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RODRIGO JING N. VIDAL, complainant, vs. JUDGE JAIME L. DOJILLO, JR., Municipal Trial Court,
Manaoag, Pangasinan, respondent.
Before us is a complaint filed by complainant Rodrigo Jing N. Vidal against Judge Jaime L. Dojillo, Jr.,
Presiding Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Manaoag,Pangasinan.
The antecedent facts, as accurately narrated in the report of the Office of the Court Administrator
(OCA), are as follows:
The Hon. Jaime L. Dojillo, Jr., Presiding Judge of Municipal Trial Court at Manaoag, Pangasinan is here
charged with Misconduct. The charge stemmed from an Election Protest filed by the brother of Judge
Dojillo at the Municipal Circuit Trial Court stationed at San Fabian, Pangasinan to protest the
proclamation of herein complainant as Barangay Captain in the 2002 election.
Mr. Vidal [herein complainant] alleged that during the 29 and 30 July 2003 hearings of the Election
Protest, Judge Dojillo sat beside the counsel of his brother and actively coached, aided, assisted, and
guided said counsel by now and then saying something, handing piece of writing, reminding, and or
stopping the counsel from manifesting something to the court, and other similar acts.
Complainant continued that herein respondents assertive presence and display of partisan activities in
full public view could not have been ignored or unnoticed by the court a quo and would give the
impression and suspicion of partiality of the said court in favor of respondents brother.
Judge Dojillo admitted that he was present during the mentioned hearings but explained that he did not
sit beside his brothers lawyer but in the area reserved for the public; and that the main reason why he
was there was to observe how election protests are conducted as he has never conducted one. His
other reason was to give moral support to his brother.
This matter was referred for investigation and, in her report, the Hon. Tita Rodriguez-Villarin, Presiding
Judge, RTC, Branch 46, Urdaneta City observed that:
From the evidence submitted by the parties, [the] undersigned noted that although the complainant
and his witness claim they saw the respondent talking to the lawyer and respondents brother and
handing notes they did not hear the alleged conversation and they did not state what were those notes.
Neither did they see respondent do other acts to interfere with the proceedings.
Considering that the presence of the respondent during the hearings of the election protest of his
brother was admitted by both parties, the only issue left is whether or not such presence constitutes
misconduct. In this respect, [the] undersigned further noted that the complainant, by himself or thru his
lawyer, did not call the attention of the court much less raised objection to the respondents presence.
This is an indication that during the hearings[,] respondents presence did not stir any impression or
suspicion of intention to influence [the] courts ruling. As declared by the complainant, he became
suspicious and apprehensive he lost the case even before receiving the decision when he was informed
later that not having a brother judge he was surely a loser.
The OCA then recommended that the complaint against respondent be dismissed but respondent judge
should be advised to be more circumspect in his actions in the future.
We do not agree with the OCA recommendation.
Respondent, in his defense, stated that he attended the hearing of his brothers election protest case
just to give moral support and, in the process, also observe how election protest proceedings are
conducted. Although concern for family members is deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture, respondent,
being a judge, should bear in mind that he is also called upon to serve the higher interest of preserving
the integrity of the entire judiciary. Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge to avoid
not only impropriety but also the mere appearance of impropriety in all activities. Even if respondent
did not intend to use his position as a judge to influence the outcome of his brothers election protest, it
cannot be denied that his presence in the courtroom during the hearing of his brothers case would

immediately give cause for the community to suspect that his being a colleague in the judiciary would
influence the judge trying the case to favor his brother. The fact that neither complainant nor his
counsel objected to the presence of respondent during the hearing is immaterial. Respondent himself
should have refrained from publicly showing his seemingly active interest and participation in the case,
for he does not deny that he whispered and passed notes to his brothers lawyer during the course of
the hearing. Thus, we emphasize our ruling in Caeda vs. Alaan,[1] that:
Judges are required not only to be impartial but also to appear to be so, for appearance is an essential
manifestation of reality. 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.
They must conduct themselves in such a manner that they give no ground for reproach.
[Respondents] acts have been less than circumspect. He should have kept himself free from any
appearance of impropriety and endeavored to distance himself from any act liable to create an
impression of indecorum.
This reminder applies all the more sternly to municipal trial court judges like respondent because they
are the judicial frontliners who have direct contact with the parties. They are the embodiments of the
peoples sense of justice. . . .
Indeed, respondent must always bear in mind that:
A judicial office traces a line around his official as well as personal conduct, a price one has to pay for
occupying an exalted position in the judiciary, beyond which he may not freely venture. Canon 2 of the
Code of Judicial Conduct enjoins a judge to avoid not just impropriety in the performance of judicial
duties but in all his activities whether in his public or private life. He must conduct himself in a manner
that gives no ground for reproach. (Emphasis supplied)
Verily, respondent failed to live up to the degree of propriety required of him by the Code of Judicial
IN VIEW OF THE ALL THE FOREGOING, Judge Jaime L. Dojillo, Jr., is found GUILTY of violation of Canon 2
of the Code of Judicial Conduct and is hereby REPRIMANDED with a WARNING that a repetition of the
same or similar acts would be dealt with more severely.

Court in Cities, Ligao City, respondent.
Before us is a verified complaint[1] filed by Josefina C. Ribaya praying that disciplinary action be
taken against Judge Aurora Binamira-Parcia of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), Ligao City,
Albay relative to Criminal Case No. 8617 (People of the Philippines v. Sps. Vicente and Corazon Ribaya).
The complaint alleged that Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Pedro Vega, in his personal capacity, filed
before the MTCC, Ligao City a criminal complaint for estafa against the Spouses Ribaya on November
29, 2001. The spouses, after receiving P12,000 from Vega, allegedly misappropriated the amount to the
latters prejudice. The preliminary investigation was then conducted by respondent judge.
Complainant, the daughter of the accused spouses, observed several irregularities in the conduct of
the preliminary investigation and the issuance of the warrant of arrest: (1) no affidavit of any named
witness was attached to the complaint; (2) one of the witnesses, a certain AntalRebancos, was a
fictitious person; (3) respondent issued a warrant of arrest [2] on the same day the complaintwas filed
without a searching examination of any of the witnesses and (4) a bail bond of P10,000for each
accused was also fixed on the same day.
Thereafter, the spouses filed the following pleadings: (a) Opposition to the Issuance of Warrant of
Arrest and Motion for Leave to file Motion for Reconsideration of the Prosecutors Resolution; [5] (b)
Motion to Recall Warrant of Arrest and its Implementation be Held in Abeyance; [6] (c) Supplemental to
the Motion to Recall Warrant of Arrest;[7] and (d) Motion for Reconsideration.[8]
In an order dated January 17, 2002, respondent judge denied all of the foregoing motions and
The spouses then filed a motion to quash and sought the nullification of subsequent orders [9] on
February 14, 2002. They alleged that the MTCC had no jurisdiction and authority to conduct a
preliminary investigation of a complaint filed by an offended party directly with the court. The authority
to conduct a preliminary investigation was vested solely on the Office of the City Prosecutor.
While waiting for the resolution of their motion to quash, the spouses did not post bail. They
believed that there was no need for them to do so since any warrant issued for their arrest would be
void, having been irregularly issued.
On April 10, 2002, however, Corazon Ribaya was apprehended by two arresting officers in the
public market of Ligao City by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by respondent judge.
Because of the irreparable damage, mental anguish and social humiliation suffered by her mother
Corazon, the complainant filed this administrative case against Judge Parcia on May 16, 2002.
In her answer[10] dated August 5, 2002, respondent judge claimed that complainant, a law student
who prepared all the motions filed by her parents, was not a party in Criminal Case No. 8617. The
motions basically questioned respondents authority to conduct a preliminary investigation.
Respondent explained that she conducted the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaint
against the spouses because the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Office of the City Prosecutor was too
busy to do so.
To support her claim, respondent attached the affidavit [11] of Angeles S. Vasquez, OIC of the City
Prosecutors Office of the then newly-created Ligao City. Vasquez stated that the City Prosecutors Office
was still undergoing reorganization when the subject criminal complaint was filed. It had neither
enough manpower nor office space in the Hall of Justice. The positions of City Prosecutor, Assistant
Prosecutors, stenographers and staff had not yet been filled. His workload as Assistant Provincial
Prosecutor and OIC City Prosecutor was so heavy that time constraints did not permit him to conduct

