You are on page 1of 8

A.M.OCAI.P.I.No.093243RTJ.April1,2013.

JOHNWELL W. TIGGANGAY, complainant, vs. JUDGE


MARCELINO K. WACAS, Regional Trial Court, Branch
25,TabukCity,Kalinga,respondent.
Administrative Law; Evidence; Substantial Evidence; When the
issue is administrative liability, the quantum of proof required is
only substantial evidence, or that amount of relevant evidence
which a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a
conclusion.When the issue is administrative liability, the
quantum of proof required is only substantial evidence, or that
amountofrelevantevidencewhichareasonablemindmightaccept
asadequatetosupportaconclusion.Inadministrativeproceedings,
theburdenofproofthatrespondentcommittedtheactscomplained
ofrestsonthecomplainant.Intheinstantcase,Tiggangayfailedto
present substantial evidence to prove his allegations. One who
alleges a fact has the burden of proof and mere allegation is not
evidence.
Civil Law; Affinity; Words and Phrases; Affinity denotes the
relation that one spouse has to the blood relatives of the other
spouse. It is a relationship by marriage or a familial relation
resulting from marriage. It is a fictive kinship, a fiction created by
law in connection with the institution of marriage and family
relations.Affinitydenotestherelationthatonespousehastothe
bloodrelativesoftheotherspouse.Itisarelationshipbymarriage
orafamilialrelationresultingfrommarriage.Itisafictivekinship,
a fiction created by law in connection with the institution of
marriage and family relations. Relationship by affinity refers to a
relation by virtue of a legal bond such as marriage. Relatives by
affinity, therefore, are those commonly referred to as inlaws, or
stepfather, stepmother, stepchild and the like. Affinity may also be
defined as the relation which one spouse because of marriage has
to blood relatives of the other. The connection existing, in
consequence of marriage between each of the married persons and
the kindred of the other. The doctrine of affinity grows out of the
canonical maxim that marriage makes husband and wife one. The
husbandhasthesamerelationbyaffin
_______________
*THIRDDIVISION.

265

VOL.694,APRIL1,2013

265

Tiggangay vs. Wacas


itytohiswifesbloodrelativesasshehasbyconsanguinityandvice
versa. Indeed, there is no affinity between the blood relatives of

onespouseandthebloodrelativesoftheother.Ahusbandisrelated
by affinity to his wifes brother, but not to the wife of his wifes
brother.Thereisnoaffinitybetweenthehusbandsbrotherandthe
wifessister;thisiscalledaffinitas affinitatis.

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTER in the Supreme Court.


ImproprietyandPartiality.
ThefactsarestatedintheresolutionoftheCourt.
Melvin C. Suarezforcomplainant.
RESOLUTION
VELASCO,JR.,J.:
Before Us is a lettercomplaint charging respondent
JudgeMarcelinoK.Wacas(JudgeWacas)withImpropriety
andPartialityfornotinhibitinghimself,inviolationofthe
CodeofJudicialConduct,fromhearinganelectoralprotest
casependingbeforehimandforattendingthevictoryparty
ofapartylitigantinsaidelectoralcase.
JudgeWacasisthePresidingJudgeoftheRegionalTrial
Court (RTC), Branch 25 in Tabuk City, Kalinga.
ComplainantJohnwellW.Tiggangay(Tiggangay)wasthe
losingprotestantinanelectoralprotestcasebeforethesala
ofJudgeWacas,docketedasElectionCaseNo.40,entitled
Johnwell W. Tiggangay v. Rhustom L. Dagadag.
Tiggangay ran for the mayoralty position of Tanudan,
KalingaintheMay14,2007electionbutlosttoRhustomL.
Dagadag (Dagadag) by a slim margin of 158 votes.
Following Dagadags proclamation, Tiggangay filed an
electoral protest which was raffled to the sala of Judge
Wacas.
On August 8, 2008, Judge Wacas rendered a Decision
findingDagadagtohavewontheprotestedelectionbutata
re
266

266

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Tiggangay vs. Wacas

ducedwinningmarginof97votes.Tiggangayappealedthe
RTC Decision before the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC) Second Division which dismissed the appeal
throughanOrderissuedonNovember4,2008.Tiggangays
motion for reconsideration of the COMELEC Second
Divisions dismissal of his appeal was likewise rejected by
the COMELEC En Banc on January 12, 2011 on the
groundofmootness.
On July 31, 2009, Tiggangay filed his verified letter
complaint charging Judge Wacas with Impropriety and
Partiality.Tiggangayallegedthat,duringthecourseofthe
proceedingsinElectionCaseNo.40,helearnedthatJudge
Wacas is Dagadags second cousin by affinity, the formers
aunt is married to an uncle of Dagadag. The relationship
notwithstanding,JudgeWacasdidnotinhibithimselffrom
hearingsaidelectoralcaseinviolationoftheNewCodeof
Judicial Conduct and Rule 137 of the Revised Rules of
Court. Moreover, after ruling in favor of Dagadag, so
Tiggangayalleged,JudgeWacasandhiswifeattendedthe

