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Facts: This is a case stemming from a quiet title instituted by Bernardo
Salazar regarding a parcel of land planted with coconuts situated in
Guindulman, Bohol against Bienvenido Libres, the brother of the defendants,
whom he acquired the land by virtue of a sale. Libres with neither legal right
nor valid reason whatsoever, and employing threat and intimidation, claimed
ownership of the piece of land and gathered its coconuts and bamboos. The
CFI of Bohol ruled in favor of Salazar declaring him as the owner and
ordering the defendants to vacate the land. A writ of execution was issued by
the court, however, the defendants asserted a new claim on the same
property saying that it was part of the inheritance left to them by their
father, Alipo Libres. The new claim was never alleged in the initial case which
was ruled in favor of Salazar. The latter case was easily shot down by the
lower court, stating the stipulation of the parties that they would be bound
by the judgment in the previous case. However, the defendants continued
their appeal, alleging errors that were clearly devoid of merit. The Court of
Appeals confirmed the decision of the lower court and declared plaintiff-
appellant Salazar as the owner of the parcel of land. The CA likewise
declared the deed of sale executed by Bienvenido c. Libres in favor of
Bernardo O. Salazar as valid and legal.
W/N the claim of De Castrodes et al is tenable?
No. The claims of the defendants are nothing more than a form of
harassment being totally bereft of any support in law. The appeal was found
to be made too late by the Court and runs contrary to the elementary
principle that the Supreme Courts jurisdiction is limited to questions of law
given that the grounds stated in the appeal are merely factual in nature. As
the Court stated:
It is thus apparent that on its face the brief for defendants-
appellants is notable only for its flagrant and obvious disregard of
what the proprieties, not to say the decencies, of such a serious
matter as an appeal to the Tribunal requires. Even if due regard be
had for the state of mind under which claimants to a piece of land,
possessed of more than an ordinary degree of obduracy, might be
laboring under, still respect for the rule of law ought to have
cautioned defendants in attempting, perhaps thoughtlessly, to delay
unduly the termination of a pending litigation and thus accord
respect to the just claims of others. Nor is their counsel free from
blame when he could have informed them not only about the futility
of such efforts, which was bad enough, but also the barrier thus
interposed against a fair, speedy and efficient administration of
justice. As a member of the bar and an officer of the court, he owes
such minimum obligation to this Tribunal. Unfortunately, he failed to
live up to it. He should not escape responsibility.
Udharam Bazar & Co. filed a case against Gloria Pajares for recovery of
money (collection case). It was alleged that Pajares, in the business of
buying/selling merchandise in her stall in Sta. Mesa Market, ordered ready-
made goods from Udharam. She made partial payment but failed to pay the
balance of P 354.85. Pajares, instead of filing an answer, moved for a bill of
particulars; requesting an itemization of goods, purchase dates, person who
received the goods and purchase price. The MTC Judge Estrella Abad Santos
denied the motion for a bill of particulars. She filed for certiorari to the CFI,
alleging grave abuse of discretion of Judge Abad Santos in denying the
motion for a bill of particulars. Udharam filed a motion to dismiss petition for
certiorari on the ground that (1) the allegations of the complaint are clear,
specific and sufficient to prepare defendant for her defenses and (2) the
things prayed in the motion of a bill of particulars are evidentiary matters
beyond the nature of such motion. The CFI denied the certiorari. Thus, she
elevated the issue to the SC.
W/N the allegations in the complaint sufficiently appraise Pajares of the
nature of cause of action against her.
W/N the items prayed for in the bill of particulars constitute evidentiary
Yes to both. The complaint filed by Udharam contained complete ultimate
facts constituting the cause of action to appraise Pajares. In addition, it was
improper for appellant to request a bill of particulars, specifying in detail the
goods, the purchase price, the purchase dates and the person whom
received such goods. These are all evidentiary matters and do not come
within the scope of a bill of particulars. It was observed that Udharam was
one of Pajares creditors whom she used to buy on credit ready-made goods.
Pajares does not need evidentiary particulars to prepare her answer to the
complaint. She cannot pretend ignorance and require a detailed itemization
and purchase of the goods. It was also found out that a month before
Udharam filed a complaint, it gave a demand letter to Pajares, requesting for
the balance of payment. Pajares, acknowledging her indebtedness, reason
that she sustained financial losses in her operation. She requested that she
be allowed to pay the debt in installments; P10 every 15th and end of the
month. There was no error of law or grave abuse of discretion by the Judge
Abad Santos in denying the motion for bill of particulars. The circumstances
surrounding the litigation is frivolous and merely a plain trick to delay
payment and prolong litigation. It was supposed to be just a simple collection
case. But due to the actions of Pajares, it dragged on for 7 years. Had the
counsel of Pajares (Atty. Moises Nicomedes) advised her to confessed
judgment and ask for reasonable time to pay the debt, there would have
been no reason to incur litigation expenses and filing feels, as well as loss of
time. Now, she incurred all of them, in addition to the accumulated interest
of her original debt. Lawyers should remember that there should be faithful
adherence to Rule 7, Section 5 of the Rules of Court, which provides that any
pleading filed in court, should have good ground to support it and it is not
interposed for delay. Pajares is ordered to pay the debt and costs of litigation.
The case shall be noted in the personal record of the Pajaress counsel.
DOCTRINE: That procedural rules are intended as an aid to justice, not as a
means for its frustration.
1. A complaint for Ejectment was filed by Uy Realty against Economic
Insurance. Economic Insurance then filed an answer with counterclaims,
seeking dismissal of such a suit as well as a counterclaim for reimbursement
in the amount of P15,000.00 for alleged improvements made on the leased
premises and for damages in the amount of P5,000.00 for alleged bad faith
on the part of the lessor.
2. The decision of the City Court of Manila ordered the defendant and
those claiming under him to vacate the premises as well as to pay the sum
of P4,100.00 representing rents in arrears plus the sum of P1,500.00 a month
beginning September, 1966 for the use and occupation of such premises.
3. Upon an appeal being taken, which fell to the sala of respondent Judge,
a supersedes bond was executed by such defendant as well as by the
petitioner, the Economic Insurance Co., Inc.
4. During the appeal, a motion for dismissal of the case and for payment
of the supersedeas bond was filed by the plaintiff, respondent Uy Realty Co.
a. Possession of the property had been restored to Uy Realty
b. Withdraw the supersedeas bond in lieu of rental payments by
Economic Insurance to Uy Realty.
5. Judge Cloribel issued an order dismissing the case, but overlooked the
prayer for the payment of the supersedeas bond.
6. Within the thirty-day period, respondent sought for an amendment of
the above order to include execution on the bond filed to cover the past
rentals due.
7. Judge Cloribel granted the prayer for a writ of execution. It was issued
at a time when the matter was still subject to cognizance by respondent

