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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
September-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.M. No. P-03-1705 September 2, 2003 - BALDOMERO DE VERA SOLIMAN, JR. v. PRINCESITO D. SORIANO

  • G.R. No. 138238 September 2, 2003 - EDUARDO BALITAOSAN v. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS

  • G.R. No. 146980 September 2, 2003 - LUZ E. TAGANAS, ET AL. v. MELITON G. EMUSLAN, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 3967 September 3, 2003 - ARTEMIO ENDAYA v. WILFREDO OCA

  • A.C. No. 6084 September 3, 2003 - FELICITAS BERBANO v. WENCESLAO BARCELONA

  • A.M. No. 02-10-614-RTC September 3, 2003 - RE: EDITORIAL OF THE NEGROS CHRONICLE AND OTHER CHARGES OF A CONCERNED CITIZEN AGAINST JUDGE ROGELIO CARAMPATAN

  • A.M. No. OCA-01-6 September 3, 2003 - DOMINADOR V. ASPIRAS v. ESMERALDA ABALOS

  • A.M. No. P-01-1466 September 3, 2003 - EDUARDO F. BAGO v. JOEL FERAREN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-99-1501 September 3, 2003 - ROMEO E. EJERCITO v. ILDEFONSO B. SUERTE

  • G.R. No. 131915 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDDIE LACHICA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136274 September 3, 2003 - SUNFLOWER NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139400 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO WATIWAT

  • G.R. No. 140652 September 3, 2003 - OLIVERIO LAPERAL v. PABLO V. OCAMPO

  • G.R. No. 144312 September 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CHUA TAN LEE

  • G.R. No. 145737 September 3, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. EVELYN P. CAYOBIT

  • G.R. No. 149617 September 3, 2003 - MARIANO JOAQUIN S. MACIAS v. MARGIE CORPUS MACIAS

  • G.R. No. 141527 September 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDY G. BOCALAN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1788 September 5, 2003 - JORGE F. ABELLA v. FRANCISCO L. CALINGIN

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1430 September 8, 2003 - ROMEO B. SENSON v. HERIBERTO M. PANGILINAN

  • G.R. No. 128296 September 8, 2003 - NASIPIT LUMBER CO., ET AL. v. NATIONAL WAGES AND PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152957 September 8, 2003 - FAUSTINO ESQUIVEL v. EDUARDO REYES

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1480 September 10, 2003 - TRINIDAD CABAHUG v. JASPER JESSE G. DACANAY

  • G.R. No. 91486 September 10, 2003 - ALBERTO G. PINLAC, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107271 September 10, 2003 - CITY OF CALOOCAN, ET AL. v. MAURO T. ALLARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125329 September 10, 2003 - ANN BRIGITT LEONARDO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140762 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER C. ROXAS

  • G.R. No. 148912 September 10, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TIMOTEO ESCARLOS

  • G.R. No. 151212 September 10, 2003 - TEN FORTY REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORP. v. MARINA CRUZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1562 September 11, 2003 - ROMULO SG. VILLANUEVA v. CHARLIE C. LARCENA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742 September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

  • G.R. Nos. 136286-89 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EFREN G. DE TAZA

  • G.R. No. 138366 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUBEN CAÑETE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 138569 September 11, 2003 - CONSOLIDATED BANK and TRUST CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144785 September 11, 2003 - YOLANDA GARCIA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 145407 September 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONITO HEREVESE

  • G.R. No. 151081 September 11, 2003 - TOP RATE CONSTRUCTION & GENERAL SERVICES v. PAXTON DEV’T. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153126 September 11, 2003 - MONTEREY FOODS CORP., ET AL. v. VICTORINO E. ESERJOSE

  • G.R. No. 153845 September 11, 2003 - EFREN P. SALVAN v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1799 September 12, 2003 - MARIA CRISTINA OLONDRIZ PERTIERRA v. ALBERTO L. LERMA

  • G.R. No. 127206 September 12, 2003 - PERLA PALMA GIL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135029 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR CARRIAGA

  • G.R. No. 141600 September 12, 2003 - ROBERTO FULGENCIO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144639 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENNY GO

  • G.R. Nos. 144972-73 September 12, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO JUNAS

  • G.R. No. 133365 September 16, 2003 - PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL, INC. v. JOSE M. PANLILIO

