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VOL.

450, JANUARY 31, 2005 27


Reyes vs. Mangino

*
A.M. No. MTJ051575. January 31, 2005.
(Formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 98483MTJ.)

YOLANDA S. REYES, complainant, vs. JUDGE MARVIN


B. MANGINO, Municipal Trial Court, Tarlac, Tarlac,
Branch 1, respondent.

Evidence Burden of Proof If a complainant, upon who rests


the burden of proving his cause of action, fails to show in a
satisfactory manner the facts which he bases his claim, the
respondent is under no obligation to prove his exception or defense.
It is settled that in administrative proceedings, the burden of
proof that the respondent committed the acts complained of rests
on the complainant. Boyboy v. Yabut, Jr., a case involving a
lawyer accused of blackmail and extortion who was exonerated of
the charges against him for lack of evidence, is instructive on this
point. The Court ruled therein that it is enough for the
respondent to deny complicity in the alleged blackmail or
extortion, without more, for he is not under obligation to prove his
negative averment, much less disprove what has not been proven
by the complainant. Thus, if the complainant, upon whom

_______________

* SECOND DIVISION.

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28 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Reyes vs. Mangino

rests the burden of proving his cause of action, fails to show in a


satisfactory manner the facts upon which he bases his claim, the
respondent is under no obligation to prove his exception or
defense.
Same Same Administrative Law Courts Judges Inasmuch
as what is imputed against the respondent Judge connotes a
misconduct so grave that, if proven, it would entail dismissal from
the bench, the quantum of proof required should be more than
substantial.Considering that an accusation of bribery is easy to
concoct and difficult to disprove, the complainant must present a
panoply of evidence in support of such an accusation. Inasmuch as
what is imputed against the respondent Judge connotes a
misconduct so grave that, if proven, it would entail dismissal from
the bench, the quantum of proof required should be more than
substantial.
Same Same Same Same Same Even in administrative
cases, the Rules of Court requires that if a judge should be
disciplined for graver misconduct or any graver offense, the
evidence against him should be competent and derived from direct
knowledge.As a member of the bar, the complainants counsel
should know that even in administrative cases, the Rules of Court
requires that if a judge should be disciplined for grave misconduct
or any graver offense, the evidence against him should be
competent and derived from direct knowledge. The judiciary to
which the respondent belongs demands no less. Before any of its
members could be faulted, competent evidence should be
presented, since the charge is penal in character.
Same Same Same Same Same The ground for the removal
of a judicial officer should be established beyond reasonable doubt.
The ground for the removal of a judicial officer should be
established beyond reasonable doubt. Such is the rule where the
charge on which removal is sought is misconduct in office, willful
neglect, corruption, or incompetence. The general rules in regard
to admissibility of evidence in criminal trials apply.
Administrative Law Courts Judges Only judicial errors
tainted with fraud, dishonesty, gross ignorance, bad faith, or
deliberate intent to do an injustice will be administratively
sanctioned. Anent the conviction of the complainant and her
husband in Criminal Case No. 20097, the rule is that only
judicial errors tainted with fraud, dishonesty, gross ignorance,
bad faith, or deliberate intent to do an injustice will be
administratively sanctioned. To hold other

