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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
A.M. No. 93-7-696-0 February 21, 1995
In Re JOAQUIN T. BORROMEO, Ex Rel. Cebu City Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines.
RESOLUTION

PER CURIAM:
It is said that a little learning is a dangerous thing; and that he who acts as his own lawyer has a
fool for a client. There would seem to be more than a grain of truth in these aphorisms; and they
appear to find validation in the proceeding at bench, at least.
The respondent in this case, Joaquin T. Borromeo, is not a lawyer but has apparently read some
law books, and ostensibly come to possess some superficial awareness of a few substantive legal
principles and procedural rules. Incredibly, with nothing more than this smattering of learning,
the respondent has, for some sixteen (16) years now, from 1978 to the present, been instituting
and prosecuting legal proceedings in various courts, dogmatically pontificating on errors
supposedly committed by the courts, including the Supreme Court. In the picturesque language
of former Chief Justice Enrique M. Fernando, he has "with all the valor of ignorance," 1 been
verbally jousting with various adversaries in diverse litigations; or in the words of a well-known
song, rushing into arenas "where angels fear to tread." Under the illusion that his trivial
acquaintance with the law had given him competence to undertake litigation, he has ventured to
represent himself in numerous original and review proceedings. Expectedly, the results have
been disastrous. In the process, and possibly in aid of his interminable and quite unreasonable
resort to judicial proceedings, he has seen fit to compose and circulate many scurrilous
statements against courts, judges and their employees, as well as his adversaries, for which he is
now being called to account.
Respondent Borromeo's ill-advised incursions into lawyering were generated by fairly prosaic
transactions with three (3) banks which came to have calamitous consequences for him chiefly
because of his failure to comply with his contractual commitments and his stubborn insistence on
imposing his own terms and conditions for their fulfillment. These banks were: Traders Royal
Bank (TRB), United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), Security Bank & Trust Co. (SBTC).
Borromeo obtained loans or credit accommodation from them, to secure which he constituted
mortgages over immovables belonging to him or members of his family, or third persons. He
failed to pay these obligations, and when demands were made for him to do so, laid down his
own terms for their satisfaction which were quite inconsistent with those agreed upon with his

obligees or prescribed by law. When, understandably, the banks refused to let him have his way,
he brought suits right and left, successively if not contemporaneously, against said banks, its
officers, and even the lawyers who represented the banks in the actions brought by or against
him. He sued, as well, the public prosecutors, the Judges of the Trial Courts, and the Justices of
the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court who at one time or another, rendered a judgment,
resolution or order adverse to him, as well as the Clerks of Court and other Court employees
signing the notices thereof. In the aggregate, he has initiated or spawned in different fora the
astounding number of no less-than fifty (50) original or review proceedings, civil, criminal,
administrative. For some sixteen (16) years now, to repeat, he has been continuously cluttering
the Courts with his repetitive, and quite baseless if not outlandish complaints and contentions.
I. CASES INVOLVING TRADERS
ROYAL BANK (TRB)
The first bank that Joaquin T. Borromeo appears to have dealt with was the Traders Royal Bank
(TRB). On June 2, 1978, he got a loan from it in the sum of P45,000.00. This he secured by a
real estate mortgage created over two parcels of land covered by TCT No. 59596 and TCT No.
59755 owned, respectively, by Socorro Borromeo-Thakuria (his sister) and Teresita Winniefred
Lavarino. On June 16, 1978, Borromeo obtained a second loan from TRB in the amount of
P10,000.00, this time giving as security a mortgage over a parcel of land owned by the Heirs of
Vicente V. Borromeo, covered by TCT No. RT-7634. Authority to mortgage these three lots was
vested in him by a Special Power of Attorney executed by their respective owners.
Additionally, on April 23, 1980, Borromeo obtained a Letter of Credit from TRB in the sum of
P80,000.00, in consideration of which he executed a Trust Receipt (No. 595/80) falling due on
July 22, 1980. 2
Borromeo failed to pay the debts as contracted despite demands therefor. Consequently, TRB
caused the extra-judicial foreclosure of the mortgages given to secure them. At the public sale
conducted by the sheriff on September 7, 1981, the three mortgaged parcels of land were sold to
TRB as the highest bidder, for P73,529.09.
Within the redemption period, Borromeo made known to the Bank his intention to redeem the
properties at their auction price. TRB manager Blas C. Abril however made clear that Borromeo
would also have to settle his outstanding account under Trust Receipt No. 595/80
(P88,762.78), supra. Borromeo demurred, and this disagreement gave rise to a series of lawsuits
commenced by him against the Bank, its officers and counsel, as aforestated.
A. CIVIL CASES
1. RTC Case No. R-22506; CA G.R.
CV No. 07015; G.R. No. 83306
On October 29, 1982 Borromeo filed a complaint in the Cebu City Regional Trial Court for
specific performance and damages against TRB and its local manager, Blas Abril, docketed as
Civil Case No. R-22506. The complaint sought to compel defendants to allow redemption of the

foreclosed properties only at their auction price, with stipulated interests and charges, without
need of paying the obligation secured by the trust receipt above mentioned. Judgment was
rendered in his favor on December 20, 1984 by Branch 23 of the Cebu City RTC; but on
defendants' appeal to the Court of Appeals docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 07015 the
judgment was reversed, by decision dated January 27, 1988. The Court of Appeals held that the
"plaintiff (Borromeo) has lost his right of redemption and can no longer compel defendant to
allow redemption of the properties in question."
Borromeo elevated the case to this court where his appeal was docketed as G.R. No. 83306. By
Resolution dated August 15, 1988, this Court's First Division denied his petition for review "for
failure . . . to sufficiently show that the respondent Court of Appeals had committed any
reversible error in its questioned judgment, it appearing on the contrary that the said decision is
supported by substantial evidence and is in accord with the facts and applicable law."
Reconsideration was denied, by Resolution dated November 23, 1988. A second motion for
reconsideration was denied by Resolution dated January 30, 1989, as was a third such motion, by
Resolution dated April 19, 1989. The last resolution also directed entry of judgment and the
remand of the case to the court of origin for prompt execution of judgment. Entry of judgment
was made on May 12, 1989. By Resolution dated August 7, 1989, the Court denied another
motion of Borromeo to set aside judgment; and by Resolution dated December 20, 1989, the
Court merely noted without action his manifestation and motion praying that the decision of the
Court of Appeals be overturned, and declared that "no further motion or pleading . . . shall be
entertained . . . ."
2. RTC Case No. CEB 8750;
CA-G.R. SP No. 22356
The ink was hardly dry on the resolutions just mentioned before Borromeo initiated another civil
action in the same Cebu City Regional Court by which he attempted to litigate the same issues.
The action, against the new TRB Branch Manager, Jacinto Jamero, was docketed as Civil Case
No. CEB-8750. As might have been anticipated, the action was, on motion of the defense,
dismissed by Order dated May 18, 1990, 3 on the ground ofres judicata, the only issue raised in
the second action i.e., Borromeo's right to redeem the lots foreclosed by TRB having been
ventilated in Civil Case No. R-22506 (Joaquin T. Borromeo vs. Blas C. Abril and Traders Royal
Bank) (supra) and, on appeal, decided with finality by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme
Court in favor of defendants therein.
The Trial Court's judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 22356.
3. RTC Case No. CEB-9485;
CA-G.R. SP No. 28221
In the meantime, and during the pendency of Civil Case No. R-22506, TRB consolidated its
ownership over the foreclosed immovables. Contending that act of consolidation amounted to a
criminal offense, Borromeo filed complaints in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Cebu against
the bank officers and lawyers. These complaints were however, and quite correctly, given short
shrift by that Office. Borromeo then filed suit in the Cebu City RTC, this time not only against

the TRB, TRB officers Jacinto Jamero and Arceli Bustamante, but also against City Prosecutor
Jufelinito Pareja and his assistants, Enriqueta Belarmino and Eva A. Igot, and the TRB lawyers,
Mario Ortiz and the law, firm, HERSINLAW. The action was docketed as Civil Case No. CEB9485. The complaint charged Prosecutors Pareja, Belarmino and Igot with manifest partiality and
bias for dismissing the criminal cases just mentioned; and faulted TRB and its manager, Jamero,
as well as its lawyers, for consolidating the titles to the foreclosed properties in favor of the bank
despite the pendency of Case No. R-22506. This action also failed. On defendants' motion, it was
dismissed on February 19, 1992 by the RTC. (Branch 22) on the ground of res judicata(being
identical with Civil Case Nos. R-22506 and CEB-8750, already decided with finality in favor of
TRB), and lack of cause of action (as to defendants Pareja, Belarmino and Igot).
Borromeo's certiorari petition to the Court of Appeals (CA G.R. SP No. 28221) was dismissed
by that Court's 16th Division 4 on October 6, 1992, for the reason that the proper remedy was
appeal.
4. RTC Case No. CEB-10368;
CA-G.R. SP No. 27100
Before Case No. CEB-9845 was finally decided, Borromeo filed, on May 30, 1991, still another
civil action for the same cause against TRB, its manager, Jacinto Jamero, and its lawyers,
Atty. Mario Ortiz and the HERSINLAW law office. This action was docketed as Civil Case No.
CEB-10368, and was described as one for "Recovery of Sums of Money, Annulment of Titles
with Damages." The case met the same fate as the others. It was, on defendants' motion,
dismissed on September 9, 1991 by the RTC (Branch 14 5) on the ground of litis pendentia.
The RTC ruled that
Civil Case No. CEB-9485 will readily show that the defendants therein, namely
the Honorable Jufelinito Pareja, Enriqueta Belarmino, Eva Igot, Traders Royal
Bank, Arceli Bustamante, Jacinto Jamero, Mario Ortiz and HERSINLAW are the
same persons or nearly all of them who are impleaded as defendants in the present
Civil Case No. CEB-10368, namely, the Traders Royal Bank, Jacinto Jamero,
Mario Ortiz and HERSINLAW. The only difference is that more defendants were
impleaded in Civil Case No. CEB-9485, namely, City Prosecutor Jufelinito Pareja
and his assistants Enriqueta Belarmino and Eva Igot. The inclusion of the City
Prosecutor and his two assistants in Civil Case No. CEB-9485 was however
merely incidental as apparently they had nothing to do with the questioned
transaction in said case. . . .
The Court likewise found that the reliefs prayed for were the same as those sought in Civil Case
No. CEB-9485, and the factual bases of the two cases were essentially the same the alleged
fraudulent foreclosure and consolidation of the three properties mortgaged years earlier by
Borromeo to TRB.
For some reason, the Order of September 9, 1991 was set aside by an Order rendered by another
Judge on November 11, 1991 6 the Judge who previously heard the case having inhibited

himself; but this Order of November 11, 1991 was, in turn, nullified by the Court of Appeals (9th
Division), by Decision promulgated on March 31, 1992 in CA-G.R. SP No. 27100 (Traders
Royal Bank vs. Hon. Celso M. Gimenez, etc. and Joaquin T. Borromeo), 7 which decision also
directed dismissal of Borromeo's complaint.
5. RTC Case No. CEB-6452
When a new branch manager, Ronald Sy, was appointed for TRB, Cebu City, Borromeo
forthwith made that event the occasion for another new action, against TRB, Ronald Sy, and the
bank's attorneys Mario Ortiz, Honorato Hermosisima, Jr., Wilfredo Navarro and
HERSINLAW firm. This action was docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-6452, and described as one
for "Annulment of Title with Damages." The complaint, dated October 20, 1987, again involved
the foreclosure of the three (3) immovables above mentioned, and was anchored on the alleged
malicious, deceitful, and premature consolidation of titles in TRB's favor despite the pendency of
Civil Case No. 22506. On defendant's motion, the trial court 8 dismissed the case on the ground
of prematurity, holding that "(a)t this point . . ., plaintiff's right to seek annulment of defendant
Traders Royal Bank's title will only accrue if and when plaintiff will ultimately and finally win
Civil Case No. R-22506."
6. RTC Case No. CEB-8236
Having thus far failed in his many efforts to demonstrate to the courts the "merit" of his cause
against TRB and its officers and lawyers, Borromeo now took a different tack by also suing (and
thus also venting his ire on) the members of the appellate courts who had ruled adversely to him.
He filed in the Cebu City RTC, Civil Case No. CEB-8236, impleading as defendants not only the
same parties he had theretofore been suing TRB and its officers and lawyers (HERSINLAW,
Mario Ortiz) but also the Chairman and Members of the First Division of the Supreme Court
who had repeatedly rebuffed him in G.R. No. 83306 (SEE sub-head I, A, 1, supra), as well as the
Members of the 5th, 9th and 10th Divisions of the Court of Appeals who had likewise made
dispositions unfavorable to him. His complaint, dated August 22, 1989, aimed to recover
damages from the defendants Justices for
. . . maliciously and deliberately stating blatant falsehoods and disregarding
evidence and pertinent laws, rendering manifestly unjust and biased resolutions
and decisions bereft of signatures, facts or laws in support thereof, depriving
plaintiff of his cardinal rights to due process and against deprivation of property
without said process, tolerating, approving and legitimizing the patently illegal,
fraudulent, and contemptuous acts of defendants TRB, (which) constitute a)
GRAVE DERELICTION OF DUTY AND ABUSE OF POWER emanating from
the people, b) FLAGRANT VIOLATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION,
CARDINAL PRIMARY RIGHTS DUE PROCESS, ART. 27, 32, CIVIL CODE,
Art. 208, REV. PENAL CODE, and R.A. 3019, for which defendants must be
held liable under said laws.
The complaint also prayed for reconveyance of the "fake titles obtained fraudulently by
TRB/HERSINLAW," and recovery of "100,000.00 moral damages; 30,000.00 exemplary

damages; and P5,000.00 litigation expenses." This action, too, met a quick and unceremonious
demise. On motion of defendants TRB and HERSINLAW, the trial court, by Order dated
November 7, 1989, 9 dismissed the case.
7. RTC Case No. CEB-13069
It appears that Borromeo filed still another case to litigate the same cause subject of two (2) prior
actions instituted by him. This was RTC Case No. CEB-13069, against TRB and the latter's
lawyers, Wilfredo Navarro and Mario Ortiz. The action was dismissed in an Order dated October
4, 1993, 10 on the ground of res judicata the subject matter being the same as that in Civil
Case No. R-22506, decision in which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
07015 as well as by this Court in G.R. No. 83306 11 and litis pendentia the subject matter
being also the same as that in Civil Case No. CEB-8750, decision in which was affirmed by the
Court of Appeals in CA G.R. SP No. 22356. 12
8. RTC Criminal Case No. CBU-19344;
CA-G.R. SP No. 28275; G.R. No. 112928
On April 17, 1990 the City Prosecutor of Cebu City filed an information with the RTC of Cebu
(Branch 22) against Borromeo charging him with a violation of the Trust Receipts Law. 13 The
case was docketed as Criminal Case No. CBU-19344. After a while, Borromeo moved to dismiss
the case on the ground of denial of his right to a speedy trial. His motion was denied by Order of
Judge Pampio A. Abarintos dated April 10, 1992. In the same order, His Honor set an early date
for Borromeo's arraignment and placed the case "under a continuous trial system on the dates as
may be agreed by the defense and prosecution." Borromeo moved for reconsideration. When his
motion was again found without merit, by Order dated May 21, 1992, he betook himself to the
Court of Appeals on a special civil action of certiorari, to nullify these adverse orders, his action
being docketed as CA-G.R. SP No. 28275.
Here again, Borromeo failed. The Court of Appeals declared that the facts did not show that
there had been unreasonable delay in the criminal action against him, and denied his petition for
being without merit. 14
Borromeo then filed a petition for review with this Court (G.R. No. 112928), but by resolution
dated January 31, 1994, the same was dismissed for failure of Borromeo to comply with the
requisites of Circulars Numbered 1-88 and 19-91. His motion for reconsideration was
subsequently denied by Resolution dated March 23, 1994.
a. Clarificatory Communications to
Borromeo Re "Minute Resolutions"
He next filed a Manifestation dated April 6, 1994 calling the Resolution of March 23, 1994 "UnConstitutional, Arbitrary and tyrannical and a gross travesty of 'Justice,'" because it was "signed
only by a mere clerk and . . . (failed) to state clear facts and law," and "the petition was not
resolved on MERITS nor by any Justice but by a mere clerk." 15

The Court responded with another Resolution, promulgated on June 22, 1994, and with some
patience drew his attention to the earlier resolution "in his own previous case (Joaquin T.
Borromeo vs. Court of Appeals and Samson Lao, G.R. No. 82273, 1 June 1990; 186 SCRA
1) 16 and on the same issue he now raises." Said Resolution of June 22, 1994, after reiterating
that the notices sent by the Clerk of Court of the Court En Banc or any of the Divisions simply
advise of and quote the resolution actually adopted by the Court after deliberation on a particular
matter, additionally stated that Borromeo "knew, as well, that the communications (notices)
signed by the Clerk of Court start with the opening clause
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of the First Division of
this Court dated. _________,
thereby indisputably showing that it is not the Clerk of Court who prepared or signed the
resolutions."
This was not, by the way, the first time that the matter had been explained to Borromeo. The
record shows that on July 10, 1987, he received a letter from Clerk of Court Julieta Y. Carreon
(of this Court's Third Division) dealing with the subject, in relation to G.R. No. 77243. 17 The
same matter was also dealt with in the letter received by him from Clerk of Court Luzviminda D.
Puno, dated April 4, 1989, and in the letter to him of Clerk of Court (Second Division) Fermin J.
Garma, dated May 19, 1989. 18 And the same subject was treated of in another Resolution of this
Court, notice of which was in due course served on him, to wit: that dated July 31, 1989, in G.R.
No. 87897. 19
B. CRIMINAL CASES
Mention has already been made of Borromeo's attempt with "all the valor of ignorance" to
fasten not only civil, but also criminal liability on TRB, its officers and lawyers. 20 Several other
attempts on his part to cause criminal prosecution of those he considered his adversaries, will
now be dealt with here.
1. I. S. Nos. 90-1187 and 90-1188
On March 7, 1990, Borromeo filed criminal complaints with the Office of the Cebu City
Prosecutor against Jacinto Jamero (then still TRB Branch Manager), "John Doe and officers of
Traders Royal Bank." The complaints (docketed as I.S. Nos. 90-1187-88) accused the
respondents of "Estafa and Falsification of Public Documents." He claimed, among others that
the bank and its officers, thru its manager, Jacinto Jamero, sold properties not owned by them:
that by fraud, deceit and false pretenses, respondents negotiated and effected the purchase of the
(foreclosed) properties from his (Borromeo's) mother, who "in duress, fear and lack of legal
knowledge," agreed to the sale thereof for only P671,000.00, although in light of then prevailing
market prices, she should have received P588,030.00 more.
In a Joint Resolution dated April 11, 1990, 21 the Cebu City Fiscal's office dismissed the
complaints observing that actually, the Deed of Sale was not between the bank and Borromeo's
mother, but between the bank and Mrs. Thakuria (his sister), one of the original owners of the

foreclosed properties; and that Borromeo, being a stranger to the sale, had no basis to claim
injury or prejudice thereby. The Fiscal ruled that the bank's ownership of the foreclosed
properties was beyond question as the matter had been raised and passed upon in a judicial
litigation; and moreover, there was no proof of the document allegedly falsified nor of the
manner of its falsification.
a. I.S. Nos. 87-3795 and 89-4234
Evidently to highlight Borromeo's penchant for reckless filing of unfounded complaints, the
Fiscal also adverted to two other complaints earlier filed in his Office by Borromeo involving
the same foreclosed properties and directed against respondent bank officers' predecessors
(including the former Manager, Ronald Sy) and lawyers both of which were dismissed for
lack of merit. These were:
a. I. S. No. 87-3795 (JOAQUIN T. BORROMEO vs. ATTY. MARIO ORTIZ and
RONALD SY) for "Estafa Through Falsification of Public Documents, Deceit
and False Pretenses." This case was dismissed by Resolution dated January 19,
1988 of the City Prosecutor's Office because based on nothing more than a letter
dated June 4, 1985, sent by Bank Manager Ronald Sy to the lessee of a portion of
the foreclosed immovables, advising the latter to remit all rentals to the bank as
new owner thereof, as shown by the consolidated title; and there was no showing
that respondent Atty. Ortiz was motivated by fraud in notarizing the deed of sale
in TRB's favor after the lapse of the period of redemption, or that Ortiz had
benefited pecuniarily from the transaction to the prejudice of complainant; and
b. I.S. No. 89-4234 (JOAQUIN T. BORROMEO vs. RONALD SY, ET AL.) for
"Estafa Through False Pretenses and Falsification of Public Documents." This
case was dismissed by Resolution dated January 31, 1990.
2. I.S.Nos. 88-205 to 88-207
While Joaquin Borromeo's appeal (G.R. No. 83306) was still pending before the Supreme
Court, 22 an affidavit was executed in behalf of TRB by Arceli Bustamante, in connection with
the former's fire insurance claim over property registered in its name one of two immovables
formerly owned by Socorro B. Thakuria (Joaquin Borromeo's sister) and foreclosed by said
bank. 23 In that affidavit, dated September 10, 1987, Bustamante stated that "On 24 June 1983,
TRB thru foreclosure acquired real property together with the improvements thereon which
property is located at F. Ramos St., Cebu City covered by TCT No. 87398 in the name or TRB."
The affidavit was notarized by Atty. Manuelito B. Inso.
Claiming that the affidavit was "falsified and perjurious" because the claim of title by TRB over
the foreclosed lots was a "deliberate, wilful and blatant fasehood in that, among others: . . . the
consolidation was premature, illegal and invalid," Borromeo filed a criminal complaint with the
Cebu City Fiscal's Office against the affiant (Bustamante) and the notarizing lawyer (Atty. Inso)
for "falsification of public document, false pretenses, perjury." On September 28, 1988, the
Fiscal's Office dismissed the complaint. 24 It found no untruthful statements in the affidavit or

any malice in its execution, considering that Bustamante's statement was based on the Transfer
Certificate of Title in TRB's file, and thus the document that Atty. Inso notarized was legally in
order.
3. OMB-VIS-89-00136
This Resolution of this Court (First Division) in G.R. No. 83306 dated August 15, 1988
sustaining the judgment of the Court of Appeals (10th Division) of January 27, 1988 in CA-G.R.
CV No. 07015, supra, was made the subject of a criminal complaint by Borromeo in the Office
of the Ombudsman, Visayas, docketed as OMB-VIS-89-00136. His complaint against
"Supreme Court Justice (First Div.) and Court of Appeals Justice (10th Div)" was dismissed
for lack of merit in a Resolution issued on February 14, 1990 25 which, among other things, ruled
as follows:
It should be noted and emphasized that complainant has remedies available under
the Rules of Court, particularly on civil procedure and existing laws. It is not the
prerogative of this Office to make a review of Decisions and Resolutions of
judicial courts, rendered within their competence. The records do not warrant this
Office to take further proceedings against the respondents.
In addition, Sec. 20. of R.A. 6770, "the Ombudsman Act states that the Office of
the Ombudsman may not conduct the necessary investigation of any
administrative act or omission complained of if it believes that (1) the
complainant had adequate remedy in another judicial or quasi-judicial body;" and
Sec. 21 the same law provides that the Office of the Ombudsman does not have
disciplinary authority over members of the Judiciary.
II. CASES INVOLVING UNITED COCONUT
PLANTERS BANK (UCPB)
As earlier stated, 26 Borromeo (together with a certain Mercader) also borrowed money from the
United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB) and executed a real estate mortgage to secure repayment
thereof. The mortgage was constituted over a 122-square-meter commercial lot covered by TCT
No. 75680 in Borromeo's name. This same lot was afterwards sold on August 7, 1980 by
Borromeo to one Samson K. Lao for P170,000.00, with a stipulation for its repurchase (pacto de
retro) by him (Borromeo, as the vendor). The sale was made without the knowledge and consent
of UCPB.
A. CIVIL CASES
Now, just as he had defaulted in the payment of the loans and credit accommodations he had
obtained from the Traders Royal Bank, Borromeo failed in the fulfillment of his obligations to
the UCPB.
Shortly after learning of Borromeo's default, and obviously to obviate or minimize the ill effects
of the latter's delinquency, Lao applied with the same bank (UCPB) for a loan, offering the

property he had purchased from Borromeo as collateral. UCPB was not averse to dealing with
Lao but imposed several conditions on him, one of which was for Lao to consolidate his title
over the property. Lao accordingly instituted a suit for consolidation of title, docketed as Civil
Case No. R-21009. However, as will shortly be narrated, Borromeo opposed the consolidation
prayed for. As a result, UCPB cancelled Lao's application for a loan and itself commenced
proceedings foreclose the mortgage constituted by Borromeo over the property.
This signaled the beginning of court battles waged by Borromeo not only against Lao, but also
against UCPB and the latter's lawyers, battles which he (Borromeo) fought contemporaneously
with his court war with Traders Royal Bank.
1. RTC Case No. R-21009; AC-G.R.
No. CV-07396; G.R. No. 82273
The first of this new series of court battles was, as just stated, the action initiated by Samson Lao
in the Regional Trial Court of Cebu (Branch 12), docketed as Case No. R-21009, for
consolidation of title in his favor over the 122-square-meter lot subject of the UCPB mortgage, in
accordance with Article 1007 of the Civil Code. In this suit Lao was represented by Atty.
Alfredo Perez, who was later substituted by Atty. Antonio Regis. Borromeo contested Lao's
application.
Judgment was in due course rendered by the RTC (Branch 12, Hon. Francis Militante, presiding)
denying consolidation because the transaction between the parties could not be construed as a
sale with pacto de retrobeing in law an equitable mortgage; however, Borromeo was ordered to
pay Lao the sum of P170,000.00, representing the price stipulated in the sale a retro, plus the
amounts paid by Lao for capital gains and other taxes in connection with the transaction
(P10,497.50).
Both Lao and Borromeo appealed to the Court of Appeals. Lao's appeal was dismissed for failure
of his lawyer to file brief in his behalf. Borromeo's appeal AC-G.R. No. CV-07396
resulted in a Decision by the Court of Appeals dated December 14, 1987, affirming the RTC's
judgment in toto.
The Appellate Court's decision was, in turn, affirmed by this Court (Third Division) in a fourpage Resolution dated September 13, 1989, promulgated in G.R. No. 82273 an appeal also
taken by Borromeo. Borromeo filed a motion for reconsideration on several grounds, one of
which was that the resolution of September 13, 1989 was unconstitutional because contrary to
"Sec. 4 (3), Art. VIII of the Constitution," it was not signed by any Justice of the Division, and
there was "no way of knowing which justices had deliberated and voted thereon, nor of any
concurrence of at least three of the members." Since the motion was not filed until after there had
been an entry of judgment, Borromeo having failed to move for reconsideration within the
reglementary period, the same was simply noted without action, in a Resolution dated November
27, 1989.

Notices of the foregoing Resolutions were, in accordance with established rule and practice, sent
to Borromeo over the signatures of the Clerk of Court and Assistant Clerk of Court (namely:
Attys. Julieta Y. CARREON and Alfredo MARASIGAN, respectively).
a. RTC Case No. CEB-8679
Following the same aberrant pattern of his judicial campaign against Traders Royal Bank,
Borromeo attempted to vent his resentment even against the Supreme Court officers who, as just
stated, had given him notices of the adverse dispositions of this Court's Third Division. He filed
Civil Case No. CEB-8679 in the Cebu City RTC (CFI) for recovery of damages against "Attys.
Julieta Y. Carreon and Alfredo Marasigan, Division Clerk of Court and Asst. Division Clerk of
Court, Third Division, and Atty. Jose I. Ilustre, Chief of Judicial Records Office." He charged
them with usurpation of judicial functions, for allegedly "maliciously and deviously issuing
biased, fake, baseless and unconstitutional 'Resolution' and 'Entry of Judgment' in G.R. No.
82273."
Summonses were issued to defendants by RTC Branch 18 (Judge Rafael R. Ybaez, presiding).
These processes were brought to the attention of this Court's Third Division. The latter resolved
to treat the matter as an incident in G.R. No. 82273, and referred it to the Court En Banc on April
25, 1990. By Resolution (issued in said G.R. No. 82273, supra) dated June 1, 1990, the Court En
Banc ordered Judge Ybaez to quash the summonses, to dismiss Civil Case No. CEB-8679, and
"not to issue summons or otherwise to entertain cases of similar nature which may in the future
be filed in his court." Accordingly, Judge Ibaez issued an Order on June 6, 1990 quashing the
summonses and dismissing the complaint in said Civil Case No. CEB-8679.
The Resolution of June 1, 1990 27 explained to Borromeo in no little detail the nature and
purpose of notices sent by the Clerks of Court of decisions or resolutions of the Court En Banc or
the Divisions, in this wise:
This is not the first time that Mr. Borromeo has filed charges/complaints against
officials of the Court. In several letter complaints filed with the courts and the
Ombudsman, Borromeo had repeatedly alleged that he "suffered injustices,"
because of the disposition of the four (4) cases he separately appealed to this
Court which were resolved by minute resolutions, allegedly in violation of
Sections 4 (3), 13 and 14 of Article VIII of the 1987 Constitution. His invariable
complaint is that the resolutions which disposed of his cases do not bear the
signatures of the Justices who participated in the deliberations and resolutions and
do not show that they voted therein. He likewise complained that the resolutions
bear no certification of the Chief Justice and that they did not state the facts and
the law on which they were based and were signed only by the Clerks of Court
and therefore "unconstitutional, null and void."
xxx xxx xxx
The Court reminds all lower courts, lawyers, and litigants that it disposes of the
bulk of its cases by minute resolutions and decrees them as final and executory, as

were a case is patently without merit, where the issues raised are factual in nature,
where the decision appealed from is in accord with the facts of the case and the
applicable laws, where it is clear from the records that the petition is filed merely
to forestall the early execution of judgment and for non-compliance with the
rules. The resolution denying due course always gives the legal basis. As
emphasized in In Re: Wenceslao Laureta, 148 SCRA 382, 417 [1987], "[T]he
Court is not 'duty bound' to render signed Decisions all the time. It has ample
discretion to formulate Decisions and/or Minute Resolutions, provided a legal
basis is given, depending on its evaluation of a case" . . . This is the only way
whereby it can act on all cases filed before it and, accordingly, discharge its
constitutional functions. . . .
. . . (W)hen the Court, after deliberating on a petition and any subsequent
pleadings, manifestations, comments, or motions decides to deny due course to
the petition and states that the questions raised are factual, or no reversible error
in the respondent court's decision is shown, or for some other legal basis stated in
the resolution, there is sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement .
. . (of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution "that no petition for review or
motion for reconsideration shall be refused due course or denied without stating
the legal basis thereof").
For a prompt dispatch of actions of the Court, minute resolutions are promulgated
by the Court through the Clerk of Court, who takes charge of sending copies
thereof to the parties concerned by quoting verbatim the resolution issued on a
particular case. It is the Clerk of Court's duty to inform the parties of the action
taken on their cases quoting the resolution adopted by the Court. The Clerk of
Court never participates in the deliberations of a case. All decisions and
resolutions are actions of the Court. The Clerk of Court merely transmits the
Court's action. This was explained in the case G.R. No. 56280, "Rhine
Marketing Corp. v. Felix Gravante, et al.," where, in a resolution dated July 6,
1981, the Court
said "[M]inute resolutions of this Court denying or dismissing unmeritorious
petitions like the petition in the case at bar, are the result of a thorough
deliberation among the members of this Court, which does not and cannot
delegate the exercise of its judicial functions to its Clerk of Court or any of its
subalterns, which should be known to counsel. When a petition is denied or
dismissed by this Court, this Court sustains the challenged decision or order
together with its findings of facts and legal conclusions.
Minute resolutions need not be signed by the members of the Court who took part
in the deliberations of a case nor do they require the certification of the Chief
Justice. For to require members of the Court to sign all resolutions issued would
not only unduly delay the issuance of its resolutions but a great amount of their
time would be spent on functions more properly performed by the Clerk of Court
and which time could be more profitably used in the analysis of cases and the
formulation of decisions and orders of important nature and character. Even with

the use of this procedure, the Court is still struggling to wipe out the backlogs
accumulated over the years and meet the ever increasing number of cases coming
to it. . . .
b. RTC CIVIL CASE NO. CEB-(6501)
6740; G.R. No. 84054
It is now necessary to digress a little and advert to actions which, while having no relation to the
UCPB, TRB or SBTC, are relevant because they were the predicates for other suits filed by
Joaquin Borromeo against administrative officers of the Supreme Court and the Judge who
decided one of the cases adversely to him.
The record shows that on or about December 11, 1987, Borromeo filed a civil action for damages
against a certain Thomas B. Tan and Marjem Pharmacy, docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-6501.
On January 12, 1988, the trial court dismissed the case, without prejudice, for failure to state a
cause of action and prematurity (for non-compliance with P.D. 1508).
What Borromeo did was simply to re-file the same complaint with the same Court, on March 18,
1988. This time it was docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-6740, and assigned to Branch 17 of the
RTC of Cebu presided by Hon. Mario Dizon. Again, however, on defendants' motion, the trial
court dismissed the case, in an order dated May 28, 1988. His first and second motions for
reconsideration having been denied, Borromeo filed a petition for review before this Court,
docketed as G.R. No. 84054 (Joaquin T. Borromeo vs. Tomas Tan and Non. Mario Dizon).
In a Resolution dated August 3, 1988, the Court required petitioner to comply with the rules by
submitting a verified statement of material dates and paying the docket and legal research fund
fees; it also referred him to the Citizens Legal Assistance Office for help in the case. His petition
was eventually dismissed by Resolution of the Second Division dated November 21, 1988, for
failure on his part to show any reversible error in the trial court's judgment. His motion for
reconsideration was denied with finality, by Resolution dated January 18, 1989.
Borromeo wrote to Atty. Fermin J. Garma (Clerk of Court of the Second Division) on April 27,
1989 once more remonstrating that the resolutions received by him had not been signed by any
Justice, set forth no findings of fact or law, and had no certification of the Chief Justice. Atty.
Garma replied to him on May 19, 1989, pointing out that "the minute resolutions of this Court
denying dismissing petitions, like the petition in the case at bar, which was denied for failure of
the counsel and/or petitioner to sufficiently show that the Regional Trial Court of Cebu, Branch
17, had committed any reversible error in the questioned judgment [resolution dated November
21, 1988], are the result of a thorough deliberation among the members of this Court, which does
not and cannot delegate the exercise of its judicial function to its Clerk of Court or any of its
subalterns. When the petition is denied or dismissed by the Court, it sustains the challenged
decision or order together with its findings of facts and legal conclusions."
Borromeo obviously had learned nothing from the extended Resolution of June 1, 1990 in G.R.
No. 82273, supra(or the earlier communications to him on the same subject) which had so
clearly pointed out that minute resolutions of the Court are as much the product of the Members'

deliberations as full-blown decisions or resolutions, and that the intervention of the Clerk
consists merely in the ministerial and routinary function of communicating the Court's action to
the parties concerned.
c. RTC Case No. CEB-9042
What Borromeo did next, evidently smarting from this latest judicial rebuff, yet another in an
already long series, was to commence a suit against Supreme Court (Second Division) Clerk of
Court Fermin J. Garma and Assistant Clerk of Court Tomasita Dris. They were the officers who
had sent him notices of the unfavorable resolutions in G.R. No. 84054, supra. His suit, filed on
June 1, 1990, was docketed as Case No. CEB-9042 (Branch 8, Hon. Bernardo Salas presiding).
Therein he complained essentially of the same thing he had been harping on all along: that in
relation to G.R. No. 91030 in which the Supreme Court dismissed his petition for "technical
reasons" and failure to demonstrate any reversible error in the challenged judgment the notice
sent to him of the "unsigned and unspecific" resolution of February 19, 1990, denying his
motion for reconsideration had been signed only by the defendant clerks of court and not by
the Justices. According to him, he had thereupon written letters to defendants demanding an
explanation for said "patently unjust and un-Constitutional resolutions," which they ignored;
defendants had usurped judicial functions by issuing resolutions signed only by them and not by
any Justice, and without stating the factual and legal basis thereof; and defendants' "wanton,
malicious and patently abusive acts" had caused him "grave mental anguish, severe moral shock,
embarrassment, sleepless nights and worry;" and consequently, he was entitled to moral damages
of no less than P20,000.00 and exemplary damages of P10,000.00, and litigation expenses of
P5,000.00.
On June 8, 1990, Judge Renato C. Dacudao ordered the records of the case transmitted to the
Supreme Court conformably with its Resolution dated June 1, 1990 in G.R. No. 82273, entitled
"Joaquin T. Borromeo vs. Hon. Court of Appeals and Samson-Lao," supra directing that all
complaints against officers of that Court be forwarded to it for appropriate action. 28
Borromeo filed a "Manifestation/Motion" dated June 27, 1990 asking the Court to "rectify the
injustices" committed against him in G.R. Nos. 83306, 84999, 87897, 77248 and 84054. This the
Court ordered expunged from the record (Resolution, July 19, 1990).
2. RTC Case No. R-21880; CA-G.R.
CV No. 10951; G.R. No. 87897
Borromeo also sued to stop UCPB from foreclosing the mortgage on his property. In the Cebu
City RTC, he filed a complaint for "Damages with Injunction," which was docketed as Civil
Case No. R-21880 (Joaquin T. Borromeo vs. United Coconut Planters Bank, et al.). Named
defendants in the complaint were UCPB, Enrique Farrarons(UCPB Cebu Branch Manager) and
Samson K. Lao. UCPB was represented in the action by Atty. Danilo Deen, and for a time, by
Atty. Honorato Hermosisima (both being then resident partners of ACCRA Law Office). Lao
was represented by Atty. Antonio Regis. Once again, Borromeo was rebuffed. The Cebu RTC
(Br. 11, Judge Valeriano R. Tomol, Jr. presiding) dismissed the complaint, upheld UCPB's right

to foreclose, and granted its counterclaim for moral damages in the sum of P20,000.00; attorney's
fees amounting to P10,000.00; and litigation expenses of P1,000.00.
Borromeo perfected an appeal to the Court of Appeals where it was docketed as CA-G.R. CV
No. 10951. That Court, thru its Ninth Division (per Martinez, J., ponente, with de la Fuente and
Pe, JJ., concurring), dismissed his appeal and affirmed the Trial Court's judgment.
Borromeo filed a petition far review with the Supreme Court which, in G.R. No. 87897
dismissed it for insufficiency in form and substance and for being "largely unintelligible."
Borromeo's motion for reconsideration was denied by Resolution dated June 25, 1989. A second
motion for reconsideration was denied in a Resolution dated July 31, 1989 which directed as well
entry of judgment (effected on August 1, 1989). In this Resolution, the Court (First Division)
said:
The Court considered the Motion for Reconsideration dated July 4, 1989 filed by
petitioner himself and Resolved to DENY the same for lack of merit, the motion
having been filed without "express leave of court" (Section 2, Rule 52, Rules of
Court) apart from being a reiteration merely of the averments of the Petition for
Review dated April 14, 1989 and the Motion for Reconsideration dated May 25,
1989. It should be noted that petitioner's claims have already been twice rejected
as without merit, first by the Regional Trial Court of Cebu and then by the Court
of Appeals. What petitioner desires obviously is to have a third ruling on the
merits of his claims, this time by this Court. Petitioner is advised that a review of
a decision of the Court of Appeals is not a matter of right but of sound judicial
discretion and will be granted only when there is a special and important reason
therefor (Section 4, Rule 45); and a petition for review may be dismissed
summarily on the ground that "the appeal is without merit, or is prosecuted
manifestly for delay or the question raised is too unsubstantial to require
consideration" (Section 3, Rule 45), or that only questions of fact are raised in the
petition, or the petition otherwise fails to comply with the formal requisites
prescribed therefor (Sections 1 and 2, Rule 45; Circular No. 1-88). Petitioner is
further advised that the first sentence of Section 14, Article VIII of the 1987
Constitution refers to a decision, and has no application to aresolution as to which
said section pertinently provides that a resolution denying a motion for
reconsideration need state only the legal basis therefor; and that the resolution of
June 26, 1989 denying petitioner's first Motion for Reconsideration dated May 25,
1989 does indeed state the legal reasons therefor. The plain and patent
signification of the grounds for denial set out in the Resolution of June 26, 1989 is
that the petitioner's arguments aimed at the setting aside of the resolution
denying the petition for review and consequently bringing about a review of the
decision of the Court of Appeals had failed to persuade the Court that the
errors imputed to the Court of Appeals had indeed been committed and therefore,
there was no cause to modify the conclusions set forth in that judgment; and in
such a case, there is obviously no point in reproducing and restating the
conclusions and reasons therefor of the Court of Appeals.

