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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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February-2011 Jurisprudence                 

  • [A.M. No. 2007-22-SC, February 01, 2011] RE: ANONYMOUS COMPLAINT AGAINST MS. HERMOGENA F. BAYANI FOR DISHONESTY.

  • [G.R. No. 159618 : February 01, 2011] BAYAN MUNA, AS REPRESENTED BY REP. SATUR OCAMPO, REP. CRISPIN BELTRAN, AND REP. LIZA L. MAZA, PETITIONER, VS. ALBERTO ROMULO, IN HIS CAPACITY AS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, AND BLAS F. OPLE, IN HIS CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-00-1600* : February 01, 2011] VIVIAN T. DABU, ASSISTANT PROVINCIAL PROSECUTOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. EDUARDO RODEN E. KAPUNAN, PRESIDING JUDGE, BRANCH 51 AND ACTING JUDGE, BRANCH 52,+ MA. THERESA CORTEZ, LEILA O. GALO, BOTH COURT STENOGRAPHERS, SUZETTE O. TIONGCO, LEGAL RESEARCHER, ALL OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 51, GUAGUA, PAMPANGA, RESPONDENTS. [A.M. No. 01-3-138-RTC : February 01, 2011] RE: EVALUATION OF THE REPORT AND INVENTORY SUBMITTED BY EXECUTIVE JUDGE ROGELIO C. GONZALES, RTC, GUAGUA, PAMPANGA, ON ANNULMENT OF MARRIAGE CASES IN BRANCHES 49, 50, 51, 52 AND 53 OF THE GUAGUA REGIONAL TRIAL COURT

  • [G.R. No. 186045 : February 02, 2011] MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. HEIRS OF ESTANISLAO MIOZA, NAMELY: THE HEIRS OF FILOMENO T. MIOZA, REPRESENTED BY LAUREANO M. MIOZA; THE HEIRS OF PEDRO T. MIOZA; AND THE HEIRS OF FLORENCIA T. MIOZA, REPRESENTED BY ANTONIO M. URBIZTONDO, RESPONDENTS

  • [G.R. No. 185493 : February 02, 2011] LTC. ROBERTO K. GUILLERGAN (RET.), PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 179217 : February 02, 2011] METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM, PETITIONER, VS. GABRIEL ADVINCULA, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189476 : February 02, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON COSETENG-MAGPAYO (A.K.A. JULIAN EDWARD EMERSON MARQUEZ-LIM COSETENG), RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 170463 : February 02, 2011] THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM AND WINSTON F. GARCIA, IN HIS CAPACITY AS GSIS PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER, PETITIONERS, VS. ALBERT M. VELASCO AND MARIO I. MOLINA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 172879 : February 02, 2011] ATTY. RICARDO B. BERMUDO, PETITIONER, VS. FERMINA TAYAG-ROXAS, RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 173364] FERMINA TAYAG-ROXAS, PETITIONER, VS. HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND ATTY. RICARDO BERMUDO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 176631 : February 02, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. AVELINO FELAN, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 159781 :February 02, 2011] PETER BEJARASCO, JR., PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 173575 : February 02, 2011] IMMACULATE CONCEPTION ACADEMY AND THE LATE DR. PAULO C. CAMPOS SUBSTITUTED BY HIS HEIRS, DR. JOSE PAULO E. CAMPOS, ATTY. PAULO E. CAMPOS, JR. AND DR. ENRIQUE E. CAMPOS,[1] PETITIONERS, VS. AMA COMPUTER COLLEGE, INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183719 : February 02, 2011] MARGARITA F. CASTRO, PETITIONER, VS. NAPOLEON A. MONSOD, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 184170 : February 02, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JERWIN QUINTAL Y BEO, VICENTE BONGAT Y TARIMAN, FELIPE QUINTAL Y ABARQUEZ AND LARRY PANTI Y JIMENEZ, ACCUSED. VICENTE BONGAT Y TARIMAN, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 165851 : February 02, 2011] MANUEL CATINDIG, REPRESENTED BY HIS LEGAL REPRESENTATIVE EMILIANO CATINDIG-RODRIGO, PETITIONER, VS. AURORA IRENE VDA. DE MENESES, RESPONDENT. [ G.R. NO. 168875] SILVINO ROXAS, SR., REPRESENTED BY FELICISIMA VILLAFUERTE ROXAS, PETITIONER, VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND AURORA IRENE VDA. DE MENESES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 173846 : February 02, 2011] JOSE MARCEL PANLILIO, ERLINDA PANLILIO, NICOLE MORRIS AND MARIO T. CRISTOBAL, PETITIONERS, VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 51, CITY OF MANILA, REPRESENTED BY HON. PRESIDING JUDGE ANTONIO M. ROSALES; PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES; AND THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 169871 : February 02, 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSE N. MEDIADO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 171238 : February 02, 2011] F.A.T. KEE COMPUTER SYSTEMS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. ONLINE NETWORKS INTERNATIONAL, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172230 : February 02, 2011] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. MAGIN FERRER, ANTONIO V. FERRER, AND RAMON V. FERRER, REPRESENTED BY THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, ATTY. RAFAEL VILLAROSA, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 179421] DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM, REPRESENTED BY SECRETARY NASSER C. PANGANDAMAN, PETITIONER, VS. ANTONIO V. FERRER AND RAMON V. FERRER, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181827 : February 02, 2011] THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOSE GALVEZ Y BLANCA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 165575 : February 02, 2011] ADELIA C. MENDOZA AND AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF ALICE MALLETA, PETITIONERS, VS. UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, INC., RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192500 : February 02, 2011] SPOUSES AMADO O. IBAÑEZ AND ESTHER A. RAFAEL-IBAÑEZ, PETITIONERS, VS. REGISTER OF DEEDS OF MANILA AND CAVITE AND PHILIPPINE VETERANS BANK (PVB), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 167004 : February 07, 2011] DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. BEN P. MEDRANO AND PRIVATIZATION MANAGEMENT OFFICE [PMO], RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 167332 : February 07, 2011] FILIPINAS PALMOIL PROCESSING, INC. AND DENNIS T. VILLAREAL, PETITIONERS, VS. JOEL P. DEJAPA, REPRESENTED BY HIS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT MYRNA MANZANO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189724 : February 07, 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, REPRESENTED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, REGION IV-B, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES FLORENCIO DE CASTRO AND ROMELIA CALIBOSO DE CASTRO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 190601 : February 07, 2011] SPOUSES LUIGI M. GUANIO AND ANNA HERNANDEZ-GUANIO, PETITIONERS, VS. MAKATI SHANGRI-LA HOTEL AND RESORT, INC., ALSO DOING BUSINESS UNDER THE NAME OF SHANGRI-LA HOTEL MANILA, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-10-2220 (Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-3053-RTJ), February 07 : 2011] PIO ANGELIA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE JESUS L. GRAGEDA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 4, PANABO CITY RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 193184, February 07 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. MICHAEL ANDRES Y TRINIDAD, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 182555, February 08 : 2011] LENIDO LUMANOG AND AUGUSTO SANTOS, PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R.NO. 185123] CESAR FORTUNA, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R.NO. 187745]

