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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. P-96-1184   March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184. March 24, 1997.]

    NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and SANTIAGO N. SALVADOR, Complainants, v. RODOLFO G. TULIAO, Sheriff IV of the RTC of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, Respondent.


    SYLLABUS


    1. ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; COURT EMPLOYEES; SHERIFF; DUTIES; MANNER OF ATTACHMENT; IRREGULAR IN CASE AT BAR. — This Court finds respondent sheriffs manner of attachment irregular and his reason therefor totally unacceptable. Respondent’s act of leaving the passenger jeep in the possession and control of the creditor did not satisfy the foregoing requirements of the Rules; neither did it conform to the plainly worded RTC order. The note in the receipt that imposed on Ignacio the obligation to produce the same whenever required by the court was no compliance either, because it did not establish that the property was in respondent sheriff’s substantial presence and possession. Respondent fell short of his obligation to take and safely keep the attached property "in his capacity." He cannot feign ignorance of this duty as he himself correctly cited an early decision of this Court explaining a sheriffs duty in attachment. That Ignacio was able to move the passenger jeep to an unknown location is further proof that respondent sheriff had not taken and safely kept it in his substantial presence, possession and control. His claim that the regional trial court did not have any storage facility to house said property is no justification. He could have deposited it in a bonded warehouse. Contrary to respondent sheriff’s contention, compelling the attaching creditor to release the property in question was not in order, because the proper remedy provided by the Rules of Court was for the party whose property had been attached to apply for the discharge of the attachment by filing a counterbond. The effect of this remedy is the delivery of possession of the attached property to the party giving the counterbond. The attaching creditor was not authorized to have possession of the attached property, contrary to the insistence of respondent sheriff,

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ID. — When a writ is placed in the hands of a sheriff, it is his duty, in the absence of any instructions to the contrary, to proceed with reasonable celerity and promptness to execute it according to its mandate. He is supposed to execute the order of the court strictly to the letter, If he fails to comply, he is liable to the person in whose favor the process or writ runs. Respondent’s pretense of having acted in utmost good faith for the preservation of the attached property is hardly credible because there was no reason for his having acted thus. In sum, he is unable to satisfactorily explain why he failed to take such movable in his control. By acceding to the request of Ignacio, respondent sheriff actually extended an undue favor which prejudiced the complainant as well as the orderly administration of justice. He exceeded his powers which were limited to the faithful execution of the court’s orders and service of its processes. His prerogatives did not give him any discretion to, determine who among the parties was entitled to possession of the attached property. That he exerted efforts in going to the creditor’s residence in Tuguegarao, Cagayan to obtain possession of the attached property was an act of compliance with the writ of attachment. This action, belated as it was, did not mitigate his liability. Much less did it exculpate him from penalty,

    3. ID.; ID.; REQUIRED DECORUM. — A court employee should keep in mind that he is an integral part of that organ of the government that is involved in the sacred task of administering justice. His conduct and behavior should perforce be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility and must at all times be characterized by propriety and decorum. Section 4(c) of Republic Act No. 6713 requires of every public official and employee justness and sincerity in the discharge and execution of official duties. It exacts from him at all times respect for the rights of others and proscribes him from dispensing or extending undue favors on account of his office.


    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    Sheriffs play an important role in the administration of justice. They form an integral part thereof because they are called upon to serve court writs, execute all processes, and carry into effect the orders of the court with due care and utmost diligence. 1 As agents of the law, high standards are expected of them. In the present case, respondent sheriff failed to live up to these standards.

    A complaint against Respondent Deputy Provincial Sheriff Rodolfo G. Tuliao of the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20 was filed by Santiago N. Salvador before the Tuguegarao Sub-Office (TUGSO) of the National Bureau of Investigation ("NBI"). 2 An investigation was conducted by Agent-in-Charge Franklin Javier and Agent Raul A. Ancheta. On November 24, 1994, complainant gave his statement 3 to Agent Paul Gino Rivera. Invoking his right to remain silent, respondent sheriff refused to "submit himself to custodial investigation" before Agent Javier. Instead, he submitted a Compliance 4 dated July 22, 1995 and an Answer 5 dated August 4, 1995.

    After the investigation, Agents Javier and Ancheta recommended, inter alia, the filing of an administrative case with the Office of the Court Administrator. 6 Atty. Gerarda G. Galang, Chief of the NBI Legal and Evaluation Division, concurred with said recommendation. 7 On November 13, 1995, Director Mariano M. Mison of the NBI transmitted to this Court a copy of the evaluation with the recommendation that appropriate action be taken against Respondent. 8

    Hence, this administrative complaint now before us.

