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SUSPENSION, DISBARMENT AND DISCIPLINE OF LAWYERS (RULE 139-B, RULES OF COURT)

A.
B.
C.
D.

E.

F.

Nature and Characteristics of disciplinary actions against lawyers


a. Sui generis
b. Prescription
Objectives of suspension and disbarment
Grounds for disbarment (Rule 138, Sec 27, Rules of Court)
Officers authorized to investigate disbarment cases
a. Supreme Court
b. IBP thru Commission on Bar Discipline or authorized officers
c. Office of the Solicitor General
Liabilities of Lawyer
a. Civil liability
b. Criminal liability
c. Contempt of Court
d. Forms of disciplinary measures
e. Modifying circumstances (Mitigating and Aggravating)
Readmission to the Bar
a. Reinstatement
b. Lifting of order of suspension
c. Judicial clemency

JUDICIAL ETHICS
A.

Sources of judicial ethics


a. New Code of Judicial Conduct (2004)
b. Code of Judicial Conduct (1989)
c. Provisions of 1987 Constitution (Art VIII, Art XI, Art III)
d. New Civil Code (Arts. 9, 27, 739, 1491. 2029, 2032)
e. Rules of Court (Rules 71, 135, 137, 139-B, 140)
f. Revised Penal Code (Arts. 204, 205, 206, 207)
g. Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019)
h. Canons of Judicial Ethics (DOJ AO 162, Aug 1, 1946)
i.
Code of Professional Responsibility
j.
Judiciary Act of 1948 (RA 296)
k. Supreme Court decisions
l.
Foreign decisions which are relevant and persuasive
m. Opinions of authorities
n. Special Laws (RA 910, June 20, 1953)
o. Administrative Orders and Supreme Court Circulars

B.

New Code of Judicial Conduct (A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC, June 1, 2004)


This is based on the 2002 Bangalore Draft, as amended, which was intended to be the Universal
Declaration of Judicial Standards applicable in all judiciaries.
This New Code of Judicial conduct supersedes the Canons of Judicial Ethics and the Code of Judicial
Conduct, but the latter may still apply in a suppletory character in case of deficiency or absence of
provisions in the New Code.
Case:
121. Joaquin vs. Javellana, AM RTJ-00-1601, November 13, 2001
"..a judge's official conduct and his behavior in the performance of judicial duties should be free
from the appearance of impropriety and must be beyond reproach. One who occupies an exalted position in
the administration of justice must pay a high price for the honor bestowed upon him, for his private as well
as his official conduct must at all times be free from the appearance of impropriety. Because appearance is
as important as reality in the performance of judicial functions, like Caesar's wife, a judge must not only be
pure but also beyond suspicion. x x x"
-

Grave misconduct, graft, and gross iognorance of the law


In a case for estafa (People vs. Salazar) filed by complainant on behalf of Andersons
Group Inc., complainant averred that there was an undue delay in the rendition of

judgment (TEN MONTHS), that resp had acquitted the accused, and that ntiehr judge
nor his clerk of court were present during the promulgation (in contravention of Sec. 6,
Rule 130 of RoC). Impropriety: resp was also often seen with Atty Vic Agravante,
counsel for the accused.
Resp attributed delay to voluminous work load (handled two salas) and was suffering
hypertension, denied any irregularity in the promulgation which was duly conducted by
the clerk of court in the presence of accused and his counsel.
The Office of the Court Administrator conducted an investigation and found that resp
failed to decide the case in the 90-day period required but found no irregularit y in the
promulgation nor gross ignorance of the law. Also found resp guilty for impropriety for
his close association with Agravante.
SC: judge should have asked for an extension of time to decide the case and explain
why.
SC: Canon 2, rule 2.01, 2.09 (judges should avoid impropriety and the appearance of
the same)
Complaint of ignorance of the law: DISMISSED (no basis). Delay in decision: TWO
THOUSAND PESOS. ADMONISHED for dealings with lawyers who have pending
cases before him.

1. DEFINITIONS
In this Code, unless the context otherwise permits or requires, the following meanings shall be attributed to
the words used:
Court staff includes the personal staff of the judge including law clerks.
Judge means any person exercising judicial power, however designated.
Judges family includes a judges spouse, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-inlaw, and any other relative
by consanguinity or affinity within the sixth civil degree, or person who is a companion or employee of the
judge and who lives in the judges household.
2. Canons
a. Canon 1 Independence
Judicial independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of law and a fundamental guarantee of a fair
trial. A judge shall therefore uphold and exemplify judicial independence in both its individual and
institutional aspects.
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.