Premises considered, the Court further Resolved to DIRECT ENTRY OF


JUDGMENT.
On August 13, 1989 Borromeo wrote to Atty. Estrella C. Pagtanac, then the Clerk of Court of the
Court's First Division, denouncing the resolution above mentioned as "a LITANY OF LIES,
EVASIONS, and ABSURD SELF-SERVING LOGIC from a Supreme Court deluded and drunk
with power which it has forgotten emanates from the people," aside from being "patently
UNCONSTITUTIONAL for absence of signatures and facts and law: . . . and characterizing the
conclusions therein as "the height of ARROGANCE and ARBITRARINESS assuming a KINGLIKE AND EVEN GOD-LIKE
POWER totally at variance and contradicted by . . . CONSTITUTIONAL provisions . . ." To the
letter Borromeo attached copies of (1) his "Open Letter to the Ombudsman" dated August 10,
1989 protesting the Court's "issuing UNSIGNED, UNSPECIFIC, and BASELESS 'MINUTE
RESOLUTIONS;'" (2) his "Open Letter of Warning" dated August 12, 1989; and (3) a
communication of Domingo M. Quimlat, News Ombudsman, Phil. Daily Inquirer, dated August
10, 1989. His letter was ordered expunged from the record because containing "false, impertinent
and scandalous matter (Section 5, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court)." Another letter of the same ilk,
dated November 7, 1989, was simply "NOTED without action" by Resolution promulgated on
December 13, 1989.
3. RTC Case No. CEB-4852; CA G.R.
SP No. 14519; G.R. No. 84999
In arrant disregard of established rule and practice, Borromeo filed another action to invalidate
the foreclosure effected at the instance of UCPB, which he had unsuccessfully tried to prevent in
Case No. CEB-21880. This was Civil Case No. CEB-4852 of the Cebu City RTC (Joaquin T.
Borromeo vs. UCPB, et al.) for "Annulment of Title with Damages." Here, UCPB was
represented by Atty. Laurence Fernandez, in consultation with Atty. Deen.
On December 26, 1987, the Cebu City RTC (Br. VII, Hon. Generoso A. Juaban, presiding)
dismissed the complaint on the ground of litis pendentia and ordered Borromeo to pay attorney's
fees (P5,000.00) and litigation expenses (P1,000.00).
Borromeo instituted a certiorari action in the Court of Appeals to annul this judgment (CA G.R.
SP No. 14519); but his action was dismissed by the Appellate Court on June 7, 1988 on account
of his failure to comply with that Court's Resolution of May 13, 1988 for submission of certified
true copies of the Trial Court's decision of December 26, 1987 and its Order of February 26,
1988, and for statement of "the dates he received . . . (said) decision and . . . order."
Borromeo went up to this Court on appeal, his appeal being docketed as G.R. No. 84999. In a
Resolution dated October 10, 1988, the Second Division required comment on Borromeo's
petition for review by the respondents therein named, and required Borromeo to secure the
services of counsel. On November 9, 1988, Atty. Jose L. Cerilles entered his appearance for
Borromeo. After due proceedings, Borromeo's petition was dismissed, by Resolution dated
March 6, 1989 of the Second Division for failure to sufficiently show that the Court of Appeals
had committed any reversible error in the questioned judgment. His motion for reconsideration

dated April 4, 1989, again complaining that the resolution contained no findings of fact and law,
was denied.
a. RTC Case No. CEB-8178
Predictably, another action, Civil Case No. CEB-8178, was commenced by Borromeo in the
RTC of Cebu City, this time against the Trial Judge who had lately rendered judgment adverse to
him, Judge Generoso Juaban. Also impleaded as defendants were UCPB, and Hon. Andres
Narvasa (then Chairman, First Division), Estrella G.Pagtanac and Marissa Villarama (then,
respectively, Clerk of Court and Assistant Clerk of Court of the First Division), and others. Judge
German G. Lee of Branch 15 of said Court to which the case was raffled caused issuance
of summonses which were in due course served on September 22, 1989, among others, on said
defendants in and of the Supreme Court. In an En Banc Resolution dated October 2, 1989 in
G.R. No. 84999 this Court, required Judge Lee and the Clerk of Court and Assistant Clerk of
Court of the Cebu RTC to show cause why no disciplinary action should be taken against them
for issuing said summonses.
Shortly thereafter, Atty. Jose L. Cerilles who, as already stated, had for a time represented
Borromeo in G.R. No. 84999 filed with this Court his withdrawal of appearance, alleging that
there was "no compatibility" between him and his client, Borromeo because "Borromeo had
been filing pleadings, papers; etc. without . . . (his) knowledge and advice" and declaring that
he had "not advised and . . . (had) no hand in the filing of (said) Civil Case CEB 8178 before the
Regional Trial Court in Cebu. On the other hand, Judge Lee, in his "Compliance" dated October
23, 1989, apologized to the Court and informed it that he had already promulgated an order
dismissing Civil Case No. CEB-8178 on motion of the principal defendants therein, namely,
Judge Generoso Juaban and United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB). Atty. Cerilles' withdrawal
of appearance, and Judge Lee's compliance, were noted by the Court in its Resolution dated
November 29, 1989.
4. RTC Case No. CEB-374; CA-G.R.
CV No. 04097; G.R. No. 77248
It is germane to advert to one more transaction between Borromeo and Samson K. Lao which
gave rise to another action that ultimately landed in this Court. 29 The transaction involved a
parcel of land of Borromeo's known as the "San Jose Property" (TCT No. 34785). Borromeo
sued Lao and another person (Mariano Logarta) in the Cebu Regional Trial Court on the theory
that his contract with the latter was not an absolute sale but an equitable mortgage. The action
was docketed as Case No. CEB-374. Judgment was rendered against him by the Trial Court
(Branch 12) declaring valid and binding the purchase of the property by Lao from him, and the
subsequent sale thereof by Lao to Logarta. Borromeo appealed to the Court of Appeals, but that
Court, in CA-G.R. CV No. 04097, affirmed the Trial Court's judgment, by Decision promulgated
on October 10, 1986.
Borromeo came up to this Court. on appeal, his review petition being docketed as G.R. No.
77248. By Resolution of the Second Division of March 16, 1987, however, his petition was
denied for the reason that "a) the petition as well as the docket and legal research fund fees were

filed and paid late; and (b) the issues raised are factual and the findings thereon of the Court of
Appeals are final." He moved for reconsideration; this was denied by Resolution dated June 3,
1987.
He thereafter insistently and persistently still sought reconsideration of said adverse resolutions
through various motions and letters, all of which were denied. One of his letters inter
alia complaining that the notice sent to him by the Clerk of Court did not bear the signature of
any Justice elicited the following reply from Atty. Julieta Y. Carreon, Clerk of Court of the
Third Division, dated July 10, 1987, reading as follows:
Dear Mr. Borromeo:
This refers to your letter dated June 9, 1987 requesting for a copy of the actual
resolution with the signatures of all the Justices of the Second Division in Case
G.R. No. 77243 whereby the motion for reconsideration of the dismissal of the
petition was denied for lack of merit.
In connection therewith, allow us to cite for your guidance, Resolution dated July
6, 1981 in G.R. No. 56280, Rhine Marketing Corp. v. Felix Gravante, Jr., et al.,
wherein the Supreme Court declared that "(m)inute resolutions of this Court
denying or dismissing unmeritorious petitions like the petition in the case at bar,
are the result of a thorough deliberation among the members of this Court, which
does not and cannot delegate the exercise of its judicial functions to its Clerk of
Court or any of its subalterns, which should be known to counsel. When a petition
is denied or dismissed by this Court, this Court sustains the challenged decision or
order together with its findings of facts and legal conclusions." It is the Clerk of
Court's duty to notify the parties of the action taken on their case by quoting the
resolution adopted by the Court.
Very truly yours,
JULIETA Y.
CARREON
B. CRIMINAL CASES
Just as he had done with regard to the cases involving the Traders Royal Bank, and similarly
without foundation, Borromeo attempted to hold his adversaries in the cases concerning the
UCPB criminally liable.
1. Case No; OMB-VIS-89-00181
In relation to the dispositions made of Borromeo's appeals and other attempts to overturn the
judgment of the RTC in Civil Case No. 21880, 30 Borromeo filed with the Office of the
Ombudsman (Visayas) on August 18, 1989, a complaint against the Chairman and Members of
the Supreme Court's First Division; the Members of the Ninth Division of the Court of Appeals,

Secretary of Justice Sedfrey Ordoez, Undersecretary of Justice Silvestre Bello III, and Cebu
City Prosecutor Jufelinito Pareja, charging them with violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act and the Revised Penal Code.
By Resolution dated January 12, 1990, 31 the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed Borromeo's
complaint, opining that the matters therein dealt with had already been tried and their merits
determined by different courts including the Supreme Court (decision, June 26, 1989, in G.R.
No. 87987). The resolution inter alia stated that, "Finally, we find it unreasonable for
complainant to dispute and defiantly refuse to acknowledge the authority of the decree rendered
by the highest tribunal of the land in this case. . . ."
2. Case No. OMB-VIS-90-00418
A second complaint was filed by Borromeo with the Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas), dated
January 12, 1990, against Atty. Julieta Carreon, Clerk of Court of the Third Division, Supreme
Court, and others, charging them with a violation of R.A. 3019 (and the Constitution, the Rules
of Court, etc.) for supposedly usurping judicial functions in that they issued Supreme Court
resolutions (actually, notices of resolutions) in connection with G.R. No. 82273 which did not
bear the justices' signatures. 32 In a Resolution dated March 19, 1990, the Office of the
Ombudsman dismissed his complaint for "lack of merit" declaring inter alia that "in all the
questioned actuations of the respondents alleged to constitute usurpation . . . it cannot be
reasonably and fairly inferred that respondents really were the ones rendering them," and "it is
not the prerogative of this office to review the correctness of judicial resolutions." 33
III. CASES INVOLVING SECURITY
BANK & TRUST CO. (SBTC)
A. CIVIL CASES
1. RTC Case No. 21615; CAG.R. No. 20617; G.R. No. 94769
The third banking institution which Joaquin T. Borromeo engaged in running court battles, was
the Security Bank & Trust Company (SBTC). From it Borromeo had obtained five (5) loans in
the aggregate sum of P189,126.19, consolidated in a single Promissory Note on May 31, 1979.
To secure payment thereof, Summa Insurance Corp. (Summa) issued a performance bond which
set a limit of P200,000.00 on its liability thereunder. Again, as in the case of his obligations to
Traders Royal Bank and UCPB, Borromeo failed to discharge his contractual obligations. Hence,
SBTC brought an action in the Cebu City RTC against Borromeo and Summa for collection.
The action was docketed as Civil Case No. R-21615, and was assigned to Branch 10, Judge
Leonardo Caares, presiding. Plaintiff SBTC was represented by Atty. Edgar Gica, who later
withdrew and was substituted by the law firm, HERSINLAW. The latter appeared in the suit
through Atty. Wilfredo Navarro.

Judgment by default was rendered in the case on January 5, 1989; both defendents were
sentenced to pay to SBTC, solidarily, the amount of P436,771.32; 25% thereof as attorney's fees
(but in no case less than P20,000.00); and P5,000.00 as litigation expenses; and the costs. A writ
of execution issued in due course pursuant to which an immovable of Borromeo was levied on,
and eventually sold at public auction on October 19, 1989 in favor of the highest bidder, SBTC.
On February 5, 1990, Borromeo filed a motion to set aside the judgment by default, but the same
was denied on March 6, 1990. His Motion for Reconsideration having likewise been denied,
Borromeo went to the Court of Appeals for relief (CA-G.R. No. 20617), but the latter dismissed
his petition. Failing in his bid for reconsideration, Borromeo appealed to this Court
on certiorari his appeal being docketed as G.R. No. 94769. On September 17, 1990, this
Court dismissed his petition, and subsequently denied with finality his motion for
reconsideration. Entry of Judgment was made on December 26, 1990.
However, as will now be narrated, and as might now have been anticipated in light of his history
of recalcitrance and bellicosity, these proceedings did not signify the end of litigation concerning
Borromeo's aforesaid contractual commitments to SBTC, but only marked the start of another
congeries of actions and proceedings, civil and criminal concerning the same matter, instituted
by Borromeo.
2. RTC Case No. CEB-9267
While G.R. No. 94769 was yet pending in the Supreme Court, Borromeo commenced a suit of
his own in the Cebu RTC against SBTC; the lawyers who represented it in Civil Case No. R21625 HERSINLAW, Atty.Wilfredo Navarro, Atty. Edgar Gica; and even the Judge who tried
and disposed of the suit, Hon. Leonardo Caares. He denominated his action, docketed as Civil
Case No. CEB-9267, as one for "Damages from Denial of Due Process, Breach of Contract,
Fraud, Unjust Judgment, with Restraining Order and Injunction." His complaint accused
defendants of "wanton, malicious and deceitful acts" in "conniving to deny plaintiff due process
and defraud him through excessive attorney's fees," which acts caused him grave mental and
moral shock, sleepless nights, worry, social embarrassment and severe anxiety for which he
sought payment of moral and exemplary damages as well as litigation expenses.
By Order dated May 21, 1991, the RTC of Cebu City, Branch 16 (Hon. Godardo Jacinto,
presiding) granted the demurrer to evidence filed by defendants and dismissed the complaint,
holding that "since plaintiff failed to introduce evidence to support . . . (his) causes of action
asserted . . ., it would be superfluous to still require defendants to present their own evidence as
there is nothing for them to controvert."
2. RTC Case No. CEB-10458;
CA-G.R. CV No. 39047
Nothing daunted, and running true to form, Borromeo filed on July 2, 1991 still another
suit against the same parties SBTC, HERSINLAW, and Judge Caares but now including
Judge Godardo Jacinto, 34 who had rendered the latest judgment against him. This suit, docketed
as Civil Case No. CEB-10458, was, according to Borromeo, one "for Damages (For Unjust

Judgment and Orders, Denial of Equal Protection of the Laws Violation of the Constitution,
Fraud and Breach of Contract)." Borromeo faulted Judges Caares and Jacinto "for the way they
decided the two cases (CVR-21615 & CEB NO. 9267)," and contended that defendants
committed "wanton, malicious, and unjust acts" by "conniving to defraud plaintiff and deny him
equal protection of the laws and due process," on account of which he had been "caused untold
mental anguish, moral shock, worry, sleepless nights, and embarrassment for which the former
are liable under Arts. 20, 21, 27, and 32 of the Civil Code."
The defendants filed motions to dismiss. By Order dated August 30, 1991, the RTC of Cebu
City, Branch 15 (Judge German G. Lee, Jr., presiding) dismissed the complaint on grounds of res
judicata, immunity of judges from liability in the performance of their official functions, and
lack of jurisdiction.
Borromeo took an appeal to the Court of Appeals, which docketed it as CA-G.R. CV No. 39047.
In the course thereof, he filed motions to cite Atty. Wilfredo F. Navarro, lawyer of SBTC, for
contempt of court. The motions were denied by Resolution of the Court of Appeals (Special 7th
Division) dated April 13, 1993. 35Said the Court:
Stripped of their disparaging and intemperate innuendoes, the subject motions, in
fact, proffer nothing but a stark difference in opinion as to what can, or cannot, be
considered res judicata under the circumstances.
xxx xxx xxx
By their distinct disdainful tenor towards the appellees, and his apparent penchant
for argumentum ad hominen, it is, on the contrary the appellant who precariously
treads the acceptable limits of argumentation and personal advocacy. The Court,
moreover, takes particular note of the irresponsible leaflets he admits to have
authored and finds them highly reprehensible and needlessly derogatory to the
dignity, honor and reputation of the Courts. That he is not a licensed law
practitioner is, in fact, the only reason that his otherwise contumacious behavior is
presently accorded the patience and leniency it probably does not deserve.
Considering the temperament he has, by far, exhibited, the appellant is, however,
sufficiently warned that similar displays in the future shall accordingly be dealt
with with commensurate severity.
IV. OTHER CASES
A. RTC Case No. CEB-2074; CA-G.R,
CV No. 14770; G.R. No. 98929
One other case arising from another transaction of Borromeo with Samson K. Lao is pertinent.
This is Case No. CEB-2974 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. It appears that sometime in
1979, Borromeo was granted a loan of P165,000.00 by the Philippine Bank of Communications
(PBCom) on the security of a lot belonging to him in San Jose Street, Cebu City, covered by

TCT No. 34785. 36 Later, Borromeo obtained a letter of credit in the amount of P37,000.00 from
Republic Planters Bank, with Samson Lao as co-maker. Borromeo failed to pay his obligations;
Lao agreed to, and did pay Borromeo's obligations to both banks (PBCom and Republic), in
consideration of which a deed of sale was executed in his favor by Borromeo over two (2)
parcels of land, one of which was that mortgaged to PBCom, as above stated. Lao then
mortgaged the land to PBCom as security for his own loan in the amount of P240,000.00.
Borromeo subsequently sued PBCom, some of its personnel, and Samson Lao in the Cebu
Regional Trial Court alleging that the defendants had conspired to deprive him of his property.
Judgment was rendered against him by the Trial Court. Borromeo elevated the case to the Court
of Appeals where his appeal was docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 14770. On March 21, 1990, said
Court rendered judgment affirming the Trial Court's decision, and on February 7, 1991, issued a
Resolution denying Borromeo's motion for reconsideration. His appeal to this Court, docketed as
G.R. No. 98929, was given short shrift. On May 29, 1991, the Court (First Division)
promulgated a Resolution denying his petition for review "for being factual and for failure . . . to
sufficiently show that respondent court had committed any reversible error in its questioned
judgment."
Stubbornly, in his motion for reconsideration, he insisted the notices of the resolutions sent to
him were unconstitutional and void because bearing no signatures of the Justices who had taken
part in approving the resolution therein mentioned.
B. RTC Case No. CEB-11528
What would seem to be the latest judicial dispositions rendered against Borromeo, at least as of
date of this Resolution, are two orders issued in Civil Case No. CEB-11528 of the Regional Trial
Court at Cebu City (Branch 18), which was yet another case filed by Borromeo outlandishly
founded on the theory that a judgment promulgated against him by the Supreme Court (Third
Division) was wrong and "unjust." Impleaded as defendant in the action was former Chief
Justice Marcelo B. Fernan, as Chairman of the Third Division at the time in question. On August
31, 1994 the presiding judge, Hon. Galicano O. Arriesgado, issued a Resolution inter
aliadismissing Borromeo's complaint "on grounds of lack of jurisdiction and res judicata." His
Honor made the following pertinent observations:
. . . (T)his Court is of the well-considered view and so holds that this Court has
indeed no jurisdiction to review, interpret or reverse the judgment or order of the
Honorable Supreme Court. The acts or omissions complained of by the plaintiff
against the herein defendant and the other personnel of the highest Court of the
land as alleged in paragraphs 6 to 12 of plaintiff's complaint are certainly beyond
the sphere of this humble court to consider and pass upon to determine their
propriety and legality. To try to review, interpret or reverse the judgment or order
of the Honorable Supreme Court would appear not only presumptuous but also
contemptuous. As argued by the lawyer for the defendant, a careful perusal of the
allegations in the complaint clearly shows that all material allegations thereof are
directed against a resolution of the Supreme Court which was allegedly issued by
the Third Division composed of five (5) justices. No allegation is made directly

against defendant Marcelo B. Fernan in his personal capacity. That being the case,
how could this Court question the wisdom of the final order or judgment of the
Supreme Court (Third Division) which according to the plaintiff himself had
issued a resolution denying plaintiffs petition and affirming the Lower Court's
decision as reflected in the "Entry of Judgment." Perhaps, if there was such
violation of the Rules of Court, due process and Sec. 14, Art. 8 of the Constitution
by the defendant herein, the appropriate remedy should not have been obtained
before this Court. For an inferior court to reverse, interpret or review the acts of a
superior court might be construed to a certain degree as a show of an uncommon
common sense. Lower courts are without supervising jurisdiction to interpret or to
reverse the judgment of the higher courts.
Borromeo's motion for reconsideration dated September 20, 1994 was denied "for lack of
sufficient factual and legal basis" by an Order dated November 15, 1994.
V. ADMINISTRATIVE CASE No. 3433
A. Complaint Against Lawyers
of his Court Adversaries
Borromeo also initiated administrative disciplinary proceedings against the lawyers who had
appeared for his adversaries UCPB and Samson K. Lao in the actions above mentioned,
and others. As already mentioned, these lawyers were: Messrs. Laurence Fernandez, Danilo
Deen, Honorato Hermosisima, Antonio Regis, and Alfredo Perez. His complaint against them,
docketed as Administrative Case No. 3433, prayed for their disbarment. Borromeo averred that
the respondent lawyers connived with their clients in (1) maliciously misrepresenting a deed of
sale with pacto de retro as a genuine sale, although it was actually an equitable mortgage; (2)
fraudulently depriving complainant of his proprietary rights subject of the Deed of Sale; and (3)
defying two lawful Court orders, all in violation of their lawyer's oath to do no falsehood nor
consent to the doing of any in Court. Borromeo alleged that respondents Perez and Regis falsely
attempted to consolidate title to his property in favor of Lao.
B. Answer of Respondent Lawyers
The respondent lawyers denounced the disbarment complaint as "absolutely baseless and nothing
but pure harassment." In a pleading dated July 10, 1990, entitled "Comments and Counter
Motion to Cite Joaquin Borromeo in Contempt of Court;" July 10, 1990, filed by the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines Cebu City Chapter, signed by Domero C. Estenzo (President), Juliano
Neri (Vice-President), Ulysses Antonio C. Yap (Treasurer); Felipe B. Velasquez (Secretary),
Corazon E. Valencia (Director), Virgilio U. Lainid (Director), Manuel A. Espina (Director),
Ildefonsa A. Ybaez (Director), Sylvia G. Almase (Director), and Ana Mar Evangelista P.
Batiguin (Auditor). The lawyers made the following observations:
It is ironic. While men of the legal profession regard members of the Judiciary
with deferential awe and respect sometimes to the extent of cowering before the
might of the courts, here is a non-lawyer who, with gleeful abandon and

unmitigated insolence, has cast aspersions and shown utter disregard to the
authority and name of the courts.
And lawyers included. For indeed, it is very unfortunate that here is a non-lawyer
who uses the instruments of justice to harass lawyers and courts who crosses his
path more especially if their actuations do not conform with his whims and
caprices.
Adverting to letters publicly circulated by Borromeo, inter alia charging then Chief Justice
Marcelo B. Fernan with supposed infidelity and violation of the constitution, etc., the lawyers
went on to say the following:
The conduct and statement of Borromeo against this Honorable Court, and other
members of the Judiciary are clearly and grossly disrespectful, insolent and
contemptuous. They tend to bring dishonor to the Judiciary and subvert the public
confidence on the courts. If unchecked, the scurrilous attacks will undermine the
dignity of the courts and will result in the loss of confidence in the country's
judicial system and administration of justice.
. . . (S)omething should be done to protect the integrity of the courts and the legal
profession. So many baseless badmouthing have been made by Borromeo against
this Honorable Court and other courts that for him to go scot-free would certainly
be demoralizing to members of the profession who afforded the court with all the
respect and esteem due them.
Subsequently, in the same proceeding; Borromeo filed another pleading protesting the alleged
"refusal" of the Cebu City Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines to act on his
disbarment cases "filed against its members."
C. Decision of the IBP
On March 28, 1994, the National Executive Director, IBP (Atty. Jose Aguila Grapilon)
transmitted to this Court the notice and copy of the decision in the case, reached after due
investigation, as well as the corresponding records in seven (7) volumes. Said decision approved
and adopted the Report and Recommendation dated December 15, 1993 of Atty. Manuel P.
Legaspi, President, IBP, Cebu City Chapter, representing the IBP Commission on Bar
Discipline, recommending dismissal of the complaint as against all the respondents and the
issuance of a "warning to Borromeo to be more cautious and not be precipitately indiscriminate
in the filing of administrative complaints against lawyers." 37
VI. SCURRILOUS WRITINGS
Forming part of the records of several cases in this Court are copies of letters ("open" or
otherwise), "circulars," flyers or leaflets harshly and quite unwarrantedly derogatory of the many
court judgments or directives against him and defamatory of his adversaries and their lawyers
and employees, as well as the judges and court employees involved in the said adverse

dispositions some of which scurrilous writings were adverted to by the respondent lawyers in
Adm. Case No. 3433, supra. The writing and circulation of these defamatory writing were
apparently undertaken by Borromeo as a parallel activity to his "judicial adventures." The Court
of Appeals had occasion to refer to his "apparent penchant for argumentum ad hominen" and of
the "irresponsible leaflets he admits to have authored . . . (which were found to be) highly
reprehensible and needlessly derogatory to the dignity, honor and reputation of the Courts."
In those publicly circulated writings, he calls judges and lawyers ignorant, corrupt, oppressors,
violators of the Constitution and the laws, etc.
Sometime in July, 1990, for instance, he wrote to the editor of the "Daily Star" as regards the
reported conferment on then Chief Justice Marcelo B. Fernan of an "Award from the University
of Texas for his contributions in upholding the Rule of Law, Justice, etc.," stressing that Fernan
"and the Supreme Court persist in rendering rulings patently violative of the Constitution, Due
Process and Rule of Law, particularly in their issuance of so-called Minute Resolutions devoid of
FACT or LAW or SIGNATURES . . ." He sent a copy of his letter in the Supreme Court.
He circulated an "OPEN LETTER TO SC justices, Fernan," declaring that he had "suffered
INJUSTICE after INJUSTICE from you who are sworn to render TRUE JUSTICE but done the
opposite, AND INSTEAD OF RECTIFYING THEM, labeled my cases as 'frivolous, nuisance,
and harassment suits' while failing to refute the irrefutable evidences therein . . .;" in the same
letter, he specified what he considered to be some of "the terrible injustices inflicted on me by
this Court."
In another letter to Chief Justice Fernan, he observed that "3 years after EDSA, your pledges
have not been fulfilled. Injustice continues and as you said, the courts are agents of oppression,
instead of being saviours and defenders of the people. The saddest part is that (referring again to
minute resolutions) even the Supreme Court, the court of last resort, many times, sanctions
injustice and the trampling of the rule of law and due process, and does not comply with the
Constitution when it should be the first to uphold and defend it . . . ." Another circulated letter of
his, dated June 21, 1989 and captioned, "Open Letter to Supreme Court Justices Marcelo Fernan
and Andres Narvasa," repeated his plaint of having "been the victim of many . . . 'Minute
Resolutions' . . . which in effect sanction the theft and landgrabbing and arson of my properties
by TRADERS ROYAL BANK, UNITED COCONUT PLANTERS BANK, AND one TOMAS
B. TAN all without stating any FACT or LAW to support your dismissal of . . . (my) cases,
despite your firm assurances (Justice Fernan) that you would cite me such facts or laws (during
our talk in your house last March 12 1989);" and that "you in fact have no such facts or laws but
simply want to ram down a most unjust Ruling in favor of a wrongful party. . . ."
In another flyer entitled in big bold letters, "A Gov't That Lies! Blatant attempt to fool people!"
he mentions what he regards as "The blatant lies and contradictions of the Supreme Court, CA to
support the landgrabbing by Traders Royal Bank of Borromeos' Lands." Another flyer has at the
center the caricature of a person, seated on a throne marked Traders Royal Bank, surrounded by
such statements as, "Sa TRB para kami ay royalty. Nakaw at nakaw! Kawat Kawat! TRB WILL
STEAL!" etc Still another "circular" proclaims: "So the public may know: Supreme Court

minute resolutions w/o facts, law, or signatures violate the Constitution" and ends with the
admonition: "Supreme Court, Justice Fernan: STOP VIOLATING THE CHARTER." 38
One other "circular" reads:
SC, NARVASA TYRANTS!!!
CODDLERS OF CROOKS!
VIOLATOR OF LAWS
by: JOAQUIN BORROMEO
NARVASA's SC has denied being a DESPOT nor has it shielded CROOKS in the
judiciary. Adding "The SCRA (SC Reports) will attest to this continuing vigilance
Of the supreme Court." These are lame, cowardly and self-serving denials and
another "self-exoneration" belied by evidence which speak for themselves (Res
Ipsa Loquitor) (sic) the SCRA itself.
It is pure and simply TYRANNY when Narvasa and associates issued
UNSIGNED, UNCLEAR, SWEEPING "Minute Resolutions" devoid of CLEAR
FACTS and LAWS in patent violation of Secs. 4(3), 14, Art. 8 of the
Constitution. It is precisely through said TYRANNICAL, and
UNCONSTITUTIONAL sham rulings that Narvasa & Co. have CODDLED
CROOKS like crony bank TRB, UCPB, and SBTC, and through said fake
resolutions that Narvasa has LIED or shown IGNORANCE of the LAW in ruling
that CONSIGNATION IS NECESSARY IN RIGHT OF REDEMPTION (GR
83306). Through said despotic resolutions, NARVASA & CO. have sanctioned
UCPB/ACCRA's defiance of court orders and naked land grabbing What are
these if not TYRANNY? (GR 84999).
Was it not tyranny for the SC to issue an Entry of Judgment without first
resolving the motion for reconsideration (G.R No. 82273). Was it not tyranny and
abuse of power for the SC to order a case dismissed against SC clerks (CEBV8679) and declare justices and said clerks "immune from suit" despite their
failure to file any pleading? Were Narvasa & Co. not in fact trampling on the rule
of law and rules of court and DUE PROCESS in so doing? (GR No. 82273).
TYRANTS will never admit that they are tyrants. But their acts speak for
themselves! NARVASA & ASSOC: ANSWER AND REFUTE THESE
SERIOUS CHARGES OR RESIGN!!
IMPEACH NARVASA
ISSUING UNSIGNED, SWEEPING, UNCLEAR,
UNCONSTITUTIONAL "MINUTE RESOLUTIONS"
VIOLATIVE OF SECS. 4(3), 14, ART. 8, Constitution

VIOLATING RULES OF COURT AND DUE PROCESS IN


ORDERING CASE AGAINST SC CLERKS (CEB-8679)
DISMISSED DESPITE THE LATTER'S FAILURE TO FILE
PLEADINGS; HENCE IN DEFAULT
CORRUPTION AND/OR GROSS IGNORANCE OF THE LAW
IN RULING, THAT CONSIGNATION IS NECESSARY IN
RIGHT OF REDEMPTION, CONTRADICTING LAW AND
SC'S OWN RULINGS TO ALLOW CRONY BANK TRB TO
STEALS LOTS WORTH P3 MILLION
CONDONING CRONY BANK UCPB'S DEFIANCE OF TWO
LAWFUL COURT ORDERS AND STEALING OF TITLE OF
PROPERTY WORTH P4 MILLION
BEING JUDGE AND ACCUSED AT THE SAME TIME AND
PREDICTABLY EXONERATING HIMSELF AND FELLOW
CORRUPT JUSTICES
DECLARING HIMSELF, JUSTICES, and even MERE
CLERKS TO BE IMMUNE FROM SUIT AND UNACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE and REFUSING TO
ANSWER AND REFUTE CHARGES AGAINST HIMSELF
JOAQUIN T.
BORROMEO

VI. IMMEDIATE ANTECEDENTS


OF PROCEEDINGS AT BAR
A. Letter of Cebu City Chapter
IBP, dated June 21, 1992
Copies of these circulars evidently found their way into the hands, among others, of some
members of the Cebu City Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines. Its President
thereupon addressed a letter to this Court, dated June 21, 1992, which (1) drew attention to one
of them that last quoted, above " . . . .sent to the IBP Cebu City Chapter and probably other
officers . . . in Cebu," described as containing "highly libelous and defamatory remarks against
the Supreme Court and the whole justice system" and (2) in behalf of the Chapter's "officers
and members," strongly urged the Court "to impose sanctions against Mr. Borromeo for his
condemnable act."
B. Resolution of July 22, 1993
Acting thereon, the Court En Banc issued a Resolution on July 22, 1993, requiring comment by
Borromeo on the letter, notice of which was sent to him by the Office of the Clerk of Court. The
resolution pertinently reads as follows:
xxx xxx xxx
The records of the Court disclose inter alia that as early as April 4, 1989, the
Acting Clerk of Court, Atty. Luzviminda D. Puno, wrote a four page letter to Mr.
Borromeo concerning G.R. No. 83306 (Joaquin T. Borromeo vs. Traders Royal
Bank [referred to by Borromeo in the "circular" adverted to by the relator herein,
the IBP Cebu City Chapter]) and two (2) other cases also filed with the Court by
Borromeo: G.R. No. 77248 (Joaquin T. Borromeo v. Samson Lao and Mariano
Logarta) and G.R. No. 84054 (Joaquin T. Borromeo v. Hon. Mario Dizon and
Tomas Tan), all resolved adversely to him by different Divisions of the Court. In
that letter Atty. Puno explained to Borromeo very briefly the legal principles
applicable to his cases and dealt with the matters mentioned in his circular.