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Reyes vs. Mangino


wise would be to render judicial office untenable, 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.
Same Same Same Gross Ignorance of the Law The court
finds that the respondent Judge is liable for gross ignorance of the
law in not requiring the presence of the accused during the
promulgation of the decision.The Court finds that the
respondent Judge is liable for gross ignorance of the law in not
requiring the presence of the accused during the promulgation of
the decision in Criminal Case No. 20097, as admitted by him in
his Comment on the complaint.
Courts Judgments Promulgation Two instances when
judgment may be promulgated even without the personal presence
of the accused: (1) when the judgment is for a light offense, in
which case, the counsel for the accused or a representative may
stand for him (2) in cases where despite due notice to the accused
or his bondsman or warden and counsel, the accused failed to
appear at the promulgation of the decision.There are two
instances when judgment may be promulgated even without the
personal presence of the accused: (1) when the judgment is for a
light offense, in which case, the counsel for the accused or a
representative may stand for him and (2) in cases where despite
due notice to the accused or his bondsman or warden and counsel,
the accused failed to appear at the promulgation of the decision.
The evident purpose of this latter exception is to afford the
offended party the opportunity to enforce the award of civil
indemnity which could not otherwise be effected if the decision
cannot be pronounced on account of the absence of the accused.
Criminal Case No. 20097 does not fall under any of the
exceptions, since the accused therein were charged and convicted
of other deceits under Article 318 of the Revised Penal Code,
which is a less grave felony, the imposable penalty being arresto
mayor.
Same Same Same The importance of the promulgation of
decisions in criminal cases is that a judgment or sentence does not
become a judgment or sentence in law until the same has been read
or announced to the defendant or has become part of the record of
the court.It bears stressing the importance of the promulgation
of decisions in criminal cases, considering that a judgment or
sentence does not become a judgment or sentence in law until the
same has been read or announced to the defendant or has become
part of the

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30 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED

Reyes vs. Mangino

record of the court. Parenthetically, when there is no valid


promulgation of judgment, no right to appeal accrues.
Administrative Law Courts Judges Under Canon 1.01 of the
Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge is expected to be the
embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence to
maintain public confidence in the legal system.Under Canon
1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge is expected to be the
embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence to
maintain public confidence in the legal system. He should so
behave at all times as to promote confidence in the integrity and
impartiality of the judiciary. When questionable orders are issued
by a magistrate of law, casting doubt as to his integrity and
impartiality, the erring judge must be sanctioned therefor,
keeping in mind that the irresponsible or improper conduct of
judges erodes public confidence in the judiciary, and, as such,
must avoid all impropriety and the appearance thereof, in
accordance with Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court. Gross


Ignorance of the Law, Extortion, Graft and Corruption,
Fraud and Deception.

The facts are stated in the opinion of the Court.

CALLEJO, SR., J.:

The instant administrative case arose when Yolanda S.


Reyes filed a verified AffidavitComplaint dated January
16, 1998 charging Judge Marvin B. Mangino with gross
ignorance of the law, extortion, graft and corruption, fraud
and deception, relative to Criminal Case No. 20097
entitled People of the Philippines v. Spouses Felix and
Yolanda Reyes, for other deceits punishable under Article
318 of the Revised Penal Code.
The complainant averred that she was one of the
accused in the said case. Upon receipt of the criminal
complaint and after the filing of an exparte motion for the
conduct of preliminary investigation, the respondent Judge
issued a warrant of arrest and a writ of preliminary
attachment. No preliminary investigation was, however,
conducted. This

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Reyes vs. Mangino

prompted the complainant to post a cash bond, to file an


exparte motion for the lifting of the preliminary attachment
and to request the court to conduct a preliminary
investigation. The respondent Judge merely directed the
private prosecutor to oppose or comment on the motion,
instead of setting the case for preliminary investigation as
required under Rule 112 of the Rules on Criminal
Procedure. The complainant also alleged that the
respondent Judge convinced her and her husband not to
pursue the issue of the absence of preliminary investigation
and the lack of jurisdiction of the court, on the assurance
that he would dismiss the case after their arraignment
double jeopardy would then set in, to their advantage.
The complainant further narrated that at 11:00 a.m. of
September 18, 1997, the respondent and two unidentified
companions went to their residence in Norzagaray,
Bulacan. Only their secretary, Chona Guzman, happened
to be there. She entertained and gave the visitors some
snacks. Chona Guzman contacted her through radio. The
complainant was apparently in Manila attending a
conference at the Department of Public Works and
Highways, and Ms. Guzman informed her that the
respondent Judge and his two companions were waiting for
her. The respondent then spoke to the complainant and
told her that he wanted to see her regarding the case, and
suggested that they meet at the lobby of the Manila Hotel
at 2:00 p.m. The complainant acquiesced, and immediately
contacted her lawyer, Atty. Wilfredo Garcia at his office in
Intramuros, Manila, to inform him of the impending
meeting with the respondent Judge. The complainant
narrated the succeeding events that transpired as follows:

19. That at the scheduled place and time, I came


together with my counsel Atty. Wilfredo T. Garcia. I
also instructed my Liaison Officer Nida Diokno to
proceed at the said place to bring some money for
expenses. At the Manila Hotel lobby, we met Judge
Marvin Mangino, who came ahead of us and seated
at the sofa with an unidentified male companion.
He again assured us of his commitment to dismiss
the case in our favor and this will happen
immediately after the prosecution had rested their
case. He further ad

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32 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Reyes vs. Mangino

vised my counsel to file immediately a Demurrer to


Evidence which will be his legal basis for
dismissing the case. He further told us that in order
not to detect his biases in our favor, he proposed
that the Demurrer to Evidence will be dismissed
first, and after that he advised us not to present our
evidence or defense anymore and let the case be
submitted for early decision on the basis of
demurrer to evidence on file.
20. That with Judge Marvin Manginos personal
commitment and assurances done in the presence of
my counsel, my Liaison Officer Nida Diokno, who
all saw and heard Judge Marvin Mangino of his
promises and assurances, Judge Mangino
whispered to me for a little representation that he
needs, considering that he is on an official business
for three (3) days to attend the conference of judges
at Subic and he just beg (sic) off that day so that he
could see and talk to me personally about our case.
21. That I agreed to give him that little
representation in the amount of P20,000.00, which
I placed inside a white envelope in P1,000.00 peso
bill denomination. This matter of giving money
happened at around 3:00 p.m. after we had taken
our snacks at the coffee shop of the Manila Hotel,
as witnessed by our counsel and Ms. Diokno.
22. Thereafter, the prosecution finished the
presentation of their evidence and rested their case.
My counsel, Atty. Garcia, then submitted his
Demurrer to Evidence which, after submission,
Judge Marvin Mangino ordered the denial of the
same on the ground of prohibited pleadings or
motions. Such order of the court is actually
erroneous, because the rules on summary procedure
do not include Demurrer to Evidence as one of those
prohibitive pleadings. Such order by Judge Marvin
Mangino will show his gross ignorance of the law.
Copy of the said Order dated October 20, 1997 is
hereto attached as Annex L and copy of the
Demurrer to Evidence as Annexes M, M1 to M
5.
23. That relying in good faith on Judge Marvin
Manginos assurances and promises that he would
eventually dismiss the case on the arguments
raised at the Demurrer to Evidence, and this was
coupled by the fact that Judge Marvin Mangino
even called me at our residence in Bulacan to
convey his assurances of the dismissal of the case.
He even suggested not to appear anymore and just
file the manifestation of not presenting anymore
our defense evidence pursuant to the proposed
strategy he laid out. Then my counsel submit

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Reyes vs. Mangino

ted the said Manifestation dated October 29, 1997.


Copy of the said Manifestation is hereto attached as
Annex N.
24. That on October 29, 1997, the court issued an order
noting the absence of the accused and the
manifestation filed by our counsel of not filing any
defense evidence other than the Demurrer to
Evidence, Motion to Dismiss and our respective
CounterAffidavits as our defense evidences. Copy
of the said Court Order is hereto attached as Annex
O.
25. That prior to that, there is an earlier order of the
court dated October 27, 1997, stating that both
accused and counsel failed to appear. Whereupon,
the prosecution moved that this case be deemed
submitted for decision based on the evidence
obtained. Which order will show that we were made
to believe that Judge Marvin Mangino is following
to the letter his proposal that we dont have to
appear and have the case submitted for decision
without any presentation of defense evidence. Copy
of said Order is hereto attached as Annex P.
26. That on November 12, 1997, a Notice of
Promulgation of Judgment was sent by Judge
Marvin Mangino to my counsel Atty. Garcia and
Private Prosecutor Atty. Teddy Macapagal, setting
the promulgation on November 24, 1997 at 1:30
p.m. Copy of the said notice is hereto attached as
Annex Q.
27. That again on November 24, 1997, Judge Marvin
Mangino called up and relayed to us not to appear
anymore, as he would be waiting for an additional
sum of money in the amount of P40,000.00 in cash,
as part of the goodwill money for the favor that he
would be giving to us.
28. That on November 27, 1997, heeding the advice of
Judge Marvin Mangino to bring the P40,000.00
cash, I sent the same through Mr. Ruel de Castro,
my counsels liaison officer, who delivered the
money at Judge Marvin Manginos chamber office.
Upon receipt of the money, he promised Mr. de
Castro that he would just send the copy of the
decision through mail, as it is no longer practical
that he should promulgate the decision in open
court. The matter of giving the P40,000.00 is
contained in the affidavit of Mr. Ruel de Castro,
copy of which is hereto attached as Annexes R to
R1.
29. That having received the amount of P40,000.00 plus
the P20,000.00 initially requested when he visited
our residence in Norzagaray, Bulacan, my husband
and I waited for the promulgation of judgment
through mail as promised by Judge Marvin
Mangino.

