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A. Introduction, History, and Background 6. Executive Judge Vicente Hidalgo issued a TRO. However the TRO expired after
the lapse of 20 days, without a preliminary injunction being issued.
7. Before the motion for reconsideration could be resolved, Investigating Fiscal
The New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary (A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC) Balansag was gunned down while on his way to his office.
8. Based on the investigation conducted by the NBI linking the death of Fiscal
Balansag to the killing of Corvera, Sr., another formal complaint for murder was
Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act filed against Calo, Jr. and 4 others.
No. 6713) 9. Acting City Fiscal Brocoy resolved the pending motion for reconsideration,
affirming the resolution finding a prima facie case for murder against the
B. The New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary 10. The information earlier signed by Investigating Fiscal Balansag, carrying a NO
BAIL recommendation, was filed before Branch IV of the RTC of Butuan City but
Canon 1: Independence was withdrawn for being fatally defective in form, the same having been signed
by Fiscal Balansag who was already dead at the time of the filing of said
Judicial independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of
11. A new information signed by Acting Fiscal Brocoy carrying also a NO BAIL
a fair trial. A judge shall therefore uphold and exemplify judicial independence in both its
recommendation, was filed with the court without the necessary supporting
individual and institutional aspects.
affidavits and papers. The case was erroneously assigned to Branch IV of the
RTC of Butuan City, where the original information prior to its withdrawal was
Section 1. Judges shall exercise the judicial function independently on the basis of their
assessment of the facts and in accordance with a conscientious understanding of the law,
12. The accused filed a Motion to Dismiss and/or Opposition to the Issuance of a
free of any extraneous influence, inducement, pressure, threat or interference, direct or
Warrant of Arrest Without Bail, and in the alternative, accused sought the fixing
indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.
of bail for their temporary release. Said motion was set for hearing on 15
December 1988.
1. Libarios v. Dabalos, A.M. No. RTJ-89-286 (11 July 1991)
13. Upon motion of the prosecution, the case was scheduled for raffle. On said
schedule, accused Calo, Jr. and his counsel personally filed an opposition to the
DOCTRINE: In every case, a judge should endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts and the
holding of the raffle on the ground of lack of notice to the parties.
applicable law unswayed by partisan or personal interests, public opinion or fear of
14. Corvera, Jr. and his counsel together with their sympathizers staged a rally
criticism. A judge should not only render a just, correct and impartial decision but should
demanding the immediate arrest of the accused. After their rally in the afternoon
do so in a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to his fairness, impartiality and
of 8 December 1988, they personally went to see respondent judge in his
chamber to reiterate their demand.
15. THE VIOLATION: After said meeting, respondent judge issued an order in his
capacity as Executive Judge, directing the raffle of the case with due notice to
1. Administrative complaint filed by Roan I. Libarios for and on behalf of his client
the parties. Without conducting any prior hearing, in the same order, respondent
Mariano Corvera, Jr. against respondent Judge Rosarito F. Dabalos, for grave
judge directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the accused, fixing at
ignorance of the law, grave abuse of discretion, gross misconduct and partiality.
the same time the bail for accused Calo, Jr. and Allocod at P50,000.00 each on
2. Former Mayor Mariano Corvera, Sr. was shot by Pablo Macapas inside the
the ground that they were not charged as co-principals by cooperation or
courtroom of respondent Judge Dabalos, after a hearing in a frustrated murder
inducement, and that the evidence of guilt against them was merely
case against said Pablo Macapas.
circumstantial; however, no bail was recommended for the temporary release of
 Corvera, Sr.: private complainant in the case accused Macapas.
 Macapas: a bodyguard of Mayor Calo, Jr. 16. CA: Respondent judge was declared to have acted with grave abuse of discretion
 Mayor Tranquilino Calo, Jr.: counsel of Macapas in fixing the bail of the accused without a hearing.
3. A formal charge of murder was filed with the City Fiscal’s Office of Butuan City 17. Complaint: The act of respondent judge in granting bail to the accused Calo, Jr.
against Pablo Macapas, Mayor Tranquilino Calo, Jr., and his driver-bodyguard and Allocod without a hearing, is tantamount to gross ignorance and willful,
Belarmino Allocod, and 2 other “John Does”. malicious and blatant disregard of the provisions of Sec. 5, Rule 114 of the
4. Investigating Fiscal Macario Balansag issued a resolution, finding a prima facie Rules on Criminal Procedure, which require a hearing before an accused
case for murder against the respondents. The information was signed; however, charged with a capital offense can be granted bail. The impartiality of
a motion for reconsideration of the resolution was filed by respondent Calo, Jr., respondent judge in issuing the questioned warrants of arrest but allowing bail is
which delayed the filing of the Information. also questioned on the ground of his “close association” with the accused Calo,
5. Respondents filed with the RTC Butuan City a petition for prohibition with prayer Jr.
for preliminary injunction and/or TRO, to enjoin the Investigating Fiscal from
acting on their MR.

18. Defense of respondent judge:

 Sec. 5 of Rule 114 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure which requires a 2. Re: Allegations Made Under Oath at the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on September
hearing of an application for admission to bail, filed by any person who 26, 2013 Against Associate Justice Gregory S. Ong, Sandiganbayan, A.M. No. SB-14-21-J
is in custody for the commission of a capital offense, is applicable only (23 September 2014)
to cases where the accused is already in custody, but neither of the 3
accused was being detained at the time their application for bail was RECIT-READY: This case concerns the Associate Justice of Sandiganbayan, Ong, who was
acted upon by respondent judge. accused of, among other things, partying with Napoles and that the acquittal of Napoles
 Merely followed the precedents set by his predecessors, in issuing was because Ong and Napoles were in cahoots or knew each other.
warrants of arrest before the raffle of a case in order to avoid delay in
the arrest of the accused. DOCTRINE: The Supreme Court agrees with Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez that respondent’s
 Denied the allegation that he was a law partner of accused Calo, Jr., association with Napoles during the pendency and after the promulgation of the decision
claiming that he was a mere employee in the business of said accused, in the Kevlar case resulting in her acquittal, constitutes gross misconduct notwithstanding
and that he appeared with accused Calo, Jr. as co-counsel in a case, the absence of direct evidence of corruption or bribery in the rendition of the said
but not as an associate. judgment.
 He has some doubts whether accused Calo, Jr. could have done the
acts of giving a revolver to accused Macapas outside the courtroom FACTS:
and pushed Macapas into the courtroom to shoot Corvera, Sr., which 1. This administrative complaint was filed by the Court En Banc after investigation into
acts were allegedly done in the presence of witnesses who by their own certain allegations that surfaced during the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Hearing
admissions, are security personnel and companions of the late Mayor indicated prima facie violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct by an Associate
Corvera. Justice of the Sandiganbayan. The investigation was conducted motu proprio
pursuant to the Court's power of administrative supervision over members of the
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent judge violated Section 1 of the New Code of Judicial Judiciary.
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary. 2. In the middle of 2013, the local media ran an expose involving billions of government
funds channeled through bogus foundations. Dubbed as the "pork barrel scam," as
HELD: YES. Respondent judge is imposed a FINE of P20,000.00 and WARNED to exercise the money was sourced from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)
more care and diligence in the performance of his duties as a judge. allotted to members of the House of Representatives and Senate, the controversy
spawned massive protest actions all over the country
RATIO: 3. These personalities identified by the whistle-blowers allegedly transacted with or
 In every case, a judge should endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts and the attended Mrs. Napoles' parties and events, among whom is incumbent
applicable law unswayed by partisan or personal interests, public opinion or fear Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory S. Ong, herein respondent.
of criticism. 4. Benhur Luy (Luy), a cousin of Mrs. Napoles who had worked for several years with the
Napoleses, filed illegal detention charges against Mrs. Napoles who accused him of
 In cases where a person is accused of a capital offense, the trial court must
double-dealing. When Luy went public with his story about Mrs. Napoles' anomalous
conduct a hearing in a summary proceeding, to allow the prosecution an
transactions and before the warrant of arrest was issued by the court, she reportedly
opportunity to present, within a reasonable time, all evidence it may desire to
tried to reach out to the other whistle-blowers for them not to testify against her but
produce to prove that the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong, before
instead point to Luy as the one receiving and distributing the money.
resolving the issue of bail for the temporary release of the accused. (Due
5. The following day, the social news network Rappler published an article by Aries Rufo
entitled "Exclusive: Napoles Parties with Anti-Graft Court Justice" showing a
 Considering that respondent judge had a close association with respondent
photograph of Senator Jinggoy Estrada (Senator Estrada), one of the main public
Calo, Jr., prudence and regard for his position as judge demanded that he
figures involved in the pork barrel scam, together with Mrs. Napoles and respondent.
should have refrained from fixing the bail and from concluding that the evidence
The reporter had interviewed respondent who quickly denied knowing Mrs. Napoles
against him was merely “circumstantial”, in order to avoid any doubt as to his
and recalled that the photograph was probably taken in one of the parties frequently
judicial impartiality. He should have waited for the raffle of the case and allowed
hosted by Senator Estrada who is his longtime friend.
the judge to whom the case was actually raffled to resolve the issue of fixing the
6. Respondent also supposedly admitted that given the ongoing pork barrel controversy,
bail of said accused, if he was bailable.
the picture gains a different context; nevertheless, he insisted that he has untainted
service in the judiciary, and further denied he was the one advising Mrs. Napoles on
legal strategies in connection with the Kevlar helmet cases where she was acquitted
by a Division of the Sandiganbayan of which respondent is the Chairman and the
then Acting Presiding Justice.
7. In a letter dated September 26, 2013 addressed to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P. A.
Sereno, respondent meticulously explained the controversial photograph which
raised questions on his integrity as a magistrate, particularly in connection with the

decision rendered by the Sandiganbayan' s Fourth Division in the Kevlar helmet and 2) on Integrity of the same Code providing in part that judges must
cases, which convicted some of the accused but acquitted Mrs. Napoles. ensure that their conduct is above reproach and must reaffirm the people’s
8. Respondent surmised that the photograph was taken during the birthday of Senator faith in the integrity of the Judiciary.
Estrada in February, either in the year 2012 or 2013, but definitely not in 2010 or c. In joining Senator Estrada and Napoles in a picture taking, respondent gave
earlier. He explained that he could vaguely remember the circumstances but it would a ground for reproach by reason of impropriety. It bears reiterating Canon 4
have been rude for him to prevent any guest from posing with him and Senator (1) on Propriety of the same Code which provides that judges shall avoid
Estrada during the party. On the nature of his association with Mrs. Napoles, impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.
respondent asserted that he has never “partied” with Napoles. d. This incident manifests respondent's disregard of the dictum that propriety
9. As to the Kevlar helmet cases, respondent said it was impossible for him to have and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the
been advising Mrs. Napoles, as claimed by Mr. Rufo, as even the article itself noted activities of a judge. This exacting standard of decorum is demanded from
that Mrs. Napoles' own brother, Reynald L. Lim, (a.k.a. Reynaldo L. Francisco), a co- judges to promote public confidence in the integrity of the Judiciary.
accused in the case, was convicted by the Sandiganbayan. He stressed that these e. Considering this glaring irregularity, it is safe to conclude that indeed
cases were decided on the merits by the Sandiganbayan, acting as a collegial body respondent has a hand in the acquittal of Napoles. All along, the whistle
and he was not even the ponente of the decision. Respondent thus submitted blowers were telling the truth.
himself to the discretion of the Chief Justice such that even without being required to f. RECOMMENDATION: DISMISSAL from the service WITH FORFEITURE of all
submit an explanation, he voluntarily did so "to defend [his] reputation as a judge retirement benefits, excluding accrued leave credits, and WITH PREJUDICE
and protect the Sandiganbayan as an institution from unfair and malicious to reemployment to any government, including government-owned or
innuendos." controlled corporations.
10. This Court upon evaluation of the factual circumstances found possible
transgressions of the New Code of Judicial Conduct committed by respondent. ISSUE: Whether or not Justice Ong violated Canon 1 Section 1 of the Code of Judicial
Accordingly, a Resolution was issued on January 21, 2014 stating that: WHEREFORE, Conduct.
the Court hereby resolves to have the instant administrative matter RE-DOCKETED as
A.M. No. SB-14-21-J (Re: Allegations Made Under Oath at tlze Senate Blue Ribbon RULING: YES. The Court finds respondent Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory S.
Committee Hearing held on September 26, 2013 against Associate Justice Gregory Ong GUILTY of GROSS MISCONDUCT, DISHONESTY and IMPROPRIETY, all in violations of
S. Ong, Sandiganbayan), and ASSIGNS the same to retired Supreme Court Justice the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, for which he is hereby
Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez for investigation, report and recommendation within a DISMISSED from the service, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits, except accrued
period of sixty (60) days from notice hereof. leave credits, if any, and with prejudice to reemployment in any branch, agency or
11. The Investigating Justice formulated the charges against the respondent, as follows: instrumentality of the government including government-owned or -controlled
1. Respondent acted as contact of Napoles in connection with the Kevlar case while corporations.
it was pending in the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division wherein he is the Chairman;
2. Respondent, being Napoles’ contact in the Sandiganbayan, fixed the Kevlar case RATIO:
resulting in her acquittal;  Misconduct is a transgression of some established and definite rule of action, a
3. Respondent received an undetermined amount of money from Napoles prior to the forbidden act, a dereliction of duty, unlawful behavior, willful in character, improper
promulgation of the decision in the Kevlar case thus, she was sure (“kampante”) of or wrong behavior; while ·"gross" has been defined as "out of all measure beyond
her acquittal; allowance; flagrant; shameful; such conduct as is not to be excused."
4. Respondent visited Napoles in her office where she handed to him eleven (11)  The Court agreed with Justice Sandoval-Gutierrez that respondent's association with
checks, each amounting to P282,000.00 or a total of P3,102,000.00, as advanced Napoles during the pendency and after the promulgation of the decision in the Kevlar
interest for his P25.5 million BDO check she deposited in her personal account; and case resulting in her acquittal, constitutes gross misconduct notwithstanding the
5. Respondent attended Napoles’ parties and was photographed with Senator absence of direct evidence of corruption or bribery in the rendition of the said
Estrada and Napoles. judgment.
12. Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez, a retired Member of this Court, submitted her  In administrative proceedings, only substantial evidence, i.e., that amount of relevant
report and concluded that (among MANY OTHER things): evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion,
a. Respondent’s acts of allowing himself to be Napoles’ contact in the is required. The standard of substantial evidence is satisfied when there is
Sandiganbayan, resulting in the fixing of the Kevlar case, and of accepting reasonable ground to believe that respondent is responsible for the misconduct
money from her, constitute gross misconduct, a violation of the New Code complained of, even if such evidence might not be overwhelming or even
of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary. preponderant.
b. Respondent’s transgression pertains to his personal life and no direct  Bribery is committed when a public officer agrees to perform an act in connection
relation to his judicial function. It is not misconduct but plain dishonesty. with the performance of official duties in consideration of any offer, promise, gift or
His act is unquestionably disgraceful and renders him morally unfit as a present received. A judge who extorts money from a party-litigant who has a case
member of the Judiciary and unworthy of the privileges the law confers on before the court commits a serious misconduct and this Court has condemned such
him. Furthermore, respondent’s conduct supports Benhur’s assertion that act in the strongest possible terms. Particularly because it has been committed by
he received money from Napoles. Dishonesty likewise violates Canon 2 (1

one charged with the responsibility of administering the law and rendering justice, it
quickly and surely corrodes respect for law and the courts.
 A judicial office traces a line around his official as well as personal conduct, a price Re: Gregory Ong, supra.
one has to pay for occupying an exalted position in the judiciary, beyond which he
may not freely venture. Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins a judge to 3. Rivera v. Barro, A.M. No. 2003-CTJ (96 SCRA 338), 28 February 1980
avoid not just impropriety in the performance of judicial duties but in all his activities RULES OF COURT, Rule 137.
whether in his public or private life. He must conduct himself in a manner that gives
no ground for reproach. Section 1. Disqualification of judges. — No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in
which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
 It is not necessary to the proper performance of judicial duty that judges should live
otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity
in retirement or seclusion; it is desirable that, so far as the reasonable attention to
or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the
the completion of their work will permit, they continue to mingle in social intercourse,
civil law, or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or
and that they should not discontinue their interests in or appearance at meetings of
in which he has been presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the
members at the bar. A judge should, however, in pending or prospective litigation
subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and
before him be scrupulously careful to avoid such action as may reasonably tend to
entered upon the record.
waken the suspicion that his social or business relations or friendships constitute an
element in determining his judicial course.
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a
 Judges must, at all times, be beyond reproach and should avoid even the mere case, for just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.
suggestion of partiality and impropriety. Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct
states that "[p ]ropriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the FACTS:
performance of all the activities of a judge." Section 2 further provides: SEC. 2. As a 1. Respondent Silvino Lu. Barro, City Judge of Gingoog City, is charged with
subject of constant public scrutiny, judges must accept personal restrictions that malfeasance and/or misfeasance in office by way of an affidavit executed by
might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and Antonio Rivera, Barangay Chairman of Barangay No. 12, Gingoog City.
willingly. In particular, judges shall conduct themselves in a way that is consistent 2. One evening, at Barrio Lunao, Gingoog City, Misarnis Oriental, several persons,
with the dignity of the judicial office. including one Arturo Barro, nephew of respondent Judge, were apprehended for
 In this light, it does not matter that the case is no longer pending when improper acts illegal gambling.
were committed by the judge. Because magistrates are under constant public 3. A criminal case was filed against said persons in respondent’s sala.
scrutiny, the termination of a case will not deter public criticisms for acts which may 4. Respondent Judge dismissed the case.
cast suspicion on its disposition or resolution. As what transpired in this case, 5. It is contended that because one of the accused is respondent’s nephew,
respondent's association with Napoles has unfortunately dragged the Judiciary into respondent should have inhibited himself from trying the case, pursuant to the
the "Pork Barrel" controversy which initially involved only legislative and executive provisions of Section 1, Rule 137 of the Revised Rules of Court.
officials. Worse, Napoles' much-flaunted "contact" in the judiciary is no less than a 6. Respondent:
Justice of the Sandiganbayan, our special court tasked with hearing graft cases. We  admits that one of the accused in said criminal case in his nephew;
cannot, by any stretch of indulgence and compassion, consider respondent's
 that he did not inhibit himself, although he intended to do so, because
transgression as a simple misconduct.
nobody manifested any objection and because he was informed that the
prosecution was going to reinvestigate the case;
 that he took into account the fact that if the case is assigned to another
Section 2. In performing judicial duties, judges shall be independent from judicial judge, it would take several months to dispose of, unduly clogging the
colleagues in respect of decisions which the judge is obliged to make independently. docket of the court; and
 that the dismissal of the case was not premised on the fact that one of the
Section 3. Judges shall refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation or accused is his nephew.
dispute pending before another court or administrative agency. 7. Deputy Court Administrator Leo D. Medialdea recommends that respondent be
held administratively liable without formal investigation, considering that his
Sabitsana, Jr. v. Villamor, A.M. No. 90-474 (4 October 1991) failure to inhibit himself at the very outset constituted a violation of the rule
Gandeza, Jr. v. Tabin, A.M. No. MTJ-09-1736 (25 July 2011) intended to free the courts from any suspicion of bias and prejudice.

Section 4. Judges shall not allow family, social, or other relationships to influence judicial ISSUE: Whether or not respondent judge violated Section 4 of the New Code of Judicial
conduct or judgment. The prestige of judicial office shall not be used or lent to advance Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary
the private interests of others, nor convey or permit others to convey the impression that
they are in a special position to influence the judge. HELD: YES. Respondent is found guilty as charged and, taking into account his previous
administrative cases, hereby ordered to pay a FINE equivalent to his salary for 3 months.

RATIO: office in disrepute, encourages disrespect for the law and impairs public confidence in the
 In Paciano Basuan v. Juan A. Baes, this Court reprimanded respondent judge for integrity and impartiality of the judiciary itself. It is therefore paramount that a judge’s
having sat and partly acted in CAR Case…wherein his nephew-in-law, Atty. personal behavior both in the performance of his duties and his daily life, be free from any
Manuel M. de Baybay, was the counsel for the defendant Manuel Solomon. The appearance of impropriety as to be beyond reproach.
respondent’s subsequent inhibition does not extenuate his culpability. The rule
which he violated is intended to free courts from any suspicion of bias and FACTS:
prejudice. 1. Lucila Tan filed the instant complaint against Judge Maxwel S. Rosete, former
Acting Presiding Judge, MTC, Branch 58, San Juan, Metro Manila, for violation of
Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
RULES OF COURT, Rule 137 -Disqualification of Judicial Officers Act (R.A. No. 3019).
2. Lucila Tan was the private complainant in 2 criminal cases involving B.P. 22 and
Section 1. Disqualification of judges. — No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in Other Deceits pending before respondent judge’s sala.
3. Before the cases were decided, respondent judge allegedly sent a member of
which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or his staff to ask complainant for P150,000.00 in exchange for the non-dismissal
otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity of the cases. She was shown copies of respondent judge’s Decisions dismissing
or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the the case, both still unsigned, and was told that respondent judge would reverse
the disposition of the cases as soon as she remits the amount demanded. The
civil law, or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or staff member allowed complainant to keep the copy one of the draft Decision.
in which he has been presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the 4. Complainant, however, did not accede to respondent’s demand because she
subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and believed that she had a very strong case. The criminal cases were eventually
dismissed by respondent judge.
entered upon the record. 5. Respondent judge denied the allegations of complainant.
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a  It was complainant who attempted to bribe him in exchange for a favorable
case, for just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above. decision.
o Tried to delay and to derail the promulgation of the decisions.
o Sought the intervention of then San Juan Mayor, Jinggoy Estrada,
Section 2. Objection that judge disqualified, how made and effect. — If it be claimed that her neighbor in Greenhills, San Juan to obtain judgment in her
an official is disqualified from sitting as above provided, the party objecting to his favor.
o Insinuated that she could help him get appointed to a higher
competency may, in writing, file with the official his objection, stating the grounds therefor,
position provided he decides the suits in her favor.
and the official shall thereupon proceed with the trial, or withdraw therefrom, in o Offered to give cash for the downpayment of a car he was
accordance with his determination of the question of his disqualification. His decision planning to buy. But he refused the offer.
shall be forthwith made in writing and filed with the other papers in the case, but no  He said that he had entrusted to Judge Quilatan his Decisions before he left
for New Zealand on study leave. Thus, he asserted that it was impossible
appeal or stay shall be allowed from, or by reason of, his decision in favor of his own for him to change the resolution of the cases and it was likewise impossible
competency, until after final judgment in the case. for any member of his staff to give complainant copies of said Decisions.
6. The Court referred the complaint to the Executive Judge of the RTC of Pasig City
for investigation, report and recommendation. First Vice Executive Judge Edwin
A. Villasor conducted several hearings on the administrative case.
Section 5. Judges shall not only be free from inappropriate connections with, and
influence by, the executive and legislative branches of government, but must also appear ISSUE: Whether or not respondent judge violated Section 5 of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary
to be free therefrom to a reasonable observer.
HELD: Respondent Judge Maxwel S. Rosete is SUSPENDED from office without salary and
4. Tan v. Rosete, A.M. No. MTJ-04-1563 (8 September 2004) other benefits for 4 MONTHS.