The records further disclose subsequent adverse rulings by the Court in other
cases instituted by Borromeo in this Court, i.e., G.R. No. 87897 (Joaquin T.
Borromeo v. Court of Appeals, et al.) and No. 82273 (Joaquin T. Borromeo v.
Court of Appeals and Samson Lao), as well as the existence of other
communications made public by Borromeo reiterating the arguments already
passed upon by the court in his cases and condemning the court's rejection of
those arguments.
Acting on the letter dated June 21, 1993 of the Cebu City Chapter of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines thru its above named, President, and taking
account of the related facts on record, the Court Resolved:
1) to REQUIRE:
(a) the Clerk of Court (1) to DOCKET the matter at bar as a proceeding for
contempt against Joaquin T. Borromeo instituted at the relation of said Cebu City
Chapter, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, and (2) to SEND to the City Sheriff,
Cebu City, notice of this resolution and copies of the Chapter's letter dated June
21, 1993 together with its annexes; and
(b) said City Sheriff of Cebu City to CAUSE PERSONAL SERVICE of said
notice of resolution and a copy of the Chapter's letter dated June 21, 1993,
together with its annexes, on Joaquin T. Borromeo at his address at Mabolo, Cebu
City; and
2) to ORDER said Joaquin T. Borromeo, within ten (10) days from receipt of such
notice and the IBP Chapter's letter of June 21, 1993 and its annexes, to file a
comment on the letter and its annexes as well as on the other matters set forth in
this resolution, serving copy thereof on the relator, the Cebu City Chapter of the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Palace of Justice Building, Capitol, Cebu City.
SO ORDERED.
1. Atty. Puno's Letter of April 4, 1989
Clerk of Court Puno's letter to Borromeo of April 4, 1989, referred to in the first paragraph of the
resolution just mentioned, explained to Borromeo for perhaps the second time, precisely the
principles and established practice relative to "minute resolutions" and notices thereof, treated of
in several other communications and resolutions sent to him by the Supreme Court, to wit: the
letter received by him on July 10, 1987, from Clerk of Court Julieta Y. Carreon (of this Court's
Third Division) (in relation to G.R No. 77243 39) the letter to him of Clerk of Court (Second
Division) Fermin J. Garma, dated May 19,
1989, 40 and three resolutions of this Court, notices of which were in due course served on him,
to wit: that dated July 31, 1989, in G.R. No. 87897; 41 that dated June 1, 1990 in G.R. No. 82274
(186 SCRA 1), 42 and that dated June 11, 1994 in G. R. No. 112928. 43

C. Borromeo's Comment of August 27, 1993


In response to the Resolution of July 22, 1993, Borromeo filed a Comment dated August 27,
1993 in which he alleged the following:
1) the resolution of July 22, 1993 (requiring comment) violates the Constitution
which requires "signatures and concurrence of majority of members of the High
Court;" hence, "a certified copy duly signed by Justices is respectfully requested;"
2) the Chief Justice and other Members of the Court should inhibit themselves
"since they cannot be the Accused and Judge at the same time, . . . (and) this case
should be heard by an impartial and independent body;"
3) the letter of Atty. Legaspi "is not verified nor signed by members of said (IBP
Cebu Chapter) Board; . . . is vague, unspecific, and sweeping" because failing to
point out "what particular statements in the circular are allegedly libelous and
condemnable;" and does not appear that Atty. Legaspi has authority to speak or
file a complaint "in behalf of those accused in the "libelous circular;"
4) in making the circular, he (Borromeo) "was exercising his rights of freedom of
speech, of expression, and to petition the government for redress of grievances as
guaranteed by the Constitution (Sec. 4, Art. III) and in accordance with the
accountability of public officials;" the circular merely states the truth and asks for
justice based on the facts and the
law; . . . it is not libelous nor disrespectful but rather to be commended and
encouraged; . . . Atty. Legaspi . . . should specify under oath which statements are
false and lies;
5) he "stands by the charges in his circular and is prepared to support them with
pertinent facts, evidence and law;" and it is "incumbent on the Hon. Chief Justice
and members of the High Court to either refute said charges or dispense the
justice that they are duty bound to dispense.
D. Resolution of September 30, 1993
After receipt of the comment, and desiring to accord Borromeo the fullest opportunity to explain
his side, and be reprsented by an attorney, the Court promulgated the following Resolution on
September 30, 1993, notice of which was again served on him by the Office of the Clerk of
Court.
. . . The return of service filed by Sheriff Jessie A. Belarmino, Office of the Clerk
of Court Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, dated August 26, 1993, and the
Comment of Joaquin Borromeo, dated August 27, 1993, on the letter of President
Manuel P. Legaspi of the relator dated June 21, 1993, are both NOTED. After
deliberating on the allegations of said Comment, the Court Resolved to GRANT
Joaquin T. Borromeo an additional period of fifteen (15) days from notice hereof

within which to engage the services or otherwise seek the assistance of a lawyer
and submit such further arguments in addition to or in amplification of those set
out in his Comment dated August 27, 1993, if he be so minded.
SO ORDERED.
E. Borromeo's Supplemental Comment
of October 15, 1992
Borromeo filed a "Supplemental Comment" dated October 15, 1992, reiterating the arguments
and allegations in his Comment of August 27, 1993, and setting forth "additional arguments and
amplification to . . . (said) Comment," viz.:
1) the IBP and Atty. Legaspi have failed "to specify and state under oath the
alleged 'libelous' remarks contained in the circular . . .; (they should) be ordered to
file a VERIFIED COMPLAINT . . .(failing in which, they should) be cited in
contempt of court for making false charges and wasting the precious time of this
Highest Court by filing a baseless complaint;
2) the allegations in their circular are not libelous nor disrespectful but "are based
on the TRUTH and the LAW", namely:
a) "minute resolutions" bereft of signatures and clear facts and
laws are patent violations of Secs. 4(32), 13, 14, Art. VIII of the
Constitution;
b) there is no basis nor thruth to this Hon. Court's affirmation to
the Appelate Court's ruling that the undersigned "lost" his right of
redemption price, since no less than this Hon. Court has ruled in
many rulings that CONSIGNATION IS UNNECESSARY in right
of redemption;
c) this Hon. Court has deplorably condoned crony banks TRB and UCPB's frauds
and defiance of court orders in G.R. Nos. 83306 and 878997 and 84999.
F. Borromeo's "Manifestation" of
November 26, 1993
Borromeo afterwards filed a "Manifestation" under date of November 26, 1993, adverting to "the
failure of the IBP and Atty. Legaspi to substantiate his charges under oath and the failure of the
concerned Justices to refute the charges in the alledged "libelous circular" and, construing these
as "and admission of the thruth in said circular," theorized that it is "incumbent on the said
Justices to rectify their grave as well as to dismiss Atty. Legaspi's baseless and false charges."
VII. THE COURT CONCLUSIONS

A. Respondent's Liability
for Contempt of Court
Upon the indubitable facts on record, there can scarcely be any doubt of Borromeo's guilt of
contempt, for abuse of and interference with judicial rules and processes, gross disrespect to
courts and judges and improper conduct directly impeding, obstructing and degrading the
administration of justice. 44 He has stubbornly litigated issues already declared to be without
merit, obstinately closing his eyes to the many rulings rendered adversely to him in many suits
and proceedings, rulings which had become final and executory, obdurately and unreasonably
insisting on the application of his own individual version of the rules, founded on nothing more
than his personal (and quite erroneous) reading of the Constitution and the law; he has insulted
the judges and court officers, including the attorneys appearing for his adversaries, needlessly
overloaded the court dockets and sorely tried the patience of the judges and court employees who
have had to act on his repetitious and largely unfounded complaints, pleadings and motions. He
has wasted the time of the courts, of his adversaries, of the judges and court employees who have
had the bad luck of having to act in one way or another on his unmeritorious cases. More
particularly, despite his attention having been called many times to the egregious error of his
theory that the so-called "minute resolutions" of this Court should contain findings of fact and
conclusions of law, and should be signed or certified by the Justices promulgating the same, 45 he
has mulishly persisted in ventilating that self-same theory in various proceedings, causing much
loss of time, annoyance and vexation to the courts, the court employees and parties involved.
1. Untenability of Proffered Defenses
The first defense that he proffers, that the Chief Justice and other Members of the Court should
inhibit themselves "since they cannot be the Accused and Judge at the same time . . . (and) this
case should be heard by an impartial and independent body, is still another illustration of an
entirely unwarranted, arrogant and reprehensible assumption of a competence in the field of the
law: he again uses up the time of the Court needlessly by invoking an argument long since
declared and adjudged to be untenable. It is axiomatic that the "power or duty of the court to
institute a charge for contempt against itself, without the intervention of the fiscal or prosecuting
officer, is essential to the preservation of its dignity and of the respect due it from litigants,
lawyers and the public. Were the intervention of the prosecuting officer required and judges
obliged to file complaints for contempts against them before the prosecuting officer, in order to
bring the guilty to justice, courts would be inferior to prosecuting officers and impotent to
perform their functions with dispatch and absolute independence. The institution of charges by
the prosecuting officer is not necessary to hold persons guilty of civil or criminal contempt
amenable to trial and punishment by the court. All that the law requires is that there be a charge
in writing duly filed in court and an opportunity to the person charged to be heard by himself or
counsel. The charge may be made by the fiscal, by the judge, or even by a private person. . . ." 46
His claim that the letter of Atty. Legaspi "is not verified nor signed by members of said (IBP
Cebu Chapter) Board; . . . is vague, unspecific, and sweeping" because failing to point out what
particular statements in the circular are allegedly libelous and condemnable;" and it does not
appear that Atty. Legaspi has authority to speak or file a complaint "in behalf of those accused in

the 'libelous' circular" is in the premises, plainly nothing but superficial philosophizing,
deserving no serious treatment.
Equally as superficial, and sophistical, is his other contention that in making the allegations
claimed to be contumacious, he "was exercising his rights of freedom of speech, of expression,
and to petition the government for redress of grievances as guaranteed by the Constitution (Sec.
4, Art. III) and in accordance with the accountablity of public officials." The constitutional rights
invoked by him afford no justification for repetitious litigation of the same causes and issues, for
insulting lawyers, judges, court employees; and other persons, for abusing the processes and
rules of the courts, wasting their time, and bringing them into disrepute and disrespect.
B. Basic Principles Governing
the Judicial Function
The facts and issues involved in the proceeding at bench make necessary a restatement of the
principles governing finality of judgments and of the paramount need to put an end to litigation
at some point, and to lay down definite postulates concerning what is perceived to be a growing
predilection on the part of lawyers and litigants like Borromeo to resort to administrative
prosecution (or institution of civil or criminal actions) as a substitute for or supplement to the
specific modes of appeal or review provided by law from court judgments or orders.
1. Reason for courts; Judicial
Hierarchy
Courts exist in every civilized society for the settlement of controversies. In every country there
is a more or less established hierarchical organization of courts, and a more or less
comprehensive system of review of judgments and final orders of lower courts.
The judicial system in this jurisdiction allows for several levels of litigation, i.e., the presentation
of evidence by the parties a trial or hearing in the first instance as well as a review of the
judgments of lower courts by higher tribunals, generally by consideration anew and ventilation
of the factual and legal issues through briefs or memoranda. The procedure for review is fixed by
law, and is in the very nature of things, exclusive to the courts.
2. Paramount Need to end
Litigation at Some Point
It is withal of the essence of the judicial function that at some point, litigation must end. Hence,
after the procedures and processes for lawsuits have been undergone, and the modes of review
set by law have been exhausted, or terminated, no further ventilation of the same subject matter
is allowed. To be sure, there may be, on the part of the losing parties, continuing disagreement
with the verdict, and the conclusions therein embodied. This is of no moment, indeed, is to be
expected; but, it is not their will, but the Court's, which must prevail; and, to repeat, public policy
demands that at some definite time, the issues must be laid to rest and the court's dispositions
thereon accorded absolute finality. 47 As observed by this Court in Rheem of the Philippines
v. Ferrer, a 1967 decision, 48 a party "may think highly of his intellectual endowment. That is his

privilege. And he may suffer frustration at what he feels is others' lack of it. This is his
misfortune. Some such frame of mind, however, should not be allowed to harden into a belief
that he may attack a court's decision in words calculated to jettison the time-honored aphorism
that courts are the temples of right."
3. Judgments of Supreme Court
Not Reviewable
The sound, salutary and self-evident principle prevailing in this as in most jurisdictions, is that
judgments of the highest tribunal of the land may not be reviewed by any other agency, branch,
department, or official of Government. Once the Supreme Court has spoken, there the matter
must rest. Its decision should not and cannot be appealed to or reviewed by any other entity,
much less reversed or modified on the ground that it is tainted by error in its findings of fact or
conclusions of law, flawed in its logic or language, or otherwise erroneous in some other
respect. 49 This, on the indisputable and unshakable foundation of public policy, and
constitutional and traditional principle.
In an extended Resolution promulgated on March 12, 1987 in In Re: Wenceslao Laureta
involving an attempt by a lawyer to prosecute before the Tanod bayan "members of the First
Division of this Court collectively with having knowingly and deliberately rendered an 'unjust
extended minute Resolution' with deliberate bad faith in violation of Article 204 of the Revised
penal Code ". . . and for deliberatly causing "undue injury" to respondent . . . and her co-heirs
because of the "unjust Resolution" promulgated, in violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt
Practices Act . . . the following pronouncements were made in reaffirmation of established
doctrine: 50
. . . As aptly declared in the Chief Justice's Statement of December 24, 1986,
which the Court hereby adopts in toto, "(I)t is elementary that the Supreme Court
is supreme the third great department of government entrusted exclusively
with the judicial power to adjudicate with finality all justiciable disputes, public
and private. No other department or agency may pass upon its judgments or
declare them "unjust." It is elementary that "(A)s has ever been stressed since the
early case of Arnedo vs.Llorente (18 Phil. 257, 263 [1911]) "controlling and
irresistible reasons of public policy and of sound practice in the courts demand
that at the risk of occasional error, judgments of courts determining controversies
submitted to them should become final at some definite time fixed by law, or by a
rule of practice recognized by law, so as to be thereafter beyond the control even
of the court which rendered them for the purpose of correcting errors of fact or of
law, into which, in the opinion of the court it may have fallen. The very purpose
for which the courts are organized is to put an end to controversy, to decide the
questions submitted to the litigants, and to determine the respective rights of the
parties. (Luzon Brokerage Co., Inc. vs. Maritime Bldg., Co., Inc., 86 SCRA 305,
316-317)
xxx xxx xxx

Indeed, resolutions of the Supreme Court as a collegiate court, whether an en


banc or division, speak for themselves and are entitled to full faith and credence
and are beyond investigation or inquiry under the same principle of
conclusiveness of enrolled bills of the legislature. (U.S. vs. Pons, 34 Phil. 729;
Gardiner, et al. vs. Paredes, et al., 61 Phil. 118; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil.
1) The Supreme Court's pronouncement of the doctrine that "(I)t is well settled
that the enrolled bill . . . is conclusive upon the courts as regards the tenor of the
measure passed by Congress and approved by the President. If there has been any
mistake in the printing of the bill before it was certified by the officers of
Congress and approved by the Executive [as claimed by petitioner-importer who
unsuccessfully sought refund of margin fees] on which we cannot speculate,
without jeopardizing the principle of separation of powers and undermining one
of the cornerstones of our democractic system the remedy is by amendment or
curative legislation, not by judicial decree" is fully and reciprocally applicable to
Supreme Court orders, resolutions and decisions, mutatis mutandis. (Casco Phil.
Chemical Co., Inc. vs. Gimenez, 7 SCRA 347, 350. (Citing Primicias vs. Paredes,
61 Phil. 118, 120; Mabanag vs. Lopez Vito, 78 Phil. 1; Macias vs. Comelec, 3
SCRA 1).
The Court has consistently stressed that the "doctrine of separation of
powers calls for the executive, legislative and judicial departments being left
alone to discharge their duties as they see fit" (Tan vs. Macapagal, 43 SCRA
677). It has thus maintained in the same way that the judiciary has a right to
expect that neither the President nor Congress would cast doubt on the mainspring
of its orders or decisions, it should refrain from speculating as to alleged hidden
forces at work that could have impelled either coordinate branch into acting the
way it did. The concept of separation of powers presupposes mutual respect by
and between the three departments of the government. (Tecson vs. Salas, 34
SCRA 275, 286-287).
4. Final and Executory Judgments of
Lower Courts Not Reviewable
Even by Supreme Court
In respect of Courts below the Supreme Court, the ordinary remedies available under law to a
party who is adversely affected by their decisions or orders are a motion for new trial (or
reconsideration) under Rule 37, and an appeal to either the Court of Appeals or the Supreme
Court, depending on whether questions of both fact and law, or of law only, are raised, in
accordance with fixed and familiar rules and conformably with the hierarchy of
courts. 51 Exceptionally, a review of a ruling or act of a court on the ground that it was rendered
without or in excess of its jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion, may be had through the
special civil action of certiorari or prohibition pursuant to Rule 65 of the Rules of Court.
However, should judgments of lower courts which may normally be subject to review by
higher tribunals become final and executory before, or without, exhaustion of all recourse of
appeal, they, too, become inviolable, impervious to modification. They may, then, no longer be

reviewed, or in anyway modified directly or indirectly, by a higher court, not even by the
Supreme Court, much less by any other official, branch or department of Government. 52
C. Administrative Civil or Criminal Action
against Judge. Not Substitute for Appeal;
Proscribed by Law and Logic
Now, the Court takes judicial notice of the fact that there has been of late a regrettable increase
in the resort to administrative prosecution or the institution of a civil or criminal action as a
substitute for or supplement to appeal. Whether intended or not, such a resort to these remedies
operates as a form of threat or intimidation to coerce judges into timorous surrender of their
prerogatives, or a reluctance to exercise them. With rising frequency, administrative complaints
are being presented to the Office of the Court Administrator; criminal complaints are being filed
with the Office of the Ombudsman or the public prosecutor's office; civil actions for recovery of
damages commenced in the Regional Trial Courts against trial judges, and justices of the Court
of Appeals and even of the Supreme Court.
1. Common Basis of Complaints
Against Judges
Many of these complaints set forth a common indictment: that the respondent Judges or
Justices rendered manifestly unjust judgments or interlocutory orders 53 i.e., judgments or
orders which are allegedly not in accord with the evidence, or with law or jurisprudence, or are
tainted by grave abuse of discretion thereby causing injustice, and actionable and
compensable injury to the complainants (invariably losing litigants). Resolution of complaints of
this sort quite obviously entails a common requirement for the fiscal, the Ombudsman or the
Trial Court: a review of the decision or order of the respondent Judge or Justice to determine its
correctness or erroneousness, as basic premise for a pronouncement of liability.
2. Exclusivity of Specific Procedures for
Correction of Judgments and Orders
The question then, is whether or not these complaints are proper; whether or not in lieu of the
prescribed recourses for appeal or review of judgments and orders of courts, a party may file an
administrative or criminal complaint against the judge for rendition of an unjust judgment, or,
having opted for appeal, may nonetheless simultaneously seek also such administrative or
criminal remedies.
Given the nature of the judicial function, the power vested by the Constitution in the Supreme
Court and the lower courts established by law, the question submits to only one answer: the
administrative or criminal remedies are neither alternative nor cumulative to judicial review
where such review is available, and must wait on the result thereof.
Simple reflection will make this proposition amply clear, and demonstrate that any contrary
postulation can have only intolerable legal implications. Allowing a party who feels aggrieved by
a judicial order or decision not yet final and executory to mount an administrative, civil or

criminal prosecution for unjust judgment against the issuing judge would, at a minimum and as
an indispensable first step, confer the prosecutor (or Ombudsman) with an incongruous function
pertaining, not to him, but to the courts: the determination of whether the questioned disposition
is erroneous in its findings of fact or conclusions of law, or both. If he does proceed despite that
impediment, whatever determination he makes could well set off a proliferation of administrative
or criminal litigation, a possibility here after more fully explored.
Such actions are impermissible and cannot prosper. It is not, as already pointed out, within the
power of public prosecutors, or the Ombudsman or his deputies, directly or vicariously, to
review judgments or final orders or resolutions of the Courts of the land. The power of review
by appeal or special civil action is not only lodged exclusively in the Courts themselves but
must be exercised in accordance with a well-defined and long established hierarchy, and longstanding processes and procedures. No other review is allowed; otherwise litigation would be
interminable, and vexatiously repetitive.
These principles were stressed in In Re: Wenceslao Laureta, supra. 54
Respondents should know that the provisions of Article 204 of the Revised Penal
Code as to "rendering knowingly unjust judgment," refer to an individual judge
who does so "in any case submitted to him for decision" and even then, it is not
the prosecutor who would pass judgment on the "unjustness" of the decision
rendered by him but the proper appellate court with jurisdiction to review the
same, either the Court of Appeals and/or the Supreme Court. Respondents should
likewise know that said penal article has no application to the members of a
collegiate court such as this Court or its Divisions who reach their conclusions in
consultation and accordingly render their collective judgment after due
deliberation. It also follows, consequently, that a charge of violation of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act on the ground that such a collective decision is
"unjust" cannot prosper.
xxx xxx xxx
To subject to the threat and ordeal of investigation and prosecution, a judge, more
so a member of the Supreme Court for official acts done by him in good faith and
in the regular exercise of official duty and judicial functions is to subvert and
undermine that very independence of the judiciary, and subordinate the judiciary
to the executive. "For it is a general principle of the highest importance to the
proper administration of justice that a judicial officer in exercising the authority
vested in him, shall be free to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension
of personal consequences to himself. Liability to answer to everyone who might
feel himself aggrieved by the action of the judge would be inconsistent with the
possession of this freedom, and would destroy that independence without which
no judiciary can be either respectable or useful." (Bradley vs. Fisher, 80 U. S.
335).
xxx xxx xxx

To allow litigants to go beyond the Court's resolution and claim that the members
acted "with deliberate bad faith" and rendered an "unjust resolution" in disregard
or violation of the duty of their high office to act upon their own independent
consideration and judgment of the matter at hand would be to destroy the
authenticity, integrity and conclusiveness of such collegiate acts and resolutions
and to disregard utterly the presumption of regular performance of official duty.
To allow such collateral attack would destroy the separation of powers and
undermine the role of the Supreme Court as the final arbiter of all justiciable
disputes.
Dissatisfied litigants and/or their counsels cannot without violating the separation
of powers mandated by the Constitution relitigate in another forum the final
judgment of this Court on legal issues submitted by them and their adversaries for
final determination to and by the Supreme Court and which fall within the judicial
power to determine and adjudicate exclusively vested by the Constitution in the
Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law.
This is true, too, as regards judgments, otherwise appealable, which have become final and
executory. Such judgments, being no longer reviewable by higher tribunals, are certainly not
reviewable by any other body or authority.
3. Only Courts Authorized, under Fixed
Rules to Declare Judgments or Orders
Erroneous or Unjust
To belabor the obvious, the determination of whether or not a judgement or order is unjust or
was (or was not) rendered within the scope of the issuing judge's authority, or that the judge had
exceeded his jurisdiction and powers or maliciously delayed the disposition of a case is an
essentially judicial function, lodged by existing law and immemorial practice in a hierarchy of
courts and ultimately in the highest court of the land. To repeat, no other entity or official of the
Government, not the prosecution or investigation service or any other branch; nor any
functionary thereof, has competence to review a judicial order or decision whether final and
executory or not and pronounce it erroneous so as to lay the basis for a criminal or
administrative complaint for rendering an unjust judgment or order. That prerogative belongs to
the courts alone.
4. Contrary Rule Results in Circuitousness
and Leads to Absurd Consequences
Pragmatic considerations also preclude prosecution for supposed rendition of unjust judgments
or interlocutory orders of the type above described, which, at bottom, consist simply of the
accusation that the decisions or interlocutory orders are seriously wrong in their conclusions of
fact or of law, or are tainted by grave abuse of discretion as distinguished from accusations of
corruption, or immorality, or other wrongdoing. To allow institution of such proceedings would
not only be legally improper, it would also result in a futile and circuitous exercise, and lead to
absurd consequences.

Assume that a case goes through the whole gamut of review in the judicial hierarchy; i.e., a
judgment is rendered by a municipal trial court; it is reviewed and affirmed by the proper
Regional Trial Court; the latter's judgment is appealed to and in due course affirmed by the Court
of Appeals; and finally, the appellate court's decision is brought up to and affirmed by the
Supreme Court. The prosecution of the municipal trial court judge who rendered the original
decision (for knowingly rendering a manifestly unjust judgment) would appear to be out of the
question; it would mean that the Office of the Ombudsman or of the public prosecutor would
have to find, at the preliminary investigation, not only that the judge's decision was wrong and
unjust, but by necessary implication that the decisions or orders of the Regional Trial Court
Judge, as well as the Justices of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court who affirmed the
original judgment were also all wrong and unjust most certainly an act of supreme arrogance
and very evident supererogation. Pursuing the proposition further, assuming that the public
prosecutor or Ombudsman should nevertheless opt to undertake a review of the decision in
question despite its having been affirmed at all three (3) appellate levels and thereafter,
disagreeing with the verdict of all four (4) courts, file an information in the Regional Trial Court
against the Municipal Trial Court Judge, the fate of such an indictment at the hands of the
Sandiganbayan or the Regional Trial Court would be fairly predictable.
Even if for some reason the Municipal Trial Court Judge is convicted by the Sandiganbayan or a
Regional Trial Court, the appeal before the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals would have
an inevitable result: given the antecedents, the verdict of conviction would be set aside and the
correctness of the judgment in question, already passed upon and finally resolved by the same
appellate courts, would necessarily be sustained.
Moreover, in such a scenario, nothing would prevent the Municipal Trial Judge, in his turn, from
filing a criminal action against the Sandiganbayan Justices, or the Regional Trial Court Judge
who should convict him of the offense, for knowingly rendering an unjust judgment, or against
the Justices of the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court who should affirm his conviction.
The situation is ridiculous, however the circumstances of the case may be modified, and
regardless of whether it is a civil, criminal or administrative proceeding that is availed of as the
vehicle to prosecute the judge for supposedly rendering an unjust decision or order.
5. Primordial Requisites for Administrative
Criminal Prosecution
This is not to say that it is not possible at all to prosecute judges for this impropriety, of
rendering an unjust judgment or interlocutory order; but, taking account of all the foregoing
considerations, the indispensable requisites are that there be a final declaration by a competent
court in some appropriate proceeding of the manifestly unjust character of the challenged
judgment or order, and there be also evidence of malice or bad faith, ignorance or inexcusable
negligence, on the part of the judge in rendering said judgement or order. That final declaration
is ordinarily contained in the judgment rendered in the appellate proceedings in which the
decision of the trial court in the civil or criminal action in question is challenged.

What immediately comes to mind in this connection is a decision of acquittal or dismissal in a


criminal action, as to which the same being unappealable it would be unreasonable to deny
the State or the victim of the crime (or even public-spirited citizens) the opportunity to put to the
test of proof such charges as they might see fit to press that it was unjustly rendered, with malice
or by deliberate design, through inexcusable ignorance or negligence, etc. Even in this case, the
essential requisite is that there be an authoritative judicial pronouncement of the manifestly
unjust character of the judgment or order in question. Such a pronouncement may result from
either (a) an action of certiorari or prohibition in a higher court impugning the validity of the;
judgment, as having been rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of
discretion; e.g., there has been a denial of due process to the prosecution; or (b) if this be not
proper, an administrative proceeding in the Supreme Court against the judge precisely for
promulgating an unjust judgment or order. Until and unless there is such a final,
authoritative judicial declaration that the decision or order in question is "unjust," no civil or
criminal action against the judge concerned is legally possible or should be entertained, for want
of an indispensable requisite.
D. Judges Must be Free from
Influence or Pressure
Judges must be free to judge, without pressure or influence from external forces or factors. They
should not be subject to intimidation, the fear of civil, criminal or administrative sanctions for
acts they may do and dispositions they may make in the performance of their duties and
functions. Hence it is sound rule, which must be recognized independently of statute, that judges
are not generally liable for acts done within the scope of their jurisdiction and in good faith.
This Court has repeatedly and uniformly ruled that a judge may not be held administratively
accountable for every erroneous order or decision he renders. 55 To hold otherwise would be
nothing short of harassment and would make his position doubly unbearable, for no one called
upon to try the facts or interpret the law in the process of administering justice can be infallible
in his judgment. 56 The error must be gross or patent, deliberate and malicious, or incurred with
evident bad faith; 57 it is only in these cases that administrative sanctions are called for as an
imperative duty of the Supreme Court.
As far as civil or criminal liability is concerned, existing doctrine is that "judges of superior and
general jurisdiction are not liable to respond in civil action for damages for what they may do in
the exercise of their judicial functions when acting within their legal powers and
jurisdiction." 58 Based on Section 9, Act No. 190, 59 the doctrine is still good law, not inconsistent
with any subsequent legislative issuance or court rule: "No judge, justice of the peace or assessor
shall be liable to a civil action for the recovery of damages by reason of any judicial action or
judgment rendered by him in good faith, and within the limits of his legal powers and
jurisdiction."
Exception to this general rule is found in Article 32 of the Civil Code, providing that any public
officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats,
violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the enumerated rights and liberties of
another person which rights are the same as those guaranteed in the Bill of Rights (Article III

of the Constitution); shall be liable to the latter for damages. However, such liability is not
demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or
other penal statute. But again, to the extent that the offenses therein described have "unjust
judgment or "unjust interlocutory order" for an essential element, it need only be reiterated that
prosecution of a judge for any of them is subject to the caveat already mentioned: that such
prosecution cannot be initiated, much less maintained, unless there be a final judicial
pronouncement of the unjust character of the decision or order in issue.
E. Afterword
Considering the foregoing antecedents and long standing doctrines, it may well be asked why it
took no less than sixteen (16) years and some fifty (50) grossly unfounded cases lodged by
respondent Borromeo in the different rungs of the Judiciary before this Court decided to take the
present administrative measure. The imposition on the time of the courts and the unnecessary
work occasioned by respondent's crass adventurism are self-evident and require no further
elaboration. If the Court, however, bore with him with Jobian patience, it was in the hope that the
repeated rebuffs he suffered, with the attendant lectures on the error of his ways, would
somehow seep into his understanding and deter him from further forays along his misguided
path. After all, as has repeatedly been declared, the power of contempt is exercised on the
preservative and not the vindictive principle. Unfortunately the Court's forbearance had no effect
on him.
Instead, the continued leniency and tolerance extended to him were read as signs of weakness
and impotence. Worse, respondent's irresponsible audacity appears to have influenced and
emboldened others to just as flamboyantly embark on their own groundless and insulting
proceedings against the courts, born of affected bravado or sheer egocentrism, to the extent of
even involving the legislative and executive departments, the Ombudsman included, in their
assaults against the Judiciary in pursuit of personal agendas. But all things, good or bad, must
come to an end, and it is time for the Court to now draw the line, with more promptitude,
between reasoned dissent and self-seeking pretense. The Court accordingly serves notice to those
with the same conceit or delusions that it will henceforth deal with them, decisively and fairly,
with a firm and even hand, and resolutely impose such punitive sanctions as may be appropriate
to maintain the integrity and independence of the judicial institutions of the country.
WHEREFORE, Joaquin T. Borromeo is found and declared GUILTY of constructive contempt
repeatedly committed over time, despite warnings and instructions given to him, and to the end
that he may ponder his serious errors and grave misconduct and learn due respect for the Courts
and their authority, he is hereby sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment of TEN (10) DAYS
in the City Jail of Cebu City and to pay a fine of ONE THOUSAND PESOS (P1,000.00). He is
warned that a repetition of any of the offenses of which he is herein found guilty, or any similar
or other offense against courts, judges or court employees, will merit further and more serious
sanctions. IT IS SO ORDERED

FIRST DIVISION

[A.M. MTJ-98-1147. July 2, 1998]

JESUS S. CONDUCTO, complainant, vs. JUDGE ILUMINADO C. MONZON, respondent.