Whether or not the judge erred in granting the inclusion of the writ of
In computing net income, there shall be allowed as deductions: (a) Expenses:
All the ordinary and necessary expenses paid or incurred during the
taxable year in carrying on any trade or business
1. Unfortunately, through haste or inadvertence, respondent Judge
ignored that portion of the prayer for execution and merely ordered that the
appealed case be dismissed. Within the period, however, before such order
attained the stage of finality, a modification thereof was secured as a result
of a manifestation and a motion of respondent Uy Realty Co. to execute on
the bond filed by petitioner. Under the circumstances, what respondent Judge
did was clearly within his authority, and the challenged order can stand the
test of the most exacting scrutiny. Hence, this petition should fail.

2. One last observation. It is understandable for a party in the situation of

petitioner to make full use of every conceivable legal defense the law allows
it. In the appraisal, however, of such attempts to evade liability to which a
party like petitioner should respond, it must ever be kept in mind that
procedural rules are intended as an aid to justice, not as a means for its
frustration. Even if the petition were impressed with a greater degree of
plausibility, it would be, considering all the circumstances, to crown with
success an unworthy scheme to evade a just obligation by perverting the
ends procedural requisites are intended to accomplish. Not once but several
times, from Alonso v. Villamor, we have stressed that we are not to lend the
imprimatur of our approval to any such effort, the result of which would be to
render illusory substantive rights. We do so again. Technicalities, in the
appropriate Language of Justice Makalintal, "should give way to the realities
of the situation.
DISPOSITION: WHEREFORE, the writ of preliminary injunction issued by us by
virtue of our resolution of September 25, 1967 is set aside, and this petition
for prohibition is denied. With costs against petitioner Economic Insurance
Co., Inc.

