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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-03-1779   April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779. April 30, 2003.]

    (A.M. OCA IPI No. 02-1577-RTJ)

    Chief State Prosecutor JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ATTY. CLEMENTE P. HERALDO, Chief of the Internal Inquiry and Prosecution Division — Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (IIPD-CIIS), and LEONITO A. SANTIAGO, Special Investigator of the IIPD-CIIS, Petitioners, v. JUDGE ARNULFO G. CABREDO, Regional Trial Court, Branch 15, Tabaco City, Albay, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N


    PER CURIAM:


    Before the Court are administrative complaints filed against Judge Arnulfo G. Cabredo of Branch 15 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Tabaco City, Albay, for grave misconduct, knowingly rendering an unjust interlocutory order, manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and gross inexcusable negligence.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Antecedents


    The facts are simple. Atty. Winston Florin, the Deputy Collector of Customs of the Sub-port of Tabaco, Albay, issued on September 3, 2001 Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) No. 06-2001 against a shipment of 35,000 bags of rice aboard the vessel M/V Criston, for violation of Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP). 1

    A few days after the issuance of the warrant of seizure and detention, or on September 25, 2001, Antonio Chua, Jr. and Carlos Carillo, claiming to be consignees of the subject goods, filed before the Regional Trial Court of Tabaco City, Albay, a Petition for Prohibition with Prayer for the Issuance of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) which was docketed as Civil Case No. T-2170. The said petition sought to enjoin the Bureau of Customs and its officials from detaining the subject shipment.

    On September 28, 2001, Judge Cabredo issued an order ex parte, the relevant portion of which reads as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    x       x       x


    Acting on the petition for Prohibition with Prayers for the Issuance of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order and finding the same to be sufficient in form and substance and that after a thorough evaluation of the entire records, it appears that the subject matter involved is of extreme urgency and the applicants will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury pursuant to paragraph 2, Section 5, [R]ule 58 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, let a temporary restraining order be issued good for seventy two (72) hours from service thereof restraining the herein respondents or any person or entity so acting in their behalf from detaining the subject a) 14,920 bags of imported well[-]milled rice (WMR), b) 5,000 bags of local well[-]milled rice (WMR) and c) 15,000 bags of imported special variety rice, upon the filing of a bond in the amount of PhP31,450,000.00. 2

    x       x       x


    By virtue of said TRO, the 35,000 bags of rice were released from customs to Antonio Chua, Jr. and Carlos Carillo.

    In his complaint, Chief State Prosecutor Zuño alleged that respondent Judge violated Administrative Circular No. 7-99, 3 which cautions trial court judges in their issuance of temporary restraining orders and writs of preliminary injunctions. Said circular reminds judges of the principle, enunciated in Mison v. Natividad, 4 that the Collector of Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings, and regular courts cannot interfere with his exercise thereof or stifle or put it to naught.

    Chief State Prosecutor Zuño further alleged that respondent Judge knew very well that at the time he issued the questioned order, he did not have any jurisdiction to pass upon the validity or regularity of the seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs. Hence, he asserts, respondent Judge wantonly disregarded rules and settled jurisprudence, to the damage and prejudice of the government, depriving it of its legal custody over the seized articles and consequently, the opportunity to collect taxes and duties thereon.

    Atty. Clemente P. Heraldo, Chief of the Internal Inquiry and Prosecution Division-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (IIPD-CIIS), and Leonito A. Santiago, Special Investigator of the IIPD-CIIS also filed a joint Supplemental Complaint-Affidavit reiterating the allegations in the complaint filed by Chief State Prosecutor Zuño. 5

    In his 1st Indorsement dated September 23, 2002, Court Administrator Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. referred to respondent Judge the complaint against him for his comment. On November 11, 2002, respondent Judge filed his Comment With Motion to Suspend Proceedings. He alleged therein that when he issued the questioned TRO, he honestly believed that the Bureau of Customs had been divested of its jurisdiction over the case. He specifically cited the statement of Deputy Collector of Customs Florin in the warrant of seizure and detention that, as the investigating officer, he "cannot find any violation of Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code." 6 According to respondent Judge, because of this statement, the Bureau of Customs no longer had any jurisdiction over the case.

    Respondent Judge likewise explained in his Comment that he saw to it that the interests of both parties in the case were duly protected. By requiring petitioners therein to put up a bond equivalent to the full value of the goods to answer for whatever liability may be adjudged against them, he safeguarded the interest of the government relative to collecting taxes and duties due on the shipment. On the other hand, he allowed petitioners therein to have possession of the goods, which were perishable in nature, upon filing of the bond.

    Finally, respondent judge, in his Comment, also moved that the proceedings herein be suspended. He alleged that the matter of whether or not the issuance of the questioned TRO was illegal, whimsical, and attended with manifest partiality and bad faith is now pending before the Court of Appeals in a case docketed as CA G.R. SP No. 72047. Hence, the proceedings herein should be suspended to await the final decision in the case before the Court of Appeals.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Court Administrator’s Evaluation

    The Court Administrator, in his Evaluation dated February 7, 2003, stated that the questioned TRO was clearly illegal and issued in excess of jurisdiction. He cited Rallos v. Gako, Jr., 7 which held that Regional Trial Courts are devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity or regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted by the Bureau of Customs or to enjoin or otherwise interfere with these proceedings. The rule enunciated in Mison v. Trinidad 8 is clear: the Collector of Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings. The RTCs are precluded from assuming cognizance over such matters even through petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus. Moreover, even if the seizure by the Collector of Customs were illegal, which has yet to be proven, such act does not deprive the Bureau of Customs of jurisdiction thereon.

