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ENBANC

[A.M.No.MTJ951053.January2,1997]

SPOUSES MAKADAYA SADIK and USODAN SADIK, complainants, vs. JUDGE


ABDALLAHCASAR,respondent.

DECISION
PERCURIAM:

ThecasebeforeusstemmedfromaverifiedcomplaintfiledbySpousesMakadayaandUsodan
Sadik charging Judge Abdallah Casar, Municipal Circuit Trial Court of KolambuganTangcal, Lanao
delNortewithmisconductandmisappropriation.
Judge Casar filed his answer dated February 28, 1995 averring that thecomplaintismerelyfor
harassmentandintendedtoruinhisreputation.
IntheresolutionofAugust14,1995,thisCourtreferredthiscasetoExecutiveJudgeValerioM.
Salazar of the Regional Trial Court of Iligan City and Lanao del Norte, Branch 6 for investigation,
reportandrecommendation.
InhisReportandRecommendationdatedNovember25,1995,theInvestigatingJudgemadethe
followingfindings:

"Thebasicfactsarenotindispute,towit:

1.OnFebruary14,1985,oneLekiyaPaitofiledanapplicationforlifeinsurancewiththeGreatPacificLife
AssuranceCorporation(Grepalife)inCotabatoCity,Exh.5.TheapplicationwasapprovedandPolicyNo.
0503033wasissuedinhernamefortheamountofP30,000.00withanaccidentaldeathbenefitrider.Namedas
beneficiarieswereherdaughters,LinangMinalangandMakadayaSadik.Shepaidtheinitialpremiumof
P410.00.

2.OnOctober12,1985,LekiyaPaitodiedinPagayawan,Tamparan,LanaodelSur.

3.Thebeneficiariesand/orthroughtheirrepresentativessoughtforandobtainedtheassistanceofrespondent,
whowasthenatrialattorneyoftheBureauofForestDevelopment,CotabatoCity,topursuetheapprovalof
theirclaimforpaymentoftheinsurancebenefitswithGrepalife.Respondentmadethenecessaryfollowupsbut
induecourseGrepalifedeniedtheclaimonthegroundsofmisrepresentationandconcealment.

4.OnOctober10,1986,respondent,ascounselforthebeneficiaries,filedacomplaintintheRegionalTrial
Court,Br.13,CotabatoCitywhichwasdocketedthereinasCivilCaseNo.2747entitled:'MakadayaL.Sadik
andLinangMinalang,plaintiffsversusGreatPacificLifeAssuranceCorporation,defendant'forSpecific
Performance.

5.OnNovember17,1989,theRegionalTrialCourtrenderedadecisioninfavorofplaintiffsandagainstthe
defendantorderingthelattertopaytotheformerthesumofP30,000.00as'benefitduethemunderInsurance
PolicyNo.503033.'Thecourtdeniedplaintiffs'claimfordoubleindemnityofP60,000.00undertheaccidental
deathrider.Atthistime,respondentwasalreadythePresidingJudgeofthe5thMunicipalCircuitTrialCourtof
KolambuganMaigo(now,MCTCofKolambuganTangcal),havingassumedsuchofficeonSeptember1,1989,
Exh.7.

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6.Uponreceiptofthedecision,respondentascounselforplaintiffsfiledanoticeofappealtotheCourtof
Appealsevenasdefendantlikewisefiledanappeal.Respondentrepresentedtheplaintiffsintheappeal.On
September22,1992,theCourtofAppealsaffirmedintotothedecisionofthelowercourt.Defendantelevated
thecaseonpetitionforreviewtotheSupremeCourtwhichdismissedthepetition.

7.AfterthedismissalofitspetitionbytheSupremeCourt,GrepalifefiledaManifestationdated6July1993
withtheRegionalTrialCourt,Br.13,CotabatoCitydeclaringitswillingnesstopaythejudgmentawardand
depositingwithsaidcourtRCBCcheckNo.62837intheamountofP30,000.00payabletotheplaintiffs.Copy
ofthemanifestationwasfurnishedto'Atty.AbdallahM.Casar,CounselforthePlaintiffs,Kolambugan,Lanao
delNorte'(pp.44&55,Records).