DOCTRINE: The exacting standards of conduct demanded from judges are designed to
promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary because the RATIO:
people’s confidence in the judicial system is founded not only on the magnitude of legal
 The presentation during the investigation of the unsigned copy of the draft
knowledge and the diligence of the members of the bench, but also on the highest
decision supports complainants allegation.
standard of integrity and moral uprightness they are expected to possess. When the judge
himself becomes the transgressor of any law which he is sworn to apply, he places his

o It would be impossible for complainant to obtain a copy of a judge’s 55. Beginning October, 1994, the additional monthly allowances of the
draft decision, it being highly confidential, if not through the judge petitioner judges were reduced to P1,000 each. They were also asked to
himself or from the people in his office. And an ordinary employee in reimburse the amount they received in excess of P1,000 from April to
the court cannot promise a litigant the reversal of a case’s disposition September, 1994.
if not assured by the judge who drafted the decision.  On September 21, 1995, respondent COA rendered a decision denying
 The Investigating Judge observed that there is an apparent inconsistency in the petitioners motion for reconsideration. The COA held that:
testimony of the Respondent Judge’s two witnesses regarding the incident at
Sangkalan Restaurant in Quezon City where Complainant claimed that she met The issue to be resolved in the instant appeal is whether or not the City Ordinance of
Respondent Judge, a certain Fernan, and Buboy, while she was with two Mandaue which provides a higher rate of allowances to the appellant judges may prevail
Prosecutors. over that fixed by the DBM under Local Budget Circular No. 55 dated March 15, 1994.
o Fernando B. Espuerta testified that he was at Sangkalan Restaurant  Applying the foregoing doctrine, appropriation ordinance of local government
with Respondent Judge and Buboy (Rodolfo Cea), while the latter units is subject to the organizational, budgetary and compensation policies of
(Rodolfo Cea) denied that he met the Complainant at Sangkalan budgetary authorities (COA 5th Ind., dated March 17, 1994 re: Province of
Restaurant. Antique; COA letter dated May 17, 1994 re: Request of Hon. Renato Leviste,
 Respondent asserts that he was already in New Zealand at the time when Cong. 1st Dist. Oriental Mindoro).
complainant claims that he met with her. However, the evidence he presented  In this regard, attention is invited to Administrative Order No. 42 issued on
only shows his New Zealand visa and the dates when he entered said country. March 3, 1993 by the President of the Philippines clarifying the role of DBM in
He did not show to the investigating body the dates when he left and returned to the compensation and classification of local government positions under RA No.
the Philippines. 7160 vis-avis the provisions of RA No. 6758 in view of the abolition of the
o Apparently, he entered New Zealand on two dates: March 4, 2001 and JCLGPA. Section 1 of said Administrative Order provides that:
May 1, 2001. Thus, the Court infer that he was in the Philippines  Section 1. The Department of Budget and Management as the lead
before May 1, 2001, which is consistent with complainant’s testimony, administrator of RA No. 6758 shall, through its Compensation and Position
as well as that of Fernando Espuerta, that she met with respondent Classification Bureau, continue to have the following responsibilities in
judge and his companions, Fernando and Buboy in April 2001. connection with the implementation of the Local Government Code of 1991:
 Respondent’s acts violate the standard of judicial conduct required to be
observed by members of the Bench. They constitute gross misconduct which is a) Provide guidelines on the classification of local government positions and on the
punishable under Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court. specific rates of pay therefore;
b) Provide criteria and guidelines for the grant of all allowances and additional forms of
compensation to local government employees;
5. HON. RTC JUDGES MERCEDES G. DADOLE (Executive Judge, Branch 28), petitioners,
vs. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, respondent. ISSUE: Whether or not Local Budget Circular No. 55 void for going beyond the supervisory
powers of the President.
CASE OVERVIEW: This is a petition to annul the decision of the respondent Commission on
Audit (COA) affirming the notices of the Mandaue City Auditor, which diminished the HELD: YES. Setting a uniform amount for the grant of additional allowances is an
monthly additional allowances received by the petitioner judges of the Regional Trial Court inappropriate way of enforcing the criterion found in Section 458, par. (a)(1)(xi), of RA
(RTC) and Municipal Trial Court (MTC) stationed in Mandaue City. 7160. The DBM over-stepped its power of supervision over local government units by
imposing a prohibition that did not correspond with the law it sought to implement. In
FACTS: other words, the prohibitory nature of the circular had no legal basis.
 In 1986, the RTC and MTC judges of Mandaue City started receiving monthly
allowances of P1,260 each through the yearly appropriation ordinance enacted RATIO:
by the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the said city. In 1991, Mandaue City  We recognize that, although our Constitution guarantees autonomy to local
increased the amount to P1,500 for each judge. government units, the exercise of local autonomy remains subject to the power
 On March 15, 1994, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) issued of control by Congress and the power of supervision by the President.
the disputed Local Budget Circular No. 55 (LBC 55) which provided that:  Clearly then, the President can only interfere in the affairs and activities of a
 “In the light of the authority granted to the local government units under the local government unit if he or she finds that the latter has acted contrary to law.
Local Government Code to provide for additional allowances and other benefits This is the scope of the Presidents supervisory powers over local government
to national government officials and employees assigned in their locality, such units. Hence, the President or any of his or her alter egos cannot interfere in
additional allowances in the form of honorarium at rates not exceeding local affairs as long as the concerned local government unit acts within the
P1,000.00 in provinces and cities and P700.00 in municipalities may be parameters of the law and the Constitution.
granted”  Any directive therefore by the President or any of his or her alter egos seeking to
 Acting on the DBM directive, the Mandaue City Auditor issued notices of alter the wisdom of a law-conforming judgment on local affairs of a local
disallowance to herein petitioners, in excess of the amount authorized by LBC government unit is a patent nullity because it violates the principle of local

autonomy and separation of powers of the executive and legislative stating that: “No one shall be allowed to collect RATA from more than one
departments in governing municipal corporations. source.”
 Does LBC 55 go beyond the law it seeks to implement? Yes.  Petitioner appealed to COA Regional Director Gregoria S. Ong.
 LBC 55 provides that the additional monthly allowances to be given by a local  COA Reg Dir Ong upheld the opinion of Provincial Auditor Dalisay
government unit should not exceed P1,000 in provinces and cities and P700 in o She added that Resolution No. 101 failed to comply with Section 3 of
municipalities. Section 458, par. (a)(1)(xi), of RA 7160, the law that supposedly Local Budget Circular No. 53 outlining the conditions for the grant of
serves as the legal basis of LBC 55, allows the grant of additional allowances to allowances to judges and other national officials or employees by the
judges when the finances of the city government allow. The said provision does local government units, particularly “That similar allowances/additional
not authorize setting a definite maximum limit to the additional allowances compensation are not granted by the national government to the
granted to judges. officials/employees assigned to the LGU.”
 Thus, we need not belabor the point that the finances of a city government may  Petitioner judge appealed the resolution of the Regional Director to COA
allow the grant of additional allowances higher than P1,000 if the revenues of  Disallowance of the payment of the P1,600 monthly allowance to petitioner was
the said city government exceed its annual expenditures. issued.
 Thus, to illustrate, a city government with locally generated annual revenues of o He received his P1,600 monthly allowance from the Municipality of
P40 million and expenditures of P35 million can afford to grant additional Naujan only for the period May 1993 to January 1994.
allowances of more than P1,000 each to, say, ten judges inasmuch as the  September 14, 1999 – COA issued its decision affirming the resolution of
finances of the city can afford it. Regional Director Gregoria S. Ong. It ruled that:
o The conflicting provisions of Section 447, Par. (1) (xi) of the Local
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED, and the assailed decision and resolution, Government Code of 1991 (that the finances of the municipality allow the
dated September 21, 1995 and May 28, 1996, respectively, of the Commission on Audit grant thereof) and Section 36 of the General Appropriations Act of 1993
are hereby set aside. [RA 7645] (No one shall be allowed to collect RATA from more than one
source) have been harmonized by the Local Budget Circular No. 53 dated
01 September 1993 (provided that similar allowance/additional
6. Leynes v. Commission on Audit, et al., G.R. No. 143596,(11 December 2003) compensation are not granted by the national government to the
official/employee assigned to the local government unit), issued by the
FACTS Department of Budget and Management pursuant to its powers under
 Petitioner JUDGE TOMAS LEYNES is at present the presiding judge of RTC Section 25 and Section 327 of the Local Government Code;
Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro o The subject SB Resolution No. 101 dated 11 May 1993 of the Sangguniang
o He was formerly assigned to the Municipality of Naujan, Oriental Bayan of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro is null and void;
Mindoro as the sole presiding judge of its MTC o Judge Tomas C. Leynes, being a national government official is prohibited to
o His salary and representation allowance (RATA) were drawn from the receive additional RATA from the local government fund.
budget of SC
o He received a monthly allowance of P944 from the local funds of the ISSUE: WON the petitioner was entitled to receive the additional allowances granted to
Municipality of Naujan starting 1984 him by the Municipality of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, in addition to that provided by the
 March 15, 1993 – Sangguniang Bayan (SB) of Naujan (through Resolution 057), Supreme Court (YES)
sought the opinion of Provincial Auditor and Provincial Budget Officer regarding
any budgetary limitation on the grant of a monthly allowance to petitioner. RULING
 May 7, 1993 – SB unanimously approved Resolution 101 increasing petitioner’s  An administrative circular cannot supersede, abrogate, modify or nullify a statute. A
allowance to P1,600 statute is superior to an administrative circular, thus the latter cannot repeal or
 1994 –Municipal Government of Naujan again provided for petitioner judge’s amend it.
P1,600 monthly allowance in its annual budget which was again approved by o In the present case, NCC No. 67, being a mere administrative circular,
the Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the Office of Provincial Budget and cannot repeal a substantive law like RA 7160.
Management of Oriental Mindoro.  Repeal of statutes by implication is not favored, unless it is manifest that the
 February 17, 1994- Provincial Auditor Salvacion M. Dalisay sent a letter to the legislature so intended. The legislature is assumed to know the existing laws on the
Municipal Mayor and the Sangguniang Bayan of Naujan directing them: subject and cannot be presumed to have enacted inconsistent or conflicting statutes.
o To stop the payment of the P1,600 monthly allowance or RATA  There was no other provision in RA 7645 from which a repeal of Section 447(a)(1)(xi)
o To require the immediate refund of the amounts previously paid to the of RA 7160 could be implied.
judge.  The presumption against implied repeal becomes stronger when one law is special
 Dalisay said that the Municipality of Naujan could not grant RATA to petitioner and the other is general. (Generalia specialibus non derogant or a general law does
judge in addition to the RATA the latter was already receiving from the Supreme not nullify a specific or special law)
Court based on Section 36, RA No. 7645, General Appropriations Act of 1993,

 The reason for this is that the legislature, in passing a law of special character,  41 Complainants were employees of the City Government of QC
considers and makes special provisions for the particular circumstances dealt with by o They were appointed by various city mayors at different times under
the special law. separate appointment papers and received salaries and other benefits
 The General Appropriations Act (R.A. No. 7645), being a general law, could not have, from the City Government
by mere implication, repealed Section 447(a)(1)(xi) of the Local Government Code o They held positions under the Office of the City Mayor, Special
(R.A. No. 7160). Assistance for MeTC and were assigned at the OCC-MeTC and the
 In this case, RA 7160 (the LGC of 1991) is a special law which exclusively deals with different branches of MeTC QC to assist the organic staff of the
local government units (LGUs), outlining their powers and functions in consonance judiciary
with the constitutionally mandated policy of local autonomy.  August 16, 1993 – Respondent wrote a letter to Mayor Ismael Mathay Jr.
 RA 7645 (the GAA of 1993) was a general law which outlined the share in the returning all but one of the 41 complainants to QC Government allegedly to:
national fund of all branches of the national government. o Utilize the maximum potentials and resources of all National and City
 Therefore, RA 7645 being a general law, could not have, by mere implication, paid employees
repealed RA 7160. Rather, RA 7160 should be taken as the exception to RA 7645 in o In view of the recent personnel survey that the Office of the Clerk of
the absence of circumstances warranting a contrary conclusion. Court (MTC) is overstaffed
 In construing NCC No. 67, force and effect should not be narrowly given to isolated o Judge said that she is returning said employees to properly assess,
and disjoined clauses of the law but to its spirit, broadly taking all its provisions determine and evaluate actual number of support employees from the
together in one rational view. City in the effective and efficient operation of the said office.
o Taking NCC 67 as a whole, what it seeks to prevent is the dual collection of  The letter returning MeTC employees was based on an alleged plan to
RATA by a national official from the budgets of “more than one national reorganize the OCC-MeTC which dated back to the time of former Executive
agency.” Judge Guillermo Loja.
 NCC 67 applies only to the national funds administered by the DBM, not the local  Victor Ala supposedly assessed the work aptitude of complainants by
funds of the LGUs to prevent the much-abused practice of multiple allowances, thus clandestinely observing them for several days during a two-week period at the
standardizing the grant of RATA by national agencies. By no stretch of the OCC
imagination can NCC 67 be construed as nullifying the power of LGUs to grant o Results were reduced into a confidential Aide Memoire, which
allowances to judges under the Local Government Code of 1991. It applies only to concluded that “there was general breakdown of office functions, as
the national funds administered by the DBM, not the local funds of LGUs. personnel were engaged in lively and animated conversation among
 To rule against the power of LGUs to grant allowances to judges will threaten the themselves, accompanied by boisterous laughter unbecoming of an
principle of local autonomy guaranteed by the Constitution. office and non-productive moving about was also an ordinary sight”
 The power of LGUs to grant allowances to judges and leaving to their discretion the o Prior to the submission of the letter, respondent met with then Clerk of
amount of allowances they may want to grant, depending on the availability of local Court Herman Cimafranca and respondent Camaya to discuss the
funds ensures the genuine and meaningful local autonomy of LGUs. possibility of reducing the personnel in the OCC
o Section 3, paragraph (e) thereof is invalid. o Respondent Judge convened all the employees including the
o Section 3, paragraph (e) of LBC 53, by outrightly prohibiting LGUs from complainants and told them the plan to steamline the workforce.
granting allowances to judges whenever such allowances are (1) also  August 17, 1993 – Mayor Mathay issued Office Order 47 reassigning the 43
granted by the national government, or (2) similar to the allowances complainants to different offices of the QC Government
granted by the national government, violates Section 447(a)(1)(xi) of the o They suffered no diminution of salary or benefit nor were subjected to
Local Government Code of 1991. difficulties as a result of the personnel movement they retained their
 An ordinance must be presumed valid in the absence of evidence showing that it is respective items.
 The resolution of the Municipality of Naujan granting the P1,600 monthly allowance ADMINISTRATIVE COMPLAINT
to petitioner judge fully complied with the law hence it is VALID.  Complainants averred conspiracy between respondents Camay and Remedies
 The Court ruled in favor of petitioner judge. “Baby” Garcia (alleged girl Friday of respondent judge) to favor some of her
“favorite” national employees (hence the transfer and unfair treatment) They
aver that:
7. Alfonso v. Alonzo-Legasto, A.M. No. MTJ-94-995, 5 September 2002 o Judge was also charged with doctoring payroll to collect 30 days of
election-related work when she should have been credited with only
FACTS five days of work.
o Camaya usurped the authority of Clerk of Court Herman in signing
 This is a complaint for various administrative charges against Respondent Judge
vouchers and purchase request papers so she could collect bribe
consisting of graft and corruption, rendition of an unjust interlocutory order,
money from suppliers.
fraud against public treasury, malversation of public funds, estafa,
o Garcia falsified three daily time records for 2.5 months
discrimination, favoritism, grave abuse of authority and serious misconduct
ISSUE: WON respondent is administratively liable (YES)

The members of the judiciary should promote high standards of conduct to reinforce
RULING public confidence in the judiciary.
 Respondent violated the rules and regulations governing the detail, FACTS:
reassignment or transfer of court employees including locally-funded court  The judicial audit team of the OCA reported irregularities in the solemnization of
personnel. marriages in the lower courts of Cebu, as there were fixers for instant marriages
 The decision to return the 41 City Government employees exceeded her being offered by packages.
authority under Sec. IV of AO 6 which is limited the temporary re-assignment of  A special secret team of two lawyers (male and female) was created, for it to go
court employees (for a period of three months extendible only once for the same undercover as a couple looking to get married. With this, they went to the Palace
period). of Justice in Cebu.
 She had no authority to cause the permanent transfer of the court employees  The female lawyer then asked the clerk inside if there was a shortcut to the
since its jurisdiction is only given to the Office of the Court Administration and marriage process, and she was assured that they could get married the next day.
not in her capacity as Executive Judge. But this instant marriage recipe would come at a cost of P3000.
 It was her duty to apprise this Court of the personnel requirements of the OCC-  Feeling informed, the lawyers then reported their findings to the judicial audit
MeTC and the alleged need to steamline the staffing pattern before informing team. The OCA then filed a memorandum to the SC.
the local government of the return of its employees.  This memorandum was treated as a formal administrative complaint. The
o But she referred the matter personally to the office of then Vice Mayor judges, respondents herein, were directed to file their comments, and were
Charito Planas for evaluation and assessment, which is contrary to suspended pending the resolution of the case.
Sec. III of AO 30-91 (vesting I the Office of the Court Administrator the Evidence against the erring judges
sole responsibility for all liaison and coordination activities with the  643 marriages were examined by the judicial audit team, and 280 of which were
Legislative and Executive departments) and Sec. IV of AO 6 (requiring solemnized without a marriage license, pursuant to Art. 34 of the family code (5
prior notice to this Court, as regards the purported transfer of year cohabitation). Some irregularities were:
employees which would compromise the administration of justice) o Logbooks of the MTCC indicate a higher number of solemnized
 She likewise violated Rule 3.08 of the Code of Judicial Conduct (judges are marriages
required to maintain professional competence in court managements) o Unusual number of marriage licenses obtained from nearby civil
 The 41 employees were appointees of QC Government, there were no common registrars
derogatory records which would explain respondent’s recommendation for their o Solemnized marriages, the licenses of which were procured on the
collective transfer same day as the solemnization
 PENALTIES:  A number of interviews of court personnel were also garnered, the gist of which
o Respondent Judge – fined P10K for abuse of authority for the transfer stated that the marriages that were solemnized by the respondent judges were
of the 41 complainants and for neglect of her duty for her failure to motivated by bribes
initiate an investigation into the falsified daily time records of  Multiple affidavits of private persons were collected by the judicial audit team,
Remedies “Baby” Garcia all of which stated that their marriages were solemnized pursuant to Art. 34 of
o Remedies “Baby” Garcia – GUILTY of using falsified DTR for December the FC. Providing that at the time they did not understand what it meant, but
16-31, 1989 and is hereby suspended for 1 month (if not possible, pay after learning it, declared that such an article did not apply to them
P20K fine instead) Interlocutory orders of the court
o BOTH ARE WARNED  The SC issued a resolution requiring judges Necessario, Acosta, Tormis, and
Rosales of the MTCC to file their respective comments, telling why they should
not be punished.
Sections 6 and 7. Independence in relation to society; the institutional and operational  Court personnel and personnel of the local civil registrars were also impleaded
independence of the judiciary. Defenses of the judges
 They all relied on the presumption of regularity. That all the documents
Section 8. High standards of judicial conduct to reinforce public confidence in the judiciary presented to them were genuine and authentic, and all they had to do was to
solemnize the marriage. They said that they were not obliged to check the
authenticity of such documents.
8. OCA v. Necessario, A.M. No. MTJ-07- 1691, 2 April 2013 OCA Report
 All judges should be dismissed for gross ignorance of the law for solemnizing
marriages that were tainted with defects at the outset, because during the
RECIT READY: Judges solemnized marriages (mga 1000 plus marriages) with no cohabitation the parties were still minors; for solemnizing marriages of
appropriate marriage documents (walang marriage license, no certification from the foreigners without the required certificate from the embassy; for solemnizing
embassy as to foreigners, false affidavits of cohabitation). As such, they were held guilty marriages without marriage licenses
of gross inefficiency and neglect of duty, and were accordingly dismissed from service. ISSUE:

