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ANONYMOUS AGAINST ACUNA

FACTS:
Concerned citizens of the lower court filed an anonymous letter to the Office of
the Court Administrator reporting the alleged malpractices of Judge Edmundo
Acuna. Among these are his regular use of expletives and insulting terms such as
putang ina and putris, and his constant berating and embarrassment of
people in front of others. It was also reported that he conducted trials and filed
decisions for five criminal cases while he was on official leave from the 15th of
August to the 15th of September 2001.
The respondent contended that these allegations were exaggerated and the only
purpose of which is to harass him, and that part of his odd behaviours that may
seem unacceptable to his colleagues were brought about by his mourning due to
the loss of his son which was amplified by the poor performance ratings of his
staff. Although he did admit to using such offensive terms, respondent averred
that these were not directed to anyone in particular. He also stated in his defense
that while he was issued an Authority to Travel dated 14th of August 2011 to travel
to Canada, he still presented evidence on his entries in the daily time records that
he was not yet on leave from the 15th to the 21st of August 2011. He thus had the
right and duty to come to court as the case may be.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the respondents behaviour and issuance of decisions while on
official leave are subject to disciplinary actions.
HELD:
Yes. The Court held that the use of such expletives is improper for the lauded
office of a magistrate of the law. As the public expects more from such a high and
respectable office, the same level of expectation is also placed upon the person
who holds it to uphold its respectability and be conscious of his acts in order to
maintain its honourability. A judge is expected to be temperate, patient and
courteous in order to promote public confidence in the integrity and
impartiability of the judiciary. As held in Ignacio and Valenzuela, a judge should
avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities, to which
herein respondent is guilty of.
Furthermore, the Court agrees with the Investigating Judge that overzealousness
to work is not a shield from administrative liability for the dire consequences that
may effect from the result of his decisions and orders issued while he was
supposed to be on official leave.
As Judge Acuna was found guilty of impropriety, he is reprimanded and is sternly
warned that repetition of the same will be dealt with more severely.

IN RE EDILLON
FACTS: The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed
practicing Attorney in the Philippines. The IBP Board of
Governors recommended to the Court the removal of the name
of the respondent from its Roll of Attorneys for stubborn refusal
to pay his membership dues assailing the provisions of the Rule
of Court 139-A and the provisions of par. 2, Section 24, Article
III, of the IBP By-Laws pertaining to the organization of IBP,
payment of membership fee and suspension for failure to pay the
same.
Edillon contends that the stated provisions constitute an invasion
of his constitutional rights in the sense that he is being compelled
as a pre-condition to maintain his status as a lawyer in good
standing, to be a member of the IBP and to pay the
corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this compelled
financial support of the said organization to which he is admitted
personally antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to
liberty and properly guaranteed to him by the Constitution.
Hence, the respondent concludes the above provisions of the
Court Rule and of the IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force
and effect.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court may compel Atty. Edillion to
pay his membership fee to the IBP.
HELD: The Integrated Bar is a State-organized Bar which every
lawyer must be a member of as distinguished from bar
associations in which membership is merely optional and
voluntary. All lawyers are subject to comply with the rules
prescribed for the governance of the Bar including payment a
reasonable annual fees as one of the requirements. The Rules of
Court only compels him to pay his annual dues and it is not in
violation of his constitutional freedom to associate. Bar
integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone.
He is free to attend or not the meeting of his Integrated Bar
Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its election as he chooses.
The only compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of
annual dues. The Supreme Court in order to further the States

legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal


services, may require thet the cost of the regulatory program
the lawyers.
Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of
the State. The right to practice law before the courts of this
country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and
inquiry. And if the power to impose the fee as a regulatory
measure is recognize then a penalty designed to enforce its
payment is not void as unreasonable as arbitrary. Furthermore,
the Court has jurisdiction over matters of admission, suspension,
disbarment, and reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation as
part of its inherent judicial functions and responsibilities thus the
court may compel all members of the Integrated Bar to pay their
annual dues.