RESOLUTION
DAVIDE, JR., J.:
In a sworn letter-complaint dated 14 October 1996,[1] complainant charged respondent Judge
Iluminado C. Monzon of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, San Pablo City, with ignorance of
law, in that he deliberately refused to suspend a barangay chairman who was charged before his
court with the crime of unlawful appointment under Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code.
The factual antecedents recited in the letter-complaint are not controverted.
On 30 August 1993, complainant filed a complaint with the Sangguniang Panlungsod of San
Pablo City against one Benjamin Maghirang, the barangay chairman of Barangay III-E of San
Pablo City, for abuse of authority, serious irregularity and violation of law in that, among other
things, said respondent Maghirang appointed his sister-in-law, Mrs. Florian Maghirang, to the
position of barangay secretary on 17 May 1989 in violation of Section 394 of the Local
Government Code. At the same time, complainant filed a complaint for violation of Article 244
of the Revised Penal Code with the Office of the City Prosecutor against Maghirang, which was,
however, dismissed[2] on 30 September 1993 on the ground that Maghirangs sister-in-law was
appointed before the effectivity of the Local Government Code of 1991, which prohibits
a punong barangay from appointing a relative within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or
affinity as barangay secretary. The order of dismissal was submitted to the Office of the Deputy
Ombudsman for Luzon.
On 22 October 1993, complainant obtained Opinion No. 246, s. 1993 [3] from Director Jacob
Montesa of the Department of Interior and Local Government, which declared that the
appointment issued by Maghirang to his sister-in-law violated paragraph (2), Section 95 of B.P.
Blg. 337, the Local Government Code prior to the Local Government Code of 1991.
In its Revised Resolution of 29 November 1993, [4] the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for
Luzon dismissed the case, but ordered Maghirang to replace his sister-in-law as barangay
secretary.
On 20 December 1993, complainant moved that the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for
Luzon reconsider[5] the order of 29 November 1993, in light of Opinion No. 246, s. 1993 of
Director Montesa.
Acting on the motion, Francisco Samala, Graft Investigation Officer II of the Office of the
Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, issued an order [6] on 8 February 1994 granting the motion for
reconsideration and recommending the filing of an information for unlawful appointment

(Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code) against Maghirang. The recommendation was duly
approved by Manuel C. Domingo, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.
In a 3rd indorsement dated 4 March 1994,[7] the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon transmitted
the record of the case to the Office of the City Prosecutor of San Pablo City and instructed the
latter to file the corresponding information against Maghirang with the proper court and to
prosecute the case. The information for violation of Article 244 of the Revised Penal Code was
forthwith filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in San Pablo City and docketed as
Criminal Case No. 26240. On 11 April 1994, the presiding judge, respondent herein, issued a
warrant for the arrest of Maghirang, with a recommendation of a P200.00 bond for his
provisional liberty.
With prior leave from the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon, on 4 May 1995, the
City Prosecutor filed, in Criminal Case No. 26240, a motion for the suspension[8] of accused
Maghirang pursuant to Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019, as amended, which reads, in part:
SEC. 13. Any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a
valid information under this Act or under Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code or
for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as
a single or as complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of
participation, is pending in Court, shall be suspended from office.
In his Order of 30 June 1995,[9] respondent judge denied the motion for suspension on the
ground that:
[T]he alleged offense of UNLAWFUL APPOINTMENT under Article 244 of the
Revised Penal Code was committed on May 17, 1989, during [Maghirangs] terms (sic)
of office from 1989 to 1994 and said accused was again re-elected as Barangay
Chairman during the last Barangay Election of May 9, 1994, hence, offenses committed
during previous term is (sic) not a cause for removal (Lizarez vs. Hechanova, et al.,
G.R. No. L-22059, May 17, 1965); an order of suspension from office relating to a
given term may not be the basis of contempt with respect to ones (sic) assumption of
the same office under a new term (Oliveros vs. Villaluz, G.R. No. L-34636, May 30,
1971) and, the Court should never remove a public officer for acts done prior to his
present term of office. To do otherwise would deprieve (sic) the people of their right to
elect their officer. When the people have elected a man to office, it must be assumed
that they did this with knowledge of his life and character, and that they disregarded or
forgave his fault or misconduct (sic), if he had been guilty if any. (Aguinaldo vs.
Santos, et al., G.R. No. 94115, August 21, 1992).
The prosecution moved for reconsideration[10] of the order, alleging that the court had
confused removal as a penalty in administrative cases and the temporary removal from office (or
suspension) as a means of preventing the public official, while the criminal case against him is
pending, from exerting undue influence, intimidate (sic) witnesses which may affect the outcome
of the case; the former is a penalty or sanction whereas the latter is a mere procedural
remedy. Accordingly, while a re-elected public official cannot be administratively punished by
removing him from office for offenses committed during his previous term, said public official
can be temporarily removed to prevent him from wielding undue influence which will definitely
be a hindrance for justice to take its natural course. The prosecution then enumerated the cases

decided by this Court reiterating the rule that what a re-election of a public official obliterates are
only administrative, not criminal, liabilities, incurred during previous terms. [11]
In his order of 3 August 1995,[12] respondent denied the motion for reconsideration, thus:
There is no dispute that the suspension sought by the prosecution is premised upon the
act charged allegedly committed during the accused [sic] previous term
as Barangay Chairman of Brgy. III-E. San Pablo City, who was subsequently re-elected
as Barangay Chairman again during the last Barangay Election of May 9,
1994. Certainly, had not the accused been re-elected the prosecution will not file the
instant motion to suspend him as there is no legal basis or the issue has become
academic.
The instant case run [sic] parallel with the case of Lizares vs. Hechanova, et al., L22059, May 17, 1966, 17 SCRA 58, wherein the Supreme Court subscribed to the rule
denying the right to remove from office because of misconduct during a prior term.
It is opined by the Court that preventive suspension is applicable only if there is [sic]
administrative case filed against a local official who is at the same time criminally
charged in Court. At present, the records of the Court shows [sic] that there is no
pending administrative case existing or filed against the accused.
It was held in the concluding paragraph of the decision by the Honorable Supreme
Court in Lizares vs. Hechanova, et al., that Since petitioner, having been duly reelected, is no longer amenable to administrative sanctions for any acts committed
during his former tenure, the determination whether the respondent validly acted in
imposing upon him one months suspension for act [sic] done during his previous term
as mayor is now merely of theoretical interest.
Complainant then moved that respondent inhibit himself from Criminal Case No. 26240. In
his order of 21 September 1995,[13] respondent voluntarily inhibited himself. The case was
assigned to Judge Adelardo S. Escoses per order of Executive Judge Bienvenido V. Reyes of the
Regional Trial Court of San Pablo City.
On 15 October 1996, complainant filed his sworn letter-complaint with the Office of the
Court Administrator.
In his comment dated 14 February 1997, filed in compliance with the resolution of this
Court of 27 January 1997, respondent asserted that he had been continuously keeping abreast of
legal and jurisprudential development [sic] in the law since he passed the 1955 Bar
Examinations; and that he issued the two challenged orders only after due appreciation of
prevailing jurisprudence on the matter, citing authorities in support thereof. He thus prayed for
dismissal of this case, arguing that to warrant a finding of ignorance of law and abuse of
authority, the error must be so gross and patent as to produce an inference of ignorance or bad
faith or that the judge knowingly rendered an unjust decision.[14] He emphasized, likewise, that
the error had to be so grave and on so fundamental a point as to warrant condemnation of the
judge as patently ignorant or negligent;[15] otherwise, to hold a judge administratively
accountable for every erroneous ruling or decision he renders, assuming that he has erred, would
be nothing short of harassment and that would be intolerable. [16]

Respondent further alleged that he earned complainants ire after denying the latters Motion
for the Suspension of Barangay Chairman Maghirang, which was filed only after Maghirang was
re-elected in 1994; and that complainant made inconsistent claims, concretely, while in his letter
of 4 September 1995 requesting respondent to inhibit from the case, complainant declared that he
believed in respondents integrity, competence and dignity, after he denied the request,
complainant branded respondent as a judge of poor caliber and understanding of the law, very
incompetent and has no place in Court of Justice.
Finally, respondent Judge avowed that he would not dare soil his judicial robe at this time,
for he had only three (3) years and nine (9) months more before reaching the compulsory age of
retirement of seventy (70); and that for the last 25 years as municipal judge in the seven (7)
towns of Laguna and as presiding judge of the MTCC, San Pablo City, he had maintained his
integrity.
In compliance with the Courts resolution of 9 March 1998, the parties, by way of separate
letters, informed the Court that they agreed to have this case decided on the basis of the
pleadings already filed, with respondent explicitly specifying that only the complaint and the
comment thereon be considered.
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) recommends that this Court hold respondent
liable for ignorance of the law and that he be reprimanded with a warning that a repetition of the
same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely. In support thereof, the OCA
makes the following findings and conclusions:
The claim of respondent Judge that a local official who is criminally charged can be
preventively suspended only if there is an administrative case filed against him is
without basis. Section 13 of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) states that:
Suspension and loss of benefits Any incumbent public officer against whom any
criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title 7,
Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon
government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as a complex
offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending
in court, shall be suspended from office.
It is well settled that Section 13 of RA 3019 makes it mandatory for the Sandiganbayan
(or the Court) to suspend any public officer against whom a valid information charging
violation of this law, Book II, Title 7 of the RPC, or any offense involving fraud upon
government or public funds or property is filed in court. The court trying a case has
neither discretion nor duty to determine whether preventive suspension is required to
prevent the accused from using his office to intimidate witnesses or frustrate his
prosecution or continue committing malfeasance in office. All that is required is for the
court to make a finding that the accused stands charged under a valid information for
any of the above-described crimes for the purpose of granting or denying the sought for
suspension. (Bolastig vs. Sandiganbayan, G.R. No. 110503 [August 4, 1994], 235
SCRA 103).
In the same case, the Court held that as applied to criminal prosecutions under RA
3019, preventive suspension will last for less than ninety (90) days only if the case is
decided within that period; otherwise, it will continue for ninety (90) days.

Barangay Chairman Benjamin Maghirang was charged with Unlawful Appointment,


punishable under Article 244, Title 7, Book II of the Revised Penal Code. Therefore, it
was mandatory on Judge Monzons part, considering the Motion filed, to order the
suspension of Maghirang for a maximum period of ninety (90) days. This, he failed and
refused to do.
Judge Monzons contention denying complainants Motion for Suspension because
offenses committed during the previous term (is) not a cause for removal during the
present term is untenable. In the case of Rodolfo E. Aguinaldo vs. Hon. Luis Santos and
Melvin Vargas, 212 SCRA 768, the Court held that the rule is that a public official
cannot be removed for administrative misconduct committed during a prior term since
his re-election to office operates as a condonation of the officers previous misconduct
committed during a prior term, to the extent of cutting off the right to remove him
therefor. The foregoing rule, however, finds no application to criminal cases x x x
(Underscoring supplied)
Likewise, it was specifically declared in the case of Ingco vs. Sanchez, G.R. No. L23220, 18 December 1967, 21 SCRA 1292, that The ruling, therefore, that when the
people have elected a man to office it must be assumed that they did this with
knowledge of his life and character and that they disregarded or forgave his faults or
misconduct if he had been guilty of any refers only to an action for removal from office
and does not apply to a criminal case. (Underscoring ours)
Clearly, even if the alleged unlawful appointment was committed during Maghirangs
first term as barangay chairman and the Motion for his suspension was only filed in
1995 during his second term, his re-election is not a bar to his suspension as the
suspension sought for is in connection with a criminal case.
Respondents denial of complainants Motion for Reconsideration left the complainant
with no other judicial remedy. Since a case for Unlawful Appointment is covered by
Summary Procedure, complainant is prohibited from filing a petition for certiorari,
mandamus or prohibition involving an interlocutory order issued by the court. Neither
can he file an appeal from the courts adverse final judgment, incorporating in his appeal
the grounds assailing the interlocutory orders, as this will put the accused in double
jeopardy.
All things considered, while concededly, respondent Judge manifested his ignorance of
the law in denying complainants Motion for Suspension of Brgy. Chairman Maghirang,
there was nothing shown however to indicate that he acted in bad faith or with
malice. Be that as it may, it would also do well to note that good faith and lack of
malicious intent cannot completely free respondent from liability.
This Court, in the case of Libarios and Dabalos, 199 SCRA 48, ruled:
In the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge done in his
judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts
may be erroneous. But, while judges should not be disciplined for inefficiency
on account merely of occasional mistakes or errors of judgment, yet, it is highly
imperative that they should be conversant with basic principles.

A judge owes it to the public and the administration of justice to know the law
he is supposed to apply to a given controversy. He is called upon to exhibit more
than a cursory acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules. There will be
faith in the administration of justice only if there be a belief on the part of
litigants that the occupants of the bench cannot justly be accused of a deficiency
in their grasp of legal principles.
The findings and conclusions of the Office of the Court Administrator are in
order. However, the penalty recommended, i.e., reprimand, is too light, in view of the fact that
despite his claim that he has been continuously keeping abreast of legal and jurisprudential
development [sic] in law ever since he passed the Bar Examinations in 1995, respondent,
wittingly or otherwise, failed to recall that as early as 18 December 1967 in Ingco v.
Sanchez,[17] this Court explicitly ruled that the re-election of a public official extinguishes only
the administrative, but not the criminal, liability incurred by him during his previous term of
office, thus:
The ruling, therefore, that -- when the people have elected a man to his office it must be
assumed that they did this with knowledge of his life and character and that they
disregarded or forgave his faults or misconduct if he had been guilty of any -- refers
only to an action for removal from office and does not apply to a criminal case, because
a crime is a public wrong more atrocious in character than mere misfeasance or
malfeasance committed by a public officer in the discharge of his duties, and is
injurious not only to a person or group of persons but to the State as a whole. This must
be the reason why Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code, which enumerates the grounds
for extinction of criminal liability, does not include reelection to office as one of them,
at least insofar as a public officer is concerned. Also, under the Constitution, it is only
the President who may grant the pardon of a criminal offense.
In Ingco, this Court did not yield to petitioners insistence that he was benefited by the ruling
in Pascual v. Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija[18] that a public officer should never be removed
for acts done prior to his present term of office, as follows:
There is a whale of a difference between the two cases. The basis of the investigation
which has been commenced here, and which is sought to be restrained, is a criminal
accusation the object of which is to cause the indictment and punishment of petitionerappellant as a private citizen; whereas in the cases cited, the subject of the investigation
was an administrative charge against the officers therein involved and its object was
merely to cause his suspension or removal from public office. While the criminal cases
involves the character of the mayor as a private citizen and the People of the Philippines
as a community is a party to the case, an administrative case involves only his
actuations as a public officer as [they] affect the populace of the municipality where he
serves.[19]
Then on 20 June 1969, in Luciano v. The Provincial Governor, et al.,[20] this Court likewise
categorically declared that criminal liabilities incurred by an elective public official during his
previous term of office were not extinguished by his re-election, and that Pascual v. Provincial
Governor and Lizares v. Hechanova referred only to administrative liabilities committed during
the previous term of an elective official, thus:

1. The first problem we are to grapple with is the legal effect of the reelection of
respondent municipal officials. Said respondents would want to impress upon us the
fact that in the last general elections of November 14,1967 the Makati electorate
reelected all of them, except that Vice-Mayor Teotimo Gealogo, a councilor prior
thereto, was elevated to vice-mayor. These respondents contend that their reelection
erected a bar to their removal from office for misconduct committed prior to November
14, 1967. It is to be recalled that the acts averred in the criminal information in Criminal
Case 18821 and for which they were convicted allegedly occurred on or about July 26,
1967, or prior to the 1967 elections. They ground their position on Pascual vs.
Provincial Board of Nueva Ecija, 106 Phil. 466, and Lizares vs. Hechanova, 17 SCRA
58.
A circumspect view leaves us unconvinced of the soundness of respondents'
position. The two cases relied upon have laid down the precept that a reelected public
officer is no longer amenable to administrativesanctions for acts committed during his
former tenure. But the present case rests on an entirely different factual and legal
setting. We are not here confronted with administrative charges to which the two cited
cases refer. Here involved is a criminal prosecution under a special statute, the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act (Republic Act 3019).
Then again, on 30 May 1974, in Oliveros v. Villaluz,[21] this Court held:
I
The first question presented for determination is whether a criminal offense for
violation of Republic Act 3019 committed by an elective officer during one term may
be the basis of his suspension in a subsequent term in the event of his reelection to
office.
Petitioner concedes that "the power and authority of respondent judge to continue trying
the criminal case against petitioner may not in any way be affected by the fact of
petitioner's reelection," but contends that "said respondent's power to preventively
suspend petitioner under section 13 of Republic Act 3019 became inefficacious upon
petitioner's reelection" arguing that the power of the courts cannot be placed over that of
sovereign and supreme people who ordained his return to office.
Petitioner's reliance on the loose language used in Pascual vs. Provincial Board of
Nueva Ecija that "each term is separate from other terms and that the reelection to office
operates as a condonation of the officer's previous misconduct to the extent of cutting
off the right to remove him therefor" is misplaced.
The Court has in subsequent cases made it clear that the Pascual ruling (which dealt
with administrative liability) applies exclusively to administrative and not
to criminal liability and sanctions. Thus, in Ingco vs. Sanchez the Court ruled that
the reelection of a public officer for a new term does not in any manner wipe out
the criminal liability incurred by him in a previous term.
In Luciano vs. Provincial Governor the Court stressed that the cases
of Pascual and Lizares are authority for the precept that "a reelected public officer is no
longer amenable to administrative sanctions for acts committed during his former

tenure" but that as to criminal prosecutions, particularly, for violations of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act, as in the case at bar, the same are not barred by reelection of
the public officer, since, inter alia, one of the penalties attached to the offense is
perpetual disqualification from public office and it "is patently offensive to the
objectives and the letter of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practice Act . . . that an official
may amass wealth thru graft and corrupt practices and thereafter use the same to
purchase reelection and thereby launder his evil acts."
Punishment for a crime is a vindication for an offense against the State and the body
politic. The small segment of the national electorate that constitutes the electorate of the
municipality of Antipolo has no power to condone a crime against the public justice of
the State and the entire body politic. Reelection to public office is not provided for in
Article 89 of the Revised Penal Code as a mode of extinguishing criminal liability
incurred by a public officer prior to his reelection. On the contrary, Article 9 of the
Anti-Graft Act imposes as one of the penalties in case of conviction
perpetual disqualification from public office and Article 30 of the Revised Penal Code
declares that such penalty of perpetual disqualification entails "the deprivation of the
public offices and employments which the offender may have held, even if conferred by
popular election."
It is manifest then, that such condonation of an officer's fault or misconduct during a
previous expired term by virtue of his reelection to office for a new term can be deemed
to apply only to his administrativeand not to his criminal guilt. As succinctly stated in
then Solicitor General (now Associate Justice) Felix Q. Antonio's memorandum for the
State, "to hold that petitioner's reelection erased his criminal liability would in effect
transfer the determination of the criminal culpability of an erring official from the court
to which it was lodged by law into the changing and transient whim and caprice of the
electorate. This cannot be so, for while his constituents may condone the misdeed of a
corrupt official by returning him back to office, a criminal action initiated against the
latter can only be heard and tried by a court of justice, his nefarious act having been
committed against the very State whose laws he had sworn to faithfully obey and
uphold. A contrary rule would erode the very system upon which our government is
based, which is one of laws and not of men."
Finally, on 21 August 1992, in Aguinaldo v. Santos,[22] this Court stated:
Clearly then, the rule is that a public official cannot be removed from administrative
misconduct committed during a prior term, since his re-election to office operates as a
condonation of the officers previous misconduct to the extent of cutting off the right to
remove him therefor. The foregoing rule, however, finds no application
to criminal cases pending against petitioner for acts he may have committed during the
failed coup.
Thus far, no ruling to the contrary has even rippled the doctrine enunciated in the abovementioned cases. If respondent has truly been continuously keeping abreast of legal and
jurisprudential development [sic] in the law, it was impossible for him to have missed or misread
these cases. What detracts from his claim of assiduity is the fact that he even cited the cases
of Oliveros v. Villaluzand Aguinaldo v. Santos in support of his 30 June 1995 order. What is then
evident is that respondent either did not thoroughly read these cases or that he simply

miscomprehended them. The latter, of course, would only manifest either incompetence, since
both cases were written in plain and simple language thereby foreclosing any possibility of
misunderstanding or confusion; or deliberate disregard of a long settled doctrine pronounced by
this Court.
While diligence in keeping up-to-date with the decisions of this Court is a commendable
virtue of judges -- and, of course, members of the Bar -- comprehending the decisions is a
different matter, for it is in that area where ones competence may then be put to the test and
proven. Thus, it has been said that a judge is called upon to exhibit more than just a cursory
acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules; it is imperative that he be conversant with basic
legal principles and aware of well-settled and authoritative doctrines.[23] He should strive for
excellence, exceeded only by his passion for truth, to the end that he be the personification of
justice and the Rule of Law.[24]
Needless to state, respondent was, in this instance, wanting in the desired level of mastery of
a revered doctrine on a simple issue.
On the other hand, if respondent judge deliberately disregarded the doctrine laid down
in Ingco v. Sanchez and reiterated in the succeeding cases of Luciano v. Provincial Governor,
Oliveros v. Villaluz and Aguinaldo v. Santos, it may then be said that he simply wished to enjoy
the privilege of overruling this Courts doctrinal pronouncements. On this point, and as a
reminder to all judges, it isapropos to quote what this Court said sixty-one years ago in People v.
Vera:[25]
As already observed by this Court in Shioji vs. Harvey [1922], 43 Phil., 333, 337), and reiterated
in subsequent cases if each and every Court of First Instance could enjoy the privilege of
overruling decisions of the Supreme Court, there would be no end to litigation, and judicial
chaos would result. A becoming modesty of inferior courts demands conscious realization of the
position that they occupy in the interrelation and operation of the integrated judicial system of
the nation.
Likewise, in Luzon Stevedoring Corp. v. Court of Appeals:[26]
The spirit and initiative and independence on the part of men of the robe may at times
be commendable, but certainly not when this Court, not once but at least four times, had
indicated what the rule should be.We had spoken clearly and unequivocally. There was
no ambiguity in what we said. Our meaning was clear and unmistakable. We did take
pains to explain why it must be thus. We were within our power in doing so. It would
not be too much to expect, then, that tribunals in the lower rungs of the judiciary would
at the very least, take notice and yield deference. Justice Laurel had indicated in terms
too clear for misinterpretation what is expected of them. Thus: A becoming modesty of
inferior court[s] demands conscious realization of the position that they occupy in the
interrelation and operation of the integrated judicial system of the nation. [27] In the
constitutional sense, respondent Court is not excluded from such a category. The grave
abuse of discretion is thus manifest.
In Caram Resources Corp. v. Contreras,[28] this Court affirmed that by tradition and in our
system of judicial administration, this Court has the last word on what the law is, and that its
decisions applying or interpreting the Constitution and laws form part of this countrys legal

system.[29] All other courts should then be guided by the decisions of this Court. To judges who
find it difficult to do so,Vivo v. Cloribel[30] warned:
Now, if a Judge of a lower Court feels, in the fulfillment of his mission of deciding
cases, that the application of a doctrine promulgated by this Superiority is against his
way of reasoning, or against his conscience, he may state his opinion on the matter, but
rather than disposing of the case in accordance with his personal views he must first
think that it is his duty to apply the law as interpreted by the Highest Court of the Land,
and that any deviation from the principle laid down by the latter would unavoidably
cause, as a sequel, unnecessary inconveniences, delays and expenses to the
litigants. And if despite of what is here said, a Judge, still believes that he cannot follow
Our rulings, then he has no other alternative than to place himself in the position that he
could properly avoid the duty of having to render judgment on the case concerned (Art.
9, C.C.), and he has only one legal way to do that.
Finally, the last sentence of Canon 18 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics directs a judge to
administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering
that he is not a depository of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of law.
That having been said, we cannot but conclude that the recommended penalty of reprimand
is not commensurate with the misdeed committed. A fine of P5,000.00, with a warning that a
commission of similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely is, at the very least,
appropriate, considering respondent is due for compulsory retirement on 29 November 2000 and
that this is his first offense.
WHEREFORE, for incompetence as a result of ignorance of a settled doctrine interpreting
a law, or deliberate disregard of such doctrine in violation of Canon 18 of the Canons of Judicial
Ethics, respondent Judge Iluminado C. Monzon is hereby FINED in the amount of Five
Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) and warned that the commission of similar acts in the future shall
be dealt with more severely.
SO ORDERED.

Republic of the Philippines


SUPREME COURT
Manila
EN BANC
A.M. No. 133-J May 31, 1982
BERNARDITA R. MACARIOLA, complainant,
vs.
HONORABLE ELIAS B. ASUNCION, Judge of the Court of First Instance of
Leyte, respondent.

MAKASIAR, J:
In a verified complaint dated August 6, 1968 Bernardita R. Macariola charged respondent Judge
Elias B. Asuncion of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, now Associate Justice of the Court of
Appeals, with "acts unbecoming a judge."
The factual setting of the case is stated in the report dated May 27, 1971 of then Associate
Justice Cecilia Muoz Palma of the Court of Appeals now retired Associate Justice of the
Supreme Court, to whom this case was referred on October 28, 1968 for investigation, thus:
Civil Case No. 3010 of the Court of First Instance of Leyte was a complaint for
partition filed by Sinforosa R. Bales, Luz R. Bakunawa, Anacorita Reyes, Ruperto
Reyes, Adela Reyes, and Priscilla Reyes, plaintiffs, against Bernardita R.
Macariola, defendant, concerning the properties left by the deceased Francisco
Reyes, the common father of the plaintiff and defendant.
In her defenses to the complaint for partition, Mrs. Macariola alleged among other
things that; a) plaintiff Sinforosa R. Bales was not a daughter of the deceased
Francisco Reyes; b) the only legal heirs of the deceased were defendant
Macariola, she being the only offspring of the first marriage of Francisco Reyes
with Felisa Espiras, and the remaining plaintiffs who were the children of the
deceased by his second marriage with Irene Ondez; c) the properties left by the
deceased were all the conjugal properties of the latter and his first wife, Felisa
Espiras, and no properties were acquired by the deceased during his second
marriage; d) if there was any partition to be made, those conjugal properties
should first be partitioned into two parts, and one part is to be adjudicated solely
to defendant it being the share of the latter's deceased mother, Felisa Espiras, and
the other half which is the share of the deceased Francisco Reyes was to be
divided equally among his children by his two marriages.

On June 8, 1963, a decision was rendered by respondent Judge Asuncion in Civil


Case 3010, the dispositive portion of which reads:
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the
Court, upon a preponderance of evidence, finds and so holds, and
hereby renders judgment (1) Declaring the plaintiffs Luz R.
Bakunawa, Anacorita Reyes, Ruperto Reyes, Adela Reyes and
Priscilla Reyes as the only children legitimated by the subsequent
marriage of Francisco Reyes Diaz to Irene Ondez; (2) Declaring
the plaintiff Sinforosa R. Bales to have been an illegitimate child
of Francisco Reyes Diaz; (3) Declaring Lots Nos. 4474, 4475,
4892, 5265, 4803, 4581, 4506 and 1/4 of Lot 1145 as belonging to
the conjugal partnership of the spouses Francisco Reyes Diaz and
Felisa Espiras; (4) Declaring Lot No. 2304 and 1/4 of Lot No. 3416
as belonging to the spouses Francisco Reyes Diaz and Irene Ondez
in common partnership; (5) Declaring that 1/2 of Lot No. 1184 as
belonging exclusively to the deceased Francisco Reyes Diaz; (6)
Declaring the defendant Bernardita R. Macariola, being the only
legal and forced heir of her mother Felisa Espiras, as the exclusive
owner of one-half of each of Lots Nos. 4474, 4475, 4892, 5265,
4803, 4581, 4506; and the remaining one-half (1/2) of each of said
Lots Nos. 4474, 4475, 4892, 5265, 4803, 4581, 4506 and one-half
(1/2) of one-fourth (1/4) of Lot No. 1154 as belonging to the estate
of Francisco Reyes Diaz; (7) Declaring Irene Ondez to be the
exclusive owner of one-half (1/2) of Lot No. 2304 and one-half
(1/2) of one-fourth (1/4) of Lot No. 3416; the remaining one-half
(1/2) of Lot 2304 and the remaining one-half (1/2) of one-fourth
(1/4) of Lot No. 3416 as belonging to the estate of Francisco Reyes
Diaz; (8) Directing the division or partition of the estate of
Francisco Reyes Diaz in such a manner as to give or grant to Irene
Ondez, as surviving widow of Francisco Reyes Diaz, a hereditary
share of. one-twelfth (1/12) of the whole estate of Francisco Reyes
Diaz (Art. 996 in relation to Art. 892, par 2, New Civil Code), and
the remaining portion of the estate to be divided among the
plaintiffs Sinforosa R. Bales, Luz R. Bakunawa, Anacorita Reyes,
Ruperto Reyes, Adela Reyes, Priscilla Reyes and defendant
Bernardita R. Macariola, in such a way that the extent of the total
share of plaintiff Sinforosa R. Bales in the hereditary estate shall
not exceed the equivalent of two-fifth (2/5) of the total share of any
or each of the other plaintiffs and the defendant (Art. 983, New
Civil Code), each of the latter to receive equal shares from the
hereditary estate, (Ramirez vs. Bautista, 14 Phil. 528; Diancin vs.
Bishop of Jaro, O.G. [3rd Ed.] p. 33); (9) Directing the parties,
within thirty days after this judgment shall have become final to
submit to this court, for approval a project of partition of the
hereditary estate in the proportion above indicated, and in such

manner as the parties may, by agreement, deemed convenient and


equitable to them taking into consideration the location, kind,
quality, nature and value of the properties involved; (10) Directing
the plaintiff Sinforosa R. Bales and defendant Bernardita R.
Macariola to pay the costs of this suit, in the proportion of onethird (1/3) by the first named and two-thirds (2/3) by the second
named; and (I 1) Dismissing all other claims of the parties [pp 2729 of Exh. C].
The decision in civil case 3010 became final for lack of an appeal, and on October
16, 1963, a project of partition was submitted to Judge Asuncion which is marked
Exh. A. Notwithstanding the fact that the project of partition was not signed by
the parties themselves but only by the respective counsel of plaintiffs and
defendant, Judge Asuncion approved it in his Order dated October 23, 1963,
which for convenience is quoted hereunder in full:
The parties, through their respective counsels, presented to this
Court for approval the following project of partition:
COMES NOW, the plaintiffs and the defendant in the aboveentitled case, to this Honorable Court respectfully submit the
following Project of Partition:
l. The whole of Lots Nos. 1154, 2304 and 4506 shall belong
exclusively to Bernardita Reyes Macariola;
2. A portion of Lot No. 3416 consisting of 2,373.49 square meters
along the eastern part of the lot shall be awarded likewise to
Bernardita R. Macariola;
3. Lots Nos. 4803, 4892 and 5265 shall be awarded to Sinforosa
Reyes Bales;
4. A portion of Lot No. 3416 consisting of 1,834.55 square meters
along the western part of the lot shall likewise be awarded to
Sinforosa Reyes-Bales;
5. Lots Nos. 4474 and 4475 shall be divided equally among Luz
Reyes Bakunawa, Anacorita Reyes, Ruperto Reyes, Adela Reyes
and Priscilla Reyes in equal shares;
6. Lot No. 1184 and the remaining portion of Lot No. 3416 after
taking the portions awarded under item (2) and (4) above shall be
awarded to Luz Reyes Bakunawa, Anacorita Reyes, Ruperto
Reyes, Adela Reyes and Priscilla Reyes in equal shares, provided,

however that the remaining portion of Lot No. 3416 shall belong
exclusively to Priscilla Reyes.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that the Project of
Partition indicated above which is made in accordance with the
decision of the Honorable Court be approved.
Tacloban City, October 16, 1963.
(SGD) BONIFACIO RAMO Atty. for the Defendant Tacloban
City
(SGD) ZOTICO A. TOLETE Atty. for the Plaintiff Tacloban City
While the Court thought it more desirable for all the parties to have
signed this Project of Partition, nevertheless, upon assurance of
both counsels of the respective parties to this Court that the Project
of Partition, as above- quoted, had been made after a conference
and agreement of the plaintiffs and the defendant approving the
above Project of Partition, and that both lawyers had represented to
the Court that they are given full authority to sign by themselves
the Project of Partition, the Court, therefore, finding the abovequoted Project of Partition to be in accordance with law, hereby
approves the same. The parties, therefore, are directed to execute
such papers, documents or instrument sufficient in form and
substance for the vesting of the rights, interests and participations
which were adjudicated to the respective parties, as outlined in the
Project of Partition and the delivery of the respective properties
adjudicated to each one in view of said Project of Partition, and to
perform such other acts as are legal and necessary to effectuate the
said Project of Partition.
SO ORDERED.
Given in Tacloban City, this 23rd day of October, 1963.
(SGD) ELIAS B. ASUNCION Judge
EXH. B.
The above Order of October 23, 1963, was amended on November 11, 1963, only
for the purpose of giving authority to the Register of Deeds of the Province of
Leyte to issue the corresponding transfer certificates of title to the respective
adjudicatees in conformity with the project of partition (see Exh. U).

One of the properties mentioned in the project of partition was Lot 1184 or rather
one-half thereof with an area of 15,162.5 sq. meters. This lot, which according to
the decision was the exclusive property of the deceased Francisco Reyes, was
adjudicated in said project of partition to the plaintiffs Luz, Anacorita Ruperto,
Adela, and Priscilla all surnamed Reyes in equal shares, and when the project of
partition was approved by the trial court the adjudicatees caused Lot 1184 to be
subdivided into five lots denominated as Lot 1184-A to 1184-E inclusive (Exh.
V).
Lot 1184-D was conveyed to Enriqueta D. Anota, a stenographer in Judge
Asuncion's court (Exhs. F, F-1 and V-1), while Lot 1184-E which had an area of
2,172.5556 sq. meters was sold on July 31, 1964 to Dr. Arcadio Galapon (Exh. 2)
who was issued transfer certificate of title No. 2338 of the Register of Deeds of
the city of Tacloban (Exh. 12).
On March 6, 1965, Dr. Arcadio Galapon and his wife Sold a portion of Lot 1184E with an area of around 1,306 sq. meters to Judge Asuncion and his wife,
Victoria S. Asuncion (Exh. 11), which particular portion was declared by the
latter for taxation purposes (Exh. F).
On August 31, 1966, spouses Asuncion and spouses Galapon conveyed their
respective shares and interest in Lot 1184-E to "The Traders Manufacturing and
Fishing Industries Inc." (Exit 15 & 16). At the time of said sale the stockholders
of the corporation were Dominador Arigpa Tan, Humilia Jalandoni Tan, Jaime
Arigpa Tan, Judge Asuncion, and the latter's wife, Victoria S. Asuncion, with
Judge Asuncion as the President and Mrs. Asuncion as the secretary (Exhs. E-4 to
E-7). The Articles of Incorporation of "The Traders Manufacturing and Fishing
Industries, Inc." which we shall henceforth refer to as "TRADERS" were
registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission only on January 9, 1967
(Exh. E) [pp. 378-385, rec.].
Complainant Bernardita R. Macariola filed on August 9, 1968 the instant complaint dated
August 6, 1968 alleging four causes of action, to wit: [1] that respondent Judge Asuncion
violated Article 1491, paragraph 5, of the New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase a portion of
Lot No. 1184-E which was one of those properties involved in Civil Case No. 3010 decided by
him; [2] that he likewise violated Article 14, paragraphs I and 5 of the Code of Commerce,
Section 3, paragraph H, of R.A. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices
Act, Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules, and Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial
Ethics, by associating himself with the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries, Inc., as a
stockholder and a ranking officer while he was a judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte;
[3] that respondent was guilty of coddling an impostor and acted in disregard of judicial decorum
by closely fraternizing with a certain Dominador Arigpa Tan who openly and publicly advertised
himself as a practising attorney when in truth and in fact his name does not appear in the Rolls of
Attorneys and is not a member of the Philippine Bar; and [4] that there was a culpable defiance
of the law and utter disregard for ethics by respondent Judge (pp. 1-7, rec.).

