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Anonymous complaint against Presiding Judge Analie C.

Aldea-Arocena, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 1, San


Jose City, Nueva Ecija
A.M. No. MTJ-17-1889. September 3, 2019

Facts:

The case stemmed from an anonymous complaint against Judge Arocena filed
before the Office Deputy Court Administrator Jenny Lind R. Aldecoa-Delorino on July 3,
2014. The complaint alleged that Judge Arocena hears and decides on cases involving
her husband Ferdinand, who is a member of the board of directors of a cooperative which
has a case pending before her court.

Issue: Whether or not Judge Arocena should be dismissed from service?

Ruling:

Yes, Judge Arocena should be dismissed from service.

Sec. 1 Rule 137 of the Rules of Court states that no judge shall sit in any case in
which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
otherwise, or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity
or affinity, or to counsel within fourth degree.

In this case, Judge Arocena’s husband is a member of the board of directors of a


cooperative, which has a pending civil case in her court. As a director, her husband has
an interest in the outcome of the case, which should have been the basis for her
inhibition.

Canon 3 and Canon 4 of the The 2004 New Code on Judicial Conduct for the
Philippine Judiciary provide for impartiality and propriety of judges. Section 1 of Canon 3
provides that a judge shall disqualify themselves from participating in any proceeding in
which they are unable to decide the matter impartially; the judge knows that his or her
spouse has a credit financial interest in the subject matter of controversy. Section 4 of
Canon 4 states that judges shall not participate in the determination of a case in which
any member of the family represents a litigant or is associated with the case.

The case at bar, Judge Arocena failed to do so in disregard of the canons on


impartiality and propriety of the 2004 New Code on Judiciary Conduct. The court ruled
that “Coupled with her failure to recuse from the Cooperative cases, the Court is led to
the conclusion that Judge Arocena approved the unconscionable compromise
agreements to favor the cooperative, of which her husband is a member of the board of
directors. There is no other way to describe her conduct as gross ignorance of the law
and abuse of authority.

Thus, For not inhibiting from a case involving her husband, among other offenses,
the Supreme Court has dismissed a trial court judge from service.