8.OnOctober1,1992,respondentcollectedthecheckfromtheClerkofCourtoftheRegionalTrialCourt,Br.
13,CotabatoCityandthereaftercashedit.

9.Respondentdidnotdeliverthesaidmoneyjudgmenttotheplaintiffs.

10.OnJanuary26,1995,complainantsfiledtheiradministrativecomplaint.

RespondentadmittedthatheretainedthesumofP30,000.00representingthejudgmentawardin
Civil Case No. 2747 and that he did not deliver it to the plaintiffs. He interposes the following
defenses:
1.Heisnotguiltyofanymisconductbecauseheacceptedthecaselongbeforehebecameajudge
2.Hedidnotmisappropriatethemoneyhecollectedfromthecourt.Itisintactbuthehastherightto
retaintheamountofP30,000.00untilheispaidhisexpensespursuanttoSection137,Rule138on
attorney'slien
3.Thecomplainant,MakadayaSadikisnottherealMakadayaSadik,plaintiffinCivilCaseNo.2747and
beinganimpostorsheisnotentitledtothemoney.
There is no dispute that when respondent agreed to file the complaint in behalf of Makadaya
SadikandLinangMinalang,hewasnotyetamemberofthejudiciary.Hewasatrialattorneyofthe
BureauofForestDevelopment.Heclaimedthathewasauthorizedtoengageinpracticeinbehalfof
relativesbutpresentednodocumentaryauthority.HecontinuedtorepresenttheplaintiffsinCivilCase
No. 2747 when he joined the Citizens LegalAssistance Office in a private capacity. In fact he took
painstoemphasizethathehandledthecasenotasaCLAOlawyer(tsn,p.39111395)althoughin
his notices of change of address, he gave his new addresses as follows: 'Atty. Abdallah M. Casar,
CLAO, Capitol, Pigcarangan, Tubod, Lanao del Norte' Exh. 10 and 'CLAO, Kabacan District Office,
MunicipalHallBldg.,Kabacan,ProvinceofCotabato'Exh.11.(pp.119120,Records).Similarlyinhis
Memorandum dated 24 October 1988, he signed as 'Attorney for Plaintiffs, CLAO, Kabacan,
Cotabato,' Exh. B (pp. 8996, Records). In those instances, while he was actually prosecuting the
caseinhisprivatecapacity,hegavetheimpressionthathewashandlingthecasefortheCLAO.By
his own admission, he was engaged in a private practice while employed as trial attorney with the
BFDandcitizen'sattorneywiththeCLAO.Hefailedtoproduceproofofauthority.Butashecorrectly
states,thosewereactsperformedbeforehejoinedthejudiciary.However,hefailedtomentionthat
evenafterhebecameamunicipaljudge,hecontinuedtoactascounselfortheplaintiffsinCivilCase
No. 2747 on appeal to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. He assumed office on
September1,1989.ThedecisionoftheRegionalTrialCourtwasrenderedonNovember17,1989.
HefiledanappealinbehalfoftheplaintiffsevenasGrepalifealsoappealed.Hetestified:
'Q.Afterthatwhathappened?
A.Thecase'decisionwasaffirmedbytheCourtofAppealsandeventuallyappealedagaintothe
SupremeCourtwhereImadeseveralmanifestations'.(tsn,p.3611/13/95)
He actively handled the case on appeal. He violated Rule 5:07 of the Code of Judicial Conduct
whichstatesthat'Ajudgeshallnotengageintheprivatepracticeoflaw.'Hereasonedoutthathewas
forced to continue as counsel for the plaintiffs because he failed to get in touch with them after he
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received the decision of the lower court. He even went to Davao to look for them but failed. A
transparentandflimsyjustification.AtthattimehewasstationedinKolambugan,LanaodelNorte.He
knew that plaintiffs are from Pagayawan, Tamparan, Lanao del Sur. He is himself a native of
Tatayawon,Tamparan.Hecouldhaveeasilywenttohishometownorsentsomeonetheretogetin
touch with plaintiffs. He did not have to go to Davao which is much further from Kolambugan than
Tamparan. At any rate failure to contact his clients is not reason enough to continue as counsel for
plaintiffs on appeal. The least which he should have done was to secure permission from the
SupremeCourtbeforeproceedingwiththecaseonappeal.
He also denies having converted and misappropriated the judgment award of P30,000.00. He
claims the amount is intact but he has the right to retain the same untilheispaidforhisexpenses
pursuanttoSec.37,Rule138oftheRuleofCourt.Hedeclared:
'A.Theyfailedtocomeandforallthese,IestimatedmyexpensestobemorethanThirtyThousand
(P30,000.00)Pesos.
Q.WhatisyourrightingettingtheamountofP30,000.00?
A.Well,pursuanttoRule138,Section37oftheRulesofCourtknownasattorney'sliensbyvirtueof
