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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
 

   
November-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137968 November 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRE DELOS SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 123138-39 November 8, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. HONESTO LLANDELAR

  • A.M. MTJ-01-1375 November 13, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT IN THE MTCs of CALASIAO. BINMALEY

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1601 November 13, 2001 - ELIEZER A. SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN v. ROBERTO S. JAVELLANA

  • G.R. No. 104629 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULIUS KINOK

  • G.R. No. 134498 November 13, 2001 - CELIA M. MERIZ v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL

  • G.R. Nos. 135454-56 November 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. RODERICK SANTOS

  • A.M. No. CA-01-10-P November 14, 2001 - ALDA C. FLORIA v. CURIE F. SUNGA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1518 November 14, 2001 - ANTONIO A. ARROYO v. SANCHO L. ALCANTARA

  • G.R. No. 122736 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FROILAN PADILLA

  • G.R. No. 123819 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. STEPHEN MARK WHISENHUNT

  • G.R. No. 133877 November 14, 2001 - RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION v. ALFA RTW MANUFACTURING CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 133910 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE VIRREY y DEHITO

  • G.R. No. 135511-13 November 14, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ENTICO MARIANO y EXCONDE

  • G.R. No. 137613 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSALITO CABOQUIN

  • G.R. No. 138914 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN MANTES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142870 November 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DINDO F. PAJOTAL, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 143513 & 143590 November 14, 2001 - POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and FIRESTONE CERAMICS

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1599 November 15, 2001 - TRANQUILINO F. MERIS v. JUDGE FLORENTINO M. ALUMBRES

  • G.R. No. 123213 November 15, 2001 - NEPOMUCENA BRUTAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126584 November 15, 2001 - VALLEY LAND RESOURCES, INC., ET AL. v. VALLEY GOLF CLUB INC.

  • G.R. No. 127897 November 15, 2001 - DELSAN TRANSPORT LINES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129018 November 15, 2001 - CARMELITA LEAÑO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136017 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERRY BANTILING

  • G.R. No. 136143 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGAPITO CABOTE a.k.a. "PITO"

  • G.R. No. 137255 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL MAMALAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137369 November 15, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIAS KOBEN VISTA

  • G.R. No. 141811 November 15, 2001 - FIRST METRO INVESTMENT CORPORATION v. ESTE DEL SOL MOUNTAIN RESERVE

  • G.R. No. 145275 November 15, 2001 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LA CAMPANA FABRICA DE TABACOS

  • G.R. No. 148326 November 15, 2001 - PABLO C. VILLABER Petitioner v. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS and REP. DOUGLAS R. CAGAS

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1382 November 16, 2001 - MARIO W. CHILAGAN v. EMELINA L. CATTILING

  • A.M. No. P-00-1411 November 16, 2001 - FELICIDAD JACOB v. JUDITH T. TAMBO

  • G.R. No. 120274 November 16, 2001 - SPOUSES FRANCISCO A. PADILLA and GERALDINE S. PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES CLAUDIO AÑONUEVO and CARMELITA AÑONUEVO

  • G.R. No. 127003 November 16, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. FAUSTINO GABON

  • G.R. Nos. 132875-76 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO G. JALOSJOS

  • G.R. No. 132916 November 16, 2001 - RUFINA TANCINCO v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133437 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RONALD SAMSON

  • G.R. No. 134486 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DAYNA

  • G.R. No. 135038 November 16, 2001 - ROLANDO Y. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142654 November 16, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ROLANDO MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 143802 November 16, 2001 - REYNOLAN T. SALES v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129175 November 19, 2001 - RUBEN N. BARRAMEDA, ET AL. v. ROMEO ATIENZA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130945 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO CONDINO

  • G.R. No. 132724 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RENIEL SANAHON

  • G.R. Nos. 138358-59 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLAUDIO B. DELA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 138661 November 19, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JERSON E. ACOJEDO

  • G.R. No. 140920 November 19, 2001 - JUAN LORENZO B. BORDALLO, ET AL. v. THE PROFESSIONAL REGULATIONS COMMISSION AND THE BOARD OF MARINE DECK OFFICERS