  • [A.M. No. P-10-2810, February 08 : 2011] MANUEL P. CALAUNAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. REYNALDO B. MADOLARTA, SHERIFE IV, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 217, QUEZON CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 10-7-17-SC : February 08, 2011] IN THE MATTER OF THE CHARGES OF PLAGIARISM, ETC., AGAINST ASSOCIATE JUSTICE MARIANO C. DEL CASTILLO.

  • [G.R. No. 167219, February 08 : 2011] RUBEN REYNA AND LLOYD SORIA, PETITIONERS, VS. COMMISSION ON AUDIT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188608, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RONALDO MORALES Y FLORES ALIAS "RONNIE," AND RODOLFO FLORES Y MANGYAN ALIAS "RODING." DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184215, February 09 : 2011] OCEANEERING CONTRACTORS (PHILS), INC., PETITIONER, VS. NESTOR N. BARRETTO, DOING BUSINESS AS N.N.B. LIGHTERAGE, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 174730-37, February 09 : 2011] ROSALIO S. GALEOS, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NOS. 174845-52] PAULINO S. ONG, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 182521, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ERNESTO FRAGANTE Y AYUDA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 183628, February 09 : 2011] DANIEL T. SO, PETITIONER, VS. FOOD FEST LAND, INC. RESPONDENT [G.R. NO. 183670 ] FOOD FEST LAND, INC., PETITIONER, VS. DANIEL T. SO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 173349, February 09 : 2011] SAMUEL U. LEE AND PAULINE LEE AND ASIATRUST DEVELOPMENT BANK, INC., PETITIONERS, VS. BANGKOK BANK PUBLIC COMPANY, LIMITED, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 168240, February 09 : 2011] AURORA B. GO, PETITIONER, VS. ELMER SUNBANUN,⃰ GEORGIE S. TAN, DORIS SUNBANUN AND RICHARD SUNBANUN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-05-2095 [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 05-2085-P], February 09 : 2011] BENIGNO B. REAS, COMPLAINANT, VS. CARLOS M. RELACION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 191061, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROSELLE SANTIAGO Y PABALINAS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191061, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROSELLE SANTIAGO Y PABALINAS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 191061, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROSELLE SANTIAGO Y PABALINAS, APPELLANT.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-08-1714 [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-2016-MTJ], February 09 : 2011] DANIEL G. SEVILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE FRANCISCO S. LINDO, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 55, MALABON CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 168770, February 09 : 2011] ANUNCIACION VDA. DE OUANO, MARIO P. OUANO, LETICIA OUANO ARNAIZ, AND CIELO OUANO MARTINEZ, PETITIONERS, VS. THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, THE MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY, AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE CITY OF CEBU, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 168812] MACTAN-CEBU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY (MCIAA), PETITIONER, VS. RICARDO L. INOCIAN, IN HIS PERSONAL CAPACITY AND AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF OLYMPIA E. ESTEVES, EMILIA E. BACALLA, RESTITUTA E. MONTANA, AND RAUL L. INOCIAN; AND ALETHA SUICO MAGAT, IN HER PERSONAL CAPACITY AND AS ATTORNEY-IN-FACT OF PHILIP M. SUICO, DORIS S. DELA CRUZ, JAMES M. SUICO, EDWARD M. SUICO, ROSELYN SUICO-LAWSIN, REX M. SUICO, KHARLA SUICO-GUTIERREZ, ALBERT CHIONGBIAN, AND JOHNNY CHAN, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 165381, February 09 : 2011] NELSON A. CULILI, PETITIONER, VS. EASTERN TELECOMMUNICATIONS PHILIPPINES, INC., SALVADOR HIZON (PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER), EMILIANO JURADO (CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD), VIRGILIO GARCIA (VICE PRESIDENT) AND STELLA GARCIA (ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 177145, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. JOEY TORIAGA, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 179476, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RUEL TUY , ACCUSED-APPELLANT.

