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CANON 1 CASE 10 (Carlos, Cruz, Rueda & Raquiz) A.M. No. MTJ-01-1362 February 22, 2011 (formerly A.M.

No. 01-2-49-RTC) JUDGE NAPOLEON E. INOTURAN, Regional Trial Court, Branch 133, Makati City, vs. JUDGE MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Valladolid, San Enrique-Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, Respondent. x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -x A.M. No. MTJ-11-1785 (formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1945-MTJ) SANCHO E. GUINANAO, Complainant, vs. JUDGE MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Valladolid, San Enrique-Pulupandan, Negros Occidental, Respondent. FACTS: These are two (2) consolidated cases filed against respondent. The first case involves the failure of Judge Limsiaco to comply with the directives of the Court. This stemmed from a complaint filed against Judge Limsiaco for his issuance of a Release Order in favor of an accused in a criminal case before him. After considering the evidence, the court then found respondent guilty of ignorance of the law and procedure and of violating the Code of Judicial Conduct. He was ordered to pay a FINE of P40,000.00 and was STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar infractions will be dealt with more severely. Respondent Judge was likewise DIRECTED to explain why he should not be administratively charged for approving the applications for bail of the accused and ordering their release in the other criminal cases filed with other courts. Judge Limsiaco twice moved for an extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration of the above decision and to comply with the Courts directive requiring him to submit an explanation due to his poor health condition. Despite the extension of time given however, Judge Limsiaco failed to file his motion for reconsideration and the required explanation. The second case involves the failure of Judge Limsiaco to decide a case within the 90-day reglementary period. Guinanao claimed that Judge Limsiaco failed to seasonably decide the ejectment case he filed which had been submitted for resolution as early as April 25, 2005. Under the pain of a show cause order for contempt for failure to heed the OCA directives to file a comment, Judge Limsiaco informed the court that he had already 2 decided the case on February 4, 2008. Subsequently, the court resolved to declare Judge Limsiaco in contempt and to impose a fine of P1,000.00 for his continued failure to file the required comment to the administrative complaint. The records show that Judge Limsiaco paid the P1,000.00 fine but did not submit the required comment. ISSUE: Whether or not respondents failure to comply with the rules, directives and circulars issued by the Supreme Court violates Canon 1, Section 7 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct? RULING: The court ruled in the affirmative. The duty to comply with the rules, directives and circulars issued by the Supreme Court is one of the foremost duties that a judge accepts upon assumption to office. This duty is verbalized in Canon 1, Section 7 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct. Under the circumstances, the conduct exhibited by Judge Limsiaco constitutes no less than clear acts of defiance against the Courts authority. His conduct also reveals his deliberate disrespect and indifference to the authority of the Court, shown by his failure to heed its warnings and directives. Judge Limsiacos actions further disclose his inability to accept the Courts instructions. Moreover, his conduct failed to provide a good example for other court personnel, and the public as well, in placing significance to the Courts directives and the importance of compl ying with them. In determining the proper imposable penalty, the court considers Judge Limsiacos work history which reflects how he performed his judicial functions as a judge. The court observed that there are several administrative cases already decided against Judge Limsiaco that show his inability to properly discharge his judicial duties. The court finds that his conduct as a repeat offender exhibits his unworthiness to don the judicial robes and merits a sanction heavier than what is provided by our rules and jurisprudence. Under the circumstances, Judge Limsiaco should be dismissed from the service. The court, however, note that on May 17, 2009, Judge Limsiaco has retired from judicial service. The court also notes that Judge Limsiaco has not yet applied for his retirement benefits. WHEREFORE, in lieu of the penalty of dismissal for his unethical conduct and gross inefficiency in performing his duties as a member of the bench, the court declares all his retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits, forfeited. Furthermore, he is barred from re-employment in any branch or service of the government, including government-owned and controlled corporations.