Sec 1 Independent judicial function


Sec 2 outside pressure
Sec 3 influencing outcome of litigation
Sec 4 influence on judicial conduct
Sec 5 independence from executive and legislative
Sec 6 independence from society and particular parties
Sec 7 safeguards for judicial independence
Sec 8 promote public confidence
Cases:
122. Ramirez v.Corpuz-Macandong, AM R-351-RTJ, September 26, 1986
- Defendant charged with six separate complaints of various forms of misconduct in the
performance of her duties:
(1) petition for writ of habeas corpus filed by Sheriff Abraham Ramirez who was
arrested for contempt of court (thru alleged disobedience of a writ of preliminary injunction
ordered by resp) thru a handwritten note issued by respondent (respondent denied having
abitrarily caused the arrest of Ramirez and justified it as a means of preserving justice)
(2) Failure to act on repeated motions set by a complainant in a civil case
(Liwayway Samson) to commence proceedings and to declare in default defendants
failure to file an answer. Respondent stated that the motion had been noted for study
(3) Victoria Torres charged respondent with ignorance of the law, graft, deliberate
distortion of the law fr pecuniary motives, alleging that resp had indiscriminately issued
restraining orders without conducting hearings and had reirterated the same after the
lapse of the mandatory twenty day period, and that she had issued TROs against the
enforcement of writs of execution on ejectment cases issued by co-equal trial courts in the
same city.
(4) A decision submitted for more than eighteen months, complainant alleges that
respondent judge has been drawing her salary while the case was pending. Contends that

resp is guilty of falsification because certification of having decided all cases is requried
before a judge can draw her salaries.
(5) Jesus Alba charges resp with gross incompetence, partiality, and knowingly
rendering an unjust decision. Accused was acquitted in this case with Alba contending that
resp erred in her appreciation of the credibility of the witnesses. The decision was also
promulgated in the absence of complainant and his counsel
(6)
- Respondent clearly failed to manage her court with a view of prompt and convenient
disposition of cases, failed to act with reasonable dispatch reuired of judicial officers.
PATENT BETRAYAL OF PUBLIC TRUST.
-Respondent has shown herself to be mentally and morally unfit to remain in her office.
- DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits and pay,
with prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of the government.
123. Libarios v. Dabalos, AM RTJ-89-286, July 11, 1991
- Charged with grave ignorance of the law, grave abuse of discredtion, gross misconduct,
partiality
- March 1988: former Myor Mariano Corvero Sr. was shot by Pablo Macapas inside the
courtroom of resp for a frustrated murder case against Macapas. Mayor Tranquilino Calo
Jr. was the counsel for Cacapas. A charge or murder was filed against Macapas, Calo Jr.
and others.
- Information was signed by the fiscal, Calo jr. filed for an MR. A TRO was issue to enjoin
the Fiscal from acting on the MR and proceeding the preliminary investigation. The TRO
expired, with no preliminary injunciton issued
- Before the MR could be resolved, the investigating fiscal was gunned down. Another
murder charge was filed against Calo Jr. and 4 others.
- A rally was held demanding the immediate arrest of the accused, with the sympathizers
personally seeing the judge in his chambers. Without any prior hearing, resp issued a
warrant of arrest against the accused and fixed the bail time for the accused at P50,000
each. Resp judge fixed bail for the other accused despite a NO BAIL recommendation and
resp stated that the evidence of guilt was merely circumstantial. The accused were
released on bail
-The CA issued a resolution restraining the execution of resps order, stating that it was
issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The
warrants of arrest and bail bonds were declared void and the court of origin was ordered
to immediately serve new warrants of arrest
- The impartiality of the judge is questioned on the groun of his close association with
Calo J (had appeared as associate of accused in a case, resp denied being a law
partner). Complainant alleges that resp disregarded Sec 5, Rule 114 of the Rule of Crim
Pro, which require hearing before an accused charged with a capital offense can be
granted bail.
- In his defense, respondent judge argues that the stated rule is applicable only to cases
where accused were already in custody, but none of the accused were being detained at
the time their application for bail was acted upon
- SC: in the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge done in his
judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action, even if errrnoeous. However, in
every case, a judge should endeavor diligently to ascertain facts and applicable law
unswayed by personal interests. Respondent should not have allowed himself to be
swayed in issuing an order fixing bail without a hearing, which is contrary to established
principle of law. A judge owes it to the public and to justice to know the law and apply it.
There will be faith in the administration of justice only when the bench cannot be accused
of deficiency in their grasp of legal principles.
- As a rule when a person is accused of a capital offense, a hearing must be conducted to
allow the prosecution tp prove that evidence is strong, before resolving the issue of bail.
Failure to do so in this case amounted to a violation of due process. Irrespective of the
judges opinion on the evidence of guilt, hearing is still required by law. His association
with Calo Jr. also demanded that he should have refrained from his acts to avoid doubt to
his impartiality.
- FINE OF P20,000, WARNING
124. Sabitsana Jr. v. Villamor, AM 90-474, October 4, 1991

