Thursday, October 31, 2013

PHILCONSA vs. HON. SALVADOR ENRIQUEZ, G.R. No. 113105 August 19, 1994

                House Bill No. 10900, the General Appropriation Bill of 1994 (GAB of 1994), was passed and approved by both houses of Congress on December 17, 1993. As passed, it imposed conditions and limitations on certain items of appropriations in the proposed budget previously submitted by the President. It also authorized members of Congress to propose and identify projects in the “pork barrels” allotted to them and to realign their respective operating budgets.
Pursuant to the procedure on the passage and enactment of bills as prescribed by the Constitution, Congress presented the said bill to the President for consideration and approval.
On December 30, 1993, the President signed the bill into law, and declared the same to have become Republic Act NO. 7663, entitled “AN ACT APPROPRIATING FUNDS FOR THE OPERATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES FROM JANUARY ONE TO DECEMBER THIRTY ONE, NINETEEN HUNDRED AND NINETY-FOUR, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES” (GAA of 1994). On the same day, the President delivered his Presidential Veto Message, specifying the provisions of the bill he vetoed and on which he imposed certain conditions, as follows:
1.        Provision on Debt Ceiling, on the ground that “this debt reduction scheme cannot be validly done through the 1994 GAA.” And that “appropriations for payment of public debt, whether foreign or domestic, are automatically appropriated pursuant to the Foreign Borrowing Act and Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 as reiterated under Section 26, Chapter 4, Book VI of E.O. No. 292, the Administrative Code of 1987.
2.       Special provisions which authorize the use of income and the creation, operation and maintenance of revolving funds in the appropriation for State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s),
3.        Provision on 70% (administrative)/30% (contract) ratio for road maintenance.
4.       Special provision on the purchase by the AFP of medicines in compliance with the Generics Drugs Law (R.A. No. 6675).
5.       The President vetoed the underlined proviso in the appropriation for the modernization of the AFP of the Special Provision No. 2 on the “Use of Fund,” which requires the prior approval of the Congress for the release of the corresponding modernization funds, as well as the entire Special Provision No. 3 on the “Specific Prohibition” which states that the said Modernization Fund “shall not be used for payment of six (6) additional S-211 Trainer planes, 18 SF-260 Trainer planes and 150 armored personnel carriers”
6.       New provision authorizing the Chief of Staff to use savings in the AFP to augment pension and gratuity funds.
7.        Conditions on the appropriation for the Supreme Court, Ombudsman, COA, and CHR, the Congress.
                whether or not the conditions imposed by the President in the items of the GAA of 1994: (a) for the Supreme Court, (b) Commission on Audit (COA), (c) Ombudsman, (d) Commission on Human Rights, (CHR), (e) Citizen Armed Forces Geographical Units (CAFGU’S) and (f) State Universities and Colleges (SUC’s) are constitutional; whether or not the veto of the special provision in the appropriation for debt service and the automatic appropriation of funds therefore is constitutional
                The veto power, while exercisable by the President, is actually a part of the legislative process. There is, therefore, sound basis to indulge in the presumption of validity of a veto. The burden shifts on those questioning the validity thereof to show that its use is a violation of the Constitution.
The vetoed provision on the debt servicing is clearly an attempt to repeal Section 31 of P.D. No. 1177 (Foreign Borrowing Act) and E.O. No. 292, and to reverse the debt payment policy. As held by the court in Gonzales, the repeal of these laws should be done in a separate law, not in the appropriations law.
In the veto of the provision relating to SUCs, there was no undue discrimination when the President vetoed said special provisions while allowing similar provisions in other government agencies. If some government agencies were allowed to use their income and maintain a revolving fund for that purpose, it is because these agencies have been enjoying such privilege before by virtue of the special laws authorizing such practices as exceptions to the “one-fund policy” (e.g., R.A. No. 4618 for the National Stud Farm, P.D. No. 902-A for the Securities and Exchange Commission; E.O. No. 359 for the Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service).
The veto of the second paragraph of Special Provision No. 2 of the item for the DPWH is unconstitutional. The Special Provision in question is not an inappropriate provision which can be the subject of a veto. It is not alien to the appropriation for road maintenance, and on the other hand, it specifies how the said item shall be expended — 70% by administrative and 30% by contract.
The Special Provision which requires that all purchases of medicines by the AFP should strictly comply with the formulary embodied in the National Drug Policy of the Department of Health is an “appropriate” provision. Being directly related to and inseparable from the appropriation item on purchases of medicines by the AFP, the special provision cannot be vetoed by the President without also vetoing the said item.
The requirement in Special Provision No. 2 on the “use of Fund” for the AFP modernization program that the President must submit all purchases of military equipment to Congress for its approval, is an exercise of the “congressional or legislative veto.” However the case at bench is not the proper occasion to resolve the issues of the validity of the legislative veto as provided in Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 because the issues at hand can be disposed of on other grounds. Therefore, being “inappropriate” provisions, Special Provisions Nos. 2 and 3 were properly vetoed.
Furthermore, Special Provision No. 3, prohibiting the use of the Modernization fund for payment of the trainer planes and armored personnel carriers, which have been contracted for by the AFP, is violative of the Constitutional prohibition on the passage of laws that impair the obligation of contracts (Art. III, Sec. 10), more so, contracts entered into by the Government itself. The veto of said special provision is therefore valid.
The Special Provision, which allows the Chief of Staff to use savings to augment the pension fund for the AFP being managed by the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System is violative of Sections 25(5) and 29(1) of the Article VI of the Constitution.
Regarding the deactivation of CAFGUS, we do not find anything in the language used in the challenged Special Provision that would imply that Congress intended to deny to the President the right to defer or reduce the spending, much less to deactivate 11,000 CAFGU members all at once in 1994. But even if such is the intention, the appropriation law is not the proper vehicle for such purpose. Such intention must be embodied and manifested in another law considering that it abrades the powers of the Commander-in-Chief and there are existing laws on the creation of the CAFGU’s to be amended.
On the conditions imposed by the President on certain provisions relating to appropriations to the Supreme Court, constitutional commissions, the NHA and the DPWH, there is less basis to complain when the President said that the expenditures shall be subject to guidelines he will issue. Until the guidelines are issued, it cannot be determined whether they are proper or inappropriate. Under the Faithful Execution Clause, the President has the power to take “necessary and proper steps” to carry into execution the law. These steps are the ones to be embodied in the guidelines.

