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SECOND DIVISION

[A.M. No. 02-8-188-MTCC. July 17, 2003

REPORT ON THE JUDICIAL AUDIT CONDUCTED IN THE MTCC-Brs. 1, 2 & 3, Mandaue City

D E C I S I O N

AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ, J.:

On January 15-21, 2002, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) conducted a judicial audit and physical inventory of cases in Branches 1, 2 and 3 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Mandaue City, presided over by Judge Rogelio S. Lucmayon, Judge Carlos C. Fernando and Judge Wilfredo A. Dagatan, respectively.

On the basis of the report of the audit team,1 the Court issued a Resolution on October 2, 2002, directing:

a) Former Acting Presiding Judge Carlos C. Fernando, MTCC, Branch 1, Mandaue City, to:

1.) EXPLAIN immediately why no administrative sanction should be imposed on him for his failure to decide within the mandatory period, the following forty-eight (48) cases submitted for decision before him, to wit: Criminal Case Nos. 21639, 22588, 22963, 22610, 21186, 23963, 22327, 23175, 23085, 22577, 24622, 24501, 24502, 21971 to 21972, 21903, 22817, 24482 to 24489, 23776, 21538, 24801 to 24802, 23994 to 23996, 22930 to 22933, 23991 to 23993, and Civil Case Nos. 3289, 3780, 3787, LRC N-39, 3775, 3626, 3065, 3777 and 3756;2

2.) APPRISE this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, why he failed to act for a considerable length of time on the following Criminal Case Nos. 24851 to 24853, 24914, 22392, 25562 to 25564, 24411, 24496, 24438, 25431, 25390, 25019 to 25030, 24369, 25286, 22203, 25362, 25331 to 25332, 19990, 25506 and 24528 and Civil Case Nos. 3947, 3989, 3953, 3960, 3843, LRA N-57, LRC N-31, 3820, 3523, 3785, 3768, 3782 to 3783;3

3.) INFORM this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, whether he has rendered his decisions in Criminal Case Nos. 23977 to 23979, 21859, 22050, 25433, 22421, 22911, 24413, 23224, 25002, 22620 to 22621 and 23588 and Civil Case Nos. 3804, 3790 and 3812; and whether the pending incidents in the following cases have already been resolved, to wit: Criminal Case Nos. 23843 to 23846, 20898 and 18032 and Civil Case Nos. 2465, 3955 and 4034; and

4.) SUBMIT to this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, within thirty (30) days from notice hereof, certified true copies of his decisions and resolutions in the aforementioned cases;

b) Judge Rogelio S. Lucmayon, MTCC, Branch 1, Mandaue City, to:

1.) TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION on the following cases which have remained unacted upon for a considerable length of time: Criminal Case Nos. 24851 to 24853, 24914, 22392, 25562 to 25564, 24411, 24496, 24438, 25431, 25390, 25019 to 25030, 24369, 25286, 22203, 25362, 25331 to 25332, 19990, 25506, and 24528 and Civil Case Nos. 3947, 3989, 3953, 3960, 3843, LRA N-57, LRC N-31, 3820, 3523, 3785, 3782 and 3783 and on Civil Case No. 4027, where no action had been taken from the time it was filed;4

2.) CAUSE, within twenty (20) days from notice, the completion of the transcript of stenographic notes in Criminal Case Nos. 21639, 22588, 22963, 22610, 21186, 23963, 23085, 22577, 21903, 23776, 21538, 25433, 22421 and 22911 and Civil Case No. LRC N-39 and DECIDE these cases upon completion of the transcript of stenographic notes;

3.) TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION, pursuant to Administrative Circular No. 7-92-A, on the following cases: Criminal Case Nos. 17817 and Civil Case Nos. 3679, 3758, 3762, 3589, 3944, 3939, 3881, 3781, 3861, 3871, 3837, 3834, 3829, 3826, 3806, 3776, 3779, 3760 and 3840; and

4.) SUBMIT to this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, within thirty (30) days from notice hereof a report on his compliance with the foregoing directives, attaching thereto certified true copies of his orders in the abovementioned cases;

c) Ms. Paulita M. Soon, Clerk of Court, MTCC, Branch 1, Mandaue City, to EXPLAIN why she failed to take action on Civil Case No. 4027 since it was filed;

d) Judge Carlos C. Fernando, MTCC, Branch 2, Mandaue City, to:

1.) INFORM this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, whether the following cases, which had been submitted for decision, have been decided, submitting certified true copies of his decisions therein, and if not, to IMMEDIATELY DECIDE them, to wit: Criminal Case Nos. 21823 to 21824, 24630, 20221, 24082, 24116 to 24118, and Civil Case Nos. N-64, 3911 and 3815; and whether the pending incidents in the following cases have been resolved, furnishing this Court with certified true copies of his resolutions therein and if not, to IMMEDIATELY RESOLVE them, to wit: Criminal Case No. 24111 and Civil Case Nos. 3225 and 4938;

2.) EXPLAIN why he failed to act on the following cases despite the lapse of a considerable length of time: Criminal Case Nos. 25250 to 25258, 23964 to 23965, 25217 to 25222, 25124, 25180 to 25181, 25196, 25414 to 25417, 25505, 25521, 25554, 25565 to 25569, 25605 to 25606 and 25608 and Civil Case Nos. 3979, 3990, LRA N-41, 3961, 3865, 3877 and 3936, and TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION on these cases;5

3.) TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION on the following cases pursuant to Administrative Circular No. 7-92-A: Criminal Case Nos. 24979 to 24980, 25317 to 25321, 25344 to 25361, 25483 to 25486, 25162, 25172, 25479 to 25482, 24845 and 25184 and Civil Case No. 3941; and

4.) SUBMIT to this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, within thirty (30) days from notice hereof, a report on his compliance with the foregoing directives, attaching thereto certified true copies of his orders in the foregoing cases;

e) Mr. Rudy R. Magale, Clerk of Court, MTCC, Branch 2, Mandaue City, to:

1.) EXPLAIN why he failed to transmit the records of Criminal Case No. 25301 (People vs. Francisco) to the Office of the City Prosecutor despite Order of the Court dated 1 August 2001; and

2.) IMMEDIATELY FORWARD the same to the Office of the City Prosecutor;

f) JUDGE WILFREDO A. DAGATAN, MTCC, Branch 3, Mandaue City, to:

1.) EXPLAIN immediately why no administrative sanction should be imposed upon him for his failure to decide, within the mandatory period, Criminal Cases Nos. 18631 and 18632 to 18634 and Civil Case No. LRC-42;

2.) INFORM this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, whether the following cases which had been submitted for decision, have been decided, submitting certified true copies of his decisions therein; and, if not, to IMMEDIATELY DECIDE them, to wit: Criminal Case Nos. 20194 to 20196, and 22768 and Civil Case Nos. 3904 and N-63; and whether the pending motion to declare defendant in default in Civil Case No. 3534 has been resolved, submitting to the Court a certified true copy of the resolution and if not, to IMMEDIATELY RESOLVE the same;

3.) EXPLAIN why he failed to act on the following cases despite the lapse of a considerable length of time: Criminal Case Nos. 15273, 15761 to 15763, 16498, 85289, 14354, 20257 to 20261, 20262 to 20269, 20034, 20036 to 20041, 23542, 24987 to 24989, 25043, 25077, 25088, 25097, 15765 to 15769, 15164, 16462, 16498, 10443 to 10449, 19419, 19420, 19657 to 19658, 23730, 13011 to 13012, 13274, 13315, 24846 to 24848, 25397 to 25402, 25498, 25527, 25202, 24778, 25033, 25263, 25498, 23663, 19453 and 19457, and Civil Case Nos. 3980, 3972, 3969, 3963, 3959, 3955, 3950, 3942, 3940, 3916, 3915, 3913, 3912, 3905, 3887, 3885, 3669, 3814, 3807, 3746, 3740, 3737, 3734, 3712, 3714, 3153, 3608, 3668, 3733, 3658, 2557, LRA 66966 (N-01), LRA N-05, LRC22, LRC 54, LRC 37, LRC N-65, LRC N-46, 3827, 3880, 3875, 3873, 3836, 3839, 3845, 3848, 3870, 3982, 3984, 3985, 3991, 4002 and 3994 and on Criminal Case Nos. 25988, 25966 and 25982 which had not been acted upon from the time they were filed;6 and TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION on these cases;

4.) TAKE APPROPRIATE ACTION, pursuant to Administrative Circular No. 7-92-A, on the following cases: Criminal Case Nos. 24977, 25163 and 20573 and Civil Case No. 3792; and

5.) SUBMIT to this Court, through the Office of the Court Administrator, within thirty (30) days from notice hereof, a report on his compliance with the foregoing directives, attaching thereto certified true copies of his orders in the foregoing cases.

