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Macariola vs Asuncion

Macariola vs Asuncion

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Published by Mafar
Case Digest for Political Law
Case Digest for Political Law

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Published by: Mafar on Nov 12, 2011
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07/01/2013

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Case Digest: Definition of Political Law - MACARIOLA VS ASUNCION (114 SCRA 77) FACTS: 1.

Judge Elias Asuncion was the presiding Judge in Civil Case No. 3010 for partition. 2. One of the parties of Civil Case No. 3010 was Bernardita R. Macariola. 3. On June 8, 1963, Judge Asuncion rendered a decision which became final for lack of an appeal. 4. On October 16, 1963 a project of partition was submitted to Judge Asuncion which he approved in an Order dated October 23, 1963, later amended on November 11, 1963. 5. On March 6, 1965, a portion of Lot 1184-E, one of the properties subject to partition under Civil Case No. 3010, was acquired by purchase by respondent Macariola and his wife, who were major stockholders of Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries., Inc. 6. On August 6, 1968, Bernardita R. Macariola charged respondent Judge Elias B. Asuncion of the Court of First Instance, now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, with “acts unbecoming a judge.” 7. Macariola alleged that Asuncion violated, among others, Article 14, paragraphs 1 and 5 of the Code of Commerce. ISSUE: Is Judge Asuncion is guilty of violating Article 14, paragraphs 1 and 5 of the Code of Commerce? HELD: Political Law has been defined as that branch of public law which deals with the organization and operation of the governmental, organs of the State and define the relations of the state with the inhabitants of its territory. (People vs. Perfecto, 43 Phil 887, 897 [1922]). It may be recalled that political law embraces constitutional law, law of public corporations, administrative law including the law on public officers and elections. Article 14 of the Code of Commerce partakes more of the nature of an administrative law because it regulates conduct of certain public officers and employees with respect to engaging in business; hence, political in essence. Article 14 of the Code of Commerce prohibiting certain public officers from engaging in business activities is political in nature and has already been abrogated with the transfer of sovereignty from Spain, to the United States and later to the Republic of the Philippines. Consequently, Article 14 of the Code of Commerce has no legal and binding effect and cannot apply to respondent, Judge Asuncion. In conclusion, while respondent Judge Asuncion, now Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, did not violate any law in acquiring by purchase a parcel of land which was in litigation in his court and in engaging in business by a joining a private corporation during his incumbency as a Judge of the Court of First Instance of Leyte, he should be reminded to be more discreet in his private and business activities, because his conduct as a member of the Judiciary must not only be characterized with propriety but must always be above suspicion.

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