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Young vs.

Mapayo

Complainant Young is an American, residing in Davao filed a complaint against respondent Judge Mapayo for grave misconduct. Young alleges respondent performed marriage between him and Virginia Parba on March 15, 1993 and that the respondent demanded and received P10,000.00 for the ceremony. The complainant adds that he was out of the country when the marriage was officiated and also filed annulment for said marriage but still no development after 2 years. Moreover, the complainant alleges that there was a conspiracy between Mapayo and Parba because they threatened him with deportation. Mapayo submitted an affidavit denying all allegations and the same with Parba. The marriage was later annulled. The complaint was referred to Associate Justice Salazar-Fernando for investigation, report and recommendation and held that Mapayo be absolved of the charges of grave misconduct. The complainant later on executed an affidavit withdrawing his complaint against respondent but such withdrawal will not result to dismissal of complaint. However, complainant later executed an affidavit withdrawing his complaint against respondent. Such withdrawal will not result in the dismissal of the complaint. In Marcelino vs. Judge Singson, Jr., 15 we ruled: The Court has held in a number of instances that mere desistance on the part of complainant does not warrant the dismissal of administrative complaints against members of the bench. The withdrawal of complaints cannot divest the Court of its jurisdiction nor strip it of its power to determine the veracity of the charges made and to discipline, such as the results of its investigation may warrant, an erring respondent. The Court's interest in the affairs of the judiciary is a paramount concern that must not know bounds. Issue: Whether respondent committed grave misconduct Decision: Charges against respondent were not proven. With regard to the respondent receiving money, the complainant later on stated that the money was given not given to the respondent but to the aunt of Parba during the ceremony. With regards to the other allegation of solemnizing the marriage, a certification from the computer Section of the Bureau of Immigration stated that Young departed via Northwest Airlines on March 16, 1993 and arrived Manila via the same airline on October 6, 1993; departed Manila via the same airline on October 29, 1993 and arrived Manila on February 8, 1994 which only proves that complainant was indeed out of the Philippines at the time the marriage was celebrated on June 9, 1993. However, it cannot be known for certain that Young who had a birth date of January 20, 1942 and the one who left the Philippines on March 16, 1993 was the same Young who arrived on October 6, 1993 having the birth date of June 20, 1942. Thus, it cannot be ascertained if the complainant entered the country through port other than the above-mentioned airports. Also, alleged entries on the complainants passport could hardly be read and cannot be compared to the original because complainant refused to produce the original documents. Another factor which militates the complainants cause is the fact that in his petition for annulment of marriage, he stated that marriage took place on June 9, 1993 which bellies his allegation that he was out of the country at that time. Furthermore, the allegation that the marriage was celebrated on March 15, 1993 is bellied by documents supporting the application for marriage such as the Affidavit in Lieu of Legal Capacity to

Contract Marriage for American Citizens of complainant issued on May 19, 1993 subscribed and sworn to before the Consul of the United States and Pre- Marriage Counselling dated May 25, 1993 because how can a marriage be celebrated on March 15, 1993 when the documents necessary for its validity were available only months later. It is well-settled that entries in official records made in the performance of a duty by a public officer of the Philippines, or by a person in the performance of a duty specially enjoined by law, are prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated. We likewise note that, aside from requesting this Court not to pursue the case against respondent Judge, complainant refused to participate in the investigation despite due notice. The Supreme Court dismissed the complaint against respond for lack of merit.