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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
 

   
September-2001 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 137538 September 3, 2001 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN v. HON. FRANCISCO B. IBAY

  • A.M. No. MTJ-00-1249 September 4, 2001 - PHIL. GERIATRICS FOUNDATION, ET AL. v. LYDIA QUERUBIN LAYOSA

  • A.M. No. P-00-1373 September 4, 2001 - ELIZABETH A. TIONGCO v. ROGELIO S. MOLINA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1501 September 4, 2001 - JOSEPHINE D. SARMIENTO v. ALBERT S. SALAMAT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1502 September 4, 2001 - CRESENCIO N. BONGALOS v. JOSE R. MONUNGOLH and VICTORIA D. JAMITO

  • A.M. No. P-99-1357 September 4, 2001 - SHERWIN M. BALOLOY v. JOSE B. FLORES

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1651 September 4, 2001 - PROSECUTOR LEO C. TABAO v. JUDGE FRISCO T. LILAGAN

  • G.R. No. 125359 September 4, 2001 - ROBERTO S. BENEDICTO and HECTOR T. RIVERA v. THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 126859 September 4, 2001 - YOUSEF AL-GHOUL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127181 September 4, 2001 - LAND BANK OF THE PHIL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132709 September 4, 2001 - CAMILO L. SABIO, ET AL. v. INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE BANK, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134490 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOEL BRAGAT

  • G.R. Nos. 135356-58 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELECIO SAGARINO

  • G.R. No. 138923 September 4, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANITA AYOLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1344 September 5, 2001 - LYDIO ARCILLA, ET AL. v. LUCIO PALAYPAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128145 September 5, 2001 - J.C. LOPEZ & ASSOCIATES v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 133886 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. OSCAR PARBA

  • G.R. No. 134101 September 5, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELINO O. LLANITA

  • G.R. No. 136054 September 5, 2001 - SEVERINA SAN MIGUEL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132714 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LALINGJAMAN

  • G.R. Nos. 139064-66 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO ARCE

  • G.R. No. 140529 September 6, 2001 - JOSE P. LOPEZ v. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141400 September 6, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EVANGELINE GANENAS

  • Admin. Case. No. 4863 September 7, 2001 - URBAN BANK v. ATTY. MAGDALENO M. PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 114858-59 September 7, 2001 - COLUMBUS PHILIPPINES BUS CORPORATION v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 126352 September 7, 2001 - GSIS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127261 September 7, 2001 - VISAYAN SURETY & INSURANCE CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129644 September 7, 2001 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 131805 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO HERMOSA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132064 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ISAGANI BAYENG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132320 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CONRADO OJERIO

  • G.R. Nos. 135402-03 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IAN GONZAGA

  • G.R. No. 136779 September 7, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARNEL ASUNCION

  • G.R. No. 142065 September 7, 2001 - LENIDO LUMANOG v. HON. JAIME N. SALAZAR

  • G.R. No. 142875 September 7, 2001 - EDGAR AGUSTILO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144877 September 7, 2001 - DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHIL. v. VERONICA AGUIRRE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-01-1506 September 10, 2001 - GEORGE S. BICBIC v. DHALIA E. BORROMEO

  • G.R. Nos. 104769 & 135016 September 10, 2001 - AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118943 September 10, 2001 - MARIO HORNALES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130362 September 10, 2001 - INT’L FLAVORS & FRAGRANCES (PHIL.) v. MERLIN J. ARGOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138485 September 10, 2001 - DR. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 141970 September 10, 2001 - METROPOLITAN BANK v. FLORO T. ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 145588 September 10, 2001 - ESPERIDION LOPEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140398 September 11, 2001 - FRANCISCO DELA MERCED, ET AL. v. GSIS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121877 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL v. ERLINDA GONZALES

  • G.R. Nos. 138431-36 September 12, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIOSCORA M. ARABIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140903 September 12, 2001 - HENRY SY v. COMMISSION ON SETTLEMENT OF LAND PROBLEMS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 00-1-4-03-SC September 13, 2001 - RE: REQUEST FOR LIVE RADIO-TV COVERAGE OF THE TRIAL IN THE SANDIGANBAYAN OF THE PLUNDER CASES AGAINST FORMER PRESIDENT JOSEPH E. ESTRADA v. JOSEPH E. ESTRADA and INTEGRATED BAR OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • A.M. No. 00-4-188-RTC September 13, 2001 - REQUEST OF MR. OSCAR T. LLAMAS FOR RE-ASSIGNMENT OSCAR T. LLAMAS v. EMMANUEL LACANDOLA AND ET. AL.