preliminary investigations. Thus, it was the respondent judge who conducted the preliminary
Regarding the motion to quash and nullification of subsequent orders, [12] respondent judge merely
stated that the proper remedy of the spouses was to file a petition for annulment of the proceedings
before the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
In a rejoinder[13] dated August 7, 2002, complainant noted that the affidavit of OIC City Prosecutor
Angeles S. Vasquez ironically supported, if not proved, her claim that the respondent had in fact been
conducting preliminary investigations. She also reiterated that the constitutional rights of her parents
were violated when respondent: (a) issued a warrant of arrest without a preliminary examination of the
complainants witnesses and (b) issued the warrant of arrest on the same day the complaint was filed.
In a report[14] dated July 8, 2003, the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) found that respondent
erred when she conducted the preliminary investigation of the subject criminal complaint even after the
Municipality of Ligao, Albay had been converted into a city. The OCA recommended that: (1) the
complaint be re-docketed as a regular administrative matter; and (2) the respondent be reprimanded,
directed to concentrate her time and effort on performing her judicial tasks and warned that a
repetition of the same or similar offense would be dealt with more severely.
A motion for reconsideration[15] was filed by respondent on October 1, 2003. This time, however,
respondent claimed that what she conducted on November 29, 2001 was a preliminary examination to
determine probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest against the spouses. Respondent also
claimed that the criminal complaint was governed by Sec. 9, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules of Criminal
Procedure, the rule governing cases that did not require preliminary investigation.
Since the amount involved in the estafa case was P12,000, no preliminary investigation was
required. She explained that under Art. 315 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), the penalty for estafa
where the amount defrauded is over P6,000 but not exceeding P12,000 is prisioncorreccional in its
minimum and medium periods, that is, imprisonment ranging from 6 months and 1 day to 4 years and
2 months. Considering that Sec. 2, Rule 112, the section relied upon by complainant, required a
preliminary investigation for offenses where the penalty prescribed by law is at least 4 years, 2 months
and 1 day, the criminal case against the spouses was not among those needing preliminary
investigation. In any event, respondent insisted that under Sec. 6(b), Rule 112, a preliminary
investigation could be conducted either by the judge or the prosecutor.
An opposition[16] to the motion for reconsideration was submitted by complainant on October 25,
Preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground
to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably
guilty thereof and should be held for trial. [17]
Among the officers authorized by Sec. 2, Rule 112 [18] of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure to
conduct preliminary investigation are the city prosecutors and judges of the MTC and MCTC. Although
judges of inferior courts are authorized to conduct preliminary investigation of all crimes within their
jurisdiction, the task is essentially an executive function. As far back as Collector of Customs v. Villaluz,
we already held that:
[w]hile we sustain the power of the x xx courts to conduct preliminary examination, pursuant to Our
Constitutional power of administrative supervision over all courts, as a matter of policy, we enjoin x xx
judge[s] x xx to concentrate on hearing and deciding before their courts. x xx [Judges] should not
encumber themselves with the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints, which
they should refer to the municipal judge or provincial or city fiscal, who in turn can utilize the assistance
of the state prosecutor to conduct such preliminary examination and investigation.
The old rules provided that:
Judges of Metropolitan Trial Courts, except those in the National Capital Region, of Municipal Trial
Courts, and Municipal Trial Courts shall have authority to conduct preliminary investigations of crimes
alleged to have been committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions which are cognizable by
Regional Trial Courts.[20]
City judges then were clearly authorized to conduct preliminary investigation and examination. But
even then, we also held that the provisions of Rule 112 granting city judges the authority to conduct

preliminary investigation did not apply to judges of cities the charters of which authorized the city fiscal
only to conduct preliminary investigation of criminal complaints. [21]
This ruling was, in fact, integrated into the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. Under Sec. 1, Rule
110, criminal actions in chartered cities are instituted by filing the complaint only with the City
Prosecutor. The rule implies that the task of conducting preliminary investigation in these cities is now
lodged with the Office of the City Prosecutor. Consequently, inferior court judges of cities whose
charters authorize only the fiscal to conduct preliminary investigation are no longer allowed to perform
this function.
The Municipality of Ligao was converted into a city by RA 9008 which took effect on February 21,
2001. This law, also known as the charter of the City of Ligao, provides in Sec. 50 that:
(a) There shall be established in the city a prosecution service to be headed by a city
prosecutor and such number of assistant prosecutors as may be necessary, who shall be
organizationally part of the Department of Justice (DOJ), and under the supervision and
control of the Secretary of Justice and whose qualifications, manner of appointment, rank,
salary and benefits shall be governed by existing laws covering prosecution in the DOJ;
(b) The City Prosecutor shall handle the criminal prosecution in the MTC in the city as
well as in the RTC for criminal cases originating in the territory of the city, and
shall render to or for the city such services as are required by law, ordinance or regulation
of the DOJ;
(c)The Secretary of Justice shall always assure the adequacy and quality of the prosecution
service in the city and for this purpose, shall in the absence or lack or insufficiency in
number of city assistant prosecutors as provided hereinabove, designate from among the
assistant provincial prosecutors, a sufficient number to perform and discharge the functions
of the city prosecution service as provided hereinabove. (Emphasis ours)
Clearly, respondent judge had no more authority to conduct a preliminary investigation of the
subject criminal complaint. The officer authorized to conduct preliminary investigations in the then
newly-created City of Ligao was its City Prosecutor. At that time, the duty devolved upon OIC City
Prosecutor Angeles S. Vasquez, despite the administrative difficulties he was encountering. As a matter
of fact, OIC Vasquez knew fully well that the task was his when he stated in his affidavit:
x xx as OIC of the City Prosecution Office, the undersigned prosecutes all heinous cases emanating
from the City of Ligao as well as those crimes or offenses cognizable by the MTCC. This workload is
aside from xxx regular assignment as an Assistant Provincial Prosecutor. [22] (Emphasis supplied)
Regarding the propriety of conducting a preliminary investigation, respondent correctly observed
(although quite belatedly) that it was not needed in the estafa case. The maximum penalty for the
crime allegedly committed there (6 months and 1 day to 4 years and 2 months) did not meet the
minimum penalty (at least 4 years, 2 months and 1 day) required to make a preliminary investigation
part of the spouses right to due process. Nevertheless, we noticed the contradiction between her
answer and her motion for reconsideration as to what she actually conducted on November 29, 2001. In
her answer, she justified her authority to conduct a preliminary investigation. In her motion for
reconsideration[23] of the OCAs September 3, 2003 resolution, however, she declared that she
conducted a preliminary examination to justify the issuance of a warrant of arrest.
The reason for respondents shift in defense was apparent. Her explanation in the later motion not
only justified all her acts but was also calculated to absolve her from any administrative liability. Yet, if
the narration in her motion for reconsideration was what actually transpired, we do not understand why
she failed to cite this in her answer. Since that was her first opportunity to present her side, it would
have provided this Court with enough basis to clear her immediately. Her failure to do so could only
mean that, contrary to her later claim, what she conducted that day was indeed a preliminary
investigation. Her subsequent motion for reconsideration based on a claim of preliminary examination
was, to us, a mere attempt to cover her tracks.
But why did she even have to cover her tracks? There appeared to be something more behind the
preliminary investigation she conducted in the estafa case. Several questions bother us.
First, as a then newly-appointed judge of a newly-converted court, she was expected to have
apprised herself of the scope and limits of her authority and jurisdiction. Her sudden ignorance of basic
procedure makes us wonder about the real story behind her volunteering to conduct the preliminary

