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Case No. 64
41 SCRA 66 (1971)
Chapter XIII, Page 497 & 504, Footnotes No. 87-88, 91-92 & 126
G, defendant, filed a motion to disqualify Judge X from hearing a criminal
case on the ground that Judge X and the complainant C were related within
the 6 civil degree by affinity, a ground for disqualification under Section 1 of
Rule 137 of the Rules of Court. Judge X denied the motion on the ground
that since it was a criminal case, he is neither related to the People of the
Philippines nor to the defendant G, who were the party-litigants. He
contended C was merely a complaining witness in such criminal action but
made no denial whatsoever of his relationship within the 6 degree of affinity
to C. Thereafter Judge X continued to hear. G, then filed a special civil
action for prohibition with preliminary injunction so that Judge X may cease
and desist from trying the case.
(1) Does Judge Xs action of continuing the case despite his relationship with
the complaining witness divest the court of jurisdiction?
(2) Is Gs course of action correct under Section 2 of Rule 137?
(3) Is Judge Xs contention correct?
No. Judge X is deprived of his authority to continue to hear and decide the
It does not, however, divest the court of jurisdiction.
disqualification of a judge does not necessarily render his judgment null and
void. Neither Section 1 nor Section 2 of Rule 137 so states. The
disqualification of the person called upon to preside over a specific case
does not divest his court of jurisdiction over the subject matter of or the
persons of the parties to the said case. At most, the disqualification strikes
only at the authority of the challenged judge to preside over the trial of the
specific case and therein to exercise the jurisdiction of the court. Important
is the distinction between the jurisdiction of the court and the authority of the
judge called upon to exercise such jurisdiction. A judge may be disqualified
to try, to sit in or act in a specific case, but his disqualification does not
destroy the jurisdiction of the court which he resides. Thus, if subsequently
the judgment of a disqualified judge should be set aside as null and void, by
a higher court, the nullity stems not from the courts lack of jurisdiction but
from the absence of authority on the part of the disqualified judge to try the
given case.
Yes. Section 2 of Rule 137 requires the judge to make a determination of
his competency and to proceed with the trial of the case or to withdraw
therefrom, in accordance with determination such that the aggrieved party, in
his appeal to the appellate court from the final judgment rendered in the
main case may raise the question of the correctness of the determination of
the judge of his competency to sit in the case. However, such prohibitory

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provision against an appeal from or a stay of the proceedings (motion to

disqualify) does not operate to bar an accused in proper cases, from availing
of the special civil action of prohibition before superior courts for
determination, ahead of the judgment on the merits, of whether the
challenged judge committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in refusing to disqualify himself.
No. Even if the case is criminal, the crime also constitutes an offense
against the offended party under Section 15 of Rule 110.
Case No. 51
6 SCRA 146 (1962)
Chapter XIII, Page 499 Footnote No. 100
A filed a complaint for breach of contract against B Sugar Central Co. before
the Justice of the Peace Court of Y. Before B Sugar Central could reply,
Justice of the Peace Y filed a petition with his superior, requesting that he be
authorized to inhibit himself on the ground that the counsel for B Sugar
Central was his first degree cousin. This was granted and the case was
reassigned to Justice of the Peace Z. However, a motion for reconsideration
was filed by counsel for A, alleging that relationship between Judge and
counsel was not legal basis for inhibition under the law, and so the case
should remain under Justice of the Peace Ys court.
May Justice of the Peace Y, in the absence of any challenge directed
against him, voluntarily request that he be allowed to inhibit himself from a
case, where the lawyer for one of the parties is his first degree cousin or on
grounds of similar nature?
Yes. In 1962, the Supreme Court relaxed the rule and allowed a judge to
voluntarily inhibit himself to sit in a case because he was closely related to
the lawyer of one of the litigants and stated that the law on compulsory
disqualification does not preclude cases of voluntary inhibition based on
good, sound or ethical grounds.
Case No. 62
229 SCRA 766 (1994)
Chapter 13, Page 500, Footnote No. 109
Judge As brother filed a criminal case for grave oral defamation against
person B with the MTC of Leyte where Judge A was the acting judge. Judge
A took cognizance of the case despite the fact that private complainant is his
brother, a relative within the second degree of consanguinity.

Did Judge A violate the rule on compulsory disqualification of a judge?

A judge may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation, but when
circumstances appear that will induce doubt on his honest actuations and
probity in favor of either party, or incite such state of mind, he should
conduct a careful examination. The better course for the judge is to
disqualify himself, so as to preserve the peoples faith and confidence in the
courts of justice.
Case No. 169
288 SCRA 594 (1998)
Chapter 13, Page 500, Footnote No. 109
Judge A took cognizance of and decided a petition for correction of entry in
the birth record of her grandson, notwithstanding such close relationship.
Was judge a disqualified from taking cognizance of the case?
A judge may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation, but when
circumstances appear that will induce doubt on his honest actuations and
probity in favor of either party, or incite such state of mind, he should
conduct a careful examination. The better course for the judge is to
disqualify himself, so as to preserve the peoples faith and confidence in the
courts of justice.
Case No. 160
236 SCRA 72 (1994)
Chapter XIII, Page 500, Footnote No. 107
Mr. A had contracts of security services for Bs various installations. His two
contracts expired by 1985, but according to Mr. A, he was asked by B to stay
on until he would have been properly relieved. According to him, such act
was considered to be a renewal of contracts. B disagreed and even decided
to ban Mr. A from future contract bids. Thus, Mr. A filed for an injunction
against B for which he got a favorable decision. However, in the Court of
Appeals, one of the Justices, Justice C was the former Solicitor General of
B. He only inhibited from the case when Mr. A refreshed his memory about
his previous employment. The decision was therefore made by the two
remaining justices. They ruled in favor of Company B. According to Mr. A,
Justice C should have not participated in the case at all.
Is the contention of Mr. A correct? Explain.
What is the rationale behind Sec. 1, Rule 137 of the Rules of Court and Rule
3.12 of the Code of Judicial Conduct?

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The rationale of the rule is that no judge should handle a case in which he
might be perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be susceptible to bias and
Case No. 116
58 SCRA 776 (1974)
Chapter XIII, Page 482, Footnote No. 26
A case has been filed for estafa and was assigned to the sala of Judge Y.
Judge Y acquitted the defendant A from said case in his decision stating that
the charge was nothing but a concocted story. After which, A filed a case
claiming damages from B, the person who instituted the case of estafa
against A. Due to the wordings of the previous decision, B petitioned for the
disqualification of Judge Y in the civil case for damages. Consequently,
Judge Y voluntarily inhibited himself from conducting the trial.
If Judge Y opted to proceed with the case would he be violating any
provision in Rule 137?
The grounds provided for in Rule 137 for compulsory disqualification does
not include the situation provided. Nevertheless, Judge Ys inhibition is
commendable as in relation to the grounds provided for in voluntary
inhibition. It is not enough that he decides cases without bias and favoritism,
nor is it sufficient that he in fact rids himself of prepossessions. His
actuations should moreover, inspire that belief. Like Caesars wife, a judge
must not only be pure but beyond suspicion. Thus, if Judge Y opted to
proceed, it would render nugatory the purpose of voluntary inhibition as
provided in Rule 137.
Case No. 66
112 Phil 184 (1961)
Chapter XIII, Page 482, footnote No. 27
A case was filed against C for having illegally constructed dams, dikes and
other obstructions across navigable waters, waterways, rivers and
communal fishing grounds. The Judge to whose sala the case was assigned,
Judge Z, was formerly a counsel of some fishpond owners in a similar
situation who opined that said case could not prosper because the subject
streams and rivers referred to in that separate case were private in nature.
Consequently, Judge Z issued an order inhibiting himself and endorsing the
case to another branch of the Court, in consideration of the due process
prescribed by law as the impartial character of a tribunal.

Is Judge Z compulsory required to inhibit himself from said case because of

his previous involvement with a separate case of the same nature?
Judge Z is not compulsory required to inhibit himself for he does not fall
under the situations and instances enumerated in Rule 137. His previous
employment as a counsel in another case of the similar circumstances does
not preclude him from hearing the present case because the case assigned
to his sala is not the identical case he handled before. Nevertheless, Judge
Z must be commended for voluntarily inhibiting himself, which is like wise
provided for in Rule 137. For due process of law requires a hearing before
an impartial and disinterested tribunal and every litigant is entitled to nothing
less than the cold neutrality of an impartial judge. Since Judge Z perceives
the possibility of his partial judgment, it is rightful for him to voluntarily
disqualify himself from hearing the case.

Case No. 97
65 SCRA 245 (1975)
Chapter XIII, Page 482, Footnote No. 24


Case No. 80
144 SCRA 194 (1986)
Chapter XIII, Page 482, Footnote No. 28
J and P were candidates in Antique for the Batasang Pambansa in the May
1984 elections. Owing to what he claimed were attempts to railroad the
private respondents proclamation, the petitioner went to the Commission on
Elections to question the canvass of the election returns. His complaints
were dismissed and the private respondent was proclaimed winner by the
Second Division of the said body. The petitioner thereupon came to this
Court, arguing that the proclamation was void because it was made only by
a division and not by the Commission on elections en banc.
In addition, Commissioner O was asked to inhibit himself on the ground that
he was formerly a law partner of the private respondent. The case was still
being considered by this Court when on February 11, 1986, the petitioner
was gunned down in cold blood and in broad daylight.
Should Commissioner O inhibit himself from participating in the case?

