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. MTJ-01-1370   April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370. April 25, 2003.]

    (Formerly A.M. No. 00-11-238-MTC)

    OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant, v. JUDGE AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO, Municipal Trial Court of Koronadal, South Cotabato, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    CARPIO, J.:


    The Case


    This is an administrative case against respondent Judge Agustin T. Sardido ("Judge Sardido"), formerly presiding judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Koronadal, South Cotabato, for gross ignorance of the law. Judge Sardido issued an Order dated 20 October 1998 excluding Judge Braulio Hurtado, Jr. ("Judge Hurtado") of the Regional Trial Court of Kabacan, North Cotabato as one of the accused in an Amended Information. 1 Judge Sardido ruled that Supreme Court Circular No. 3-89 requires that Judge Hurtado be dropped from the Amended Information and his case be forwarded to the Court.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Facts


    Private complainant Teresita Aguirre Magbanua accused Oscar Pagunsan and Danilo Ong of the crime of "Falsification by Private Individual and Use of Falsified Document." 2 The Amended Information included Judge Hurtado. The case, docketed as Criminal Case No. 14071, was raffled to Judge Sardido, then presiding judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Koronadal, South Cotabato ("MTC-Koronadal").

    In a Deed of Absolute Sale dated 8 August 1993, private complainant Magbanua and six other vendors allegedly sold two parcels of land, covered by TCT Nos. 47873 and 33633 and located at the commercial district of Koronadal, to Davao Realty Development Corporation, represented by accused Ong, with co-accused Pagunsan, as broker. Judge Hurtado, who at that time was the Clerk of Court of RTC-Koronadal and ex-officio notary public, notarized the Deed of Absolute Sale.

    However, private complainant Magbanua denies signing the Deed of Absolute Sale dated 8 August 1993 which states that the consideration for the sale was only P600,000.00. Private complainant asserts that what she and the other vendors signed was a Deed of Absolute Sale dated 6 August 1996 for a consideration of P16,000,000.00. Under the terms of the sale, the vendee agreed to pay for the capital gains tax. The consideration in the 8 August 1993 Deed of Absolute Sale was apparently undervalued. Subsequently, the Bureau of Internal Revenue assessed the vendors a deficiency capital gains tax of P1,023,375.00.

    Judge Hurtado filed a motion praying that the criminal complaint against him be forwarded to the Supreme Court. Judge Hurtado claimed that Circular No. 3-89 dated 6 February 1989 requires "all cases involving justices and judges of the lower courts, whether or not such complaints deal with acts apparently unrelated to the discharge of their official functions, such as acts of immorality, estafa, crimes against persons and property, etc." to be forwarded to the Supreme Court. Judge Hurtado asserted that since the case against him is one involving a judge of a lower court, the same should be forwarded to the Supreme Court pursuant to Circular No. 3-89.

    The Provincial Prosecutor opposed Judge Hurtado’s motion, arguing that the case against Judge Hurtado is not within the scope of Circular No. 3-89 since it is not an IBP-initiated case. Moreover, the offense charged was committed in 1993 when Judge Hurtado was still a clerk of court and ex-officio notary public.

    On 20 October 1998, Judge Sardido issued an Order, the pertinent portions of which read:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The issue to be resolved in the instant case is, whether the case of Judge Hurtado, who is charged for acts committed prior to his appointment as an RTC Judge, falls within the purview of the afore-said Circular No. 3-89.

    It is the humble submission of the Court that the case of Judge Hurtado, an RTC Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Kabacan, North Cotabato, falls within the meaning and intent of the said circular.

    For reasons being, firstly, the said circular provides that all cases involving justices and judges of lower courts shall be forwarded to the Supreme Court for appropriate action, whether or not such complaints deal with acts apparently unrelated to the discharge of their official functions, and regardless of the nature of the crime, without any qualification whether the crime was committed before or during his tenure of office. Under the law on Legal Hermeneutics, if the law does not qualify we must not qualify. Secondly, it would sound, to the mind of the Court, awkward for a first level court to be trying an incumbent judge of a second level court.

