You are on page 1of 15

Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises

Vanguardia, A.M.
A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC: Adopting the New Code of Judicial 2015 Bar, Q. XIV: Identify and briefly explain three (3) canons
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary under the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine  Judges must carry out their judicial functions on the basis of
Judiciary. their own discernment and judgment. Such discernment and
WHEREAS, at the Round Table Meeting of Chief Justices held at judgment must be free from any undue outside influence.
the Peace Palace, The Hague, on 25-26 November 2002, at which Qualifications of Judges  At the first attempt at extraneous influence, the judge must
the Philippine Supreme Court was represented by the Chief promptly and decisively, but in a courteous manner, reject
Justice and Associate Justice Reynato S. Puno, the Bangalore Draft Canon 1: Independence or decline the attempt. In this way, the judge asserts his
of the Code of Judicial Conduct adopted by the Judicial Group on individual judicial independence.
Strengthening Judicial integrity was deliberated upon and Judicial independence is a pre-requisite to the rule of law and a
approved after incorporating therein several amendments; Sec. 2. In performing judicial duties, judges shall be independent
fundamental guarantee of a fair trial. A judge shall therefore
from judicial colleagues in respect of decisions which the judge is
uphold and exemplify judicial independence in both its
WHEREAS, the Bangalore Draft, as amended, is intended to be the obliged to make independently.
individual and institutional aspects.
Universal Declaration of Judicial Standards applicable in all
judiciaries; 1. Individual Independence from Judicial Colleagues
1. Canon 1: Independence
WHEREAS, the Bangalore Draft is founded upon a universal  Every judge must decide independently, even in collegial
In the Matter of Macasaet, (2008). Chief Justice Shirley
recognition that a competent, independent and impartial judiciary court divisions.
Abrahamson of the Wisconsin Supreme Court has observed that
is essential if the courts are to fulfill their role in upholding  While there may be discussions and exchanges of ideas
judicial independence encompasses two distinct but related
constitutionalism and the rule of law; that public confidence in among judges, at the end of such discussion, the judge must
concepts of independence.
the judicial system and in the moral authority and integrity of the decide on the basis of his own, sole, judgment.
judiciary is of utmost importance in a modern democratic society;
One concept is individual judicial independence, which focuses on
and that it is essential that judges, individually and collectively, 2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 1, Sec. 2
each particular judge and seeks to insure his or her ability to
respect and honor judicial office as a public trust and strive to Re: Letters of Vasquez, Jr., (2008). A Justice of the CA who, in
decide cases with autonomy within the constraints of the law. A
enhance and maintain confidence in the judicial system; violation of the internal rules (IRCA), allowed herself to be rushed
judge has this kind of independence when he can do his job
into signing a decision without reading the parties’ memoranda
without having to hear – or at least without having to take it
WHEREAS, the adoption of the universal declaration of standards and without the deliberation among members of the Division
seriously if he does hear – criticisms of his personal morality and
for ethical conduct of judges embodied in the Bangalore Draft as required by the IRCA, showed “weakness and lack of
fitness for judicial office. The second concept is institutional
revised at the Round Table Conference of Chief Justices at The independence on her part” (Justice Dimaranan-Vidal,
judicial independence. It focuses on the independence of the
Hague is imperative not only to update and correlate the Code of admonished)
judiciary as a branch of government and protects judges as a
Judicial Conduct and the Canons of Judicial Ethics adopted for the
Philippines, but also to stress the Philippines’ solidarity with the Sec. 3. Judges shall refrain from influencing in any manner the
universal clamor for a universal code of judicial ethics. outcome of litigation or dispute pending before another court or
A truly independent judiciary is possible only when both concepts
of independence are preserved - wherein public confidence in the administrative agency.
NOW, THEREFORE, the Court hereby adopts this New Code of
competence and integrity of the judiciary is maintained, and the
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary: 1. Duty Against Meddling with Another Court or
public accepts the legitimacy of judicial authority. An erosion of
this confidence threatens the maintenance of an independent Administrative Agency
1. Prior to the adoption of the New Code of Judicial Conduct Third Estate.
(NCJC), judicial ethics was governed by the Code of Judicial Sabitsana, Jr. v. Villamor, (1991). A Judge should avoid
Conduct approved by the SC on September 5, 1989 and 2. Judicial Independence, as a duty of a lawyer (Rule 13.03, impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.
which took effect on October 20, 1989 CPR) The Canons mince no words in mandating that a Judge shall
2. During the roundtable meeting of the Chief Justices at the refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation
Peace Palace, The Hague in 2002, the so-called Bangalore or dispute pending before another Court (Canon 2, Rule 2.04).
Sec. 1. Judges shall exercise the judicial function independently on
Draft of the Code of Judicial Conduct (“Bangalore Draft”) Interference by members of the bench in-pending suits with the
the basis of their assessment of the facts and in accordance with a
was approved. The Bangalore Draft was subsequently end in view of influencing the course or the result of litigation
conscientious understanding of the law, free of any extraneous
adopted by the Philippine SC through A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC does not only subvert the independence of the judiciary but also
influence, inducement, pressure, threat or interference, direct or
and which took effect on June 1, 2004 undermines the people's faith in its integrity and impartiality
indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.

2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 1, Sec. 3

1. Individual Judicial Independence

Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
(a) Marces v. Judge Arcangel, (1996). A judge writing a note to influence. Hence, the judge must be conscious of 2014 Bar, Q. I: Judge A is a close friend of Governor G. On several
another judge which states: relationships. occasions, Judge A would borrow vehicles from the Office of the
Governor to travel to his judicial station. Judge A’s actuation:
Judge Edipolo Sarabia 2. Judge’s Family, Defined
Br. 3, City Trial Court (a) Violates the Canon on Propriety
Davao City “Judge’s family” includes a judge’s spouse, son, daughter, son-in- (b) Creates an appearance of an improper connection with the
law, daughter-in-law, and any other relative by consanguinity or executive branch
Dear Ed: affinity within the sixth civil degree, or person who is a companion (c) Is downright unethical
or employee of the judge and who lives in the judge’s household.
If these cases (Cr. Case Nos. 9-C-M, 10-C-M & 11-C-M) are still A: (a)
pending, please issue another alias warrants as the accused is 3. Mandatory Inhibition
now in town. Alternative: (b)
Hurtado v. Judalena, (1978). Where a relative of the judge is one
Thanks. of the parties to a case, within the sixth degree of consanguinity 3. Illustration Where There is No Undue Influence
or affinity, the disqualification is mandatory.
(Sgd.) Paul Arcangel Re: Suspension of Clerk of Court Joboco, (1998). Congenial
Sec. 5. Judges shall not only be free from inappropriate relationships, however, between a judge and a provincial
The judge thereby committed impropriety. connections with, and influence by, the executive and legislative governor does not by itself tarnish the image of an independent
branches of government, but must also appear to be free judiciary. A LGU which provides a vehicle for the use of the judge
(b) Marces v. Judge Arcangel, (1996). Respondent Judge who therefrom to a reasonable observer. does not impinge on judicial independence, in the absence of any
allowed himself to be dragged into what was a purely indication of corruption or anomalous undertakings.
private matter between feuding families. In attending, at the 1. Judicial Independence from the Executive and Legislative
request of Mrs. Canas, the barangay conciliation Branches of Government (Canon 1, Sec. 5) Sec. 6. Judges shall be independent in relation to society in
proceedings and introducing himself there as the Executive 2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 1, Sec. 5 general and in relation to the particular parties to a dispute which
Judge of the RTC in an obvious demonstration of support for
he or she has to adjudicate.
Mrs. Canas, respondent lent the prestige of his office to a (a) Alfonso v. Alonzo-Legasto, (2002). Referring the matter of
party in a case. the transfer of court employees to a local government
(c) OCA v. Judge Floro, (2006). A judge entering his appearance 1. Individual Independence from Society and from Litigants
official, in this case to the Vice-Mayor, where the liaison
in a court case representing himself but signing the pleading work “for all liaison and coordination activities with the
wherein he indicated that he is the presiding judge of RTC,  Canon 1, Sec. 6 speaks of independence “in relation to
Legislative and Executive departments as well as with local society” and does not speak of withdrawal from society.
Br. 73, Malabon City and appending to the pleading a copy government officials” was the sole responsibility of the
of his oath with a picture of his oath-taking is trying to Hence, the judge is not expected to live in isolation away
Court Administrator and not the trial judge. The personnel from society
influence or put pressure on a fellow judge. action initiated by the trial judge was a clear derogation of  Canon 30, Canons of Judicial Ethics
the power of administrative supervision of the SC over court
Sec. 4. Judges shall not allow family, social, or other relationships employees. Canon 30: It is not necessary to the proper performance of judicial
to influence judicial conduct or judgment. The prestige of judicial
duty that judges should live in retirement or seclusion; it is
office shall not be used or lent to advance the private interests of Bagatsing v. Herrera, (1975). For judicial independence to be a desirable that, so far as the reasonable attention to the
others, nor convey or permit others to convey the impression that reality, the least interference by or influence from other completion of their work will permit, they continue to mingle in
they are in a special position to influence the judge. governmental departments is of the essence. social intercourse, and that they should not discontinue their
interests in or appearance at meetings of members of the bar. A
1. Individual Independence from Private Interests OCA A.C. 17-99. Lest it be against ignored, we stress in this regard judge should, however, in pending or prospective litigation before
that only this Court has the authority to order a personnel him be scrupulously careful to avoid such action as may
 Relationships with the judge can be used, for selfish accounting of locally-funded employees assigned in the lower reasonably tend to waken the suspicion that his social or business
interests, to influence a judgment. The judge must be ever courts to determine the necessity of their detail, and that relations or friendships constitute an element in determining his
aware that such friendly or cordial relations should not be accordingly, all requests for detail of locally-funded employees, judicial course.
exploited to influence a decision. including complainants herein, must pass the OCA for review and
 Consequently, the judge should not allow or tolerate those appropriate action.
