Você está na página 1de 20

CANON 6 of New Judicial Code

Canon 3.05 and 3.09 of Old Code


PROSECUTOR ROBERT M. VISBAL,
versus
JUDGE
ROGELIO
C.
SESCON, Regional Trial Court,
Branch 9, Tacloban City,

SC Ruling on Canon 6 Sec 5 - GUILTY of


gross inefficiency for undue delay in
rendering a decision and is FINED the
amount of Twenty Thousand Pesos
(P20,000.00), with STERN WARNING
that another repetition of the same or
similar acts will be dealt with more
severely.

The New Code of Judicial Conduct for


the Philippine Judiciary which took
effect on June 1, 2004 expressly
requires judges to perform all judicial
duties, including the delivery of
reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly
and with reasonable promptness.

Any delay in the administration of


justice, no matter how brief, deprives
the litigant of his right to a speedy
disposition
of
his
case,
and
undermines the peoples faith and
confidence in the judiciary as well as
lower its standards and brings it to
disrepute.It reinforces in the minds of
litigants the impression that the
wheels of justice grind ever so slowly,
disabusing which should be the
collective concern of all of us in the
judiciary.

As correctly pointed out by the OCA,


respondent cannot escape liability for
the delay by passing the blame on his
clerk-in-charge. A judge cannot take
refuge behind the inefficiency or
mismanagement of court personnel.

Rule 3.05 of the Code of Judicial


Conduct likewise requires judges to
dispose of the courts business
promptly and decide cases within the
required periods.

For a judge is responsible not only for


the dispensation of justice but also for
managing his courts efficiently to
ensure the prompt delivery of court
services. Since he is the one directly
responsible for the proper discharge of
his official functions, he ought to know
the cases submitted to him for
decision, particularly those pending for
more than ninety (90) days. That
explains why Rule 3.09 of the Code of
Judicial Conduct mandates a judge to
organize and supervise the court
personnel to ensure the prompt and
efficient dispatch of business, and
require at all times the observance of
high standards of public service and
fidelity.

All told, respondent Judge is guilty of


undue delay in rendering a decision
which is classified as a less serious
charge under Sec. 9 (1), Rule 140.[32]
Section 11 (B) of the same Rule
provides that the penalty for such
charge is suspension from office
without salary and other benefits for
not less than one (1) nor more than
three (3) months, or a fine of more
than P10,000.00 but not exceeding
P20,000.00.

Facts:

Complainant sues
respondent for
undue delay in rendering decisions
wherein this Court imposed upon him
a fine of P11,000.00 and sternly
warned him that a repetition of the
same or similar act would be dealt
with more severely.

It appears that Eugenio Alaba, counsel


for the defendant-appellant in the
above-stated unlawful detainer case,
inquired about the status of the
appeal, by letter dated September 1,
2003 which was received by Rosalina
M. Padilla, OIC Clerk of Court of RTC,
Branch 9. To the letter-inquiry, Padilla
responded by letter dated September
4,
2003,
attaching
thereto
respondents Order dated February 18,
2003 granting the defendant-appellant
an extension of fifteen (15) days or
until March 5, 2003 to file her
Memorandum.

Though that the unlawful detainer


case was presumably submitted for
resolution on January 9, 2003 after the
filing by the defendant-appellants
Memorandum. That even if the case
was deemed submitted on March 5,
2003, the last day of the 15-day
extension granted the defendantappellant to submit her memorandum,
respondent had already incurred a
delay of one hundred eighty five (185)
days or more than six months when he
decided the case on September 5,
2003.

In his Comment with CounterComplaint dated December 18, 2003,


respondent faults Delia Tayabas, his
clerk-in-charge of civil cases, for
failure to submit the case to him in
time for his action.
He, however,

attributes Delias inadvertence to her


state of health from November 15,
2002 until January 3, 2003 when she
had a miscarriage, and when she got
pregnant again during which she
frequently got sick until she took her
maternity leave of absence from
August 26, 2003 up to October 24,
2003 and reported back for work on
October 28, 2003. To his Comment,
respondent attached the Affidavit of
Delia attesting to such claim.

By way of Counter-Complaint,
respondent charges complainant, who
he claims to be a well-known legal
gadfly for filing administrative and
criminal cases against RTC and
Municipal Trial Court officials or
personnel, his co-prosecutors, lawyers
and
other
public
officials
and
employees in Leyte purposely to
extort money, goods or favor, present
or future, with violation of Canons 1,
1.01, and 1.03 (sic) of the Code of
Professional
Responsibility
for
maliciously filing the instant case.

Thus, respondent alleges that the


present complaint against him was
filed in order to intimidate him to grant
favors relative to the cases filed by
complainant and his wife which are
now pending before his sala, thereby
preventing him (respondent) from
performing his duties and functions as
Presiding Judge freely and without
intervention from any external forces.

OFFICE
OF
THE
COURT
ADMINISTRATOR, Complainant,
vs.
JUDGE
HENRY
J.
TROCINO,
Presiding Judge, JUDGE EDGARDO
L.
CATILO,
Former
Acting
Presiding Judge, ATTY. JOSEPHINE
MUTIA-HAGAD, Clerk of Court, and
MS.
EVELYN
MONTOYO,
MS.
CLARITA LAMERA, MS. OFELIA
GORANTES, and MR. EMEZER
ARELLANO,
Stenographers,
Regional Trial Court, Branch 62,
Bago City, Negros Occidental,
Respondents.