Whether the judges and personnel of the lower courts of Cebu are guilty of gross  Issued memorandum prohibiting petitioner from serving
ignorance of the law, gross neglect of duty or gross inefficiency and gross misconduct. summons before the raffle of cases
HELD:  Stopped practice of filing pleadings with Office of the clerk of
 This Court has long held that court officials and employees are placed with a court and limited it to initiatory pleadings only
heavy burden and responsibility of keeping the faith of the public. It shall not  AM OCA IPI 05-2243-P
countenance any conduct which would violate the norm of public accountability o Petitioner and Balajo accused Calpatura of corruption, in cahoots with
and diminish the faith of the people in the Judiciary. Pardo
 The palace of justice in Cebu was practically a hub of swift marriages.  Calpatura allegedly approached litigants and offered them assistance provided
Respondent judges and personnel disregarded laws and procedure to the they would give him money or animals.
prejudice of the parties and the proper administration of justice.  In the same criminal case against Rosendo, Calpatura allegedly sent an
 Respondent judges are all guilty of gross inefficiency or neglect of duty when emissary to ask for P10,000.00 so that Judge Pardo would decide favorably
they solemnized marriages without following the proper procedure laid down by Rosendo’s probation.
law.  28 March 2005- Calpatura allegedly sent Rosendo a text message, stating to
 The presumption of regularity will not lie if the marriage documents do not give him P3,000.00, through Dominador.
appear regular on its face, such as superimpositions and erasures on relevant  In Civil Case No. 292, the plaintiff (Gorospe) testified that his friend Jose
data. This presumption may be rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity or Cabañero introduced him to Calpatura while they were following up this case in
failure to perform a duty, as the visible abnormalities in the text of the marriage the RTC.
documents should have alerted the judges. o July 2004 – Gorospe, together with Cabañero, allegedly met Calpatura
 Liability: Necessario, Acosta, Tormis, Rosales = DISMISSED FROM SERVICE in the Cabarroguis public market.
o Calpatura allegedly urged him to buy hard drinks and pulutan. Gorospe
agreed because he was seeking help with his case.
9. Tuldague et al. v. Balayo, et al., A.M. No. RTJ-05-1962, 17 October 2013 o November 2004 – Calpatura allegedly asked him to prepare a goat for
Judge Pardo’s birthday.
FACTS o Judge Pardo allegedly instructed Gorospe to give him the goat through
 AM RTJ-05-1962 Petitioner alleged that Judge Pardo committed corruption and Calpatura. Thereafter, Calpatura allegedly asked him again for money.
violations of the New Code of Judicial Conduct  Juanito Pascua (Juanito) testified that Calpatura visited him in jail to ask for two
1. In People vs. Rosndeo, Judge Pardo allegedly asked and received P6,000 goats. Judge Pardo allegedly instructed Calpatura to ask for the goats in order to
from Rosendo in exchange fro a favorable decision on his application for expedite his release from jail.
probation.  Calpatura allegedly acted as "fixer" and "bagman" for Judge Pardo in cases
2. In Land Registration Case, Pardo allegedly obtained P1K from Petitioner where the accused deposited cash bonds.
John Toribio for a speedy release of a copy of the grant of petition o Both Calpatura and Judge Pardo allegedly shared with the released
3. In People vs. Johny Kimayong, Pardo allegedly received and asked one deer cash bonds thereafter.
from accused in exchange for a favorable decision  In Criminal Case No. 1468, Aurelia Diaz (Diaz) testified that Calpatura and
4. He allegedly received P10K from Richard Calpito, in exchange for endorsing Prestoza asked for her released cash bond amounting to P16,000.00, so that
him to the position of Process Server in RTC the estafa case against her would be dismissed. Diaz narrated that on 14
5. He allegedly ordered Lugeorge (Electrician II of the Maintenance Section of October 2002, Judge Pardo asked her if she would give him the released cash
the RTC) to take out two cans coat master paint from the Hall of Justice. bond amounting to P16,000.00. Diaz agreed but asked Judge Pardo to
These cans were brought to Pardo’s house. acknowledge its receipt.
 RESPONDENT’s answers:  Calpatura allegedly bragged to court litigants about drafting decisions and his
o Denied that Rosendo gave him money for his probation. He presented closeness to Judge Pardo.
Fr. Lazo as witness (testified that he did not see Rosendo handing  Calpatura allegedly projected himself as a lawyer even though he did not pass
anything to Pardo) the bar.
o Denied charges that he obtained P1K from Toribio
o Denied receiving a deer from Kimayong
o Denied receiving P10K for endorsing them to vacant positions in RTC CALPATURA’s answer:
o Denied ordering Lugeorge to take two cans of paint because Lugeorge
confessed that it is him who took the cans of paint  Denied the allegations against him.
o Petitioner filed this case to get even with him because he:  Denied that he offered assistance to litigants in exchange for money or animals
 Enjoined petitioner from signing applications for leave of and that he was a "fixer" and "bagman" of Judge Pardo.
absence of employees which he used to do  Denied receiving P3,000.00 from Rosendo through Dominador.
 Recalled Process Server Calpito and Prestoza who used to be o He presented Dominador, who testified that Rosendo did not give him
under petitioner’s disposal money on 28 March 2005.

 Claimed that the allegations against him were products of instigations with ill- ISSUE: WON Judge Pardo is liable for violation of New Code of Judicial Conduct
motive brought about by complainants’ illegitimate and capricious ambitions. He
alleged that Tuldague sought to be free from constructive suggestions and RULING
corrections on his wrong office actions, i.e. issuance of summons before the  Affirm OCA with modifications
raffle of cases. He likewise claimed that Balajo harbored ill-feelings against him  The Court held that a judge’s acts of meeting with litigants outside the
since he questioned his issuance of commitment orders.
office premises beyond office hours and sending a member of his staff to
talk with complainant constitute gross misconduct. Moreover, a judge was
A.M. No. 05-10-661-RTC held liable for misconduct when he entertained a litigant in his home and
received benefits given by the litigant.
 August 15-19, 2005 – a judicial audit was conducted in the RTC of Cabarroguis,  Complainants did not have direct knowledge of their charges and merely
Quirino, based on the directive of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) and relied on their witnesses to testify on the alleged wrongful act of Judge
Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr. to investigate Judge Pardo. Pardo.
 September 2005 – the audit team submitted their initial report providing,  There were material inconsistencies present on Rosendo’s testimonies,
among others, that in Branches 31 and 32 of the RTC, Judge Pardo, as presiding which greatly affected his credibility.
and pairing judge, accumulated a total of:  SEC. 8, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court classifies gross misconduct as a
o 44 cases without further action or settings for a considerable length of serious offense.
time;  This is not Pardo’s first offense.
o 7 cases submitted for decision or resolution but already beyond the o Guilty of Gross Ignorance of the law
reglementary period to decide or resolve;  Court’s decision:
o 1 case not yet set for hearing o For failure of complainants to substantiate their charges against
 Resolution dated October 18, 2005 – Court En Banc, upon recommendation by Judge Pardo, case is dismissed.
the OCA, resolved to: o He is still liable for gross misconduct.
o Consolidate the instant judicial audit and investigation report with the o Adopt finding that the matter regarding judicial audit be
complaints against Judge Pardo; considered closed terminated.
o Include Calpatura as respondent in the charge of corruption;  Respondent is guilty of gross misconduct and fine him of P40K to be
o Refer the consolidated cases to Justice Marigomen, Consultant, OCA, deducted from his retirement benefits.
for investigation, report and recommendation within 60 days from the  OCA is directed to release the retirement pay and other benefits due him.
termination of the formal hearing.
 Resolution dated April 4 2006 –the Court En Banc, resolved to redocket the
complaint, amend the earlier resolution and limit the charges against Judge 10. DR. JANOS B. VIZCAYNO v. JUDGE JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY, AM No. MTJ-10-1772,
Pardo to: Dec 05, 2012
o Corruption through, among others, sharing of cash bonds;
o Demanding money or live animals in exchange for endorsing applicants FACTS:
for vacant positions;  On 31 March 2009, Judge Dacanay went to Catarman, Liloan, Cebu to
o Taking of court property specifically two big cans of coat master paint personally see Lot 1529-P, subject of the forcible entry and damages in Civil
allocated for the painting of the Hall of Justice. Case No. 650-R pending in his court; and he inspected said property in the
 Court approved Pardo’s application for optional retirement but held in abeyance presence of the plaintiffs and in the absence of Dr. Vizcayno and his counsels.
his retirement benefits until the final resolution of this case  Complainant only learned of the ocular inspection through neighbors Norma Tan,
 OCA’s RECOMMENDATIONS: corruption case be dimissed for insufficiency of Herminia Domain, and Fernan Baguio. Feeling aggrieved, complainant filed a
evidence and Pardo be fined P20K for violation of New Code of Judicial Conduct motion for inhibition of respondent judge to hear the civil action.
which shall be deducted from his retirement benefits. The matter regarding  Complainant argues that respondent judge committed a gross violation of the
judicial audit be considered closed and terminated. due process clause protected under the Constitution when the latter conducted
o Pardo is liable for violating Sec.1, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial an ex-parte ocular inspection without notice to him.
Conduct  Also, respondent judge failed to live up to that norm of conduct that "judges
o Pardo did not deny that he had a drinking spree with Rosendo (more should not only be impartial but should also appear impartial," when he
than 2 hours) – this act is disturbing and improper since Rosendo had conducted the ocular inspection together with the plaintiffs. Such act,
a pending application for probation with Judge Pardo complainant claims, is highly improper and grossly inappropriate, and is a
o Charges of corruption, taking of cans of paint and endorsing applicants violation of Canon 2 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
in exchange for money or animals – Complainants failed to Judiciary (New Code of Judicial Conduct) which provides that "a judge should
substantiate their charges avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities."

 In his answer, respondent judge explains that he went to the subject property  We have repeatedly stressed that all those involved in the dispensation of
with his utility personnel only to conduct his own personal investigation on the justice, from the presiding judge to the lowliest clerk, must always be beyond
case to determine whether the disputed construction therein really exists, and to reproach. Their conduct must, at all times, be circumscribed with the heavy
help him in suggesting to the parties to settle the case amicably. At the time of burden of responsibility free from any suspicion that may taint the judiciary.
his personal inspection of the property, no one from either the plaintiffs or the  As the administration of justice is a sacred task, this Court condemns and
defendant ever entertained him. What he did was to make a mere assessment cannot countenance any act on the part of court personnel that would violate
of the property for his personal satisfaction, in all good faith and without fraud, the norm of public accountability and diminish or even just tend to diminish the
dishonesty, or malicious intent. faith of the people in the judiciary.
 Respondent judge asserts that he cannot be accused of gross ignorance of the
law, abuse of authority, manifest partiality, and delay, as he made the inspection
in good faith and with noble intentions. Citing Lumbos v. Baliguat, he argues that 11. JUDGE RIZALINA T. CAPCO-UMALI v. JUDGE PAULITA B. ACOSTA-VILLARANTE, A.M. No.
to constitute gross ignorance of the law, it is not enough that the subject RTJ-08-2124
decision, order or actuation of the judge in the performance of his official duties ---------------------------------
is contrary to existing law and jurisprudence, but it must be moved by bad faith, JUDGE PAULITA B. ACOSTA-VILLARANTE v. JUDGE RIZALINA T. CAPCO-UMALI, A.M. No. RTJ-
fraud, dishonesty or corruption. He likewise denies incurring delay, averring that 08-2125, August 27, 2009
the records of the case easily reveal that it was complainant and his counsel
who, for several instances, failed to appear during the scheduled hearings of the
case. FACTS:
 On 10 March 2010, the OCA, under Court Administrator Jose Midas P. Marquez  Judge Acosta-Villarante wrote a Memorandum of March 27, 2007 addressed to
and Deputy Court Administrator Jesus Edwin A. Villasor, issued its Evaluation Executive Judge Maria Cancino-Erum of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
and Recommendation on the present complaint. Mandaluyong City.
 The OCA’s recommendation reads as follows:  The Memorandum refers to an unfortunate incident wherein during the first
meeting of RTC Judges ever held on March 23, 2007 (Friday) under Judge
“PREMISES CONSIDERED, for conducting an ocular inspection without informing the Erum’s judgeship where the newly appointed vice executive Judge Rizalina
parties, we find respondent, Judge Jasper Jesse Dacanay, guilty of conduct prejudicial to Capco-Umali marred the event by conduct very unbecoming of a judge by
the best interest of the service in violation of Sec. 1, Canon 4 of The New Code of Judicial uttering unsavory remarks and epithets or words designed to humiliate Judge
Conduct, which is considered a serious charge.” Villarante in the presence of fellow judges coupled with her attempt to inflict
ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Dacanay should be held administratively liable for conduct physical harm to her which JudgeErum miserably failed to control and dominate
prejudicial to the best interest of the service for conducting an ocular inspection without and opted to take a passive stance.
informing the parties  Because of this, Judge Capco-Umali filed a libel case against Judge Villarante.
HELD: YES. Judge Dacanay's actuations, although not necessarily attended with bad faith, Judge Villarante countered it by filing an Administrative Complaint charging
fraud, dishonesty or corruption, were precipitate and imprudent. The pre-trial stage has Judge Capco-Umali with violation of Canon 4, Sections 1 and 2 of the New Code
not begun. There was failure to inform all parties about the ocular inspection. of Judicial Conduct, and a complaint for Grave Oral Defamation and Grave
Threats before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Mandaluyong City.
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Jasper Jesse G. Dacanay is found guilty of committing  It all started when Judge Erum paid a visit to Mayor Neptali Gonzales. All was
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service in violation of Canon 4 of the New working out until they came to the topic of local allowances.
Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary and is imposed a fine of ?30,000.  Mayor Gonzales noticed the disparity on the allowances especially that
Judge Dacanay is directed to pay, within 15 days from notice of this Decision, this fine respondent Villarante was receiving additional three thousand pesos (P3,000)
together with the fine imposed in A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480. Judge Dacanay is sternly warned on top of her regular allowance as Executive Judge; and additional five thousand
that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. pesos (Php5,000) on top of her allowance as Acting Judge of Br. 209.
 Judge Erum showed the payroll and told the Mayor that it was Judge Villarante
RATIO: who requested it and that the Mayor approved, in which the Mayor denied the
 Judge Dacanay issued an Order dated 31 March 2009, the same day as the said approval.
ocular inspection, resetting the preliminary conference on 29 May 2009, yet the  The Mayor summoned LOIDA, her staff and directed the latter to retrieve the
order did not contain any notice to the parties of Judge Dacanay's ocular previous payrolls including the 2006 payrolls.
inspection.  Come, March 23, 2007 (Friday) Monthly Judges Meeting was held. The meeting
 We have previously ruled that an ocular inspection without notice to nor was going smoothly until the topic of local allowance had been touched.
presence of the parties is highly improper.[13] Good and noble intentions Reporting to the body what transpired during the courtesy call at the Mayor’s
notwithstanding, Judge Dacanay's actuations gave an appearance of Office on March 15, 2007, when the matter of giving to the new executive judge
impropriety. His behavior diminished public confidence in the integrity and the increased allowances of Executive Judge Paulita B. Acosta-Villarante and
impartiality of the judiciary. that the latter would revert back to the authorized amount for Executive Judges

was discussed, respondent Villarante was angered and blurted out addressing DEDUCT the amount of Eleven Thousand Pesos (P11,000) from her retirement
the new Executive Judge, thus: benefits.
o "Kayo, simula ng maupo sa pwesto, wala ng ginawa kundi kutkutin at  Judge Rizalina T. Capco-Umali, who is still in the service, is STERNLY WARNED
maghanap ng evidencia para ako masira, nagsusumbong, that a repetition of similar acts will be dealt with more severely. The same stern
nagmamanman. Wala naman pakialaman sa allowance kanya kanya warning applies to retired Judge Paulita B. Acosta-Villarante in her capacity as a
yan dapat.["] member of the Bar.
 Having personal knowledge of the conversation that transpired at the Mayor’s RATIO:
Office on March 15, 2007, Judge Umali felt obliged to come to the rescue of the  On Judge Capco-Umali:
embattled Judge Maria A. Cancino-Erum and to refute respondent’s misplaced o Failed to live up to the standard of propriety entrenched in the
tirade by stating matter of fact the truth and what I saw and heard. aforequoted code of conduct. While, she might have been provoked by
 While complainant is still enlightening her fellow Judges of the real facts that Judge Acosta-Villarante’s referral to her as a liar, she should have
transpired at the Mayor’s Office, Judge Villarante kept talking too and even maintained her composure instead of shouting back at a fellow judge.
shouting at the top of her voice towards complainant. Villarante even called o She should have exercised self-restraint instead of reacting in such a
complainant a liar (sinungaling) repeatedly. very inappropriate manner considering that she is in the presence of
 Complainant got upset by the verbal aggression made by Judge Villarante that fellow Judges and other employees of RTC, Mandaluyong City.
she told the latter, thus: o She should have put more consideration and effort on preserving the
o "Matanda ka na, halos malapit ka na sa kamatayan gumagawa ka pa solemnity of the said meeting, and on giving those who are present the
ng ganyan, madadamay pa kami." courtesy and respect they deserved.
 Judge Villarante fought back: "Bog, sana mangyari sa iyo, bog!".  On Judge Acosta-Villarante:
 More heated exchanges ensued because Judge Villarante kept on o It was Judge Acosta-Villarante’s unseemly behavior, calling Judge
saying sinungaling to the complainant. Capco-Umali "sinungaling" in front of their fellow Judges that initiated
 After that, cooler heads intervened. the altercation between the two Judges.
 By Comment of May 28, 2007, Judge Acosta-Villarante denied that she wrote the o Judge Acosta-Villarante should have been more cautious in choosing
Memorandum to maliciously impute a crime, vice or defect on Judge Capco- the words to address the already volatile situation with Judge Capco-
Umali as she merely requested for the suspension of the holding of the monthly Umali.
meeting of judges to avoid a repetition of the incident and to afford the parties o If indeed the memorandum was produced strictly to allow the parties to
an opportunity to "cool off." cool off and avoid a repetition of the incident, on this ground alone,
 In a next meeting, Judge Villarante took the floor and asked others that any there was no need to mention the alleged misbehavior of Judge Capco-
matters regarding the allowances, the others should not question. Umali during the meeting. The memorandum was thus written as a
medium for retaliation against Judge Capco-Umali.
 At that juncture Judge Capco-Umali stood up and in a mode of anger pointing a
finger against herein Complainant, she repeatedly said in a loud voice:
o "Matanda ka na…! Mamamatay ka na!..." at iba pa na may  An act complained of anchored on a violation of Code of Judicial Conduct, may
kahalintulad. only constitute a serious charge under Section 8 of Rule 140 of the Rules of
Court if the same amounts to gross misconduct. The respective acts for which
 Judge Villarante answered:
the herein respondents have been charged do not amount to gross misconduct.
o “Judge ako! Judge ako!
Thus, the charges against them cannot be considered serious.
 And before Judge Capco-Umali exits the room, she was about to get attacked by
 Nevertheless, respondents should be held administratively liable for violation of
Judge Villarante if not of the timely interference of another Judge.
Section 1, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
Judiciary. Under Section 11(B) in relation to Section 9 (A) of Rule 140, as
amended by A.M. No. 01-8-10-SC, violation of Supreme Court rules constitutes a
 Whether or not both Judges should be sanctioned for violation of the New Code
less serious charge. Respondents, therefore, may be sanctioned with:
of Judicial Conduct.
o [1] suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not
less than (1) nor more than three (3) months; or
o [2] a fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00.
 YES. Both were sanctioned by the Supreme Court.
 WHEREFORE, the Court finds Judges Rizalina T. Capco-Umali and Paulita B.
Acosta-Villarante GUILTY of violation of Section 1, Canon 4 of the New Code of Canon 2: Integrity
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary ("[J]udges shall avoid impropriety
and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities."), for which they are Section 1. Conduct beyond reproach
each FINED in the amount of Eleven Thousand (P11,000) Pesos.
 In view of the retirement of Judge Paulita B. Acosta-Villarante, the Fiscal
Management and Budget Office, Office of the Court Administrator is ordered to 12. CASAR ET AL. V. SOLUREN, A.M. NO. RTJ-12-2316 (9 OCTOBER 2012)

annulled so that he could marry another woman with whom he was having a
FACTS: relationship.
 An administrative case was filed by the complainants against Judge Soluren for o Aida filed instead a petition for legal separation.
violation of the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) Circular No. 03-2010,  Aida further alleged that in relation to a property under the name of their child
dated January 12, 2010, which suspended the conduct of jail visitation and Alistair:
inspection by Executive Judges and Presiding Judges pending results of the re- o Respondent executed an affidavit of loss claiming that the title over a
examination of the provisions of A.M. No. 07-3-02-SC. parcel of registered land under the name of Alistair, was lost in his
 Judge Soluren went to the Aurora Provincial Jail and conferred with the inmates possession but which at that time was in Alistairs possession.
including those who had pending cases before her sala. o Respondent wanted the property back in the event his petition for
 The purpose of Judge Soluren’s visit was to persuade the prisoners into signing declaration of nullity of marriage would be granted by the court.
a letter addressed to then Chief Justice Renato C. Corona, calling for the  Respondent admitted executing the affidavit of loss but only to protect his
dismissal of the administrative complaint filed against her by the District Public interest because he learned that Aida and Alistair wanted to use the property as
Attorney of Baler, Aurora, and for the removal of the Presiding Judge of RTC- a collateral for a loan.
Baler.  Findings of Investigating Judge as affirmed by OCA:
 Evidence presented: o Respondent is not guilty of dishonesty with regard to his claim of
o Certification from Prison Guard Administrator for the unauthorized homosexuality and the execution of the affidavit of loss to protect his
visits made by Judge Soluren to the provincial jail rights
o Affidavit executed by Soluren’s companion during her visits o Respondent is guilty of simple misconduct in allowing the title of the
o Handwritten letter signed by the detention prisoners admitting that property to be registered in the name of then minor Alistair by
they were not aware of the import of the letter to the Chief Justice due manipulating the transaction despite Alistair’s lack of legal capacity to
to lack of explanation by Judge Soluren enter into the transaction just to avoid losing the property should he
 Judge Soluren: admitted that she went to the Aurora Provincial Jail on four (4) lose in a pending case filed against him (if he lose the case, property
occasions but they were not official jail visitations will be taken).
 OCA: Judge Soluren guilty of Simple Misconduct and imposing upon her a fine of
P10,000.00 ISSUE: W/N Judge Campos was guilty of simple misconduct
RULING: YES. Respondent is liable to pay a fine o 20,000.
ISSUE: W/N Judge Soluren is guilty of simple misconduct RATIO:
RULING: YES. Judge Soluren opened herself to charges of impropriety when she went to  The New Code of Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary provides that judges must:
the Aurora Provincial Jail to solicit the sympathies and signatures of the prisoners, o accept personal restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by
especially those who had pendings cases in her sala. Respondent is liable to pay a fine of the ordinary citizen
10,000. o conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with the dignity of the
RATIO: judicial office
 The Court has consistently enjoined judges to avoid not just impropriety in their o comport himself at all times in such a manner that his conduct, official
conduct but even the mere appearance of impropriety because the appearance or otherwise, can bear the most searching scrutiny of the public that
of bias or prejudice can be damaging as actual bias or prejudice to the public’s looks up to him as the epitome of integrity and justice.
confidence on the Judiciary’s role in the administration of justice.  Respondent is from the charge of dishonesty.
o Alleged homosexuality is for the determination of the trial court
13. CAMPOS V. CAMPOS, A.M. NO. MTJ-10-1761 (8 FEBRUARY 2012) pending the petition for declaration of nullity
o Respondent did not appear to have acted in bad faith or committed
FACTS: dishonesty in executing the affidavit of loss of the title to the property.
 A complaint for serious misconduct, immorality and dishonesty was filed by Aida  GUILTY OF SIMPLE MISCONDUCT in causing the registration of the title in his
R. Campos, Alistair R. Campos, and Charmaine R. Campos (complainants) son’s name with the intention of defrauding a possible judgment-obligee:
against Eliseo M. Campos (respondent)incident. o Simple misconduct has been defined as an unacceptable behavior
 Aida and Eliseo were married and had 2 children: Alistair and Charmane. that transgresses the established rules of conduct for public officers. It
 In 2008, Eliseo filed a petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage alleging that: is an unlawful behavior. Misconduct in office is any unlawful behavior
o He and Aida were both psychologically incapacitated to comply with the by a public officer in relation to the duties of his office, willful in
essential marital obligations. character. It generally means wrongful, improper, unlawful conduct
o He is a homosexual who could not be intimate with his wife unless he motivated by a premeditated, obstinate, or intentional purpose
imagined he was with another man. although it may not necessarily imply corruption or criminal intent.
o His wife had affairs with other men which he did not bother to stop or  Respondent knew at that time of the registration of the property that he had a
question because of his homosexuality. pending case and that he could possibly lose the case.
 Aida denied the allegations and alleged that Eliseo wanted their marriage