In a criminal case, M, as principal, and D and B, as accessories after the

fact, were charged with the murder of AB. As the first two were not
apprehended, trial proceeded with respect to the third, B. Judge G in his
decision acquitted B to the effect that the crime was committed by M.
Thereafter, M surrendered and later arraigned before the same court.
Counsel of the accused moved for the trial judge, G, to inhibit himself from
hearing the case on its merits on the ground that G is no longer impartial.
Judge G denied the oral motion. M did not move for a reconsideration of the
denial of the motion so the trial proceeded. When the trial was already in the
rebuttal stage for the government, the present Petition for Prohibition was
filed commanding Judge G to desist from hearing and deciding the case.

An indispensable requisite of due process is that the judge who presides and
decides over a proceeding must possess the cold neutrality of an impartial
judge. Given the general attitude of the Commission on Elections toward the
party in power at that time, and the particular relationship between
Commissioner O and P, one could not be at least apprehensive, if not
certain, that the decision of the body would be adverse to the petitioner. As
in fact it was. Commissioner Os refusal to inhibit himself and his objection to
the transfer of the case to another division cannot be justified by any criterion
of propriety.

Is there a ground for the disqualification of Judge G from hearing and

rendering the decision in the case against M?

Due process demands that the judge inhibit himself, if only out of a sense of
delicadeza. For refusing to do so, he divested the Second Division of the
necessary vote for the questioned decision, assuming it could act, and
rendered the proceeding null and void.

A Judge has the duty not only to render a just and impartial decision, but
also render it in such a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to its
fairness and impartiality, and also as to the judges integrity. While the
Supreme Court does grant respondents capacity to render a just and
impartial decision acquitting B to the effect that the crime was committed by
M renders it impossible for respondent to be free from suspicion that in
deciding petitioners case, respondent will be biased and prejudiced. The
Supreme Court therefore held that under these circumstances petitioner has
the right to have his case decided by another Judge.

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Case No. 60
62 SCRA 124 (1975)
Chapter XIII, Page 483, Footnote No. 30

Case No. 123
83 Phil. 283 (1949)
Chapter XIII, Page 498, Footnote No. 94

On two separate occasions, in the secrecy of his chambers, Judge J

informed petitioners C and V of the weakness of their cases, the likelihood of
the verdict of acquittal of the accused, and impressed upon them that it
would be to their advantage to settle, as the most that he could do on their
behalf was to have such accused indemnify them. This move, according to
him, would assure their being spared from the embarrassment occasioned
by suits of this character, clearly prejudicial to their future. These
conversations took place even before the prosecution had finished
presenting its evidence, one of the petitioners not having testified as yet.
Judge J argued that he was prompted to act thus from the best of motives,
as an act of charity and as a clear attempt to humanize justice.

M was convicted of treason. On appeal, M claimed that the trial court erred
in denying his motion for voluntary inhibition of Judge X to sit as one of the
judges in the treason case because Judge X previously convicted M for the
crime of murder, based on the same facts alleged in the information for
treason but was later on eliminated, and therefore is biased.

Is there a ground for the disqualification of Judge J from hearing this case?

Case No. 82
25 Phil. 281 (1913)
Chapter XII, Page 498, Footnote No. 95

It was the submission of respondent Judge that his final decision would be
independent on the evidence that could be presented by petitioners. What
cannot be denied, however, is that after such conferences, they could no
longer be expected to have faith in his impartiality. Even before they had
been fully heard, they were told that their cases were weak. They could very
well conclude that there was prejudgment. The administration of justice
would thus be subject to a reproach if there be a rejection of the plea for
He should in the performance of his functions, avoid side remarks, hasty
conclusions, loose statements or gratuitous utterances that could form the
basis for erroneous impressions in the mind of those who hear them and
who may conclude that he is prejudging the case or the issues that come
before him in the exercise of his jurisdiction.

Is Judge X legally disqualified to sit in the treason case?

No. If a judge is not legally disqualified, it is a matter of official duty from him
to proceed with trial and decision of the case. He cannot shirk the
responsibility without the risk of being called to account for his dereliction.

J filed a complaint against the municipal president, the provincial governor,

and the provincial board to compel said defendants to issue a license to
operate a cockpit in his favor. The defendants sought the disqualification of
Judge B. During the disqualification proceedings, the defendants admitted
that there was no legal basis for B's disqualification. They therefore
appealed to the extreme delicacy of B. In his order, B stated that he was fully
convinced that there existed no legal reason for his disqualification but he
was voluntarily retiring from the case solely for reason of extreme delicacy.
Thereafter, J sought the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel B to
proceed with the trial of the case.
Is extreme delicacy a sufficient ground for B's voluntary inhibition?
Prior to January 1, 1964, a judge could not voluntarily inhibit himself on the
ground of extremada delicadeza.

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Case No. 45
57 Phil. 897 (1933)
Chapter XII, Page 498, Footnote No. 96
D filed a compliant wherein he alleged that T, taking advantage of the fact
that he was D's attorney, induced him to sign a Contract of Sale with right to
repurchase over his land in favor of T's mother-in-law. He sought the
nullification of the said contract and payment for damages. During the
pendency of the case, T filed a complaint against Judge G by reason of
which the SC ordered G to remove from his courtroom the iron cage where
he was accustomed to keep persons accused of the crimes of violence
during the trial of their cases. T also charged G for partiality, bias and
hostility towards him in various cases. According to T, G even held him up to
public ridicule and repeated said action in his courtroom. Because of the said
incidents, T challenged the competency of G to decide the present case.
However, G continued with the case and rendered judgment against T and
his mother-in-law. G stated in his decision that T fraudulently prepared the
Contract of Sale for the purpose of collecting legal fees by way of extortion
and of taking control over the land by simulating a sale. G also mentioned
that there were 4 charges of malpractice against T, none of which appeared
to be relevant, and that certain charges culminated in T's suspension from
exercising the legal profession.
The administrator of the estate of T's mother-in-law appealed the said order.
According to him, G's order was more of a charge against T than a decision.
Should G inhibit himself?
Prior to January 1, 1964, a judge could not voluntarily inhibit himself on the
grounds of prejudice, bias, and hostility.
Case No. 154
91 Phil. 101 (1952)
Chapter XII, Page 498, Footnote No. 97
The stockholders of T corporation filed a complaint wherein they sought the
distribution of another corporation's shares of stock owned by T corporation
among themselves. T corporation filed a petition for certiorari against Judge
X praying that X be disqualified from the case. T corporation argued that X is
being paid as a professor of law in a school owned and controlled by the

Prior to January 1, 1964, a judge could not voluntarily inhibit himself on the
ground of conflict of interests.
Case No. 161
20 Phil. 169 (1911)
Chapter XIII, Page 498, Footnote No. 98
A, while testifying in a case, came under suspicion by Judge X that the
witness A was falsely swearing upon a material matter. Judge X believed
that Witness A was committing perjury and therefore, ordered the fiscal to
present an information against the witness. A was subsequently tried in
Judge Xs court and was convicted of the crime of perjury, despite an
application to disqualify said Judge from hearing the case, as he was the
one who had ordered the investigation. Counsel for A alleges that Judge X
erred in denying the application of the accused A that he be tried before
another court by reason of the alleged prejudice of Judge X against A and
that as a such, Judge X should be voluntarily disqualify himself from hearing
the case.
Is Counsel for A correct?
No. Counsel for A is incorrect. Judge X is not disqualified. Neither was a
judge disqualified from trying a prosecution for perjury of an accused who
was ordered investigated and prosecuted as a perjured witness by said.
Case No. 157
53 Phil. 866 (1928)
Chapter XIII, Page 498-99, Footnote No. 99
Judge X was the judge of the Court of First Instance of Oriental Negros.
Judge Y was the auxiliary judge for the CFI of Oriental Negros. It was
alleged in a case filed by petitioners A, B, C, D and E, who had pending
election and criminal cases in the CFI of Oriental Negros, and that there was
an agreement between Judge X and Y. That agreement pertained to an
understanding between the judges that Auxiliary Judge Y was to take
cognizance of all election and criminal cases in the court while Judge X
would take cognizance of other ordinary cases. This agreement was
supposedly disregarded by Judge X who proceeded to try and take
cognizance of the election and criminal actions in the Court, and thereby
appointed a fiscal to prosecute the case when the regular provincial fiscal
refused to file the information.

Can X be disqualified?

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Counsel for A, B, C, D and E claimed that Judge X, as a result of his actions,

should voluntarily disqualify himself from taking cognizance of the case. Is
counsel correct?
No. Judge X was not disqualified. Not even if the judge himself took great
interest and an active part in the filing of the criminal charges to the extent of
appointing the fiscal when the regular provincial fiscal refused to file the
proper information.
Case No.121
20 SCRA 293 (1967)
Chapter XIII, Page 499, Footnote No. 101
A, a Special Prosecutor, was assigned to prosecute a case for copra
overshipment. Notice of the trial was served to Y, the assistant fiscal, but no
notice was separately served to A. As a result, A was not present during the
trial as he was in Tacloban attending to another case. He then asked for a
postponement. Despite the fact that it was the first time for the prosecution to
ask for a postponement while the defense even before the trial had
requested and was granted the same in several instances, Judge G
dismissed the case. A petition for certiorari was then filed against Judge G to
assail the nullity of the dismissal of the case. Judge G as a defense averred
that he dismissed the case due to an alleged dinner invitation from a
stranger that was extended through Y, which he regarded as suspicious and
unusual. He then concluded that the indication were to the effect that some
pillos and opportunists were making his court the unwitting forum for
extortion and exploitation of person charged with crime. In his answer he
also prayed that if the dismissal be nullified, that he be disqualified from
taking further cognizance of the case as he in all frankness, had lost all
respect in the manner A has been prosecuting the case.