  • [G. R. No. 172321, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RENATO DADULLA Y CAPANAS, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 155227-28, February 09 : 2011] EMILIANA G. PEÑA, AMELIA C. MAR, AND CARMEN REYES, PETITIONERS, VS. SPOUSES ARMANDO TOLENTINO AND LETICIA TOLENTINO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 159615, February 09 : 2011] SPOUSES VICTOR ONG AND GRACE TIU ONG, PETITIONERS, VS. PREMIER DEVELOPMENT BANK, THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF RIZAL GRACE S. BELVIS AND DEPUTY SHERIFF VICTOR S. STA. ANA , RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170459, February 09 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. CANDIDO, DEMETILA, JESUS, ANGELITO, AND TERESITA, ALL SURNAMED VERGEL DE DIOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170459, February 09 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. CANDIDO, DEMETILA, JESUS, ANGELITO, AND TERESITA, ALL SURNAMED VERGEL DE DIOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 170979, February 09 : 2011] JUDITH YU, PETITIONER, VS. HON. ROSA SAMSON-TATAD, PRESIDING JUDGE, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 105, AND THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 189580, February 09 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ALVIN DEL ROSARIO, APPELLANT.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2262 [Formerly OCA I.P.I. No. 08-3056-RTJ], February 09 : 2011] GAUDENCIO B. PANTILO III, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE VICTOR A. CANOY, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-09-1737, February 09 : 2011] LYDELLE L. CONQUILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE LAURO G. BERNARDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, BOCAUE, BULACAN RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 180462, February 09 : 2011] SOUTH PACIFIC SUGAR CORPORATION AND SOUTH EAST ASIA SUGAR MILL CORPORATION, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS AND SUGAR REGULATORY ADMINISTRATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 179641, February 09 : 2011] DOLORITA C. BEATINGO, PETITIONER, VS. LILIA BU GASIS, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 177407, February 09 : 2011] RICO ROMMEL ATIENZA, PETITIONER, VS. BOARD OF MEDICINE AND EDITHA SIOSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 177407, February 09 : 2011] RICO ROMMEL ATIENZA, PETITIONER, VS. BOARD OF MEDICINE AND EDITHA SIOSON, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 188802, February 14 : 2011] REVELINA LIMSON, PETITIONER, VS. WACK WACK CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 175514, February 14 : 2011] PHILIPPINE BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES JOSE C. GO AND ELVY T. GO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 174104, February 14 : 2011] INSURANCE OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES VIDAL S. GREGORIO AND JULITA GREGORIO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183906, February 14 : 2011] AFP MUTUAL BENEFIT ASSOCIATION, INC., PETITIONER, VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, MARIKINA CITY, BRANCH 193 AND SOLID HOMES, INC., RESPONDENTS

  • [G.R. No. 188487, February 14 : 2011] VAN D. LUSPO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 188541] SUPT. ARTURO H. MONTANO AND MARGARITA TUGAOEN, PETITIONERS, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 188556] C/INSP. SALVADOR C. DURAN, SR., PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 172203, February 14 : 2011] DIONISIO LOPEZ Y ABERASTURI, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES AND SALVADOR G. ESCALANTE, JR., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171165, February 14 : 2011] CAROLINA HERNANDEZ-NIEVERA, DEMETRIO P. HERNANDEZ, JR., AND MARGARITA H. MALVAR, PETITIONERS, VS. WILFREDO HERNANDEZ, HOME INSURANCE AND GUARANTY CORPORATION, PROJECT MOVERS REALTY AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, MARIO P. VILLAMOR AND LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 193459, February 15 : 2011] MA. MERCEDITAS N. GUTIERREZ PETITIONER, VS. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE, RISA HONTIVEROS-BARAQUEL, DANILO D. LIM, FELIPE PESTAÑO, EVELYN PESTAÑO, RENATO M. REYES, JR., SECRETARY GENERAL OF BAGONG ALYANSANG MAKABAYAN (BAYAN); MOTHER MARY JOHN MANANZAN, CO-CHAIRPERSON OF PAGBABAGO; DANILO RAMOS, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF KILUSANG MAGBUBUKID NG PILIPINAS (KMP); ATTY. EDRE OLALIA, ACTING SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF PEOPLE'S LAWYERS (NUPL); FERDINAND R. GAITE, CHAIRPERSON, CONFEDERATION FOR UNITY, RECOGNITION AND ADVANCEMENT OF GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES (COURAGE); AND JAMES TERRY RIDON OF THE LEAGUE OF FILIPINO STUDENTS (LFS), RESPONDENTS. FELICIANO BELMONTE, JR., RESPONDENT-INTERVENOR.

