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Political Law Case Digests

Political Law Case Digests

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Published by Monica Cajucom

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Published by: Monica Cajucom on Jun 24, 2011
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A.M. No. 93-7-696-0 February 21,1995In Re JOAQUIN T. BORROMEO, ExRel. Cebu City Chapter of theIntegrated Bar of the Philippines.
HELD:Joaquin Borromeo was declared guiltyof constructive contempt of court forrepetitiously disrespecting the decisions andresolutions issued by the courts, and even byissuing a circular containing libelous andoffending accusations (like whimsical,capricious, and tyrannical) against theSupreme Court justices and its employees. Heeven delivered a letter accusing lawyers of defamatory comments and insults. This is dueto his series of dismissed complaints andappeals against 3 banks namely Traders RoyalBank, United Coconut Planters Bank, andSecurity Bank and Trust Co. from which heobtained loans with unfulfilled mortgages. Inrelation to this, he filed cases against thelawyers of these banks and even against theclerks of court who signed the minuteresolutions of these cases. The actions reachedthe alarming number of 50 cases varying fromcivil, criminal, to administrative cases.In response, the court answered all hisfalse alleged accusations through a resolutionalong with declaring him guilty of contempt of court.
A.M. MTJ-98-1147 July 2, 1998 JESUS S. CONDUCTO
FACTS:A complaint was filed by petitionerConducto with the Sangguniang Panlungsod of San Pablo City against Benjamin Maghirang,the barangay chairman of Barangay III-E of San Pablo City, for abuse of authority, seriousirregularity and violation of law in that, amongother things for appointing his sister-in-law tothe position of barangay secretary whichviolates the law. A case was filed againstMaghirang for violating Art 244 (UnlawfulAppointment) under the RPC. Petitioner seeksthat Maghirang be suspended from his officebut it was denied by the respondent judgeholding that the requirement for such action isa simultaneous existence of administrative andcriminal cases as against the accused, whichaccording to him is not present in this case,and that the reelection of the BarangayChairman is a condonation of his mistakesduring his prior term. Hence, petitioner filed acase against the respondent judge forignorance of the law.ISSUE: WON respondent judge is guilty of ignorance of the law.HELD: YES.The claim of respondent Judge that alocal official who is criminally charged can bepreventively suspended only if there is anadministrative case filed against him is withoutbasis. It is well settled that Section 13 of RA3019 makes it mandatory for theSandiganbayan (or the Court) to suspend anypublic officer against whom a valid informationcharging violation of this law, Book II, Title 7of the RPC, or any offense involving fraud upongovernment or public funds or property is filedin court. Barangay Chairman BenjaminMaghirang was charged with UnlawfulAppointment, punishable under Article 244,Title 7, Book II of the Revised PenalCode. Therefore, it was mandatory on JudgeMonzon’s part, considering the Motion filed, toorder the suspension of Maghirang.Also, In
Ingco v. Sanchez 
this Courtexplicitly ruled that the re-election of a publicofficial extinguishes only the administrative,but not the criminal, liability incurred by himduring his previous term of office.Be that as it may, it would also do wellto note that good faith and lack of maliciousintent cannot completely free respondent fromliability.
Digested and compiled by Monica S. Cajucom, UST Law
“It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.” –Paul Arden
A.M. No. 133-J May 31, 1982BERNARDITA R. MACARIOLAvs. HONORABLE ELIAS B.ASUNCION, Judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte
FACTS:This is a complaint of petitioner againstrespondent judge of “acts unbecoming of a judge” regarding an act following theunfavorable decision rendered by therespondent judge against the formerconcerning disputed properties of her deceasedfather which were being claimed by the latter’schildren from a subsequent marriage. It turnedout that respondent judge purchased one of the lots in the case decided by him andtransferred it to the fishing corporation wherehe is a stockholder and a ranking officer. Alongwith this, other misdeeds were also exposedsuch as that his involvement in the mentionedbusiness corporation while he is sitting as a judge is in violation of the law, his allegedcoddling of and close relations with animpostor, Dominador Tan, who misrepresentshimself as a practicing attorney, and otherdisregard for ethics.ISSUE: WON respondent judge should be heldguilty of “acts unbecoming of a judge.” HELD: NO.Respondent Judge cannot be held liablefor involving himself in a business becausethere is no showing that respondentparticipated or intervened
in hisofficial 