  • G.R. Nos. 147814-15 September 16, 2003 - RAUL ZAPATOS v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 155278 September 16, 2003 - PRUDENCIO J. TANJUAN v. PHIL. POSTAL SAVINGS BANK

  • A.M. No. P-03-1740 September 17, 2003 - FRANKLIN Q. SUSA v. TEOFILA A. PEÑA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1656 September 17, 2003 - EDGARDO D. BALSAMO v. PEDRO L. SUAN

  • G.R. No. 141120 September 17, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO BUENAVIDEZ

  • G.R. No. 146125 September 17, 2003 - NOVELTY PHIL., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1347 September 18, 2003 - BENJAMIN TUDTUD v. MAMERTO Y. COLIFLORES

  • A.M. No. P-00-1370 September 18, 2003 - ALEJANDRO PAREDES, ET AL. v. JERRY MARCELINO

  • A.M. No. P-01-1510 September 18, 2003 - MARY ANN PADUGANAN-PEÑARANDA v. GRACE L. SONGCUYA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1691 September 18, 2003 - JOSE S. SAÑEZ v. CARLOS B. RABINA

  • A.M. No. P-03-1703 September 18, 2003 - EDNA FE F. AQUINO v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1724 September 18, 2003 - VICENTE ALVAREZ, Jr. v. JOSE R. MARTIN

  • A.M. No. P-03-1742 September 18, 2003 - SALVADOR L. BERNABE v. WINSTON T. EGUIA

  • G.R. No. 135559 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MORENO OCUMEN

  • G.R. No. 135563 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BOBBY P. SANCHEZ

  • G.R. No. 144913 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF PHIL. v. GERONIMO C. CENIZA

  • G.R. No. 149627 September 18, 2003 - KENNETH O. NADELA v. CITY OF CEBU, ET AL..

  • G.R. No. 152351 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAMIL MALA

  • G.R. No. 152604 September 18, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONCIO S.PEDRIGAL

  • G.R. No. 153571 September 18, 2003 - BENGUET MANAGEMENT CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156259 September 18, 2003 - GROGUN, INC. v. NAPOCOR

  • G.R. No. 157957 September 18, 2003 - CHARITO NAVAROSA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142974 September 22, 2003 - SPS. SHEM G. ALFARERO and AURELIA TAGALOG v. SPS. PETRA and SANCHO SEVILLA

  • G.R. No. 152529 September 22, 2003 - SPS. HENDRIK and ALICIA S. BIESTERBOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1450 September 23, 2003 - RAMIRO S. DE JOYA v. AUGUSTUS C. DIAZ

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1509 September 23, 2003 - HELEN GAMBOA-MIJARES v. MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1732 September 23, 2003 - ROSENINA O. UY, ET AL. v. LOLITA R. EDILO

  • G.R. No. 123140 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BERNARDO CORTEZANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135446 September 23, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. BPI

  • G.R. No. 136729 September 23, 2003 - ASTRO ELECTRONICS CORP., ET AL. v. PHIL. EXPORT AND FOREIGN LOAN GUARANTEE CORP.

  • G.R. Nos. 138716-19 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE PILLAS

  • G.R. No. 138725 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALBERTO OLIVAR

  • G.R. No. 139360 September 23, 2003 - HLC CONSTRUCTION AND DEV’T. CORP., ET AL. v. EHSHA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140982 September 23, 2003 - MARIO GUTIERREZ v. SINGER SEWING MACHINE COMPANY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141434 September 23, 2003 - ANTONIO LO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143132 September 23, 2003 - VAN MELLE PHILS. ET AL. v. VICTOR M. ENDAYA

  • G.R. No. 144533 September 23, 2003 - JIMMY L. BARNES v. TERESITA C. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146786-88 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANDRES T. DAÑO

  • G.R. No. 149295 September 23, 2003 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. GENEROSO DE JESUS

  • G.R. No. 149370 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARTIN ALEJO

  • G.R. No. 150905 September 23, 2003 - CITIBANK v. EFREN S. TEODORO

  • G.R. No. 151072 September 23, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE NATIVIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 151931 September 23, 2003 - ANAMER SALAZAR v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 152823-24 September 23, 2003 - RUFINA CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152998 September 23, 2003 - SIMON Q. AÑONUEVO, JR., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 156295 September 23, 2003 - MARCELO R. SORIANO v. SPS. RICARDO and ROSALINA GALIT

  • G.R. No. 156983 September 23, 2003 - In the Matter of the Application for the Habeas Corpus of JOSE VICTOR RIGOR y DANAO v. The Superintendent

