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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
 

   
November-2006 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • A.C. No. 6266 - ESTELA ANASTACIO-BRIONES vs ATTY. ALFREDO A. ZAPANTA

  • A.C. No. 7123 - MARIA DIVINA CRUZ-VILLANUEVA vs ATTY. CARLOS P. RIVERA, ET AL.

  • A.C. No. 7214 - AILEEN A. FERANCULLO vs ATTY. SANCHO M. FERANCULLO, JR.

  • Adm. Case No. 7252 - CBD 05-1434 - JOHNNY NG vs ATTY. BENJAMIN C. ALAR

  • A.C. No. 7280 - DAHLIA S. GACIAS vs ATTY. ALEXANDER BULAUITAN

  • A.M. No. 06-4-219-RTC - RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT AND PHYSICAL INVENTORY

  • A.M. No. 2004-15-SC - PROSECUTOR AGAPITO B. ROSALES vs ENGR. CELERINO BUENAVENTURA

  • A.M. No. 2005-26-SC - RE: LOST CHECKS ISSUED TO THE LATE RODERICK ROY P. MELLIZA, ETC.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1503 - NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION vs JUDGE LUISITO T. ADAOAG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-06-1660 - Formerly A.M. No. OCA IPI 04-1519-MTJ - SPOUSES TREFIL AND LINA A. UMALE vs JUDGE NICOLAS V. FADUL, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1731 - PNB MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs CARMELO CACHERO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1737 - Formerly OCA IPI No. 01-1250-P - NICOLAS PACLIBAR vs RENAN V. PAMPOSA

  • A.M. No. P-05-2092 - ATTY. PERFECTO A.S. LAGUIO, JR. vs MILA AMANTE-CASICAS

  • A.M. No. P-05-1979 - JUDGE LEONARDO P. CARREON vs ERIC ANTHONY S. ORTEGA

  • A.M. No. P-06-2109 - LIGAYA V. REYES vs MARIO PABLICO

  • A.M. No. P-06-2204 - NYDIA S. SERVINO vs MA. MAWILYNN CONCEPCION B. ADOLFO

  • A.M. No. P-06-2266 - ENCARNACION FLORES vs ROMEO S. GATCHECO, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2257 - SPS. ARTHUR and LEONORA STILGROVE vs ERIBERTO R. SABAS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-06-2268 - BIENVENIDO L. PUNZALAN vs RUMEL M. MACALISANG

  • A.M. No. RTJ-05-1901 - FORTUNE LIFE INSURANCE, COMPANY, INC. vs JUDGE JIMMY H. F. LUCZON, JR.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-06-2002 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. vs JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR.

  • G.R. No. 74269 & 92137 - SOLID HOMES, INC., ET AL. vs HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127636 - E. ROMMEL REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs STA. LUCIA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 126890 - UNITED PLANTERS SUGAR MILLING COMPANY, INC. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129820 - PNOC-ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION vs EMILIANO G. VENERACION, JR.

  • G.R. No. 132834 - RUPERTO LUCERO, JR., ET AL. vs CITY GOVERNMENT OF PASIG

  • G.R. No. 135817 - REYNALDO RODRIGUEZ, ET AL. vs CONCORDIA ONG LIM, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 140371-72 - DY YIENG SEANGIO, ET AL. vs AMOR A. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140833 - LACEPI T. MAGNANAO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 141480 - CARLOS B. DE GUZMAN vs TOYOTA CUBAO, INC.