    For reasons afore-stated, this Court can not and shall not try this case as against Judge Hurtado, unless the Honorable Supreme Court would order otherwise.

    Wherefore, the foregoing premises duly considered, the name of Judge Braulio L. Hurtado, Jr. is ordered excluded from the amended information and the case against him is ordered forwarded to the Honorable Supreme Court, pursuant to the afore-said Circular No. 3-89 of the Supreme Court, dated February 9, 1989.

    Accordingly, Maxima S. Borja ("Borja"), Stenographer I and Acting Clerk of Court II of the MTC-Koronadal, South Cotabato, wrote a letter dated 21 July 1999 forwarding the criminal case against Judge Hurtado to the Court Administrator for appropriate action.

    Then Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo issued a Memorandum dated 25 October 2000 pointing out that Circular No. 3-89 refers only to administrative complaints filed with the IBP against justices and judges of lower courts. The Circular does not apply to criminal cases filed before trial courts against such justices and judges.

    Thus, in the Resolution of 6 December 2000, the Court directed that the letter of Acting Clerk of Court Borja be returned to the MTC-Koronadal together with the records of the criminal case. The Court directed Judge Sardido to explain in writing why he should not be held liable for gross ignorance of the law for excluding Judge Hurtado from the Amended Information and for transmitting the records of Judge Hurtado’s case to the Court.

    In his Explanation dated 26 January 2001, Judge Sardido reasoned out that he excluded Judge Hurtado because Circular No. 3-89 directs the IBP to "forward to the Supreme Court for appropriate action all cases involving justices and judges of lower courts . . . ." Judge Sardido claims that the Circular likewise "applies to courts in cases involving justices or judges of the lower courts," especially so in this case where "Judge Hurtado was charged with falsification of public document as a notary public while he was still the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court of the 11th Judicial Region in Koronadal, South Cotabato."cralaw virtua1aw library

    In the Resolution of 28 March 2001, the Court referred this case to the Office of the Court Administrator ("OCA") for evaluation, report and recommendation. On 10 July 2001, the OCA submitted a Memorandum recommending that this case be re-docketed as a regular administrative matter.

    Judge Sardido filed his Manifestation dated 20 September 2001 stating that he is submitting the case for decision based on the pleadings and records already filed. Judge Sardido insisted that he did "what he had done in all honesty and good faith."cralaw virtua1aw library

    OCA’s Findings and Conclusions

    The OCA found that Judge Sardido erred in excluding Judge Hurtado as one of the accused in the Amended Information in Criminal Case No. 14071. The OCA held that Circular No. 3-89, which is Judge Sardido’s basis in issuing the Order of 20 October 1998, refers to administrative complaints filed with the IBP against justices and judges of lower courts. The Circular does not apply to criminal cases filed against justices and judges of lower courts. The OCA recommended that a fine of P5,000.00 be imposed on Judge Sardido for gross ignorance of the law.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Court’s Ruling


    The Court issued Circular No. 3-89 in response to a letter dated 19 December 1988 by then IBP President Leon M. Garcia, seeking clarification of the Court’s En Banc Resolution of 29 November 1998 in RE: Letter of then Acting Presiding Justice Rodolfo A. Nocon 3 and Associate Justices Reynato Puno 4 and Alfredo Marigomen 5 of the Court of Appeals.

    A certain Atty. Eduardo R. Balaoing had filed a complaint against Court of Appeals Justices Nocon, Puno and Marigomen relating to a petition filed before their division. In its En Banc Resolution of 29 November 1988, the Court required the IBP to refer to the Supreme Court for appropriate action the complaint 6 filed by Atty. Balaoing with the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline. The Court stated that the power to discipline justices and judges of the lower courts is within the Court’s exclusive power and authority as provided in Section 11, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution. 7 The Court Administrator publicized the En Banc Resolution of 29 November 1988 by issuing Circular No. 17 dated 20 December 1988.