In order to manipulate the situation and taking advantage of his knowledge of the law, accrued rentals of the parcel of land belonging to her late husband
respondent caused the registration of the property in Alistair’s name with the intention of Failed to require a timely filing of the pre-trial brief on the part of Evelyn
defrauding a possible judgment-obligee. Tanael and Romelias Almeda-Barias who were never declared in
 Complainant had several exchanges of text message with Pecana:
xxx my lawyer jz called me at galit n galit. xxx. Sa kakadaldal na
FACTS: mention s lawyr my meeting wid u n judge rubia. My lawyr ws mad dat
 Complainant Emilie Sison-Barias is involved in three cases pending before the m nt suppose to do dat w/out hs knowledge. I cnt understand anymore
sala of respondent Judge Marino Rubia: wat he ws sayng kanina kse nga galit. He wil file yata somtng abt dat n
o Intestate proceeding over the intestate estate of her late husband I dnt knwwat? Pls. Help me. (August 8, 2010, 2:31 p.m.)
opposed by her mther-in-law, Romelias Barias
o Guardianship proceeding over the estate of complainant’s late AILEEN PECAÑA [sic]:
husband Ha? Anong ififile? Bkt xa galit? Bka lalo tayo mapahamak? (August 8,
o Civil action for annulment of contracts and reconveyance of real 2010, 3:48 p.m.)
properties filed by Romelias and Evelyn Tanael against complainant
 Complainant alleged that there was delay in the publication of the notice in the COMPLAINANT
petition for issuance of letters of administration filed. M nt very sure bt he mentioned abt administrative or administratn
 She was then introduced by her brother, Enrique "Ike" Sison, to respondent something. Xxx He ws mad bcoz f our meetng nga, dats wat struck hm.
Eileen Pecaña, the daughter of his good friend, who was a data encoder in the xxx (August 8, 2010, 4:18 p.m.)
Office of the Clerk of Court of the RTC- Laguna
o During their meeting, complainant informed respondent Pecaña of the AILEEN PECAÑA [sic]
delay in the publication of the notice in the petition for issuance of Admin? Nku d mapapahamak nga kaming 2 ni juj. Pati ikaw
letters of administration. mapapahamak pa dn. (August 8, 2010, 4:28 p.m.)
o She then asked respondent Pecaña to check the status of the
publication of the notice. AILEEN PECAÑA [sic]
o Respondent Pecaña asked for complainant’s number so that she could Bkt xa galit kng mkpg kta ka sminwidout his knowledge. I cnt fathom y
inform her as soon as any development takes place in the case. wil it end up filing an admin case. (August 8, 2010, 4:29 p.m.)
 Pecaña asked complainant to meet her again at her house and informed
complainant that she could no longer assist her since respondent Judge Rubia AILEEN PECAÑA [sic]
had already given administration of the properties to Evelyn Tanael. Pls Emily do something 2 pacify ur lawyer, juj rubia will definitely get
 Pecaña sent her a text message asking complainant to call her. Complainant mad wid us. (August 8, 2010, 4:30 p.m.)
called respondent Pecaña who informed her that respondent Judge Rubia
wanted to talk to her.  Complainant then filed the following cases:
o During the dinner meeting, respondents allegedly asked complainant o moved for Judge Rubia’s inhibition over the pending cases
inappropriate questions. Complainant was then informed that o Against Judge Rubia for conduct unbecoming of a judge, partiality,
respondent Judge Rubia knew of this fact through Atty. Noe Zarate, gross ignorance of the law or procedure, incompetence, and gross
counsel of Romelias Barias. misconduct
o This disclosure surprised complainant, as she was under the o Against Pecana for gross misconduct
impression that opposing counsel and respondent Judge Rubia had no  Pecana’s answer:
business discussing matters that were not relevant to their pending o Alleged meeting between complainant and respondent Judge was
cases. merely a chance encounter.
 In the meantime, complainant alleged that respondent Judge Rubia acted in a  Judge Rubia’s comment:
manner that showed manifest partiality in favor of the opposing parties, o Alleged meeting between him and his co-respondent Pecaña together
Romelias Barias and Evelyn Tanael, as represented by their counsel, Atty. Noe with complainant was a mere chance encounter.
Zarate. o It took complainant eight (8) months since the alleged dinner meeting
o Did not consider comments/oppositions to the motion for to file a motion for inhibition and an administrative case
consolidation filed by Romelias o denied knowledge of any text messages exchanged between
o Refused to issue orders allowing her to comply with her duties as complainant and respondent Pecaña as well as any active advocacy in
administrator of late husband’s estate favor of the opposing counsel
o Refused to to grant her request for subpoena that she had prayed for  CA Associate Justice Gaerlan’s investigation:
to compel Evelyn Tanael to produce the documents showing the o Recommended that no penalty be imposed against respondents

because complainant failed to prove her claim with substantial o Judge Rubia’s actions belittled the integrity required of judges in all
evidence that would justify the imposition of a penalty on respondents their dealings inside and outside the courts. Thus, Judge Rubia now
o Convinced that the meeting at Burgos Circle was just a chance lost the requisite integrity, impartiality, and propriety fundamental to
encounter his office. He cannot be allowed to remain a member of the judiciary.

ISSUE: W/N Judge Rubia and Pecana should be held administratively liable 15. OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR
Respondent Eileen Pecaña is SUSPENDED for one (1) year for gross misconduct. TUBOD, LANAO DEL NORTE AND FORMER ACTING PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL
RATIO: 14, 2015
A. On Pecana: violation of Canon 1 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel.
 Court personnel, regardless of position or rank, are expected to conduct CASE OVERVIEW: This administrative case originated from an investigation conducted by
themselves in accordance with the strict standards of integrity and morality. the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) pursuant to two anonymous letters alleging
 As a court employee, respondent Pecaña should have known better than to certain irregularities being committed by Judge Flores. The first letter dated April 28, 2011
interact with litigants in a way that could compromise the confidence that the was received on May 10, 2011 by the OCA and sent by a certain "John Hancock" while the
general public places in the judiciary. other was received on June 15, 2011 and sent by "Concerned Citizens."
 Respondent Pecaña should have refused to meet with complainant in her home
and any other form of extended communication with complainant, save for those FACTS:
in her official capacity as a Data Encoder of the court.  Both letters accused Judge Flores of rendering favorable judgments in exchange
 The continued communication between complainant and respondent Pecaña for monetary consideration and deciding cases on annulment of marriage even if
makes her culpable for failure to adhere to the strict standard of propriety said cases were beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the courts he presided and,
mandated of court personnel. that every time an audit team of the OCA visits Iligan, Lanao del Norte and
 Pecaña admitted to meeting with complainant several times, despite the Marawi City, Judge Flores would meet them at the airport, act as their driver,
former’s knowledge of the pendency of cases in the court where she is employed entertain them and even give presents for their return to Manila.
and in addition to the text messages exchanged between them; even to the  In addition, "John Hancock" alleged that Judge Flores demands P5,000.00 for
extent of advising complainant against filing an administrative case against her special proceedings and notarial commissions, maintains the services of four
and respondent Judge Rubia. non-court personnel who regularly reported to him and acted as his errand boys,
 She had a duty to sever all forms of communication with complainant or to bag-men, personal security and drinking buddies, and if Judge Flores is not with
inform her superiors or the proper authority of complainant’s attempts to his mistress in Cagayan de Oro City or Ozamis City, he is having drinking sprees
communicate with her which she failed to do so. from 3 p.m. until 7 or 8 p.m. with his errand boys at "Randy's Place" in Tubod,
Lanao del Norte. Judge Flores also allegedly claims to be protected by one of the
B. On Judge Rubia: violation of New Code of Judicial Conduct associate justices of the Supreme Court (SC) who is a former Free Legal
 By participating in the dinner meeting and by failing to admonish respondent Assistance Group lawyer, and by a "Lawyer-Administrator" who is assigned in
Pecaña for her admitted impropriety, respondent Judge Rubia violated Canons Lanao del Norte.
1(Independence) and 2 (Integrity) of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.  Acting on these anonymous letters, the Court approved OCA's request for an
o Nothing in the record shows that Judge Rubia took action after being audit team (OCA team) to conduct an investigation. The authority included an
informed of Pecaña’s interactions with a litigant. "on-the-spot" investigation/examination of any available document in other
o As a judge, he had the authority to ensure that all court employees, government offices, which may have direct connection with the charges.
whether or not they were under his direct supervision, act in  After the investigation, the OCA found several violations and misconduct that is
accordance with the esteem of their office. very unbecoming of a Judge.
o Had it been true that a settlement was being brokered by respondent  While the OCA team was conducting its investigation, they were informed by
Judge Rubia, it should have been done in open court with the record Prosecutor Cabrera, who was then assigned to handle the cases in Branch 7,
reflecting such an initiative. that he filed an affidavit-complaint against Judge Flores.
 His actions failed to assure complainant and other litigants before his court of  Particularly, Prosecutor Cabrera charged Judge Flores with violating the
the required "cold neutrality of an impartial judge.". Because of this, respondent provisions of SC Administrative Circular No. 23-9554 when he failed to timely
Judge Rubia also violated Canon 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct on resolve several incidents in Criminal Case. Prosecutor Cabrera also claimed that
Impartiality. Judge Flores neglected to resolve incidents in eight criminal cases, which were
 By meeting with complainant, respondent Judge Rubia also violated Canon 4 of then pending in his sala, and that he rendered favorable decisions in numerous
the New Code of Judicial Conduct on Propriety petitions for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage in exchange for monetary
o Respondents have relentlessly stood by their position that the meeting consideration even if the parties reside in areas outside the territorial
was a chance encounter, and, thus, no impropriety could be attributed jurisdiction of his courts.
to the meeting itself.

 It was also alleged that he maintained the services of Oscar Flores (Oscar), questions, the petitioner ended up declaring that she resides in Quibranza
Gedeon Catedral (Gedeon),58 Mario Capalac and Jeter Flores (Jeter) who served Building, Tubod, Lanao del Norte
as his driver, unofficial security guards and bribe collectors.  The undisputed OCA Investigation Report in the present consolidated cases
 In his reply, Judge Flores contended that the allegations in the letters are showed an alarming number of pending and decided cases where the actual
unfounded and are mere attempts to put him in a bad light, especially since the residence of the parties are obviously not within the territorial jurisdiction of the
letters are not supported by "public records of indubitable integrity." courts presided by Judge Flores but he nevertheless took cognizance of these
 The cases before his courts are decided based on the merits and the evidence cases without even making an inquiry as to their veracity.
presented and that only those required by law on notarial commissions and  Judge Flores' incompetence became even more manifest when he curtailed the
special proceedings are charged with a 5,000.00 fee and its collection is the efforts of the public prosecutors in ensuring that the rule on proper venue will
responsibility of the Office of the Clerk of Court. Further, the people who come to not be circumvented.
his court are accorded with utmost respect and consideration.  As observed by the OCA team, Judge Flores almost always rejects the public
 Finally, he denied the accusations that he keeps a mistress; that he engages in prosecutors' recommendation of dismissal in their investigation report on the
a habitual drinking spree; and that he entertains OCA teams in an excessive and alleged reason that the role of the prosecutor is only to determine if collusion
lavish fashion whenever they visit his sala. exists between the parties or if the evidence is being suppressed. Competence
 In the Consolidated Report dated June 11, 2013, Investigating Justice Renato C. and diligence are prerequisites to the due performance of judicial office and
Francisco (Justice Francisco) found sufficient evidence to hold Judge Flores every judge is required to observe the law. There is gross ignorance of the law
administratively liable for ignorance of the law, gross misconduct and undue when an error committed by the judge was gross or patent, deliberate or
delay in rendering decisions and orders. According to Justice Francisco, the malicious, or when a judge ignores, contradicts or fails to apply settled law and
"undisputed Investigation Report of the OCA" shows an alarming number of jurisprudence because of bad faith, fraud, dishonesty or corruption.
pending cases, as well as decided cases, where the actual residence of the  No less than the Code of Judicial conduct mandates that a judge shall be faithful
parties are apparently not within the territorial jurisdiction of the courts presided to the laws and maintain professional competence. Indeed, competence is a
by Judge Flores but these were disregarded, in violation of Section 4 of A.M. No. mark of a good judge. A judge must be acquainted with legal norms and
02-11-10-SC, as amended. precepts as well as with procedural rules. When a judge displays an utter lack of
 There were also several instances when the public prosecutor recommended the familiarity with the rules, he erodes the public's confidence in the competence of
dismissal of the cases on ground of improper venue but Judge Flores simply our courts. Such is gross ignorance of the law.
stated that the prosecutor's role in these cases is merely to determine if
collusion exists between the parties, or if evidence is being suppressed.
 Accordingly, Justice Francisco recommended the charge of usurpation of the Section 2. Behavior and conduct must reaffirm the people’s faith in the integrity
judge's function against Atty. Bernardino Bering (raised by the OCA in its of the Judiciary
memorandum) be referred to the Office of the Bar Confidant for appropriate
16. ANONYMOUS v. JUDGE RIO ACHAS, AM No. MTJ-11-1801, Feb. 27, 2013

ISSUE: Whether or not there is gross ignorance of the law and gross misconduct on Judge FACTS:
Flores  An anonymous letter-complaint was sent to the court alleging immorality and
conduct unbecoming of a judge against respondent Achas
HELD: This Decision is immediately executory and Judge Flores is ORDERED to CEASE  Letter calls on court to loo look into the morality of respondent Judge Achas and
AND DESIST from discharging the functions of his Office upon receipt of this Decision. alleges that:
(1) it is of public knowledge in the city that Judge Achas is living
RATIO: scandalously with a woman who is not his wife;
 In this case, the OCA report is replete with findings showing that Judge Flores (2) he lives beyond his means;
deliberately disregarded the foregoing rule. He continued to try and resolve (3) he is involved with illegal activities through his connection with bad
cases despite glaring circumstances, which should have created doubt as to the elements, the kuratongs;
veracity of the residential addresses declared in the petitions. Prosecutor (4) he comes to court very untidy and dirty;
Cabrera even actually brought these to the attention of Judge Flores but he was (5) he decides his cases unfairly in exchange for material and
merely brushed aside. Worse, there were even instances when Judge Flores, monetary consideration;
during questioning, knowingly led a party into curing the defect. (6) he is involved with cockfighting/gambling.
 Thus, in a particular case (Narvasa case), the petitioner declared that she  Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) referred the matter to Executive Judge
resides at c/o Lacson's Residence, Poblacion, Tubod, Lanao del Norte. During Miriam Orquieza-Angot for Discreet Investigation and Report
her cross-examination,94 however, she admitted that she actually resides in  Report: Judge Angot found that Judge Achas had been separated from his legal
Steel Town, Sta. Elena, Iligan City. When Judge Flores propounded clarificatory wife for quite some time and they are living apart; and that he found for himself
a young woman with whom he would occasionally go out with in public and it

was not a secret around town, but that she could not be certain whether such  While rearing fighting cocks is not illegal, Respondent should avoid mingling with
were true, and only ascertained that he had established friendships or alliances a crowd of cockfighting enthusiasts and bettors as it undoubtedly impairs the
with people of different social standings from around the city. respect due him
 Respondent denied all the allegations against him and claimed that they were  As a judge, he must impose upon himself personal restrictions that might be
hatched to harass him, pointing to disgruntled professionals, supporters and viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and
local candidates who lost during the May 2010 elections and after 28 years in willingly
the government service, he had remained loyal to his work and conducted  No position demands greater moral righteousness and uprightness from its
himself in a righteous manner occupant than does the judicial office
 The case was docketed as an administrative matter and was referred to the  Judges in particular must be individuals of competence, honesty and probity,
executive judge of the RTC for investigation, report and recommendation charged as they are with safeguarding the integrity of the court and its
 OCA recommended that Respondent be REPRIMANDED as to the charge of proceedings  he should behave at all times so as to promote public
immorality and that he be ordered to refrain from going to cockpits or avoid such confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary
places altogether, with a warning that the same or similar complaint in the  Under Section 10 in relation to Section 11 C ( 1) of Rule 140 of the Rules of
future shall be dealt with more severely Court, as amended, "unbecoming conduct" is classified as a light charge,
punishable by any of the following sanctions:
ISSUE: WON respondent was immoral and has conduct unbecoming of a Judge (1) a fine of not less than Pl,OOO.OO but not exceeding PIO,OOO.OO;
HELD: For violation of the New Code of Judicial Conduct, respondent Judge Rio (2) censure;
Concepcion Achas is REPRlMANDED and FINED in the amount of P5,000.00, (3) reprimand;
ADMONISHED not to socially mingle with cockfighting enthusiasts and bettors, and ( 4) admonition with warning.
STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more  The Court, thus, finds that the penalty of a fine in the amount of P5,000.00 and
severely reprimand are proper under the circumstances

 New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary pertinently provides: 17. In Re: Complaint against JUDGE MARTONINO MARCOS and Clerk of Court SHIRLEY
VISAYA, Municipal Trial Court, Gerona, Tarlac, A.M. No. MTJ-04-1520. January 27, 2004
CANON 2 - Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial office but also to
the personal demeanor of judges.
SEC. 1. Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above reproach, but that it FACTS:
is perceived to be so in the view of a reasonable observer.  This administrative matter arose from a Complaint filed by Romeo Zacarias and
SEC. 2. The behavior and conduct of judges must reaffirm the people’s faith in the an undated Anonymous Complaint of a concerned citizen of Gerona, Tarclac,
integrity of the judiciary. Justice must not merely be done but must also be seen to be done identically charging Judge Martonino R. Marcos and Clerk of Court Shirley M.
CANON 4 - Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the
Visaya with immoral conduct and illegal solicitation from litigants (graft and
activities of a judge. corruption)
SEC. 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of  Complaint of Zacarias was referred by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA)
their activities. to Executive Judge Adriano of the RTC of Tarlac City for discreet investigation,
SEC. 2. As a subject of constant public scrutiny, judges must accept personal and subsequently for formal investigation, report and recommendation
restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely
and willingly. In particular, judges shall conduct themselves in a way that is consistent with the  After conducting the investigation, he stated in his report to the OCA that a court
dignity of the judicial office. insider had confirmed the illicit relationship of respondents and he then
recommended the filing of formal charges against them
 For going out in public with a woman not his wife, Judge Achas has clearly failed  In view, however, of the appointment/promotion of respondent judge as the
to abide by the above-cited Canons of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for presiding judge of the RTC of Tarlac City, the Court, pursuant to its Resolution in
Philippine Judiciary AM No. 01-8-10-SC, thereafter referred the matter to Associate Justice Josefina
 Considering that his immoral behavior is not a secret around town, it is apparent Guevara-Salonga of the Court of Appeals for investigation, report and
that respondent judge has failed to ensure that his conduct is perceived to be recommendation
above reproach by the reasonable observer, and has failed to avoid the  respondent judge averred that the allegations of complainant lacked factual and
appearance of impropriety in his activities, to the detriment of the judiciary as a legal basis, claiming that the Complaint had been filed merely to harass him and
whole denied having ever demanded money from complainant, who had allegedly
 Regarding his involvement in cockfighting, however, there is no clear evidence approached him for advice in the latters criminal case  that the complainant
 he denied engaging in cockfighting and betting, but admitted, however, that might have misinterpreted as bribe the amounts he had paid for his cash bond
he reared fighting cocks for leisure, having inherited the practice from his and for the damages adjudged against him

