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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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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353   March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353. March 11, 1997.]

    DANILO B. PARADA, Complainant, v. JUDGE LORENZO B. VENERACION, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 47, MANILA, Respondent.

    Carpio, Carpio, Carpio & Carpio for complainant.


    SYLLABUS


    1. CONSTITUTIONAL LAW; BILL OF RIGHTS; TRIAL IN ABSENTIA; REQUISITES. — Section 14(2), Article 3 of the Constitution provides, inter alia, that trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. The requisites then of a valid trial in absentia are: (1) the accused has already been arraigned; (2) he has been duly notified of the trial; and (3) his failure to appear is unjustifiable.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ACCUSED DULY NOTIFIED OF TRIAL AND FAILURE TO APPEAR IS JUSTIFIED; NOT PRESENT WHERE NOTICE SENT TO FORMER ADDRESS. — As a rule, where a party appears by attorney in an action or proceeding in a court of record, all notices required to be given therein must be given to the attorney of record. Accordingly, notices to counsel should be properly sent to his address of record and unless the counsel files a notice of change of address, his official address remains to be that of his address of record. Here, the notice of hearing was sent to the former address of Parada’s counsel despite the fact that the latter formally notified the court of his change of address. His failure to appear therefore is justified by the absence of a valid service of notice.

    3. ID.; ID.; DUE PROCESS OF LAW; RIGHT TO A HEARING INCLUDES RIGHT TO BE NOTIFIED; VIOLATION THEREOF. — Due process of law in judicial proceedings requires that the accused must be given an opportunity to be heard. He has the right to be present and defend in person at every stage of the proceedings. Incidentally, the right to a hearing carries with it the right to be notified of every incident of the proceedings in court. Notice to a party is essential to enable him to adduce his own evidence and to meet and refute the evidence submitted by the other party. No less than the Constitution provides that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. A violation therefore of any of the rights accorded the accused constitutes a denial of due process of law. The circumstantial setting of the instant case as weighed by the basic standards of fair play impels us to so hold that the trial in absentia of Parada and his subsequent conviction are tainted with the vice of nullity, for evidently Parada was denied due process of law.

    4. ID.; ID.; RIGHT TO BAIL; VIOLATED WHERE NONE RECOMMENDED TO A BAILABLE OFFENSE. — The warrant of arrest with no recommendation for bail that was issued by respondent Judge is a downright violation of Parada’s constitutional right to bail. The rule is clear that unless charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua and the evidence of guilt is strong, all persons detained, arrested or otherwise under the custody of the law are entitled to bail as a matter of right. It should be noted that the crime with which Parada was charged is estafa which is undoubtedly a bailable offense. This circumstance could not have escaped the attention of the respondent judge when he issued the order of arrest.

    5 JUDICIAL ETHICS; JUDGES; PROPER CONDUCT. — Judges, by the very delicate nature of their functions in dispensing justice, should be more circumspect in the performance of their duties. In resolving matters in litigation, they should endeavor assiduously to ascertain the facts and the applicable laws. Judges ate required by Canon 3, Rule 3.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence. They are called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative that he be conversant with basic legal principles.


    D E C I S I O N


    TORRES, JR., J.:


    The case before us stems from a verified complaint filed by Danilo B. Parada against respondent Judge Lorenzo B. Veneracion for gross ignorance of the law, abuse of authority and rendering unjust and erroneous interlocutory orders and judgment in connection with Criminal Cases Nos: 93-121385 to 88, entitled People v. Danilo Parada, which led to complainant Parada’s "premature incarceration" at the Makati City Jail and Muntinlupa National Penitentiary.

    The undisputed facts of the case as found by the Office of the Court Administrator are as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Complainant herein is the accused in the aforementioned case for four (4) counts of estafa which were initially raffled to Branch 30, RTC, Manila presided by Judge Senecio Ortile. Complainant is also duly bonded with the Eastern Assurance and Surety Corporation (EASCO). On October 23, 1993 complainant notified said court formally thru counsel of his change of address from 219 Cityland Condominium, Buendia Extension, Makati, Metro Manila to 2412 Nobel St., Bo. San Isidro, Makati, Metro Manila. On October 27, 1993 he also notified the Manager of the bonding company of his change of address. On February 8, 1994, Judge Ortile inhibited himself from trying the said case and thus, the case was re-raffled to the sala of respondent Judge Lorenzo Veneracion, and per order of April 26, 1994, the hearing of the case was set for June 3, 6, 7 and 8, 1994. Apparently, the notice of hearing dated April 27, 1994 was sent to complainant’s former address and that for failure of accused-complainant to appear on June 3, 1994, respondent ordered the arrest of herein accused-complainant, ordering the confiscation of the bond and a trial in absentia was conducted. Respondent Judge likewise assigned a counsel de officio, Atty. Jesse Tiburan of the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) as counsel for the accused.

