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DISQUALIFICATIONOFJUSTICESANDJUDGES

RULE137DisqualificationofJudicialOfficers
Section1.Disqualificationofjudges.Nojudgeorjudicialofficershallsitinanycasein
which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or
otherwise,orinwhichheisrelatedtoeitherpartywithinthesixthdegreeofconsanguinity
oraffinity,ortocounselwithinthefourthdegree,computedaccordingtotherulesofthe
civillaw,orinwhichhehasbeenexecutor,administrator,guardian,trusteeorcounsel,or
inwhich hehasbeenpresidedinanyinferiorcourtwhenhisrulingordecisionisthe
subjectofreview,withoutthewrittenconsentofallpartiesininterest,signedbythemand
enteredupontherecord.
Ajudgemay,intheexerciseofhissounddiscretion,disqualifyhimselffromsittingina
case,forjustorvalidreasonsotherthanthosementionedabove.
TheRulescontemplatetwokindsofdisqualification:compulsoryandvoluntary.Underthefirst
paragraph of the cited Rule, it is conclusively presumed that judges cannot actively and
impartiallysitintheinstancesmentioned.The secondparagraph,whichembodiesvoluntary
inhibition,leavestothesounddiscretionofthejudgesconcernedwhethertositinacasefor
otherjustandvalidreasons,withonlytheirconscienceasguide.
COMPULSORYDISQUALIFICATION
Section1(1),Rule137,ROC
Nojudgeorjudicialofficershallsitinanycaseinwhich:
(a)He,orhiswifeorchild,ispecuniarilyinterestedasheir,legatee,creditororotherwise;or
(b)Heisrelatedtoeitherpartywithinthesixthdegreeofconsanguinityoraffinity,ortocounsel
withinthefourthdegree,computedaccordingtotherulesofthecivillaw;or
(c)Hehasbeenexecutor,administrator,guardian,trusteeorcounsel;or
(d)Hehaspresidedinanyinferiorcourtwhenhisrulingordecisionisthesubjectofreview,
withoutthewrittenconsentofallpartiesininterest,signedbythemandenteredupontherecord.
Javierv.CommissiononElections(1996)
Therelationshipofthejudgewithoneofthepartiesmaycolorthefactsanddistortthelawtothe
prejudiceofajustdecision.Wherethisisprobableorevenonlypossible,dueprocessdemands
thatthejudgeinhibithimself,ifonlyoutofasenseofdelicadeza.
HaciendaBenito,Inc.v.CourtofAppeals(1987)
TherationalebehindSec.1,Rule137ondisqualificationofjudgesistopreservepublicfaithin
thejudiciarysfairnessandobjectivitytoallysuspicionsanddistrustastoapossiblebiasand
prejudiceinfavororapartycomingintoplay.
VOLUNTARYDISQUALIFICATION
Section1(2),Rule137,ROC
Ajudgemay,intheexerciseofhissounddiscretion,disqualifyhimselffromsittinginacase,for
justorvalidreasonsotherthanthosementionedabove.
Grounds:

Forjustandvalidreasons.Butintheinhibitionorder,thejudgeshouldstatewhatreason.
Voluntaryinhibitionisstrictlyamatterofconscience.

NotValidGrounds:

Counselforthepartyfiledanadministrativecaseagainstthejudge.Merefilingisnota

ground.Cannotpresumethejudgetobevindictivewithoutevidence.
Merefriendship.Itisnotunnaturalforjudgestohavefriends.

Disadvantagesontheruleoninhibition:

Canbeusedbyajudgetoextricatehimselffromacase.
Onthepartonlawyers,mayusetochooseajudge.

