Você está na página 1de 6

9. Gomez-Castillo vs.

Commission on Elections, 621 SCRA 499, June 22, 2010


Case Doctrine (Political Law: Election, Remedial Law): The jurisdiction over
election contests involving elective municipal officials has been vested in the RTC by
Section 251 BP 881( Omnibus Election Code). On the other hand, A.M. No 07-4-15-SC,
by specifying the proper venue where such cases may be filed and heard, only
spelled out the manner by which an RTC with jurisdiction exercises such jurisdiction.
Like other rules on venue, .M. No 07-4-15-SC was designed to ensure just and orderly
administration of justice and is permissive, because it was enacted to ensure the
exclusive and speedy disposition of election protests and petitions for quo warranto
involving elective municipal officials.
FACTS:
Castillo and Revilla were mayoralty candidates during the 2007 local
elections. After Revilla was proclaimed as the elected Municipal Mayor, Castillo filed
and Election Protest Ad Cautelam, in the RTC of Bacoor, Cavite which was eventually
raffled to Branch 19.
Revilla then sought for the dismissal of the election protest alleging the erroneous
filing of the case in the wrong Branch, violating Supreme Court Administrative Order
(SCAO) No. 54-2007 which designated Branch 22 of the RTC in Imus, Cavite and
Branch 88 of the RTC in Cavite City to hear, try and decide election contests involving
municipal officials in Cavite. Consequently, the RTC dismissed the case. Hence,
Castillo appealed before the COMELEC which, however, dismissed the appeal for
being brought beyond the five-day reglementary period.
ISSUES:
1. Does Section 13 of Rule 2 of A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC designate the RTC Branch that
has jurisdiction over an election contest, or does it merely designate the
proper venue for filing?
2. Was the appeal validly dismissed?
RULING:
1. It merely set the proper venue, it was not jurisdictional. It is well-settled that
jurisdiction is conferred by law. As such, jurisdiction cannot be fixed by the will of
the parties; nor be acquired through waiver nor enlarged by the omission of the
parties; nor conferred by any acquiescence of the court. The allocation of
jurisdiction is vested in Congress, and cannot be delegated to another office or
agency of the Government.
The jurisdiction over election contests involving elective municipal officials has
been vested in the RTC by Section 251, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (Omnibus
Election Code). On the other hand, A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC, by specifying the proper
venue where such cases may be filed and heard, only spelled out the manner by
which an RTC with jurisdiction exercises such jurisdiction. Like other rules on venue,
A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC was designed to ensure a just and orderly administration of
justice, and is permissive, because it was enacted to ensure the exclusive and
speedy disposition of election protests and petitions for quo warranto involving
elective municipal officials.
2. YES. Section 8 of A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC provides that an aggrieved party may
appeal the decision to the Commission on Elections within five days after
promulgation by filing a notice of appeal with the court that rendered the
decision with copy served on the adverse counsel or party if not represented by
counsel. In this case, Castillo only file her notice of appeal eight days after her
receipt of the decision.
The period and perfection of appeal are not mere technicalities to be so lightly
regarded, for they are essential to the finality of judgements, a notion underlying
the stability of our judicial system. A greater reason to adhere to this notion exists
herein, for the short period of five days as the period to appeal recognizes the
essentiality of time in election protests, in order that the will of the electorate is

ascertained as soon as possible so that the winning candidate is not deprived of


the right to assume office, and so that any doubt that can cloud the incumbency of
the truly deserving winning candidate is quickly removed. Also, the court cannot
also presume the timeliness of her appeal from the fact that the RTC gave due
course to her appeal by its elevating the protest to the COMELEC. The presumption
of timeliness would not arise if her appeal was actually tardy. Hence, the appeal
was validly dismissed.

10.