In his Comment, dated November 26, 2002, Judge Carlos C. Fernando explains:

He decided or resolved most of the cases enumerated in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(3) of the Courts Resolution, in connection with his capacity as the Acting Presiding Judge of Branch 1, long before he received the said Resolution. Some of those cases were decided or resolved by Judge Rogelio Lucmayon7 upon his assumption as the Presiding Judge of Branch 1 in March 2002.

As regards the cases mentioned in paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of the Courts Resolution, in relation to his capacity as the Presiding Judge of Branch 2, Judge Fernando claims that he had already decided the cases or the incidents therein resolved long before he received the Resolution.

Lastly, as regards Civil Case No. LRC N-41, which is a petition for registration of title, he contended that he had already issued an order for its archival on the ground of a pending incident filed in the Regional Trial Court, in accordance with Administrative Circular No. 7-A-92.

Judge Fernando adds that while he admits that he failed to decide several cases in Branch 1 within the prescribed period, he claims that any such delay was neither intended to favor any person or party nor did it result in undue benefit to anybody. He imputes his failure to decide or resolve the subject cases within the prescribed time to several factors, to wit: (a) sheer volume of works; (b) the physical and mental demands of the multiple jobs as the Presiding Judge of Branch 2 and Acting Presiding Judge of Branch 1, as well as, the Executive Judge; (c) the absence of the Branch Clerk of Court and the Legal Researcher of Branch 1; (d) the limited time that had to be divided between the two Branches and with his duties as the Executive Judge; and (e) other constraints or limitations inherent in the job of a judge.

In his Comment dated January 27, 2003, Judge Rogelio S. Lucmayon affirmed the allegations in the comment of Judge Fernando with respect to the cases. He claimed that immediate action had already been taken on the cases from the time he assumed office as Presiding Judge of MTCC, Branch 1, Mandaue City on February 21, 2002.

In his Comment, dated December 6, 2002, Judge Wilfredo A. Dagatan, informed the Court, that the 11 cases submitted for decision were all decided as follows:

NO. CASE NO. DUE DATE OF DATE OF

DECISION DECISION

Criminal Cases

1. 18631 11/31/01 9/25/02

2.-4. 18632-34 10/01/01 8/14/02

5.-7. 20194-96 2/19/02 5/06/02

8. 22768 3/11/02 7/22/02

Civil Cases

1. 3904 2/26/02 8/09/02

2. N-633/11/02 5/02/02

3. LRC-42 5/23/01 8/01/02

However, Criminal Cases Nos. 18631 to 34 and 22768 (5 cases) were all decided beyond the 90-day reglementary period.

Judge Dagatan further informs this Court that the 130 cases unacted upon or without further settings despite the lapse of considerable length of time, as well as the cases not acted upon from the time they were filed, have all been acted upon, either decided, dismissed, or still pending.

As to the cases which the audit team advised to be archived, he explained that three of them, Criminal Case Nos. 24977, 25163 and 20573, have already been archived, while Civil Case No. 3792 had been ordered dismissed.

Branch Clerk of Court Rudy R. Magale, MTCC, (Branch 2) Mandaue City, explained that he failed to transmit the records of Criminal Case No. 25301 to the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) despite the Order of the lower court dated August 1, 2001 because he was of the belief that the OCP could make its re-investigation even without the court records, since said office keeps complete records of the case. What he did was to make a follow-up on the case every now and then. He apprised this Court that the said case was finally ordered dismissed in an order issued by Judge Fernando on July 8, 2002.

Branch Clerk of Court Paulita M. Soon died of breast cancer. In her behalf, OIC Clerk of Court Israel R. Sanchez informed this Court that Civil Case No. 4027 had been properly acted upon from the time of its filing. According to him, the records show that the said case had been filed on November 23, 2001, and summons issued on the same date. Per Sheriffs Report, summons was served on January 10, 2002, and the answer of the defendants therein filed on January 22, 2002. Pre-trial conference was set on February 27, 2002, after which scheduled trials on the merits were set.