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Reyes vs. Mangino

30. That on December 23, 1997, surprise of all


surprises, I received a copy of the Decision through
mail, stating that my husband and I were found
guilty of the crime of Other Deceits and liable to
pay the civil liability of P7,969,033.62. These were
totally contrary to the promises and sweet words of
Judge Marvin Mangino who has deceived, tricked
and fooled us to get our trust and money with the
total amount of P60,000.00.

The complainant averred that the promulgation of


judgment in the said case was a direct violation of Section
6, Rule 120 of the Rules on Criminal Procedure, which
requires the promulgation of judgment to be read in the
presence of the accused. Moreover, the order of conviction
was bereft of truth, factual and legal basis, and was issued
in violation of their right to due process.
The respondent Judge1 denied the complainants
allegations in his Comment dated April 16, 1998. Contrary
to the allegations of the complainant, due process of law
was applied in the instant case. The respondent explained
that there was a valid criminal complaint and preliminary
examination considering that there was an application for
a writ of attachment, a supersedeas bond for the said writ,
as well as for the accused. There was, likewise, an
arraignment, a pretrial conference, and, thereafter, trial
on the merits, where the accused had the opportunity to
crossexamine the witnesses for the prosecution. While
hearing was set for the accusedcomplainant to present her
evidence, she failed to do so.
The respondent Judge, however, admitted that on the
promulgation date of the decision, only the prosecutor, the
complainant, the private prosecutor and the counsel for the
accused appeared, and agreed among themselves that they
would just receive copies of the decision. The respondent
stressed that the accused filed an appeal, which was given
due course, and the records, thereafter, forwarded to the
Regional Trial Court of Tarlac for review.

_______________

1 Rollo, pp. 6264.

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Reyes vs. Mangino

The respondent insisted that he only had the opportunity


to talk with the parties and their respective counsels at the
scheduled pretrial conference. He claimed that the
complainants allegations were false, considering that even
the latters counsel would know that the practice of making
assurances to a party is a breach
2
of professional ethics
and worse, a contemptuous one.
The administrative matter was referred to Executive
Judge Arsenio P. Adriano, Regional Trial Court, Tarlac, 3
Tarlac, for investigation, report and recommendation.
The Executive Judge, thereafter, submitted a Report
dated February 14, 2001 and made the following findings:

With respect to the charge of gross ignorance, the judgment of


conviction by Judge Mangino was appealed to the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 63, presided by the undersigned. The undersigned
rendered a decision acquitting the spouses Felix and Yolanda
Reyes. A copy of the decision is attached with the records (Pages
122 to 125). This decision therefore contains the findings of fact
and conclusions of law of the undersigned which need not be
repeated herein.
With respect to the charge of extortion, graft and corruption,
complainant Yolanda Reyes alleged that Judge Marvin Mangino
received from her P60,000.00 in consideration of a favorable
decision or acquittal.
Judge Mangino went to her house at Norzagaray, Bulacan on
September 18, 1997 but since she was in Manila, they agreed to
meet at the Manila Hotel, at 2:00 p.m. of the same day. Judge
Mangino received the P20,000.00 while at the Manila Hotel.
Judge Mangino also received the sum of P40,000.00 from Ruel
de Castro, the liaison officer of Atty. Wilfredo Garcia, then the
lawyer of complainant.
To disprove the charge, Judge Mangino alleged that he could
not be at the Manila Hotel at 2:00 p.m. of September 18, 1997
because he solemnized two marriages at 10:00 a.m. of that day.
He could not have reached Manila Hotel by 2:00 p.m. since he has
to

_______________

2Id., at p. 62.
3Id., at p. 129.

