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Calamba judge dismissed due to ‘moral depravity’

THE Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed and disbarred a Calamba City court judge after finding her guilty of “moral depravity” for making false certifications and misappropriating her driver’s salaries.

In a 42-page decision, the SC en banc found Sharon Alamada-Magayanes, Vice Executive Judge and Presiding Judge of Branch 3 of the municipal trial court of Calamba City guilty of falsification of official documents, serious dishonesty, gross misconduct, commission of crimes involving moral turpitude, and violation of the new code of judicial conduct.

In finding Alamada guilty of the charges, the High Court cited her admission that she forged the signatures of her contractual driver in the payroll registers of the city government of Calamba and falsely certified that the driver had rendered services to her despite the fact that the driver had already resigned and was no longer reporting to her court.

It also noted that Alamada had in her possession the salary ATM cash card of the driver, and that from September 2020 until July 2021, the judge had consistently ordered one of her employees to withdraw the driver’s salary, which was still being credited to his account.

The en banc ruled that Alamada’s actions demonstrated her “moral depravity and fell short of the standards of a magistrate of the law.”

The High Court said judges have been constantly reminded to be irreproachable in their conduct and to be free from any appearance of improprieties.

“Judge Alamada’s false certifications and misappropriation of her staff’s salaries also constitute gross misconduct and serious dishonesty, which are both considered serious offenses under Canon VI, Section 33 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability,” the ruling said, adding that her actions did not only smeared the image of the judiciary, but also put her moral character in serious doubt and rendered her unfit to continue in her position.

The SC also said that considering Alamada’s multiple infractions, “coupled with her lack of remorse and the severity of her offenses,” the penalty of disbarment should also be imposed against her.

In the same ruling, the en banc also found Alamada’s staff and