    The Court Administrator concluded that the act of respondent judge in issuing the questioned TRO amounted to gross ignorance of the law.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Court’s Ruling


    We agree with the findings of the Court Administrator.

    First, respondent Judge is not exculpated by his contention that his act did not cause any damage upon the government by preventing it from collecting duties and taxes due on the shipment since he required petitioners therein to file a bond in the amount equivalent to the value of the shipment.

    The collection of duties and taxes due on the seized goods is not the only reason why trial courts are enjoined from issuing orders releasing imported articles under seizure and forfeiture proceedings by the Bureau of Customs. Administrative Circular No. 7-99 takes into account the fact that the issuance of TROs and the granting of writs of preliminary injunction in seizure and forfeiture proceedings before the Bureau of Customs may arouse suspicion that the issuance or grant was for considerations other than the strict merits of the case. Furthermore, respondent Judge’s actuation goes against settled jurisprudence that the Collector of Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings, and regular courts cannot interfere with his exercise thereof or stifle and put it to naught. 9

    Second, respondent Judge cannot claim that he issued the questioned TRO because he honestly believed that the Bureau of Customs was effectively divested of its jurisdiction over the seized shipment due to the statement of Deputy Collector of Customs Florin who stated that, as the investigating officer, he "cannot find any violation of Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code."cralaw virtua1aw library

    Even if it be assumed that in the exercise of the Collector of Customs of its exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture cases, a taint of illegality is correctly imputed, the most that can be said is that under these circumstances, grave abuse of discretion may oust it of its jurisdiction. This does not mean, however, that the trial court is vested with competence to acquire jurisdiction over these seizure and forfeiture cases. The proceedings before the Collector of Customs are not final. An appeal lies to the Commissioner of Customs and thereafter to the Court of Tax Appeals. It may even reach this Court through an appropriate petition for review. The proper ventilation of the legal issues is thus indicated. Certainly, the Regional Trial Court is not included therein. Hence, it is devoid of jurisdiction. 10

    Clearly, therefore, respondent judge had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the petition and issue the questioned TRO. He proceeded against settled doctrine, an act constituting gross ignorance of the law. 11 This is a serious violation under Section 8, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court. 12

    What is involved here is a fundamental and well-known judicial norm. If the law is so elementary, not to know it or to act if one does not know it, constitutes gross ignorance of the law. 13 Gross ignorance of the law is the disregard of basic rules and settled jurisprudence. 14 Failure to know the basic principles is an inexcusable offense. Respondent’s actuation in this case is tantamount to grave misconduct.

    It is a basic principle that the Collector of Customs has exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture proceedings of dutiable goods. A studious and conscientious judge can easily be conversant with such an elementary rule.

    Finally, in issuing orders and rendering decisions, judges must make sure that the same are not only just, correct, and impartial, but also done in a manner free from any suspicion of unfairness and partiality. As aforestated, Administrative Circular No. 7-99 reminds judges that their issuance of TROs and grants of writs of preliminary injunction in seizure and forfeiture proceedings before the Bureau of Customs may arouse suspicion that said issuance or grant was for considerations other than the strict merits of the case. The said administrative circular seeks to reiterate that they should embody the image of equity and justice in the eyes of the public.

    Respondent Judge’s order is of the kind that erodes the public’s confidence and faith in the courts. Judges are to avoid not just impropriety, but even the appearance of impropriety. They must give no ground for reproach in order to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. 15 No position exacts a greater demand for moral righteousness and uprightness than a seat in the judiciary. 16

    WHEREFORE, Judge Arnulfo G. Cabredo is found GUILTY of GRAVE MISCONDUCT. The Court imposes on him the penalty of DISMISSAL from the service with forfeiture of all benefits, excluding accrued leave credits, with prejudice to re-employment in any branch or agency of the government, including government-owned or controlled corporations.

    Let a copy of this decision be attached to the personnel records of Judge Arnulfo G. Cabredo.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Bellosillo, Puno, Vitug, Panganiban, Quisumbing, Ynares-Santiago, Sandoval-Gutierrez, Carpio, Austria-Martinez, Corona, Carpio-Morales, Callejo, Sr. and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Annex "A" of the Complaint; Rollo, p. 48.

    2. Annex "C" of the Complaint; Rollo, p. 64.

    3. Entitled "RE EXERCISE OF UTMOST CAUTION, PRUDENCE, AND JUDICIOUSNESS IN ISSUANCE OF TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS AND WRITS OF PRELIMINARY INJUNCTIONS," dated June 25, 1999.

    4. 213 SCRA 734, 742 (1992).

    5. Rollo, pp. 6–10.

    6. Comment on the Complaint, p. 4; Rollo, p. 80.

    7. 344 SCRA 178 (2000).

    8. See note 4, supra.

    9. Id.

    10. Bureau of Customs v. Ogario, 329 SCRA 289, 298 (2000) citing Ponce Enrile v. Vinuya, 37 SCRA 381, 388–389 (1971).

    11. Conducto v. Monzon, 291 SCRA 619 (1998).

    12. As amended by A.M. No. 01-8-10-SC which took effect on September 11, 2001.

    13. Cruz v. Yaneza, March 9, 1999, Uy v. Dizon-Capulong, 221 SCRA 87 (1993).

    14. San Miguel Wood Products, Inc. v. Tupas, 249 SCRA 466 (1995).

    15. Rule 2, Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

    16. Naval v. Panday, 275 SCRA 654 (1999).

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


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