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Reyes vs. Mangino

travel from Tarlac City to Manila after the solemnization of the


marriages. The marriage contracts were submitted as pages 65
and 66 of the records.
The undersigned set the hearing on February 5 and 12, 2001
but only respondent appeared. The complainant did not appear
although her lawyer, Atty. Wilfredo Garcia received the notice
personally on January 18, 2001, as shown by his signature on the
face of the notice.
The undersigned also wrote letters to the contracting parties
appearing in the marriage contracts namely:

1. Ricky Quinto
Dulce David
San Manuel, Tarlac City
2. Vicente Lagadi, Jr.
Balete, Tarlac City

It is the intention of the undersigned to verify from them as to


whether or not their marriages were solemnized by the
respondent Judge on September 18, 1997.
Since they have not appeared before the undersigned as of
February 12, 2001, the undersigned personally went to see them
at their residences.
The undersigned learned startling revelations. Spouses Ricky
Quinto and Dulce David affirmed before the undersigned that
they were married on September 4, 1997 solemnized by the
respondent Judge and not on September 18, 1997. They were
positive that it was not on September 18, 1997 but on September
4, 1997 that was why they were wondering why when they
received the copy of the marriage contract, which was given to
them sometime after September 4, 1997. Dulce David even invited
the attention of her coteachers on the error. She thought it was a
mere typographical error.
Vicente Lagadi, Jr. and his mother Carmen Gabriel told the
undersigned that the date of the marriage of Vicente, Jr. and
Eliza Bustamante is August 27, 1997 because this is the birthday
of Eliza Bustamante. It is not September 18, 1997 as stated in the
marriage contract. Vicente Jr. noticed the error because they
received a copy of the marriage contract sometime after the
marriage. He also thought that it was a mere typographical error.
Vicente, Jr. also showed me

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Reyes vs. Mangino

the birth certificate of his daughter and the date of his marriage
with Eliza Bustamante as appearing therein is August 27, 1997.
The undersigned already received derogatory informations
about Judge Mangino. It is known that he solemnizes marriages
even before the licenses are issued. Probably in this case, he
placed the date of the marriages as September 18, 1997 because
that was the time he went to Manila and received the P20,000.00
from the complainant. He did this to provide him with a ready
alibi because he expected to be sued by complainant as he never
really intended to acquit her.
With these informations gathered personally by the
undersigned, it is not therefore true that Judge Mangino
solemnized two marriages on September 18, 1997 because he
went to Manila to meet the complainant and to receive the
P20,000.00.
Further, the presence of Judge Mangino at the Manila Hotel on
September 18, 1997 was affirmed by Atty. Wilfredo Garcia and
one who is a lawyer will not easily attest to it if it is not true. The
law office of Atty. Wilfredo Garcia is near the Manila Hotel and he
came there upon the request of complainant.
No transcript of the testimonies of Ricky Quinto, Dulce David
and Vicente Lagadi, Jr. was taken because they were hesitant to
talk. Only after the undersigned assured them that whatever they
will tell will be
4
treated with utmost confidentiality that they
started to talk.

The Executive Judge then recommended that the


respondent Judge be dismissed from the service.
In a Resolution dated March 28, 2001, the Court
resolved to refer the said report to the Office of the Court
Administrator (OCA) for recommendation. The OCA,
through Deputy Court Administrator Jose P. Perez, opined
that considering the gravity of the offense charged, the
Executive Judge should have exerted earnest efforts to
compel the attendance of the complainant 5
and the
witnesses during the scheduled hearings. Pursuant to his
recommendation, the case was referred

_______________

4Id., at pp. 132134.