SC Ruling on Canon 6 Sec.5 - The


Court finds Judge Edgardo L. Catilo,
former
Acting
Presiding
Judge,
Regional Trial Court, Branch 62, Bago
City, Negros Occidental, guilty of
undue delay in rendering decision and
FINES him P20,000. The Court
DIRECTS Judge Trocino and Judge
Catilo to decide all the cases subject
of the audit within 120 days from
receipt of the Courts resolution and to
submit to the Court a monthly
accomplishment report.

Section 5, Canon 6 of the New Code of


Judicial Conduct for the Philippine
Judiciary provides that judges shall
perform all judicial duties, including
the delivery of reserved decisions,
efficiently, fairly, and with reasonable
promptness. Section 15(1) of the 1987
Constitution states that all cases or
matters must be decided or resolved
by the lower courts within three
months from date of submission.

In this case, Judge Trocino failed to


decide 71 cases submitted for decision

during the first audit, 33 of which


remained
undecided
during
the
second audit. On the other hand,
Judge Catilo failed to decide 50 cases
submitted for decision during the first
audit, which was later reduced to 43
cases during the second audit. On the
inherited cases, Judge Trocino failed to
decide 8 of the 10 cases as of the
second audit. Despite directives from
the OCA, Judge Trocino and Judge
Catilo failed to decide the cases. Judge
Trocino also failed to resolve pending
motions and dormant cases.

The absence or incompleteness of the


transcript of stenographic notes is not
a valid excuse for the delay in
rendering judgment. Judges should
personally take notes of the salient
portions of the hearings and proceed
to prepare decisions without waiting
for the transcript of stenographic
notes.3

On
the
inherited
cases
with
incomplete transcript of stenographic
notes, Judge Catilo and Judge Trocino,
upon their assumption to office, should
have directed the stenographers to
speed up the transcription of the
stenographic notes and report to the
Court their non-compliance.4 A judges
failure to take appropriate action
shows
incompetence
in
the
supervision of court personnel.

Judge Trocino also claimed that he had


no knowledge of the cases submitted
for decision because Atty. Mutia-Hagad
did not remind him of these cases.
This is no excuse. Judges and branch
clerks of court should conduct
personally a physical inventory of the
pending cases in their courts and
examine personally the records of

each case at the time of their


assumption to office, and every
semester thereafter on 30 June and 31
December.5 Judges ought to know
which cases are submitted for decision
and they are expected to keep their
own record of cases so that they may
act on them promptly.6 Moreover,
judges cannot be excused by the acts
of their subordinates because court
employees are not the guardians of a
judges responsibility.7 Judges should
not rely on their clerks of court for the
proper management of the courts
business. Judge Trocino should have
devised an efficient recording and
filing system in his sala so that he
would personally know the status of
each case and be guided accordingly.

The designation of Judge Catilo and


Judge Trocino as Acting Presiding
Judges in other branches of the RTC
and their heavy caseloads are not
excuses for the delay.8 They could
have asked the Court for an extension
of time to decide the cases but they
never did.9 Worse, Judge Trocino
waited for the audit team to find out
his gross inefficiency.

Undue delay in rendering a decision or


order, a less serious charge, is
punishable by (1) suspension from
office without salary and other
benefits for not less than one month
nor more than three months, or (2) a
fine of more than P10,000 but not
exceeding P20,000.10

Facts:

Judge Marietta H. Alinio (Judge Alinio),


who retired on disability on 27

December 1994, previously presided


over the trial court. On 21 February
1995, Judge Edgardo L. Catilo (Judge
Catilo) of the RTC, Branch 56,
Himamaylan City was designated as
Acting Presiding Judge until the
appointment of Judge Henry J. Trocino
(Judge Trocino) as Presiding Judge on 8
February 1999.

The audit team reported that the trial


court had a total caseload of 669
cases consisting of 415 criminal cases
and 254 civil and other cases. The
audit team found that the trial court
had 131 cases submitted for decision
which had not been decided within the
90-day reglementary period.1 The
audit team also reported that the trial
court had 24 motions for resolution
and 119 cases which remained
unresolved for a considerable length
of time, and 25 cases with no initial
action since the time of filing.

The audit team also observed that (1)


the transcripts of stenographic notes
in almost all of the cases were either
lacking or incomplete; (2) the entries
in the docket books for criminal, civil,
and other cases were incomplete or
not updated; (3) the records of
disposed and archived cases were
stockpiled together with the records of
the active cases; (4) the monthly
reports of cases and the docket
inventory reports had erroneous and
missing data; and (5) there was late
submission of the docket inventory
reports.

Judge Marietta H. Alinio (Judge Alinio),


who retired on disability on 27
December 1994, previously presided
over the trial court. On 21 February
1995, Judge Edgardo L. Catilo (Judge

Catilo) of the RTC, Branch 56,


Himamaylan City was designated as
Acting Presiding Judge until the
appointment of Judge Henry J. Trocino
(Judge Trocino) as Presiding Judge on 8
February 1999.

The audit team reported that the trial


court had a total caseload of 669
cases consisting of 415 criminal cases
and 254 civil and other cases. The
audit team found that the trial court
had 131 cases submitted for decision
which had not been decided within the
90-day reglementary period.1 The
audit team also reported that the trial
court had 24 motions for resolution
and 119 cases which remained
unresolved for a considerable length
of time, and 25 cases with no initial
action
since
the
time
of
filing.1awphi1.nt

The audit team also observed that (1)


the transcripts of stenographic notes
in almost all of the cases were either
lacking or incomplete; (2) the entries
in the docket books for criminal, civil,
and other cases were incomplete or
not updated; (3) the records of
disposed and archived cases were
stockpiled together with the records of
the active cases; (4) the monthly
reports of cases and the docket
inventory reports had erroneous and
missing data; and (5) there was late
submission of the docket inventory
reports.