GENERALRULE:
Voluntaryinhibitioncannotbecompelledbymandamusbecauseitisdiscretionary.
EXCEPTION:
a.Instancesofgrossabuseofdiscretion,manifestinjusticeandpalpableexcessofauthority
equivalenttodenialofasettledrighttowhichpetitionerisentitled
b.Nootherplain,speedandadequateremedy
Tyv.BancoFilipino(2004)
Meresuspicionofpartialityisnotenough.Thereshouldbehardevidencetoproveit,aswellas
manifestshowingofbiasandpartiality.Issuanceoferroneousordersanddecisionsthatpertain
tothejudgesjudicialfunctionsmaynotbeproperconsiderationtochargeajudgeofbias,
exceptwheretheorderstakennotsingly,butcollectivelyshowthatthejudgehaslostthecold
neutralityofanimpartialmagistrate.Soineffect,itsays,itisdifficulttofindsuspicionof
partialityinjustoneissuancealone.Althoughthereareinstanceswhereoneorderisenough,but
intheusualcase,theordersarethedecisionsorwhateverwritscomingfromthecourt,taken
collectively,mustshowthatthejudgehaslostthecoldneutralityofanimpartialjudge.Soitis
difficulttoprovepartiality.
Barnesv.Reyes(2003)
Inthecaseatbar,petitioner,asidefromhisbareallegations,hasnotshownthatJudgeQuijano
PadillahadbeenbiasedandpartialagainstaparticularpartyintheproceedingsinCivilCaseNo.
Q9937219. The judge even acknowledged in the inhibitory order that the motion for her
disqualificationcontainednostatementofspecificactoractsthatwouldshowherpartialityor
biasinthetreatmentofthecase.Hervoluntaryinhibitionwasonlyonaccountofdispellingany
doubtandperceptionofbiasonthepartofpetitioner.Clearly,therefore,nojustandvalidreason
supportstheinhibitionofJudgeQuijanoPadilla.
ThefactthatJudgeQuijanoPadillaruledadverselyagainstpetitionerintheresolutionofthe
motiontodismiss,whichthisCourtlaterreversedinG.R.No.160753,isnotenoughreason,
absentanyextrinsicevidenceofmaliceorbadfaith,toconcludethatthejudgewasbiasedand

partial against petitioner. As this Court has emphasized in Webb v. People, the remedy of
erroneousinterlocutoryrulingsinthecourseofatrialisnottheoutrightdisqualificationofa
judge,forthereisyettocomeajudgewiththeomnisciencetoissuerulingsthatarealways
infallible.Thecourtswillcloseshopifwedisqualifyjudgeswhoerr,forweallerr.
Finally,theCourtnotesthatifitweretoaffirmtheinhibitoryorderinthiscase,thenitwouldbe
openingthefloodgatestoaformofforumshopping,inwhichlitigantswouldbeallowedtoshop
forajudgemoresympathetictotheircauses.
Thiscasethejudgewontinhibit.Thereisacriminalcase.Thiscaseisdifferentbecausethe
judgedidnotinhibit.
BorromeoHerrerav.Borromeo(1987)
Ajudgemaynotbelegallyprohibitedfromsittinginalitigation,butwhencircumstancesappear
thatwillinducedoubtastohishonestactuationsandprobityinfavorofeitherparty,orincite
suchstateofmind,heshouldconductacarefulexamination.Heshouldexercisehisdiscretionin