5Id., at p. 141.

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Reyes vs. Mangino

back to Executive
6
Judge Adriano for a more thorough
investigation.
In his Report filed with the OCA on September 10, 2001,
the Executive Judge made the following findings:

The undersigned set the investigation to August 20 and 27, 2001


both at 10:00 a.m., so that notice was sent to Mrs. Yolanda Reyes,
Atty. Wilfredo Garcia and Judge Marvin Mangino. On August 20,
2001, only Judge Mangino appeared. He stated that since he
already submitted a counteraffidavit, he has nothing more to add
to it. At the expense of the undersigned, the process server of the
Court was requested to serve the notice to the complainant. It was
revealed that the complainant did not receive the previous notices
sent to her because the municipal officials of Norzagaray, Bulacan
are her political opponents.
The undersigned sent another notice to Judge Mangino
because of the assurance of Mrs. Reyes that she will attend the
setting of August 27, 2001. Judge Mangino did not appear on said
date. Only Mrs. Yolanda Reyes and Atty. Wilfredo Garcia
appeared. The undersigned conducted clarificatory questioning on
said date and the transcript of stenographic notes is attached
herewith.

FINDINGS:

In view of the previous report submitted by the undersigned


dated February 14, 2001, and the detailed findings of the
Honorable Court Administrator dated May 11, 2001, in his
Memorandum addressed to Hon. Jose A.R. Melo, Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court, there is nothing more that the undersigned
could add.
The undersigned is now more convinced that the respondent
Judge Mangino, indeed, demanded and received money from the
complainant. Mrs. Yolanda Reyes has no reason to proceed with
this administrative case considering that she was already
acquitted of the charge before the respondent judge (Decision,
pages 122 to 125 of the Records). She was only motivated by the
truth of her charge. In the same manner, Atty. Wilfredo Garcia,
has no sinister motive to testify for the complainant, being a
brother in the law profession. His testimony that he was at the
Manila Hotel on September 18, 1997

_______________

6Id., at p. 142.

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Reyes vs. Mangino

and he saw the respondent Judge received the money from the
complainant is worthy of belief.
The undersigned complied with the instruction of Honorable
Deputy Court Administrator Jose Perez that the investigation be
private and confidential. To repeat, the undersigned did not
reduce the testimonies of Ricky Quinto, Dulce David. Said spouses
were assured of the confidentiality of the investigation. The other
party whose marriage was solemnized allegedly by Judge
Mangino on September 18, 1997, Mr. Vicente Lagadi, Jr. also was
reluctant to narrate the truth that the date of his marriage was
August 27, 1997 and not September 18, 1997.
Also, Mrs. Reyes said something that respondent Judge
attended on that date, September 18, 1997. It could be the
conference for Municipal Trial Court Judges but the undersigned
has no way of verifying this. Probably, the Court Administrator
has a record of that conference and the names of the Judges who
attended the said conference. This will corroborate the claim of
the complainant that Judge Mangino was in Manila on said date
and he even attended the conference for MTC judges elsewhere.

The Executive Judge reiterated his previous


recommendation that the respondent be dismissed from the
service.
We do not agree. It is settled that in administrative
proceedings, the burden of proof that the respondent
committed 7the acts complained 8 of rests on the
complainant. Boyboy v. Yabut, Jr., a case involving a
lawyer accused of blackmail and extortion who was
exonerated of the charges against him for lack of evidence,
is instructive on this point. The Court ruled therein that it
is enough for the respondent to deny complicity in the
alleged blackmail or extortion, without more, for he is not
under obligation to prove his negative averment, much less
disprove what has not been proven by the complainant.
Thus, if the complainant, upon whom rests the burden of
proving his cause of action, fails to show in a

_______________

7 Ejercito v. Suerte, 410 SCRA 287 (2003) Cea v. Paguio, 397 SCRA 494
(2003).
8 401 SCRA 622 (2003).

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40 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Reyes vs. Mangino

satisfactory manner the facts upon which he bases his


claim, the respondent 9is under no obligation to prove his
exception or defense. Expounding further, the Court
stressed