In 1958, Rufino Abuyen won a labor case against Samar Mining Company.
Abuyen was awarded compensation plus hospitalization expenses for a
disease he incurred while working for Samar Mining. The decision was
rendered by Pompeyo Tan, a labor lawyer duly appointed by Francisco
Arnado, a regional administrator of the Department of Labor. In 1961, Samar
Minings lawyer, Atty. Benedicto Arcinas, filed an action for certiorari before
CFI Cebu contending that Tan has no authority or jurisdiction over said case
because he was a mere labor lawyer who had no authority to render the
award being complained of. CFI Cebu dismissed the petition of Arcinas.

Meanwhile, in the same year, the Supreme Court made a ruling in the case
of Caltex v. Villanueva (L-15658, August 21, 1961) that duly appointed
hearing officers by regional administrators of the labor department may
issue awards. Notwithstanding this ruling, Arcinas still filed an appeal before
the Supreme Court.


Whether or not the appeal has merit.

No. It is obvious that the purpose of the filing is just to delay and prolong the
litigation in the hope of draining the resources of the poorer party and of
compelling it to submit out of sheer exhaustion. The conduct of Atty. Arcinas
is hardly compatible with the duty of the Bar to assist in the Administration of
Justice, not to obstruct or defeat the same. The Supreme Court ordered
Samar Mining and Atty. Arcinas to shoulder the litigation costs of this case
jointly and severally.
Ethics: One other point must be stressed. The illness on which Abuyen's
claim is based took place in 1956. Yet, through the present case, and Civil
Case No. 42836 of the Court of First Instance of Manila (which was dismissed
for improper venue) petitioner has succeeded in prolonging the litigation,
for the compensation involved therein, for twelve (12) years. What is more,
petitioner's contention was based upon a theory that had been rejected by
this Court as early as August, 1961. Then again, the compensability of
Abuyen's disability had never been questioned by petitioner herein. Hence, it
is manifest that the purpose of this case, like the previous one, has been
merely to delay, a policy "Often resorted to" in the language of Mr. Justice
Reyes (J.B.L.) "as a means of draining the resources of the poorer party"
in this case a tuberculosis patient "and of compelling it to submit out of
sheer exhaustion."9 Thus, the conduct of petitioner's counsel is hardly
compatible with the duty of the Bar to assist in the Administration of Justice,
not to obstruct or defeat the same.
Mendoza filed a case of forcible entry against Duave in the Justice of Peace
Court. Duave contested the allegations and claimed ownership of the land.
The summary judgment was rendered in favor of Mendoza, making Duave
appeal to the Court of First Instance (CFI). In CFI, Duave was declared in
default for failure to submit an answer. A default judgment and writ of
execution was rendered against him. However, upon finding out that the
cause of Duaves failure was the ignorance of legal procedure (the notice of
docketing was served on Duave, not his counsel), the default judgment was
set aside and court gave him another chance to file his answer. Before the
hearing, defendants counsel filed a motion for postponement but was
denied. On the day of hearing, both parties failed to appear. Plaintiffs
counsel reason that the bridge in Bagsit, Zambales was impassable. Thus,
the hearing was reset to another day. However, it was again postponed to
the motion of defendants counsel on the ground that he just recovered from
an illness and cannot make the trip to Zambales. As the hearing was reset
for 2nd time, defendants counsel again filed a motion to postpone the
hearing on the ground that he need to secure certain documents from his
client. But the court denied such motion as the case was already submitted
for decision. The court discovered that the land in question was inherited by
Mendoza from their mother, Emiliana Tuason. It was also found out that
Mendoza already declared the land for taxation and that Duave grabbed
possession of the land from Mendoza. Judgment was rendered against
Duave. Duave asked for a motion for reconsideration. He argues that his
counsel, Atty. Amor Deloso was the 3rd lawyer to represent him. He adds
that when Atty. Deloso accepted the case, he did not have certain papers
needed to prepare him for trial.
W/N the motion for reconsideration by Duave should be granted.
No. There was sufficient time for Atty. Deloso to procure the documents from
his client. Atty. Deloso entered as counsel on Sept 12, 1962. The hearing was
on Nov 28, 1982. There was a two months difference, ample time to get the
papers. The court also presumed that Atty. Deloso discussed the case when
he accepted Duaves case, making him ready for trial. In addition, he could
not have declared his readiness for trial if he did not have all the papers
