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) Republic vs Nolasco (GR# 94053 March 17, 1993)

- Under Article 41, the time required for the presumption to arise has been shortened to
four (4) years; however, there is need for a judicial declaration of presumptive death to
enable the spouse present to remarry. Also, Article 41 of the Family Code imposes a
stricter standard than the Civil Code: Article 83 of the Civil Code merely requires either
that there be no news that such absentee is still alive; or the absentee is generally
considered to be dead and believed to be so by the spouse present, or is presumed dead
under Article 390 and 391 of the Civil Code. The Family Code, upon the other hand,
prescribes a "well founded belief' that the absentee is already dead before a petition for
declaration of presumptive death can be granted.

As pointed out by the Solicitor-General, there are four (4) requisites for the declaration of
presumptive death under Article 41 of the Family Code: "1. That the absent spouse has
been missing for four consecutive years, or two consecutive years if the disappearance
occurred where there is danger of death under the circumstances laid down in Article 391,
Civil Code; 2. That the present spouse wishes to remarry; 3. That the present spouse has a
well-founded belief that the absentee is dead; and 4. That the present spouse files a
summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of the absentee."

In the case at bar, the Court considers that the investigation allegedly conducted by
respondent in his attempt to ascertain Janet Monica Parker's whereabouts is too sketchy
to form the basis of a reasonable or well-founded belief that she was already dead. When
he arrived in San Jose, Antique after learning of Janet Monica's departure, instead of
seeking the help of local authorities or of the British Embassy, he secured another
seaman's contract and went to London, a vast city of many millions of inhabitants, to look
for her there.

There is no analogy between Manila and its neighboring cities, on one hand, and London
and Liverpool, on the other, which, as pointed out by the Solicitor-General, are around
three hundred fifty (350) kilometers apart. We do not consider that walking into a major
city like Liverpool or London with a simple hope of somehow bumping into one
particular person therewhich is in effect what Nolasco says he didcan be regarded as
a reasonably diligent search.

The Court also views respondent's claim that Janet Monica declined to give any
information as to her personal background even after, she had married respondent too
convenient an excuse to justify his failure to locate her. The same can be said of the loss
of the alleged letters respondent had sent to his wife which respondent claims were all
returned to him. Respondent said he had lost these returned letters, under unspecified

Neither can this Court give much credence to respondent's bare assertion that he had
inquired from their friends of her whereabouts, considering that respondent did not
identify those friends in his testimony. The Court of Appeals ruled that since the
prosecutor failed to rebut this evidence during trial, it is good evidence. But this kind of
evidence cannot, by its nature, be rebutted. In any case, admissibility is not synonymous
with credibility. As noted before, there are serious doubts to respondent's credibility.
Moreover, even if admitted as evidence, said testimony merely tended to show that the
missing spouse had chosen not to communicate with their common acquaintances, and
not that she was dead.

By the same token, the spouses should not be allowed, by the simple expedient of
agreeing that one of them leave the conjugal abode and never to return again, to
circumvent the policy of the laws on marriage. The Court notes that respondent even tried
to have his marriage annulled before the trial court in the same proceeding.

2.) Alba vs CA (GR# 164041 July 29, 2005)

- Under Section 2, Rule 47 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, judgments may
be annulled on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction and extrinsic fraud. Whether or not the
trial court acquired jurisdiction over the person of petitioner and her minor child depends
on the nature of private respondents action, that is, in personam, in rem or quasi in rem.
An action in personam is lodged against a person based on personal liability; an action in
rem is directed against the thing itself instead of the person; while an action quasi in rem
names a person as defendant, but its object is to subject that persons interest in a
property to a corresponding lien or obligation. Hence, petitions directed against the
thing itself or the res, which concerns the status of a person, like a petition for
adoption, annulment of marriage, or correction of entries in the birth certificate, as in the
instant case, are actions in rem.

In an action in personam, jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is necessary for
the court to validly try and decide the case. In a proceeding in rem or quasi in rem,
jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is not a prerequisite to confer jurisdiction on
the court, provided that the latter has jurisdiction over the res. Jurisdiction over the res is
acquired either (a) by the seizure of the property under legal process, whereby it is
brought into actual custody of the law; or (b) as a result of the institution of legal
proceedings, in which the power of the court is recognized and made effective. The
service of summons or notice to the defendant is not for the purpose of vesting the court
with jurisdiction but merely for satisfying the due process requirements. In the case at
bar, the filing with the trial court of the petition for cancellation vested the latter
jurisdiction over the res. Substantial corrections or cancellations of entries in civil
registry records affecting the status or legitimacy of a person may be effected through the
institution of a petition under Rule 108 of the Revised Rules of Court, with the proper
Regional Trial Court. Being a proceeding in rem, acquisition of jurisdiction over the
person of petitioner is therefore not required in the present case. It is enough that the trial
court is vested with jurisdiction over the subject matter.

