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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
October-1995 Jurisprudence                 

  • Adm. Case No. 3745 October 2, 1995 - CYNTHIA B. ROSACIA v. BENJAMIN B. BULALACAO

  • G.R. No. 94702 October 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLITO ACUÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97143 October 2, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO FIGUEROA

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1325 October 4, 1995 - PABLO ESPAÑOLA v. VINCENT EDEN C. PANAY

  • G.R. No. 102672 October 4, 1995 - PANAY ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118533 October 4, 1995 - PABLO R OLIVAREZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • Adm. Case No. 4405 October 6, 1995 - BIENVENIDO SANCHEZ v. GALILEO P. BRION

  • Adm. Matter No. P-93-972 October 6, 1995 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MA. GORGONIA L. FLORES

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1006 October 6, 1995 - LERMA CHUA MARTINEZ v. ALDO MUÑOZ

  • G.R. No. 76490 October 6, 1995 - ISAGANI SABINIANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 104604 & 111223 October 6, 1995 - NARCISO O. JAO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110634 October 6, 1995 - RUFINO O. ESLAO v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. Nos. 111206-08 October 6, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE, JR.

  • G.R. No. 116183 October 6, 1995 - RICARDO T. GLORIA v. SALVADOR P. DE GUZMAN, JR.

  • G.R. No. 117092 October 6, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO C. LAO

  • G.R. Nos. 118712 & 118745 October 6, 1995 - LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 120319 October 6, 1995 - LUZON DEVELOPMENT BANK v. ASS’N. OF LUZON DEV’T. BANK EMPLOYEES, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-93-1033 October 10, 1995 - MARIBETH CORDOVA, ET AL. v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 117732 October 10, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS C. SALILING

  • G.R. No. 93915 October 11, 1995 - AUGUSTO EVANGELISTA v. NLRC

  • G.R. No. 99049 October 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO A. BARQUILLA

  • G.R. No. 117009 October 11, 1995 - SECURITY BANK & TRUST COMPANY, ET AL., v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118013-14 October 11, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99263 October 12, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PACIFICO R. LAZARO

  • G.R. Nos. 119987-88 October 12, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • Adm. Case No. 4380 October 13, 1995 - NICANOR GONZALES, ET AL., v. MIGUEL SABACAJAN

  • G.R. No. 103911 October 13, 1995 - EDGARDO E. LOPEZ v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL

  • G.R. Nos. 109373 & 112991 October 13, 1995 - PACIFIC BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES ORG., ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110015 October 13, 1995 - MANILA BAY CLUB CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 107101 October 16, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARLO S. RODICO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108515 October 16, 1995 - LUIS BALANTAKBO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110053 October 16, 1995 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 110544 October 17, 1995 - REYNALDO V. TUANDA, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 105649 October 18, 1995 - FLORO ENTERPRISES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111634 October 18, 1995 - KOMATSU INDUSTRIES (PHIL.), INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116062 October 18, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERTO BANTISIL, ET AL

  • G.R. No. 116462 October 18, 1995 - RENO FOODS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116910 October 18, 1995 - INTERNATIONAL CONTAINER TERMINAL SERVICES, INC., ET. AL. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114841-42 October 20, 1995 - ATLANTIC GULF AND PACIFIC CO. OF MANILA, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103915 October 23, 1995 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. TELEFUNKEN SEMICONDUCTOR PHIL., INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106477 October 23, 1995 - GLOBE GENERAL SERVICES AND SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC

  • G.R. No. 111837 October 24, 1995 - NEW YORK MARINE MANAGERS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112969-70 October 24, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO PADRE-E

  • G.R. No. 118584 October 24, 1995 - AURELIA S. GOMEZ v. PRESIDING JUDGE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120823 October 24, 1995 - HADJI HAMID PATORAY v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-92-716 October 25, 1995 - MA. BLYTH B. ABADILLA v. JOSE C. TABILIRAN, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-93-892 October 25, 1995 - SAN MANUEL WOOD PRODUCTS, INC. v. RAMON B. TUPAS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-907 October 25, 1995 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL. v. JOSELITO SD. GENEROSO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-979 October 25, 1995 - EMERITO M. AGCAOILI v. ADOLFO B. MOLINA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1081 October 25, 1995 - VIRGINIA E. BURGOS v. JOSEFINA R. AQUINO