- Falsification of monthly Certificates of Service, making it appear that he had resolved


cases within the 90-day period required, when he actually had 15 cases undecided from 5
years back.
-Investigation of Court Administrator revealed that 87 cases went undecided beyond the
90 day period. Also: dismal state of the RTC courthouse, Bereft of any dignity as a court
of law. Rrespondent had also intervened in a criminal case with the MTC showing undue
interest in a pending case.
- Resp claim that the complaint was for harassment and vengeance. He denied violating
the 90-day rule since in Feb 1990, the Court required the adoption of the continuous trial
system (but there were still late cases before that time). He added that he had no handin
preparing his Certificates of Service.
- SC: Resp shifts the blame on his Clerk of court (inefficient in management of Court
records). Canon 3, Rule 3.08 (a judge should diligently discharge adm. Responsibilities),
Rule 3.09 (organize and supervise court personnel to ensure prompt and efficient dispatch
of business). He is also inexcusably dilligent for failure to account for the records of 14
cases a judge is expected to ensure that the records assigned to his sala are intact.
Only fortuitous events justify missing records.
- Resp had sent a letter to the MTC judge through the wife ot eha ccused in the pending
case, giving him advice on the case. While the contents do not show that he had that he
exhorted addressee to decide in favor of anyone, to let the wife of the accused deliver the
letter wielded a degree of moral ascendancy. Judges should also avoid the appearance of
impropriety
- RESPONDENT IS DISMISSED, forfeiture of accrued retirement benefits, with
prejudice to re-employment in the government (inc. GOCCs)
125. Rivera v. Barro, AM 2003-CTJ, February 28, 1980
- Charged with malfeasance and/or misfeasance of office by way of an affidavit (July 10.
1978) excuted by complainantt (Barangay Chariman of Brngy No. 12, Gingoog City)
- Feb, 12, 1978, several persons, inc. Arturo Barro, nphew of resp, were apprehended for
illegal gambling. Criminal case filed in resps sala. Case was dismissed.
- Contended that resp should have inhibited himself pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 137, RoC.
Resp states that he intended to inhibit himself but nobody manifested any objection and
that the prosecution was going to reinvestigate. Claimed he did not dismiss on the
premise that one of the accused is his nephew.
- SC: no excuse for failure to inhibit. Rule is to free courts from any suspicion of bias and
prejudice.
GUILTY, Ordered to pay a fine the equivalent to his salary for 3 months
126. Tan v. Rosete, AM MTJ-04-1563, September 8, 2004
Facts:
Before the cases were decided, respondent judge allegedly sent a member of his staff to talk to
complainant. The staff member told complainant Tan that Judge Rosete was asking for P150,000.00 in exchange for
the non-dismissal of the cases. She was shown copies of respondent judges decision in the criminal cases, both still
unsigned, dismissing the complaints against the accused. She was told that respondent judge would reverse the
disposition of the cases as soon as she remits the amount demanded. Complainant, however, did not accede to
respondents demand because she believed that she had a very strong case, well supported by evidence. The
criminal cases were eventually dismissed by respondent judge.
Held:
We have repeatedly admonished our judges to adhere to the highest tenets of judicial conduct. They must
be the embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. The exacting standards of conduct demanded from
judges are designed to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary because the
peoples confidence in the judicial system is founded not only on the magnitude of legal knowledge and the diligence
of the members of the bench, but also on the highest 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
office in disrepute, encourages disrespect for the law and impairs public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of
the judiciary itself. It is therefore paramount that a judges personal behavior both in the performance of his duties
and his daily life, be free from any appearance of impropriety as to be beyond reproach.
Respondents act of sending a member of his staff to talk with complainant and show copies of his draft
decisions, and his act of meeting with litigants outside the office premises beyond office hours violate the standard of

judicial conduct required to be observed by members of the Bench. They constitute gross misconduct which is
punishable under Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court
127. Salud v. Alumbres, AM RTJ-00-159, June 23, 2003
- Undue delay of resolution in a civil case on the double sale of a parcel of land. Owners
spouses Forneza managed to sell the same property twice in four days (Deed of Sale,
Contract to Sell as respective evidence). The Salud spouses were the first buyers (in good
faith).
- Resp judge issued an Alias Write of Execution stating that judgment is now final and
executory, notwithstanding pendency of appeal. Salud spouses filed petition for ceritorari
before CA with a prayer to temporarily rstrain RTC from enforcing orders. Laurito spouses
(other buyers) filed a motion to declare a TRO vacated and the early resolution of the
case.
- Salud then filed with the OCA praying that the resp be found adm. Liable for delay in
rendering judgment (period from May to August 1997 but without resolution, another case
before resp also had the litigants waiting 6 months for judgment). Judgment was issued
fifteen months later.
- Resp blames delay oncomplainant, who allegedly filed numerous pleadings. Since more
than 1 year has lapsed, he nol longer has jusirsdiction over the case and should not be
ordered to explain.
SC: Delay ultimately affects the image of the judiciary. Failure to comply with the
Constitution and the Code of Judicial Condicy constitutes serious misconduct dterimental
to the honr and integrity of the judicial office. The harassment techniques against the
judge may be considered mitigating circumjstances. Even after the judge has retired, he
may still be held administratively liable.
FINED P5,000. Deducted from retirement benefits of resp
b.

Canon 2 Integrity
Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the judicial office but also to the personal
demeanor of judges.
i.
ii.
iii.