The service of the order at No. 418 Arquiza St., Ermita, Manila and the publication
thereof in a newspaper of general circulation in Manila, sufficiently complied with the
requirement of due process, the essence of which is an opportunity to be heard. Said
address appeared in the birth certificate of petitioner minor as the residence of Armi.
Considering that the Certificate of Birth bears her signature, the entries appearing therein
are presumed to have been entered with her approval. Moreover, the publication of the
order is a notice to all indispensable parties, including Armi and petitioner minor, which
binds the whole world to the judgment that may be rendered in the petition. An in rem
proceeding is validated essentially through publication. The absence of personal service
of the order to Armi was therefore cured by the trial courts compliance with Section 4,
Rule 108, which requires notice by publication.

Extrinsic fraud, which was private respondents alleged concealment of Armis present
address, was not proven. Extrinsic fraud exists when there is a fraudulent act committed

by the prevailing party outside of the trial of the case, whereby the defeated party was
prevented from presenting fully his side of the case by fraud or deception practiced on
him by the prevailing party. Here, Armi contended that private respondent is aware of her
present address because they lived together as husband and wife in the condominium unit
from 1982 to 1988 and because private respondent continued to give support to their son
until 1998. To prove her claim, she presented (1) private respondents title over the
condominium unit; (2) receipts allegedly issued to private respondent for payment of
homeowners or association dues; (2) a photocopy of a January 14, 1991 deed of sale of
the subject unit in favor of Armi; and (3) the subsequent title issued to the latter.
However, these documents only tend to prove private respondents previous ownership of
the unit and the subsequent transfer thereof to Armi, but not the claimed live-in
relationship of the parties. Neither does the sale prove that the conveyance of the unit was
part of private respondents support to petitioner minor. Indeed, intimate relationships and
family relations cannot be inferred from what appears to be an ordinary business

While Armi presented the alleged love letters/notes from private respondent, they were
only attached as annexes to the petition and not formally offered as evidence before the
Court of Appeals. More importantly, said letters/notes do not have probative value
because they were mere photocopies and never proven to be an authentic writing of
private respondent. In the same vein, the affidavits of Armi and her sister, Corazon
Espiritu, are of no evidentiary weight. The basic rule of evidence is that unless the
affiants themselves are placed on the witness stand to testify on their affidavits, such
affidavits must be rejected for being hearsay. Stated differently, the declarants of written
statements pertaining to disputed facts must be presented at the trial for crossexamination. Inasmuch as Armi and her sister were not presented before the Court of
Appeals to affirm the veracity of their affidavits, the same are considered hearsay and
without probative value.

Ei incumbit probotio qui dicit, non qui negat. He who asserts, not he who denies, must
prove. Armis claim that private respondent is aware of her present address is anchored
on the assertion of a live-in relationship and support to her son. Since the evidence
presented by Armi is not sufficient to prove the purported cohabitation and support, it
follows that private respondents knowledge of Armis address was likewise not proven.
Thus, private respondent could not have deliberately concealed from the court that which
was not shown to be known to him. The Court of Appeals therefore correctly dismissed
the petition for annulment of judgment on the ground of failure to establish extrinsic

The proper remedy of a party aggrieved by a decision of the Court of Appeals in an

action to annul a judgment of a Regional Trial Court is a petition for review on certiorari
under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, where only questions of law may
be raised. The resort of petitioner to the instant civil action for certiorari under Rule 65 is
therefore erroneous. The special civil action of certiorari will not be allowed as a
substitute for failure to timely file a petition for review under Rule 45, which should be
instituted within 15 days from receipt of the assailed decision or resolution. The wrong
choice of remedy thus provides another reason to dismiss this petition.

Petitioner failed to establish the merits of her petition to annul the trial courts decision.
In an action for annulment of judgment, the petitioner must convince the court that
something may indeed be achieved should the assailed decision be annulled. Under

Article 176 of the Family Code as amended by Republic Act (RA) No. 9255, which took
effect on March 19, 2004, illegitimate children shall use the surname of their mother,
unless their father recognizes their filiation, in which case they may bear the fathers
surname. In Wang v. Cebu Civil Registrar, it was held that an illegitimate child whose
filiation is not recognized by the father, bears only a given name and his mothers
surname. The name of the unrecognized illegitimate child identifies him as such. It is
only when said child is recognized that he may use his fathers surname, reflecting his
status as an acknowledged illegitimate child. In the present case, it is clear from the
allegations of Armi that petitioner minor is an illegitimate child because she was never
married to private respondent. Considering that the latter strongly asserts that he is not
the father of petitioner minor, the latter is therefore an unrecognized illegitimate child. As
such, he must bear the surname of his mother.

3.) University of the Philippines Board of Regents vs CA (GR#134625 August 31, 1999)
- Mandamus is a writ commanding a tribunal, corporation, board or person to do the act
required to be done when it or he unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the
law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station, or unlawfully
excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is
entitled, there being no other plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course
of law. In University of the Philippines Board of Regents v. Ligot-Telan, this Court ruled
that the writ was not available to restrain U.P. from the exercise of its academic freedom.

