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Principle: Sovereignty

Macariola vs Asuncion

Facts: On June 8, 1963, respondent Judge Elias Asuncion of Court of First Instance of Leyte rendered a
decision in Civil Case 3010 final for lack of an appeal.

On October 16, 1963, a project of partition was submitted to Judge Asuncion. The project of partition of
lots was not signed by the parties themselves but only by the respective counsel of plaintiffs and petitioner
Bernardita R. Macariola. The Judge approved it in his order dated October 23, 1963.

One of the lots mentioned in the project of partition was Lot 1184. This lot according to the decision
rendered by Judge Asuncion was adjudicated to the plaintiffs Reyes in equal shares subdividing Lot 1184
into five lots denominated as Lot 1184-A to 1184-E.

On July 31, 1964, Lot 1184-E was sold to Dr. Arcadio Galapon, and was issued Transfer of Certificate of
Title No. 2338 of the Register of Deeds of Tacloban City. And on March 6, 1965, Dr. Galapon sold a portion
of Lot 1184-E to Judge Asuncion and his wife Victoria Asuncion. The Asuncions and Galapons were also
the stockholder of the corporation.

Thereafter, on August 31, 1966 spouses Asuncion and Galapon conveyed their respective shares and
interests in Lot 1184-E to the Traders Manufacturing and Fishing Industries Inc. wherein Judge Asuncion
was the president and his wife Victoria was the Secretary.

Macariola then filed an instant complaint on August 9, 1968 docketed as Civil Case No. 4234 in the CFI of
Leyte against Judge Asuncion with "acts unbecoming a judge" alleging that Judge Asuncion in acquiring by
purchase a portion of Lot 1184-E violated Article 1491 par. 5 of the New Civil Code, Art. 14, pars. 1 and 5
of the Code of Commerce, Sec. 3 par. H of R.A. 3019, Sec. 12 Rule XVIII of the Civil Service Rules and Canon
25 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.

On November 2, 1970, Judge Jose Nepomuceno of the CFI of Leyte rendered a decision dismissing the
complaints against Judge Asuncion.

After the investigation, report and recommendation conducted by Justice Cecilia Munoz Palma of the
Court of Appeals, she recommended on her decision dated March 27, 1971 that Judge Asuncion be

ISSUE: Is the actuation of Judge Asuncion in acquiring by purchase a portion of property in a Civil Case
previously handled by him an act unbecoming of a Judge?

respondent Judge did not buy the lot in question on March 6. Article 1491. Upon the transfer of sovereignty from Spain to the United States and later on from the United States to the Republic of the Philippines. Art. the political laws of the former sovereign . Arcadio Galapon who earlier purchased on July 31. 1963 was already final because none of the parties filed an appeal within the reglementary period hence. The Court held that respondent Judge Asuncion's acts does not constitute an "Act Unbecoming of a Judge" but he was reminded to be more discreet in his private and business activities for next time. 1963 and the amended order dated November 11. 3010 as well as the two orders approving the project of partition. respondent’s order date October 23. Furthermore. at the time of the sale on March 6. are automatically abrogated. 1964 Lot 1184-E from three of the plaintiffs after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. unless they are expressly re-enacted by affirmative act of the new sovereign. had long been final for there was no appeal from said orders. the sale of a portion of Lot 1184-E to respondent Judge having taken place over one year after the finality of the decision in Civil Case No. the decision in Civil Case No. par. 1965 directly from the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. the sale or assignment must take place during the pendency of the litigation involving the property. Moreover. whether compatible or not with those of the new sovereign. 5 of the New Civil Code applies only to the sale or assignment of the property which is the subject of litigation to the persons disqualified therein. 1965. 3010.Ruling: No. 3010 which he rendered on June 8. 1963 project of partition made pursuant to the June 8.Article 1491 of the New Civil Code. 1963 decision. In the case at bar. Consequently. there was no violation of paragraph 5. and not during the pendency of the litigation. 1965 a portion of lot 1184-E. 3010 but from Dr. 14 of the Code of Commerce must be deemed to have been abrogated because where there is a change of sovereignty. the lot in question was no longer subject of litigation. 1963 approving the October 16. The Supreme Court held that for the prohibition to operate. when respondent Judge purchased on March 6. .