Sec 1 Conduct above reproach


Sec 2 Reaffirm peoples faith
Sec 3 Disciplinary action
Cases:
128. Anonymous v. Judge Rio C. Achas, MTCC Branch 2, Ozamiz City, Mis Occ, AM MTJ11-1801, February 27, 2013
- Anonymous letter-complaint (August 2, 2010) alleging immorality and conduct
unbecoming of a judge: (1) public knowledge that resp is living scandalously with a
woman not his life, (2) lives beyond his means, (3) involved in illegal activities through
connection with bad elements (kuratongs), (4) comes to court untidy and dirty, 95) decides
cases unfairly in exchange for considerations, (6) involved in gambling.
- OCA investigated, found that resp has been separated from legal wife for some time and
that he raised game cocks. The other allegations were unsubstantiated. Resp admitted he
was only separated de facto from his wife of 26 years and reared game cocks for extra
income.
Sec. 1, Rule 140 of RoC anonymous complaints may be file dif supported by public
reocrds of indubitable integrity. No evidence was attached to letter0complaint and no
public records were brought forth.
- it is not commedable, proper, or moral for a judge to be perceived as going out with a
woman not his wife (even if estranged from his wife). Canon 2 (integrity) and Canon 4
(propriety)
- As to cockfighting and betting, no clear evidence. No proof that he actually goes to
cockpits and gambles. While rearing fighting cocks is not illegal, resp should avoid
mingling with a crowd of bettors as it impairs the respct due him. A judge must impose
personal restrictions upon himself more than the ordinary citizen.
- Resp was previously charged with immorality for cohabiting with a woman not his wife in
2005. Shows he has failed to avoid the appearance of impropriety
- REPRIMANDED, FINED P5,000. ADMONISHED. STERNLY WARNED.
129. Rallos v. Gako Jr., AM RTJ-98-1484, March 17, 2000
- Two adm. Cases filed with resp of RTC, Cebu City. Ignorance of law, gravve abuse of

authority (ordered the release of 25,000 sacks to claimants notwithstanding the pendency
of seizure and forfeiture proceedings before Bureau of Customs). Second: respondents
orders falsely stated that complainants ina Special Proceeding Case (Intestate Estate of
Simeon Rallos) were present during the hearing on March 15, 1999
- First case (Dec 1998), PNP, Coast Guard, BOC had withheld 25,000 sacks of rice on
board a vessel allegedly from Palawan to be unloaded in Cebu. Complainants filed a
complaint for injunctionw tih prayer for TRO. Resp judge ruled that BOC had no
jurisdiction since goods were not imported, smugggled, or apprehended outside the
customs zone.
- Second case: complainants and counsel went to Branch 5 to attend a hearing, only to be
informed the case was not calendared. They learned the hearing was held 2 days earlier.
A copy of the Order, judge stated that oppositors and counsel are also around.
- SC: Disposition of first case should be held in abeyrance (prejudicial question). Second
case: it was improper for the judge. The Court is not convinced that ut was a harmless
error caused by mental fatigue since the presence of complainants and counsel refers to a
sdubstantial matterl.
- GUILTY OF GRAVE ABUSE OF AUTHORITY, PARTIALITY, aggravated by
dishonesty. FINE P10,000. STERNLY WARNED.
130. Manzon v. Judge Perello, AM RTJ-02-1686, May 7, 2004
- Letter-complaint: dereliction of duty relative a civil cases (damages), unacted upon for
three years despite several follow-ups
- Reso explauined she directed parties to file position purpose on the courts jurisdiction
(MeTC should have covered), also claimed Clerk of Courts purposely withheld records,
that Manzon failed to prosecute. Attributed delay to complainants negligence abetted by
her own court personnel.
- SC reprimanded Perello for incompetence. Resp filed for MR. It was discovered that the
case was no reported in the monthly, qurterly, annual reports despite her adoption of a
system of case flow and management. Admission that acse was not in reports an
aggravating circumstance, penalty increased to a fine.
- Duity of the judge to see that court personnal faithfully perform their functions. Proper
Court management under Rule 3.09.
- FINE of P 5,000. WARNING
c.

Canon 3 Impartiality
Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial office. It applies not only to the
decision itself but also to the process by which the decision is made.
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.

Sec 1 Judicial duties free from bias


Sec 2 promote confidence, impartiality
Sec 3 minimize instances of disqualification
Sec 4 public comments, pending and impending case
Sec 5 disqualifications
Sec 6 Remittal of disqualifications
Cases:
131. Atty. Melvin D.C. Mane v. Judge Belen, AM No. RTJ-0802119, June 30, 2008
-Charged resp with demeaning, humiliating, and berating him during a hearing in Civil
Case Rural Bank of Cabuyao, Inc. vs. Malabanan (Feb, 2006).
- During the hearing, resp judge asked if Mane was frim UP (no, from Manuel L. Quezon
University). Judge stated that You cannot equate yourself to me claiming that not all law
schools and law students are created equal.
- Mane filed a motion to direct stenographer to furnish him a copy of the unedited tape
recording remained unacted on
- Complainant later withdrew complaint. But desistance does not divest Court of
disciplinary authority.
- OCA: conduct unbecoming a judge, events never denied by respondent judge. Insulting
statements tend to question credibility of complainant stemming from the fact that he did
not graduate from UP Law school is unwarranted and inexcusable, conceited display of
arrogance.
- Violation of 3.04 judge should be patient and courteous to lawyers
-GUILTY OF CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A JUDGE, REPRIMANDED