Case No.159
51 SCRA 84 (1973)
Chapter XIII, Page 499, Footnote No. 103
A case for robbery was filed by the assistant prosecutor, who conducted the
preliminary investigation directly with the Circuit Court presided by Judge V.
Judge V, without any party moving for his inhibition, voluntarily inhibited
himself from trying the case on the ground that before the case was filed in
court, he already had personal knowledge of the same.
Was Judge Vs reason for voluntarily inhibiting himself valid?
This ruling paved the way for the promulgation of the provision on voluntary
disqualification, which in effect overruled past decisions on the subject, for
under said provision a judge may validly disqualify himself from hearing a
case on any just and valid ground, such as personal knowledge of the case.
Case No. 23
81 SCRA 535 (1978)
Chapter XIII, Page 499, Footnote No. 104
Judge R voluntarily inhibited himself from trying a civil case assigned to his
sala because according to him, the court had found out from reliable sources
that the defendant doubts the actuations of his court because the plaintiff
therein is his townmate and distant relative. Similarly, the plaintiff also doubts
Judge Rs actuations because of the defendants alleged utterances that he
will surely win the case. Such circumstances according to Judge R, has
placed the court in a very unpleasant and untenable position because all of
his acts would always be tainted and beset with doubts and misgivings which
is highly detrimental to the good name and integrity of the court.

Was the dismissal capricious? Should Judge G be disqualified?

Was the reason for Judge Rs voluntary inhibition valid?

This ruling paved the way for the promulgation of the provision on voluntary
disqualification, which in effect overruled past decisions on the subject, for
under said provision a judge may validly disqualify himself from hearing a
case on any just and valid ground, such as bias or prejudice.

This ruling paved the way for the promulgation of the provision on voluntary
disqualification, which in effect overruled past decisions on the subject, for
under said provision a judge may validly disqualify himself from hearing a
case on any just and valid ground, such as affinity or former association with
one of the parties or the latters counsel.

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Case No. 98
155 SCRA 72 (1987)
Chapter XIII, Page 499 & 501, Footnote Nos. 43, 104, 110

Case. No. 125
21 SCRA 160 (1969)
Chapter XIII, Page 496, Footnotes Nos. 86, 88,105

Judge A rendered a decision finding Tadao, who is an activist leader of

peasant and farmer group, guilty of Estafa. B through his counsel filed a
motion for reconsideration. Before a decision was made for the motion for
reconsideration, retired Justice Reyes entered his appearance for B.

Atty. A is the counsel of one civil case, two criminal cases and one election
case all under the sala of Judge Salanga. He prays that Judge B be
suspended from office and after due notice and removed therefrom on the
ground that his career and potential as practitioner of law is put at risk.
Judge B counters that the cases are now in the final stages of termination
and transferring it to another sala would only delay their final disposition and
make the parties suffer from further efforts and expenses and would be
violative of territorial jurisdiction. The question facing the court is whether or
not a judge is disqualified from acting in litigations in which counsel of record
for one of the parties is his adversary in an administrative case said counsel
lodged against him.

Due to these developments, Judge A issued an order inhibiting himself from

further sitting in the case on the ground that retired Justice Reyes had been
one of those who had recommended him to the bench. Hence, he ordered
that the case be transmitted to the Executive Judge for re-raffling among the
other branches of the court for further proceeding.
The case was assigned to Judge C of the RTC of Bulacan. Judge C returned
the case with an accompanying letter stating his refusal to act on the
aforesaid motion for reconsideration and assailing the re-raffling of the case
as impractical and uncalled for.

What is rule on the disqualification of judges? Explain the difference between

the two sections. Is the reason put forth by Atty. A covered by the second
paragraph of the said rule?

What is the principle behind the axiom that a judge in his dispensation of
justice must guard and measure his language (both written and spoken)?
His language, both written and spoken, must be guarded and measured, lest
the best of intentions be misconstrued.

The first paragraph of the above rule enumerated the grounds for
compulsory disqualification of a judge from sitting in a case. The express
enumeration of the grounds excludes all other grounds not specified herein.
The second paragraph refers to voluntary disqualification of a judge.

In this light, is affinity or former association of a judge with one of the parties
or the latters counsel enough reason for him to inhibit himself? Explain.
Yes. A judge may validly disqualify himself from hearing a case on any just
and valid ground, such as affinity or former association with one of the
parties or the latters counsel.

What does the law presumes in cases of compulsory disqualification?

Is a judges decision to disqualify himself conclusive? If no, how can it be

No. His decision to disqualify himself is not conclusive, and his competency
may be determined on application for mandamus to compel him to act.

In case of compulsory disqualification, the law conclusively presumes that a

judge cannot objectively or impartially sit in a case and, for that reason,
prohibits him and strikes at his authority to hear and decide it, in the absence
of written consent on all parties concerned.
What guideline must a judge, to whom a suggestion is made of record that
he might be induced to act in favor of one party or with bias against a litigant
arising out of circumstance reasonably capable of inciting such a state of
mind, follow? How can he give meaning to the second paragraph of Sec. 1
of Rule 137?
If after reflection he should resolve to voluntarily desist from sitting in a case
where his motives or fairness might be seriously impugned, his action is to
be interpreted as giving meaning and substance to the second paragraph of
Section 1, Rule 37. He serves the cause of the law who forestalls
miscarriage of justice.

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Case No. 169
175 SCRA 569 (1989)
Chapter 13, Page 501, Footnote No. 114
Petitioner A, filed a motion for inhibition against Judge B without explicitly
stating on its face the valid grounds relied upon to support his motion.
Petitioner A maintains that there is between him and Judge B, an existing
state of hostility sparked of by the filing by him of petitions for certiorari and
administrative cases against the latter. Judge B denied the aforesaid motion
for inhibition because no valid grounds were cited.
Did judge b commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of
The mere filing of an administrative charge against a judge is not a ground
for disqualifying him from hearing a case. The court has to be shown that,
other than the filing of an administrative complaint, acts or conduct of the
judge clearly indicative of arbitrariness or prejudice before the latter can be
branded the stigma of being biased or partial.
Case No. 96
254 SCRA 158 (1996)
Chapter XIII, Page 501, Footnote No. 114
On 7 January, 1993, B filed an administrative complaint against MTC Judge
X, charging him of conduct unbecoming of members of the judiciary. On 21
February 1994, the Supreme Court dismissed the complaint for lack of merit.
Meanwhile, Judge X issued a search warrant against C, and on 25 August
1993, a complaint for Illegal Possession of Firearms and Ammunition was
filed against C, B, and B Jr.; B and B Jr. having been included in the
complaint as the firearms and ammunition were found in the house owned
by B and B Jr. B is now contending that Judge X should have inhibited
himself from the preliminary investigation as an administrative complaint was
filed by B against Judge X before the preliminary investigation.
Is the mere filing of an administrative case against Judge X a ground for
disqualifying him from hearing the case? Other than the filing of the
administrative complaint, what must B show to the Supreme Court so that
Judge X can be branded the stigma as being biased or partial?
The mere filing of an administrative case against a judge is not a ground for
disqualifying him from hearing the case. The Court has to be shown, other
than the filing of the administrative complaint, acts or conduct of the judge

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clearly indicative of arbitrariness or prejudice before the latter can be

branded the stigma of being biased or partial.
Case no. 6 (Supplemental)
253 SCRA 371 (1996)
Chapter XI, Page 412, Footnote no. 90
L filed a complaint for perjury against her husband, A for allegedly asserting
falsehood in his petition for naturalization that they were living together when
in fact, he was living with another woman. Judge C found A guilty of perjury.
A then filed a complaint against the judge seeking to remove him from office
for rendering an unjust judgment, for convicting him although the information
did not constitute an offense, and for not applying the Indeterminate
Sentence Law. The investigating judge found that the allegations against
judge C were baseless and recommended that it be dismissed. He also
recommended that the lawyer Q be reprimanded for assisting in the filing of
a patently unmeritorious offense.
Did Q violate his oath and duty as a lawyer?
Yes. A lawyer has been made to account administratively for assisting a
complainant in filing clearly unmeritorious complaint against a judge, as his
act violates his oath and duty of counseling or maintaining only such action
only as appears to him as just and of upholding the Code of Professional
Case No. 117
252 SCRA 641 (1996)
Chapter XIII, Page 502, Footnote No. 117
A accused Provincial Governor B, Clerk of Court C, and Atty. D of conspiring
in making it show that an arraignment of B has been made, purportedly to be
able to acquire a dismissal for the case against B due to Double Jeopardy.
Prosecutor X conducted a preliminary investigation, but as Xs resolution
was about to be acted upon, D retracted his earlier statements. D stated in
an affidavit that no arraignment had been held after all. Because of Ds
retraction and confession, the case had to be reopened for investigation.
This reinvestigation was conducted by Graft Investigation Officer Y. After
such reinvestigation, Y recommended the prosecution of B, C, and D. B now
contends that Y was biased for considering Ds retraction in her resolution of
the case.
Is the divergence of opinion between B and Y regarding the use of Ds
retraction in Ys resolution a ground for disqualifying Y from investigating the

case? Is the divergence of opinion between a judge and a partys counsel a

ground for disqualifying the judge from hearing the case on the ground of
bias and partiality?
Mere divergence of opinions between a judge and a partys counsel as to the
applicable law and jurisprudence is not a sufficient reason to disqualify the
judge from hearing the case on the ground of bias and partiality.