  • G.R. No. 142351 - ST. MARTIN FUNERAL HOMES vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143219 - ASIAN TERMINALS, INC. vs RENATO P. VILLANUEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143382 - SECURITY BANK and TRUST COMPANY vs MAR TIERRA CORPORATION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144062 - THE BASES CONVERSION AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, ET AL. vs ELPIDIO UY

  • G.R. No. 146707 - ERNESTO DUMLAO, JR., ET AL. vs RODOLFO PONFERRADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148090 - STRONGHOLD INSURANCE COMPANY, INC. vs NEMESIO S. FELIX, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148490 - 7K CORPORATION vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148500-01 - TIMES TRANSPORTATION CO. INC. vs NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 148839-40 - NAGKAHIUSANG MAMUMUO SA PICOP RESOURCES, INC. - SOUTHERN PHILIPPINES FEDERATION OF LABOR (NAMAPRI - SPFL), ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148971 - ALBERTO GARONG vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 149633 - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR GABRIEL S. CASAL, ET AL. v. COMMISSION ON AUDIT

  • G.R. No. 149748 - JANG LIM, ET AL vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149753 - Miguel Cosme, Jr. v. People of the Philippines

  • G.R. NO. 149764 - PHILIPPINE OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION vs ENRIQUE GUTIERREZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150253 - DAVAO LIGHT AND POWER CORPORATION, INC. vs ANTONIO G. DIAZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 150402 - EPARWA SECURITY AND JANITORIAL SERVICES, INC. vs LICEO DE CAGAYAN UNIVERSITY

  • G.R. No. 152258 - ROGELIO P. ANTALAN vs ANIANO DESIERTO

  • G.R. No. 152984 - WILLIAM G. KWONG vs ATTY. RAMON GARGANTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 154006 - STAR PAPER CORPORATION vs CARLITO ESPIRI TU, ET AL.

  • G.R. NO. 154565 - REMEDIOS RAMOS vs TESSIE PABAS

  • G.R. No. 154685 - METROPOLITAN BANK and TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 155645 - PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY, INC. vs MAYFLOR T. YLAGAN

  • G.R. No. 155574 - TIMOTEO A. GARCIA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 156294 - MELVA THERESA ALVIAR GONZALES vs RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION

  • G. R. No. 156888 - PEDRO R. SANTIAGO vs SUBIC BAY METROPOLITAN AUTHORITY

  • G.R. No. 156903 - SPOUSES CARLOS and TERESITA RUSTIA vs EMERITA RIVERA

  • G.R. No. 157107 - ALPINE LENDING INVESTORS, ET AL. vs ESTRELLA CORPUZ

  • G.R. No. 157117 - COASTAL SUBIC BAY TERMINAL, INC. vs DEPARTMENT OF LABOR and EMPLOYMENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 157236-45 - ROMEO D. LONZANIDA vs SANDIGANBAYAN

  • G.R. No. 157906 - JOAQUINITA P. CAPILI vs SPS. DOMINADOR CARDAÑA and ROSALITA CARDAÑA,

  • G.R. No. 158676 - BPI-FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC. vs SPS. ZENAIDA DOMINGO & ABUNDIO S. DOMINGO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158707 - COMMUNITY RURAL BANK OF SAN ISIDRO (N.E.), INC. vs YSAGANI V. PAEZ

  • G.R. NOS. 157294-95 - JOSEPH VICTOR G. EJERCITO vs SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 158960 - LORNA FRANCES FILIPINO vs F. WALTER R. MACABUHAY

  • G.R. No. 159373 - JOSE R. MORENO, JR. vs PRIVATE MANAGEMENT OFFICE

  • G.R. No. 159991 - CARMELINO F. PANSACOLA vs COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • G.R. No. 159734 and G.R. NO. 159745 - ROSARIO V. ASTUDILLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 160347 - ARCADIO and MARIA LUISA CARANDANG vs HEIRS OF QUIRINO A. DE GUZMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 160618 - DENNIS D. SY vs METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 160805 - SPOUSES ADIEL DE LA CENA and CARIDAD AREVALO DE LA CENA vs SPOUSES JOSE BRIONES and HERMINIA LLEDO BRIONES

  • G.R. No. 161086 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION vs COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. No. 161136 - WILFREDO VAGILIDAD, ET AL. vs GABINO VAGILIDAD, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 161115 - DOLE PHILIPPINES, INC. vs MEDEL ESTEVA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162037 - Heirs of Enrique Diaz v. Elinor A. Virata

  • G.R. No. 162243, G.R. No. 164516 & G.R. No. 171875 - HEHERSON ALVAREZ vs PICOP RESOURCES, INC.

