MACARIOLA VS. ASUNCION114 SCRA 77FACTS:
1. Judge Elias Asuncion was the presiding Judge in Civil Case No. 3010 forpartition.2. Among the parties thereto was Bernardita R. Macariola.3. On June 8, 1863 respondent Judge rendered a decision, which becamefinal for lack of an appeal.4. On October 16, 1963 a project of partition was submitted to JudgeAsuncion which he approved in an Order dated October 23, 1963, lateramended on November 11, 1963.5. On March 6, 1965, a portion of lot 1184-E, one of the properties subject topartition under Civil Case No. 3010, was acquired by purchase by respondentMacariola and his wife, who were major stockholders of TradersManufacturing and Fishing Industries Inc.,6. Bernardita Macariola thus charged Judge Asuncion of the CFI of Leyte, nowAssociate Justice of the Court of Appeals “with acts unbecoming of a judge.”7. Macariola alleged that Asuncion violated , among others, Art. 1491, par. 5of the New Civil Code and Article 14 of the Code of Commerce.
Is the actuation of Judge Asuncion in acquiring by purchase a portion of property in a Civil Case previously handled by him an act unbecoming of a Judge?
Article 1491 , par. 5 of the New Civil Code applies only to the sale orassignment of the property which is the subject of litigation to the personsdisqualified therein. The Supreme Court held that for the prohibition tooperate, the sale or assignment must take place during the pendency of thelitigation involving the property.In the case at bar, when respondent Judge purchased on March 6, 1965 aportion of lot 1184-E, the decision in Civil Case No. 3010 which he renderedon June 8, 1963 was already final because none of the parties filed an appealwithin the reglementary period hence, the lot in question was no longersubject of litigation. Moreover at the time of the sale on March 6, 1965,respondent’s order date October 23, 1963 and the amended order datedNovember 11, 1963 approving the October 16, 1963 project of partition