  • [G.R. No. 176951, February 15 : 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. MTJ-08-1710 [Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 08-2029-MTJ], February 15 : 2011] RENE C. RICABLANCA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE HECTOR B. BARILLO, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 153690, February 15 : 2011] DAVID LU, PETITIONER, VS. PATERNO LU YM, SR., PATERNO LU YM, JR., VICTOR LU YM, JOHN LU YM, KELLY LU YM, AND LUDO & LUYM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. NO. 157381] PATERNO LU YM, SR., PATERNO LU YM, JR., VICTOR LU YM, JOHN LU YM, KELLY LU YM, AND LUDO & LUYM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONERS, VS. DAVID LU, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 170889] JOHN LU YM AND LUDO & LUYM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS OF CEBU CITY (FORMER TWENTIETH DIVISION), DAVID LU, ROSA GO, SILVANO LUDO & CL CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. Nos. 171947-48, February 15 : 2011] METROPOLITAN MANILA DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, CULTURE AND SPORTS,[1] DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND MANAGEMENT, PHILIPPINE COAST GUARD, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE MARITIME GROUP, AND DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PETITIONERS, VS. CONCERNED RESIDENTS OF MANILA BAY, REPRESENTED AND JOINED BY DIVINA V. ILAS, SABINIANO ALBARRACIN, MANUEL SANTOS, JR., DINAH DELA PEÑA, PAUL DENNIS QUINTERO, MA. VICTORIA LLENOS, DONNA CALOZA, FATIMA QUITAIN, VENICE SEGARRA, FRITZIE TANGKIA, SARAH JOELLE LINTAG, HANNIBAL AUGUSTUS BOBIS, FELIMON SANTIAGUEL, AND JAIME AGUSTIN R. OPOSA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2266 [FORMERLY A.M. OCA IPI NO. 09-3320-RTJ], February 15 : 2011] JOSEPHINE JAZMINES TAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE SIBANAH E. USMAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 29, CATBALOGAN, SAMAR, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 166495, February 16 : 2011] ROQUE C. FACURA AND EDUARDO F. TUASON, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF APPEALS, RODOLFO S. DE JESUS AND EDELWINA DG. PARUNGAO, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. No. 184129] RODOLFO S. DE JESUS, PETITIONER, VS. OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, EDUARDO F. TUASON, LOCAL WATER UTILITIES ADMINISTRATION (LWUA), REPRESENTED BY ITS NEW ADMINISTRATOR ORLANDO C. HONDRADE, RESPONDENTS. [G.R. No. 184263] OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN, PETITIONER, VS. EDELWINA DG. PARUNGAO, AND THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (FORMER 7TH DIVISION), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 188902, February 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROBERTO LOPEZ Y CABAL, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 182070, February 16 : 2011] E.G & I. CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION AND EDSEL GALEOS, PETITIONERS, VS. ANANIAS P. SATO, NILO BERDIN, ROMEO M. LACIDA, JR., AND HEIRS OF ANECITO S. PARANTAR, SR., NAMELY: YVONNE, KIMBERLY MAE, MARYKRIS, ANECITO, JR., AND JOHN BRYAN, ALL SURNAMED PARANTAR, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184007, February 16 : 2011] PAQUITO V. ANDO, PETITIONER, VS. ANDRESITO Y. CAMPO, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 171328, February 16 : 2011] LYZAH SY FRANCO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 171335 ] STEVE BESARIO, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [A.M. No. 09-7-284-RTC, February 16 : 2011] RE: REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT - BRANCH 56, MANDAUE CITY, CEBU.