  • G.R. No. 162308 - G & M PHILIPPINES, INC. vs ROMIL V. CUAMBOT

  • G.R. No. 162331 - LEPANTO CONSOLIDATED MINING CO. vs WMC RESOURCES INT L. PTY. LTD., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 162366 - FEDERICA M. SERRANO, ET AL. vs SPOUSES ANSELMO GUTIERREZ AND CARMELITA GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. 163735 - GREEN ASIA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163712 - METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST COMPANY, ET AL. vs JOSE B. TAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 163763 - MALAYAN REALTY, INC. vs UY HAN YONG

  • G.R. No. 164300 - SPOUSES BENJAMIN AND AGRIFINA SIM vs M.B. FINANCE CORPORATION

  • G.R. No. 164321 - SKECHERS, U.S.A., INC. vs INTER PACIFIC INDUSTRIAL TRADING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164545 - LORBE REBUCAN y BALTAZAR vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 165038 - HEIRS OF EMILIO R. DOMINGO AND FELICIDAD CORNEJO, ET AL. vs THE HEIRS OF CLARITA D. MARTIN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 164858 - HENRY P. LANOT vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS

  • G.R. No. 165724 - ZAMORA REALTY and DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, ET AL. vs OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 165879 - MARIA B. CHING vs JOSEPH C. GOYANKO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166403 - BENZON O. ALDEMITA vs HEIRS OF MELQUIADES SILVA

  • G.R. NOS. 166143-47 and G.R. NO. 166891 - ABDUSAKUR M. TAN, ET AL. vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166496 - JOSEFA BAUTISTA FERRER vs SPS. MANUEL M. FERRER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166501 - ERNESTO B. FRANCISCO, JR. vs HON. BAYANI F. FERNANDO

  • G.R. No. 166649 - ROBERT B. CABUYOC vs INTER-ORIENT NAVIGATION SHIPMANAGEMENT, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166833 - FELIXBERTO CUBERO, ET AL. vs LAGUNA WEST MULTI-PURPOSE COOPERATIVE, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 166837 - LIGAYA S. ORBETA vs RUBEN P. ORBETA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167680 - SAMUEL PARILLA, ET AL. vs DR. PROSPERO PILAR

  • G.R. No. 167723 - CLUB FILIPINO, INC. vs ROMEO ARAULLO

  • G.R. No. 167743 - HILARIO P. SORIANO vs OMBUDSMAN SIMEON V. MARCELO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 167844 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168035 - MELANIE M. MESINA, ET AL. vs GLORIA C. GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 168718 - OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN vs FARIDA T. LUCERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 168694 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs SAIDAMIN MACABALANG y MALAMAMA

  • G.R. No. 169193 - SPOUSES ILUMINADA CAPITLE and CIRILO CAPITLE vs FORTUNATA ELBAMBUENA, ET AL.

  • G.R. NOS. 169295-96 - REMINGTON INDUSTRIAL SALES CORPORATION vs ERLINDA CASTANEDA

  • G.R. No. 169341 - City of Cebu v. Vicente B. Del Rosario

  • G.R. No. 169578 - TERESITA DIO vs ST. FERDINAND MEMORIAL PARK, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 169698 - LUPO ATIENZA vs YOLANDA DE CASTRO

  • G.R. No. 169891 - PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS vs ETHEL BRUNTY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170220 - JOSEFINA S. LUBRICA, ET AL. vs LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 170522 - CELSO LOPEZ OCATE vs COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 170829 - Perla G. Patricio v. Marcelino G. Dario III, et al.

  • G.R. No. 171102 - ATP TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL, INC. vs MICRON PRECISION PHILS., INC.

  • G.R. No. 170840 - THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs GREGORIO CARPIO @ "GORIO"

  • G.R. No. 171144 - SANTOS L. NACAYTUNA vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. NOS. 171322-24 - MARIANITO S. VICTORIANO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G.R. No. 172274 - ROMEO D. CABARLO vs PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES

  • G. R. No. 171447 - PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs FEDERICO ARNAIZ y ARMONIO

  • G.R. No. 173290 - ZENAIDA M. LIMBONA vs JUDGE RALPH S. LEE, ET AL.