awaythatpeoplesfaithintheCourtsofJusticeisnotimpaired.Thebettercourseforthejudge
undersuchcircumstancesistodisqualifyhimself.
QueryofExecutiveJudgeEstrada(1987)
Intimacyorfriendshipbetweenajudgeandanattorneyofrecordofoneofthepartiestoasuitis
nogroundfordisqualification.Thatoneofthecounselsinacasewasaclassmateofthetrial
judge is not a legal ground for the disqualification of the said judge. To allow it would
unnecessarily burden other trial judges to whom the case would be transferred... But if the
relationshipbetweenthejudgeandanattorneyforapartyissuchthattherewouldbeanatural
inclinationtoprejudicethecase,thejudgeshouldbedisqualifiedinordertoguarantyafairtrial.
Umalev.Villaluz(1973)
TheCourttracedthehistoryofthesecondparagraphoftheabovequotedprovision,whichhad
beenaddedonlyasanamendmenttotheRulesofCourtin1964.Priortothatyear,thequestion
onwhethertotakecognizanceofthecasedidnotdependuponthediscretionofthejudgesnot
legallydisqualifiedtositinagivencase.Ifthoseconcernedwerenotdisqualified,itwastheir
official duty to proceed with the case or else risk being called upon to account for their
dereliction. They could not voluntarily inhibit themselves on grounds of prejudice or bias,
extremedelicacy,oreveniftheythemselvestookgreatinterestandanactivepartinthefilingof
thecase.
Section3.Judgesshall,sofarasisreasonable,soconductthemselvesastominimizethe
occasionsonwhichitwillbenecessaryforthemtobedisqualifiedfromhearingcases.
Disqualificationisalsocalledinhibitionortorecuse.Whereallegationofpartialityhasnotbeen
reasonablyestablished,thentherewouldbenogroundforjudgetoinhibit.Where,however,bias
andpartialityisevident,thenthejudgemustinhibitfromthecase.
PimintelvsSalonga(1967)
Ajudgemaynotbelegallyprohibitedfromsittinginalitigation.Butwhensuggestionismade
ofrecordthathemightbeinducedtoactinfavorofonepartyorwithbiasorprejudiceagainst
litigantarisingoutofcircumstancereasonablycapableofincitingsuchastateofmind,heshould
conductacarefulexamination.Heshouldexercisehisdiscretioninawaythatthepeoplesfaith
inthecourtofjusticeisnotimpaired.Asalutarynormisthathereflectsontheprobabilitythata
losingpartymightnurtureatthebackofhismindthethoughtthatthejudgehadunmeritoriously
tiltedscalesofjusticeagainsthim.
Section 5. Judges shall disqualify themselves from participating in any proceedings in
whichtheyareunabletodecidethematterimpartiallyorinwhichitmayappeartoa
reasonable observer that they are unable to decide the matter impartially. Such
proceedingsinclude,butarenotlimitedto,instanceswhere:
a. Thejudgehasactualbiasorprejudiceconcerningapartyorpersonalknowledgeof
disputedevidentiaryfactsconcerningproceedings;
b. Thejudgepreviouslyservedasalawyerorwasamaterialwitnessinthematterin
controversy;
c. The judge, or a member of his or her family, has an economic interest in the
outcomeofthematterincontroversy;
d. Thejudgeservedasexecutor,administratorguardian,trusteeorlawyerinthecase
ormatterincontroversy,oraformerassociateofthejudgeservedascounselduring
theirassociation,orthejudgeorlawyerwasmaterialwitnesstherein;
e. Thejudgesrulinginalowercourtisthesubjectofreview;
f. Thejudgeisrelatedbyconsanguinityofaffinitytoapartylitigantwithinthesixth
civildegreeortocounselwithinthefourthdegree;or

