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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
 

   
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.

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

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770. April 24, 2003.]

    (OCA IPI No. 01-1160-RTJ)

    MELISSA E. MAÑO, Complainant, v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    MELISSA E. MAÑO, in an Affidavit filed on 7 February 2001, charged respondent Caesar A. Casanova, Presiding Judge, RTC-Br. 80, Malolos, Bulacan, with grave abuse of authority for forcing her to resign, and for gross misconduct in office for writing a decision in behalf of another judge acquitting an accused for a consideration.cralawred

    Complainant Melissa E. Maño was a court stenographer of respondent judge from May 1995 up to the time she was allegedly forced to resign from office in July 1999.

    In her Affidavit 1 complainant alleged that her misery began when respondent Judge suspected her of leaking vital informations regarding an irregularity in the issuance of an injunction order without paying the requisite injunction bond in UBVAS v. Veronica Gonzales, docketed as Civil Case No. 61-M-98. From then on, according to her, she became the object of respondent’s ire and often singled out for harassment.

    Complainant further alleged that sometime in 1996 respondent called her and another stenographer to his chambers to show them a draft decision he supposedly wrote for Judge Candido R. Belmonte of Br. 22 of the same court. Sometime thereafter, the accused Santiago Calderon who was acquitted in that decision went to their office and gave respondent Judge a cassette recorder, and that, in fact, respondent even ordered her to place it under her table for safekeeping. However, the cassette recorder was destroyed towards the end of 1996 when the office was gutted by fire.

    It must be recalled that in March 1999 complainant took the cassette recorder of her co-employee Corazon "Twinkle" Pineda without the latter’s permission. When confronted by Pineda about the missing cassette recorder, complainant admitted having brought it home but forgot to bring it back because she was in a hurry. Although she promised to return it the following morning she failed to do so. Later, complainant wrote two (2) letters of apology to Pineda admitting that she lied about the cassette recorder and that she would just pay for its loss. As she promised, complainant gave Pineda P1,200.00 as payment for the cassette recorder.

    Complainant also narrated that in April 1999 she filed an application for emergency maternity leave due to "spotting." While complainant was on maternity leave respondent Judge sent over one of his staff to force her to sign a prepared resignation letter using the loss of the cassette recorder to coerce her into resigning or be charged with qualified theft. She refused to sign the document.

    Upon her return to work in June 1999 she was immediately called by respondent to his chambers to once again ask her to resign. Failing in that regard, respondent forced her to go to the house of her father-in-law hoping that the latter could exert enough moral pressure to persuade her to resign.

    In July 1999 complainant finally tendered her resignation upon learning that respondent had instructed his office staff to give her the cold shoulder treatment and not to give her any assignment.

    In response to the Affidavit-Complaint, respondent Judge presented, among others, the following pieces of documentary evidence: 2 (a) Letter of Resignation of Melissa E. Maño dated 1 July 1999; 3 (b) Two (2) letters of apology by Melissa Maño dated 13 April 1999 and 15 April 1999 addressed to Corazon Pineda (Twinkle), a fellow stenographer, regarding her cassette recorder which complainant had taken without the knowledge and consent of Ms. Pineda, and which was never returned to her; 4 (c) Memorandum Letter dated 27 July 1998 of respondent Judge to Melissa Maño regarding "Loafing or Unauthorized Absences from Duty During Regular Office Hours" although her bundy clock card showed otherwise, and she was reportedly seen by her neighbors playing mahjong; 5 (d) Explanation Letter of Melissa Maño dated 28 July 1998 admitting her fault regarding the matter mentioned in the Memorandum Letter of respondent Judge; 6 and, (e) Resolution of the Third Division of the Supreme Court dated 18 October 1999 dismissing the Complaint of Elizabeth Calderon against respondent Judge for lack of merit and further admonishing her for filing a frivolous complaint, raising therein the issue relative to UBVAS v. Gonzales, and which is now the same issue being raised by complainant. 7

    On 25 July 2002, the Office of the Court Administrator, through Deputy Court Administrator Jose P. Perez, recommended that the matter be referred to an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals for investigation, report, and recommendation. 8

    This Court in a resolution dated 26 August 2002 referred the instant administrative case to Court of Appeals Associate Justice Eliezer R. delos Santos for investigation, report and recommendation. 9

    After appropriate proceedings, Investigating Justice delos Santos recommended that the administrative charges against respondent Judge be dismissed. He ratiocinated — 10

    As to the charge of grave abuse of authority for forcing the complainant to resign, we find nothing to prove the allegation. The alleged resignation letter sent for complainant’s signature by the respondent was not presented. The allegation that she was forced to resign is contrary to her thanking the respondent Judge "for being like a second father to us." . . . With regard to the charge of serious misconduct for allegedly writing decision for another judge, we find it unthinkable for a judge to call her staff and tell that he drafted a decision for another. No judicial officer will call and announce to anybody that he is doing something, which he knows is contrary to judicial ethics. The charge had been negated not only by the judge alluded to but also by the fact that the alleged written draft was not presented. Complainant Maño did not name the other stenographer who was allegedly called with her when the respondent Judge allegedly showed them a two-page handwritten draft of a decision for Judge Belmonte.