Respondent Judge Asuncion filed on September 24, 1968 his answer to which a reply was filed
on October 16, 1968 by herein complainant. In Our resolution of October 28, 1968, We referred
this case to then Justice Cecilia Muoz Palma of the Court of Appeals, for investigation, report
and recommendation. After hearing, the said Investigating Justice submitted her report dated
May 27, 1971 recommending that respondent Judge should be reprimanded or warned in
connection with the first cause of action alleged in the complaint, and for the second cause of
action, respondent should be warned in case of a finding that he is prohibited under the law to
engage in business. On the third and fourth causes of action, Justice Palma recommended that
respondent Judge be exonerated.
The records also reveal that on or about November 9 or 11, 1968 (pp. 481, 477, rec.),
complainant herein instituted an action before the Court of First Instance of Leyte, entitled
"Bernardita R. Macariola, plaintiff, versus Sinforosa R. Bales, et al., defendants," which was
docketed as Civil Case No. 4235, seeking the annulment of the project of partition made
pursuant to the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 and the two orders issued by respondent Judge
approving the same, as well as the partition of the estate and the subsequent conveyances with
damages. It appears, however, that some defendants were dropped from the civil case. For one,
the case against Dr. Arcadio Galapon was dismissed because he was no longer a real party in
interest when Civil Case No. 4234 was filed, having already conveyed on March 6, 1965 a
portion of lot 1184-E to respondent Judge and on August 31, 1966 the remainder was sold to the
Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries, Inc. Similarly, the case against defendant Victoria
Asuncion was dismissed on the ground that she was no longer a real party in interest at the time
the aforesaid Civil Case No. 4234 was filed as the portion of Lot 1184 acquired by her and
respondent Judge from Dr. Arcadio Galapon was already sold on August 31, 1966 to the Traders
Manufacturing and Fishing industries, Inc. Likewise, the cases against defendants Serafin P.
Ramento, Catalina Cabus, Ben Barraza Go, Jesus Perez, Traders Manufacturing and Fishing
Industries, Inc., Alfredo R. Celestial and Pilar P. Celestial, Leopoldo Petilla and Remedios
Petilla, Salvador Anota and Enriqueta Anota and Atty. Zotico A. Tolete were dismissed with the
conformity of complainant herein, plaintiff therein, and her counsel.
On November 2, 1970, Judge Jose D. Nepomuceno of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, who
was directed and authorized on June 2, 1969 by the then Secretary (now Minister) of Justice and
now Minister of National Defense Juan Ponce Enrile to hear and decide Civil Case No. 4234,
rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
A. IN THE CASE AGAINST JUDGE ELIAS B. ASUNCION
(1) declaring that only Branch IV of the Court of First Instance of Leyte has
jurisdiction to take cognizance of the issue of the legality and validity of the
Project of Partition [Exhibit "B"] and the two Orders [Exhibits "C" and "C- 3"]
approving the partition;
(2) dismissing the complaint against Judge Elias B. Asuncion;
(3) adjudging the plaintiff, Mrs. Bernardita R. Macariola to pay defendant Judge
Elias B. Asuncion,

(a) the sum of FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS


[P400,000.00] for moral damages;
(b) the sum of TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS
[P200,000.001 for exemplary damages;
(c) the sum of FIFTY THOUSAND PESOS [P50,000.00] for
nominal damages; and
(d) he sum of TEN THOUSAND PESOS [PI0,000.00] for
Attorney's Fees.
B. IN THE CASE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT MARIQUITA
VILLASIN, FOR HERSELF AND FOR THE HEIRS OF THE
DECEASED GERARDO VILLASIN
(1) Dismissing the complaint against the defendants Mariquita Villasin and the
heirs of the deceased Gerardo Villasin;
(2) Directing the plaintiff to pay the defendants Mariquita Villasin and the heirs of
Gerardo Villasin the cost of the suit.
C. IN THE CASE AGAINST THE DEFENDANT SINFOROSA
R. BALES, ET AL., WHO WERE PLAINTIFFS IN CIVIL CASE
NO. 3010
(1) Dismissing the complaint against defendants Sinforosa R. Bales, Adela R.
Herrer, Priscilla R. Solis, Luz R. Bakunawa, Anacorita R. Eng and Ruperto O.
Reyes.
D. IN THE CASE AGAINST DEFENDANT BONIFACIO
RAMO
(1) Dismissing the complaint against Bonifacio Ramo;
(2) Directing the plaintiff to pay the defendant Bonifacio Ramo the cost of the
suit.
SO ORDERED [pp. 531-533, rec.]
It is further disclosed by the record that the aforesaid decision was elevated to the Court of
Appeals upon perfection of the appeal on February 22, 1971.
I

WE find that there is no merit in the contention of complainant Bernardita R. Macariola, under
her first cause of action, that respondent Judge Elias B. Asuncion violated Article 1491,
paragraph 5, of the New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase a portion of Lot No. 1184-E which
was one of those properties involved in Civil Case No. 3010. 'That Article provides:
Article 1491. The following persons cannot acquire by purchase, even at a public
or judicial action, either in person or through the mediation of another:
xxx xxx xxx
(5) Justices, judges, prosecuting attorneys, clerks of superior and inferior courts,
and other officers and employees connected with the administration of justice, the
property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution before the court
within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective functions; this
prohibition includes the act of acquiring by assignment and shall apply to lawyers,
with respect to the property and rights which may be the object of any litigation in
which they may take part by virtue of their profession [emphasis supplied].
The prohibition in the aforesaid Article applies only to the sale or assignment of the property
which is the subject of litigation to the persons disqualified therein. WE have already ruled that
"... for the prohibition to operate, the sale or assignment of the property must take place during
the pendency of the litigation involving the property" (The Director of Lands vs. Ababa et al., 88
SCRA 513, 519 [1979], Rosario vda. de Laig vs. Court of Appeals, 86 SCRA 641, 646 [1978]).
In the case at bar, when the respondent Judge purchased on March 6, 1965 a portion of Lot 1184E, the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 which he rendered on June 8, 1963 was already final
because none of the parties therein filed an appeal within the reglementary period; hence, the lot
in question was no longer subject of the litigation. Moreover, at the time of the sale on March 6,
1965, respondent's order dated October 23, 1963 and the amended order dated November 11,
1963 approving the October 16, 1963 project of partition made pursuant to the June 8, 1963
decision, had long become final for there was no appeal from said orders.
Furthermore, respondent Judge did not buy the lot in question on March 6, 1965 directly from
the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 3010 but from Dr. Arcadio Galapon who earlier purchased
on July 31, 1964 Lot 1184-E from three of the plaintiffs, namely, Priscilla Reyes, Adela Reyes,
and Luz R. Bakunawa after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. 3010. It may be recalled
that Lot 1184 or more specifically one-half thereof was adjudicated in equal shares to Priscilla
Reyes, Adela Reyes, Luz Bakunawa, Ruperto Reyes and Anacorita Reyes in the project of
partition, and the same was subdivided into five lots denominated as Lot 1184-A to 1184-E. As
aforestated, Lot 1184-E was sold on July 31, 1964 to Dr. Galapon for which he was issued TCT
No. 2338 by the Register of Deeds of Tacloban City, and on March 6, 1965 he sold a portion of
said lot to respondent Judge and his wife who declared the same for taxation purposes only. The
subsequent sale on August 31, 1966 by spouses Asuncion and spouses Galapon of their
respective shares and interest in said Lot 1184-E to the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing
Industries, Inc., in which respondent was the president and his wife was the secretary, took place

long after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 and of the subsequent two aforesaid
orders therein approving the project of partition.
While it appears that complainant herein filed on or about November 9 or 11, 1968 an action
before the Court of First Instance of Leyte docketed as Civil Case No. 4234, seeking to annul the
project of partition and the two orders approving the same, as well as the partition of the estate
and the subsequent conveyances, the same, however, is of no moment.
The fact remains that respondent Judge purchased on March 6, 1965 a portion of Lot 1184-E
from Dr. Arcadio Galapon; hence, after the finality of the decision which he rendered on June 8,
1963 in Civil Case No. 3010 and his two questioned orders dated October 23, 1963 and
November 11, 1963. Therefore, the property was no longer subject of litigation.
The subsequent filing on November 9, or 11, 1968 of Civil Case No. 4234 can no longer alter,
change or affect the aforesaid facts that the questioned sale to respondent Judge, now Court of
Appeals Justice, was effected and consummated long after the finality of the aforesaid decision
or orders.
Consequently, the sale of a portion of Lot 1184-E to respondent Judge having taken place over
one year after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 as well as the two orders
approving the project of partition, and not during the pendency of the litigation, there was no
violation of paragraph 5, Article 1491 of the New Civil Code.
It is also argued by complainant herein that the sale on July 31, 1964 of Lot 1184-E to Dr.
Arcadio Galapon by Priscilla Reyes, Adela Reyes and Luz R. Bakunawa was only a mere
scheme to conceal the illegal and unethical transfer of said lot to respondent Judge as a
consideration for the approval of the project of partition. In this connection, We agree with the
findings of the Investigating Justice thus:
And so we are now confronted with this all-important question whether or not the
acquisition by respondent of a portion of Lot 1184-E and the subsequent transfer
of the whole lot to "TRADERS" of which respondent was the President and his
wife the Secretary, was intimately related to the Order of respondent approving
the project of partition, Exh. A.
Respondent vehemently denies any interest or participation in the transactions
between the Reyeses and the Galapons concerning Lot 1184-E, and he insists that
there is no evidence whatsoever to show that Dr. Galapon had acted, in the
purchase of Lot 1184-E, in mediation for him and his wife. (See p. 14 of
Respondent's Memorandum).
xxx xxx xxx
On this point, I agree with respondent that there is no evidence in the record
showing that Dr. Arcadio Galapon acted as a mere "dummy" of respondent in
acquiring Lot 1184-E from the Reyeses. Dr. Galapon appeared to this investigator

as a respectable citizen, credible and sincere, and I believe him when he testified
that he bought Lot 1184-E in good faith and for valuable consideration from the
Reyeses without any intervention of, or previous understanding with Judge
Asuncion (pp. 391- 394, rec.).
On the contention of complainant herein that respondent Judge acted illegally in approving the
project of partition although it was not signed by the parties, We quote with approval the
findings of the Investigating Justice, as follows:
1. I agree with complainant that respondent should have required the signature of
the parties more particularly that of Mrs. Macariola on the project of partition
submitted to him for approval; however, whatever error was committed by
respondent in that respect was done in good faith as according to Judge Asuncion
he was assured by Atty. Bonifacio Ramo, the counsel of record of Mrs.
Macariola, That he was authorized by his client to submit said project of partition,
(See Exh. B and tsn p. 24, January 20, 1969). While it is true that such written
authority if there was any, was not presented by respondent in evidence, nor did
Atty. Ramo appear to corroborate the statement of respondent, his affidavit being
the only one that was presented as respondent's Exh. 10, certain actuations of Mrs.
Macariola lead this investigator to believe that she knew the contents of the
project of partition, Exh. A, and that she gave her conformity thereto. I refer to the
following documents:
1) Exh. 9 Certified true copy of OCT No. 19520 covering Lot 1154 of the
Tacloban Cadastral Survey in which the deceased Francisco Reyes holds a "1/4
share" (Exh. 9-a). On tills certificate of title the Order dated November 11, 1963,
(Exh. U) approving the project of partition was duly entered and registered on
November 26, 1963 (Exh. 9-D);
2) Exh. 7 Certified copy of a deed of absolute sale executed by Bernardita
Reyes Macariola onOctober 22, 1963, conveying to Dr. Hector Decena the onefourth share of the late Francisco Reyes-Diaz in Lot 1154. In this deed of sale the
vendee stated that she was the absolute owner of said one-fourth share, the same
having been adjudicated to her as her share in the estate of her father Francisco
Reyes Diaz as per decision of the Court of First Instance of Leyte under case No.
3010 (Exh. 7-A). The deed of sale was duly registered and annotated at the back
of OCT 19520 on December 3, 1963 (see Exh. 9-e).
In connection with the abovementioned documents it is to be noted that in the
project of partition dated October 16, 1963, which was approved by respondent on
October 23, 1963, followed by an amending Order on November 11, 1963, Lot
1154 or rather 1/4 thereof was adjudicated to Mrs. Macariola. It is this 1/4 share
in Lot 1154 which complainant sold to Dr. Decena on October 22, 1963, several
days after the preparation of the project of partition.

Counsel for complainant stresses the view, however, that the latter sold her onefourth share in Lot 1154 by virtue of the decision in Civil Case 3010 and not
because of the project of partition, Exh. A. Such contention is absurd because
from the decision, Exh. C, it is clear that one-half of one- fourth of Lot 1154
belonged to the estate of Francisco Reyes Diaz while the other half of said onefourth was the share of complainant's mother, Felisa Espiras; in other words, the
decision did not adjudicate the whole of the one-fourth of Lot 1154 to the herein
complainant (see Exhs. C-3 & C-4). Complainant became the owner of the entire
one-fourth of Lot 1154 only by means of the project of partition, Exh. A.
Therefore, if Mrs. Macariola sold Lot 1154 on October 22, 1963, it was for no
other reason than that she was wen aware of the distribution of the properties of
her deceased father as per Exhs. A and B. It is also significant at this point to state
that Mrs. Macariola admitted during the cross-examination that she went to
Tacloban City in connection with the sale of Lot 1154 to Dr. Decena (tsn p. 92,
November 28, 1968) from which we can deduce that she could not have been kept
ignorant of the proceedings in civil case 3010 relative to the project of partition.
Complainant also assails the project of partition because according to her the
properties adjudicated to her were insignificant lots and the least valuable.
Complainant, however, did not present any direct and positive evidence to prove
the alleged gross inequalities in the choice and distribution of the real properties
when she could have easily done so by presenting evidence on the area, location,
kind, the assessed and market value of said properties. Without such evidence
there is nothing in the record to show that there were inequalities in the
distribution of the properties of complainant's father (pp. 386389, rec.).
Finally, while it is. true that respondent Judge did not violate paragraph 5, Article 1491 of the
New Civil Code in acquiring by purchase a portion of Lot 1184-E which was in litigation in his
court, it was, however, improper for him to have acquired the same. He should be reminded of
Canon 3 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics which requires that: "A judge's official conduct should
be free from the appearance of impropriety, and his personal behavior, not only upon the bench
and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond
reproach." And as aptly observed by the Investigating Justice: "... it was unwise and indiscreet on
the part of respondent to have purchased or acquired a portion of a piece of property that was or
had been in litigation in his court and caused it to be transferred to a corporation of which he and
his wife were ranking officers at the time of such transfer. One who occupies an exalted position
in the judiciary has the duty and responsibility of maintaining the faith and trust of the citizenry
in the courts of justice, so that not only must he be truly honest and just, but his actuations must
be such as not give cause for doubt and mistrust in the uprightness of his administration of
justice. In this particular case of respondent, he cannot deny that the transactions over Lot 1184E are damaging and render his actuations open to suspicion and distrust. Even if respondent
honestly believed that Lot 1184-E was no longer in litigation in his court and that he was
purchasing it from a third person and not from the parties to the litigation, he should nonetheless
have refrained from buying it for himself and transferring it to a corporation in which he and his
wife were financially involved, to avoid possible suspicion that his acquisition was related in one
way or another to his official actuations in civil case 3010. The conduct of respondent gave cause

for the litigants in civil case 3010, the lawyers practising in his court, and the public in general to
doubt the honesty and fairness of his actuations and the integrity of our courts of justice" (pp.
395396, rec.).
II
With respect to the second cause of action, the complainant alleged that respondent Judge
violated paragraphs 1 and 5, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce when he associated himself
with the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries, Inc. as a stockholder and a ranking
officer, said corporation having been organized to engage in business. Said Article provides that:
Article 14 The following cannot engage in commerce, either in person or by
proxy, nor can they hold any office or have any direct, administrative, or financial
intervention in commercial or industrial companies within the limits of the
districts, provinces, or towns in which they discharge their duties:
1. Justices of the Supreme Court, judges and officials of the department of public
prosecution in active service. This provision shall not be applicable to mayors,
municipal judges, and municipal prosecuting attorneys nor to those who by
chance are temporarily discharging the functions of judge or prosecuting attorney.
xxx xxx xxx
5. Those who by virtue of laws or special provisions may not engage in commerce
in a determinate territory.
It is Our considered view that although the aforestated provision is incorporated in the Code of
Commerce which is part of the commercial laws of the Philippines, it, however, partakes of the
nature of a political law as it regulates the relationship between the government and certain
public officers and employees, like justices and judges.
Political Law has been defined as that branch of public law which deals with the organization
and operation of the governmental organs of the State and define the relations of the state with
the inhabitants of its territory (People vs. Perfecto, 43 Phil. 887, 897 [1922]). It may be recalled
that political law embraces constitutional law, law of public corporations, administrative law
including the law on public officers and elections. Specifically, Article 14 of the Code of
Commerce partakes more of the nature of an administrative law because it regulates the conduct
of certain public officers and employees with respect to engaging in business: hence, political in
essence.
It is significant to note that the present Code of Commerce is the Spanish Code of Commerce of
1885, with some modifications made by the "Commission de Codificacion de las Provincias de
Ultramar," which was extended to the Philippines by the Royal Decree of August 6, 1888, and
took effect as law in this jurisdiction on December 1, 1888.

Upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States and later on from the United
States to the Republic of the Philippines, Article 14 of this Code of Commerce must be deemed
to have been abrogated because where there is change of sovereignty, the political laws of the
former sovereign, whether compatible or not with those of the new sovereign, are automatically
abrogated, unless they are expressly re-enacted by affirmative act of the new sovereign.
Thus, We held in Roa vs. Collector of Customs (23 Phil. 315, 330, 311 [1912]) that:
By well-settled public law, upon the cession of territory by one nation to another,
either following a conquest or otherwise, ... those laws which are political in their
nature and pertain to the prerogatives of the former government immediately
cease upon the transfer of sovereignty. (Opinion, Atty. Gen., July 10, 1899).
While municipal laws of the newly acquired territory not in conflict with the, laws
of the new sovereign continue in force without the express assent or affirmative
act of the conqueror, the political laws do not. (Halleck's Int. Law, chap. 34, par.
14). However, such political laws of the prior sovereignty as are not in conflict
with the constitution or institutions of the new sovereign, may be continued in
force if the conqueror shall so declare by affirmative act of the commander-inchief during the war, or by Congress in time of peace. (Ely's Administrator vs.
United States, 171 U.S. 220, 43 L. Ed. 142). In the case of American and Ocean
Ins. Cos. vs. 356 Bales of Cotton (1 Pet. [26 U.S.] 511, 542, 7 L. Ed. 242), Chief
Justice Marshall said:
On such transfer (by cession) of territory, it has never been held
that the relations of the inhabitants with each other undergo any
change. Their relations with their former sovereign are dissolved,
and new relations are created between them and the government
which has acquired their territory. The same act which transfers
their country, transfers the allegiance of those who remain in it;
and the law which may be denominated political, is necessarily
changed, although that which regulates the intercourse and general
conduct of individuals, remains in force, until altered by the newlycreated power of the State.
Likewise, in People vs. Perfecto (43 Phil. 887, 897 [1922]), this Court stated that: "It is a general
principle of the public law that on acquisition of territory the previous political relations of the
ceded region are totally abrogated. "
There appears no enabling or affirmative act that continued the effectivity of the aforestated
provision of the Code of Commerce after the change of sovereignty from Spain to the United
States and then to the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently, Article 14 of the Code of
Commerce has no legal and binding effect and cannot apply to the respondent, then Judge of the
Court of First Instance, now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.

It is also argued by complainant herein that respondent Judge violated paragraph H, Section 3 of
Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which
provides that:
Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. In addition to acts or omissions of
public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute
corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
xxx xxx xxx
(h) Directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in
any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he
intervenes or takes part in his official capacity, or in which he is
prohibited by the Constitution or by any Iaw from having any
interest.
Respondent Judge cannot be held liable under the aforestated paragraph because there is no
showing that respondent participated or intervened in his official capacity in the business or
transactions of the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries, Inc. In the case at bar, the
business of the corporation in which respondent participated has obviously no relation or
connection with his judicial office. The business of said corporation is not that kind where
respondent intervenes or takes part in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance. As was
held in one case involving the application of Article 216 of the Revised Penal Code which has a
similar prohibition on public officers against directly or indirectly becoming interested in any
contract or business in which it is his official duty to intervene, "(I)t is not enough to be a public
official to be subject to this crime; it is necessary that by reason of his office, he has to intervene
in said contracts or transactions; and, hence, the official who intervenes in contracts or
transactions which have no relation to his office cannot commit this crime.' (People vs. Meneses,
C.A. 40 O.G. 11th Supp. 134, cited by Justice Ramon C. Aquino; Revised Penal Code, p. 1174,
Vol. 11 [1976]).
It does not appear also from the records that the aforesaid corporation gained any undue
advantage in its business operations by reason of respondent's financial involvement in it, or that
the corporation benefited in one way or another in any case filed by or against it in court. It is
undisputed that there was no case filed in the different branches of the Court of First Instance of
Leyte in which the corporation was either party plaintiff or defendant except Civil Case No. 4234
entitled "Bernardita R. Macariola, plaintiff, versus Sinforosa O. Bales, et al.," wherein the
complainant herein sought to recover Lot 1184-E from the aforesaid corporation. It must be
noted, however, that Civil Case No. 4234 was filed only on November 9 or 11, 1968 and decided
on November 2, 1970 by CFI Judge Jose D. Nepomuceno when respondent Judge was no longer
connected with the corporation, having disposed of his interest therein on January 31, 1967.
Furthermore, respondent is not liable under the same paragraph because there is no provision in
both the 1935 and 1973 Constitutions of the Philippines, nor is there an existing law expressly
prohibiting members of the Judiciary from engaging or having interest in any lawful business.

It may be pointed out that Republic Act No. 296, as amended, also known as the Judiciary Act of
1948, does not contain any prohibition to that effect. As a matter of fact, under Section 77 of said
law, municipal judges may engage in teaching or other vocation not involving the practice of law
after office hours but with the permission of the district judge concerned.
Likewise, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce which prohibits judges from engaging in
commerce is, as heretofore stated, deemed abrogated automatically upon the transfer of
sovereignty from Spain to America, because it is political in nature.
Moreover, the prohibition in paragraph 5, Article 1491 of the New Civil Code against the
purchase by judges of a property in litigation before the court within whose jurisdiction they
perform their duties, cannot apply to respondent Judge because the sale of the lot in question to
him took place after the finality of his decision in Civil Case No. 3010 as well as his two orders
approving the project of partition; hence, the property was no longer subject of litigation.
In addition, although Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules made pursuant to the
Civil Service Act of 1959 prohibits an officer or employee in the civil service from engaging in
any private business, vocation, or profession or be connected with any commercial, credit,
agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the head of department,
the same, however, may not fall within the purview of paragraph h, Section 3 of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Act because the last portion of said paragraph speaks of a prohibition by
the Constitution or law on any public officer from having any interest in any business and not by
a mere administrative rule or regulation. Thus, a violation of the aforesaid rule by any officer or
employee in the civil service, that is, engaging in private business without a written permission
from the Department Head may not constitute graft and corrupt practice as defined by law.
On the contention of complainant that respondent Judge violated Section 12, Rule XVIII of the
Civil Service Rules, We hold that the Civil Service Act of 1959 (R.A. No. 2260) and the Civil
Service Rules promulgated thereunder, particularly Section 12 of Rule XVIII, do not apply to the
members of the Judiciary. Under said Section 12: "No officer or employee shall engage directly
in any private business, vocation, or profession or be connected with any commercial, credit,
agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the Head of Department
..."
It must be emphasized at the outset that respondent, being a member of the Judiciary, is covered
by Republic Act No. 296, as amended, otherwise known as the Judiciary Act of 1948 and by
Section 7, Article X, 1973 Constitution.
Under Section 67 of said law, the power to remove or dismiss judges was then vested in the
President of the Philippines, not in the Commissioner of Civil Service, and only on two grounds,
namely, serious misconduct and inefficiency, and upon the recommendation of the Supreme
Court, which alone is authorized, upon its own motion, or upon information of the Secretary
(now Minister) of Justice to conduct the corresponding investigation. Clearly, the aforesaid
section defines the grounds and prescribes the special procedure for the discipline of judges.

And under Sections 5, 6 and 7, Article X of the 1973 Constitution, only the Supreme Court can
discipline judges of inferior courts as well as other personnel of the Judiciary.
It is true that under Section 33 of the Civil Service Act of 1959: "The Commissioner may, for ...
violation of the existing Civil Service Law and rules or of reasonable office regulations, or in the
interest of the service, remove any subordinate officer or employee from the service, demote him
in rank, suspend him for not more than one year without pay or fine him in an amount not
exceeding six months' salary." Thus, a violation of Section 12 of Rule XVIII is a ground for
disciplinary action against civil service officers and employees.
However, judges cannot be considered as subordinate civil service officers or employees subject
to the disciplinary authority of the Commissioner of Civil Service; for, certainly, the
Commissioner is not the head of the Judicial Department to which they belong. The Revised
Administrative Code (Section 89) and the Civil Service Law itself state that the Chief Justice is
the department head of the Supreme Court (Sec. 20, R.A. No. 2260) [1959]); and under the 1973
Constitution, the Judiciary is the only other or second branch of the government (Sec. 1, Art. X,
1973 Constitution). Besides, a violation of Section 12, Rule XVIII cannot be considered as a
ground for disciplinary action against judges because to recognize the same as applicable to
them, would be adding another ground for the discipline of judges and, as aforestated, Section 67
of the Judiciary Act recognizes only two grounds for their removal, namely, serious misconduct
and inefficiency.
Moreover, under Section 16(i) of the Civil Service Act of 1959, it is the Commissioner of Civil
Service who has original and exclusive jurisdiction "(T)o decide, within one hundred twenty
days, after submission to it, all administrative cases against permanent officers and employees in
the competitive service, and, except as provided by law, to have final authority to pass upon their
removal, separation, and suspension and upon all matters relating to the conduct, discipline, and
efficiency of such officers and employees; and prescribe standards, guidelines and regulations
governing the administration of discipline" (emphasis supplied). There is no question that a
judge belong to the non-competitive or unclassified service of the government as a Presidential
appointee and is therefore not covered by the aforesaid provision. WE have already ruled that "...
in interpreting Section 16(i) of Republic Act No. 2260, we emphasized that only permanent
officers and employees who belong to the classified service come under the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Civil Service" (Villaluz vs. Zaldivar, 15 SCRA 710,713
[1965], Ang-Angco vs. Castillo, 9 SCRA 619 [1963]).
Although the actuation of respondent Judge in engaging in private business by joining the
Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries, Inc. as a stockholder and a ranking officer, is not
violative of the provissions of Article 14 of the Code of Commerce and Section 3(h) of the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules
promulgated pursuant to the Civil Service Act of 1959, the impropriety of the same is clearly
unquestionable because Canon 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics expressly declares that:
A judge should abstain from making personal investments in enterprises which
are apt to be involved in litigation in his court; and, after his accession to the
bench, he should not retain such investments previously made, longer than a

period sufficient to enable him to dispose of them without serious loss. It is


desirable that he should, so far as reasonably possible, refrain from all relations
which would normally tend to arouse the suspicion that such relations warp or
bias his judgment, or prevent his impartial attitude of mind in the administration
of his judicial duties. ...
WE are not, however, unmindful of the fact that respondent Judge and his wife had withdrawn
on January 31, 1967 from the aforesaid corporation and sold their respective shares to third
parties, and it appears also that the aforesaid corporation did not in anyway benefit in any case
filed by or against it in court as there was no case filed in the different branches of the Court of
First Instance of Leyte from the time of the drafting of the Articles of Incorporation of the
corporation on March 12, 1966, up to its incorporation on January 9, 1967, and the eventual
withdrawal of respondent on January 31, 1967 from said corporation. Such disposal or sale by
respondent and his wife of their shares in the corporation only 22 days after the incorporation of
the corporation, indicates that respondent realized that early that their interest in the corporation
contravenes the aforesaid Canon 25. Respondent Judge and his wife therefore deserve the
commendation for their immediate withdrawal from the firm after its incorporation and before it
became involved in any court litigation
III
With respect to the third and fourth causes of action, complainant alleged that respondent was
guilty of coddling an impostor and acted in disregard of judicial decorum, and that there was
culpable defiance of the law and utter disregard for ethics. WE agree, however, with the
recommendation of the Investigating Justice that respondent Judge be exonerated because the
aforesaid causes of action are groundless, and WE quote the pertinent portion of her report which
reads as follows:
The basis for complainant's third cause of action is the claim that respondent
associated and closely fraternized with Dominador Arigpa Tan who openly and
publicly advertised himself as a practising attorney (see Exhs. I, I-1 and J) when
in truth and in fact said Dominador Arigpa Tan does not appear in the Roll of
Attorneys and is not a member of the Philippine Bar as certified to in Exh. K.
The "respondent denies knowing that Dominador Arigpa Tan was an "impostor"
and claims that all the time he believed that the latter was a bona fide member of
the bar. I see no reason for disbelieving this assertion of respondent. It has been
shown by complainant that Dominador Arigpa Tan represented himself publicly
as an attorney-at-law to the extent of putting up a signboard with his name and the
words "Attorney-at Law" (Exh. I and 1- 1) to indicate his office, and it was but
natural for respondent and any person for that matter to have accepted that
statement on its face value. "Now with respect to the allegation of complainant
that respondent is guilty of fraternizing with Dominador Arigpa Tan to the extent
of permitting his wife to be a godmother of Mr. Tan's child at baptism (Exh. M &
M-1), that fact even if true did not render respondent guilty of violating any canon
of judicial ethics as long as his friendly relations with Dominador A. Tan and

family did not influence his official actuations as a judge where said persons were
concerned. There is no tangible convincing proof that herein respondent gave any
undue privileges in his court to Dominador Arigpa Tan or that the latter benefitted
in his practice of law from his personal relations with respondent, or that he used
his influence, if he had any, on the Judges of the other branches of the Court to
favor said Dominador Tan.
Of course it is highly desirable for a member of the judiciary to refrain as much as
possible from maintaining close friendly relations with practising attorneys and
litigants in his court so as to avoid suspicion 'that his social or business relations
or friendship constitute an element in determining his judicial course" (par. 30,
Canons of Judicial Ethics), but if a Judge does have social relations, that in itself
would not constitute a ground for disciplinary action unless it be clearly shown
that his social relations be clouded his official actuations with bias and partiality
in favor of his friends (pp. 403-405, rec.).
In conclusion, while respondent Judge Asuncion, now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals,
did not violate any law in acquiring by purchase a parcel of land which was in litigation in his
court and in engaging in business by joining a private corporation during his incumbency as
judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, he should be reminded to be more discreet in his
private and business activities, because his conduct as a member of the Judiciary must not only
be characterized with propriety but must always be above suspicion.
WHEREFORE, THE RESPONDENT ASSOCIATE JUSTICE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS
IS HEREBY REMINDED TO BE MORE DISCREET IN HIS PRIVATE AND BUSINESS
ACTIVITIES.
SO ORDERED.

EN BANC

[G.R. No. 152154. July 15, 2003]

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN


(SPECIAL FIRST DIVISION), FERDINAND E. MARCOS (REPRESENTED BY
HIS ESTATE/HEIRS: IMELDA R. MARCOS, MARIA IMELDA [IMEE]
MARCOS-MANOTOC, FERDINAND R. MARCOS, JR. AND IRENE MARCOSARANETA) AND IMELDA ROMUALDEZ MARCOS, respondents.
DECISION
CORONA, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to (1) set aside
the Resolution dated January 31, 2002 issued by the Special First Division of the Sandiganbayan
in Civil Case No. 0141 entitled Republic of the Philippines vs. Ferdinand E. Marcos, et. al., and
(2) reinstate its earlier decision dated September 19, 2000 which forfeited in favor of petitioner
Republic of the Philippines (Republic) the amount held in escrow in the Philippine National
Bank (PNB) in the aggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 as of January 31, 2002.

BACKGROUND OF THE CASE


On December 17, 1991, petitioner Republic, through the Presidential Commission on Good
Government (PCGG), represented by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a petition
for forfeiture before the Sandiganbayan, docketed as Civil Case No. 0141 entitled Republic of the
Philippines vs. Ferdinand E. Marcos, represented by his Estate/Heirs and Imelda R.
Marcos, pursuant to RA 1379[1] in relation to Executive Order Nos. 1, [2] 2,[3] 14[4] and 14-A.[5]
In said case, petitioner sought the declaration of the aggregate amount of US$356 million
(now estimated to be more than US$658 million inclusive of interest) deposited in escrow in the
PNB, as ill-gotten wealth. The funds were previously held by the following five account groups,
using various foreign foundations in certain Swiss banks:
(1) Azio-Verso-Vibur Foundation accounts;
(2) Xandy-Wintrop: Charis-Scolari-Valamo-Spinus- Avertina Foundation accounts;
(3) Trinidad-Rayby-Palmy Foundation accounts;
(4) Rosalys-Aguamina Foundation accounts and

(5) Maler Foundation accounts.