  • G.R. No. 148560 November 19, 2001 - JOSEPH EJERCITO ESTRADA v. SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 91486 November 20, 2001 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122276 November 20, 2001 - RODRIGO ALMUETE ET AL., v. MARCELO ANDRES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126204 November 20, 2001 - NAPOCOR v. PHILIPP BROTHERS OCEANIC

  • G.R. Nos. 126538-39 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODELIO MARCELO

  • G.R. No. 129234 November 20, 2001 - THERMPHIL v. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140032 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ANGEL C. BALDOZ and MARY GRACE NEBRE

  • G.R. No. 140692 November 20, 2001 - ROGELIO C. DAYAN v. BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144401 November 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL GALISIM

  • A.M. No. MTJ-99-1207 November 21, 2001 - NBI v. FRANCISCO D. VILLANUEVA

  • A.M. No. P- 01-1520 November 21, 2001 - MARILOU A. CABANATAN v. CRISOSTOMO T. MOLINA

  • A.M. Nos. RTJ-00-1561 & RTJ-01-1659 November 21, 2001 - CARINA AGARAO v. Judge JOSE J. PARENTELA

  • G.R. No. 125356 November 21, 2001 - SUPREME TRANSLINER INC. v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132839 November 21, 2001 - ERIC C. ONG v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 133879 November 21, 2001 - EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT v. MAYFAIR THEATER

  • G.R. No. 136748 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUANITO ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137457 November 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSAURO SIA

  • G.R. No. 141881 November 21, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. VIRGILIO BERNABE y RAFOL

  • A.M. No RTJ-01-1664 November 22, 2001 - ALFREDO CAÑADA v. VICTORINO MONTECILLO

  • G.R. No. 109648 November 22, 2001 - PH CREDIT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS M. FARRALES

  • G.R. Nos. 111502-04 November 22, 2001 - REYNALDO H. JAYLO, ET AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 113218 November 22, 2001 - ALEJANDRO TECSON v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113541 November 22, 2001 - HONGKONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORP. EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118462 November 22, 2001 - LEOPOLDO GARRIDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123893 November 22, 2001 - LUISITO PADILLA , ET AL. v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129660 November 22, 2001 - BIENVENIDO P. JABAN and LYDIA B. JABAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130628 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PAULINO LEONAR

  • G.R. No. 132743 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARCIAL CAÑARES Y ORBES

  • G.R. No. 133861 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO SO

  • G.R. Nos. 135853-54 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OPENIANO LACISTE

  • G.R. No. 135863 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VlRGILIO LORICA

  • G.R. Nos. 136317-18 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDUARDO YAOTO

  • G.R. No. 136586 November 22, 2001 - JON AND MARISSA DE YSASI v. ARTURO AND ESTELA ARCEO

  • G.R. No. 139563 November 22, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.. v. AMADOR BISMONTE y BERINGUELA

  • G.R. Nos. 139959-60 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOGRACIAS BURGOS

  • G.R. No. 141602 November 22, 2001 - PACSPORTS PHILS. v. NICCOLO SPORTS, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142316 November 22, 2001 - FRANCISCO A.G. DE LIANO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143939 November 22, 2001 - HEIRS OF ROSARIO POSADAS REALTY v. ROSENDO.BANTUG

  • G.R. No. 145475 November 22, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. EUSEBIO PUNSALAN

  • G.R. No. 145851 November 22, 2001 - ABELARDO B. LICAROS v. THE SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146683 November 22, 2001 - CIRILA ARCABA v. ERLINDA TABANCURA VDA. DE BATOCAEL, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1562 November 23, 2001 - CAVITE CRUSADE FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT v. JUDGE NOVATO CAJIGAL

  • G.R. No. 126334 November 23, 2001 - EMILIO EMNACE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128886 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS JULIANDA, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142044 November 23, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TOBECHUKWU NICHOLAS

  • G.R. No. 144309 November 23, 2001 - SOLID TRIANGLE SALES CORPORATION and ROBERT SITCHON v. THE SHERIFF OF RTC QC, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1662 November 26, 2001 - VICTOR TUZON v. LORETO CLORIBEL-PURUGGANAN

  • G.R. No. 138303 November 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ELROSWELL MANZANO