required. Even on technical grounds, the denial of motion for postponement
was valid, considering that counsel did not specify what papers he needs to
secure. Under the Rules of Court, a motion must be supported by an affidavit
showing materiality of the evidence and due diligence in securing that
evidence, which defendants counsel failed do to so. Defendants counsel
even failed to attend the hearing, believing the motion for postponement is
surely to be granted. It should be stressed that a motion for postponement is
up to the sound discretion of the court. Lawyers should not assume that the
postponement would be granted and deliberately be absent on the day of
hearing. It should also be considered that the case was one of forcible entry.
It has the nature of summary procedure. Any kind of postponements are not
encouraged to protect the real possessors of the land. The case was
expected to be done expedient and efficient manner. The claim that the trial
court erred in reinstating its judgment in default on the ground that the
defendant is no longer in default is a mere technicality. The decision would
not be any different were the court to render a new decision, because it
would still be in favor of plaintiff. The lawyer is admonished for such dilatory
tactics that undermine the nature of the action. The decision of the CFI is
On March 27, 1979, Uy Chung Guan Seng and Ching Uy Seng filed a verified
Complaint for Disbarment against respondent Atty. Jose C. Magat alleging
that the following circumstances warranted his exclusion from the Roll of
On 22 August 1977 (should be 11 August 1977), Complainant CHING
UY SENG a ROBERT CHING received a letter from Respondent Atty. JOSE
C. MAGAT, threatening to report him to the government authorities if
he would not get in touch with him (MAGAT) and his clients with
respect to a bunch of documents and papers pertaining to
Complainants' business. Such documents turned out to be a part of the
articles which were stolen from the office/residence of Complainants on
2 June 1977. In the morning of 13 August 1977, UY CHUNG GUAN SENG
a HENRY CHING; his lawyer, Atty. ELISEO LEGASPI; and NBI Agent
RODOLFO DAHIROC went to the Office of Atty. MAGAT at Room 512
Madrigal Bldg., Escolta, Manila, in response to the above-mentioned
letter. Atty. MAGAT initially demanded the sum of P500,000.00 in
exchange for the robbed documents. CHING, LEGASPI and Agent
DAHIROC insisted on seeing the documents first and to talk with Atty.
MAGAT's clients before they negotiate the terms of the return of the
documents. The meeting was reset on 15 August 1977 at 3:00 p.m.,
during which Atty. MAGAT informed them that their demand was
reduced to P300,000.00 on a "take it or leave it" basis. Atty. MAGAT's
"clients" who brought in the robbed documents turned out to be the
suspects in the robbery of the office/residence of Complainants on 2
June 1977, Atty. MAGAT insisted that HENRY CHING produce P30,000.00
to show his good faith in pushing through with the negotiation. It was
at this juncture that the NBI Agents confronted the group and brought
them to the NBI office together with the robbed documents for
On June 5, 1979, upon consideration of the Complaint and the Comment, this
Court resolved to suspend respondent from the practice of law effective
immediately upon notice, and until further orders.
Whether or not the acts of the respondent constitute gross misconduct.
Yes. The actuations of respondent Atty. Magat constitute malpractice and
gross misconduct.
Writing and sending the letter Exhibit C and demanding from the
complainants the amount of P500,000.00, later on reduced to P300,000.00,
with P30,000.00 as down payment to show good faith, in consideration for
the return of anomalous invoices and documents, is highly reprehensible.
Such acts constitute not only threat but extortion.
He knew too that the decree of Cruz and his group to extort money from the
complainants in exchange for the anomalous documents was illegal. Despite
such knowledge and awareness, he connived with his clients in violating the
law. And for what? It is in consideration of the one-third share he would
receive from the proceeds of the transaction. The assistance he extended to
his clients' dishonest scheme and his connivance with them in violating the
law render the respondent guilty of unprofessional conduct which warrants
his disbarment or suspension.
The promoting of organizations, with knowledge of their objects, for the
purpose of violating or evading the laws against crime constitutes such
misconduct on the part of an attorney, an officer of the court, as amounts to
malpractice or gross misconduct in his office, and for which he may be
removed or suspended (Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 21). The assisting of a
client in a scheme which the attorney knows to be dishonest, or the
conniving at a violation of law, are acts which justify disbarment. (In Re Terrel
2 Phil. 266, 267-268; Emphasis supplied).