 As to the charge of immorality, respondent judge averred that his hectic  the actions of respondent judge were not free from all appearances of
schedule hardly allowed him to indulge in illicit relations and emphasized that on impropriety  his conduct lacked the meticulous care expected of one ever
top of his duties as judge, he was also a lay minister and president of the Parish mindful of the image of the judiciary that one portrays. It is the kind of behavior
Pastoral Council of Ramos, Tarlac, as well as an active member of the for which he must be administratively dealt with, as it erodes public confidence
freemasonry and the cursillo movements in the judicial system
 Justice Guevara-Salonga held that while complainant had failed to present any  As to respondent clerk, the court found that she was equally remiss in the
direct and positive evidence of his charges of graft and corruption against performance of her duties  by her own admission, she required complainant to
respondents, the records of the criminal case validated and confirmed his post the cash bond, even though she had not been instructed to do so by
accusations, that the inconsistencies in the statements of respondents in their respondent judge. She thereby arrogated judicial power unto herself  the laxity
Comments and testimonies during the clarificatory hearing belied their claim of respondent clerk in the supervision of court personnel was repugnant to her
that complainant had voluntarily posted the bond role as an adjudicative and administrative officer of the court
 Another discrepancy that supported complainants’ allegation, according to  It has been stressed that the conduct and behavior of everyone charged with the
Justice Guevara-Salonga, was respondent clerk’s classification of the cash bond dispensation of justice is circumscribed by the trust and confidence reposed in a
as part of the Judiciary Development Fund (JDF) instead of the Fiduciary Fund public office
 having been in service for 27 years, respondent clerk ought to have been  The image of a court of justice is necessarily mirrored in the conduct, official or
aware of the latters duty to check the forms and to collect the cash bond for the otherwise, of the men and women who work therein, from the judge to the
court lowliest clerk
 the foregoing findings were telling proofs that the acts of respondents had been  Clerks of court are key figures in the judicial system so they must be assiduous
irregular, unlawful, anomalous and totally inconsistent with any claim of good in performing their official duties and in supervising and managing court dockets
faith in the performance of their judicial functions and records and they cannot slacken in their jobs under one pretext or another
 As to the charge of immorality, she recommended that it be dismissed, as it was  Although the charge of undue solicitation against respondent judge was not
based only on vicious rumors and unverified reports and recommended that sufficiently proven, he had unquestionably violated Canons 1 and 2 of the Code
respondents be penalized with severe reprimand and suspension from office for of Judicial Conduct  This violation carries with it a penalty of dismissal from
a period of one (1) month for grave misconduct service, suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than
three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months, or a fine of more than P20,000 but
ISSUE: WON the respondents’ acts were unlawful, anomalous and inconsistent with any not exceeding P40,000
claim of good faith in the performance of their judicial functions  As to the clerk:
o Undue solicitation by respondent clerk was not sufficiently established.
HELD: Judge Martonino R. Marcos is hereby found GUILTY of violating the Code of Judicial While she admitted to having acted on her own in directing
Conduct and is SUSPENDED without pay for four months. Clerk of Court Shirley M. Visaya,
complainant to post the cash bond  SIMPLE MISCONDUCT and
on the other hand, is found GUILTY of simple misconduct as well as inefficiency and
under Section 52 (B) (2) of the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases
incompetence in the performance of official duties, for which she is SUSPENDED without
in the Civil Service, simple misconduct is punishable with suspension
pay for six (6) months and one (1) day. Both are sternly warned that a repetition of the
from one (1) month and one (1) day to six (6) months
same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely
o She is also found guilty of inefficiency and incompetence in the
performance of her official duties, a grave offense that is punishable
with suspension from six (6) months and one (1) day to one (1) year
 The actions of judges and judicial personnel must not only be proper at all times, o The court deems it proper to impose the minimum penalty of
but also appear to be so. This axiom is necessary, because the image of the suspension for six (6) months and one (1) day, after considering her 27
judiciary is mirrored in the conduct, official or otherwise, of the men and women years of service in the government
who compose it. Failure to adhere steadfastly to this strict standard of conduct
is a ground for administrative sanctions
 The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that a magistrate should avoid
impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities; and should be the 18. CITY OF TAGBILARAN V. HONTANOSAS, A.M. No. MTJ-98-1169, January 29, 2002
embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. Since appearance and
reality fuse in the performance of judicial functions, the judge -- like Caesars wife FACTS:
-- must not only be pure, but also be beyond suspicion  Complainant charges respondent Judge Agapito Hontanosas, Jr., Presiding Judge
 respondent Judge’s omission in issuing a Commitment Order poses severe of MTCC in Tagbilaran City with:
implications against their stance of innocence and compliant performance of (1) open defiance of a lawful order of a
duties  respondent Judge should have issued a Commitment Order to the jail superior court directing respondent’s inhibition from a case;
warden, but then, the certification that complainant started to serve the (2) open, notorious, and habitual gambling in the casinos of Cebu and
sentence is a clear indication that he was not released at all after his arrest in the cockpits of Bohol

 On the first complaint, it was alleged that respondent disobeyed an order from  Court Administrator recommended that respondent Judge be directed to refrain
the RTC to relinquish the criminal cases (against the wife of the richest Chinese- from frequenting casinos, cockpits and other gambling places
Filipino businessman in Bohol) and instead forced the fiscal to rest the case,
even before the prosecution could cross-examine the defense witnesses and ISSUE: WON the findings of the Court Administrator that respondent judge violated the
thereafter, respondent rendered a judgment acquitting the accused Canons of Judicial Ethics and the SC circular are correct
 On the second complaint, it was alleged that:
o It is a matter of common knowledge among lawyers in Bohol and the HELD: the Court hereby Resolves to DISMISS, for want of merit, the charge against
general public in Tagbilaran that Judge Hontanosas goes to Cebu on respondent Judge Agapito L. Hontanosas, Jr., of open defiance of a lawful order of a
the afternoon fast boat and comes back on the early trips superior court and IMPOSE upon him a FINE of P12,000 for violation of Circular No. 4
from Cebu to Tagbilaran, 3-4 times a week dated 27 August 1980 and, more specifically, for violation of Section 5(3-b) of P.D. No.
o He goes to the casinos in Cebu and spends the whole night there 1067-B and Paragraphs 3 and 22 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics. He is STERNLY
before going back to Tagbilaran at 6 or 7 AM WARNED that the commission of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more
o Every Sunday, he is seen in the cockpits of Tagbilaran and the enarby severely
o That for P500 and P5,000, a decision in favor of the litigants may be RATIO:
secured from respondent  Circular No. 4 issued on 27 August 1980 by then Chief Justice Enrique M.
 Complaint prays that pending the investigation, the respondent be suspended Fernando reads as follows:
and after investigation, be removed from office and his name be stricken from
the Roll of Attorneys The attention of the Court has been invited to the presence of some judges in gambling casinos operating
under Presidential Decree No. 1067-B.
 Respondent denied allegations but admitted that he would sometimes go to a
Casino in Cebu to accompany his wife and that he goes to cockpits during This is clearly violative of Section 5(3-b) of said Decree.
Sundays and holidays and even gamble a little on these occasions
 Respondent avers that the filing of the instant administrative complaint was It reads as follows:
purely an act of vengeance on the part of Atty. De la Serna for
(3-b) Persons not allowed to play -
the formers verdict in Criminal Cases Nos. 7142 and 7143 which was
unfavorable to the prosecution handled by the latter (a) Government officials connected directly with the operation of the government or any of its
 Office of Court Administrator resolved to docket the case as a regular agencies.
administrative matter
In accordance with law and pursuant to the Resolution of the Court en banc in Administrative Matter No.
 Atty. De la Serna and Mr. Sarmiento, in a Manifestation informed the Court that 1544-0, dated August 21, 1980, judges of inferior courts and the court personnel are enjoined from playing
they were no longer interested in pursuing this case because they felt that it in or being present in gambling casinos.
would be futile to spend any more time and effort and mailing cost on this case
Moreover, judges are likewise enjoined to keep in mind the Canons of Judicial Ethics, paragraph 3 of which
 so the Court thereafter referred the latter Manifestation to the Office of the provides:
Court Administrator for evaluation and report
 Court Administrator Justice Velasco, Jr., points out that the Court does not, as a 3. Avoidance of appearance of impropriety. - - A judges official conduct should be free from the appearance
matter of course, dismiss administrative complaints against members of the of impropriety, and his personal behavior, not only upon the bench and in the performance of judicial
duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond reproach.
Bench on account of the withdrawal of the charges or desistance of the
complainant from prosecuting the complaint; otherwise its disciplinary power
 The prohibition imposed by the Circular refers to both actual gambling and mere
may be put to naught, thereby undermining the trust character of a public office
presence in gambling casinos
and impairing the integrity and dignity of the Court as a disciplining authority
 Having earlier reached the conclusion that respondent gambled in a casino, the
 Court Administrator recommended that the first charge be dismissed not
court finds respondent to have violated Section 5(3-b) of P.D. No. 1067-B 
because of the desistance of the complainant but because of patent lack of
such transgression is also a violation of Paragraph 22 of the Canons of Judicial
Ethics, which provides: The judge should be studiously careful himself to avoid
 Court Administrator found that for being present in casinos and for gambling in the slightest infraction of the law, lest it be a demoralizing example to others
cockpits respondent Judge violated:
 Respondent is also administratively liable for going to cockpits and placing bets
(1) Supreme Court Circular No. 4 dated 27
in cockfights and the fact that the cockpits where he used to go were licensed
August 1980, which prohibits judges of inferior courts and court
and the cockfights were conducted on authorized days will not absolve him
personnel from playing or being present in gambling casinos
 While such gambling was not illegal, he openly and deliberately disregarded and
(2) Paragraph 3 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, which requires that
violated Paragraph 3 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics quoted in Circular No. 4 
the judges official conduct and personal behavior be free from the
it is plainly despicable to see a judge inside a cockpit and more so, to see him
appearance of impropriety
bet therein

 Mixing with the crowd of cockfighting enthusiasts and bettors is unbecoming a memorize all the details of cases, especially the voluminous ones that he had inherited from the previous
judge and undoubtedly impairs the respect due him
 Judiciary itself suffers therefrom because a judge is a visible representation of  Respondent Judge also claimed that complainant may have wanted to get back
the Judiciary. Most often, the public mind does not separate the judge from the at him
Judiciary. In short, any demeaning act of a judge or court personnel demeans  Sometime after, complainant withdrew his complaint against respondent judge
the institution he represents stating that he had realized that respondent is only rightly doing his job
 Truly, respondent deserves more than a directive to refrain from frequenting  Respondent judge also informed the Court that since the complaint, he had
casinos, cockpits and other gambling places, as recommended by the Court resumed wearing the judicial robe as his blood pressure had stabilized
Administrator  the Office of the Court Administrator found respondent judge liable for violation
 Under the amended Rule 140 of the Rules of Court: of Administrative Circular No. 25 and Rule 1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct
o a violation of a circular issued by this Court, such as Circular No. 4, is and recommended the dismissal of the other charges against respondent judge
a less serious charge (Sec. 4.4), for lack of merit  OCA recommends that respondent judge be fined P5,000
o gambling in public is a light charge (Sec. 5)
o If found guilty of a less serious charge the respondent may be ISSUE: WON respondent Judge violated the Code of Judicial Conduct
punished with a penalty of fine of not less than P10,000 but not
exceeding P19,999 (Sec. 10-B.2); HELD: the Court finds respondent Jose S. Majaducon, former Presiding Judge, Regional
o for a light charge, he may be punished with a fine of not less Trial Court, Branch 23, General Santos City guilty of violating Circular No. 25 dated 9 June
than P1,000 but not exceeding P9,999 (Sec. 10-C.1) 1989, Rules 1.01 and 2.01 and Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Respondent
 the Court may impose on respondent Judge a fine of P12,000 Jose S. Majaducon is ordered to PAY A FINE of P10,000, the same to be deducted from
whatever retirement benefits he is entitled

19. EUGENIO K. CHAN V. JUDGE JOSE S. MAJADUCON, A.M. No. RTJ-02-1697. October 15, RATIO:
2003  On Respondent Judges Refusal to Wear the Mandated Judicial Robe:
o Pursuant to Sections 5 and 6, Article [VIII] of the Constitution and in
FACTS: order to heighten public consciousness on the solemnity of judicial
 A concerned citizen, in an undated letter, charged respondent Judge Jose proceedings, it is hereby directed that beginning Tuesday, August 1,
S. Majaducon with not wearing black robe during court sessions and with being 1989, all Presiding Judges of all Trial Courts shall wear black robes
habitually tardy during sessions of their respective Courts
 Another complaint filed by Chan charged respondent with committing acts of o The wearing of robes by judges during official proceedings, which harks
improprieties and irregularities, alleging that respondent: back to the 14th century, is not an idle ceremony. Such practice serves
1. xxx starts his hearings at 10:00 oclock in the morning and 2:30-3:00 oclock in the afternoon. the dual purpose of heightening public consciousness on the solemnity
2. xxx does not wear his robe despite the requirement of the Supreme Court xxx; of judicial proceedings, as Circular No. 25 states, and of impressing
3. xxx entertains lawyer[s] in his sala despite the absence of the opposing lawyer[s]; upon the judge the exacting obligations of his office
4. xxx continued to hear cases despite obvious appearance of impartiality [sic]. He insist [sic] to hear the
case despite the fact that her [sic] daughter being [sic] involved in the defendant bank;
o A judge must take care not only to remain true to the high ideals of
5. xxx was already reprimanded by the Honorable Supreme Court and he is a subject of adverse write ups in competence and integrity his robe represents, but also that he wears
the newspapers; one in the first place
6. xxx does not prepare or study the cases. He reads the cases during the hearing time o While circumstances, such as the medical condition claimed by
 Respondent controverted the allegations against him that: respondent judge, may exempt one from complying with Circular No.
1. On his refusal to wear the judicial robe during court sessions. Respondent judge states that upon his
doctors advice, he stopped wearing the judges robe during court sessions because doing so allegedly 25, he must first secure the Courts permission for such exemption 
triggers and aggravates his hypertension. He promised to resume wearing the robe once his blood pressure he cannot simply excuse himself, like respondent judge, from
had stabilized. complying with the requirement
2. On conducting hearings behind schedule. Respondent judge admits that he takes breaks from court  On Respondent Judges Practice of Entertaining Lawyers and Litigants with
sessions at 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to take merienda or attend to personal needs. However, respondent
judge claims that he starts the hearings in his court on time and that his sessions sometimes even last for
Pending Cases in his Sala
more than eight hours in a day. According to respondent judge, if ever his hearings started late, it was o The Code of Judicial Conduct (Code) provides:
either because he had to attend to other equally pressing matters such as signing/revising
Orders/Resolutions or because the litigants and/or their counsels were late. Rule 1.01. A judge should be the embodiment of competence, integrity and
3. On entertaining counsels/litigants in his chambers. Respondent admits entertaining litigants and their independence.
counsels with pending cases in his sala as his chambers two doors are always open. He claims, however,
that he never discusses with his visitors the merits of their cases and that he has never been influenced by CANON 2 A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF
4. On studying cases during hearings. Respondent judge explains that while he does consult the records of
cases during hearings, it is only to verify contested matters. He states that this is necessary, as he cannot Rule 2.01. A judge should behave at all times so as to promote public confidence in

the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.  The NBI Anti-Graft Division recommended that Lee, among others, be charged
with the crime of syndicated estafa constituting economic sabotage.
o Court cannot emphasize enough the pivotal role lower court judges  Thus, the DOJ formed a panel of prosecutors that would handle the preliminary
play in the promotion of the people’s faith in the judiciary investigation of the complaint. (2nd DOJ case)
o The admonition in Canon 2 that judges must not only avoid  Lee filed a petition for the suspension of the 2nd DOJ case pending the outcome
impropriety, but also the appearance of impropriety is more sternly of the 1st DOJ case because there were issues (not mentioned in the full text)
applied to them It is in this light that the Court frowns upon the holding from the 1st DOJ case which constituted prejudicial question in the 2nd DOJ case.
by trial court judges of in-chamber meetings with litigants or their DOJ denied the petition for lack of common issues and parties.
counsels without the presence of the adverse party  and instead of
 Panel of prosecutors take on the issues of the two DOJ cases:
taking heed of this ethical prohibition, respondent judge readily
o 1st DOJ case - main issue is the right of Globe Asiatique to replace its
admitted transgressing it
buyers pursuant to the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), Funding
o Respondent judge should have realized that his very conduct of
Commitment Agreement (FCA), and Collection Servicing Agreement
entertaining litigants and their counsels in his chamber without the
(CSA) it entered into with HDMF.
presence of the adverse party or his counsel constitutes an impropriety
o 2nd DOJ case - whether or not respondents are liable for the crime of
 On the Appropriate Penalty to be Imposed Against Respondent Judge syndicated estafa.
o OCA recommends that respondent judge be fined P5,000. However,
 Lee moved for a partial reconsideration of the abovementioned Omnibus Order
in Gallo v. Judge Cordero, the Court imposed a fine of P10,000 on a
but the same was denied.
judge for impropriety in meeting with a litigant in his office and for
 On July 28, 2011, after filing his counter-affidavit, Lee filed a Petition for
other irregular conduct  under the circumstances, the Court deems Injunction (with Application for Temporary Restraining Order or TRO) against the
it appropriate to impose similarly a fine of P10,000 on respondent DOJ, which was raffled to the sala of Judge Mislang.
judge  Lee's counsel inquired and the DOJ's counsel entered into a stipulation with
o Neither complainants’ desistance nor respondent judge’s retirement regard to the existence of the 2nd DOJ case and the Makati civil case. The
precludes the Court from holding respondent judge liable and imposing parties, with the permission of Judge Mislang, then agreed to submit for
on him the penalty of P10,000 fine. resolution the petition for injunction upon submission of their respective
o A complainant’s desistance from an administrative complaint against a memoranda within fifteen (15) days.
member of the bench will not, by itself, warrant the dismissal of the  However, on August 12, 2011, after Lee had submitted his memorandum the
case day before, he filed an unverified Urgent Motion for the ex-parte resolution of his
application for the issuance of a TRO. Thereafter, without waiting for the DOJ's
memorandum, Judge Mislang granted Lee’s petition.
 Thus, the HDMF and the DOJ filed separate complaints, against Judge Mislang,
alleging that the latter acted in patent disregard of the rules on injunctive relief
and prejudicial question, exhibited gross ignorance of the law and/or procedure,
2372, July 26, 2016
and manifested partiality and gross misconduct in issuing the assailed Orders.
 OCA’s recommendation: Judge Mislang be found guilty of gross ignorance of the
law and be dismissed from service, with forfeiture of retirement benefits except
FACTS: leave credits, and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or
instrumentality of the government, including government-owned and controlled
 Consolidated cases filed by De Lima and Po against Judge Rolando Mislang
 On October 29, 2010, the NBI recommended that a preliminary investigation be
conducted in view of the HDMF's Complaint Affidavit against Delfin S. Lee and ISSUE/S:
other officers of Globe Asiatique for the crime of syndicated estafa constituting
 Whether or not Judge Mislang erred in granting a TRO and should be dismissed
economic sabotage through the fraudulent take-out of housing loans for fake
from service with forfeiture of benefits.
 Allegedly, these borrowers had actually no intention to apply for housing loans HELD:
but were paid by Globe Asiatique agents to sign blank loan documents.
 YES. The Supreme Court adopted OCA’s recommendation.
 Because of this fraudulent scheme, the HDMF suffered damages in the amount
 WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the Court finds Judge Rolando G.
of about P6.5 Billion.
Mislang, Regional Trial Court, Pasig City, Branch 167, GUILTY of Gross Ignorance
 The DOJ then formed a panel of prosecutors to investigate the complaint. (1st of the Law in A.M. No. RTJ-14-2369 and A.M. No. RTJ-14-2372
DOJ case) and ORDERS his DISMISSAL from the service with FORFEITURE of retirement
 On November 15, 2010, Delfin Lee, together with Globe Asiatique, filed a benefits, except leave credits, and with prejudice to re-employment in any
Complaint for specific performance and damages against the HDMF before the
Makati RTC.

branch or instrumentality of the government, including government-owned and  Malunao further informed de la Cruz that JUDGE FLOR was willing to return the
controlled corporations. money to ALAY KAPWA Cooperative if the latter will give PHP35,000.00 to Judge
Flor through Malinao. Malunao also intimidated Dela Cruz that if the latter will
not give the said amount to Judge Flor, the said judge will rule in favor of ALAY
RATIO: KAPWA Cooperative.
 Judge Mislang issued two (2) TROs, a writ of preliminary injunction and a status
 Intimidated of the heavy damage that will arise from losing the case against
quo order, both of which did not satisfy the legal requisites for their issuance, in
ALAY KAPWA, Complainant Dela Cruz agreed to pay the amount of
gross violation of clearly established laws and procedures which every judge has
the duty and obligation to be familiar with. Unfortunately, he miserably failed to PHP35,000.00 but in installment basis. Malunao demanded the amount of
properly apply the principles and rules on three (3) points, i.e.: PHP15,000.00 to be paid on 08 May 2008.
o the prematurity of the petition,  the Complainant personally approached Judge Flor at the Hall of Justice parking
o the inapplicability of the prejudicial question, and lot and when asked by Dela Cruz regarding the amount of PHP35,000.00 that
o the lack of jurisdiction of the court. Malunao asked of her, Judge Flor denied any knowledge of said transaction.
 Judges are expected to exhibit more than just cursory acquaintance with  Judge Flor referred Complainant Dela Cruz to the NBI-Bayombong District Office
statutes and procedural laws. in order for the latter to file the necessary complaint against Malunao.
 They must know the laws and apply them properly in all good faith. Judicial  the operatives of the NBI-BAYDO proceeded complainants residence, to conduct
competence requires no less. an entrapment operation against Subject Malunao.
 Thus, unfamiliarity with the rules is a sign of incompetence.  Upon Subject Malunaos receipt of the marked money, the entrapment operation
 Basic rules must be at the palm of his hand. was announced and Subject Malunao was arrested.
 When a judge displays utter lack of familiarity with the rules, he betrays the
 Malunao claimed that Dela Cruz framed her into making it appear that she
confidence of the public in the courts.
committed the offense for which she is now being charged.
 Ignorance of the law is the mainspring of injustice.
 Judges owe it to the public to be knowledgeable, hence, they are expected to  Malunao told Dela Cruz she needed ₱15,000.00 to pay for the tuition fee of her
have more than just a modicum of acquaintance with the statutes and daughter. When Malunao followed up the loan, Dela Cruz instructed her to come
procedural rules; they must know them by heart. to her house and while waiting for the latter to get the money, a tall woman
 When the inefficiency springs from a failure to recognize such a basic and emerged from the kitchen and took her bag, announced NBI ito. Two men also
elemental rule, a law or a principle in the discharge of his functions, a judge is entered the house and arrested her.
either too incompetent and undeserving of the position and the prestigious title  Office of the Provincial Prosecutor issued a Joint-Resolution forwarding the
he holds or he is too vicious that the oversight or omission was deliberately done records of the case to the Supreme Court since Malunao is a trial court
in bad faith and in grave abuse of judicial authority. employee under the exclusive administrative supervision of the Supreme Court.
 Court referred the instant administrative complaint to Executive Judge Merianthe
Pacita M. Zuraek, Branch 29, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya for her investigation,
Section 3. Disciplinary measures against lawyers or court personnel for unprofessional
report and recommendation.
 Judge Zuraek submitted her Report/Recommendation recommending the
dismissal of the case for clear lack of evidence.
21. SHERYLL C. DELA CRUZ v. PAMELA P. MALUNAO, A.M. No. P-11-3019 March 20, 2012  Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) recommended the dismissal of Malunao
with forfeiture of retirement benefits and accrued leave credits, contrary to the
FACTS: recommendation of the Executive Judge Zuraek, because technical rules of
 This administrative matter originated from a criminal complaint filed by procedure and evidence, the legal basis of Executive Judge Zuraeks
complainant Dela Cruz against respondent Malunao, Clerk III of Branch 28 of the recommendation, should not be strictly applied in administrative proceedings.
RTC Nueva Vizcaya for the crime of robbery with extortion.  In addition, the OCA provided additional information that Malunao has three (3)
 The Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya forwarded other pending administrative matters against her, aside from the present case
the records of the case to the SC since Malunao is a trial court employee under which are Extortion and Illegal Solicitation, Extortion and Grave Misconduct and
the exclusive administrative supervision of the Supreme Court. violation of R.A. No. 3019 and R.A. No. 6723.
 Malinao through several calls and text messages informed Complainant that
ALAY KAPWA Cooperative had given bribe money in the amount of ISSUE: W/N Malunao should be dismissed
PHP20,000.00 to JUDGE FLOR through an unidentified individual in exchange HELD: YES
of fixing the case in favor of the said cooperative against ERNESTO ROXAS, a  In the present case, Malunao clearly used her position as Clerk III in Branch 28
business partner of complainant. to solicit money from Dela Cruz with the promise of a favorable decision. This