It is all too obvious from the foregoing that there is a dearth of


evidence which would in any way prove the commission of
blackmail and extortion, much less incriminate respondent for
those offenses. Even the baseless postulations in the affidavits
would certainly not carry the day for complainants in view of their
lack of evidentiary value. It is not difficult to manufacture charges
in the affidavits hence, it is imperative that their truthfulness
and veracity be tested in the crucible of thorough examination.
The hornbook doctrine is that unless the affiants themselves take
the witness stand to affirm the averments in their affidavits,
those affidavits must be excluded from the 10
proceedings for being
inadmissible and hearsay, as in this case.
Indeed, considering that an accusation of bribery is easy to
concoct and difficult to disprove, the complainant must
present a 11panoply of evidence in support of such an
accusation. Inasmuch as what is imputed against the
respondent Judge connotes a misconduct so grave that, if
proven, it would entail dismissal from the bench, the
quantum of 12
proof required should be more than
substantial.
In this case, the complainant could have easily gathered
enough extrinsic evidence, such as testimonies of waiters,
restaurant employees, or other disinterested witnesses, to
prove the alleged meeting with the respondent Judge. She
did not even present a receipt of the expenses she incurred
when she and the respondent judge took snacks at the
coffee shop near the lobby of the Manila Hotel to at least
prove that she had been there on September 18, 1997.
Moreover, if the respondent had, indeed, made corrupt
overtures and blatantly

_______________

9Id., at p. 627.
10Id., at p. 628.
11Aliga Vda. de Nepomuceno v. Bartolome, 400 SCRA 537 (2003), citing
Co v. Calimag, 334 SCRA 20, 26 (2000).
12Castaos v. Escao, Jr., 251 SCRA 174 (1995).

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Reyes vs. Mangino

demanded money from the complainant, good sense would


dictate that the matter be immediately reported to the
authorities
13
to set up entrapment operations against the
culprit. The Court further notes that the complainant
even failed to present her liaison officer Nida Diokno, her
secretary Chona Guzman, or her counsels liaison officer
Ruel de Castro to testify as to the particulars of the alleged
extortion incident.
As a member of the bar, the complainants counsel
should know that even in administrative cases, the Rules of
Court requires that if a judge should be disciplined for
grave misconduct or any graver offense, the evidence
against him should be competent and derived from direct
knowledge. The judiciary to which the respondent belongs
demands no less. Before any of its members could be
faulted, competent evidence should
14
be presented, since the
charge is penal in character. Thus, the ground for the
14
charge is penal in character. Thus, the ground for the
removal of a judicial officer should be established beyond
reasonable doubt. Such is the rule where the charge on
which removal is sought is misconduct in office, willful
neglect, corruption, or incompetence. The general rules in
regard15 to admissibility of evidence in criminal trials
apply.
Anent the conviction of the complainant and her
husband in Criminal Case No. 20097, the rule is that only
judicial errors tainted with fraud, dishonesty, gross
ignorance, bad faith, or deliberate intent
16
to do an injustice
will be administratively sanctioned. To hold otherwise
would be to render judicial office untenable, for no one
called upon to try the facts or interpret the law in the
process of administering justice

_______________

13Cea v. Paguio, supra.


14Limbona v. Limbona, 404 SCRA 6 (2003).
15 De Guzman v. Dy, 405 SCRA 311 (2003), citing Raquiza v.
Castaeda, Jr., 81 SCRA 235 (1978).
16 Cruz v. Iturralde, 402 SCRA 65 (2003).

42

42 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Reyes vs. Mangino

17
can be18infallible in his judgment. As we held in Balsamo v.
Suan:

. . . [A]s a matter of policy, in the absence of fraud, dishonesty or


corruption, the acts of a judge in his judicial capacity are not
subject to disciplinary action even though such acts are erroneous.
He cannot be subjected to liabilitycivil, criminal or
administrativefor any of his official acts, no matter how
erroneous, as long as he acts in good faith. In such a case, the
remedy of the aggrieved party is not to file an administrative
complaint against the judge but to elevate the error to the higher
court for review and correction. The Court has to be shown acts or
conduct of the judge clearly indicative of arbitrariness or prejudice
before the latter can be branded the stigma of being biased and
partial. Thus, not every error or mistake that a judge commits in
the performance of his duties renders him liable, unless he is
shown to have acted in bad faith or with deliberate intent to do an
injustice. Good faith and absence of malice, corrupt motives or
improper considerations are sufficient defenses in19 which a judge
charged with ignorance of the law can find refuge.