Case No. 171
34 SCRA 618 (1970)
Chapter XIII, Page 502, Footnote No. 118
Due to the reckless imprudence of a bus driver, it collided with a car. The
accident resulted in the death of one and physical injuries on the 3 other
passengers of the car. The said driver was convicted in the criminal case
filed against him. In the civil case, the driver and the bus company were held
jointly and severally liable for damages. In that civil case, A, is the counsel
for the plaintiff and B, for the defendant. Judge M is As former classmate.
Judge M questioned the defense witnesses more closely than those of
Is this a legal ground for disqualification of Judge M?
This is not a legal ground for disqualification. Rule 137 enumerates the
grounds for disqualification and being a classmate is not among the grounds
enumerated. On the second issue, the court held that there was NO BIAS
here. That he should question the defense witnesses more closely than
those of plaintiffs is but natural since the defendant's evidence varies from
proof already on record.
Case No. 168
75 SCRA 24 (1977)
Chapter XIII, Page 502, Footnote No. 121

filing the case against A, B, C for maltreatment and less serious physical
injuries arising on the same occasion. He sought the help of an agency just
to file his case. When it was filed, Judge Q even accompanied the 3 accused
to inform the investigator that the complaint of V was only in the nature of
counter charge. All these cases were triable by Judge Q.
Can Judge Q be disqualified in handling the case by these actuations?
The judge's actuations clearly leave the impression that he was not immune
to disparity in the economic, social and political standing of the litigants.
Favoritism is much more odious if directed against one coming from the poor
and dispossessed. The judiciary should try to redress the imbalance, not
magnify it. Thus, the judge was disqualified and restrained from taking any
further action in the 2 cases.
Case No. 99
50 SCRA 18 (1973)
Chapter XIII, Page 503, Footnote No. 124
A, B, C, D were charged with robbery in a band with homicide. R, another
accused later arrested, subscribed before Judge V an extrajudicial statement
admitting the crime and implicating A, B, C, D. The information fell in the sala
of Judge V. During the trial, the extrajudicial statement was repudiated by R,
saying it was a product of intimidation by a government agent.
Does this event suffice to negate the degree of objectivity required of judges,
hence be a ground for disqualifying the judge?
Judge Villaluz could not be totally immune to what apparently was asserted
before him in such extrajudicial statement. By signing the jurat, he in effect
was satisfied that the facts alleged therein were true. Meaning, he was
convinced of the statements stated therein. It was unlikely that he was not a
bit offended by the affiant's turnabout. He was just admonished. SC said
judges are well advised to limit themselves to the task of adjudication and to
leave to others the role of notarizing declarations so as to avoid events
which might lend itself to the interpretation that his impartiality has been

An altercation took place in a restaurant in San Antonio, Quezon on Good

Friday between A, B, C on the one hand and V, on the other hand. A, B, C
were all men of consequence in the local government and political firmament
of San Antonio. V is a man of modest means. The next day, (a holiday)
A,B,C sent for Judge Q to conduct the preliminary examination on the
charge of theft of 2 packs of cigarettes against V and a criminal case was
immediately filed against the latter. V, on the other hand, had difficulty in

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Case No. 90
29 SCRA 165 (1969)
Chapter XIII, Page 476, Footnote No. 1, 29, 123
L, a member of the bar, sought to have Judge K disqualified, alleging that:
Judge K doctored the records of the case, that he suppressed the true and
genuine proceedings orders were issued but based on untrue and
ungenuine records
Ls case was raffled to Branch I presided by Judge V. On the scheduled date
of hearing, it was found that their case was not included in the calendar of
cases scheduled. He later found that his case was transferred to the sala of
Judge V. Apparently, Judge V took cognizance of the case, though without
reasonable explanation. Judge V then continuously issued questionable
orders, altered scheduled hearing dates of Ls case, and even sought to
have L cited for contempt in one instance.
Decide the conflict between the lawyer and Judge.
The administration of justice is a joint responsibility of the judge and the
lawyer. The judge expects the lawyer to properly perform his role in the
same manner that the lawyer expects a judge to do his part. The people
expect of them a sense of shared responsibility, which is a crucial factor in
the administration of justice.
Case No. 153
268 SCRA 332 (1997)
Chapter XIII, Pages 494 & 496, Footnote Nos. 77 & 85
T and P, as general manager and acting finance services manager of the
Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) respectively, were charged with
malversation in the Sandiganbayan.
The two encashed three PNB
managers checks that were charged to MIAAs account and brought the
money to the office of R, who was then the private secretary of Marcos. The
act was done because of a Presidential Memorandum that required the
payment of the amount MIAA purportedly owed to the Philippine National
Construction Corporation (PNCC). T and P were convicted. However,
during the proceedings in the Sandiganbayan, the Justices actively took part
in the questioning of M, a witness, as well as in questioning of T and P.
Their questions amounted to 67 for T, 41 for P, and 37 for M. Their
questions were confrontational and probing.

No. The judge should limit himself to asking classificatory questions and the
right should be sparingly and judiciously used, for the rule is that the court
should stay out of it as much as possible, neither interfering nor intervening
in the conduct of the trial. The cold neutrality of an impartial judge
requirement of due process is denied an accused when the judge, with his
overzealousness, assumed the dual role of magistrate and advocate.
Case No. 158
97 SCRA 483 (1980)
Chapter XIII, Page 510, Footnote No. 163
A was crippled in a vehicular accident involving a passenger jeep owned and
operated by B. A subsequently filed an action for recovery of damages
against B. During the pre-trial, due to the non-appearance of B and her
counsel despite due notice, B was declared in default by Judge X. The
decision awarded damages to A. No appeal was taken. However, sometime
later, Judge X, through a Special Order granted Bs Motion to Reopen the
Case Judge X claims that judgment by default are frowned upon and it is
but fair to give justice to the defendant her day in Court a full blown litigation.
Is Judge X correct?
The judge should maintain a detached attitude from the case and should not
waste his time by taking an active part in the proceeding which relates to
official actuations in a case, but should apply himself to his principal task of
hearing and adjudicating the cases in his court.
Case No. 35
23 SCRA 1061 (1968)
Chapter XIII, page number 481, Footnote No. 18
A was accused of Grave Slander for shouting the words:
What kind of standard do you have here Mr. Guiang? Is this the character
training that the teachers and employees of this school give to the students?
Bullshit! Shit! I better walk out of this room. Vulva of your mother all of you
teachers as if you are always in the right track.
The incident happened during a meeting of graduating students. Some thirty
teachers filed a complaint on April 27, 2004. During the arraignment, the
accused entered a plea of not guilty. It was also discovered that, attached to
the complaint was an information dated April 15, 2004. In the information
however, the allegedly offensive utterances were as follows:

Was the conviction of T and P valid?

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What kind of standard do you have here Mr. Guiang? Is this the character
training that the teachers and employees of this school give to the students?
It appears that on April 15, 2004 the complaining teachers subscribed and
swore to the truth of the information and gave the same to the judge who
received it. But the complaining teachers returned to the judge and took back
all the original copies of the information. On April 27, 2004, the complainants
filed the complaint, attaching thereto as supporting papers the information.
The information was not docketed as a separate case but merely attached to
the complaint as supporting paper. The judge was found to have informally
received the information and just as informally allowed its withdrawal.
Can the accused file for the voluntary inhibition of the judge?
Judges must conduct themselves in such a manner that they give no ground
for reproach. Nevertheless, said actions of the judge do not constitute a
ground for him to inhibit from trying the case which was filed after the parties
failed to settle it amicably.
Case No. 155
73 SCRA 306 (1976)
Chapter XIII, Page 482, Footnote No. 25
Judge X was handling a case of frustrated murder and double murder
against A, B, C, D, E and F. While the case was in progress, Judge X was
alleged to have met up with an uncle of the deceased victims, Mayor G, on
several occasions. During one meeting, Judge X received a bottle of wine
wrapped in newspaper from Mayor G, which was suspiciously bulky and
thick, indicating that something else was wrapped with the bottle inside. In
another meeting, Judge X suspiciously amended his prepared decision for
the two criminal cases increasing the penalties and was a mere exact copy
of the memorandum of the prosecution. Lastly, Judge X also received two
bottles of whisky from Mayor G during the progress of the trial on another
occasion. Thereafter, a judgment that the said accused persons are guilty of
the aforementioned crimes was promulgated.
Was the decision rendered by Judge X questionable?

Judge X clearly failed to do so. Nevertheless, since Judge X has already

retired from service, the issue has been rendered moot.
Case No.19
20 SCRA 1247 (1967)
Chapter XIII, Page 487, Footnote No. 42
In a case for recovery of lands, Judge M declared plaintiff A as the owner
and ordered defendant B to vacate the premises. A motion for immediate
execution was granted. Atty. S, a former associate of Judge M, entered his
appearance as the new counsel for the defendant. He filed a bond to stay
the execution and this was granted. Judge M then ordered the sheriff to
restore the possession to defendant. Plaintiff A asked for the appointment of
a receiver and this was granted, but upon the filing of the bond by the
defendant for the non-appointment, the order of receivership was set aside.
Atty. S then filed a motion for new trial, and over the vigorous objection of A,
Judge M granted the motion.
Plaintiff requested his counsel D to see the judge in his chamber and
verbally transmit the request to inhibit himself from further hearing the case
because the new counsel of the defendant was the judges former associate
and there was a rampant rumor that defendant is boasting that he will surely
win the case because of his new lawyer. Judge M rejected the request
because according to him such fact alone does not constitute a legal ground
to disqualify a judge. Judge M then called on A and verified whether he really
requested the inhibition. With As affirmative answer, Judge M declared him
guilty of contempt of court and imposed upon him a fine of Php50.00 for the
court considered his actuation as insulting to the integrity of the presiding
judge and shows his lack of respect to the court.
Was Judge M correct in declaring A guilty of contempt of court? Is inhibition
limited to grounds specified by law? Did Counsel D violate Rule 13.01 on the
rule that lawyers should not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to a
judge in order to be given special consideration of favor?
The judge should voluntary disqualify himself for having an affinity or former
association with one of the parties or the latters counsel.