victory party of Dagadag held on August 23, 2008 at


Dagadags ranch in Spring, Tabuk City. To bolster his
allegation,Tiggangaysubmittedtheaffidavitofhisdriver,
FidelGayudan(Gayudan),1whoattestedJudgeWacasand
wifewerefetchedbyaredToyotaSurfownedbyDagadag
andwerebroughttothevictoryparty.Further,Tiggangay
allegedcitingtheaffidavitofCorazonSomera2(Somera),
anallegedclosefriendofJudgeWacasandhisspousethat
Judge Wacas sisterinlaw, Rebecca Magwaki Alunday
(Alunday), allegedly said in the presence of Somera and
JudgeWacasandwifethatTiggangaywillwintheprotestif
he has much money. Tiggangay stated that Judge Wacas
never bothered x x x to rebuke his sisterinlaw for such
uncalledforstatement,ortooutrightlydenyoraffirmsuch
statementxxx.3
_______________
1Rollo,p.6.
2Id.,atp.7.
3Id.,atp.3.
267

VOL.694,APRIL1,2013

267

Tiggangay vs. Wacas


In his Comment, Judge Wacas denied being related by
affinity to Dagadag, adding that Tiggangay made the
allegation on the basis of some reliable sources, not from
his personal knowledge. Moreover, Judge Wacas
maintained, Tiggangay never moved for his inhibition
during the entire proceedings in Election Case No. 40 if,
indeed, Tiggangay doubted his fairness, integrity and
independence.JudgeWacasvehementlydeniedhisalleged
attendance in the victory party of Dagadag on August 23,
2008 and asserted that he was with his family in a clan
gathering on that day in the house of Rafael Maduli at
Purok 5, Bulanao, Tabuk City, Kalinga, where he stayed
from about 8:00 a.m. until about 3:00 p.m. Thus, he
submitted the affidavits of Blezilda Maduli Palicpic4
(Palicpic)andAlunday5attestingtosuchfactasidefromhis
own affidavit6 and the affidavit of his wife, Rosalina
MagwakiWacas(Mrs.Wacas).7
OnJune13,2011,actingontherecommendation8ofthe
Court Administrator, the Court referred the matter to the
CourtofAppeals(CA),throughAssociateJusticeSocorroB.
Inting (Justice Inting), for investigation and report with
appropriaterecommendations.
JusticeIntingheldapreliminaryconferenceonOctober
3,2011,wherethepartiesstipulated,inter alia,that:
11)Duringtheproceedingsoftheprotestcase,complainantdidnotfile
amotiontoinhibitJudgeMarcelinoWacas.
12)No written Motion to Inhibit was filed in Court during the
proceedingsoftheprotestcase.
13)ThelettercomplaintdatedFebruary19,2009wasfiledonlyafter
thedecisiondatedAugust8,2008wasren

_______________
4Id.,atpp.2526.
5Id.,atpp.2728.
6Id.,atpp.2930.
7Id.,atpp.3132.
8Id.,atp.35.
268

268

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Tiggangay vs. Wacas

dered by the RTC and after the Comelec in its Order dated
November4,2008dismissedtheappeal.
14)ThatFidelGayudan,oneofthewitnesses,isaconstantcompanion
ofthecomplainant.
15)That Corazon Somera is the sister of the mother of the
complainant.9

Thereafter, Justice Inting conducted hearings on


December 9, 2011,10 January 27, 2012,11 March 2, 2012,12
andJune22,2012.13Fortheprosecutionoftheinstantcase,
only Tiggangay and Gayudan testified on December 9,
2011. As Somera did not appear to testify, her affidavit
appendedtothecomplaintwasexpungedfromtherecords.
On the other hand, for the defense, Palicpic testified on
March 12, 2012, while Sarado Aggal (Aggal), Mrs. Wacas
andJudgeWacastestifiedonJune22,2012.
SubmissionofMemorandafollowed.
On October 18, 2012, Justice Inting transmitted to the
Court her Report, recommending the dismissal of the
instantcomplaintforlackofsubstantialevidence.14
WeadoptthefindingsofJusticeIntingsupportiveofher
recommendations and accordingly dismiss the instant
administrativecomplaint.
_______________
9 Id.,atpp.4647,CAOrderdatedOctober10,2011.
10Id.,atpp.8197,TSN,December9,2011,withthetestimoniesof
TiggangayandGayudan.
11Id.,atp.80,CAOrderdatedFebruary16,2012.
12 Id., at pp. 201262, TSN, March 12, 2012, with the testimony of
Palicpic.
13 Id., at pp. 388414, TSN, June 22, 2012, with the testimony of
Aggal,Mrs.WacasandJudgeWacas.
14JusticeIntingrecommended:
WHEREFORE,inviewoftheforegoing,itisherebyrecommendedto
the Third Division of the Honorable Supreme Court that the
administrativecomplaintagainstrespondentJudgeMarcelinoK.Wacas
beDISMISSEDforlackofmerit.(Report,p.16.)
269