  • G.R. No. 95573 October 25, 1995 - GSIS v. NATIONAL FOOD AUTHORITY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99058 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIXBERTO FRANCISCO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102976 October 25, 1995 - IRON AND STEEL AUTHORITY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 110815-16 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY SINATAO

  • G.R. No. 111688 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO @ "FELITOY" BRIOL, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 112713 October 25, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TAMPARONG, JR.

  • G.R. No. 108115 October 27, 1995 - PHILIPPINE SOAP BOX DERBY, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117083 October 27, 1995 - LAZARO V. KAVINTA v. PRUDENCIO ALTRE CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 112448 October 30, 1995 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGAPITO LOPEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115455, 115525, 115543, 115544, 115754, 115781, 115852, 115873 & 115931 October 30, 1995 - ARTURO M. TOLENTINO v. SECRETARY OF FINANCE, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    G.R. Nos. 109373 & 112991   October 13, 1995 - PACIFIC BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES ORG., ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 109373. October 13, 1995.]

    PACIFIC BANKING CORPORATION EMPLOYEES ORGANIZATION, PAULA S. PAUG, and its officers and members, Petitioners, v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and VITALIANO N. NAÑAGAS II, as Liquidator of Pacific Banking Corporation, Respondents.

    [G.R. No. 112991. October 13, 1995.]

    THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, as Liquidator of the Pacific Banking Corporation, Petitioner, v. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. JUDGE REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, DEPUTY SHERIFF RAMON ENRIQUEZ and ANG ENG JOO, ANG KEONG LAN and E.J ANG INT’L. LTD., represented by their Attorney-in-fact, GONZALO C. SY, Respondents.

    Puruganan, Chato, Tan & Geronimo for petitioner in G.R. No. 112991.

    Potenciano A. Flores, Jr. for petitioners in G.R. No. 109373.

    Marbibi Law Office for private respondents in G.R. No. 112991.

    The Solicitor General for Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTIONS; CONTEMPT; PRESENT WHERE THERE IS AN ATTEMPT TO EXECUTE DECISION BEFORE THE SAME BECAME FINAL AND IN VIOLATION OF THE ‘TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER’ ISSUED AGAINST IT. — Respondents were guilty of contempt for attempting to execute the Court’s decision before its finality. Their claim of good faith cannot be given credit. Writ large on the record of this case is conduct on their part that borders on lawlessness and certainly constitutes willfulness or bad faith and disrespect for the Court. First. All of the respondents knew that there was an ekisting temporary restraining order issued by this Court, "ordering respondents to CEASE and DESIST from enforcing and/or implementing the writ of execution dated October 28, 1992 issued by respondent judge in Sp. Proc. No. 86-35313." While the petition in G.R. No. 112991, in which the restraining order was issued, had been dismissed by this Court in its decision, the fact was that it was not yet final and executory and the temporary restraining order had not yet been lifted at the time respondents tried to enforce the lower court’s writ of execution. The restraining order was expressly made "effective until further orders from this Court," which means that it was not automatically lifted upon the dismissal of the main case. Second. Indeed, all the respondents in this motion for contempt cannot pretend ignorance of the fact that the decision of this Court was not yet final. Promulgated on March 20, 1995, it could not have been final on March 24, 1995, just four days later. As a matter of fact, the decision in this case was served on the Bank Liqudator only on March 29, 1995 and, therefore, he had until April 13, 1995, within which to file a motion for reconsideration, which he in fact filed on April 11, 1995. This Court’s decision declaring the lower court’s decision to have become final was not yet final. Even in executions pending appeal notice of any motion for this purpose is required to be served on the adverse party (Rule 39, Sec. 2) as exception to the rule that motion for execution of final decisions may be ex parte.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. — Respondent sheriff displayed unusual interest in enforcing the writ of execution by reporting to respondent judge the refusal of the PNB to comply with his demand and asking respondent judge to order the arrest of the PNB officials concerned and their confinement in the city jail until they complied. Respondent sheriff may have been requested by the counsel for the Stockholders/Investors to immediately enforce the writ but it was incumbent upon him to wait for an order from the judge. It could not have escaped him that sheriffs are agents of the court, not of any of the parties. On the other hand, of Atty. Eslao it may be said that no amount of devotion to his client’s cause could Justify the overeagerness he showed in losing no time in running over to the sheriffs office to get the latter to enforce the writ of execution which theretofore had been enjoined from being enforced.