  • G.R. No. 120009 September 13, 2001 - DOLE PHILIPPINES v. NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION

  • G.R. No. 122095 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. DOMINGO DAWISAN

  • G.R. No. 127913 September 13, 2001 - RCBC v. METRO CONTAINER CORP.

  • G.R. No. 132354 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DEOMEDES IGLESIA

  • G.R. Nos. 136840-42 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 137250-51 September 13, 2001 - PABLO MARGAREJO v. HON. ADELARDO ESCOSES

  • G.R. No. 138972-73 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUGENIO B. MARQUEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140512 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PETER PELERAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142043 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NELSON BITUON

  • G.R. No. 142430 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE QUINICIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142444 September 13, 2001 - OFELIA D. ARTUZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142649 September 13, 2001 - ANTONIO C. SAN LUIS v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 143702 September 13, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ZALDY MENDOZA

  • G.R. No. 129212 September 14, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARIO LACUESTA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-00-1575 September 17, 2001 - ISAGANI RIZON v. JUDGE OSCAR E. ZERNA

  • A.M. No. RTJ 99-1498 September 17, 2001 - VICENTE P. LIM v. JUDGE JACINTA B. TAMBAGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111584 September 17, 2001 - PRODUCERS BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES v. COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES SALVADOR Y. CHUA and EMILIA U. CHUA

  • G.R. No. 135644 September 17, 2001 - GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM v. SPOUSES GONZALO and MATILDE LABUNG-DEANG

  • G.R. No. 135912 September 17, 2001 - ODIN SECURITY AGENCY v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138219 September 17, 2001 - GERARDO V. TAMBAOAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138943-44 September 17, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HENRY ALMAZAN

  • G.R. No. 141209 September 17, 2001 - ANTONIA HUFANA, ET AL. v. WILLIAM ONG GENATO

  • A. C. No. 5043 September 19, 2001 - ABEDIN L. OSOP v. ATTY. V. EMMANUEL C. FONTANILLA

  • G.R. No. 135936 September 19, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GUALBERTO MIRADOR alias "GOLING"

  • G.R. No. 144400 September 19, 2001 - DOMINGO O. IGNACIO v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1369 September 20, 2001 - GUILLERMA D. CABAÑERO v. JUDGE ANTONIO K. CAÑON

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1371 September 20, 2001 - ATTY. NESCITO C. HILARIO v. JUDGE ROMEO A. QUILANTANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472 September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG

  • A.M. No. P-01-1483 September 20, 2001 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. ISABELO LAVADIA

  • G.R. No. 116938 September 20, 2001 - LEONILA GARCIA-RUEDA v. REMEDIOS A. AMOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127405 September 20, 2001 - MARJORIE TOCAO and WILLIAM T. BELO v. COURT OF APPEALS and NENITA A. ANAY

  • G.R. No. 130399 September 20, 2001 - PUBLIC UTILITIES DEPARTMENT v. HON. TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA

  • G.R. Nos. 135068-72 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAXIMO RAMOS

  • G.R. No. 137674 September 20, 2001 - WILLIAM GO KIM HUY v. SANTIAGO GO KIM HUY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139410 September 20, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SILVERIO AGUERO

  • G.R. No. 140898 September 20, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. JOSE ISHIKAWA AMBA

  • A.M. No. P-99-1289 September 21, 2001 - JUDGE NAPOLEON S. DIAMANTE v. ANTHONY A. ALAMBRA

  • G.R. Nos. 119609-10 September 21, 2001 - PCGG v. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (Third Division), ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128876 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO FELIZAR y CAPULI

  • G.R. No. 132384 September 21, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MARLON GADIA

  • G.R. No. 134596 September 21, 2001 - RAYMUND ARDONIO v. THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 142889 September 21, 2001 - EXECUTIVE LABOR ARBITER RICARDO N. OLAIREZ v. OMBUDSMAN ANIANO A. DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 145416 September 21, 2001 - GOLDEN HORIZON REALTY CORPORATION v. SY CHUAN

  • A.M. No. 99-6-79-MTC September 24, 2001 - REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT

  • A.M. No. P-01-1512 September 24, 2001 - TERESITA H. ZIPAGAN v. JOVENCIO N. TATTAO

  • G.R. Nos. 132442-44 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BERNARDINO ARANZADO