 More importantly in Canon 1, Sec. 6 is the independence
friendly or cordial relations to be used by his friends and from the party-litigants. Party-litigants must be kept at a
relatives to protect the image that the judge can be distance during course of the litigation. Hence, ex parte
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
communications with any of the parties must be vigorously OCA v. Judge Estacion. Respondent judge was dismissed for (c) Lachica v. Flordeliza, (1996). Asking intimidating questions
avoided. concealing from the appointing authority information regarding while in an inebriated or drunken state during a party of a
 In case of social contact with a litigant, the pending case the criminal charges for homicide and attempted homicide filed municipality.
should never be discussed. against him. (d) City of Tagbilaran v. Hontanas, (2002). Habitually gambling
 In the same way, emissaries for the party or go-betweens and frequenting casinos and cockpits. The judge’s argument
should be rejected by the judge Re: Judge Cube. Judge Cube was dismissed from the service when that he only played the slot machines was not accepted as
he purposely did not disclose his previous dismissal when he such machines were also for gambling.
2. Violation of Independence from Litigants accomplished the bio-data form required by the JBC. (e) Judge Naval v. Judge Panday, (1997). Having sexual
intercourse with a 15-year-old minor (Judge dismissed from
Tan v. Rosete, (2004). The act of a judge in meeting with litigants Court Administrator v. Judge Magtibay. There was deliberate the service)
outside the office premises beyond office hours violates the concealment of his prior suspension in A.C. 2489. (f) Judge Alumbres v. Judge Caoibes, (2002). Punching a fellow
standard of judicial conduct. judge in the face after a disagreement over the use of an
Sec. 1. Judges shall ensure that not only is their conduct above office table.
Sec. 7. Judges shall encourage and uphold safeguards for the reproach, but that it is perceived to be so in the view of a
discharge of judicial duties in order to maintain and enhance the reasonable observer. Sec. 3. Judges should take or initiate appropriate disciplinary
institutional and operational independence of the judiciary. measures against lawyers or court personnel for unprofessional
1. Duty to be Above Reproach and Duty to Appear Above conduct of which the judge may have become aware.
1. Duty to Uphold Safeguards Reproach
1. Duty to Instill Discipline Among Lawyers and Court
 There are safeguards put in place by the ROC, circulars from Gacayan v. Hon. Pamintuan, (1999). “The Court pointed out in Personnel
the SC, and even ordinary protocols. These safeguards are Dawa v. De Asa that the people’s confidence in the judicial system
designed to promote judicial independence. is founded not only on the magnitude of legal knowledge and Re: Suspension of Clerk of Court Joboco, (1998). A judge has the
 The judge must zealously uphold such safeguards diligence of the members of the bench, but also on the highest prerogative to discipline his staff for negligence and/or a mistake.
standard of integrity and moral uprightness they are expected to However, a judge should not make it a habit of showing fits of
Sec. 8. Judges shall exhibit and promote high standards of judicial possess. temper and resorting to verbal abuse against erring employees.
conduct in order to reinforce public confidence in the judiciary, Thus, he should be mindful of the need to maintain professional
which is fundamental to the maintenance of judicial 2. Integrity is a Necessity and harmonious relations with his personnel with a view to the
independence. speedy and efficient administration of justice.
Pascual v. Judge Bonifacio, (2003). In the Judiciary, moral
integrity is more than a cardinal virtue, it is a necessity. However, judges do not have the power and authority to
1. Duty of High Standards in Judicial Conduct
preventively suspend a clerk of court as such power is vested
Sec. 2. The behavior and conduct of judges must reaffirm the exclusively with the SC
Arban v. Borja, (1986). Sec. 8 is a mere affirmance of the judges
are the visible representation of the law and justice. people’s faith in the integrity of the judiciary. Justice must not
merely be done but must also be seen to be done. 2. Slightest Impropriety of Court Personnel Should be
Dimatulac v. Villon, (1998). A judge should always be imbued
with a high sense of duty and responsibility in the discharge of his 1. Duty of Public Conduct
Buenaventura v. Benedicto, (1971). Oftentimes, such leniency
obligation to promptly and properly administer justice. He must
Junio v. Rivera, Jr. (1993). The judge must not only appear to be a provides the court employees the opportunity to commit minor
view himself as a priest, for the administration of justice is akin to
“good judge” but also appear as a “good person”. This must be so transgressions of the laws and slight breaches of official duty
a religious crusade.
at all times. ultimately leading to vicious delinquencies. The respondent judge
should constantly keep a watchful eye on the conduct of his
Canon 2: Integrity employees. He should realize that big start small. His constant
2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 2, Sec. 2
scrutiny of the behavior of his employees would deter any abuse
Integrity is essential not only to the proper discharge of the (a) Dawa v. De Asa, (1998). Sexual harassment upon his court on the part of the latter in the exercise of their duties. Then, his
judicial office but also to the personal demeanor of judges. employees by forcibly kissing them (Judge dismissed from subordinates would know that any misdemeanor will not remain
the service) unchecked. The slightest semblance of impropriety on the part of
1. Duty to Disclose to the Appointing Authority and JBC (b) In re: Judge Marcos, (2001). Maintaining a mistress and the employees of the court in the performance of their official
bringing such mistress in functions attended by other judges duties stirs ripples of public suspicion and public distrust of the
(Judge dismissed from the service) judicial administrators. The slightest breach of duty by and the

Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
slightest irregularity in the conduct of court officers and any comment that might reasonably be expected to affect the
employees detract from the dignity of the courts and erode the outcome of such proceeding or impair the manifest fairness of the Dacera, Jr. v. Judge Dizon, (2000). “Like Caesar’s wife, a judge
faith of the people in the judiciary. process. Nor shall judges make any comment in public or must not only be pure but above suspicion”
otherwise that might affect the fair trial of any person or issue.
Canon 3: Impartiality People v. CA. The judge must portray the “cold-neutrality of an
In the case of Castillo v. Juan (G.R. No. L-39516-17, January 28, impartial juge”
1975), a judge spoke to the complainants in two rape cases in his
Impartiality is essential to the proper discharge of the judicial
chamber before trial, and advised them to settle their cases with 2. Illustration of Violation of this Canon 3, Sec. 2
office. It applies not only to the decision itself but also to the
the accused because their evidence was weak. The SC found the
process by which the decision is made.
conduct of the judge to be violative of duty of impartiality. (a) OCA v. Judge Floro, (2006). Stating to his court staff and the
PAO lawyer that he is “pro-accused” particularly concerning
1. Duty to be Impartial The Court stated that the judge should avoid any conduct that detention prisoners, the judge opened himself up to
casts doubt on his impartiality. It is not merely a matter of judicial suspicion regarding his impartiality.
Edano v. Asdala, (2007). This duty does not apply only to the ethics. It is impressed with constitutional significance. (b) Sison v. Judge Caoibes, (2004). A judge based in Las Pinas
decisions but to the process as well. was dismissed from the service after it was found that the
2. Allegations of Partiality Must Be Substantiated judge had, without basis and authority, cited an MMDA
Castillo v. Juan, (1975). Hence, the objectivity is essential to an traffic enforcer for indirect contempt after the MMDA traffic
independent judiciary. enforcer cited the judge’s driver, his son, for traffic violation
Dimo Realty & Dev. Inc. v. Dimaculangan, (2004). Allegations of
partiality or bias must have a factual basis. Bare allegations or along EDSA. The judge’s argument that his driver was on
In every litigation, perhaps much more so in criminal cases, the official errand was not given credence and the Court ruled
suspicions of partiality will not be sufficient to cause the
manner and attitude of a trial judge are crucial to everyone that the contempt charge was actually a retaliation.
disqualification of the judge.
concerned, the offended party, no less than the accused. It is not (c) Cabreana v. Avelino. Hitching a ride in the car of a party-
for him to indulge or even to give the appearance of catering to litigant on the way to an ocular inspection.
the at times human failing of yielding to first impressions. He is to Sec. 1. Judges shall perform their judicial duties without favor,
refrain from reaching hasty conclusions or prejudging matters. It bias or prejudice.
Sec. 3. Judges shall, so far as is reasonable, so conduct themselves
would be deplorable if he lays himself open to the suspicion of
1. Duty to be Free From Favor, Bias or Prejudice as to minimize the occasions on which it will be necessary for
reacting to feelings rather than to facts, of being imprisoned in
them to be disqualified from hearing or deciding cases.
the net of his own sympathies and predilections. It must be
obvious to the parties as well as the public that he follows the  Justice is rendered exclusively on the basis of the law, the
traditional mode of adjudication requiring that he hear both sides relevant facts, and the jurisprudence 1. Duty Not to Give Cause for Disqualification
with patience and understanding to keep the risk of reaching an  All other human factors such as emotions, relationships,
unjust decision at a minimum. It is not necessary that he should preconceptions are unseen by Lady Justice, and are to be Te v. CA. Disqualification is also called inhibition or to recuse.
possess marked proficiency in law, but it is essential that he is to excluded totally from the judge’s consideration. Where the allegation of partiality has not been reasonably
hold the balance true. What is equally important is that he should established, then there would be no ground for the judge to
avoid any conduct that casts doubt on his impartially. What has Sec. 2. Judges shall ensure that his or her conduct, both in and out inhibit. The test to determine the propriety of the denial of a
been said is not merely a matter of judicial ethics. It is impressed of court, maintains and enhances the confidence of the public, the motion to inhibit is whether the movant was deprived of a fair
with constitutional significance. legal profession and litigants in the impartiality of the judge and and impartial trial.
of the judiciary.
