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GALMAN vs. SB [1986]

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Atty. Arturo A. ROMERO, complainant, vs. Hon. Judge Gabriel O. VALLE, Ratio:
JR., respondent [1987] 1. Lugue vs. Kayanan: Both counsel & judge have the shared responsibility to
maintain the high esteem & high regard for courts. They should promote
⇒ Romero charged Valle w/grave misconduct & oppression. Valle was the confidence & respect in the administration of justice, even if this means
presiding judge of the RTC Laoag City, Branch XII while Romero was one restraining their prides at time. This is a crucial factor in the administration
of the 2 counsels for plaintiff in the case Iglesia Filipina Independiente vs. of justice.
Rafael Albano, et. Al. which was being tried in Valle’s sala. 2. Judge & counsel must respect each other mutually.
⇒ Findings of Intermediate Appellate Court Associate Justice Abdulwahid 3. Counsel (Romero)
Bidin who was tasked to investigate the case: Case arose from a dispute a. He should be respectful & gracious to the courts of justice and judicial
between Romero & Valle as to the proper marking of Iglesia Filipina’s officials. Raising his voice was a sign of disrespect.
inventory book. Counsel insisted that it should be marked as Exh F b. He’s an active law practitioner in Ilocos Norte, IBP Ilocos Norte-Laoag
whereas judge claimed that it should be Exh G since an Exh F was already City Chapter director, Chapter’s Legal Aid Committee chairman,
marked during the previous trial where counsel was absent. Counsel PHILCONSA local chapter president and Lions Club local chapter
continued insisting in a loud voice which annoyed the judge. Judge president. As a community leader, he’s expected to set an example to
admonished counsel not to bring his passion to the court & that he should other lawyers. He should have humbly accepted his mistakes.
respect the court. Valle then banged his gavel, left the rostrum & went to his 2. Judge Valle
chamber. a. exhibited shortness of temper & impatience.
b. Judges have contempt powers to endeavor counsel to appreciate his
o Romero’s version: Before leaving the rostrum, Valle told Romero “You duties to the court. He should have cited counsel in contempt instead
step out. We finish the matter outside.” Prior to this, judge was already of indulging in tantrums.
uttering embarrassing remarks w/c hurt him. While he made further c. Carrying the gun, although permitted, was not an innocent act. Judge
explanations calmly, judge banged his gavel w/o declaring a recess. He used it to instill fear in/intimidate counsel.
unceremoniously removed his coat and then uttered said remark. d. He violated the Canons of Judicial Ethics w/c requires him to avoid
Romero then saw the judge outside waiting for him to come out. Judge appearance of impropriety both in his professional and personal lives.
held a gun w/his right hand. Romero couldn’t move since he was
unarmed & shocked. He asked the court stenographer to put it on Holding:
record that the judge was holding a gun. Subsequently, Valle was 3. Valle guilty of misconduct
pacified & he returned to the court. Romero asked Valle to inhibit b. DISMISSED from the service
himself from trying the case but latter denied it & instead reset the c. w/o forfeiture of retirement benefits
case. d. w/ prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of the gov’t, its
o Valle’s version: What he said was “five minutes recess.” Defendant’s agencies/instrumentalities
counsel and Romero’s co-counsel & witness corroborated this. From 2. Romero asked to show cause why no disciplinary action
his chamber, he went to the stairs passing the corridor holding his coat should be taken against him for conduct unbecoming of an
& a gun w/c was inside its holster. Upon reaching the stairs, he was officer of the court.
informed by his clerk that there are still cases in the calendar ready for
trial. Thus, he returned to his chamber & placed his gun inside his ARBAN vs. BORJA [1989]
table. When trial resumed, Romero asked Valle to inhibit himself from  Administrative Case in the SC. Grave misconduct
the hearing. Judge informed counsel to put his request in writing & he  Ponciano A. Arban, the then District Engineer for Camarines Sur, Ministry of
then reset the case to another date. Another judge now handles case. Public Works & Highways, filed the instant admin. for grave misconduct
against Judge Melecio B. Borja, Presiding Judge of Branch XX, RTC, 5th
Judicial Region of Naga City, alleging that:
⇒ Valle’s defense: denial. Accusations are exaggerated, sensationalized,
o Respondent fired his gun in the balcony of the apartment he is lodging
fabricated & inherently improbable & contrary to human experience & one-
in, from where he followed the Arban to Cindy's Restaurant in
sided. He had a permit to carry his licensed pistol outside his house since
downtown Naga City. There, without any justification whatever,
he received threats from the NPA.
respondent pistol-whipped the Arban on the left side of his head,
sending him sprawling to the floor and rendering him momentarily
Issue: WON both counsel & judge are equally to blame for the incident –
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o Respondent also threatened with his said gun Arban’s companions. responsibility to discipline erring members of the bench and bar and to
ASAP, Arban reported the said incidents to RTC Executive Judge Juan preserve the integrity of the judiciary.
B. Llaguno, who advised him to ask NBI’s held w/c advice was
followed. WON Borja should be penalized for his pistol whipping Arban
o NBI investigated Arban & his witnesses & NBI later forwarded the case  YES. Even a mere cursory reading of Judge Borja's "apology" in relation to
to the City Fiscal of Naga, where it is now pending preliminary inquiry, the "petition" or complaint clearly indicates that Judge Borja admits the
delayed now for 3 weeks due to repeated requests for postponement commission of the act charged.
by Borja. The incident received much coverage by the print &  The respondent admits in his public apology that he inflicted physical
broadcast media. injuries on the left side of the face of Arban while they were at Cindy's
 We referred the case to Justice Bienvenido B. Ejercito of the IAC for Restaurant in Naga City, a public place.
investigation, report and recommendation.  SC did not entertain Borja’s explanation that Arban tried to hit the Borja with
 In his Answer, Judge Borja denied the charge against him. Borja moved for a fist blow & that while parrying that blow, Judge Borja wildly swung w/ his
the resetting of the case w/c was granted. Later, Arban filed a Motion to right hand & happened to hit the Arban’s face
Withdraw the Petition, stating that the “filing of the petition was caused by a  There is no doubt in the mind of the Court that the physical injuries inflicted
misunderstanding by the petitioner of the motives of the respondent” & that on Mr. Arban were caused by a pistol-whipping.
“after the public apology by the respondent, the petitioner believes that the  Whatever the motive may have been, the violent action of the respondent in
scandal caused on the public by the act of the respondent has been duly a public place constitutes serious misconduct and the resultant outrage of
appeased.” the community in Naga City is a blow to the image of the entire judiciary.
