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IN RE CUNANAN

94 PHIL. 534

FACTS:
Congress passed Rep. Act No. 972, or what is known as the Bar Flunkers Act, in 1952. The title of the
law was, An Act to Fix the Passing Marks for Bar Examinations from 1946 up to and including 1955.
Section 1 provided the following passing marks:
1946-195170%
1952 .71%
1953..72%
1954..73%
1955..74%
Provided however, that the examinee shall have no grade lower than 50%.
Section 2 of the Act provided that A bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75% in any subject shall
be deemed to have already passed that subject and the grade/grades shall be included in the
computation of the general average in subsequent bar examinations.

ISSUE: Whether of not, R.A. No. 972 is constitutional.

RULING:Section 2 was declared unconstitutional due to the fatal defect of not being embraced in the
title of the Act. As per its title, the Act should affect only the bar flunkers of 1946 to 1955 Bar
examinations. Section2 establishes a permanent system for an indefinite time. It was also struck
down for allowing partial passing, thus failing to take account of the fact that laws and jurisprudence
are not stationary.
As to Section1, the portion for 1946-1951 was declared unconstitutional, while that for 1953 to 1955
was declared in force and effect. The portion that was stricken down was based under the following
reasons:

The law itself admits that the candidates for admission who flunked the bar from 1946 to 1952 had
inadequate preparation due to the fact that this was very close to the end of World War II;
The law is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of the court on the petitions of the said
candidates;

The law is an encroachment on the Courts primary prerogative to determine who may be admitted to
practice of law and, therefore, in excess of legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the Rules
of Court. The rules laid down by Congress under this power are only minimum norms, not designed to
substitute the judgment of the court on who can practice law; and
The pretended classification is arbitrary and amounts to class legislation.
As to the portion declared in force and effect, the Court could not muster enough votes to declare it
void. Moreover, the law was passed in 1952, to take effect in 1953. Hence, it will not revoke existing
Supreme Court resolutions denying admission to the bar of an petitioner. The same may also
rationally fall within the power to Congress to alter, supplement or modify rules of admission to the
practice of law.

Enrique Zaldivar vs Raul Gonzalez


166 SCRA 316 Legal Ethics Contemptuous Language Duty of a Lawyer

Zaldivar was the governor of Antique. He was charged before the Sandiganbayan for violations of the
Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Gonzales was the then Tanodbayan who was investigating the
case. Zaldivar then filed with the Supreme Court a petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Mandamus
assailing the authority of the Tanodbayan to investigate graft cases under the 1987 Constitution. The
Supreme Court, acting on the petition issued a Cease and Desist Order against Gonzalez directing him
to temporarily restrain from investigating and filing informations against Zaldivar.
Gonzales however proceeded with the investigation and he filed criminal informations against Zaldivar.
Gonzalez even had a newspaper interview where he proudly claims that he scored one on the
Supreme Court; that the Supreme Courts issuance of the TRO is a manifestation theta the rich and
influential persons get favorable actions from the Supreme Court, [while] it is difficult for an ordinary
litigant to get his petition to be given due course.

Zaldivar then filed a Motion for Contempt against Gonzalez. The Supreme Court then ordered
Gonzalez to explain his side. Gonzalez stated that the statements in the newspapers were true; that
he was only exercising his freedom of speech; that he is entitled to criticize the rulings of the Court, to
point out where he feels the Court may have lapsed into error. He also said, even attaching notes,
that not less than six justices of the Supreme Court have approached him to ask him to go slow on
Zaldivar and to not embarrass the Supreme Court.

ISSUE: Whether or not Gonzalez is guilty of contempt.

HELD: Yes. The statements made by respondent Gonzalez clearly constitute contempt and call for the
exercise of the disciplinary authority of the Supreme Court. His statements necessarily imply that the
justices of the Supreme Court betrayed their oath of office. Such statements constitute the grossest
kind of disrespect for the Supreme Court. Such statements very clearly debase and degrade the
Supreme Court and, through the Court, the entire system of administration of justice in the country.

Gonzalez is entitled to the constitutional guarantee of free speech. What Gonzalez seems unaware of
is that freedom of speech and of expression, like all constitutional freedoms, is not absolute and that
freedom of expression needs on occasion to be adjusted to and accommodated with the requirements
of equally important public interests. One of these fundamental public interests is the maintenance of
the integrity and orderly functioning of the administration of justice. There is no antinomy between
free expression and the integrity of the system of administering justice.

Gonzalez, apart from being a lawyer and an officer of the court, is also a Special Prosecutor who owes
duties of fidelity and respect to the Republic and to the Supreme Court as the embodiment and the
repository of the judicial power in the government of the Republic. The responsibility of Gonzalez to
uphold the dignity and authority of the Supreme Court and not to promote distrust in the
administration of justice is heavier than that of a private practicing lawyer.

Gonzalez is also entitled to criticize the rulings of the court but his criticisms must be bona fide. In the
case at bar, his statements, particularly the one where he alleged that members of the Supreme Court
approached him, are of no relation to the Zaldivar case.

The Supreme Court suspended Gonzalez indefinitely from the practice of law.

May students practice law?

LAW STUDENT PRACTICE RULE


Rule 138-A

SECTION 1. Conditions for Student Practice. - A law student who has successfully completed
3rd year of the regular four-year prescribed law curriculum and is enrolled in a recognized
law school's clinical legal education program approved by the Supreme Court, may appear
without compensation in any civil, criminal or administrative case before any trial court,
tribunal, board or officer, to represent indigent clients accepted by the legal clinic of the law
school. chan robles virtual law library

SEC. 2. Appearance. - The appearance of the law student authorized by this rule, shall be
under the direct supervision and control of a member of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippinesduly accredited by the law school. Any and all pleadings, motions, briefs,
memoranda or other papers to be filed, must be signed by the supervising attorney for and
in behalf of the legal clinic. chan robles virtual law library

SEC. 3. Privileged communications. - The Rules safeguarding privileged communications


between attorney and client shall apply to similar communications made to or received by
the law student, acting for the legal clinic.

SEC. 4. Standards of conduct and supervision. - The law student shall comply with the
standards of professional conduct governing members of the Bar. Failure of an attorney to
provide adequate supervision of student practice may be a ground for disciplinary action. (SC
Circular No. 19, prom. Dec. 19, 1986).

CIRCULAR NO. 19 August 4, 1987

TO: ALL JUDGES OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURTS, METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURTS, MUNICIPAL
TRIAL COURTS IN CITIES, MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURTS AND MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL COURTS

SUBJECT: AMENDED GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES ON APPLICATIONS FOR SEARCH WARRANTS


FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSIONS OF FIREARMS AND OTHER SERIOUS CRIMES FILED IN METRO MANILA
COURTS AND OTHER COURTS WITH MULTIPLE SALAS

This Court has received reports of delays while awaiting raffle, in acting an applications for search
warrants in the campaign against loose firearms and other serious crimes affecting peace and order.
There is a need for prompt action on such applications for search warrant. Accordingly, these
amended guidelines in the issuance of a search warrant are issued:

1. All applications for search warrants relating to violations of the Anti-Subversion Act, crimes against
public order as defined in the Revised Penal Code, as amended, illegal possession of firearms and/or
ammunition and violations of the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1972, as amended, shall no longer be raffled
and shall immediately be taken cognizance of and acted upon by the Executive Judge of the Regional
Trial Court, Metropolitan Trial Court, and Municipal Trial Court under whose jurisdiction the place to be
searched is located.

2. In the absence of the Executive Judge, the Vice-Executive Judge shall take cognizance of and
personally act on the same. In the absence of the Executive Judge or Vice-Executive Judge, the
application may be taken cognizance of and acted upon by any judge of the Court where the
application is filed.

3. Applications filed after office hours, during Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, shall likewise be taken
cognizance of and acted upon by any judge of the court having jurisdiction of the place to be
searched, but in such cases the applicant shall certify and state the facts under oath, to the
satisfaction of the judge, and its issuance is urgent.

4. Any judge acting on such application shall immediately and without delay personally conduct the
examination of the applicant and his witnesses to prevent the possible leakage of information. He shall
observe the procedures, safeguards, and guidelines for the issuance of search warrants provided for in
this Court's Administrative Circular No. 13, dated October 1, 1985.

5. This Circular shall take effect immediately.

Please be guided accordingly.

August 4, 1987.

(Sgd.) CLAUDIO TEEHANKEE


IN RE EDILLON

FACTS: The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing Attorney in the Philippines. The
IBP Board of Governors recommended to the Court the removal of the name of the respondent from
its Roll of Attorneys for stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues assailing the provisions of the
Rule of Court 139-A and the provisions of par. 2, Section 24, Article III, of the IBP By-Laws pertaining
to the organization of IBP, payment of membership fee and suspension for failure to pay the same.

Edillon contends that the stated provisions constitute an invasion of his constitutional rights in the
sense that he is being compelled as a pre-condition to maintain his status as a lawyer in good
standing, to be a member of the IBP and to pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of
this compelled financial support of the said organization to which he is admitted
personally antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to liberty and properly guaranteed to him by
the Constitution. Hence, the respondent concludes the above provisions of the Court Rule and of the
IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force and effect.

ISSUE: Whether or not the court may compel Atty. Edillion to pay his membership fee to the IBP.

HELD: The Integrated Bar is a State-organized Bar which every lawyer must be a member of as
distinguished from bar associations in which membership is merely optional and voluntary. All
lawyers are subject to comply with the rules prescribed for the governance of the Bar including
payment a reasonable annual fees as one of the requirements. The Rules of Court only compels him to
pay his annual dues and it is not in violation of his constitutional freedom to associate. Bar integration
does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not the meeting of his
Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its election as he chooses. The only compulsion to
which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. The Supreme Court in order to further the
States legitimate interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require thet
the cost of the regulatory program the lawyers.

Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. The right to practice law
before the courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and inquiry. And if the
power to impose the fee as a regulatory measure is recognize then a penalty designed to enforce its
payment is not void as unreasonable as arbitrary. Furthermore, the Court has jurisdiction over
matters of admission, suspension, disbarment, and reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation as
part of its inherent judicial functions and responsibilities thus the court may compel all members of the
Integrated Bar to pay their annual dues.

CSC vs. ANDAL, G.R. No. 185749, December 16, 2009

FACTS:

Herminigildo L. Andal, respondent, holds the position of Security Guard II in the Sandiganbayan. He
filed an application to take the Career Service Professional Examination-Computer Assisted Test
(CSPE-CAT), was admitted to take the examination, and the result showed that he passed with the
rate of 81.03%. However, when Arlene S. Vito who claimed to have been authorized by respondent to
secure the results of the examination went to do so, verification and comparison of the pictures
attached to the Picture Seat Plan and the identification card of Andal brought by Vito showed
dissimilarity in the facial features. Civil Service Commission National Capital Region (CSC-NCR)
rendered judgment finding the respondent guilty of dishonesty and imposing upon him the penalty of
dismissal from the service. Aggrieved, the respondent appealed, however, it was denied. He then
elevated the case to the Court of Appeals (CA), in which the CA ruled in favor of the respondent. The
CSC filed a motion for reconsideration in the CA but was denied. Hence, the present petition for
reversal of the decision of the CA.