    R E S O L U T I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This relates to the Motion to Cite in Contempt, filed by petitioner in G.R. No. 112991, against Judge Regino T. Veridiano II, Deputy Sheriff Carmelo V. Cachero and Atty. Marino E. Eslao in connection with their attempt to execute the Court’s decision in this case before its finality.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    It appears that just four days after the promulgation of the decision on March 24, 1995, Atty. Marino E. Eslao, counsel for private respondents in G.R. No. 112991, already sent a written request 1 to Deputy Sheriff Carmelo V. Cachero of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 31, "for the immediate enforcement of the Writ of Execution" issued on October 28, 1992 by respondent Judge Regino T. Veridiano II in Sp. Proc. No. 86-35313 and "to further demand from the depository banks the immediate release of the garnished funds (of the Pacific Banking Corporation or PaBC) sufficient to satisfy the claims" of Atty. Eslao’s clients.

    Acting on the request, the sheriff sent notices to the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and the Philippine National Bank (PNB), depositories of the garnished funds of the PaBC, demanding the immediate release and delivery of the amounts in question.

    In compliance with the demand, the LBP released on March 29, 1995 the amount of P1,393,178.05, covered by Cashier’s Check No. 075937, 2 which was received by respondent sheriff on the same day. 3 But as the PNB refused to comply with his demand, the respondent reported the matter to the judge and prayed for the issuance of an order to the PNB to release the amount.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    On April 3, 1995, respondent judge issued an order granting the sheriff’s prayer. The dispositive portion of his order stated: 4

    WHEREFORE, the Court declares that there is no more legal obstacle for the release of the garnished amounts and the Depository Bank PNB thru its President, his Agents, Representatives and Assigns, are hereby directed to immediately release the garnished amounts to satisfy the Decision of this Court in SP. Proc. No. 86-35313 as per Writ of Execution issued as early as October 28, 1992.

    SO ORDERED.

    As the PNB still refused to release the amount garnished, respondent sheriff on April 4, 1995 asked the court (1) that a bench warrant be issued against the President of the PNB, his Agents, Representatives and Assigns, for their refusal to comply with the order of the court, (2) that they be required to explain the delay and (3) that if their explanation was unmeritorious, they be confined at the Manila City Jail "until such time that they have released the garnished amounts." 5chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    On the same day, respondent judge issued an order with the following dispositive portion: 6

    WHEREFORE, President of PNB, its Agents, Representatives and/or Assigns are hereby directed to appear before this Court immediately upon receipt of this Order to personally explain the delay of the release of the garnished amounts mentioned in its order dated April 3, 1995 in the satisfaction of the Decision in Sp. Proc. No. 86-35313 and to show cause why they should not be cited for contempt of court.

    SO ORDERED.

    Because of respondent judge’s orders, the Corporate Secretary and Chief Legal Counsel of the PNB wrote Ms. Rosalina U. Casiguran, Chief Legal Counsel of the respondent Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation, that respondent had until 11:00 A.M. of April 7, 1995 to secure a restraining order from this Court, otherwise the PNB would release the garnished amount to the sheriff. 7chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    On April 5, 1995, the Bank Liquidator filed with this Court an Urgent Motion for Status Quo Order to respondents not to continue enforcing the writ until such time that the motions for reconsideration were resolved.