    . . . Furthermore, a warrant of arrest was issued on June 3, 1994 with ‘no bail recommended’.

    On June 6, 7 and 8, 1994, respondent court issued orders noting the failure of the petitioner to appear and proceeded with the trial in absentia. On the hearing of June 8, 1994, the motion of counsel de officio of accused-complainant that defense be allowed to present evidence upon petitioner’s arrest, was denied and further held that the ‘failure of the accused to appear is a waiver of his right to adduce evidence’.

    . . . On November 25, 1994, a decision was rendered convicting herein accused-appellant of the crime and the decision was promulgated despite his absence. Accused-complainant was arrested and brought to the Makati City Jail.

    Accused-complainant filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus, Certiorari and Annulment of Judgment with prayer for immediate relief with the Court of Appeals and was docketed as CA-GR. SP No. 37340 entitled ‘Danilo Parada v. Judge Lorenzo B. Veneracion, Et. Al.’.

    On August 18, 1995, the Court of Appeals promulgated a decision declaring the decision dated November 25, 1995 of respondent court null and void and further ordering the case to be remanded to respondent for further proceeding in order to afford accused-complainant the opportunity to rebut the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses and documentary evidence against him as well as present his evidence." 1

    Subsequently, Parada filed with this Court the instant complaint dated March 11, 1996 against the respondent Judge Veneracion in connection with the decision and interlocutory orders rendered by the latter in Criminal Cases Nos. 93-121385 to 88. He alleged, inter alia that the respondent Judge is guilty of ignorance of the law when he did not follow the legal requirements of a valid trial in absentia which led to his conviction and premature incarceration, that the order of his arrest with no recommendation for bail was erroneous, and that respondent Judge abused his authority when he issued the June 8, 1994 order denying the Motion- of Parada’s counsel de oficio to allow him to present his evidence upon his arrest. Parada thus prayed for the dismissal from service of the respondent Judge and that the latter be barred from railroading the subject Criminal Cases Nos. 93-121385 to 88.

    On June 4, 1996, the Office of the Court Administrator received the respondent Judge’s comment to Parada’s complaint, the pertinent portion of which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    1. That the herein complaint is purely and plainly a ‘harassment suit’ arising from the Decision rendered in the case of People v. Danilo Parada for estafa;

    2. That the charges therein are denied because they are not based on the facts and of the records of the case, the herein Judge merely acted with compassion upon receipt of the records of these cases from another sala, after having been informed that the private complainants merely borrowed from ‘loan sharks’ the money given to the accused Danilo Parada and that they are only interested in compelling said accused to return their money, not in sending said accused to jail;

    3. That the herein Judge acted in good faith in the trial of the said cases." 2

    Unfazed by the foregoing assertions of the respondent Judge, the Office of the Court Administrator on the contrary held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    Respondent’s general denial of the allegations imputed to him does not belie any of the facts which lead to the incarceration of the complainant. Thus, his failure to deny and every specific allegations can be construed as admission on his part.

    Moreover, trial in absentia may proceed only if the accused failed to appear at the trial without justification despite due notice. In this case, complainant was never notified of any hearing from the time he changed his address up to the promulgation of the decision despite the fact that he notified the court and his bonding company.

    x       x       x


    Respondent issued a warrant for the arrest of the accused-complainant with no ‘bail recommended’ despite the fact that the crime charged was bailable and denied the motion of his counsel for the accused to adduce evidence upon accused’s arrest. Clearly, respondent denied complainant his right to due process." 3

    On the basis of these observations, the Office of the Court Administrator recommended that respondent Judge Veneracion be fined in the amount of P10,000.00 with a warning-that a commission of the same or similar infraction shall be dealt with more severely.

    We agree with the findings of the Office of the Court Administrator.

