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Legprof-digests on Canon 3 (NJCOC)

Legprof-digests on Canon 3 (NJCOC)

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Published by: Sui on Aug 11, 2008
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05/09/2014

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Pau Duman \ Leg Prof \ Dean Agabin \ I-E
Fecundo vs. Berjamen
Facts:
Before the Court is a prayer for a restraining order to inhibit resp judge Hon.Berjamen of the RTC Mambuso Capiz from continuing with the trial of anelection protest filed by resp Salcedo against pet Fecundo bec of hispartiality and bias against pet.
Pet alleged that the ff acts show his partiality and bias:
a.
unbecoming language
which states that “the implementation of the order of this Court is vehemently opposed by the municipal mayor and his
cohorts
we have a government of laws and not of 
rascals
…to give in to pet is likesavages in the
 jungle where might is right.
 
 b.
Severely
reprimanding and scolding
in open court the pet’s secretary thusexposing her to mockery and ridicule.
c.
Personal interest of judge by
inquiring
from one of the commissioners the
revision of the ballots
d.
Judge is
beholden to Cong. Villareal
whose picture is hanged on the judge’soffice. Villareal is a known supporter of the resp and that the cong hasworked for the appointment of the judge.
e.
Statement of judge that motion of pet for
motion for reconsideration
of thedenial of the motion to inhibit him, the judge,
will be denied
.
The acts of the judge are
not in consonance with the standard of coldneutrality
of an impartial judge and thus he is not trusted to render a fairand impartial decision.
The incidents of the election protest are that in 1988 during the localelections,
Fecundo won with a margin of 100 votes so Salcedo filed anelection protest and was assigned to resp judge.
The resp judge issued an
order directing the Municpal Treasurer of Dumalag to deliver to the courts the ballot boxes
subject of the protest.And the Municipal Treasurer addressed a letter to the judge stating that themayor and his cohorts are threatening the treasurer of his life if he insists onbringing the ballots as stipulated in judge’s order. On the same day the judgeissued the order already adverted to after the pet has filed an answer withcounter protest.
The
First Division of the Court has issued a TRO but was dismissed
due tofailure to show grave abuse of discretion of lack of or excess of jurisdiction.
Pet filed a
motion for inhibition on April 18 with a notice of hearing onApril 20 but both parties failed to indicate in the records of this casewhether a hearing actually took place
on the motion but the judge
deniedthe motion for non-compliance with the 3 day notice rule.
No motion for recon was filed by pet bec of judge’s statement that the Courtwill just
deny when it receives it.
There was also an allegation that the pet was not furnished with a copy of the Feb 10 order which was the order to deliver the ballot boxes subject of protest.
Resp contends pet is just delaying the resolution of the election bec there is
a probability that pet will lose the election.
Resp
 judge denies all accusations
imputing to pet wild imagination andpolitical immaturity and childish mentality. The letter they have alleged thatcame from the judge is just a part of the Treasurer’s letter and that theothers are just reminders and advice to pet to respect and recognize theauth of the court.Issue:WON the judge should inhibit himself from continuing the trial of the election protest.Held:YES. A spotless dispensation of justice requires not only that the decision rendered beintrinsically fair but that the judge rendering it must, at all times,
maintain theappearance of fairness and impartiality.
Pet alleged gross disregard of 
RULE 137 of ROC
which is the Disqulificationof Judicial Officers which states how objection should be made. –In writingstating the grounds thereupon to disqualify the judge and the judge shallmake his decision in writing as well but no appeal or stay shall be allowedfrom his decision in favor of his own competency
On
3-day notice rule
: Court held that it was proper for the judge to dismissthe motion bec the Rules of Court clearly states that a motion which doesnot meet the req of sec 4 and 15 of ROC is considered a worthless paper.Service of copy of motion containing notice of time and place of said hearingis a mandatory requirement.
Pet alleged that the election contest has reached the
stage of presentationof evidence which is way ahead as compared with other election protests
but on this issue the Court held that this is non-sequitur. Speedy dispositiondoesn’t connote partiality considering that this is an election protest.
Although it is not enough that partiality is merely alleged; it should beproven and should not be based on mere suspicion
. There should beevidence to prove the charge.
However the Court reiterated decision in
Santos vs. Gutierrez
where in theCourt held that the “duty of rendering a just decision is the duty of doing itin
a manner that will not arouse any suspicion as to its fairness
and theintegrity of the Judge. However upright the judge is, there is peril of his
unconscious bias or prejudice, or lest any former opinion formed ex partemay still linger to affect unconsciously his present judgment.”
Appearance of strict impartiality should be maintained.
Case was
transferred to the newly appointed judge Julius Abella
and thethe proceeding should be decided upon within
3 months
from notice of thedecision.
Petition granted.
 