Maniebo vs. Court of Appeals, 627 SCRA 569, August 10, 2010

Case doctrine (Political Law: Admin Law): The presumption of good faith does
not apply when the employees Certificate of Eligibility conflicts with the CSCs
Masterliest of Eligibles. Long and satisfactory government service does not mitigate
the penalty of dismissal when there is refusal to own up to and when there is lack of
remorse for dishonesty.
Case doctrine (Remedial Law): An appeal under Rule 43 is a discretionary mode of
appeal, which the CA may either dismiss if it finds the petition to be patently without
merit, or prosecuted manifestly for delay, or that the questions raised therein are too
unsubstantial to require consideration; or may process by requiring the respondent to
file a comment on the petition; These rules are not to be belittled or dismissed simply
because their non-observance may result in prejudicing a partys substantive rights.
FACTS: Justina M. Maniebo was issued a promotional appointment as Cashier III in the
Office of the Municipal Treasurer, Municipality of Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro
because she appeared to posses the qualifications for the position. But when the CSC
Regional Office No. IV verified her name against the Masterlist of Eligibles, she was
found out to have actually failed in the examination for obtaining a rating of only
60%.She was then charged with possessing of spurious report of rating, falsification,
grave misconduct and dishonesty after having indicated in her Personal Data Sheet
that she had passed the CSC (professional) examination with a rating of 74.01%.
ISSUES:
1. Was the CSC was correct in imposing the penalty of dismissal in view of the
circumstances obtaining in the case?
2. Did the court of appeals err in dismissing the petition based on alleged
technicality?
RULING:
1. YES. A permanent appointment implies the holding of a civil service eligibility on
the part of the appointee, unless the position involved requires no such eligibility.
Where the appointee does not possess a civil service eligibility, the appointment is
considered temporary. The subsequent acquisition of the required eligibility will not
make the temporary appointment regular or permanent; a new appointment is
needed. Accordingly, any temporary employee who has served for the required
duration of seven years must first be found by the CSC to continuously possess the
minimum qualifications for holding the position, except the required eligibility,
before he or she may be granted civil service eligibility. Among
the minimum qualifications is the continuous observance of the Code of Conduct
and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The petitioner failed to comply with this necessary minimum qualification. She
thrived on her having misled the Government into believing that she had
possessed the requisite civil service eligibility for the various positions she had
successively held in her 20 years of service. In the first place, she would not have
been appointed in a permanent or temporary capacity, had the CSC sooner
discovered her dishonesty. R.A. No. 6850 was never meant to cure an appointment
void from the very beginning for being based on a false representation of eligibility,
like that of the petitioner. A contrary construction of the statute will, in effect,
reward dishonesty.
2. NO. The CA did not commit any error, least of all a reversible one. Its dismissal was
founded on the correct application of the applicable rule. Indeed, Section 6, Rule
43 of the Rules of Court clearly requires the petition for review to be accompanied
by a clearly legible duplicate original or a certified true copy of the award,
judgment, final order or resolution appealed from, together with certified true
copies of such material portions of the record referred to therein and other
supporting papers. The requirement is intended to immediately enable the CA to
determine whether to give due course to the appeal or not by having all the

material necessary to make such determination before it. This is because an


appeal under Rule 43 is a discretionary mode of appeal, which the CA may either
dismiss if it finds the petition to be patently without merit, or prosecuted
manifestly for delay, or that the questions raised therein are too unsubstantial to
require consideration; or may process by requiring the respondent to file a
comment on the petition, not a motion to dismiss, within 10 days from notice.
The petitioner was not entitled to a liberal construction of the rules of procedure.
The petitioner repeatedly disregarded the rules too many times to merit any
tolerance by the Court, thereby exhibiting a deplorable tendency to trivialize the
rules of procedure. Yet, such rules were not to be belittled or dismissed simply
because their non-observance might have resulted in prejudicing a partys
substantive rights. The bare invocation of substantial justice was not a magic wand
that would compel the suspension of the rules of procedure. Of necessity, the
reviewing court had also to assess whether the appeal was substantially
meritorious on its face, or not, for only after such finding could the review court
ease the often stringent rules of procedure. Otherwise, the rules of procedure
would be reduced to mere trifles.
11. Jamsani-Rodriguez vs. Ong, 628 SCRA 626, August 24, 2010 (A.M. No. 0819-SB-J)
FACTS: Respondents Sandiganbayan Associate Justices sought reconsideration of SC
Decision finding them guilty for simple misconduct. The charge was based on the
complaint of Assistant Prosecutor Rodriguez who alleged that the respondents failed
to hear cases as collegial during scheduled sessions by hearing the cases either
alone or only two of the three of them, and for falsification of public documents
grounded on their issuance of orders signed by the three of them making it appear
that they acted as a collegial body. It was also alleged that they have conducted
themselves in gross abuse of judicial authority and grave misconduct for intemperate
and discriminatory utterances during hearings. Justice Ong and Hernandez admitted
randomly asking the counsels appearing before them from which law schools they
had graduated, and their engaging during the hearings in casual conversation about
their respective law schools.
ISSUES:
1. Was the collegiality of the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan preserved despite
separately conducting hearings?
2. Were the respondent justices liable for improprieties during hearings amounting to
gross abuse of judicial authority and grave misconduct?
RULING:
1. NO. Respondent Justices cannot lightly regard the legal requirement for all of them
to sit together as members of the Fourth Division in the trial and determination of
a case or cases assigned thereto. The information and evidence upon which the
Fourth Division would base any decisions or other judicial actions in the
cases tried before it must be made directly available to each and every one of its
members during the proceedings. This necessitates the equal and full participation
of each member in the trial and adjudication of their cases. It is simply not enough,
therefore, that the three members of the Fourth Division were within hearing and
communicating distance of one another at the hearings in question, as they
explained in hindsight, because even in those circumstances not all of them sat
together in session.
Indeed, the ability of the Fourth Division to function as a collegial body became
impossible when not all of the members sat together during the trial proceedings.
The internal rules of the Sandiganbayan spotlight an instance of such
impossibility. Section 2, Rule VII of the Revised Internal Rules of the
Sandiganbayan expressly requires that rulings on oral motions made or objections
raised in the course of the trial proceedings or hearings are be made by the
Chairman of the Division. Obviously, the rule cannot be complied with