violation of Section 2, Canon 1 of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel 3. As Branch 72 had no presiding judge at the time, the hearings were conducted by
constitutes the offense of grave misconduct meriting the penalty of dismissal. Executive Judge Mauricio M. Rivera.
 Dela Cruzs Sinumpaang Salaysay, the joint affidavit of arrest executed by the 4. After several negotiations, the parties filed a Joint Motion to Suspend Proceedings
NBI agents, the Booking Sheet and Arrest Report, photocopy of the marked with Prayer for a Hold-Departure Order on Mrs. Cruz.
money, the Complaint Sheet, and the photographs of Malunao entering Dela 5. Judge Rivera granted the Motion for the suspension of the proceedings, but denied
the request for the issuance of a hold-departure order.
Cruzs house, and the contents of Malunaos bag after receipt of the money, all
6. On September 21, 2001, Mrs. Cruz filed a Motion asking the court to allow her and
prove by subsantial evidence the guilt of Malunao for the offense of grave
her two children to take a vacation to Switzerland and to compel complainant to
misconduct. return her travel documents. Shortly thereafter, on October 19, 2001, respondent
 What is more alarming and disconcerting is the fact that Malunao has continued Iturralde assumed office as the new presiding judge of Branch 72.
to solicit money from litigants, even after she had been preventively suspended 7. At a hearing on November 26, 2001, Isagani Cruz filed his Opposition to the Motion
as Clerk III. Malunao has the propensity to abuse a position of public service and filed by Mrs. Cruz. He also asked the court to issue a HDO and/or a writ of preliminary
is not fit to remain in the civil service. injunction to prevent her from leaving the country. During the same hearing, Judge
 Respondent Malunao is GUILTY of GRAVE MISCONDUCT. She is hereby Iturralde expressed his predisposition to grant Mrs. Cruz’s Motion. His declaration
DISMISSED from the service, with forfeiture of retirement benefits except supposedly constituted partiality, which showed that he had already prejudged the
accrued leave credits, and with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or incidents of the case.
instrumentality of the government, including government-owned or controlled 8. Consequently, Mr. Cruz filed a Motion to inhibit Judge Iturralde from further hearing
the case. Judge Iturralde denied this Motion in an Order dated February 28, 2002.
corporations and financial institutions.
9. Earlier, on January 9, 2002, complainants counsel received, SIMULTANEOUSLY BY
MAIL, respondents Orders dated November 26, December 7 and December 18,
Canon 3: Impartiality - Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial 2001.
office. It applies not only to the decision itself but also to the process by which the 10. The December 18, 2001 Order denied the application of Mr. Cruz for the issuance of
decision is made. a HDO and/or a writ of preliminary injunction and compelled him to surrender all the
travel documents of his wife and children.
Section 1. Judges shall perform their judicial duties without favor, bias or prejudice MR. CRUZ’S ARGUMENTS:
 He claims that the simultaneous mailing of the three Orders had a very insidious
effect. He argues that he could have moved for the amendment or correction of the
22. Cruz v. Judge Phlbert Iturralde, A.M. RTJ No. 03-1775 (30 April 2003) two earlier ones, had these been served on him ahead of the December 18, 2001
Order. He insinuates that the last Order was either antedated or properly dated but
RECIT-READY: Mr. Cruz wanted to file an injunction against Mrs. Cruz, as well as an HDO. mailed very late.
There was no presiding judge at the time. Executive Judge Rivera took over. Mr. Cruz  According to him, either of these acts renders respondent liable for gross negligence
applied for a Motion to Suspend Proceedings + HDO. DENIED by Judge Rivera. Mrs. Cruz of duty. Furthermore, in ordering him to return the travel documents of his wife and
wanted to compel Mr. Cruz to return travel documents. Mr. Cruz opposed. Judge Iturralde denying his application for a hold-departure order/injunction respondent allegedly
retuned. DENIED opposition to compel return of travel documents. Since Cruz didn’t get committed either gross ignorance or deliberate misapplication of the law.
what he wanted, he filed admin case against Iturralde and said that the latter was biased.
SC said NO – no proof; cannot be mere averments; does not substitute judicial remedies, JUDGE ITURRALDE’S ARGUMENTS
etc.  Denied allegations - no specific act of dishonesty, gross misconduct, or gross
ignorance of the law and procedure on his part. If at all, he might have been
DOCTRINE: Mere suspicion of partiality is not enough. There should be hard evidence to perceived as biased because of his Orders that were unfavorable to complainant. In
prove it, as well as a manifest showing of bias and partiality stemming from an his defense, the latter maintains that he merely upheld Executive Judge Rivera’s
extrajudicial source or some other basis. earlier Order.
 He first met the parties and their respective counsels only during the November 26,
FACTS 2001 hearing, and that none of them had been known to him personally or otherwise
1. On April 18, 2001, Dr. Isagani C. Cruz filed against his Swiss wife, Yolande L. Cruz, a prior to that date. Moreover, he believed he could decide the case on the merits --
Complaint for Injunction under Article 72 of the Family Code1. without bias, prejudice, fear or favor. Thus, he found no justifiable reason to inhibit
2. The case, docketed as Civil Case No. 01-6139, was assigned to Branch 72 of the himself from hearing it. He claims that he even advised the parties to appeal his
Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City, the designated Family Court in that area. Orders by way of a petition for certiorari, if they believe his rulings were erroneous.

ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Iturralde should be held administratively liable.

1Art. 72. When one of the spouses neglects his or her duties to the conjugal union or commits acts RULING: NO.
which tend to bring danger, dishonor or injury to the other or to the family, the aggrieved party may
apply to the court for relief. (116a)

RATIO: made to Judge Osorio. [4 times payment was made; last straw was engaging the
 The rule in administrative cases is that complainants bear the onus of establishing services of some law firm Judge Osorio knew]: Php 5,000 was given during the
their averments by substantial evidence. funeral of Osorio’s wife, another 10,000 was given in Steaktown, West Ave., another
 The complaints pertain to alleged errors he committed in the exercise of his 1,000 was given to the son of Osorio; another 10,000 was given during Osorio’s
adjudicative functions. Such errors cannot be corrected through administrative birthday party]
proceedings, but should instead be assailed through appropriate judicial remedies. a. On one occasion, Judge Osorio told Kaw that his lawyer was not performing
 Disciplinary proceedings against judges do not complement, supplement or well and that [Kaw] should change him. He suggested that I engage the
substitute judicial remedies. Thus, any inquiry into their administrative liability arising services of the Law Firm of Quijano, Padilla and Natividad where his
from judicial acts may be made only after other available remedies have been brother-in-law, Marcelino Bunag, is connected, to facilitate, according to
settled. Parties-litigants abuse court processes by prematurely resorting to him, the decisions of the cases. Judge Osorio even gave me the address
administrative disciplinary action, even before the judicial issues involved have been and telephone number of said law firm.
finally resolved. b. Not wanting to displease Judge Osorio on May 10, 1996 at about 5 oclock
 It is settled that mere suspicion of partiality is not enough. There should be hard in the afternoon, Kaw visited the Quijano, Padilla and Natividad Law Offices
evidence to prove it, as well as a manifest showing of bias and partiality stemming with address at 320 Escolta corner T. Pinpin Street. Mr. Bunag asked for
from an extrajudicial source or some other basis. To be sure, a judges conduct must P200,000.00 as acceptance fee and guaranteed that Kaw will win all my
be clearly indicative of arbitrariness and prejudice before it can be stigmatized as cases before Judge Osorio. Since the amount being asked by Mr. Bunag
biased and partial. was too stiff, and Kaw wasn’t impressed with the law office, he did not hire
 In this case, the truth of such allegations cannot be presumed or deduced from the the services of Quijano, Padilla and Natividad Law Offices. “I nonetheless as
circumstances stated by complainant in his verified Complaint. suggested by Judge Osorio, replaced my lawyer.”
5. Kaw found out about rumors that Wilson Go was bragging because he was sure to be
 The Court will not shirk from its responsibility of imposing discipline upon employees
acquitted in the criminal cases which were filed against him and was heard to say
of the judiciary, but neither will it hesitate to shield them from unfounded suits that
that Judge Osorio agreed to acquit him in consideration of the amount of almost a
only serve to disrupt rather than promote the orderly administration of justice.
million pesos. Kaw asked Osorio if it was true that aside from his commitment to
Kaw, he also committed himself to accused Wilson Go.
6. Before answering, the judge allegedly kept quiet for some time and told complainant
23. Kaw v. Osorio, A.M. No. RTJ-03-1801 (23 March 2004)
that the case against Wilson Go was weak and that the case is being reviewed by his
clerk of court. The judge further assured him not to worry after complainant’s
RECIT-READY: Judge Osorio was allegedly telling Kaw to pay him so that the pending case
reminder about their agreement.
in Osorio’s sala would be held in Kaw’s favor. Kaw was paying up and paying up, and even
7. On August 25 or 26, 1997, the complainant called up Atty. Gregorio Y. Narvasa, II in
attended Osorio’s birthday party. The SC held that although the allegations of corruption
order to seek his counsel. Upon narration of the events that transpired, Kaw pleaded
weren’t proven, Osorio shouldn’t have fraternized with, nor accepted money from, Kaw.
Atty. Narvasa to accompany him and the state prosecutor to see Judge Osorio at his
Fine = Php 40,000 (can’t be suspended anymore, >70 years old).
residence since he was one of the lawyers handling one of the cases against Benito
Go and Wilson Go. Complainant feared that if the accused would be acquitted in said
DOCTRINE: A judge is not only required to be impartial; he must also appear to be
criminal cases, they may be forever barred from being charged criminally for the
wrong that they had committed against him.
a. (Atty. Narvasa acceded to the request under the following conditions: (1) he
would not talk to the judge; (2) they would ask the judge to decide the case
1. Complainant George L. Kaw was an offended party in a criminal case against Wilson
on its merits; and (3) whether or not Judge Osorio rules for or against the
Go et. al.. While the case was ongoing he was approached by a state prosecutor who
complainant, the latter will file an administrative case against the judge
said that he was sent by Judge Osorio to ask if the complainant wanted to be assured
before the Supreme Court.)
of a favorable judgment in the criminal cases which the latter had filed and were
8. On August 28, 1997, Atty. Narvasa, the state prosecutor and the complainant arrived
heard by the judge.
at the residence of Judge Osorio wherein they were led to the sitting room and asked
2. The judge’s emissary told George Kaw that a favorable decision in all cases would
to wait for him. When Judge Osorio arrived, the state prosecutor reminded him of the
cost P100,000.00, P40,000.00 of which was to be paid immediately and the
scheduled promulgation of judgment the following day. The judge told them he
balance of P60,000.00 to be handed over upon promulgation of the judgment in all
cannot tell them what his decision was before the actual promulgation of judgment
and made remarks to the effect that his decision of cases are always based on the
3. Kaw argued that he did not want to accept the offer since he had adequate evidence
for the conviction of the accused, but at that time, he felt he had no choice but to
9. Shortly before the promulgation of the decision, the complainant learned that the
accept the offer of Judge Osorio and thought that if he would reject it, he would lose
state prosecutor filed a motion to inhibit the judge. The prosecutor told him that it
all his cases. So, he relented and accepted the offer.
was Judge Osorio who prompted the motion and dictated the reasons and grounds to
4. As a consequence, in the morning of May 18, 1993, according to the complainant, he
be alleged in the motion.
handed over to the state prosecutor the amount of P40,000.00 for delivery to Judge
Osorio which turned out to be only the first of a series of payments requested by and

10. On September 4, 1997, complainants brother Valentino Kaw came and informed him 24. Ty v. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank, et al., G.R. Nos. 149797-98 (13
about the conversation he had with Wilson Go regarding the subject criminal cases, February 2004)
and said that Go had Osorio by the neck, because Go paid Osorio half a million
pesos. RECIT-READY: One of the RTC judges in those Ty vs. BF cases basically gave hints to BF
11. Benito Go was convicted, but Wilson Go was acquitted. about what BF should be doing and also hastily decided on some issues in favor of BF.
12. Benito Go died [it wasn’t mentioned when], and Osorio knew this. Accordingly, Benito The Supreme Court held that this was all improper, and that Judge Tac-An should be
Go’s criminal liability was extinguished. However, complainant submits that Benito Go inhibited.
was still convicted in consonance with Judge Osorios plan to conceal his illicit action
in exonerating Wilson Go. DOCTRINE:
13. Osorio denied everything.  The role of the trial judge in the conduct of judicial proceedings should only be
14. Investigating Justice Asunction invstigated and found that Judge Adriano Osorio confined to promote the expeditious resolution of controversies and prevent
should be suspended for a period of six (6) months without pay. unnecessary waste of time or to clear up some obscurity
 At the very first sign of lack of faith and trust to his actions, whether well grounded or
ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Osorio should be held administratively liable not, the Judge has no other alternative but inhibit himself from the case. A judge may
not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation, but when circumstances appear
RULING: YES. The Court only fined him Php40,000.00 because he reached the retirement that will induce doubt to his honest actuations and probity in favor of either party, or
age of 70 (so he couldn’t be suspended or dismissed). incite such state of mind, he should conduct a careful self-examination.

 While respondent judge may not necessarily be held liable for extortion and graft and OK SO YOU GUYS REMEMBER TALA REALTY IN STATCON AND NANCY TY VS. BANCO
corruption as it was not substantially proven, he should be made accountable for FILIPINO IN PERSONS? SAME EXACT SET OF FACTS. Just a refresher:
violating Canons 2 and 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct: 1. Banco Filipino stockholders founded a company (Tala Realty) to handle BF’s real
 The Canons of Judicial Ethics further provide that a judges official conduct should be estate assets because banks have a limit as provided by law. BF sold the properties
free from the appearance of impropriety and his personal behavior, not only upon the to Tala Realty to implement this agreement (verbal trust) that Tala will handle the BF
bench and in the performance of judicial duties but also in his everyday life, should properties.
be beyond reproach. 2. In 1992, Tala Realty repudiated the trust, claimed the titles for itself, and demanded
 Being the subject of constant public scrutiny, a judge should freely and willingly payment of rentals, deposits and goodwill, and threatened to eject BF for non-
accept restrictions on conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary compliance/non-payment.
citizen. 3. From 1995-1996, BF filed seventeen (17) complaints against Tala Realty for
 A judge should personify judicial integrity and exemplify honest public service. The reconveyance of different properties with 17 different RTCs. One of these was the
personal behavior of a judge, both in the performance of official duties and in private case in RTC Batangas Branch 84, presided by respondent Judge Paterno V. Tac-an.
life should be above suspicion. 4. On November 15, 1995, Tala, et al. filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on the
 Respondent judge’s conduct fell short of the standard expected of a magistrate of ground of lack of jurisdiction. Respondent judge granted the motion and dismissed
the law. His act of inviting complainant and his wife to his birthday party corroded the complaint. However, on a motion for reconsideration by Banco Filipino, the
public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, considering that complaint was reinstated.
complainant had a pending case in his sala. A judge is not only required to be 5. On October 21, 1996, Banco Filipino moved for an order directing Tala, et al. to
impartial; he must also appear to be impartial. produce or make available books, documents and other papers relevant to the case.
o Fraternizing with litigants tarnishes this image. Notwithstanding Tala, et al.’s opposition thereto, the trial court directed Tala, et al. to
 Respondent judge likewise openly transgressed Rule 5.04, Canon 5 of the Code of produce certain documents within a specified period of time, despite failure by Banco
Judicial Conduct: a judge or any immediate member of the family shall not accept a Filipino to tender the costs for such production and inspection.
gift, bequest, favor or loan from anyone except as may be allowed by law. Likewise, 6. In its Order dated November 20, 1996, the trial court justified Banco Filipino’s failure
the Canons of Judicial Ethics expressly provides that a judge should not accept any to advance the expenses of production and inspection: “those documents in which
present or favors from litigants or from lawyers practicing before him. Accepting the defendant is bound to keep by law or regulation, their production cannot be the
money on the occasion of his wife’s death was a transgression of this rule. subject of assessment for cost against plaintiff-movant”. – suggested to BF what
exhibits they can offer and which they should withdraw.
7. Thereafter, Banco Filipino formally offered its exhibits, all of which were admitted by
SEC. 2. Judges shall ensure that his or her conduct, both in and out of court, maintains the trial court. Tala, et al.’s motion for reconsideration of the order admitting the said
and enhances the confidence of the public, the legal profession and litigants in the exhibits was denied. Banco Filipino’s motion to withdraw certain exhibits was
impartiality of the judge and of the judiciary. granted.
8. Thereafter, Tala, et al. filed a motion for the voluntary inhibition and/or
disqualification of respondent judge Tac-an on the grounds of manifest prejudgment
and partiality.

9. Petitioner argues that, by selectively appreciating some, and not all, of the orders of conduct of the trial, the final determination of what evidence to adduce is the sole
respondent judge cited as badges of hostility, bias and prejudgment, the appellate prerogative of the contending parties.
court departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings and 6. Courts, while not unmindful of their primary duty to administer justice, without fear or
disregarded principles laid down by jurisprudence. Petitioner asserts that the Orders favor, and to dispose of cases speedily and in as inexpensive a manner as is possible
which were issued by respondent judge demonstrated his predilection to act with for the court and the parties, should refrain from showing any semblance of bias or
bias in favor of Banco Filipino and manifested his escalating hostility and animosity more or less partial attitude in order not to create any false impression in the minds
towards petitioner and her co-defendants, Tala, et al. of the litigants. For obvious reasons, it is the bounden duty of all to strive for the
preservation of the people’s faith in our courts.
ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Tac-an should be inhibited from the case 7. It is inappropriate for respondent judge to rule, in an interlocutory order, on the
principal issue that effectively disposes of the merits of the case. In the interest of
RULING: YES. substantial justice, the issue of whether or not there is a trust relationship between
the parties must be threshed out in a full-dress hearing and not merely in an
RATIO: interlocutory Order.
1. Re. registered mail: Rule 13, Section 8, of the Rules of Court provides that service by
registered mail is complete upon actual receipt by the addressee; but if he fails to
claim his mail from the post office within five (5) days from the date of the first notice 25. Montemayor v. Bermejo, Jr., A.M. No.MTJ-04-1535 (12 March 2004)
of the postmaster, service shall take effect at the expiration of such time.
In the case at bar, there is no postmasters certification that the registered mail was RECIT-READY: Honestly, read below because I haven’t taken Civpro yet and I don’t???
unclaimed by the addressee and thus returned to the sender, after first notice was Understand anything??? But I’ll try. Ok. Benjamin and Desmond Montemayor filed a case
sent to and received by addressee on a specified date. Absent such notice, the against Lolita Marco. Lolita Marco was late for everything, including submitting her
disputable presumption of completeness of service does not arise and by implication, position paper, and asked the Judge to extend the posting of her supersedes bond,
respondent judge could not presume actual receipt by addressee. among others. The Judge (1) allowed her to extend; (2) didn’t decide on some motions;
2. Re. Nov. 20 Order: Records reveal that Tala did not charge Banco Filipino for the and (3) lost a Registry Return Card which would have allowed Judge Bermejo to compute
documents it eventually produced pursuant to the motion for production. Respondent the proper time for posting a Notice of Appeal. The issue is whether these acts constitute
judges peremptory act of absolving Banco Filipino from paying the expenses for the impropriety. The Court ruled that it did because judges are supposed to be organized and
production of documents is disturbing for its lack of basis. There was no basis for should act in a way that doesn’t show partiality.
respondent judge to conclude that the amount involved was insignificant considering
that, as the records would show, no reference of any amount was made by the DOCTRINE:
parties. Moreover, his categorical declaration that Tala, et al. did not bother to charge A judge must at all times not only be impartial but maintain the appearance of
Banco Filipino the amount of expenses runs counter to the evidence at hand. In impartiality. Thus, under Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge should avoid
opposing the motion for the production of documents,[17] Tala, et al. cited, as one of impropriety and appearance of impropriety in all activities.
their grounds, the excessive expense it would incur in case the motion would be
granted. Sound judicial action dictates that he should have inquired first into the FACTS:
validity of Tala, et al.’s claim, whose rights were bound to be affected, instead of 1. Administrative case that stemmed from an unlawful detainer case, filed by Benjamin
making a sweeping and dismissive Order exempting Banco Filipino from complying and Desmond Montemayor vs. Lolita Marco.
with its legal obligation. 2. In pre-trial, Judge Bermejo, finding no possibility of settlement, issued a Pre-Trial
3. The role of the trial judge in the conduct of judicial proceedings should only be Order on May 20, 2002, defining the issues submitted for decision and the
confined to promote the expeditious resolution of controversies and prevent stipulations agreed upon, and directing the parties to submit their respective position
unnecessary waste of time or to clear up some obscurity. There is, however, undue papers within 10 days from receipt of the Order, after which, the case shall be
interference where the judge’s participation in the conduct of the trial tends to build deemed submitted for decision.
or bolster a case for one of the parties. This is enjoined by the Code of Judicial 3. Accordingly, the Montemayors submitted their Position Paper on June 13, 2002.
Conduct, Rule 3.06 which provides: While a judge may, to promote justice, prevent More than a month later, they filed a Motion for Early Resolution dated July 30, 2002.
waste of time or clear up some obscurity, properly intervene in the presentation of The defendant, Lolita Marco, on the other hand, submitted her Position Paper only on
evidence during the trial, it should always be borne in mind that undue interference August 14, 2002.
may prevent the proper presentation of the cause or the ascertainment of truth. 4. The Montemayors then filed another Motion for Early Resolution on September 6,
4. There is undue interference if the judge, as in the instant case, orders the 2002. Acting on this motion, Judge Bermejo issued an Order dated September 23,
presentation of specific documentary evidence without a corresponding motion from 2002 declaring the case submitted for decision.
any party, or directs a party when and who to present as a witness and what matters 5. On October 10, 2002, Judgment was rendered in favor of the Montemayors. Copies
such witness will testify on. thereof were sent by registered mail to the parties and their respective counsels on
5. Respondent judge transgressed the boundaries of impartiality when he suggested to October 16, 2002.
Banco Filipino what evidence to present to prove its case. While the trial court may
interfere in the manner of presenting evidence in order to promote the orderly