    On April 7, 1995, this Court ordered respondents to cease and desist, effective immediately and continuing until further orders, from further implementing and enforcing the lower court’s writ of execution.

    Meanwhile, the Bank Liquidator, petitioner in G.R. No. 112991, filed a motion for reconsideration on April 11, 1995 of the decision in this case. To this motion private respondents (Stockholders/Investors) filed an Opposition.

    On June 14, 1995, the Bank Liquidator filed this motion to cite in contempt of court respondent Judge Regino T. Veridiano II, the Deputy Sheriff Carmelo V. Cachero, the Branch Clerk of Court Antonio B. Valencia, Jr. and Atty. Marino E. Eslao. He accuses respondent judge and deputy sheriff of "acting with undue haste and unconscionable dispatch in enforcing and implementing the Writ of Execution." The Bank Liquidator accuses the Branch Clerk of Court, Antonio B. Valencia, Jr., of issuing a false certification that there was no record on appeal filed in Sp. Proc. No. 86-35313 in order to mislead this Court and make it dismiss petitioner’s appeal. With respect to respondent Atty. Eslao, the Bank Liquidator alleges that, by procuring the immediate execution of the writ of execution despite his knowledge that the decision of this Court had not yet become final and executory and by affirming in his verified comment that the Liquidator never filed a record on appeal, respondent Atty. Eslao engaged in improper conduct tending, directly and indirectly, to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of justice.

    The respondents filed an Opposition to the Liquidator’s motion to cite them in contempt, alleging that they had acted in good faith and in the honest belief that the judgment of the RTC was already final and executory. Atty. Eslao pleads that "he should not be punished for contempt in his eagerness to protect the lawful rights of his clients and to blunt the deplorable acts and tactics" of the Bank Liquidator. Both Atty. Eslao and respondent deputy sheriff defend the certification issued by the Branch Clerk of Court as a truthful statement of the facts and claim that respondent judge acted in the sincere belief that there was no further legal obstacle to the execution of the judgment. In the event this Court finds them to be disrespectful and discourteous, respondents say that they wish to express sincere apology for their acts and they beg that their acts be forgiven.

    Respondent judge, who was particularly required by this Court to comment on the motion for contempt, alleges:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    1. There was no intent to disobey, disregard or obstruct or interfere with the administration of justice;

    2. The respondent Judge was merely impelled to act on the Reports submitted to him by Deputy Sheriff Carmelo V. Cachero;

    3. There was no malice or bad faith by the Presiding Judge in issuing the implementing Orders as it was done in good faith in the honest belief that it was in the regular performance of his official duty in view of the Honorable Supreme Court’s decision that "because of the Liquidator’s failure to perfect his appeal, the Order granting the claims of the Stockholders/Investors became final." Hence, the undersigned had presumed that there was no further legal obstacle to the writ of execution which was issued three (3) years ago; andchanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    4. The petitioner PDIC despite these Sheriff’s Reports and the implementing orders of this Court for the immediate release and delivery of the garnished amounts failed to file any motion before this Court to stop the release of these amounts until the Urgent Ex-Parte Motion was filed before this Court on April 7, 1995 and which motion, this Court immediately granted on the same date, thereby belying the allegation that this Court had already acted in undue haste in implementing its questioned Orders issued on September 11 and October 28, 1992.

    The Court finds the Bank Liquidator’s motion to be meritorious and hereby adjudges respondent judge, sheriff and Atty. Eslao guilty of contempt. Their claim of good faith cannot be given credit. Writ large on the record of this case is conduct on their part that borders on lawlessness and certainly constitutes willfulness or bad faith and disrespect for the Court.