Hence, the respondent cannot be held administratively


liable on that ground.
However, the Court finds that the respondent Judge is
liable for gross ignorance of the law in not requiring the
presence of the accused during the promulgation of the
decision in Criminal Case No. 20097, as admitted by him
in his Comment on the complaint.
There are two instances when judgment may be
promulgated even without the personal presence of the
accused: (1) when the judgment is for a light offense, in
which case, the counsel for the accused or a representative
may stand for him and (2) in cases where despite due
notice to the accused or his bondsman or warden and
counsel, the accused failed to appear at the promulgation of
the decision. The evident purpose

_______________

17 Sacmar v. ReyesCarpio, 400 SCRA 32 (2003).


18 411 SCRA 189 (2003).
19 Id., at p. 200. (Emphasis supplied)

43

VOL. 450, JANUARY 31, 2005 43


Reyes vs. Mangino

of this latter exception is to afford the offended party the


opportunity to enforce the award of civil indemnity which
could not otherwise be effected if the decision cannot be 20
pronounced on account of the absence of the accused.
Criminal Case No. 20097 does not fall under any of the
exceptions, since the accused therein were charged and
convicted of other deceits under Article 318 of the Revised
Penal Code, which is a less grave felony, the imposable
penalty being arresto mayor.
It bears stressing the importance of the promulgation of
decisions in criminal cases, considering that a judgment or
sentence does not become a judgment or sentence in law
until the same has been read or announced to the 21
defendant or has become part of the record of the court.
Parenthetically, when there is no valid22
promulgation of
judgment, no right to appeal accrues.
Under Canon 1.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, a
judge is expected to be the embodiment of competence,
integrity, and independence to maintain public confidence
in the legal system. He should so behave at all times as to
promote confidence
23
in the integrity and impartiality of the
judiciary. When questionable orders are issued by a
magistrate of law, casting doubt as to his integrity and
impartiality, the erring judge must be sanctioned therefor,
keeping in mind that the irresponsible or improper conduct
of judges erodes public confidence in the judiciary, and, as
such, must
24
avoid all impropriety and the appearance
thereof, in accordance with Canon 2 of the Code of
Judicial Conduct.

_______________

20 Pamaran, The 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure, 2001 ed., p. 451.


21 U.S. v. Court of First Instance of Manila, 24 Phil. 321.
22 People v. Jaranilla, 55 SCRA 563 (1974).
23 Rule 2.01, Code of Judicial Conduct.
24 Padilla v. Zantua, Jr., 237 SCRA 670 (1994).

44

44 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED


Reyes vs. Mangino

WHEREFORE, for gross ignorance of the law, respondent


Judge Marvin B. Mangino is FINED in the amount of Ten
Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00), and is STERNLY WARNED
that a repetition of the same or similar act shall be dealt
with more severely.
SO ORDERED.

Puno (Chairman), AustriaMartinez, Tinga and


ChicoNazario, JJ., concur.

Judge Marvin B. Mangino meted with P10,000 fine for


gross ignorance of the law, with stern warning against
repetition of similar act.

Notes.Promulgation of judgment means the reading


of the judgment or sentence in the presence of the accused
and the judge of the court who rendered itit is not the
date of the writing of the decision or judgment. (Enriquez
vs. Vallarta, 378 SCRA 12 [2002])
To be punishable, an act constituting ignorance of the
law must not only be contradictory to existing law and
jurisprudence, but must also be motivated by bad faith,
fraud, dishonesty or corruption. (Borja vs. Salcedo, 412
SCRA 110 [2003])

o0o

45

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