  • G.R. Nos. 100940-41 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. AGUSTIN LADAO y LORETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128285 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILS. v. ANTONIO PLANA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130409-10 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSUE B. DUMLAO

  • G.R. No. 130907 November 27, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. HON. CESAR A MANGROBANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130963 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIANO PASCUA

  • G.R. No. 133381 November 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMULO VILLAVER, ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 140858 November 27, 2001 - SPOUSES PAPA and LOLITA MANALILI v. SPOUSES ARSENIO and GLICERIA DE LEON

  • G.R. No. 142523 November 27, 2001 - MARIANO L. GUMABON, ET AL. v. AQUILINO T. LARIN

  • G.R. No. 144464 November 27, 2001 - GILDA G. CRUZ and ZENAIDA C. PAITIM v. THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION

  • A.M. No. 00-8-05-SC November 28, 2001 - RE: PROBLEM OF DELAYS IN CASES BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 128516 November 28, 2001 - DULOS REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1485 November 29, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. MARIE YVETTE GO, ET AL

  • A.M. No. P-01-1522 November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1665 November 29, 2001 - ROSAURO M. MIRANDA v. JUDGE CESAR A MANGROBANG

  • G.R. No. 119707 November 29, 2001 - VERONICA PADILLO v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 121703 November 29, 2001 - NATIVIDAD T. TANGALIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126524 November 29, 2001 - BPI INVESTMENT CORP. v. D.G. CARREON COMMERCIAL CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129282 November 29, 2001 - DMPI EMPLOYEES CREDIT COOPERATIVE v. ALEJANDRO M. VELEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129609 & 135537 November 29, 2001 - RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 130326 & 137868 November 29, 2001 - COMPANIA GENERAL DE TABACOS DE FILIPINAS AND MANILA TOBACCO TRADING v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. 132066-67 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BALAS MEDIOS

  • G.R. No. 132133 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILLIAM ALPE y CUATRO

  • G.R. No. 136848 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO T. RAMIREZ

  • G.R. No. 137815 November 29, 2001 - JUANITA T. SERING v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138489 November 29, 2001 - ELEANOR DELA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 139470 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SPO2 ANTONIO B. BENOZA

  • G.R. No. 140386 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY ACOSTA

  • G.R. No. 141386 November 29, 2001 - COMMISSION ON AUDIT OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU v. PROVINCE OF CEBU

  • G.R. Nos. 141702-03 November 29, 2001 - CATHAY PACIFIC AIRWAYS v. NLRC and MARTHA Z. SINGSON

  • G.R. No. 142606 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. NESTOR MUNTA

  • G.R. No. 143127 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL RUBARES Y CAROLINO

  • G.R. No. 143703 November 29, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. JOSE V. MUSA

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    A.M. No. P-01-1522   November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [A.M. No. P-01-1522. November 29, 2001.]

    [Formerly A.M. OCA-IPI No. 98-415-P]

    JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, Branch 131, Complainant, v. ROMEO P. ARUELO, Clerk III, RTC, Branch 122, Caloocan City, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: p:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    In a Letter-Complaint dated February 13, 1998, 1 Judge Antonio J. Fineza, Presiding Judge of Branch 131 of the Regional Trial Court of Caloocan City, charged respondent Romeo P. Aruelo, Clerk III, Branch 122 of the same court with Gross Misconduct and Obstruction of Justice relative to Criminal Cases Nos. C-52541 and C-52542 pending before his sala.

    It appears that on October 21, 1997, Juanito Faustino, the accused in the above-mentioned criminal cases, failed to appear at his arraignment, for which reason Judge Fineza issued a warrant for his arrest. Subsequently, Faustino filed a "Voluntary Surrender with Urgent Motion for Reconsideration" wherein he declared that respondent Romeo P. Aruelo and one Bayani Viola advised him not to attend the hearing scheduled on October 21, 1997 since the case against him had already been dismissed. In exchange for this, Aruelo and Viola took money from him in the amount of P30,000.00.