g. Thejudgeknowsthathisorherspouseorchildhasafinancialinterest,asheir,
legatee,creditor,fiduciary,orotherwise,inthesubjectmatterincontroversyorina
partytotheproceeding,oranyotherinterestthatcouldbesubstantiallyaffectedby
theoutcomeoftheproceedings
Q:Whatdoesthephraseanyproceedingsinclude?
A:Suchproceedingsinclude,butarenotlimitedtoinstanceswhere:
1. The judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party or personal knowledge of
disputedevidentiaryfactsconcerningtheproceedings(Sec.5(a),Canon3,NCJC);
Note:Therulealsorequiresdisqualificationifajudgehasoutsideknowledgeofdisputed
facts. To be a ground for disqualification, the knowledge must be obtained extra
judicially like outofcourt observations. This prohibition alsodisallows extrajudicial
researchontheInternet.Litigantsareentitledtoajudgewhowilldecideonthemeritsof
thefactspresented.
2. The judge previously served as a lawyer or was a material witness in the matter in
controversy(Sec.5(b),Canon3,NCJC);
Note:Ajudgemaybedisqualifiedifhewasformerlyassociatedwithoneoftheparties
or their counsel. A judge who previously notarized the affidavit of a person to be
presentedasawitnessinacasebeforehimshallbedisqualifiedfromproceedingwiththe
case.
3. Thejudge,oramemberofhisorherfamily,hasaneconomicinterestintheoutcomeof
thematterincontroversy(Sec.5(c),Canon3,NCJC);
Oktubrev.VelascoA.M.No.MTJ02021444,July20,2004
Amunicipaljudgewhofiledcomplaints inhisowncourtforrobberyandmalicious
mischiefagainstapartyforthepurposeofprotectingthepropertyinterestsofthejudges
coheirs,andthenissuedwarrantsofarrestagainsttheparty,wasfoundguiltyofserious
misconductandordereddismissedfromthebenchbeforehewasabletorescuehimself.
4. Thejudgeservedasexecutor,administrator,guardian,trusteeorlawyerinthecaseor
matterincontroversy,oraformerassociateofthejudgeservedascounselduringtheir
association,orthejudgeorlawyerwasamaterialwitnesstherein(Sec.5(d),Canon3,
NCJC);
Note:Therestrictionextendstojudgeswhoservedaslawyersincloselyrelatedcases.
5. Thejudgesrulinginalowercourtisthesubjectofreview(Sec.5(e),Canon3,NCJC);
Sandovalv.CA,G.R.No.106657,Aug.1,1996
AnassociatejusticeoftheCourtofAppealsrefusedtoinhibithimselffromreviewingthe
decisioninacasewhichhehadpartiallyheardasatrialjudgepriortohispromotion,on
thegroundthatthedecisionwasnotwrittenbyhim.TheSupremeCourtupheldhis
refusal, but nevertheless commented that he "should have been more prudent and
circumspectanddeclinedtotakeonthecaseowingtohisearlierinvolvementinthe
case.TheCourthasheldthatajudgeshouldnothandleacaseinwhichhemightbe
perceived,rightlyorwrongly,tobesusceptibletobiasandprejudice.
6. Thejudgeisrelatedbyconsanguinityoraffinitytoapartylitigantwithinthe6
th
degreeortocounselwithinthe4 civildegree(Sec.5(f),Canon3,NCJC);or
Hurtadov.Judajena.G.R.No.L40603,July13,1978

th

civil

Apreliminaryinjunctionissuedbyajudgeinfavorofhissisterbeforeinhibitinghimself
wasfoundreprehensible.
Garciav.DeLaPena.A.M.No.MTJ92637.February9,1994
Nojudgeshouldpresideinacasewhichheisnotwhollyfree,disinterested,impartialand
independent.
7. Thejudgeknowsthathisorherspouseorchildhasafinancialinterestasheir,legatee,
creditor,fiduciaryorotherwise,inthesubjectmatterincontroversyorinapartytothe
proceeding,oranyotherinterestthatcouldbesubstantiallyaffectedbytheoutcomeof
theproceedings.(Sec.(g),Canon3,NCJC)
Note: This rule is intended to ensure judges impartiality bypreventing situations in
whichajudgemustconsiderfamilialinterestsintheconflictsbeforehimorher.Ifthe
publicisawareofafamilymembersfinancialinterest,thepublicmayquestionthe
judgesimpartiality.
Section 6. A judge disqualified as stated above may, instead of withdrawing from the
proceeding, disclose on the records the basis of disqualification. If, based on such
disclosure,thepartiesandlawyers,independentlyofthejudgesparticipation,allagreein
writingthatthereasonfortheinhibitionisimmaterialorunsubstantial,thejudgemay
thenparticipateintheproceeding.Theagreement,signedbyallpartiesandlawyers,shall
beincorporatedintherecordoftheproceedings.
Section5,Canon3,NCJC:Judgesshalldisqualifythemselvesfromparticipatinginany
proceedinginwhichtheyareunabletodecidethematterimpartiallyorinwhichitmay
appeartoareasonableobserverthattheyareunabletodecidethematterimpartially.
Q:Whatisremittalofdisqualification?
A:Ajudgedisqualifiedmay,insteadofwithdrawingfromtheproceeding,discloseintherecords
thebasisofdisqualification.If,basedonsuchdisclosure,thepartiesandlawyers,independently
ofthejudgesparticipation,allagreeinwritingthatthereasonfortheinhibitionisimmaterialor
insubstantial;thejudgemaythenparticipateintheproceeding.Theagreement,signedbyall
partiesandlawyers,shallbeincorporatedintherecordoftheproceedings. (Sec.6,Canon3,
NCJC)
Q:Whatarethegroundsformandatorydisqualification?
A:

1.Thejudgehaspersonalknowledgeoftheevidentiaryfacts.
2.Thejudgehaseconomicinterestofthesubjectmatterofthecontroversy.
3.Thedecisionsubjectofappealisthatofthejudge.

Q:WhenAtty.Rojaswasappointedasajudge,heinheritedacriminalcaseinwhichheactedas
prosecutor.Heexplainedthathisdelayininhibitinghimselffrompresidingonthatcasewas
becauseitwasonlyafterthebelatedtranscriptionofthestenographicnotesthatheremembered
thathehandledthatcase.Healsosaysthatthecounselsdidnotobjectandheneverheldfull
blownhearingsanyway.ShouldJudgeRojasbereprimanded?
A: Yes. The Rules of Court prevent judges from trying cases where they acted as counsel
withouttheconsentoftheparties. Thispreventsnotonlyaconflictofinterestbutalsothe
appearanceofimproprietyonthepartofthejudge.Here,thejudgeshouldnothavetakenpartin
theproceedingashisimpartialitywillnaturallybequestionedconsideringthathepreviously
handledthecaseasprosecutor.Heshouldadministerjusticeimpartially&withoutdelay.The
prohibitiondoesnotonlycoverhearingsbutalljudicialacts(e.g. orders,resolutions)someof
which,JudgeRojasdidmake.(Re:InhibitionofJudgeEddieR.Rojas,A.M.No.986185
RTC,Oct.30,1998)