ISSUE:
Does the CSCs disciplinary jurisdiction extend to court personnel?

RULING:
The instant petition is DENIED. The Supreme Court ruled that Section 6, Article VIII of the 1987
Constitution vests in the Supreme Court administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel
thereof, thus:
Sec. 6. The Supreme Court shall have administrative supervision over all courts and the personnel
thereof.
By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme Court that can oversee the judges and court
personnels administrative compliance with all laws, rules and regulations. No other branch of
government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine of separation of
powers.
The Supreme Court also emphasized that in case of violation of the Civil Service Law by a court
personnel, the standard procedure is for the CSC to bring its complaint against a judicial employee
before the Office of the Court Administrator of the Supreme Court, for the filing of the appropriate
administrative case against him.

Maceda v. Vasquez (1993)


Bonifacio Maceda falsified his certificate of service saying he had submitted the decisions for all his
civil and criminal cases, when he had not submitted anything. His clerk reported him to the
Ombudsman.

The Court ruled that the Ombudsman had no jurisdiction over the matter. Judges are liable under the
Supreme Court, not the Ombudsman. Only the SC can oversee judges compliance with the law and
take proper administrative action.
Facts: Respondent Napoleon Abiera of PAO filed a complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman
against petitioner RTC Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda. Respondent Abiera alleged that petitioner
Maceda has falsified his certificate of service by certifying that all civil and criminal cases which have
been submitted for decision for a period of 90 days have been determined and decided on or before
January 31, 1989, when in truth and in fact, petitioner Maceda knew that no decision had been
rendered in 5 civil and 10 criminal cases that have been submitted for decision. Respondent Abiera
alleged that petitioner Maceda falsified his certificates of service for 17 months.

Issue: Whether or not the investigation made by the Ombudsman constitutes an encroachment into
the SCs constitutional duty of supervision over all inferior courts

Held: A judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the SC for serious
misconduct and under Sec. 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, and criminally liable to the State under
the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act.
In the absence of any administrative action taken against him by the Court with regard to his
certificates of service, the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman encroaches into the
Courts power of administrative supervision over all courts and its personnel, in violation of the
doctrine of separation of powers.
Art. VIII, Sec. 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the SC administrative supervision over all
courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the CA down to the lowest municipal trial
court clerk. By virtue of this power, it is only the SC that can oversee the judges and court
personnels compliance with all laws, and take the proper administrative action against them if they
commit any violation thereof. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without
running afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Where a criminal complaint against a judge or other court employee arises from their administrative
duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the same to the SC for
determination whether said judge or court employee had acted within the scope of their administrative
duties.

Arturo de Guzman, petitioner, vs. People of the Philippines and


The Sandiganbayan, respondents.

FACTS:
Arturo De Guzman, petitioner is a Travelling Collector --- a public and an accountable officer for that
matter, working at the Department of Finance. From the period of May 22, 1978 to June 7, 1978 he
collected a total amount of P204,319.32 from various agencies (Veterinary Inspection Board, Public
Health Laboratory, North Cemetery, among other) but only remitted to the Cash Division Department
P127,797.95, resulting in a shortage of P76,521.37.

When Maximo Pielago, an auditing examiner, conducted a preliminary audit the discrepancy was found.
Mr. Pielago then send a demand letter to Mr. De Guzman to produce his accountabilities, the latter
assured him that he had no more existing accountabilities since he ceased to make collections due to
his pending promotion. However, findings turned out to be the opposite. For failure of the petitioner to
account and explain the shortage amounting to P76,521.37, a case was filed and subsequently convicted
him of Malversation of Public Funds. Mr. De Guzman assails the decision of the Sandiganbayan and filed
an appeal to the Supreme Court.

LEGAL ISSUE:
Though petitioner impugns the decision of the Sandiganbayan, those issues were primarily procedural
in nature. The legal issue that needs to be resolved is whether or not petitioner is liable for malversation
of public funds.

HOLDING:

Yes. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Sandiganbayan convicting petitioner of the crime
of Malversation of Public Funds pursuant to Art. 217 of the Revised Penal Code that the failure of a public
officer to have duly forthcoming any public funds or property with which he is chargeable, upon demand
by any public officer, shall be prima facie evidence that he has put such missing funds to personal use.

The court opines that, in Malversation, all that is necessary to prove is that the defendant received in
his possession public funds, that he could not account for them and did not have them in possession
and that he could not give a reasonable excuse for the disappearance of the same. An accountable public
officer may be convicted of Malversation even if there is no direct evidence of misappropriation and the
only evidence is that there is a shortage in his accounts, which he has not been able to explain
satisfactorily.

G.R. No. 202242 July 17, 2012


FRANCISCO I. CHAVEZ, Petitioner,
vs.JUDICIAL AND BAR COUNCIL, SEN. FRANCIS JOSEPH G. ESCUDERO and REP. NIEL C.
TUPAS, JR., Respondents.

Facts:
The case is in relation to the process of selecting the nominees for the vacant seat of Supreme Court
Chief Justice following Renato Coronas departure.

Originally, the members of the Constitutional Commission saw the need to create a separate,
competent and independent body to recommend nominees to the President. Thus, it conceived of a
body representative of all the stakeholders in the judicial appointment process and called it the
Judicial and Bar Council (JBC).
In particular, Paragraph 1 Section 8, Article VIII of the Constitution states that (1) A Judicial and Bar
Council is hereby created under the supervision of the Supreme Court composed of the Chief Justice
as ex officio Chairman, the Secretary of Justice, and a representative of the Congress as ex officio
Members, a representative of the Integrated Bar, a professor of law, a retired Member of the Supreme
Court, and a representative of the private sector.

In compliance therewith, Congress, from the moment of the creation of the JBC, designated one
representative from the Congress to sit in the JBC to act as one of the ex officio members.

In 1994 however, the composition of the JBC was substantially altered. Instead of having only seven
(7) members, an eighth (8th) member was added to the JBC as two (2) representatives from
Congress began sitting in the JBC one from the House of Representatives and one from the Senate,
with each having one-half (1/2) of a vote. During the existence of the case, Senator Francis Joseph G.
Escudero and Congressman Niel C. Tupas, Jr. (respondents) simultaneously sat in JBC as
representatives of the legislature.

It is this practice that petitioner has questioned in this petition.

The respondents claimed that when the JBC was established, the framers originally envisioned a
unicameral legislative body, thereby allocating a representative of the National Assembly to the JBC.
The phrase, however, was not modified to aptly jive with the change to bicameralism which was
adopted by the Constitutional Commission on July 21, 1986. The respondents also contend that if the
Commissioners were made aware of the consequence of having a bicameral legislature instead of a
unicameral one, they would have made the corresponding adjustment in the representation of
Congress in the JBC; that if only one house of Congress gets to be a member of JBC would deprive the
other house of representation, defeating the principle of balance.

The respondents further argue that the allowance of two (2) representatives of Congress to be
members of the JBC does not render JBCs purpose of providing balance nugatory; that the presence
of two (2) members from Congress will most likely provide balance as against the other six (6)
members who are undeniably presidential appointees

Supreme Court held that it has the power of review the case herein as it is an object of concern, not
just for a nominee to a judicial post, but for all the citizens who have the right to seek judicial
intervention for rectification of legal blunders.

Issue:
Whether the practice of the JBC to perform its functions with eight (8) members, two (2) of whom are
members of Congress, defeats the letter and spirit of the 1987 Constitution.

Held:
No. The current practice of JBC in admitting two members of the Congress to perform the functions of
the JBC is violative of the 1987 Constitution. As such, it is unconstitutional.

One of the primary and basic rules in statutory construction is that where the words of a statute are
clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without
attempted interpretation. It is a well-settled principle of constitutional construction that the language
employed in the Constitution must be given their ordinary meaning except where technical terms are
employed. As such, it can be clearly and unambiguously discerned from Paragraph 1, Section 8, Article
VIII of the 1987 Constitution that in the phrase, a representative of Congress, the use of the
singular letter a preceding representative of Congress is unequivocal and leaves no room for any
other construction. It is indicative of what the members of the Constitutional Commission had in mind,
that is, Congress may designate only one (1) representative to the JBC. Had it been the intention that
more than one (1) representative from the legislature would sit in the JBC, the Framers could have, in
no uncertain terms, so provided.

Noscituur Asociis: Applying the foregoing principle to this case, it becomes apparent that the word
Congress used in Article VIII, Section 8(1) of the Constitution is used in its generic sense. No
particular allusion whatsoever is made on whether the Senate or the House of Representatives is
being referred to, but that, in either case, only a singular representative may be allowed to sit in the
JBC

Considering that the language of the subject constitutional provision is plain and unambiguous, there
is no need to resort extrinsic aids such as records of the Constitutional Commission. Nevertheless,
even if the Court should proceed to look into the minds of the members of the Constitutional
Commission, it is undeniable from the records thereof that it was intended that the JBC be composed
of seven (7) members only. The underlying reason leads the Court to conclude that a single vote may
not be divided into half (1/2), between two representatives of Congress, or among any of the sitting
members of the JBC for that matter.

With the respondents contention that each representative should be admitted from the Congress and
House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, after the perusal of the records of Constitutional
Commission, held that Congress, in the context of JBC representation, should be considered as one
body. While it is true that there are still differences between the two houses and that an inter-play
between the two houses is necessary in the realization of the legislative powers conferred to them by
the Constitution, the same cannot be applied in the case of JBC representation because no liaison
between the two houses exists in the workings of the JBC. No mechanism is required between the
Senate and the House of Representatives in the screening and nomination of judicial officers. Hence,
the term Congress must be taken to mean the entire legislative department.

The framers of Constitution, in creating JBC, hoped that the private sector and the three branches of
government would have an active role and equal voice in the selection of the members of the
Judiciary. Therefore, to allow the Legislature to have more quantitative influence in the JBC by having
more than one voice speak, whether with one full vote or one-half (1/2) a vote each, would negate
the principle of equality among the three branches of government which is enshrined in the
Constitution.

It is clear, therefore, that the Constitution mandates that the JBC be composed of seven (7) members
only. Thus, any inclusion of another member, whether with one whole vote or half (1/2) of it, goes
against that mandate. Section 8(1), Article VIII of the Constitution, providing Congress with an equal
voice with other members of the JBC in recommending appointees to the Judiciary is explicit. Any
circumvention of the constitutional mandate should not be countenanced for the Constitution is the
supreme law of the land. The Constitution is the basic and paramount law to which all other laws must
conform and to which all persons, including the highest officials of the land, must defer. Constitutional
doctrines must remain steadfast no matter what may be the tides of time. It cannot be simply made
to sway and accommodate the call of situations and much more tailor itself to the whims and caprices
of the government and the people who run it.