 Thus, Justice Ejercito recommended the dismissal of the case. However,  Judge Borja violated Sec. 3, Cannon of Judicial Ethics: "A judge's official
the SC resolved to: conduct should be free from appearance of impropriety, & his personal
(a) transfer the case to Justice Nathanael de Pano of the IAC for further behavior not only upon the bench & in the performance of judicial duties,
investigation, report & recommendation, and but also in his everyday life, should be beyond reproach."
(b) require counsel for petitioner to appear before said Justice-  De la Paz v. Inutan: "The judge is the visible representation of the law and,
Investigator for hearing of this case, stating that his failure to do so more importantly, of justice…Thus, for the judge to return that regard, he
will subject said counsel to strict disciplinary measures. must be the first to abide by the law and weave an example for the others to
 Accordingly, Justice de Pano conducted further hearings of the case. A new follow. He should be studiously careful to avoid even the slightest infraction
hearing of this case was set & Borja, through counsel, moved for dismissal of the law."
of the case on the ground of lack of evidence. Upon Justice de Pano’s  While the Investigator-Justice recommended a 2-yr suspension, it is the
prodding, Arban’s counsel, Atty. General averred that the complainant no consensus of the SC that the serious nature of the offense & the best
longer resides in Naga City since he had been transferred from Naga to interests of the judiciary warrant the penalty of dismissal. Moreover, SC
Cavite City, in consequence of w/c, counsel had been unable to confer w/ frowns upon prolonged suspension of judges or court personnel as a
the complainant penalty, even assuming that it is deserved
 Hearing was transferred to enable Atty. General to contact & confer w/
Arban. At the new hearing, Atty. General revealed that he had conferred w/ Holding: Borja found guilty of grave misconduct, hereby ordered DISMISSED
the complainant, who did not wish to proceed further in the case since his from the service, w/ forfeiture of retirement benefits & with prejudice to
personal honor & good name had already been vindicated by Borja’s public reinstatement in any branch of the gov’t or any of its agencies or
apology. Counsel informed that he had filed a written manifestation to this instrumentalities. However, he shall be paid any back salaries or accrued leaves
effect which are due to him as of this date.
 The incident involving Judge Borja & Arban generated nationwide publicity.
Later, the SC sent a telegram to Judge Borja for the latter to come
immediately for a conference & explain the alleged pistol whipping of Engr.
Arban as reported in the newspapers. SC designated Acting Court
Administrator Arturo Buena to investigate the matter. Buena stated that a
prima facie case of the reported pistol whipping of Engr. Ponciano Arban by
Judge Borja has been established, although lacking in details.
 Thus, despite the withdrawal of the complainant, the SC undertook present
action, even before Engr. Arban filed the present petition considering our
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ALFONSO vs. JUANSON [1993] to prove that he and Sol continued their extramarital affair. Sol’s admission
Facts: to her husband that she had carnal knowledge with the judge made no
• Involves a complaint filed against a doctor of medicine charging Judge reference to specific dates and the side of Dr. Alfonso exerted no further
Juanson with immorality and violation of the Code of Judicial ethics. effort to obtain clarifications as to the dates.
• Dr. Alfonso married Sol on December 10, 1988. Their married life was a • It was not proven that Judge Juanson and Sol had sexual intercourse after
happy one until the Mrs. Juanson informed Dr. Alfonso that their spouses his appointment in the Judiciary. It cannot be safely presumed that he
were having an affair. She added that she has in her possession love committed any sexual indiscretion after he became a judge. He is not
letters written by Sol to prove her claim. Dr. Alfonso did not believe her and charged for immorality committed before his appointment. Accordingly,
Sol assured his of her love and concern for their family. proof of prior immoral conduct cannot be a basis for his administrative
• Alfonso spouses went to the US and during their stay there Mrs. Juanson discipline in this case. Judge Juanson may have undergone moral
informed Atty. Alfonso about the affair of his daughter in law. Atty. Alfonso reformation after his appointment, or his appointment could have
hired a private investigator. The private investigator found out that Sol had completely transformed him upon the solemn realization that a public office
met with Judge Juanson in a condominium unit in Mandaluyong and that is a public trust and public officers and employees must at all times be
they stayed there for approximately three hours. accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity,
• Dr. Alfonso confronted Sol about the evidence that was gathered by his loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.
father. At first she denied the affair but later in the evening she admitted • Judge Juanson became indiscreet; he succumbed to the sweet memories
having an illicit affair with Judge Juanson. The Alfonso spouses decided to of the past and he was unable to disappoint Sol who asked for his legal
live in separate house. advice on a matter which involved her employment. Such indiscretions
• In defense, Judge Juanson claims that he first knew Sol in 1987 when she indubitably cast upon his conduct an appearance of impropriety. He thus
engaged his professional services in connection with the criminal cases violated Canon 3 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics which mandates that “a
filed by her office. In June 1992 (while the Alfonso spouses were in the US) judge's official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety,
he received an overseas call from Sol asking him for advice concerning her and his personal behavior, not only upon the bench and in the performance
problem with her employer. They met up after the return of Sol in the of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond reproach,"
Philippines to discuss her problem. He added that it was impossible for him and Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct which provides that "a judge
to have sexual intercourse with Sol because he has been suffering from two should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities."
debilitating diseases – diabetes mellitus and prostatitis (which have It has been said that a magistrate of the law must comport himself at all
seriously affected his sexual potency) times in such manner that his conduct, official or otherwise, can bear the
most searching scrutiny of the public that looks up to him as the epitome of
• Justive Jaguros investigated the matter and concluded that the immoral
integrity and justice. The ethical principles and sense of propriety of a judge
conduct of the Atty. Juanson has ruined two families and that he cannot
are essential to the preservation of the faith of the people in the judiciary.
escape the blame and sin of what he has cause. Justice Jaguros added
that he is a judge who symbolizes the law and the highest degree of • It is settled that immorality has not been confined to sexual matters, but
morality in the community. The citizens look up to him as the embodiment includes conduct inconsistent with rectitude, or indicative of corruption,
of justice and decency, as he decides cases brought to his court. He can indecency, depravity, and dissoluteness; or is willful, flagrant, or shameless
do no less. She recommended his DISMISSAL from office. conduct showing moral indifference to opinions of respectable members of
the community, and as an inconsiderate attitude toward good order and
WON Judge Juanson should be dismissed from the Judiciary? NO public welfare.