    Owing to the seriousness of the charge against respondent, complainant Judge issued an Order dated January 28, 1998 2 requiring respondent to explain why he should not be charged criminally and administratively for estafa and/or obstruction of justice.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    By way of compliance, 3 respondent submitted an Affidavit 4 denying the charges hurled against him by Juanito Faustino and attached thereto the Sinumpaang Salaysay of Bayani Viola 5 to support his allegations.

    Respondent alleged that he did not meet Juanito Faustino prior to the scheduled arraignment of the latter on October 21, 1997. Neither did he receive a single centavo from him for the purported purpose of having said cases dismissed. Respondent claimed that the first time he met accused Juanito Faustino was when the latter and Bayani Viola, who is an old acquaintance, came to him asking for assistance in the preparation of a motion to lift or set aside the warrant of arrest issued against said accused.

    Respondent was told that the warrant of arrest was issued after the accused failed to attend the arraignment on October 21, 1997 due to the latter’s alleged sickness at the time. They left with him the Medical Certificate of Faustino. When respondent consulted a lawyer, the latter told him that the Medical Certificate of Juanito Faustino appeared to be spurious. The lawyer further advised him to tell Faustino to get another Medical Certificate that was genuine and authentic. So when he met Juanito Faustino and Bayani Viola again, he told them about his friend’s advice and they promised to secure another Medical Certificate. They never did and that was the last time he saw Juanito Faustino.

    On April 29, 1998, respondent filed a verified answer 6 with the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) reiterating his averments in the Affidavit he submitted in compliance with complainant Judge’s order of January 28, 1998.

    Acting on a recommendation of the OCA dated April 14, 2000, 7 the Court thereafter issued a Resolution dated June 28, 2000 initially referring the case to Executive Judge Bayani Rivera for investigation. 8 However, in a letter 9 submitted to the OCA dated August 9, 2000, Judge Rivera requested that he be replaced with another investigator on the ground that herein complainant has filed administrative complaints against him which are pending with the Court of Appeals.

    Thus, in a Resolution dated August 30, 2000, 10 the Court referred the case to Vice Executive Judge Myrna Dimaranan-Vidal, RTC Branch 127, Caloocan City, for investigation, report and recommendation.

    During the initial hearing of the case on October 10, 2000, both parties agreed to a continuance because of the absence of complainant’s lone and material witness in the person of Juanito Faustino, who was not notified of the hearing on that date.

    At the next scheduled hearing on October 27, 2000, Juanito Faustino failed to appear. The Sheriff’s Report 11 revealed that the subpoena addressed to him was returned unserved with the information that he was no longer residing at the address indicated therein. 12

    Out of impatience and pique at the slow pace in which the case was proceeding, complainant Judge withdrew his complaint, stating on record that he was "already demoralized and [had] lost faith in the system," considering that it took the Court two (2) years and eight (8) months to give due course to his complaint. In addition, complainant chided the Court, saying that as a Judge he had no cases pending decision and that he saw to it that cases submitted for decision are resolved within the reglementary period provided by law. 13

    Considering the manifestation of complainant Judge, the investigator issued an Order dated October 27, 2000 14 recommending the dismissal of the administrative case against respondent Aruelo.

    Despite the foregoing, the investigating Judge nonetheless submitted a Report dated November 8, 2000, 15 which reiterated the dismissal of the administrative complaint against respondent Aruelo but further recommended that he be reprimanded and sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely. She noted that respondent’s uncalled for and manifest undue interest in the outcome of a pending incident in cases before Branch 131 was highly improper and constituted grave misconduct.

    The Court, through the OCA, received the report and records of the case from the Investigating Judge on November 10, 2000. 16 Upon receipt thereof, 17 the Court then issued a Resolution dated December 4, 2000 18 noting the report and referred the case to the OCA for evaluation report and recommendation.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On May 9, 2001, the OCA submitted its report and recommendation. The OCA differed with the findings of the investigating Judge that respondent be merely reprimanded. Instead, it recommended that he be fined Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000 00) and sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely.