After evaluating the records of cases in relation to the Audit Report, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), through Deputy Court Administrator (DCA) Zenaida N. Elepao, made the following recommendations:

WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, it is most respectfully recommended that:

1. this case be RE-DOCKETED as a regular administrative matter;

2. respondent Judge Carlos C. Fernando be FINED in the amount of P5,000.00 for his failure to decide several cases within the reglementary period;

3. respondent Judge Wilfredo A. Dagatan be FINED in the amount of P10,000.00 for his failure to decide several cases within the reglementary period;

4. the compliance submitted by respondent Judge Rogelio S. Lucmayon be duly NOTED;

5. respondent Rudy R. Magale be FINED in the amount of P5,000.00 for Neglect of Duty; and

6. the complaint against respondent Paulita M. Soon be DISMISSED for being moot and academic.

The Court agrees with the report of the Office of the Court Administrator except as to the penalties recommended.

First. While the Court is sympathetic to the plight of judges, it cannot be overemphasized that the publics faith and confidence in the judicial system is at stake in cases involving delays in the disposition of cases.8 No less than the Constitution mandates judges to decide cases with deliberate dispatch. Section 15(1), Article VIII of the Constitution requires the lower courts to resolve cases within 3 months. Canon 3, Rule 3.05 of the Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to dispose of the courts business promptly and decide cases within the required periods. Canons 6 and 7 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics further reminds judges that:

6. PROMPTNESS

He should be prompt in disposing of all matters submitted to him, remembering that justice delayed is often justice denied.

7. PUNCTUALITY

He should be punctual in the performance of his official duties, recognizing that the time of litigants, witnesses, and attorneys is of value and that if the judge is unpunctual in his habits, he sets a bad example to the bar and tends to create dissatisfaction with the administration of justice.

It can be gleaned from the foregoing that delay in the disposition of cases not only deprives litigants of their right to speedy disposition of their cases, but it also tarnishes the image of the judiciary. Procrastination among members of the judiciary in rendering decisions and taking appropriate actions on cases before them not only causes great injustice to the parties involved but also invites suspicion of ulterior motives on the part of the judge,9 in addition to the fact that it erodes the faith and confidence of our people in the judiciary, lowers its standards and brings it into disrepute.10cräläwvirtualibräry

Without doubt, Judge Fernando violated this mandate. He failed to decide 48 of the 65 cases submitted for decision within the required period for resolution. As reflected in the report of DCA Elepao, Judge Fernando likewise failed to resolve pending incidents in 49 cases for Branch 1 and 43 cases for Branch 2. These cases were either not acted upon or without further setting despite the lapse of considerable length of time.

Judge Fernando did not deny the veracity of the findings of the judicial audit team that he failed to decide several criminal and civil cases submitted for decision or resolution, and to act upon around 49 criminal and civil cases assigned to Branches 1 and 2 of MTCC, Mandaue City. Instead, respondent Judge attributed his failure to decide or act upon these cases to sheer volume of works, physical and mental demands of the multiple jobs as the Presiding Judge of Branch 2 and Acting Presiding Judge of Branch 1, as well as, the Executive Judge, absence of the Branch Clerk of Court and the Legal Researcher of Branch 1, and the limited time that had to be divided between the two Branches and with his duties as the Executive Judge.

We are mindful of the heavy caseload of judges. This is why we have been sympathetic to requests made by judges for extension of time for deciding cases and other matters and incidents related thereto. Hence, should he find himself unable to comply with the 90-day requirement for deciding cases, a judge can ask for an extension and such request is generally granted.11 Judge Fernandos failure to seek extension merits sanction.

Failure to decide cases on time constitutes inefficiency that merits administrative sanction.12 In previous cases, we have imposed on judges the penalty of fines ranging from P5,000.00 to P20,000.00 for their failure to decide cases within the reglementary period.13 However, under Section 9 (1), in relation to Section 11(B), of the amended Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, which took effect on October 1, 2001, the imposable penalty for undue delay in rendering a decision or order may either be (a) suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less than one (1) nor more than three (3) months, or (b) a fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding P20,000.00. Considering that Judge Fernando failed to decide 48 cases within the reglementary period and to take immediate action on 49 cases, we find a penalty amounting to P20,000.00 to be sufficient.