PHILCONSA v. PEDRO M. GIMENEZ G.R. No. L-23326 December 18, 1965

                Philippine Constitution Association, Inc (PHILCONSA) assails the validity of RA 3836 insofar as the same allows retirement gratuity and commutation of vacation and sick leave to Senators and Representatives, and to the elective officials of both Houses (of Congress). The provision on retirement gratuity is an attempt to circumvent the Constitutional ban on increase of salaries of the members of Congress during their term of office, contrary to the provisions of Article VI, Section 14 of the Constitution. The same provision constitutes “selfish class legislation” because it allows members and officers of Congress to retire after twelve (12) years of service and gives them a gratuity equivalent to one year salary for every four years of service, which is not refundable in case of reinstatement or re election of the retiree, while all other officers and employees of the government can retire only after at least twenty (20) years of service and are given a gratuity which is only equivalent to one month salary for every year of service, which, in any case, cannot exceed 24 months. The provision on vacation and sick leave, commutable at the highest rate received, insofar as members of Congress are concerned, is another attempt of the legislator to further increase their compensation in violation of the Constitution.
The Solicitor General counter-argued alleging that the grant of retirement or pension benefits under Republic Act No. 3836 to the officers objected to by the petitioner does not constitute “forbidden compensation” within the meaning of Section 14 of Article VI of the Philippine Constitution. The law in question does not constitute class legislation. The payment of commutable vacation and sick leave benefits under the said Act is merely “in the nature of a basis for computing the gratuity due each retiring member” and, therefore, is not an indirect scheme to increase their salary.
                whether Republic Act 3836 violates Section 14, Article VI, of the Constitution which reads as follows:
The senators and the Members of the House of Representatives shall, unless otherwise provided by law, receive an annual compensation of seven thousand two hundred pesos each, including per diems and other emoluments or allowances, and exclusive only of travelling expenses to and from their respective districts in the case of Members of the House of Representative and to and from their places of residence in the case of Senators, when attending sessions of the Congress. No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives approving such increase. Until otherwise provided by law, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each receive an annual compensation of sixteen thousand pesos.
                Yes. When the Constitutional Convention first determined the compensation for the Members of Congress, the amount fixed by it was only P5,000.00 per annum but it embodies a special proviso which reads as follows: “No increase in said compensation shall take effect until after the expiration of the full term of all the members of the National Assembly elected subsequent to approval of such increase.” In other words, under the original constitutional provision regarding the power of the National Assembly to increase the salaries of its members, no increase would take effect until after the expiration of the full term of the members of the Assembly elected subsequent to the approval of such increase.
The Constitutional provision in the aforementioned Section 14, Article VI, includes in the term compensation “other emoluments”. This is the pivotal point on this fundamental question as to whether the retirement benefit as provided for in Republic Act 3836 fall within the purview of the term “other emoluments.”
Emolument is defined as the profit arising from office or employment; that which is received as compensation for services or which is annexed to the possession of an office, as salary, fees and perquisites.
It is evident that retirement benefit is a form or another species of emolument, because it is a part of compensation for services of one possessing any office.
Republic Act 3836 provides for an increase in the emoluments of Senators and Members of the House of Representatives, to take effect upon the approval of said Act, which was on June 22, 1963. Retirement benefits were immediately available thereunder, without awaiting the expiration of the full term of all the Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives approving such increase. Such provision clearly runs counter to the prohibition in Article VI, Section 14 of the Constitution. RA 3836 is therefore unconstitutional.


