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Issuance of Hold Departure Order of Judge Luisito T.

Adaoag, MTC, Camiling,

Tarlac. A.M. No. 99-8-126-MTC. September 22, 1999. Mendoza, J:

• Mar. 31, 1999 - Secretary of Justice endorsed a “hold-departure” order (HDO), issued on Jan. 29, 1999 by
MTC Judge Adaoag, in Criminal Case Nos. 98-131 and 98-132, entitled “People vs. Umagat”, for being contrary
to SC Circular No. 39-97
• Circular No. 39-97 provides the guidelines in issuing HDOs as HDO is tantamount to an infringement on the
right and liberty of an individual to travel, which include that:
o HDO be issued only in criminal cases within the exclusive jurisdiction of RTCs o RTCs shall furnish the DFA and
Bureau of Immigration (BOI) with a copy of the HDO within 24hrs through the
fastest available means of transmittal o RTCs shall furnish the DFA and BOI with a copy of each judgment of acquittal
or order of dismissal 24hrs o All RTCs that have furnished the DFA with their lists of active HDOs are directed to
conducte an inventory of the
HDOs and inform the government agencies concerned of the Orders involved
• Judge Adaoag admits his mistake and pleads ignorance of the circular and explains that:
o HDO is a mere request from the Commission on Immigration o HDO was issued in 2 crim cases within its jurisdiction,
in the interest of the State upon motion of the DOH thru its
Asst. Prosec Ovejera, Office of Prov Prosec, Tarlac o MTC was misled into believing that it could issue an order
requesting the BOI for a HDO because the motion was filed
and prayed for by the Office of the Prov Prosec, Tarlac o
MTC has no copy of the circular

ISSUE: Whether the MTC can issue a hold-departure order in criminal cases within its exclusive jurisdiction


The Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to be "faithful to the law and maintain professional competence” and
by diligent effort, keep themselves abreast of developments in our legal system. The process of learning the law is
a never ending and ceaseless one. Judge Adaoag was reprimanded with the warning that repetition of the same or
similar act will be dealt with more severely.