  • A.M. No. P-00-1418 September 24, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. CELESTINA B. CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 124293 September 24, 2003 - JG SUMMIT HOLDINGS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 130087 September 24, 2003 - DIANA M. BARCELONA v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 136726 September 24, 2003 - PANFILO V. VILLARUEL v. REYNALDO D. FERNANDO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148924 September 24, 2003 - TOYOTA MOTOR PHILS. v. CA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 153781 September 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MATEO GREGORIO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 153885 & 156214 September 24, 2003 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. v. WMC RESOURCES INTERNATIONAL PTY. LTD.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1746 September 26, 2003 - ROGER F. BORJA v. ZORAYDA H. SALCEDO

  • G.R. No. 130330 September 26, 2003 - FERNANDO GO v. MICHAEL TAN and LOLITA TAN

  • G.R. No. 141217 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EUSEBIO DUBAN

  • G.R. No. 144037 September 26, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL P. TUDTUD, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5480 September 29, 2003 - LEILANI OCAMPO-INGCOCO, ET AL. v. ALEJANDRO G. YRREVERRE, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 137370-71 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RAUL OCO

  • G.R. No. 139185 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALFONSO RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 148902 September 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO ANDRADE

  • G.R. No. 149718 September 29, 2003 - MARIO VALEROSO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 152057 September 29, 2003 - PT & T CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 5854 September 30, 2003 - NORA E. MIWA v. RENE O. MEDINA

  • G.R. No. 127593 September 30, 2003 - CLARA C. DE LA CRUZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 136742-43 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Y. ALFARO

  • G.R. Nos. 140514-15 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUNE IGNAS

  • G.R. No. 142751 September 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODRIGO OPELIÑA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143010 September 30, 2003 - MIGUEL DANOFRATA v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. No. 144230 September 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. MACKAY v. ADORACION G. ANGELES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148332 September 30, 2003 - NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMPANY v. MADRIGAL WAN HAI LINES CORP.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742   September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742. September 11, 2003.]

    AVELINA MADULA, Complainant, v. JUDGE RUTH CRUZ SANTOS, Regional Trial Court, Branch 72, Antipolo City, Respondent.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:


    On February 20, 2001, Avelina Madula filed a complaint for forcible entry against the spouses Carmelito and Rose Clarin, docketed as Civil Case No. 14-01. 1 The case was raffled to the Municipal Trial Court of Antipolo City, Branch 1, then presided by Judge Ruth Cruz Santos.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Subsequently, complainant filed a motion for preliminary mandatory injunction. On April 25, 2001, respondent judge denied the motion for failure to show a clear and existing right to the injunction. 2

    Complainant alleged that a preliminary conference was scheduled on May 30, 2001, at which defendants or their counsel failed to appear. Hence, complainant filed a "Motion to Render Judgment for Failure of Defendants to Appear in the Preliminary Conference," 3 pursuant to Section 7, in relation to Section 6, of the Revised Rule on Summary Procedure.

    Without resolving the Motion to Render Judgment, respondent judge, on September 3, 2001, voluntarily inhibited herself from the case, to wit:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Parties are hereby informed that the Presiding Judge is inhibiting herself from sitting in this case considering that when the item of Legal Researcher was published by the Supreme Court, the wife of [defense counsel] Atty. John Alex Villena was one of the applicants and her application was forwarded to the Supreme Court last August 29, 2001.

    In view thereof, the court finds that it would be more proper to inhibit herself from handling this case. 4

    Complainant filed an "Opposition to Voluntary Inhibition of Presiding Judge Ruth C. Santos." 5 On October 24, 2001, respondent judge issued an Order reiterating her decision to voluntarily inhibit from trying the case. 6

    Thus, complainant filed with this Court a sworn administrative complaint charging respondent judge with serious neglect of duty, grave misconduct, gross incompetence and gross ignorance of basic laws and elementary rules. Complainant alleges that respondent should be held administratively liable for her refusal to render judgment against defendants in Civil Case No. 14-01, despite their failure to appear at the preliminary conference; that she intentionally delayed the disposition of the case when she inhibited herself from taking cognizance of the same; that respondent failed to resolve the Motion to Render Judgment despite the lapse of five months; that the reason for the inhibition is not among the grounds mentioned in Rule 137, Section 1 of the Rules of Court or in Rule 3.12 of the Code of Judicial Conduct; and that respondent lacked the fitness and adequate ability to satisfactorily perform her duties as presiding magistrate. 7