FACTS: At the height of the infamous typhoon "Kading", the respondent opened simultaneously all the three floodgates of the Angat Dam which resulted in a sudden, precipitate and simultaneous opening of said floodgates several towns in Bulacan were inundated. The petitioners filed for damages against the respondent corporation.

Petitioners opposed the prayer of the respondents forn dismissal of the case and contended that the respondent corporation is merely performing a propriety functions and that under its own organic act, it can sue and be sued in court.

ISSUE: W/N the respondent performs governmental functions with respect to the management and operation of the Angat Dam.

W/N the power of the respondent to sue and be sued under its organic charter includes the power to be sued for tort.

HELD: The government has organized a private corporation, put money in it and has allowed it to sue and be sued in any court under its charter.

As a government owned and controlled corporation, it has a personality of its own, distinct and separate from that of the government. Moreover, the charter provision that it can sue and be sued in any court.

REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA vs. JAMES VINZON [G.R. No. 154705. June 26, 2003]

FACTS: Petitioner Vinzon entered into a Maintenance Agreement with respondent. The maintenance agreement includes the following specific equipments: air conditioning units, generator sets, electrical facilities, water heaters and water motor pumps. The agreement shall be effective for 4 years.

The new Minister Counsellor allegedly found respondent's work and services unsatisfactory and not in compliance with the standards set in the Agreement. The respondent terminated the agreement with the respondent. The latter claim that it was unlawful and arbitrary. Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss alleging that the Republic of Indonesia, as a foreign state, has sovereign immunity from suit and cannot be sued as party-defendant in the Philippines.

ISSUE: W/N the CA erred in sustaining the trial court's decision that petitioners have waived their immunity from suit by using as its basis the provision in the Maintenance Agreement.

HELD: The mere entering into a contract by a foreign state with a private party cannot be construed as the ultimate test of whether or not it is an act juri imperii or juri gestionis. Such act is only the start of the inquiry. There is no dispute that the establishment of a diplomatic mission is an act juri imperii. The state may enter into contracts with private entities to maintain the premises, furnishings and equipment of the embassy. The Republic of Indonesia is acting in pursuit of a sovereign activity when it entered into a contract with the respondent. The maintenance agreement was entered into by the Republic of Indonesia in the discharge of its governmental functions. It cannot be deemed to have waived its immunity from suit.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

VICTORIA AMIGABLE vs. NICOLAS CUENCA G.R. No. L-26400 February 29, 1972

FACTS: Victoria Amigable is the is the registered owner of a lot which, without prior expropriation proceedings or negotiated sale, was used by the government. Amigable's counsel wrote the President of the Philippines requesting payment of the portion of her lot which had been expropriated by the government.

Amigable later filed a case against Cuenca, the Commissioner of Public Highways, for recovery of ownership and possession of the said lot. She also sought payment for comlensatory damages, moral damages and attorney's fees.

The defendant said that the case was premature, barred by prescription, and the government did not give its consent to be sued.

ISSUE: W/N the appellant may properly sue the government.

HELD: Where the government takes away property from a private landowner for public use without going through the legal process of expropriation or negotiated sale, the aggrieved party may properly maintain a suit against the government without violating the doctrine of governmental immunity from suit.

