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A.M. No.

90-474 October 4, 1991


Atty. Clemencio Sabitsana, Jr., a practicing lawyer in Naval, Biliran Subprovince, Leyte, charged respondent, Judge Adriano R. Villamor of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16, Naval, Leyte, with falsification of his monthly Certificates of Service by making it appear that he had resolved all cases submitted for decision within the ninety-day period required by the Judiciary Act of 1948 Complainant further furnished the Court with an Affidavit of Judge Dulcisimo Pitao of the Municipal Trial Court of Maripipi, Leyte, stating that Respondent had intervened for the accused in Criminal Case No. 959 then pending with the said Municipal Court. In his Comment filed on 20 December 1990, Respondent claimed that the Complaint was more for harassment and vengeance. That there were other cases not decided within the 90-day rule, including those listed in the Complaint allegedly because the transcripts were incomplete.

Issue: WON the respondent violated Section 3 Canon 1 of the New Code of JUdical Conduct Ruling: Yes From the Investigative Report of Justice Fermin Martin, the imputation that respondent intervened in Criminal Case No. 959 is sufficiently substantiated. That a letter was sent to judge Pitao by the wife of he accused and that the respondent mentioned the case during their conversation.
Cardinal is the rule that a Judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities. The Canons mince no words in mandating that a Judge shall refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another Court (Canon 2, Rule 2.04). Interference by members of the bench in-pending suits with the end in view of influencing the course or the result of litigation does not only subvert the independence of the judiciary but also undermines the people's faith in its integrity and impartiality (Commentaries on the Code of Judicial Conduct). Respondent is dismissed from service.

A.M. No. MTJ-93-888 October 24, 1994 MAYOR ROGER S. PADILLA, complainant, vs. HON. ROBERTO V. ZANTUA, JR., Municipal Trial Court, Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte, respondent.


5998 (People v. Job Riel) for alarms and scandals. Camarines Norte. Ventura Calzada.) for grave coercion and grave threats. Zaldy Suarez) for trespassing (sic). Efren Dalde. It is of no moment that Atty. 5935 and 5936 (People v. Civil Case No. Atty. The actuation of respondent Judge of eating and drinking in public places with a lawyer who has pending cases in his sala may well arouse suspicion in the public mind. 610 (Vicente Enriquez v.Mayor Roger S. This eventuality may undermine the people's faith in the administration of justice. Respondent is admonished. explaining that in the case of Atty. he is the only lawyer in the Municipality of Jose Panganiban and it is but natural for respondent Judge to be friendly with him but maintains that their friendship has never been a hindrance to the proper disposition of the cases in his sala. Issue: WON the respondent violated Section 4 Canon 1 Ruling: Yes Constant company with a lawyer tends to breed intimacy and camaraderie to the point that favors in the future may be asked from respondent judge which he may find hard to resist. Criminal Case No. Respondent Judge denies that he is fraternizing with lawyers with pending cases in his sala. Padilla alleges that in Criminal Case Nos. Rolando Racasa) for highgrading. Augusto Schneider is the only lawyer in the locality. Schneider is always seen eating and drinking in the constant company of respondent Judge in public establishments in the Municipality of Jose Panganiban. . 5908 (People v. and Criminal Case No. 5973 (People v. Criminal Case No. Augusto B. Schneider. et al. thus tending to erode the trust of the litigants in the impartiality of the judge. the opposing counsel.) for highgrading. et al.