• There is no doubt in our minds that a very special relationship existed
between the respondent and the complainant's wife. Evidenced by cards or Ruling: Fine of P2,000
notes (love letters)
• It is clear that their affair began before Sol and Dr. Alfonso were married on
10 December 1988 and might have blossomed from the attorney-client
relationship between respondent and Sol. Her marriage did not diminish
Sol's love for even after she committed herself to marriage, she still
sneaked out her love notes.
• Judge Juanson is not charged with immorality or conduct committed before
he was appointed to the judiciary. The evidence presented were insufficient
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Emma J. CASTILLO, complainant vs. Judge Manuel M. CALANOG, JR., ⇒ It has no persuasive value especially if was executed as an afterthought.
respondent [1991] This is necessary to avoid making a mockery out of trials & placing the
⇒ Castillo wrote a letter to the SC charging Calanog w/immorality & conduct investigation of truth at the mercy of unscrupulous witness.
unbecoming of a public official. She claims that she met the judge during ⇒ Javier’s testimony & Castillo’s complaint provide sufficient ground for the
the pendency of the case for her deceased common-law husband’s charges. Calanog had an intimate, immoral relationship w/Castillo.
intestate estate. He was then temporarily holding office in QC RTC Branch
94 where the case was assigned. Judge was referred to her by an 2. WON Calanog is guilty of immorality. – YES.
acquaintance who claimed that he can help in the early termination of the ⇒ Pertinent laws:
case. Upon meeting the judge, she was asked to see him in his law office. a. Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon I, Rule 1.01: A judge should be the
When they met, he invited her to eat in a restaurant & even asked her to embodiment of competence, integrity, probity & independence.
ride w/him in his car. However, he took him to a motel where he made Commentary: As the individual who dispenses justice, public
sexual advances on her. But he didn’t succeed. The judge, a married man, perception of the judiciary logically depends on the judge’s attributes.
instead offered to be her sub-husband (whatever that means!), promised to b. Rule 140: Immorality is under serious charges & punishable
give her a Bliss condo unit and to provide financial support to her 2 w/dismissal from the service w/forfeiture of benefits (except accrued
daughters and send them to an exclusive school for girls. She was leaves) & disqualification from reinstatement/appointment to any public
convinced due to confusion caused by her husband’s untimely death & office including a GOCC.
Calanog’s persistence. She then moved in to the condo w/her daughters c. Code of Judicial Ethics: judge must be free of a whiff of impropriety
and she subsequently gave birth to his son named Jerome Christopher WRT his professional & personal life. There’s no dichotomy of morality.
Calanog. However, after giving birth, judge refused to provide them His official life can’t be detached or separated from his personal
w/financial support & didn’t fulfill his promise to send her daughters to an existence.
exclusive school. He likewise refused to pay the condo’s monthly ⇒ His conduct was unbecoming of his position. He betrayed the people’s high
installment, thus they were informed by the National Housing Authority that expectations & diminished the esteem in w/c they hold the judiciary in
they will be evicted from said place. Calanog ignored her demands. general. The faith & confidence of the public in the administration of justice
⇒ Calanog’s response: Castillo was no longer interested in pursuing the can’t be maintained if the judge who dispenses it is not equipped w/moral
complaint, thus case should be considered w/drawn or dismissed. He also integrity & continues to commit an affront to public decency.
denied the allegations. ⇒ This is an administrative matter, thus, the sufficiency of facts to prove
⇒ Castillo submitted an “Affidavit of Desistance” denying her allegations since concubinage is immaterial.
she has now come to her senses, is repenting & wants to straighten ⇒ He lacked circumspection & delicadeza by failing to avoid situations that
everything. She considers her complaint w/drawn. make him suspect to committing immorality & worse, having that suspicion
⇒ Jose Javier, Calanog’s court interpreter for 10 yrs. testified that Castillo & confirmed.
Calanog indeed have a relationship. He was asked to deliver Castillo’s ⇒ Being the subject of constant public scrutiny, a judge must freely & willingly
weekly allowance, pay her monthly electric & water bills, bring her to the accept restrictions on conduct that might be burdensome for ordinary
hospital when she gave birth to Jerome, etc. He testified that she did live in citizens.
the Bliss condo.
⇒ He committed grave injustice upon Castillo who sought his assistance in
⇒ NBI Intelligence Service: Castillo was Calanog’s mistress & she lived in a
expediting her husband’s intestate estate proceedings. He took advantage
Bliss condo w/her 3 children. Calanog frequented the condo but when they of her helplessness & material deprivation. A more reprehensible
go out, they walk separately, pretending not to know each other. A barangay exploitation of women in this case since the offender took advantage of his
census record listed Castillo’s name w/her 3 children as occupants of the power & authority to commit injustice.
condo unit. Youngest child was Jerome Christopher who was seen
personally inside the condo. Jerome’s birth certificate from the NSO Holding: Guilty of immorality. Dismissed from service w/forfeiture of retirement
specified Manuel Calanog as the father. benefits & w/prejudice to reinstatement/appointment to gov’t office including
Issues & Ratio:
1. WON Castillo’s Affidavit of Desistance will affect the continuation of Gutierrez, dissent as to the penalty:
the administrative case. – NO. 1. The penalty is too harsh. Principles of fairness, equity & compassion should
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2. Fault cannot be solely attributed to Calanog. Evidence was mostly obtained o Talens-Dabon received Arceo’s E.O. requiring her to report to the office
from Castillo & the “discreet” investigation by the NBI. The justice finds of the Exec. Judge. She observed respondent to be rude and
Castillo as a woman w/ill-motive or cause to complain. She’s a liberated & disrespectful to her & the other court personnel. He talked in a loud
experienced woman, wise in the ways of the world, w/o qualms about voice and shouted at them; used offensive words such as "walang
having illicit relations w/men. She filed a complaint when she sensed that isip," "tanga"; told green jokes & stories; made harsh and negative
her financial expectations were not forthcoming & a life of relative ease & comments about court personnel in the presence of others.
comfort could not be assured. She was motivated by revenge & bad faith. o Whenever he had the opportunity he would make bodily contact
Calanog on the other hand, is only human & bound to yield to the cravings ("chancing") with her & certain female employees. When complainant
of the flesh. Perhaps he realized that he had sinned & should sin no more. introduced her fiance to him, Arceo asked her why she was playing
Thus, he should be given a chance to change his ways. Castillo & Calanog w/her forefinger, at the same time gesturing with his to signify sexual
willingly entered into this kind of relationship & thus, they are both offenders intercourse.