RE: COMPLAINT AGAINST JUSTICE


ELVI JOHN S. ASUNCION OF THE
COURT OF APPEALS

ATTY.
ROBERTO
C.
PADILLA,
versus ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ELVI
JOHN S. ASUNCION, COURT OF
APPEALS

SC Ruling on Canon 6 Sec. 5 Investigating Justice, Associate Justice


Elvi John S. Asuncion of the Court of
Appeals is SUSPENDED from office
without pay, allowances and other
monetary benefits for a period of
THREE MONTHS.

The Constitution mandates lower


collegiate courts to decide or resolve
cases or matters within twelve months
from date of submission.[26] Section
3, Rule 52 of the Revised Rules of
Court
requires
motions
for
reconsideration to be resolved within
ninety days. Section 5, Canon 6 of the
New Code of Judicial Conduct provides
that (J)udges shall perform all judicial
duties, including the delivery of
reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly
and with reasonable promptness.

Indeed, the essence of the judicial


function, as expressed in Section 1,
Rule 135 of the Revised Rules of Court
is that justice shall be impartially
administered without unnecessary
delay.

The record shows that, as of


September 30, 2006, the respondent
had not resolved seventy-one (71)
motions for reconsideration within the
prescribed ninety-day period, and he
had resolved one hundred seventynine (179) motions for reconsideration
beyond the reglementary period. As
of the same date, eighty-two (82)
cases submitted for decision were still
undecided, even after the lapse of the
twelve-month period prescribed by the
Constitution. He had also decided four
hundred nine (409) cases beyond the
one-year period.

Notably, of the seventy-one (71)


motions for reconsideration pending
resolution, forty-six were filed in 2004

or earlier, with one dating all the way


back to 2000. Five were filed in 2001,
sixteen in 2002, ten in 2003, and
thirteen in 2004.
Respondents
proffered justification is that the delay
was caused by the reorganization of
the CA, his assignment to the CA Cebu
Station and his transfer back to Manila
which,
allegedly,
caused
some
confusion in the assignment of cases
and a lapse in the monitoring
system. The explanation miserably
fails to persuade because the CA
reorganization took place only in 2004,
and at that time, there were at least
thirty-two
(32)
motions
for
reconsideration
crying
out
for
resolution..

This intolerable inaction is aggravated


by misrepresentation.
Upon his
assignment to the CA Cebu Station,
respondent listed only nine (9) cases
allegedly unresolved by and pending
with him.
The findings of the
Investigator belie this assertion.

The excuse that respondent was


burdened by a heavy caseload, owing
to the cases initially assigned to him,
those raffled daily and those re-raffled
from among the cases originally
handled by promoted or retired
justices, must also fall flat. As aptly
stated by the Investigating Justice,
other
CA
justices
are
likewise
subjected to such a heavy caseload,
and yet, have not incurred such
inexcusable delay. As to respondents
other
administrative
assignments,
including organizing special events,
the respondent should only be
reminded that decision-making is the
primordial and most important duty of
a member of the judiciary.[28]

The delay incurred by respondent


Justice Asuncion in deciding or
resolving the numerous cases and
matters
mentioned
above
is,
therefore, unjustified.
Even in the
case of PNB v. NLRC and Archinas
alone, the respondents failure to
resolve PNBs June 13, 2001 motion for
reconsideration until after the lapse of
more than five (5) years, despite
Archinas four (4) motions urging
immediate resolution of the same,
truly smacks of gross inefficiency and
serious dereliction of duty. Worse, it
invites suspicion of malice, and casts
doubt on the justices fairness and
integrity.

Asuncion was appointed Associate


Justice of the Court of Appeals on May
24, 1999, and assumed office on May
25, 1999. On July 5, 2004, he was
assigned as Chairman, 18th Division of
the CA, stationed in Cebu City. In an
order dated July 7, 2004, CA Presiding
Justice Cancio C. Garcia directed that
all Manila cases left by Justice
Asuncion
shall
automatically
be
assigned to Justice [Monina Arevalo]
Zenarosa.[4] On November 3, 2004,
Justice Asuncion was re-assigned to
Manila, as Chairman, 17th Division,
CA. From August 4, 2006 to date, he
has been Chairman, 11th Division, CA,
Manila.

February 17, 2006


We have already ruled that the failure
of a judge to decide a case within the
required period constitutes gross
inefficiency[29] which, if the case
remains undecided for years, would
become serious misconduct that
would justify dismissal from the
service.[30]

Hon. Artemio V. Panganiban


Chief Justice, Supreme Court
Padre Faura, Manila

Sir:
In the case of respondent Justice
Asuncion, the prolonged delay in
deciding
or
resolving
such
a
staggering number of cases/matters
assigned to him, borders on serious
misconduct which could subject the
respondent
to
the
maximum
administrative sanction.

FACTS:

From the record, it appears that


respondent Justice Elvi John S.

Please direct an immediate judicial


audit on Court of Appeals Justice Elvi
Asuncion.

This magistrate has been sitting on


motions for reconsideration for six
months to more than a year unless the
parties come across.

This CA Justice is an unmitigated


disgrace to the judiciary. How he ever
reached his lofty position is truly
disconcerting.
He is a thoroughly
CORRUPT person who has no shame
using his office to extort money from

litigants. He is equally, if not more,


deprave than Demetrio Demetria who
was dismissed by the Supreme Court.
Asuncion deserves not only dismissal
but DISBARMENT as well. Because the
law profession should also be purged
of CROOKS like him.

aggravated by a lapse in the


monitoring system of my office; and
(4)
The
various
administrative
assignments, especially in helping
organize special events, given to him
by the CA Presiding Justice, which
demanded time and attention.