    Meanwhile, complainant Judge filed on August 9, 2001 a Manifestation reiterating his desire to withdraw the complaint, stating, inter alia," [T]hat the reason for the inability of the undersigned to locate his witnesses is because he filed this case as early as February 23, 1998 and yet it was only on October 10, 2000 that undersigned was called upon to substantiate his case."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Giving vent to his irritation at what he perceived was the foot-dragging of the OCA and this Court on his case, he peevishly declared in the hearing of October 27, 2000 as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Court

    Per Sheriff’s return the subpoena was not personally served to the witness but the same was left to one Ligaya Santiago, the sister of the witness, and per information gathered by the Sheriff, the subject person is already staying somewhere in Camarin, Caloocan City.

    Now, what is your pleasure?

    Judge Fineza

    Well, in view of the Sheriff’s return that the principal witness is no longer staying at his given address I think . . . this representation cannot pursue this matter therefore move for the dismissal of this administrative matter because the Supreme Court and the OCA did not take prompt action on this matter. It took for (sic) two years and eight months without favorably giving due course to this administrative case which was filed by this representation against the respondent I am downgraded (sic) not to say I am saddened by the inaction of the Supreme Court so I am withdrawing my complaint. But this time I am reiterating my motion to withdraw this case considering that I cannot pursue this case without my witness’ testimony. And it’s up to the Supreme Court to take action, as I am emphasizing, stressing and capitalizing that justice delayed is justice denied.

    Court

    Is that on record?

    Judge Fineza

    Yes, Your Honor and I am already demoralized and lost faith in the system. And I would like to put on record that as of now this representation has no case pending for decision. 19

    Rule 2.01, Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that "A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary." 20 Moreover, a judicial office circumscribes the personal conduct of a judge and imposes a number of restrictions thereon which he has to pay for accepting and occupying an exalted position in the administration of justice. 21 The irresponsible or improper conduct of a judge erodes public confidence in the judiciary. 22 It is thus the duty of the members of the bench to avoid any impression of impropriety to protect the image and integrity of the judiciary. 23

    Toward this end, a judge is charged with exercising proper care and restraint in his speech. His language, both written and spoken, must be guarded and measured lest the best of intentions be misconstrued. 24 In the case at bar, the unflattering remarks uttered by complainant Judge against this Court tainted the image of the Judiciary, of which he himself is a member. In fact, to blatantly declare in open court his demoralization and loss of faith in the very system to which he owes fealty is judicial apostasy, bordering on legal hereticism towards an institution of which his sworn obligation is to keep at all times unsullied and worthy of the people’s trust.25cralaw:red

    At the risk of sounding trite, a judge should conduct himself at all times in a manner which would reasonably merit the respect and confidence of the people for he is the visible representation of the law. 26 From the standpoint of the conduct and demeanor expected of a judge, complainant should have avoided making derogatory statements which placed not only the Court but the entire Judiciary in a bad light much more so considering that, as clearly borne out by the records, the Court, in fact, acted with dispatch on the incidents of the case submitted to it for resolution. In short, the Court could hardly be faulted with judicial indolence, given the prevailing facts of this case. Suffice it to state in this regard that the complaining judge’s choice of words, aside from being baseless, only underscores a deplorable deficiency of judicial decorum on his part which requires that a magistrate of the law must at all times be temperate in his language. 27

    Even if complainant were of the opinion that time was of the essence in the pursuit of the administrative case, he nonetheless should have the patience and circumspection to give the Court enough leeway to attend to his cause, considering that its time and resources are not merely limited to addressing adjudicative functions but other administrative and fiscal concerns as well. A display of petulance and impatience in the conduct of a trial is a norm of behavior incompatible with the needful attitude and sobriety of a good judge. 28

    Indeed, the brazenness of complainant’s remonstrations and his insolence in even going on record that the Court has been sleeping on its job in acting upon his case not only underscores his callous disregard of the myriad administrative and judicial travails the Court has to contend with as the Tribunal of Last Resort, among them, the chronic problem of an overflowing docket of which his case is but one additional aggravation. It also betrays his absolute lack of appreciation and disrespect for the efforts and measures undertaken by the Court to cope with these concerns. Needless to state, such presumptuousness is only too deserving of rebuke.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    In Gozun v. Liangco, 29 the Court reiterated the dictum that "It is the duty of the members of the bench to avoid any impression of impropriety to protect the image and integrity of the judiciary. 30 A judge who tarnishes the image of the judiciary or brings it to public contempt, dishonor or disrespect must be administratively dealt with and punished accordingly." 31