132. SB of Taguig, MM v. Judge Santiago Estrella, AM 01-1608-RTJ, January 16, 2001


- Election protest filed by mayoral candidate Rciardo D. Papa against Isidro B. Garcia
(proclaimed Mayo of Taguig) in May 1995 elections., impagning the resuls of all 713
precincts.
- The petition was granted and the ballot boxes were examined. After revision of the
ballots, Papa filed a Motion for Technical Examination wherein he objected to more than
5,000 ballots. Respondent judge grantd the motion. However, Papa withdrew the motion.
- Respondent issued an order directing NBI to examine the contested balllots. After the
examination, resp issud an order directing the removal of eleciton paraphernelia from his
courtroom and their transfer to the sala of Judge Baclig so that he may proceed with the
trial of the vice-mayor election protest,
- Garcia filed a motion for issuance of a copy of the Nbi reports, which was denied on the
grouns that to allow the parties copies at the stage of the time of promulgation would
cause undue delay. The decision was promulgated, declaring Papa the duly elected
mayor.
- Papa immediately filed an Urgent Motion for Execution Pending Appeal lending
credibility to the claim that Papa had prior knowledge of the respondents decision
- Complainants now allege that respondent judge, Papa, and the NBI officials violated
Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 (causing undue injury to any part or giving any private partty any
unwarranted benefits, advantage, or preference in the discharge of offocial adm. Or
judicial functions)
Rule 3.02 a judge must be unswayed by fear of criticism or public opinion. In the case at
bar, the demeanor of respondent is wanting. The close margin of votes between
candidates should have given reason enough to scrutinize further but instead, he
transferred the ballots immediately to another RTC. Notwithstanding the errors, wrong
figures in the NBI reports, the respondent based his decisions solely on their findings.
GUILTY OF SERIOUS MISCONDUCT, PARTIALITY, INEXCUSABLE NEGLIGENCE.
FINE P20,000. STERN WARNING
133. Parayno v. Menese, GR 112684, April 26, 1994
- Petitioner is the incumbent mayor of Urdaneta, Pangasinan.
- Petition for certiorari seeking to set aside orders of Resp, RTC, voluntarily inhibiting
himself from hearing the election cases and denying the MR of pet
- Mayoralty protest involving petitioner was originally given to Judge Villanueva, but
inhibited pursuant to a motion by pet.
- Respondent inhibted itself after allegations of private respondent Mateo, the Revisor for
protestants-councilors in the Revision Committee commented that there seemed to be a
greater sympathy of the Presiding Judge to the Protestee.
- Sec.1, Rule 137 of ROC (Disqualification of Judhes) is to ensure that the judge sitting is
free from prejudices. A judge may inhibit himself in the exercise of sound discretion but it
should be based on good, sound, or ethical grounds. It is not enough that a party throws
allegations of partiality of a judge. Further delay of an electoral protest vested with public
interest cannot be countenanced
- PETITION GRANTED. ORDERS OF RESPONDENT JUDGE ARE SET ASIDE;
DIRECTED TO PROCEED WITH DISPATCH IN RESOLVING ELECTION PROTESTS
134. Martinez v. Giorenella, GR L-37635, July 22, 1975
- Criminal Case No. 21 of the CFI, Abra, Petitioner as principal was charged with the
murder of Alfredo Batoon. Only Arnold Bayongan, accessory, was apprehended. Decision
was rendered (acquittal)
-Petitioner surrended and was arraigned (not guilty). During presentation of evidence,
counsel of Martinez moved that the judge inhibit himself from hearing the case in the
grounds that he had had the opportunity to pass upon the issue and has formed an
opinion as to who committed the murder (no longer (impartial) and prayed that the case be
transferred to another branch. Resp denied the oral motion. Petitioner filed a petition for
prohibition.
- Elementary due process requies an impartial and disinterested tribunal, otherwise, a new
trial may be ordered. A judge has the duty not only to render a just and impartial decision,
but also render it in such a manner as to be free from any suspicion.
-PETITION FOR PROHIBITION GRANTED. RESPONDENT IS ORDERED TO
TRANSMIT THE RECORDS

135. Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, GR 133250, May 6, 2003


- !57.84 hectares of reclaimed lands (Freedom Islands) now covered by certificates of title
in the name of PEA< are alienable lands of public domains (may be leased to private
corporations without transferring ownership to private corps. PEA may only sell to Phil.
Citizens subject to ownership limitations under the law). 592.15 hectares of submerged
areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable natural resources of public domain (outside
commerce of man)
- The amended JVA seeks to transfer to AMARI, a private corp, ownership of 77.35 ha of
Freedom Islands (deemed void), and 290.156 ha of still submerged areas of Manila bay
(void).
- Amari seeks the inhibition of Justice Antonio T. Carpio on the ground that he had written
in his Manila Time column (on the Amari-PEA reclamation contract is legally flawed related
to the absence of public bidding)
- The motion must be denied for three reasons.
(1) the motion to inhibit came after Justice Carpio had already rendered his
opinion on the merits. The rule is that a motion to inhibit must be denied if filed after a
member of the Court has already given an opinion
(2) The absence of public bidding is not the ratio decidendi of the decision
(3) judges and justices are not disuqlified just because they have written legal
articles on the law involved in the case. The article in quesiton refrred to the AMARI-PEA
contract only in passing in one sentence.
- THE MRs ARE WITHOUT MERIT, DENIED WITH FINALITY. MOTION TO INHIBIT AND
FOR RE-DELIBERATION ARE DENIED.
d.