& victims. o One time, Arceo kissed complainant, as well as Marilyn Leander, Ester
3. His excellent record should be considered too. – public service, civic & Galicia and other female employees. He also had a porn tape played at
national affairs, dedication to the welfare of the members of the bench, his bidding, and brought and showed to the employees a picture which
leadership traits, etc. when held in some way showed figures in coital position.
a. member, Judiciary Planning Development & Implementation Office o Adding to complainant's apprehensions about Arceo’s sexual
b. president, Philippine Judges Association predilection were the revelations of Marilyn Senapilo-Leander, a
4. Former cases applied lighter penalties, considering the ff: stenographer of Branch 43 who testified that Arceo wrote her love
a. long years of dedicated & devoted service to the government letters, kissed her, pointedly stared at her lower parts when she wore
b. first offense & fault due to inexperience tight pants and made body contacts ("chancing"). One time, Arceo
c. wife/widow/children of respondent, in awarding full retirement benefits summoned her to his chamber and she found him clad only in briefs.
5. Penalty should only be a fine of P40k w/most severe warning. For the sake When she turned around to flee, respondent called after her saying
of Calanog’s bright future, fair name & honor of his family & the service he "why are you afraid. After all, this is for you." Leander confided to
can render to the judiciary & the nation, he should be allowed to redeem Bernardo Taruc, the most senior employee there who advised her to
himself. report the matter to Deputy Court Administrator Reynaldo Suarez but
Leander expressed fear of retribution from respondent. When
TALENS vs. ARCEO [1996] Leander's wedding was set in late 1995, respondent taunted her by
 Administrative Matter in the SC. Gross Misconduct. saying "Ikay, ang dami ko pa namang balak sa 'yo, kinuha pa naman
 Atty. Jocelyn C. Talens-Dabon, Clerk of Court V of the San Fernando, kita ng bahay sa isang subdivision, tapos sinayang mo lang, tanga ka
Pampanga, RTC filed a sworn-complaint charging Judge Hermin E. Arceo, kasi!"
the Executive Judge thereat w/ gross misconduct (later amended to include o For the complainant’s part, one afternoon, Arceo summoned her & at
immorality) one point gave her a poem (a must read! ) and thereafter
 SC referred the case to Associate Justice Portia Aliño-Hormachuelos of the approached her for kisses w/c turned into a dramatic struggle. Arceo
CA for investigation, report, and recommendations, and at the same time, stopped and complainant angrily fled. After confiding to Taruc and to
placing Judge Arceo under preventive suspension for the duration of the Atty. Elenita Quinsay what happened, complainant went to the Hall of
investigation Justice where Arceo was and verbally broached her request for
 After requests for postponement from both parties, hearings were held. In transfer. He acceded. Thus she brought her written request for transfer
due time, the Investigating Justice submitted her Report and for respondent's signature but he refused although he eventually
Recommendation with the following findings: signed the memorandum transferring her later that morning.
o 3 days after Talens-Dabon first reported at the Office of the Clerk of o 2 days later, complainant, after consulting her family, reported the
Court, Atty. Elenita Quinsay, she was summoned by Arceo. It bothered matter to the police and filed with the Municipal TC of San Fernando,
her that he looked at her from head to foot "as if he were undressing Pampanga criminal cases for acts of lasciviousness, Violation of Anti-
her." Arceo told her that she was going to be detailed to his office as his Sexual Harrassment Law and this administrative case on the following
assistant, a situation which she did not welcome having heard of day.
Arceo’s reputation in the office as "bastos" & "maniakis" prompting her o For his part, Arceo mostly denied complainant's allegations stating that
to work for her transfer to Br. 45 under Judge Adelaida Ala-Medina. he was merely joking then and making his other acts seem lighter than
how complainant had narrated, even testifying that complainant herself
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asked him to make the poem. He believed she was merely retaliating o Canon II, Rule 2.00: A Judge should avoid impropriety and the
for 4 incidents that he either scolded or humiliated her. appearance of impropriety in all activities.
 Based on the foregoing findings, the Investigating Justice made the o Canon II, Rule 2.01: A Judge should so behave at all times as to
following conclusions: promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the
(a) that there is sufficient evidence to create a moral certainty that Arceo judiciary.
committed the acts complained of, especially the violent kissing  Court has adhered and set forth the exacting standards of morality and
incident; decency which every member of the judiciary must observe
(b) that complainant & her witnesses are credible witnesses who have no  Dy Taban Hardware and Auto Supply Co. vs. Tapucar: Rationale why every
ulterior motive or bias to falsely testify against Arceo; judge must possess moral integrity: The personal and official actuations of
(c) that respondent's denials can not prevail over the weight and probative every member of the judiciary must be beyond reproach and above
value of the affirmative assertions of complainant & her witnesses, suspicion. The faith and confidence of the people in the administrations of
(d) that respondent's poem has damned him, being documented proof of his justice can not be maintained if a judge who dispenses it is not equipped
sexual intentions towards the complainant; with the cardinal judicial virtue of moral integrity and if he obtusely
(e) that by filing her charges imputing to Arceo a crime against chastity & w/ continues to commit affront to public decency. In fact, moral integrity is
her background as a lawyer & a court employee, complainant was well- more than a virtue; it is a necessary in the judiciary xxx Being the subject of
aware that her honor would itself be on trial; constant public scrutiny, a judge should freely and willingly accept
(f) that it is unbelievable that complainant, a demure newly-married lady and restrictions on conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary
a religious person, would fabricate a story with such severe implications citizen. xxx A judge should personify integrity and exemplify honest public
on respondent's professional and personal life just to get even w/ service. The personal behavior of a judge, both in the performance of his
respondent for an alleged simple scolding incident; and official duties and in private life should be above suspicion.
(g) that by doing the acts complained of, Arceo has tempted the morals of  Respondent has failed to measure up to these exacting standards. He has
not only complainant but also the other court employees over whom he behaved in a manner unbecoming of a judge and as model of moral
exercised power & influence as Executive Judge. uprightness.
 The Investigating Justice thereupon, recommended that Arceo be  His actuations, if condoned, would damage the integrity of the judiciary,
dismissed from the service with prejudice to re-appointment in any other fomenting distrust in the system. Hence, his acts deserve no less than the
government position and with forfeiture of all benefits and privileges severest form of disciplinary sanction of dismissal from the service. His
appertaining him, if any. actuations are aggravated by the fact that complainant is one of his
subordinates over whom he exercises control and supervision, he being the
WON Arceo is guilty of gross misconduct and immorality executive judge.
