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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
 

 
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April-2011 Jurisprudence                 

  • [G.R. No. 171406, April 04 : 2011] ASIAN TERMINALS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. MALAYAN INSURANCE, CO., INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 160949, April 04 : 2011] COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, PETITIONER, VS. PL MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL PHILIPPINES, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 158362, April 04 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. GILBERTO VILLARICO, SR. @ "BERTING", GILBERTO VILLARICO, JR., JERRY RAMENTOS, AND RICKY VILLARICO, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 187534, April 04 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. DIMA MONTANIR, RONALD NORVA AND EDUARDO CHUA, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 149193, April 04 : 2011] RICARDO B. BANGAYAN, PETITIONER, VS. RIZAL COMMERCIAL BANKING CORPORATION AND PHILIP SARIA, RESPONDENTS,

  • [G.R. No. 190823, April 04 : 2011] DOMINGO CARABEO, PETITIONER, VS.SPOUSES NORBERTO AND SUSAN DINGCO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-11-2922 (formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 03-1778-P), April 04 : 2011] MARY JANE ABANAG, COMPLAINANT, VS. NICOLAS B. MABUTE, COURT APRIL 4, 2011 STENOGRAPHER I, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT (MCTC), PARANAS, SAMAR, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 167022, April 04 : 2011] LICOMCEN INCORPORATED, PETITIONER, VS. FOUNDATION SPECIALISTS, INC., RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 169678] FOUNDATION SPECIALISTS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. LICOMCEN INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 171497, April 04 : 2011] MARIA LOURDES TAMANI, CONCEPCION TAMANI, ESTRELLA TAMANI, TERESITA TAMANI, AZUCENA SOLEDAD, DOLORES GUERRERO, CRISTINA TUGADE DAMIETA MANSAANG, MANUEL TAMANI, VALERIANA CASTRO, AURORA SANTIAGO AND ROSARIO CASTILLO, PETITIONERS, VS. ROMAN SALVADOR AND FILOMENA BRAVO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G. R. No. 164195, April 05 : 2011] APO FRUITS CORPORATION AND HIJO PLANTATION, INC., PETITIONERS, VS. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 178406, April 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RONALDO SALUDO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189980, April 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ALBERTO BACUS ALCUIZAR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 169564, April 06 : 2011] AMES BEN L. JERUSALEM PETITIONER, VS. KEPPEL MONTE BANK, HOE ENG HOCK, SUNNY YAP AND JOSEFINA PICART, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2791 (formerly A.M. No. 10-3-91-RTC), April 06 : 2011] JUDGE RENATO A. FUENTES, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 17, DAVAO CITY, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ROGELIO F. FABRO, BRANCH CLERK OF COURT, SAME COURT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170166, April 06 : 2011] JOE A. ROS AND ESTRELLA AGUETE, PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK - LAOAG BRANCH, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.C. No. 7771, April 06 : 2011] PATRICIO GONE, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. MACARIO GA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188715, April 06 : 2011] RODOLFO N. REGALA, PETITIONER, VS. FEDERICO P. CARIN, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 163039, April 06 : 2011] HEIRS OF FRANCISCO RETUYA, FELICITAS R. PINTOR, HEIRS OF EPIFANIA R. SEMBLANTE, NAMELY, PREMILINO SEMBLANTE, LUCIFINA S. TAGALOG, URSULINA S. ALMACEN; HEIRS OF JUAN RETUYA, NAMELY, BALBINA R. RODRIGUEZ, DOLORES R. RELACION, SINFOROSA R. BASUBAS, TEOPISTA R. BASUBAS, FERNANDO RETUYA, BALDOMERO RETUYA, TEOFILO RETUYA, LEONA COLINA, FIDELA R. RAMIREZ, MARTINA R. ALBAÑO, SEVERINA R. CABAHUG; HEIRS OF RAFAELA VILLAMOR; ELIZABETH V. ALESNA; HEIRS OF QUINTIN RETUYA, NAMELY, FELIMON RETUYA, SOFIA RETUYA, RUDOLFA RETUYA AND ELISA RETUYA, PETITIONERS, VS. HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ULRIC CAÑETE AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT BRANCH 55, MANDAUE CITY, NICOLAS RETUYA; HEIRS OF EULOGIO RETUYA, NAMELY, MIGUEL RETUYA, RAMON RETUYA, GIL RETUYA, PIO RETUYA, MELANIO RETUYA, NICANOR RETUYA, LEONILA RETUYA, AQUILINA RETUYA, LUTGARDA RETUYA AND PROCOPIO VILLANUEVA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2279 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 08-3041-RTJ ), April 06 : 2011] FLORENCE EBERSOLE DEL MAR- SCHUCHMAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE EFREN M. CACATIAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 35, SANTIAGO CITY, ISABELA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 156684, April 06 : 2011] SPOUSES ANTONIO AND FE YUSAY, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, CITY MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF MANDALUYONG CITY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171129, April 06 : 2011] ENRICO SANTOS, PETITIONER, VS. NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 180173, April 06 : 2011] MICROSOFT PHILIPPINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 182967, April 06 : 2011] PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RAILWAYS, PETITIONER, VS. KANLAON CONSTRUCTION ENTERPRISES CO., INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 169627, April 06 : 2011] ROSEMARIE SALMA ARAGONCILLO-MOLOK, PETITIONER, VS. SITY AISA BARANGAI MOLOK, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 161204, April 06 : 2011] NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. HON. VICENTE Q. ROXAS (PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 227,) REGISTER OF DEEDS OF QUEZON CITY, LAND REGISTRATION AUTHORITY, OFFICE OF THE CITY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189457, April 07 : 2011] SUNRISE HOLIDAY CONCEPTS, INC., Petitioner, vs. TERESA A. ARUGAY, Respondent.