6. On December 12, 2002, the plaintiffs filed their first Motion for Execution and set the
same for hearing on December 16, 2002. However, the motion was not included in RULING: YES; fine of Php 5,000 for delaying rendition of judgment; Php 10,000 for
the court calendar because December 16, 2002 apparently was not a motion day. impropriety.
7. On December 20, 2002, the defendant filed a Notice of Appeal.
8. Subsequently, the Montemayors filed a Second Motion for Execution dated RATIO:
December 26, 2002 and set the same for hearing on January 3, 2003.  The registry receipts are indeed missing from the records but Judge Bermejo is
Concomitantly, Dr. Conrado T. Montemayor (Dr. Montemayor), the complainant herein denying it to cover up such loss. An obvious disregard of keeping records is evidence
and the plaintiff’s attorney-in-fact, also filed on December 26, 2002 a Motion to of incompetence and lack of professionalism. A judge is charged with exercising extra
Require Defendants Counsel to Inform the Court the Date He Received a Copy of the care in ensuring that the records of the cases and official documents in his custody
Judgment and set the same for hearing on January 3, 2003. Judge Bermejo did not are intact. There is no justification for missing records save fortuitous events This
act on either motion. Court reiterates that judges must adopt a system of record management and
9. In his Order[5] dated January 6, 2003, Judge Bermejo gave due course to the appeal organize their dockets in order to bolster the prompt and efficient dispatch of
of Marco, and required the latter to post a supersedeas bond 2 in the amount of business. It is, in fact, incumbent upon him to devise an efficient recording and filing
P587,500.00 within 10 days from receipt thereof. The defendant didn’t do this. On system in his court because he is after all the one directly responsible for the proper
April 24, 2003, the defendant filed an Urgent Motion for Extension dated April 23, discharge of his official functions.
2003 claiming that she only had until April 21, 2003 within which to post a  Judge Bermejo is suppressing proof of the registry return receipts, in which case, he
supersedeas bond and praying for an extension of 10 days, or until May 1, 2003, to is not only guilty of dragging his feet in the resolution of the motions but, worse, bias
post the bond. The respondent Judge granted the motion and gave the defendant in favor of the defendant. On such receipts hinge the answer to Dr. Montemayors
until May 5, 2003 within which to post a supersedeas bond. question: Did the defendant file her Notice of Appeal on time? A negative answer
10. Incensed by the foregoing proceedings, Dr. Montemayor filed with the Office of the would have dire consequences for the defendant since it would preclude any stay in
Court Administrator (OCA) the instant Administrative Complaint charging Judge the execution of the adverse judgment.
Bermejo with gross incompetence and inefficiency, gross negligence, gross ignorance  The supersedeas bond should be filed within the period for the perfection of the
of the law, gross misconduct, and/or conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the appeal. The records show that on January 6, 2003, Judge Bermejo granted the
service. defendant 10 days from receipt of the Order giving due course to the Notice of
11. Dr. Montemayor asserts that the respondent Judge failed to decide the case within Appeal to post a supersedeas bond. Assuming that the defendant received a copy of
the period provided under Section 11, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure the Judgment only on December 5, 2002, the period granted was way beyond the 15-
(Rules of Court). He alleges that Judge Bermejo did not bother to check defendants day period for perfecting an appeal.
preposterous claim that she received a copy of the Judgment only on December 5,  The Court didn’t conclusively say that Bermejo was outright guilty of bias and
2002, even if it was released more than forty-five (45) days earlier on October 16, prejudice, but by countenancing, permitting, and even creating the many delays in
2002. He stresses that even if the defendant received a copy of the Judgment on obvious disregard of the letter and the spirit of the Rules of Court and the Rule on
December 5, 2002, still, Judge Bermejo should have reckoned the period to appeal Summary Procedure, Judge Bermejo has put in question his partiality.
from the time the defendants counsel received a copy of the Judgment and not when  Under Rule 2.01 of the Code, a judge should so behave at all times as to promote
the defendant received it herself. What is more, the REGISTRY RETURN CARD public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. The appearance of
SHOWING THE DATE THE DEFENDANT’S COUNSEL RECEIVED A COPY OF THE bias or prejudice can be as damaging to public confidence and the administration of
JUDGMENT WAS MISSING FROM THE RECORDS. justice as actual bias or prejudice.
12. Dr. Montemayor also faults the respondent Judge for granting the defendants Urgent
Motion for Extension to post a supersedeas bond in violation of Section 13, Rule 70
of the Rules of Court.
13. Moreover, Judge Bermejo did not resolve the three (3) Motions for Execution and two 26. Umali-Paco et al. v. Quilala et al., A.M. No. RTJ-02-1699 (15 October 2003)
(2) Motions to Require Defendants Counsel to Inform the Court the Date He Received
a Copy of the Judgment. RECIT-READY: Civil case for specific performance gone wrong. Judge Quilala is a bit of a
14. Dr. Montemayor also avers that Judge Bermejo prevented the transmittal of the rowdy fella who apparently helped a witness answer a question, violated the Code of Civil
records of the case to the appellate court within 15 days from the perfection of the Procedure, and bickered with the counsel for the defense in a show of arrogance. The
appeal in violation of Section 6, Rule 40 of the Rules of Court. According to him, it Court ruled that he was, indeed, guilty of conduct unbecoming a judge because there was
was only after the respondent Judge received the defendants supersedeas bond that no need for him to bicker, and there was no need for him to ask questions on behalf of
the former issued the Order dated May 5, 2003 directing the Branch Clerk of Court to counsel, and, moreover, he should not have violated the Code of Civil Procedure.
transmit the records of the case to the appellate court.
DOCTRINE: Trial judges should be circumspect, carefully judicious and foremost, legally
ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Bermejo should be held administratively liable correct in their pronouncements or utterances, especially in open court, to avoid any
showing of ignorance, arrogance or bias or partiality to a party.
2 A supersedeas bond, also known as a defendant's appeal bond, is a type of surety bond that a court
requires from an appellant who wants to delay payment of a judgment until the appeal is over. An FACTS:
appellant's bond to stay execution on a judgment during the pendency of the appeal.

1. Complainants were officers of the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRetA 3 ), the judge, of evidence without herself being a member of the bar, and she is hereby
defendant in an action for specific performance, entitled "Philippine Retirement SEVERELY REPRIMANDED;
Authority Members Association Foundation, Inc., (PRAMA) vs. Philippine Retirement  Stenographer Lilia N. Batu: remiss in her duty to accurately reflect the
Authority (PRA)”. Complainants charged respondent judge with bias and partiality on circumstances surrounding the proceedings in the afternoon hearing of 19
various occasions. February 2001, and she is ADMONISHED to henceforth be circumspect in her
2. Judge Quilala, during the hearing on PRAMA’s application for a writ of preliminary duties. Respondents are each warned against committing any further infraction
injunction, led and coached Ramon Collado, a witness for PRAMA, and instructed on their part.
PRAMA’s counsel on what questions to ask.
3. On 06 March 2001, respondent judge issued an order granting the motion of PRAMA RATIO:
to set the case for hearing without giving the counsel for PRetA an opportunity to  Re. allegation on helping witness: It is within the sound discretion of the trial judge to
oppose it. On 20 March 2001, at the hearing on the prayer of PRAMA for the ask questions from witnesses, if only to clarify what may appear to him to be vague
issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction, respondent judge remarked points in the narration. Questions designed to avoid obscurity in the testimony or to
that he could very well issue the writ ex parte, impressing upon the plaintiff that he elicit additional relevant evidence are not improper. The judge may aptly need to
was in a position to resolve the application without having to hear the evidence for intervene in the presentation of evidence in order to expedite the resolution of a case
defendant PRA. In the same hearing, respondent judge unceremoniously interrupted and prevent unnecessary waste of time. Judges, however, should be extremely
Atty. Vernette Umali-Paco, the collaborating counsel for PRA and one of herein careful so as not to be misunderstood, and they must refrain from making
complainants, while Atty. Umali-Paco was explaining a matter propounded by the comments, remarks or suggestions that could lead to even the slightest suspicion
court. that he is thereby unduly assisting a party or counsel. Judge Quilala deviated
4. Complainants further averred that during the hearing on the afternoon of 19 somewhat from usual practice when he ignored the objection of counsel and,
February 2001, respondent judge delegated to his acting clerk of court Aida C. instead, asked the question himself. Investigating Justice Sundiam, nevertheless,
Lomugdang, who was not a member of the bar, the task of receiving evidence from was correct in holding that bias and partiality could not necessarily be inferred
the parties (whoooa) as well as of ruling on any objections which might be proffered therefrom.
thereon, thereby ignoring Section 9, Rule 30, of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure  Re. bickering with counsel for the defendant: Enough could be gleaned from the
which requires (1) that the parties agree to the delegation in writing, (2) that the clerk records about respondent judge’s unnecessary bickering with counsel for the
of court be a member of the bar, and (3) that the clerk of court would not issue defendant. His utterances could easily and very well be mistaken for, if not reflective
rulings on any objections which might be interposed. of, a mark of arrogance. Rather than rule on the objection of Atty. Rigonan,
5. In connivance with respondent judge, respondent stenographer Lilia N. Batu had respondent judge instead brushed off the matter with what would appear to be a
made it to appear that the session was presided over by Judge Quilala himself. In the conceited show of a prerogative of his office, a conduct that falls below the standard
assailed stenographic notes, the statements issued by Lomugdang were shown to of decorum expected of a judge. Trial judges should be circumspect, carefully
have been made by Judge Quilala although the judge was neither present nor even in judicious and foremost, legally correct in their pronouncements or utterances,
his chambers during the hearing. especially in open court, to avoid any showing of ignorance, arrogance or bias or
6. SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS: partiality to a party.
1) by leading or coaching a witness for the plaintiff;  Re. Judge leaving chambers: The pertinent rules of procedure indeed were obviously
2) by granting the motion of the plaintiff to set the case for an earlier hearing ignored. The rule is unequivocal and admits of no further discussion; neither
without giving the counsel for the defendant an opportunity to oppose it; agreement by the parties nor their acquiescence can justify its violation.
3) by commenting, during one hearing, that he could issue the writ of
preliminary injunction ex parte; and
4) by unduly interrupting one of the complainants, Atty. Vernette Umali-Paco, Section 3. Conduct to minimize occasions for disqualification
while the latter was explaining a matter in open court.
Section 4. Refrain from comment on judicial matters
ISSUE: Whether or not Quilala should be held administratively liable

 Judge Quilala: guilty for conduct unbecoming a judge and of violating Section 9, BAY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, G. R. No. 133250. May 6, 2003
Rule 30, of the Rules of Court, and he is hereby penalized with a FINE of Ten CARPIO, J.
Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos; FACTS:
 Acting clerk of court Aida C. Lomugdang: guilty of having acted in contravention  Petitioner Francisco I. Chavez filed on November 13, 2002 his Consolidated
with the rules on the reception by her, albeit upon the directive of respondent Opposition to the main and supplemental motions for reconsideration.
 To recall, the Courts decision of July 9, 2002 on the instant case states in its
3 “Philippine Retirement Authority” is now officially PRetA, because “Philippine Reclamation Authority”
is PRA (formerly PEA). Source: I used to work for GOCC stuff.

1. The 157.84 hectares of reclaimed lands comprising the Freedom Islands, now covered decidendi of the Decision which is anchored on violation of specific
by certificates of title in the name of PEA, are alienable lands of the public domain. PEA provisions of the Constitution.
may lease these lands to private corporations but may not sell or transfer ownership of  The absence of public bidding was not raised as an issue by the parties.
these lands to private corporations. PEA may only sell these lands to Philippine citizens, The absence of public bidding was mentioned in the Decision only to
subject to the ownership limitations in the 1987 Constitution and existing laws. complete the discussion on the law affecting reclamation contracts for the
2. The 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable natural
guidance of public officials.
resources of the public domain until classified as alienable or disposable lands open to
disposition and declared no longer needed for public service. The government can make  At any rate, the Office of the Solicitor General in its Motion for
such classification and declaration only after PEA has reclaimed these submerged areas. Reconsideration concedes that the absence of public bidding in the
Only then can these lands qualify as agricultural lands of the public domain, which are the disposition of the Freedom Islands rendered the Amended JVA null and
only natural resources the government can alienate. In their present state, the 592.15 void.
hectares of submerged areas are inalienable and outside the commerce of man.  Third, judges and justices are not disqualified from participating in a case
3. Since the Amended JVA seeks to transfer to AMARI, a private corporation, ownership of just because they have written legal articles on the law involved in the case
77.34 hectares of the Freedom Islands, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section
3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations from acquiring
any kind of alienable land of the public domain.
4. Since the Amended JVA also seeks to transfer to AMARI ownership of 290.156 hectares 28. IN THE MATTER OF THE ALLEGED IMPROPER CONDUCT OF SANDIGANBAYAN
of still submerged areas of Manila Bay, such transfer is void for being contrary to Section ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ANACLETO D. BADOY, JR., TAKING AN AMBULANCE BUT PROCEEDING
2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits the alienation of natural resources TO THE GMA TV STATION FOR AN INTERVIEW INSTEAD OF PROCEEDING FORTHWITH TO
other than agricultural lands of the public domain. PEA may reclaim these submerged THE HOSPITAL, A.M. No. 01-12-01-SC, January 16, 2003
areas. Thereafter, the government can classify the reclaimed lands as alienable or
disposable, and further declare them no longer needed for public service. Still, the
transfer of such reclaimed alienable lands of the public domain to AMARI will be void in Ponente: SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:
view of Section 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution which prohibits private corporations
from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain. FACTS:
 Clearly, the Amended JVA violates glaringly Sections 2 and 3, Article XII of the
1987 Constitution and therefore declares the Amended JVA null and void ab 1. November 29, 2001: Justice Badoy, aboard an ambulance, "whisked himself" to
initio. the GMA Broadcast Station in Quezon City for a live interview in the news
 Amari seeks the inhibition of Justice Antonio T. Carpio, ponente of the Decision, program Saksi.
on the ground that Justice Carpio, before his appointment to the Court, wrote in 2. There, he announced the loss of a Resolution he penned in connection with the
his Manila Times column of July 1, 1997, I have always maintained that the law plunder case against former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada and others.
requires the public bidding of reclamation projects. 3. The media sarcastically referred to the event as a "staged comedy" or a
 Justice Carpio, then a private law practitioner, also stated in the same column, "television tryst." Leading newspapers contained facetious headlines, such as
The Amari-PEA reclamation contract is legally flawed because it was not bid out "Ambulance rushes Badoy — to TV Station," "What's with Justice Badoy," and
"Unorthodox Behavior — Analyze Badoy, Erap Lawyers ask SC."
by the PEA.
4. Acting on the media reports, this Court directed Justice Badoy to show cause
 Amari claims that because of these statements Justice Carpio should inhibit why he should not be administratively charged with conduct unbecoming a
himself on the grounds of bias and prejudgment and that the instant case Justice of the Sandiganbayan.
should be re-deliberated after being assigned to a new ponente. 5. Justice Badoy: alleged that three days prior to the incident, he could not find his
Resolution ordering that former President Estrada be detained at Fort Sto.
ISSUE: W/N the motion to inhibit should be granted Domingo. So he requested the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an
HELD: NO. investigation, but to no avail.
 First, the motion to inhibit came after Justice Carpio had already rendered 6. November 29, 2001: agitated that someone might have stolen the Resolution
his opinion on the merits of the case. and claimed that he sold it for a fee, he decided to go to the GMA-7 Broadcast
 The rule is that a motion to inhibit must be denied if filed after a member of Station and report its loss, in order that the public may know he is honest. In
the Court had already given an opinion on the merits of the case, the going there, he chose to ride in an ambulance because he felt very sick and
rationale being that a litigant cannot be permitted to speculate upon the cold, intending to proceed to a hospital after the interview.
action of the Court (only to) raise an objection of this sort after a decision
has been rendered. ISSUE: W/N Justice Badoy violated Canons of Judicial Ethics
 Second, as can be readily gleaned from the summary of the Decision
quoted above, the absence of public bidding is not one of the ratio

RULING: YES. He is guilty of the administrative offense: conduct unbecoming a Justice for interviews to the media on any matter or incident related to the issues subject of
going to GMA-7 Broadcast Station aboard an ambulance and reporting the loss of a the controversy" all the more punctuates his indiscretion.
Resolution, classified as a light charge under Section 10 of Rule 140 of the Revised Rules  Judges are subject to human limitations. Imbedded in their consciousness is the
of Court. complex of emotions, habits and convictions.
 Aware of this actuality, it behooves them to regulate these deflecting forces and
WHEREFORE, respondent Justice Anacleto D. Badoy, Jr. (Retired), is hereby FINED in the not to let them loose, either to their own detriment or to that of the courts they
sum of P13,000.00 for conduct unbecoming a Justice and for delay in issuing an Order, serve.
to be deducted from his retirement benefits.  This is the high price they have to pay as occupants of their exalted positions.


 An introspective appraisal of the "ambulance incident" yields reasons for this

Court to adjudge Justice Badoy guilty of conduct unbecoming a Justice.
 Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides that "a judge should avoid
impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities."
 He should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity
of the Judiciary.
Sections 5 and 6. Disqualification of judges
 Concomitant with this is the express mandate of the Canons of Judicial Ethics
that "justice should not be bounded by the individual idiosyncrasies of those
who administer it."
 A judge should adopt the usual and expected method of doing justice, and not MERCED R. GOCHAN GOROSPE, CRISPO R. GOCHAN JR. and MARLON R.
seek to be spectacular or sensational in the conduct of his court. GOCHAN vs. VIRGINIA GOCHAN, LOUISE GOCHAN, LAPULAPU REAL ESTATE
 Justice Badoy tramples upon the foregoing judicial norms. CORPORATION, FELIX GOCHAN & SONS REALTY CORPORATION and MACTAN
 There is no reason why he should rush to the GMA-7 Broadcast Station just to REALTY CORPORATION, G.R. No. 143089. February 27, 2003
inform the public about the loss of a Resolution.
 This is an internal office incident which should not be reported to the whole Ponente: PANGANIBAN, J.:
 His claim that the Resolution might have been stolen and sold by someone FACTS:
(using his name) for a fee is a wild conjecture.
 Not only did his conduct give an image that he could not manage his work
 There is no dispute as to the antecedent facts that gave rise to the instant
effectively, but it also indicated that he had corrupt personnel.
petition involving close relatives who are either aunties, nieces and nephews or
 Moreover, it dragged innocent parties as possible culprits.
 Justice Badoy's aberrant behavior deserves administrative sanction.
 03 April 1998: private respondents filed a Complaint for Specific Performance
 As the Chairman of the Division hearing the plunder case against the former and Damages against petitioners.
President of the Philippines, he should have been more circumspect in his
 The case was raffled to respondent Judge Dicdican
 11 August 1998: respondent judge denied petitioners motion without
 The loss of the Resolution, being an internal matter, could have been addressed
conducting a hearing. Respondent judge however did not stop with the denial
inside his own chamber. That he brought it to the arena of public opinion is pure
but went on to rule on the merits of the affirmative defenses.
vanity. It cannot be countenanced.
 The ruling is the subject of a petition for certiorari before this Court which is
 If lawyers are prohibited from making public statements in the media regarding
pending resolution on a motion for reconsideration.
a pending case to arouse public opinion for or against a party, with more reason
should judges be prohibited from seeking publicity.  Because of the pendency of this petition, petitioners filed on 28 September
1998 a motion to suspend proceedings.
 Judges are not actors or politicians who thrive by publicity. Publicity undermines
 Instead of suspending proceedings, the respondent judge set the case for pre-
the dignity and impartiality of a judge.
trial on 09 November 1998, per Order dated 01 October 1998.
 Thus, at no time should he be moved by a desire to cater to public opinion to the
 05 November 1998: petitioners’ counsel Atty. Rolando Lim filed a motion to
detriment of the administration of justice.
reset the pre-trial from 09 November 1998 to 03 December 1998 on the ground
 The fact that Justice Badoy, just three (3) weeks prior to the "ambulance
that he had to go to Japan because of a previous commitment.
incident," was strictly ordered by Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide, Jr., "to cease
and desist from holding press conferences, issuing press statements, or giving

