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MACEDA, Presiding Judge of Branch 12, Regional Trial Court of Antique,
and AVELINO T. JAVELLANA, respondents.|||
Atty Avelino Javellana was imputed with supplying guns and being the plotter of
the gunning of ex-Governor of Antique. He was at large, and when he was
arrested respondent judge ruled in favor of the motion to allow IBP to take
custody of him. Respondent judge also allowed him to go on medical check ups.
On the hearing for bail of Atty Javellana, Senior provincial prosecutor moved that
the hearing be rescheduled but such was denied. On the day of the hearing,
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor was arrested for contempt of court for walking
Detailed Facts

1.In the morning of 11 February 1986, the late ex-Governor of Antique, Evelio Javier,
was gunned down in the plaza of San Jose, Antique
2. Immediately thereafter,a complaint against John Paloy and Vicente Vegafria was
filed with the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor.
3. During the preliminary investigation, private respondent Avelino T. Javellana
appeared as counsel for the accused,
4. Then Federico Carluto, Jr.,Evelyn Magara and Fritz Xavier executed affidavits
implicating private respondent, Avelino Javellana in the killing of the late Evelio
5.Private respondent Avelino T. Javellana, together with John Paloy, Vicente Vegafria,
Eduardo Iran alias "Boy Muslim", alias "Muklo", Rudolfo Pacificador Alias "Ding",
Arturo F. Pacificador and several John Does, were charged with the crime of murder,
frustrated murder and for four (4) counts of attempted murder.
6. Of the nineteen (19) accused, only six (6) had been apprehended and/or
surrendered, namely: John Paloy, Vicente Vegafria, Rolando Bernardino, Jesus Garcia
y Amorsolo alias "Nono Picoy", Jose Delumen alias "Winfield" and Romeo Nagales
alias "Reming". All the others were at large, including herein private respondent
Avelino Javellana.
7.On 12 May 1989, private respondent was arrested by the Constabulary Security
Group (CSG) in Paraaque, Metro Manila.
8. Affidavits of Tianzon imputed that Respondent Javellana supplied them with the
guns and was the plotter
9. Respondent Judge promulgated a resolution which concludes Respondent Javellana
did not supply such guns, was not the plotter and that there are not enough evidence to
substantiate such claim.
10.Upon receipt of the resolution, prosecution through Senior State Prosecutor
Aurelio C. Trampe, immediately filed a motion to inhibit the respondent Judge, on the
ground of manifest partiality to private respondent,

11.Afterwards, the prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration 30 of the order of 1

September 1989 which denied the prosecution's motion to discharge accused Oscar
12.At the hearing for Resp. Javellanas bail, only Assistant Provincial Prosecutor John
Turalba appeared for the prosecution, manifesting that he was appearing only to
reiterate the Senior State Prosecutor's motion for deferment of the scheduled hearings
on private respondent's petition for bail. Private respondent opposed the motion. The
respondent Judge denied the motion, and directed the prosecution to present its
evidence in opposition to the private respondent's petition for bail.
13.The Asst Prosecutor moved for reconsideration, but was denied.
14. At this juncture, the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor manifested that he was not
participating in the proceedings and begged to be allowed to leave the courtroom,
which the respondent Judge refused.
15.Nevertheless, Assistant Provincial Prosecutor John Turalba walked out and, while
walking towards the door, respondent Judge ordered the Sheriff to arrest him.
Thereafter, respondent Judge issued an order finding Assistant Provincial Prosecutor
John Turalba in contempt of court;
16.Bail to Responent Javellana was approved, and Asst Provincial Prosecutor was
penalized with 10 days imprisonment.
17.Hence, a petition to inhibit the judge is filed.
(1) Did the respondent judge acted with grave abuse of discretion?
The respondent Judge, however, has, to our mind, sufficiently explained in the
order of 7 August 1989 the reasons behind the issuance of the aforesaid orders.
Considering the foregoing, the Court finds and so holds that respondent Judge did not
commit grave abuse of discretion, i.e., that he did not act "arbitrarily", "capriciously"
or "despotically" amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in issuing the questioned
orders of 3, 7 and 8 August 1989.
(2) Was the contempt of court penalty proper? No.
Contempt of court presupposes a contumacious attitude, a flouting or arrogant
belligerence, a defiance of the court. 41 And, while courts are inherently empowered
to punish for contempt to the end that they may enforce their authority, preserve their
integrity, maintain their dignity, and insure the effectiveness of the administration of
justice, 42 nevertheless, such power should be exercised on the preservative and not
on the vindictive principle, for the power to punish for contempt, being drastic and
extraordinary in its nature, should not be resorted to unless necessary in the interest of
justice. 43

A perusal of the transcript of the hearing held on 14 September 1989 shows that
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor John Turalba had not made any statement that could
be considered as "contumacious" or an affront to the dignity of the court. And, while
the act of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Turalba of "walking out" does not meet our
approval as he should have stayed after the respondent Judge had denied his
motion for permission to leave the courtroom yet, the respondent Judge, in
ordering the incarceration of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Turalba, acted beyond
the permissible limits of his power to punish for contempt. LexLib


premature to rule upon.
And now to the question on whether or not respondent Judge should be disqualified
from further hearing Crime. Cases Nos. 3350-3355, Section 1, Rule 137 of the Rules
of Court provides:
"Section 1. Disqualification of judges. No judge or judicial officer
shall sit in any case in which he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily
interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is
related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or
affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree, computed according
to the rules of the civil law, or in which he has been executor,
administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in which he has
presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the
subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in
interest, signed by them and entered upon the records.
"A judge, may in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify
himself from sitting in a case, for just or valid reasons other than
those mentioned above."
In the case at bar, the reason relied upon for the inhibition or disqualification of
respondent Judge, i.e. manifest partiality to private respondent, is not based on any of
the grounds enumerated in the first paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137 which per
se disqualifies a judge from sitting in a case, but on the second paragraph thereof. The
settled rule is that the judge is left to decide for himself whether he will desist, for just
or valid reasons, from sitting in a case. Respondent Judge has not as yet decided
whether or not he will inhibit himself from further hearing Criminal Cases Nos. 33503355 in the face of the prosecution's motion to disqualify or inhibit him. It would be
premature for the Court at this stage to rule on the matter.