VOL.694,APRIL1,2013

269

Tiggangay vs. Wacas


Whentheissueisadministrativeliability,thequantum
of proof required is only substantial evidence, or that
amount of relevant evidence which a reasonable mind

might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.15 In


administrative proceedings, the burden of proof that
respondent committed the acts complained of rests on the
complainant.16 In the instant case, Tiggangay failed to
present substantial evidence to prove his allegations. One
who alleges a fact has the burden of proof and mere
allegationisnotevidence.17
The supposed relationship between Judge Wacas and
Dagadag, unsubstantiated as it were by the required
substantialrelevantevidence,remainsamereallegationof
Tiggangay. In his testimony on December 9, 2011,
Tiggangay tried to assert that Judge Wacas and Dagadag
are related within the sixth degree by affinity in that the
aunt of Judge Wacas is married to the uncle of Dagadag.
Tiggangayevendrewasketchtoshowtheaffinity.Thefact,
however, is that no substantial evidence was presented to
provetherelationshipangle.
WecangrantarguendothattheauntofJudgeWacasis
marriedtotheuncleofDagadag.Butsuchrealityisnota
groundforthemandatoryinhibitionofaJudgeasrequired
underSec.118ofRule137,RevisedRulesofProcedure,since
_______________
15 Velasco v. Angeles, A.M. No. RTJ051908, August 15, 2007, 530
SCRA204,224.
16Re: LetterComplaint of Atty. Ariel Samson C. Cayetuna, et al., All
Employees of Asso. Justice Michael P. Elbinias against Asso. Justice
Michael P. Elbinias, CAMindanao Station, A.M. OCA IPI No. 08127
CAJ,January11,2011,639SCRA220,234.
17 Heirs of Cipriano Reyes v. Calumpang, G.R. No. 138463, October
30, 2006, 506 SCRA 56, 72; citing Luxuria Homes, Inc. v. Court of
Appeals,G.R.No.125986,January28,1999,302SCRA315,325.
18 SECTION1.Disqualification of Judges.No judge or judicial
officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is
pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in
which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of
consanguinity or affinity or to counsel within the fourth degree,
computedaccordingtotherulesofcivillaw,orinwhichhehaspresided
inany
270

270

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Tiggangay vs. Wacas

there is actually no relation of affinity between Judge


WacasandDagadag.
Affinitydenotestherelationthatonespousehastothe
bloodrelativesoftheotherspouse.19Itisarelationshipby
marriageorafamilialrelationresultingfrommarriage.Itis
afictivekinship,afictioncreatedbylawinconnectionwith
the institution of marriage and family relations.20
Relationship by affinity refers to a relation by virtue of a
legalbondsuchasmarriage.Relativesbyaffinity,therefore,
are those commonly referred to as inlaws, or stepfather,
stepmother,stepchildandthelike.21
Affinity may also be defined as the relation which one
spouse because of marriage has to blood relatives of the

other.Theconnectionexisting,inconsequenceofmarriage
betweeneachofthemarriedpersonsandthekindredofthe
other. The doctrine of affinity grows out of the canonical
maxim that marriage makes husband and wife one. The
husbandhasthesamerelationbyaffinitytohiswifesblood
relativesasshehasbyconsanguinityandviceversa.22
Indeed,thereisnoaffinitybetweenthebloodrelativesof
onespouseandthebloodrelativesoftheother.Ahusbandis
relatedbyaffinitytohiswifesbrother,butnottothewifeof
his wifes brother. There is no affinity between the
husbands
_______________
inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review,
without the written consent of all the parties in interest, signed by
themandenteredupontherecord.
A Judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify
himself from sitting in a case, for just and valid reasons other than
thosementionedabove.
19B.A.Garner,BLACKSLAWDICTIONARY67(9thed.,2009).
20 Intestate Estate of Manolita Gonzales Vda. de Carungcong v.
People,G.R.No.181409,February11,2010,612SCRA272,285.
21People v. Atop,G.R.Nos.12430305,February10,1998,286SCRA
157,169.
22 People v. Berana, G.R. No. 123544, July 29, 1999, 311 SCRA 664,
675676.