Yes. In fact, Judge X committed a serious charge as prescribed in Rule 140,

which may fall under the category of bribery or a violation of the Anti-Graft
and Corrupt Practices Law. While a judge should possess proficiency in law
in order that he can competently construe and enforce the law, it is more
important that he should act and behave in such a manner that the parties
before him should have confidence in his impartiality. In the case at bar,

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Case No.1
145 SCRA 1 (1986)
Chapter XIII, Page 488, Footnote No. 46
After a cockfight, A and P had a heated verbal argument, which led to A
being shot in the chest by Ps bodyguard. Judge B acquitted P but found his
bodyguard guilty of Attempted Homicide with the mitigating circumstance of
lack of intention to kill.
Is Judge B liable for gross ignorance of the law?
Service in the judiciary means a continuous study and research on the law
from beginning to end.
Case no. 137
71 SCRA 1 (1976)
Chapter XIII, Page. 491, Footnote number 65
Dr. A filed a motion to disqualify Judge X from hearing the case filed before
him and to transfer the said case to another branch. The said motion was
prompted when the judge uttered the following words to the complainant:
You are stupid", "There are octopuses and crocodiles here and you are
one" and that the complainant was a "self-anointed local tyrant."
Should the judge resort to such intemperate language? What penalty should
the courts impose against the judge if any? In case the complaining party
loses interest in the said case, will the case still prosper?
He may utilize his opportunities to criticize and correct unprofessional
conduct of attorneys, brought to his attention, but he may not do so in an
insulting manner.
Case No. 87
199 SCRA 48 (1991)
Chapter XIV, Page 583, Footnote No. 198
Judge D was charged with an administrative complaint by Atty. L when he
granted bail without the mandatory requirement of hearing as prescribed in
the Rules of Criminal Procedure to the accused after the issuance of
warrants of arrest to which previous recommendations of no bail has been
given by the Investigating Fiscals, in relation to a criminal case of murder
filed before his sala. The Court of Appeals rendered a decision setting aside

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the order of Judge D citing that such order was tainted with grave abuse of
discretion and is a manifestation of gross ignorance of the law or procedure.
Is Judge D liable of the serious charge of gross ignorance of the law or
Yes. Fixing a bail bond for an accused and allowing him to post the same for
his provisional liberty in a criminal case involving a capital offense, without
giving the prosecution the opportunity to prove that the evidence of guilt is
strong is a clear dereliction from the duty of the judge as mandated by the
Rules of Court. Judge D was caused to pay a fine of Php 20,000 and was
given a warning constituting a punishment for a serious charge.
Case No.115
61 SCRA 411 (1974)
Chapter XIII, Page 483, Footnote No. 32
Judge C was requested by the city mayor to advise and lecture pedicab
drivers of their respective duties and responsibilities in order to protect the
life and limb of the riding public. Judge C upon seeing P, a motor cab driver
overloading and over speeding, told him to stop and warned said driver of
the latters violation. Judge C shouted at the driver to surrender his license
and pointed a revolver at him. Judge C confiscated said license, without
issuing any traffic violation report. Judge C failed to return to P his license
because he later lost it.
Is the judge guilty of abuse of authority?
While respondent judge might have been motivated by a spirit of civicism in
cooperating with the city officials in the enforcement of traffic laws, it is
obvious that the investigation, arrest and confiscation of licenses are
essentially police functions which are vested upon law enforcement agencies
of the government. Respondent as city judge will necessarily hear and
decide cases filed in his court regarding such violations and infraction of the
Motor Vehicle Law. It is patent, therefore, that the judge should not have
taken upon himself the responsibility of confiscating the license of the motor
cab driver but he should have referred the matter to the police. He must
refrain from doing essentially police work that may involve prosecution of
crimes which he may have to hear and decide for his involvement, though
actuated by civic mindedness, may blur his sense of duty to administer
justice or subject him to a suspicion of partiality in the discharge thereof. The
official conduct of a judge should be free from impropriety or any appearance
thereof. His personal behavior in the performance of his official duties and in
his everyday life should be beyond reproach. Respondent Judge acted in a
manner unbefitting his high judicial office.


Judge Clavano is ordered to be reprimanded.

interviews with Bs wife before the order directing the provincial sheriff to
maintain Bs possession of the premises was issued.


Case No.139
184 SCRA 690 (1990)
Chapter XIII, Page 483, Footnote No.33

Is there a ground for Justice P to disqualify himself from the consideration of

the case?

Judge S was the judge in a petition for expropriation. The issue as to the
amount of compensation to be paid was amicably settled by the litigant
parties during the pendency of the proceedings. Judge S rejected the
amicable settlement, declaring it to be invalid. The Court of Appeals set
aside the decision of Judge S declaring the settlement invalid. Judge S filed
a petition for review of the decision of the Court of Appeals.
Is the act of Judge S in filing the petition proper?
In special proceedings, the judge whose order is under attack is merely a
nominal party; wherefore, a judge in his official capacity, should not be made
to appear as a party seeking reversal of a decision that is unfavorable to the
action taken by him. A decent regard for the judicial hierarchy bars a judge
from suing against the adverse opinion of a higher court. The judge should
not, as a petitioner, file a petition for review seeking reinstatement of his
challenged order, he being not an active combatant but one imbued with the
duty of detachment.
Case No. 166
34 SCRA 109 (1970)
Chapter XIII, Page 496, Footnote No. 86
Spouses V petitioned that a Deed Of Absolute Sale of a house and lot with
assumption of mortgage executed in favor of B be rescinded. The petition
was granted by the CFI of Cebu ordering B to make money payments to the
spouses V and to restore them to the possession of the property. B
appealed the decision but the appeal was disapproved on the ground that
the appeal bond was filed out of time. B then moved to reconsider but was
turned down. B then filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition in
the CA against the Spouses V, the trial court judge and the sheriff of the City
of Cebu praying that the Spouses V be enjoined from disturbing petitioners
possession of the property in question. The CA then issued an order
directing the provincial sheriff to maintain Bs possession of the premises,
ousting the Spouses V therefrom. The Spouses V filed a motion requesting
that Justice P, one of the members of the division in the CA which acted on
the petition for certiorari and prohibition, disqualify himself from taking part in
the consideration of the case on the ground that he allegedly granted

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The express enumeration of the grounds (in Section 1 of Rule 137) excludes
all other grounds not specified therein.
Case No. 136
147 SCRA 197 (1987)
Chapter XIII, Page 476, Footnote No. 1
R, the complainant, is a practicing lawyer. V, the respondent is a judge, in
whose court R was litigating a case. During the trial of said case, R
requested that an inventory book of his client be marked exhibit F. V
interrupted R with a remark that the said inventory book should be marked
exhibit G since there was already an exhibit F which was marked during
the last hearing when R was absent. Still, R insisted in a loud voice that it be
marked exhibit F. This remark irritated the judge who retorted that R had
not come to trial fully prepared, thus, resulting in confusion in the marking of
the exhibits. R, however, in a loud voice, continued to insist on marking it as
exhibit F. Judge V admonished R, saying that R should not bring his
passion to the court and if complainant does not respect the Judge, he
must respect the court. Judge V then banged his gravel and went to his
According to R, but not conclusively established, Judge V asked R to step
out with him and finish the matter outside. Witnesses, however, did see
Judge V outside the court, carrying a gun in his hand while looking into the
Decide the conflict between the lawyer and Judge.
The administration of justice is a joint responsibility of the judge and the
lawyer. The judge expects the lawyer to properly perform his role in the
same manner that the lawyer expects a judge to do his part. The people
expect of them a sense of shared responsibility, which is a crucial factor in
the administration of justice.
Case No. 83
60 SCRA 27 (1974)
Chapter XIII, Page 483, Footnote No. 31


In one hearing for a case of rape, M, the alleged victim, and R, the alleged
rapist, were called in to the chambers of Judge B. M's parents were not
called in to the chamber to go with the 17 year old girl. All was well up this
point. Things became interesting when R suddenly asked M to marry him. M
was frightened. She stood up and went to the door to leave. While she was
slowly turning the door knob, R rushed to her and gave her a kiss on the
cheek. Judge B then remarked, "Bakit sa pisngi, hindi sa labi?" M reported
all these things to her mother, who was patiently waiting outside. M and her
mother are thinking of filing appropriate charges against Judge B, as they
believe he is favoring the accused in the case. Judge B later asserts that he
made those remarks out of anger.
Is Judge B guilty of any impropriety in his conduct in the aforementioned
The judge should avoid any action as would subject him to suspicion of
interest in a case in his court.
Case No. 56
61 SCRA 475 (1974)
Chapter XIII, Page 498, Footnote No. 93; Chapter XIV, Page 574,
Footnote No. 132; Page 585, Footnote No. 214
Judge X admitted having sat and partly acted in a case wherein his nephewin-law was the counsel for the defendant.
Should Judge X be reprimanded under Section 1 of Rule 137 even though
he subsequently inhibited himself from sitting in the case without even
hearing a single witness?
Yes. A judge who continues to hear a case in which he is legally disqualified
under any of the enumerated grounds in Section 1 of Rule 137 may be held
administratively liable thereof, except where all parties concerned have given
their written consent thereto. Judge X is therefore guilty of serious
misconduct by sitting in a case which he is legally disqualified from trying or
Judge X authorized K, landholder, to eject his tenant M. Ms counsel moved
to reconsider and Judge Y, the presiding judge, ordered the clerk of court to
furnish a copy of the motion to K. Since K interposed no opposition to Ms
motion, Judge Y then reconsidered Judge Xs decision and denied Ks
petition for ejectment of M. Three and a half years later, K moved for
reconsideration of Judge Ys decision which was granted by Judge Z, with