thatIhavetherighttoretaintheamountuntilpaymentofmyexpenseswaspaid...'(sic)(tsn,pp.
383911/13/95).
Thisisridiculous.ThejudgmentawardisonlyP30,000.00buthespentmorethanP30,000.00to
recoverit.Thusdespitewinningthecase,theclientcouldnotcollectasinglecentandwillstillhaveto
payhislawyer.Thismaybeonereasonwhytheordinarylaymanholdsanunflatteringperceptionof
lawyers.
Hisevidencefailstoprovetheamountofexpensesclaimedbyhim.Hesaidthattofollowupthe
claim,hewenttoManilasixtimesspendingforfarealoneP3000.00foreachtrip.Whenthecasewas
onappealtotheSupremeCourt,hewenttoManilatofollowupthrice(tsn,p.3811/13/95).Except
for his uncorroborated testimony, there are only two documents showing he was indeed in Manila.
ThoseareExhs.26and32indicatingthathepersonallyservedthoseletterstoGrepalifeinManila.
Butthereisnoevidencethathewentthereforthispurposealone.Itishighlyprobablethatthevisitto
Grepalife was merely one of his purposes in going to Manila. On the other hand, his claim that he
went to Manila three times to followup the case while it was pending with the Supreme Court is
unworthy of credence. He was then already a municipal judge. He could not have openly exposed
himself to the Supreme Court as being engaged in private practice. Besides there is no reason to
followup in person any case with the Supreme Court. Similarly, his claims that he spent a lot of
money in looking for witnesses and trying to trace the whereabouts of his clients are selfserving,
devoidofcorroborationandunsupportedbydocumentevidence.Finally,hepresentedthereceiptsfor
thepaymentofdocketfeesintheamountofP580.00,Exhs.28and29,whichheallegeswaspaidby
himoutofhisownpocket.Standingalone,thosereceiptsdonotprovehisclaim.Thenormalpractice
isfortheclienttoadvancetohislawyertheamountforthefilingfees.Itisthelawyerwhopaysthe
docket fees and he can easily procure the issuance of the receipts in his own name. Complainant
MakadayaSadikdeclaredthatherhusbandtookcareofthepaymentofthedocketfees.Respondent
didnotcrossexamineUsodanSadikonthispoint.
In sum, respondent failed to show by clear and convincing evidence that he did indeed spent
morethanP30,000.00toprosecutetheinsuranceclaim.Hisvariousclaimsofexpensesfortravelsto
Manila, to find witnesses and to look for his clients are all designed to inflate his demand for
reimbursementandjustifyhiswithholdingofthejudgmentawardfromhisclients.Tobegenerous,the
sum of P6,000.00 corresponding to his trips to Manila in March and May, 1986 may be allowed.
Added to that may be his claim for attorney's fees, although to be generous again, he is not really
entitledtoit.FromthetestimoniesofbothUsodanSadikandrespondent,itappearsthattherewasan
agreement for the payment of P10,000.00 if respondent succeeds in recovering the sum of
P60,000.00 under the accidental death rider. But this amount was not obtained and only the basic
claimofP30,000.00wasadjudgedbythecourt.Itislogicaltoassumethatinsuchcase,theamount
ofattorney'sfeesshouldalsobeproportionallyreducedtoP5,000.00.Thushistotalclaimisnotmore
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thanP11,000.00.Nonetheless, it appears that his reliance on Section 37, Rule 138 of the Rules of
Courtisnothingmorethananafterthought.Ifindeed,hewasclaimingattorney'slienpursuanttosaid
section, then he should have known that to be entitled thereto he must comply with certain pre
conditions. Said section provides that with respect to judgments for payment of money, like in Civil
CaseNo.2747,alawyershallhavealienthereto'fromandafterthetimewhenheshallhavecaused
a statement of his claim of such lien to be entered upon the records of the court rendering such
judgment...andshallhavecausedwrittennoticethereoftobedeliveredtohisclientandtheadverse
party.'FromJuly,1993whenhelearnedofthedismissalofGrepalife'spetitionbytheSupremeCourt
untilnow,hedidnotfilethenecessarypleadingstoenforcehisallegedlien.Itsurfacesonlywhenthe
administrativecasewasfiled.
HislastlineofdefenseisthatthecomplainantMakadayaSadikisnottherealMakadayaSadik
whoisthebeneficiaryofLekiyaPaitoandplaintiffinCivilCaseNo.2747.Hedeclared:
"A.AsfarasIknowtheywererecruitedaswitnesses.
COURT:Q.Yousaid'they,areyoureferringtoUsodanSadikandMakadayaSadik?
A.Yes,YourHonor,becauseofthefailureofthebeneficiariestocometoCourt.
COURT:Proceed.