Notwithstanding its finding of unconstitutionality in the current composition of the JBC, all its prior
official actions are nonetheless valid. In the interest of fair play under the doctrine of operative facts,
actions previous to the declaration of unconstitutionality are legally recognized. They are not nullified.

Under the Doctrine of Operative fact. The doctrine of operative fact recognizes the existence
of the law or executive act prior to the declaration of its unconstitutionality as an operative fact that
produced effects that cannot always be erased, ignored or disregarded

The current numerical composition of the Judicial and Bar Council IS declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
The Judicial and Bar Council is hereby enjoined to reconstitute itself so that only one ( 1) member of
Congress will sit as a representative in its proceedings, in accordance with Section 8( 1 ), Article VIII
of the 1987 Constitution. This disposition is immediately executory.

Perfecto v Meer 85 Phil 552


GREGORIO PERFECTO vs. BIBIANO L. MEER[G.R. No. L-2348. February 27, 1950.
Facts:In April, 1947 the Collector of Internal Revenue required Mr. Justice Gregorio Perfecto to pay
income tax upon hissalary as member of this Court during the year 1946. After paying the amount
(P802), he instituted this action inthe Manila Court of First Instance contending that the assessment
was illegal, his salary not being taxable for the reason that imposition of taxes thereon would reduce it
in violation of the Constitution.

Issue: Does the imposition of an income tax upon this salary amount to a diminution thereof?

Held: Yes. As in the United States during the second period, we must hold that salaries of judges are
not included in the word "income" taxed by the Income Tax Law.

Two paramount circumstances may additionally be indicated, to wit:First, when the Income Tax Law
was first applied to the Philippines 1913, taxable "income" did not include salaries of judicial officers
when these are protected from diminution. That was the prevailing official belief in the United States,
which must be deemed to have been transplanted here ; and second, when the Philippine
Constitutional Convention approved (in 1935) the prohibition against diminution of the judges'
compensation, the Federal principle was known that income tax on judicial salaries really impairs
them. This is not proclaiming a general tax immunity for men on the bench. These pay taxes. Upon
buying gasoline, or cars or other commodities, they pay the corresponding duties.

Owning real property, they pay taxes thereon. And on incomes other than their judicial salary,
assessments are levied. It is only when the tax is charged directly on their salary and the effect of the
tax is to diminish their official stipend

that the taxation must be resisted as an infringement of the fundamental charter. Judges would
indeed be hapless guardians of the Constitution if they did not perceive and block encroachments
upon their prerogatives in whatever form. The undiminishable character of judicial salaries is not a
mere privilege of judges personal and therefore waivable but a basic limitation upon legislative or
executive action imposed in the public interest (Evans vs. Gore).

NITAFAN vs CIR

152 SCRA 284 Political Law Constitutional Law The Judicial Department Judicial Autonomy
Income Tax Payment By The Judiciary

Judge David Nitafan and several other judges of the Manila Regional Trial Court seek to prohibit the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue (CIR) from making any deduction of withholding taxes from their
salaries or compensation for such would tantamount to a diminution of their salary, which is
unconstitutional. Earlier however, or on June 7, 1987, the Court en banc had already reaffirmed the
directive of the Chief Justice which directs the continued withholding of taxes of the justices and the
judges of the judiciary but the SC decided to rule on this case nonetheless to settle the issue once
and for all.

ISSUE: Whether or not the members of the judiciary are exempt from the payment of income tax.

HELD: No. The clear intent of the framers of the Constitution, based on their deliberations, was NOT to
exempt justices and judges from general taxation. Members of the judiciary, just like members of the
other branches of the government, are subject to income taxation. What is provided for by the
constitution is that salaries of judges may not be decreased during their continuance in office. They
have a fix salary which may not be subject to the whims and caprices of congress. But the salaries of
the judges shall be subject to the general income tax as well as other members of the judiciary.

But may the salaries of the members of the judiciary be increased?


Yes. The Congress may pass a law increasing the salary of the members of the judiciary and such
increase will immediately take effect thus the incumbent members of the judiciary (at the time of the
passing of the law increasing their salary) shall benefit immediately.

Congress can also pass a law decreasing the salary of the members of the judiciary but such will
only be applicable to members of the judiciary which were appointed AFTER the effectivity of such law.

Note: This case abandoned the ruling in Perfecto vs Meer and in Endencia vs David.

Pastor Endencia vs Saturnino David

Saturnino David, the then Collector of Internal Revenue, ordered the taxing of Justice Pastor
Endencias and Justice Fernando Jugos (and other judges) salary pursuant to Sec. 13 of Republic Act
No. 590 which provides that

No salary wherever received by any public officer of the Republic of the Philippines shall be considered
as exempt from the income tax, payment of which is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his
compensation fixed by the Constitution or by law.

The judges however argued that under the case of Perfecto vs Meer, judges are exempt from taxation
this is also in observance of the doctrine of separation of powers, i.e., the executive, to which the
Internal Revenue reports, is separate from the judiciary; that under the Constitution, the judiciary is
independent and the salaries of judges may not be diminished by the other branches of government;
that taxing their salaries is already a diminution of their benefits/salaries (see Section 9, Art. VIII,
Constitution).

The Solicitor General, arguing in behalf of the CIR, states that the decision in Perfecto vs Meer was
rendered ineffective when Congress enacted Republic Act No. 590.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sec 13 of RA 590 is constitutional.

HELD: No. The said provision is a violation of the separation of powers. Only courts have the power to
interpret laws. Congress makes laws but courts interpret them. In Sec. 13, R.A. 590, Congress is
already encroaching upon the functions of the courts when it inserted the phrase: payment of which
[tax] is hereby declared not to be a diminution of his compensation fixed by the Constitution or by
law.

Here, Congress is already saying that imposing taxes upon judges is not a diminution of their salary.
This is a clear example of interpretation or ascertainment of the meaning of the phrase which shall
not be diminished during their continuance in office, found in Section 9, Article VIII of the
Constitution, referring to the salaries of judicial officers. This act of interpreting the Constitution or any
part thereof by the Legislature is an invasion of the well-defined and established province and
jurisdiction of the Judiciary.

The rule is recognized elsewhere that the legislature cannot pass any declaratory act, or act
declaratory of what the law was before its passage, so as to give it any binding weight with the courts.
A legislative definition of a word as used in a statute is not conclusive of its meaning as used
elsewhere; otherwise, the legislature would be usurping a judicial function in defining a term.

The interpretation and application of the Constitution and of statutes is within the exclusive province
and jurisdiction of the judicial department, and that in enacting a law, the Legislature may not legally
provide therein that it be interpreted in such a way that it may not violate a Constitutional prohibition,
thereby tying the hands of the courts in their task of later interpreting said statute, especially when
the interpretation sought and provided in said statute runs counter to a previous interpretation already
given in a case by the highest court of the land.
Judge Ruben Ayson vs. The RTC Judges of Baguio City

This involves several cases filed by Judge Ayson against several RTC Judges of Baguio City:

a) Judge Ayson first filed a complaint agains Judge Clarence Villanueva for immorality having sired two
children, both of whom Judge Villanueva acknowledges as his children, with his mistress while he was
occupying the position of RTC Judge of Baguio. In this case, the Supreme Court cited the Code of
Judicial Ethics mandating that the conduct of a judge must be free of a whiff of impropriety not only
with respect to his discharge of judicial duties, but also to his behavior outside his sala and as a
private individual. With the charge of immorality proven against Judge Villanueva demonstrating his
unfitness to remain in office and continue to discharge the functions of a judge, the Court held it
punishable by dismissal from the service with accessory penalties; there is no reason for not meting
out the severest form of disciplinary sanction, specially since the offense was committed in the very
city where the respondent judge holds office.

b) Judge Ayson vs. Judges Abraham B. Borreta, Amado S. Caguioa, Antonio M. Esteves & Clarence J.
Villanueva for Gambling and Drinking in the Court Premises During Office Hours Judge Ayson
alleged seeing respondents Judge Borreta et al., playing pusoy (a card game) with money bets and
drinking liquor three times in the Court premises during office hours, the first, in Judge Villanuevas
sala lasting the whole afternoon or just before the program of the Baguio IBP started; the second, in
the morning until 12 noon in Judge Caguioas sala, and the third, at about 1:30 p.m. of the same date,
September 27, in the chambers of Judge Borreta. In this case, the Supreme Court considered the
statements made in the Comments and Joint Affidavit veritably partake of the nature of binding
admissions on the part of the declarants or affiants, as the case may be, that they played pusoy on
the date/s and places mentioned in both documents. Thus, the charge of gambling stands
substantiated, except with respect to respondent Judge Villanueva, who has denied participating in the
pusoy game as well as in the drinking sessions. In effect, respondent Judge Villanuevas alleged
participation in said sessions is at least doubtful, more so since respondents Caguioa,

Esteves, and Borreta, in their Joint Affidavit, categorically declared that Judge Villanueva declined their
invitation to join them in their friendly card game. While the Court allowed that what the three (3)
respondent judges played was no more than just a friendly game of pusoy to while away their time, it
nonetheless held that they, however, used the court premises for this past time, thus adding an
inappropriate dimension to what would have otherwise been an insignificant isolated event.
Respondents Caguioa, Esteves and Borreta were, therefore, fined and warned against a repetition of
such improper conduct. This particular complaint was, however, be dismissed as against respondent
Judge Villanueva for insufficiency of evidence.

c) Judge Ayson vs. Judge Amado S. Caguioa for gross misconduct, incompetence and for allowing
collection of commissioners fees in ex-parte hearings and allowing ex-parte reception of evidence by
nonlawyers/employees of his court According to complainant Judge Ayson, respondent Judge
Caguioa allowed ex-parte hearings of his cases to be presided by a clerk or stenographer who is not a
lawyer and not his clerk of court contrary to Section 9 of Rule 30 of the Rules of Court, [and that]
commissioners fees were also collected in violation of Supreme Court Circular No. 50-2001 dated
August 17, 2001. The respondent judge stated that he had always assigned his Clerk of Court, Atty.
Flores, to conduct the tri-weekly ex-parte hearings until he had to preside over them himself, or at
least the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions, in response to lawyers and litigants complaints about the
slow progress of the ex-parte proceedings before his clerk of court.