People v. Gako, Jr. A ruling not to inhibit oneself cannot be
2014 Bar, Q. XIX(a): After the pre-trial of a civil case for replevin,
overturned in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to
Judge D advised B’s counsel to settle the case because according 1. Duty to Appear Impartial
prove the charge. Where, however, bias and partiality is evident,
to Judge D, his initial assessment of the case shows that B’s
then the judge must inhibit from the case.
evidence is weak. Sps. Nazareno v. Judge Almario, (1997). A judge should only be
impartial, independent and honest but should be believed and
2. Guidepost for Voluntary Inhibition of Judges
Did Judge D commit an act of impropriety? Explain. perceived to be impartial, independent and honest as well.
Pimentel v. Salonga, (1967). The Court laid down the following
A: Yes, Judge D acted improperly. The judge should be careful with his public conduct and his
guideposts for voluntary inhibition of judges:
speech and remarks to others. Hence, the judge must exercise
Sec. 4, Canon 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the prudence and restraint and should reserve personal views and
A judge may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation.
Philippine Judiciary provides that “judges shall not knowingly, predilections to himself so as not to stir up suspicions of bias and
But when suggestion is made of record that he might be induced
while a proceeding is before or could come before them, make unfairness.
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
to act in favor of one party or with bias or prejudice against a Sec. 4. Judges shall not knowingly, while a proceeding is before or
litigant arising out of circumstance reasonably capable of inciting could come before them, make any comment that might (a) Austria v. Masaquel, (1967). Where the judge can be
such a state of mind, he should conduct a careful self- reasonably be expected to affect the outcome of such proceeding associated with either of the parties or their counsel
examination. He should exercise his discretion in a way that the or impair the manifest fairness of the process. Nor shall judges (b) Umale v. Villaluz, (1973). Where the judge has prior
people's faith in the courts of justice is not impaired. A salutary make any comment in public or otherwise that might affect the personal knowledge about the facts of the case.
norm is that he reflect on the probability that a losing party might fair trial of any person or issue. (c) People v. Gomez, (1967). Where the judge is biased or
nurture at the back of his mind the thought that the judge had partial
unmeritoriously tilted the scales of justice against him. 1. Duty to Refrain from Undue Comments on a Case (d) Villauz v. Mijares, (1998). Where the judge is related to the
party-litigant or the counsel. In this case, the judge took
Constante v. Pimentel, (1978). The procedure for disqualification Cacatian v. Liwanag, (2003). Irresponsible speech or improper cognizance of a petition for correction of entry in the birth
of judges in Rule 137, Sec. 2 must be substantially followed. conduct of a judge erodes public confidence in the judiciary. record of her grandson, Joshua Anthony M. Gurango, the
child of her daughter Ma. Pilita M. Guarango,
3. Provision in the ROC Fecundo v. Berjamen, (1989). A judge’s language, both written notwithstanding such close relationship
and spoken, must be guarded and measured, lest the best of
Rule 137: Disqualification of Judicial Officers intentions be misconstrued. 2016 Bar, Q. II: State at least five (5) instances where judges
should disqualify themselves from participating in any
Rule 137, Sec. 1. Disqualification of judges – No judge or judicial Where such comment has been made, the judge would have the proceedings where their impartiality might reasonably be
officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is obligation to recuse himself from hearing the case. questioned.
pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in
which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of Sec. 5. Judges shall disqualify themselves from participating in any A: Canon 3, Sec. 5 of New Code Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, proceedings in which they are unable to decide the matter Judiciary.
computed according to the rules of the civil law, or in which he impartially or in which it may appear to a reasonable observer
has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or that they are unable to decide the matter impartially. Such Rule 137, Sec. 1, ROC provides for similar grounds.
in which he has been presided in any inferior court when his proceedings include, but are not limited to, instances where
ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the written 2015 Bar, Q. XIII(A): In a land registration case before Judge
consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered (a) The judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party or Lucio, the petitioner is represented by the second cousin of
upon the record. personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning Judge Lucio’s wife.
the proceedings;
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify (b) The judge previously served as a lawyer or was a material Differentiate between compulsory and voluntary disqualification
himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid reasons other than witness in the matter in controversy; and determine if Judge Lucio should disqualify himself under
those mentioned above. (c) The judge, or a member of his or her family, has an either circumstance
economic interest in the outcome of the matter in
Rule 137, Sec. 2. Objection that judge disqualified, how made controversy; A: In compulsory disqualification, the judge is compelled to inhibit
and effect – If it be claimed that an official is disqualified from (d) The judge served as executor, administrator, guardian, himself from presiding over a case when any of the ground
sitting as above provided, the party objecting to his competency trustee or lawyer in the case or matter in controversy, or a provided by the law or the rules exists
may, in writing, file with the official his objection, stating the former associate of the judge served as counsel during their
grounds therefor, and the official shall thereupon proceed with association, or the judge or lawyer was a material witness Under Rule 137, Sec. 1, ROC, no judge or judicial officer shall sit in
the trial, or withdraw therefrom, in accordance with his therein; any case:
determination of the question of his disqualification. His decision (e) The judge’s ruling in a lower court is the subject of review;
shall be forthwith made in writing and filed with the other papers (f) The judge is related by consanguinity or affinity to a party (1) In which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as
in the case, but no appeal or stay shall be allowed from, or by litigant within the sixth civil degree or to counsel within the heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or
reason of, his decision in favor of his own competency, until after fourth civil degree; or (2) In which he is related to either party within the sixth degree
final judgment in the case. (g) The judge knows that his or her spouse or child has a of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth
financial interest, as heir, legatee, creditor, fiduciary, or degree, computed according to the rules of the civil law, or
otherwise, in the subject matter in controversy or in a party (3) In which he has been executor, administrator, guardian,
4. Persons Who Are NOT Parties May NOT Seek Inhibitions
to the proceeding, or any other interest that could be trustee or counsel, or
substantially affected by the outcome of the proceedings; (4) In which he has been presided in any inferior court when his
Hilado v. Judge Reyes, (2006). Persons who are not parties to the
ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the
case may not seek the inhibition of a judge
1. Instances of Mandatory Inhibition
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
written consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and the ground that his wife has long resigned from the company. Santos v. Judge Lacurom, (2006). There must be convincing court
entered upon the record. Decide. to his close friend, or that his close friend benefited from his
personal relations with respondent judge, or that respondent
Sec. 5, Canon 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the A: The fact that Judge Braso’s wife used to work for Kristofer judge used his influence, if any, to favor his close friend. However,
Philippine Judiciary adds the following grounds: Company is not a mandatory ground for his inhibition. it would have been prudent for the judge to inhibit himself.

(a) The judge has actual bias or prejudice concerning a party or However, Sec. 5, Canon 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for 2016 Bar, Q. IX: Atty. Tristan filed a motion to disqualify Judge
personalknowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the Philippine Judiciary provides that judges should disqualify Robert from hearing a civil case on the ground that the latter
the proceedings; themselves from participating in any proceeding in which “it may was the classmate and fraternity brother of Atty. Mark, Atty.
(b) The judge previously served as a lawyer or was a material appear to a reasonable observer that they are unable to decide Tristan's opposing counsel. Judge Robert denied the motion on
witness in the matterin controversy; the matter in partially”. The SC has advised that a judge “should the ground that under Rule 3.12 of the Code of Judicial Conduct,
exercise his decision in a way that the people’s faith in the courts he is not required to inhibit in all cases where his classmates and
In voluntary disqualification, a judge may inhibit himself in the of justice is not impaired” (Pimentel v. Salanga, G.R. No. L-27934, fraternity brothers are participating lawyers in cases before him.
exercise of his discretion. September 18, 1967). Is Judge Robert correct in denying the motion?

Rule 137, Sec. 1, par. 2, ROC provides that “a judge may, in the While it may not be reasonable to believe that Judge Braso cannot A: Judge Robert is correct in denying the motion for inhibition on
exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a be impartial because his wife used to work as a Junior Executive the ground that he was the classmate of Atty. Tristan’s adverse
case, for just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.” for Kristofer Company, the better part of prudence would dictate counsel.
that he inhibit himself from the case involving the said company.
The New Code of Professional Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary That one of the counsels in a case was a classmate of the judge is
adds that “judges shall disqualify themselves from participating in 2014 Bar, Q. XIX(b): After the pre-trial of a civil case for replevin, not a mandatory ground for his disqualification (Vda. De Bonifacio
any proceedings in which they are unable to decide the matter Judge D advised B’s counsel to settle the case because according v. BLT Bus Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-226810, August 31, 1970; Santos v.
impartially or in which it may appear to a reasonable observer to Judge D, his initial assessment of the case shows that B’s Lacurom, A.M. No. RTJ-04-1823, August 28, 2006).
that they are unable to decide the matter impartially (Canon 3, evidence is weak.
Sec. 5) However, he may inhibit on the discretionary ground that his
What remedy or remedies may be taken by B’s lawyer against refusal to inhibit may reasonably cause the parties to lose trust
There is no mandatory ground for Judge Lucio to disqualify Judge D? Discuss fully. and confidence on the court.
himself. The second cousin of his wife, a sixth degree relative, is
appearing not as a party but as counsel. A: B’s lawyer could move for the disqualification or inhibition of
the judge, and if he refuses to inhibit, his refusal can be raised to a Sec. 6. A judge disqualified as stated above may, instead of
2015 Bar, Q. XIII(B): In a land registration case before Judge higher court by certiorari. withdrawing from the proceeding, disclose on the records the
Lucio, the petitioner is represented by the second cousin of basis of disqualification. If, based on such disclosure, the parties
Judge Lucio’s wife. 2. Instances When Judge Need Not Inhibit and lawyers, independently of the judge’s participation, all agree
in writing that the reason for the inhibition is immaterial or
If none of the parties move for his disqualification, may Judge (a) Aparicio v. Andal, (1989). The fact that an administrative unsubstantial, the judge may then participate in the proceeding.