  • [G.R. No. 192251, February 16 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. BARANGAY CAPTAIN TONY TOMAS, SR., BENEDICTO DOCTOR, AND NESTOR GATCHALIAN, ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 183390, February 16 : 2011] PLASTIMER INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION AND TEO KEE BIN, PETITIONERS, VS. NATALIA C. GOPO, KLEENIA R. VELEZ, FILEDELFA T. AMPARADO, MIGNON H. JOSEPH, AMELIA L. CANDA, MARISSA D. LABUNOS, MELANIE T. CAYABYAB, MA. CORAZON DELA CRUZ, AND LUZVIMINDA CABASA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. RTJ-11-2272 (Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-2559-RTJ), February 16 : 2011] MARCIANO ALCARAZ, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE FATIMA GONZALES-ASDALA, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 87, QUEZON CITY, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189328, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ARNOLD PELIS, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 182539-40, February 21 : 2011] ANTONIO Y. DE JESUS, SR., ANATOLIO A. ANG AND MARTINA S. APIGO, PETITIONERS, VS. SANDIGANBAYAN-FOURTH DIVISION AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181201, February 21 : 2011] UNIVERSITY OF MINDANAO, INC., DR. GUILLERMO P. TORRES, JR., ATTY. VICTOR NICASIO P. TORRES, NANCY C. TE ENG FO, FE AZUCENA MARCELINO, EVANGELINE F. MAGALLANES, CARMENCITA E. VIDAMO, CARMICHAEL E. VIDAMO, ANTONIO M. PILPIL, SATURNINO PETALCORIN, REYNALDO M. PETALCORIN, LILIAN M. PETALCORIN-CASTILLO, MARY ANN M. PETALCORIN-RAS, VITALIANO MALAYO, JR., NERI FILIPINAS, NATIVIDAD MIRANDA, ANTONIO N. FERRER, JR., PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 188323, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. CHARLIE ABAÑO Y CAÑARES, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 188108, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. EVILIO MILAGROSA, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 189294, February 21 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. HERMINIANO MARZAN Y OLONAN, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. Nos. 190580-81, February 21 : 2011] LIBERATO M. CARABEO, PETITIONER, VS. THE HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN (FOURTH DIVISION) AND PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.C. No. 5834 (formerly CBD-01-861), February 22 : 2011] TERESITA D. SANTECO, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. LUNA B. AVANCE, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 192793, February 22 : 2011] FESTO R. GALANG, JR., PETITIONER, VS. HON. RAMIRO R. GERONIMO, AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF ROMBLON, BRANCH 81; AND NICASIO M. RAMOS, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. MTJ-01-1362(formerly A.M. No. 01-2-49-RTC), February 22 : 2011] JUDGE NAPOLEON E. INOTURAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 133, MAKATI CITY, VS. JUDGE MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, VALLADOLID, SAN ENRIQUE-PULUPANDAN, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENT. A.M. No. MTJ-11-1785(formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 07-1945-MTJ) SANCHO E. GUINANAO, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE MANUEL Q. LIMSIACO, JR., MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURT, VALLADOLID, SAN ENRIQUE-PULUPANDAN, NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 183528, February 23 : 2011] PACIFIC UNION INSURANCE COMPANY, PETITIONER, VS. CONCEPTS & SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT, INCORPORATED AND COURT OF APPEALS (FIFTEENTH DIVISION), RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184274, February 23 : 2011] MARK SOLEDAD Y CRISTOBAL, PETITIONER, VS. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 189281, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROMEO ANCHES, APPELLANT.

  • [G.R. No. 186271, February 23 : 2011] CHATEAU DE BAIE CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION, PETITIONER, VS. SPS. RAYMOND AND MA. ROSARIO MORENO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 180257, February 23 : 2011] EUSEBIO GONZALES, PETITIONER, VS. PHILIPPINE COMMERCIAL AND INTERNATIONAL BANK, EDNA OCAMPO, AND ROBERTO NOCEDA, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 166109, February 23 : 2011] EXODUS INTERNATIONAL CONSTRUCTION CORPORATION AND ANTONIO P. JAVALERA, PETITIONERS, VS. GUILLERMO BISCOCHO, FERNANDO PEREDA, FERDINAND MARIANO, GREGORIO BELLITA AND MIGUEL BOBILLO, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 161282, February 23 : 2011] FGU INSURANCE CORPORATION (NOW BPI/MS INSURANCE CORPORATION), PETITIONER, VS. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MAKATI CITY, BRANCH 66, AND G.P. SARMIENTO TRUCKING CORPORATION, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 184879, February 23 : 2011] REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS), PETITIONER, VS. CITY OF MANDALUYONG, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 187208, February 23 : 2011] CEFERINA LOPEZ TAN PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES APOLINAR P. ANTAZO AND GENOVEVA O. ANTAZO RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 177190, February 23 : 2011] LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, PETITIONER, VS. HON. ERNESTO P. PAGAYATAN, IN HIS CAPACITY AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 46, SAN JOSE, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO; AND JOSEFINA S. LUBRICA, IN HER CAPACITY AS ASSIGNEE OF FEDERICO SUNTAY, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 186614, February 23 : 2011] NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. RONALD P. VALDERAMA, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 187256, February 23 : 2011] CONSTANCIO F. MENDOZA AND SANGGUNIANG BARANGAY OF BALATASAN, BULALACAO, ORIENTAL MINDORO, PETITIONERS, VS. MAYOR ENRILO VILLAS AND BRGY. KAGAWAD LIWANAG HERATO AND MARLON DE CASTRO, MANAGER, PINAMALAYAN BRANCH, LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENTS.

  • [G.R. No. 178060, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. ROMEO DANSICO Y MONAY A.K.A. "LAMYAK" AND AUGUSTO CUADRA Y ENRIQUEZ, APPELLANTS.

  • [G.R. No. 181041, February 23 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, APPELLEE, VS. FABIAN G. ROMERO, APPELLANT.

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  • [G.R. No. 157547, February 23 : 2011] HEIRS OF EDUARDO SIMON, PETITIONERS, VS. ELVIN* CHAN AND THE COURT OF APPEALS, RESPONDENT.

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  • [G.R. No. 182332, February 23 : 2011] MILESTONE FARMS, INC., PETITIONER, VS. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, RESPONDENT.