investigation. The complainant there, Pedro Vega, was an Assistant Provincial Prosecutor. Are we to
believe that in a small place like Ligao City, Albay, respondent Judge Parcia and Assistant Provincial
Prosecutor Vega did not know or were not acquainted with each other at all?
Second, we are skeptical of OIC Vasquezs heavy workload which allegedly left him no time to attend
to the duty entrusted to him by law. Had it taken him a long time to resolve the complaint, it would
have been perfectly understandable. But entrusting its investigation to one he should have known had
no authority to conduct it was an entirely different matter altogether.
Third, why did respondent judge voluntarily offer to assist OIC Vasquez notwithstanding her lack of
authority to do so? And why was OIC Vasquez so eager to accept her offer?
There appear just too many intriguing uncertainties surrounding the filing of the estafa case. We
therefore direct our attention to respondent judges failure to erase our doubts over how she
administers justice in her jurisdiction. The Canons of Judicial Ethics reminds every judge:
12. Kinship or influence of parties and counsel. X xx not [to] suffer [her] conduct to create the
impression that any person can unduly influence [her] or enjoy her favor, or that [s]he is affected by
the rank, position, or influence of any party.
Respondent judge must be reminded that she should do honor to her position not only by rendering
just, correct and impartial decisions but doing so in a manner free from any suspicion as to their
fairness and impartiality, and as to her integrity. A spotless dispensation of justice requires not only that
the decision rendered be intrinsically fair but that the judge rendering it must at all times maintain the
appearance of fairness and impartiality.[24]
Considering all this, respondent judge committed simple misconduct in office. Misconduct in office
has a well-defined meaning. It refers to misconduct that affects the judges performance of her duties
and not just her character as a private individual. To constitute an administrative offense, misconduct
should relate to or be connected with the performance of the official functions and duties of a public
Nevertheless, we find nothing irregular in respondents issuance of a warrant of arrest on the same
day the complaint was filed. As long as the constitutional mandate was complied with, that is, the
warrant of arrest was issued upon a finding of probable cause personally by the judge after an
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, the
warrant of arrest was valid. After all, the purpose of issuing the warrant of arrest was to place the
respondents under immediate custody in order not to frustrate the ends of justice. Respondent judge
examined the complainant Pedro Vega on the day the complaint was filed and she was satisfied that
probable cause existed. The warrant of arrest she issued against the spouses Ribaya was, therefore,
justified and no violation of their constitutional rights occurred.
WHEREFORE, respondent Judge Aurora Binamira-Parcia is hereby found guilty of simple
misconduct and a fine of P11,000 is imposed on her. She is hereby directed to devote her time and
effort exclusively to discharging her judicial functions. She is furthermore warned that a repetition of
the same or similar act will merit a more severe penalty.

Petitioner [referring to Atty. Conchito J. Oclarit] is a lawyer engaged in the private practice of law
principally in the City of Cagayan de Oro and the province of Misamis Oriental. At times material hereto,
petitioner was counsel for the plaintiffs in the case entitled, spouses Gregorio and Pelegrina Babatido v.
Elnora and Teodoro Abella, et. al., Civil Case No. 99-194, Regional Trial Court, Misamis Oriental, Branch
38, Cagayan de Oro City. Judge Maximo G.W. Paderanga was the presiding judge, Regional Trial Court,
Misamis Oriental, Branch 38.
On June 1, 1999 hearing, petitioner filed a motion to approve compromise agreement entered by
parties before a brgy captain. Counsel for the defendants opposed the motion because this is
disadvantageous to defendants. At this point, petitioner informed the court that the compromise
agreement was signed and was explaining further when the court told him repeatedly to shut up. Then
petitioner requested the court to stop shouting at him. The court rhetorically asked: why should the
court precisely not cite you for contempt for doing that, that is, for settling the case before the
barangay captain.
Consequently, the presiding judge cited petitioner in contempt of court and imposed on him a fine of
P1,000.00. Petitioner remarked that the presiding judge was becoming very arrogant. In reply to that,
respondent judge declared: I will put you in jail. Get a policeman. At that moment, the court issued a
verbal order holding petitioner for direct contempt of court and sentencing petitioner to serve one (1)
day in jail and to pay a fine of P1,000.00. Petitioner indicated that he would challenge the ruling. Then,
respondent judge issued a detention commitment to the Jail Warden, City Jail, Cagayan de Oro City,
committing the person of petitioner Conchito J. Oclarit for direct contempt.
The next day, with petitioner in jail, he received a copy of the written order declaring him in direct
contempt of court and sentencing him to pay a fine of P1,000.00 and also to serve one (1) day in jail.
He was released after serving one (1) day in jail. Apparently, he also paid the fine of P1,000.00.
IN VIEW WHEREOF, the Court GRANTS the petition and renders judgment declaring VOID the order
finding petitioner guilty of direct contempt of court in Civil Case No. 99-194, and sentencing him to pay
a fine of P1,000.00 and to serve one (1) day in jail. The court orders respondent judge to reimburse
petitioner the sum of P1,000.00, not out of the amount paid by petitioner to the court but from his own
funds. The Court regrets that petitioner had to serve time in jail by a despotic act of respondent judge.
The Court orders the Court Administrator, Supreme Court, to file an administrative charge against
respondent Judge Maximo G.W. Paderanga, Regional Trial Judge, Regional Trial Court, Misamis Oriental,
Branch 38, Cagayan de Oro City, for gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority, within fifteen (15)
days from notice. This decision is immediately executory. Costs against respondent Judge.
In compliance with the directive of the Court, the OCA, in a complaint dated October 4, 2001, charged
Judge Paderanga with gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority. In the same administrative
complaint, the OCA, through Deputy Court Administrator Christopher O. Lock, prayed that respondent
be required to file his comment and that the case be submitted to an Associate Justice of the Court of
Appeals (CA) for investigation, report and recommendation.
On November 21, 2001, this Court issued a resolution requiring respondent to file his Comment to the
administrative complaint filed by the OCA. Respondent failed to comply.
In a Resolution dated January 12, 2004, this Court, noting respondents failure to file his comment,
directed the latter to report whether he had complied with the Decision of this Court dated January 24,
2001, and if in the affirmative, submit proof of compliance therewith; and to show cause why he should
not be disciplinarily dealt with or held in contempt for failure to file comment on the administrative
complaint filed against him, and to submit the required comment, ten (10) days from notice thereof.
In his Compliance with Manifestation with Request and Clarification, respondent, through counsel,
informed the Court of his compliance with the Courts Decision of January 24, 2001. As to his failure to
file his comment to the administrative complaint filed by the OCA, respondent reasoned out that
neither he nor his counsel received or was furnished a copy of the said complaint.