According to him, he always asked either his stenographer, Carmen Diaz, or interpreter, Teodora
Paquito, to assist him whenever he presided over an ex-parte hearing, allowing them to make such
harmless remarks as Present your witness, Proceed, Anymore witness, sir, and the like, a practice he
does not find irregular since he was always present during the proceedings. The Court considered that
there is no evidence tending to prove that Judge Caguioa acted with malice or with similar base
motivation in allowing some court personnel to participate or assist him in the ex-parte hearings. If at
all, Judge Aysons evidence only exposed Judge Caguioas lack of circumspection in the performance of
some of his judicial mandate. While admonition with warning may be in order for Judge Caguioas act
of allowing his court stenographer and/or interpreter to participate in ex-parte hearings, absent any
showing to vitiate the bona fides of such act, a heavier penalty should be meted him for his failure to
strictly adhere to the prescription of Circular No. 12, series of 1986, of this Court. As recommended by
the Investigating Justice, a fine of P10,000.00 should be imposed on the respondent judge.

d) Judge Ayson vs. Judge Antonio C. Reyes for assigning to himself a case without benefit of raffle
Attys. Edgar M. Avila, Ma. Nenita Opiana and Ruth P. Bernabe who affirmed the truth of the
allegations they made in their April 1, 2002 joint letter to then Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide wherein
they stated that No raffle was ever conducted in this particular case, as we never signed the minutes
of the raffle before or after the afternoon proceedings. The afternoon proceedings adverted refer to
the 2:00 p.m. February 26, 2001 setting of Civil Case No. 4892-R on the matter of extension of the
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by Judge Abraham Borreta, as then vice-executive judge,
when they (Atty. Avila et al.) were informed by court personnel that the case was assigned to Judge
Antonio Reyes. Attys. Opiana and Bernabe uniformly declared that in the morning of February 26,
2001, they were already informed by a personnel from the Office of the Clerk of Court that the
Jadewell case was assigned to respondent Judge Antonio Reyes. At bottom then, what is before the
Court are conflicting evidence presented by complainant Judge Ayson and respondent Judge Reyes on
the raffle (or absence thereof) of the Jadewell case. Given this perspective, and considering the
submission of the Minutes of Special Raffle, supra, it is not amiss to say, as did the Investigating
Justice, that this particular charge against Judge Antonio C. Reyes has not been satisfactorily
established. The case was dismissed.

e) Judge Ruben C. Ayson versus Judge Edilberto Claravall for conduct unbecoming a judge This
charge against Judge Edilberto T. Claravall stemmed from an incident which occurred during the
judges convention held on June 10, 1999 at the Century Park Hotel, Manila, where Judge Claravalls
van hit another vehicle; that Judge Claravall and those inside his van named Judge Ayson as the
driver of the offending van, albeit he was not on board the vehicle and as a result, the next day,
Domingo Rodenas, the hotels chief of security, had him paged at the convention floor and was asked
to pay the damage caused to the car allegedly hit by his van the night before. Judge Ayson then
contends that Judge Claravalls act of falsely imputing to him (Judge Ayson) something constitutes
conduct unbecoming of a judge. On balance then, Judge Aysons evidence, failing as it does to
conclusively establish that respondent Judge Claravall implicated him to the incident in question,
cannot support a case for conduct unbecoming of a judge. For this reason, the complaint for that
offense against Judge Claravall must fail.

Ocampo vs. Secretary of Justice Gualberto De La Llana et al vs. Manuel Alba et al

FACTS: This case involves the constitutionality of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, entitled "An act
reorganizing the Judiciary, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.

ISSUE: Whether or not a judge like Judge De La Llana can be validly removed by the legislature by
such statute (BP 129). RULING: The SC ruled the following way: Moreover, this Court is empowered
to discipline judges of inferior courts and, by a vote of at least eight members, order their dismissal.
Thus it possesses the competence to remove judges. Under the Judiciary Act, it was the President who
was vested with such power. Removal is, of course, to be distinguished from termination by virtue of
the abolition of the office.

There can be no tenure to a non-existent office. After the abolition, there is in law no occupant. In
case of removal, there is an office with an occupant who would thereby lose his position. It is in that
sense that from the standpoint of strict law, the question of any impairment of security of tenure does
not arise. Nonetheless, for the incumbents of inferior courts abolished, the effect is one of separation.
As to its effect, no distinction exists between removal and the abolition of the office. Realistically, it is
devoid of significance. He ceases to be a member of the judiciary.

In the implementation of the assailed legislation, therefore, it would be in accordance with accepted
principles of constitutional construction that as far as incumbent justices and judges are concerned,
this Court be consulted and that its view be accorded the fullest consideration. No fear need be
entertained that there is a failure to accord respect to the basic principle that this Court does not
render advisory opinions. No question of law is involved. If such were the case, certainly this Court
could not have its say prior to the action taken by either of the two departments. Even then, it could
do so but only by way of deciding a case where the matter has been put in issue. Neither is there any
intrusion into who shall be appointed to the vacant positions created by the reorganization. That
remains in the hands of the Executive to whom it properly belongs. There is no departure therefore
from the tried and tested ways of judicial power. Rather what is sought to be achieved by this liberal
interpretation is to preclude any plausibility to the charge that in the exercise of the conceded power
of reorganizing the inferior courts, the power of removal of the present incumbents vested in this
Tribunal is ignored or disregarded. The challenged Act would thus be free from any unconstitutional
taint, even one not readily discernible except to those predisposed to view it with distrust. Moreover,
such a construction would be in accordance with the basic principle that in the choice of alternatives
between one which would save and another which would invalidate a statute, the former is to be
preferred.

SECTION 12. The Members of the Supreme Court and of other courts established by law shall not be
designated to any agency performing quasijudicial or administrative functions.

Garcia vs. Macaraig

RULING: The administrative complaint was dismissed.

RATIO: Macaraig took it upon himself to personally work for early action on the part of the
corresponding officials in this direction and, in his spare time, made himself available to the
Department of Justice to assist the Secretary, what with his vast experience, having worked therein
for sixteen years, is, far from being dishonesty, to his credit. In the circumstances, it was certainly not
improper that he rendered some kind of service to the government, since he was receiving salaries,
while being unable to perform his regular duties as judge without any fault on, his part. As to whether
or not in doing so he, placed in jeopardy the independence of the judiciary and failed to act according
to the correct norm of conduct which a judge should observe vis-a-vis service to the other
departments of the government will be discussed a non. At this juncture, the only point the Court
settles is that complainant's theory of dishonesty cannot hold water. He simply made himself available
for the purpose for which he was appointed. That he could not actually hold office in the court to which
he was appointed was not of his making. The other officials in charge of providing him therewith seem
to have been caught unprepared and have not had enough time to have it read. Conceivably, under
the law, with the permission of this Court, respondent could have been assigned to another court
pending all these preparations, but that is something within the initiative control of the Secretary of
Justice and nor of the respondent. Of course, none of these is to be taken as meaning that this Court
looks with favor at the practice of long standing to be sure, of judges being detailed in the Department
of Justice to assist the Secretary even if it were only in connection with his work of exercising
administrative authority over the courts. The line between what a judge may do and what he may not
do in collaborating or working with other offices or officers under the other great departments of the
government must always be kept clear and jealously observed, least the principle of separation of
powers on which our government rests by mandate of the people thru the Constitution be gradually
eroded by practices purportedly motivated by good intentions in the interest of the public service. The
fundamental advantages and the necessity of the independence of said three departments from each
other, limited only by the specific constitutional precepts a check and balance between and among
them, have long been acknowledged as more paramount than the serving of any temporary or passing
governmental conveniences or exigencies. It is thus of grave importance to the judiciary under our
present constitutional scheme of government that no judge or even the lowest court in this Republic
should place himself in a position where his actuations on matters submitted to him for action or
resolution would be subject to review and prior approval and, worst still, reversal, before they can
have legal effect, by any authority other than the Court of Appeals or this Supreme Court, as the case
may be. Needless to say, this Court feels very strongly that, it is best that this practice is
discontinued.

Manila Electric Company vs. Pasay Transportation Company Inc., et al


FACTS: The petition of the Manila Electric Company, is requesting the members of the Supreme Court,
sitting as a board of arbitrators, to fix the terms upon which certain transportation companies shall be
permitted to use the Pasig bridge of the Manila Electric Company and the compensation to be paid to
the Manila Electric Company by such transportation companies, relates to the validity of section 11 of
Act No. 1446.

ISSUE: Whether or not sitting as a board of arbitrators, exercise judicial functions, or the members of
the Supreme Court, sitting as board of arbitrators, exercise administrative or quasi judicial functions.

RULING: The Supreme Court held that section 11 of Act No. 1446 contravenes the maxims which
guide the operation of a democratic government constitutionally established, and that it would be
improper and illegal for the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, the
decision of a majority of whom shall be final, to act on the petition of the Manila Electric Company. As
a result, the members of the Supreme Court decline to proceed further in the matter. RATIO:
Examining the statutory provision which is here invoked, it is first noted that power is attempted to be
granted to the members of the Supreme Court sitting as a board of arbitrators and to the Supreme
Court as an entity. It is next seen that the decision of a majority of the members of the Supreme
Court is made final. Either the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators,
exercise judicial functions, or the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as board of arbitrators,
exercise administrative or quasi judicial functions. The first case would appear not to fall within the
jurisdiction granted the Supreme Court. Even conceding that it does, it would presuppose the right to
bring the matter in dispute before the courts, for any other construction would tend to oust the courts
of jurisdiction and render the award a nullity. But if this be the proper construction, we would then
have the anomaly of a decision by the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of
arbitrators, taken therefrom to the courts and eventually coming before the Supreme Court, where the
Supreme Court would review the decision of its members acting as arbitrators. Or in the second case,
if the functions performed by the members of the Supreme Court, sitting as a board of arbitrators, be
considered as administrative or quasi judicial in nature, that would result in the performance of duties
which the members of the Supreme Court could not lawfully take it upon themselves to perform. The
present petition also furnishes an apt illustration of another anomaly, for we find the Supreme Court
as a court asked to determine if the members of the court may be constituted a board of arbitrators,
which is not a court at all. The Supreme Court and its members should not and cannot be required to
exercise any power or to perform any trust or to assume any duty not pertaining to or connected with
the administering of judicial functions.

Lopez vs. Roxas

FACTS: Petitioner Fernando Lopez and respondent Gerardo Roxas were the main contenders for the
Office of Vice-President of the Philippines in the general elections held on November 9, 1965. By
Resolution No. 2, approved on December 17, 1965, the two Houses of Congress, in joint session
assembled as the board charged with the duty to canvass the votes then cast for President and Vice
President of the Philippines, proclaimed petitioner Fernando Lopez elected to the latter office with
3,531,550 votes, or a plurality of 26,724 votes over his closest opponent, respondent Gerardo M.
Roxas, in whose favor 3,504,826 votes had been tallied, according to said resolution. On January 5,
1966, respondent filed, with the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Election Protest No. 2, contesting the
election of petitioner herein as Vice-President of the Philippines, upon the ground that it was not he,
but said respondent, who had obtained the largest number of votes for said office. On February 22,
1966, petitioner Lopez instituted in the Supreme Court the present original action, for prohibition with
preliminary injunction, against respondent Roxas, to prevent the Presidential Electoral Tribunal from
hearing and deciding the aforementioned election contest, upon the ground that Republic Act No.
1793, creating said Tribunal, is "unconstitutional," and that, "all proceedings taken by it are a nullity."

ISSUE: Whether or not the Supreme Court has limited judicial power.