Lucio proceed with the case? case has been filed by a party against the judge is not a The agreement, signed by all parties and lawyers, shall be
ground for inhibition in the absence of factual basis for bias incorporated in the record of the proceedings.
A: If none of the parties moves for his disqualification, Judge Lucio and prejudice. This is especially true where the
may proceed with the case. All the more so if, without the administrative cases were filed only to force the judge to 1. Grounds for Inhibition May be Waived by the Parties
participation of the judge, the parties and their lawyers execute a inhibit himself from the consideration of the case before
written agreement that Judge Lucio may proceed with the same, him.  In order for a valid waiver to be made, the judge must first
and such agreement is signed by them and made a part of the (b) Choa v. Chiongson, (1996). The fact that the judge is a next- be transparent and forthright with the grounds for
records of the case. door neighbor of the complainant was found to be petty. inhibition. The waiver should be made by the parties and
(c) Macariola v. Asuncion. Close personal friendship is not a their counsels and the waiver must be in writing.
2014 Bar, Q. XVII: Judge Clint Braso is hearing a case between ground for inhibition. As long as that friendly relations with a  Canon 3, Sec. 6 would be applicable only in the event that
Mr. Timothy and Khristopher Company, a company where his party-litigant does not influence his official conduct as a the grounds for inhibition are immaterial or unsubstantial.
wife used to work as one of its Junior Executives for several judge in the cases where his close friend was a party.
years. Doubting the impartiality of the Judge, Mr. Timothy filed a Canon 4: Propriety
motion to inhibit Judge Clint Braso. Judge Clint Braso refused on
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the Francisco v. Cosico, (2004). For serious misconduct to exist, the  The judge must maintain a respectable distance between
performance of all the activities of a judge. judicial act complained of should be corrupt or inspired by an himself and the lawyer that appear before him. Cordial
intention to violate the law or a persistent disregard of well- relations should be maintained at a respectable level.
Sec. 1. Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of
known legal rules.  Excessive camaraderie can be misinterpreted as a ground to
impropriety in all of their activities. unduly influence the judge. Conversely, excessive closeness
Sec. 2. As a subject of constant public scrutiny, judges must can be exploited to portray a baseless image of influence
accept personal restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome over the judge.
1. Duty to Avoid Improprieties and Appearance of
by the ordinary citizen and should do so freely and willingly. In
particular, judges shall conduct themselves in a way that is 2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 4, Sec. 3
consistent with the dignity of the judicial office.
 A judge is not just a person who was given an employment
(a) OCA v. Judge Paderanga, (2005). A judge who unjustifiably
in government to decide disputes. A judge occupies a
1. Personal Restrictions in the Conduct of Judges used his contempt powers. While a lawyer may have been
position in government which gives a tangible semblance to
discourteous by repeatedly interrupting the court
an important intangible concept, viz: justice in society.
Vedana v. Valencia. Upon taking his oath of office as a judge, the proceedings, that lawyer should have been first warned. A
 Thus, appearance of the judge is not just a shallow concept magistrate must exhibit that hallmark judicial temperament
but an embodiment of society’s aspiration for justice itself. judge, who was formerly an ordinary lawyer, surrenders his
former lifestyles to the guarded lifestyle of a judge. He steps onto of utmost sobriety and self-restraint which are indispensable
a stage always subject to public scrutiny. A judge’s official life qualities of every judge. A short temper may create an
2. Illustrations of Violations of Canon 4, Sec. 1 image of bias against a particular lawyer or party
cannot simply be detached from his personal life.
(b) Omana v. Yulde, (2002). A judge who engages in a drinking
(a) OCA v. Judge Floro, (2006). Including self-laudatory details spree with a lawyer who has pending cases before him.
stated in his professional calling card such as that he topped Resngit-Marquez v. Judge Llamas, (2002). A “magistrate has to
the bar exams with a grade of 87.55 and having graduated live by the example of his precepts. He cannot judge the conduct
of others when his own needs judgment. It should not be ‘do as I 2015 Bar, Q. XXI: Judge Junior attended the 50th birthday party
with “full second honors” from ADMU, breached the norms
say and not what I do’. For then the court over which he is called of his fraternity brother, Atty. Vera. Also present at the party
of simplicity and modesty required of judges. Circulating or
to preside will be a mockery, one devoid of respect. was Atty. Rico who was Atty. Vera's classmate way back in high
distributing such calling cards containing self-laudatory
school and who was handling Civil Case No. 5555 currently
statements is simple misconduct.
2. Illustrations of Violations of Canon 4, Sec. 2 pending before Judge Junior's court. Well-aware that Atty. Rico
(b) OCA v. Judge Floro, (2006). Announcing, through his branch
had a case before his sala, Judge Junior still sat next to Atty. Rico
clerk of court, his qualifications, in open court before the
(a) Liwanag v. Judge Lustre, (1999). A party-litigant and the at a table, and the two conversed with each other, and ate and
start of the proceedings is unnecessary publicity. The Court
judge were photographed coming out of a private room of a drank together throughout the night. Since Atty. Vera was a
noted that such a practice shows that “the judges appear so
resort hotel. While the photographs did not show that well-known personality, his birthday party was featured in a
unsure of his capabilities that he has to court the litigants
parties in sexual activity, the Court gave due credence to the magazine. The opposing party to Atty. Rico's client in Civil Case
and their lawyers’ approval”. Since the questioned practice
complainant’s allegation that the judge solicited sexual No. 5555, while flipping through the pages of the magazine,
occurred only for one (1) week the judge was found guilty of
favors from her while she had a pending case before the came upon the pictures of Judge Junior and Atty. Rico together
simple misconduct.
judge at the party and used said pictures as bases for instituting an
(c) Presado v. Genova, (1993). The judge and his family were
(b) Fidel v. Judge Caraos, (2002). A judge who went to a police administrative case against Judge Junior. Judge Junior, in his
found to be using his chambers as their residence, with the
station demanding the release of a detention prisoner and answer, reasoned that he attended Atty. Vera's party in his
provincial government paying for the electric bills. The judge
ing: “Putang ina ninyong mga pulis kayo, nasaan si hepe? private capacity, that he had no control over who Atty. Vera
was found guilty of serious misconduct and conduct
Hoy, ilabas ninyo ito ngayon din, putang ina ninyong mga invited to the party, and that he and Atty. Rico never discussed
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
pulis. Sinong masusunod dito, mayor, pulis o judge?, is guilty Civil Case No. 5555 during the party. Did Judge Junior commit an
(d) Alday v. Cruz, (2001). Poking a gun at a person with whom
of conduct unbecoming a judge. administrative infraction? Explain.
he had a traffic altercation (Judge suspended for 1 year and
fined P50,000)
Sec. 3. Judges shall, in their personal relations with individual A: Canon 4, Sec. 3 of the New Code of Conduct for the Philippine
members of the legal profession who practice regularly in their Judiciary provides that “judges shall, in their personal relations
3. Gross Misconduct of a Judge, Defined
court, avoid situations which might reasonably give rise to the with individual members of the legal profession who practice
suspicion or appearance of favoritism or partiality. regularly in their court, avoid situations which might reasonably
SPO2 Yap v. Judge Inopiquez, Jr. (2003). “Misconduct” is defined
give rise to the suspicion or appearance of favoritism or partiality.
as a wrong or improper conduct, while “gross” connotes
something “out of all measure; beyond allowance; not to be 1. Duty to Restrict Relations with Lawyers
The act of Judge Junior in sitting next to Atty. Rico, a lawyer whom
excused; flagrant; shameful”
he knew had a case before his sala, and dining and conversing

Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
with him throughout the night, violates the foregoing rule. It the judge commit any violation of the New Code of Judicial judicial office which he holds and his sworn duty to uphold
tends to give rise to suspicion of partiality. It is improper conduct Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary? Explain. judicial independence.
for which he may be reprimanded.
A: Canon 4, Sec. 4 of the NCJC for the Philippine Judiciary provides 2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 4, Sec. 6
3. Related Provision of the Code of Judicial Conduct that “Judges shall not participate in the determination of a case in
which any member of their family represents a litigant or is (a) In re: Judge Acuna, (2005). A judge who expresses himself
Rule 3.04 – A judge should be patient, attentive, and courteous to associated in any manner with the case.” with expletives commits an impropriety. Hence, the use of
lawyers, especially the inexperienced, to litigants, witnesses, and “putris” and “putang ina” were unfit expressions for men of
others appearing before the court. A judge should avoid Judge Constantino’s appearance as a witness in the criminal case the robe. It did not matter that they were not directed to
unconsciously falling into the attitude of mind that the litigants in which his wife was the offended party is violative of this rule. any person in particular, as they give the impression of a
are made for the courts, instead of the courts for the litigants. It may also be violative of Canon 3, Sec. 1, which provides that person’s ill manners. Considering that the respondent is not
“Judges shall refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome an ordinary citizen, such intemperate language detracts
Sec. 4. Judges shall not participate in the determination of a case of litigation or dispute pending before another court or from how a judge should conduct himself. The respondent’s
in which any member of their family represents a litigant or is administrative agency." use of such expletives is improper for the extolled office of a
associated in any manner with the case. magistrate of the law. Thus, the respondent’s claim that his
Sec. 5. Judges shall not allow the use of their residence by a “favorite expressions” were not directed at anyone in
member of the legal profession to receive clients of the latter or particular is unacceptable”
1. Restrictions Involving the Judge’s Family
of other members of the legal profession. (b) Seludo v. Judge Fineza, (2004). The judge was Fined for
using intemperate language.
