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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
 

   
June-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-00-1446 June 6, 2001 - PATERNO R. PLANTILLA v. RODRIGO G. BALIWAG

  • A.M. No. P-91-642 June 6, 2001 - SOLEDAD LAURO v. EFREN LAURO

  • G.R. No. 92328 June 6, 2001 - DAP MINING ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100579 June 6, 2001 - LEANDRO P. GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113918 June 6, 2001 - MARCELINA G. TRINIDAD, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121272 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYDERICK LAGO

  • G.R. No. 122353 June 6, 2001 - EVANGELINE DANAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129534 & 141169 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MACANDOG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138949 June 6, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. SEC

  • G.R. No. 138971 June 6, 2001 - PEZA v. RUMOLDO R FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. No. 139034 June 6, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139323 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CARLO ELLASOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140128 June 6, 2001 - ARNOLD P. MOLLANEDA v. LEONIDA C. UMACOB

  • G.R. No. 140277 June 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. GUILLERMO BALDAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141529 June 6, 2001 - FRANCISCO YAP, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142888 June 6, 2001 - EVELIO P. BARATA v. BENJAMIN ABALOS JR.

  • G.R. No. 143561 June 6, 2001 - JONATHAN D. CARIAGA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110335 June 18, 2001 - IGNACIO GONZALES, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1615 June 19, 2001 - WINNIE BAJET v. PEDRO M. AREOLA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1633 June 19, 2001 - ANTONIO and ELSA FORTUNA v. MA. NIMFA PENACO-SITACA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99433 June 19, 2001 - PROJECT BUILDERS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114944 June 19, 2001 - MANUEL C. ROXAS, ET AL. v. CONRADO M. VASQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120701 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JONATHAN CRISANTO

  • G.R. No. 123916 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNTON ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 130605 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIX UGANAP, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132160 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO DE LEON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132223 June 19, 2001 - BONIFACIA P. VANCIL v. HELEN G. BELMES

  • G.R. No. 134895 June 19, 2001 - STA. LUCIA REALTY and DEV’T., ET AL. v. LETICIA CABRIGAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137164 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERT NUBLA

  • G.R. No. 137752 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT AYUNGON

  • G.R. Nos. 138298 & 138982 June 19, 2001 - RAOUL B. DEL MAR v. PAGCOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139313 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORANTE LEAL

  • G.R. No. 140690 June 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NAZAR U. CHAVEZ

  • G.R. No. 141441 June 19, 2001 - JOSE SUAN v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-10-230-MTCC June 20, 2001 - RE: JULIAN C. OCAMPO III AND RENATO C. SAN JUAN

  • A.M. No. 00-11-521-RTC June 20, 2001 - RE: AWOL OF MS. LILIAN B. BANTOG

  • A.M. No. P-99-1346 June 20, 2001 - RESTITUTO L. CASTRO v. CARLOS BAGUE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1606 June 20, 2001 - PATRIA MAQUIRAN v. LILIA G. LOPEZ

  • G.R. No. 84831 June 20, 2001 - PACENCIO ABEJARON v. FELIX NABASA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109666 June 20, 2001 - ROGERIO R. OLAGUER, ET AL. v. EUFEMIO DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113564 June 20, 2001 - INOCENCIA YU DINO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115851 June 20, 2001 - LA JOLLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127129 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLANDO CABAYA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128617 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR BACUS

  • G.R. Nos. 129292-93 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARLENGEN DEGALA

  • G.R. No. 130524 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUDY MADIA

  • G.R. No. 131036 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DONATO DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135976-80 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO GALENO

  • G.R. No. 138629 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAMON CAMACHO

  • G.R. No. 139430 June 20, 2001 - EDI STAFF BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL v. FERMINA D. MAGSINO

  • G.R. Nos. 139445-46 June 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 142304 June 20, 2001 - CITY OF MANILA v. OSCAR SERRANO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1342 June 21, 2001 - BISHOP CRISOSTOMO A. YALUNG, ET AL. v. ENRIQUE M. PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 108558 June 21, 2001 - ANDREA TABUSO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109197 June 21, 2001 - JAYME C. UY, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 111580 & 114802 June 21, 2001 - SHANGRI-LA INTERNATIONAL HOTEL MNGT. LTD. ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116200-02 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELEUTERIO TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131131 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABELARDO SALONGA