  • [G.R. No. 186070, April 11 : 2011] CLIENTLOGIC PHILPPINES, INC. (NOW KNOWN AS SITEL), JOSEPH VELASQUEZ, IRENE ROA AND RODNEY SPIRES, PETITIONERS, VS. BENEDICT CASTRO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 191008, April 11 : 2011] QUIRICO LOPEZ, PETITIONER, VS. ALTURAS GROUP OF COMPANIES AND/OR MARLITO UY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 192188, April 11 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ANDREW ROBLE, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 174861, April 11 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. REYNALDO OLESCO Y ANDAYANG,[1] APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 178635, April 11 : 2011] SERVILLANO E. ABAD, PETITIONER, VS. OSCAR C. FARRALES AND DAISY C. FARRALES-VILLAMAYOR, RESPONDENTS. D E C I S I O N

  • [G.R. No. 187872, April 11 : 2011] STRATEGIC ALLIANCE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. STAR INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 154042, April 11 : 2011] JOSE T. TUBOLA, JR., PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180282, April 11 : 2011] CRISPIN DICHOSO, JR., EVELYN DICHOSO VALDEZ, AND ROSEMARIE DICHOSO PE BENITO, PETITIONERS,vs.PATROCINIO L. MARCOS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 186243, April 11 : 2011] HACIENDA PRIMERA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and ANNA KATRINA E. HERNANDEZ, Petitioners, vs. MICHAEL S. VILLEGAS, Respondent.

  • [G.R. No. 179010, April 11 : 2011] ELENITA M. DEWARA, REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, FERDINAND MAGALLANES, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES RONNIE AND GINA LAMELA AND STENILE ALVERO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190660, April 11 : 2011] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND ELIZABETH DIAZ, REPRESENTED BY FRANCISCA P. DE GUZMAN AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183575, April 11 : 2011] SPOUSES ROGELIO MARCELO AND MILAGROS MARCELO, PETITIONERS, VS. LBC BANK, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2767 [Formerly AM OCA IPI 08-2905-P], April 12 : 2011] BR> ANTONIO EXEQUIEL A. MOMONGAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. PRIMITIVO A. SUMAYO, CLERK III AND ARIEL A. MOMONGAN, PROCESS SERVER, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-11-2913 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-2810-P), April 12 : 2011] MA. CHEDNA ROMERO, COMPLAINANT, VS. PACIFICO B. VILLAROSA, JR., SHERIFF IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 17, PALOMPON, LEYTE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193846, April 12 : 2011] MARIA LAARNI L. CAYETANO, PETITIONER, VS. THE COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS AND DANTE O. TINGA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. OCA IPI No. 10-177-CA-J, April 12 : 2011] RE: COMPLAINT OF CONCERNED MEMBERS OF CHINESE GROCERS ASSOCIATION AGAINST JUSTICE SOCORRO B. INTING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS

  • [G.R. No. 191940, April 12 : 2011] PHILIPPINE CHARITY SWEEPSTAKES OFFICE BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND REYNALDO P. MARTIN, PETITIONERS, VS. MARIE JEAN C. LAPID, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 176951, April 12 : 2011] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TREÑAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TREÑAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF BAYBAY, PROVINCE OF LEYTE; MUNICIPALITY OF BOGO, PROVINCE OF CEBU; MUNICIPALITY OF CATBALOGAN, PROVINCE OF WESTERN SAMAR; MUNICIPALITY OF TANDAG, PROVINCE OF SURIGAO DEL SUR; MUNICIPALITY OF BORONGAN, PROVINCE OF EASTERN SAMAR; AND MUNICIPALITY OF TAYABAS, PROVINCE OF QUEZON, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 177499] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TREÑAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TREÑAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF LAMITAN, PROVINCE OF BASILAN; MUNICIPALITY OF TABUK, PROVINCE OF KALINGA; MUNICIPALITY OF BAYUGAN, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL SUR; MUNICIPALITY OF BATAC, PROVINCE OF ILOCOS NORTE; MUNICIPALITY OF MATI, PROVINCE OF DAVAO ORIENTAL; AND MUNICIPALITY OF GUIHULNGAN, PROVINCE OF NEGROS ORIENTAL, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 178056] LEAGUE OF CITIES OF THE PHILIPPINES (LCP), REPRESENTED BY LCP NATIONAL PRESIDENT JERRY P. TREÑAS; CITY OF CALBAYOG, REPRESENTED BY MAYOR MEL SENEN S. SARMIENTO; AND JERRY P. TREÑAS, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AS TAXPAYER, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS; MUNICIPALITY OF CABADBARAN, PROVINCE OF AGUSAN DEL NORTE; MUNICIPALITY OF CARCAR, PROVINCE OF CEBU; MUNICIPALITY OF EL SALVADOR, PROVINCE OF MISAMIS ORIENTAL; MUNICIPALITY OF NAGA, CEBU; AND DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A. M. No. 08-19-SB-J, April 12 : 2011] ASSISTANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR III ROHERMIA J. JAMSANI-RODRIGUEZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUSTICES GREGORY S. ONG, JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, AND RODOLFO A. PONFERRADA, SANDIGANBAYAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180050, April 12 : 2011] RODOLFO G. NAVARRO, VICTOR F. BERNAL, AND RENE O. MEDINA, PETITIONERS, VS. EXECUTIVE SECRETARY EDUARDO ERMITA, REPRESENTING THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES; SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE SENATE PRESIDENT; HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, REPRESENTED BY THE HOUSE SPEAKER; GOVERNOR ROBERT ACE S. BARBERS, REPRESENTING THE MOTHER PROVINCE OF SURIGAO DEL NORTE; GOVERNOR GERALDINE ECLEO VILLAROMAN, REPRESENTING THE NEW PROVINCE OF DINAGAT ISLANDS, RESPONDENTS, CONGRESSMAN FRANCISCO T. MATUGAS, HON. SOL T. MATUGAS, HON. ARTURO CARLOS A. EGAY, JR., HON. SIMEON VICENTE G. CASTRENCE, HON. MAMERTO D. GALANIDA, HON. MARGARITO M. LONGOS, AND HON. CESAR M. BAGUNDOL, INTERVENORS.