The doctrine of immunity from suit cannot serve as an instrument for perpetrating an injustice to a citizen. The only relief available is for the government to make due compensation which it could and should have done years ago. To determine just compensation of the land, the basis should be the price or value at the time of the taking.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



Petitions under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended, seeking to declare as unconstitutional Section 14 of Republic Act No. 9006 (The Fair Election Act), insofar as it expressly repeals Section 67 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 (The Omnibus Election Code) which provides:

SEC. 67. Candidates holding elective office. – Any elective official, whether national or local, running for any office other than the one which he is holding in a permanent capacity, except for President and Vice-President, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.


The petitioners now come to the Court alleging in the main that Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006, insofar as it repeals Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code, is unconstitutional for being in violation of Section 26(1), Article VI of the Constitution, requiring every law to have only one subject which should be expressed in its title.

According to the petitioners, the inclusion of Section 14 repealing Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code in Rep. Act No. 9006 constitutes a proscribed rider.

They point out the dissimilarity in the subject matter of Rep. Act No. 9006, on the one hand, and Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code, on the other. Rep. Act No. 9006 primarily deals with the lifting of the ban on the use of media for election propaganda and the elimination of unfair election practices, while Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code imposes a limitation on elective officials who run for an office other than the one they are holding in a permanent capacity by considering them as ipso facto resigned therefrom upon filing of the certificate of candidacy. The repeal of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code is thus not embraced in the title, nor germane to the subject matter of Rep. Act No. 9006.

The petitioners also assert that Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006 violates the equal protection clause of the Constitution because it repeals Section 67 only of the Omnibus Election Code, leaving intact Section 66 thereof which imposes a similar limitation to appointive officials, thus:

SEC. 66. Candidates holding appointive office or position. – Any person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and officers and employees in government-owned or controlled corporations, shall be considered ipso facto resigned from his office upon the filing of his certificate of candidacy.

They contend that Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006 discriminates against appointive officials. By the repeal of Section 67, an elective official who runs for office other than the one which he is holding is no longer considered ipso facto resigned therefrom upon filing his certificate of candidacy. Elective officials continue in public office even as they campaign for reelection or election for another elective position. On the other hand, Section 66 has been retained; thus, the limitation on appointive officials remains - they are still considered ipso facto resigned from their offices upon the filing of their certificates of candidacy.

The petitioners assert that Rep. Act No. 9006 is null and void in its entirety as irregularities attended its enactment into law. The law, not only Section 14 thereof, should be declared null and void. Even Section 16 of the law which provides that “[t]his Act shall take effect upon its approval” is a violation of the due process clause of the Constitution, as well as jurisprudence, which require publication of the law before it becomes effective.

Finally, the petitioners maintain that Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code is a good law; hence, should not have been repealed. The petitioners cited the ruling of the Court in Dimaporo v. Mitra, Jr.,[13] that Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code is based on the constitutional mandate on the “Accountability of Public Officers:”

Sec. 1.    Public office is a public trust. Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.

Consequently, the respondents Speaker and Secretary General of the House of Representatives acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction for not considering those members of the House who ran for a seat in the Senate during the May 14, 2001 elections as ipso facto resigned therefrom, upon the filing of their respective certificates of candidacy.


W/N Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006 Is a Rider.

W/N Section 14 of Rep. Act No. 9006 Is Violative of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.

W/N Section 16 of the law which provides that “[t]his Act shall take effect upon its approval” is a violation of the due process clause of the Constitution, as well as jurisprudence, which require publication of the law before it becomes effective.


To determine whether there has been compliance with the constitutional requirement that the subject of an act shall be expressed in its title, the Court laid down the rule that –
Constitutional provisions relating to the subject matter and titles of statutes should not be so narrowly construed as to cripple or impede the power of legislation. The requirement that the subject of an act shall be expressed in its title should receive a reasonable and not a technical construction. It is sufficient if the title be comprehensive enough reasonably to include the general object which a statute seeks to effect, without expressing each and every end and means necessary or convenient for the accomplishing of that object. Mere details need not be set forth. The title need not be an abstract or index of the Act.
The title of Rep. Act No. 9006 reads: “An Act to Enhance the Holding of Free, Orderly, Honest, Peaceful and Credible Elections through Fair Election Practices.”

The Court is convinced that the title and the objectives of Rep. Act No. 9006 are comprehensive enough to include the repeal of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code within its contemplation. To require that the said repeal of Section 67 of the Code be expressed in the title is to insist that the title be a complete index of its content.