I hope you can terminate his service


in the judiciary ASAP to save the
institution. Thank you.
A.M. No. 06-44-CA-J
Very truly yours,

AN AGGRIEVED PARTY

To
the
foregoing
complaint,
respondent Justice Asuncion filed his
Comment dated August 30, 2006[5] in
which he strongly denied the charge of
deliberate
inaction
on
pending
motions for reconsideration in cases
assigned to him unless the parties
came across.
He adverted to the
unsigned letter as the work of the
same group that previously instigated
false accusations which also resulted
in my being investigated by the
Supreme Court through the Hon.
Justice Carolina C. Grino-Aquino. He
admitted, however, to some delays in
the resolution of some motions for
reconsideration,
and
cited
the
following justifiable reasons: (1) The
heavy caseload initially assigned to CA
justices, coupled with the newly
assigned cases raffled daily and the
re-raffled cases originally handled by
promoted or retired justices; (2) The
reorganization of the CA and his
assignment as Chairman of the 18th
Division based in Cebu City, which
created some
confusion in the
status of cases assigned to him; (3)
The physical transfer of his office,

As mentioned above, this second case


is based on a verified complaint filed
by Atty. Roberto C. Padilla, charging
Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion with
culpable dereliction of duty, malicious
delay in the administration of justice
and gross ignorance of the law, in
connection with CA-G.R. SP No. 60573,
entitled Philippine National Bank vs.
NLRC and Erlinda Archinas. The facts,
as culled from the Investigating
Justices Report[10], are as follows:

On June 27, 2000, the National Labor


Relations Commission (NLRC) decided
in her favor the claim of Ms. Erlinda
Archinas for reinstatement
and
payment of back wages against the
Philippine
National
Bank
(PNB),
affirming in toto the ruling of Labor
Arbiter Celestino Daing ordering her
reinstatement without loss of seniority
rights and payment of back wages.
On August 25, 2000, PNB filed with
the Court of Appeals a petition for
Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of
Court assailing the decision of the
NLRC (CA-G.R. SP No. 60573).
Meantime, the NLRC issued an Entry
of
Judgment
making
final
and
executory the decision of the labor
arbiter as of July 17, 2000, pursuant to

Sec. 2[c], Rule VIII of the NLRC Rules.


Ms. Archinas filed a motion for a writ
of execution for the uncontested
amount of P1,096,233.97.
PNB
opposed the motion. In view of the
pending petition with the CA, the labor
arbiter deferred action on the motion
for execution.
On May 28, 2001, the Court of
Appeals, through respondent Justice
Asuncion, dismissed the petition of
PNB and affirmed in toto the decision
of NLRC in favor of Ms. Archinas.
On June 13, 2001, PNB filed with the
Court of Appeals a motion for
reconsideration of the decision, to
which Ms. Archinas filed, on June 25,
2001, an opposition.
On June 25,
2001,
PNBs
motion
for
reconsideration
was
deemed
submitted for resolution.

On November 5, 2001, Ms. Archinas


filed with the Court of Appeals a
motion for reconsideration of the
October 30, 2001 resolution.
Despite Ms. Archinas filing with the
Court of Appeals of numerous motions
for early resolution of the motion for
reconsideration dated November 5,
2001, respondent Justice Asuncion
failed to act and resolve the motion.
Finally,
on
August
7,
2006,
respondent Justice issued a resolution
denying
PNBs
motion
for
reconsideration dated June 13, 2001.
It, however, failed to directly address
and resolve Archinas November 5,
2001 motion for reconsideration. At
any rate, it is noted that the denial of
PNBs motion would render moot Mrs.
Archinas motion for reconsideration.

In the interim, on June 18, 2001, the


labor arbiter granted Ms. Archinas
motion
for
execution
of
the
uncontested amount of P1,096,233.97,
for which the Sheriff of the NLRC
levied upon personal property of the
PNB and scheduled an auction sale on
July 25, 2001. Upon motion of PNB, on
July 24, 2001, respondent Asuncion
issued the questioned resolution,
which granted a temporary restraining
order to stop the auction sale by
directing
the
labor
arbiter
to
temporarily enjoin implementation
of the writ of execution. It likewise
ordered the parties to maintain the
status quo pending resolution of PNBs
motion for reconsideration.
On October 30, 2001, respondent
Justice
Asuncion
issued
another
resolution which reiterated the July 24,
2001 resolution ordering the parties
to maintain the status quo in this case
pending resolution of PNBs motion
for reconsideration.

Re: Non-disclosure Before the


Judicial and Bar Council of the
Administrative Case Filed Against
Judge Jaime V. Quitain, in His
Capacity
as
the
then
Asst.
Regional Director of the National

Police
Commission,
Office XI, Davao City.

Regional

Respondents contentions utterly lack


merit.

SC Ruling on Canon 6 - meted the


penalty of a fine of P40,000.00 and he
is PERPETUALLY DISQUALIFIED from
reinstatement and appointment to any
branch, instrumentality or agency of
the
government,
including
government-owned and/or controlled
corporations