In addition, the petition sought the forfeiture of US$25 million and US$5 million in treasury
notes which exceeded the Marcos couples salaries, other lawful income as well as income from
legitimately acquired property. The treasury notes are frozen at the Central Bank of the
Philippines, now Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, by virtue of the freeze order issued by the PCGG.
On October 18, 1993, respondents Imelda R. Marcos, Maria Imelda M. Manotoc, Irene M.
Araneta and Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. filed their answer.
Before the case was set for pre-trial, a General Agreement and the Supplemental
Agreements[6] dated December 28, 1993 were executed by the Marcos children and then PCGG
Chairman Magtanggol Gunigundo for a global settlement of the assets of the Marcos
family. Subsequently, respondent Marcos children filed a motion dated December 7, 1995 for the
approval of said agreements and for the enforcement thereof.
The General Agreement/Supplemental Agreements sought to identify, collate, cause the
inventory of and distribute all assets presumed to be owned by the Marcos family under the
conditions contained therein. The aforementioned General Agreement specified in one of its
premises or whereas clauses the fact that petitioner obtained a judgment from the Swiss Federal
Tribunal on December 21, 1990, that the Three Hundred Fifty-six Million U.S. dollars (US$356
million) belongs in principle to the Republic of the Philippines provided certain conditionalities
are met x x x. The said decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court affirmed the decision of
Zurich District Attorney Peter Consandey, granting petitioners request for legal
assistance.[7] Consandey declared the various deposits in the name of the enumerated foundations
to be of illegal provenance and ordered that they be frozen to await the final verdict in favor of
the parties entitled to restitution.
Hearings were conducted by the Sandiganbayan on the motion to approve the
General/Supplemental Agreements. Respondent Ferdinand, Jr. was presented as witness for the
purpose of establishing the partial implementation of said agreements.
On October 18, 1996, petitioner filed a motion for summary judgment and/or judgment on the
pleadings. Respondent Mrs. Marcos filed her opposition thereto which was later adopted by
respondents Mrs. Manotoc, Mrs. Araneta and Ferdinand, Jr.
In its resolution dated November 20, 1997, the Sandiganbayan denied petitioners motion for
summary judgment and/or judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the motion to approve
the compromise agreement (took) precedence over the motion for summary judgment.
Respondent Mrs. Marcos filed a manifestation on May 26, 1998 claiming she was not a
party to the motion for approval of the Compromise Agreement and that she owned 90% of the
funds with the remaining 10% belonging to the Marcos estate.
Meanwhile, on August 10, 1995, petitioner filed with the District Attorney in Zurich,
Switzerland, an additional request for the immediate transfer of the deposits to an escrow
account in the PNB.The request was granted. On appeal by the Marcoses, the Swiss Federal
Supreme Court, in a decision dated December 10, 1997, upheld the ruling of the District
Attorney of Zurich granting the request for the transfer of the funds. In 1998, the funds were
remitted to the Philippines in escrow. Subsequently, respondent Marcos children moved that the

funds be placed in custodia legisbecause the deposit in escrow in the PNB was allegedly in
danger of dissipation by petitioner. The Sandiganbayan, in its resolution dated September 8,
1998, granted the motion.
After the pre-trial and the issuance of the pre-trial order and supplemental pre-trial order
dated October 28, 1999 and January 21, 2000, respectively, the case was set for trial. After
several resettings, petitioner, on March 10, 2000, filed another motion for summary judgment
pertaining to the forfeiture of the US$356 million, based on the following grounds:
I
THE ESSENTIAL FACTS WHICH WARRANT THE FORFEITURE OF THE FUNDS
SUBJECT OF THE PETITION UNDER R.A. NO. 1379 ARE ADMITTED BY
RESPONDENTS IN THEIR PLEADINGS AND OTHER SUBMISSIONS MADE IN THE
COURSE OF THE PROCEEDING.
II
RESPONDENTS ADMISSION MADE DURING THE PRE-TRIAL THAT THEY DO NOT
HAVE ANY INTEREST OR OWNERSHIP OVER THE FUNDS SUBJECT OF THE ACTION
FOR FORFEITURE TENDERS NO GENUINE ISSUE OR CONTROVERSY AS TO ANY
MATERIAL FACT IN THE PRESENT ACTION, THUS WARRANTING THE RENDITION
OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT.[8]
Petitioner contended that, after the pre-trial conference, certain facts were established,
warranting a summary judgment on the funds sought to be forfeited.
Respondent Mrs. Marcos filed her opposition to the petitioners motion for summary
judgment, which opposition was later adopted by her co-respondents Mrs. Manotoc, Mrs.
Araneta and Ferdinand, Jr.
On March 24, 2000, a hearing on the motion for summary judgment was conducted.
In a decision[9] dated September 19, 2000, the Sandiganbayan granted petitioners motion for
summary judgment:
CONCLUSION
There is no issue of fact which calls for the presentation of evidence.
The Motion for Summary Judgment is hereby granted.
The Swiss deposits which were transmitted to and now held in escrow at the PNB are deemed
unlawfully acquired as ill-gotten wealth.
DISPOSITION
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the Republic of the Philippines and
against the respondents, declaring the Swiss deposits which were transferred to and now

deposited in escrow at the Philippine National Bank in the total aggregate value equivalent to
US$627,608,544.95 as of August 31, 2000 together with the increments thereof forfeited in favor
of the State.[10]
Respondent Mrs. Marcos filed a motion for reconsideration dated September 26, 2000.
Likewise, Mrs. Manotoc and Ferdinand, Jr. filed their own motion for reconsideration dated
October 5, 2000. Mrs. Araneta filed a manifestation dated October 4, 2000 adopting the motion
for reconsideration of Mrs. Marcos, Mrs. Manotoc and Ferdinand, Jr.
Subsequently, petitioner filed its opposition thereto.
In a resolution[11] dated January 31, 2002, the Sandiganbayan reversed its September 19,
2000 decision, thus denying petitioners motion for summary judgment:
CONCLUSION
In sum, the evidence offered for summary judgment of the case did not prove that the money in
the Swiss Banks belonged to the Marcos spouses because no legal proof exists in the record as to
the ownership by the Marcoses of the funds in escrow from the Swiss Banks.
The basis for the forfeiture in favor of the government cannot be deemed to have been
established and our judgment thereon, perforce, must also have been without basis.
WHEREFORE, the decision of this Court dated September 19, 2000 is reconsidered and set
aside, and this case is now being set for further proceedings. [12]
Hence, the instant petition. In filing the same, petitioner argues that the Sandiganbayan, in
reversing its September 19, 2000 decision, committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction considering that -I
PETITIONER WAS ABLE TO PROVE ITS CASE IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE
REQUISITES OF SECTIONS 2 AND 3 OF R.A. NO. 1379:
A. PRIVATE RESPONDENTS CATEGORICALLY ADMITTED NOT ONLY THE
PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES OF FERDINAND E. MARCOS AND
IMELDA R. MARCOS AS PUBLIC OFFICIALS BUT ALSO THE EXTENT
OF THEIR SALARIES AS SUCH PUBLIC OFFICIALS, WHO UNDER THE
CONSTITUTION, WERE PROHIBITED FROM ENGAGING IN THE
MANAGEMENT OF FOUNDATIONS.
B. PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ALSO ADMITTED THE EXISTENCE OF THE
SWISS DEPOSITS AND THEIR OWNERSHIP THEREOF:
1. ADMISSIONS IN PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ANSWER;

2. ADMISSION IN THE GENERAL / SUPPLEMENTAL AGREEMENTS THEY


SIGNED AND SOUGHT TO IMPLEMENT;
3. ADMISSION IN A MANIFESTATION OF PRIVATE RESPONDENT
IMELDA R. MARCOS AND IN THE MOTION TO PLACE
THE RES IN CUSTODIA LEGIS; AND
4. ADMISSION IN THE UNDERTAKING TO PAY THE HUMAN RIGHTS
VICTIMS.
C. PETITIONER HAS PROVED THE EXTENT OF THE LEGITIMATE INCOME
OF FERDINAND E. MARCOS AND IMELDA R. MARCOS AS PUBLIC
OFFICIALS.
D. PETITIONER HAS ESTABLISHED A PRIMA FACIE PRESUMPTION OF
UNLAWFULLY ACQUIRED WEALTH.
II
SUMMARY JUDGMENT IS PROPER SINCE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS HAVE NOT
RAISED ANY GENUINE ISSUE OF FACT CONSIDERING THAT:
A. PRIVATE RESPONDENTS DEFENSE THAT SWISS DEPOSITS WERE
LAWFULLY ACQUIRED DOES NOT ONLY FAIL TO TENDER AN ISSUE
BUT IS CLEARLY A SHAM; AND
B. IN SUBSEQUENTLY DISCLAIMING OWNERSHIP OF THE SWISS DEPOSITS,
PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ABANDONED THEIR SHAM DEFENSE OF
LEGITIMATE ACQUISITION, AND THIS FURTHER JUSTIFIED THE
RENDITION OF A SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
III
THE FOREIGN FOUNDATIONS NEED NOT BE IMPLEADED.
IV
THE HONORABLE PRESIDING JUSTICE COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF
DISCRETION IN REVERSING HIMSELF ON THE GROUND THAT ORIGINAL COPIES
OF THE AUTHENTICATED SWISS DECISIONS AND THEIR AUTHENTICATED
TRANSLATIONS HAVE NOT BEEN SUBMITTED TO THE COURT, WHEN EARLIER
THE SANDIGANBAYAN HAS QUOTED EXTENSIVELY A PORTION OF THE
TRANSLATION OF ONE OF THESE SWISS DECISIONS IN HIS PONENCIA DATED
JULY 29, 1999 WHEN IT DENIED THE MOTION TO RELEASE ONE HUNDRED FIFTY
MILLION US DOLLARS ($150,000,000.00) TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS VICTIMS.

V
PRIVATE RESPONDENTS ARE DEEMED TO HAVE WAIVED THEIR OBJECTION TO
THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE SWISS FEDERAL SUPREME COURT DECISIONS. [13]
Petitioner, in the main, asserts that nowhere in the respondents motions for reconsideration
and supplemental motion for reconsideration were the authenticity, accuracy and admissibility of
the Swiss decisions ever challenged. Otherwise stated, it was incorrect for the Sandiganbayan to
use the issue of lack of authenticated translations of the decisions of the Swiss Federal Supreme
Court as the basis for reversing itself because respondents themselves never raised this issue in
their motions for reconsideration and supplemental motion for reconsideration. Furthermore, this
particular issue relating to the translation of the Swiss court decisions could not be resurrected
anymore because said decisions had been previously utilized by the Sandiganbayan itself in
resolving a decisive issue before it.
Petitioner faults the Sandiganbayan for questioning the non-production of the authenticated
translations of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court decisions as this was a marginal and technical
matter that did not diminish by any measure the conclusiveness and strength of what had been
proven and admitted before the Sandiganbayan, that is, that the funds deposited by the Marcoses
constituted ill-gotten wealth and thus belonged to the Filipino people.
In compliance with the order of this Court, Mrs. Marcos filed her comment to the petition on
May 22, 2002. After several motions for extension which were all granted, the comment of Mrs.
Manotoc and Ferdinand, Jr. and the separate comment of Mrs. Araneta were filed on May 27,
2002.
Mrs. Marcos asserts that the petition should be denied on the following grounds:
A.
PETITIONER HAS A PLAIN, SPEEDY, AND ADEQUATE REMEDY AT THE
SANDIGANBAYAN.
B.
THE SANDIGANBAYAN DID NOT ABUSE ITS DISCRETION IN SETTING THE CASE
FOR FURTHER PROCEEDINGS.[14]
Mrs. Marcos contends that petitioner has a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law in view of the resolution of the Sandiganbayan dated January 31, 2000
directing petitioner to submit the authenticated translations of the Swiss decisions. Instead of
availing of said remedy, petitioner now elevates the matter to this Court. According to Mrs.
Marcos, a petition for certiorari which does not comply with the requirements of the rules may
be dismissed. Since petitioner has a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, that is, to proceed to trial
and submit authenticated translations of the Swiss decisions, its petition before this Court must
be dismissed. Corollarily, the Sandiganbayans ruling to set the case for further proceedings
cannot and should not be considered a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment.

Likewise, Mrs. Manotoc and Ferdinand, Jr., in their comment, prayed for the dismissal of
the petition on the grounds that:
(A)
BY THE TIME PETITIONER FILED ITS MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON 10
MARCH 2000, IT WAS ALREADY BARRED FROM DOING SO.
(1) The Motion for Summary Judgment was based on private respondents Answer and
other documents that had long been in the records of the case. Thus, by the time
the Motion was filed on 10 March 2000, estoppel by laches had already set in
against petitioner.
(2) By its positive acts and express admissions prior to filing the Motion for Summary
Judgment on 10 March 1990, petitioner had legally bound itself to go to trial on
the basis of existing issues. Thus, it clearly waived whatever right it had to move
for summary judgment.
(B)
EVEN ASSUMING THAT PETITIONER WAS NOT LEGALLY BARRED FROM FILING
THE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, THE SANDIGANBAYAN IS CORRECT IN
RULING THAT PETITIONER HAS NOT YET ESTABLISHED A PRIMA FACIE CASE FOR
THE FORFEITURE OF THE SWISS FUNDS.
(1) Republic Act No. 1379, the applicable law, is a penal statute. As such, its
provisions, particularly the essential elements stated in section 3 thereof, are
mandatory in nature. These should be strictly construed against petitioner and
liberally in favor of private respondents.
(2) Petitioner has failed to establish the third and fourth essential elements in Section 3
of R.A. 1379 with respect to the identification, ownership, and approximate
amount of the property which the Marcos couple allegedly acquired during their
incumbency.
(a) Petitioner has failed to prove that the Marcos couple acquired or own the Swiss
funds.
(b) Even assuming, for the sake of argument, that the fact of acquisition has been
proven, petitioner has categorically admitted that it has no evidence
showing how much of the Swiss funds was acquired during the
incumbency of the Marcos couple from 31 December 1965 to 25 February
1986.
(3) In contravention of the essential element stated in Section 3 (e) of R.A. 1379,
petitioner has failed to establish the other proper earnings and income from

legitimately acquired property of the Marcos couple over and above their
government salaries.
(4) Since petitioner failed to prove the three essential elements provided in paragraphs
(c)[15] (d),[16] and (e)[17] of Section 3, R.A. 1379, the inescapable conclusion is that
the prima facie presumption of unlawful acquisition of the Swiss funds has not yet
attached. There can, therefore, be no premature forfeiture of the funds.
(C)
IT WAS ONLY BY ARBITRARILY ISOLATING AND THEN TAKING CERTAIN
STATEMENTS MADE BY PRIVATE RESPONDENTS OUT OF CONTEXT THAT
PETITIONER WAS ABLE TO TREAT THESE AS JUDICIAL ADMISSIONS SUFFICIENT
TO ESTABLISH A PRIMA FACIE AND THEREAFTER A CONCLUSIVE CASE TO
JUSTIFY THE FORFEITURE OF THE SWISS FUNDS.
(1) Under Section 27, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court, the General and Supplemental
Agreements, as well as the other written and testimonial statements submitted in
relation thereto, are expressly barred from being admissible in evidence against
private respondents.
(2) Had petitioner bothered to weigh the alleged admissions together with the other
statements on record, there would be a demonstrable showing that no such
judicial admissions were made by private respondents.
(D)
SINCE PETITIONER HAS NOT (YET) PROVEN ALL THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS TO
ESTABLISH A PRIMA FACIE CASE FOR FORFEITURE, AND PRIVATE RESPONDENTS
HAVE NOT MADE ANY JUDICIAL ADMISSION THAT WOULD HAVE FREED IT FROM
ITS BURDEN OF PROOF, THE SANDIGANBAYAN DID NOT COMMIT GRAVE ABUSE
OF DISCRETION IN DENYING THE MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.
CERTIORARI, THEREFORE, DOES NOT LIE, ESPECIALLY AS THIS COURT IS NOT A
TRIER OF FACTS.[18]
For her part, Mrs. Araneta, in her comment to the petition, claims that obviously petitioner is
unable to comply with a very plain requirement of respondent Sandiganbayan. The instant
petition is allegedly an attempt to elevate to this Court matters, issues and incidents which should
be properly threshed out at the Sandiganbayan. To respondent Mrs. Araneta, all other matters,
save that pertaining to the authentication of the translated Swiss Court decisions, are irrelevant
and impertinent as far as this Court is concerned. Respondent Mrs. Araneta manifests that she is
as eager as respondent Sandiganbayan or any interested person to have the Swiss Court decisions
officially translated in our known language. She says the authenticated official English version of
the Swiss Court decisions should be presented. This should stop all speculations on what indeed
is contained therein. Thus, respondent Mrs. Araneta prays that the petition be denied for lack of

merit and for raising matters which, in elaborated fashion, are impertinent and improper before
this Court.

PROPRIETY OF PETITIONERS
ACTION FOR CERTIORARI
But before this Court discusses the more relevant issues, the question regarding the propriety
of petitioner Republic's action for certiorari under Rule 65 [19] of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure assailing the Sandiganbayan Resolution dated January 21, 2002 should be threshed
out.
At the outset, we would like to stress that we are treating this case as an exception to the
general rule governing petitions for certiorari. Normally, decisions of the Sandiganbayan are
brought before this Court under Rule 45, not Rule 65. [20] But where the case is undeniably
ingrained with immense public interest, public policy and deep historical repercussions,
certiorari is allowed notwithstanding the existence and availability of the remedy of appeal. [21]
One of the foremost concerns of the Aquino Government in February 1986 was the recovery
of the unexplained or ill-gotten wealth reputedly amassed by former President and Mrs.
Ferdinand E. Marcos, their relatives, friends and business associates. Thus, the very first
Executive Order (EO) issued by then President Corazon Aquino upon her assumption to office
after the ouster of the Marcoses was EO No. 1, issued on February 28, 1986. It created the
Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and charged it with the task of assisting
the President in the "recovery of all ill-gotten wealth accumulated by former President Ferdinand
E. Marcos, his immediate family, relatives, subordinates and close associates, whether located in
the Philippines or abroad, including the takeover or sequestration of all business enterprises and
entities owned or controlled by them during his administration, directly or through nominees, by
taking undue advantage of their public office and/or using their powers, authority, influence,
connections or relationship." The urgency of this undertaking was tersely described by this Court
in Republic vs. Lobregat[22]:
surely x x x an enterprise "of great pith and moment"; it was attended by "great expectations"; it
was initiated not only out of considerations of simple justice but also out of sheer necessity - the
national coffers were empty, or nearly so.
In all the alleged ill-gotten wealth cases filed by the PCGG, this Court has seen fit to set
aside technicalities and formalities that merely serve to delay or impede judicious resolution.
This Court prefers to have such cases resolved on the merits at the Sandiganbayan. But
substantial justice to the Filipino people and to all parties concerned, not mere legalisms or
perfection of form, should now be relentlessly and firmly pursued. Almost two decades have
passed since the government initiated its search for and reversion of such ill-gotten wealth. The
definitive resolution of such cases on the merits is thus long overdue. If there is proof of illegal
acquisition, accumulation, misappropriation, fraud or illicit conduct, let it be brought out now.
Let the ownership of these funds and other assets be finally determined and resolved with
dispatch, free from all the delaying technicalities and annoying procedural sidetracks. [23]

We thus take cognizance of this case and settle with finality all the issues therein.

ISSUES BEFORE THIS COURT


The crucial issues which this Court must resolve are: (1) whether or not respondents raised
any genuine issue of fact which would either justify or negate summary judgment; and (2)
whether or not petitioner Republic was able to prove its case for forfeiture in accordance with
Sections 2 and 3 of RA 1379.
(1) THE PROPRIETY OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT
We hold that respondent Marcoses failed to raise any genuine issue of fact in their
pleadings. Thus, on motion of petitioner Republic, summary judgment should take place as a
matter of right.
In the early case of Auman vs. Estenzo[24], summary judgment was described as a judgment
which a court may render before trial but after both parties have pleaded. It is ordered by the
court upon application by one party, supported by affidavits, depositions or other documents,
with notice upon the adverse party who may in turn file an opposition supported also by
affidavits, depositions or other documents. This is after the court summarily hears both parties
with their respective proofs and finds that there is no genuine issue between them. Summary
judgment is sanctioned in this jurisdiction by Section 1, Rule 35 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure:
SECTION 1. Summary judgment for claimant.- A party seeking to recover upon a claim,
counterclaim, or cross-claim or to obtain a declaratory relief may, at any time after the pleading
in answer thereto has been served, move with supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions
for a summary judgment in his favor upon all or any part thereof. [25]
Summary judgment is proper when there is clearly no genuine issue as to any material fact
in the action.[26] The theory of summary judgment is that, although an answer may on its face
appear to tender issues requiring trial, if it is demonstrated by affidavits, depositions or
admissions that those issues are not genuine but sham or fictitious, the Court is justified in
dispensing with the trial and rendering summary judgment for petitioner Republic.
The Solicitor General made a very thorough presentation of its case for forfeiture:
xxx
4. Respondent Ferdinand E. Marcos (now deceased and represented by his Estate/Heirs) was a
public officer for several decades continuously and without interruption as Congressman,
Senator, Senate President and President of the Republic of the Philippines from December 31,
1965 up to his ouster by direct action of the people of EDSA on February 22-25, 1986.
5. Respondent Imelda Romualdez Marcos (Imelda, for short) the former First Lady who ruled
with FM during the 14-year martial law regime, occupied the position of Minister of Human
Settlements from June 1976 up to the peaceful revolution in February 22-25, 1986. She likewise

served once as a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa during the early years of martial law
from 1978 to 1984 and as Metro Manila Governor in concurrent capacity as Minister of Human
Settlements. x x x
xxx xxx xxx
11. At the outset, however, it must be pointed out that based on the Official Report of the
Minister of Budget, the total salaries of former President Marcos as President form 1966 to 1976
was P60,000 a year and from 1977 to 1985, P100,000 a year; while that of the former First Lady,
Imelda R. Marcos, as Minister of Human Settlements from June 1976 to February 22-25, 1986
was P75,000 a year xxx.
ANALYSIS OF RESPONDENTS
LEGITIMATE INCOME
xxx
12. Based on available documents, the ITRs of the Marcoses for the years 1965-1975 were filed
under Tax Identification No. 1365-055-1. For the years 1976 until 1984, the returns were filed
under Tax Identification No. M 6221-J 1117-A-9.
13. The data contained in the ITRs and Balance Sheet filed by the Marcoses are summarized and
attached to the reports in the following schedules:
Schedule A:
Schedule of Income (Annex T hereof);
Schedule B:
Schedule of Income Tax Paid (Annex T-1 hereof);
Schedule C:
Schedule of Net Disposable Income (Annex T-2 hereof);
Schedule D:
Schedule of Networth Analysis (Annex T-3 hereof).
14. As summarized in Schedule A (Annex T hereof), the Marcoses reported P16,408,442.00 or
US$2,414,484.91 in total income over a period of 20 years from 1965 to 1984. The sources of
income are as follows:
Official Salaries - P 2,627,581.00 - 16.01%
Legal Practice - 11,109,836.00 - 67.71%

Farm Income - 149,700.00 - .91%


Others - 2,521,325.00 - 15.37%
Total P16,408,442.00 - 100.00%
15. FMs official salary pertains to his compensation as Senate President in 1965 in the amount
of P15,935.00 and P1,420,000.00 as President of the Philippines during the period 1966 until
1984. On the other hand, Imelda reported salaries and allowances only for the years 1979 to 1984
in the amount of P1,191,646.00. The records indicate that the reported income came from her
salary from the Ministry of Human Settlements and allowances from Food Terminal, Inc.,
National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, National Food Authority Council, Light Rail
Transit Authority and Home Development Mutual Fund.
16. Of the P11,109,836.00 in reported income from legal practice, the amount of P10,649,836.00
or 96% represents receivables from prior years during the period 1967 up to 1984.
17. In the guise of reporting income using the cash method under Section 38 of the National
Internal Revenue Code, FM made it appear that he had an extremely profitable legal practice
before he became a President (FM being barred by law from practicing his law profession during
his entire presidency) and that, incredibly, he was still receiving payments almost 20 years after.
The only problem is that in his Balance Sheet attached to his 1965 ITR immediately preceeding
his ascendancy to the presidency he did not show any Receivables from client at all, much less
the P10,65-M that he decided to later recognize as income. There are no documents showing any
withholding tax certificates. Likewise, there is nothing on record that will show any known
Marcos client as he has no known law office. As previously stated, his networth was a
mereP120,000.00 in December, 1965. The joint income tax returns of FM and Imelda cannot,
therefore, conceal the skeletons of their kleptocracy.
18. FM reported a total of P2,521,325.00 as Other Income for the years 1972 up to 1976 which
he referred to in his return as Miscellaneous Items and Various Corporations. There is no
indication of any payor of the dividends or earnings.
19. Spouses Ferdinand and Imelda did not declare any income from any deposits and placements
which are subject to a 5% withholding tax. The Bureau of Internal Revenue attested that after a
diligent search of pertinent records on file with the Records Division, they did not find any
records involving the tax transactions of spouses Ferdinand and Imelda in Revenue Region No.
1, Baguio City, Revenue Region No.4A, Manila, Revenue Region No. 4B1, Quezon City and
Revenue No. 8, Tacloban, Leyte. Likewise, the Office of the Revenue Collector of Batac.
Further, BIR attested that no records were found on any filing of capital gains tax return
involving spouses FM and Imelda covering the years 1960 to 1965.
20. In Schedule B, the taxable reported income over the twenty-year period was P14,463,595.00
which represents 88% of the gross income. The Marcoses paid income taxes
totaling P8,233,296.00 or US$1,220,667.59.The business expenses in the amount of P861,748.00
represent expenses incurred for subscription, postage, stationeries and contributions while the
other deductions in the amount of P567,097.00 represents interest charges, medicare fees, taxes

and licenses. The total deductions in the amount of P1,994,845.00 represents 12% of the total
gross income.
21. In Schedule C, the net cumulative disposable income amounts to P6,756,301.00 or
US$980,709.77. This is the amount that represents that portion of the Marcoses income that is
free for consumption, savings and investments. The amount is arrived at by adding back to the
net income after tax the personal and additional exemptions for the years 1965-1984, as well as
the tax-exempt salary of the President for the years 1966 until 1972.
22. Finally, the networth analysis in Schedule D, represents the total accumulated networth of
spouses, Ferdinand and Imelda. Respondents Balance Sheet attached to their 1965 ITR, covering
the year immediately preceding their ascendancy to the presidency, indicates an ending networth
of P120,000.00 which FM declared as Library and Miscellaneous assets. In computing for the
networth, the income approach was utilized.Under this approach, the beginning capital is
increased or decreased, as the case may be, depending upon the income earned or loss
incurred. Computations establish the total networth of spouses Ferdinand and Imelda, for the
years 1965 until 1984 in the total amount of US$957,487.75, assuming the income from legal
practice is real and valid x x x.
G. THE SECRET MARCOS DEPOSITS
IN SWISS BANKS
23. The following presentation very clearly and overwhelmingly show in detail how both
respondents clandestinely stashed away the countrys wealth to Switzerland and hid the same
under layers upon layers of foundations and other corporate entities to prevent its
detection. Through their dummies/nominees, fronts or agents who formed those foundations or
corporate entities, they opened and maintained numerous bank accounts. But due to the difficulty
if not the impossibility of detecting and documenting all those secret accounts as well as the
enormity of the deposits therein hidden, the following presentation is confined to five identified
accounts groups, with balances amounting to about $356-M with a reservation for the filing of a
supplemental or separate forfeiture complaint should the need arise.
H. THE AZIO-VERSO-VIBUR
FOUNDATION ACCOUNTS
24. On June 11, 1971, Ferdinand Marcos issued a written order to Dr. Theo Bertheau, legal
counsel of Schweizeresche Kreditanstalt or SKA, also known as Swiss Credit Bank, for him to
establish the AZIO Foundation.On the same date, Marcos executed a power of attorney in favor
of Roberto S. Benedicto empowering him to transact business in behalf of the said
foundation. Pursuant to the said Marcos mandate, AZIO Foundation was formed on June 21,
1971 in Vaduz. Walter Fessler and Ernst Scheller, also of SKA Legal Service, and Dr. Helmuth
Merling from Schaan were designated as members of the Board of Trustees of the said
foundation.Ferdinand Marcos was named first beneficiary and the Marcos Foundation, Inc.
was second beneficiary. On November 12, 1971, FM again issued another written order naming

Austrahil PTY Ltd. In Sydney, Australia, as the foundations first and sole beneficiary. This was
recorded on December 14, 1971.
25. In an undated instrument, Marcos changed the first and sole beneficiary to CHARIS
FOUNDATION. This change was recorded on December 4, 1972.
26. On August 29, 1978, the AZIO FOUNDATION was renamed to VERSO
FOUNDATION. The Board of Trustees remained the same. On March 11, 1981, Marcos issued
a written directive to liquidated VERSO FOUNDATION and to transfer all its assets to account
of FIDES TRUST COMPANY at Bank Hofman in Zurich under the account Reference OSER.
The Board of Trustees decided to dissolve the foundation on June 25, 1981.
27. In an apparent maneuver to bury further the secret deposits beneath the thick layers of
corporate entities, FM effected the establishment of VIBUR FOUNDATION on May 13, 1981 in
Vaduz. Atty. Ivo Beck and Limag Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fides Trust, were
designated as members of the Board of Trustees. The account was officially opened with SKA
on September 10, 1981. The beneficial owner was not made known to the bank since Fides Trust
Company acted as fiduciary. However, comparison of the listing of the securities in the safe
deposit register of the VERSO FOUNDATION as of February 27, 1981 with that of VIBUR
FOUNDATION as of December 31, 1981 readily reveals that exactly the same securities were
listed.
28. Under the foregoing circumstances, it is certain that the VIBUR FOUNDATION is the
beneficial successor of VERSO FOUNDATION.
29. On March 18, 1986, the Marcos-designated Board of Trustees decided to liquidate VIBUR
FOUNDATION. A notice of such liquidation was sent to the Office of the Public Register on
March 21, 1986. However, the bank accounts and respective balances of the said VIBUR
FOUNDATION remained with SKA. Apparently, the liquidation was an attempt by the
Marcoses to transfer the foundations funds to another account or bank but this was prevented by
the timely freeze order issued by the Swiss authorities. One of the latest documents obtained by
the PCGG from the Swiss authorities is a declaration signed by Dr. Ivo Beck (the trustee) stating
that the beneficial owner of VIBUR FOUNDATION is Ferdinand E. Marcos. Another document
signed by G. Raber of SKA shows that VIBUR FOUNDATION is owned by the Marcos Familie
30. As of December 31, 1989, the balance of the bank accounts of VIBUR FOUNDATION with
SKA, Zurich, under the General Account No. 469857 totaled $3,597,544.00
I. XANDY-WINTROP: CHARIS-SCOLARIVALAMO-SPINUS-AVERTINA
FOUNDATION ACCOUNTS
31. This is the most intricate and complicated account group. As the Flow Chart hereof shows,
two (2) groups under the foundation organized by Marcos dummies/nominees for FMs benefit,
eventually joined together and became one (1) account group under the AVERTINA
FOUNDATION for the benefit of both FM and Imelda. This is the biggest group from where the

$50-M investment fund of the Marcoses was drawn when they bought the Central Banks dollardenominated treasury notes with high-yielding interests.
32. On March 20, 1968, after his second year in the presidency, Marcos opened bank accounts
with SKA using an alias or pseudonym WILLIAM SAUNDERS, apparently to hide his true
identity. The next day, March 21, 1968, his First Lady, Mrs. Imelda Marcos also opened her own
bank accounts with the same bank using an American-sounding alias, JANE RYAN. Found
among the voluminous documents in Malacaang shortly after they fled to Hawaii in haste that
fateful night of February 25, 1986, were accomplished forms for Declaration/Specimen
Signatures submitted by the Marcos couple. Under the caption signature(s) Ferdinand and Imelda
signed their real names as well as their respective aliases underneath. These accounts were
actively operated and maintained by the Marcoses for about two (2) years until their closure
sometime in February, 1970 and the balances transferred to XANDY FOUNDATION.
33. The XANDY FOUNDATION was established on March 3, 1970 in Vaduz. C.W. Fessler, C.
Souviron and E. Scheller were named as members of the Board of Trustees.
34. FM and Imelda issued the written mandate to establish the foundation to Markus Geel of
SKA on March 3, 1970. In the handwritten Regulations signed by the Marcos couple as well as
in the type-written Regulations signed by Markus Geel both dated February 13, 1970, the Marcos
spouses were named the first beneficiaries, the surviving spouse as the second beneficiary and
the Marcos children Imee, Ferdinand, Jr. (Bongbong) and Irene as equal third beneficiaries.
35. The XANDY FOUNDATION was renamed WINTROP FOUNDATION on August 29,
1978. The Board of Trustees remained the same at the outset. However, on March 27, 1980,
Souviron was replaced by Dr. Peter Ritter. On March 10. 1981, Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos
issued a written order to the Board of Wintrop to liquidate the foundation and transfer all its
assets to Bank Hofmann in Zurich in favor of FIDES TRUST COMPANY. Later, WINTROP
FOUNDATION was dissolved.
36. The AVERTINA FOUNDATION was established on May 13, 1981 in Vaduz with Atty. Ivo
Beck and Limag Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of FIDES TRUST CO., as members
of the Board of Trustees.Two (2) account categories, namely: CAR and NES, were opened on
September 10, 1981. The beneficial owner of AVERTINA was not made known to the bank
since the FIDES TRUST CO. acted as fiduciary.However, the securities listed in the safe deposit
register of WINTROP FOUNDATION Category R as of December 31, 1980 were the same as
those listed in the register of AVERTINA FOUNDATION Category CAR as of December 31,
1981. Likewise, the securities listed in the safe deposit register of WINTROP
FOUNDATION Category S as of December 31, 1980 were the same as those listed in the
register of Avertina Category NES as of December 31, 1981.Under the circumstances, it is
certain that the beneficial successor of WINTROP FOUNDATION is AVERTINA
FOUNDATION. The balance of Category CAR as of December 31, 1989 amounted to
US$231,366,894.00 while that of Category NES as of 12-31-83 was US$8,647,190.00. Latest
documents received from Swiss authorities included a declaration signed by IVO Beck stating
that the beneficial owners of AVERTINA FOUNDATION are FM and Imelda. Another

document signed by G. Raber of SKA indicates that Avertina Foundation is owned by the
Marcos Families.
37. The other groups of foundations that eventually joined AVERTINA were also established by
FM through his dummies, which started with the CHARIS FOUNDATION.
38. The CHARIS FOUNDATION was established in VADUZ on December 27, 1971. Walter
Fessler and Ernst Scheller of SKA and Dr. Peter Ritter were named as directors. Dr. Theo
Bertheau, SKA legal counsel, acted as founding director in behalf of FM by virtue of the
mandate and agreement dated November 12, 1971. FM himself was named the first beneficiary
and Xandy Foundation as second beneficiary in accordance with the handwritten instructions of
FM on November 12, 1971 and the Regulations. FM gave a power of attorney to Roberto S.
Benedicto on February 15, 1972 to act in his behalf with regard to Charis Foundation.
39. On December 13, 1974, Charis Foundation was renamed Scolari Foundation but the directors
remained the same. On March 11, 1981 FM ordered in writing that the Valamo Foundation be
liquidated and all its assets be transferred to Bank Hofmann, AG in favor of Fides Trust
Company under the account Reference OMAL. The Board of Directors decided on the
immediate dissolution of Valamo Foundation on June 25, 1981.
40 The SPINUS FOUNDATION was established on May 13, 1981 in Vaduz with Atty. Ivo Beck
and Limag Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fides Trust Co., as members of the
Foundations Board of Directors. The account was officially opened with SKA on September 10,
1981. The beneficial owner of the foundation was not made known to the bank since Fides Trust
Co. acted as fiduciary. However, the list of securities in the safe deposit register of Valamo
Foundation as of December 31, 1980 are practically the same with those listed in the safe deposit
register of Spinus Foundation as of December 31, 1981. Under the circumstances, it is certain
that the Spinus Foundation is the beneficial successor of the Valamo Foundation.
41. On September 6, 1982, there was a written instruction from Spinus Foundation to SKA to
close its Swiss Franc account and transfer the balance to Avertina Foundation. In July/August,
1982, several transfers from the foundations German marks and US dollar accounts were made
to Avertina Category CAR totaling DM 29.5-M and $58-M, respectively. Moreover, a
comparison of the list of securities of the Spinus Foundation as of February 3, 1982 with the safe
deposit slips of the Avertina Foundation Category CAR as of August 19, 1982 shows that all the
securities of Spinus were transferred to Avertina.
J. TRINIDAD-RAYBY-PALMY
FOUNDATION ACCOUNTS
42. The Trinidad Foundation was organized on August 26, 1970 in Vaduz with C.W. Fessler and
E. Scheller of SKA and Dr. Otto Tondury as the foundations directors. Imelda issued a written
mandate to establish the foundation to Markus Geel on August 26, 1970. The regulations as well
as the agreement, both dated August 28, 1970 were likewise signed by Imelda. Imelda was
named the first beneficiary and her children Imelda (Imee), Ferdinand, Jr. (Bongbong) and, Irene
were named as equal second beneficiaries.