JudgeCasar:Q.Doyouhaveanyevidenceforthat,thatMakadayaSadikorreferringtothesepersonswhoare
complainants,UsodanSadikandMakadayaSadikwererecruitedtotestifyinthiscase,butthesearenotthetrue
complainants?

A.Yes.
Q.Whorecruitedthem?
A.Theclaimants.'(tsn,pp.212211/13/95).
xxxxxxxxx
COURT:WHOFAILEDTOAPPEAR?
A.MakadayaSadikandLinangMinalangdespitenotice.Theclaimantsfailedtoappearandprocured
anotherpersons(sic)whoareimpostors.ThisKunugMinalangandSadikPaitotookchargeofthe
witnessesandtheypresentedanotherwitnesses(sic).
COURT:IDONOTUNDERSTANDTHIS.ANOTHERWITNESSESORANOTHERPERSONWAS
PRESENTEDTOTESTIFYASLINANGMINALANGANDSADIK?
A.AtthattimeweneededmorewitnessessothepartiesandBarogongPaitoagreedtotestifybuttwo
personswhoareprincipalwitnessesfailedtocome.
COURT:SOWHENTHEYFAILEDTOCOME,WHATDIDSADIKPAITODO?
A.Theytookchargeofpresentinganotherwitnesses(sic).
Q.WHATDOYOUMEANBY'TOOKCHARGE',YOUMEAN,THEYPRESENTEDTOYOU
PERSONSWHOWERENOTREALLYLINANGMINALANGANDMAKADAYASADIK?
A.Theytoldmethatinsteadofthemwhocouldnotgotocourt,theyfakedanotherpersons(sic).
Q.ANDTHESEPERSONSWHOWEREFAKEDAPPEAREDANDTESTIFIEDASLINANG
MINALANGANDMAKADAYASADIK?
A.Asamatteroffact,onlyMakadayaSadiktookthestandbecauseLinangMinalangfailedtocome.
Q.MAKADAYASADIKTESTIFIEDINCOURT?
A.Inreality,MakadayaSadikfailedtoappearalso.
Q.BUTSOMEBODYTESTIFIEDASIFHEISMAKADAYASADIK?
A.Yes.