No
amount
of
explanation
or
justification can erase the fact that
Judge Quitain was dismissed from the
service and that he deliberately
withheld this information.
His
insistence that he had no knowledge
of A.O. No. 183 is belied by the
newspaper items published relative to
his dismissal. It bears emphasis that in
the Mindanao Times dated April 18,
1995,[18] Judge Quitain stated in one
of his interviews that I was dismissed
from the (Napolcom) office without
due process. It also reads: Quitain,
who was one of the guests in
yesterdays Kapehan sa Dabaw, wept
unabashedly as he read his prepared
statement on his dismissal from the
government service. Neither can we
give credence to the contention that
he was denied due process.
The
documents
submitted
by
the
NAPOLCOM to the OCA reveal that
Commissioner Alexis C. Canonizado,
Chairman Ad Hoc Committee, sent him
summons
on
March
19,
1993
informing him that an administrative
complaint had been filed against him
and required him to file an answer.[19]
Then on March 29, 1993, respondent,
through his counsel, Atty. Pedro
Castillo, filed an Answer.[20] In
administrative
proceedings,
the
essence of due process is simply an
opportunity to be heard, or an
opportunity to explain ones side or
opportunity to seek a reconsideration
of the action or ruling complained of.
Where opportunity to be heard either
through oral arguments or through
pleadings is accorded, there is no
denial
of
due
process.[21]
Furthermore, as we have earlier
mentioned and which Judge Quitain
ought to know, cessation from office
by his resignation does not warrant

It behooves every prospective


appointee to the Judiciary to apprise
the appointing authority of every
matter bearing on his fitness for
judicial
office,
including
such
circumstances as may reflect on his
integrity and probity.
These are
qualifications specifically required of
appointees to the Judiciary by Sec.
7(3), Article VIII of the Constitution.
[17]

In this case, Judge Quitain failed to


disclose that he was administratively
charged and dismissed from the
service for grave misconduct per A.O.
No. 183 dated April 10, 1995 by no
less than the former President of the
Philippines.
He
insists
that
on
November 26, 2001 or before he filed
with the JBC his verified PDS in support
of his application for RTC Judge, he
had no knowledge of A.O. No. 183; and
that he was denied due process. He
further argues that since all the
criminal cases filed against him were
dismissed on August 2, 1995 and July
17, 2000, and considering the fact that
he
resigned
from
office,
his
administrative case had become moot
and academic.

the dismissal of the administrative


complaint filed against him while he
was still in the service nor does it
render said administrative case moot
and academic.[22] Judge Quitain was
removed from office after investigation
and was found guilty of grave
misconduct. His dismissal from the
service is a clear proof of his lack of
the required qualifications to be a
member of the Bench.

In a letter[6] dated November 28,


2003, the NAPOLCOM furnished the
Office of the Court Administrator (OCA)
a copy of A.O. No. 183 showing that
respondent
Judge
was
indeed
dismissed from the service for Grave
Misconduct for falsifying or altering
the amounts reflected in disbursement
vouchers in support of his claim for
reimbursement of expenses. A.O. 183
partly reads:
THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 183

FACTS:

In the Personal Data Sheet (PDS)[2]


submitted to the Judicial and Bar
Council (JBC) on November 26, 2001,
Judge Quitain declared that there were
five criminal cases (Criminal Cases
Nos. 18438, 18439, 22812, 22813,
and 22814) filed against him before
the Sandiganbayan, which were all
dismissed. No administrative case was
disclosed by Judge Qutain in his PDS.

To confirm the veracity of the


information,
then
Deputy
Court
Administrator (DCA) Christopher O.
Lock
(now
Court
Administrator)
requested from the Sandiganbayan
certified copies of the Order(s)
dismissing the criminal cases.[3] On
even date, letters[4] were sent to the
NAPOLCOM requesting for certified
true copies of documents relative to
the administrative complaints filed
against Judge Quitain, particularly
A.O. No. 183 dated April 10, 1995
dismissing him from the service.
Likewise, DCA Lock required Judge
Quitain
to
explain
the
alleged
misrepresentation and deception he
committed before the JBC.[5]

DISMISSING
FROM
THE
SERVICE
ASSISTANT REGIONAL DIRECTOR JAIME
VEGA QUITAIN, NATIONAL POLICE
COMMISSION, REGIONAL OFFICE NO.
11

This refers to the administrative


complaint against Jaime Vega Quitain,
Assistant Regional Director, National
Police
Commission
(NAPOLCOM),
Regional Office No. 11, Davao City, for
Grave Misconduct (Violation of Art. 48,
in relation to Arts. 171 and 217 of the
Revised Penal Code and Art. IX of the
Civil Service Law) filed by the
NAPOLCOM.

xxxx

After circumspect study, I am in


complete accord with the above
findings and recommendation of the
NAPOLCOM.

It was established that the falsification


could not have been consummated
without
respondents
direct

participation, as it was upon his


direction
and
approval
that
disbursement vouchers were prepared
showing the falsified amount.
The
subsequent
endorsement
and
encashment
of
the
check
by
respondent only shows his complete
disregard for the truth which per se
constitutes misconduct and dishonesty
of the highest order. By any standard,
respondent had manifestly shown that
he is unfit to discharge the functions
of his office.
Needless to stress, a
public office is a position of trust and
public service demands of every
government official or employee, no
matter how lowly his position may be,
the highest degree of responsibility
and integrity and he must remain
accountable to the people. Moreover,
his failure to adduce evidence in
support of his defense is a tacit
admission of his guilt. Let this be a
final reminder to him that the
government is serious enough to
[weed out] misfits in the government
service, and it will not be irresolute to
impose
the
severest
sanction
regardless of personalities involved.
Accordingly, respondents continuance
in office becomes untenable.

WHEREFORE, and as recommended by


the NAPOLCOM, Assistant Regional
Director Jaime Vega Quitain is hereby
DISMISSED from the service, with
forfeiture of pay and benefits,
effective upon receipt of a copy
hereof.

Done in the City of Manila, this 10th


day of April in the year of our Lord,
nineteen hundred and ninety-five.

