ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™  
Main Index Law Library Philippine Laws, Statutes & Codes Latest Legal Updates Philippine Legal Resources Significant Philippine Legal Resources Worldwide Legal Resources Philippine Supreme Court Decisions United States Jurisprudence
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)
 

 
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library
 









 

 
UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630   April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630. April 9, 2003.]

    HEINZ R. HECK, Complainant, v. JUDGE ANTHONY E. SANTOS, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    CARPIO MORALES, J.:


    By a verified complaint 1 dated March 9, 2001, Heinz R. Heck (complainant) prays that disbarment and other disciplinary sanctions be meted against respondent Judge Anthony E. Santos (respondent).chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The facts which spawned the filing of the complaint are not disputed.

    In Civil Case No. 94-334, "Vinas Kuranstalten Gesmbh, Bearthold Rindlefleisch and Candido Flor v. Lugait Aqua Marine Industries and Heinz R. Heck," lodged at the Regional Trial Court, Branch 19, Cagayan de Oro City, the therein defendants of which complainant was one filed a June 21, 1994 Motion to Dismiss the case on the ground that the trial court has no jurisdiction over the case, the dispute being an intra-corporate matter which was at the time within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The motion was denied by Respondent. 2

    Counsel for the therein defendants, Atty. Samuel Jardin, subsequently filed a motion to withdraw as counsel which was, by Order of April 1, 1996, granted by respondent who reset the hearing of even date to June 10 and 11, 1996. 3 On the scheduled hearing of the case on June 10, 1996, as the defendants never received a copy of the April 1, 1996 Order, neither they nor their counsel showed up. What transpired on June 10, 1996 is reflected in the Order 4 of even date issued by respondent:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    When this case was called for continuation of trial today, only Atty. Manuel Singson [counsel for the plaintiff] appeared. Defendants and counsel did not, despite due notice.

    All the exhibits presented and reserved by the plaintiffs are now admitted by the Court for the purposes for which they are offered.

    As prayed for by Atty. Manuel Singson, defendants LAMI and Heinz R. Heck are considered as having waived their right to present their evidence.

    The case is submitted for decision.

    Atty. Manuel Singson is hereby authorized to draft the decision.

    SO ORDERED.

    x       x       x


    The defendants did not also receive a copy of the above-quoted June 10, 1996 Order.

    By Compliance 5 dated August 14, 1996, Atty. Singson submitted a draft decision 6 for respondent’s approval.

    On October 2, 1996, respondent rendered a decision which was copied verbatim from the draft decision submitted by Atty. Singson. 7

    Hence, arose the present administrative complaint against respondent 1.) for violating Section 1, Rule 36 of the Revised Rules of Court which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 1. Rendition of judgments and final orders. — A judgment or final order determining the merits of the case shall be in writing, personally and directly prepared by the judge, stating clearly the facts and the law on which it is based, signed by him, and filed with the clerk of court. (Italics in the original; emphasis and Italics supplied);

    2.) for violating the Code of Judicial Ethics, respondent having in the course of the hearing of the case stepped down the rostrum and mingled with Atty. Singson; 8 3.) for gross ignorance of the law, incompetence and violation of the 1987 Constitution when in his decision, he granted to the plaintiffs Vinas Kuranstalten Gesmbh, an Austrian corporation, and Bearthold Rindlefleisch, an Austrian citizen, 40% pro-indiviso share in the parcels of land in Lugait, Misamis Oriental and directed the therein defendant-herein complainant to execute a real estate mortgage on the remaining portion of the parcel of land covered by TCT No. 272. 9

    By Comment 10 dated August 10, 2001, respondent gives his side of the case as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    After a careful and thorough study of the motion to dismiss, he was convinced that the RTC, not the SEC, has jurisdiction over the case, and finding that there were genuine issues raised therein, he deemed it best to conduct a trial on the merits rather than dismiss the complaint outright. 11

    With respect to complainant’s failure to receive the April 1, 1996 Order, respondent avers that he should not be faulted therefor, for the parties, during the hearing of January 29, 1996, jointly moved that the hearing of the defendants’ objection to the plaintiffs’ formal offer of exhibits and the presentation of the defendants’ evidence be set on April 1 and 2, 1996, despite which none of the parties appeared on April 1, 1996; instead, the trial court received a motion to withdraw as the defendants’ counsel filed by Atty. Jardin, prompting him (respondent) to issue the Order of April 1, 1996 resetting the hearing to June 10 and 11, 1996 and directing the defendants to engage the services of a new counsel. 12