  •  





     
     

    A.M. No. RTJ-06-2002 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.  vs  JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR.

      A.M. No. RTJ-06-2002 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC. vs JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR.

    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    EN BANC

    [A.M. NO. RTJ-06-2002 : November 24, 2006]

    ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC., represented by EMMANUEL ZAPANTA, Complainant, v. JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR., Regional Trial Court, Branch 67, Pasig City, Respondent.

    D E C I S I O N

    YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

    This administrative case stems from the Resolution1 dated September 17, 2004 and Omnibus Order2 dated November 12, 2004 issued by respondent Judge Mariano M. Singzon, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 67 in SCA No. 2673, entitled Rockland Construction Company, Inc. v. Mid-Pasig Land Development Corp. and Ernesto R. Jalandoni.

    For a clearer understanding of the present complaint, reference to Civil Case Nos. 68213 and 8788 is necessary.

    On January 11, 2001, Rockland Construction Company, Inc. (Rockland) filed a complaint for Specific Performance with Damages against Mid-Pasig Land Development Corporation (MPLDC) docketed as Civil Case No. 68213. The case involved the possession of a parcel of land better known as the site of "Payanig sa Pasig" which Rockland leased from MPLDC and, in turn, subleased to MC Home Depot.

    As summarized by the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), the pertinent facts are as follows:

    Civil Case No. 68213 is an action for Specific Performance raffled to Branch 266, RTC, Pasig City, presided over by Judge Rodrigo B. Lorenzo. Rockland therein demanded that MPLDC be required to execute in its favor a written contract of lease over the subject property. It also prayed for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to restrain MPLDC from ejecting it from the premises and to issue a writ of mandatory injunction compelling the said MPLDC to execute the written lease contract aforementioned.

    MPLDC moved for the dismissal of the complaint x x x [but] Judge Lorenzo dismissed this motion on August 20, 2001. He also denied MPLDC's subsequent Motion for Reconsideration filed on September 11, 2001. On even date, Judge Lorenzo also issued a TRO requiring the parties to maintain the status quo pending the hearing on and resolution of the petition for the issuance of a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Judge Lorenzo eventually issued an Injunctive Order on 4 October 2001 prohibiting MPLDC or any person acting on its behalf from ejecting Rockland from the subject premises.

    In the meantime, MPLDC filed an action for Unlawful Detainer against Rockland on 22 August 2001. This case was docketed as Civil Case No. 8788 and was raffled to Branch 70, MeTC, Pasig City. Almost simultaneously with the filing of the ejectment case, MPLDC filed a supplemental motion in Civil Case No. 68213 seeking the dismissal on the ground of litis pendencia. Judge Lorenzo denied this motion, prompting MPLDC to file a Petition for Certiorari with the Court of Appeals questioning the denial of its Motion to Dismiss. The Court of Appeals dismissed this petition on 25 January 2002, prompting MPLDC to elevate the matter to the Supreme Court through a petition docketed as G.R. No. 153751.

    On 8 October 2003, the Supreme Court granted MPLDC's petition, reversed the Decision of the Court of Appeals, and ordered the dismissal of Civil Case No. 68213 pending before Judge Lorenzo of Branch 266, RTC-Pasig. It upheld the jurisdiction of the MeTC Pasig over the ejectment case. However, before the issuance of the Supreme Court's Decision, more specifically on 29 April 2002, Branch 70, MeTC-Pasig already dismissed Civil Case No. 8788 on the ground that the issue sought to be resolved did not appear to be one of possession but referred to the exercise of the option to renew a contract. MeTC Branch 70 ruled that such issue was beyond pecuniary estimation; thus, it had no jurisdiction thereon.

    Rockland sought the reconsideration of the Supreme Court's 8 October 2003 Decision. In a Resolution dated 9 February 2005, the Supreme Court denied with finality such Motion for Reconsideration.