(Sgd. by President Fidel V. Ramos)

By the President:

(Sgd.)
TEOFISTO T. GUINGONA, JR.
Executive Secretary[7]

In a letter[8] dated October 22, 2003


addressed to DCA Lock, Judge Quitain
denied
having
committed
any
misrepresentation before the JBC. He
alleged that during his interview, the
members thereof only inquired about
the status of the criminal cases filed
by the NAPOLCOM
before the
Sandiganbayan, and not about the
administrative case simultaneously
filed against him. He also alleged that
he never received from the Office of
the President an official copy of A.O.
No. 183 dismissing him from the
service.

In his letters[10] dated March 13, 2004


and June 17, 2004, respondent
explained that during the investigation
of his administrative case by the
NAPOLCOM Ad Hoc Committee, one of
its members suggested to him that if
he resigns from the government
service, he will no longer be
prosecuted;
that
following
such
suggestion,
he
tendered
his
irrevocable
resignation
from
NAPOLCOM on June 1, 1993[11] which
was immediately accepted by the
Secretary of the Department of
Interior and Local Governments; that
he did not disclose the case in his PDS
because he was of the honest belief
that he had no more pending
administrative case by reason of his
resignation;
that
his
resignation
amounted to an automatic dismissal
of his administrative case considering
that the issues raised therein became

moot and academic; and that had he


known that he would be dismissed
from the service, he should not have
applied for the position of a judge
since he knew he would never be
appointed.

ROSARIO
D.
ADRIANO,
complainant,
vs.
Judge
FRANCISCO
D.
VILLANUEVA,
Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch
36, Quezon City, respondent.

Ruling on Canon 6 Sec. 5 (Undue


Delay in Deciding a Case) - FINED
P40,000 to be deducted from his
retirement benefits.

A case is deemed submitted for


decision upon the admission of the
evidence of the parties, unless the
court directs them to argue orally or to
submit written memoranda.[16] Once
a case is submitted for decision, a
judge has three months to decide it.
[17]

In the present case, the records reveal


that Criminal Case No. 31285 was

deemed submitted for decision on


October
31,
1995,
upon
the
simultaneous
submission
of
the
parties
respective
Memoranda.
However, a Decision acquitting the
accused was promulgated only on
August 6, 1997, or about one year and
six months after the lapse of the
three-month prescriptive period.

Respondent, however, explained that


the case was submitted for decision on
February 23, 1996, the day he called
the parties to a settlement conference
inside his chamber.
Assuming
arguendo that the case was submitted
for resolution on that date, respondent
still cannot escape liability, because
his Decision was promulgated only on
August 6, 1997.
Hence, the
reglementary period to decide the
case had long passed. It is a settled
rule that it is not enough for judges to
write their decisions; it is also
important that they cause the
immediate promulgation thereof and
make this fact known to all concerned.
[18]

Respondent cannot escape liability


just because he had a heavy caseload.
Nothing prevented him from seeking
additional time to dispose of the case.
[19] Within the reglementary period,
he could have filed a request for an
extension of time, but he did not do
so. He must therefore face the
consequences of his inefficiency and
inaction.

Delay in the disposition of cases


undermines the peoples faith and
confidence in the judiciary.[20] Thus,
judges should dispose of the courts
business promptly and decide cases
within the required period.[21] To

uphold the integrity of their office,


their work should at all times reflect
the
values
of
diligence
and
professional competence.

FACTS:

Complainant is the complaining


witness in Criminal Case No. 31285,
People versus Fe Floro Valino, for
violation of Act No. 3753 (Civil Registry
Law), as amended by P.D. No. 651, for
having made false statements in the
death certificate of the late Atty. Lope
Adriano. The case was decided on
May 20, 1997 acquitting the accused
in
the
decision
rendered
by
respondent
Judge,
which
was
promulgated on August 6, 1997.

Complainant is the wife of the late


Atty. Lope E. Adriano who died while
she and her children were abroad.
Accused Fe Floro Valino in the criminal
case (the live-in partner of the
deceased
for
several
years)
representing herself as the wife of the
deceased in the death certificate was
able to have the remains of the
deceased interred at the Manila
Memorial
Park
without
the
complainants consent, thus denying
her and her children the right to view
him, pay their last respect and have
him buried at the Holy Cross Memorial
Park, Q.C. where the deceased had
bought burial lots. Hence the criminal
case that was filed against accused Fe
Floro Valino.

Complainant avers that respondent


Judge repeatedly delayed the decision
in the criminal case that was
submitted to him since February 23,

1996. According to her, respondent


Judge
set
several
conferences
between the parties for a possible
amicable
settlement
instead
of
rendering judgment within the ninetyday period. And before promulgation
of the decision respondent Judge, in
open court, advised both parties to
settle their dispute, an act which is a
clear violation of the law.

She alleges further that respondent


Judge showed his ignorance when he
acquitted the accused stating, among
others, that she (accused) did not
intend to falsify the death certificate of
complainants husband, considering
that what she violated was a special
law where intent was not an element.
She avers that by acquitting the
accused,
respondent
Judge
has
condoned criminal acts occasioned by
the erroneous entry in the death
records of Quezon City.

Finally,
complainant
charges
respondent with conduct unbecoming
x x x a judge for cohabiting with
another woman not his wife.

In his Answer[3] dated February 23,


1998, respondent explained that he
held several conferences between the
parties during pretrial and even after
the case had been submitted for
decision, because he wanted to settle
the case amicably. He stated that
after the defense rested its case on
October 11, 1995, both parties
simultaneously filed their respective
Memoranda on October 31, 1995. On
February 23, 1996, he arranged
another conference in his chamber,
but the parties quarreled instead. He
thus deemed the case submitted for
decision.