  • [G.R. No. 171726, February 23 : 2011] VICENTE YU CHANG AND SOLEDAD YU CHANG, PETITIONERS, VS. REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, RESPONDENT.

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  • [G.R. No. 159402, February 23 : 2011] AIR TRANSPORTATION OFFICE, PETITIONER, VS. SPOUSES DAVID* AND ELISEA RAMOS, RESPONDENTS.

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  • [G.R. No. 165617, February 25 : 2011] SUPREME TRANSLINER, INC., MOISES C. ALVAREZ AND PAULITA S. ALVAREZ, PETITIONERS, VS. BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., RESPONDENT. [G.R. No. 165837] BPI FAMILY SAVINGS BANK, INC., PETITIONER, VS. SUPREME TRANSLINER, INC., MOISES C. ALVAREZ AND PAULITA S. ALVAREZ, RESPONDENTS.

  • [A.M. No. P-07-2325 (Formerly A.M. No. 06-3-208-RTC), February 28 : 2011] OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ROSARIO E. GASPAR, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 2, BALANGA CITY, BATAAN, RESPONDENT.

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    [A.M. No. MTJ-09-1737, February 09 : 2011]   LYDELLE L. CONQUILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE LAURO G. BERNARDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, BOCAUE, BULACAN RESPONDENT.

     
    SECOND DIVISION

    [A.M. No. MTJ-09-1737, February 09 : 2011]

    LYDELLE L. CONQUILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE LAURO G. BERNARDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, BOCAUE, BULACAN RESPONDENT.

    D E C I S I O N


    CARPIO, J.:

    The Case

    This is an administrative complaint for usurpation of authority, grave misconduct, and gross ignorance of the law filed by Lydelle L. Conquilla (complainant) against Judge Lauro G. Bernardo (respondent judge), Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Bocaue, Bulacan.

    The Facts

    In a verified complaint dated 30 July 2008, complainant Conquilla charged respondent judge with usurpation of authority, grave misconduct, and gross ignorance of the law.

    Complainant alleged that on 4 July 2008, a criminal complaint for direct assault was filed against her before the MTC of Bocaue, Bulacan. The complaint was signed by Police Chief Inspector Rizalino Andaya of the Bocaue Police Station.

    On 8 July 2008, respondent judge conducted a preliminary investigation and found probable cause to hold the complainant for trial for the crime of direct assault. Respondent judge then issued a warrant of arrest dated 8 July 2008, with the bail fixed at P12,000.

    On 10 July 2008, upon motion of complainant, respondent judge issued an order reducing the bail for complainant's provisional liberty to P6,000. On the same date, complainant posted cash bail of P6,000 for her provisional liberty.

    Complainant then filed an administrative complaint, alleging that under A.M. No. 05-08-[2]6-SC, first level court judges no longer have the authority to conduct preliminary investigations. Thus, complainant avers that respondent judge committed an illegal act constituting gross ignorance of the law and procedure when he conducted the preliminary investigation and issued the warrant of arrest. Complainant claims that the hasty issuance of the warrant of arrest was without legal basis and unjustly prejudiced complainant and deprived her of her liberty. Complainant submits that respondent judge usurped the power of the prosecutor, who was not even given the chance to comment on complainant's Motion to Reduce Bail. Furthermore, complainant alleges that when she learned about the warrant of arrest, she called respondent judge's wife, who said "she would help in having the bail reduced to P6,000.00 and would have the case for direct assault against herein complainant dismissed provided herein complainant cancel the wife's debt of P35,000.00 and provided that herein complainant loan the wife an additional amount of P50,000.00."[1]

    In his Comment, respondent judge states that he issued the warrant of arrest in good faith because he was convinced that there was probable cause and that it was necessary to place the complainant under immediate custody to prevent a frustration of justice. Although respondent judge knew that the Supreme Court already amended Rules 112 and 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure by removing the conduct of the preliminary investigation from judges of first level courts, he argues that the power to personally determine probable cause in the issuance of a warrant of arrest cannot be revoked. Besides, even if such power to determine probable cause was indeed revoked by the amendment, respondent judge submits that technical rules can be relaxed if their implementation will result in injustice.

    Respondent judge further states that he did not usurp the power of the prosecutor when he reduced the bail considering that under Section 20 of Rule 114, the court may increase or decrease the bail upon good cause.

    Lastly, respondent judge denies any knowledge of the alleged conversation and transaction between complainant and his wife.

    The OCA's Report and Recommendation


    In its Report dated 12 February 2009, the OCA found respondent judge guilty of gross ignorance of the law for his patent and unjustified violation of the provisions of the Resolution in A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC. The OCA stated that the Resolution in A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC, which took effect on 3 October 2005, removed the conduct of investigation from the scope of authority of first level courts judges. Had respondent judge been more prudent in understanding the pertinent provisions of the Resolution in A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC, which are very clear and concise, no administrative complaint would have been filed against him.

    The OCA, however, found the charge of usurpation of authority without merit. The OCA agreed with respondent judge that the power to determine the amount of bail is vested in the judge.

    The OCA recommended (a) that the administrative complaint against respondent judge be re-docketed as a regular administrative matter; and (b) that respondent judge be fined in the amount of P20,000.00 for gross ignorance of the law, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar offense shall be dealt with more severely.