As the foregoing narration of facts in this case shows, however, various committees had
been formed to investigate the charge that private respondent had committed plagiarism
and, in all the investigations held, she was heard in her defense. Indeed, if any criticism
may be made of the university proceedings before private respondent was finally stripped
of her degree, it is that there were too many committee and individual investigations
conducted, although all resulted in a finding that private respondent committed
dishonesty in submitting her doctoral dissertation on the basis of which she was conferred
the Ph.D. degree. Indeed, in administrative proceedings, the essence of due process is
simply the opportunity to explain ones side of a controversy or a chance to seek
reconsideration of the action or ruling complained of. A party who has availed of the
opportunity to present his position cannot tenably claim to have been denied due process.

It is not tenable for private respondent to argue that she was entitled to have an audience
before the Board of Regents. Due process in an administrative context does not require
trial-type proceedings similar to those in the courts of justice. It is noteworthy that the
U.P. Rules do not require the attendance of persons whose cases are included as items on
the agenda of the Board of Regents.

Nor indeed was private respondent entitled to be furnished a copy of the report of the
Zafaralla committee as part of her right to due process. In Ateneo de Manila University v.
Capulong, we held: Respondent students may not use the argument that since they were
not accorded the opportunity to see and examine the written statements which became the
basis of petitioners February 14, 1991 order, they were denied procedural due process.
Granting that they were denied such opportunity, the same may not be said to detract
from the observance of due process, for disciplinary cases involving students need not
necessarily include the right to cross examination. An administrative proceeding
conducted to investigate students participation in a hazing activity need not be clothed
with the attributes of a judicial proceeding . . .

Art. XIV, 5 (2) of the Constitution provides that [a]cademic freedom shall be enjoyed
in all institutions of higher learning. This is nothing new. The 1935 Constitution and the
1973 Constitution likewise provided for the academic freedom or, more precisely, for the
institutional autonomy of universities and institutions of higher learning. As pointed out
by this Court in Garcia v. Faculty Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, it is
a freedom granted to institutions of higher learning which is thus given a wide sphere
of authority certainly extending to the choice of students. If such institution of higher
learning can decide who can and who cannot study in it, it certainly can also determine
on whom it can confer the honor and distinction of being its graduates.

Where it is shown that the conferment of an honor or distinction was obtained through
fraud, a university has the right to revoke or withdraw the honor or distinction it has thus
conferred. This freedom of a university does not terminate upon the graduation of a
student, as the Court of Appeals held. For it is precisely the graduation of such a
student that is in question. It is noteworthy that the investigation of private respondents
case began before her graduation. If she was able to join the graduation ceremonies on
April 24, 1993, it was because of too many investigations conducted before the Board of
Regents finally decided she should not have been allowed to graduate.

Wide indeed is the sphere of autonomy granted to institutions of higher learning, for the
constitutional grant of academic freedom, to quote again from Garcia v. Faculty
Admission Committee, Loyola School of Theology, is not to be construed in a niggardly
manner or in a grudging fashion

Under the U.P. Charter, the Board of Regents is the highest governing body of the
University of the Philippines. It has the power to confer degrees upon the
recommendation of the University Council. It follows that if the conferment of a degree
is founded on error or fraud, the Board of Regents is also empowered, subject to the
observance of due process, to withdraw what it has granted without violating a students
rights. An institution of higher learning cannot be powerless if it discovers that an
academic degree it has conferred is not rightfully deserved. Nothing can be more
objectionable than bestowing a universitys highest academic degree upon an individual
who has obtained the same through fraud or deceit. The pursuit of academic excellence is
the universitys concern. It should be empowered, as an act of self-defense, to take
measures to protect itself from serious threats to its integrity.

In the case at bar, the Board of Regents determined, after due investigation conducted by
a committee composed of faculty members from different U.P. units, that private
respondent committed no less than ninety (90) instances of intellectual dishonesty in her
dissertation. The Board of Regents decision to withdraw private respondents doctorate
was based on documents on record including her admission that she committed the
offense. On the other hand, private respondent was afforded the opportunity to be heard
and explain her side but failed to refute the charges of plagiarism against her. Her only
claim is that her responses to the charges against her were not considered by the Board of
Regents before it rendered its decision. However, this claim was not proven. Accordingly,
we must presume regularity in the performance of official duties in the absence of proof
to the contrary.

As the above-quoted provision of 5 of the Rules and Regulations indicates, the

jurisdiction of the student disciplinary tribunal extends only to disciplinary actions. In

this case, U.P. does not seek to discipline private respondent. Indeed, as the appellate
court observed, private respondent is no longer within the ambit of disciplinary powers
of the U.P. Private respondent cannot even be punished since, as she claims, the penalty
for acts of dishonesty in administrative disciplinary proceedings is suspension from the
University for at least one year. What U.P., through the Board of Regents, seeks to do is
to protect its academic integrity by withdrawing from private respondent an academic
degree she obtained through fraud.