    The Facts


    Complainant Salvador bought a passenger jeep from Lito G. Ignacio to be paid in monthly installments of P7,000.00 with a down payment of P50,000.00. After remitting the down payment, complainant diligently paid all monthly amortizations until March 1994 when, in the absence of Ignacio, the complainant was forced to pay to an unnamed brother of the seller the amounts due for the months of April and May 1994. However, the brother failed to remit said amount to the seller; thus, the latter filed with the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20 9 a suit for collection, docketed as Civil Case No. 20-757, entitled Pisces Motor Works, Represented by Lito D. Ignacio v. Santiago Salvador.

    Subsequently, an order was issued by the RTC directing respondent sheriff to attach the passenger jeep. Complainant, through counsel, filed a motion to discharge attachment upon filing of a counterbond for the release of the vehicle in his favor. Due to some defects in the aforementioned motion, a second motion with counterbond was filed. On July 13, 1994, the trial court issued an order, the decretal portion of which reads, to wit: 10

    "WHEREFORE, and in view of the foregoing, the counterbond of the defendant, is hereby approved. The Sheriff is hereby ordered to release to the defendant the attached vehicle bearing Motor No. 6D-57-51813 with Plate No. UV BBR-127."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Respondent refused to comply with the said order. Instead, he released the passenger jeep to Ignacio after the latter had executed a receipt therefor together with an undertaking that he would produce the jeep whenever required by the court. Respondent justified such release by saying that the court had no storage building that would protect the jeep from damage or loss. 11

    Despite the pendency of a motion for contempt 12 filed by complainant against respondent, the case was dismissed 13 on August 31, 1994 because jurisdiction over the case had been transferred to the municipal trial court as mandated by Republic Act No. 7691 which expanded said court’s jurisdiction.

    After receipt of respondent’s Comment dated April 20, 1996, the Court referred the case to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and recommendation. In a memorandum to the Chief Justice dated August 29, 1996, Acting Court Administrator Reynaldo L. Suarez recommended a finding of guilt and suspension of respondent for six (6) months without pay. 14

    Issue

    The main issue in this case is whether respondent sheriff is administratively liable for failing to release the property under custodia legis to the complainant in accordance with the order of the regional trial court.

    Respondent sheriff contends that his act of not taking into his official custody the attached property was not unlawful but was in fact reasonable because the court had no facility for its storage. That it could no longer be returned to complainant’s possession in accordance with the court’s order was not his fault but that of the attaching creditor who had violated his obligation to produce the same whenever required by the court. He offers "to pay a fine in the discretion of the Honorable Court as he has not benefited any pecuniary interest (sic)." 15

    The Court’s Ruling


    Respondent’s contentions are without merit. We agree with the Court Administrator that respondent should be held administratively liable.

    First Issue: Manner of Attachment

    This Court finds respondent sheriff’s manner of attachment irregular and his reason therefor totally unacceptable.

    Rule 57 of the Rules of Court provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Sec. 5. Manner of attaching property. — The officer executing the order shall without delay attach, to await judgment and execution in the action, all the properties of the party against whom the order is issued in the province, . . .

    x       x       x


    Sec. 7. Attachment of real and personal property; recording thereof . — Properties shall be attached by the officer executing the order in the following manner:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    (c) Personal property capable of manual delivery, by taking and safely keeping it in his capacity, after issuing the corresponding receipt therefor;

    x       x       x


    Clearly, respondent’s act of leaving the passenger jeep in the possession and control of the creditor did not satisfy the foregoing requirements of the Rules; neither did it conform to the plainly worded RTC order. The note in the receipt that imposed on Ignacio the obligation to produce the same whenever required by the court was no compliance either, because it did not establish that the property was in respondent sheriff’s substantial presence and possession. Respondent fell short of his obligation to take and safely keep the attached property "in his capacity." He cannot feign ignorance of this duty as he himself correctly cited an early decision of this Court explaining a sheriff’s duty in attachment, as follows: 16

    ". . . A verbal declaration of seizure or service of a writ of attachment is not sufficient. There must be an actual taking of possession and placing of the attached property under the control of the officer or someone representing him. (Hollister v. Goodale, 8 Conn., 332, 21 Am. Dec., 674; Jones v. Howard, 99 Ga., 451, 59 Am. St. Rep., 231.)