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the justification that Judge Xs decision had become final and executory
because Judge Ys grant of Ms motion for reconsideration was fatally
defective for lack of proof of service upon K despite the fact that the decision
of the Supreme Court in Masa v. Baes, belied the alleged non-service upon
K of a copy of the motion.
Is Judge Z liable for knowingly or by reason of inexcusable negligence or
ignorance rendering unjust orders? Does it follow that he acted in bad faith
or does his abuse of discretion signify ignorance of the law?
No. The fact that a judge abused his discretion in issuing the order
complained of does not necessarily follow that he acted in bad faith nor does
it necessarily mean a willful disregard of a litigants right.
Case No. 129
81 SCRA 235 (1978)
Chapter XIV, Page 573, Footnote No. 126
The government expropriated the property of the Castellvi estate which was
valued at 2.6M. N's right as instituted heir of 2/3 of the estate was
recognized by final judgment although by compromise agreement, 1/2 was
transferred by her to her children. The special proceedings for the Castellvi
estate was presided by Judge C. When the 2nd release of 1M pesos for the
estate was made by the government, C gave N a portion of the money as
her share and issued an order allowing N to obtain a loan using the awarded
portion as collateral. R, the father and the attorney-in-fact of the children,
charged C for violation of the Anti-Graft Law for giving unwarranted benefits
to N and for violation of RPC for knowingly rendering an unjust order. R
contended that the 1M pesos was intended solely for the children and that C
knew that N had no more interest in the estate since N already transferred
the subject property to her children. R also charges C with bribery. R testified
that N told him that she gave C a portion of the loan which she had obtained
from the 1st release of 1M pesos. However, N was not presented to testify
on the matter.
Was there 'misconduct' or 'wrongful intention and not a mere error of
judgment' on the part of the judge? Is the testimony of R which was purely
hearsay regarding the charge of bribery a sufficient proof? When the
charges for the removal of a judge are also penal in nature, as in this case,
what quantum of proof is required?
The word "misconduct" implies a wrongful intention and not mere error of
judgment. (Chapter XIV, Page 573, Footnote no. 126)


In some cases, it has been held that impeachment proceedings against

judges are penal in nature and are governed by the rules applicable to
criminal cases. The charges must, therefore, be proved beyond reasonable
doubt in cases which will require dismissal from the service. Chapter XIV,
Page 605, Footnote no. 300)
The ground for removal of a judicial officer should be established beyond
reasonable doubt. Such is the rule where the charges on which removal is
sought is misconduct in office, willful neglect, corruption, incompetency, etc.
The general rule in regard to admissibility in evidence in criminal trials
applies. (Chapter XIV, Page 607, Footnote no. 311)
Case no. 22
74 SCRA 355 (1976)
Chapter XIII, Page 519, Footnote no. 189
N was an accused in a criminal case pending in Judge Bs court. Judge B
allegedly converted the check worth P8,000 given by N as bail bond for his
own use. When N requested that the cash bond be substituted with a surety
bond and the motion was granted, only the amount of P5,000 was returned
leaving an unaccounted balance of P3,000. Judge B claimed that the
amount of P3,000 was loaned to him by L, the President of the company
who lent N the check for his temporary liberty.
Was the judges act proper?
No. He should maintain high ethical principles and a sense of propriety
without which he cannot preserve the faith of the people in the judiciary so
indispensable in an orderly society.

o He is not being chastened for having a pending criminal case at that

time but for his act of dishonesty and misrepresentation.

Case No. 143
65 SCRA 289 (1975)
Chapter XIII, Page 481, Footnote No. 18
Atty. X prepared and ratified a deed of donation whereby A donated to his
children a parcel of land. X volunteered to sell the land. X also suggested to
A that part of the proceeds of the sale be invested for the joint account of A
and his daughter B. X induced A to sign blank withdrawal slips which allowed
him (X) to withdraw from the joint account of A and B. The withdrawals were
soon discovered by B. X was subsequently appointed as judge. B filed a
case for estafa which was later withdrawn when X executed a real estate
mortgage in favor of B. It was only after 5 years that X returned the money
together with interest to B.
Is X still liable despite the fact that he already returned the sum of money in
question? If yes, what is his offense and how would you classify it under
Rule 140?
Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins judges to avoid not just
impropriety in their conduct but even the mere appearance of impropriety.
This is true not only in the performance of their judicial duties but in all their
activities, including their private life, as well. They must conduct themselves
in such a manner that they give no ground for reproach.

119 65
Judge v. Phantom instigator

Judge B concealed the pendency of a case against him for reckless

imprudence resulting to serious physical injuries in his application to
the Judicial and Bar Council.
Judge B is administratively liable for gross misrepresentation and
grave misconduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
He committed dishonesty that renders him totally unfit for
appointment to the judiciary.
The fact that he had been subsequently been acquitted is not

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Case No. 76
43 Phil. 212 (1922)
Chapter XIV, Page 605, Footnote No. 300
Judge X was charged with (1) negligently and carelessly delaying a case
and (2) Judge X was a political judge (this is misconduct, but the
specification of such charge was not pressed).
Since Section 173 of the Administrative Code provides that a judge may be
removed from office on the ground of (1) serious misconduct and (2)
inefficiency, should Judge X be exonerated from the impeachment
proceedings due to the fact that since impeachment proceedings involving
judges have been said to be in their nature highly penal in character and are
governed by the rules of law applicable to criminal cases, and considering
that the misconduct charged was not proved beyond reasonable doubt
because there was absolutely no proof that Judge X acted partially, or
maliciously, or corruptly, or arbitrarily, or oppressively?
Yes. It has been held that impeachment proceedings against judges are
penal in nature and are governed by the rules applicable to criminal cases.
The charges must therefore, be proved beyond reasonable doubt in cases
which will require dismissal from the service. In the case at bar, serious
misconduct on the part of Judge X has not been proved by a preponderance
of evidence, much less beyond reasonable doubt due to the testimony
different witnesses.
Case No. 14
143 SCRA 634 (1986)
Chapter XIV, Page 603, Footnote no. 292
A filed an administrative case for grave misconduct against Judge B,
Presiding Judge of Branch XX, Regional Trial Court, Fifth Judicial Region of
Naga City. A contended that B, without any justification whatsoever, hit with
the pistol he was carrying A on the left side of his head, sending A sprawling
to the floor and rendering him momentarily unconscious. Moreover, B
threatened with his gun the companions of the petitioner. A then filed the
case against B and the story received much coverage by the print and
broadcast media. A then filed a motion to withdraw petition on the ground
that he was already satisfied with the public apology made by B. However,
the court still continued to hear the case against Judge B despite the motion
to withdraw petition of A.

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May the court continue to hear the case even after A filed a motion to
withdraw petition?
The withdrawal of the complaint by the complainant does not divest the
Supreme Court of the authority to order the investigation of the charges, nor
does it preclude such investigation nor result in its dismissal.
Case No. 15
224 SCRA 246 (1993)
Chapter XIV, Page 573 and 574, Footnote No. 128 and 133
Judge X conducted a preliminary examination of a robbery case. Part of the
evidence in the case was a black and white renegade type jeepney.
Thereafter, the robbery case was endorsed to the Office of the Provincial
Fiscal of Malolos, Bulacan for filing of the information; however, the jeep was
not turned over to the Provincial Fiscal. Judge X took possession of the jeep
and had an auto mechanic tow it to the auto mechanic's shop, repair and
repaint the same from black and white to red. Judge X even provided new
batteries for the jeep and initially spent Php1,500.00 to put the jeep in good
running condition. Judge Xs brother volunteered "to take care of the jeep" as
Judge X "could not afford to hire a driver." In addition, Judge Xs brother
shouldered additional expenses for the further repair and maintenance of the
jeep. It is for these expenses that Judge X is seeking reimbursement from
the anonymous owner with the threat that unless Judge X is reimbursed "the
jeep is to be returned to its original condition." Consequently, a lettercomplaint was filed by A with the Office of the Ombudsman accusing Judge
X of abuse of authority and irregularity in connection with the motor vehicle
in custodia legis alleged to have been used in connection with a robbery
case filed with Judge Xs court.
What is gross misconduct? Is Judge X guilty of gross misconduct? If yes,
what specific act constitutes such?
Judge is guilty of gross misconduct.
Gross misconduct of a judge refers to transgression of some established and
definite rule of action, more particularly unlawful behavior or gross
negligence. The act of having the jeep in custodia legis repainted, which was
evidence in a robbery case in her sala and changed its color and made use
of it for her personal benefit constitutes grave misconduct
196 29


Benedictos Leniency, Nakalusot sa Penalty

Judge is charged with serious misconduct, immorality, and gross

o allowed his clerk-messenger to promulgate decisions in
criminal cases
o formed a committee to solicit contributions for office
o imprudently received complainant in his chambers prior to
the promulgation of his decision.
He was found not guilty of the charges.
He was admonished to exercise close and unremitting supervision
over his subordinates and to adhere at all times to the full
intendment of each and all of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.

in the car, thus evidencing Judge Xs use of said car. The litigants filed an
administrative complaint against Judge X.
Will the action prosper? If so, what are the violations committed by Judge
A judge violates the above provision [against soliciting of gifts] when he
accepts the free use, for a year, of a car, and his availment for free of batter
recharging of the shop of a litigant who has a pending case before him.
Case No.38
63 SCRA 388 (1975)
Chapter XIII, Page 489, Footnote No.50