4.) Alabang Development Corp. vs Alabang Hills Village Association & Tinio (GR# 187456
June 2, 2014)
- The Court does not agree that the CA erred in relying on the case of Columbia Pictures,
Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 261 SCRA 144 (1996). The CA cited the case for the purpose of
restating and distinguishing the jurisprudential definition of the terms lack of capacity to
sue and lack of personality to sue and of applying these definitions to the present case.
Thus, the fact that, unlike in the instant case, the corporations involved in the Columbia
case were foreign corporations is of no moment. The definition of the term lack of
capacity to sue enunciated in the said case still applies to the case at bar. Indeed, as held
by this Court and as correctly cited by the CA in the case of Columbia: [l]ack of legal
capacity to sue means that the plaintiff is not in the exercise of his civil rights, or does not
have the necessary qualification to appear in the case, or does not have the character or
representation he claims[;] lack of capacity to sue refers to a plaintiffs general
disability to sue, such as on account of minority, insanity, incompetence, lack of juridical
personality or any other general disqualifications of a party. ... In the instant case,
petitioner lacks capacity to sue because it no longer possesses juridical personality by
reason of its dissolution and lapse of the three-year grace period provided under Section
122 of the Corporation Code, as will be discussed below.

The import of this Courts ruling in the cases cited by petitioner is that the trustee of a
corporation may continue to prosecute a case commenced by the corporation within three
years from its dissolution until rendition of the final judgment, even if such judgment is
rendered beyond the three-year period allowed by Section 122 of the Corporation Code.
However, there is nothing in the said cases which allows an already defunct corporation
to initiate a suit after the lapse of the said three-year period. On the contrary, the factual
circumstances in the above-cited cases would show that the corporations involved therein
did not initiate any complaint after the lapse of the three-year period. In fact, as stated
above, the actions were already pending at the time that they lost their corporate

5.) Yujuico vs Quiambao (GR# 180416 June 2, 2014)

- A criminal action based on the violation of a stockholders right to examine or inspect the
corporate records and the stock and transfer book of a corporation under the second and
fourth paragraphs of Section 74 of the Corporation Code such as Criminal Case No.
89724 can only be maintained against corporate officers or any other persons acting
on behalf of such corporation. The submissions of the petitioners during the preliminary
investigation, however, clearly suggest that respondents are neither in relation to

While Section 74 of the Corporation Code expressly mentions the application of Section
144 only in relation to the act of refus[ing] to allow any director, trustees, stockholder or

member of the corporation to examine and copy excerpts from [the corporations] records
or minutes, the same does not mean that the latter section no longer applies to any other
possible violations of the former section. It must be emphasized that Section 144 already
purports to penalize [v]iolations of any provision of the Corporation Code not
otherwise specifically penalized therein. Hence, we find inconsequential the fact that
Section 74 expressly mentions the application of Section 144 only to a specific act, but
not with respect to the other possible violations of the former section. Indeed, we find no
cogent reason why Section 144 of the Corporation Code cannot be made to apply to
violations of the right of a stockholder to inspect the stock and transfer book of a
corporation under Section 74(4) given the already unequivocal intent of the legislature to
penalize violations of a parallel right, i.e., the right of a stockholder or member to
examine the other records and minutes of a corporation under Section 74(2). Certainly, all
the rights guaranteed to corporators under Section 74 of the Corporation Code are
mandatory for the corporation to respect. All such rights are just the same underpinned by
the same policy consideration of keeping public confidence in the corporate vehicle thru
an assurance of transparency in the corporations operations.

A perusal of the second and fourth paragraphs of Section 74, as well as the first paragraph
of the same section, reveal that they are provisions that obligates a corporation: they
prescribe what books or records a corporation is required to keep; where the corporation
shall keep them; and what are the other obligations of the corporation to its stockholders
or members in relation to such books and records. Hence, by parity of reasoning, the
second and fourth paragraphs of Section 74, including the first paragraph of the same
section, can only be violated by a corporation. It is clear then that a criminal action based
on the violation of the second or fourth paragraphs of Section 74 can only be maintained
against corporate officers or such other persons that are acting on behalf of the
corporation. Violations of the second and fourth paragraphs of Section 74 contemplates a
situation wherein a corporation, acting thru one of its officers or agents, denies the right
of any of its stockholders to inspect the records, minutes and the stock and transfer book
of such corporation.

6.) Buatis, Jr. vs People (GR# 142509 March 24, 2006)

- Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel as a public and malicious imputation
of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition,
status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural
or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. For an imputation to be
libelous, the following requisites must concur: (a) it must be defamatory; (b) it must be
malicious; (c) it must be given publicity; and (d) the victim must be identifiable.

In libel, publication means making the defamatory matter, after it is written, known to
someone other than the person against whom it has been written. Petitioners subject
letter-reply itself states that the same was copy furnished to all concerned. Also, petitioner
had dictated the letter to his secretary. It is enough that the author of the libel complained
of has communicated it to a third person. Furthermore, the letter, when found in the
mailbox, was open, not contained in an envelope thus, open to public. The victim of the
libelous letter was identifiable as the subject letter-reply was addressed to respondent