On May 24, 2004, this Court issued another resolution stating among others that: The Court notes from
the registry return cards for the Resolution of November 21, 2001, which required respondent judge to
comment on the administrative complaint for gross misconduct and gross abuse of authority filed by
the Office of the Court Administrator, that copies of said resolution were received by respondent judge
as well as Arcol and Musni Law Offices on an unstated date in December 2001 and December 19, 2001,
respectively. The records do not show whether copies of the administrative complaint were attached to
the copies of the resolutions received by them. However, even assuming that copies of the complaint
were inadvertently omitted, respondent judge or his counsel should have immediately called the
attention of the Court to the omission. It is only after they have received the Courts Resolution dated
January 12, 2004 that they informed the Court that they have not received a copy of the complaint,
thereby unduly delaying the proceedings and resolution of this administrative matter.

WON respondent is guilty of gross misconduct and grave abuse of authority.
Respondent Judge Maximo G.W. Paderanga is found guilty of grave abuse of authority and simple
misconduct. He is hereby REPRIMANDED and STERNLY WARNED that repetition of the same or similar
acts shall be dealt with more severely.
Respondent judge gravely abused his discretion in declaring petitioner guilty of direct contempt of
court, sentencing him to pay a fine of P1,000.00 and to serve one day in jail. It was respondent judge
who first shouted successively at petitioner to shut up. When petitioner persisted in making his
explanation, the court declared him in direct contempt, to the extent of stating that the judge had
absolute power. The lawyers remarks explaining his position in the case under consideration do not
necessarily assume the level of contumely that justifies the court to exercise the power of contempt.
Courts must be slow to punish for direct contempt. This drastic power must be used sparingly in cases
of clearly contumacious behavior in facie curiae. The salutary rule is that the power to punish for
contempt must be exercised on the preservative, not vindictive principle, and on the corrective and not
retaliatory idea of punishment. The courts must exercise the power to punish for contempt for purposes
that are impersonal, because that power is intended as a safeguard not for the judges as persons but
for the functions that they exercise.

ATTY. JULIETA A. OMAA, petitioner, vs. Judge PRUDENCIO A. YULDE, MTC, Mulanay, Quezon,
Atty. Julieta A. Omaa filed a sworn letter-complaint dated October 4, 1998 charging Judge Prudencio A.
Yulde, Municipal Trial Court, Mulanay, Quezon with Ignorance of the Law, Grave Abuse of Authority,
Incompetence, Grave Misconduct and Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Judiciary together with her
Sworn Affidavit dated December 4, 1998 charging Judge Yulde with partiality in favor of the adverse
party and engaging in a drinking spree with lawyers who have pending cases in his sala.

Respondent Judge filed his Comment dated April 15, 1999.

The then Court Administrator Alfredo L. Benipayo submitted to this Court his findings and
recommendation dated January 2, 2001 that complainant claims that respondent, instead of setting
Civil Case No. 141 for hearing within the seventy-two (72) hour effectivity of the TRO for the purpose of
determining whether the same should be extended or not, set the hearing beyond said period in
violation of the Rules. In his comment, respondent neither denies nor confirms this accusation. The
questioned TRO and order setting the summary hearing beyond the prescribed period were not
submitted. Given this failings, respondent has in his favor the presumption of regularity in the
performance of official duty.

On the claim of respondents alleged failure to act on the motions filed by complainant, respondents
explanation thereon is devoid of merit. Delay in resolving motions and incidents pending before a judge
within the reglementary period of 90-days fixed by the constitution and the law is not excusable and
constitutes gross inefficiency.

Complainant also assails the validity of respondents Order of September 18, 1998 granting the Ex-Parte
TRO with twenty (20) day effectivity which must be raised on the proper judicial forum and not through
the instant administrative complaint.

Respondent could not escape administrative responsibility for his admitted act of having a drinking
spree with a group of persons which includes Atty. Abcede who has pending cases with his sala,
especially that the same was done during office hours notwithstanding that the same was outside the
court. As a judge, he ought to avoid occasions where his partiality may be put to doubt or suspicion.
One who occupies an exalted position in the administration of justice must pay a high price for the
honor bestowed upon him, for his private as well as his official conduct must at all times be free from
the appearance of impropriety.

WON respondent Judge guilty of inefficiency and impropriety, violated canons of the Code of Judicial
Yes. Respondent Judge Prudencio A. Yulde guilty of inefficiency and impropriety, in violation of Rule
2.01, Canon 2 and Rule 3.05, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. A fine of P10,000.00 is imposed
on him, to be deducted from his retirement benefits, subject to the final resolution.

He was inefficient by virtue delay in resolving motions and incidents pending before a judge within the
reglementary period of 90-days fixed by the constitution and the law (Guinto[1] vs. Lucero, 261 SCRA 1,
August 3, 1996)
Rule 3.05. A judge should dispose of the courts business promptly and decide cases within the required
periods. We have consistently held that a judge should be imbued with a high sense of duty and
responsibility in the discharge of his obligation to promptly administer justice
As a judge, he ought to avoid occasions where his partiality may be put to doubt or suspicion. One who
occupies an exalted position in the administration of justice must pay a high price for the honor
bestowed upon him, for his private as well as his official conduct must at all times be free from the
appearance of impropriety (Lugue vs. Kayanan, 29 SCRA 165)
Rule 2.01. A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and
impartiality of the judiciary. Members of the Judiciary are expected to so conduct themselves as to be
beyond reproach and suspicion, and be free from any appearance of impropriety in their personal
behavior not only in the discharge of their official duties but also in their private capacities.



MAY the Court now lift the ban on reemployment against respondent and order the
payment of all his financial benefits? This is the sole issue to be resolved in his plea for judicial
clemency and compassion.

In its Resolution dated February 9, 1994, the Court dismissed respondent

Judge Meljohn de la Pea from the service for partiality, abuse of authority and grave abuse of
discretion relative to Criminal Case No. 2577. The dispositive portion of the resolution states:

ACCORDINGLY, respondent Judge Meljohn de la Pea (Acting Judge of

Municipal Trial Court of Naval, Leyte) of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of CaibiranCulaba, Leyte is hereby DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of all
benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement or reappointment to any
public office, including government-owned or controlled corporations.