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Q.IWANTTHISVERYCLEAR,HADJISARIPPAITOPRESENTEDTOYOUANOTHERPERSON
WHOCLAIMTOBEMAKADAYASADIKBUTHEISREALLYNOTMAKADAYA?
A.Yes.
Q.ANDTHATPERSONWHOACTUALLYTESTIFIEDCLAIMINGTOBEMAKADAYASADIKWAS
THEPERSONWHOTESTIFIEDTHELASTTIMEASMAKADAYASADIK?
A.ThatiswhatIcanrecall.
COURT:PROCEED.
JudgeCasar:
Q.Whatwasthearrangementforthatmatterfortherecruitmentofothersubstitutewitnesses?
A.Well,Itoldmyclient,IhavetogivethemFiveThousand(P5,000.00)pesos.
COURT:TOWHOMWILLTHEP5,000.00BEPAID?
A.Tothesubstitutewitnesses.
Q.YOUTOLDSARIPPAITOANDKUNUGMINALANGTHATTHESEWITNESSESBEPAID
P5,000.00?
A.Yes.
Q.DIDTHEYAGREE?
A.Ipresumesobecausetheytestified.
Q.KUNUGMINALANGANDSARIPPAITOAGREEDTHATTHEP5,000.00BEPAIDTOTHE
SUBSTITUTEWITNESSES?
A.Seemstomethattheyagreed.'(tsn,pp.343611/13/95).
By his own categorical admission, he deliberately, knowingly and willfully agreed to procure a
substitute witness, an impostor, to pose as claimant Makadaya Sadik and testify in Civil Case No.
2747. He even proposed that such witness be paid P5,000.00. And he actually presented such
witness as Makadaya Sadik in that case and that impostor is the Makadaya Sadik who is the
complainantinthiscase.Sheis,respondentsays,thestepdaughterofLekiyaPaito,thedaughterof
Batobarani Lugpangan and another woman (tsn, p. 17 11/13/95). By any language, this is
subornationofperjury.
To make matters worse, he declared that even before he filed the complaint in Civil Case No.
2747,hewasalreadyinformedthattheinsurancepolicyofLekiyaPaitowasfraudulent.Thus:
'Q.Whatelsehappened?
A.NagaDatumanongapproachedmeandtoldmeaboutthefactsofthecaseandthatthiswasdoneby
unscrupulouspersons.
COURT:WHATWASDONEBYUNSCRUPULOUSPERSONS?
A.TheinsuranceapplicationofLekiyaPaito,infact,atthetimeoftheinsurance,LekiyaPaitowaskilled
inherhometown.
COURT:YOUMEANLEKIYAPAITOWASALREADYSICKWHENTHEINSURANCEFORMWAS
MADE?
A.Yes,shewassickinPagayawan,notinCotabatoCity.
JudgeCasar:So,whoseworkisthatinsurance
A.AsfarasIknow,thatistheworkofUsodanHadjiIbrahim.
COURT:THISUSODANHADJIIBRAHIMISNOTTHEPERSONNOWINCOURT?
A.AsfarasIknow,heisUsodanIbrahim.

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Q.INOTHERWORDS,THISISORTHEPERSONWHOAPPEAREDASCOMPLAINANTIS
ACTUALLYUSODANIBRAHIM?
A.AsfarasIknow,heisnotworkingwithme.
Q.SOTHATTHISPERSONNAMEDUSODANSADIK,ONEOFTHECOMPLAINANTS,IS
ACTUALLYUSODANIBRAHIM?
A.Yes.
Q.ANDYOUNOWCLAIMTHATUSODANIBRAHIMWASTHEONEWHOPREPAREDTHE
FRAUDULENTPOLICYFORLEKIYAPAITO?
A.AsfarasIwastold.'(tsn,pp.303111/13/95).

Yetknowingthattheinsuranceclaimwasfraudulent,hefiledthecomplaintandcompoundeditbypresenting
falsewitnessesincourt.HetransgressednotonlytheCanonsofProfessionalEthicsbutalsotheRevisedPenal
Code.InhissinglemindedintenttokeeptheinsuranceproceedsforhimselfanddeprivecomplainantMakadaya
Sadikofhershare,respondentdugadeepholeforhimself.Hiscureisworsethanthedisease.

ItispossiblethattheinsurancetakenforLekiyaPaitowasindeedascam.Itisnotanuncommonoccurrencein
thesepartstoinsureapersonwhoisneardeathorforaninsuredtofakehisdeathandcollecttheproceeds.But
scamornotweareconvincedthatthecomplainantMakadayaSadikisnotanimpostor.Shedeniedthatsheis
thestepdaughterofLekiyaPaito.Sheinsistedsheistheyoungestdaughterandshenamedallherbrothersand
sisters.AnditwasrespondentwhopresentedherinCivilCaseNo.2747asMakadayaSadikdaughterofLekiya
Sadikandoneofthebeneficiariesofthelatter'sinsurancepolicy."