Canon 4 Propriety
Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the activities of a
judge.
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.
ix.
x.

Sec 1 - Avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety


Sec 2 - Accept personal restrictions; conduct consistent with the dignity of judicial office.
Sec 3 - Avoid suspicion or appearance of favoritism or partiality.
Sec 4 - Not participate in a case where any family member represents a litigant
Sec 5 - Not allow lawyers to use residence to receive clients or lawyers
Sec 6 - Always conduct themselves to preserve the dignity of the judicial office
Sec 7 Be informed personal fiduciary and financial interests
Sec 8 - Not to use or lend the prestige of judicial office to advance their private interests
Sec 9 Not to use or disclose confidential information
Sec 10 - Judges may (a) Write, lecture, teach and participate in activities, (b) Appear at a
public hearing before an official body concerned with legal matters, (c) Engage in other
allowed activities
xi. Sec 11 Not to practice law concurrent with judicial office.
xii. Sec 12 - Form or join associations of judges
xiii. Sec 13 - Neither ask for, nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor
xiv. Sec 14 Not to knowingly permit court staff or others to ask for, or accept, any gift,
bequest, loan or favor
xv. Sec 15 May receive token gifts subject to law
Cases:
136. OCA v. Paderanga, AM RTJ-01-1660, August 25, 2005
- Oclarit was a lawyer engaged in the private practice of law in CDO and the pro. of
Misamis Oriental and was a counsel for the plaintiffs in Gregorio et al vs Abella (Civil
case). The case was scheculed for continuation of pretrial before the lower court.
Petitioner filed a motion to approve a compromise agreemend entered into by the parties
(reached before a barangay captain). The judge reuled that the compromise agrerement
was not before the barangay captain but before the court. The petitioner informed the
court that the compromise agreement when the court repeatedly told him to shut up.
Petitioner than requested the court to stop shouting at hime, to which the court rhetorically
asked why should th e court precisely not cite you for contempt for doing that (settling
the case before the barangay captain).
- Consequently, the presiding judge cited peititoner in contempt (fine of P1K and 1 day in
jail).
- The SC granted the peition rendering the judgment of direct contemptm void and
ordering respondent judge to reimburse the petitioner from his own funds. In compliance

with the directive, the OCA charged resp with gross misconduct and grave abuse of
authority.
The SC required rsp to comment on the complaint. Respondent failed to comply. Resp
stated he and his counsel were never furnished a copy of the complaint.
- Respondent claims his patience were stretched by the discourtesy of Atty. Oclarit to the
court.
- Rule 3.04 should be apatient, attentive, and courteous to all lawyers. A judge should
be the last person to be perceived as a petty tyrant holding imperious sway over the court.
Unceremoniously citing Atty. Oclarit In contempt while declaring to himself as having
absolute power is clear evidence of his unjustified use of authority vested upon him.
- GUILTY OF GRAVE ABUSE OF AUTHORITY AND SIMPLE MISCONDUCT.
REPRIMANDED, STERNLY WARNED.
137. J. King and Sons v. Hontanosas, 438 SCRA 264
Complainant alleges that it is the plaintiff in a case pending before the RTC presided over by respondent.
Respondent issued an Order granting the application for writ of preliminary attachment. An urgent motion to
discharge and lift writ of preliminary attachment was filed by defendants before the respondent and on the same day,
respondent issued an Order lifting the writ of preliminary attachment. Said Order was issued sans proper notice and
hearing as required by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Respondent approved defendants counter-bond despite
knowledge that the bonding companys Supreme Court Clearance was not valid and the maximum net retention of
the bonding company had a deficiency. At a meeting in his house, respondent asked Rafael King to match
defendants offer to pay P250,000.00 so that the Order of July 5, 2002 will be reconsidered formally if a motion for
reconsideration is filed by complainant. Respondents favorite hang-out is the karaoke music lounge of Metropolis
Hotel owned by herein complainant, and he uses said facilities "gratis et amore."
Held:
We agree with the Investigating Justices finding that respondent is guilty of gross ignorance of the law for
not holding a full-blown hearing on the motion to lift attachment and for violating the three-day notice rule.
Respondent acted with indecent haste in immediately holding a hearing on the motion to lift attachment filed
only a few minutes before said hearing, in considering the same submitted for resolution, and in issuing the order
lifting the writ of preliminary attachment and approving the counter-bond, all on the same day without giving
complainant the opportunity to be heard on the matter.
It is has been oft repeated that judges cannot be held to account or answer criminally, civilly or
administratively for an erroneous judgment of decision rendered by him in good faith, or in the absence of fraud,
dishonesty or corruption. However, it has also been held that when the law violated is elementary, a judge is subject
to disciplinary action. The principles of due notice and hearing are so basic that respondents inability to accord a
litigant their right thereto cannot be excused. In this case, we believe that respondents actuations reek of malice and
bad faith. Thus, we find respondent guilty of gross ignorance of the law for violating the three-day notice rule and
failing to give herein complainant due notice and the opportunity to be heard on the matter
As to the matter of the approval of the counter-bond, respondent utterly failed to exercise due care in
examining the supporting papers. The respondent should know the basic requirements before approving a surety
bond or a judicial bond such as counter-bond.
It is indeed grossly improper for respondent to meet with a litigant at his home and to frequent the karaoke
bar owned by such litigant, enjoying the use thereof for free. Respondent thereby received benefits from a litigant
appearing in his court. Respondents defense that his wife offered to pay but the management of the karaoke bar did
not allow her to do so, is feeble. The testimonies of the waiters at said bar are quite clear that respondents wife
would sign the order slips, but no payment was ever given by respondent or his wife. Respondent should have
insisted on paying, especially considering that complainant has a total of three cases pending before his court. By
entertaining a litigant in his home and receiving benefits given by said litigant, respondent miserably failed to live up
to the standards of judicial conduct.
Insistence on personal integrity and honesty as indispensable qualifications for judicial office reflect an
awareness in the legal profession of the immensity of the damage that can be done to the legal order by judicial
corruption.
138. Re: Judge Edmundo Acuna, 464 SCRA 250
-Nov. 21, 2003, OCA received a letter from Concerned citizens of the lower court
reporting the alleged practices of Acuna (RTC, Caloocan City). (a) conducted trals,
signed orders, and sentenced accused while on official leave, (b) use of favorite
expressions such as putris anak ng pating putang ina tulungan nyo naman ako,
hirap na hirap na ko (c) love to berate and embarrass people, not caring whether he