 YES. The Court held that the findings and recommendations of the  Respondent may indeed be a legally competent person but he has
Investigating Justice are in truth adequately supported by the evidence and demonstrated himself to be wanting of moral integrity. He has violated the
are in accord with applicable legal principles. The Court agrees and adopts Code of Judicial Conduct which requires every judge to be the embodiment
such findings and recommendations. of competence, integrity, and independence and to avoid impropriety and
 The integrity of the Judiciary rests not only upon the fact that it is able to the appearance of impropriety in all activities as to promote public
administer justice but also upon the perception and confidence of the confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
community that the people who run the system have done justice. Hence, in  SC Circular No. 13: Finally, all trial judges should endeavor to conduct
order to create such confidence, the people who run the judiciary, themselves strictly in accordance with the mandate of existing laws and the
particularly judges and justices, must not only be proficient in both the Code of Judicial Ethics that they be exemplars in the communities and the
substantive and procedural aspects of the law, but more importantly, they living personification of justice and the Rule of Law
must possess the highest integrity, probity, and unquestionable moral
uprightness, both in their public and private lives. Only then can the people Holding: Arceo is hereby DISMISSED from the service for gross misconduct &
be reassured that the wheels of justice in this country run with fairness and immorality prejudicial to the best interests of the service, w/forfeiture of all
equity, thus creating confidence in the judicial system. retirement benefits & w/ prejudice to re-employment in any branch of the gov’t,
 LEGAL BASES: Code of Judicial Conduct including gov’t-owned & controlled corps.
o Canon I, Rule 1.01: A Judge should be the embodiment of
competence; integrity and independence.
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JAVIER vs. DE GUZMAN [1990] the honor, dignity, integrity and independence of the judiciary is not
Facts: eroded pursuant to Canon 3 and 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.
• Disbarment proceedings on the ground of dishonorable conduct. • Third Charge
• December 7, 1987 – Efren Javier and his mother, Lolita, borrowed o Efren Javier was not the drawer of the check and it was his duty as a
P200,000 from Judge De Guzman with interest orally agreed upon at 10%. Judge whose personal behavior should at all times, even in his
They issued a UCPB check for P220,000. They didn’t have a checking everyday life, be beyond reproach sp as to promote public confidence
account and as such the drawer of the check was Donato (brother-in-law). in the dignity, honor, integrity, and independence of the judiciary, who
• De Guzman required them to sign a MOA which provides a 20% interest should endeavor to prevent the erosion of such confidence by
per month, compounded monthly. It also stated that an appropriate charge irresponsible or improper conduct – to disregard his personal animosity
against BP 22 can also be filed against them. towards the Javiers and to see to the forthright dismissal of the case.
• The check was subsequently dishonored and as such a suit for a “sum of He failed to complu with this duty when he instead saw to the
money and damages with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary continuation of the prosecution of the case until it reached the RTC and
attachment” was filed in the RTC of Makati. In this case, the Javiers were up to its termination thereat.
ordered to pay a sum of P608,971.67 with 20% interest/penalty a month • Fourth Charge
compounded monthly beginning September 8, 1988 until fully paid and the o Naturally felt aggrieved by what had transpired and he undoubtedly
sum equal to 10% of the amounts due and recoverable as reimbursement thought that it could be righted by filing the administrative case. No
of attorney’s fees and litigation expenses. malice or desire to harass.
• Judge De Guzman also filed 2 criminal complaints. (a) violation of BP 22 • A judge’s official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety,
against Efren [acquitted] (b) Estafa againt the Javiers [dismissed] and his personal behavior, not only upon the bench and in the performance
• March 21, 1989 – filed an administrative charge against Pedro (father of of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond reproach.
Efren)accusing him of having committed Estafa, dishonesty and conduct • The truism that a Judge’s official life cannot simply be detached or
unbecoming of a government official. separated from his personal existence and that upon a Judge’s attributes
• Feeling harassed the Javiers filed an administrative charge against Judge depend the public perception of the Judiciary.
De Guzman • Public confidence in the Judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper
1. Usurious interest conduct of Judges. A Judge must avoid all impropriety and the appearance
2. Taking advantage of his position as RTC Judge of Makati thereof. Being the subject of constant public scrutiny, a judge should freely
3. Resorting to filing a criminal complaint for violation of BP 22 against and willingly accept the restrictions on conduct that might be viewed as
Efren despite the knowledge that he was not the drawer. burdensome by the ordinary citizen. A judge should personify judicial
4. Failed to reveal the true facts in the administrative charge against integrity and exemplify honest public service. The personal behavior of a
Pedro. judge, both in the performance of official duties and in private life should be
above suspicion.
WON Judge De Guzman is guilty of dishonorable conduct? YES • A judge shall refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect
• First Charge adversely on the court’s impartiality, interfere with the proper performance
o Interest now legally chargeable depends upon the agreement of lender of judicial activities, or increase involvement with lawyers or persons likely
and borrower. Interest charged on the loan was exorbitant. The to come before the Court. A judge should so manage investments and
amount is being collected as a charge for the use of money and this other financial interests as to minimize the number of cases giving grounds
charge is blatantly out of proportion to the amount of money loaned. for disqualification.
• Second Charge
o He took advantage of his position as Makati RTC judge by filing the Ruling: severely censured, with a stern warning that a repetition of the said acts
collection case against the complainant in that Court. Instead of filing or similar acts in the future shall receive greater sanctions.
the suit in QC where the Javier resides or in Manila where he resides
he took advantage of the waiver of venue stipulated in the MOA when
he chose to file the case in Makati.
o He has fallen short of what is expected of his as a Judge and officer of
the court among whose duties is to see to it that public confidence in
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TAHIL vs. EISMA [1975] Dismissed. But considering his admission, he is ADMONISHED to demonstrate
Hadjirul Tahil charged Municipal Judge of Parang, Sulu, Carlito Eisma of a greater degree of competence, intellectual courage and independence in the
dishonesty for failing to report to work contrary to his daily time record. discharge of his judicial duties to merit the confidence and support of the people.
Judge Felix B. Barbers instituted an “investigation, report and
The findings were:
Eisma was regularly present except for certain days when he marked
himself absent, correspondingly his salary is deducted from. The alleged
falsification of his daily time and record had no credibility.
The charge was filed out of hatred, anger, and revenge. They were
friends but Tahil’s pleas weren’t granted. Then Barbers went into detail that the
Judges when they decide do not look at friends or foes. His actions must be
prescribed by law and whether he acted judiciously and not influenced.
Complainant became wrathful and wrath must be channeled properly or else
they lead to grave injustice.