  • G.R. No. 134138 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDMUNDO BRIONES AYTALIN

  • G.R. Nos. 135552-53 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABEL ABACIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139542 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. INOCENCIO GONZALEZ

  • G.R. No. 140206 June 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO MATYAONG

  • G.R. No. 142023 June 21, 2001 - SANNY B. GINETE v. SUNRISE MANNING AGENCY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103068 June 22, 2001 - MEAT PACKING CORP. OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-96-1110 June 25, 2001 - MANUEL N. MAMBA, ET AL. v. DOMINADOR L. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 116710 June 25, 2001 - DANILO D. MENDOZA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117857 June 25, 2001 - LUIS S. WONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128126 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAFAEL M. CATAPANG

  • G.R. No. 132051 June 25, 2001 - TALA REALTY SERVICES CORP. v. BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK

  • G.R. No. 134068 June 25, 2001 - UNION BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136221 June 25, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136382 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FIDEL ALBORIDA

  • G.R. Nos. 138439-41 June 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO PANGANIBAN

  • G.R. No. 141141 June 25, 2001 - PAGCOR v. CARLOS P. RILLORAZA

  • G.R. No. 141801 June 25, 2001 - SOLOMON ALVAREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143428 June 25, 2001 - SANDOVAL SHIPYARDS, ET AL. v. PRISCO PEPITO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 99-11-423-RTC June 26, 2001 - RE: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Regional Trial Court

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461 June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1486 June 26, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. ISMAEL SANCHEZ

  • G.R. Nos. 110547-50 & 114526-667 June 26, 2001 - JOSE SAYSON v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120859 June 26, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. FRANCISCO Y. WONG

  • G.R. No. 123542 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO BULOS

  • G.R. Nos. 132848-49 June 26, 2001 - PHILROCK v. CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY ARBITRATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133990 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HECTOR MARIANO

  • G.R. No. 134764 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. BENJAMIN FABIA

  • G.R. Nos. 139626-27 June 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 143204 June 26, 2001 - HYATT TAXI SERVICES INC. v. RUSTOM M. CATINOY

  • G.R. Nos. 147589 & 147613 June 26, 2001 - ANG BAGONG BAYANI-OFW LABOR PARTY, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130661 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO I. TORRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135882 June 27, 2001 - LOURDES T. MARQUEZ v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140001 June 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO BUENAFLOR

  • A.C. No. 3910 June 28, 2001 - JOSE S. DUCAT v. ARSENIO C. VILLALON, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 4073 June 28, 2001 - ARACELI SIPIN-NABOR v. BENJAMIN BATERINA

  • A.M. No. P-01-1480 June 28, 2001.

    AMADO S. CAGUIOA v. CRISANTO FLORA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1343 June 28, 2001 - ORLANDO T. MENDOZA v. ROSBERT M. TUQUERO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1576 June 28, 2001 - SIMPLICIO ALIB v. EMMA C. LABAYEN

  • G.R. No. 105364 June 28, 2001 - PHIL. VETERANS BANK EMPLOYEES UNION-N.U.B.E., ET AL. v. BENJAMIN VEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110813 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERNESTO PARDUA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110914 June 28, 2001 - ALFREDO CANUTO; JR., ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112453-56 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERARDO LATUPAN

  • G.R. Nos. 112563 & 110647 June 28, 2001 - HEIRS OF KISHINCHAND HIRANAND DIALDAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120630 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCELO PALERMO

  • G.R. No. 131954 June 28, 2001 - ASELA B. MONTECILLO, ET AL v. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • G.R. Nos. 132026-27 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO ABENDAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132362 June 28, 2001 - PIO BARRETTO REALTY DEV’T. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132837 June 28, 2001 - JO CINEMA CORP., ET AL. v. LOLITA C. ABELLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133605 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN BARRIAS

  • G.R. No. 135846 June 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. NOEL ORTEGA

  • G.R. No. 138270 June 28, 2001 - SEA POWER SHIPPING ENTERPRISES INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142314 June 28, 2001 - MC ENGINEERING, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143723 June 28, 2001 - LITONJUA GROUP OF CO.’s., ET AL. v. TERESITA VIGAN

  • G.R. No. 144113 June 28, 2001 - EDWEL MAANDAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. No. 144942 June 28, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA SUERTE CIGAR.