    The Court issued Circular No. 3-89 on 6 February 1989 clarifying the En Banc Resolution of 29 November 1988. Circular No. 3-89 provides in part as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (1) The IBP (Board of Governors and Commission on Bar Discipline) shall forward to the Supreme Court for appropriate action all cases involving justices and judges of lower courts, whether or not such complaints deal with acts apparently unrelated to the discharge of their official functions, such as acts of immorality, estafa, crimes against persons and property, etc. . . . . (Emphasis supplied)

    Circular No. 3-89 clarified the second paragraph, Section 1 of Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court which states that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    The IBP Board of Governors may, motu proprio or upon referral by the Supreme Court or by a Chapter Board of Officers, or at the instance of any person, initiate and prosecute proper charges against erring attorneys including those in the government service. (Emphasis supplied).

    As clarified, the phrase "attorneys . . . in the government service" in Section 1 of Rule 139-B does not include justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts who are not subject to the disciplining authority of the IBP. All administrative cases against justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts fall exclusively within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

    However, Rule 139-B refers to Disbarment and Discipline of Attorneys which is administrative and not criminal in nature. The cases referred to in Circular No. 3-89 are administrative cases for disbarment, suspension or discipline of attorneys, including justices of appellate courts and judges of the lower courts. The Court has vested the IBP with the power to initiate and prosecute administrative cases against erring lawyers. 8 However, under Circular No. 3-89, the Court has directed the IBP to refer to the Supreme Court for appropriate action all administrative cases filed with IBP against justices of appellate courts and judges of the lower courts. As mandated by the Constitution, the Court exercises the exclusive power to discipline administratively justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Circular No. 3-89 does not refer to criminal cases against erring justices of appellate courts or judges of lower courts. Trial courts retain jurisdiction over the criminal aspect of offenses committed by justices of appellate courts 9 and judges of lower courts. This is clear from the Circular directing the lBP, and not the trial courts, to refer all administrative cases filed against justices of appellate courts and judges of lower courts to the Supreme Court. The case filed against Judge Hurtado is not an administrative case filed with the IBP. It is a criminal case filed with the trial court under its jurisdiction as prescribed by law.

    The acts or omissions of a judge may well constitute at the same time both a criminal act and an administrative offense. Whether the criminal case against Judge Hurtado relates to an act committed before or after he became a judge is of no moment. Neither is it material that an MTC judge will be trying an RTC judge in the criminal case. A criminal case against an attorney or judge is distinct and separate from an administrative case against him. The dismissal of the criminal case does not warrant the dismissal of an administrative case arising from the same set of facts. The quantum of evidence that is required in the latter is only preponderance of evidence, and not proof beyond reasonable doubt which is required in criminal cases. 10 As held in Gatchalian Promotions Talents Pool, Inc. v. Naldoza: 11

    Administrative cases against lawyers belong to a class of their own. They are distinct from and they may proceed independently of civil and criminal cases.

    The burden of proof for these types of cases differ. In a criminal case, proof beyond reasonable doubt is necessary; in an administrative case for disbarment or suspension, ‘clearly preponderant evidence’ is all that is required. Thus, a criminal prosecution will not constitute a prejudicial question even if the same facts and circumstances are attendant in the administrative proceedings.

    It should be emphasized that a finding of guilt in the criminal case will not necessarily result in a finding of liability in the administrative case. Conversely, respondent’s acquittal does not necessarily exculpate him administratively. In the same vein, the trial court’s finding of civil liability against the respondent will not inexorably lead to a similar finding in the administrative action before this Court. Neither will a favorable disposition in the civil action absolve the administrative liability of the lawyer. The basic premise is that criminal and civil cases are altogether different from administrative matters, such that the disposition in the first two will not inevitably govern the third and vice versa. For this reason, it would be well to remember the Court’s ruling in In re Almacen, which we quote:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . Disciplinary proceedings against lawyers are sui generis. Neither purely civil nor purely criminal, they do not involve a trial of an action or a suit, but are rather investigations by the Court into the conduct of one of its officers. Not being intended to inflict punishment, [they are] in no sense a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, there is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein. [They] may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. Public interest is [their] primary objective, and the real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges as such. Hence, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by their misconduct have prove[n] themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney. . . . ."cralaw virtua1aw library

    A judge is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules. He must be conversant with basic legal principles and well-settled doctrines. He should strive for excellence and seek the truth with passion. 12 Judge Sardido failed in this regard. He erred in excluding Judge Hurtado as one of the accused in the Amended Information and in forwarding the criminal case against Judge Hurtado to the Court.