Tahil once brought a bailbond for murder for his nephew Bakkal Ilahal
for Eisma to approve. But Eisma denied it because the bondsmen did not
appear in court. Barbers said that this was correct procedure and adds, that the
signature of the principal Ilahal was not on the bond. There was also no
verification if the taxes of the real properties offered as bond were paid. They
lack the procedural attaching of receipts or a certification of the municipal
Tahil also has a bone to pick when his motion to dismiss the illegal
possession of firearms filed for his nephew was denied. The denial was because
the evidence testified by Lt. Rodialo Gumtang was strong against the certified
true copies of documentary evidence given by Tahil. The documents’ validity and
originality were also in question, but is welcome to be presented in the trial. But
Barbers said that, this too was correct and Eisma acted legally.
But Eisma admitted to having granted bail to the accused, Ilahal for
murder upon the request of a congressman, even if he strongly believes on the
latter’s guilt. It is recommended that he be fined for a month’s salary and warned
against any repetition.

WON Eisma is liable for his admission to granting bail upon request of a
congressman. YES but he shouldn’t be fined in this case for lack of proper
charge and investigation.
The consti all persons before conviction are bailable except those charged with
capital offenses when evidence of guilt is strong. The court must determine the
weight of the evidence in a summary hearing pursuant to §7 Rule 114 of the
When Eisma admitted to granting bail even if he thought the evidence was
strong, his act is reprehensible. But it is not clear on record if a summary
hearing was instituted. Nor was Eisma charged and investigated for this.
Therefore, the court lacks specific finding if Eisma committed Gadalej, and can’t
impose a fine against him.
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Armando CONTRERAS, complainant, vs. Judge Cesar M. SOLIS, ⇒ A reasonable mind would deduce that Solis’ act meant something more. In
respondent [1996] mentioning the price, it seems as if he was insinuating that Contreras would
⇒ Background: save on the expenses & be certain of result by spending same amount for
1. info was filed against Rufino Mamangon, a PNP member, for the the judge.
murder of Gener Contreras, complainant’s brother. ⇒ Meeting & giving of advice: far from the behavior of members of the
2. Case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction, however, Mamangon was judiciary, who should, at all times, avoid the slightest hint of anomaly &
not released from detention corruption. A judge should avoid any suspicion of irregularity & he should
3. Mamangon filed a petition for habeas corpus w/c was assigned to promote confidence in the judicial system. This is the price he has to pay for
Solis’ branch. Solis dismissed the petition for lack of merit. joining the judiciary.
4. Solis issued an order authorizing Mamangon’s release upon posting of ⇒ Pertinent statutes:
a P25k cash bond. Thus, Mamangon was released. a. Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC), Canon I, Rule 1.01: judge should be
5. Solis canceled the cash bond & ordered Mamangon’s re-arrest. competent, w/integrity & independent.
⇒ Armando alleged that he met w/Solis who told him that Mamangon was b. Canon II, Rule 2.00: Avoid impropriety in all activities.
willing to pay P25k for his release and if he (Armando) can give him that c. Rule 2.01: Promote public confidence in the integrity & impartiality of
same amount, he would no longer release Mamangon. He assails Solis as the judiciary.
having gravely abused his discretion & authority in ordering Mamangon’s
release since in a habeas corpus petition, the judge can only determine 2. WON Solis is guilty of grave abuse of authority & grave misconduct &
WON detention is legal. No authority either in ordering re-arrest. incompetence. – NO.
⇒ Solis’ defense: No notice of order was typed since clerks were no longer ⇒ Dismissal of petition for habeas corpus in the first instance was proper
available. Thus, notice was made personally. Notice was done to afford since it would naturally undermine the functions of a co-equal branch of the
offended party opportunity to participate in the proceedings. Mention of court where the case was still subject to appeal.
P20k pertained to how much will be spent by Contreras in litigation. ⇒ Application of Rule 102 Sec. 14 erroneous. Detention was no longer lawful.
⇒ Findings of Deputy court Administrator, Zenaida Elepano: fine It was illegal & untenable. He should have granted the petition for habeas
recommended corpus and ordered release of Mamangon w/o requiring him to post bail.
1. Meeting w/Contreras was unnecessary. ⇒ He should have not ordered the re-arrest of Mamangon.
2. No proof re attempted exploitation. ⇒ Erroneous application of the law can’t be the sole basis for disciplining him.
3. Invoked by Solis in deciding to dismiss the case for the first time: Rules Disciplining a judge requires that he act unjustly contrary to law,
of Court, Rule 114, Sec. 3 and Rule 102, Sec. 14 - accused lawfully w/conscious & deliberate intent to do injustice, act fraudulently or corruptly,
committed before final conviction is entitled to bail upon payment of a or w/gross ignorance. He can’t be liable if application was done in good
bond. If penalty’s death and the evidence of guilt is strong, bail may faith. Presumption would that he issued those orders in good faith in the
not be allowed. absence of proof to the contrary.
4. Provisions not applicable since petition for habeas corpus is a special
⇒ Malicious intent was not proven. Unable to find a clear & definite connection
proceeding not covered by aforementioned proceedings & penalty for
between an attempt at extortion & subsequent erroneous orders.
murder during that time was only reclusion perpetua & not death.
5. Solis’ decisions were erroneous because:
Holding: Solis guilty of committing acts of impropriety prejudicial to the integrity
a. Mamangon was not even applying for bail when he was released. .
of the Judiciary. Ordered to pay a fine of P2,000.00 w/warning that a repetition
b. No hearing was ordered to provide the prosecution an opportunity
of a similar conduct shall be dealt w/more severely.
to show that the evidence was strong so as to preclude bail.
c. Mamangon was not lawfully detained. He should have been
LIM vs. SEQUIBAN [1991]
released outright w/o need for bail or bond.
 Administrative Matter in the SC
d. He has no discretion to cancel the bail since none of the
 Arnulfo Lim, the clerk of Court of the MTC of Allen, Samar, & Pepito
requirements for canceling bail was present (surrender of accused,
Royandoyan, the process server of that court, charged their judge, Sixto
proof of his death, acquittal/dismissal of case, grave misconduct).
Seguiban (Judge), w/ coercion, oppression, injustice, harassment and gross
Issues & Ratio:
 Lim claimed that Judge slapped him in public at the courtroom’s doorway
1. WON Solis is guilty of extortion & dishonesty. – YES.
because Lim had given Royandoyan the latter’s paycheck for the 2nd
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quincena of Feb, 1986. Lim apparently forgot that Royandoyan’s temporary justifiable cause & in gross violation of his dignity as a person, Judge
appointment had expired in Jan. 1986 Seguiban is hereby dismissed from service w/o prejudice to payment of
 Royandoyan claimed that Judge forcibly & w/ vindictiveness took his benefits due him for the period of his service to the Gov’t. Temporary detail
paycheck for the 2nd quincena of Feb, 1986 as he & Danilo Dalucapas had of Judge Siervo is terminated & he is ordered to return to his regular station.
refused to sign an untruthful affidavit prepared by Judge to be used in a  With respect to the administrative charge of insubordination filed by Judge,
criminal case w/c Judge filed against his court stenographer, whom he had the 5 employees are admonished not to repeat the same under pain of
earlier jailed for contempt. Judge barred Royandoyan from entering the more severe penalty in the future.
office & court premises. Thereafter he forcibly took Royandoyan’s
paycheck. When Judge received the complaint, he advised Royandoyan &
Dalucapas to resign or transfer. The latter quit his job.