  • [G.R. No. 175831, April 12 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. FLORANTE RELANES ALIAS "DANTE," APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189479, April 12 : 2011] JEROME JAPSON, PETITIONER, VS. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-09-2197 [FORMERLY OCA-I.P.I. NO. 08-3026-RTJ], April 13 : 2011] ANTONINO MONTICALBO, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE CRESCENTE F. MARAYA, JR., REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 11, CALUBIAN, LEYTE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183984, April 13 : 2011] ARTURO SARTE FLORES, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES ENRICO L. LINDO, JR. AND EDNA C. LINDO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 150898, April 13 : 2011] OCEAN BUILDERS CONSTRUCTION CORP., AND/OR DENNIS HAO, PETITIONERS, VS. SPOUSES ANTONIO AND ANICIA CUBACUB, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 182262, April 13 : 2011] ROMULO B. DELA ROSA, PETITIONER, VS. MICHAELMAR PHILIPPINES, INC., SUBSTITUTED BY OSG SHIPMANAGEMENT MANILA, INC.,* AND/OR MICHAELMAR SHIPPING SERVICES, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 135715, April 13 : 2011] PRESIDENTIAL AD HOC FACT- FINDING COMMITTEE ON BEHEST LOANS, REPRESENTED BY MAGDANGAL B. ELMA, PCGG CHAIRMAN AND ORLANDO C. SALVADOR AS CONSULTANT OF THE TECHNICAL WORKING GROUP OF THE AD-HOC COMMITTEE, PETITIONERS, VS. HONORABLE ANIANO A. DESIERTO AS OMBUDSMAN, PANFILO O. DOMINGO, CONRADO S. REYES, ENRIQUE M. HERBOZA, MOHAMMAD ALI DIMAPORO, ABDULLAH DIMAPORO AND AMER DIANALAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190487, April 13 : 2011] BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, PETITIONER, VS. PETER SHERMAN, MICHAEL WHELAN, TEODORO B. LINGAN, ATTY. OFELIA B. CAJIGAL AND THE COURT OF TAX APPEALS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181440, April 13 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AIDA MARQUEZ, ACCUSED-APPELLANT. D E C I S I O N