    In the interim, pending resolution of Rockland's Motion for Reconsideration of the Supreme Court's 8 October 2003 Decision and before such Decision's finality, Rockland filed with the Pasig RTC on 7 May 2004 an action charging MPLDC and Ernesto R. Jalandoni with indirect contempt of court. The case was docketed as SCA No. 2673 RTC-Pasig City and raffled to Branch 67 presided over by Judge Singzon.

    On 17 September 2004, Judge Singzon dismissed the petition in this manner:

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby ordered dismissed and considering that the lease period between petitioner and respondent Mid-Pasig has evidently expired without being renewed, this Court takes note of the fact that petitioner has lost its possessory right over the subject property it occupies. In view thereof, the petitioner is directed to henceforth refrain from exercising any possessory right over the subject property."

    On 28 September 2004, Rockland moved for the reconsideration of the foregoing Resolution. Meanwhile, on 14 October 2004, almost a month after the issuance of the said Resolution, Pasig Printing Corp. (PPC) filed a Motion to Intervene (in SCA No. 2673) together with its Answer-in-Intervention as defendant in the said case. It likewise asked for the immediate execution of the Resolution dated 17 September 2004 and prayed that -

    "' should petitioner [Rockland] continue to fail and refuse to obey said Resolution, the Sheriff of this Court be authorized to 'padlock' the subject premises to facilitate the implementation of said Resolution."

    Rockland opposed the foregoing Motion on 28 October 2004. The parties thereafter filed several other pleadings before Judge Singzon. On 12 November 2004, Judge Singzon issued an Omnibus Order, with the following dispositive portion:

    "WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Motion for Reconsideration [of Rockland], dated September 27, 2004, is denied and the dispositive portion of this Court's Resolution, dated September 17, 2004, is hereby reiterated and re-affirmed.

    "Moreover, the instant Urgent Motion to Intervene filed by Intervenor Pasig Printing Corporation, is hereby granted. Likewise, the prayer for immediate execution of the Resolution of this Court, dated September 17, 2004, is also hereby granted.

    "Consequently, pursuant to the Intervenor's prayer, the Court's Sheriff is hereby directed to implement forthwith the subject Resolution, dated September 17, 2004, employing reasonable force, if necessary, including the padlocking of the MC Home Depot premises located at Ortigas Avenue corner Meralco Avenue, Pasig City, Metro Manila and make the corresponding return thereon immediately. Let the Clerk of Court issue the corresponding Writ of Execution for the implementation of subject Resolution, dated September 17, 2004.

    "SO ORDERED."

    Pursuant to such Omnibus Order, the Clerk of Court issued a Writ of Execution on 16 November 2004.

    Not satisfied, Rockland filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a TRO and Injunction before the Court of Appeals (C.A. G.R. No. 87425, Seventh Division). The Court of Appeals eventually decided this case as follows:

    "WHEREFORE, the assailed Resolution dated September 17, 2004 and the Omnibus Order dated November 12, 2004 are hereby PARTIALLY AFFIRMED, that is, only insofar as they dismissed the charge for indirect contempt against Mid-Pasig Land Development Corporation, Ernesto Jalandoni, Manila Electric Company, and Alfonso Y. Lacap. The same resolution and Omnibus Order are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE in all other respects, specifically insofar as they: 1) declared Mid-Pasig as the rightful possessor of the subject property; 2) ordered Rockland to refrain from exercising any possessory right over the same; and 3) granted Pasig Printing Corporation's Motion to Intervene and for Immediate Execution.

    "Accordingly, the Writ of Execution issued on November 16, 2004, by virtue of which possession of the subject property was turned over to private respondent Pasig Printing Corporation, is likewise NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE."