  • G.R. No. 146062 June 28, 2001 - SANTIAGO ESLABAN v. CLARITA VDA. DE ONORIO

  • A.M. No. 00 4-166-RTC June 29, 2001 - Re: Report on the Judicial Audit

  • A.M. No. 01-4-03-SC June 29, 2001 - HERNANDO PEREZ, ET AL. v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1380 June 29, 2001 - GLORIA O. DINO v. FRANCISCO DUMUKMAT

  • G.R. No. 110480 June 29, 2001 - BANGKO SILANGAN DEVELOPMENT BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111860 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS CLEDORO

  • G.R. No. 116092 June 29, 2001 - SUSANA VDA. DE COCHINGYAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118251 June 29, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY v. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121597 June 29, 2001 - PHIL. NATIONAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125944 June 29, 2001 - DANILO SOLANGON, ET AL. v. JOSE AVELINO SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 126396 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FELIXBERTO LAO-AS

  • G.R. No. 128705 June 29, 2001 - CONRADO AGUILAR v. COMMERCIAL SAVINGS BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129782 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALWINDER SINGH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131968 June 29, 2001 - ERNESTO PENGSON, ET AL v. MIGUEL OCAMPO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132059 June 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WENEFREDO DIMSON ASOY

  • G.R. No. 138598 June 29, 2001 - ASSET PRIVATIZATION TRUST v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144542 June 29, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA PEÑA, ET AL v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461   June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461. June 26, 2001.]

    (Formerly: OCA IPI No. 97-402-RTJ)

    RICARDO DELA CRUZ, Complainant, v. HON. HERMINIA M. PASCUA, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 25, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ, J.:


    For this Court’s resolution is the administrative complaint filed by Ricardo Dela Cruz, then a mayoralty candidate in the Municipality of Tagudin, Ilocos Sur, against Judge Herminia M. Pascua of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 25, Tagudin, same province, for falsification of public document and violation of Section 17 (par. 1), Rule 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The antecedent facts are:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    On May 26, 1995, complainant Ricardo Dela Cruz filed with the same RTC, presided by respondent Judge Herminia M. Pascua, an election protest against Mayor Jose Bunoan, Jr., docketed as Sp. Proc. Case No. 0743-T. Thereafter, Nena Ocaña and Nelson Cuaresma lodged a motion for intervention which was denied by respondent judge for having been filed out of time. Thereupon, Ocaña and Cuaresma filed a "Petition by Appeal on Certiorari" with the COMELEC, docketed therein as SPR No. 13-95. However, the same was dismissed for lack of merit.

    In the instant administrative complaint, filed with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), complainant Dela Cruz alleges that respondent judge committed falsification when she issued the order dated August 28, 1995 deferring the hearing of Sp. Proc. Case No. 0743-T until further orders. In her order, she stated that a "Petition by Appeal on Certiorari" was filed with this Court by Nena Ocaña and Nelson Cuaresma questioning her (respondent judge’s) order denying their motion for intervention. According to them, they did not file such petition with this Court. Respondent judge must be referring to the appeal by certiorari of Ocaña and Cuaresma to the COMELEC.

    Complainant also alleges that respondent judge violated Section 17 (par. 1), Rule 35 of the Rules of Procedure of the COMELEC by delaying the disposition of his election protest. On December 26, 1995, she issued an order directing motu propio that the election protest be archived, stating that "this Court cannot take action on this case because of the fact that Nena Ocaña and Nelson Cuaresma have gone to the Supreme Court . . ." Because the case was archived, there was a delay of more than six (6) months from the time the hearing was deferred on August 28, 1995 up to the time the records were retrieved from the archives and set again for hearing on February 29, 1996.

    Complainant also avers that respondent judge ante-dated her order of February 8, 1996 retrieving the records from the archives and ordering that the election protest be revived. While complainant’s "Motion to Retrieve the Case from the Archives and to Set Case for Hearing" was filed only on February 15, 1996, however, respondent judge issued her order much earlier or on February 8, 1996.