The grounds for disbarment or suspension enumerated in the statute should

not be taken as a limitation of the general power of the courts to disbar or
suspend a lawyer. For the power of the court over its officers cannot be
restricted. A lawyer may be removed not only for malpractice or dishonesty
in his profession but also for his gross misconduct which shows him to be
unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which the law confers upon
him (In Re Puno, 19 SCRA 439).

It has been repeatedly ruled that the purpose of disbarment is to protect the
courts and the public from the misconduct of officers of the court and to
ensure the administration of justice by requiring that those who exercise this
important function shag be competent, honorable and trustworthy men in
whom courts and dents may repose confidence (Santos vs. Dichoso, 84 SCRA
622). In the case at bar, respondent has not exercised honesty and
trustworthiness and has failed to have up to the high standards of the law

It is the duty of a member of the bar to avoid all appearances of impropriety

and his actuations should be beyond suspicion. It is true that an attorney
enjoys the legal presumption of innocence until the contrary is proved, but
this presumption has been rebutted by the clear and convincing evidence
presented by the complainants and their witnesses.
The dismissal of the criminal complaint for Light Threats against respondent
by the City Fiscal's Office (Exhibits "2", "2-A", "2-B" and "3", pp. 81-84,
Record) will not preclude the fact that respondent has not exhibited honesty
nor show trustworthiness in the discharge of his duties as a member of the
Bar. The dismissal of the criminal complaint does not exonerate him of
profession al misconduct.

The proper disciplinary action against respondent is disbarment for

malpractice and gross misconduct. He has shown himself unfit for the office
and unworthy of' the privileges which the law confers upon him. 6

The assisting of a client in a scheme which the attorney knows to

be dishonest, or the conniving at a violation of law, are acts
which justify disbarment. (In Re Terrel 2 Phil, 266, 267-268).

WHEREFORE, respondent Atty. Jose C. Magat is hereby disbarred; his name is

ordered stricken off the Rollo of attorneys; and his Certificate of Admission to
the Bar is hereby recalled.