Garcia v. De la Pena. The rule on compulsory disqualification of a
judge to hear a case where the respondent judge is related to 1. Restrictions in the Use of Judge’s Residence
either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity Sec. 7. Judges shall inform themselves about their personal
rests on the salutary principle that no judge should preside in a  Judges must keep their distance from lawyers and avoid fiduciary and financial interests and shall make reasonable efforts
case in which he is not wholly free, disinterested, impartial and involvement with their respective practice of law even if to be informed about the financial interests of members of their
independent. A judge has both the duty of rendering a just such lawyers have no pending cases before them. family.
decision and the duty of doing it in a manner completely free  Judges and lawyers must maintain a discreet relationship. As
from suspicion as to its fairness and as to his integrity. The law such, vulgar display of friendship must be avoided. 1. Duty of Financial Transparency and Duty to Avoid Financial
conclusively presumes that a judge cannot objectively or Conflicts of Interests
impartially sit in such a case and, for that reason, prohibits him 2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 4, Sec. 5
and strikes at his authority to hear and decide it, in the absence of  A judge should avoid financial improprieties. He must be
written consent of all parties concerned. The purpose is to J. King & Sons, Inc. v. Judge Hontanosas, (2004). A judge inviting always conscious of his and his family’s financial dealings,
preserve the people's faith and confidence in the courts of justice. a litigant to his house in order to demand from him a certain when practicable, to avoid being caught inadvertently in
amount financial entanglements.
2. Illustrations of Violation of Canon 4, Sec. 4  Where a potential financial conflict would occur, the judge
Sec. 6. Judges, like any other citizen, are entitled to freedom of becomes duty-bound to inhibit from the case.
(a) Ortiz v. Jaculbe, (2005). Hearing a case wherein his son-in- expression, belief, association and assembly, but in exercising  A judge should be conscious about going into a debtor-
law, who is within the first degree of affinity, appeared as such rights, they shall always conduct themselves in such a creditor relationship with others, as well as mindful of his
counsel of the plaintiff. manner as to preserve the dignity of the judicial office and the financial investments.
(b) Sales v. Judge Calvan, (2002). The Court found that Judge impartiality and independence of the judiciary.
Calvan violated the rule on disqualification of judges as set Sec. 8. Judges shall not use or lend the prestige of the judicial
out in the Code of Judicial Conduct and the ROC when he 1. Exercise of Constitutional Rights Should NOT Impinge office to advance their private interests, or those of a member of
conducted the preliminary investigation of a criminal case Judicial Independence their family or of anyone else, nor shall they convey or permit
where his wife was the niece of the private complainant and others to convey the impression that anyone is in a special
who was also one of the witnesses. position improperly to influence them in the performance of
 While judges continue to enjoy their constitutional rights as
citizens, their exercise of such rights must be mindful of judicial duties.
2016 Bar, Q. V: Constantino was accused of estafa by Hazel, the their equally important constitutional duty to uphold judicial
wife of Judge Andres, for misappropriating the ring she independence. 1. Duty NOT To Use Judicial Influence
entrusted to him. Since Judge Andres was present when Hazel  In the event that such constitutional rights and
handed the ring to Constantino, he was compelled by his wife to constitutional duty clash, the judge must be mindful of the  A judicial office carries a certain amount of prestige and
testify as a witness for the prosecution in the criminal case. Did influence in society. That prestige and influence should be
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
used to promote and enhance respect for the law and the In the case of Ladigon v. Garong (A.M. No. MTJ-08-1712, August of adjudicatory proceedings, become documents to which the
administration of justice, and not to further the judge’s and 20, 2008), where a MTC Judge wrote a letter to a religious presumption of public access applies. Courts in the U.S. have
his family’s personal interests organization abroad, about the complaint of one of its members, recognized the general right to inspect and copy public records
using the stationary of his court and signing with his title of and documents, including judicial records and documents.
2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 4, Sec. 8 “Judge”, the SC held with regard to the use of the stationary, that:
FTC v. Standard Financial Management Corp. (1987). The
(a) Vidal v. Judge Dojillo, (2005). A judge who attends the In the present case, the respondent Judge crossed the line of presumption that the public has a right to see and copy judicial
proceedings of an election protest before a MCTC where his propriety when he used his letterhead to report a complaint records attaches to those documents which properly come before
brother was the election protestor purportedly in order to involving an alleged violation of church rules and, possibly, of the court in the course of an adjudicatory proceeding and which
give moral support to his brother. Philippine laws. Coming from a judge with the letter addressed to are relevant to the adjudication.
(b) Perez v. Costales, (2005). In writing to the administrative a foreign reader, such report could indeed have conveyed the
officials of the university which employs the professors sued impression of official recognition or notice of the reported In the Matter of Continental Illinois Securities Litigation, (1984).
by the judge’s wife, respondent judge obviously sought to violation. The policy reasons for granting public access to criminal
influence or put pressure on them with regard to the actions proceedings include the public’s right to monitor the functioning
to be taken against the four professors. His wife could have With regard to the use of the judge’s title in signing the letter, the of our courts, thereby ensuring quality, honesty and respect for
written the letter herself, as she is the complainant in the SC held that: our legal system. Such policy reasons apply to the grant of public
criminal cases against the four professors. Instead, it was access to civil cases as well.
respondent judge who did, and he even used and stated his The same problem that the use of letterhead poses, occurs in the
judicial position in his letter, thereby insinuating that it use of the title of "Judge" or "Justice" in the correspondence of a tHilado v. Judge Reyes, (2006). Not all court records may be
should not be ignored or trifled with. It cannot be gainsaid member of the Judiciary. While the use of the title is an official accessed by the public:
that respondent Judge is aware that his judicial position designation as well as an honor that an incumbent has earned, a
alone could exert influence or authority over the university line still has to be drawn based on the circumstances of the use of Unlike court orders and decisions, however, pleadings and other
officials, and he took advantage of such authority. the appellation. While the title can be used for social and other documents filed by parties to a case need not be matters of public
identification purposes, it cannot be used with the intent to use concern or interest. For they are filed for the purpose of
2015 Bar, Q. V: Judge Ana P. Sevillano had an issue with the the prestige of his judicial office to gainfully advance his personal, establishing the basis upon which the court may issue an order or
billings for the post-paid cellular phone services of her 16-year- family or other pecuniary interests. Nor can the prestige of a a judgment affecting their rights and interests.
old daughter for the last three consecutive months. Although judicial office be used or lent to advance the private interests of
Judge Sevillano had been repeatedly calling the Customer others, or to convey or permit others to convey the impression In thus determining which part or all of the records of a case may
Service Hotline of Universal Telecoms, the billings issue was that they are in a special position to influence the judge. To do be accessed to, the purpose for which the parties filed them is to
never fully settled to Judge Sevillano's satisfaction. Finally, Judge any of these is to cross into the prohibited field of impropriety. be considered.
Sevillano wrote the National Telecommunications Commission a
letter of complaint against Universal Telecoms, using her official Sec. 9. Confidential information acquired by judges in their judicial If the information sought then is not a matter of public concern or
court stationery and signing the letter as "Judge Ana P. capacity shall not be used or disclosed for any other purpose interest, denial of access thereto does not violate a citizen's
Sevillano." Did Judge Sevillano violate any professional or ethical related to their judicial duties. constitutional right to information.
standard for judges? Justify your answer.
Once a particular information has been determined to be of public
1. Duty of Confidentiality
A: Judge Sevillano violated Sec. 8, Canon 4 of the New Code of concern, the accessory right of access to official records, including
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, which provides that judicial records, are open to the public.
 Judges come into possession of various information in the
“judges shall not use or lend the prestige of the judicial office to course of their judicial duties. These information should only
advance their private interests, or those of a member of their The accessory right to access public records may, however, be
be used in arriving at a decision of a case, and not for any
family or of anyone else, nor shall they convey or permit others to restricted on a showing of good cause. How "good cause" can be
other use.
convey the impression that anyone is in a special position determined, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts in
 Hence, the judge may not use any information for other
improperly to influence them in the performance of judicial Republican Company v. Appeals Court teaches:
unofficial purposes.
duties, as well as Rule 6.02 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides that “a lawyer in the government The public's right of access to judicial records, including
2. Court Records as Public Documents; Access Requires
service shall not use his public position to promote or advance his transcripts, evidence, memoranda, and court orders, maybe
“Legitimate Reasons”
private interests, nor allow the latter to interfere with his public restricted, but only on a showing of "good cause." "To determine
duties.” whether good cause is shown, a judge must balance the rights of
In re: Gitto, (2005). Relevant documents which are submitted to,
the parties based on the particular facts of each case." In so doing,
and accepted by, a court of competent jurisdiction in the course
the judge "must take into account all relevant factors, 'including,
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
but not limited to, the nature of the parties and the controversy, in the court is news, or would be interesting, or would furnish to include any paper, letter, map, book, other document, tape,
the type of information and the privacy interests involved, the topics of conversation; but is simply that it has a right to know photograph, film, audio or video recording, court reporter's notes,
extent of community interest, and the reason for the request.'" whether a public officer is properly performing his duty. In other transcript, data compilation, or other materials, whether in
words, the right of the public to be informed of proceedings in physical or electronic form, made or received pursuant to law or
And even then, the right is subject to inherent supervisory and court is not founded in the desire or necessity of people to know in connection with the transaction of any official business by the
protective powers of every court over its own records and files. about the doings of others, but in the necessity of knowing court, and includes all evidence it has received in a case.
whether its servant, the judge, is properly performing his duty.