    Section 14 (2), Article 3 of the Constitution provides, inter alia, that trial may proceed notwithstanding the absence of the accused provided that he has been duly notified and his failure to appear is unjustifiable. The requisites then of a valid trial in absentia are: (1) the accused has already been arraigned; (2) he has been duly notified of the trial; and (3) his failure to appear is unjustifiable. 4

    In the subject criminal cases, requisite numbers two (2) and three (3) of a valid trial in absentia are clearly wanting. Parada had not been duly notified of the trial because the notice of hearing dated April 27, 1994 was sent to the former address of Parada’s counsel despite the fact that the latter formally notified the court of his change of address. His failure to appear therefore in the June 3,6, 7 and 8, 1994 hearings is justified by the absence of a valid service of notice of hearing to him.

    As a rule, where a party appears by attorney in an action or proceeding in a court of record, all notices required to be given therein must be given to the attorney of record. 5 Accordingly, notices to counsel should be properly sent to his address of record and unless the counsel files a notice of change of address, his official address remains to be that of his address of record. 6

    It is undisputed that Parada’s counsel filed a notice of change of address on October 23, 1993. As such, the respondent judge should have already taken cognizance of the new address when it sent the notice of hearing dated April 27, 1994. It is thus unwarranted for the respondent judge to still send the notice of hearing to the old address of Parada’s counsel because it is not his official address nor his address of record. Concomitantly, the sending of notice of hearing to his former address is an invalid service and cannot in any way bind Parada.

    It is worthy to stress that due process of law in judicial proceedings requires that the accused must be given an opportunity to be heard. He has the right to be present and defend in person at every stage of the proceedings. Incidentally, the right to a hearing carries with it the right to be notified of every incident of the proceedings in court. Notice to a party is essential to enable him to adduce his own evidence and to meet and refute the evidence submitted by the other party. 7 No less than the Constitution provides that no person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. A violation therefore of any of the rights accorded the accused constitutes a denial of due process of law. The circumstantial setting of the instant case as weighed by the basic standards of fair play impels us to so hold that the trial in absentia of Parada and his subsequent conviction are tainted with the vice of nullity, for evidently Parada was denied due process of law.

    Judges, by the very delicate nature of their functions in dispensing justice, should be more circumspect in the performance of their duties. 8 In resolving matters in litigation, they should endeavor assiduously to ascertain the facts and the applicable laws. Had respondent judge carefully and diligently studied the records of the case, he would have surely noticed the change of address, and his questioned orders, which eventually led to Parada’s unwarranted deprivation of liberty, could not have been precipitately issued.

    Likewise, the warrant of arrest with no recommendation for bail that was issued by respondent Judge on June 3, 1994 is a downright violation of Parada’s constitutional right to bail. The rule is clear that unless charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua and the evidence of guilt is strong, all persons detained, arrested or otherwise under the custody of the law are entitled to bail as a matter of right. It should be noted that the crime with which Parada was charged is estafa 9 which is undoubtedly a bailable offense. This circumstance could not have escaped the attention of the respondent judge when he issued on June 3, 1994 the order of arrest of Parada with no recommendation for his bail. In so doing, respondent judge exhibited that degree of ignorance so gross which the Court can not countenance. Judges are required by Canon 3, Rule 3.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence. 10 They are called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative that he be conversant with basic legal principles. 11

    WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Lorenzo B. Veneracion is FINED P10,000.00 for disregarding Parada’s right to procedural due process and for showing gross ignorance of the law, with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of a similar act in the future will be dealt with more severely.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Romero, Puno and Mendoza, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Memorandum for Chief Justice Andres R. Narvasa signed by Senior Deputy Court Administrator Reynaldo L. Suarez, pp. 1-2.

    2. Second Indorsement dated May 31, 1996 signed by Judge Lorenzo B. Veneracion.

    3. Supra, p. 3.

    4. People v. Salas, No. L-66469, July 29, 1986, 143 SCRA 163.

    5. Gundayao, Et Al., v. Court of Appeals, Et Al., G.R. No. 77459, May 21, 1990, 185 SCRA 606.

    6. Sy, Sr. v. IAC, Et Al., No. L-66741, June 16, 1988, 162 SCRA 130.

    7. Cruz, I., Constitutional Law, 1995 ed., p. 108.

    8. Galvez v. Eduardo, A. M. No. MTJ- 94-984, January 30, 1996, 252 SCRA 572.

    9. Punishable by imprisonment ranging from arresto mayor to reclusion temporal depending upon the amount of fraud; see Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.

    10. Cui v. Madayag, A .M. No. RTJ-94-1150, June 5, 1995, 245 SCRA 1.

    11. De los Santos-Reyes v. Montesa, Jr., A.M. No. RTJ-93-983, August 7, 1995, 247 SCRA 85.

    Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353   March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION




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