    First. All of the respondents knew that there was an existing temporary restraining order issued on January 6, 1994 by this Court, "ordering respondents to CEASE and DESIST from enforcing and/or implementing the writ of execution dated October 28, 1992 issued by respondent judge in Sp. Proc. No. 86-35313." While the petition in G.R. No. 112991, in which the restraining order was issued, had been dismissed by this Court in its decision of March 20, 1995, the fact was that it was not yet final and executory and the temporary restraining order had not yet been lifted at the time respondents tried to enforce the lower court’s writ of execution. The restraining order was expressly made "effective until further orders from this Court," which means that it was not automatically lifted upon the dismissal of the main case. (Tolentino v. Secretary of Finance, resolution, G.R. No. 115455, Sept. 23, 1995) No protestation of innocence can therefore excuse respondents’ conduct.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    Second. Indeed, all the respondents in this motion for contempt cannot pretend ignorance of the fact that the decision of this Court was not yet final. Promulgated on March 20, 1995, it could not have been final on March 24, 1995, just four days later, when respondent Atty. Eslao asked respondent Deputy Sheriff Carmelo V. Cachero to demand from the LBP and the PNB the release of the garnished funds, or on April 3, 1995 when the deputy sheriff in turn asked respondent Judge Regino T. Veridiano II for an order to the two banks to release the funds.

    As a matter of fact, the decision in this case was served on the Bank Liquidator only on March 29, 1995 and, therefore, he had until April 13, 1995, within which to file a motion for reconsideration, which he in fact filed on April 11, 1995.

    It is therefore plainly erroneous for respondent judge to suppose that, because the decision of this Court stated that the effect of the Bank Liquidator’s failure to perfect his appeal was to render the lower court’s decision final, he could order the immediate execution of his decision. This Court’s decision declaring the lower court’s decision to have become final was not yet final.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    It is just as plainly erroneous for respondent judge to say that because the Bank Liquidator failed to object to the motions for the release of the garnished funds, he had no choice but to grant the motions. The Bank Liquidator was kept out of all the proceedings leading to the issuance of the orders to the LBP and the PNB and therefore could not have objected to the premature execution of the decision. As already stated, Atty. Eslao wrote the letter to Deputy Sheriff Cachero on March 24, 1994 asking for the enforcement of the trial court’s writ of execution. He did not notify the Bank Liquidator of this request. In turn Cachero asked Judge Veridiano for an order to the PNB to release the garnished funds without notice to the Bank Liquidator. Respondent judge issued his order of April 3, 1995 granting the sheriff’s request without furnishing the Bank Liquidator a copy. When the PNB did not release the funds, respondent sheriff complained to respondent judge, again without notifying the Bank Liquidator. Finally when the respondent judge issued another order dated April, 1995 threatening the PNB with contempt if it did not release the amounts demanded by the Sheriff, the judge again did not notify the Bank Liquidator. Under these circumstances how could the respondents judge say straight faced that he granted the request for execution because there was no opposition from the Bank Liquidator? Even in executions pending appeal notice of any motion for this purpose is required to be served on the adverse party (Rule 39, 2) as exception to the rule that motion for execution of final decisions may be made ex parte.

    In Reliance Procoma, Inc. v. Phil.-Asia Tobacco Corp., 57 SCRA 370 (1974) a judge of the Court of First Instance, who tried to circumvent a restraining order of the Court of Appeals enjoining him from enforcing a writ of garnishment he had issued by issuing an order prohibiting a creditor corporation from transferring the garnished funds to the defendant owners, was found guilty of contempt of court, together with the plaintiff’s representative, and fined P500.00. They appealed to this Court. In affirming the decision of the appellate court, we held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Under the circumstances, the willfulness or bad faith of the respondents is manifest. They knowingly disregarded and negated partially the directive of the Appellate Court. The least that they could have done was to ask for the reconsideration of the restraining order or to secure leave and clearance from the Court of Appeals for the freezing of Phil-Asia’s funds in the custody of the PVTA.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    (At 376-377)

    Justice Fernando filed a separate concurring opinion in which he stated:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    This Court has ever been insistent on the rule of law being observed. Concerning the specific question involved, the settled rule is that an order from the bench issued by a court acting within its jurisdiction is entitled to respect. It may come from a municipal or city court, or one of the next higher rank as that occupied by respondent Judge or the Court of Appeals, as did happen here. This Court does not have to be the source. What cannot be ignored is that it would be productive of confusion if parties could just disregard what has been so ordained. The appropriate procedure always is for the matter as thus decreed by any tribunal to be taken up on appeal. Where as did happen here, the Court of Appeals had spoken, the judge of the court of first instance was bound by what it said. If there is room for disagreement, a reconsideration can be sought, or the matter can be taken up, whenever appropriate, to this Court.