    The Ruling of the Court

    In this case, respondent judge makes it appear that he merely conducted a preliminary examination for the purpose of determining whether probable cause exists to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest. However, the records of the case clearly show that respondent judge indeed conducted a preliminary investigation on 8 July 2008. After finding probable cause to hold complainant for trial for the crime of direct assault, respondent judge then issued a warrant for her arrest. That respondent judge conducted a preliminary investigation and not just a preliminary examination to determine existence of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest is evident in his Order dated 8 July 2008, which reads:

    ORDER

    The undersigned, after personal examination of the witnesses in writing and under oath, finds that a probable cause exists and there is sufficient ground to hold the accused LYDELLE L. CONQUILLA for trial for the crime of DIRECT ASSAULT as charged in the complaint. In order not to frustrate the ends of justice, there is a need to place the accused in immediate custody. Let warrant immediately issue for his [sic] arrest hereby fixing bail in the amount of P12,000.00 for his provisional liberty.[2]

    SO ORDERED.

    Bocaue, Bulacan, July 8, 2008.

    (signed)
    HON. LAURO G. BERNARDO
    Judge

    Furthermore, after complainant posted bail on 10 July 2008, respondent judge then issued an Order dated 10 July 2008, ordering the complainant's release and setting the case for her arraignment on 3 September 2008.

    The conduct of preliminary investigation by respondent judge was in direct contravention of A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC, which took effect on 3 October 2005, amending Rules 112 and 114 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure by removing the conduct of preliminary investigation from judges of the first level courts. Thus, under Section 2 of Rule 112, only the following officers are authorized to conduct preliminary investigations: (a) Provincial or City Prosecutors and their assistants; (b) National and Regional State Prosecutors; and (c) Other officers as may be authorized by law. Furthermore, Section 5 of Rule 112 provides:

    SEC. 5. When warrant of arrest may issue.

    (a) By the Regional Trial Court. ‒ Within ten (10) days from the filing of the complaint or information, the judge shall personally evaluate the resolution of the prosecutor and its supporting evidence. He may immediately dismiss the case if the evidence on records clearly fails to establish probable cause. If he finds probable cause, he shall issue a warrant of arrest, or a commitment order when the complaint or information was filed pursuant to section 6 of this Rule. In case of doubt on the existence of probable cause, the judge may order the prosecutor to present additional evidence within five (5) days from notice and the issue must be resolved by the court within thirty (30) days from the filing of the complaint or information.

    (b) By the Municipal Trial Court. ‒ When required pursuant to the second paragraph of section 1 of this Rule, the preliminary investigation of cases falling under the original jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial Court SHALL be conducted by the prosecutor. The procedure for the issuance of a warrant of arrest by the judge shall be governed by paragraph (a) of this section. (Emphasis supplied.)

    Clearly, MTC judges are no longer authorized to conduct preliminary investigation.

    In this case, the crime charged against complainant was direct assault against a public school teacher, who is a person in authority under Article 152[3] of the Revised Penal Code.[4] Under Article 148 of the Revised Penal Code, when the assault is committed against a person in authority while engaged in the performance of his official duties or on the occasion of such performance, the imposable penalty is prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods. The duration of the penalty of prisioni> correccional in its medium and maximum periods is 2 years, 4 months and 1 day to 6 years. Thus, the offense charged against complainant requires the conduct of preliminary investigation as provided under Section 1 of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, which reads:

    SECTION 1. Preliminary investigation defined; when required. ‒ Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof, and should be held for trial.

    Except as provided in Section 6 of this Rule, a preliminary investigation is required to be conducted before the filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the penalty prescribed by law is at least four (4) years, two (2) months and (1) day without regard to the fine. (Emphasis supplied.)

    It was therefore incumbent upon respondent judge to forward the records of the case to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor for preliminary investigation, instead of conducting the preliminary investigation himself.

    Rule 3.01, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that a judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence. Indeed, competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due performance of judicial office.[5] Section 3, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct[6] requires judges to maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills to properly perform their judicial functions, thus:

    SEC. 3. Judges shall take reasonable steps to maintain and enhance their knowledge, skills and personal qualities for the proper performance of judicial duties, taking advantage for this purpose of the training and other facilities which should be made available, under judicial control, to judges.

    When a law or a rule is basic, judges owe it to their office to simply apply the law. Anything less is gross ignorance of the law.[7] Judges should exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules,[8] and should be diligent in keeping abreast with developments in law and jurisprudence.[9]

    On the alleged promise of respondent judge's wife that the bail would be reduced provided her P35,000 debt will be cancelled and that complainant grant respondent judge's wife an additional loan, we find that complainant did not substantiate her allegation. Nevertheless, the Court notes that although respondent judge denies knowledge of such transaction between his wife and complainant, respondent judge did not categorically deny his wife's debt to complainant. In his Comment, respondent judge states: "Assuming arguendo that there really was a loan made by his wife, he did not know of such transaction between his wife and the complainant and given this, he did not allow such transaction to take place."[10]

    Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct stresses the importance of propriety and the appearance of propriety to the performance of all the activities of a judge. Respondent judge should bear in mind that judges should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.[11] Furthermore, judges and members of their families are prohibited from asking for or accepting any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to anything done or to be done or omitted to be done by him in connection with the performance of judicial duties.[12]

    On respondent judge's issuance of the warrant of arrest and reduction of the amount of bail, we find such acts void for want of jurisdiction. While Rule 114 of the Rules of Court allows a judge to grant bail in bailable offenses and to increase or decrease bail, it assumes that the judge has jurisdiction over the case. In this case, respondent judge conducted the preliminary investigation without authority and issued the warrant of arrest. Thus, these acts are void for want of jurisdiction. The reduction of bail is also void because in the first place, respondent judge had no jurisdiction over the case itself.