For the purpose of determining the meaning of any publication alleged to be libelous, we
laid down the rule in Jimenez v. Reyes, 27 Phil. 52 (1914), to wit: In Tawney vs.
Simonson, Whitcomb & Hurley Co. (109 Minn., 341), the court had the following to say
on this point: In determining whether the specified matter is libelous per se, two rules of
construction are conspicuously applicable: (1) That construction must be adopted which
will give to the matter such a meaning as is natural and obvious in the plain and ordinary
sense in which the public would naturally understand what was uttered. (2) The published
matter alleged to be libelous must be construed as a whole. In applying these rules to the
language of an alleged libel, the court will disregard any subtle or ingenious explanation
offered by the publisher on being called to account. The whole question being the effect
the publication had upon the minds of the readers, and they not having been assisted by
the offered explanation in reading the article, it comes too late to have the effect of
removing the sting, if any there be, from the words used in the publication. Gauging from
the abovementioned tests, the words used in the letter dated August 18, 1995 sent by
petitioner to respondent is defamatory. In using words such as lousy, inutile, carabao
English, stupidity, and satan, the letter, as it was written, casts aspersion on the
character, integrity and reputation of respondent as a lawyer which exposed him to
ridicule. No evidence aliunde need be adduced to prove it. As the CA said, these very
words of petitioner have caused respondent to public ridicule as even his own family
have told him: Ginagawa ka lang gago dito.

Any of the imputations covered by Article 353 is defamatory; and, under the general rule
laid down in Article 354, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even
if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. Thus,
when the imputation is defamatory, the prosecution need not prove malice on the part of
petitioner (malice in fact), for the law already presumes that petitioners imputation is
malicious (malice in law). A reading of petitioners subject letter-reply showed that he
malevolently castigated respondent for writing such a demand letter to Mrs. Quingco.
There was nothing in the said letter which showed petitioners good intention and
justifiable motive for writing the same in order to overcome the legal inference of malice.

In order to prove that a statement falls within the purview of a qualified privileged
communication under Article 354, No. 1, as claimed by petitioner, the following
requisites must concur: (1) the person who made the communication had a legal, moral,
or social duty to make the communication, or at least, had an interest to protect, which
interest may either be his own or of the one to whom it is made; (2) the communication is
addressed to an officer or a board, or superior, having some interest or duty in the matter,
and who has the power to furnish the protection sought; and (3) the statements in the
communication are made in good faith and without malice.

The law requires that for a defamatory imputation made out of a legal, moral or social
duty to be privileged, such statement must be communicated only to the person or
persons who have some interest or duty in the matter alleged, and who have the power to
furnish the protection sought by the author of the statement. A written letter containing
libelous matter cannot be classified as privileged when it is published and circulated
among the public. In this case, petitioner admitted that he dictated the letter to one of her
secretaries who typed the same and made a print out of the computer. While petitioner
addressed the reply-letter to respondent, the same letter showed that it was copy furnished
to all concerned. His lack of selectivity is indicative of malice and is anathema to his
claim of privileged communication. Such publication had already created upon the minds

of the readers a circumstance which brought discredit and shame to respondents


Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code penalizes libel by means of writings or similar
means with prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging
from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by
the offended party. The courts are given the discretion to choose whether to impose a
single penalty or conjunctive penalties; that is, whether to impose a penalty of fine, or a
penalty of imprisonment only, or a penalty of both fine and imprisonment. x x x While
Vaca case, 298 SCRA 656 (1998), is for violation of B.P. 22, we find the reasons behind
the imposition of fine instead of imprisonment applicable to petitioners case of libel. We
note that this is petitioners first offense of this nature. He never knew respondent prior to
the demand letter sent by the latter to Mrs. Quingco who then sought his assistance
thereto. He appealed from the decision of the RTC and the CA in his belief that he was
merely exercising a civil or moral duty in writing the letter to private complainant.

Petitioner could have applied for probation to evade prison term but he did not do so
believing that he did not commit a crime thus, he appealed his case. We believe that the
State is concerned not only in the imperative necessity of protecting the social
organization against the criminal acts of destructive individuals but also in redeeming the
individual for economic usefulness and other social ends. Consequently, we delete the
prison sentence imposed on petitioner and instead impose a fine of six thousand pesos.

7.) OCA vs Ampong (AM# P-13-3132 June 4, 2014)

- Notably, the Court also addressed Ampongs misgivings on the issue of jurisdiction in the
same case, viz.: It is true that the CSC has administrative jurisdiction over the civil
service. As defined under the Constitution and the Administrative Code, the civil service
embraces every branch, agency, subdivision, and instrumentality of the government, and
government-owned or controlled corporations. Pursuant to its administrative authority,
the CSC is granted the power to control, supervise, and coordinate the Civil Service
examinations. This authority grants to the CSC the right to take cognizance of any
irregularity or anomaly connected with the examinations. However, the Constitution
provides that the Supreme Court is given exclusive administrative supervision over all
courts and judicial personnel. By virtue of this power, it is only the Supreme Court that
can oversee the judges and court personnels compliance with all laws, rules and
regulations. It may take the proper administrative action against them if they commit any
violation. No other branch of government may intrude into this power, without running
afoul of the doctrine of separation of powers. Thus, this Court ruled that the Ombudsman
cannot justify its investigation of a judge on the powers granted to it by the Constitution.
It violates the specific mandate of the Constitution granting to the Supreme Court
supervisory powers over all courts and their personnel; it undermines the independence of
the judiciary. x x x That she committed the dishonest act before she joined the RTC does
not take her case out of the administrative reach of the Supreme Court. The bottom line is
administrative jurisdiction over a court employee belongs to the Supreme Court,
regardless of whether the offense was committed before or after employment in the

