Administrative liability of dead, retired judicial officers

The death or retirement of any judicial officer from the service does not preclude the finding of any administrative liability to which he shall still be answerable. In San Buenaventura v. Migriño (A.M. No. P-08-2574, January 22, 2014), an investigation was completed and two recommendations were already given by the OCA pointing to the misdemeanor of respondent Migriño.

In Gallo v. Cordero,[1] citing Zarate v. Judge Romanillos,[2] the Supreme Court held:
The jurisdiction that was ours at the time of the filing of the administrative complaint was not lost by the mere fact that the respondent public official had ceased in office during the pendency of his case. The Court retains its jurisdiction either to pronounce the respondent official innocent of the charges or declare him guilty thereof. A contrary rule would be fraught with injustice and pregnant with dreadful and dangerous implication ... If innocent, respondent official merits vindication of his name and integrity as he leaves the government which he has served well and faithfully; if guilty, he deserves to receive the corresponding censure and a penalty proper and imposable under the situation.
In Migriño's case, the High Court found Timoteo A. Migriño, former Clerk of Court III, Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 69, Pasig City, GUILTY of simple neglect of duty and imposed upon him a FINE equivalent to his one (1) month salary to be deducted from the retirement benefits due him.

[1] 315 Phil. 210, 220 (1995).

[2] 312 Phil. 679, 693 (1995).