because Justice Ong, the Chairman, did not sit in the hearing of the cases heard by
the other respondents. Neither could the other respondents properly and promptly
contribute to the rulings of Justice Ong in the hearings before him.
Moreover, the respondents non-observance of collegiality contravened the very
purpose of trying criminal cases cognizable by Sandiganbayan before a Division
of all three Justices. Although there are criminal cases involving public officials and
employees
triable
before
single-judge
courts, PD
1606,
as
amended, has always required a Division of three Justices (not one or two) to try
the criminal cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan, in view of the accused in
such cases holding higher rank or office than those charged in the former cases.
The three Justices of a Division, rather than a single judge, are naturally expected
to exert keener judiciousness and to apply broader circumspection in trying and
deciding such cases. The tighter standard is due in part to the fact that the review
of convictions is elevated to the Supreme Court generally via the discretionary
mode of petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45, Rules of Court, which
eliminates issues of fact, instead of via ordinary appeal set for the former kind of
cases (whereby the convictions still undergo intermediate review before ultimately
reaching the Supreme Court, if at all)
Judges are not common individuals whose gross errors men forgive and time
forgets. They are expected to have more than just a modicum acquaintance with
the statutes and procedural rules. For this reason alone, respondent Justices
adoption of the irregular procedure cannot be dismissed as a mere deficiency in
prudence or as a lapse in judgment on their part, but should be treated as simple
misconduct, which is to be distinguished from either gross misconduct or gross
ignorance of the law. The respondent Justices were not liable for gross misconduct
defined as the transgression of some established or definite rule of action, more
particularly, unlawful behavior or gross negligence, or the corrupt or persistent
violation of the law or disregard of well-known legal rules considering that the
explanations they have offered herein, which the complainant did not refute,
revealed that they strove to maintain their collegiality by holding their separate
hearings within sight and hearing distance of one another. Neither were they liable
for gross ignorance of the law, which must be based on reliable evidence to show
that the act complained of was ill-motivated, corrupt, or inspired by an intention to
violate the law, or in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules; on the
contrary, none of these circumstances was attendant herein, for the respondent
Justices have convincingly shown that they had not been ill-motivated or inspired
by an intention to violate any law or legal rule in adopting the erroneous
procedure, but had been seeking, instead, to thereby expedite their disposition of
cases in the provinces.
2. NO. The Court approves the Court Administrators finding and recommendation that
no evidence supported the complainants charge that Justice Ong and Justice
Hernandez had uttered the improper and intemperate statements amounting to
gross abuse of judicial authority and grave misconduct. The Court found the
respondent justices conduct only unbecoming.
By publicizing their professional qualifications, they manifested a lack of the requisite
humility demanded of public magistrates. Their doing so reflected a vice of self-conceit.
The court found their acts as bespeaking their lack of judicial temperament and decorum,
which no judge worthy of the judicial robes should avoid especially during their
performance of judicial functions. They should not exchange banter or engage in playful
teasing of each other during trial proceedings (no matter how good-natured or even if
meant to ease tension, as they want us to believe). Judicial decorum demands that they
behave with dignity and act with courtesy towards all who appear before their court.

Section 6, Canon 6 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary clearly
enjoins that: Section 6. Judges shall maintain order and decorum in all proceedings
before the court and be patient, dignified and courteous in relation to litigants,
witnesses, lawyers and others with whom the judge deals in an official
capacity. Judges shall require similar conduct of legal representatives, court staff and
others subject to their influence, direction or control.

Publicizing professional qualifications or boasting of having studied in and graduated from


certain law schools, no matter how prestigious, might have even revealed, on the part of
Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez, their bias for or against some lawyers. Their conduct
was impermissible, consequently, for Section 3, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, demands that judges avoid situations that may
reasonably give rise to the suspicion or appearance of favoritism or partiality in their
personal relations with individual members of the legal profession who practice regularly
in their courts.

Judges should be dignified in demeanor, and refined in speech. In performing their judicial
duties, they should not manifest bias or prejudice by word or conduct towards any person
or group on irrelevant grounds. [30] It is very essential that they should live up to the high
standards their noble position on the Bench demands. Their language must be guarded
and measured, lest the best of intentions be misconstrued. In this regard, Section 3, Canon
5 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary, mandates judges to carry
out judicial duties with appropriate consideration for all persons, such as the parties,
witnesses, lawyers, court staff, and judicial colleagues, without differentiation on any
irrelevant ground, immaterial to the proper performance of such duties.

In view of the foregoing, Justice Ong and Justice Hernandez were guilty of unbecoming
conduct, which is defined as improper performance. Unbecoming conduct applies to a
broader range of transgressions of rules not only of social behavior but of ethical practice
or logical procedure or prescribed method.