  • [G.R. No. 170914, April 13 : 2011] STEFAN TITO MIÑOZA PETITIONER, VS. HON. CESAR TOMAS LOPEZ, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS MAYOR AND CHAIR, LOON COCKPIT ARENA BIDDING AND AWARDS COMMITTEE, ITS MEMBERS NAMELY: HERMINIGILDO M. CALIFORNIA, NOEL CASTROJO, JESSE SEVILLA, FORTUNATO GARAY, PERFECTO MANTE, ROGELIO GANADOS, P/INSP. JASEN MAGARAN, SANGGUNIANG BAYAN OF LOON, BOHOL, REPRESENTED BY ITS PRESIDING OFFICER, VICE MAYOR RAUL BARBARONA, AND MARCELO EPE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 157717, April 13 : 2011] HEIRS OF MAXIMINO DERLA, NAMELY: ZELDA, JUNA, GERALDINE, AIDA, ALMA, ALL SURNAMED DERLA; AND SABINA VDA. DE DERLA, ALL REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, ZELDA DERLA, PETITIONERS, VS. HEIRS OF CATALINA DERLA VDA. DE HIPOLITO, MAE D. HIPOLITO, ROGER ZAGALES, FRANCISCO DERLA, SR., JOVITO DERLA, EXALTACION POND, AND VINA U. CASAWAY, IN HER CAPACITY AS THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF TAGUM, DAVAO DEL NORTE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189655, April 13 : 2011] AOWA ELECTRONIC PHILIPPINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY, NATIONAL CAPITAL REGION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183569, April 13 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. VICENTE PUBLICO Y AMODIA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 168922, April 13 : 2011] WILFREDO Y. ANTIQUINA, PETITIONER, VS. MAGSAYSAY MARITIME CORPORATION AND/OR MASTERBULK, PTE., LTD., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 169292, April 13 : 2011] SPOUSES FRANCISCO DE GUZMAN, JR. AND AMPARO O. DE GUZMAN, PETITIONERS, VS. CESAR OCHOA AND SYLVIA A. OCHOA, REPRESENTED BY ARACELI S. AZORES, AS THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 166859 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., BALETE RANCH, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., DREAM PASTURES, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., FILSOV SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., HABAGAT REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., LABAYUG AIR TERMINALS, INC., LANDAIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., LHL CATTLE CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., MISTY MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL CORP., NORTHEAST CONTRACT TRADERS, INC., NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., OCEANSIDE MARITIME ENTERPRISES, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., PHILIPPINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PUNONG-BAYAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP., PURA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., SOUTHERN SERVICE TRADERS, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., SPADE ONE RESORTS CORP., UNEXPLORED LAND DEVELOPERS, INC., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP. AND WINGS RESORTS CORP., RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 169203 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., MISTY MOUNTAINS AGRICULTURAL CORP., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., LHL CATTLE CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., DREAM PASTURES, INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., LAND AIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., ECJ & SONS AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., ARCHIPELAGO FINANCE AND LEASING CORP., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., VENTURE SECURITIES, INC., BALETE RANCH, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., AND KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 180702 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, EDGARDO J. ANGARA,* JOSE C. CONCEPCION, AVELINO V. CRUZ, EDUARDO U. ESCUETA, PARAJA G. HAYUDINI, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, TEODORO D. REGALA, DANILO URSUA, ROGELIO A. VINLUAN, AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., ANGLO VENTURES, INC., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AP HOLDINGS, INC., ARC INVESTMENT, INC., ASC INVESTMENT, INC., AUTONOMOUS DEVELOPMENT CORP., BALETE RANCH, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., CAGAYAN DE ORO OIL COMPANY, INC., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, COCOA INVESTORS, INC., DAVAO AGRICULTURAL AVIATION, INC., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., DREAM PASTURES, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., ECJ & SONS AGRI. ENT., INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., FILSOV SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., FIRST MERIDIAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., GRANEXPORT MANUFACTURING CORP., HABAGAT REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., HYCO AGRICULTURAL, INC., ILIGAN COCONUT INDUSTRIES, INC., KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., LABAYOG AIR TERMINALS, INC., LANDAIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., LEGASPI OIL COMPANY, LHL CATTLE CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., MISTY MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL CORP., NORTHEAST CONTRACT TRADERS, INC., NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., OCEANSIDE MARITIME ENTERPRISES, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., PHILIPPINE RADIO CORP., INC., PHILIPPINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PUNONG-BAYAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP., PURA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., RANDY ALLIED VENTURES, INC., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., ROCKSTEEL RESOURCES, INC., ROXAS SHARES, INC., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION OFFICERS, INC., SAN PABLO MANUFACTURING CORP., SOUTHERN LUZON OIL MILLS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., SORIANO SHARES, INC., SOUTHERN SERVICE TRADERS, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., SPADE 1 RESORTS CORP., TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., TEDEUM RESOURCES, INC., THILAGRO EDIBLE OIL MILLS, INC., TODA HOLDINGS, INC., UNEXPLORED LAND DEVELOPERS, INC., VALHALLA PROPERTIES, INC., VENTURES SECURITIES, INC., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP. AND WINGS RESORTS CORP., RESPONDENTS. JOVITO R. SALONGA, WIGBERTO E. TAÑADA, OSCAR F. SANTOS, VIRGILIO M. DAVID, ROMEO C. ROYANDAYAN FOR HIMSELF AND FOR SURIGAO DEL SUR FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES (SUFAC), MORO FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (MOFAZS) AND COCONUT FARMERS OF SOUTHERN LEYTE COOPERATIVE (COFA-SL); PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT (PRRM), REPRESENTED BY CONRADO S. NAVARRO; COCONUT INDUSTRY REFORM MOVEMENT, INC. (COIR) REPRESENTED BY JOSE MARIE T. FAUSTINO; VICENTE FABE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG MGA SAMAHAN NG MAGSASAKA (PAKISAMA); NONITO CLEMENTE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR THE NAGKAKAISANG UGNAYAN NG MGA MALILIIT NA MAGSASAKA AT MANGGAGAWA SA NIYUGAN (NIUGAN); DIONELO M. SUANTE, SR. FOR HIMSELF AND FOR KALIPUNAN NG MALILIIT NA MAGNINIYOG NG PILIPINAS (KAMMPIL), INC., PETITIONERS-INTERVENORS.