RULING: The petition was DISMISSED. RATIO: Pursuant to the Constitution, "the Judicial power shall
be vested in one Supreme Court and in such inferior courts as may be established by law. This
provision vests in the judicial branch of the government, not merely some specified or limited judicial
power, but "the" judicial power under our political system, and, accordingly, the entirety or "all" of
said power, except, only, so much as the Constitution confers upon some other agency, such as the
power to "judge all contests relating to the election, returns and qualifications" of members of the
Senate and those of the Hous se of Representatives which is vested by the fundamental law solely in
the Senate Electoral Tribunal and the House Electoral Tribunal, respectively.

In Re: Designation of Judge Rodolfo Manzano as Member of the Ilocos Norte Provincial
Committee on Justice

FACTS: An examination of Executive Order No. 856, as amended, reveals that Provincial/City
Committees on Justice are created to insure the speedy disposition of cases of detainees, particularly
those involving the poor and indigent ones, thus alleviating jail congestion and improving local jail
conditions. It is evident that such Provincial/City Committees on Justice per form administrative
functions. Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct
and affairs of individuals for; their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better
carry out the policy of the legislature or such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the
organic law of its existence.

RULING: The request of Judge Manzano was DENIED. RATIO: Under the Constitution, the members of
the Supreme Court and other courts established by law shag not be designated to any agency
performing quasi- judicial or administrative functions (Section 12, Art. VIII, Constitution). Considering
that membership of Judge Manzano in the Ilocos Norte Provincial Committee on Justice, which
discharges a administrative functions, will be in violation of the Constitution, the Court is constrained
to deny his request. This declaration does not mean that RTC Judges should adopt an attitude of
monastic insensibility or unbecoming indifference to Province/City Committee on Justice. As incumbent
RTC Judges, they form part of the structure of government. Their integrity and performance in the
adjudication of cases contribute to the solidity of such structure. As public officials, they are trustees
of an orderly society. Even as non-members of Provincial/City Committees on Justice, RTC judges
should render assistance to said Committees to help promote the laudable purposes for which they
exist, but only when such assistance may be reasonably incidental to the fulfillment of their judicial
duties. SECTION 13. The conclusions of the Supreme Court in any case submitted to it for decision en
banc or in division shall be reached in consultation before the case is assigned to a Member for the
writing of the opinion of the Court. A certification to this effect signed by the Chief Justice shall be
issued and a copy thereof attached to the record of the case and served upon the parties. Any Member
who took no part, or dissented, or abstained from a decision or resolution must state the reason
therefor. The same requirements shall be observed by all lower collegiate courts. SECTION 14. No
decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and
the law on which it is based. N o p e t i t i o n f o r r e v i e w o r m o t i o n f o r reconsideration of a
decision of the court shall be refused due course or denied without stating the legal basis therefor.

Air France vs. Rafael Carrascoso

FACTS: In March 1958, Rafael Carrascoso and several other Filipinos were tourists en route to Rome
from Manila. Carrascoso was issued a first class round trip ticket by Air France. But during a stop-over
in Bangkok, he was asked by the plane manager of Air France to vacate his seat because a white man
allegedly has a better right than him. Carrascoso protested but when things got heated and upon
advise of other Filipinos on board, Carrascoso gave up his seat and was transferred to the planes
tourist class. After their tourist trip when Carrascoso was already in the Philippines, he sued Air France
for damages for the embarrassment he suffered during his trip. The Court of First Instance of Manila
then sentenced Air France to pay respondent Rafael Carrascoso P25,000.00 by way of moral damages;
P10,000.00 as exemplary damages; P393.20 representing the difference in fare between first class
and tourist class for the portion of the trip Bangkok-Rome, these various amounts with interest at the
legal rate, from the date of the filing of the complaint until paid; plus P3,000.00 for attorneys fees;
and the costs of suit. On appeal, the Court of Appeals slightly reduced the amount of refund on
Carrascosos plane ticket from P393.20 to P383.10, and voted to affirm the appealed decision in all
other respects, with costs against petitioner. The thrust of the relief petitioner now seeks is that the
Court review all the findings of respondent Court of Appeals. Air France charges that respondent
court failed to make complete findings of fact on all the issues properly laid before it. The Court is then
asked to consider facts favorable to petitioner, and then, to overturn the appellate courts decision.

RULING: The Court AFFIRMED the judgment of the Court of Appeals. RATIO: Findings of fact, which
the Court of Appeals is required to make, maybe defined as the written statement of the ultimate facts
as found by the court xxx and essential to support the decision and judgment rendered thereon. They
consist of the courts conclusions with respect to the determinative facts in issue. Coming into focus
is the constitutional mandate that No decision shall be rendered by any court of record without
expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. This is echoed in
the statutory demand that a judgment determining the merits of the case shall state clearly and
distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based; and that Every decision of the Court of Appeals
shall contain complete findings of fact on all issues properly raised before it. A decision with
absolutely nothing to support it is a nullity. It is open to direct attack. The law, however, solely insists
that a decision state the essential ultimate facts upon which the courts conclusion is drawn. A court
of justice is not hidebound to write in i t s d e c i s i o n e v e r y b i t a n d p i e c e o f evidence
presented by one party and the other upon the issues raised. Neither is it to be burdened with the
obligation to specify in the sentence the facts which a party considered as proved. This is but a part
of the mental process from which the Court draws the essential ultimate facts. A decision is not to be
so clogged with details such that prolixity, if not confusion, may result. So long as the decision of the
Court of Appeals contains the necessary facts to warrant its conclusions, it is no error for said court to
withhold therefrom any specific finding of facts with respect to the evidence for the defense because
as the Court well observed, there is no law that so requires. Indeed, the mere failure to specify (in the
decision) the contentions of the appellant and the reasons for refusing to believe them is not sufficient
to hold the same contrary to the requirements of the provisions of law and the Constitution. It is in
this setting that in Manigque, it was held that the mere fact that the findings were based entirely on
the evidence for the prosecution without taking into consideration or even mentioning the appellants
side in the controversy as shown by his own testimony, would not vitiate the judgment. If the court
did not recite in the decision the testimony of each witness for, or each item of evidence presented by,
the defeated party, it does not mean that the court has overlooked such testimony or such item of
evidence. At any rate, the legal presumptions are that official duty has been regularly performed, and
that all the matters within an issue in a case were laid before the court and passed upon by it.

Maria San Miguel Vda. de Espiritu vs. CFI of Cavite

FACTS: This is a petition for certiorari and mandamus and certiorari to set aside, for being null and
void, the order of respondent court in its Civil Case entitled Maria San Miguel Vda. de Espiritu vs.
Anastasia Topacio, et al., dismissing on the ground of prescription plaintiff's (herein petitioner's) action
to compel defendants (herein private respondents) to execute the proper deed of conveyance of two
parcels of land to said plaintiff, and the subsequent order for the return of the corresponding titles
over said lands to defendants, as well as those combinedly dismissing plaintiff's appeal from said
orders, for having been filed out of time. Petitioner now contends that the lower court committed
grave abuse of discretion dismissing the complaint, without hearing, on the ground of prescription of
cause of action, alleged in the motion to dismiss, there being no evidence nor allegations in the
complaint to support said dismissal or prescription.

RULING: The petition was DENIED. RATIO: It may be mentioned, for the rest, that petitioner contends
that the order of dismissal abovequoted, being a decision, violates the constitutional requirement, as
well as of the rules, that it should state the facts and the law on which it is based. The contention is
not well taken. As may be seen, the said order adopts by reference the reasons, alleged in the motion
to dismiss of respondents, which, the record reveals, includes the facts and the law in support thereof.
There is, therefore, substantial compliance with the fundamental law and the rules, albeit, judges are
advised that mere general reference should be avoided, since anyway it is not difficult to quote
textually the subject of the reference for a closer adherence to the obvious spirit and reason behind
the requirements.

Bernabe Buscayno vs. Juan Ponce Enrile


FACTS: Bernabe Buscayno alias Commander Dante and Jose Ma. Sison alias Amado Guerrero, alleged
subversives classified as "PKP/HMB/CPP/MAMAO and Traditional Armed Group personalities" were
wanted by the authorities since 1971. Buscayno and Sison were included in the so-called "National
Target List" of active participants in the conspiracy to seize political and state power and to take over
the government by force whose arrest was ordered under 'General Order No. 2 dated September 22,
1972. The list was prepared by Colonel Hamilton B. Dimaya. Having been arrested, they now contend
that they were illegally detained.

RULING: The petition was dismissed. RATIO: The Court once again sustained the power of the
President to create military commissions or courts martial to try not only members of the armed
forces but also civilian offenders. Ordinarily, the Court cannot review the rulings and proceedings of
the military commission. The National Security Code, Presidential Decree No. 1498, provides in its
sections 86(f) and 87(e) that what the Court can review are the decisions of the Court of Military
Appeals in cases appealed to it from the military commission. Generally, the Court does not exercise
over military commissions the supervisory jurisdiction which it possesses over civil trial courts whose
interlocutory rulings and decisions may be reviewed by this Court. So, the issue as to whether
Buscayno was denied his constitutional right to present evidence should first be passed upon by the
reviewing military authority and not by the Court. The propriety of the perpetuation proceedings in the
rebellion case and the conduct of the trial in the Commission cannot at this stage be passed upon by
the Court. We have definitively ruled that the petitioners can be tried by the military commissions and
that their cases are within the jurisdiction and competence of military tribunals.

Mangacop Mangca vs. Comelec

FACTS: After the January 30, 1980 local elections were held, Alinader Dagar Balindong, the private
respondent, and Mangacop Mangca, the petitioner, who were the official candidate for mayor of Sultan
Gumander, Lanao del Sur, filed pre-proclamation cases with the Commission on Elections. On March
10, 1980, the COMELEC issued in PP Case No. 158 Resolution No. 9520 ordering the counting and
canvassing of votes and the proclamation of the winning candidates. Pursuant thereto, the votes cast
for Sultan Gumander were counted and canvassed, the Municipal Board of Canvassers of Sultan
Gumander proclaimed respondent Balindong as Mayor-elect, and issued its certificate of canvass of
the votes cast and proclamation of the winning Candidates. The next day, Balindong took his oath of
office before Acting Municipal Circuit Judge Guimba Anan Mandi. Meantime, petitioner Mangca filed
with the COMELEC on March 13, 1980, a motion for reconsideration of Resolution No. 9520 praying
that the COMELEC suspend implementation of the resolution and the proclamation of winning
candidates, declare a failure of elections in Sultan Gumander, and order a special election when peace
and order conditions allow. On March 31, 1981, the Third Division of the Commission on Elections
issued the contested resolution. On April 27, 1981, petitioner Mangca filed a motion for
reconsideration of the March 31, 1981, resolution claiming that the same did not express clearly and
distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based and, therefore, null and void for being contrary to
Art. X, Sec. 9 of the Constitution.