In May 1979, Eugenio Puyat and his group were elected as directors of the
International Pipe Industries. The election was subsequently questioned by
Eustaquio Acero (Puyats rival) claiming that the votes were not properly
counted hence he filed a quo warranto case before the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 25, 1979. Prior to Aceros filing of the
case, Estanislao Fernandez, then a member of the Interim Batasang
Pambansa purchased ten shares of stock of IPI from a member of Aceros
group. And during a conference held by SEC Commissioner Sixto de Guzman,
Jr. (from May 25-31, 1979) to have the parties confer with each other,
Estanislao Fernandez entered his appearance as counsel for Acero. Puyat
objected as he argued that it is unconstitutional for an assemblyman to
appear as counsel (to anyone) before any administrative body (such as the
SEC). This being cleared, Fernandez inhibited himself from appearing as
counsel for Acero. He instead filed an Urgent Motion for Intervention in the
said SEC case for him to intervene, not as a counsel, but as a legal owner of
IPI shares and as a person who has a legal interest in the matter in litigation.
The SEC Commissioner granted the motion and in effect granting Fernandez
leave to intervene.
Whether or not Fernandez, acting as a stockholder of IPI, can appear and
intervene in the SEC case without violating the constitutional provision that
an assemblyman must not appear as counsel in such courts or bodies?
The Court en banc ruled that ordinarily, by virtue of the motion for
intervention, Assemblyman Fernandez cannot be said to be appearing as
counsel. Ostensibly, he is not appearing on behalf of another, although he is
joining the cause of the private respondents. His appearance could
theoretically be for the protection of his ownership of 10 shares of IPI in
respect of the matter in litigation.
However, certain salient circumstances militate against the intervention of
Assemblyman Fernandez in the SEC case. He had acquired a mere P200.00
worth of stock in IPI, representing 10 shares out of 262,843 outstanding
shares. He acquired them after the fact that is, after the contested election
of directors, after the quo warranto suit had been filed before the SEC and 1
day before the scheduled hearing of the case before the SEC. And what is
more, before he moved to intervene, he had signified his intention to appear
as counsel for respondent Acero, but which was objected to by petitioners.
Realizing, perhaps, the validity of the objection, he decided, instead, to
intervene on the ground of legal interest in the matter under litigation.
Under those facts and circumstances, the Court is constrained to find that
there has been an indirect appearance as counsel before anadministrative
body. In the opinion of the Court, that is a circumvention of the Constitutional
prohibition contained in Sec. 11, Art. VIII (now Sec. 14, Art. VI). The
intervention was an afterthought to enable him to appear actively in the
proceedings in some other capacity.
WHEREFORE, respondent Commissioner's Order granting Atty. Estanislao A.
Fernandez leave to intervene in SEC Case No. 1747 is hereby reversed and
set aside. The temporary Restraining Order heretofore issued is hereby made

An administrative complaint was filed by Roan I. Libarios for and on behalf of

his client Mariano Corvera, Jr. against respondent Judge Rosarito F. Dabalos,
for grave ignorance of the law, grave abuse of discretion, gross misconduct
and partiality, relative to the issuance of a warrant of arrest of the
respondent judge against the accused Tranquilino Calo Jr. and Belarmino
Alloco for the crime of murder fixing their bail without any prior hearing.

W/N Judge Rosarito F. Dabalos violated the New Code of Judicial Conduct.
Yes. A judge should endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts and the
applicable law unswayed by partisan or personal interests, public opinion or
fear of criticism. He should not have allowed himself to be swayed into
issuing an order fixing bail for the temporary release of the accused charged
with murder, without a hearing, which is contrary to established principles of
law. It has been an established legal principle or rule that in cases where a
person is accused of a capital offense, the trial court must conduct a hearing
in a summary proceeding, to allow the prosecution an opportunity to present,
within a reasonable time, all evidence it may desire to produce to prove that
the evidence of guilt against the accused is strong, before resolving the issue
of bail for the temporary release of the accused.

A judge should not only render a just, correct and impartial decision but
should do so in a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to his fairness,
impartiality and integrity.

The respondent judge is imposed of a FINE of TWENTY THOUSAND PESOS

(P20,000.00) and WARNED to exercise more care and diligence in the
performance of his duties as a judge, and that the same or similar offense in
the future will be dealt with more severally.

An information was filed charging herein petitioner Rolito Go for murder
before the Regional Trial Court of Metro Manila. Petitioner voluntarily
presented himself together with his two lawyers to the police upon obtaining
knowledge of being hunted by the latter. However, he was immediately
detained and denied his right of a preliminary investigation unless he
executes and sings a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised
Penal Code. Upon omnibus motion for immediate release on recognizance or
on bail and proper preliminary investigation on the ground that his
warrantless arrest was unlawful and no preliminary investigation was
conducted before the information was filed, which is violative of his rights,
the same was granted but later onreversed by the lower court and affirmed
by the Court of Appeals. The appellate court in sustaining the decision of the
lower court held that petitioner's warrantless arrest was valid in view of the
fact that the offense wascommitted, the petitioner was clearly identified and
there exists valid information for murder filed against petitioner