  • [G.R. NO. 169203 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN (FIRST DIVISION), EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., MISTY MOUNTAINS AGRICULTURAL CORP., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., LHL CATTLE CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., DREAM PASTURES, INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., LAND AIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., ECJ & SONS AGRICULTURAL ENTERPRISES, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., ARCHIPELAGO FINANCE AND LEASING CORP., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., VENTURE SECURITIES, INC., BALETE RANCH, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., AND KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. NO. 180702 : April 12, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. EDUARDO M. COJUANGCO, JR., FERDINAND E. MARCOS, IMELDA R. MARCOS, EDGARDO J. ANGARA,* JOSE C. CONCEPCION, AVELINO V. CRUZ, EDUARDO U. ESCUETA, PARAJA G. HAYUDINI, JUAN PONCE ENRILE, TEODORO D. REGALA, DANILO URSUA, ROGELIO A. VINLUAN, AGRICULTURAL CONSULTANCY SERVICES, INC., ANGLO VENTURES, INC., ARCHIPELAGO REALTY CORP., AP HOLDINGS, INC., ARC INVESTMENT, INC., ASC INVESTMENT, INC., AUTONOMOUS DEVELOPMENT CORP., BALETE RANCH, INC., BLACK STALLION RANCH, INC., CAGAYAN DE ORO OIL COMPANY, INC., CHRISTENSEN PLANTATION COMPANY, COCOA INVESTORS, INC., DAVAO AGRICULTURAL AVIATION, INC., DISCOVERY REALTY CORP., DREAM PASTURES, INC., ECHO RANCH, INC., ECJ & SONS AGRI. ENT., INC., FAR EAST RANCH, INC., FILSOV SHIPPING COMPANY, INC., FIRST MERIDIAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., FIRST UNITED TRANSPORT, INC., GRANEXPORT MANUFACTURING CORP., HABAGAT REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC., HYCO AGRICULTURAL, INC., ILIGAN COCONUT INDUSTRIES, INC., KALAWAKAN RESORTS, INC., KAUNLARAN AGRICULTURAL CORP., LABAYOG AIR TERMINALS, INC., LANDAIR INTERNATIONAL MARKETING CORP., LEGASPI OIL COMPANY, LHL CATTLE CORP., LUCENA OIL FACTORY, INC., MEADOW LARK PLANTATIONS, INC., METROPLEX COMMODITIES, INC., MISTY MOUNTAIN AGRICULTURAL CORP., NORTHEAST CONTRACT TRADERS, INC., NORTHERN CARRIERS CORP., OCEANSIDE MARITIME ENTERPRISES, INC., ORO VERDE SERVICES, INC., PASTORAL FARMS, INC., PCY OIL MANUFACTURING CORP., PHILIPPINE RADIO CORP., INC., PHILIPPINE TECHNOLOGIES, INC., PRIMAVERA FARMS, INC., PUNONG-BAYAN HOUSING DEVELOPMENT CORP., PURA ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., RADIO AUDIENCE DEVELOPERS INTEGRATED ORGANIZATION, INC., RADYO PILIPINO CORP., RANCHO GRANDE, INC., RANDY ALLIED VENTURES, INC., REDDEE DEVELOPERS, INC., ROCKSTEEL RESOURCES, INC., ROXAS SHARES, INC., SAN ESTEBAN DEVELOPMENT CORP., SAN MIGUEL CORPORATION OFFICERS, INC., SAN PABLO MANUFACTURING CORP., SOUTHERN LUZON OIL MILLS, INC., SILVER LEAF PLANTATIONS, INC., SORIANO SHARES, INC., SOUTHERN SERVICE TRADERS, INC., SOUTHERN STAR CATTLE CORP., SPADE 1 RESORTS CORP., TAGUM AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT CORP., TEDEUM RESOURCES, INC., THILAGRO EDIBLE OIL MILLS, INC., TODA HOLDINGS, INC., UNEXPLORED LAND DEVELOPERS, INC., VALHALLA PROPERTIES, INC., VENTURES SECURITIES, INC., VERDANT PLANTATIONS, INC., VESTA AGRICULTURAL CORP. AND WINGS RESORTS CORP., RESPONDENTS. JOVITO R. SALONGA, WIGBERTO E. TAADA, OSCAR F. SANTOS, VIRGILIO M. DAVID, ROMEO C. ROYANDAYAN FOR HIMSELF AND FOR SURIGAO DEL SUR FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURAL COOPERATIVES (SUFAC), MORO FARMERS ASSOCIATION OF ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR (MOFAZS) AND COCONUT FARMERS OF SOUTHERN LEYTE COOPERATIVE (COFA-SL); PHILIPPINE RURAL RECONSTRUCTION MOVEMENT (PRRM), REPRESENTED BY CONRADO S. NAVARRO; COCONUT INDUSTRY REFORM MOVEMENT, INC. (COIR) REPRESENTED BY JOSE MARIE T. FAUSTINO; VICENTE FABE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR PAMBANSANG KILUSAN NG MGA SAMAHAN NG MAGSASAKA (PAKISAMA); NONITO CLEMENTE FOR HIMSELF AND FOR THE NAGKAKAISANG UGNAYAN NG MGA MALILIIT NA MAGSASAKA AT MANGGAGAWA SA NIYUGAN (NIUGAN); DIONELO M. SUANTE, SR. FOR HIMSELF AND FOR KALIPUNAN NG MALILIIT NA MAGNINIYOG NG PILIPINAS (KAMMPIL), INC., PETITIONERS-INTERVENORS.

  • [G.R. No. 171542 : April 6, 2011] ANGELITO P. MAGNO, Petitioner, v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES , MICHAEL MONSOD, ESTHER LUZ MAE GREGORIO, GIAN CARLO CAJOLES, NENETTE CASTILLON, DONATO ENABE and ALFIE FERNANDEZ, Respondents.

  •  





     
     

    [A. M. No. 08-19-SB-J, April 12 : 2011]   ASSISTANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR III ROHERMIA J. JAMSANI-RODRIGUEZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUSTICES GREGORY S. ONG, JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, AND RODOLFO A. PONFERRADA, SANDIGANBAYAN, RESPONDENTS.

     
    EN BANC

    [A. M. No. 08-19-SB-J, April 12 : 2011]

    ASSISTANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR III ROHERMIA J. JAMSANI-RODRIGUEZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUSTICES GREGORY S. ONG, JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, AND RODOLFO A. PONFERRADA, SANDIGANBAYAN, RESPONDENTS.

    R E S O L U T I O N


    BERSAMIN, J.:

    We resolve: (a) the Joint Motion for Reconsideration dated September 14, 2010 filed by respondents Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory S. Ong (Justice Ong) and Associate Justice Jose R. Hernandez (Justice Hernandez); and (b) the Motion for Reconsideration (of the Honorable Court's Decision Dated 1 September) dated September 15, 2010 of the complainant.

    Both motions seek the reconsideration of the Decision rendered on August 24, 2010, albeit on different grounds.

    Through the Decision, we found and held Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez liable for simple misconduct, and disposed against them and Associate Justice Rodolfo A. Ponferrada (Justice Ponferrada), as follows:

    1. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE GREGORY S. ONG is ordered to pay a fine of ?15,000.00, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely;

    2. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE JOSE R. HERNANDEZ is admonished with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar offenses shall be dealt with more severely; and

    3. ASSOCIATE JUSTICE RODOLFO A. PONFERRADA is warned to be more cautious about the proper procedure to be taken in proceedings before his court.[1]

    A brief account of the factual antecedents is first given.

