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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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December-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. Nos. 124360 & 127867 December 3, 1997 - FRANCISCO S. TATAD v. SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 95-9-98-MCTC December 4, 1997 - REQUEST OF JUDGE EDUARDO F. CARTAGENA

  • G.R. No. 116354 December 4, 1997 - HEIRS OF REYNALDO ANIBAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117624 December 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN L. HERNANDEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121508 December 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL CABEL

  • G.R. No. 121628 December 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REX TURINGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126560 December 4, 1997 - ALFONSO PAA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. 97-1-08-MTC December 5, 1997 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN MTC, SIBULAN, NEGROS ORIENTAL

  • G.R. No. 108505 December 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARIEL OLIVA

  • G.R. No. 117196 December 5, 1997 - LADISLAO P. VERGARA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 119078-79 December 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DELVIN ARELLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120318 December 5, 1997 - RICARDO CANICOSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121878 December 5, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR ESTARES

  • G.R. No. 124456 December 5, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108722 December 9, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA CARREON

  • G.R. No. 124554 December 9, 1997 - ETERNAL GARDENS MEMORIAL PARK CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter SB-95-6-P December 10, 1997 - PEPITO GUILLEN v. LUIS CONSTANTINO

  • G.R. No. 108731 December 10, 1997 - DEL MAR DOMESTIC ENTERPRISES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121241 December 10, 1997 - FURUSAWA RUBBER PHIL., INC. v. SECRETARY OF LABOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109169 December 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO ABRERA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110715 December 12, 1997 - ELBERT TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111953 December 12, 1997 - RENATO C. CORONA, ET AL. v. UNITED HARBOR PILOTS ASSN. OF THE PHILS., ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112287 & 112350 December 12, 1997 - NATIONAL STEEL CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114905 December 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONNIE PERALTA

  • G.R. Nos. 117483-84 December 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NORLITO CARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122487 December 12, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO BERROYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122653 December 12, 1997 - PURE FOODS CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 122743 & 127215 December 12, 1997 - TELEFUNKEN SEMICONDUCTORS EMPLOYEES UNION v. SECRETARY OF LABOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123595 December 12, 1997 - SAMMY MALACAT v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126623 December 12, 1997 - ERNESTO MORALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129938 December 12, 1997 - ALFREDO B. ENOJAS, JR. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109714 December 15, 1997 - BETTER BUILDINGS, INC., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110163 December 15, 1997 - EDUARDO A. ZANORIA v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 111244 December 15, 1997 - ARTURO ALANO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113466 December 15, 1997 - NATIONAL FEDERATION OF LABOR, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116487 December 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MICHAEL CABAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118086 December 15, 1997 - SUSAN G. CARUNGCONG v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118463 December 15, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122655 December 15, 1997 - REYNALDO B. ALFANTE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123648 December 15, 1997 - ABDULLAH A. JAMIL v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130148 December 15, 1997 - JOSE BORDADOR, ET AL. v. BRIGIDA D. LUZ, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-94-1088 December 17, 1997 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ADMER L. FERRER

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1394 December 17, 1997 - ROMEO STA. ANA v. GRACIANO H. ARINDAY, JR.

  • G.R. No. 121736 December 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SAPAL MIDTOMOD

  • Adm. Case No. 4349 December 22, 1997 - LOURDES R. BUSINOS v. FRANCISCO RICAFORT

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1395 December 22, 1997 - PEDRO A. SAN JUAN v. LORE V. BAGALASCA

  • G.R. No. 110097 December 22, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNULFO ASTORGA

  • G.R. No. 117873 December 22, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MERCY SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 118917 December 22, 1997 - PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120435 & 120974 December 22, 1997 - ESTATE OF THE LATE MERCEDES JACOB, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124724 December 22, 1997 - RENE UY GOLANGCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125752 December 22, 1997 - IRENEO A. MANAHAN v. ARTURO M. BERNARDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128369 December 22, 1997 - RODOLFO CAOILI v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129783 December 22, 1997 - MARCELINO C. LIBANAN v. HRET, ET AL.

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    Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1395   December 22, 1997 - PEDRO A. SAN JUAN v. LORE V. BAGALASCA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1395. December 22, 1997.]

    PEDRO A. SAN JUAN, Complainant, v. JUDGE LORE V. BAGALASCA, Regional Trial Court, Branch 23, Naga City, Respondent.


    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is a complaint alleging conduct by respondent judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 23, at Naga City in violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Complainant is one of the oppositors in Special Proceedings No. R-22 (1144), then pending before respondent Judge Lore V. Bagalacsa’s court. It appears that one of the properties involved in the intestate proceedings was a parcel of land, consisting of 15,141 square meters, which was tenanted by Sergia Pontillas; that on November 27, 1995, the administrator of the intestate estate sold the property under an emancipation patent to Pontillas for P75,705.00, over the objection of the oppositors; and that, on April 10, 1996, Pontillas in turn sold the land to the Newreach Corporation for P1,514,000.00.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

    Complainant alleges that on June 6, 1996, respondent judge presented for registration to the register of deeds of Camarines Sur the deed of sale executed by Sergia Pontillas in favor of Newreach Corp.. On the same day, respondent judge wrote the following note to the register of deeds:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    6 June 96

    Makikiolay sina Mr. and Mrs. Salvador Motos kung puede tabi makua ngonian na aga ang title. Kaipuhan daa nindang maray sa hapon. Sana naman matapos na ngonian na aga.