TheInvestigatingJudgethenrecommendedthatapenaltyrangingfromafineoftwentythousand
(P20,000.00)pesostosuspensionforsix(6)monthsbeimposeddependingonrespondent'srecord.
Respondentwaslikewiseorderedtopaytohereincomplainant,MakadayaSadik,thesumoffifteen
thousand (P15,000.00) pesos less the sum of five thousand five hundred (P5,500.00) pesos
equivalenttoonehalfoftheexpensesandattorney'sfeesdemandedbyrespondent.
In the resolution of March 13, 1996 this Court referred this case to the Office of the Court
Administratorforevaluation,reportandrecommendation.
InitsmemorandumofAugust15,1996,theOfficeoftheCourtAdministratormadethefollowing
findingsandevaluation:

"TheundersignedconcurswiththefindingofExecutiveJudgeSalazarthatrespondentbefoundguiltyofthe
chargesofmisconductandmisappropriation,butdiffersinsofarastherecommendedpenaltyisconcerned.Itis
anestablishedrulethatthepersonalbehaviorofamemberofthejudiciaryintheperformanceofhisofficial
dutiesandinhiseverydaylifeshouldbebeyondreproach.Respondent'sactofcollectingthejudgmentawardof
P30,000.00fromtheClerkofCourtofRTC,CotabatoCityandhisrefusaltoturnovertheamounttohisclient,
complainantMakadayaSadikandhersister,isanactofmisappropriationamountingtogrossmisconductand/or
dishonesty.HisdefensethathehastherighttoretaintheentireP30,000.00asattorney'slieninunacceptable.
Forhehasnorighttoretainthejudgmentawardallegedlytosecurepaymentoflitigationexpensesand
attorney'sfees.Hehadnoauthoritytopracticelawwhileingovernmentservice.Incontinuingtohandlethecase
ofhereincomplainantsagainstGrepalifeafterhejoinedthegovernmentandwithoutfirstsecuringproper
authorityisnolessconstitutiveofabuseofauthority.Furthermore,heviolatedRule5.06oftheCodeofJudicial
Conductwhichprohibitsajudgetoengageintheprivatepracticeoflaw.HelikewiseviolatedtheAttorney's
OathinagreeingtofileCivilCaseNo.2747forthepurposeofclaimingtheinsuranceproceedsfromGrepalife
despitehishavingbeeninformedthattheinsurancepolicyofLekiyaPaitowasfraudulentlyappliedfor.
Agreeingtohandletheclaimsaidtohavearisenfromafraudulentactagainsttheinsurercertainlyspeaksofa
moralflawinhischaracter.

ThisCourthasheldthat:'Ajudgeshouldalwaysbeasymbolofrectitudeandpropriety,comportinghimselfina
mannerthatwillraisenodoubtwhatsoeverabouthishonesty...Heshouldeverstrivetopreservethegood
nameofthecourtonwhichhesitsandavoidanyindiscretionthatwilldefileitsprobity.Therespondenthasnot
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liveduptotheseexactingstandards.Hehasbetrayedhisoathanddebasedhisposition.Hehasimpairedthe
imageoftheJudiciarytowhichheowesthedutyofloyaltyandobligationtokeepitatalltimesabovesuspicion
andworthyofthepeople'strust.Nolessimportantly,hehasalsoinjuredthehereincomplainant,whohasyetto
receivethemoneyentrustedtotherespondentforthesatisfactionofthejudgmentthatbecamefinaland
executorymorethanthreeyearsago.'(Dr.ErnestoJ.Yusonvs.JudgeFedericoV.Noel,AMNo.RTJ91762,1
October1993).