The purported dissimilarity of Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code, which imposes a limitation on elective officials who run for an office other than the one they are holding, to the other provisions of Rep. Act No. 9006, which deal with the lifting of the ban on the use of media for election propaganda, does not violate the “one subject-one title” rule. This Court has held that an act having a single general subject, indicated in the title, may contain any number of provisions, no matter how diverse they may be, so long as they are not inconsistent with or foreign to the general subject, and may be considered in furtherance of such subject by providing for the method and means of carrying out the general subject.

The legislators considered Section 67 of the Omnibus Election Code as a form of harassment or discrimination that had to be done away with and repealed. The executive department found cause with Congress when the President of the Philippines signed the measure into law. For sure, some sectors of society and in government may believe that the repeal of Section 67 is bad policy as it would encourage political adventurism. But policy matters are not the concern of the Court. Government policy is within the exclusive dominion of the political branches of the government. It is not for this Court to look into the wisdom or propriety of legislative determination. Indeed, whether an enactment is wise or unwise, whether it is based on sound economic theory, whether it is the best means to achieve the desired results, whether, in short, the legislative discretion within its prescribed limits should be exercised in a particular manner are matters for the judgment of the legislature, and the serious conflict of opinions does not suffice to bring them within the range of judicial cognizance. Congress is not precluded from repealing Section 67 by the ruling of the Court in Dimaporo v. Mitra upholding the validity of the provision and by its pronouncement in the same case that the provision has a laudable purpose. Over time, Congress may find it imperative to repeal the law on its belief that the election process is thereby enhanced and the paramount objective of election laws – the fair, honest and orderly election of truly deserving members of Congress – is achieved.

Substantial distinctions clearly exist between elective officials and appointive officials. The former occupy their office by virtue of the mandate of the electorate. They are elected to an office for a definite term and may be removed therefrom only upon stringent conditions. On the other hand, appointive officials hold their office by virtue of their designation thereto by an appointing authority. Some appointive officials hold their office in a permanent capacity and are entitled to security of tenure while others serve at the pleasure of the appointing authority.

Finally, the “Effectivity” clause (Section 16) of Rep. Act No. 9006 which provides that it “shall take effect immediately upon its approval,” is defective. However, the same does not render the entire law invalid. In Tañada v. Tuvera, this Court laid down the rule:

... the clause “unless it is otherwise provided” refers to the date of effectivity and not to the requirement of publication itself, which cannot in any event be omitted. This clause does not mean that the legislator may make the law effective immediately upon approval, or on any other date without its previous publication.

Publication is indispensable in every case, but the legislature may in its discretion provide that the usual fifteen-period shall be shortened or extended….

Following Article 2 of the Civil Code and the doctrine enunciated in Tañada, Rep. Act No. 9006, notwithstanding its express statement, took effect fifteen days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

In conclusion, it bears reiterating that one of the firmly entrenched principles in constitutional law is that the courts do not involve themselves with nor delve into the policy or wisdom of a statute. That is the exclusive concern of the legislative branch of the government. When the validity of a statute is challenged on constitutional grounds, the sole function of the court is to determine whether it transcends constitutional limitations or the limits of legislative power. No such transgression has been shown in this case.

Monday, March 5, 2012

PESIGAN vs. ANGELES, G.R. No. L-64279, April 30, 1984


Petitioners Anselmo and Marcelino Pesigan, carabao dealers, transported in a 10-wheeler truck in April 1982, 26 carabaos and a calf, from Camarines Sur to Batangas.  Despite the health certificate, permit to transport, and certificate of inspection issued to them by the provincial veterinarian, provincial commander and constabulary command, respectively, while petitioners were negotiating the town of Basud, Camarines Norte, the carabaos were confiscated by private respondents, Police Station Commander Lt. Zanarosa, and provincial veterinarian Dr. Miranda.  The confiscation was based on Executive Order 626-A which prohibited the transport of carabaos from one province to another.  Pursuant to EO 626-A, Dr Miranda distributed the carabaos to 25 farmers of Basud.  Petitioners filed for recovery of the carabaos and damages, against private respondent Judge Angeles who heard the case in Daet and later transferred to Caloocan City, and dismissed the case for lack of cause of action. 

                Whether or not EO 626-A be enforced before its publication in the Official Gazette. 


Said executive order should not be enforced against the Pesigans on April 2, 1982 because, as already noted, it is a penal regulation published more than two months later in the Official Gazette dated June 14, 1982. It became effective only fifteen days thereafter as provided in article 2 of the Civil Code and section 11 of the Revised Administrative Code.