  • G.R. Nos. 135524-25 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. MANOLITO AGUSTIN

  • G.R. No. 141897 September 24, 2001 - METRO CONSTRUCTION v. CHATHAM PROPERTIES

  • G.R. No. 144404 September 24, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. LEODEGARIO BASCUGUIN Y AGQUIZ

  • G.R. Nos. 127759-60 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PO3 NOEL FELICIANO

  • G.R. Nos. 134527-28 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SERAPIO REY alias APIONG

  • G.R. Nos. 136867-68 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. RODRIGO GALVEZ y JEREZ

  • G.R. No. 137612 September 25, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FRANCISCO ANTINERO BERIARMENTE

  • A.C. No. 4497 September 26, 2001 - MR. and MRS. VENUSTIANO G. SABURNIDO v. ATTY. FLORANTE E. MADROÑO

  • A.C. No. 4990 September 26, 2001 - ELENA ZARATE-BUSTAMANTE and LEONORA SAVET CATABIAN v. ATTY. FLORENTINO G. LIBATIQUE

  • G.R. No. 122824 September 26, 2001 - AURORA F. IGNACIO v. VALERIANO BASILIO,

  • G.R. No. 123058 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFREDO NAPUD, JR.

  • G.R. No. 129107 September 26, 2001 - ALFONSO L. IRINGAN v. HON. COURT OF APPEALS , ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 129530-31 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. WILFREDO OLARTE

  • G.R. Nos. 138308-10 September 26, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. PABLO SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 142564 September 26, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. HILGEM NERIO y GIGANTO

  • G.R. Nos. 143108-09 September 26, 2001 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • Adm. Case. No. 5505 September 27, 2001 - SEVERINO RAMOS v. ATTY. ELLIS JACOBA and ATTY. OLIVIA VELASCO JACOBA

  • G.R. No. 131864-65 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. SHERJOHN ARONDAIN and JOSE PRECIOSO

  • G.R. Nos. 134963-64 September 27, 2001 - ALFREDO LONG and FELIX ALMERIA v. LYDIA BASA

  • G.R. No. 137676 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ATTY. ROBERTO DIONISIO

  • G.R. No. 144035 September 27, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICENTE M. BASQUEZ

  • A.M. No. P-00-1391 September 28, 2001 - LIBRADA D. TORRES v. NELSON C. CABESUELA

  • G.R. No. 122425 September 28, 2001 - FLORDELIZA H. CABUHAT v. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 124535 September 28, 2001 - THE RURAL BANK OF LIPA CITY, ET AL. v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125154 September 28, 2001 - DIGNA VERGEL v. COURT OF APPEALS and DOROTEA-TAMISIN GONZALES

  • G.R. No. 125442 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FERNANDO ARELLANO y ROBLES

  • G.R. No. 127232 September 28, 2001 - GOLDENROD v. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and PATHFINDER HOLDINGS (PHILIPPINES)

  • G.R. No. 127241 September 28, 2001 - LA CONSOLACION COLLEGE, ET AL. v. NLRC , ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 134128 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. GERARDO DE LAS ERAS y ZAFRA

  • G.R. No. 134928 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. FILOMENO BARNUEVO. ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 140789-92 September 28, 2001 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. ALIPIO CARBONELL and DIONISIO CARBONELL

  • G.R. No. 145371 September 28, 2001 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES v. BEN AQUINO and ROMEO AQUINO

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    A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472   September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472. September 20, 2001.]

    SPOUSES HERMINIO and MILA DIZON and SPOUSES NOEL and LILIA ZAMORA, Complainants, v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Santiago City, Branch 35, Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    QUISUMBING, J.:


    In a sworn complaint dated July 27, 1998, complainants Mila Dizon and Lilia Zamora charged Judge Demetrio D. Calimag of the Regional Trial Court of Santiago City, Branch 35 with grave misconduct and/or gross ignorance of the law relative to Criminal Cases Nos. 2565-66, both for illegal possession of firearms, as well as Criminal Case No. 2581 for grave threats.

    Complainants allege that they are the respective wives of Herminio Dizon and Noel Zamora. They aver that on May 15, 1998, an information for violation of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294, docketed as Criminal Case No. 2565, was filed against Noel "Boyet" Zamora. On the same date, Herminio "Hermie" Dizon was charged with the same offense in Criminal Case No. 2566. Both accused were committed to the Isabela Provincial Jail in Ilagan, Isabela.cralaw : red

    On May 27, 1998, another information, docketed as Criminal Case No. 2581, was filed against Herminio and Noel, indicting them for grave threats.