    The complainant, then an Assistant Special Prosecutor III in the Office of the Special Prosecutor, filed an affidavit-complaint dated October 23, 2008 charging Justice Ong, Justice Hernandez and Justice Ponferrada, as the Members of the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan with: (a) grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming a Justice, and conduct grossly prejudicial to the interest of the service (grounded on their failing to hear cases as a collegial body during the scheduled sessions of the Fourth Division held in Davao City on April 24-28, 2006, with Justice Ong hearing cases by himself and Justice Hernandez and Justice Ponferrada hearing other cases together; and on their having unreasonably flexed their judicial muscle when she objected to the procedure); (b) falsification of public documents (grounded on their issuance of orders relative to the hearings in Davao City, signed by all three of them, that made it appear as if all of them had been present during the particular hearing acting as a collegial body, when in truth they were not); (c) improprieties in the hearing of cases that amounted to gross abuse of judicial authority and grave misconduct (grounded on Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez's making the following intemperate and discriminatory utterances during the hearings of their Division in Cebu City sometime in September 2006), to wit:

    (a)  `We are playing Gods here, we will do what we want to do, your contempt is already out, we fined you eighteen thousand pesos, even if you will appeal, by that time I will be there, Justice of the Supreme Court.'[2];

    (b)  `You are better than Director Somido? Are you better than Director Chua? Are you here to supervise Somido? Your office is wasting funds for one prosecutor who is doing nothing.'[3];

    (c)  `Just because your son is always nominated by the JBC to Malacañang, you are acting like that!  Do not forget that the brain of the child follows that of their (sic) mother'[4]; and

    (d) Justice Ong often asked lawyers from which law schools they had graduated, and frequently inquired whether the law school in which Justice Hernandez had studied and from which he had graduated was better than his (Justice Ong's) own  alma mater.

    and (d) manifest partiality and gross ignorance of the law (grounded on the fact that Criminal Case No. 25801, entitled People v. Puno, was dismissed upon a demurrer to evidence filed by the accused upon a finding that the assailed contracts subject of the criminal case had never been perfected contrary to the evidence of the Prosecution, the dismissal order being signed by all three respondents).

    In the Decision of August 24, 2010, we explained as follows:

    A.
    Respondents' Violation of the Provisions of PD 1606 and
    Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan

    xxx xxx xxx

    We find that the procedure adopted by respondent Justices for their provincial hearings was in blatant disregard of PD 1606, as amended, the Rules of Court, and the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan. Even worse, their adoption of the procedure arbitrarily denied the benefit of a hearing before a duly constituted Division of the Sandiganbayan to all the affected litigants, including the State, thereby rendering the integrity and efficacy of their proceedings open to serious challenge on the ground that a hearing before a duly constituted Division of the Sandiganbayan was of the very essence of the constitutionally guaranteed right to due process of law.

    Judges are not common individuals whose gross errors men forgive and time forgets. They are expected to have more than just a modicum acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. For this reason alone, respondent Justices' adoption of the irregular procedure cannot be dismissed as a mere deficiency in prudence or as a lapse in judgment on their part, but should be treated as simple misconduct, which is to be distinguished from either gross misconduct or gross ignorance of the law. The respondent Justices were not liable for gross misconduct - defined as the transgression of some established or definite rule of action, more particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence, or the corrupt or persistent violation of the law or disregard of well-known legal rules - considering that the explanations they have offered herein, which the complainant did not refute, revealed that they strove to maintain their collegiality by holding their separate hearings within sight and hearing distance of one another. Neither were they liable for gross ignorance of the law, which must be based on reliable evidence to show that the act complained of was ill-motivated, corrupt, or inspired by an intention to violate the law, or in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules; on the contrary, none of these circumstances was attendant herein, for the respondent Justices have convincingly shown that they had not been ill-motivated or inspired by an intention to violate any law or legal rule in adopting the erroneous procedure, but had been seeking, instead, to thereby expedite their disposition of cases in the provinces.

    Nonetheless, it remains that the respondent Justices did not ensure that their proceedings accorded with the provisions of the law and procedure. Their insistence that they adopted the procedure in order to expedite the hearing of provincial cases is not a sufficient reason to entirely exonerate them, even if no malice or corruption motivated their adoption of the procedure. They could have seen that their procedure was flawed, and that the flaw would prevent, not promote, the expeditious disposition of the cases by precluding their valid adjudication due to the nullifying taint of the irregularity. They knew as well that the need to expedite their cases, albeit recommended, was not the chief objective of judicial trials. As the Court has reminded judges in State Prosecutors v. Muro, viz:

    Although a speedy determination of an action or proceeding implies a speedy trial, it should be borne in mind that speed is not the chief objective of a trial.  Careful and deliberate consideration for the administration of justice is more important than a race to end the trial. A genuine respect for the rights of all parties, thoughtful consideration before ruling on important questions, and a zealous regard for the just administration of law are some of the qualities of a good trial judge, which are more important than a reputation for hasty disposal of cases.

    xxx xxx xxx

    What is required on the part of judges is objectivity. An independent judiciary does not mean that judges can resolve specific disputes entirely as they please. There are both implicit and explicit limits on the way judges perform their role.  Implicit limits include accepted legal values and the explicit limits are substantive and procedural rules of law.

    The judge, even when he is free, is still not wholly free. He is not to innovate at pleasure.  He is not a knight-errant, roaming at will in pursuit of his own ideal of beauty or goodness. He is to draw his inspiration from consecrated principles. He is not to yield to spasmodic sentiment, to vague and unregulated benevolence. He is to exercise a discretion informed by tradition, methodized by analogy, disciplined by system, and subordinate to the "primordial necessity of order in the social life."

    Relevantly, we do not consider the respondent Justices' signing of the orders issued during the flawed proceedings as a form of falsification or dishonesty, in that they thereby made it appear that they had all been physically present when the truth was different. Such act merely ensued from the flawed proceedings and cannot be treated as a separate offense.

    B.
    Unbecoming Conduct of Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez

    The Court approves the Court Administrator's finding and recommendation that no evidence supported the complainant's charge that Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez had uttered the improper and intemperate statements attributed to them.

    A review of the transcripts of the stenographic notes for the hearings in which the offensive statements were supposedly uttered by them has failed to substantiate the complainant's charge. In the absence of a clear showing to the contrary, the Court must accept such transcripts as the faithful and true record of the proceedings, because they bear the certification of correctness executed by the stenographers who had prepared them.