Pursuant to the doctrine of immutability of judgment, which states that a decision that
has acquired finality becomes immutable and unalterable, and may no longer be modified
in any respect, even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact

and law, Ampong could no longer seek the August 26, 2008 Decisions modification and
reversal. Consequently, the penalty of dismissal from service on account of Ampongs
Dishonesty should be enforced in its full course. In line with Section 58(a) of the
Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service (URACCS), the penalty of
dismissal carries with it the following administrative disabilities: (a) cancellation of civil
service eligibility; (b) forfeiture of retirement benefits; and (c) perpetual disqualification
from re-employment in any government agency or instrumentality, including any
government-owned and controlled corporation or government financial institution.
Ampong should be made to similarly suffer the same.

Despite Ampongs dismissal on the ground of dishonesty, she should nevertheless be

entitled to receive her accrued leave credits, if any, pursuant to the aforementioned
provision of the URACCS, which does not include the forfeiture of the same. It is a
standing rule that despite their dismissal from the service, government employees are
entitled to the leave credits that they have earned during the period of their employment.
As a matter of fairness and law, they may not be deprived of such remuneration, which
they have earned prior to their dismissal.

It must be stressed that every employee of the Judiciary should be an example of

integrity, uprightness, and honesty. Like any public servant, she must exhibit the highest
sense of honesty and integrity not only in the performance of her official duties but also
in her personal and private dealings with other people, to preserve the courts good name
and standing. The image of a court of justice is mirrored in the conduct, official and
otherwise, of the personnel who work thereat, from the judge to the lowest of its
personnel. Court personnel have been enjoined to adhere to the exacting standards of
morality and decency in their professional and private conduct in order to preserve the
good name and integrity of the courts of justice. Here, Ampong failed to meet these
stringent standards set for a judicial employee and does not, therefore, deserve to remain
with the Judiciary.

8.) Quiachon vs Atty. Ramon (AC# 9317 June 4, 2014)

- This Court finds this to be an opportune time to remind the investigating commissioners
and the members of the Board of Governors of the IBP that the withdrawal of a
disbarment case against a lawyer does not terminate or abate the jurisdiction of the IBP
and of this Court to continue an administrative proceeding against a lawyer-respondent as
a member of the Philippine Bar. In the present case, Almeyda recommended the dismissal
of the case against respondent, even after finding that the latter had been negligent. On
the basis of this finding, the latter was declared to have been remiss in failing to update
complainant in what had happened to the cases being handled by him in behalf of
complainant. Still, Almeyda recommended the dismissal of the case, because without
the complaint, there will be no basis to make any finding of liability. The Board of
Governors of the IBP affirmed the recommendation.
- The complainant in a disbarment case is not a direct party to the case, but a witness who
brought the matter to the attention of the Court. There is neither a plaintiff nor a
prosecutor in disciplinary proceedings against lawyers. The real question for
determination in these proceedings is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be
allowed the privileges of a member of the bar. Public interest is the primary objective. We
explained why in Rayos-Ombac v. Rayos, 285 SCRA 93 (1998), viz.: The affidavit of
withdrawal of the disbarment case allegedly executed by complainant does not, in any
way, exonerate the respondent. A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed

regardless of interest or lack of interest of the complainant. What matters is whether, on

the basis of the facts borne out by the record, the charge of deceit and grossly immoral
conduct has been duly proven x x x. The complainant or the person who called the
attention of the court to the attorneys alleged misconduct is in no sense a party, and has
generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper
administration of justice. Hence, if the evidence on record warrants, the respondent may
be suspended or disbarred despite the desistance of complainant or his withdrawal of the
charges x x x.

The failure of respondent to file an appeal from the CA Decision without any justifiable
reason deserves sanction. Lawyers who disagree with the pursuit of an appeal should
properly withdraw their appearance and allow their client to retain another counsel. In
Abay v. Montesino, 417 SCRA 77 (2003), the respondent-lawyer and his client disagreed
on the legal course to be taken regarding the appealed case. The lawyer therein strongly
advised the client to abandon the appeal and to consider the other available remedies. The
client, on the other hand, wanted to pursue it. Without obtaining the assent of his client,
the respondent-lawyer deemed it wise to abandon the appeal without informing the
former. In finding the respondent-lawyer guilty of negligence, the Court explained: Not
filing an appellants brief is prejudicial because, as happened in this case, such failure
could result in the dismissal of the appeal. The conduct of respondent shows that he failed
to exercise due diligence, and that he had a cavalier attitude towards the cause of his
client. The abandonment by the former of the latters cause made him unworthy of the
trust that his client reposed in him. Even if respondent was honestly and sincerely
protecting the interests of complainant, the former still had no right to waive the appeal
without the latters knowledge and consent. If indeed respondent felt unable or unwilling
to continue his retainership, he should have properly withdrawn his appearance and
allowed the client to appoint another lawyer.