The Supreme Court of Canada, expounding on the right of the Sec. 10. Subject to the proper performance of judicial duties,
court to exercise supervisory powers over materials surrendered The case of Cowley vs. Pulsifer is so pertinent to the questions judges may
into its care, held: presented for our decision in the case at that we cannot refrain
from quoting extensively therefrom. (a) Write, lecture, teach and participate in activities concerning
It follows that the court, as the custodian of the exhibits, is bound the law, the legal system, the administration of justice or
to inquire into the use that is to be made of them and, in my view, The general advantage to the country in having these proceedings related matters;
is fully entitled to regulate that use by securing appropriate made public more than counterbalances the inconveniences to (b) Appear at a public hearing before an official body concerned
undertakings and assurances if those be advisable to protect the such proceedings." with matters relating to the law, the legal system, the
competing interests. administration of justice or related matters;
The chief advantage to the country which we can discern, and (c) Engage in other activities if such activities do not detract
In exercising its supervisory powers over materials surrendered that which we understand to be intended by the foregoing from the dignity of the judicial office or otherwise interfere
into its care, the court may regulate the use made of it. In an passage, is the security which publicity gives for the proper with the performance of judicial duties.
application of this nature, the court must protect the respondent administration of justice. It is desirable that the trial of causes
and accommodate public interest in access. In an application of should take place under the public eye, not because the 1. Allowable Judicial Activities
this nature the court must protect the respondent and controversies of one citizen with another are of public concern,
accommodate the public interest in access. This can only be done but because it is of the highest moment that those who  A judge, just like any other human beings, should have other
in terms of the actual purpose, and in the face of obvious administer justice should always act under the sense of public social and professionally-related activities. Nevertheless,
prejudice and the absence of a specific purpose, the order for responsibility, and that every citizen should be able to satisfy these activities must be consistent with the dignity and
unrestricted access and reproduction should not have been made. himself with his own eyes as to the mode in which a public duty is responsibility of the judicial office
In fine, access to court records may be permitted at the discretion
Sec. 11. Judges shall not practice law whilst the holder of judicial
and subject to the supervisory and protective powers of the court, From this quotation it is obvious that it was not the idea of the
after considering the actual use or purpose for which the request supreme court of Massachusetts to lay down the proposition that
for access is based and the obvious prejudice to any of the parties. simply because a pleading happened to be filed in public office it
In the exercise of such discretion, the following issues may be became public property to such n extent that any individual, 1. Duty NOT To Practice Law
relevant: "whether parties have interest in privacy, whether whether interested or not, had the right to publish its contents, or
information is being sought for legitimate purpose or for improper that any newspaper was privileged to scatter the allegations Carual v. Judge Brusola, (1999). The basis for this rule is public
purpose, whether there is threat of particularly serious contained therein to the four corners of the country. The right of policy.
embarrassment to party, whether information is important to the public to know the contents of the paper is the basis of the
public health and safety, whether sharing of information among privilege, which is, as we have said, the right to determine by its The rights, duties, privileges and functions of the office of an
litigants would promote fairness and efficiency, whether party own senses that its servant, the judge, is performing his duties attorney-at-law are inherently incompatible with the high official
benefiting from confidentiality order is public entity or official, according to law functions, duties, powers, discretion and privileges of a judge. It
and whether case involves issues important to the public." also aims to ensure that judges give their full time and attention
4. Court Records or Judicial Records, Defined to their judicial duties, prevent them from extending special
Accordingly then, as long as any party, counsel or person has a favors to their own private interests and assure the public of their
legitimate reason to have a copy of court records and pays court Hilado v. Judge Reyes, (2006). The term "judicial record" or "court impartiality in the performance of their functions. These
fees, a court may not deny access to such records. record" does not only refer to the orders, judgment or verdict of objectives are dictated by a sense of moral decency and desire to
the courts. It comprises the official collection of all papers, promote the public interest.
3. Rationale for Public Access to Court Records exhibits and pleadings filed by the parties, all processes issued
and returns made thereon, appearances, and word-for-word 2. Private Practice by a Judge, Defined
Barretto v. Philippine Publishing Co. The foundation of the right testimony which took place during the trial and which are in the
of the public to know what is going on in the courts is not the fact possession, custody, or control of the judiciary or of the courts for Ziga v. Judge Arejola, (2003). “Private practice” is more than an
that the public, or a portion of it, is curious, or that what goes on purposes of rendering court decisions. It has also been described isolated court appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
action, a succession of acts of the same nature habitually or those who are charged with the responsibility of administering Sec. 15. Subject to law and to any legal requirements of public
customarily holding one’s self to the public as a lawyer. the law and rendering justice that so quickly and surely corrodes disclosure, judges may receive a token gift, award or benefit as
the respect for law and the courts without which government appropriate to the occasion on which it is made, provided that
OCA v. Judge Floro. Where it appears that save for the “Motion cannot continue and that tears apart the very bonds of our polity. such gift, award or benefit might not reasonably be perceived as
for Entry of Judgment” it does not appear from the records that intended to influence the judge in the performance of judicial
Judge Floro filed other pleadings or appeared in any other court 2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 4, Sec. 13 duties or otherwise give rise to an appearance of partiality.
proceedings in connection with his personal cases. It is safe to
conclude, therefore, that Judge Floro’s act of filing the motion for NBI v. Judge Reyes, (2000). A judge who asked for a sum of 1. Acceptable Financial or Material Gains
entry of judgment is but an isolated case and does not in any wise money in return for the dismissal of drug-related criminal charges
constitute private practice of law. Moreover, Judge Floro is was entrapped by the NBI.  Token gifts or reasonable occasions are acceptable/ Three
obviously not lawyering for any person in this case as he himself is factors would be relevant:
the petitioner. 2014 Bar, Q. IX: Judge A accepted a gift consisting of assorted
canned goods and other grocery items from his compadre whose (a) The value of the gift which obviously should not be
3. Other Basis for Prohibition friend has a pending case with him. He accepted the gift just so excessive.
as not to embarrass his compadre. When his compadre left his (b) The regularity of the occasion. Thus, it should not be for a
Rule 138, Sec. 35. Certain attorneys not to practice – No judge or chambers, he asked his secretary to donate the gift he received frivolous occasion not normally celebrated.
other official or employee of the superior courts or of the Office to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. (c) The source of the gift. If the gift-giver happens to be a party-
of the Solicitor General, shall engage in private practice as a litigant with a pending case before the judge, the value of
member of the bar or give professional advice to clients. Did the judge cross the ethical line? Explain your answer. the gift might be immaterial as the propriety of the gesture
might be misconstrued or questioned
Canon 5, Rule 5.07, Code of Judicial Conduct. A judge shall not A: In accepting a gift from his compadre, which he must have
engage in the private practice of law. suspected was connected with the case of his compadre’s friend, Canon 5: Equality
because he accepted just in order not to embarrass his compadre,
Sec. 12. Judges may form or join associations of judges or Judge A violated Sec. 13, Canon 4 of the New Code of Conduct for
participate in other organizations representing the interests of the Philippine Judiciary which provides that: Ensuring equality of treatment to all before the courts is
judges. essential to the due performance of the judicial office.
Judges and members of their families shall neither ask for, nor
1. Involvement in Judicial Organizations accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to anything Sec. 1. Judges shall be aware of, and understand, diversity in
done or to be done or omitted to be done by him or her in society and differences arising from various sources, including but
 Membership and active participation of judges, in judges’ connection with the performance of judicial duties. not limited to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, caste,
organizations is a welcome activity. disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, social and
 Such social activities of judges with lawyers are restricted, Sec. 14. Judges shall not knowingly permit court staff or others economic status and other like causes.
such activities afford an opportunity to socialize with one’s subject to their influence, direction or authority, to ask for, or
peers. It is also a venue to pursue professional development accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to anything 1. Duty to be Aware of Social Diversities
in the exchange of ideas with fellow judges. done or to be done or omitted to be done in connection with their
duties or functions.  A judge should not find a witness less credible simply
Sec. 13. Judges and members of their families shall neither ask because of the lack of education or under-education of that
for, nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to 1. Duty of Court Staff and Persons Under the Judge’s witness, or because a witness is a gay or a lesbian. These are
anything done or to be done or omitted to be done by him or her Authority Against Soliciting or Accepting Financial or matters irrelevant in deciding a case.
in connection with the performance of judicial duties. Material Gains  Understanding social diversities would also help a judge in
appreciating the witness because of a particular social trait.
1. Duty of Judges and Members of His Family Against  What a judge cannot do directly, the judge should not be  A Muslim litigant or witness would be better understood, in
Soliciting or Accepting Financial or Material Gain allowed to do through his staff and other under his terms of religious belief or customs, by a Christian judge, or
authority. that the testimonial inclination of a pauper litigant would be
Haw Tay v. Singayao. The acts of respondent Judge in demanding  Canon 4, Sec. 13 and 14 postulate that those enjoying the different from the inclinations of a well-off witness.
and receiving money from a party-litigant before his court judge’s trust and confidence should not be used as “bridges”
constitute serious misconduct in office. This Court condemns in to the judge himself. Sec. 2. Judges shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by
the strongest possible terms the misconduct of respondent Judge. words or conduct, manifest bias or prejudice towards any person
It is this kind of gross and flaunting misconduct on the part of or group on irrelevant grounds.
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
between persons concerned, in a matter before the judge, on any functions and responsibilities in court and the making of
1. Duty Against Bias and Prejudice irrelevant ground. decisions, but also other tasks relevant to the judicial office or the
court’s operations.