    Respondent avers that since the two envelopes, each containing a copy of the April 1, 1996 Order, which were addressed to the defendants were returned to the court ("Return to Sender") "unclaimed," service of said order was deemed complete five days from receipt of the first notice issued by the postmaster. 13 Respondent adds that, at all events, it was incumbent upon the defendants to personally check what transpired on April 1, 1996.

    With respect to the June 10, 1996 Order, respondent apologizes for the "inadvertence and plain oversight" of the court personnel in still sending a copy thereof to Atty. Jardin, whom they thought was still the defendants’ counsel of record, 14 instead of to the defendants. He nevertheless points out that had defendants been vigilant, they would have known about the hearing scheduled on June 10, 1996 and made sure that they were represented by counsel thereat. Respondent concludes that the defendants’ negligence and seeming disinterest in pursuing their defense drew the plaintiffs to move that they be deemed to have waived their right to present evidence, leaving him no choice but to grant the same. 15

    On his order to the counsel for the plaintiffs to draft the decision, respondent explains that he did so on the premise that the defendants were considered to have waived their right to present evidence, thus leaving the plaintiffs’ evidence uncontroverted. To him, the order is consistent with his practice of promptly disposing of cases before him. 16

    As for his adoption verbatim of the draft decision prepared by the plaintiffs’ counsel, respondent submits that he did so after a very careful and thorough study of all the evidence presented, adding that had he been motivated by anything less than good faith, he would have refrained from ordering the plaintiffs’ counsel to draft the decision. 17

    As to the allegation that he stepped down the rostrum and mingled with the plaintiffs’ counsel, respondent brands it as a figment of complainant’s imagination and a desperate attempt to discredit him. 18

    Finally, on the charge of gross ignorance of the law, respondent denies the same and avers that assuming arguendo that he committed errors in his judgment, they could be corrected on appeal. 19

    In its Evaluation, Report and Recommendation, 20 the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) made the following findings with the corresponding recommendation:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    It is our observation that the filing of the instant complaint against the respondent judge for: (a) denying the motion to dismiss; (b) granting plaintiff Vinas Kuranstalten Gesmbh a 40% pro-indiviso shares of parcels of land in Lugait, Misamis Oriental and (d) [sic] directing the defendant (herein complainant) to execute a real estate mortgage on the rest of the portion of a parcel of land covered by TCT No. 272 (10272) of Misamis Oriental, will not help complainant’s cause. These are judicial issues and there are judicial remedies available to him. Assailing the wisdom of the issuance of such orders by the respondent judge is not proper in an administrative complaint. It is axiomatic that an administrative complaint is not the appropriate remedy for every act of a judge deemed aberrant or irregular where a judicial remedy exist (sic) and is available (Santos v. Orlino, 296 SCRA 101).

    Anent complainant’s non-receipt of orders dated April 1, 1996 and June 10, 1996 which were both issued by respondent Judge, the undersigned believes that Judge Santos was able to explain his point on the matter in his Answer/Comment. Likewise, the allegation that the respondent judge went down to the rostrum to chat with the plaintiffs will not hold water. This is only a bare allegation unsupported by convincing evidence to pin down the Respondent.

    x       x       x


    We however, do believe that respondent judge should not be totally exonerated. It is made of record that respondent judge issued an order allowing plaintiffs[’] counsel to draft the decision of the case (Civil Case No. 94-334). Finding the draft to be well-written, respondent adopted the same as his own by copying the handiwork in toto. This is highly irregular if not anomalous because the drafting, preparation and writing of a decision is the sole responsibility of a judge. It cannot be delegated to anyone. In Section 1, Rule 36 of the Rules of Court, it is clear that "A judgment or final order determining the merits of the case shall be in writing, personally and directly prepared by the judge," stating clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based, signed by him and filed with the Clerk of Court. Thus, there is no gainsaying now that respondent violated the aforequoted provision for which he should be administratively sanctioned.

    WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, it is respectfully recommended to this Honorable Court that respondent Judge Anthony E. Santos be FINED in the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) with a WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with more severely. (Emphasis and Italics supplied)

    This Court agrees with the findings of the OCA. Respondent’s order for the counsel of one of the parties to draft the decision and his adoption verbatim of the draft clearly violate the Code of Judicial Conduct, the pertinent canons of which read:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Canon 2

    A JUDGE SHOULD AVOID IMPROPRIETY AND THE APPEARANCE OF IMPROPRIETY IN ALL ACTIVITIES.

    x       x       x


    Canon 3

    A JUDGE SHOULD PERFORM OFFICIAL DUTIES HONESTLY, AND WITH IMPARTIALITY AND DILIGENCE ADJUDICATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES.

    x       x       x (Emphasis and Italics supplied),

    in relation to the above-quoted Section 1 of Rule 36 of the Revised Rules of Court. By such order, respondent abdicated a function exclusively granted to him by no less than the fundamental law of the land. It is axiomatic that decision-making, among other duties, is the primordial and most important duty of a member of the bench. 21 He must use his own perceptiveness in understanding and analyzing the evidence presented before him and his own discernment when determining the proper action, resolution or decision. Delegating to a counsel of one of the parties the preparation of a decision and parroting it verbatim reflect blatant judicial sloth.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Lack of malice or bad faith is not an excuse. It bears emphasis that a judge must not only render a just, correct and impartial decision. He should do so in such a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to his fairness, impartiality and integrity. 22

    As the questioned acts of respondent violate the Code of Judicial Conduct which violation falls under the classification of a serious charge 23 under Section 3 of Rule 140 24 of the Revised Rules of Court, this Court does not find the recommended fine of P5,000.00 commensurate thereto. For Section 10 of Rule 140 provides:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SECTION 10. Sanctions. — A. If the respondent is found culpable of a serious charge, any of the following sanctions shall be imposed:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Dismissal from the service with forfeiture of benefits (except accrued leaves) and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office including a government-owned or controlled corporation;

    2. Suspension for three (3) months without salary and benefits; or

    3. A fine not less than P20,000.00 but not more than P40,000.00.

    x       x       x (Emphasis supplied)

    Respondent having retired on May 22, 2002, his dismissal or suspension is no longer feasible. This leaves this Court only the third option — to mete him a fine of P20,000.00, to be deducted from his retirement benefits.

    WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Anthony E. Santos is found GUILTY of violating Canons 2 and 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct in relation to Section 1 of Rule 36 of the Revised Rules of Court and is hereby ordered to pay a FINE of P20,000.00, to be deducted from his retirement benefits.

    With respect to complainant’s prayer for disbarment, let the complaint be referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for Investigation, Report and Recommendation.

    Let a copy of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Court Administrator, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and the Office of the Bar Confidant.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Corona, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo at 3–64.

    2. Id. at 29.

    3. Id. at 30.

    4. Id. at 31.

    5. Id. at 32.

    6. Id. at 36–46.

    7. Id. at 47–55.

    8. Id. at 8.

    9. Id. at 7, 11–12.

    10. Id. at 88–101.

    11. Id. at 91.

    12. Id. at 92–93.

    13. Id. at 93.

    14. Id. at 94.

    15. Ibid.

    16. Id. at 95.

    17. Id. at 95–96.

    18. Id. at 96–97.

    19. Id. at 97.

    20. Id. at 289–294.

    21. Re: Report on the judicial audit conducted on RTC Br-37, Lingayen, Pangasinan, 336 SCRA 344, 351 (2000).

    22. Agpalasin v. Agcaoili, 330 SCRA 268 (2000).

    23. Section 3. Serious Charges. — Serious charges include:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    1. Bribery, direct or indirect;

    2. Dishonesty and violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law;

    3. Violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct;

    x       x       x


    24. Now amended by Administrative Matter No. 01-8-10-SC which took effect October 1, 2001.

    A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630   April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS


    Back to Home | Back to Main

     

    QUICK SEARCH

    cralaw

       

    cralaw



     
      Copyright © ChanRobles Publishing Company Disclaimer | E-mail Restrictions
    ChanRobles™ Virtual Law Library | chanrobles.com™
     
    RED