    I’ll be in Libmanan kaya kung puede release na nindo sainda. Midbid mo man sinda.

    Thanks so much and God Bless.

    [Translation: Mr. and Mrs. Salvador Motos are requesting that if it is possible, they would like to get the title this morning, as they need it in the afternoon. I hope the title will be finished this morning.

    [I’ll be in Libmanan, so please release it to them. You know them anyway.

    [Thanks so much and God Bless.]

    Complainant accuses respondent judge of showing interest in the sale of property which was subject of litigation in her sala.

    In her comment, respondent judge explains that she did not know that the property was involved in the intestate proceedings before her, as title was in the name of Pontillas; that she merely assisted the attorney-in-fact of Pontillas, Victoria Pontillas-Motos, because the latter was her personal friend; that it was Motos who actually presented the title to the register of deeds for registration and respondent judge merely helped her since she (respondent) happened to be there on another business. Respondent claims that the clerk of the register of deeds probably thought that the documents were hers. Respondent explains that she went to see the register of deeds, Atty. Theresita B. Aquino, to check the authenticity of certain bailbonds which had been filed in her court; that on the way to the Office of the Register of Deeds, she saw Motos, who asked for her help in registering the emancipation patent; that she then went to see the register of deeds to ask about the bailbonds which she suspected might be spurious and only incidentally about requirements for the registration of emancipation patents; that as she was about to leave the Office of the Register of Deeds, Motos pleaded with her to intercede in her behalf so that she (Motos) could get the title on the same day. It appears that the new title was issued the next day, June 7, 1996.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    In an affidavit submitted in this case, the register of deeds, Atty. Theresita B. Aquino, corroborates respondent judge and claims that, even without the judge’s intercession, title to the land would have been issued after one day because all the papers were in order. She denies that release of the title was facilitated by the intercession of the judge.

    It appears that respondent subsequently inhibited herself from the consideration of the case so that, according to her, there would be no suspicion of bias.

    On the basis of the foregoing facts, the Office of the Court Administrator recommends that respondent judge be reprimanded for impropriety and warned that repetition of the same conduct in the future will be dealt with more severely.

    The recommendation is well taken. Respondent claims that she did not know that the land (whose transfer was sought to be registered) was involved in the intestate proceedings before her court. But although the evidence may not be sufficient to prove that respondent judge took interest in a matter before her court, it does indicate that she took charge of registering the transfer in the Office of the Register of Deeds, contrary to her claim that she merely helped Victoria Pontillas-Motos whom she happened to meet there. Respondent claims that her main reason for going to the Office of the Register of Deeds was to check the authenticity of bailbonds, which she said she suspected to be spurious. She has not explained, however, why she had to go to the register of deeds office personally and why she could not simply have issued an order to the parties to secure a certification from the register of deeds. The fact is that even the clerk of the register of deeds believed respondent judge to be the party registering the sale.

    This, plus the fact that respondent judge wrote the note in question, in which she asked that the title be released to Motos because respondent was going to Libmanan that day, suggests that it was really she who had presented the documents for registration. It does not seem that respondent judge merely happened to be in the Office of the Register of Deeds, met a friend who asked for help and only did the friend a good turn. Indeed, if this had been the case, respondent judge could just have introduced her friend, Victoria Pontillas-Motos, to the register of deeds and that would have ended the matter. But respondent judge even had to write the note in question obviously to insure the early release of the title. She thus used her office to facilitate the registration of the sale. Although expectedly the register of deeds denies that because of respondent’s intercession the early release of the title was facilitated, the impression cannot be avoided that, at the very least, respondent’s intercession nonetheless helped.chanrobles.com:cralaw:red

    Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to avoid not just impropriety in their conduct but even the mere appearance of impropriety. This is true not only in the performance of their judicial duties but in all their activities, including their private life. They must conduct themselves in such a manner that they give no ground for reproach.

    In this case, as Deputy Court Administrator Reynaldo L. Suarez correctly observes, respondent judge’s note to the register of deeds, requesting that the issuance of the TCT be expedited, "gives ground for . . . suspicion . . . that she is utilizing the power or prestige of her office to promote the interest of others." Indeed, the clerk of the register of deeds thought it was respondent judge who was the one who was causing the transfer of the emancipation patent.

    ACCORDINGLY, respondent judge is hereby REPRIMANDED and WARNED that a repetition of the same will be dealt with more severely.

    SO ORDERED.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

    Regalado, Puno and Martinez, JJ., concur.

    Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1395   December 22, 1997 - PEDRO A. SAN JUAN v. LORE V. BAGALASCA


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