    In the meanwhile, no evasion, much less defiance, is allowable. It is bad enough if the parties would be minded to do so. It is infinitely worse if the offender, as was the case here, was a judge of the Court of First Instance. It would make a mockery of the legal order if one like the respondent Judge, precisely called upon to assure respect for legal processes, would act otherwise. To say that he has been recreant to his trust is to put it mildly. For the contumacious conduct manifested by him has a much more corrosive effect in the public mind. To paraphrase Justice Brandeis, a government of laws demands that public officials observe scrupulously orders emanating from tribunals vested with competence. For the public looks up to them. For good or for ill, what they do sets the example. Disrespect for the law is contagious. If a judge does not observe judicial norms, he is to all intents and purposes just as much a law-breaker. His conduct breeds contempt for the rule of law. It may ultimately lead to anarchy. This may be to conjure too extreme an evil. It may be so, but where the observance of judicial decorum is concerned, more specifically the requirement of strict conformity to an order of an appellate tribunal, even the slightest infraction is not to be tolerated. Obsta principles should be the rule. (Emphasis added)chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    (At 379-380)

    There is need to reaffirm the ruling in that case because its teaching seems to have been lost on respondent judge in this case.

    With respect to respondent Deputy Sheriff Cachero, the following statement from Pacis v. Averia, 124 Phil. 1541, 1556 (1966) is particularly apropos:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The Court cannot tolerate evasion of its commands by any omission, negligence, artifice or contrivance of any kind, nor would it countenance any disregard of its authority. For it is essential to the effective administration of justice that the processes of the courts be obeyed. And upon no one else does this obligation of obedience rest with more binding force than a judicial officer such as respondent sheriff.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    Particularly deserving rebuke is the display of unusual interest on the part of respondent sheriff in enforcing the writ of execution by reporting to respondent judge the refusal of the PNB to comply with his demand and asking respondent judge to order the arrest of the PNB officials concerned and their confinement in the city jail until they complied. Respondent sheriff may have been requested by the counsel for the Stockholders/Investors to immediately enforce the writ but it was incumbent upon him to wait for an order from the judge. It could not have escaped him that sheriffs are agents of the court, not of any of the parties.

    On the other hand, of Atty. Eslao it may be said that no amount of devotion to his client’s cause could justify the overeagerness he showed in losing no time in running over to the sheriff’s office to get the latter to enforce the writ of execution which theretofore had been enjoined from being enforced.

    But we find no basis for holding the Branch Clerk of Court, Antonio B. Valencia, Jr., guilty of wrongdoing in certifying that the Bank Liquidator failed to file a record on appeal. As explained in our resolution denying the Bank Liquidator’s Motion for Reconsideration, there is no proof to show that a record on appeal was in fact filed by the Bank Liquidator in Sp. Proc. No. 86-35313.chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    WHEREFORE, in accordance with Rule 71, 3(b) (d) and 6 of the Rules of Court, the Court finds Judge Regino T. Veridiano II, Deputy Sheriff Carmelo V. Cachero and Atty. Marino E. Eslao GUILTY of indirect contempt and sentences each one to pay a FINE of One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00) within ten (10) days from notice, or, in default thereof, to suffer IMPRISONMENT of one (1) month, and warns them that a repetition of the act herein dealt with will be punished more severely.

    SO ORDERED.

    Narvasa, C.J., Regalado, Puno and Francisco, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 303, G.R. No. 112991.

    2. Id., p. 304.

    3. Id., p. 305.

    4. Id., p. 308.

    5. Id., pp. 310-311.

    6. Id., p. 312.

    7. Id., p. 313.

    G.R. Nos. 109373 & 112991   October 13, 1995 - PACIFIC BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES ORG., ET AL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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