    Even so, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez admitted randomly asking the counsels appearing before them from which law schools they had graduated, and their engaging during the hearings in casual conversation about their respective law schools. They thereby publicized their professional qualifications and manifested a lack of the requisite humility demanded of public magistrates. Their doing so reflected a vice of self-conceit. We view their acts as bespeaking their lack of judicial temperament and decorum, which no judge worthy of the judicial robes should avoid especially during their performance of judicial functions. They should not exchange banter or engage in playful teasing of each other during trial proceedings (no matter how good-natured or even if meant to ease tension, as they want us to believe). Judicial decorum demands that they behave with dignity and act with courtesy towards all who appear before their court.

    Indeed, Section 6, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary clearly enjoins that:

    Section 6. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity. Judges shall require similar conduct of legal representatives, court staff and others subject to their influence, direction or control.

    We point out that publicizing professional qualifications or boasting of having studied in and graduated from certain law schools, no matter how prestigious, might have even revealed, on the part of Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez, their bias for or against some lawyers. Their conduct was impermissible, consequently, for Section 3, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, demands that judges avoid situations that may reasonably give rise to the suspicion or appearance of favoritism or partiality in their personal relations with individual members of the legal profession who practice regularly in their courts.

    Judges should be dignified in demeanor, and refined in speech. In performing their judicial duties, they should not manifest bias or prejudice by word or conduct towards any person or group on irrelevant grounds. It is very essential that they should live up to the high standards their noble position on the Bench demands. Their language must be guarded and measured, lest the best of intentions be misconstrued. In this regard, Section 3, Canon 5 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, mandates judges to carry out judicial duties with appropriate consideration for all persons, such as the parties, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, and judicial colleagues, without differentiation on any irrelevant ground, immaterial to the proper performance of such duties.

    In view of the foregoing, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez were guilty of unbecoming conduct, which is defined as improper performance. Unbecoming conduct "applies to a broader range of transgressions of rules not only of social behavior but of ethical practice or logical procedure or prescribed method."

    C.
    Respondent Justices Not Guilty of Manifest Partiality

    The charge of manifest partiality for issuing the resolution granting the demurrer to evidence of the accused in Criminal Case No. 25801 is dismissed. As already mentioned, this Court upheld the assailed resolution on June 5, 2006 in G. R. No. 171116 by declaring the petition of the Office of the Special Prosecutor assailing such dismissal to have "failed to sufficiently show that the Sandiganbayan had committed any reversible error in the questioned judgment to warrant the exercise by this Court of its discretionary appellate jurisdiction."

    In their Joint Motion for Reconsideration, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez make it clear that they:

    [A]ccept with all humility, and therefore, will no longer contest the Honorable Court's finding that the proceedings they had adopted in their provincial hearings fell short of what the provisions of the law and rules require. For such shortcoming, respondents Ong and Hernandez can only express their regret and apology.

    Nonetheless, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez pray for exoneration, contending that they are not liable for simple misconduct despite the irregularity of their conduct for the simple reason that, as the Decision has indicated, they "have not been ill-motivated or inspired by an intention to violate any law or legal rules in adopting the erroneous procedure, but had been seeking, instead, to thereby expedite their disposition of cases in the provinces;" their actions were not willful in character or motivated by a "premeditated, obstinate or intentional purpose;" or even if their actions might be "irregular, wrongful, or improper," such could not be characterized as simple misconduct necessitating administrative sanction.

    Also, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez posit that they cannot be made accountable for unbecoming conduct because they admittedly posed questions on the law schools of origin of the counsel appearing before them; that their propounding the queries, per se, did not justify a finding of unbecoming conduct on their part considering that they thereby never derided any law school or belittled the capabilities of lawyers on the basis of their school affiliations, nor exhibited bias for or against any lawyer based on their alma mater.

    In the alternative, Justice Ong prays that the sanction imposed upon him be made equal to that meted on Justice Hernandez. He "implores the Honorable Court to re-examine the propriety of imposing a different and heavier penalty against him and take into due consideration its own pronouncement in its decision that `the Sandiganbayan is a collegial court,' and `in a collegial court, the members act on the basis of consensus or majority rule.'"

    For her part, the complainant insists that respondent Justices be found guilty of all administrative charges made against them; and that the penalties or chastisement be increased to be commensurate to their infractions.

    Ruling

    Finding the arguments of the complainant to be matters that the Court fully dealt with and discussed in the Decision, and there being no other substantial matters raised by her, we deny her Motion for Reconsideration (of the Honorable Court's Decision Dated 1 September).

    We deny the plea of Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez for complete exoneration, considering what we held in the Decision, which we reiterate hereunder, as follows:

    Respondent Justices cannot lightly regard the legal requirement for all of them to sit together as members of the Fourth Division "in the trial and determination of a case or cases assigned thereto." The information and evidence upon which the Fourth Division would base any decisions or other judicial actions in the cases tried before it must be made directly available to each and every one of its members during the proceedings. This necessitates the equal and full participation of each member in the trial and adjudication of their cases. It is simply not enough, therefore, that the three members of the Fourth Division were within hearing and communicating distance of one another at the hearings in question, as they explained in hindsight, because even in those circumstances not all of them sat together in session.

    Indeed, the ability of the Fourth Division to function as a collegial body became impossible when not all of the members sat together during the trial proceedings. The internal rules of the Sandiganbayan spotlight an instance of such impossibility. Section 2, Rule VII of the Revised Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan expressly requires that rulings on oral motions made or objections raised in the course of the trial proceedings or hearings are be made by the Chairman of the Division. Obviously, the rule cannot be complied with because Justice Ong, the Chairman, did not sit in the hearing of the cases heard by the other respondents. Neither could the other respondents properly and promptly contribute to the rulings of Justice Ong in the hearings before him.