    All three cases were raffled off to the RTC of Santiago City, Branch 35. Respondent judge then issued a warrant of arrest in Criminal Case No. 2581 and ruled the offense unbailable.

    Herminio and Noel filed a petition for bail in all three cases. Their petition was heard on June 9, 1998 and was denied by respondent judge in his order dated June 25, 1998. 1

    Both accused filed a motion to quash the informations in Criminal Cases Nos. 2565-66 on the ground that the RTC did not have jurisdiction over the offense charged. They likewise moved for reconsideration of the order denying them bail.

    On July 24, 1998, respondent judge denied all the foregoing motions. 2

    On August 18, 1998, complainants filed a petition for habeas corpus, docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 48673, with the Court of Appeals.

    On August 26, 1998, the appellate court granted the petition, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED, and the accused Noel "Boyet" Zamora and Herminio "Hermie" Dizon y Pascual, Accused in Crim. Case No. 2581, are ordered RELEASED from custody upon their posting a bail bond in the amount of P40,000.00 each.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Crim. Cases No. 2565 and No. 2566 are DISMISSED, without prejudice to their being filed with the proper Municipal Trial Court.

    SO ORDERED. 3

    Complainants now contend that the denial by respondent judge of their motion to quash and petition for bail are not only illegal, whimsical, and arbitrary but constitute gross misconduct and gross ignorance of the law since the RTC has no jurisdiction over the offenses charged in Criminal Cases Nos. 35-2565 to 66. Moreover, all three criminal cases are bailable.

    In his comment of March 15, 1999, respondent judge argues that the administrative charges were only filed by disgruntled litigants to harass and intimidate him. He points out that prior to the filing of this complaint, complainants also filed a complaint against him for arbitrary detention with the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office in Ilagan, Isabela and with the Office of the Ombudsman. Both were dismissed.

    Respondent submits that complainants’ allegation that he dilly-dallied in resolving the motion to quash the information and the petition for bail is baseless as both incidents were decided within the mandatory 30-day period. Nor was the denial of the motion to quash and petition for bail made for some ulterior motive or some other consideration as complainants allege. Respondent judge contends that his ruling on said incidents was made on legal grounds and points out that in all three cases, the prosecutor had recommended no bail for the accused. Moreover, as a judicial officer, he had to exercise his sound discretion based on the evidence presented and the applicable laws. Thus, even assuming, for the sake of argument that he committed an error in resolving the said incidents, it was done in good faith.

    In its evaluation and recommendation report dated July 7, 1999, 4 the Office of the Court Administrator found that the challenged orders of respondent judge were void ab initio for having been issued without jurisdiction. Respondent likewise exhibited lack of legal knowledge, particularly in the application of the Indeterminate Sentence Law and the duration and graduation of penalties. The OCA recommends that respondent be fined P2,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law.

    The record shows that respondent judge acknowledged that illegal possession of firearms is punishable by prision correccional maximum 5 and a fine of not less than P35,000.00, hence, making the offense bailable. However, he cited the charge for grave threats as a deterrent to the admission of the accused to bail, thus:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . Grave Threat under Article 282 of the Revised Penal Code provides that: "any person who shall threaten another with the infliction upon the person, honor or property of the latter or his family of any wrong amounting to a crime, shall suffer:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. The penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the crime he threatened to commit, if the offender shall have made the threat demanding money or imposing any other condition, even though not unlawful, and said offender shall not have attained his purpose, the penalty lower by two degrees shall be imposed. If the threat be made in writing or through a middleman the penalty shall be imposed in its maximum period.

    2. The penalty of arresto mayor and a fine (not) exceeding 500 pesos, if the threat shall not have been made subject to the condition.

    Clearly the threat made by the accused is Murder punishable under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by R.A. No. 7689, 6 because the use of fire or explosive which is the means of killing the victim is punishable by reclusion perpetua, then such would be (the) applicable penalty to be imposed in Grave Threat.

