A.M. No. RTJ-05-1953 - Mayor Hadji Amer R. Sampiano, et al. v. Judge Cader P. Indar, Acting Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Br. 12, Malabang, Lanao del Sur
[A.M. NO. RTJ-05-1953 : December 21, 2009]
MAYOR HADJI AMER R. SAMPIANO, SOMER ABDULLAH, SALIC TAMPUGAO, ANTHONY ABI, SAGA POLE INOG, TORORAC DOMATO, KING MARONSING, MARGARITA SOLAIMAN, HADJI ACMAD MAMENTING and BILLIE JAI LAINE T. OGKA, Complainants, v. JUDGE CADER P. INDAR, Acting Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court, Branch 12, Malabang, Lanao del Sur, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, J.:
This administrative case against respondent Judge Cader P. Indar of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 12, Malabang, Lanao del Sur stemmed from a complaint1 filed by Hadji Amer R. Sampiano (Sampiano), incumbent Mayor, and the members of the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Balabagan, Lanao del Sur, charging said judge with gross and wanton ignorance of the law, grave abuse of authority, manifest partiality and serious acts of impropriety in connection with the issuance of an Order2 dated October 11, 2004 in Special Civil Action (SCA) No. 12-173,3 entitled Sumulong Sampiano Ogka (Ogka) v. Philippine National Bank(PNB)-Marawi Branch, represented by its Branch Manager Sandorie T. Disomangcop (Disomangcop), Atty. Alvin C. Go (Go), Hadji Amer Sampiano and Mamarinta Macabato (Macabato), for Prohibition and Injunction with Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and Preliminary Injunction.
The antecedent facts are as follows:
Prior to the filing of the present administrative case, complainant Sampiano filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) a Petition for Annulment of Proclamation with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction/TRO4 against his rival mayoralty candidate, his uncle Ogka, and the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Balabagan, Lanao del Sur composed of Vadria Pungginagina and Zenaida Mante. The case was docketed as SPC No. 04-285. It appears that the Comelec issued the following: Order dated August 4, 20045 (authorizing the vice-mayor to temporarily assume the duties and responsibilities as mayor due to the double proclamation of Sampiano and Ogka for the position of mayor), Order dated August 12, 20046 (recalling the Order authorizing the assumption of the vice-mayor as the mayor, and instead maintaining the status quo prevailing at the time of the issuance of the said Order), and Order dated September 9, 20047 (clarifying the Order of August 12, 2004). Pursuant to the said Orders, Sampiano was ordered to act, perform and discharge the duties, functions and responsibilities as mayor "to prevent paralysis to public service" pending determination and final resolution of the controversy involving the mayorship of the Municipality of Balabagan.
Aggrieved, Ogka filed, on September 13, 2004, an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration of the September 9, 2004 Order.8 He also informed in writing,9 the Chief Legal Counsel of PNB, Atty. Alvin C. Go, and asked him not to release the IRA (Internal Revenue Allotment which is the share of the local government unit in national internal revenue taxes) for the Municipality of Balabagan, Lanao del Sur until the controversy involving the mayorship of the said municipality now pending with the Comelec shall have been finally resolved. He cited Section 2, Rule 19 of the Comelec Rules of Procedure which provides that a motion for reconsideration, if not pro-forma, suspends the execution or implementation of the decision, resolution, order or ruling. However, on the basis of the Comelec Order dated September 9, 2004, Go directed PNB-Marawi to release the July, August, and September 2004 IRA for the Municipality of Balabagan, Lanao del Sur to Sampiano and Macabato (the Municipal Treasurer). In turn, PNB-Marawi acting through its manager, Disomangcop, released on September 14, 2004 the pending IRA for the months of July to September 2004. To temporarily suspend the release by the PNB-Marawi of the October 2004 IRA while his Urgent Motion for Reconsideration of the September 9, 2004 Order of the Comelec is pending resolution, Ogka filed on October 11, 2004, a special civil action for Prohibition and Injunction with TRO and Preliminary Injunction,10 docketed as SCA No. 12-173, with the RTC, Branch 12, Malabang, Lanao del Sur presided over by herein respondent Judge. The petition contained the following prayer:
WHEREFORE, all the foregoing premises considered, petitioner thru counsel, most respectfully prays this Honorable Court that:
(1) Considering the urgency of the subject matter of the petition, a temporary restraining order (TRO) be immediately issued upon the filing of this petition ORDERING
(a) respondent Atty. Alvin C. Go to cease and desist from issuing an order ordering the respondent PNB-Marawi Branch manager Sandorie T. Disomangcop to release the October 2004 IRA and the months thereafter to respondents Hadji Amer Sampiano and Mamarinta Macabato or their agents or persons acting for and in their behalves,
(b) respondent PNB-Marawi thru Sandorie T. Disomangcop to cease and desist from accepting and honoring any withdrawal check(s) for the October 2004 IRA of Balabagan signed by respondents Hadji Amer Sampiano and Mamarinta Macabato and or releasing the October 2004 IRA for Balabagan, Lanao del Sur to respondents Mamarinta Macabato and Hadji Amer Sampiano or their agents or persons acting for and in their behalves, and
(c) respondents Hadji Amer Sampiano and Mamarinta Macabato including their agents or persons acting for and in their behalves to cease and desist from withdrawing/releasing the October 2004 IRA for Balabagan, Lanao del Sur from the respondent PNB-Marawi; and
(2) After, notice and hearing, a writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) be issued against the respondents including the persons acting for and in their behalves under the same terms and conditions as the TRO for a period lasting until the petition in SPC No. 04-285 pending before the Comelec shall have been finally decided.11
On the same day, respondent Judge issued an Order setting the hearing of the petition on October 14, 2004. He likewise directed, pending resolution of the said petition, the PNB-Marawi (represented by Disomangcop and Go) to hold or defer the release of the IRA for the Municipality of Balabagan unless ordered otherwise by the court, thus:
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