    The OCA referred to Judge Pascua the instant administrative complaint for her comment.

    In her comment, respondent judge explains that the continued pendency of the election protest was caused by both the protestant (complainant herein) and the protestee. She admits that she committed an "honest and innocuous error" when she stated in her order of August 28, 1995 (postponing the hearing of the election protest) that the intervenors interposed an appeal to this Court instead of the COMELEC. Convinced that the intervenors’ appeal was elevated to this Court, she ordered on December 26, 1995 that the election protest be archived. She claims that despite the dismissal of the intervenors’ appeal by the COMELEC, the protestant (complainant herein) and the protestee never moved for the resumption of the proceedings, leading her to believe that indeed the intervenors appealed to this Court.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On complainant’s allegation that respondent judge ante-dated the order of retrieving the case from the archives, she claims that her order was prepared on February 8, 1996, but mailed on February 13, 1996. Complainant received his copy of the order on February 14, 1996, while his two lawyers received theirs on February 15, 1996. While complainant’s motion to retrieve the case from the archives was dated February 6, 1996, however, it was filed with respondent’s court only on February 15, 1996. Clearly, there was no "ante-dating."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Meanwhile, Atty. Maximo A. Maceren, complainant’s counsel, in his letter dated December 22, 1997, informed the OCA that his client is withdrawing the election protest, which has been pending for two (2) years and six (6) months, for the reason that it "would only end up in an empty victory."cralaw virtua1aw library

    On September 18, 1998, Judge Pascua compulsorily retired.

    In his report dated May 13, 1999, then Court Administrator Alfredo Benipayo, made the following evaluation:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "There is no denying the fact that the early conclusions of the election protest involved in this administrative matter was prevented by the actions of the respondent judge. Her Order canceling the scheduled hearings of August 28 and 29, 1995 and her Order of December 26, 1995, sending the case to the archives because of her perception, albeit unfounded and erroneous, that a petition for certiorari was pending in the Supreme Court, certainly resulted in the loss of a substantial period for the resolution of the election case which needed urgent attention.

    However, there is no allegation nor proof in the complaint that the delays caused by respondent were motivated by any corrupt considerations. The averment in her comment is that she honestly believed that there was such a petition pending because she had been shown by the intervenors a copy of such petition.

    Be that as it may, respondent judge was negligent when she issued the two Orders referred to above. Her reliance of the word of the intervenors who showed her a copy of an alleged petition was clearly uncalled for. She should have waited for a notice from the Supreme Court and in the absence of any restraining order, she should have tried the election case with dispatch until its termination.

    Election protest are cases which by their nature necessitate reasonable speed in order that the electorate may discover what their will truly was. To postpone the consideration of such cases would result in empty victories, should the protestant be finally declared the winner. This most probably resulted in the present case.

    Because of the failure of the respondent to take the necessary precaution to ascertain the fact that a case was actually pending before the Supreme Court before she decided to indefinitely postpone the continuation of the case by sending the same to the archives, she deserves a certain measure of punishment.

    As regards the allegation that respondent had falsified the Order retrieving the case from the archives, we believe that respondent has satisfactorily explained her action."cralaw virtua1aw library

    and recommended that respondent judge be meted fine in the amount of P10,000.00 to be deducted from her retirement benefits.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    After reviewing the records of the case, we are in accord with the findings and recommendation of then Court Administrator Benipayo.

    Respondent judge admits in her comment that both intervenors showed her a copy of their "Petition by Appeal on Certiorari." What she should have done was to read it carefully and ascertain where it was filed. Had she done so, she should have known that it was not elevated to this Court, but to the COMELEC. We are aware though that by reason of her "courtesy to this Court," she issued the assailed twin orders postponing the hearing indefinitely of the election protest and directing that the case be archived. It bears stressing, however, that even if the intervenors’ "Petition" was brought to this Court, respondent judge should not have issued the challenged orders. Pursuant to this Court Administrative Circular No. 7-A-92, as amended, a judge may order that a civil case be archived only in the following instances:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "a) When the parties are in the process of settlement, in which case the proceedings may be suspended and the case archived for a period not exceeding ninety (90) days. The case shall be included in the trial calendar on the day immediately following the lapse of the suspension period.

    b) When an interlocutory order or incident in the civil case is elevated to, and is pending resolution/decision for an indefinite period before a higher court which has issued a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction.

    c) When defendant, without fault or neglect of plaintiff, cannot be served with summons within six (6) months from issuance of original summons."cralaw virtua1aw library

    None of the above instances is present in this case.