speaks in open court, (d) decisions take about seven to ten drafts because he frequently
changed his mind (e) weird behavior
-Respondent claimed the letter was an attempt to harass him and that the allegations
were fabricated.
- He was actually not on leave in some of the trials he conducted. He claimed the other
cases were conducted because he decided to defer his leave for another leave since his
other siblings had not yet secured visas to Canada to attend his brothers funeral.
- His weird behavior was attributed to the death of his eldest son (also a lawyer). Resp
admitted to making some of the humiliating statements.
- The Court agrees that his expressions were unfit for men of the robe. Findings show that
he conducted hearings on the honest belief he could defer his leave but the resp should
bear in mind that approved leave are filed through official documents and should exercise
utmost caution regarding these matters.
- A judges official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety. Judges are
demanded to be always temperate, and courteous in both conduct and language. A judge
should behave to promote public confidence in the judiciary.
GUILTY OF IMPROPRIETY, REPRIMANDED, STERNLY WARNED
139. Manansala III v. Asdala, AM RTJ-05-1916, May 10, 2005
- Winfried Herbst, German national, was detained at a police station, QC for breaking a
glass wall in the office of the complainant. Resp of the RTC requested for the release of
Herbst into her custody. She sent Sheriff (personnel ofresps court, still in unicorm)
Cabigao to retrieve the car of Mr. Herbst.
- Appearing on DIRECT CONNECT a TV show of Atty Batas Mauricio, complainant aired
respondents alleged meddling in the case against Hebrst. The respondents side was also
aired through telephone.
- Resp filed a complaint for libel.
- Complaint alleged that resp was using the influence of her office in an irregular and
improper manner and must be held liable for palpable abuse of authority or
plainmisconduct.
- Sending her court personnel to retrieve Herbsts car was improper. A judge must instill in
court personnel a sense of propriety in the performance of judicial functions. The
respondent should be aware that the slightest irregulalirty in the conduct of court officers
can detract from the dignity of the court and erode the faith of the people in the judiciary.
- Rule 2.01 (behave to rpomote public confidence), Rule 2.04 (refrain from influencing in
any manner the outcome of litigation)
- GUILTY OF GROSS MISCONDUCT, FINED WITH P40,000, STERN WARNING
140. In re: Designation of Judge Rodolfo Manzano, AM 88-7-1861-RTC, October 5,
1988
Facts:
Judge Manzano filed a petition allowing him to accept the appointment by Ilocos Sur Governor Rodolfo Farinas as the
member of Ilocos Norte provincial Committee on Justice created pursuant to a Presidential Order. He petitioned that
his membership in the Committee will not in any way amount to an abandonment to his present position as Executive
Judge of Branch XIX, RTC, 1st Judicial region and as a member of judiciary.
Issue:
What is an administrative agency? Where does it draw the line insofar as administrative functions are concerned?
Ruling:
The petition is denied. The Constitution prohibits the designation of members of the Judiciary to any agency
performing Quasi-Judicial or Administrative functions (Sec.12,Art.VIII, 1987 Constitution).
Quasi-Judicial has a fairly clear meaning and Judges can confidently refrain from participating in the work of any
Administrative Agency which adjudicates disputes & controversies involving the rights of parties within its jurisdiction.