    We believe that . . . to constitute a valid levy of an attachment, the officer levying it must take actual possession of the property attached as far as . . . practicable (under the circumstances). He must put himself in (a) position to, and must assert and, in fact, enforce a dominion over the property adverse to and exclusive of the attachment debtor, and such property must be in his substantial presence and possession. (Corniff v. Cook, 95 Ga., 61, 51 Am. St. Rep., 55, 61.) Of course, this does not mean that the attaching officer may not, under an arrangement satisfactory to himself, put anyone in possession of the property for the purpose of guarding it, but he can not in this way relieve himself from liability to the parties interested in said attachment." chanrobles.com : virtual lawlibrary

    That Ignacio was able to move the passenger jeep to an unknown location is further proof that respondent sheriff had not taken and safely kept it in his substantial presence, possession and control.

    His claim that the regional trial court did not have any storage facility to house said property is no justification. He could have deposited it in a bonded warehouse. 17

    Contrary to respondent sheriff’s contention, compelling the attaching creditor to release the property in question was not in order, because the proper remedy provided by the Rules of Court was for the party whose property had been attached to apply for the discharge of the attachment by filing a counterbond. 18 The effect of this remedy is the delivery of possession of the attached property to the party giving the counterbond. The attaching creditor was not authorized to have possession of the attached property, contrary to the insistence of respondent sheriff.

    Second Issue: Liability of a Sheriff

    A court employee should keep in mind that he is an integral part of that organ of the government that is involved in the sacred task of administering justice. His conduct and behavior should perforce be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility and must at all times be characterized by propriety and decorum. 19

    Section 4(c) of Republic Act No. 6713 requires of every public official and employee justness and sincerity in the discharge and execution of official duties. It exacts from him at all times respect for the rights of others and proscribes him from dispensing or extending undue favors on account of his office.

    The Court in Chan v. Castillo held: 20

    "Every officer or employee in the judiciary is duty bound to obey the orders and processes of the court without the least delay (Pascual v. Duncan, 216 SCRA 786 [1992]), . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Leaving the attached property in the possession of the attaching creditor makes a farce of the attachment. This is not compliance with the issuing court’s order. When a writ is placed in the hands of a sheriff, it is his duty, in the absence of any instructions to the contrary, to proceed with reasonable celerity and promptness to execute it according to its mandate. 21 He is supposed to execute the order of the court strictly to the letter. 22 If he fails to comply, he is liable to the person in whose favor the process or writ runs. 23

    Respondent’s pretense of having acted in utmost good faith for the preservation of the attached property is hardly credible because there was no reason for his having acted thus. In sum, he is unable to satisfactorily explain why he failed to take such movable in his control.

    By acceding to the request of Ignacio, respondent sheriff actually extended an undue favor which prejudiced the complainant as well as the orderly administration of justice. He exceeded his powers which were limited to the faithful execution of the court’s orders and service of its processes. 24 His prerogatives did not give him any discretion to determine who among the parties was entitled to possession of the attached property.

    That he exerted efforts in going to the creditor’s residence in Tuguegarao, Cagayan to obtain possession of the attached property was an act of compliance with the writ of attachment. This action, belated as it was, did not mitigate his liability. Much less did it exculpate him from penalty.

    IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, respondent sheriff is hereby found administratively liable as charged and is SUSPENDED for six (6) months without pay with a warning that the commission of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely by this Court.

    SO ORDERED

    Narvasa, C.J., Davide, Jr., Melo and Francisco, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Wenceslao v. Madrazo, 247 SCRA 696, 702-703, August 28, 1995.

    2. Rollo, pp. 14-15.

    3. Ibid., pp. 19-25.

    4. Ibid., pp. 103-110.

    5. Ibid., pp. 117-124.

    6. Ibid., pp. 7-13.

    7. Ibid., pp. 2-5.

    8. Rollo, p. 1.

    9. Presided by Judge Henedino P. Eduarte.

    10. Rollo, p. 83.

    11. Receipt, rollo, p. 97.

    12. Rollo, p. 92.

    13. Ibid., p. 95.

    14. Ibid., p. 192.

    15. Comment, p. 5; rollo, p. 186.

    16. Walker v. McMicking, 14 Phil. 668,673, December 23, 1909.

    17. Sebastian v. Valino, 224 SCRA 256, 259, July 5, 1993.

    18. Section 12, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court.

    19. Rivera v. Cagujas, 229 SCRA 145, 150, January 7, 1994.

    20. 238 SCRA 359, 361, November 25, 1994.

    21. Villareal v. Rarama, 247 SCRA 493, 501, August 23, 1995; Balantes v. Ocampo III, 242 SCRA 327, 331, March 14, 1995.

    22. Eduarte v. Ramos, 238 SCRA 36, 40, November 9, 1994 and Wenceslao v. Madrazo, supra, p. 704.

    23. Elipe v. Fabre, 241 SCRA 249, 253, February 13, 1995.

    24. Wenceslao v. Madrazo, supra, p. 704.

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




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