    With regard to complainant’s desire to withdraw the complaint

    . . . It should be remembered that a complaint for misconduct, malfeasance or misfeasance against a public officer or employee cannot simply be withdrawn anytime; such withdrawal would not result in the automatic dismissal of the case. The need to maintain the faith and confidence of the people in the government and its agencies and instrumentalities should not be made to depend on the whims and caprices of the complainants who are, in a real senses only witnesses therein. 32

    In short, this Court cannot be divested of its supervisory power to discipline errant members of the Judiciary as well as those employed therein 33 through the mere expedience of a complainant’s voluntary desistance in the pursuit of the administrative case.

    The Court agrees with the OCA that respondent Romeo P. Aruelo should be sanctioned but finds the recommended penalty too light, given the prevailing facts of the case. Although the investigation failed to prove the claim that respondent received money in exchange for the dismissal of the subject criminal cases, he, nonetheless, made a clear admission of his active involvement in a pending case before the court. The so-called "help" he allegedly extended to an acquaintance who is not even a party to the criminal cases is, in fact, more of an undue interference, which is way beyond his duties as a court employee. Although there is nothing inherently wrong in extending such assistance, still respondent should have been more circumspect in doing so considering the fact that as an employee of the Judiciary, he should avoid any impropriety or appearance thereof in the performance of his functions. As the Court stressed in Loyao, Jr. v. Armecin: 34

    The conduct and behavior of every person connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice, from the presiding judge to the lowest clerk, is circumscribed with a heavy burden of responsibility. His conduct, at all times, must not only be characterized by propriety and decorum but also, and above all else, be above suspicion. 35

    Only recently, no less than an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals was meted the supreme penalty of dismissal for trying to intercede on behalf of a suspected drug queen. In that case, 36 an indignant Court minced no words in saying that "The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates a judge to ‘refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another court or administrative agency.’ 37 The slightest form of interference cannot be countenanced. Once a judge uses his influence to derail or interfere in the regular course of a legal or judicial proceeding for the benefit of one or any of the parties therein, public confidence in the judicial system is diminished, if not totally eroded."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Even more recently, the Court did not shirk in its responsibility of weeding the Judiciary of misfits when it dismissed one of its own senior lawyers who had twenty-eight (28) years of service behind him for demanding money from a party litigant to influence the outcome of the latter’s case pending before it. 38 In dismissing the erring lawyer from the service, the Court emphasized that" [t]he conduct or behavior of all officials and employees of an agency involved in the administration of justice, from the presiding judge to most junior clerk, should be circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. 39 Their conduct must at all times be characterized by, among others, strict propriety and decorum in order to earn and maintain the respect of the public for the judiciary." 40 The Court further pointed out that the nature and responsibilities of public officers are not mere rhetorical words to be taken lightly as idealistic sentiments but as working standards and attainable goals that should be matched with actual deeds. 41

    All too often, this Court has declared that any act which falls short of the exacting standards for public office, especially on the part of those expected to preserve the image of the judiciary, shall not be countenanced. 42 To reiterate, public office is a public trust. Public officers must all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost degree of responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency. 43 Needless to state, respondent in his ill-advised alacrity to please a party-litigant out of a misplaced sense of trying to be of service, ran afoul of such standards.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing: 1.] respondent Romeo P. Aruelo, Clerk III, RTC Branch 122, Caloocan City is hereby REPRIMAND and FINED in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00); 2.] complainant Judge is likewise ENJOINED to be more circumspect in his language and to SHOW CASE why he should not be administratively sanctioned for speaking against the Court and the Judiciary in general which tends to put it in a bad light.

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Puno, Kapunan and Pardo., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 1-2.