 Atty. Vicente Espina, who attended the pre-trial to explain Atty. Lims absence,  Petitioners argue that the CA erred when it ruled that Judge Dicdican should be
manifested to respondent judge that the petitioners were willing to explore the inhibited from hearing Civil Case No. CEB-21854 on the ground of bias and
possibility of an amicable settlement. prejudice.
 In spite of the absence of handling counsel Atty. Lim and in spite of Atty. Espinas  A critical component of due process is a hearing before a tribunal that is
manifestation of a possible compromise, respondent judge proceeded with and impartial and disinterested.
terminated the pre-trial.  Every litigant is indeed entitled to nothing less than the cold neutrality of an
 And in spite of the manifestation of Atty. Espina, respondent judge indicated in impartial judge.
the pre-trial order he issued that the possibility (of a compromise) is nil.  All the other elements of due process, like notice and hearing, would be
 After the termination of the pre-trial, respondent judge proceeded to hear the meaningless if the ultimate decision were to come from a biased judge. Section
evidence of private respondents 1 of Rule 137 of the Rules of Court provides:
 23 April 1999: petitioners counsel Atty. Lim filed an urgent motion praying that SECTION 1. Disqualification of judges. - No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his
wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is related to
the hearing on 28 April be moved to 30 April 1999 on the ground that he had to
either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree,
undergo medical tests and treatment on 27 and 28 April 1999, and that his law computed according to the rules of the civil law, or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian,
partner Atty. Espina would not be able to attend in his behalf because the latter trustee or counsel, or in which he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the
had to attend his brothers wedding in Kananga, Leyte on 28 April 1999. subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered upon the
 Petitioner’s counsel went to court on 30 April 1999 and was surprised to learn record.
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid
that his motion to reset the hearing on 28 April 1999 was disregarded and that reasons other than those mentioned above.
trial proceeded with private respondent’s counsel conducting a re-direct  The Rules contemplate two kinds of inhibition: compulsory and voluntary. The
examination of their first witness and presenting their second witness on direct instances mentioned in the first paragraph of the cited Rule conclusively
examination. presume that judges cannot actively and impartially sit in a case.
 However, when respondent judge threatened to waive petitioners right to  The second paragraph, which embodies voluntary inhibition, leaves to the
examine private respondent’s witnesses, petitioners counsel had no choice but discretion of the judges concerned whether to sit in a case for other just and
to accede to do what he was not prepared for. valid reasons, with only their conscience as guide.
 05 August 1999: petitioners filed a motion to inhibit respondent judge from  To be sure, judges may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation.
further sitting in the case on grounds of partiality, pre-judgment and gross
 But when circumstances reasonably arouse suspicions, and out of such
ignorance of the law.
suspicions a suggestion is made of record that they might be induced to act with
 In an order dated 13 August 1999, respondent judge denied the motion for prejudice for or against a litigant, they should conduct a careful self-
inhibition on the ground that petitioners failed to appear to substantiate the examination.
 Under the second paragraph of the cited Section of the Rules of Court, parties
 16 August 1999: petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration of the order of have the right to seek the inhibition or the disqualification of judges who do not
denial which the respondent judge likewise denied in his Order dated 20 August appear to be wholly free, disinterested, impartial or independent in handling a
1999, reiterating that petitioners failed to appear during the hearing on the case.
 Whether judges should inhibit themselves therefrom rests on their own sound
 CA: opined that the apprehensions of respondents about the bias or partiality of discretion.
Judge Dicdican in favor of petitioners were well-founded. It held that the totality
 That discretion is a matter of conscience and is addressed primarily to their
of the circumstances showed that he had a glaring animosity towards their case.
sense of fairness and justice.
It further ruled that he had likewise displayed petulance and impatience in his
handling of the case, a norm of behavior inconsistent with the cold neutrality of  However, judges are exhorted to exercise their discretion in a way that the
an impartial judge people’s faith in the courts of justice would not be impaired.
 Verily, the second paragraph of Section 1 of Rule 137 does not give judges the
unfettered discretion to decide whether to desist from hearing a case.
ISSUE: W/N Judge Dicdican should have inhibited himself  The inhibition must be for just and valid causes.
RULING: Judge Dicdican need not inhibit himself.  The mere imputation of bias or partiality is not enough ground for them to
“WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED and the assailed CA Decision and inhibit, especially when the charge is without basis.
Resolution REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The prayer for the inhibition of Judge Isaias  This Court has to be shown acts or conduct clearly indicative of arbitrariness or
Dicdican is hereby DENIED. He is DIRECTED to proceed with the hearing of CEB-21 854 prejudice before it can brand them with the stigma of bias or partiality.
with all reasonably speed. No pronouncement as to costs.”  In a string of cases, the Supreme Court has said that bias and prejudice, to be
considered valid reasons for the voluntary inhibition of judges, must be proved
with clear and convincing evidence.
RATIO:  Bare allegations of their partiality will not suffice. It cannot be presumed,
especially if weighed against the sacred oaths of office of magistrates, requiring

them to administer justice fairly and equitably -- both to the poor and the rich,  OCA recommended to find respondent Judge guilty of Grave Misconduct, Gross
the weak and the strong, the lonely and the well-connected. Ignorance of the Law and Grave Abuse of Authority.
 Equally important is the established doctrine that bias and prejudice must be
shown to have resulted in an opinion on the merits on the basis of an ISSUE: WON respondent judge is guilty of gross misconduct
extrajudicial source, not on what the judge learned from participating in the
case. HELD: Yes, he is guilty for grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law and grave abuse
 As long as opinions formed in the course of judicial proceedings are based on of authority for violation of Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.13 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. He is
the evidence presented and the conduct observed by the magistrate, such DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of retirement benefits and with prejudice to
opinion -- even if later found to be erroneous -- will not prove personal bias or his reinstatement, including government owned or controlled corporations.
prejudice on the part of the judge.  Canon 2, Rule 2.03 provides “A judge shall not allow family, social or other
 relationships to influence judicial conduct of judgment xxx”
While palpable error may be inferred from the decision or the order itself,
extrinsic evidence is required to establish bias, bad faith, malice or corrupt  Rule 3.12 mandates that “a judge should take no part in a proceeding where the
purpose. At bottom, to disqualify a judge, the movant must prove bias and judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned xxx d) the judge is related by
prejudice by clear and convincing evidence. consanguinity or affinity to a party litigant within the sixth degree or to counsel
 Prescinding from the foregoing standards, SC does not agree with the Court of within the fourth degree”
Appeals conclusion that Judge Dicdican has shown a glaring bias against  He is liable for inappropriately using his Office’s letterhead and acting on his
respondents case. own criminal complaints against the complainant and D’Arcy.
 His actuations have not engendered reasonable suspicion as to his fairness and o Respondent alleged that he wanted to protect the interest of his
ability to decide the case with the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. maternal co-heirs but his explanation is flimsy. He further required the
 Verily, respondents have not convinced SC that Judge Dicdican should inhibit tenants to pay their rent at the MTC Maasin, although he was then
himself from hearing the case. staying at the building. He clearly intended to use the prestige of his
judicial office to advance their interest.
o A judge is prohibited from doing so in cases where he is a party under
Rule 3.12
30. Oktubre vs. Velasco, A.M. No. MTJ-02-1444 (20 July 2004)
o Respondent does not deny that he did not conduct a preliminary
investigation on the complaint for Robbery. He also aggravated his
liability when he issued the warrant of arrest.
 Plaintiff is the attorney-in-fact of D’Arcy, a non-resident American and widow of
Abraham. Respondent Judge is Abraham’s nephew. 31. Villaluz vs. Mijares, A.M. No. RTJ-98-1402 (3 April 1998)
 Abraham built a 4-storey commercial and residential building and owned it in
common with his siblings. After Abraham died, none of the heirs petitioned for FACTS:
the estate settlement and D’Arcy administered the building.  Retired CA Justice Villaluz charged Judge Mijares, incumbent RTC Pasay City
 3 tenants occupied the building with some rooms reserved for Abraham’s Judge with dishonesty, corrupt practices, grave misconduct and immorality, as
relatives and the tenants paid their rent to the plaintiff. alleged:
 After being appointed as the MTC Judge, respondent stayed in the building for a o Mijares, in consignation case “Tengco Homeowner’s Association vs.
few days. He sought for an extension but D’Arcy turned him down since she Susana Realty, Inc.” placed the consignation of plaintiff association’s
would be using the room he was staying at. rental deposit to her private bank account instead of turning them over
 Complainant alleges that the refusal resulted in Velasco sending her an to the City Treasurer
intimidating letter, moving out the jeep from the garage without her knowledge o She also took cognizance and decided the petition for correction of
and permission, and destroyed and changed the padlock of the room. entry in the birth record of her grandson, who is the child of her
 The parties also met in the office of the Punong Barangay for mediation but no daughter, notwithstanding such close relationship, which she should
settlement occurred since the respondent questioned her residency in Agbao. have refused and procured the transfer to other branches that are
o She reiterated that she was being given a warrant of arrest and was equally qualified.
locked up in jail for 6 hours before being able to pay a cash bond.  Respondent judge denied any participation in the collection of deposits from the
 Complainant sought to annul the warrant of arrest and prays that the judge be Tengco Homeowner’s Association and claimed that it was from her disgruntled
disciplined for (1) using his sala’s letterhead, (2) failure to inhibit himself from employees. On the 2nd charge, she asserted that the disqualification of judges
his own criminal complaints and (3) for his issuance of the warrant of arrest. does not apply since the proceedings only called for the clarification and
 Respondent admitted doing the acts regarding the Paler building, its tenants correction of an erroneous entry. Mijares also denied that she made a false
and D’Arcy’s jeep but claimed that he merely acted to protect his maternal co- declaration regarding her residence.
heir’s interest.
ISSUE: WON respondent Judge Mijares is guilty of grave misconduct

ISSUE: W/N it was proper for respondent judge to conduct the preliminary
HELD: Yes, she is guilty of grave misconduct and is fined for P20,000 on the 1st charge investigation and then order the arrest of the accused when the complaining witness
and P10,000 on the 2nd charge. She is also warned that the commission of the same or in Criminal Case No. SM-7962, as claimed by complainant mayor, is his nephew
similar offense will be dealt more severely.
 Justice Valdez opined that respondent violated Circular No. 9 and 5; but also
admitted that except for the testimony of Anita Domingo, there is no direct and RULING: NO. “IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, respondent is FINED in the amount of One
hard evidence that Mijares got and made personal use of the rental deposits. thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) for not having inhibited himself in the preliminary
 Respondent was also clearly disqualified from trying the case since she was investigation of Criminal Case No. SM-7962 entitled "People of the Philippines v. Carlo
related within the 6th degree of consanguinity to one of the parties in the Special Perez, Et. Al." With a stern warning that a repetition or the same or similar acts will be
Proceedings and that it was mandatory for Mijares to inhibit herself from hearing dealt with more severely.”
the case.
o Mijares contended that the petition did not involve controversial RATIO:
matters and merely pertained to clerical errors. But it cannot be free
from bias or partiality in resolving the case by reason of her close blood  SC: no taint of irregularity attended the issuance of the warrant of arrest by
relationship to him.
respondent judge
o The Court reminds judges to be prudent and circumspect in the
 Additionally, the complainant questions the impartially of the respondent judge
performance of their duties for “a judge owes it to the public and to the
in conducting the preliminary investigation of the crime on the ground that the
legal profession to know the factual basis of the complaint and the very
complaining witness is his nephew, Cristobal Suller, Jr.
law he is supposed to apply to a given controversy.
 Respondent judge’s comment, being silent on his relationship with complaining
 Complainant’s charge for the 3rd allegation was not sufficiently substantiated
witness, Cristobal Suller, Jr., the Court deems it an admission of the alleged
since the respondent’s testimony that it was the address that her husband
resided and this was where they established their family residence after getting
married.  Respondent judge could have easily denied the alleged relationship and
adduced proof to that effect, but he chose to sidestep said issue by being silent,
notwithstanding that this constitutes one of the principal charges against him.
 The Court finds that respondent judge have refrained from handling the
32. Perez v. Suller, A.M. No. MTJ-94-436. (6 November 1995) preliminary investigation since he was closely related to the complainant,
Cristobal Suller Jr., his nephew and a relative by consanguinity within the sixth
Ponente: ROMERO, J.: degree.
 The Court mandates that all judges strictly comply with the Code of Judicial
FACTS: Conduct 5 provides, in Rule 3.12 that:

"Rule 3.12. — a judge should take no part in a proceeding where the judge’s
 In a sworn letter-complaint dated March 23, 1994, Salvador M. Perez, Municipal
impartially might reasonably be questioned. These cases include, among others,
Mayor of San Miguel, Pangasinan accused Judge Hilarion A. Suller of grave
proceedings where:
abuse of discretion, misconduct, ignorance of the law and acts unbecoming of a
judge relative to Criminal Case No. SM-7962 entitled "People v. Carlo Perez,
(d) the judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to a party litigant within the
Salvador Perez, Jr. and Jerico Perez," for qualified trespass to dwelling.
sixth degree or to counsel within the fourth degree;
 Complainant Mayor: alleged that respondent Judge conducted the preliminary
 Rule 137 Section 1 of the Revised Rules of Court which applies suppletorily
investigation in said case although the complaining witness, Cristobal Suller, Jr.
is his nephew and thereafter issued the warrant of arrest against the accused on
the same day the complaint was filed without requiring the accused and their
"Section 1. Disqualification of judges. — No judge or judicial officer shall sit in
witnesses to submit their counter-affidavits; that on the following day, a Friday,
any case in which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as their,
respondent judge purposely left his station to thwart any opportunity for the
legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the
accused to post bail.
sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree,
 Respondent judge averred that the issuance of the warrant was in accord with
computed according to the rules of the civil law, or in which he has been
the provisions of Section 6, Rule 112 1 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in which he has
Procedure. He denied the allegations that he left his station on March 18, 1994,
presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review,
the day after the filing of the complaint; that in a Joint "Sworn Statement" dated
without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered
April 7, 1994, his Branch Clerk of Court, Staff Assistant and interpreter attested
upon the record.
that the respondent judge together with affiants reported for work on said date
 While conducting preliminary investigation may not be construed strictly as
 His comment, however, was silent as to his relationship with the complaining
"sitting in a case," the underlying reason behind disqualification under Rule 3.12
witness in Criminal Case No. SM-7962, Cristobal Suller, Jr.

of the Code of Judicial Conduct and Section 1 of Rule 137 is the same. Factual antecedents of A.M. No. RTJ-14-2383
 Complainants aver that Respondent Judge, being a magistrate, failed to exert
 Clearly, respondent judge’s participation in the preliminary investigation any effort to mediate the differences and misunderstandings between his
involving his nephew is a violation of the aforequoted rules laid down to guide siblings.
members of the judiciary.  The complainants also allege that Respondent Judge compounded the trouble
 The rationale for the rule on disqualification of a judge stems from the principle between his siblings when he instigated, encouraged and advised Narciso, Jr. to
that no judge should preside in a case in which he is not wholly free, file charges against his sister, Dra. Corazon.
disinterested, impartial and independent.
 They assert that the Respondent Judge abused his power as a judge by
 A judge should not handle a case in which he might be perceived to be
continuously trying to harass and oppress his female siblings by threatening to
susceptible to bias and impartiality.
file Civil and Criminal cases against Carmencita and Dulce for not giving him his
 The rule is intended to preserve the people’s faith and confidence in the courts
of justice. share of the fruits of the land held in common by the three of them.
 As can be gleaned from the records, respondent judge may have been  Dra. Corazon’s Allegation
influenced or affected by his relationship to Suller, Jr. during the preliminary  Respondent Judge took advantage of his powerful position and unjustly enriched
investigation. himself by encroaching on Lot 12910 which was owned by her without asking for
 Based on the documentary evidence presented, it appears that during the her consent or approval, fenced and introduced improvements therein.
preliminary investigation, respondent judge ordered the accused to submit  Patria’s Allegation
within the ten-day reglementary period, their counter-affidavit to controvert the  Patria avers that she and the respondent Judge live in their ancestral house
complaint filed against them; that prior to the expiration of said period, located in Tupsan, Mambajao, Camiguin. During one of his visits to Camiguin,
respondent judge issued a Resolution dated March 17, 1994 ordering, among Narciso, Jr. found his room in disarray and claimed that there were valuable
others, the forwarding of the records of the case to the Office of the Provincial
things missing.
Prosecutor despite protestations from the accused.
 This, in effect, deprived the accused of their opportunity to adequately present  Upon hearing the commotion created by his siblings on the second floor,
their position during the preliminary investigation. respondent Judge went upstairs and accused Patria of stealing the missing
 Such actuation of respondent judge demonstrated partiality of the complaining items, which included a camera. In that occasion, complainant Patria claims that
witness, his nephew, thus casting doubt on his fairness in conducting the Respondent Judge uttered defamatory remarks upon her. Later, it turned out
preliminary investigation. that nothing was missing from Narciso, Jr.’s belongings.
 The behavior of judges and court personnel, must at all times, not only be  Carmen and Patria sought the assistance of the Barangay Captain with regard to
characterized by propriety and decorum, but must also be above suspicion. their proposal that Respondent Judge accommodate Narciso, Jr. in the ground
 Due process cannot be satisfied in the absence of that degree of objectivity on floor rather than having him stay at one of the rooms in the second floor of the
the part of a judge sufficient to reassure litigants of his being fair and just. 11 ancestral house.
Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, moreover, mandates that a judge  She also claimed that the said judge one night allegedly uttered the following
should avoid, not merely impropriety in all his acts but even the appearance of words: “Ikaw bugok, idiot aka. Epapreso taka anang imong kaso naa sa Fiscal
impropriety. karon.”

 During the dialogue, Respondent Judge and Narciso, Jr. turned down the
proposal of Carmen and Patria. O
 Patria joined her sisters Dulce, Amor, Carmen and Corazon in filing this
PADERANGA, A.M. No. RTJ-14-2383 August 17, 2015
BERSAMIN, J. Administrative Complaint with the OCA.
FACTS:  an Information for Violation of Republic Act 7610 was filed against Patria before
 Prior to his compulsory retirement from the Judiciary on 2013, the respondent the sala of Respondent Judge. The following day, he issued a Warrant for the
served as the Presiding Judge of the RTC Camiguin. He is now administratively arrest of Patria.
charged based on two separate complaints.  Upon learning that police officers were after her, Patria surrendered to the
 The first complaint ,was brought by his own sisters of the full blood, namely: Dra. Executive Judge of the RTC of Misamis Oriental and posted a cash bond of
Corazon D. Paderanga , Dulce, Carmencita and Amor to charge him with conduct P16,000.00. Subsequently, she filed a Motion for Disqualification against the
unbecoming of a judge and grave misconduct. respondent Judge on the ground that respondent judge is related to her and the
 The second, was instituted by Patria to charge him with ignorance of the law, complainant, Michelle P. Carillo, within the sixth degree of consanguinity.
disregard of the New Code of Judicial Conduct and abuse of authority.  Justice del Castillo recommended that the Respondent Judge be suspended
 The Court consolidated the two cases A.M. No. RTJ-07-2033 with A.M. No. RTJ- form the service without compensation and benefits for a period of two (2)
14-2383. months.

Factual antecedents of A.M. No. RTJ-07-2033 - Other imputations against the respondent were baseless, or were not subject to
 Patria cited the following grounds: I. FOR IGNORANCE AND/OR DEFIANCE OF administrative sanction
- The respondent’s issuance of the warrant of arrest against his own sister was an
 the respondent had loudly and angrily uttered the following remarks at her: outright violation of the stringent rules on compulsory disqualification. For him,
“Ikaw bugok, iduot taka, epapreso taka anang imong caso naa sa fiscal!” (“You
self-disqualification was absolute and should have been immediate. It did not
idiot, I will send you to prison in that case against you pending now in the fiscal’s matter that he presided in a single-sala station.
office!”); that he did issue an order of arrest against her in violation of Section 1,
Rule 137 of the Rules of Court and Rule 3.12 of the Code of Judicial Conduct; - Neither was it an excuse that the private complainant in the criminal case
that he intentionally caused the warrant of arrest to be served against her in her against his sister could protest unless he acted as promptly as he did on the
school to humiliate her; and that he had been pressuring her and their sisters to case. No protest would be justified should self-disqualification be mandatory.
execute an affidavit of desistance in relation to the charges they brought against Consequently, he was not exempt from administrative liability for acting upon
him in A.M. No. RTJ-14-2383. the criminal case involving his own sister, and issuing the warrant of arrest
against her.
 The respondent countered that the charges in the second complaint were
already included in A.M. No. RTJ-14-2383 then being investigated by Justice Del - The rules on the disqualification of judges, particularly compulsory self-
Castillo; and that he had already submitted his comment disqualification, are basic legal guidelines that must be at the palm of every
judge’s hands. They are as basic as a rule of thumb. That the respondent
ISSUES: (1) Whether or not the following acts of the respondent constituted conduct disobeyed them should render him fully accountable for gross ignorance of the
unbecoming of a judge, namely: law or rule.
(a) failing to exert efforts to mediate the differences and misunderstandings among his - “As public servants, judges are appointed to the judiciary to serve as the visible
siblings, particularly between Narciso, Jr. and Corazon, that had led to the filing of civil and
representation of the law, and more importantly, of justice. From them, the
criminal cases against each other;
people draw their will and awareness to obey the law.” If judges, who have sworn
(b) instigating Narciso, Jr. to file charges against Corazon that compounded the
misunderstanding among his siblings; to obey and uphold the Constitution, shall conduct themselves as respondent
(c) threatening the filing of criminal cases against his sisters; (d) accusing Patria of did, in wanton disregard and violation of the rights of the accused, then the
stealing Narciso, Jr.’s belongings, specifically his camera; people, especially those who have had recourse to them shall lose all their
(e) uttering defamatory remarks against Patria; and respect and high regard for the members of the Bench and the judiciary itself
(f) taking advantage of his position and unjustly enriching himself by appropriating for shall lose the high moral ground from which it draws its power and strength to
himself Lot 12910 to the prejudice of the rightful owner; and compel obedience to the laws
(2) Whether or not his issuance of the warrant of arrest against Patria amounted to gross  Respondent is guilty of gross ignorance of law and conduct unbecoming of a
misconduct, ignorance of the law, disregard of the New Code of Judicial Conduct and judge.
abuse of authority.
- The Court agrees with Justice Del Castillo that the respondent was not guilty of
conduct unbecoming of a judge or of grave misconduct under the first complaint
except for his appropriation for himself of Lot 12910 in order to unjustly enrich
- Disbelieving the respondent’s denial, Justice Del Castillo pointed out that the
respondent’s signature on the sketch plan reflected his actual knowledge and
approval of the partition of their parents’ estate; and noted that his denial was
inconsistent with his acts, and was apparently implausible
- respondent Judge was in bad faith when he unilaterally appropriated the
disputed portion in his favor. He thereby disregarded the sworn obligation of
every judge to observe respect for the rights of others at all times if he expected
others to respect the courts and its judges, as well as the Judiciary as an
institution. His failure in this regard merited him the condign administrative