RecordsshowthatinMTJ92728filedbyMayorPerlitaLibardosagainsthereinrespondentjudgeforgross
ignoranceofthelaw,gravemisconduct,etc.hewasfinedP5,000.00andsternlywarned.Hehasstillfive(5)
otheradministrativecasesdocketedagainsthimnamely:1)MTJ951048,forgrossignoranceofthelaw,gross
incompetence,violationofSection7,15and17ofRule37oftheNewComelecRulesofProcedures,etc.2)
951061forIllegalPossessionofFirearmsandAmmunitions3)OCAIPINo.9559MTJforGrossIgnorance
oftheLaw,GrossIncompetenceand4)OCAIPINo.9559MTJforFalsificationofPublicDocuments.The
firsttwo(2)casesarependinginvestigationbytheExecutiveJudgewhilethetwo(2)othersarenowpending
withtheCourtwithrespondent'sCommentdated29November1995and7December1995andpending
evaluationbythisOffice,respectively.

ItisclearfromthefactsestablishedthatrespondentdoesnotdeservetoremainintheserviceoftheJudiciary
wherehonesty,probityandintegrityareindispensablecredentials."

Itthenrecommended:

"RespectfullysubmittedfortheconsiderationoftheHonorableCourtisourrecommendationthat:a)Judge
AbdallahM.Casar,MCTCKolambuganTangcal,LanaodelNortebeDISMISSEDfromtheservicewith
prejudicetohisappointmenttoanypositioninthegovernment,includinggovernmentownedorcontrolled
corporations,andwithforfeitureofallretirementbenefitsexcepthisaccruedleavecreditsandb)hebe
ORDEREDtoturnovertocomplainantMakadayaSadikandLinangMinalang(coplaintiffinCivilCaseNo.
2747)thesumofThirtyThousandPesos(P30,000.00)whichhereceivedfromtheClerkofCourtofRTC,
Branch13,CotabatoCitylast1October1993withinfifteen(15)daysfromreceiptofnotice."

TheCourthasthoroughlystudiedtherecordofthiscaseandhasascertainedthatthefindingsof
the investigating judge, concurred in by the Office of the Court Administrator, are adequately
supportedbytheevidenceandareinaccordwithapplicablelegalprinciples.Consequently,theCourt
herebyadoptstheOCA'srecommendationofmetingoutthesupremepenaltyofdismissalonherein
respondentjudge.
It must be borne in mind that courts exist to dispense and to promote justice.[1] However, the
reality of justice depends, above all, on the intellectual, moral and personal quality of the men and
women who are called to serve as our judges.[2] In a piece written by Rosenberg, this point was
emphasized,thus:

"Justiceisanalloyofmenandmechanismsinwhich,asRoscoePoundremarked,'mencountmorethan
machinery.'Assumetheclearestrules,themostenlightenedprocedures,themostsophisticatedcourttechniques
thekeyfactorisstillthejudge.Inthelongrun,'Thereisnoguaranteeofjusticeexceptthepersonalityofthe
judge.'Thereasonthejudgemakesorbreaksthesystemofjusticeisthatrulesarenotselfdeclaringorself
applying.Eveninagovernmentoflaws,menmakethedecisions."[3]

IntherecentcaseofJocelynTalensDabonv,JudgeHerminE.Arceo,[4] the Court emphasized


theimportanceoftheroleplayedbyjudgesinthejudicialsystem,thus:

"TheintegrityoftheJudiciaryrestsnotonlyuponthefactthatitisabletoadministerjusticebutalsouponthe
perceptionandconfidenceofthecommunitythatthepeoplewhorunthesystemhavedonejustice.Attimes,the
strictmannerbywhichweapplythelawmay,infact,dojusticebutmaynotnecessarilycreateconfidence
amongthepeoplethatjustice,indeed,isserved.Hence,inordertocreatesuchconfidence,thepeoplewhorun
thejudiciary,particularlyjudgesandjustices,mustnotonlybeproficientinboththesubstantiveandprocedural
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aspectsofthelaw,butmoreimportantly,theymustpossessthehighestintegrity,probity,andunquestionable
moraluprightness,bothintheirpublicandprivatelives.Onlythencanthepeoplebereassuredthatthewheels
ofjusticeinthiscountryrunwithfairnessandequity,thuscreatingconfidenceinthejudicialsystem."