Respondent acquitted the accused in


his May 20, 1997 Decision, because it
turned out that complainant had
known all along that her spouse and
the accused had lived together as
husband and wife for more than fifteen
years. Further, the accused did not
intend to benefit from her alleged
misrepresentation.
Respondent
reasoned
that
it
was
in
fact
complainant, not the accused, who
had
used
her
spouses
death
certificate to claim the benefits from
his insurance, bank deposits and
Social Security System.

Moreover, respondent attributed his


delay in deciding the case to his full
docket. He claimed that he had more
than 2,900 pending cases as of
December 31, 1997, and that he
received 200 cases every month.

Finally, he denied he was living with a


woman other than his wife.
To
disprove the charge, he attached his
wifes Affidavit of Merit.[4]

CARMEN EDAO,
versus Judge
FATIMA G. ASDALA, Regional Trial
Court, Branch 87, Quezon City,

Ruling on Canon 3 (Rule 3.05, Canon 3


of the same Code provides that a
judge shall dispose of the courts
business promptly and decide cases
within the required periods.)

Judge Adoracion G. Angeles for her


unauthorized absences for failing to
file the necessary leave on 3 May
2005 and 3 August 2005, when there
were no subpoenas requiring her court
attendance at the RTC of Manila, with
WARNING that a repetition of the same
or a similar offense shall be dealt with
more severely, and (2) DISMISSES the
complaint against Judge Adoracion G.
Angeles for falsification of certificates
of service for lack of merit.[1]
(emphasis
in
the
original;
underscoring supplied)

SENIOR
STATE
PROSECUTOR
EMMANUEL Y. VELASCO, versus
JUDGE ADORACION G. ANGELES,

Ruling on Canon 6 WHEREFORE, the


second
Motion
for
Partial
Reconsideration of respondent, who in
the meantime retired last May 23,
2010, is GRANTED. The Resolutions of
April 28, 2008 and February 22, 2010
are SET ASIDE and another is rendered
dismissing the complaint against
respondent.

FACTS:

Respondent, Judge Adoracion G.


Angeles, Presiding Judge of the
Caloocan Regional Trial Court (RTC),
Branch 121 (until her retirement on
May 23, 2010), was charged by then
Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Y.
Velasco (petitioner) with violation of
Supreme Court Circulars, the Canons
of Judicial Ethics and the Code of
Judicial
Conduct,
specifically
for
unauthorized
practice
of
law,
unauthorized
absences
and
falsification of certificate of service.

Subject of the present Resolution is


the
second
Motion
for
Partial
Reconsideration
of
this
Courts
Resolution issued on April 28, 2008
reading:

Per the evaluation of the Office of the


Court Administrator[2] the charge of
illegal practice of law was deemed
without merit, hence, the Courts Third
Division by Resolution of June 5,
2006[3] noted the recommendation
and referred the complaint, viz:

The Court resolves to ADOPT and


APPROVE
the
findings
of
fact,
conclusions
of
law,
and
recommendation of Associate Justice
Magdangal M. de Leon, Court of
Appeals, in the attached Sealed Report
and Recommendation dated 31 March
2008 (Annex A). Accordingly, the
Court (1)
REPRIMANDS respondent

. . . resolve[d] to REFER this case to a


Presiding Justice of the Court of
Appeals for investigation, report and
recommendation within sixty (60) days
from receipt of the records of this
case.[4]

The case was raffled to Court of


Appeals Associate Justice Magdangal
M. de Leon for investigation, report
and recommendation.

By petitioners allegation, respondent


actively
participated
in
the
prosecution of Criminal Case No. 04230908, for libel, which was, on her
complaint, filed against him before the
Manila RTC, she appearing at Branch
26 thereof (to which the case was
raffled) without her filing leaves of
absence on the following dates
February 2, 2005, May 3 and 19, 2005,
June 14, 15, 22 and 30, 2005, July 1213, 2005 and August 3 and 11, 2005.
Petitioner thus concluded that when
respondent
indicated
in
her
Certificates of Service that she had
rendered
service
during
the
questioned dates, she is guilty of
falsification and of violation of Canons
3 and 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct
and Canons 3, 7, 22 and 31 of the
Canons of Judicial Ethics.[5]

After concluding his investigation, the


Investigating Justice considering only
the remaining issues of falsification
and incurring unauthorized absences,
reported that respondent is guilty of
unauthorized absences on May 3 and
August 3, 2005. With respect to the
rest of the questioned dates, he held
that respondents absence thereon
was legally justified as she merely
complied with the subpoenas issued
by the trial court.

On her appearance at the trial court


for the May 3, 2005 hearing,
respondent asserted, however, that
that date was merely an offshoot of

an earlier postponed hearing which


was covered by a subpoena. She thus
concluded that a subpoena was not
required for her to attend the hearing
on May 3, 2005.

As for her appearance at the trial court


on August 3, 2005, respondent
explained that she went there lunch
time on her honest belief that a
hearing was set that day, only to be
told that it was not, hence, she
immediately returned to her office at
the Caloocan City RTC and reduced
into writing the orders she gave in
open court in the cases which were
calendared/heard in the morning.

The Investigating Justice brushed


aside
respondents
explanationjustifications as lame. He concluded
that by not filing any leave of
absence to cover such fraction of her
official time devoted to other activities
outside of her functions as a Judge,
she committed absences that are
unauthorized, hence, is guilty of
violating Canons 3, 7 and 22 of the
Canons of Judicial Ethics, as well as
Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial
Conduct.

On the charge of falsification of


respondents Certificates of Service,
the Investigating Justice dismissed the
same as it was never shown, much
less proven, that respondent judges
failure to indicate in her Certificates of
Service the fact of her attendance at
the court hearings amounted to an
obstinate refusal to disclose, or a
deliberate concealment of such fact.