Case no. 34
234 SCRA 212 (1994)
Chapter XIII, Page 526, Footnote no. 209
R borrowed money from P and so R mortgaged her property as a security
thereof. The mortgaged property was foreclosed and a certificate of sale
was issued by Judge X. It was P who purchased the foreclosed property,
and a consolidation of property and a Deed of Sale were made by P and
registered in the Register of Deeds (RD). P filed for a Petition for the
Issuance of a Writ of Possession, which was assigned to the Branch of
Judge X. Judge X granted the Petition and ordered its implementation to
Sheriff K. Sheriff K went to the house of R and her daughter T, and advised
them that Judge X wanted to see them to know how much more they are to
pay P. R and T, accompanied by a certain G, went to the judges sala,
where Judge X told them that if they can pay Php200,000.00 in cash, in 100
bills, and Php150,000.00, postdated, he shall take care of everything, and
that R, T and G should not talk to anybody about such undertaking. R, T
and G came back on a second occasion to inform Judge X that they could
not afford such amount, thus Judge X reduced the amount to
Php150,000.00, postdated. But because of R and Ts failure to comply with
such agreement, they were evicted and their house was demolished.
In another case, Judge X required J to give him a board resolution
authorizing him to use the corporations car. This was while the company
had a pending litigation before Judge X. J complied with such. Judge X
then used the car for free for his family and had its battery recharged for free
in the litigants shop. In fact, a receipt from Xs wifes favorite salon was left

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Judge Y, while visiting the house of Ms. G, kicked police officer B in the
chest without any motive or provocation on the part of the part of the victim.
B sustained injuries that required medical attendance for 5 days. A trial court
found the judge guilty of the crime of slight physical injuries. Judge Y
contended that he should not be held liable administratively because the
incident occurred when both the offended party and the accused were not in
the performance of their official duties, and the same occurred in a private
Was Judge Ys contention correct?
People see the judge as an intermediary of justice between conflicting
interests. For the judge to return that regard, he must be the first to abide by
the law and weave an example for others to follow.
Case No. 58
190 SCRA 834 (1990)
Chapter XIV, Page 585, Footnote No. 218
Spouses D filed a complaint against the Bank to stop the extrajudicial
foreclosure of a parcel of land. The complaint also prayed for the payment of
php 2M as damages. Inspite of the injunction, the disputed property was
extrajudicially foreclosed and sold. When the Bank failed to file its answer
within the reglementary period, Judge Z declared the Bank in default and
allowed Spouses D to present evidence ex-parte. Spouses D presented
evidence to establish that the total damages sustained by them amounted to
14M pesos. Later Judge Z set aside the default order and admitted the


Bank's answer but ordered that the evidence already presented shall remain
as part of the record of the case. The Bank was also given the right to crossexamine the wife whose testimony had already been received. After the
termination of the cross-examination, the court, now presided by Judge T
directed the Bank's counsel to furnish the Spouses D's counsel a copy of the
answer. Since the Bank's counsel failed to furnish the other counsel with the
copy of the answer and failed to appear during the scheduled hearings,
Judge T ordered that the answer be stricken off the record and declared the
bank in default. Then Judge T rendered a decision in favor of Spouses D
and awarded damages to them amounting to php 14M. The Bank filed a
petition for certiorari before the CA assailing the said decision. The CA
annulled the decision and remanded the case to the lower court for trial on
the merits.
The Bank then filed an administrative complaint against Judge T for
partiality, serious misconduct, and rendition of unjust orders. Its charges
centered on the second default order and the award of damages greater
than what was prayed for in the complaint. The Bank asked for the
application of the res ipsa loquitor doctrine arguing that there was on the
face of the assailed decisions an inexplicable grave error.

Dr. L, a municipal health officer, knowing the importance of a death

certificate, refused to sign one on the ground that she has no personal
knowledge of the cause of death of the deceased. Later in the evening,
Judge F invited Dr. L to sit next to him. Judge F, who was drunk told her in
an angry manner: Bakit hindi mo pinirmahan ang death certificate? Judge
Flordeliza threatened Dr. L that he will file an administrative case against her
if she will refuse to sign the death certificate.

Was Judge T in error when she issued the said orders? Do the facts of the
case show malice on the part of Judge T to warrant the application of the res
ipsa loquitur doctrine?

Judge F violated Canons 1 and 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and the
Canons of Judicial ethics which is the avoidance of appearance of
impropriety in all activities. Judge F is sentenced to pay P10, 000 as fine with

A judge may not be disciplined for error of judgment, unless there is proof
that the error was attributable to a conscious and deliberate intent to
perpetrate an injustice. For as a matter of public policy, in the absence of
fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge in his official capacity are
not subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts are erroneous.
The res ipsa loquitor doctrine does not dispense with the necessity of
proving the facts from which the inference of evil intent is based. It merely
expresses the clearly sound and reasonable conclusion that when such facts
are admitted or are already shown by the record, and no credible
explanation that would negative the strong inference of evil intent is
forthcoming, no further hearing to establish them to support a judgment as to
the culpability of a respondent is necessary. (Chapter XIV, Page 608,
Footnote no. 315)
Case No.85
254 SCRA 278 (1996)
Chapter XIII, Page 483-484, Footnote No.35

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Is Judge F guilty as charged of abuse of judicial position and intimidation

amounting to a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct?
If yes, what specifically are the violations of Judge F under the code of
Judicial Conduct?
A judges personal behavior in his everyday life should be beyond reproach.
His inebriated demeanor and incoherent behavior during festivities is
reprehensible. A judge who yields to the strength of the spirits and acts like
an uninhabited drunkard in a public place demeans his judicial office, strips
himself of his dignity as a man and disrobes the court of the respect of the
people it serves.

Case No. 92
57 SCRA 465 (1974)
Chapter XIII, Page 505, Footnote No. 137
An administrative proceeding was filed by A against the Judge B for
negligence and dereliction of duty. A was an offended party in a case for
grave oral defamation. A alleged that at the schedule continuation at 8:30 in
the morning, B failed to appear until 1:00 noon, all the while planting mango
seedlings in his garden, thus keeping waiting the parties, their witnesses, an
assistant provincial fiscal and the defense counsel, who were all in court at
the appointed time. The hearing having been reset, at the same time in the
morning, B again failed to appear until noon time, his absence caused by his
being at his farm. Bs sole defense was on both occasions his absence was
due to a severe, excruciating headache.


Was the act of the Judge justifiable and consistent with his duty in
administering justice?
Justice delayed is often justice denied, and delay in the disposition of cases
erodes the faith and confidence of the people in the judiciary. In addition, it
lowers its standard and brings it into disrepute.
Case No.107
297 SCRA 376 (1998)
Chapter XIV, Page 574, Footnote No. 135
Judge X was designated as the Acting Presiding Judge of Branch 41 of the
Regional Trial Court where a civil case was pending. A retired court
employee who introduced himself as Sheriff of the Regional Trial Court
looked for A, who is one of the parties in the civil case pending before the
sala of Judge X. The Sheriff told A that Judge X directed the former to
deliver the message that the Judge wanted to talk to A about the case.
When Judge X and A met, Judge X told A that the former would write a
decision for As case that would be favorable to As situation if A would give
Judge X Php4,000. Subsequently, when A delivered to Judge X the marked
money, Judge X was apprehended for having been found in possession of
the marked money which was utilized by the NBI during the entrapment
operation conducted against Judge X.

by Judge Y. Judge Y even effected a handwritten note given for the

immediate execution of her order. A was arrested and then filed a petition for
habeas corpus and an administrative case against Judge Y for having acted
arbitrarily or capriciously in causing his arrest.
Will the administrative case prosper?
Mr. A filed a complaint against Regional Trial Court Judge X for the latters
alleged failure to decide the civil case where the former is the respondent
despite the case being submitted for decision for more than 18 months. In
her answer, Judge X claimed that there is nothing in the records that the
case has been submitted for decision. She also alleged that only after she
received a phone call pressuring her to decide the case in favor of Mrs. B or
else she will be removed from office. She said that by reason of the said
phone call and considering that the existing government at that time is a
revolutionary one, she has no choice but to decide the case in favor of Mrs.
B, which she did.
Is Judge X justified in deciding the case in favor of Mrs. B by reason of the
threat against the former?

A judge should continuously study and research on the law from beginning
to end. Only then will the litigants have greater faith in the administration of

Does the act of Judge X constitute gross misconduct? If yes, what specific
act constitutes such?


The judges act of demanding and receiving money from a party-litigant with
a pending case in his sala constituted grave misconduct.

Case No.54
295 SCRA 1 (1998)
Chapter XIII, Page 490, Footnote No.54

Case No.128
144 SCRA 462 (1989)
Chapter XIII, Page 488, Footnote No.47
Deputy Sheriff A was directed by Regional Trial Court Judge X in an order to
demolish the improvements of the defendants in a No. of civil cases.
Regional Trial Court Judge Y then issued a writ of preliminary injunction
enjoining Deputy Sheriff A from demolishing the improvements of the said
defendants, who are intervenors in another case handled by Judge Y. When
A enforced the order of Judge X, Judge Y ordered the arrest of A for direct
contempt of court consisting of the alleged disobedience to the order made

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S in her capacity as court interpreter entered the chamber of Judge V to

inform him that the scheduled cases were ready. Judge V held her hand and
being a distant relative she thought that it was without malice. Only when the
Judge held her hand for quite some time did she suspect an ulterior motive.
Judge V then pulled her hand, hugged her and tried to kiss her on the lips
but she was able to avoid it and it landed on her cheek.
Can Judge V as a public official be judged by his personal morals?
A judge who is guilty of sexual harassment or unjust vexation by holding the
hand of his interpreter, who is his distant relative, kissing by her lips,


although missing it as the complainant wiggled out, has violated Canon 2

and 3, for a public official is also adjudged by his private morals.

Case No. 174
227 SCRA 1 (1993)
Chapter XIII, Page 477, Footnote No. 7

The judge is NOT guilty of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment.

Knowingly rendering an unjust judgment is both a criminal act and
administrative misconduct. As a crime, it is punished under Art. 205 of the
Revised Penal Code and requires the following elements: (a) the offender is
a judge; (b) he renders a judgment in a case submitted to him for decision;
(c) the judgment is unjust; and (d) the judge knows that his judgment is
unjust. The gist of the offense is that an unjust judgment be rendered
maliciously or in bad faith, that is, knowing it to be unjust.