43. Rayby Foundation was established on June 22, 1973 in Vaduz with Fessler, Scheller and
Ritter as members of the board of directors. Imelda issued a written mandate to Dr. Theo
Bertheau to establish the foundation with a note that the foundations capitalization as well as the
cost of establishing it be debited against the account of Trinidad Foundation. Imelda was named
the first and only beneficiary of Rayby foundation. According to written information from SKA
dated November 28, 1988, Imelda apparently had the intention in 1973 to transfer part of the
assets of Trinidad Foundation to another foundation, thus the establishment of Rayby
Foundation. However, transfer of assets never took place. On March 10, 1981, Imelda issued a
written order to transfer all the assets of Rayby Foundation to Trinidad Foundation and to
subsequently liquidate Rayby. On the same date, she issued a written order to the board of
Trinidad to dissolve the foundation and transfer all its assets to Bank Hofmann in favor of Fides
Trust Co. Under the account Reference Dido, Rayby was dissolved on April 6, 1981 and
Trinidad was liquidated on August 3, 1981.
44. The PALMY FOUNDATION was established on May 13, 1981 in Vaduz with Dr. Ivo Beck
and Limag Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fides Trust Co, as members of the
Foundations Board of Directors. The account was officially opened with the SKA on September
10, 1981. The beneficial owner was not made known to the bank since Fides Trust Co. acted as
fiduciary. However, when one compares the listing of securities in the safe deposit register of
Trinidad Foundation as of December 31,1980 with that of the Palmy Foundation as of December
31, 1980, one can clearly see that practically the same securities were listed. Under the
circumstances, it is certain that the Palmy Foundation is the beneficial successor of the Trinidad
Foundation.
45. As of December 31, 1989, the ending balance of the bank accounts of Palmy Foundation
under General Account No. 391528 is $17,214,432.00.
46. Latest documents received from Swiss Authorities included a declaration signed by Dr. Ivo
Beck stating that the beneficial owner of Palmy Foundation is Imelda. Another document signed
by Raber shows that the said Palmy Foundation is owned by Marcos Familie.
K. ROSALYS-AGUAMINA
FOUNDATION ACCOUNTS
47. Rosalys Foundation was established in 1971 with FM as the beneficiary. Its Articles of
Incorporation was executed on September 24, 1971 and its By-Laws on October 3, 1971. This
foundation maintained several accounts with Swiss Bank Corporation (SBC) under the general
account 51960 where most of the bribe monies from Japanese suppliers were hidden.
48. On December 19, 1985, Rosalys Foundation was liquidated and all its assets were transferred
to Aguamina Corporations (Panama) Account No. 53300 with SBC. The ownership by
Aguamina Corporation of Account No. 53300 is evidenced by an opening account documents
from the bank. J. Christinaz and R.L. Rossier, First Vice-President and Senior Vice President,
respectively, of SBC, Geneva issued a declaration dated September 3, 1991 stating that the bylaws dated October 3, 1971 governing Rosalys Foundation was the same by-law applied to
Aguamina Corporation Account No. 53300. They further confirmed that no change of beneficial

owner was involved while transferring the assets of Rosalys to Aguamina. Hence, FM remains
the beneficiary of Aguamina Corporation Account No. 53300.
As of August 30, 1991, the ending balance of Account No. 53300 amounted to $80,566,483.00.
L. MALER FOUNDATION ACCOUNTS
49. Maler was first created as an establishment. A statement of its rules and regulations was
found among Malacaang documents. It stated, among others, that 50% of the Companys assets
will be for sole and full right disposal of FM and Imelda during their lifetime, which the
remaining 50% will be divided in equal parts among their children. Another Malacaang
document dated October 19,1968 and signed by Ferdinand and Imelda pertains to the
appointment of Dr. Andre Barbey and Jean Louis Sunier as attorneys of the company and as
administrator and manager of all assets held by the company. The Marcos couple, also
mentioned in the said document that they bought the Maler Establishment from SBC, Geneva.
On the same date, FM and Imelda issued a letter addressed to Maler Establishment, stating that
all instructions to be transmitted with regard to Maler will be signed with the word JOHN
LEWIS. This word will have the same value as the couples own personal signature. The letter
was signed by FM and Imelda in their signatures and as John Lewis.
50. Maler Establishment opened and maintained bank accounts with SBC, Geneva. The opening
bank documents were signed by Dr. Barbey and Mr. Sunnier as authorized signatories.
51. On November 17, 1981, it became necessary to transform Maler Establishment into a
foundation. Likewise, the attorneys were changed to Michael Amaudruz, et. al. However,
administration of the assets was left to SBC. The articles of incorporation of Maler Foundation
registered on November 17, 1981 appear to be the same articles applied to Maler Establishment.
On February 28, 1984, Maler Foundation cancelled the power of attorney for the management of
its assets in favor of SBC and transferred such power to Sustrust Investment Co., S.A.
52. As of June 6, 1991, the ending balance of Maler Foundations Account Nos. 254,508 BT and
98,929 NY amount SF 9,083,567 and SG 16,195,258, respectively, for a total of SF
25,278,825.00. GM only until December 31, 1980. This account was opened by Maler when it
was still an establishment which was subsequently transformed into a foundation.
53. All the five (5) group accounts in the over-all flow chart have a total balance of about Three
Hundred Fifty Six Million Dollars ($356,000,000.00) as shown by Annex R-5 hereto attached as
integral part hereof.
x x x x x x.[27]
Respondents Imelda R. Marcos, Maria Imelda M. Manotoc, Irene M. Araneta and Ferdinand
Marcos, Jr., in their answer, stated the following:
xxx xxx xxx

4. Respondents ADMIT paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Petition.


5. Respondents specifically deny paragraph 5 of the Petition in so far as it states that summons
and other court processes may be served on Respondent Imelda R. Marcos at the stated address
the truth of the matter being that Respondent Imelda R. Marcos may be served with summons
and other processes at No. 10-B Bel Air Condominium 5022 P. Burgos Street, Makati, Metro
Manila, and ADMIT the rest.
xxx xxx xxx
10. Respondents ADMIT paragraph 11 of the Petition.
11. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 12 of the Petition for lack of knowledge sufficient
to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents were not privy to the
transactions and that they cannot remember exactly the truth as to the matters alleged.
12. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 13 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs and Balance Sheet.
13. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 14 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
14. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 15 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
15. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 16 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
16. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 17 of the Petition insofar as it attributes willful
duplicity on the part of the late President Marcos, for being false, the same being pure
conclusions based on pure assumption and not allegations of fact; and specifically DENY the rest
for lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation
since Respondents cannot remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs or the
attachments thereto.
17. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 18 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
18. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 19 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot

remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs and that they are not privy to the
activities of the BIR.
19. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 20 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
20. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 21 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
21. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 22 of the Petition for lack of knowledge or
information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since Respondents cannot
remember with exactitude the contents of the alleged ITRs.
22. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 23 insofar as it alleges that Respondents
clandestinely stashed the countrys wealth in Switzerland and hid the same under layers and
layers of foundation and corporate entities for being false, the truth being that Respondents
aforesaid properties were lawfully acquired.
23. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the Petition for
lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since
Respondents were not privy to the transactions regarding the alleged Azio-Verso-Vibur
Foundation accounts, except that as to Respondent Imelda R. Marcos she specifically remembers
that the funds involved were lawfully acquired.
24. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36,37, 38, 39, 40, and 41 of
the Petition for lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the
allegations since Respondents are not privy to the transactions and as to such transaction they
were privy to they cannot remember with exactitude the same having occurred a long time ago,
except that as to Respondent Imelda R. Marcos she specifically remembers that the funds
involved were lawfully acquired.
25. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 42, 43, 44, 45, and 46, of the Petition for lack of
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations since
Respondents were not privy to the transactions and as to such transaction they were privy to they
cannot remember with exactitude the same having occurred a long time ago, except that as to
Respondent Imelda R. Marcos she specifically remembers that the funds involved were lawfully
acquired.
26. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 49, 50, 51 and 52, of the Petition for lack of
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations since
Respondents were not privy to the transactions and as to such transaction they were privy to they
cannot remember with exactitude the same having occurred a long time ago, except that as to
Respondent Imelda R. Marcos she specifically remembers that the funds involved were lawfully
acquired.

Upon careful perusal of the foregoing, the Court finds that respondent Mrs. Marcos and the
Marcos children indubitably failed to tender genuine issues in their answer to the petition for
forfeiture.A genuine issue is an issue of fact which calls for the presentation of evidence as
distinguished from an issue which is fictitious and contrived, set up in bad faith or patently
lacking in substance so as not to constitute a genuine issue for trial. Respondents defenses of lack
of knowledge for lack of privity or (inability to) recall because it happened a long time ago or, on
the part of Mrs. Marcos, that the funds were lawfully acquired are fully insufficient to tender
genuine issues. Respondent Marcoses defenses were a sham and evidently calibrated to
compound and confuse the issues.
The following pleadings filed by respondent Marcoses are replete with indications of a
spurious defense:
(a) Respondents' Answer dated October 18, 1993;
(b) Pre-trial Brief dated October 4, 1999 of Mrs. Marcos, Supplemental Pre-trial Brief
dated October 19, 1999 of Ferdinand, Jr. and Mrs. Imee Marcos-Manotoc
adopting the pre-trial brief of Mrs. Marcos, and Manifestation dated October 19,
1999 of Irene Marcos-Araneta adopting the pre-trial briefs of her co- respondents;
(c) Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment dated March 21, 2000, filed by Mrs.
Marcos which the other respondents (Marcos children) adopted;
(d) Demurrer to Evidence dated May 2, 2000 filed by Mrs. Marcos and adopted by the
Marcos children;
(e) Motion for Reconsideration dated September 26, 2000 filed by Mrs. Marcos; Motion
for Reconsideration dated October 5, 2000 jointly filed by Mrs. Manotoc and
Ferdinand, Jr., and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration dated October 9,
2000 likewise jointly filed by Mrs. Manotoc and Ferdinand, Jr.;
(f) Memorandum dated December 12, 2000 of Mrs. Marcos and Memorandum dated
December 17, 2000 of the Marcos children;
(g) Manifestation dated May 26, 1998; and
(h) General/Supplemental Agreement dated December 23, 1993.
An examination of the foregoing pleadings is in order.
Respondents Answer dated October 18, 1993.
In their answer, respondents failed to specifically deny each and every allegation contained
in the petition for forfeiture in the manner required by the rules. All they gave were stock
answers like they have no sufficient knowledge or they could not recall because it happened a
long time ago, and, as to Mrs. Marcos, the funds were lawfully acquired, without stating the
basis of such assertions.

Section 10, Rule 8 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, provides:


A defendant must specify each material allegation of fact the truth of which he does not admit
and, whenever practicable, shall set forth the substance of the matters upon which he relies to
support his denial. Where a defendant desires to deny only a part of an averment, he shall specify
so much of it as is true and material and shall deny the remainder. Where a defendant is without
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of a material averment made
in the complaint, he shall so state, and this shall have the effect of a denial. [28]
The purpose of requiring respondents to make a specific denial is to make them disclose
facts which will disprove the allegations of petitioner at the trial, together with the matters they
rely upon in support of such denial. Our jurisdiction adheres to this rule to avoid and prevent
unnecessary expenses and waste of time by compelling both parties to lay their cards on the
table, thus reducing the controversy to its true terms. As explained in Alonso vs. Villamor,[29]
A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply schooled and skilled in the
subtle art of movement and position, entraps and destroys the other. It is rather a contest in which
each contending party fully and fairly lays before the court the facts in issue and then, brushing
aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and technicalities of procedure,
asks that justice be done upon the merits. Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by a rapiers
thrust.
On the part of Mrs. Marcos, she claimed that the funds were lawfully acquired. However,
she failed to particularly state the ultimate facts surrounding the lawful manner or mode of
acquisition of the subject funds. Simply put, she merely stated in her answer with the other
respondents that the funds were lawfully acquired without detailing how exactly these funds
were supposedly acquired legally by them. Even in this case before us, her assertion that the
funds were lawfully acquired remains bare and unaccompanied by any factual support which can
prove, by the presentation of evidence at a hearing, that indeed the funds were acquired
legitimately by the Marcos family.
Respondents denials in their answer at the Sandiganbayan were based on their alleged lack
of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations of the
petition.
It is true that one of the modes of specific denial under the rules is a denial through a
statement that the defendant is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to
the truth of the material averment in the complaint. The question, however, is whether the kind
of denial in respondents answer qualifies as the specific denial called for by the rules. We do not
think so. InMorales vs. Court of Appeals,[30] this Court ruled that if an allegation directly and
specifically charges a party with having done, performed or committed a particular act which the
latter did not in fact do, perform or commit, a categorical and express denial must be made.
Here, despite the serious and specific allegations against them, the Marcoses responded by
simply saying that they had no knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the
truth of such allegations. Such a general, self-serving claim of ignorance of the facts alleged in
the petition for forfeiture was insufficient to raise an issue. Respondent Marcoses should have
positively stated how it was that they were supposedly ignorant of the facts alleged. [31]

To elucidate, the allegation of petitioner Republic in paragraph 23 of the petition for


forfeiture stated:
23. The following presentation very clearly and overwhelmingly show in detail how both
respondents clandestinely stashed away the countrys wealth to Switzerland and hid the same
under layers upon layers of foundations and other corporate entities to prevent its detection.
Through their dummies/nominees, fronts or agents who formed those foundations or corporate
entities, they opened and maintained numerous bank accounts. But due to the difficulty if not the
impossibility of detecting and documenting all those secret accounts as well as the enormity of
the deposits therein hidden, the following presentation is confined to five identified accounts
groups, with balances amounting to about $356-M with a reservation for the filing of a
supplemental or separate forfeiture complaint should the need arise. [32]
Respondents lame denial of the aforesaid allegation was:
22. Respondents specifically DENY paragraph 23 insofar as it alleges that Respondents
clandestinely stashed the countrys wealth in Switzerland and hid the same under layers and
layers of foundations and corporate entities for being false, the truth being that Respondents
aforesaid properties were lawfully acquired.[33]
Evidently, this particular denial had the earmark of what is called in the law on pleadings as
a negative pregnant, that is, a denial pregnant with the admission of the substantial facts in the
pleading responded to which are not squarely denied. It was in effect an admission of the
averments it was directed at.[34] Stated otherwise, a negative pregnant is a form of negative
expression which carries with it an affirmation or at least an implication of some kind favorable
to the adverse party. It is a denial pregnant with an admission of the substantial facts alleged in
the pleading. Where a fact is alleged with qualifying or modifying language and the words of the
allegation as so qualified or modified are literally denied, has been held that the qualifying
circumstances alone are denied while the fact itself is admitted. [35]
In the instant case, the material allegations in paragraph 23 of the said petition were not
specifically denied by respondents in paragraph 22 of their answer. The denial contained in
paragraph 22 of the answer was focused on the averment in paragraph 23 of the petition for
forfeiture that Respondents clandestinely stashed the countrys wealth in Switzerland and hid the
same under layers and layers of foundations and corporate entities. Paragraph 22 of the
respondents answer was thus a denial pregnant with admissions of the following substantial
facts:
(1) the Swiss bank deposits existed and
(2) that the estimated sum thereof was US$356 million as of December, 1990.
Therefore, the allegations in the petition for forfeiture on the existence of the Swiss bank
deposits in the sum of about US$356 million, not having been specifically denied by respondents
in their answer, were deemed admitted by them pursuant to Section 11, Rule 8 of the 1997
Revised Rules on Civil Procedure:

Material averment in the complaint, xxx shall be deemed admitted when not specifically denied.
xxx.[36]
By the same token, the following unsupported denials of respondents in their answer were
pregnant with admissions of the substantial facts alleged in the Republics petition for forfeiture:
23. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 of the Petition for
lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegation since
respondents were not privy to the transactions regarding the alleged Azio-Verso-Vibur
Foundation accounts, except that, as to respondent Imelda R. Marcos, she specifically remembers
that the funds involved were lawfully acquired.
24. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41 of the
Petition for lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the
allegations since respondents were not privy to the transactions and as to such transactions they
were privy to, they cannot remember with exactitude the same having occurred a long time ago,
except as to respondent Imelda R. Marcos, she specifically remembers that the funds involved
were lawfully acquired.
25. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 42, 43, 45, and 46 of the petition for lack of
knowledge or information sufficient to from a belief as to the truth of the allegations since
respondents were not privy to the transactions and as to such transaction they were privy to, they
cannot remember with exactitude, the same having occurred a long time ago, except that as to
respondent Imelda R. Marcos, she specifically remembers that the funds involved were lawfully
acquired.
26. Respondents specifically DENY paragraphs 49, 50, 51 and 52 of the petition for lack of
knowledge and information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations since
respondents were not privy to the transactions and as to such transaction they were privy to they
cannot remember with exactitude the same having occurred a long time ago, except that as to
respondent Imelda R. Marcos, she specifically remembers that the funds involved were lawfully
acquired.
The matters referred to in paragraphs 23 to 26 of the respondents answer pertained to the
creation of five groups of accounts as well as their respective ending balances and attached
documents alleged in paragraphs 24 to 52 of the Republics petition for forfeiture. Respondent
Imelda R. Marcos never specifically denied the existence of the Swiss funds. Her claim that the
funds involved were lawfully acquired was an acknowledgment on her part of the existence of
said deposits. This only reinforced her earlier admission of the allegation in paragraph 23 of the
petition for forfeiture regarding the existence of the US$356 million Swiss bank deposits.
The allegations in paragraphs 47[37] and 48[38] of the petition for forfeiture referring to the
creation and amount of the deposits of the Rosalys-Aguamina Foundation as well as the
averment in paragraph 52-a[39] of the said petition with respect to the sum of the Swiss bank
deposits estimated to be US$356 million were again not specifically denied by respondents in
their answer. The respondents did not at all respond to the issues raised in these paragraphs and
the existence, nature and amount of the Swiss funds were therefore deemed admitted by

them. As held in Galofa vs. Nee Bon Sing,[40] if a defendants denial is a negative pregnant, it is
equivalent to an admission.
Moreover, respondents denial of the allegations in the petition for forfeiture for lack of
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations since
respondents were not privy to the transactions was just a pretense. Mrs. Marcos privity to the
transactions was in fact evident from her signatures on some of the vital
documents[41] attached to the petition for forfeiture which Mrs. Marcos failed to specifically deny
as required by the rules.[42]
It is worthy to note that the pertinent documents attached to the petition for forfeiture were
even signed personally by respondent Mrs. Marcos and her late husband, Ferdinand E. Marcos,
indicating that said documents were within their knowledge. As correctly pointed out by
Sandiganbayan Justice Francisco Villaruz, Jr. in his dissenting opinion:
The pattern of: 1) creating foundations, 2) use of pseudonyms and dummies, 3) approving
regulations of the Foundations for the distribution of capital and income of the Foundations to
the First and Second beneficiary (who are no other than FM and his family), 4) opening of bank
accounts for the Foundations, 5) changing the names of the Foundations, 6) transferring funds
and assets of the Foundations to other Foundations or Fides Trust, 7) liquidation of the
Foundations as substantiated by the Annexes U to U-168, Petition [for forfeiture] strongly
indicate that FM and/or Imelda were the real owners of the assets deposited in the Swiss banks,
using the Foundations as dummies.[43]
How could respondents therefore claim lack of sufficient knowledge or information
regarding the existence of the Swiss bank deposits and the creation of five groups of accounts
when Mrs. Marcos and her late husband personally masterminded and participated in the
formation and control of said foundations? This is a fact respondent Marcoses were never able to
explain.
Not only that. Respondents' answer also technically admitted the genuineness and due
execution of the Income Tax Returns (ITRs) and the balance sheets of the late Ferdinand E.
Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos attached to the petition for forfeiture, as well as the veracity of the
contents thereof.
The answer again premised its denials of said ITRs and balance sheets on the ground of lack
of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the contents thereof.
Petitioner correctly points out that respondents' denial was not really grounded on lack of
knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief but was based on lack of recollection. By
reviewing their own records, respondent Marcoses could have easily determined the genuineness
and due execution of the ITRs and the balance sheets. They also had the means and opportunity
of verifying the same from the records of the BIR and the Office of the President. They did not.
When matters regarding which respondents claim to have no knowledge or information
sufficient to form a belief are plainly and necessarily within their knowledge, their alleged
ignorance or lack of information will not be considered a specific denial. [44] An unexplained
denial of information within the control of the pleader, or is readily accessible to him, is evasive
and is insufficient to constitute an effective denial. [45]

The form of denial adopted by respondents must be availed of with sincerity and in good
faith, and certainly not for the purpose of confusing the adverse party as to what allegations of
the petition are really being challenged; nor should it be made for the purpose of delay.[46] In the
instant case, the Marcoses did not only present unsubstantiated assertions but in truth attempted
to mislead and deceive this Court by presenting an obviously contrived defense.
Simply put, a profession of ignorance about a fact which is patently and necessarily within
the pleaders knowledge or means of knowing is as ineffective as no denial at all.[47] Respondents
ineffective denial thus failed to properly tender an issue and the averments contained in the
petition for forfeiture were deemed judicially admitted by them.
As held in J.P. Juan & Sons, Inc. vs. Lianga Industries, Inc.:
Its specific denial of the material allegation of the petition without setting forth the substance of
the matters relied upon to support its general denial, when such matters were plainly within its
knowledge and it could not logically pretend ignorance as to the same, therefore, failed to
properly tender on issue.[48]
Thus, the general denial of the Marcos children of the allegations in the petition for
forfeiture for lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the
allegations since they were not privy to the transactions cannot rightfully be accepted as a
defense because they are the legal heirs and successors-in-interest of Ferdinand E. Marcos and
are therefore bound by the acts of their father vis-a-vis the Swiss funds.
PRE-TRIAL BRIEF DATED OCTOBER 18, 1993
The pre-trial brief of Mrs. Marcos was adopted by the three Marcos children. In said brief,
Mrs. Marcos stressed that the funds involved were lawfully acquired. But, as in their answer,
they failed to state and substantiate how these funds were acquired lawfully. They failed to
present and attach even a single document that would show and prove the truth of their
allegations. Section 6, Rule 18 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
The parties shall file with the court and serve on the adverse party, x x x their respective pre-trial
briefs which shall contain, among others:
xxx
(d) the documents or exhibits to be presented, stating the purpose thereof;
xxx
(f) the number and names of the witnesses, and the substance of their respective testimonies. [49]
It is unquestionably within the courts power to require the parties to submit their pre-trial
briefs and to state the number of witnesses intended to be called to the stand, and a brief
summary of the evidence each of them is expected to give as well as to disclose the number of
documents to be submitted with a description of the nature of each. The tenor and character of
the testimony of the witnesses and of the documents to be deduced at the trial thus made known,

in addition to the particular issues of fact and law, it becomes apparent if genuine issues are
being put forward necessitating the holding of a trial. Likewise, the parties are obliged not only
to make a formal identification and specification of the issues and their proofs, and to put these
matters in writing and submit them to the court within the specified period for the prompt
disposition of the action.[50]
The pre-trial brief of Mrs. Marcos, as subsequently adopted by respondent Marcos children,
merely stated:
xxx
WITNESSES
4.1 Respondent Imelda will present herself as a witness and reserves the right to present
additional witnesses as may be necessary in the course of the trial.
xxx
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE
5.1 Respondent Imelda reserves the right to present and introduce in evidence documents as may
be necessary in the course of the trial.
Mrs. Marcos did not enumerate and describe the documents constituting her evidence.
Neither the names of witnesses nor the nature of their testimony was stated. What alone appeared
certain was the testimony of Mrs. Marcos only who in fact had previously claimed ignorance and
lack of knowledge. And even then, the substance of her testimony, as required by the rules, was
not made known either. Such cunning tactics of respondents are totally unacceptable to this
Court. We hold that, since no genuine issue was raised, the case became ripe for summary
judgment.
OPPOSITION TO MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
DATED MARCH 21, 2000
The opposition filed by Mrs. Marcos to the motion for summary judgment dated March 21,
2000 of petitioner Republic was merely adopted by the Marcos children as their own opposition
to the said motion. However, it was again not accompanied by affidavits, depositions or
admissions as required by Section 3, Rule 35 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure:
x x x The adverse party may serve opposing affidavits, depositions, or admissions at least three
(3) days before hearing. After hearing, the judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the
pleadings, supporting affidavits, depositions, and admissions on file, show that, except as to the
amount of damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. [51]
The absence of opposing affidavits, depositions and admissions to contradict the sworn
declarations in the Republics motion only demonstrated that the averments of such opposition
were not genuine and therefore unworthy of belief.

Demurrer to Evidence dated May 2, 2000;[52]


Motions for Reconsideration;[53] and Memoranda
of Mrs. Marcos and the Marcos children[54]
All these pleadings again contained no allegations of facts showing their lawful acquisition
of the funds. Once more, respondents merely made general denials without alleging facts which
would have been admissible in evidence at the hearing, thereby failing to raise genuine issues of
fact.
Mrs. Marcos insists in her memorandum dated October 21, 2002 that, during the pre-trial,
her counsel stated that his client was just a beneficiary of the funds, contrary to petitioner
Republics allegation that Mrs. Marcos disclaimed ownership of or interest in the funds.
This is yet another indication that respondents presented a fictitious defense because, during
the pre-trial, Mrs. Marcos and the Marcos children denied ownership of or interest in the Swiss
funds:
PJ Garchitorena:
Make of record that as far as Imelda Marcos is concerned through the statement of Atty.
Armando M. Marcelo that the US$360 million more or less subject matter of the instant lawsuit
as allegedly obtained from the various Swiss Foundations do not belong to the estate of Marcos
or to Imelda Marcos herself. Thats your statement of facts?
Atty. MARCELO:
Yes, Your Honor.
PJ Garchitorena:
Thats it. Okay. Counsel for Manotoc and Manotoc, Jr. What is your point here? Does the estate
of Marcos own anything of the $360 million subject of this case.
Atty. TECSON:
We joined the Manifestation of Counsel.
PJ Garchitorena:
You do not own anything?
Atty. TECSON:
Yes, Your Honor.
PJ Garchitorena:
Counsel for Irene Araneta?

Atty. SISON:
I join the position taken by my other compaeros here, Your Honor.
xxx
Atty. SISON:
Irene Araneta as heir do (sic) not own any of the amount, Your Honor. [55]
We are convinced that the strategy of respondent Marcoses was to confuse petitioner
Republic as to what facts they would prove or what issues they intended to pose for the court's
resolution. There is no doubt in our mind that they were leading petitioner Republic, and now
this Court, to perplexity, if not trying to drag this forfeiture case to eternity.
Manifestation dated May 26, 1998 filed by MRS.
Marcos; General/Supplemental Compromise
Agreement dated December 28, 1993
These pleadings of respondent Marcoses presented nothing but feigned defenses. In their
earlier pleadings, respondents alleged either that they had no knowledge of the existence of the
Swiss deposits or that they could no longer remember anything as it happened a long time
ago. As to Mrs. Marcos, she remembered that it was lawfully acquired.
In her Manifestation dated May 26, 1998, Mrs. Marcos stated that:
COMES NOW undersigned counsel for respondent Imelda R. Marcos, and before this Honorable
Court, most respectfully manifests:
That respondent Imelda R, Marcos owns 90% of the subject matter of the above-entitled case,
being the sole beneficiary of the dollar deposits in the name of the various foundations alleged in
the case;
That in fact only 10% of the subject matter in the above-entitled case belongs to the estate of the
late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
In the Compromise/Supplemental Agreements, respondent Marcoses sought to implement
the agreed distribution of the Marcos assets, including the Swiss deposits. This was, to us, an
unequivocal admission of ownership by the Marcoses of the said deposits.
But, as already pointed out, during the pre-trial conference, respondent Marcoses denied
knowledge as well as ownership of the Swiss funds.
Anyway we look at it, respondent Marcoses have put forth no real defense. The facts
pleaded by respondents, while ostensibly raising important questions or issues of fact, in reality
comprised mere verbiage that was evidently wanting in substance and constituted no genuine
issues for trial.
We therefore rule that, under the circumstances, summary judgment is proper.

In fact, it is the law itself which determines when summary judgment is called for. Under the
rules, summary judgment is appropriate when there are no genuine issues of fact requiring the
presentation of evidence in a full-blown trial. Even if on their face the pleadings appear to raise
issue, if the affidavits, depositions and admissions show that such issues are not genuine, then
summary judgment as prescribed by the rules must ensue as a matter of law. [56]
In sum, mere denials, if unaccompanied by any fact which will be admissible in evidence at
a hearing, are not sufficient to raise genuine issues of fact and will not defeat a motion for
summary judgment.[57] A summary judgment is one granted upon motion of a party for an
expeditious settlement of the case, it appearing from the pleadings, depositions, admissions and
affidavits that there are no important questions or issues of fact posed and, therefore, the movant
is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A motion for summary judgment is premised on the
assumption that the issues presented need not be tried either because these are patently devoid of
substance or that there is no genuine issue as to any pertinent fact. It is a method sanctioned by
the Rules of Court for the prompt disposition of a civil action where there exists no serious
controversy.[58] Summary judgment is a procedural device for the prompt disposition of actions
in which the pleadings raise only a legal issue, not a genuine issue as to any material fact. The
theory of summary judgment is that, although an answer may on its face appear to tender issues
requiring trial, if it is established by affidavits, depositions or admissions that those issues are not
genuine but fictitious, the Court is justified in dispensing with the trial and rendering summary
judgment for petitioner.[59]
In the various annexes to the petition for forfeiture, petitioner Republic attached sworn
statements of witnesses who had personal knowledge of the Marcoses' participation in the illegal
acquisition of funds deposited in the Swiss accounts under the names of five groups or
foundations. These sworn statements substantiated the ill-gotten nature of the Swiss bank
deposits. In their answer and other subsequent pleadings, however, the Marcoses merely made
general denials of the allegations against them without stating facts admissible in evidence at the
hearing, thereby failing to raise any genuine issues of fact.
Under these circumstances, a trial would have served no purpose at all and would have been
totally unnecessary, thus justifying a summary judgment on the petition for forfeiture. There
were no opposing affidavits to contradict the sworn declarations of the witnesses of petitioner
Republic, leading to the inescapable conclusion that the matters raised in the Marcoses answer
were false.
Time and again, this Court has encountered cases like this which are either only halfheartedly defended or, if the semblance of a defense is interposed at all, it is only to delay
disposition and gain time. It is certainly not in the interest of justice to allow respondent
Marcoses to avail of the appellate remedies accorded by the Rules of Court to litigants in good
faith, to the prejudice of the Republic and ultimately of the Filipino people. From the beginning,
a candid demonstration of respondents good faith should have been made to the court
below. Without the deceptive reasoning and argumentation, this protracted litigation could have
ended a long time ago.
Since 1991, when the petition for forfeiture was first filed, up to the present, all respondents
have offered are foxy responses like lack of sufficient knowledge or lack of privity or they
cannot recall because it happened a long time ago or, as to Mrs. Marcos, the funds were lawfully
acquired. But, whenever it suits them, they also claim ownership of 90% of the funds and allege

that only 10% belongs to the Marcos estate. It has been an incredible charade from beginning to
end.
In the hope of convincing this Court to rule otherwise, respondents Maria Imelda MarcosManotoc and Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. contend that "by its positive acts and express admissions
prior to filing the motion for summary judgment on March 10, 2000, petitioner Republic had
bound itself to go to trial on the basis of existing issues. Thus, it had legally waived whatever
right it had to move for summary judgment."[60]
We do not think so. The alleged positive acts and express admissions of the petitioner did
not preclude it from filing a motion for summary judgment.
Rule 35 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
Rule 35
Summary Judgment
Section 1. Summary judgment for claimant. - A party seeking to recover upon a claim,
counterclaim, or cross-claim or to obtain a declaratory relief may, at any time after the pleading
in answer thereto has been served, move with supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions
for a summary judgment in his favor upon all or any part thereof.
Section 2. Summary judgment for defending party. - A party against whom a claim,
counterclaim, or cross-claim is asserted or a declaratory relief is sought may, at any time, move
with supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions for a summary judgment in his favor as to
all or any part thereof. (Emphasis ours) [61]
Under the rule, the plaintiff can move for summary judgment at any time after the pleading
in answer thereto (i.e., in answer to the claim, counterclaim or cross-claim) has been served." No
fixed reglementary period is provided by the Rules. How else does one construe the phrase "any
time after the answer has been served?
This issue is actually one of first impression. No local jurisprudence or authoritative work
has touched upon this matter. This being so, an examination of foreign laws and jurisprudence,
particularly those of the United States where many of our laws and rules were copied, is in order.
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a party seeking to recover
upon a claim, counterclaim or cross-claim may move for summary judgment at any time after the
expiration of 20 days from the commencement of the action or after service of a motion for
summary judgment by the adverse party, and that a party against whom a claim, counterclaim or
cross-claim is asserted may move for summary judgment at any time.
However, some rules, particularly Rule 113 of the Rules of Civil Practice of New York,
specifically provide that a motion for summary judgment may not be made until issues have been
joined, that is, only after an answer has been served. [62] Under said rule, after issues have been
joined, the motion for summary judgment may be made at any stage of the litigation.[63] No fixed
prescriptive period is provided.