    In the meantime and as previously mentioned, Rockland also filed the instant administrative complaint on December 23, 2004.3

    x x x

    OTHER RELEVANT INFORMATION: Both the petitioner and private respondents in C.A. G.R. SP No. 87425 filed motions in connection with said case, to wit: Petitioner Rockland filed a Motion to Amplify Decision, private respondents Mid-land Pasig and Ernesto R. Jalandoni filed a Partial Motion for Reconsideration, and private respondent PPC likewise filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision. The Court of Appeals' former Seventh Division DENIED all of these motions in its Resolution dated May 25, 2005. PPC thereafter filed a petition before the Supreme Court against Rockland docketed as G.R. No. 168344.

    In a Resolution dated 31 August 2005, the Supreme Court DENIED the PPC's Petition for Review on Certiorari . The Court therein stated that PPC failed to "sufficiently show that the Court of Appeals had committed any reversible error in the questioned judgment to warrant the exercise by this Court of its discretionary appellate jurisdiction of this case."

    PPC filed a Motion for Reconsideration dated 10 October 2005, which the Supreme Court DENIED WITH FINALITY, "no substantial argument having been adduced to warrant the reconsideration."4

    In its Complaint5 dated December 23, 2004, Rockland, through its president, Emmanuel Zapanta, accuses respondent judge of: (1) acting without jurisdiction when he ruled on the issue of Rockland's possessory rights notwithstanding that SCA No. 2673 was an action for indirect contempt; (2) disregarding rules of procedure and Rockland's constitutional rights when he granted Pasig Printing Corporation (PPC) the right to possess the subject property despite being a stranger to the case and notwithstanding that the action was for indirect contempt; and (3) showing no respect for hierarchy of courts when he ruled on the issue of possession which is still pending before this Court. For these, complainant charges respondent with violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct; knowingly rendering an unjust judgment; and violation of Section 8, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court.

    In his Comment,6 respondent judge insists that the Resolution dated September 17, 2004 and Omnibus Order dated November 12, 2004 in SCA No. 2673 were issued in good faith and after careful evaluation of the matters involved. He alleges that the September 17, 2004 Resolution resolved the possessory rights of the parties because Rockland invoked his jurisdiction over such matter when it asked for an injunctive order in its Petition for Indirect Contempt.7 As for the Omnibus Order dated November 12, 2004, respondent judge maintains that the intervention of PPC has legal and factual basis because it has relevant and material interest in the outcome of SCA No. 2673.

    On March 14, 2005, respondent judge issued an Order8 voluntarily inhibiting himself from further hearing SCA No. 2673.

    In its Report9 dated April 25, 2006, the OCA noted that respondent judge should have refrained from discussing the issue of possessory rights of the parties considering that the sole issue pending for his determination in SCA No. 2673 was whether or not MPLDC had committed indirect contempt of court. He should have dismissed other issues not pertinent to the case. The OCA also found that respondent judge erroneously allowed PPC to intervene because the latter's Motion to Intervene was filed after respondent judge had already resolved Rockland's Petition for Indirect Contempt. Besides, there was no compelling reason to allow PPC to intervene as it has no legal interest in the property nor is it an indispensable party. In fact, its Option to Lease Agreement with MPLDC clearly excludes the property in controversy between the parties in SCA No. 2673.

    The OCA thus recommended that:

    In view of the foregoing, it is respectfully recommended that respondent Judge Mariano M. Singzon of the Regional Trial Court (Branch 67), Pasig City, be found administratively liable for Gross Ignorance of the Law and Procedure; and penalized with a Fine in the amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos (P20,000.00) with the stern warning that the commission of a similar offense in the future will be dealt with more severely.10

    Competence is a mark of a good judge. When a judge displays an utter lack of familiarity with the rules, he erodes the public's confidence in the competence of our courts.It is highly imperative that judges be conversant with the law and basic legal principles.Basic legal procedures must be at the palm of a judge's hands.11

    In the instant case, respondent judge clearly erred in issuing Resolution dated September 17, 2004 in SCA No. 2673 and resolved the possessory rights of the parties notwithstanding that SCA No. 2673 is an action for indirect contempt. The only issue submitted for resolution was whether or not MPLDC had committed indirect contempt of the court. Respondent judge should know the limits of his jurisdiction and that the same is vested by law and not dependent on the prayer of the parties. Thus, by ruling on matters pertaining to preliminary possessory rights, respondent judge exceeded his jurisdiction.12