RULING: The petition was DISMISSED. RATIO: Petitioner's contention that the March 31, 1981,
resolution is null and void for being violative of Sec. 9, Art. X of the Constitution and Sec 26, Rule XV
of COMELEC Resolution No. 1450 is untenable. Firstly, both cited provisions are inapplicable to the
case at bar since the constitutional requirement applies only to courts of justice which the COMELEC is
not while COMELEC Resolution No. 1450, per Sec. I thereof, applies only to "election contests" and
"quo warranto proceedings" which the preproclamation cases are not. Secondly, the questioned
resolution has clearly and distinctly expressed the facts and the law on which it is based. The factual
basis of the dismissal of PP Case No. 426 is the proclamation of Balindong and the other winning
candidates of Sultan Gumander on March 18, 1980; while the legal basis thereof is the settled judicial
doctrine that once a proclamation has been held, a pre-proclamation case should no longer be viable.
Finally, the questioned resolution need not express factual findings relative to the issue of whether or
not there was failure of election in Sultan Gumander since the COMELEC did not pass upon said issue
and reserved resolution of the same in the election contest or quo warranto, whichever is proper,
which petitioner Mangca may thereafter file.
Ricardo Valladolid vs. Amado Inciong

FACTS: Ricardo Valladolid after the death of Joseph, was employed by JRM in 1977 as a telephone
switchboard operator. He was subsequently transferred to the position of clerk-collector by Mrs.
Lourdes T. Yu, President of JRM. The transfer was allegedly motivated by the fact that as such
switchboard operator numerous telephone conversations and communications relating to business and
confidential matters were intercepted and relayed to Tropicana Apartment-Hotel, a competitor. On
February 24, 1979, JRM sent a letter to Valladolid signed by Daniel T. Yu, advising him of his
preventive suspension effective February 26, 1979 preparatory to the termination of his services 10
days from receipt of a copy of the application for clearance to dismiss him. JRM then filed said
application for clearance with the Ministry of Labor but the Regional Director dismissed the application
for clearance with preventive suspension and ordered to reinstate Valladolid to his former position
without backwages and without loss of seniority rights. Valladolid appealed the foregoing order to the
Minister of Labor seeking modification of the same, praying for the award of backwages from the time
he was illegally dismissed to the date of his actual reinstatement. JRM also appealed the said Order.
On December 26, 1979, the Deputy Minister of Labor, in a succinct Order, dismissed both appeals
after finding "no sufficient justification or valid reason to alter, modify, much less reverse the Order
appealed from. Valladolid then filed a Petition for certiorari with the Court praying for a modification
of the Order of December 26, 1979 of the Deputy Minister of Labor so as to grant him backwages. The
non-award of backwages is the only issue being raised by Valladolid claiming that the Orders in
question are contrary to law and evidence, and were issued arbitrarily and capriciously with grave
abuse of discretion, amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction.

RULING: Both petitions were DENIED. RATIO: There is no violation in the questioned Order of the
Deputy Minister of Labor violative of Section 9, Article X of the Constitution, which requires a
statement of the facts and the conclusions of law upon which it is based. That prescription applies to
decisions of Courts of record. The Ministry of Labor is an administrative body with quasi-judicial
functions. Section 5, Rule XIII, Book V, Ibid, states that proceedings in the NLRC shall be non-litigious
and summary in nature without regard to legal technicalities obtaining in courts of law. As the Deputy
Minister was in full accord with the findings of fact and the conclusions of law drawn from those facts
by the Regional Director, there was no necessity of discussing anew the issues raised therein.

The Police Commission vs. Hon. Guardson Lood

FACTS: Nicolas Alcantara and Zoilo Maranon filed with Police Commission (Polcom) an administrative
complaint charging Captain Gabriel Paile, Corporal Reynaldo Alano and five other members of the
Makati Police Department with grave misconduct. The succeeding year, on September 26, Alcantara
and Maranon filed with the City Court of Manila twin criminal cases charging the same administrative
respondents with grave coercion based on the same acts for which they had already been
administratively charged. Due investigation by the Makati Board of Investigators of the administrative
charge against Paile et al. continued and was terminated with the submission of a report, with findings
and recommendation, to the Polcom. On December 12, 1969, the Polcom rendered its decision
declaring Paile et al. guilty of grave misconduct and ordering their dismissal from the service. Paile et
al. moved to reconsider the decision of the Polcom to no avail for the said Commission, on November
2, 1970, denied their motion for reconsideration. In the meantime, the City Court of Manila, under
date of October 14, 1970, rendered judgment in the criminal cases against Paile et al., acquitting
them of the charges for grave coercion on the ground of insufficiency of evidence. After the hearings
held on the application for preliminary mandatory injunction by respondent judge as submitted for
Resolution on March 27, 1971, respondent judge issued his order dated March 30, 1971 stating "that
from the pleadings and the evidences thus presented it does not appear that there are factual issues
not otherwise covered and ventilated during the hearing and (that) the Court believes that the merits
of the case can be resolved on the basis of the pleadings and the evidence adduced and giving the
parties three days "within which to file their comment or manifestation thereon as to whether they
would prefer to submit the case for decision together with the resolution of the petition for issuance of
the writ of preliminary injunction. The Polcom thus filed with this Court the instant petition for
certiorari on October 20, 1971 to assail the orders of the presiding judge of the court a quo.
RULING: The orders of the respondent judge SET ASIDE. RATIO: As to the issue on the decision being
without factual basis, the Supreme Court also said that since there have been testimonial evidences
presented, such were sufficient to be factual basis for the decision of the Commission on the case.

Nunal vs. Commission on Audit

FACTS: For resolution is Rafael Nunals Motion for Reconsideration of the Minute Resolution of the
Court dismissing the Petition for certiorari "for failure of the petitioner to sufficiently show that the
public respondent had committed grave abuse of discretion in holding, among others, that the
compromise agreement of the parties is not enforceable against the Municipality of Isabela, the latter
not having been impleaded as an indispensable party in the case. In the present Motion, petitioner
contends that the decision does not clearly and distinctly express the facts and the law on which it is
based. On 24 February 1986 petitioner was appointed as Municipal Administrator of Isabela, Basilan.
On February 1 1980 he was administratively charged and dismissed from the service for dishonesty,
misconduct and for lack of confidence. On appeal, the Merit Systems Board exonerated Nunal and
reinstated him to his position as Municipal Administrator on 8 May 1980. On 29 January 1981
petitioner was again dismissed for lack of confidence by then Municipal Mayor Alvin Dans under
Administrative Order No. 54, Series of 1981. On 20 February 1984, during the pendency of the said
case, the Sangguniang Bayan of Isabela, Basilan, abolished the subject position in its Resolution No.
902, Series of 1984, and Ordinance No. 336, pursuant to the provisions of the Local Government
Code. On 5 December 1984, petitioner and his wife, on the one hand, and on the other, Mayor Dans in
his capacity both as Municipal Mayor and as Presiding Officer of the Sangguniang Bayan of Isabela,
Basilan, the Municipal Treasurer and the Provincial Fiscal (p. 4, Reply To Comment of COA), entered
into a Compromise Agreement stipulating, among others, that: the respondents shall pay petitioner
Rafael Nunal all back salaries and other emoluments due him by reason of his employment as
Municipal Administrator of Isabela, Basilan. On 12 February 1986, in a 2nd Indorsement, the Regional
Director of the Commission on Audit, Region IX, Zamboanga City, reversed the Provincial Auditor of
Basilan and denied petitioner's claim for s e p a ra t i o n p a y. Pe t i t i o n e r ' s M o t i o n f o r
Reconsideration was forwarded to the Commission on Audit (COA), Central Office, Quezon City. On 13
October 1986 the COA Central Office, in its Decision No. 388, not only denied petitioner's claim for
separation pay but also disallowed the other payments made to petitioner.

RULING: The Courts assailed resolution was PARTIALLY CONSIDERED. RATIO: In the first place, the
Courts "Resolution" of 11 May 1988 was not a "Decision" within the meaning of the Constitutional
requirement. This mandate is applicable only in cases "submitted for decision," i.e., given due course
and after the filing of Briefs or Memoranda and/or other pleadings, as the case may be. It is not
applicable to an Order or Resolution refusing due course to a Petition for Certiorari. In the second
place, the assailed Resolution does state the legal basis for the dismissal of the Petition and thus
complies with the Constitutional provision. It may be added that the Writ of certiorari dealt with in
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is a prerogative Writ, never demandable as a matter of right, "never
issued except in the exercise of judicial discretion."

Datu Samad Mangelen vs. CA et. al

FACTS: The Civil Case decided on by respondent court involved an action for the recovery of the
amount of P600,000.00 which defendant, now private respondent Habaluyas Enterprises, Inc.,
represented by its President, private respondent Pedro Habaluyas, bound itself to pay plaintiff, now
petitioner, by virtue of a Compromise Agreement. Not satisfied with the trial courts judgment, private
respondents interposed an appeal before the Intermediate Appellate Court. During the pendency of
the appeal, the Fourth Division of said Court dismissed the petition of private respondents. Their
subsequent petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court to set aside the dismissal was
denied by the; the motion to reconsider the same was likewise denied by the Court. The Court of
Appeals then affirmed the decision. In said decision, public respondent practically adopted the factual
findings of the trial court, and explicitly declared that the latter simply acted "in accordance with the
provisions of the rules of court and committed no reversible error "in declaring the defendents (sic) in
default, in allowing plaintiff to adduce evidence ex parte, and in finding the defendants-appellants
grossly and inexcusably negligent (sic) in view of the latter's failure to make a timely motion for
reconsideration of the order of default; appear in court on 16 July 1984 when petitioner was scheduled
to present his evidence ex parte; and furnish the trial court with a copy of their petition for certiorari
filed with the appellate court within a reasonable time. Its was only on 6 August 1984 long after
the case had been submitted for decision that the same was filed.

RULING: The petition was GRANTED. RATIO: Accordingly, public respondent promulgated its 30
January 1989 decision following a meticulous review of the proceedings had before the trial court and
careful re-appraisal of the evidence adduced before it. Thus, that decision faithfully complied with
Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution which provides that no decision shall be rendered by any
court without expressing therein clearly and distinctly the facts of the law on which it is based. Now, if
such decision had to be completely overturned or set aside, upon the filing of a motion for
reconsideration, in a subsequent action via a resolution or modified decision, such resolution or
decision should likewise state the factual and legal foundation relied upon. The reason is obvious:
aside from being required by the Constitution, the court should be able to justify such a sudden
change of course; it must be able to convincingly explain the taking back of its solemn conclusions
and pronouncements in the earlier decision. In the instant case, the public respondent miserably failed
to do so; this is reflected in the quoted resolution of 12 July 1989 which leaves in limbo the trial
court's challenged decision because it is not the latter which is reserved but rather the public
respondent's own decision of 30 January 1989. Public respondent simply restore the parties to the
status quo obtaining prior to 30 January 1989. Clearly, therefore, an amended decision on the appeal
proper or on the merits of the decision of the trial court would be in order. Topic: Requirement that
the decision shall state clearly and distinctly state the law and the facts on which it is based.