271

VOL.694,APRIL1,2013

271

Tiggangay vs. Wacas


brother and the wifes sister; this is called affinitas
affinitatis.23
In the instant case, considering that Judge Wacas is
relatedtohisauntbyconsanguinityinthethirddegree,it
followsbyvirtueofthemarriageofhisaunttotheuncleof
Dagadag that Judge Wacas is the nephewinlaw of the
uncleofDagadag,i.e.,arelationshipbyaffinityinthethird
degree. But Judge Wacas is not related by affinity to the
bloodrelativesoftheuncleofDagadagastheyarenothis
inlawsand,thus,arenotrelatedinanywaytoDagadag.In
like manner, Dagadag is the nephewinlaw of the aunt of
Judge Wacas but is not related by affinity to the blood
relativesofJudgeWacasaunt,likeJudgeWacas.Inshort,
there is no relationship by affinity between Judge Wacas
and Dagadag as they are not inlaws of each other. Thus,
JudgeWacasisnotdisqualifiedunderSec.1ofRule137to
hearElectionCaseNo.40.
ItcannotbeoveremphasizedthatTiggangay,forallhis
protestationsagainstJudgeWacasimpartialityarisingout
of the perceived relationship by affinity between Dagadag
andJudgeWacas,nevermovedfortheinhibitionofJudge
WacasfromhearingElectionCaseNo.40.Weviewthisfact
as a belated attempt by Tiggangay to get back at Judge
Wacas for the latters adverse ruling in Tiggangays

electoralprotest.Besides,asaptlyputbyJusticeInting,a
litigantcannotbepermittedtospeculateupontheactionof
thecourtandtoraiseobjectionsonlyafteranunfavorable
decisionhasalreadybeenrendered.24
We find no reason to disturb Justice Intings succinct
observationthattheaffidavitanduncorroboratedtestimony
of Tiggangays driver, Gayudan, is incredulous and not
worthy of credence. Gayudan supposedly followed Judge
WacasandwifetotheranchofDagadagwherethealleged
victory party was celebrated on August 23, 2008 and
observedforfour
_______________
23BLACKSLAWDICTIONARY,supra note19.
24Report,p.9.
272

272

SUPREMECOURTREPORTSANNOTATED
Tiggangay vs. Wacas

hours the comings and goings of the people attending the


party. Yet, Gayudan could not even name one attendee,
asidefromJudgeWacasandhiswife,despiteadmittingthat
the people who allegedly attended the party are from his
place.
Notably,theaffidavitandtestimonyofAggalbeliesand
demolishes the affidavit and testimony of Gayudan. Aggal
was the driver of Congressman Tagayo from 2007 to 2011
andwasstayingintheplaceofsaidCongressmanwhichis
just beside the ranch of Dagadag in Spring, Tabuk City,
Kalinga. Aggal attested and testified that there was no
partyintheplaceofDagadagonAugust23,2008.Besides,
theunrebuttedtestimonyofPalicpicplacesthewhereabouts
of Judge Wacas and his wife on August 23, 2008 not in
Dagadagsplacebutintheplaceoftheirrelative,whichis
justwalkingdistancefromtheirresidence,toattendaclan
gathering.
Insum,Wefindnothingintherecordstosupportacase
of impropriety, much less manifest bias and partiality
againstTiggangay.
WHEREFORE, the instant administrative complaint
againstJudgeMarcelinoK.Wacas,PresidingJudgeofthe
RTC, Branch 25 in Tabuk City, Kalinga, is hereby
DISMISSEDforlackofmerit.
SOORDERED.
Peralta, Abad, MendozaandLeonen, JJ.,concur.
Administrative complaint dismissed.
Notes.Asamatterofpolicy,theactsofajudgeinhis
judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action; an
inquiry into a judges civil, criminal and/or administrative
liability may be made after the available remedies have
been exhausted and decided with finality. (Republic vs.
Caguioa,591SCRA51[2009])
273

VOL.694,APRIL1,2013

273

Tiggangay vs. Wacas


The continuing affinity view has been applied in the
interpretationoflawsthatintendtobenefitsteprelativesor
inlaws.SincethepurposeoftheabsolutorycauseinArticle
332(1) is meant to be beneficial to relatives by affinity
within the degree covered under the said provision, the
continuing affinity view is more appropriate. (Intestate
Estate of Manolita Gonzales Vda. de Carungcong vs. People,
612SCRA272[2010])
o0o

Copyright 2015 Central Book Supply, Inc. All rights reserved.