 As an aftermath of the quarrels of the Judge w/ his clerk of court, process
server and court stenographer, a petition signed by some 190 residents of
Allen and sent to the Chief Justice, asking for the ouster of Judge for being
harsh and rude to lawyers, insulting them in the presence of their clients,
branding his employees as thieves w/o justifiable cause, jailing a court
stenographer for a simple mistake, & for sadistic behavior toward everyone
in general
 Then court employees went on mass leaves of absence for various reasons
& excuses. All the court employees refused to work & picketed the court
premises demanding Judge’s resignation
 SC temporarily detailed Judge at the MTC in San Isidro while Judge Siervo
of that court was transferred to the MTC in Allen
 Judge filed a charge of insubordination against 5 court employees: Lim,
Crispulo Padida, Mita Sabordo, Libertad Suan, & Jaime Almasco. Latter
filed a countercharge of falsification against Judge
 The charges of Lim & Royandoyan were referred to Judge Cinco, Exec.
Judge of the RTC for investigation. Judge Cinco recommended the
dismissal of the charges “w/ the respondent being admonished to be more
restrained & prudent in his behavior”

WON Royandoyan and Lim’s charges should be entertained

 NO and YES. SC held that Royandoyan’s charge of vindictiveness against
Judge should be dismissed for lack of basis it having been established that
Royandoyan’s provisional appointment as process server had by Jan. 1986
expired, hence, he ceased to be employed in the Gov’t & was not entitled to
compensation thereafter
 Judge is guilty of oppression & gross misconduct in slapping his clerk of
court, Lim, in public & thereafter, harassing him to resign or transfer to
another office on account of this administrative charge w/c Lim filed against
 Judge’s notorious predisposition to use physical violence & intemperate
language against his subordinates reveals a marked lack of judicial
temperament & self-restraint, traits not only desirable, but indispensable, for
every judge to possess besides the basic equipment of learning in the law.
He has demonstrated his unfitness to be a judge as behavior such as he
has exhibited puts the judiciary in dispute
 Thus, for having acted in an oppressive, improper, & violent manner against
his clerk of court by slapping him on the face w/o sufficient provocation or
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SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN vs. ALBANO [1996] the accused is probably guilty, so that warrant of arrest may be issued
FACTS: and accused held for trial = judicial function
 The SP issued Resolution 56, which calls for the immediate investigation
of Judge Efren Albano (MTC) for:  Preliminary investigation – where the complaint or information is read to
1. Controversial decisions the accused after his arrest and he is informed of the substance of the
2. Habitual absences evidence against him, after which he is allowed to present evidence in his
3. Indiscretion evidence (if he so desires). Determines whether or not he should be held
4. Inefficiency for trial = executive function
5. Incompetence
 More specifically, Judge Albano is being accused of:  Presidential Decree 911 removed the preliminary examination state and
1. irregularities in the way he conducts preliminary investigation – he integrated it into the preliminary investigation proper (now, there is only
dismissed 40 criminal cases after preliminary investigation without one stage)
transmitting the resolution and records to the provincial prosecutor
upon conclusion of the proceedings  Section 5, Rule 112 specifies that the duty of the investigating judge
2. archived 2 cases when police failed to arrest the suspects therein, in includes the transmission to the provincial or city fiscal of the resolution
violation of Section 5 of Rule 112 of the RoC and records of the case. Should the fiscal disagree with the findings,
fiscal’s ruling will prevail.
3. issued warrants of arrest without examining the complainant and his
witnesses in writing and under oath, in violation of Section 6(b) of
Rule 112 and Section 21, Article III of the Constitution  The government was constrained to assign this function to the judges of
the MTC and MCTC because there are not enough fiscals and
prosecutors. When the judge performs a non-judicial function, he is
 Judge Cabebe, to whom the resolution was referred for investigation, report
performing a ministerial duty (i.e. transmitting the resolution along with
and recommendation recommended the dismissal of the Judge Albano from the records of the case to the fiscal within 10 days) his findings are
the service with forfeiture of benefits subject to review by the fiscal, which, in turn, may be reviewed by
the Sec. of Justice.
 In his defense, Albano explained that:
1. The cases were dismissed at the preliminary examination stage  He has deprived the parties their statutory right of review that should be
(to determine whether there is probable cause to issue a warrant of conducted by the provincial prosecutor
arrest), never reached the preliminary investigation state, there
fore there was no need to transmit the records to the provincial
prosecutor II. Issuance of warrants for arrest: while the issuance of a warrant for
2. He cannot be held liable for improper disposition of cases under arrest is addressed to the sound discretion of the judge and will
preliminary investigation because the acts imputed against him not subject him to disciplinary action, provided there is no grave
pertain to his judicial capacity that are not subject to abuse of discretion or malice, he is still expected to follow strictly
disciplinary power. the procedure laid down in the rules regarding its issuance.

SC holding:  He issued several warrants of arrest without examining the complainant and
I. preliminary examination v. preliminary investigation: judge his witnesses in writing and under oath, in violation of Section 6, Rule 112
demonstrated his gross ignorance of the proper procedure in of the RoC (examination in the form of searching questions and answers)
conducting preliminary investigation. Conduct of preliminary
investigation is an executive, not a judicial function, therefore  He may have unnecessarily deprived the accused their liberty, however
falls under the authority of the prosecutor. momentary
 Preliminary examination – where judge determines whether there is
reasonable grounds to believe that the offense has been committed and
Ruling: Constitution requires that all members of the judiciary must be of
proven competence, integrity, probity and independence. His constant violation
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of the constitutional requirement and stubborn adherence to improper

procedures (he’s been doing this since the start of his term as municipal judge)
makes him unfit to discharge functions of a judge
Dismissed from service with forfeiture of all leave credits and retirement
benefits and disqualification from reemployment in the national and local
governments, as well as in gov’t instrumentalities and GOCCs
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PILIPINAS BANK vs. TIRONA-LIWAG [1990] • Hearing was reset to March 16, 1988 but counsel of the defendant failed to
Facts: appear. Plaintiffs’ counsel manifested that he had not received a copy of
• Verified administrative complaint filed by Pilipinas Bank charging retired the answer. Judge Liwag directed the answer to be stricken off the record
associate justice Tirona-liwag with gross ignorance of the law, partiality, and declare the defendant in default.
serious misconduct and knowingly rendering unjust orders and decisions. • MFR filed by defendant was denied.