    2. Ibid., p. 6.

    3. Id., p. 7.

    4. Id., pp- 8-9

    5 Id., p. 10.

    6. Id., pp. 12-13.

    7. Id., pp. 1 5-16.

    8 Id., pp. 18-20.

    9. Id., p.21.

    10. Id., p.22.

    11. Id., p.38.

    12. Id.

    13. TSN, 27 October 2000, pp. 3-4.

    14. Id., p. 40.

    15 Id., pp. 44-47.

    16. Rollo p. 57.

    17. Id.

    18. Ibid, p. 58.

    19. TSN, 27 October 2000, pp. 3-4; Emphasis supplied.

    20. See Contreras v. Solis, 260 SCRA 572, 581 [1996] .

    21. Apiag v. Cantero 268 SCRA 47 [1997].

    22. Panganiban v. Guerrero, Jr., 242 SCRA 11[19951].

    23. Calilung v. Suriaga, 339 SCRA 340, 361-362 [2001]; Galang v. Santos, 307 SCRA 582 [1999], citing Nazareno v. Almario 268 SCRA 657 [1997] .

    24. Dacera Jr. v. Dizon, Jr., 337 SCRA 144, 149 [2000], citing De Vera v. Dames, III, 310 SCRA 213 [1999], citing People v. Serrano, 203 SCRA 171 [1991], citing Fecundo v. Berjamen, 180 SCRA 235 [1989].

    25. Garcia v. Dela Peña, 229 SCRA 766 [1994] .

    26. Chan v. Agcaoili; 233 SCRA 331 [1994].

    27. Turqueza v. Hernando, 97 SCRA 483 [1980].

    28. Torres v. Villanueva, 331 SCRA 496, 502 12000], citing Santiago v. Santos, 63 SCRA 392 [1975].

    29. 339 SCRA 253,261 [2000].

    30. Galang v. Santos, supra; Dumo v. Perez, 322 SCRA 545 [2000]; NBI v. Reyes, 326 SCRA 109 [2000]; Nabhan v. Calderon, 324 SCRA 709 [2000].

    31. Yu-Asensi V. Villanueva, 322 SCRA 255 [2000].

    32. Mosquera v. Lepaspi, 335 SCRA 326, 330 [2000], citing Florendo v. Enrile, 239 SCRA 22 [1999].

    33. OCA v. Garong, A.M. No. P-99-1311, 15 August 2001, citing Angulan v. Taguba, 93 SCRA 179 [1979]; People v. Valenzuela, 135 SCRA 712 [1985]; Leynes v. Veloso, 82 SCRA 325 [1978]; Arbon v. Borja 143 SCRA 634 [1986]; Ramirez v. Macandong, 144 SCRA 462 [1986]; Advincula v. Malicudio, 100 SCRA 39 [1980]; Valentin v. Gonzales, 115 SCRA 824 [1982].

    34. 337 SCRA 47, 51-52 [2000].

    35. Araza v. Garcia, 325 SCRA 1 [2000], citing Banogon v. Arias, 274 SCRA 17 [1997] .

    36. In Re: Derogatory News Items Charging Associate Justice Demetrio Demetria with Interference on Behalf of a Suspected Drug Queen, A.M. No. 00-7-09-CA, 27 March 2001.

    37. Rule 2.04, Code of Judicial Conduct.

    38. Doroteo Igoy v. Atty. Gilbert Soriano, A.M. No. 2001-9-SC, 11 October 2001.

    39. Biag v. Gutabanga, 318 SCRA 753, 759 [1999]; Gacho v. Fuentes, 291 SCRA 474, 480 [1998]; OCA v. Alvarez, 287, SCRA 325, 330 [1998]

    40. Judge Caguioa v. Flora, A.M. No. P-01-1480, 28 June 2001, citing Alawi v. Alauya, 268 SCRA 628, 637 [1997]; Quiroz v. Orfila, 272 SCRA 324, 329-330 [1997]; Re: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in RTC, Br. 82, Odiongan, Romblon, 292 SCRA 1 [1998].

    41. RTC Makati Movement Against Graft and Corruption v. Dumlao, 247 SCRA 108 [1995]

    42. Re: Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL) of Antonio Macalintal, Process Server, Office of the Clerk of Court, A.M. No. 99-11-06-SC, 15 February 2000.

    43. Ibid., citing Rangel-Rogue v. Rivota, 302 SCRA 502 [1999], citing Gano v. Leonon, supra.

    A.M. No. P-01-1522   November 29, 2001 - JUDGE ANTONIO J. FINEZA v. ROMEO P. ARUELO


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