Bedcruz vs. Office of the Ombudsman

FACTS: Petitioners Tagaytay City Engineer Samson B. Bedruz and City Administrator Emma C. Luna
were held administratively liable for violation of the Constitution, the Civil Service Rules and
Regulations, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials, and the Anti-Graft and
Corrupt Practices Act in manifesting arrogance, bias, abuse and crystal personal interest in connection
with the issuance of a permit to fence a lot. Resolving in the affirmative, the Deputy Ombudsman
fined them in an amount equivalent to One (1) Month Salary. On appeal, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the decision of the Ombudsman.

RULING: A review of the records of the case shows that the following factual findings of the
Ombudsman, upon which its decision of May 8, 1999 was based, and which were cited by the
appellate court in arriving at its assailed decision, are supported by the evidence on record. Clearly,
the appellate court did not err in finding that the Ombudsman did not commit grave abuse of
discretion. As for Bedruz and Lunas complaint that the Ombudsman did not express in a clear manner
the law on which its decision was based, thereby violating Section 14, Article VIII of the 1987
Constitution which provides that [n]o decision shall be rendered by any court without expressing
therein clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based, the same fails. A trial courts
omission to specify the offense committed, or the specific provision of law violated, is not in
derogation of the constitutional requirement that every decision must clearly and distinctly state the
factual and legal bases for the conclusions reached by the trial court as long as the legal basis can be
inferred from the discussion in the decision. From the Ombudsmans decision, it can be gathered that
Bedruz and Luna violated Sections 19 of R.A. No. 6770 (THE OMBUDSMAN ACT OF 1989) in relation to
Section 4, paragraphs A(b) & (c) of R.A. No. 6713, as amended (THE CODE OF CONDUCT AND
ETHICAL STANDARDS FOR PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND EMPLOYEES), requiring public officials and
employees to perform and discharge their duties with the highest degree of excellence,
professionalism, intelligence and skill, act with justness and sincerity and not to discriminate
against anyone, especially the poor and the underprivileged.

German Machineries Corporation vs. Endaya

FACTS: The antecedent case complainant, now respondent, Eddie Endaya alleged that he was
employed by respondent company on January 18, 1993, [as a] car painter with a salary of P8,000.00
a month for work performed from 7:30 A.M. to 5:15 P.M., Monday to Friday; that before March 1,
1999, he requested management that his SSS premiums already deducted from his salary be remitted
to the SSS but management did not pay attention to his request; that on March 29, 1999, he filed a
complaint with the Social Security System against respondent company for failure to remit his SSS
premiums; that when management learned about his complaint, he was reprimanded and became the
object of harassment; that he was shouted at and belittled; that on August 27, 1999, he at first
refused to paint the trusses of the newly-constructed building, an extension of office of respondent
company because his position is that of a car painter, not that of a construction worker and besides he
finds difficulty working in high places as he was not trained for the purpose; but, later, he consented
to do the painting job; that at about 11:00 A.M., he felt thirsty, so he went down to drink; but when
he was about to go back to work, Mr. Andy Junginger who asked him where he came from got irked
when told that he (complainant) went down to drink and, immediately, told complainant to get his
separation pay from the Cashier and go home as he was already terminated. Respondents, now
petitioner, contended that complainant was never dismissed but he was the one who voluntarily left
the company after his attention was called by management to his inefficiency and bad attitude toward
his coemployees and superiors, which is chaotic and disorderly and troublesome; and that
respondents offered to accept complainant back during the preliminary conference but he declined the
offer and demanded payment of backwages and to be allowed to finish his painting job contract. The
Labor Arbiters then ordered respondent German Machineries Corporation to reinstate the complainant
to his former position without loss of seniority rights and other privileges and to pay complainant his
full backwages inclusive of allowances and other benefits, computed from August 27, 1999 up to his
actual reinstatement. Aggrieved by the Labor Arbiters decision, herein petitioner filed an appeal with
the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) which was denied. On July 3, 2002, herein petitioner
filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary
injunction with the Court of Appeals assailing the aforementioned decision and resolution of the NLRC.
It was likewise denied for lack of merit. German Machineries Corporation asserts that the Court of
Appeals issued its resolution without any analysis of the evidence of the parties or reference to any
legal basis. As such, it violated Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals violated the Constitutional provision that no decision shall
be rendered by the Court without expressing clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is
based.

RULING: The Court was NOT PERSUADED by the petitioners contention. RATIO: The assailed
resolution is not the decision contemplated under Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution. The
mandate embodied in this constitutional provision is applicable only in cases submitted for decision
i.e., given due course and after the filing of briefs or memoranda and/or other pleadings, but not
where a resolution is issued denying due course to a petition and stating the legal basis thereof. Thus,
when the court, after deliberating on a petition and subsequent pleadings, decides to deny due course
to the petition and states that the questions raised are factual or there is no reversible error in the
respondent courts decision, there is sufficient compliance with the constitutional requirement. In the
present case, the Court of Appeals denied due course and outrightly dismissed the petition for
certiorari filed by herein petitioner on the grounds that the factual issues had already been passed
upon by the NLRC, and since its factual findings are in agreement with the findings of the labor
arbiter, the same are binding and conclusive upon the Court of Appeals; and that the questions raised
are too unsubstantial to require consideration. We find these legal bases in conformity with the
requirements of the Constitution. Furthermore, a reading of the petition filed with the Court of Appeals
shows that the main issue raised is factual as it questions the finding of the NLRC that respondent
Endaya was illegally dismissed from his employment. Petitioner brought up issues the resolution of
which necessarily involves a review of the evidence presented by both parties. It is settled that resort
to a judicial review of the decisions of the NLRC in a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
Revised Rules of Court is confined only to issues of want or excess of jurisdiction or grave abuse of
discretion on the part of the rendering tribunal, board or office. It does not include an inquiry as to the
correctness of the evaluation of evidence which was the basis of the labor official or officer in
determining his conclusion. It is not for the appellate court to reexamine conflicting evidence,
reevaluate the credibility of witnesses nor substitute the findings of fact of an administrative tribunal
which has gained expertise in its specialized field. Considering that the findings of fact of the Labor
Arbiter and the NLRC are supported by evidence on record, the same must be accorded due respect
and finality. SECTION 15. (1) All cases or matters filed after the effectivity of this Constitution must be
decided or resolved within twenty-four months from date of submission for the Supreme Court, and,
unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve months for all lower collegiate courts, and three months
for all other lower courts. (2) A case or matter shall be deemed submitted for decision or resolution
upon the filing of the last pending, brief, or memorandum required by the Rules of Court or by the
court itself. (3) Upon the expiration of the corresponding period, a certification to this effect signed by
the Chief Justice or the presiding judge shall forthwith be issued and a copy thereof attached to the
record of the case or matter, and served upon the parties. The certification shall state why a decision
or resolution has not been rendered or issued within said period. (4) Despite the expiration of the
applicable mandatory period, the court, without prejudice to such responsibility as may have been
incurred in consequence thereof, shall decide or resolve the c a s e o r m a t t e r s u b m i t t e d t h e
r e t o f o r determination, without further delay.

Office of the Court Administrator vs. Judge Marybelle Demot-Marinas, RTC 8, La Trinidad,
Benguet

FACTS: This is a consolidated administrative complaint against Judge Marybelle L. DemotMarias,


Presiding Judge, Branch 8, Regional Trial Court, La Trinidad, Benguet, which stemmed from (1) the
judicial audit of the RTC-Branch 8 from March 30 to April 12, 2014, conducted by the Audit Team of
the Court Management Office; and (2) the Indorsement from the Office of the Chief Justice regarding
the Letter from Ms. Lilia Nugal-Koh wherein the latter sought the intercession of the Court for the
speedy disposition of her case. On February 27, 2013, the Office of the Deputy Court Administrator
Raul Villanueva (DCA Villanueva) received an indorsement from the Office of the Chief Justice
regarding the letter of Ms. Nugal-Koh wherein the latter sought the intercession of the Court for the
speedy disposition of her case docketed as Special Proceedings Case No. 95-SP-0086 entitled "Pedro
Nugal, et al. v. Lilia Nugal-Koh, et al.," which allegedly had been submitted for resolution for more
than ten (10) years already at the time of the complaint. Acting on the said Letter, a 1st Indorsement
dated March 4, 2013 was sent directing Judge DemotMarias to comment thereon. Consequently, a
2nd Indorsement dated June 5, 2013 was sent to Judge Demot-Marias, reiterating the earlier
directive for her to comment on the status of Ms. Nugal-Koh's case, with a stem warning that
appropriate proceedings may be initiated against her for her inaction. On September 17, 2013, the
Office of DCA Villanueva again received a Letter dated September 11, 2013 from Ms. Nugal-Koh
repeating her request regarding her case and appending a new certification dated September 2, 2013
attesting that her case remained undecided. Thus, a 3rd Indorsement was sent to respondent judge
regarding the matter with the information that initiation of administrative proceedings against her was
already being considered for her apparent delay in deciding the subject case and her blatant disregard
of directives relative thereto despite repeated orders. In a Memorandum, the OCA recommended that
respondent Judge Marybelle L. Demot-Marias be found guilty of grave misconduct, insubordination
and gross inefficiency and be dismissed from service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits.

RULING: Judge Demot-Marinas was FOUND GUILTY for gross misconduct and gross inefficiency.
RATIO: The Court found Judge Demot-Marias' indifference to the indorsements requiring her to
comment on the accusations against her concerning. In all three (3) indorsements issued by the OCA,
as well as one (1) Letter from the Office of the Chief Justice, Judge Demot-Marias ignored the
directives for her to file the required comment since no comment or compliance has been submitted
despite several opportunities given to her which ran in a span of more than three (3) years. All
directives coming from the Court Administrator and his deputies are issued in the exercise of this
Court's administrative supervision of trial courts and their personnel, hence, should be respected.
These directives are not mere requests, but should be complied with promptly and completely.
Clearly, Judge Demot-Marias' unexplained disregard of the orders of the OCA for her to comment on
the complaint shows her disrespect for and contempt, not just for the OCA, but also for the Court,
which exercises direct administrative supervision over trial court officers and employees through the
OCA. Her indifference to, and disregard of, the directives issued to her clearly constituted
insubordination which this Court will not tolerate. The conduct exhibited by Judge Demot-Marias
constitutes no less than clear acts of defiance against the Court's authority. Her conduct also reveals
her deliberate disrespect and indifference to the authority of the Court, shown by her failure to heed
Its warnings and directives. In sum, Judge Demot-Marias has been remiss in the performance of her
official duties exacerbated by her audacious stance in defying this Court's orders.