capacity in the business or transactionsof the Traders Manufacturing and FishingIndustries, Inc. In the case at bar, thebusiness of the corporation in whichrespondent participated has obviously norelation or connection with his judicial office. Itdoes not appear also from the records that theaforesaid corporation gained any undueadvantage in its business operations by reasonof respondent's financial involvement in it, orthat the corporation benefited in one way oranother in any case filed by or against it incourt. No provision in both the 1935 and 1973Constitutions of the Philippines, nor is there anexisting law expressly prohibiting members of the Judiciary from engaging or having interestin any lawful businessLikewise, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce which prohibits judges fromengaging in commerce is, as heretofore stated,deemed abrogated automatically upon thetransfer of sovereignty from Spain to America,because it is political in nature.virtual lawlibraryMoreover, the prohibition in paragraph5, Article 1491 of the New Civil Code againstthe purchase by judges of a property inlitigation before the court within whose jurisdiction they perform their duties, cannotapply to respondent Judge because the sale of the lot in question to him took place after thefinality of his decision in Civil Case No. 3010 aswell as his two orders approving the project of partition; hence, the property was no longersubject of litigation.virtual lWE are not, however, unmindful of thefact that respondent Judge and his wife hadwithdrawn on January 31, 1967 from theaforesaid corporation and sold their respectiveshares to third parties. Such disposal or saleby respondent and his wife of their shares inthe corporation only 22 days after theincorporation of the corporation, indicates thatrespondent realized that early that theirinterest in the corporation contravenes theaforesaid Canon 25.With respect to the third and fourthcauses of action, complainant alleged thatrespondent was guilty of coddling an impostorand acted in disregard of judicial decorum, andthat there was culpable defiance of the law andutter disregard for ethics. That fact even if truedid not render respondent guilty of violatingany canon of judicial ethics as long as hisfriendly relations with Dominador A. Tan andfamily did not influence his official actuationsas a judge where said persons were concerned.There is no tangible convincing proof thatherein respondent gave any undue privileges inhis court to Dominador Arigpa Tan or that thelatter benefitted in his practice of law from hispersonal relations with respondent, or that heused his influence, if he had any, on theJudges of the other branches of the Court tofavor said Dominador Tan
Digested and compiled by Monica S. Cajucom, UST Law
“It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.” –Paul Arden
G.R. No. 152154 July 15, 2003REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs.HONORABLE SANDIGANBAYAN(SPECIAL FIRST DIVISION),Ferdinand E. Marcos (representedby his estate/heirs: Imelda R.Marcos, Maria Imelda [Imee]Marcos-Manotoc, Ferdinand R.Marcos, Jr. and Irene Marcos-Araneta) and Imelda RomualdezMarcos
FACTS:Petitioner Republic, through thePresidential Commission on Good Government(PCGG), represented by the Office of theSolicitor General (OSG), filed a petition forforfeiture before the Sandiganbayan. Petitionersought the declaration of the aggregateamount of US$356 million (now estimated tobe more than US$658 million inclusive of interest) deposited in escrow in the PNB, as ill-gotten wealth. The funds were previously heldby the following five account groups, usingvarious foreign foundations in certain Swissbanks. In addition, the petition sought theforfeiture of US$25 million and US$5 million intreasury notes which exceeded the Marcoscouple’s salaries, other lawful income as wellas income from legitimately acquiredproperty.The treasury notes are frozen at theCentral Bank of the Philippines by virtue of thefreeze order issued by the PCGG. Before thecase was set for pre-trial, a General Agreementand the Supplemental Agreement datedDecember 28, 1993 were executed by theMarcos children and then PCGG ChairmanMagtanggol Gunigundo for a global settlementof the assets of the Marcos family to identify,collate, cause the inventory of and distributeall assets presumed to be owned by the Marcosfamily under the conditions contained therein.ISSUE: WON the Swiss funds can be forfeitedin favor of the Republic, on the basis of theMarcoses’ lawful income.HELD: NO.RA 1379 raises the prima faciepresumption that a property is unlawfullyacquired, hence subject to forfeiture, if itsamount or value is manifestly disproportionateto the official salary and other lawful income of the public officer who owns it. The followingfacts must be established in order thatforfeiture or seizure of the Swiss deposits maybe effected: (1) ownership by the public officerof money or property acquired during hisincumbency, whether it be in his name orotherwise, and (2) the extent to which theamount of that money or property exceeds, i.e., is grossly disproportionate to, thelegitimate income of the public officer. Herein,the spouses Ferdinand and Imelda Marcoswere public officials during the time material tothe present case was never in dispute.The spouses accumulated salary of $304,372.43 should be held as the only knownlawful income of the Marcoses since they didnot file any Statement of Assets and Liabilities(SAL), as required by law, from which their networth could be determined. Besides, under the1935 Constitution, Ferdinand E. Marcos asPresident could not receive "any otheremolument from the Government or any of itssubdivisions and instrumentalities". Likewise,under the 1973 Constitution, Ferdinand E.Marcos as President could "not receive duringhis tenure any other emolument from theGovernment or any other source."Their only known lawful income of $304,372.43 can therefore legally and fairlyserve as basis for determining the existence of a prima facie case of forfeiture of the Swissfunds. The Republic did not fail to establish aprima facie case for the forfeiture of the Swissdeposits.The Swiss deposits which weretransferred to and are deposited in escrow atthe Philippine National Bank in the estimatedaggregate amount of US$658,175,373.60 as of 31 January 2002, plus interest, were forfeitedin favor of the Republic.
Digested and compiled by Monica S. Cajucom, UST Law
“It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.” –Paul Arden

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