Like Rule 113 of the Rules of Civil Practice of New York, our rules also provide that a
motion for summary judgment may not be made until issues have been joined, meaning, the
plaintiff has to wait for the answer before he can move for summary judgment.[64] And like the
New York rules, ours do not provide for a fixed reglementary period within which to move for
summary judgment.
This being so, the New York Supreme Court's interpretation of Rule 113 of the Rules of
Civil Practice can be applied by analogy to the interpretation of Section 1, Rule 35, of our 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure.
Under the New York rule, after the issues have been joined, the motion for summary
judgment may be made at any stage of the litigation. And what exactly does the phrase "at any
stage of the litigation" mean? In Ecker vs. Muzysh,[65] the New York Supreme Court ruled:
"PER CURIAM.
Plaintiff introduced her evidence and the defendants rested on the case made by the plaintiff. The
case was submitted. Owing to the serious illness of the trial justice, a decision was not rendered
within sixty days after the final adjournment of the term at which the case was tried. With the
approval of the trial justice, the plaintiff moved for a new trial under Section 442 of the Civil
Practice Act. The plaintiff also moved for summary judgment under Rule 113 of the Rules of
Civil Practice. The motion was opposed mainly on the ground that, by proceeding to trial, the
plaintiff had waived her right to summary judgment and that the answer and the opposing
affidavits raised triable issues. The amount due and unpaid under the contract is not in dispute.
The Special Term granted both motions and the defendants have appealed.
The Special Term properly held that the answer and the opposing affidavits raised no triable
issue. Rule 113 of the Rules of Civil Practice and the Civil Practice Act prescribe no limitation
as to the time when a motion for summary judgment must be made. The object of Rule 113 is
to empower the court to summarily determine whether or not a bona fide issue exists between
the parties, and there is no limitation on the power of the court to make such a determination
at any stage of the litigation." (emphasis ours)
On the basis of the aforequoted disquisition, "any stage of the litigation" means that "even if the
plaintiff has proceeded to trial, this does not preclude him from thereafter moving for summary
judgment."[66]
In the case at bar, petitioner moved for summary judgment after pre-trial and before its
scheduled date for presentation of evidence. Respondent Marcoses argue that, by agreeing to
proceed to trial during the pre-trial conference, petitioner "waived" its right to summary
judgment.
This argument must fail in the light of the New York Supreme Court ruling which we apply
by analogy to this case. In Ecker,[67] the defendant opposed the motion for summary judgment on
a ground similar to that raised by the Marcoses, that is, "that plaintiff had waived her right to
summary judgment" by her act of proceeding to trial. If, as correctly ruled by the New York
court, plaintiff was allowed to move for summary judgment even after trial and submission of

the case for resolution, more so should we permit it in the present case where petitioner moved
for summary judgmentbefore trial.
Therefore, the phrase "anytime after the pleading in answer thereto has been served" in
Section 1, Rule 35 of our Rules of Civil Procedure means "at any stage of the litigation."
Whenever it becomes evident at any stage of the litigation that no triable issue exists, or that the
defenses raised by the defendant(s) are sham or frivolous, plaintiff may move for summary
judgment. A contrary interpretation would go against the very objective of the Rule on Summary
Judgment which is to "weed out sham claims or defenses thereby avoiding the expense and loss
of time involved in a trial."[68]
In cases with political undertones like the one at bar, adverse parties will often do almost
anything to delay the proceedings in the hope that a future administration sympathetic to them
might be able to influence the outcome of the case in their favor. This is rank injustice we cannot
tolerate.
The law looks with disfavor on long, protracted and expensive litigation and encourages the
speedy and prompt disposition of cases. That is why the law and the rules provide for a number
of devices to ensure the speedy disposition of cases. Summary judgment is one of them.
Faithful therefore to the spirit of the law on summary judgment which seeks to avoid
unnecessary expense and loss of time in a trial, we hereby rule that petitioner Republic could
validly move for summary judgment any time after the respondents answer was filed or, for that
matter, at any subsequent stage of the litigation. The fact that petitioner agreed to proceed to trial
did not in any way prevent it from moving for summary judgment, as indeed no genuine issue of
fact was ever validly raised by respondent Marcoses.
This interpretation conforms with the guiding principle enshrined in Section 6, Rule 1 of the
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure that the "[r]ules should be liberally construed in order to promote
their objective of securing a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and
proceeding."[69]
Respondents further allege that the motion for summary judgment was based on
respondents' answer and other documents that had long been in the records of the case. Thus, by
the time the motion was filed on March 10, 2000, estoppel by laches had already set in against
petitioner.
We disagree. Estoppel by laches is the failure or neglect for an unreasonable or unexplained
length of time to do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done
earlier, warranting a presumption that the person has abandoned his right or declined to assert
it.[70] In effect, therefore, the principle of laches is one of estoppel because "it prevents people
who have slept on their rights from prejudicing the rights of third parties who have placed
reliance on the inaction of the original parties and their successors-in-interest".[71]
A careful examination of the records, however, reveals that petitioner was in fact never
remiss in pursuing its case against respondent Marcoses through every remedy available to it,
including the motion for summary judgment.
Petitioner Republic initially filed its motion for summary judgment on October 18, 1996.
The motion was denied because of the pending compromise agreement between the Marcoses
and petitioner. But during the pre-trial conference, the Marcoses denied ownership of the Swiss

funds, prompting petitioner to file another motion for summary judgment now under
consideration by this Court. It was the subsequent events that transpired after the answer was
filed, therefore, which prevented petitioner from filing the questioned motion. It was definitely
not because of neglect or inaction that petitioner filed the (second) motion for summary
judgment years after respondents' answer to the petition for forfeiture.
In invoking the doctrine of estoppel by laches, respondents must show not only unjustified
inaction but also that some unfair injury to them might result unless the action is barred. [72]
This, respondents failed to bear out. In fact, during the pre-trial conference, the Marcoses
disclaimed ownership of the Swiss deposits. Not being the owners, as they claimed, respondents
did not have any vested right or interest which could be adversely affected by petitioner's alleged
inaction.
But even assuming for the sake of argument that laches had already set in, the doctrine of
estoppel or laches does not apply when the government sues as a sovereign or asserts
governmental rights.[73] Nor can estoppel validate an act that contravenes law or public policy.[74]
As a final point, it must be emphasized that laches is not a mere question of time but is
principally a question of the inequity or unfairness of permitting a right or claim to be enforced
or asserted.[75] Equity demands that petitioner Republic should not be barred from pursuing the
people's case against the Marcoses.
(2) The Propriety of Forfeiture
The matter of summary judgment having been thus settled, the issue of whether or not
petitioner Republic was able to prove its case for forfeiture in accordance with the requisites of
Sections 2 and 3 of RA 1379 now takes center stage.
The law raises the prima facie presumption that a property is unlawfully acquired, hence
subject to forfeiture, if its amount or value is manifestly disproportionate to the official salary
and other lawful income of the public officer who owns it. Hence, Sections 2 and 6 of RA
1379[76] provide:
xxxxxx
Section 2. Filing of petition. Whenever any public officer or employee has acquired during his
incumbency an amount or property which is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such
public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately
acquired property, said property shall be presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired.
xxxxxx
Sec. 6. Judgment If the respondent is unable to show to the satisfaction of the court that he has
lawfully acquired the property in question, then the court shall declare such property in question,
forfeited in favor of the State, and by virtue of such judgment the property aforesaid shall
become the property of the State. Provided, That no judgment shall be rendered within six
months before any general election or within three months before any special election. The Court
may, in addition, refer this case to the corresponding Executive Department for administrative or
criminal action, or both.

From the above-quoted provisions of the law, the following facts must be established in
order that forfeiture or seizure of the Swiss deposits may be effected:
(1) ownership by the public officer of money or property acquired during his
incumbency, whether it be in his name or otherwise, and
(2) the extent to which the amount of that money or property exceeds, i. e., is grossly
disproportionate to, the legitimate income of the public officer.
That spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were public officials during the time material to
the instant case was never in dispute. Paragraph 4 of respondent Marcoses' answer categorically
admitted the allegations in paragraph 4 of the petition for forfeiture as to the personal
circumstances of Ferdinand E. Marcos as a public official who served without interruption as
Congressman, Senator, Senate President and President of the Republic of the Philippines from
December 1, 1965 to February 25, 1986. [77] Likewise, respondents admitted in their answer the
contents of paragraph 5 of the petition as to the personal circumstances of Imelda R. Marcos who
once served as a member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa from 1978 to 1984 and as Metro
Manila Governor, concurrently Minister of Human Settlements, from June 1976 to February
1986.[78]
Respondent Mrs. Marcos also admitted in paragraph 10 of her answer the allegations of
paragraph 11 of the petition for forfeiture which referred to the accumulated salaries of
respondents Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos. [79] The combined accumulated salaries
of the Marcos couple were reflected in the Certification dated May 27, 1986 issued by then
Minister of Budget and Management Alberto Romulo. [80] The Certification showed that, from
1966 to 1985, Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda R. Marcos had accumulated salaries in the
amount of P1,570,000 and P718,750, respectively, or a total of P2,288,750:
Ferdinand E. Marcos, as President
1966-1976 at P60,000/year P660,000
1977-1984 at P100,000/year 800,000
1985 at P110,000/year 110,000
P1,570,00
Imelda R. Marcos, as Minister
June 1976-1985 at P75,000/year P718,000
In addition to their accumulated salaries from 1966 to 1985 are the Marcos couples
combined salaries from January to February 1986 in the amount of P30,833.33. Hence, their total
accumulated salaries amounted to P2,319,583.33. Converted to U.S. dollars on the basis of the
corresponding peso-dollar exchange rates prevailing during the applicable period when said
salaries were received, the total amount had an equivalent value of $304,372.43.

The dollar equivalent was arrived at by using the official annual rates of exchange of the
Philippine peso and the US dollar from 1965 to 1985 as well as the official monthly rates of
exchange in January and February 1986 issued by the Center for Statistical Information of
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
Prescinding from the aforesaid admissions, Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court
provides that:
Section 4. Judicial admissions An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of
the proceedings in the same case does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted only
by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was made. [81]
It is settled that judicial admissions may be made: (a) in the pleadings filed by the parties;
(b) in the course of the trial either by verbal or written manifestations or stipulations; or (c) in
other stages of judicial proceedings, as in the pre-trial of the case.[82] Thus, facts pleaded in the
petition and answer, as in the case at bar, are deemed admissions of petitioner and respondents,
respectively, who are not permitted to contradict them or subsequently take a position contrary to
or inconsistent with such admissions. [83]
The sum of $304,372.43 should be held as the only known lawful income of respondents
since they did not file any Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL), as required by law, from
which their net worth could be determined. Besides, under the 1935 Constitution, Ferdinand E.
Marcos as President could not receive any other emolument from the Government or any of its
subdivisions and instrumentalities. [84] Likewise, under the 1973 Constitution, Ferdinand E.
Marcos as President could not receive during his tenure any other emolument from the
Government or any other source. [85] In fact, his management of businesses, like the
administration of foundations to accumulate funds, was expressly prohibited under the 1973
Constitution:
Article VII, Sec. 4(2) The President and the Vice-President shall not, during their tenure, hold
any other office except when otherwise provided in this Constitution, nor may they practice any
profession, participate directly or indirectly in the management of any business, or be financially
interested directly or indirectly in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege
granted by the Government or any other subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof,
including any government owned or controlled corporation.
Article VII, Sec. 11 No Member of the National Assembly shall appear as counsel before any
court inferior to a court with appellate jurisdiction, x x x. Neither shall he, directly or indirectly,
be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by
the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof including any
government owned or controlled corporation during his term of office. He shall not intervene in
any matter before any office of the government for his pecuniary benefit.
Article IX, Sec. 7 The Prime Minister and Members of the Cabinet shall be subject to the
provision of Section 11, Article VIII hereof and may not appear as counsel before any court or
administrative body, or manage any business, or practice any profession, and shall also be
subject to such other disqualification as may be provided by law.

Their only known lawful income of $304,372.43 can therefore legally and fairly serve as
basis for determining the existence of a prima facie case of forfeiture of the Swiss funds.
Respondents argue that petitioner was not able to establish a prima facie case for the
forfeiture of the Swiss funds since it failed to prove the essential elements under Section 3,
paragraphs (c), (d) and (e) of RA 1379. As the Act is a penal statute, its provisions are mandatory
and should thus be construed strictly against the petitioner and liberally in favor of respondent
Marcoses.
We hold that it was not for petitioner to establish the Marcoses other lawful income or
income from legitimately acquired property for the presumption to apply because, as between
petitioner and respondents, the latter were in a better position to know if there were such other
sources of lawful income. And if indeed there was such other lawful income, respondents should
have specifically stated the same in their answer. Insofar as petitioner Republic was concerned, it
was enough to specify the known lawful income of respondents.
Section 9 of the PCGG Rules and Regulations provides that, in determining prima
facie evidence of ill-gotten wealth, the value of the accumulated assets, properties and other
material possessions of those covered by Executive Order Nos. 1 and 2
must be out of proportion to the known lawful income of such persons. The respondent Marcos
couple did not file any Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SAL) from which their net worth
could be determined. Their failure to file their SAL was in itself a violation of law and to allow
them to successfully assail the Republic for not presenting their SAL would reward them for
their violation of the law.
Further, contrary to the claim of respondents, the admissions made by them in their various
pleadings and documents were valid. It is of record that respondents judicially admitted that the
money deposited with the Swiss banks belonged to them.
We agree with petitioner that respondent Marcoses made judicial admissions of their
ownership of the subject Swiss bank deposits in their answer, the General/Supplemental
Agreements, Mrs. Marcos' Manifestation and Constancia dated May 5, 1999, and the
Undertaking dated February 10, 1999. We take note of the fact that the Associate Justices of the
Sandiganbayan were unanimous in holding that respondents had made judicial admissions of
their ownership of the Swiss funds.
In their answer, aside from admitting the existence of the subject funds, respondents likewise
admitted ownership thereof. Paragraph 22 of respondents' answer stated:
22. Respondents specifically DENY PARAGRAPH 23 insofar as it alleges that respondents
clandestinely stashed the country's wealth in Switzerland and hid the same under layers and
layers of foundations and corporate entities for being false, the truth being that respondents'
aforesaid properties were lawfully acquired. (emphasis supplied)
By qualifying their acquisition of the Swiss bank deposits as lawful, respondents unwittingly
admitted their ownership thereof.
Respondent Mrs. Marcos also admitted ownership of the Swiss bank deposits by failing to
deny under oath the genuineness and due execution of certain actionable documents bearing her
signature attached to the petition. As discussed earlier, Section 11, Rule 8 [86] of the 1997 Rules of

Civil Procedure provides that material averments in the complaint shall be deemed admitted
when not specifically denied.
The General[87] and Supplemental[88] Agreements executed by petitioner and respondents on
December 28, 1993 further bolstered the claim of petitioner Republic that its case for forfeiture
was proven in accordance with the requisites of Sections 2 and 3 of RA 1379. The whereas
clause in the General Agreement declared that:
WHEREAS, the FIRST PARTY has obtained a judgment from the Swiss Federal Tribunal on
December 21, 1990, that the $356 million belongs in principle to the Republic of the Philippines
provided certain conditionalities are met, but even after 7 years, the FIRST PARTY has not been
able to procure a final judgment of conviction against the PRIVATE PARTY.
While the Supplemental Agreement warranted, inter alia, that:
In consideration of the foregoing, the parties hereby agree that the PRIVATE PARTY shall be
entitled to the equivalent of 25% of the amount that may be eventually withdrawn from said
$356 million Swiss deposits.
The stipulations set forth in the General and Supplemental Agreements undeniably indicated
the manifest intent of respondents to enter into a compromise with petitioner. Corollarily,
respondents willingness to agree to an amicable settlement with the Republic only affirmed their
ownership of the Swiss deposits for the simple reason that no person would acquiesce to any
concession over such huge dollar deposits if he did not in fact own them.
Respondents make much capital of the pronouncement by this Court that the General and
Supplemental Agreements were null and void. [89] They insist that nothing in those agreements
could thus be admitted in evidence against them because they stood on the same ground as an
accepted offer which, under Section 27, Rule 130[90] of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
provides that in civil cases, an offer of compromise is not an admission of any liability and is not
admissible in evidence against the offeror.
We find no merit in this contention. The declaration of nullity of said agreements was
premised on the following constitutional and statutory infirmities: (1) the grant of
criminal immunity to theMarcos heirs was against the law; (2) the PCGGs commitment to
exempt from all forms of taxes the properties to be retained by the Marcos heirs was against the
Constitution; and (3) the governments undertaking to cause the dismissal of all cases filed
against the Marcoses pending before the Sandiganbayan and other courts encroached on the
powers of the judiciary. The reasons relied upon by the Court never in the least bit even touched
on the veracity and truthfulness of respondents admission with respect to their ownership of the
Swiss funds. Besides, having made certain admissions in those agreements, respondents cannot
now deny that they voluntarily admitted owning the subject Swiss funds, notwithstanding the
fact that the agreements themselves were later declared null and void.
The following observation of Sandiganbayan Justice Catalino Castaeda, Jr. in the decision
dated September 19, 2000 could not have been better said:

x x x The declaration of nullity of the two agreements rendered the same without legal effects
but it did not detract from the admissions of the respondents contained therein. Otherwise stated,
the admissions made in said agreements, as quoted above, remain binding on the respondents.[91]
A written statement is nonetheless competent as an admission even if it is contained in a
document which is not itself effective for the purpose for which it is made, either by reason of
illegality, or incompetency of a party thereto, or by reason of not being signed, executed or
delivered. Accordingly, contracts have been held as competent evidence of admissions, although
they may be unenforceable.[92]
The testimony of respondent Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. during the hearing on the motion for the
approval of the Compromise Agreement on April 29, 1998 also lent credence to the allegations
of petitioner Republic that respondents admitted ownership of the Swiss bank accounts. We
quote the salient portions of Ferdinand Jr.s formal declarations in open court:
ATTY. FERNANDO:
Mr. Marcos, did you ever have any meetings with PCGG Chairman
Magtanggol C. Gunigundo?
F. MARCOS, JR.:
Yes. I have had very many meetings in fact with Chairman.
ATTY. FERNANDO:
Would you recall when the first meeting occurred?
PJ GARCHITORENA:
In connection with what?
ATTY. FERNANDO:
In connection with the ongoing talks to compromise the various cases
initiated by PCGG against your family?
F. MARCOS, JR.:
The nature of our meetings was solely concerned with negotiations towards
achieving some kind of agreement between the Philippine government and the
Marcos family. The discussions that led up to the compromise agreement were
initiated by our then counsel Atty. Simeon Mesina x x x.[93]
xxx xxx xxx
ATTY. FERNANDO:
What was your reaction when Atty. Mesina informed you of this possibility?
F. MARCOS, JR.:
My reaction to all of these approaches is that I am always open, we are
always open, we are very much always in search of resolution to the problem of the
family and any approach that has been made us, we have entertained. And so my

reaction was the same as what I have always why not? Maybe this is the one that
will finally put an end to this problem. [94]
xxx xxx xxx
ATTY. FERNANDO:
Basically, what were the true amounts of the assets in the bank?
PJ GARCHITORENA:
So, we are talking about liquid assets here? Just Cash?
F. MARCOS, JR.:
Well, basically, any assets. Anything that was under the Marcos name in any
of the banks in Switzerland which may necessarily be not cash. [95]
xxx xxx xxx
PJ GARCHITORENA:
x x x What did you do in other words, after being apprised of this contract in
connection herewith?
F. MARCOS, JR.:
I assumed that we are beginning to implement the agreement because this
was forwarded through the Philippine government lawyers through our lawyers and
then, subsequently, to me. I was a little surprised because we hadnt really discussed
the details of the transfer of the funds, what the bank accounts, what the mechanism
would be. But nevertheless, I was happy to see that as far as the PCGG is
concerned, that the agreement was perfected and that we were beginning to
implement it and that was a source of satisfaction to me because I thought that
finally it will be the end.[96]
Ferdinand Jr.'s pronouncements, taken in context and in their entirety, were a confirmation
of respondents recognition of their ownership of the Swiss bank deposits. Admissions of a party
in his testimony are receivable against him. If a party, as a witness, deliberately concedes a fact,
such concession has the force of a judicial admission. [97] It is apparent from Ferdinand Jr.s
testimony that the Marcos family agreed to negotiate with the Philippine government in the hope
of finally putting an end to the problems besetting the Marcos family regarding the Swiss
accounts. This was doubtlessly an acknowledgment of ownership on their part. The rule is that
the testimony on the witness stand partakes of the nature of a formal judicial admission when a
party testifies clearly and unequivocally to a fact which is peculiarly within his own
knowledge.[98]
In her Manifestation[99] dated May 26, 1998, respondent Imelda Marcos furthermore
revealed the following:
That respondent Imelda R. Marcos owns 90% of the subject matter of the above-entitled case,
being the sole beneficiary of the dollar deposits in the name of the various foundations alleged in
the case;

That in fact only 10% of the subject matter in the above-entitled case belongs to the estate of the
late President Ferdinand E. Marcos;
xxx xxx xxx
Respondents ownership of the Swiss bank accounts as borne out by Mrs. Marcos'
manifestation is as bright as sunlight. And her claim that she is merely a beneficiary of the Swiss
deposits is belied by her own signatures on the appended copies of the documents substantiating
her ownership of the funds in the name of the foundations. As already mentioned, she failed to
specifically deny under oath the authenticity of such documents, especially those involving
William Saunders and Jane Ryan which actually referred to Ferdinand Marcos and Imelda
Marcos, respectively. That failure of Imelda Marcos to specifically deny the existence, much less
the genuineness and due execution, of the instruments bearing her signature, was tantamount to a
judicial admission of the genuineness and due execution of said instruments, in accordance with
Section 8, Rule 8[100] of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
Likewise, in her Constancia[101] dated May 6, 1999, Imelda Marcos prayed for the approval
of the Compromise Agreement and the subsequent release and transfer of the $150 million to the
rightful owner. She further made the following manifestations:
xxx xxx xxx
2. The Republics cause of action over the full amount is its forfeiture in favor of the government
if found to be ill-gotten. On the other hand, the Marcoses defend that it is a legitimate
asset. Therefore, both parties have an inchoate right of ownership over the account. If it turns out
that the account is of lawful origin, the Republic may yield to the Marcoses. Conversely, the
Marcoses must yield to the Republic. (underscoring supplied)
xxx xxx xxx
3. Consistent with the foregoing, and the Marcoses having committed themselves to helping the
less fortunate, in the interest of peace, reconciliation and unity, defendant MADAM IMELDA
ROMUALDEZ MARCOS, in firm abidance thereby, hereby affirms her agreement with the
Republic for the release and transfer of the US Dollar 150 million for proper disposition, without
prejudice to the final outcome of the litigation respecting the ownership of the remainder.
Again, the above statements were indicative of Imeldas admission of the Marcoses
ownership of the Swiss deposits as in fact the Marcoses defend that it (Swiss deposits) is a
legitimate (Marcos) asset.
On the other hand, respondents Maria Imelda Marcos-Manotoc, Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and
Maria Irene Marcos-Araneta filed a motion[102] on May 4, 1998 asking the Sandiganbayan to
place theres (Swiss deposits) in custodia legis:
7. Indeed, the prevailing situation is fraught with danger! Unless the aforesaid Swiss deposits are
placed in custodia legis or within the Courts protective mantle, its dissipation or
misappropriation by the petitioner looms as a distinct possibility.

Such display of deep, personal interest can only come from someone who believes that he
has a marked and intimate right over the considerable dollar deposits. Truly, by filing said
motion, the Marcos children revealed their ownership of the said deposits.
Lastly, the Undertaking[103] entered into by the PCGG, the PNB and the Marcos foundations
on February 10, 1999, confirmed the Marcoses ownership of the Swiss bank deposits. The
subject Undertaking brought to light their readiness to pay the human rights victims out of the
funds held in escrow in the PNB. It stated:
WHEREAS, the Republic of the Philippines sympathizes with the plight of the human rights
victims-plaintiffs in the aforementioned litigation through the Second Party, desires to assist in
the satisfaction of the judgment awards of said human rights victims-plaintiffs, by releasing,
assigning and or waiving US$150 million of the funds held in escrow under the Escrow
Agreements dated August 14, 1995, although the Republic is not obligated to do so under final
judgments of the Swiss courts dated December 10 and 19, 1997, and January 8, 1998;
WHEREAS, the Third Party is likewise willing to release, assign and/or waive all its rights and
interests over said US$150 million to the aforementioned human rights victims-plaintiffs.
All told, the foregoing disquisition negates the claim of respondents that petitioner failed to
prove that they acquired or own the Swiss funds and that it was only by arbitrarily isolating and
taking certain statements made by private respondents out of context that petitioner was able to
treat these as judicial admissions. The Court is fully aware of the relevance, materiality and
implications of every pleading and document submitted in this case. This Court carefully
scrutinized the proofs presented by the parties. We analyzed, assessed and weighed them to
ascertain if each piece of evidence rightfully qualified as an admission. Owing to the farreaching historical and political implications of this case, we considered and examined,
individually and totally, the evidence of the parties, even if it might have bordered on factual
adjudication which, by authority of the rules and jurisprudence, is not usually done by this
Court. There is no doubt in our mind that respondent Marcoses admitted ownership of the Swiss
bank deposits.
We have always adhered to the familiar doctrine that an admission made in the pleadings
cannot be controverted by the party making such admission and becomes conclusive on him, and
that all proofs submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith should be ignored,
whether an objection is interposed by the adverse party or not. [104] This doctrine is embodied in
Section 4, Rule 129 of the Rules of Court:
SEC. 4. Judicial admissions. An admission, verbal or written, made by a party in the course of
the proceedings in the same case, does not require proof. The admission may be contradicted
only by showing that it was made through palpable mistake or that no such admission was
made.[105]
In the absence of a compelling reason to the contrary, respondents judicial admission of
ownership of the Swiss deposits is definitely binding on them.
The individual and separate admissions of each respondent bind all of them pursuant to
Sections 29 and 31, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court:

SEC. 29. Admission by co-partner or agent. The act or declaration of a partner or agent of the
party within the scope of his authority and during the existence of the partnership or agency, may
be given in evidence against such party after the partnership or agency is shown by evidence
other than such act or declaration. The same rule applies to the act or declaration of a joint
owner, joint debtor, or other person jointly interested with the party. [106]
SEC. 31. Admission by privies. Where one derives title to property from another, the act,
declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, in relation to the property, is
evidence against the former.[107]
The declarations of a person are admissible against a party whenever a privity of estate
exists between the declarant and the party, the term privity of estate generally denoting a
succession in rights.[108] Consequently, an admission of one in privity with a party to the record is
competent.[109] Without doubt, privity exists among the respondents in this case. And where
several co-parties to the record are jointly interested in the subject matter of the controversy, the
admission of one is competent against all. [110]
Respondents insist that the Sandiganbayan is correct in ruling that petitioner Republic has
failed to establish a prima facie case for the forfeiture of the Swiss deposits.
We disagree. The sudden turn-around of the Sandiganbayan was really strange, to say the
least, as its findings and conclusions were not borne out by the voluminous records of this case.
Section 2 of RA 1379 explicitly states that whenever any public officer or employee has
acquired during his incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion to
his salary as such public officer or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from
legitimately acquired property, said property shall be presumed prima facie to have been
unlawfully acquired. x x x
The elements which must concur for this prima facie presumption to apply are:
(1) the offender is a public officer or employee;
(2) he must have acquired a considerable amount of money or property during his
incumbency; and
(3) said amount is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or
employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately
acquired property.
It is undisputed that spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos were former public
officers. Hence, the first element is clearly extant.
The second element deals with the amount of money or property acquired by the public
officer during his incumbency. The Marcos couple indubitably acquired and owned properties
during their term of office. In fact, the five groups of Swiss accounts were admittedly owned by
them. There is proof of the existence and ownership of these assets and properties and it suffices
to comply with the second element.
The third requirement is met if it can be shown that such assets, money or property is
manifestly out of proportion to the public officers salary and his other lawful income. It is the

proof of this third element that is crucial in determining whether a prima facie presumption has
been established in this case.
Petitioner Republic presented not only a schedule indicating the lawful income of the
Marcos spouses during their incumbency but also evidence that they had huge deposits beyond
such lawful income in Swiss banks under the names of five different foundations. We believe
petitioner was able to establish the prima facie presumption that the assets and properties
acquired by the Marcoses were manifestly and patently disproportionate to their aggregate
salaries as public officials. Otherwise stated, petitioner presented enough evidence to convince us
that the Marcoses had dollar deposits amounting to US $356 million representing the balance of
the Swiss accounts of the five foundations, an amount way, way beyond their aggregate
legitimate income of only US$304,372.43 during their incumbency as government officials.
Considering, therefore, that the total amount of the Swiss deposits was considerably out of
proportion to the known lawful income of the Marcoses, the presumption that said dollar
deposits were unlawfully acquired was duly established. It was sufficient for the petition for
forfeiture to state the approximate amount of money and property acquired by the respondents,
and their total government salaries. Section 9 of the PCGG Rules and Regulations states:
Prima Facie Evidence. Any accumulation of assets, properties, and other material possessions of
those persons covered by Executive Orders No. 1 and No. 2, whose value is out of proportion to
their known lawful income is prima facie deemed ill-gotten wealth.
Indeed, the burden of proof was on the respondents to dispute this presumption and show by
clear and convincing evidence that the Swiss deposits were lawfully acquired and that they had
other legitimate sources of income. A presumption is prima facie proof of the fact presumed and,
unless the fact thus prima facie established by legal presumption is disproved, it must stand as
proved.[111]
Respondent Mrs. Marcos argues that the foreign foundations should have been impleaded as
they were indispensable parties without whom no complete determination of the issues could be
made. She asserts that the failure of petitioner Republic to implead the foundations rendered the
judgment void as the joinder of indispensable parties was a sine qua non exercise of judicial
power.Furthermore, the non-inclusion of the foreign foundations violated the conditions
prescribed by the Swiss government regarding the deposit of the funds in escrow, deprived them
of their day in court and denied them their rights under the Swiss constitution and international
law.[112]
The Court finds that petitioner Republic did not err in not impleading the foreign
foundations. Section 7, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, [113] taken from Rule 19b of
the American Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, provides for the compulsory joinder of
indispensable parties. Generally, an indispensable party must be impleaded for the complete
determination of the suit. However, failure to join an indispensable party does not divest the
court of jurisdiction since the rule regarding indispensable parties is founded on equitable
considerations and is not jurisdictional. Thus, the court is not divested of its power to render a
decision even in the absence of indispensable parties, though such judgment is not binding on the
non-joined party.[114]
An indispensable party[115] has been defined as one:

[who] must have a direct interest in the litigation; and if this interest is such that it cannot be
separated from that of the parties to the suit, if the court cannot render justice between the parties
in his absence, if the decree will have an injurious effect upon his interest, or if the final
determination of the controversy in his absence will be inconsistent with equity and good
conscience.
There are two essential tests of an indispensable party: (1) can relief be afforded the plaintiff
without the presence of the other party? and (2) can the case be decided on its merits without
prejudicing the rights of the other party?[116] There is, however, no fixed formula for determining
who is an indispensable party; this can only be determined in the context and by the facts of the
particular suit or litigation.
In the present case, there was an admission by respondent Imelda Marcos in her May 26,
1998 Manifestation before the Sandiganbayan that she was the sole beneficiary of 90% of the
subject matter in controversy with the remaining 10% belonging to the estate of Ferdinand
Marcos.[117] Viewed against this admission, the foreign foundations were not indispensable
parties. Their non-participation in the proceedings did not prevent the court from deciding the
case on its merits and according full relief to petitioner Republic. The judgment ordering the
return of the $356 million was neither inimical to the foundations interests nor inconsistent with
equity and good conscience. The admission of respondent Imelda Marcos only confirmed what
was already generally known: that the foundations were established precisely to hide the money
stolen by the Marcos spouses from petitioner Republic. It negated whatever illusion there was, if
any, that the foreign foundations owned even a nominal part of the assets in question.
The rulings of the Swiss court that the foundations, as formal owners, must be given an
opportunity to participate in the proceedings hinged on the assumption that they owned
a nominal share of the assets.[118] But this was already refuted by no less than Mrs. Marcos
herself. Thus, she cannot now argue that the ruling of the Sandiganbayan violated the conditions
set by the Swiss court. The directive given by the Swiss court for the foundations to participate in
the proceedings was for the purpose of protecting whatever nominal interest they might have had
in the assets as formal owners.But inasmuch as their ownership was subsequently repudiated by
Imelda Marcos, they could no longer be considered as indispensable parties and their
participation in the proceedings became unnecessary.
In Republic vs. Sandiganbayan,[119] this Court ruled that impleading the firms which are
the res of the action was unnecessary:
And as to corporations organized with ill-gotten wealth, but are not themselves guilty of
misappropriation, fraud or other illicit conduct in other words, the companies themselves are not
the object or thing involved in the action, the res thereof there is no need to implead them either.
Indeed, their impleading is not proper on the strength alone of their having been formed with illgotten funds, absent any other particular wrongdoing on their part
Such showing of having been formed with, or having received ill-gotten funds, however strong
or convincing, does not, without more, warrant identifying the corporations in question with the
person who formed or made use of them to give the color or appearance of lawful, innocent
acquisition to illegally amassed wealth at the least, not so as place on the Government
the onus of impleading the former with the latter in actions to recover such wealth. Distinguished

in terms of juridical personality and legal culpability from their erring members or stockholders,
said corporations are not themselves guilty of the sins of the latter, of the embezzlement,
asportation, etc., that gave rise to the Governments cause of action for recovery; their creation or
organization was merely the result of their members (or stockholders) manipulations and
maneuvers to conceal the illegal origins of the assets or monies invested therein. In this light,
they are simply the res in the actions for the recovery of illegally acquired wealth, and there is, in
principle, no cause of action against them and no ground to implead them as defendants in said
actions.
Just like the corporations in the aforementioned case, the foreign foundations here were set
up to conceal the illegally acquired funds of the Marcos spouses. Thus, they were simply
the res in the action for recovery of ill-gotten wealth and did not have to be impleaded for lack of
cause of action or ground to implead them.
Assuming arguendo, however, that the foundations were indispensable parties, the failure of
petitioner to implead them was a curable error, as held in the previously cited case of Republic
vs. Sandiganbayan:[120]
Even in those cases where it might reasonably be argued that the failure of the Government to
implead the sequestered corporations as defendants is indeed a procedural abberation, as where
said firms were allegedly used, and actively cooperated with the defendants, as instruments or
conduits for conversion of public funds and property or illicit or fraudulent obtention of favored
government contracts, etc., slight reflection would nevertheless lead to the conclusion that the
defect is not fatal, but one correctible under applicable adjective rules e.g., Section 10, Rule 5 of
the Rules of Court [specifying the remedy of amendment during trial to authorize or to conform
to the evidence]; Section 1, Rule 20 [governing amendments before trial], in relation to the rule
respecting omission of so-called necessary or indispensable parties, set out in Section 11, Rule 3
of the Rules of Court. It is relevant in this context to advert to the old familiar doctrines that the
omission to implead such parties is a mere technical defect which can be cured at any stage of
the proceedings even after judgment; and that, particularly in the case of indispensable parties,
since their presence and participation is essential to the very life of the action, for without them
no judgment may be rendered, amendments of the complaint in order to implead them should be
freely allowed, even on appeal, in fact even after rendition of judgment by this Court, where it
appears that the complaint otherwise indicates their identity and character as such indispensable
parties.[121]
Although there are decided cases wherein the non-joinder of indispensable parties in fact led
to the dismissal of the suit or the annulment of judgment, such cases do not jibe with the matter
at hand. The better view is that non-joinder is not a ground to dismiss the suit or annul the
judgment. The rule on joinder of indispensable parties is founded on equity. And the spirit of the
law is reflected in Section 11, Rule 3[122] of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. It prohibits the
dismissal of a suit on the ground of non-joinder or misjoinder of parties and allows the
amendment of the complaint at any stage of the proceedings, through motion or on order of the
court on its own initiative.[123]
Likewise, jurisprudence on the Federal Rules of Procedure, from which our Section 7, Rule
on indispensable parties was copied, allows the joinder of indispensable parties even after

[124]

judgment has been entered if such is needed to afford the moving party full relief. [125] Mere delay
in filing the joinder motion does not necessarily result in the waiver of the right as long as the
delay is excusable.[126] Thus, respondent Mrs. Marcos cannot correctly argue that the judgment
rendered by the Sandiganbayan was void due to the non-joinder of the foreign foundations. The
court had jurisdiction to render judgment which, even in the absence of indispensable parties,
was binding on all the parties before it though not on the absent party. [127] If she really felt that
she could not be granted full relief due to the absence of the foreign foundations, she should have
moved for their inclusion, which was allowable at any stage of the proceedings. She never
did. Instead she assailed the judgment rendered.
In the face of undeniable circumstances and the avalanche of documentary evidence against
them, respondent Marcoses failed to justify the lawful nature of their acquisition of the said
assets.Hence, the Swiss deposits should be considered ill-gotten wealth and forfeited in favor of
the State in accordance with Section 6 of RA 1379:
SEC. 6. Judgment. If the respondent is unable to show to the satisfaction of the court that he
has lawfully acquired the property in question, then the court shall declare such property
forfeited in favor of the State, and by virtue of such judgment the property aforesaid shall
become property of the State x x x.

THE FAILURE TO PRESENT AUTHENTICATED


TRANSLATIONS OF THE SWISS DECISIONS
Finally, petitioner Republic contends that the Honorable Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice
Francis Garchitorena committed grave abuse of discretion in reversing himself on the ground
that the original copies of the authenticated Swiss decisions and their authenticated translations
were not submitted to the court a quo. Earlier PJ Garchitorena had quoted extensively from the
unofficial translation of one of these Swiss decisions in his ponencia dated July 29, 1999 when
he denied the motion to release US$150 Million to the human rights victims.
While we are in reality perplexed by such an incomprehensible change of heart, there might
nevertheless not be any real need to belabor the issue. The presentation of the authenticated
translations of the original copies of the Swiss decision was not de rigueur for the public
respondent to make findings of fact and reach its conclusions. In short, the Sandiganbayans
decision was not dependent on the determination of the Swiss courts. For that matter, neither is
this Courts.
The release of the Swiss funds held in escrow in the PNB is dependent solely on the decision
of this jurisdiction that said funds belong to the petitioner Republic. What is important is our
own assessment of the sufficiency of the evidence to rule in favor of either petitioner Republic or
respondent Marcoses. In this instance, despite the absence of the authenticated translations of the
Swiss decisions, the evidence on hand tilts convincingly in favor of petitioner Republic.
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed Resolution of the
Sandiganbayan dated January 31, 2002 is SET ASIDE. The Swiss deposits which were
transferred to and are now deposited in escrow at the Philippine National Bank in the estimated

aggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 as of January 31, 2002, plus interest, are hereby
forfeited in favor of petitioner Republic of the Philippines.
SO ORDERED.