    Respondent judge should be reminded that an indirect contempt proceeding is different from and may just be incidental to a main case. It is a separate proceeding which deals with a defiance of the authority, justice, or dignity of the court,13 or any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice.14

    As regards Omnibus Order dated November 12, 2004 where respondent judge allowed PPC's intervention in SCA No. 2673, the OCA correctly noted that there was no compelling reason to grant PPC's Motion for Intervention as it has no legal interest in the matter in litigation nor is it an indispensable party in the said case. The Comment/Manifestation filed by MPLDC even stated that the "Option to Lease attached by Pasig Printing Corporation to its Motion to Intervene excludes the MC Home Depot area,"15 the property which is the subject of litigation. Besides, PPC's Motion for Intervention was filed after respondent judge had already decided the contempt case. In granting the motion to intervene, respondent judge clearly disregarded the rule that motions to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the trial court.16 After trial and decision in a case, intervention can no longer be permitted.

    As an advocate of justice and a visible representation of the law, a judge is expected to be proficient in the interpretation of our laws. When the law is so elementary, not to know it constitutes gross ignorance of the law. Ignorance of the law, which everyone is bound to know, excuses no one - not even judges. Ignorantia juris quod quisque scire tenetur non excusdat.17

    Thus, for resolving the possessory rights of the parties in an action for indirect contempt, and for allowing the intervention of PPC after a decision has already been rendered, respondent judge exceeded his jurisdiction and disregarded the rules of procedure. He is therefore guilty of gross ignorance of the law and procedure.ςηαñrοblεš νιr υαl lαω lιbrαrÿ

    Under Section 8, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, gross ignorance of the law or procedure is classified as a serious charge, punishable by dismissal from the service, suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three but not exceeding six months, or a fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00.18

    Under the circumstances prevailing in the instant case, we find that a fine in the amount of P40,000.00 is in order.

    WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondent Judge Mariano M. Singzon, Jr. of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 67, GUILTY of gross ignorance of the law and procedure. He is ordered to pay a FINE in the amount of P40,000.00 with WARNING that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

    SO ORDERED.


    Endnotes:


    1 Rollo, pp. 143-146.

    2 Id. at 202-207.

    3 Id. at 422-425.

    4 Id. at 427.

    5 Id. at 1-29.

    6 Id. at 361-372.

    7 Id. at 40:

    WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that, after proper proceedings, this Honorable Court issue an Order:

    (1) Citing respondents in contempt of court and penalizing each of them with a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) and/or imprisonment of six (6) months; andcralawlibrary

    (2) Directing respondents to desist from further disturbing petitioner's and its sub-lessee's peaceful possession of the subject property.

    Other equitable reliefs are also prayed for.

    8 Id. at 401.

    9 Id. at 422-432. Signed by Deputy Court Administrator Zenaida N. Elepano with the recommending approval of Assistant Court Administrator Antonio H. Dujua.

    10 Id. at 432.

    11 Balayon, Jr. v. Dinopol, A.M. No. RTJ-06-1969, June 15, 2006, SC E-Library.

    12 Philippine Ports Authority v. Pier 8 Arrastre & Stevedoring Services, Inc., G.R. NOS. 147861 & 155252, November 18, 2005, 475 SCRA 426, 444.

    13 Abad v. Somera, G.R. No. 82216, July 2, 1990, 187 SCRA 75, 84-85.

    14 Barredo-Fuentes v. Albarracin, A.M. No. MTJ-05-1587, April 15, 2005, 456 SCRA 120, 131.

    15 Rollo, p. 200.

    16 Rules of Court, Rule 19, Sec. 2.

    17 Español v. Mupas, A.M. No. MTJ-01-1348, November 11, 2004, 442 SCRA 13, 44-45.

    18 See RULES OF COURT, Rule 140, Sec. 11.

    A.M. No. RTJ-06-2002 - ROCKLAND CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.  vs  JUDGE MARIANO M. SINGZON, JR.


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