All lawyers owe fidelity to their clients cause. Regardless of their personal views, they
must present every remedy or defense within the authority of the law in support of that
cause. Whenever lawyers take on their clients cause/s, they covenant that they will
exercise due diligence in protecting the clients rights; their failure to exercise that degree
of vigilance and attention expected of a good father of a family makes them unworthy of
the trust reposed in them by their client/s and make them answerable to the client, the
courts and society.

9.) Atty, Paguia vs Atty. Molina (AC# 9881 June 4, 2014)

- It is worth noting that a case is deemed terminated if the complainant does not file a
petition with the Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Boards
resolution. This rule is derived from Section 12(c) of Rule 139-B, which states: (c) If the
respondent is exonerated by the Board or the disciplinary sanction imposed by it is less
than suspension or disbarment (such as admonition, reprimand, or fine) it shall issue a
decision exonerating respondent or imposing such sanction. The case shall be deemed
terminated unless upon petition of the complainant or other interested party filed with the
Supreme Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of the Boards resolution, the
Supreme Court orders otherwise.

When it comes to administrative cases against lawyers, two things are to be considered:
quantum of proof, which requires clearly preponderant evidence; and burden of proof,
which is on the complainant. In the present case, we find that the Complaint is without

factual basis. Complainant Atty. Paguia charges Atty. Molina with providing legal advice
to the latters clients to the effect that the Times Square Preamble is binding on
complainants client, Mr. Abreu, who was not a signatory to the agreement. The
allegation of giving legal advice, however, was not substantiated in this case, either in the
complaint or in the corresponding hearings. Nowhere do the records state that Atty.
Paguia saw respondent giving the legal advice to the clients of the latter. Bare allegations
are not proof.

Even if we assume that Atty. Molina did provide his clients legal advice, he still cannot
be held administratively liable without any showing that his act was attended with bad
faith or malice. The rule on mistakes committed by lawyers in the exercise of their
profession is as follows: An attorney-at-law is not expected to know all the law. For an
honest mistake or error, an attorney is not liable. Chief Justice Abbott said that, no
attorney is bound to know all the law; God forbid that it should be imagined that an
attorney or a counsel, or even a judge, is bound to know all the law. x x x. The default
rule is presumption of good faith. On the other hand, bad faith is never presumed. It is a
conclusion to be drawn from facts. Its determination is thus a question of fact and is
evidentiary. There is no evidence, though, to show that the legal advice, assuming it was
indeed given, was coupled with bad faith, malice, or ill will. The presumption of good
faith, therefore, stands in this case.

10.) DECS vs San Diego (GR# 89572 December 21, 1989)

- We see no reason why the rationale in the Tablarin case cannot apply to the case at bar.
The issue raised in both cases is the academic preparation of the applicant. This may be
gauged at least initially by the admission test and, indeed with more reliability, by the
three-flunk rule. The latter cannot be regarded any less valid than the former in the
regulation of the medical profession. There is no need to redefine here the police power
of the State. Suffice it to repeat that the power is validly exercised if (a) the interests of
the public generally, as distinguished from those of a particular class, require the
interference of the State, and (b) the means employed are reasonably necessary to the
attainment of the object sought to be accomplished and not unduly oppressive upon

In other words, the proper exercise of the police power requires the concurrence of a
lawful subject and a lawful method. The subject of the challenged regulation is certainly
within the ambit of the police power. It is the right and indeed the responsibility of the
State to insure that the medical profession is not infiltrated by incompetents to whom
patients may unwarily entrust their lives and health. The method employed by the
challenged regulation is not irrelevant to the purpose of the law nor is it arbitrary or
oppressive. The three-flunk rule is intended to insulate the medical schools and ultimately
the medical profession from the intrusion of those not qualified to be doctors.

While every person is entitled to aspire to be a doctor, he does not have a constitutional
right to be a doctor. This is true of any other calling in which the public interest is
involved; and the closer the link, the longer the bridge to ones ambition. The State has
the responsibility to harness its human resources and to see to it that they are not
dissipated or, no less worse, not used at all. These resources must be applied in a manner
that will best promote the common good while also giving the individual a sense of

The contention that the challenged rule violates the equal protection clause is not welltaken. A law does not have to operate with equal force on all persons or things to be
conformable to Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution. There can be no question that a
substantial distinction exists between medical students and other students who are not
subjected to the NMAT and the three-flunk rule. The medical profession directly affects
the very lives of the people, unlike other careers which, for this reason, do not require
more vigilant regulation. The accountant, for example, while belonging to an equally
respectable profession, does not hold the same delicate responsibility as that of the
physician and so need not be similarly treated. There would be unequal protection if some
applicants who have passed the tests are admitted and others who have also qualified are
denied entrance. In other words, what the equal protection requires is equality among

11.) Valdez vs Macusi, Jr. (AM# P-13-3123)

- The 30-day period imposed for the execution of the writ after the judgment has been
received by the sheriff, as well as the periodic report every 30 days, is mandatory under
the rule. In Aquino v. Martin, 411 SCRA 242 (2003), we held that it is mandatory for the
sheriff to execute the judgment and make a return on the writ of execution within the
period provided by the Rules of Court. Also, the sheriff must make periodic reports on
partially satisfied or unsatisfied writs in accordance with the rule in order that the court
and the litigants are apprised of the proceedings undertaken. Such periodic reporting on
the status of the writs must be done by the sheriff regularly and consistently every 30
days until they are returned fully satisfied.

