SC fines retired Iloilo judge for misconduct

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Supreme Court fined a retired trial court judge in Iloilo City for failing to resolve cases he inherited from another judge.

In nine-page decision, the SC’s Third Division found Danilo Galvez, former Regional Trial Court (RTC) Judge Branch 24 in Iloilo City, guilty of gross misconduct and imposed a fined equivalent to six months’ worth of salary

The fine will be deducted from his retirement gratuity.

“The transgression committed herein by Judge Galvez touched on the parties’ right to the speedy disposition of cases which resulted in the delay in the resolution thereof for at least 17 years,” read the SC’s decision dated Aug. 14, 2019.

Galvez had inherited dozens of cases from the sala of RTC branch 25 Judge Bartolome Fanuñal, who retired on April 21, 2001.

In a resolution dated Jan. 28, 2002, the SC directed Galvez to resolve 36 civil cases and eight criminal cases, which Fanuñal left undecided and awaiting the 90-day period to be resolved.

Likewise, the high court directed Galvez to resolve the pending motions in six criminal cases, take appropriate action in five criminal cases and one civil case, and archive 10 criminal cases.

But Galvez failed to comply with the SC’s resolution, prompting the high court to issue a show cause order against Galvez.

The high court discovered Galvez’s long-delayed cases when he processed his clearance for his retirement on April 27, 2018.



In his motion dated June 13, 2018, Galvez argued he was unaware of the SC’s twin resolutions from 16 years before.

He said he misunderstood the reminder of Deputy Court Administrator Zenaida Elepaño in 2003 to comply with the SC’s resolutions.

Galvez said he set aside the inherited cases in a separate docket and deemed them abandoned because the parties never called his attention.

In the decision, the high court dismissed as “unjustified” the refusal of Galvez to comply with the SC’s twin resolutions.

The high court was unconvinced that Galvez was unaware of the twin directives. The SC found it “dubious” that Galvez omitted the docket number of the sole case he claimed to have already decided on the merits.

“These circumstances taken as a whole would lead to no other conclusion than that of the contumacious conduct of Judge Galvez manifested by his blatant disregard and refusal to respect the Court’s directive,” read the decision.