    By issuing the said orders, respondent judge was negligent in her duties, tantamount to inefficiency, which, in turn, caused the undue delay in the disposition of complainant’s election protest. Her conduct violates Section 17(1), Rule 35 of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure which provides:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The court shall decide the election contest within thirty (30) days from the date it is submitted for decision, but in every case within six (6) months after its filing, and shall declare who among the parties has been elected, or in a proper case, that none of them has been legally elected. The party who in the judgment has been declared elected shall have the right to assume the office as soon as the judgment becomes final."cralaw virtua1aw library

    The period that complainant’s protest was dormant can be reckoned from August 28, 1995, when respondent judge issued her order postponing the hearing of the election protest, up to February 8, 1996, when she ordered that the records be retrieved from the archives and that the election protest be revived.

    Clearly, the hearing of the election protest was delayed for almost six months, all because of respondent judge’s negligence in the performance of her duties which bears on her efficiency.

    Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates, among others, that a judge should perform his official duties with DILIGENCE. The same Canon specifically provides that a judge should maintain professional competence and decide cases within the required periods.

    This Court has ruled that inefficient judges are equally impermissible in the judiciary as the incompetent and dishonest ones. Any of them tarnishes the image of the judiciary or brings it to public contempt, dishonor or disrespect and must then be administratively dealt with and punished accordingly. 1

    All told, this Court views the conduct of respondent judge improper and censurable. She should have remembered that she is presumed to be conscious of her duties under the Code of Judicial Conduct. Indeed, as a member of the Bench, she should be the embodiment of competence and assiduousness in her responsibilities. Unfortunately, respondent judge failed to live up to this standard. By issuing the orders in question, she evidently manifested inefficiency and overtly transgressed basic mandatory rules adopted to assure the expeditious resolution of cases.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In Cui v. Madayag, 2 this Court held:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "The case of respondent Judge should be no different. For judges are called to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural laws. They are not "common men and women, whose errors men and women forgive and time forgets. Judges sit as the embodiment of the people’s sense of justice, their last recourse where all other institutions have failed." Most importantly, respondent Judge is required by Canon 3, Rule 3.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct to be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence. As we held in one case, there will be faith in the administration of justice only if there be a belief on the part of the litigant that the occupants of the bench cannot justly be accused of deficiency in their grasp of legal principles."cralaw virtua1aw library

    WHEREFORE, Judge Herminia M. Pascua is found guilty of inefficiency and is fined in the amount of P10,000.00, the same to be deducted from her retirement benefits.

    SO ORDERED.

    Melo, Vitug, Panganiban and Gonzaga-Reyes, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Yu-Aensi v. Villanueva, 322 SCRA 255(2000), citing Re: Report on the Judicial audit, RTC, Branches 4 and 23, Manila, 291 SCRA 10 (1998).

    2. 245 SCRA 1 (1995), citing Office of the Court Administrator v. Bartolome, Adm. Matter No. RTJ-90-446; Medina v. Bartolome, Adm. Matter No. RTJ-90-494; Office of the Court Administrator v. Bartolome, Adm. Matter No. RTJ-90-504; Ramon Tulfo’s Column "On Target," Adm. Matter No. 90-1-021 RTC; and, Letter-Request dated July 24, 1990 of Provincial Governor Leonardo B. Roman, Bataan-Seeking the Transfer of Judge Jose T. Bartolome to another Station, Adm. Matter No. RTC-90-8-1909-RTC, all prom. on 7 November 1991, 203 SCRA 328, 337; Libarios v. Dabalos, Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-286, 11 July 1991, 199 SCRA 48, 56.

    A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461   June 26, 2001 - RICARDO DELA CRUZ v. HERMINIA M. PASCUA


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