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Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct & affairs of individuals
for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of the Legislature or
such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of its existence.
Administrative functions as used in Sec. 12 refers to the Governments executive machinery and its performance of
governmental acts. It refers to the management actions, determinations, and orders of executive officials as they
administer the laws and try to make government effective. There is an element of positive action, of supervision or
control.
In the dissenting opinion of Justice Gutierrez:
Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct and affairs of individuals
for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the policy of the legislature or
such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of its existence we can readily see that
membership in the Provincial or City Committee on Justice would not involve any regulation or control over the
conduct and affairs of individuals. Neither will the Committee on Justice promulgate rules and regulations nor
exercise any quasi-legislative functions. Its work is purely advisory. A member of the judiciary joining any study group
which concentrates on the administration of justice as long as the group merely deliberates on problems involving the
speedy disposition of cases particularly those involving the poor and needy litigants-or detainees, pools the expertise
and experiences of the members, and limits itself to recommendations which may be adopted or rejected by those
who have the power to legislate or administer the particular function involved in their implementation

141. Decena ,et al. v. Judge Malanyaon, AM RTJ-10-2217, April 8, 2013


- A judge may not involve himself in any activity that is an aspect of the private practice of
law. His acceptance of an appontment to the Bench inhibits him from engaging in private
practice, regardless if the beneficiary of the activity is a member of his immediate family.
- The complainants had brought an adm case in the CSC in Legaspi City against resps
wife (Dr. Amelita, Asst. Provincial Health officer of Camarines Sur). During the hearing,
Judge Malanyaon sat beside his daughter, Atty. Ma. Kristina C. Malanyaon, the counsel of
Dr. Amelita. During the hearing, resp coached his daughter in making manifestations
- During the pendency of the adm. Case, resp suffered a massive stroke that had affected
his mental faculties and made him unfit to defend himself. His counsel prayed for the
suspension of the proceedings.
- Dr. Amelita filed a motion to dismiss.
- Judge Malanyaon was accorded due process, contrary to Dr. Amelitas contention. He
had already submitted his comment and papers prior to his stroke. In adm case, the
requirement of due process is satisfied through the submission ofm pleadings (right to be
heard)
- Sec. 35, Rule 138 of the RoC prohibits sitting judges from engaging in the private
practice of law. Canon 4 (propriety) and Rule 5.07 prohibit private practice or giving
professional advice The personal behavior of a judge should be above suspicion.
LIABLE FOR CONDUCT UNBECOMING OF A JUDGE, FINE OF P40,000
142. Dulay v. Lelina, AM RTJ-99-1516, July 14, 2005
- Anonymous letter from Mga umaasang Mamamayan ng Quirino to NBI, requesting
investigation of alleged violation of Anti0Graft law and other illegal activities of Resp: (1)
money or parcels in exchange for favorable decision, (2) would carry .45 caliber pistol
while in courtroom for purposes of intimidation, (3) intemperate language, (4) failure to pay
debt, (4) unwarranted display of authority, (5) acted as counsel for all the parties with
opposing interest on a parcel of land in pursuit of personal interest.
- Letter complaint by Onofre Dulay claiming that he and his family arbitrarily cited for
contempt, increased fines and ordered Onofre to give resp 160 sq m of a home lot
- Since the complainants never came forward, the investigating justice recommended that
the complaint of the Mga umaasang Mamamayan ng Quirino be dismissed for lack of
merit. As for the complaint of Dulay, for violation of the CJC, resp should be dismissed.
- SC sustained findings of investigating justice
- Judges are to avoud impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, coduct be above
reproach, mandated not to allow relationships to influence judgment. The Code prohibits
judges from asking or accepting gifts connected with judicial duties. Resp failed to live up
to these standards

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GUILTY OF GROSS MISCONDUCT, SUSPENDED FOR SIX MONTHS WITHOUT


SALARY OR BENEFITS, WARNED

e.

Canon 5 Equality
Ensuring equality of treatment to all before the courts is essential to the due performance of the
judicial office.
i. Sec 1 Understand the diversity in society
ii. Sec 2 Not to manifest bias or prejudice
iii. Sec 3 Not to differentiate
iv. Sec 4 Not to influence staff
v. Sec 5 Attitude to parties appearing in court
Cases:
143. Judge Dojillo, Jr. v. Ching, AM P-06-2245, July 31, 2009
COMPLAINT DISMISSED. ADMONISHED.
144. Panes, Jr. v. Judge Dinopol, RTC, Br 24, Koronadal City, AM OCA-IPI 07-2618-RTJ,
February 12, 2013
145. Atty. Gloria Lastimosa-Dalawampu v. Judge Yrastorza, AM RTJ-03-1793, 5 February
2004
146. Navarro v. Tormis, AM MTJ-00-1937, April 27, 2004
147. Mataga v. Rosete, AM MTJ-03-1488, October 13, 2004

f.

Canon 6 Competence and Diligence


Competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due performance of judicial office.
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.

Sec 1 Duties take precedence


Sec 2 Perform administrative duties
Sec 3 Maintain professional competence
Sec 4 Be informed about the law
Sec 5 Prompt decision making
Sec 6 Maintain order in proceedings
Sec 7 Not to engage in conduct contrary to duties
Cases:
148. The Officers and Members of the IBP Baguio-Benguet Chapter, et al v. Pamintuan,
AM RTJ-02-1691, January 16, 2004
149. OCA v. Judge Villegas, AM RTJ-00-1526, June 3, 2004
150. Beso v. Daguman, 323 SCRA 566

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