    One last point. This administrative case against Judge Sardido started before the amendment 13 of Rule 140 classifying gross ignorance of the law a serious offense punishable by a fine of more t[h]an P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00. The amendment cannot apply retroactively to Judge Sardido’s case. However, the fine of P5,000.00 recommended by the OCA is too light a penalty considering that this is not the first offense of Judge Sardido.

    In RE: Hold Departure Order Issued by Judge Agustin T. Sardido, 14 the Court reprimanded Judge Sardido for issuing a hold-departure order contrary to Circular No. 39-97. In Cabilao v. Judge Sardido, 15 the Court fined Judge Sardido P5,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of discretion and gross misconduct. The Court gave a stern warning to Judge Sardido that a commission of the same or similar act would be dealt with more severely. In Almeron v. Judge Sardido, 16 the Court imposed on Judge Sardido a stiffer fine of P10,000,00 for gross ignorance of the law. He was again sternly warned that the commission of the same or similar act in the future would be dealt with more severely including, if warranted, his dismissal from the service.

    In a more recent administrative case, Torcende v. Judge Sardido, 17 the Court found Judge Sardido again guilty of gross ignorance of the law and of gross misconduct. This time the Court dismissed Judge Sardido from the service with forfeiture of his retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits. The dismissal was with prejudice to reemployment in any branch of the government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, including government-owned and controlled corporations.

    The records of the OCA further disclose that Judge Sardido has other similar administrative complaints 18 still pending against him. Such an unflattering service record erodes the people’s faith and confidence in the judiciary. It is the duty of every member of the bench to avoid any impression of impropriety to protect the image and integrity of the judiciary. 19 The Court may still impose a fine on Judge Sardido in the instant case despite his dismissal from the service.

    WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Agustin T. Sardido is FINED Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) for gross ignorance of the law. The fine may be deducted from his accrued leave credits.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Vitug, Ynares-Santiago and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. For Falsification by Private Individual and Use of Falsified Document.

    2. As defined and penalized under Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to paragraph 4 of Article 171 of the same Code.

    3. Now retired Supreme Court Justice.

    4. Now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.

    5. Now retired Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals and retired member of the Judicial and Bar Council.

    6. Docketed as CBD Case No. 055.

    7. Section 11, Article VII provides that: "The members of the Supreme Court and judges of the lower courts shall hold office during good behavior until they reach the age of seventy years or become incapacitated to discharge the duties of their office. The Supreme Court en banc shall have the power to discipline judges of lower courts, or order their dismissal by vote of a majority of the Members who actually took part in the deliberations on the issues in the case and voted thereon."cralaw virtua1aw library

    8. Section 1, Rule 139-B.

    9. Referring to the Court of Appeals and Sandiganbayan and not to the Supreme Court.

    10. Office of the Court Administrator v. Diaz, 362 Phil. 580 (1999).

    11. A.C. No. 4017, 29 September 1999, 315 SCRA 406.

    12. Tabao v. Espina, 368 Phil. 579 (1999), citing Conducto v. Monzon, 353 Phil. 796 (1998).

    13. Effective 1 October 2001.

    14. A.M. No. 01-9-245-MTC, promulgated on 5 December 2001.

    15. 316 Phil. 134 (1995).

    16. 346 Phil. 424 (1997).

    17. A.M. No. MTJ-99-1239, promulgated on 24 January 2003.

    18. 1) 97-414-MTJ for Gross Misconduct, Gross Violation of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, Jurisprudence and Legal Procedure; and

    2) 99-687-MTJ for Grave Abuse of Discretion, Partiality and Ignorance of the Law.

    19. Yu-Asensi v. Villanueva, A.M. No. MTJ-00-1245, 19 January 2000, 322 SCRA 255.

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


    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