    The Court agrees. We have painstakingly reviewed the records of this case and find the present administrative case devoid of factual and legal basis; it is frivolous, calculated merely to harass, annoy, and cast a groundless aspersion on respondent’s integrity and reputation.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    It is not difficult to lend credence to the disclaimer of respondent Judge of any gross misconduct or abuse of authority. In any controversy, contending parties often espouse conflicting versions depending on the bias of each party narrating the incident. In unraveling the events leading to the dispute, a thick foliage of half-truths, misleading statements, or outright falsities often enwrap the truth which rests in between the two (2) extremes. For this, a judicial officer should not accept any allegation with precipitate credulity but must always cast a wary eye on any accusation, always willing to reserve his judgment until the truth is ferreted out with moral certainty. In this case, the probability leans heavily in favor of respondent’s assertions.

    Concerning the charge of grave misconduct, no shred of proof other than complainant’s barren allegation was adduced by her to show that respondent had indeed penned a decision in a case assigned to another judge. His supposed indiscreet remark admitting the illegal act made in the chambers with complainant and another stenographer in attendance was very unlikely considering that the same was denied by Judge Belmonte himself; more so, because there was no attempt on the part of the complainant to substantiate her claim, perhaps with the testimony of the other stenographer present during the incident. Furthermore, it was shown during the investigation that complainant did not have the ear much less the confidence of the respondent, so that it would be the height of recklessness, not to say foolhardiness, if he would admit an act which could spell his dismissal from the service and the ruin of his professional career in the presence of persons who did not have his trust. To do so would be putting a noose around one’s own neck and tighten it with his own hands.

    Neither are we swayed by complainant’s assertion that respondent had accepted a cassette recorder from an accused in the absence of any corroborative testimony, perhaps from the accused himself or any other corroborating witness. Her accusatory statements are simply too short of details, such as the time, date, manner it was done, to escape our untainted belief that the same was but a product of complainant’s luxuriant, if not vengeful, imagination.

    As regards the charge of grave abuse of authority, we likewise refuse to be hectored by complainant’s vigorous assertion that respondent Judge unjustly pressured her to resign. Her claim that she was being persecuted by respondent who suspected her of leaking certain irregularities in connection with the UBVAS case is more speculative rather than the product of concrete proof. What is certain is that on 1 July 1999 she filed a resignation letter the contents of which she admittedly fully understood.

    Further, the evidence on record would tend to show that complainant was a far-from-ideal court employee. First, it was proved, which she admitted, that she took and brought home the cassette recorder of a co-employee without the latter’s permission. Second, she was the object of a memorandum from respondent judge for loafing or unauthorized absences from duty, and was seen by neighbors in a number of occasions playing mahjong during regular office hours. If ever there was some "pressure" on the part of respondent; assuming there was any, and if her co-employees were not exactly happy with her presence, it could only be because of her own shortcomings more than anything else.

    What is perhaps most telling is the fact that complainant filed her Affidavit almost two (2) years after her alleged forced resignation. A genuinely aggrieved party who is a victim of injustice would not brood in misery and agonize in self-pity for so long, especially where the source of livelihood of the family is being compromised; instead, he would summon the courage to seek justice and right a wrong with dispatch. Much as we commiserate with complainant for what she claims the sufferings her family had undergone because of her unemployment, we cannot likewise impute guilt upon respondent Judge who in all likelihood is but a victim of vitriol and hate, and a vengeful spirit.

    WHEREFORE, for lack of merit, the administrative complaint against respondent Judge Caesar A. Casanova, RTC-Br. 80, Malolos, Bulacan, for grave abuse of authority and gross misconduct in office is DISMISSED.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Austria-Martinez and Callejo, Sr., JJ., concur.

    Quisumbing, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, p. 9, Exh. "B."cralaw virtua1aw library

    2. Rollo, p. 18.

    3. Id. at 20.

    4. Id. at 21–22.

    5. Id. at 23.

    6. Id. at 24.

    7. Id. at 25.

    8. Id. at 41.

    9. Id. at 42.

    10. Recommendation and Report by Court of Appeals Associate Justice Eliezer delos Santos.

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


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