Q: JudgeMijareswaschargedwithgravemisconductfortakingcognizanceanddecidinga
specialproceedingforcorrectionofentryintherecordofhergrandson,notwithstandingsuch
relationship.Itwasalsoallegedthatthejudgedispensedwiththepublicationrequirementinsaid
proceeding.Inheranswer,JudgeMijarescontendedthattheprohibitionprovidedforunderthe
Codedoesnotapplytospecialproceedingwhichisnotcontroversialinnatureandsinceshedoes
nothaveanypecuniaryinterestinthecase.Isthecontentioncorrect?
th
A:No.Ajudgewhoisrelatedtoapartywithinthe6 degreeofconsanguinityismandatedto
inhibithimselffromhearingthecasenotwithstandinglackofpecuniaryinterestinthecase.
Thisissobecauselackofsuchinterestdoesnotmeanthatshecanalreadybefreefrombiasand
partialityinresolvingthecasebyreasonofherclosebloodrelationshipasevidentfromthefact
that here, she waived the publication requirement in order to save the petitioner from the
paymentofpublicationfee.Thus,thejudges takingcognizanceofthepetitionisimproper.
(Villaluzv.Mijares,A.M.No.RTJ981402288,Apr.3,1998)
Note: Ajudgeimproperlypresidedoverthepreliminaryinvestigationofacriminalcomplaint
whereinthecomplainingwitnesswashisnephew.Thehighcourtheldthatthejudgeshouldhave
inhibited himself, because while conducting preliminary investigation may not be construed
strictlyassittinginacase,theunderlyingreasonbehindhisdisqualificationunderthecodeof
judicialconductandSec.1ofRule137arethesame.(Perezv.Suller,A.M.No.MTJ94436,
Nov.6,1995)
Note:Judgesnolongerconductpreliminaryinvestigations.(A.M.No.05826SC,Oct.3,2005)
Q:WhatdegreeofcomplianceisrequiredbytheruleunderCanon3,Section5ofNCJC?
A:Strictcomplianceoftheruleisrequiredsoastoprotecttherightsofthepartiesandassurean
impartialadministrationofjustice,aswellastopreventerosionofthepeople'sconfidenceinthe
judiciary.(Marfilv.Cuachon,A.M.No.2360MJ,Aug.31,1981)
Q: Are the grounds for disqualification of a judge enumerated under Sec. 5 of Canon 3
exclusive?
A:No.Theprovisionprovidesthatitisnotlimitedtothegroundsthereinprovided.
Section 6, Canon 3, NCJC: A judge disqualified as stated above may, instead of
withdrawingfromtheproceeding,discloseontherecordsthebasisofdisqualification.If,
based on such disclosure, the parties and lawyers, independently of the judges
participation, all agree in writing that the reason for inhibition is immaterial or
unsubstantial,thejudgemaythenparticipateintheproceeding.Theagreement,signedby
allpartiesandlawyers,shallbeincorporatedintherecordoftheproceedings.
Q:Whatarethetypesofdisqualification?
A:MandatoryorcompulsorydisqualificationandVoluntarydisqualificationorinhibition
Note:Ajudgemay,intheexerciseofhissounddiscretion,disqualifyhimself,forjustandvalid
reasonsotherthanthosementionedunderRule137oftheRulesofCourt(2ndParagraphofSec.
1,Rule137,RRC).

Q:Whatisinhibition?
A:Anactwhenajudgepersonallypreventshimselffromtakingcognizanceofthecase.Thisis
made through a written petition to inhibit which shall state the grounds for the same. The
explanationofthejudgewhetherornottotakecognizanceofthecasemustalsobeinwriting.
Note: If the judge inhibits himself from taking cognizance of the case, the same cannot be
appealed.However,thejudgeshouldnotimmediatelyinhibithimself.Heshouldmakeacareful
examinationbyfirsttakingintoconsiderationthefollowing:

1.Generalconsiderationwhetherornotpeoplesfaithinthejudicialsystemwillbeimpaired
2.SpecialconsiderationHemustreflectontheprobabilitythatthelosingpartywillnurtureat
thebackofhismindthathetiltedthescaleofjustice
Note: The second paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137 does not give the judge the unfettered
discretiontodecidewhetherornothewilldesistfromhearingacase.Theinhibitionmustbefor
justandvalidcauses.Themereimputationofbiasorpartialityisnotenoughgroundforajudge
toinhibit,especiallywhenthesameiswithoutanybasis. (Peoplev.KhoG.R.No.139381,
April20,2001)
Q:Whatarethegroundsformandatorydisqualification?
A:

1. Whenhe,orhiswife,orchildispecuniarilyinterestedasheir,legatee,creditor,or
th
otherwise;2.Whenheisrelatedtoeitherpartywithinthe6 degreeofconsanguinityor
th
affinityortocounselwithinthe4 civildegree;3.Whenhehasbeenanexecutor,
guardian,administrator,trustee,orcounsel;or4.Whenhehaspresidedinaninferior
courtwherehisrulingordecisionissubjecttoreview,withoutthewrittenconsentofthe
parties.(Rule137,RRC)