The word "laws" in article 2 (article 1 of the old Civil Code) includes circulars and regulations which prescribe penalties. Publication is necessary to apprise the public of the contents of the regulations and make the said penalties binding on the persons affected thereby.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


G.R. No. MTJ-95-1053, January 2, 1997

On February 14, 1985, one Lekiya Paito filed an application for life insurance with the Great Pacific Life Assurance Corporation (Grepalife) in Cotabato City. The application was approved and Policy No. 0503033 was issued in her name for the amount of P30,000.00 with an accidental death benefit rider. Named as beneficiaries were her daughters, Linang Minalang and Makadaya Sadik. She paid the initial premium of P410.00.

On October 12, 1985, Lekiya Paito died. The beneficiaries and/or through their representatives sought for and obtained the assistance of respondent, who was then a trial attorney of the Bureau of Forest Development, Cotabato City, to pursue the approval of their claim for payment of the insurance benefits with Grepalife.

On November 17, 1989, the Regional Trial Court rendered a decision in favor of plaintiffs and against the defendant ordering the latter to pay to the former the sum of P30,000.00 as “benefit due them under Insurance Policy No. 503033.” The court denied plaintiffs” claim for double indemnity of P60,000.00 under the accidental death rider. At this time, respondent was already the presiding Judge of the 5th Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Kolambugan-Maigo.

Upon receipt of the decision, respondent as counsel for plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals even as defendant likewise filed an appeal. Respondent represented the plaintiffs in the appeal. After the dismissal of its petition by the Supreme Court, Grepalife filed a Manifestation dated 6 July 1993 with the Regional Trial Court, Br. 13, Cotabato City declaring its willingness to pay the judgment award and depositing with said court RCBC check No. 62837 in the amount of P30,000.00 payable to the plaintiffs.

Respondent collected the check from the Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court, Br, 13, Cotabato City and thereafter cashed it. Respondent did not deliver the said money judgment to the plaintiffs. On January 26, 1995, complainants filed their administrative complaint.

ISSUE: W/N Respondent Judge is guilty and must be dismissed from service
Respondent’s act of collecting the judgment award of P30,000.00 from the Clerk of Court of RTC, Cotabato City and his refusal to turn over the amount to his client, complainant Makadaya Sadik and her sister, is an act of misappropriation amounting to gross misconduct and/or dishonesty. His defense that he has the right to retain the entire P30,000.00 as attorney’s lien in unacceptable. For he has no right to retain the judgment award allegedly to secure payment of litigation expenses and attorney’s fees. He had no authority to practice law while in government service. In continuing to handle the case of herein complainants against Grepalife after he joined the government and without first securing proper authority is no less constitutive of abuse of authority. Furthermore, he violated Rule 5.06 of the Code of Judicial Conduct which prohibits a judge to engage in the private practice of law. 

He likewise violated the Attorney’s Oath in agreeing to file Civil Case No. 2747 for the purpose of claiming the insurance proceeds from Grepalife despite his having been informed that the insurance policy of Lekiya Paito was fraudulently applied for. Agreeing to handle the claim said to have arisen from a fraudulent act against the insurer certainly speaks of a moral flaw in his character. xxx But scam or not we are convinced that the complainant Makadaya Sadik is not an impostor. She denied that she is the step-daughter of Lekiya Paito. She insisted she is the youngest daughter and she named all her brothers and sisters. And it was respondent who presented her in Civil Case No. 2747 as Makadaya Sadik daughter of Lekiya Sadik and one of the beneficiaries of the latter’s insurance policy.

Indeed, to be effective in his role, a judge must be a man of exceptional integrity and honesty. The special urgency for requiring these qualities in a judge is not hard to understand for the judge acts directly upon the property, liberty, even life, of his countrymen. Hence, being in a position of such grave responsibility in the administration of justice, a judge must conduct himself in a manner befitting the dignity of such exalted office.
Respondent judge, however, not only failed in this respect but proved himself repeatedly unworthy of his post.

This Court notes that respondent had been previously fined P5,000.00 and sternly warned for knowingly issuing an order without jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion. Moreover, he has four other administrative cases docketed against him involving various charges such as gross ignorance of the law, gross incompetence, illegal possession of firearms and ammunitions and falsification of public documents.
Respondent judge’s seeming propensity to transgress the very law he is sworn to uphold makes him unfit to discharge the functions of a judge. Judicial office demands the best possible men and this Court will not hesitate to rid its ranks of undesirables who undermine its efforts towards effective and efficient administration of justice, thus tainting its image in the eyes of the public.
Related Posts with Thumbnails
Thank you for reading!