SO ORDERED.[1] (Emphasis supplied)

Filed on August 28, 2007, respondent now presents for consideration of the Court a Plea
for Judicial Clemency and Compassion, alleging that his dismissal from the service made him
and his family suffer the insult and ridicule of his peers and the general public for many years;
that his dismissal made him realize that the most valuable things in life honor, honesty,
dignity, service to the public and respect for fellowmen can be obtained only through a simple
and honorable life and honest service to fellowmen; that consistent with this realization, he
devoted himself to his church by serving as a member of the Knights of Columbus and as a
member of the Parish Pastoral Council of the Sto. Rosario Parish of Naval, Biliran; that he
devoted substantial time to the Biliran Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines where
he served as its president from 2003-2005 and from 2007 to the present.[2]

He also says that after living in the path of righteousness and respectability, the trust
and confidence in him of the people in his community were restored. As proof of this trust, he
was chosen as the legal counsel of the Rural Bank of Naval, Biliran which is composed of the
prominent and influential businessmen and residents of Biliran Province.[3]

Furthermore, respondent states that his reformation and redemption from his unenviable
fate did not escape the attention of the very person who filed the administrative case against
him.[4] Respondent attached to his plea an Affidavit of No Objection, executed
by Engr. Edgardo Garcia, complainant in the administrative case that merited his

dismissal.According to Engr. Garcia, since the dismissal of respondent from the service, he has
he has
respondent has
reformed andhas conducted himself in our locality with decency, dignity and honorably
befitting of a lawyer and a judge; that when respondent asked for his forgiveness, my family
willingly forgave him; that he had no objection to any appeal or petition of respondent for the
lifting of his (respondents) disqualification from government employment and/or for the
payment of the financial benefits that he (respondent) would have been entitled to if he were
not dismissed from the service.[5]

Also, in his Comment[6] filed on October 14, 2008, complainant reiterated that he interposes no
objection to respondents plea.

Respondent thus seeks the lifting of the prohibition on reemployment in the government
service and the payment of all financial benefits he might otherwise be entitled to.

To be sure, the penalty imposed on respondent was made pursuant to Rule XIV of the
Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 (Administrative Code of 1987)
which provides:

The penalty of dismissal shall carry with it cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture

of leave credits and retirement benefits, and the disqualification for re-employment
in the government service. Further, it may be imposed without prejudice to
criminal or civil liability.

However, there have been instances in the past when this Court has shown compassion
in modifying already final decisions in administrative cases.[7]

In Cathay Pacific Airways, Ltd. v. Romillo, Jr.,[8] this Court, out of humanitarian
Judge Romillo,
all vacation and sick leavebenefits that he earned during his government service. In Prudential
Bank v. Castro,[9] this Court likewise allowed respondent Judge to enjoy the money equivalent
of all his vacation and sick leave benefits.

Furthermore, Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 41, Series of
1998, as amended by MC No. 14, Series of 1999, provides:

Section 37. Payment of terminal leave. Any official/employee of the

government who retires, voluntarily resigns, or is separated from the service and
who is not otherwise covered by special law, shall be entitled to the commutation
of his leave credits exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays without limitation
and regardless of the period when the credits were earned.

Section 65. Effect of decision in administrative case. An official or employee

who has been penalized with dismissal from the service is likewise not barred from
entitlement to his terminal leave benefits.

Also, Section 11.A.1, Rule 140 of the Revised Rules of Court, as amended by A.M. No. 01-8-10SC, provides:

Section 11. Sanctions.

A. If the respondent is guilty of a serious charge, any of the following sanctions

may be imposed:

1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court
may determine, and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any
public office, including government-owned or controlled corporations. Provided,
however, that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include accrued leave
credits. (Underscoring supplied)

The Court finds that the same leniency may be accorded Judge de la Pea. Thus, in the
interest of justice, he may be allowed to claim the leave credits that he earned during his
employment in the government service.

We note, however, that the lifting of the prohibition on reemployment of respondent in

the government service will serve no practical value or useful purpose, considering that he is
now more than 73 years old.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court resolves to AMEND the dispositive

portion of its Resolution of February 9, 1994 to read as follows: ACCORDINGLY,respondent
Judge Meljohn de la Pea (Acting Judge of the Municipal Trial Court of Naval, Leyte) of the
Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Caibiran-Culaba, Leyte is herebyDISMISSED from the service
with forfeiture of all benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement or reappointment to any
public office, including government-owned or controlled corporations. He may, however, enjoy
all vacation and sick leave benefits that he earned during the period of his government

The Fiscal Management and Budget Office is ordered to compute and immediately release
those leave benefits to him. [Revision italicized]
This Resolution is immediately executory.




GUZMAN, JR., Respondent

Disbarment proceedings on the ground of "dishonorable conduct" were instituted on 8 August 1989 before the
Committee on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar by complainants Efren Javier (son) and Pedro Javier (father)
against respondent Salvador P. de Guzman, Jr., as a member of the Bar and as Presiding Judge of the Regional
Trial Court, Makati, Metro Manila. However, pursuant to Supreme Court Circular No. 3-89, dated 9 February 1989,
requiring that complaints filed in the IBP against Justices and Judges of the lower Courts be promptly referred to
the Supreme Court for appropriate action, the Complaint was eventually transmitted to this Court.
After the Comment by Respondent Judge and the Reply by Complainants were filed, the Court referred the case
to Mme. Justice Lorna L. de la Fuente of the Court of Appeals for investigation, report and recommendation.
The Report and Recommendation was submitted to the Court on 20 September 1990.