Q:Whenmayajudgevoluntarilyinhibithimself?
A: Thejudgemayinhisdiscretioninhibithimself,forjustandvalidreasonsotherthanthe
groundsformandatorydisqualification.Theruleonvoluntarydisqualificationorinhibitionis
discretionaryuponthejudgeonthebasisofhisconscience.
Thisleavesthediscretiontothejudgetodecideforhimselfquestionsastowhetherhewilldesist
fromsittinginacaseforotherjustandvalidreasonswithonlyhisconsciencetoguidehim,
unlesshecannotdiscernforhimselfhisinabilitytomeetthetestofcoldneutralityrequiredof
him,inwhicheventtheappellatecourtwillseetoitthathedisqualifieshimself.
Adecisiontodisqualifyhimselfisnotconclusiveandhiscompetencymaybedeterminedon
applicationformandamustocompelhimtoact.Judgesdecisiontocontinuehearingacasein
whichheisnotlegallyprohibitedfromtryingnotwithstandingchallengetohisobjectivitymay
notconstitutereversibleerror.
Q:Doesthefilingofanadministrativecaseagainstajudgedisqualifyhimfromsittinginacase?
A: No,itdoesnotautomaticallydisqualifyhim.Itmustbeshownthatthereareotheractsor
conductsbythejudgewhichconstituteagroundforhisdisqualification.
Q:Maymandamuslietocompelajudgetoinhibithimself?
A: Yes, a judge may by mandamus be compelled to act on questions regarding his
disqualificationfromsittinginacase.
Q:Whenshouldthepetitiontodisqualifybefiled?
A:Thepetitiontodisqualifyajudgemustbefiledbeforerenditionofthejudgment,andcannot
beraisedonappeal.Otherwise,thepartiesaredeemedtohavewaivedanyobjectionregarding
theimpartialityofthejudge.
Q:Ajudgerenderedadecisioninacriminalcasefindingtheaccusedguiltyofestafa.Counsel
for the accused filed a motion for reconsideration which was submitted without arguments.
Later, another lawyer entered his appearance for the accused. The judge issued an order
inhibitinghimselffromfurthersittinginthecasebecausethelatterlawyerhadbeenamongthose
whorecommendedhimtothebench.Canthejudgesvoluntaryinhibitionbesustained?
A:Thejudgemaynotvoluntarilyinhibithimselfbythemerefactthatalawyerrecommended
himtothebench.Infact,theappearanceofsaidlawyerisatestastowhetherthejudgecanact

independentlyandcourageouslyindecidingthecaseaccordingtohisconscience.Inhibitionis
notallowedateveryinstancethatafriend,classmate,associateorpatronofapresidingjudge
appearsbeforehimascounselforoneofthepartiestoacase.Utangnaloob,perse,shouldnot
be a hindrance to the administration of justice. Nor should recognition of such value in
Philippinesocietypreventtheperformanceofonesdutiesasjudge.However,inordertoavoid
anysuspicionofpartiality,itisbetterforthejudgetovoluntarilyinhibithimself. (Queryof
ExecutiveJudgeEstrellaT.Estrada,RegionalTrialCourtofMalolos,Bulacan,onthe
ConflictingViewsofRegionalTrialCourtJudgesMasadaoandElizagaRe:Criminal
CaseNo.4954M,A.M.No.8793918RTCOctober26,1987)
Q:Doesajudgesactiveparticipationduringthehearingofthewritofpreliminaryinjunction
amounttoanevidentdisplayofhisbiasandpartialityinfavoroftheprivaterespondentsand
shouldhethereforedisqualifyhimselffromfurtherhearingthecivilcase?
A:No.Mereinterventionoftherespondentjudgeduringthehearingofpreliminaryinjunction
bysimplyaskingthematerialityofaquestiondirecteduponthewitnessandrulingagainstthe
petitionersarewithintheprerogativesandpowersofthejudge.Thefactthatthejudgeasked
questionsinthecourseofthetrialdoesnotmakehimabiasedjudge (Hizonv.DelaFuente,
G.R.No.152328,Mar.23,2004).
Q: Whataretherequirementsforajudgetocontinuehearingacasedespitetheexistenceof
reasonsfordisqualifications?
A:1.Thebonafidedisclosuretothepartiesinlitigation;and
2.Theexpressacceptancebyallthepartiesofthecitedreasonasnotmaterialorsubstantial.