State Prosecutors v. Muro. What is required on the part of judges 1. Duty to Ensure Equal Treatment by Court Staff
is objectivity. An independent judiciary does not mean that judges 1. Coverage of Judicial Duties
can resolve specific disputes entirely as they please. There are  Inappropriate conduct of the court staff towards the party-
both implicit and explicit limits on the way judges perform their litigants should be the accountability of the judge. His failure Re: Suspension of Clerk of Court Joboco, (1998). A judge was
role. Implicit limits include accepted legal values and the explicit to properly supervise his staff constitutes negligence on the “Admonished” for his refusal to sign the certificates of service of
limits are substantive and procedural rules of law. part of the judge. his Clerk of Court which resulted in the withholding of the clerk’s
salary. The judge was also “Advised” “to exert care and
The judge, even when he is free, is still not wholly free. He is not Sec. 5. Judges shall require lawyers in proceedings before the consideration in his dealings with his office staff.
to innovate at pleasure. He is not a knight-errant, roaming at will court to refrain from manifesting, by words or conduct, bias or
in pursuit of his own ideal of beauty or of goodness. He is to draw prejudice based on irrelevant grounds, except such as are legally Sec. 3. Judges shall take reasonable steps to maintain and
his inspiration from consecrated principles. He is not to yield to relevant to an issue in proceedings and may be the subject of enhance their knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary
spasmodic sentiment, to vague and unregulated benevolence. He legitimate advocacy. for the proper performance of judicial duties, taking advantage
is to exercise a discretion informed by tradition, methodized by for this purpose of the training and other facilities which should
analogy, disciplined by system, and subordinate to the "primordial be made available, under judicial control, to judges.
1. Duty to Ensure Lawyers are NOT Biased or Prejudiced
necessity of order in the social life."
 Without awaiting the objection from the opposing counsel, 1. Duty of Professional Development
Sec. 3. Judges shall carry out judicial duties with appropriate the judge may motu proprio rule a manifestation, which
consideration for all persons, such as the parties, witnesses, smack of bias and prejudice, as immaterial and irrelevant. In re: HDO Issued by Judge Sardido, (2001). The Court
lawyers, court staff and judicial colleagues, without differentiation
 Pursuant to Canon 5, Sec. 5, the judge may reprimand the reprimanded Judge Sardido for issuing a HDO contrary to Circular
on any irrelevant ground, immaterial to the proper performance No. 39-97.
counsel for such biased or prejudiced manifestation.
of such duties.
Canon 6: Competence and Diligence Cabilao v. Judge Sardido, (1995). The Court fined the same Judge
1. Duty to Give Due Consideration, Respect and Courtesy Sardido P5,000 for gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of
discretion and gross misconduct. The Court gave stern warning to
 Judicial functions should be carried out in an orderly manner Competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due
Judge Sardido that a commission of the same or similar act would
free from any extraneous disruptions. Acts of performance of judicial office. be dealt with more severely.
inconsiderateness disrespect and discourtesy disrupts
judicial proceedings which unduly hampers the judge’s task. Sec. 1. The judicial duties of a judge take precedence over all Almeron v. Judge Sardido, (1997). The Court imposed on the
 In the end, it is the administration of justice which suffers as other activities. same Judge Sardido, once again, a stiffer fine of P10,000 for gross
a result of poor human relations with the parties, witnesses, ignorance of the law. He was again sternly warned that the
lawyers, court staff and even judicial obligations. 1. Primacy of Judicial Duties commission of the same or similar act in the future would be dealt
with more severely including, if warranted, his dismissal from the
2. Illustration of Lack of Consideration to a Judicial Colleague In re: Echiverri, (1975). Judges should be attentive of their work service.
Re: Letter of Presiding Justice Vasquez, Jr. (2008). A CA Justice Torcende v. Judge Sardido, (2003). The Court found Judge
was found to be disrespectful to a judicial colleague “when he Judges are duty bound to comply with the above to insure the Sardido again guilty of gross ignorance of the law and of gross
unceremoniously discarded, shredded, and burned the decision maximum efficiency of the trial courts for a speedy administration misconduct. This time the Court dismissed Judge Sardido from the
that Justice Dimaranan-Vidal had signed, because he allegedly of justice. Daily trials at a minimum of five hours per working day service with forfeiture of his retirement benefits.
forgot that Justice Dimaranan-Vidal and Justice Sabio, Jr. had of the week will enable the judge to calendar as many cases as
already been “reorganized-out” of the Special Ninth Division as of possible and to dispose with regular dispatch the increasing 2. More Than Just a Cursory Acquaintance with the Statutes
July 4, 2008, hence, out of the Meralco case. Out of courtesy, he number of litigations pending with the court. All other matters and Procedural Rules is Needed
should have explained to Justice Dimaranan-Vidal the reason why needing the attention of the judge are to be attended to outside
he was not promulgating the decision which she had signed. of this five-hour schedule of trial. Aguilar v. Dalanao, (2000). There is the need to be diligent in
keeping abreast with developments in law and jurisprudence, for
Sec. 4. Judges shall not knowingly permit court staff or others Sec. 2. Judges shall devote their professional activity to judicial the study of law is a never-ending and ceaseless process.
subject to his or her influence, direction or control to differentiate duties, which include not only the performance of judicial
Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
Almeron v. Sardido, (1997). Members of the judiciary are OCA v. Judge Floro. The judge’s argument that his Orders need Report on the Judicial Audit Conducted in RTC-Iriga City, Br. 34,
supposed to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with not be in writing as these are duly reflected in the transcript of (2000). Delay in resolution of cases also constitutes a violation of
the statutes and procedural rules, more so with legal principles stenographic notes was due to ignorance of a procedural rule. the constitutional right of the parties to a speedy disposition of
and rules so elementary and basic that not to know them, or to their cases.
act as if one does not know them, constitutes gross ignorance of Echaus v. CA, (1990). No Judgment, or order whether final or
the law. interlocutory, has juridical existence until and unless it is set down Re: Request for the Expeditious Resolution of Civil Case Pending
in writing, signed and promulgated, i.e. delivered by the Judge to at RTC Branch 9, Tacloban City, (1998). By a regulation, a judge
Sec. 4. Judges shall keep themselves informed about relevant the Clerk of Court for filing, release to the parties and may not receive his salary where a number of cases remain
developments of international law, including international implementation. unresolved. But a judge who collects his salary upon false
conventions and other instruments establishing human rights certification that he has resolved the required number of cases is
norms. 4. Judicial Errors guilty of dishonesty and gross misconduct.

1. Duty Towards Developments in International Law and Sps. Daracan v. Judge Natividad, (2000). Not every judicial error Gaspar v. Judge Bayhon. Where, of course, they delay cannot be
Human Rights bespeaks ignorance of law. If committed in good faith, such errors attributed to the judge, such as when the completion of the
do not warrant administrative sanctions. Otherwise, judges, in transcript of stenographic notes is up to a stenographer which is
1987 Constitution, Art. II, Sec. 2. The Philippines adopts the effect, will be expected to render infallible judgments. However, not under the control of the judge, the judge may not be held
generally accepted principles of international law as part of the this would apply only within certain tolerable judgments and does accountable.
law of the land. not apply where the issues are so simple and the applicable legal
principle evident and as to be beyond permissible margins of 6. Inefficiency of Court Personnel is NOT an Excuse
 International law, therefore, is an indispensable basis of error.
judicial action. In today’s era of international inter- Pagayao v. Imbing, (2001). A judge may not raise as an excuse the
dependence and international trade and relations, Manlavi v. Gacott, Jr. A judge is not subject to disciplinary action inefficiency of his court personnel.
knowledge of international law has become imperative. for acts committed in his judicial capacity unless they were
committed with fraud, dishonesty, corruption and bad faith. Gonzales-Decano v. Siapno, (2001). The judge bears ultimate
responsibility for the inefficiency in his court.
Sec. 5. Judges shall perform all judicial duties, including the
Gil v. Judge Lopez, (2003). Where the judge acted in good faith
delivery of reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly and with
but his ignorance is so gross or patent or when the judge acts Sec. 6. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings
reasonable promptness.
fraudulently, he should be held liable. before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in
relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the
1. Duty to be Efficient, Fair and Prompt 5. Delay in Resolving Cases judge deals in an official capacity. Judges shall require similar
2. Illustration of Violation of Canon 6, Sec. 5
conduct of legal representatives, court staff and others subject to
In re: Request of Judge Masamayor, (1999). For failure to resolve their influence, direction or control.
(a) Sabatin v. Mallare, (2004). Undue delay in the resolving cases within the reglementary period, a judge may be held liable
pending motions or incidents within the reglementary for gross inefficiency and dereliction of duty. On meritorious
period fixed by law is not excusable and constitutes gross 1. Duty to Maintain Order, Decorum and Respect in Court
grounds, judges may ask for additional time to resolve cases. But Proceedings
inefficiency. such application for extension must be filed before the expiration
(b) OCA v. Judge Floro. Directing the release of an accused on of the prescribed period.
recognizance on the basis of a cursory interview of the Fineza v. Aruelo. All judges should always observe courtesy and
custodian and the applicant without an investigation report civility.