: nad

Complainants allege that, on 7 December 1987, Efren Javier, and his mother, Lolita Javier, borrowed P200,000.00
from Respondent Judge with interest orally agreed upon at ten per cent (10%) monthly. They tendered to the
latter UCPB Check No. BNE 012872, dated 7 January 1988, in the amount of P220,000.00. The drawer of the
check was actually Donato Belen, a brother-in-law of Efren, as the Javiers had no personal checking account. The
following day, Respondent required them to sign a Memorandum of Agreement, which they did. Two of the
conditions imposed were interest at the rate of twenty per cent (20%) per month, compounded monthly, and
should they fail to pay the loan and its interest upon maturity on 7 January 1988 and the check is deposited and
dishonored, an appropriate charge for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 may be filed at Respondent's option.
When the Javiers defaulted on due date because of business reverses, partial payments in the total amount of
P177,000.00 were made to Respondent between 6 January 1988 and 16 June 1988. Meanwhile, the check, which
was deposited by Respondent on 14 April 1988, was dishonored by the drawee bank.
On 8 September 1988, Respondent instituted suit for a "Sum of Money and Damages with Prayer for the Issuance
of a Writ of Preliminary Attachment" in the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Metro Manila, against the spouses
Pedro and Lolita Javier, and their son, Efren, for the recovery of the "sum of P220,000.00 with 20%
interest/penalty a month compounded monthly from January 7, 1988 until fully paid," computed at P622,871.67
(Annex B, Complaint). Judgment on the pleadings was rendered on 3 February 1989 ordering the Javiers to pay
Respondent Judge the "sum of P608,871.67 with 20% interest/penalty a month compounded monthly beginning
September 8, 1988 until fully paid" and the "sum equal to 10% of the amounts due and recoverable as
reimbursement of attorney's fees and litigation expenses" (Order, RTC Rollo, p. 107). In the meantime, an Order
granting execution pending appeal was issued by the Trial Court on 14 April 1989 (Ibid., pp. 216-217). The
Javiers appealed to the Court of Appeals where the case still pends.
Still later, Respondent filed in Manila two (2) criminal complaints, the first, for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 against
Efren, who, however, was acquitted, and the second, for Estafa against Complainants and Lolita Javier, which
complaint was dismissed (Rollo, p. 194).
On 21 March 1989, Respondent further filed an administrative charge against Complainant father, Pedro, with the
Bureau of Internal Revenue where the latter was employed. Earlier, an administrative charge against Pedro had
also been filed with the Civil Service Commission on 3 March 1989 accusing Pedro in both instances, of having
committed estafa against him and his wife, of dishonesty and of conduct unbecoming of a government official.
Feeling harassed, Complainants filed this administrative charge against Respondent Judge on four counts of
"dishonorable conduct," as follows:
1. Respondent had loaned money to Complainants at usurious interest as can be gleaned from the fact
that after receiving P177,000.00 in installments, he still seeks to recover the amount of P622,817.67;
2. Respondent took advantage of his position as Regional Trial Court Judge of Makati, Metro Manila, by
filing a collection case against Complainants and Lolita Javier before the same Court and making false
and fraudulent manifestations that Complainants had failed to pay any amount as of 8 September
3. Respondent resorted to harassment by filing a criminal complaint for violation of B.P. Blg. 22 against
Complainant, Efren, despite knowledge that the latter was not the drawer of the UCPB check; and
4. Respondent failed to reveal the true facts of the case, in violation of Articles 182 and 183 of the Revised
Penal Code penalizing "False testimony," when he filed the administrative charges with the Bureau of
Internal Revenue and the Civil Service Commission against Complainant Pedro notwithstanding
knowledge of the fact that Pedro was not involved in the transaction in question.
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In his Comment, Respondent denied that he lent any money to the Javiers alleging that it was his wife who had
asked her first cousin, Mrs. Hedy Laca, to make available the amount of P200,000.00. The real lender, therefore,
was the latter. When the Javiers failed to repay the loan, they were compelled to pay back the amount to Mrs.
Laca. Respondent, therefore, became the creditor of the Javiers "by force of circumstances."
Respondent also stressed that the rate of interest of twenty per cent (20%) per month, compounded monthly,
was not usurious for the reason that said rate was designed more as a penalty in order to force the Javiers to pay
back the loan as soon as possible. He contends that under the circumstances, the filing of several complaints

against the Javiers was the more "civilized thing to do." And as to the filing of the case in Makati, he reasons out
that it was upon prior consultation with the Executive Judge.
With regard to the administrative charges, which he had filed against Complainant Pedro, Respondent maintains
that the latter was not really an innocent party to the whole transaction, but the "prime mover."
With "dishonorable conduct" defined by the Investigating Justice and by the parties as conduct not in keeping
with any of the rules embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers and the Code of Judicial
Ethics, Justice de la Fuente concluded that there were valid grounds to sustain the first three (3) charges, for the
commission of which Respondent Judge was recommended to be reprimanded, with warning of a severer penalty
in case of repetition. The fourth charge was recommended to be dismissed (Report, p. 4).
Anent the first charge, that is, whether or not Respondent was, in fact, the lender and had charged a usurious
rate of interest, the Investigating Justice found that Respondent's disclaimer cannot prevail over the Agreement
between the parties, which clearly point to the Respondent as the lender. He is mentioned in said Agreement as
the "Third Party," the "First Party" being Lolita Javier, and the "Second Party" being Efren. The UCPB postdated
check was also made out in Respondent's name. The foregoing refutes Respondent's contention that he became
the lender only "by force of circumstances" after the Javiers had failed to repay their indebtedness. Further, it was
Respondent who made collections on the loan and it was to him that payments were made. Additionally, it was
Respondent who filed the civil case for collection of the loan as well as the administrative cases against
complainant Pedro.
As to the usurious rate of interest, while that issue was considered by Justice de la Fuente as irrelevant since the
Usury Law is now legally inexistent pursuant to Central Bank Circular No. 905 and the interest now legally
chargeable depends upon the agreement of lender and borrower (Liam Law v. Olympic Sawmill Co., G.R. No. L30771, May 28, 1984, 129 SCRA 439), she found that the interest charged on the loan was exorbitant. To quote:
"The Memorandum of Agreement (pls. see fifth whereas clause) stipulates that for the period from
December 7, 1987, when the sum of P200,000.00 was lent to the Javiers, to December 22, 1987, on
which date the loan fell due with extension up to January 7, 1988' or for a period of from 15 to 30 days
the interest shall be `at the rate of Ten Percent (10%) for the period of time', in other words, the
interest rate is 10% a month. This explains why the postdated check required under the Agreement to be
issued by Efren Javier to respondent is for P220,000.00, the additional P20,000.00 being the amount
earned on the sum of P200,000.00 over a period of, at most, 30 days. Then, as further stipulated in the
Agreement (par. 2), if the loan and interest due thereon shall not have been paid by January 7, 1988, the
Javiers shall pay to respondent 'a sum equal to Twenty Percent (20%) a month compounded monthly over
the initial principal plus the initial interest on the total sum of P220,000.00, until the full amount is paid.'
The result of this stipulation is that despite the fact, established by the evidence and admitted by
respondent, that as of June 16, 1988 the total payments made by the Javiers on the loan of P200,000.00
had amounted to P177,000.00 or only P23,000.00 short of P200,000.00, the amount originally invested
by respondent he sought to collect in his suit filed in September 1988 against the Javiers the
relatively and staggeringly huge amount of P622,871.67 (pls. see Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings,
CC No. 88-1872, Annex C to Complaint, p. 12 Record). The foregoing figures speak for themselves; they
show clearly the exorbitance and shocking harshness of the imposition in question.
- nad

Nor can such unconscionability be excused on the ground, as respondent interposes, that the 20% interest
compounded monthly is intended not as interest but as penalty. However it may be termed, the fact remains that
the said amount is being collected by respondent as a charge for the use of his money by the Javiers, and this
charge is blatantly out of proportion to the amount of the money which respondent loaned to the Javiers."
Our review of the evidence shows that the foregoing conclusions are warranted.
As to the second charge that Respondent took advantage of his position as Makati Regional Trial Court Judge
by filing the collection case against Complainants in said Court we quote with approval Justice de la Fuente's
observations thereon:
". . . The civil case was filed by respondent with the Makati RTC on September 8, 1988; and respondent
admits that he was 'detailed indefinitely to Branch 142 of the same Court on June 30, 1988 and assumed
office thereat on July 5, 1988.' Instead of filing the suit in Quezon City where the Javiers reside or in
Manila where respondent resides, respondent taking advantage of what he calls the waiver of venue
stipulation in the Memorandum of Agreement (which states that 'in case of litigation, venue shall be in any
court in Metro Manila, at the option of the Third Party,' i.e., the respondent) chose to file the case in
"True, considering the abovecited stipulation, it might be said that respondent was acting in the legal
exercise of the option granted to him in the Agreement. Nonetheless, the undersigned submits that in thus
acting, respondent had fallen short of what is expected of him as a Judge and officer of the court among
whose duties it is to see to it that public confidence in the honor, dignity, integrity and independence of the
judiciary is not eroded, pursuant to Canons 3 and 25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics, supra. It is
reasonably to be expected, considering the peculiar Filipino psyche, personality and culture of which a
Judge like respondent is presumably aware that the public, particularly respondent's adversary in this
case, would naturally be apprehensive that respondent might exert influence to favor himself, to the
detriment of his said adversary. And so it turned out, this was precisely the substance of complainant's
second charge. Indeed, instead of promoting public confidence in the dignity, honor, integrity and
independence of the Judiciary, as every Judge is urged to do by the Canons just cited, respondent's
aforesaid behavior produced the opposite result."
The third charge concerns Respondent's alleged act of harassment in continuing with the criminal prosecution of
complainant, Efren, for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 despite his having been informed that Efren was not