Second. Judge Dagatan failed to decide 5 of the 11 cases submitted for decision within the required 90-day period for resolution. As reflected in the report of DCA Elepao, Judge Dagatan likewise failed to resolve pending incidents in 130 cases for Branch 3 despite the lapse of considerable length of time. Also, 3 cases had not been acted upon from the time they were filed until the team conducted its audit and inventory.

Judge Dagatan offers as defense the fact that he also had to try the cases in other branches, having been assigned as Judge-Designate, later as Presiding Judge, in Municipal Circuit Courts in Liloan-Compostela, Cebu since 1996, as well as the Pairing Judge in MTC, Consolacion, Cebu since 1998, on top of cases assigned to him by the Supreme Court in Lapulapu City. He also informs this Court that his failure to decide or resolve cases on time was due to his clerk of court who should have reminded him of what cases need to be decided or acted upon. He adds that the delays were also attributable to lawyers and party-litigants.

Again, the Court is not unaware of the heavy caseload of judges and the rigors of travel that they sometimes have to make because of detail to vacant salas. It is for this reason precisely why the Court have been sympathetic to requests for extensions of time within which to decide cases and resolve matters and incidents related thereto. All that a judge really needs to do is ask, a request which is almost invariably granted.14 While the Court is not impervious to the plight of judges, it cannot, however, take too lightly the rules requiring disposition of court business promptly and of pending cases or incidents within the period fixed therefor.15cräläwvirtualibräry

The Court is unconvinced of the judges vain attempt to evade accountability for his failure to decide cases by passing the blame to his Clerk of Court. This attitude towards his very own duties is unacceptable. Proper and efficient court management is the responsibility of the judge. He is the one directly responsible for the proper discharge of his official functions.16 A judge cannot simply take refuge behind the inefficiency or mismanagement of his court personnel, for the latter are not the guardians of the formers responsibility.17cräläwvirtualibräry

Judge Dagatan explains that he was suffering from failing health, which was diagnosed as liver abscess, left lobe, for which he had to undergo an operation from February 24, 2002 to March 6, 2002 for fine needle aspiration and biopsy.

Although he was stricken by an illness which intervened in the due performance of his duties, still it was incumbent upon him to inform this Court of his inability to seasonably decide the cases. He could have requested additional time for their proper disposition based on the reasons which he now cites. When circumstances arise that would render him incapable to decide within the prescribed time a case submitted for decision or resolution, all that a judge has to do is to request and justify an extension of time within which to resolve it. Thus, his neglect of this matter in the light of his inability to reduce his backlog of undecided cases cannot be completely excused. Correspondingly, we are constrained to impose upon him a fine in an appropriate amount as administrative penalty. Be that as it may, the Court deems its necessary to temper his liability in the light of the undeniable fact that, as shown by his medical certificate, he had to contend with an illness which undoubtedly contributed to the deterioration of his health and adversely affected his work efficiency.18cräläwvirtualibräry

This is the first time respondent judge is being sanctioned for failure to decide a case within the time for doing so.19 In view of the circumstances of respondent Judge's serious illness and his heavy caseload, a fine of P8,000.00 would be appropriate.

Third. As to Judge Lucmayon, this Court finds his explanation sufficient. Immediate action had already been taken on the cases as soon as he assumed office as Presiding Judge of MTCC, Branch 1, Mandaue City on February 21, 2002.

Fourth. As to Branch Clerk of Court Rudy Magale, we find the recommendation of the OCA meritorious except as to the amount of the fine to be imposed. Magales assertion that he failed to transmit the records of Criminal Case No. 25301 to the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) despite the order of the lower court because he was of the belief that the OCP could make its re-investigation even without the court records is lame and unacceptable. Even if no bad faith can be attributed to him concerning the failure to transmit the records, he is still administratively liable for being remiss in his duties.20cräläwvirtualibräry

Chapter VII, Section E, 1.1.5.1 of the 2002 Revised Manual for Clerks of Court clearly states that one of the adjudicative support functions and duties of the clerk of court is to deal with the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor or the Provincial/City Prosecutor Office, to wit:

The Office of the Clerk of Court shall receive the information filed by the Office of the Chief State Prosecutor or the Provincial/City Prosecutor Office. Upon receipt, the information shall be entered in a separate record book and assigned an undocketed number. . . .