Judge X received a sum intended for payment of a judgment debt and

misappropriated it to his personal use. A case was filed against Judge X.
Judge X admitted that he received payment but denied that he was still in
possession of the money for what he allegedly received was a check which
he claims to have returned to the counsel of the judgment debtor for it to be
Was the judge guilty of any misconduct? How should a judge conduct
He is a symbol of rectitude and propriety, comporting himself in a manner
that will receive no doubt whatsoever about his honesty.
Case No. 48
235 SCRA 597 (1994)
Chapter XIV, Page 575, Footnote No. 140
A, B, C and D filed a complaint for acts of lasciviousness before the court
against their coach. Judge X took cognizance of the case and rendered a
decision acquitting the accused even if the accused stroked and touched the
private parts of the complainants. Judge X reasoned that the complained
acts may no longer be considered lascivious in view of the directives and
implementing rules and guidelines of the then Ministry (now Department) of
Education, Culture and Sports which imposed on the coaches of boys' and
girls' volleyball teams the responsibility of excluding over-aged players from
their teams using as one of the criteria the presence of pubic hair; therefore,
lewdness could no longer be merely presumed. Subsequently, Judge X was
administratively indicted for gross ignorance of the law and knowingly
rendering an unjust judgment for acquitting the accused.
What is the nature of the charge of knowingly rendering an unjust judgment?
As a crime what are its elements? Is Judge X guilty of knowingly rendering
an unjust judgment?

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Case No. 67
250 SCRA 545 (1995)
Footnote No. 140, Chapter XIV, Page 574-575
N was fatally shot in the back with a .38 caliber revolver. S was arrested
without a warrant for the death based on the sworn statement by two
persons who testified that they saw S, who was at that time, a security
guard, running after somebody. However, they failed to see who the person
was or whether said person was hit or not. The Provincial prosecutor filed
an information for murder against S and no bail was recommended. On the
same day, Judge F issued an order for the arrest of the accused even
though the accused was already arrested six days before. S then filed a
petition for habeas corpus alleging that he was illegally arrested and was
deprived of his right to a preliminary investigation. Judge F issued an order
directing the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. He failed to inform the
provincial prosecutor. The provincial prosecutor filed a motion to set aside
the order which was denied by Judge F.
The heirs of N represented by Atty. Y charged Judge F with gross ignorance
of the law, manifest partiality and/or knowingly rendering an unjust judgment
for granting the petition.
W/N the judge was grossly ignorant of the law
W/N the judge has been impartial.
(1) A judge is not assumed to be entirely immune to error. As basis for
disciplinary action, the error or mistake of a judge must be gross or patent,
malicious, deliberate or in bad faith. A judge cannot be held to account or
answer criminally or administratively for an erroneous decision rendered by
him in good faith. In the absence of fraud, dishonestly or corruption, the acts
of a judge in his capacity are not subject to disciplinary action, even though
such acts are erroneous.


(2) There is no evidence of impartiality. However, the judge, in not informing

the prosecutor seems to be lax in the management of his office. As head of
court of record, he should have seen to it that the office of the Provincial
Prosecutor be furnished with a copy of the petition and notice of hearing.
Judge F is only guilty of negligence and was ordered to pay a fine for
mismanagement of his office

Judge A was appointed as a presiding judge of MTC. Subsequently,

information was received by the Judicial and Bar Council that Judge A had
been previously dismissed as an Assistant Fiscal for gross misconduct in the
discharge of his duties. It was later found out that Judge A did not disclose
his dismissal in the Personal Data Sheet that he submitted to the Judicial
and Bar Council as a requirement for application to his present position.


Did the concealment of his previous dismissal constitute an act of dishonesty

that would render him unfit to remain in the judiciary?

Case no. 204

55 SCRA 107 (1974)
Chapter XIV, Page 575, Footnote no. 141

Fiscal Z of Negros Occidental filed a charge for Robbery in Band with

Homicide against 13 persons as principals, 7 persons as accomplices, and 2
persons as accessories. The case was assigned to a Branch presided over
by X. Upon the acquittal of one of the accused, Z bewails as malfeasance in
office and gross ignorance of the law the behavior of X, alleging that X made
a secret ocular inspection of the place where the crime has been committed,
without anybody to guide him, much less in the presence of the prosecution.
Z further concluded that the secret ocular inspection was the sole basis of
Xs judgment.
In short, the charges impute upon X, (a) dereliction or misconduct in office,
which contemplates the rendition of an unjust judgment knowingly and/or in
(b) rendering a manifestly unjust judgment by reason of inexcusable
negligence or ignorance.
Under the circumstances, may X be rendered liable? If the answer is in the
affirmative, what should the prosecution prove the court?
Yes, but in order to discipline a judge for knowingly rendering an unjust
judgment, it must be shown beyond cavil that the judgment or order is unjust
for being contrary to law, or as was not supported by evidence and that the
judge rendered it with conscious and deliberate intent to do an injustice.

A judge who concealed in his bio-data form the fact required by the Judicial
and Bar Council that he had been dismissed as assistant city fiscal for gross
misconduct in the discharge of his duties committed an act of dishonesty that
rendered him unfit to remain in the judiciary.
Case No.86
82 SCRA 325 (1978)
Footnote No. 158 Chapter XIV Page 576
Judge PV, who was 68 at the time of the complaint, was married to one L.
Even before the judge married L, he already has children out of wedlock.
When he met an accident sometime in 1974, L allegedly hired G to take care
of her husband and to act as the judges real wife. L even issued an affidavit
that she will not prosecute G and the judges offspring. One Attorney V
charged Judge PV for having illicit relations with a concubine under
scandalous circumstances in his own house. It was the contention of Judge
V that he was already condoned by his wife through a letter stating that she
hired his husbands concubine in order to take care of him. Attorney V
withdrew his complaint but the court refused to dismiss the same stating that
Judge PV did admit committing concubinage and such admission is a
confession. FL then adopted the complaint against Judge V.
W/N Judge V should be dismissed
A lawyer should have a good moral character. He may be disbarred for
grossly immoral conduct or when he is convicted of a crime involving moral
turpitude such as concubinage.


Case No. 72
227 SCRA 193 (1993)
Chapter XIV, Page 572, Footnote No. 120

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118 103
Not the Best Witness


Judge L was the subscribing officer in the custody confession of M

who was charged for murder.
Judge L did not follow the procedure in taking the confessions of M,
hence violated several constitutional rights of the latter.
During the trial of M, Judge L falsely testified in court that the
extrajudicial confessions of M were lawfully executed.
The Court held that the actions of Judge L amounted to serious
dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
Judge L was dismissed, with prejudice to reinstatement.

268 SCRA 47(1997)
Case No.10
Chapter XIV, Page 598, Footnote No. 271
MA and EC got married in 11 August 1947. After having lived together as
husband and wife, they begot a daughter T and son G. Thereafter, EC left
the conjugal home and left MA to raise the two children. For several years,
EC was never heard of and his whereabouts unknown. In 1993,
complainants MA and children T and G, through their lawyer, wrote a letter
to respondent judge EC as a formal demand for maintenance and support
and a request that they be properly instituted and named as ECs
compulsory heirs and legal beneficiaries. However, the letter elicited no
MA later learned that EC had another family. MA charges EC of bigamy and
falsification of public documents, that he contracted his second marriage with
NY in Leyte and that EC misrepresented himself in all of public documents
as being married to NY.
EC explained that when they were still in their early age, MA and EC
engaged in a lovel affair which resulted in the pregnancy of MA, and then
and there gave birth to T. In order to save name and avoid shame, their
parents came to an agreement to allow MA and EC to get married in name,
but not to live together as husband and wife, thereby forcing EC to appear in
a marriage affair where all the pertinent marriage papers were already
prepared and duly signed; that after the said affair both MA and EC
immediately separated each other without living together as husband and
wife even for a day, nor having established a conjugal home. From that time
on, they have never met each other nor have communicated with each other
for the last 40 years. EC continued to study in Cebu, and eventually became

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a member of the Philippine Bar in 1960 and was eventually appointed as

MCTC Judge of Municipalities of Pinamungajan and Aloguinsan, Cebu. EC
further claims that he didnt file any annulment or judicial declaration of nullity
because the said marriage was in jest and was void from the beginning. That
MA and EC already signed a compromise agreement and without knowledge
of EC, MA proceeded with the complaint.
Is EC guilty of the crime of grave misconduct (bigamy and falsification of
public document)?
The misconduct imputed by MA, T and G against Judge EC comprises the
following: abandonment of the first wife, failing to give support, marrying for
the second time without having first obtained a judicial declaration of nullity
of his first marriage, and falsification of public document.
Misconduct, as a ground for administrative action has a specific meaning in
law. It refers to a misconduct such as would affect the judges performance
of his duties and not such only as affects his character as a private
individual. Misconduct, misfeasance or malfeasance warranting removal
from office of an office must have direct relation to and be connected with
the performance of official duties.
The acts imputed against EC clearly pertain to his personal life and have no
direct relation to his judicial function. Neither do these misdeeds directly
relate to the discharge of his official responsibilities. Therefore, the said acts
cannot be deemed misconduct much less gross misconduct in office. For
any of the acts of Judge EC xxx to warrant disciplinary action, the act must
have a direct relation to the performance of his official duties. It is necessary
to separate the character of the man from the character of the officer.
Finally, the Court was inclined to treat EC with leniency considering his
records that the Court found no trace of wrongdoing in the discharge of his
judicial functions from the time of his appointment up to the filing of the
administrative case. Dismissal from service as recommended by the Office
of the Court Administrator would be too harsh. A penalty of suspension
should have been warranted but in view of ECs death, the case is