• September 28, 1983 – Rustica Tan filed with the RTC a complaint for • Judge Liwag rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff. She also granted a
damages with injunction against petitioner Pilipinas Bank to stop an motion for execution. Issued a writ of execution to enforce the decision.
extrajudicial foreclosure of a lot. Decision was not enforced because of a restraining order issued by the CA.
• October 21, 1983 – Pilipinas Bank (PB) filed a motion to dismiss but it was
denied by Judge Aguinaldo. Atty. Rodolfo, counsel of the defendant, Issue: WON Judge Liwag committed reversible error and as such should be
received a copy of the order. disciplined accordingly? NO
• July 15, 1985 – plaintiff filed a motion to declare the defendant in default for • PB asks the application of res ipsa loquitur. It states that the decision of the
failure to file an answer. judge speaks for themselves in the light of the surrounding circumstances.
• July 31, 1985 – PB filed an opposition to declare the defendant in default • Default order – no partiality, serious misconduct, or rendering of unjust
and a motion to admit answer. The answer was attached and copy was order in its promulgation. The situation could have been better handled and
furnished to Atty. Policarpio. a more correct order issued with the same effect as a blanket grant of a
• October 14, 1985 – Judge Aguinaldo issued an order declaring the motion to declare defendant in default. No basis for imposing disciplinary
defendant in default. Judge Aguinaldo noted that Atty. Vega, counsel of the measures on this score alone.
defendant, received a copy of the order denying the motion to dismiss. • Judge Liwag's finding that her predecessor lifted the default order because
• November 15, 1985 – Atty. Bernardino filed a notice of appearance as of a misrepresentation by the bank's counsel. The behaviour of the bank's
counsel for the plaintiff in view of the withdrawal of Atty. Policarpio. counsel in subsequent proceedings and the long delay in the resolution of
the case eventually led to the questioned judgment.
• March 6 1986 – plaintiffs’ counsel filed an urgent motion to submit additional
evidence  granted • Claim that damages awarded is excessive  It was error on the part of
• March 14, 1986 – presented evidence to establish total damage amounting Judge Liwag to award damages more than what was prayed for in the
to P11,474,554 complaint. As cited by the appellate court, Section 5, Rule 18 of the Rules
• August 13, 1986 filed an MFR for the order of October 14, 1985. They of Court is very explicit in that a judgment against the party in default shall
not exceed the amount or be different in kind from that prayed for.
alleged that they never received a copy of the motion, did not receive a
copy of the order, and that it was only via their investigative work that they • Res ipsa loquitur cannot apply  In these res ipsa loquitur resolutions,
learned of the developments. Motion was signed by Atty. Gutierrez there was on the face of the assailed decisions, an inexplicable grave error
• September 10, 1987 – Atty. Gutierrez filed an appearance. bereft of any redeeming feature, a patent railroading of a case to bring
• October 21, 1986 – Judge Aguinaldo issued an order setting aside the about an unjust decision, or a manifestly deliberate intent to wreak an
default order and admitting the defendant’s answer. injustice against a hapless party. The facts themselves, previously proven
• August 24, 1987 – Presiding judge is now Judge Tirona-Liwag. Issued an or admitted, were of such a character as to give rise to a strong inference
order directing Atty. Vega who had reappeared as counsel for the defendant that evil intent was present. Such intent, in short, was clearly deducible from
to furnish the counsel for the plaintiffs a copy of the answer within five days. what was already of record. The res ipsa loquitur doctrine does not except
Hearing of the case was set on October 7, 1987. or dispense with the necessity of proving the facts on which the inference of
evil intent is based. It merely expresses the clearly sound and reasonable
• November 9, 1987 – order that declared the defendant in default.
conclusion that when such facts are admitted or are already shown by the
• December 9, 1987 – Atty Vega filed a "Manifestation with Motion for record, and no credible explanation that would negative the strong
Postponement" stating therein that he erroneously sent a copy of the inference of evil intent is forthcoming, no further healing to establish them to
defendant's answer to Atty. Lumen Policarpio, the plaintiffs' former counsel support a judgment as to the culpability of a respondent is necessary.
but "... is now attaching herewith xerox copy of his Answer to Atty. • Facts negate any improper or evil motive and malice on the part of Judge
Gutierrez, the present counsel actually handling the case for his
Liwag in issuing the orders as well as the decision.
disposition." Atty. Vega also asked that the case be reset on January 19,
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o that Judge Liwag never issued the orders in deliberate haste to railroad
the case in favor of the plaintiffs and to the prejudice of the defendant,
the complainant bank herein
o The orders were issued after deliberation and consideration of all
pleadings filed by the parties. The orders were not issued without
rhyme or reason. The orders clearly reveal all the antecedent facts as
regards the subject matter of the orders and the justifications for such
orders. Judge Liwag issued the questioned orders in apparent good
faith without any proof or showing of malice, corrupt motives or
improper consideration.
o Good faith and absence of malice, corrupt motives or improper
consideration are sufficient defenses protecting a judicial officer
charged with ignorance of the law and promulgation of an unjust
decision from being held accountable for errors of judgment, on the
premise that no one called upon to try the facts or interpret the law in
the administration of justice can be infallible. The respondent Judge's
claim of belief in the legal soundness of his orders would have been
more plausible were it not for his perceptibly persistent refusal, despite
the opportunity afforded by several occasions, to hear the merits of the
defenses of complainant Solidbank and its co-defendants in their
motions to dismiss and answer, and the grossly excessive and
unconscionable amounts of damages he adjudged against said
defendants despite their preclusion from any participation in the trial
• Justice Liwag states that if what she considered her best efforts are found
wanting by the Supreme Court, then she tenders her sincerest apologies for
the lapses or errors she might have committed and assures us that they
were not done with malice or intent to cause injustice to anyone.
• Judge Liwag should have acted in a more professionally competent manner
to obviate the appearance or suspicion of misconduct in the issuance of
orders awarding huge sums of money against defaulting or recalcitrant
parties. If she were still on the bench, she would have been reprimanded
and warned to be more careful in the scrupulous observance of the rules.
Since she has retired, the above observations suffice.