CJC, Rule 3.05. A judge shall dispose of the court's business
from the probation officer is a violation of the rules on promptly and decide cases within the required periods.
probation under P.D. 968 (Probation Law). Under the Fidel v. Caraos. Judge must also be temperate, patient and
Probation Law, the accused’s temporary liberty is warranted courteous both in conduct and language especially to those
Fernandez v. Hamoy, (2004). The judge may not attribute delay in appearing before him.
only during the period for awaiting the submission of the resolution to a mix-up of the records. The inefficiency of his court
investigation report on the application for probation and the personnel was not given serious consideration in view of the
resolution thereon. Turqueza v. Hernando, (1980). Judicial decorum requires a
Court’s observation that “it was the judge’s duty to devise an magistrate to be at all times temperate in his language, refraining
efficienct recording and filing system in his court to enable him to from inflammatory or excessive rhetoric or from resorting “to
3. Illustration of Ignorance of Procedural Rule monitor the flow of cases. In this case, the case was not resolved language of vilification”
for 13 years (Judge dismissed from service)
(a) Oral Orders Not Reduced into Writing

Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
Impao v. Makilala. Judicial decorum also requires that a judge (b) Mane v. Judge Belen, (2008). A trial judge was reprimanded The duty to maintain respect for the dignity of the court applies to
must look respectable and be properly attired. Hence, a judge after said respondent judge made “sarcastic and humiliating, members of the bar and bench alike. A judge should be courteous
must not attend to a case in sleeveless shirt and slippers or in a even threatening and boastful remarks to complainant who both in his conduct and in his language especially to those
polo jacket. is admittedly ‘still young’ ‘unnecessary lecturing and appearing before him. He can hold counsels to a proper
debating’ as well as unnecessary display of learning appreciation of their duties to the court, their clients, and the
2. Television Coverage of a Trial (c) Guanzon v. Judge Rufon, (2007). A judge who utters “next public without being petty, arbitrary, overbearing, or tyrannical.
time you see your husband, open your arms and legs”, was He should refrain from conduct that demeans his office and
Re: Request Radio-TV Coverage of the Trial in the Sandiganbayan found guilty of vulgar and unbecoming conduct. remember always that courtesy begets courtesy. Above all, he
of the Plunder Cases Against the Former Pres. Estrada, (2001). (d) Santos v. Cruz. Berating a witness and telling him: “You can must conduct himself in such a manner that he gives no reason
The live media (television) coverage of a trial would be a denial of go to hell I don’t care or where do you want to go Mr. for reproach. (Ruiz v. Bringas, A.M. No. MTJ-00-1266, April 6,
due process as it could undermine a fair and impartial trial. Cano” 2000)

3. Illustration of Violation of Canon 6, Sec. 6 2015 Bar, Q. XI: Atty. Belinda appeared as counsel for accused 2014 Bar, Q. XI: A judge who insults counsel and shouts
Popoy in a case being heard before Judge Tadhana. After Popoy invectives at a litigant is guilty of:
(a) OCA v. Judge Floro. A trial judge was found guilty of using was arraigned, Atty. Belinda moved for a resetting of the pre-
intemperate language upon the testimony of a clerk of court trial conference. This visibly irked Judge Tadhana and so before (a) serious misconduct
in an administrative investigation of said judge. The clerk of Atty. Belinda could finish her statement, Judge Tadhana cut her (b) committing acts unbecoming of a judge
court testified: off by saying that if she was not prepared to handle the case, (c) manifest bias and partiality
then he could easily assign a counsel de oficio for Popoy. Judge
Judge Floro, if in the presence of all his staff, during the presence Tadhana also uttered that Atty. Belinda was wasting the A: (b)
of me, the Court Interpreter, the Legal Researcher, maybe a Clerk, precious time of the court. Atty. Belinda tried to explain that she
he always discuss matters regarding practitioners in our court. was capable of handling the case but before she could finish her 4. Related Provision in the Code of Judicial Conduct
There is one time one Atty. Feliciano a lady lawyer, he said, "Luka- explanation, Judge Tadhana again cut her off and accused her of
luka, talaga yang babaing yan" and then he would call even not always making excuses for her incompetence. Judge Tadhana Rule 3.04 - A judge should be patient, attentive, and courteous to
during court session, but during office hours our Court Interpreter even declared that he did not care if Atty. Belinda filed a lawyers, especially the inexperienced, to litigants, witnesses, and
"malandi, luka-luka, may fruit of the sun". So, it did not surprise us thousand administrative cases against him. others appearing before the court. A judge should avoid
one time when during a pre-trial conference in a Civil Case, for
unconsciously falling into the attitude of mind that the litigants
Civil Case No. 25-86-MN "Lopez v. Reyes and Mercado", he According to Atty. Belinda, Judge Tadhana had also humiliated are made for the courts, instead of the courts for the litigants.
uttered offensive language against his fellow judge. Take the her like that in the past for the flimsiest of reasons. Even Atty.
transcription of this court proceeding is already adapted by the Belinda's clients were not spared from Judge Tadhana's wrath as
Court Administrator. It was the content of the tape he sent the Sec. 7. Judges shall not engage in conduct incompatible with the
he often scolded witnesses who failed to respond immediately
Court Administrator. Actually, for consultation and advise after diligent discharge of judicial duties.
to questions asked of them on the witness stand.
hearing what Judge Floro discussed in open Court, before all of us,
the court staff present in the hearing and before the lawyer and Atty. Belinda filed an administrative case against Judge Tadhana. 1. Conduct Compatible with Diligent Discharge of Judicial
the defendants in the case, we were in quandary whether or not Do the acts of Judge Tadhana as described above constitute a Duties
to attach in the record the stenographic notes or even the actual violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct? Explain.
transcription of the proceedings because it contained offensive  Canon 6, Sec. 7 covers all other questionable or doubtful
languages against the justice system, against a certain judge, A: Judge Tadhana has violated Sec. 6, Canon 6 of the New Code of conduct of a judge
against a certain Clerk of Court named Jude Assanda, against Judicial Conduct of the Philippine Judiciary which provides that:  Ultimately, the judge must serve the people by rendering
people he is disgusted with. In fact, instead of discussing the merit justice where justice is due.
of the case or the possibility of the amicable settlement between Sec. 6. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings
the parties, he integrated this kind of discussion. So, as a Clerk of before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in Definitions
Court, I may not use my discretion whether or not to advise the relation to litigants, witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the
stenographer to indeed present the same or attach the same in judge deals in an official capacity. Judges shall require similar In this Code, unless the context otherwise permits or requires, the
the record because it contained offensive languages highly conduct of legal representatives, court staff and others subject to following meanings shall be attributed to the words used:
improper and intemperate languages like for example, "putang their influence, direction or control.
ina", words like "ako ang anghel ng kamatayan, etcetera, “Court staff” includes the personal staff of the judge including law
etcetera" The SC has held as follows: clerks.

Legal and Judicial Ethics and Practical Exercises
Vanguardia, A.M.
“Judge” means any person exercising judicial power, however mandated above. The Court may preventively suspend a judge Law and logic decree that "administrative or criminal remedies
designated. until a final decision is reached in the administrative case are neither alternative nor cumulative to judicial review where
especially where there is a strong of likelihood of his guilt or such review is available, and must wait on the result thereof”.
“Judge’s family” includes a judge’s spouse, son, daughter, son-in- complicity in the offense charged. Indeed, the measure is Indeed, since judges must be free to judge, without pressure or
law, daughter-inlaw, and any other relative by consanguinity or intended to shield the public from any further damage or influence from external forces or factors, they should not be
affinity within the sixth civil degree, or person who is a companion wrongdoing that may be caused by the continued assumption of subject to intimidation, the fear of civil, criminal or administrative
or employee of the judge and who lives in the judge’s household. office by the erring judge. It is also intended to protect the courts’ sanctions for acts they may do and dispositions they may make in
image as temples of justice where litigants are heard, rights and the performance of their duties and functions
This Code, which shall hereafter be referred to as the New Code conflicts settled and justice solemnly dispensed.
of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, supersedes the
Canons of Judicial Ethics and the Code of Judicial Conduct This is a necessary consequence that a judge must bear for the
heretofore applied in the Philippines to the extent that the privilege of occupying an exalted position. Among civil servants, a
provisions or concepts therein are embodied in this Code: judge is indeed in a class all its own. After all, in the vast
Provided, however, that in case of deficiency or absence of government bureaucracy, judges are beacon lights looked upon as
specific provisions in this New Code, the Canons of Judicial Ethics the embodiment of all what is right, just and proper, the ultimate
and the Code of Judicial Conduct shall be applicable in a weapons against justice and oppression.
suppletory character.
4. The Requisite Exhaustion of Judicial Remedies Before
This New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary shall Resort to Administrative Charges Against the Judge
take effect on the first day of June 2004, following its publication
not later than 15 May 2004 in two newspapers of large circulation Hilado v. Judge Reyes, (2006). Resort to and exhaustion of judicial
in the Philippines to ensure its widest publicity. remedies are prerequisites for the taking of, among other
measures, an administrative complaint against the person of the
Promulgated this 27th day of April 2004. The Code took effect on judge concerned.
June 1, 2004.
Flores v. Hon. Abesamis. The law provides ample judicial
remedies against errors or irregularities being committed by a
Other Notes
Trial Court in the exercise of its jurisdiction. The ordinary
remedies against errors or irregularities which may be regarded as
1. Evidence Required normal in nature (i.e., error in appreciation or admission of
evidence, or in construction or application of procedural or
Lachica v. Flordeliza, (1996). The quantum of evidence required substantive law or legal principle) include a motion for
to hold a judge administratively liable is only substantial evidence. reconsideration (or after rendition of a judgment or final order, a
motion for new trial), and appeal. The extraordinary remedies
2. Accountability as a Lawyer against error or irregularities which may be deemed extraordinary
in character (i.e., whimsical, capricious, despotic exercise of
NBI v. Judge Reyes, (2000). The judge who was charged with power or neglect of duty, etc.) are inter alia the special civil
bribery was dismissed from the service and was also disbarred. actions of certiorari, prohibition or mandamus, or a motion for
inhibition, a petition for change of venue, as the case may be.
3. Preventive Suspension of Judges
Resort to and exhaustion of these judicial remedies, as well as the
OCA v. Judge Floro. A judge may be preventively suspended by entry of judgment in the corresponding action or proceeding, are
the SC indefinitely or “until such time that a final decision is pre-requisites for the taking of other measures against the
reached in the administrative case against him or her.” persons of the judges concerned, whether of civil, administrative,
or criminal nature. It is only after the available judicial remedies
Re: Payment of Backwages and Other Economic Benefits of have been exhausted and the appellate tribunals have spoken
Judge Iturralde, (2005). Unlike ordinary service officials and with finality, that the door to an inquiry into his criminal, civil or
employees, judges who are charged with a serious offense administrative liability may be said to have opened, or closed.
warranting preventive suspension are not automatically
reinstated upon expiration of the ninety (90) day period, as