of the Regional Trial Court of Calauag, Quezon, presently on detail at the Municipal Trial Court of Tagkawayan, Quezon, is found GUILTY of Simple Neglect of Duty and is FINED the amount of Three Thousand (P3,000.00) Pesos, with WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.