The
Investigating
recommended that

Justice
thus
respondent be

reprimanded for her unauthorized


absences on May 3, 2005 and August
3, 2005 and that the charge of
falsification be dismissed.

As reflected early on, the Court, in its


above-quoted Resolution of June 5,
2006, adopted the findings of the
Investigating Justice and approved his
Recommendation.

Respondent filed a Motion for Partial


Reconsideration which was denied by
Resolution[6] of February 22, 2010 of
the Court in this wise:

Considering
the
Report
and
Recommendation dated 4 January
2010
of
Investigating
Justice
Magdangal M. de Leon, Court of
Appeals, Manila, on respondents
motion for partial reconsideration of
the Resolution dated 28 April 2008,
and it appearing that the lone issue
raised by respondent in her motion for
partial reconsideration is whether she
incurred unauthorized absences during
her attendance at the hearing in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila on
3 May 2005 (where her attendance
thereat as a private complainant was
without subpoena which resulted in
her unjustified absence from her own
court) and on 3 August 2005 (where
respondent failed to file a leave of
absence rationalizing that she was out
only for a few minutes which she
compensated by staying in the office
and working beyond office hours and
the forfeiture of her leave credits in
the name of public service); that since
her attendance at the hearing at the
RTC of Manila was not in connection
with her judicial functions at the RTC
of Caloocan, the same should not be
considered as an extension of her

judicial duties but done in her personal


capacity necessitating the filing of
leave of absence, and considering
further the case of Office of the Court
Administrator vs. Judge Delia H.
Panganiban (A.M. No. RTJ-96-1350, 18
August 1997), where the Court held
that neither good faith nor long,
unblemished and above average
service in the judiciary can fully justify
respondents lapses, and that as an
officer of the Court, respondent should
conduct herself strictly in accordance
with the highest standards of ethics,
the
Court
resolves
to
DENY
respondents
motion
for
partial
reconsideration of the Resolution
dated 28 April 2008.

Hence, the present second Motion for


Partial Reconsideration.[7]

While as a general rule the Court does


not give due course to second motions
for reconsideration,[8] this is not
without exceptions, as when there is
an extraordinarily persuasive reason
and after an express leave has been
obtained, both of which are present in
this case. In denying respondents
first motion for partial reconsideration,
the Court in its February 22, 2010
Resolution, applied the ruling in Office
of the Court Administrator v. Judge
Delia H. Panganiban where it was held
that a Judges unblemished record will
not justify her lapses. However, as
correctly pointed out by respondent in
her
second
motion
for
partial
reconsideration, said case should not
have been applied, as it presupposes
that respondent indeed committed
lapses which her long service and
unblemished reputation would not
justify
while
she
has
always
maintained
that
she
had
not

committed the act complained of, that


is, the non-filing of the leaves of
absence for May 3 and August 3, 2005
because she did not have to. Indeed,
if respondent committed no lapse or
violation, then the Courts denial of
her
first
motion
for
partial
reconsideration on the basis of the
Panganiban decision deserves to be
reviewed.

After a considered, hard look at the


case, the Court finds respondents
second
Motion
for
Partial
Reconsideration to be impressed with
merit.

Respecting respondents presence at


the trial court on May 3, 2005, while
admittedly no subpoena was served
on her to appear on said date, that
was a re-scheduled date of hearing,
the earlier-scheduled hearing having
been postponed. There was thus no
absolute
need
for
her
to
be
subpoenaed for the purpose.

As to the Investigating Judges


observation
that
assuming
that
respondents attendance in the May 3,
2005
hearing
was
covered
by
subpoena, she still needed to secure a
Certificate of Service because she was
the private complainant: The Court
notes that this is merely a matter of
practice for government employees
who need such certification to show to
their superiors that they indeed
attended the hearing. In any case, the
minutes of a hearing show the parties
who
are
present,
hence,
such
certification
becomes
a
mere
surplusage.

Respecting respondents going to the


trial court on August 3, 2005, the
same did not require the filing of a
leave of absence. The Investigating
Justice himself noted that her absence
involved only a fraction of her official
time. Section 28 of the Omnibus
Rules on Leave [Rule XVI of the
Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V
of E.O. 292] promulgated by the Civil
Service Commission on May, 2008,
which
reiterates
earlier
rules
governing leaves, provides:

Sec. 28. Actual service defined. The


term actual service refers to the
period of continuous service since the
appointment
of
the
official
or
employee concerned, including the
period or periods covered by any
previously approved leave with pay.

Leave of absence without pay


for any reason other than illness shall
not be counted as part of the actual
service rendered: Provided, that in
computing the length of service of an
employee paid on the daily wage
basis, Saturdays, Sundays or holidays
occurring within a period of service
shall be considered as service
although he did not receive pay on
those days inasmuch as his service
was not then required.

A fraction of one-fourth or
more but less than three-fourth shall
be considered as one-half day and a
fraction of three-fourths or more shall
be counted as one full day for
purposes of granting leave of absence
(amended by CSC MC No. 41, s. 1998).
(emphasis, italics and underscoring
supplied)

For a civil servant to thus be required


to file a leave of absence, he/she
should have been absent for a fraction
of three-fourths or more of a full day.
In the present case, complainant failed
to prove that respondent was away
from her office for at least six hours
(3/4 of 8 hours working) on August 3,
2005.
Upon the other hand,
respondent reported for work in the
morning, as shown by copies of orders
which she issued in open court on
cases calendared for consideration in
the morning of August 3, 2005.

AT ALL EVENTS, at most, respondents


absence on August 3, 2005 amounted
to half-day or undertime under the
aforementioned CSC rule which does
not require the filing of a leave of
absence, albeit it is deductible against
vacation leave credits.[9]