    Respondent judge filed her Comment on July 2, 2002. She averred that, contrary to complainant’s allegation, the setting on May 30, 2001 was not for preliminary conference, but for hearing on complainant’s motion for reconsideration of the denial of her motion for preliminary mandatory injunction. Hence, respondent judge issued an Order on the said date directing defendants to comment on the said motion for reconsideration. In other words, no preliminary conference has yet been held in the case. She contends that she endorsed to the Supreme Court for approval the application of Ana Tomasa Villena for the position of Legal Researcher in her branch. Ms. Villena is the wife of Atty. John Alex Villena, defense counsel in Civil Case No. 04-01. Given this circumstance, respondent judge voluntarily inhibited herself from trying the case in order to avoid any suspicion of bias or partiality towards the spouse of her Legal Researcher in the event of a decision adverse to complainant. Considering her finding that complainant failed to show a clear right to a preliminary mandatory injunction, this possibility was not unlikely. 8

    The case was referred to the Office of the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and recommendation. In his Report dated November 11, 2002, the Court Administrator recommended that respondent judge be ordered to pay a fine in the sum of Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) and admonished to be more circumspect in the performance of her judicial functions with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely. 9

    On December 18, 2002, the parties were required to manifest whether they are willing to submit the case for resolution on the basis of the pleadings filed. Respondent filed her Manifestation stating that she was willing to submit additional pleading in support of her comment. Subsequently, respondent judge filed her Supplemental Comment.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    To date, complainant has not manifested her willingness to submit the case for resolution on the basis of the pleadings filed and is, thus, deemed to have waived the filing of said manifestation.

    Meanwhile, respondent wrote a letter to this Court dated March 14, 2003, stating that Avelina Madula "is a perennial complainant in several cases before the Office of the Court Administrator," some of which were already dismissed by this Court. Respondent judge sought to point out complainant’s proclivity to file administrative cases against judges who rendered resolutions or judgments adverse to her.

    After a careful deliberation of the issues in this case, we do not agree with the recommendation of the Court Administrator. The complaint against respondent judge should be dismissed for lack of merit.

    Misconduct is defined as any unlawful conduct on the part of a person concerned in the administration of justice prejudicial to the rights of parties or to the right determination of the cause. 10 It generally means wrongful, improper or unlawful conduct motivated by a premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose. 11 To justify the taking of drastic disciplinary action, as is what is sought by complainant in this case, the law requires that the error or mistake must be gross or patent, malicious, deliberate or committed in bad faith. 12 For liability to attach, the assailed order, decision or actuation of the judge in the performance of official duties must not only found to be erroneous but, most importantly, it must be established that he was moved by bad faith, dishonesty, hatred or some other like motive. 13

    In the case at bar, the record is bereft of any persuasive showing of a wrongful, improper or unlawful conduct on the part of respondent judge, other than complainant’s bare allegation of wrongdoing.

    Indeed, even assuming arguendo that respondent judge may have erred at all, the lapse would be an error of judgment. A judge may not be administratively charged for mere errors of judgment in the absence of proof that the act complained of constitutes bad faith, malice, corrupt practice, 14 or gross ignorance of the law. It is settled that judges can not be held to account criminally, civilly or administratively for an erroneous decision rendered in good faith. 15

    The rule on disqualification of judges is laid down in Rule 137, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, which reads:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Disqualification of judges. — No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor, or otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according to the rules of civil law, or in which he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in which he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered upon the record.

    A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case, for just and valid reasons other than those mentioned above.

    While the second paragraph does not expressly enumerate the specific grounds for inhibition and leaves it to the sound discretion of the judge, such should be based on just and valid reasons. 16 The import of the rule on voluntary inhibition of judges is that the decision on whether or not to inhibit is left to the sound discretion and conscience of the trial judge based on his rational and logical assessment of the circumstances prevailing in the case brought before him. It points out to members of the bench that outside of pecuniary interest, relationship or previous participation in the matter that calls for adjudication, there might be other causes that could conceivably erode the trait of objectivity, thus calling for inhibition. Indeed, the factors that lead to preferences and predilections are many and varied. 17