Insistence on personal integrity and honesty as indispensable qualifications for judicial office
reflectanawarenessinthelegalprofessionoftheimmensityofthedamagethatcanbedonetothe
legalorderbyjudicialcorruption.TherationaleforthiswassuccinctlyputbyJones,thus:

"Ifaphysicianoraprofessororabusinessmanisdiscoveredtobeathieforaninfluencepeddler,thedisclosure
willnotputmedicine,highereducation,orbusinessintogeneraldisrepute.Butjudgesaredifferentandmore
representativerevelationsofjudicialcorruptioncreatesuspicionandlossofconfidenceinlegalprocesses
generallyandendangerpublicrespectforlaw."[5]

Indeed,tobeeffectiveinhisrole,ajudgemustbeamanofexceptionalintegrityandhonesty.The
special urgency for requiring these qualities in a judge is not hard to understand for the judge acts
directly upon the property, liberty, even life, of his countrymen. Hence, being in a position of such
graveresponsibilityintheadministrationofjustice,ajudgemustconducthimselfinamannerbefitting
thedignityofsuchexaltedoffice.
Respondentjudge,however,notonlyfailedinthisrespectbutprovedhimselfrepeatedlyunworthy
ofhispost.
The records show that even after he became judge, respondent acted as counsel for herein
complainants and misappropriated the judgment award of P30,000.00 which rightfully belongs to
complainants.Moreover,respondent'slineofdefenserevealedasignificantanddeplorableflawinhis
character.Inhopingtoredeemhimself,hecategoricallyadmittedthathedeliberately,knowinglyand
willfullyagreedtohandleacaseinvolvingafraudulentinsuranceclaimandintheprocessprocured
andpresentedfalsewitnessesincourt.Underthecircumstances,thisCourtisamazedathowbrazen
respondenthascomportedhimselfandwithoutcompunctionatleavinga"papertrail"behindhim.
This Court notes that respondent had been previously fined P5,000.00 and sternly warned for
knowinglyissuinganorderwithoutjurisdictionandwithgraveabuseofdiscretion.[6]Moreover,hehas
four other administrative cases docketed against him involving various charges such as gross
ignorance of the law, gross incompetence, illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions and
falsificationofpublicdocuments.
Respondentjudge'sseemingpropensitytotransgresstheverylawheissworntoupholdmakes
himunfittodischargethefunctionsofajudge.Judicialofficedemandsthebestpossiblemenandthis
Courtwillnothesitatetoriditsranksofundesirableswhoundermineitseffortstowardseffectiveand
efficientadministrationofjustice,thustaintingitsimageintheeyesofthepublic.
WHEREFORE,JudgeAbdallahM.CasarisherebyDISMISSEDfromtheserviceformisconduct
andmisappropriationwithFORFEITUREofallretirementbenefitsandaccruedleavecreditsandwith
prejudice to reemployment in any branch, agency or instrumentality of the government, including
governmentowned or controlled corporations. He is further ordered to turn over to complainant
Makadaya Sadik and Linang Minalang the sum of Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) which he
receivedfromtheClerkofCourtofRTC,Branch13,CotabatoCitylastOctober1,1993.
Thisjudgmentisimmediatelyexecutoryandtherespondentjudgeisfurtherorderedtoceaseand
desistfromdischargingthefunctionsofhisofficeuponreceiptofthisdecision.Letacopybeentered
inthepersonalrecordsoftherespondent.
SOORDERED.
Narvasa,C.J.,Padilla,Davide,Jr.,Bellosillo,Puno,Kapunan,Francisco,Panganiban,Regalado,
Romero,Melo,Romero,Melo,Mendoza,Hermosisima,Jr.,andTorres,JJ.,concur.
Vitug,onleave.

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[1]EdmelindaL.Fernandezv.JudgeFaustoH.Imbing,AdministrativeMatterNo.RTJ961356,August21,1996.

[2] Jones, "The Trial Judge Role Analysis and Profile, in the Courts, the Public and the Law Explosion," Readings on
RecruitmentandSelectionofJudges,1987,p.11.
[3] Rosenberg, "The Qualities of Justice Are They Strainable?, in Winters, Selected Readings: Judicial Selection and
Tenure,"Ibid.,p.11.
[4]AdministrativeMatterNo.RTJ961336,July25,1996.

[5]Jones,supra.,p.8.

[6]Libardosv.Casar,234SCRA13(1994).

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