Pau Duman \ Leg Prof \ Dean Agabin \ I-E
Aparicio vs. Andal
FACTS:
What are assailed here are the
orders of the respondent judge in certaincriminal and civil cases.
What the petitioner wrote on his
Motion for Inhibition
is for the resp judgeto inhibit himself 
from trying, hearing or any manner acting on all cases,civil and criminal, in which the Movant or the herein petition is involved
and handling.
However, considering the aforecited motion, Judge Andal still issued thesubstantially identical orders assailed herein.ISSUE:WON Judge Andal acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he denied the Pet Motion for Inhibition in several criminal and civilcases and continued in taking cognizance of said cases and all other cases pendingbefore him.HELD:No. There is
no valid ground relied upon to support pet motion
.
Pet maintains that there is an existing
state of hostility
bet the judge andhim
sparked by his filing of petitions for certiorari and administrativecases
against the judge.
By Judge’s refusal to inhibit himself, Judge Andal has
violated hisconstitutional rights to due process, equal protection of the law, acess tothe court and speedy disposition of cases
thus making the judge civillyliable under Art. 32 of the CC. Bec of the Judge’s refusal, pet and his familyhave suffered from mental anguish and incurred expenses for which theymust be compensated.
Judge maintains that there was no valid ground to justify his inhibition andhe also claims that he doesn’t resent the filing of certiorari cases against himas
he has neither the reason nor the luxury of time to entertain such afeeling. He is preoccupied with his case load to even think of it. He alsostresses that he has nothing personal against the pet as he does not knowthe pet personally.
Also he is just impleaded nominally only.
The fact that the motion for inhibition cited no valid ground
was confirmedby the prosecuting fiscal and the counsel for the accused in the criminalcases and the defendants in civil cases
. The denial of said motion was notwhimsical nor capricious.
SOL GEN states that the state of hostility is purely imaginary bec there hasbeen no presentation of evidence to support pet conclusion.
On his taking cognizance of the cases pending before him, it has been heldthat
mere pendency of a special civil action for certiorari commenced inrelation to a case pending before the lower court does not interrupt thecourse of the latter when there is no writ of injunction
restraining it.
Mere filing of administrative cases against resp judge would
not disqualifyhim from hearing the cases for if on every occasion the party apparentlyaggrieved would be allowed to either stop the proceedings
in order toawait the final decision on the desired disqualification, or demand theimmediate inhibition of the judge on the basis alone of his being so charged,many cases would have to be kept pending.
Prejudice is not to be presumed.
With regard to pet claim of damages under ART 32, the court held that thepurpose of the
codal provision is to provide sanction to the deeplycherished rights and freedom enshrined in the constitution
. Message: Noman may seek to violate those sacred rights
with impunity
. Andal’s denial of the motion for inhibition and proceeding with the trial of the cases pendingbefore his court were done in a regular manner and were considered hisofficial acts, therefore he is not liable for damages.
The court stressed an important point which should not be overlooked andthat is the petitioner’s audacious propensity of filing certiorari andadministrative cases against the resp judge based on flimsy and unfoundedcharges he can conceive.
Bec of his act
, Aparicio is Reprimanded
for his conduct because he isexpected to give due respect to the courts of justice and judicial officers,not for the sake of the incumbent office but for the maintenance of itssupreme importance.
Petition dismissed.
Gandionco vs. Peñaranda
Facts:
Petitioner applied for injunction to annul a) the order of the resp judgeordering the pet to pay support pendente lite to private resp his wife andtheir child b) denying pet motion to suspend hearings for the action for legalseparation filed against him by priv resp.
The private resp wife filed with the RTC of Misamis Oriental a complaintagainst pet husband for legal separation on the ground of concubinage with apetition for support and payment of damages. This is a civil case. Also thewife filed a complaint against husband for concubinage which is a criminalcases.
Resp wife filed application for provisional remedy of support pendent elitepending the decision for legal separation and the judge ordered payment of support pendente lite.
Pet contends that civil action for legal separation and the incidentsconsequent thereto such as the support should be suspended in view of the

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