JUDGES found guilty of misconduct or inefficiency now face higher fines of up to P200,000 after the Supreme Court amended Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court.

Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez said the recommendation to adjust the penalties was made “in order to be consistent and commensurate with the prevailing Salary Schedule of judges and personnel of the Judiciary.”

Under the court’s resolution dated May 16 and made public Wednesday, judges found guilty of a serious charge may either be dismissed, forfeited from receiving benefits, and disqualified from public service; suspended for three to six months; or pay a fine “of more than P100,000 but not exceeding P200,000.”

The previous fines were set at P20,000 to P40,000.

For a less serious charge, the penalty is three months suspension or a fine of “not less than P35,000 but not exceeding P100,000.”   

Judges found guilty of a light charge may be sanctioned with censure, reprimand, or admonition with warning and/or may be fined “not less than P1,000 but not exceeding P35,000.”

The changes take effect on May 31. — Bianca Angelica D. Añago