Simple neglect of duty is the failure to give attention to a task, or the disregard of a duty
due to carelessness or indifference. Under the Revised Uniform Rules on Administrative
Cases in the Civil Service, simple neglect of duty is a less grave offense punishable with
suspension of one month and one day to six months for the first offense and dismissal for
the second offense.

As an officer of the court, Sheriff Macusi should have informed the court and inhibited
himself from enforcing the writ knowing fully well that there is a conflict of interest since
the accused is his brother. It is incumbent upon him, as an agent of the law, to adhere to
high ethical standards in order to preserve the good name and standing of the court. In
Office of the Court Administrator v. Sheriff IV Cabe, 334 SCRA 348 (2000), we
emphasized the heavy burden and responsibility which court personnel bear in view of
their exalted positions as keepers of public faith. They must be constantly reminded that
any impression of impropriety, misdeed or negligence in the performance of official
functions must be avoided. We agree with the OCA that Sheriff Macusi violated the Code
of Conduct for Court Personnel for his failure to disclose that the accused in People v.
Jorge Macusi y Wayet is his brother. The Rules classify this violation of existing Civil
Service Law and rules a serious offense punishable with suspension of one month and
one day to six months for the first offense and dismissal for the second offense.

Respondent is found guilty of committing two offenses: (1) simple neglect of duty
(second offense), and (2) violation of civil service law and rules of a serious nature (first
offense). Thus, the penalty for the more serious offense must be imposed. This is
expressly laid down under Section 55, Rule IV of the Revised Uniform Rules on
Administrative Cases in the Civil Service which states: Section 55. Penalty for the Most
Serious Offense.If the respondent is found guilty of two or more charges or counts, the

penalty to be imposed should be that corresponding to the most serious charge or count
and the rest shall be considered as aggravating circumstances. In view of the
circumstances, the penalty that should be imposed is dismissal from the government
service. However, considering that Sheriff Macusi was deemed resigned after filing his
certificate of candidacy making the penalty of dismissal no longer feasible, we impose on
him the penalty of forfeiture of retirement benefits, except accrued leave credits, with
prejudice to reemployment in any branch or instrumentality of the government, including
government-owned and controlled corporations, since he had been previously warned
that a repetition of the same or similar act would be dealt with more severely.
12.) Dulang vs Judge Jocylen (AM# MTJ-14-1841 June 2, 2014)
- Prompt disposition of cases is attained basically through the efficiency and dedication to
duty of judges. If judges do not possess those traits, delay in the disposition of cases is
inevitable to the prejudice of the litigants. Accordingly, judges should be imbued with a
high sense of duty and responsibility in the discharge of their obligation to administer
justice promptly. This is embodied in Rule 3.05, Canon 3 of the Code of Judicial Conduct
which states that [a] judge shall dispose of the courts business promptly and decide
cases within the required periods and echoed in Section 5, Canon 6 of the New Code of
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary which provides that [j]udges shall perform
all judicial duties, including the delivery of reserved decisions, efficiently, fairly, and with
reasonable promptness.

Being an ejectment case, it is governed by the Rules of Summary Procedure which

clearly sets a period of thirty (30) days from the submission of the last affidavit or
position paper within which a decision thereon must be issued. Despite this, Judge
Regencia rendered judgment only about two (2) years and four (4) months later, or on
February 18, 2011. While rules prescribing the time within which certain acts must be
done are indispensable to prevent needless delays in the orderly and speedy disposition of
cases and, thus, should be regarded as mandatory, the Court has nevertheless been
mindful of the plight of judges and has been understanding of circumstances that may
hinder them from promptly disposing of their businesses and, as such, has allowed
extensions of time due to justifiable reasons. However, Judge Regencia failed to proffer
any acceptable reason in delaying the disposition of the ejectment case, thus, making her
administratively liable for undue delay in rendering a decision.

Undue delay in rendering a decision is classified as a less serious charge, punishable

either by: (a) suspension from office without salary and other benefits for not less than
one nor more than three months; or (b) a fine of more than P10,000.00 but not exceeding
P20,000.00. In imposing the proper sanction on Judge Regencia, the Court notes that
aside from her aforementioned misrepresentation, she was also previously found
administratively liable for gross inefficiency where she was ordered to pay a fine of
P5,000.00 and warned that a repetition of the same or similar offense will be dealt with
more severely. Moreover, as correctly observed by Justice Arturo D. Brion during the
deliberations of this case, her length of service of more than 17 years should be taken
against her instead of being considered a mitigating factor as she should have already
known that Civil Case No. 212-B, being an ejectment case, is a summary proceeding and,
thus, ought to be expeditiously resolved. Hence, a fine of P40,000.00, instead of
suspension, should be the appropriate penalty for Judge Regencias misconduct.