Clerk of Court Magale should be reminded that he is a ranking officer in our judicial system. It is his basic responsibility to ensure that the records of each case are constantly accounted for.21 It may not be underscored enough that the office of a clerk of court involves the performance of delicate administrative duties essential to the prompt and proper administration of justice.22 The Branch Clerk of Court, being the administrative assistant of the Presiding Judge, has the duty to assist in the management of the calendar of the court and in other matters not involving the exercise of judicial discretion or judgment of the judge. He should be a model for his co-employees to act speedily and with dispatch on their assigned tasks to avoid the clogging of the courts docket, and thereby assist in the sound and speedy administration of justice. Clerks of Court must be assiduous in performing their official duties and in supervising and managing court dockets and records.23cräläwvirtualibräry

In other cases, we have imposed the penalty of censure, reprimand, and/or a fine on erring clerks of court.24 Considering that this is the first time that respondent Magale has committed the offense, a fine of P2,000.00 would be appropriate under the circumstances.

Fifth. As this Court has ruled in Limliman vs. Judge Ulat-Marrero,25 the Court deems it inappropriate to impose any sanction following the death of respondent Paulita Soon during the pendency of the case. The Court deems it proper to dismiss the case against her because to allow the investigation to proceed against her who could no longer be in any position to defend herself would be a denial of her right to be heard, our most basic understanding of due process.

WHEREFORE, respondents Judge Carlos C. Fernando and Judge Wilfredo A. Dagatan are declared liable for inefficiency in the disposition of cases for which a fine of P20,000.00 and P8,000.00, is imposed on each, respectively. They are also sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.

Respondent Clerk of Court Rudy Magale is found guilty of neglect of duty for which a fine of P2,000.00 is imposed on him with warning that a repetition of the same or similar offenses will be dealt with more severely.

The charges against Judge Rogelio S. Lucmayon and Clerk of Court Paulita M. Soon are dismissed.

SO ORDERED.

Bellosillo, (Chairman), Callejo, Sr., and Tinga, JJ., concur.

Quisumbing, J., on leave.



Endnotes:

1 Composed of Atty. Pascuala S. Magtibay, Atty. Angelica H. Pascual-Domingo, Exequiel C. Rojas, Pedro B. Jorolan, Jr., Cynthia C. Salamida, and Chokie D. Esguerra.

2 48 cases in all.

3 49 cases in all.

4 47 cases in all.

5 43 cases in all.

6 130 cases in all.

7 Under paragraph (a)(1) of the Courts Resolution: Criminal Case Nos. 21903, 23776, 24801-24802 and 23991-23993, and Civil Case Nos. 3775, 3777 and 3756; Under paragraph (a)(3): Criminal Case Nos. 21859, 22050, 22421, 22911, 24413, 23224, 25002 and 22620-22621, and Civil Case Nos. 3804 and 3812, as well as the pending incidents in Criminal Case Nos. 23843-23846, and Civil Case No. 2465 were all decided or resolved by Judge Lucmayon.

10 Re: Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the RTC-Branch 220, Quezon City, June 29, 2001, 360 SCRA 242, 247 (2001), citing Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the RTC, Branch 16, of Laoag City, Presided by Judge Luis B. Bello, 247 SCRA 519, 524 (1995).

16 Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in the RTC, Brs. 87 and 98, Quezon City, 338 SCRA 141, 149 (2000), citing Abarquez vs. Rebosura, 285 SCRA 109, 120-121 (1998).

19 Judge Dagatan was admonished with stern warning for imposing an excessive amount of bail in an extended resolution in A.M. No. MTJ-00-1251, dated June 21, 2000.

20 See Office of the Court Administrator vs. Quianola, 317 SCRA 37, 51 (1999).

23 Office of the Court Administrator vs. Cabe, 334 SCRA 348, 360-361 (2000).

25 A.M. No. RTJ-02-1739, January 22, 2003, citing Baikong Akang Camsa vs. Rendon, A.M. No. MTJ-02-1395, February 19, 2002.




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