Concerned Lawyers of Bulacan vs. Judge Victoria Villalon-Pornillos Re. Petition for Judicial
Clemency for respondent judge

FACTS: On July 7, 2009, the Court rendered a Decision, dismissing respondent from service, after
having been found guilty of gross misconduct, i.e., borrowing money from a lawyer in a case pending
before her court, aggravated by undue delay in rendering decisions or orders, and violation of
Supreme Court rules, directives, and circulars. On August 8, 2016, respondent filed a Petition for
Absolute Pardon from 'Dismissal from the Service Sentence accompanied by a letter addressed to the
Office of the President (OP), which was referred to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA), for
appropriate action. The Court denied the said petition for being an improper pleading. Meanwhile, on
November 3, 2016, respondent also filed a letter addressed to the OCA, informing the OP's transmittal
of her petition for judicial clemency to the Court, and requesting that the same be subject for judicial
review and, consequently, the subject Decision be reversed in her favor. The Court, in a Resolution
dated November 29, 2016, noted the said letter without action.

RULING: The petition for judicial clemency was DENIED. RATIO: In this case, records are bereft of
showing that respondent has exhibited remorse for her past misdeeds, which occurred more than
eight (8) years ago. Apart from respondent's submission to the Court's disciplinary authority, there
were no signs of repentance showing that at the very least, she accepted the judgment of the Court in
her case. In fact, she even sees nothing wrong with her actions. In her petition, respondent narrates
that she "stood her ground against offers of bribery for her to agree to issue orders that would give a
go signal to the anomalous Bullet Train Project of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. She even touts herself as
a judge who committed "honest acts and deeds and submits that the only way to give her justice is
through absolute pardon. Judicial clemency is not a privilege or a right that can be availed of at any
time, as the Court will grant it only if there is a showing that it is merited. Verily, clemency, as an act
of mercy removing any disqualification, should be balanced with the preservation of public confidence
in the courts.

Corpus vs. CA

FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the
decision of the court of Instance of Manila, Branch V. entitled "Juan T. David vs. R. Mariano Corpus
for the recovery of attorneys fees for professional services rendered by the plaintiff, private
respondent herein, to defendant, petitioner herein. In March, 1958, defendant Corpus was charged
administratively by several employee of the Central Bank Export Department of which the defendant is
the director. Pending the investigation and effective March 18, 1958, Corpus was suspended from
office. After the investigating committee found the administrative charges to be without merit, and
subsequently recommended the immediate reinstatement of the defendant, the then Governor of
Central Bank, Miguel Cuaderno, Sr., recommended that Corpus be considered resigned as on the
ground that he had lost confidence in him. According to plaintiff David, six or seven days prior to the
expiration of the period for appeal from the order of dismissal, he chanced to meet the late Rafael
Corpus, father of the defendant, at the Taza de Oro coffee shop. After they talked about the
defendant's having lost his case before Judge Lantin, and knowing that the plaintiff and the defendant
were both members of the Civil Liberties Union, Rafael Corpus requested the plaintiff to go over the
case and further said that he would send his son, the herein defendant, to the plaintiff to find out what
could be done about the case. The defendant called up the plaintiff the following morning for an
appointment, and the plaintiff agreed to am him in the latter's office. At said conference, the
defendant requested the plaintiff to handle the case because Atty. Alvarez had already been
disenchanted and wanted to give up the case. Although at first reluctant to handle the case, the
plaintiff finally agreed on condition that he and Atty. Alverez would collaborate in the case. One of this
cases issue, however, is the Courts citing David for contempt. In Its resolution of November 3, 1978,
the Court required private respondent Atty. Juan T. David and the Commercial Bank and Trust
Company to comment on petitioner's letter, and for the bank to explain why it did not honor
petitioner's withdrawals from his bank deposits when no garnishment order has been issued by the
Supreme Court. Further, the Court required private respondent Atty. Juan T. David Lo explain his
failure to file his comment, and to file the same as directed by the resolution of the Court dated
November 3, 1978. David was then cited for contempt for his failure to file his comment as directed by
the resolution of the Court dated December 4, 1978, and for filing a motion for execution knowing that
the case is pending appeal and review before the Court.

RULING: The Court found Atty. David GUILTY FOR CONTEMPT OF COURT. RATIO: There was a taint of
arrogance and defiance on the part of respondent David in not filing his comment to the letter-
complaint dated October 18, 1978 of petitioner Corpus, as required by thE Court in its November 3,
1978 and December 4,1978 resolutions which were duly received by him. Instead, he sent on
December 13, 1978 a letter requesting to be excused from the filing of his comment on the lame
excuse that petitioner's letter-complaint was not verified.

Dionisio Malacora et al vs. Court of Appeals et al

FACTS: On April 14, 1971, the respondent court rendered a decision in CAR Case No. 6, entitled
"Dionisio Malacora and Lucia Marabulas vs. Rodrigo Libarnes and Consuelo Libarnes ordering the
Libranes to pay the plaintiffs. Petitioners then filed several motions for reconsideration which the
respondent court kept deciding on. Regarding decisions and a lapse of period, the records show that
despite the Resolution of the Court of June 11, 1980 requiring the parties to submit their
memorandum simultaneously within thirty (30) days from notice, after the petition was given due
course, the petitioner failed to file their memorandum, while the private respondents filed their own.
The petitioners, as the appellants, were therefore more under obligation to file its memorandum, just
like the appellant in an ordinary appeal, which would be dismissed for failure to file the appellant's
brief. The case was then submitted for decision on October 1980, in which case, the eighteen-month
period for deciding it has already expired.

RULING: The decision of the Court of Appeals was AFFIRMED. RATIO: Under the provision of Article X,
Section 11 of the 1973 Constitution which provides for a period of eighteen (18) months within which
an appealed case should be decided by this Court, the appealed decision may also be deemed
affirmed, this case having been submitted for decision on October 8, 1980. From the plain language of
the provision, the Constitution could not have intended anything but full and immediate compliance
therewith. The manifest purpose of the provision is to avoid delay in the disposition of cases, which
always is a cause of injustice, under the familiar aphorism that "justice delayed is justice denied." It
would, at the same time, ease up the clogged dockets of the courts, which had long presented a
problem that defies solution, despite the striving of this Court in constant quest of one. It may have to
be stressed that in any case where, by operation of the constitutional provision, the appealed decision,
again for example, of the Court of Appeals, is deemed affirmed by the Supreme Court, because the
latter has not been able to decide the appeal on the merits within the prescribed period, no member of
the Court is meant to be singled out for any culpability or dereliction of duty. Neither is any adverse
reflection meant to be made against the Court as a whole, because there is in the Constitution an
implicit recognition of the probability of many appealed cases not being decided or resolved within the
period as short as that prescribed, not because of culpable neglect, inefficiency or incompetence of
any member of the Court or of the Court itself as a body, but because of sheer physical impossibility.
A contrary view which to me is completely unfounded, seems to be what has created a very strong
influence towards holding the provision as merely directory, to avoid incurring in some form of guilt or
culpability for not deciding an appealed case within the time limit set. It is believed that under the
procedure as roughly described above, but with the finer details to be laid down, the disposition of any
case in this Court can take place well within the period fixed by the Constitution, specially if greater
strictness is observed in giving due course to every petition filed with this Court, which at times tends
to be quite liberal in this regard.
Bernardino Marcelino vs. Hon. Fernando Cruz

FACTS: This is a petition for release from detention of petitioner, the accused in a case decided on by
respondent judge, on the ground of loss of jurisdiction of respondent trial court over the case for
failure to decide the same within the period of ninety [90] days from submission thereof. Marcelino
was charged with the crime of rape before the Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XII. Trial was
conducted and the same was concluded when the accused rested his case on August 4, 1975. On the
same date, however, the attorneys for both parties moved for time within which to submit their
respective memoranda. Counsel for petitioner submitted his memorandum in due time of the 30- day
period given by the trial court, but no memorandum was filed by the People. Marcelino now espouses
the thesis that the threemonth period prescribed by Section 11[l] of Article X of the 1973 Constitution,
being a constitutional directive, is mandatory in character and that nonobservance thereof results in
the loss of jurisdiction of the court over the unresolved case.

RULING: The Court DISAGREED with Marcelinos contention.

RATIO: Undisputed is the fact that on November 28, 1975, or eighty- five [851 days from September
4, 1975 the date the case was deemed submitted for decision, respondent judge filed with the deputy
clerk of court the decision in Criminal Case No. 5910. He had thus veritably rendered his decision on
said case within the three-month period prescribed by the Constitution. Section 11 [1], Article X of the
New Constitution provides in full, to wit: Upon the effectivity of this Constitution, the maximum
period within which a case or matter shall be decided or resolved from the date of its submission, shall
be eighteen months for the Supreme court, and, unless reduced by the Supreme Court, twelve
months for all inferior collegiate courts, and three months for all other inferior courts. The established
rule is that constitutional provisions are to be construed as mandatory, unless by express provision or
by necessary implication, a different intention is manifest. The difference between a mandatory and a
directory provision is often determined on grounds of expediency, the reason being that less injury
results to the general public by disregarding than by enforcing the letter of the law. The Court had at
various times, upon proper application and for meritorious reasons, allowed judges of inferior courts
additional time beyond the three-month period within which to decide cases submitted to them. The
reason is that a departure from said provision would result in less injury to the general public than
would its strict application. To hold that non-compliance by the courts with the aforesaid provision
would result in loss of jurisdiction, would make the courts, through which conflicts are resolved, the
very instruments to foster unresolved causes by reason merely of having failed to render a decision
within the alloted term. Such an absurd situation could not have been intended by the framers of our
fundamental law.

Buhay De Roma vs. The Court of Appeals

FACTS: Petitioner is one of the adopted children of deceased Candelaria De Roma. Buhay was
appointed administratrix and in due time filed an inventory of the estate. This was opposed by
Rosalinda on the ground that certain properties earlier donated by Candelaria to Buhay, and the fruits
thereof, had not been included. The issue was resolved in favor of the petitioner by the trial court,
which held that the decedent, when she made the donation in favor of Buhay, expressly prohibited
collation. Moreover, the donation did not impair the legitimes of the two adopted daughters as it could
be accommodated in, and in fact was imputed to, the free portion of Candelaria's estate. On appeal,
the order of the trial court was reversed, the respondent court holding that the deed of donation
contained no express prohibition to collate as an exception to Article 1062. Accordingly, it ordered
collation and equally divided the net estate of the decedent, including the fruits of the donated
property, between Buhay and Rosalinda.

RULING: There is NO ERROR regarding the decision of the appealed case by the respondent court
beyond the 12-month period prescribed by Article X, Section 11 (1) of the 1973 Constitution.

RATIO: As held in Marcelino v. Cruz, the said provision was merely directory and failure to decide on
time would not deprive the corresponding courts of jurisdiction or render their decisions invalid. It is
worth stressing that the aforementioned provision has now been reworded in Article VIII, Section 15,
of the 1987 Constitution, which also impresses upon the courts of justice, indeed with greater
urgency, the need for the speedy disposition of the cases that have been clogging their dockets these
many years. Serious studies and efforts are now being taken by the Court to meet that need.
SECTION 16. The Supreme Court shall, within thirty days from the opening of each regular session of
the Congress, submit to the President and the Congress an annual report on the operations and
activities of the Judiciary.