    Moreover, the respondents' non-observance of collegiality contravened the very purpose of trying criminal cases cognizable by Sandiganbayan before a Division of all three Justices. Although there are criminal cases involving public officials and employees triable before single-judge courts, PD 1606, as amended, has always required a Division of three Justices (not one or two) to try the criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, in view of the accused in such cases holding higher rank or office than those charged in the former cases. The three Justices of a Division, rather than a single judge, are naturally expected to exert keener judiciousness and to apply broader circumspection in trying and deciding such cases. The tighter standard is due in part to the fact that the review of convictions is elevated to the Supreme Court generally via the discretionary mode of petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, Rules of Court, which eliminates issues of fact, instead of via ordinary appeal set for the former kind of cases (whereby the convictions still undergo intermediate review before ultimately reaching the Supreme Court, if at all).

    In GMCR, Inc. v. Bell Telecommunication Philippines, Inc., the Court delved on the nature of a collegial body, and how the act of a single member, though he may be its head, done without the participation of the others, cannot be considered the act of the collegial body itself.  There, the question presented was whether Commissioner Simeon Kintanar, as chairman of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), could alone act in behalf of and bind the NTC, given that the NTC had two other commissioners as members. The Court ruled:

    First. We hereby declare that the NTC is a collegial body requiring a majority vote out of the three members of the commission in order to validly decide a case or any incident therein.  Corollarily, the vote alone of the chairman of the commission, as in this case, the vote of Commissioner Kintanar, absent the required concurring vote coming from the rest of the membership of the commission to at least arrive at a majority decision, is not sufficient to legally render an NTC order, resolution or decision.

    Simply put, Commissioner Kintanar is not the National Telecommunications Commission.  He alone does not speak for and in behalf of the NTC.  The NTC acts through a three-man body, and the three members of the commission each has one vote to cast in every deliberation concerning a case or any incident therein that is subject to the jurisdiction of the NTC. When we consider the historical milieu in which the NTC evolved into the quasi-judicial agency it is now under Executive Order No. 146 which organized the NTC as a three-man commission and expose the illegality of all memorandum circulars negating the collegial nature of the NTC under Executive Order No. 146, we are left with only one logical conclusion:  the NTC is a collegial body and was a collegial body even during the time when it was acting as a one-man regime.

    The foregoing observations made in GMCR, Inc. apply to the situation of respondent Justices as members of the Fourth Division. It is of no consequence, then, that no malice or corrupt motive impelled respondent Justices into adopting the flawed procedure. As responsible judicial officers, they ought to have been well aware of the indispensability of collegiality to the valid conduct of their trial proceedings.

    As to the argument of Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez against this Court's finding of unbecoming conduct on their part, the matter has been fully addressed in the Decision of August 24, 2010.

    We hold to be not well taken the urging of Justice Ong that the penalty imposed upon him be similar to that meted upon Justice Hernandez.

    The variance in the responsibilities of respondent Justices as Members of their Division compel the differentiation of their individual liabilities. Justice Ong, as the Chairperson, was the head of the Division under the Internal Rules of the Sandiganbayan, being the most senior Member, and, as such, he possessed and wielded powers of supervision, direction, and control over the conduct of the proceedings of the Division. This circumstance alone provided sufficient justification to treat Justice Ong differently from the other respondents.

    Moreover, we have noted in the Decision that in the exercise of his powers as Chairman of the Fourth  Division, Justice  Ong  exuded an

    unexpectedly dismissive attitude towards the valid objections of the complainant, and steered his Division into the path of procedural irregularity; and wittingly failed to guarantee that proceedings of the Division that he chaired came within the bounds of substantive and procedural rules. To be sure, Justice Hernandez and Justice Ponferrada did not direct and control how the proceedings of the Division were to be conducted. Their not being responsible for the direction and control of the running of the  Division and their having relied without malice on the Justice Ong's direction and control should not be reproved as much as Justice Ong's misconduct. Hence, their responsibility and liability as Members of the Division were properly diminished.

    WHEREFORE, the Motion for Reconsideration (of the Honorable Court's Decision Dated 1 September) dated September 15, 2010 of complainant Assistant Special Prosecutor III Rohermia J. Jamsani-Rodriguez; and the Joint Motion for Reconsideration dated September 14, 2010 of Associate Justice Gregory S. Ong and Associate Justice Jose R. Hernandez are denied for lack of merit.

    SO ORDERED.

    Corona, C.J.,  Carpio Carpio Morales, Velasco, Jr., Brion, Del Castillo, Villarama, Jr., and Sereno, JJ., concur.
    Nachura, J., I maintain my original dissent.
    Leonardo-De Castro and Peralta, JJ., no part.
    Abad, J., I maintain my dissenting vote.
    Perez, J., no part. acted on  matter as Court Adm.
    Mendoza, J., I maintain my earlier vote.

    Endnotes:


    [1] Decision, p. 26.

    [2] Utterance made by Justice Ong in open court against the complainant.

    [3] Utterance made by Justice Hernandez in open court against Prosecutor Hazelina Tujan-Militante,who was then merely observing the trial proceedings from the gallery.

    [4] Utterance made by Justice Hernandez in open court against Atty. Pangalangan, father of former U.P. College of Law Dean Raul C. Pangalangan.

    [A. M. No. 08-19-SB-J, April 12 : 2011]   ASSISTANT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR III ROHERMIA J. JAMSANI-RODRIGUEZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUSTICES GREGORY S. ONG, JOSE R. HERNANDEZ, AND RODOLFO A. PONFERRADA, SANDIGANBAYAN, RESPONDENTS.


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