    In Gutang v. Court of Appeals, 18 it was held:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    All the foregoing notwithstanding, this should be a good occasion as any to draw attention of all judges to appropriate guidelines in a situation where their capacity to try and decide a case fairly and judiciously comes to the fore by way of challenge from any one of the parties. A judge may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation. But when suggestion is made of record that he might be induced to act in favor of one party or with bias or prejudice against a litigant arising out of circumstances reasonably capable of inciting such a state of mind, he should conduct a careful self-examination. He should exercise his discretion in a way that the people’s faith in the courts of justice is not impaired. A salutary norm is that he reflect on the probability that a losing party might nurture at the back of his mind the thought that the judge unmeritoriously tilted the scales of justice against him. That passion on the part of a judge may be generated because of serious charges of misconduct against him by a suitor or his counsel, if not altogether remote. He is a man subject to the frailties of other men. He should, therefore, exercise great care and caution before making up his mind to act or withdraw from a suit where that party or counsel is involved. He could in good grace inhibit himself where that case could be heard by another judge and where no appreciable prejudice would be occasioned to the others involved therein. On the result of his decision to sit or not to sit may depend on a great extent the all-important confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary. If after reflection he should resolve to voluntarily desist from sitting in a case where his motives and fairness might be seriously impugned, his action is to be interpreted as giving meaning and substance to the second paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137. He serves the cause of the law who forestalls miscarriage of justice.

    Certainly, a presiding judge must maintain and preserve the trust and faith of the parties-litigants. He must hold himself above reproach and suspicion. At the very first sign of lack of faith and trust in his actions, whether well-grounded or not, the judge has no other alternative but to inhibit himself from the case. 19 The better course for the judge under such circumstances is to disqualify himself. That way, he avoids being misunderstood; his reputation for probity and objectivity is preserved. What is more important, the ideal of impartial administration of justice is lived up to. 20 Therefore, respondent can not be faulted for voluntarily inhibiting herself from further taking cognizance of Civil Case No. 14-01.

    WHEREFORE, in view of all the foregoing, the instant administrative complaint against respondent Judge Ruth Cruz Santos is DISMISSED for lack of merit.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Davide, Jr., C.J., Vitug and Carpio, JJ., concur.

    Azcuna, J., on official leave.

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 9–14.

    2. Id., pp. 15–16.

    3. Id., pp. 21–23.

    4. Id., p. 30.

    5. Id., pp. 31–32.

    6. Id., p. 33.

    7. Id., pp. 2–8.

    8. Id., pp. 40–48.

    9. Id., pp. 82–85.

    10. Canson v. Garchitorena, 370 Phil. 287 (1999), citing Black’s Law Dictionary, p. 1150, Fourth ed.

    11. Id., p. 285, citing Words and Phrases, Vol. 27, p. 466 and Sewell v. Sharp, La App., 102 So 2d 259, 261.

    12. Fernandez v. Español, 351 Phil. 928 (1998), citing Roa, Sr. v. Imbing, A.M. No. RTJ-93-935, 231 SCRA 57, 61 (1994); Guillermo v. Reyes, Jr., 310 Phil. 176 (1995); Alvarez v. Laquindamum, 315 Phil. 557 (1995); Bengzon v. Adaoag, 320 Phil. 422 (1995).

    13. De la Cruz v. Concepcion, A.M. No. RTJ-93-1062, 25 August 1994, 235 SCRA 597.

    14. In Re: Judge Silverio S. Tayao, RTC Branch 143, Makati, A.M. No. 93-8-1204-RTC, 7 February 1994, 229 SCRA 723.

    15. In Re: Petition for Dismissal from Service and/or Disbarment of Judge Baltazar R. Dizon, A.M. No. 3086, 31 May 1989, 173 SCRA 719.

    16. Parayno v. Meneses, G.R. No. 112684, 26 April 1994, 231 SCRA 807.

    17. Query of Executive Judge Estrella T. Estrada of Malolos, Bulacan, A.M. No. 87-9-3918-RTC, 26 October 1987, 155 SCRA 72, citing Mateo v. Villaluz, 151-A Phil. 21 (1973).

    18. 354 Phil. 77 (1998), citing Pimentel v. Salanga, 128 Phil. 176 (1967).

    19. Gutang v. Court of Appeals, supra, p. 84.

    20. Id., citing Intestate Estate of the Late Vito Borromeo v. Fortunato Borromeo, No. L-41171, 23 July 1987, 152 SCRA 171.

    A.M. No. RTJ-02-1742   September 11, 2003 - AVELINA MADULA v. RUTH CRUZ SANTOS


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