    The Court notes that this is respondent judge's third offense. In 2003, the Court found respondent judge administratively liable for undue delay in rendering decisions and fined him P19,000, with a stern warning that a repetition of similar acts would be dealt with more severely.[13]

    More importantly, in the 2008 case of Santos v. Bernardo,[14] the Court found respondent judge guilty of gross ignorance of the law and basic rules of procedure and fined him P20,000, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts would be dealt with more severely.[15] The Court found no merit in respondent judge's supposition that grave coercion is an offense not subject to preliminary investigation. The Court, however, emphasized that when the complaint was filed on 3 January 2006, respondent judge no longer had authority to conduct preliminary investigation by virtue of A.M. No. 05-8-26-SC. Thus, the Court held that respondent judge should have referred the complaint to the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor instead of issuing the subpoena directing complainants to appear before the Court.

    Under Section 8(9), Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, gross ignorance of the law or procedure is classified as a serious charge, for which the imposable penalty is any of the following:

    1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine, and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office, including government-owned or controlled corporation: Provided, however, that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave credits;
    2. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding six (6) months; or
    3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00.[16]

    Considering that this is respondent judge's third offense, the second of which was also for gross ignorance of the law, we hold that the penalty of six (6) months suspension from office without salary and other benefits is in order.[17]

    WHEREFORE, we find respondent Judge Lauro G. Bernardo GUILTY of gross ignorance of the law and SUSPEND him from office for a period of six (6) months without salary and other benefits, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts shall be dealt with more severely.

    SO ORDERED.

    Carpio, (Chairperson), Nachura, Peralta, Abad, and Mendoza, JJ.

    Endnotes:


    [1] Administrative Complaint dated 30 July 2008, p. 3.

    [2] Emphasis supplied.

    [3] Art. 152. Persons in authority and agents of persons in authority Who shall be deemed as such.‒ In applying the provisions of the preceding and other articles of this Code, any person directly vested with jurisdiction, whether as an individual or as a member of some court or governmental corporation, board or commission, shall be deemed a person in authority. x x x

    In applying the provisions of Articles 148 and 151 of this Code, teachers, professors, and persons charged with the supervision of public or duly recognized private schools, colleges and universities, and lawyers in the actual performance of their professional duties or on the occasion of such performance shall be deemed persons in authority. (Emphasis supplied.)

    [4] People v. Renegado, 156 Phil. 260 (1974).

    [5] Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.

    [6] The New Code of Judicial Conduct was adopted by the Supreme Court through A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC, and which took effect on 1 June 2004.

    [7] Cabico v. Dimaculangan-Querijero, A.M. No. RTJ-02-1735, 27 April 2007, 522 SCRA 300.

    [8] Savella v. Ines, A.M. No. MTJ-07-1673, 19 April 2007, 521 SCRA 417.

    [9] Amante-Descallar v. Ramas, A.M. No. RTJ-08-2142, 20 March 2009, 582 SCRA 22; Aguilar v. Dalanao, 388 Phil. 717 (2000).

    [10] Respondent judge's Comment, p. 8.

    [11] Section 1, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.

    [12] Section 13, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.

    [13] Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the Municipal Trial Court, Bocaue, Bulacan, A.M. No. 00-3-50-MTC, 21 July 2003, 407 SCRA 1.

    [14] A.M. No. MTJ-07-1670, 23 July 2008, 559 SCRA 310.

    [15] In Santos, aside from gross ignorance of the law, respondent judge was also charged with impropriety for allowing his girlfriend (who later became his wife) to stay in respondent judge's chamber for long periods of time, in violation of Rule 2.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct to maintain proper decorum. Although the Court likewise found that the complainants therein failed to substantiate any misuse of government funds or facilities, the Court, nevertheless, reminded respondent judge of the New Code of Judicial Conduct which mandates judges to avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.

    [16] Section 11, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court.

    [17] In the case of In Re: Mino v. Navarro (A.M. No. MTJ-06-1645, 28 August 2007, 531 SCRA 271), respondent Judge Navarro, who has been previously sanctioned by the Court in two other cases, was meted the penalty of suspension from the service for six (6) months without salary and benefits, for gross ignorance of the law or procedure.

    [A.M. No. MTJ-09-1737, February 09 : 2011]   LYDELLE L. CONQUILLA, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE LAURO G. BERNARDO, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT, BOCAUE, BULACAN RESPONDENT.


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