Hence, the petitioner filed this present petition for review on certiorari before
the Supreme Court.
1. Whether or not the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner was lawful, and
2. Whether or not petitioner waived his right to preliminary investigation
The general rule on arrest provides that the same is legitimate if effected
with a valid warrant. However, there are instances specifically enumerated
under the law when a warrantless arrest may be considered lawful. Despite
that,the warrantless arrest of herein petitioner Rolito Go does not fall within
the terms of said rule. The police were not present at the time of the
commission of the offense, neither do they have personal knowledge on the
crime to be committed or has been committed not to mention the fact that
petitioner was not a prisoner who has escaped from the penal institution. In
view of the above, the allegation of the prosecution that petitioner needs to
sign a waiver of the provisions of Article 125 of the Revised Penal Code
before a preliminary investigation may be conducted is baseless. In this
connection, petitioner has all the right to ask for a preliminary investigation
to determine whether is probable cause that a crime has been committed
and that petitioner is probably guilty thereof as well as to prevent him from
the hassles, anxiety and aggravation brought by a criminal proceeding. This
reason of the accused is substantial, which he should not be deprived of. On
the other hand, petitioner did not waive his right to have a preliminary
investigation contrary to the prosecutor's claim. The right to preliminary
investigation is deemed waived when the accused fails to invoke it before or
at the time of entering a pleas at arraignment. The facts of the case show
that petitioner insisted on his right to preliminary investigation before his
arraignment and he, through his counsel denied answering questions before
the court unless they were afforded the proper preliminary investigation. For
the above reasons, the petition was granted and the ruling of the appellate
court was set aside and nullified. The Supreme Court however, contrary to
petitioner's allegation, declared that failure to accord the right to preliminary
investigation did not impair the validity of the information charging the latter
of the crime of murder.
(Note: What is related to ethics is actually found in the concurring opinion of
Justice Gutierrez)
I am at a loss for reasons why an experienced Judge should insist on
proceeding to trial in a sensational murder case without a preliminary
investigation despite vigorous and continued objection and reservation of
rights of the accused and notwithstanding the recommendation of the
prosecutor that said rights be respected I agree with Justice Isagani Cruz
that the trial court has apparently been moved by a desire to cater to public
opinion to the detriment of the impartial administration of justice. Mass
media has its duty to fearlessly but faithfully inform the public about events
and persons. However, when a case has received wide and sensational
publicity, the trial court should be doubly careful not only to be fair and
impartial but also to give the appearance of complete objectivity in its
handling of the case.
It was discovered that there were 87 cases undecided by respondent
judge beyond the 90-day reglementary period. The dismal state of the
Courthouse of the respondent judge which was described as bereft of any
dignity as a court of law has been noted. Judge Villamor however shifts the
blame on his clerk of court, Atty. Jocobo who he claims was inefficient in the
management of the court records.
Also, in the case of theft by Lipango, Villamor designated Judge Pitao
as acting judge of the MCTC. Villamor warned Pitao to acquit Lipango
because the case was being backed up by someone powerful. He did this by
sending a letter to Pitao through Lipangos wife. However, Pitao still
convicted Lipango because the evidence of guilt was strong. When Pitao was
away for some conference, he found out that Villamor revoked his
designation and appointed another as judge of the MCTC. And finally, when
the case was elevated to the RTC where Villamor was assigned he acquitted
Villamor violated Canon3 and Canon2
A judge sits not only to Judge litigated cases with the least possible delay but
that his responsibilities include being an effective manager of the Court and
its personnel. Canon 3, Rule 3.08, of the Code of Judicial Conduct, provides:
A judge should diligently discharge administrative responsibilities, maintain
professional competence in court management, and facilitate the
performance of the administrative functions of other judges and court
personnel. Also, under Rule 3.09 is that: A judge should organize and
supervise the court personnel to ensure the prompt and efficient dispatch of
business, and require at all times the observance of high standards of public
service and fidelity.
Cardinal is the rule that a Judge should avoid impropriety and the
appearance of impropriety in all activities. The Canons mince no words in
mandating that a Judge shall refrain from influencing in any manner the
outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another Court (Canon 2, Rule
2.04). Interference by members of the bench in-pending suits with the end in
view of influencing the course or the result of litigation does not only subvert
the independence of the judiciary but also undermines the people's faith in
its integrity and impartiality