the owner and drawer of the check, and, therefore, is not the proper person to be charged. On this score, the
Investigating Justice found, and with which we agree:
". . . Even discounting the weight of complainant's said evidence, it bears emphasis that while the case
was shall under investigation before the Fiscal's Office, respondent had, as he himself admits, already
been informed that it was not Efren Javier who had signed the postdated check. Thus, it was, under the
aforecited Canons, respondent's bounden duty as a Judge whose personal behavior should at all times,
even in his everyday life, be beyond reproach so as to promote public confidence in the dignity, honor,
integrity, and independence of the judiciary (Canon 3, supra), who should endeavor always to prevent the
erosion of such public confidence 'by irresponsible or improper conduct' to disregard his personal
animosity towards the Javiers and to see to the forthright dismissal of the case. He failed to comply with
this duty when he instead saw to the continuation of the prosecution of the case until it reached the
Regional Trial Court and up to its termination thereat (with the acquittal of Efren)."
The fourth charge that of having filed with the BIR and the Civil Service Commission administrative charges
against Complainant Pedro, notwithstanding Respondent's knowledge of the fact that Pedro had no participation
whatsoever in the loan transaction in question was found by Justice de la Fuente to be unsubstantiated. We
find no reason to differ.
". . . It is true that it appears from the Memorandum of Agreement that Pedro Javier is not a party nor a
signatory thereof; nonetheless, it also appears that his wife Lolita Javier is that 'First Party,' and his son
Efren Javier is the 'Second Party' thereof. There was reason for respondent to believe that Pedro Javier
was not an 'innocent' party and had in reality a 'behind-the-scenes' participation in the transaction. For as
respondent believably relates it, Pedro Javier 'was the prime mover who, on December 5, 1987 invited
respondent and Mrs. de Guzman for dinner and wanted the respondent to join in the venture.' Besides, in
view of the closeness of 'the Filipino family ties which usually extend to financial matters, similarly, while it
was respondent himself who had been expressly named the 'Third Party' in the loan agreement, it was
respondent's wife who, although not at all mentioned as a party to the same Agreement, took it upon
herself to locate the funds with which to finance the loan given to the Javiers. And considering that
respondent had the feeling, groundless or not, that the Javiers had, so to speak, put one over on the de
Guzmans when the former did not pay to respondent the amount which he wished to collect on the loan,
respondent naturally felt aggrieved or wronged by Pedro Javier, and this he undoubtedly thought could be
righted by the filing of the administrative charges against him (Pedro Javier). As the undersigned sees it,
this and not malice or a desire to harass is the motivation for respondent's filing of said charges."
Except for the act complained of in the last charge, Respondent Judge's actuations, indeed, show reproachable
and improper conduct. He denied that he was the lender when, in fact, he was, as concluded by Justice de la
While he had every right to protect his investment, and while the contract of loan entered into between him and
the Javiers was legal per se, Respondent rendered it unconscionable by imposing a penalty of twenty per cent
(20%) interest per month compounded monthly. It strikes us, too, that Respondent was equivocal as to the
repayments that were made to him by the Javiers. In his Verified Complaint before the Trial Court, he averred
failure to repay (Annex B, Complaint). However, in the computation attached to his Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings (Annex C, ibid.), he made mention of "alleged payments being accepted by (him) at face value" and
included them in the determination of the balance due.
Respondent also brought suit to collect the staggering sum of P622,871.67 despite payments by the debtors of
approximately P177,000.00 of the original P200,000.00 loan. Although not illegal under the terms of the
Memorandum of Agreement, as in fact, the Trial Court had ruled in Respondent's favor, it does not necessarily
follow that it was moral and fair. Respondent is not a hard-boiled and callous businessman. He is a Judge.
A Judge's official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety, and his personal behavior, not only
upon the bench and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond reproach
(Canons of Judicial Ethics, Canon 3, which was applicable at the time of the transaction in 1987; emphasis
supplied). This was reiterated in the Code of Judicial Conduct, Canon 2 and Rule 2.01, which provides that a
Judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the
This is premised on the truism that a Judge's official life cannot simply be detached or separated from his
personal existence and that upon a Judge's attributes depend the public perception of the Judiciary. Thus:
"Public confidence in the Judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct of judges. A judge must
avoid all impropriety and the appearance thereof. Being the subject of constant public scrutiny, a judge
should freely and willingly accept restrictions on conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the
ordinary citizen.
chanrobles virtual law library

A judge should personify judicial integrity and exemplify honest public service. The personal behavior of a
judge, both in the performance of official duties and in private life should be above suspicion."
(Commentaries on Canon, 2.01)
So exacting are the standards of judicial department that a Judge is even enjoined from making investments in
any enterprise that is likely to be involved in litigation.
"A judge shall refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on the court's
impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of judicial activities, or increase involvement with
lawyers or persons likely to come before the Court. A judge should so manage investments and other
financial interests as to minimize the number of cases giving grounds for disqualification" (Code of Judicial
Conduct, Rule 5.02)

The rationale for the rule applies with equal vigor in this case.
While Respondent Judge may have had reasons of convenience for filing his collection suit in Makati where he sits
as one of the Trial Judges, a sense of propriety should have impelled him to desist. In the eyes of the public, it
arouses suspicion, rightly or wrongly, that advantage is being taken of one's position and that a Judge's
adversary is sure to get a raw deal. As it turned out, Respondent Judge, in his official stationery, upbraided the
Sheriff who enforced the Writ of Preliminary Attachment for not having taken into custody all the items he had
levied upon and "asked" him to do so "within forty eight hours" (Exhibit J, Complaint, Rollo, p. 44). In this regard,
Respondent had exposed the Bench to possible charges of exertion of undue pressure and influence.
The continued prosecution of the criminal charge for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 against Complainant
Efren, despite subsequent knowledge that the latter was not the drawer of the check but his brother-in-law,
although Efren had filled out the check himself, again exhibits reproachable conduct. Respondent could have
moved for the dismissal of the case, considering his professional responsibility not to encourage, for any motive
or interest, any suit or proceeding (Rule 1.03, Code of Professional Responsibility).
His explanation that the making and the issuance of a check without sufficient funds constitute separate offenses
so that he could proceed even against Efren, exhibits "splitting of hairs" and a misuse of Court processes in order
to promote one's own interests. As it was, the criminal charge was dismissed.
All told, traces of animosity and harassment on the part of Respondent Judge are all too evident, in sharp
contrast to what a Judge should be the embodiment of what is judicious, proper and fair.
: nad

WHEREFORE, finding Respondent Judge, Salvador P. de Guzman, Jr. guilty on three (3) counts, of irresponsible,
improper and dishonorable conduct in disregard of the Code of Judicial Ethics, he is hereby SEVERELY CENSURED,
with a stern warning that a repetition of the said acts or similar acts in the future shall receive graver sanctions.
Let this Decision be spread upon the personal records of Respondent Judge.