    The proviso "that no other crime was committed’’ is a condition which will increase the penalty (for) violation of P.D. 1866 and is considered as an aggravating circumstance. If the penalty increase(s), automatically the bail also increases. Since the crime of Grave Threat which was committed prior to the commission of P.D. 1866 (sic), punishable by reclusion perpetua, a non-bailable offense it carries also (sic) that these two (2) cases are non-bailable too. 7

    We note with approval the finding of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R. SP No. 48673 that such "ratiocination betrays a lack of understanding of the rule on graduation of penalties and a misapprehension of the facts alleged in the three indictments. 8

    A reading of the indictment in Criminal Case No. 2581 clearly shows that the crime, which the accused allegedly threatened to commit was the killing "by means of fire and explosion the said James Pua Ku and his family." Respondent correctly ruled that the threat made was murder. However, the law which respondent judge relied upon clearly provides that the penalty to be imposed is the "penalty next lower in degree than that prescribed by law for the crime he threatened to commit." Since under R.A. No. 7659, the penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to death, the imposable penalty for the grave threat in Criminal Case No. 2581 should be reclusion temporal, the penalty next lower in degree. Therefore, the offense charged is bailable. To say that threat to commit murder is punishable by reclusion perpetua would mean that the imposable penalty has not been lowered a degree. This is contrary to the clear provisions of the Revised Penal Code.

    Respondent Judge further compounded his error when he concluded that since the crime of grave threats is non-bailable, it follows that there can also be no bail for the charges of illegal possession of firearms. It should also be noted that the three cases are separate and distinct from each other. More significantly, the argument that since the offense of grave threats is non-bailable, ergo the illegal possession of firearms is also non-bailable cannot be made to apply to cases involving violations of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294.

    Moreover, respondent should have been alerted and cautioned by the motion to quash the informations for want of jurisdiction filed by accused in Criminal Cases Nos. 2565-66. He would have known then that the RTC had no jurisdiction over Criminal Cases Nos. 2565-66 since the imposable penalty for violation of P.D. No. 1866, as amended by R.A. No. 8294, is only prision correccional in its maximum period or from four (4) years, two (2) months, and one (1) day to six (6) years and a fine of P15,000.00. Under Section 32 (2) of B.P. Blg. 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691, it is the Municipal Trial Court which exercises "exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years irrespective of the amount of the fine and regardless of other imposable accessory or other penalties." Respondent judge should have dismissed the cases for want of jurisdiction, without prejudice to their being filed with the proper MTC. The question of jurisdiction is so basic and elementary that a judge’s ignorance of it is simply inexcusable. 9

    All the foregoing clearly and categorically shows gross ignorance of the law on the part of respondent judge. As a trial judge, respondent is the visible representation of law and justice. Under Canon 1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, he is expected to be "the embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence." Judges are expected to keep abreast of developments in law and jurisprudence. Respondent is thereby expected to have more than a cursory knowledge of the law on graduation of penalties, the rules on bail, and the law governing the jurisdiction of his court. Judicial competence requires no less. His failure to observe the aforementioned basic laws and rules is not only inexcusable, but renders him susceptible to administrative sanction for gross ignorance of the law and incompetence. Failure to follow basic legal commands embodied in the law and the rules constitutes gross ignorance of the law from which no one may be excused, not even a judge. 10

    As earlier noted, the OCA recommended that respondent be fined P2,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar act will be dealt with more severely. We find the recommendation appropriate.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    WHEREFORE, premises considered, respondent Judge Demetrio D. Calimag, Regional Trial Court of Santiago City, Branch 35 is hereby found liable for gross ignorance of the law, and is hereby ORDERED to pay a FINE of TWO THOUSAND PESOS (P2,000.00) and STERNLY WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely. Let a copy of this Resolution be attached to the record of Judge Demetrio D. Calimag.

    SO ORDERED.

    Bellosillo, Mendoza, Buena, and De Leon, Jr., JJ., ,concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 9-13.

    2. Id., at 22-24.

    3. Id., at 50.

    4 Id., at 59-65.

    5. REV. PEN. CODE. art. 27 provides: "The duration of the penalties of prison correccional, suspension, and destierro shall be from six months and one day to six years, except when suspension is imposed as an accessory penalty, in which case, its duration shall be that of the principal penalty.

    6. Should be R.A. No. 7659.

    7. Rollo, pp. 34-35.

    8. Id., at 48

    9. Dumo v. Perez, 322 SCRA 545, 557 (2000).

    10. De Austria v. Beltran, 313 SCRA 443, 452 (1999), Citing Ualat v. Ramos, 265 SCRA 345, 458 (1996).

    A.M. No. RTJ-99-1472   September 20, 2001 - SPOUSES HERMINIO, ET Al. v. HON. DEMETRIO D. CALIMAG


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