In Re: Rodolfo Manzano
Judge Manzano filed a petition allowing him to accept the appointment by Ilocos Sur Governor Rodolfo
Farinas as the member of Ilocos Norte provincial Committee on Justice created pursuant to a
Presidential Order. He petitioned that his membership in the Committee will not in any way amount to
an abandonment to his present position as Executive Judge of Branch XIX, RTC, 1st Judicial region and
as a member of judiciary.
What is an administrative agency? Where does it draw the line insofar as administrative functions are
The petition is denied. The Constitution prohibits the designation of members of the Judiciary to any
agency performing Quasi-Judicial or Administrative functions (Sec.12,Art.VIII, 1987 Constitution).
Quasi-Judicial has a fairly clear meaning and Judges can confidently refrain from participating in the
work of any Administrative Agency which adjudicates disputes & controversies involving the rights of
parties within its jurisdiction.
Administrative functions are those which involve the regulation and control over the conduct & affairs
of individuals for their own welfare and the promulgation of rules and regulations to better carry out the
policy of the Legislature or such as are devolved upon the administrative agency by the organic law of
its existence.
Administrative functions as used in Sec. 12 refers to the Governments executive machinery and its
performance of governmental acts. It refers to the management actions, determinations, and orders of
executive officials as they administer the laws and try to make government effective. There is an
element of positive action, of supervision or control.

CANON 4Case # 8
Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 36, respondent.
Complainant presented four witnesses. The defense, on the other hand, called eight
witnesses: Judge Francisco D. Villanueva himself.
There were 3 women(Jobet, Janet and Juvylyn) recruited and brought from Tagum to Manila where
they arrived by airplane early in the morning of January 19, 1999. It was Marian Herrera and her brother
Paolo who met them at the airport and brought them to the house of Marians live-in partner Judge
Francisco Villanueva at No. 1 Hanna Street, Fil-Invest Batasan, Quezon City.
Next morning at breakfast about 7:00 oclock, Jobet, Janet and Juvylyn met respondent Judge
Villanueva who was introduced to them by Marian, Ito and asawa ko Judge Francisco Villanueva at ito
naman yong mga talent na galing Davao.
Addressing Marian, respondent Judge Villanueva said, Love, x x x an[g] babata pa [n]ila. Hindi pa sila
pwedeng makapunta sa Japan. Gawin nalang natin silang Dance Instructor.
On January 21, 1999, after coming from Divisoria to buy clothes to wear as dance instructors, the
three girls were brought by respondent Judge first to Ihaw-Ihaw then to the house at Matalino Street,
Quezon City that he (respondent Judge Villanueva) and Marian owned.
In the evening of that day Jobet saw respondent Judge Villanueva and Marian asleep
together. Awakened, Marian upon seeing her, told Jobet to massage respondent Judge which she did
assisted by Juvylyn.
In the evening of January 23, 1999 Jobet, Janet and Juvylyn were brought by Marian and respondent
Judge to Bodega Nightclub where they started working as GROs.
There they worked for two nights only because they could not stand the vulgarity of their
companions. Binastos po ako ng customer, said Janet. She could not stand the laughter at them, said
Juvylyn.According to Jobet customers touched her legs and shoulders and kissed her. Janet said she was
touched from the shoulders down to her thighs and was kissed.
After the three stopped working as GROs at Bodega Night Club, Marian Herrera and respondent Judge
fetched them from his condominium and brought the three girls to KTV Night Club in Timog, Quezon
City where they worked as GROs for about a week. After January 29, 1999, when she (Janet) was
binastos x x x nang customers, all three girls stopped working at KTV Night Club which angered
respondent Judge.
In the evening of February 11, 1999, Jobet Diocales and Janet Ramas were rescued by the NBI
team at respondent Judges condominium at 15th Avenue, Murphy, Socorro, Cubao, Quezon City.Juvylyn
Requilmen was rescued by the same team at Ihaw-Ihaw Balot-Balot Restaurant owned by Marian
Herrera and respondent Judge.
Respondent Judge denied having any amorous relation with Marian Herrera. According to him[,] she is
but his distant relative on his mothers side. He was but a business adviser to her[,] which his wife
Violeta confirmed. He did not have anything to do with the three girls (Jobet, Janet and Juvylyn) stay at
the condominium owned by Marian and their employment as GROs. Neither did he sleep there.[2]
ISSUE: won respondent is administratively liable for immorality and unbecoming conduct, but not for
gross or serious misconduct.
The above notwithstanding, respondent cannot be excused for his deeds. The Canons of Judicial
Ethics requires a judge to keep himself free from any appearance of impropriety. His personal behavior,
not only while in the performance of official duties but also outside the court, must be beyond reproach,
for he is -- as he is so aptly perceived to be -- the visible personification of law and of justice. A judicial
office circumscribes a personal conduct and imposes a number of inhibitions, whose faithful observance
is the price one has to pay for holding an exalted position.[6]
By his acts, respondent clearly facilitated the employment of the three young women as
GROs. Our present society considers their work as morally wrong. By facilitating the employment of the
three in a night club as such, he was placing the then impressionable minors directly on a path of moral
In the matter of immorality, we agree with the findings of the OCA consultant. First, the evidence
clearly shows that respondent and Marian Herrera were lovers because respondent was found sleeping
inside the same bedroom occupied by, they were cohabiting in the same house in the aforementioned
address. Finally, respondent never denied that he was the husband of Herrera when he was introduced
to complainants witnesses.
In contrast, respondents denials and explanations were hollow and unworthy of belief. If indeed
he was merely the business consultant of Marian Herrera, he would not be so free and so comfortable
sleeping in the same bedroom as she or waking up and then having breakfast with her in her
house. This is taking business consultancy much too far.

Sec. 11. Sanctions.-- A. If the respondent is guilty of a serious charge, any of the following sanctions
may be imposed:
1. Dismissal from the service, forfeiture of all or part of the benefits as the Court may determine, and
disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any public office, including government-owned or
controlled corporation. Provided, however, that the forfeiture of benefits shall in no case include
accrued leave credits;
2. Suspension from office without salary and other benefits for more than three (3) but not exceeding
six (6) months; or
3. A fine of more than P20,000.00 but not exceeding P40,000.00.
Considering that respondent has already retired, he can no longer be dismissed or suspended. Hence,
the appropriate penalty is a fine.
WHEREFORE, Judge Francisco D. Villanueva is found GUILTY of immorality and conduct unbecoming a
judge. He is hereby FINED in the amount of P40,000.