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DRAFTING OF COURT RESOLUTIONS AND DECISIONS BY STUDENTS?

Seven court employees accused Judge A for violation of Memorandum Circular No.
123, by asking students as OJT in the trial court to draft court resolutions and decisions.
They presented a copy of a memorandum issued by Judge A to student B for typing
of case inventory report. This complaint was repeated by seventy court employees in
another administrative case against Judge A.

Did Judge A violate Memorandum Circular No. 123? The answer is in the negative.

Memorandum Circular No. 123 does not apply to lower courts but only to the Supreme
Court and its administrative offices upon a cursory reading of it.

The students falsely accused of rendering On-the-Job Training by seven complainants


executed affidavits to refute the false charge of ordering them by Judge A to draft courts
resolutions and decisions by Judge A. They reiterate that they were there as court
observers since their classmates were allowed as court observers in RTC in the same
City.

According to Judge A, the students cannot draft courts resolutions and decisions
because they have no knowledge of law. They are not lawyers but students taking up
courses that are unrelated to legal field. In Abellanosa v. Judge Delorino, A.M. No. RTJ-
08-2106, October 19, 2010: Abellanosa accused Delorino of engaging the services of a
certain Socrates Manarang to draft decisions and/or resolutions for her. Abellanosa
claimed that Manarang was not employed in the RTC of Makati, but Delorino allowed him
to bring home case records for the preparation of decisions. She said that Manarang was
also allowed to stay and work within the premises of the Makati RTC, Branch 137 and
borrow books from its library. Here, there is no sufficient, clear and convincing evidence
to hold Delorino administratively liable. In the instant case, as found during the
investigation, except for Abellanosas allegations, no evidence was adduced to show that
Delorino indeed employed Manarang to draft decisions for her. During cross-examination,
Abellanosa even admitted that she did not have any personal knowledge thereof and she
merely relied on what Manarang allegedly told her. This alone, will not hold.

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There is no evidence to support the accusation of complainants against Judge A other
than their self-serving allegations intended to subject Judge A to penalties. There are
no names and dates of the cases allegedly drafted for decisions and resolutions by the
students as ordered upon them by Judge A . In Alfonso v. Ignacio, 487 Phil. 1, 7 (2004),
Accusation is not synonymous with guilt. This brings to fore the application of the age-old
but familiar rule that he who alleges a fact has the burden of proving it for mere allegation
is not evidence. Reliance on mere allegation, conjectures and suppositions will leave an
administrative complaint with no leg to stand on.

The students sought permission to report to Judge A in compliance of their school


requirements as court observers. Judge A was informed that there are students allowed
to be observers in RTC in Z City. Upon learning of it, Judge A agreed. The students
were allowed to stay in the court's premises as court observers in a short duration of time
for them to know how the court works.

Judge A did not tell them to do judicial tasks because of express prohibition of
memorandum Circular No. 123. With respect to memorandum issued by Judge A to
student B for typing of case inventory report, it was not followed. None of them complied
with the same. It was not officially copy given to the parties because of the prohibition of
non-court personnel to perform clerical tasks in court when Judge A received a letter
from Assistant Court Administrator F about the detail of locally funded personnel
sometime. Judge A did not impose any sanctions on them for non-compliance of said
memorandum because it is not official. The subject memorandum was given to court
employee G to re-type it but she did not instead she attached it as an evidence against
Judge A in an administrative complaint. Also, the students did not sign on the
memorandum to prove non-receipt of them of it. The attached memorandum to their
complaint was not signed by any person to prove it is indeed, it is in the same level of a
draft memorandum.

There is nothing on record to prove that a non-court personnel encoded the cases for
monthly report. Also, there is naught as competent proof to corroborate their statement
that Judge A asked non-court personnel to read and draft resolutions and decisions.

In fact, Judge A has required all others to secure permission from the Office of the Court
Administrator if they want to be On-the-Job (OJT) trainees not merely as court observers.
Judge A has also rejected similar applications from others who wanted to undergo On-
the- Job (OJT) training because of the express directive of Assistant Court Administrator
F during a phone conversation. She told Judge A that On-the-Job (OJT) training is
prohibited.
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Also, it was reported in media that Supreme Court En Banc, adopted the following: With
the help of the US Agency for International Development, American Bar Association, The
Asia Foundation and Asian Development Bank, the Supreme Court recently launched a
new, system-wide but rifle-focused reform project, nicknamed Hustisyeah. The
immediate aim is to reduce docket congestion and ultimately to speed up the dispensation
of justice in the trial courts. Paralegals and law students will have to be trained and
deployed to help. They can assist in typologizing the cases and identify those for dismissal
or archiving. They should be trained to prepare case briefs to make it easy for the judges
to decide what cases can be dismissed moto proprio or archived or mediated (With Due
Respect: Hustisyeah to decongest the judiciary by Artemio V. Panganiban, Philippine
Daily Inquirer 11:13 pm | Saturday, July 27th, 2013 ).

The actual case is OCA IPI No. 11-2378-MTJ Judge Bibiano Colasito, Vice Executive
Judge Bonifacio Pascua, Judge Restituto Mangalindan Jr. , Judge Catherine Manodon,
Miguel Infante, Emma Annie Arafiles, Racquel Diano, Pedro Doctolero Jr., Lydia Casas,
Auxencio Clemente, Ma. Cecilia Gertrudes R. Salvador, Zenaida N. Geronimo, Virginia
D. Galang, Elsa Garnet, Amor Abad, Emelina J. San Miguel, Maxima C. Sayo, Romer H.
Aviles, Froilan Robert L. Tomas, Dennis M. Echegoyen, Norman Garcia, Noel Labid,
Eleanor N. Bayog, Leilani A. Tejero Lopez, Ana Maria V. Francisco, Soledad J. Bassig,
Marissa Mashhoor Rastgooy, Marie Luz M. Obida, Evelyn P. Depalobos, Joseph B.
Pamatmat, Zenaida N. Geronimo, Benjie V. Ore, Fortunato E. Diezmo, Nomer B.
Villanueva, Edwina A. Jurok, Fatima V. Rojas, Eduardo E. Ebreo, Ronalyn T. Almarvez,
Ma. Victoria C. Ocampo, Elizabeth Lipura, Mary Ann J. Cayanan, Manolo Manuel E.
Garcia, Petronilo C. Primacio Jr., Edward Eric Santos, Armina B. Almonte, Elizabeth G.
Villanueva, Erwin Russ B. Ragasa, Bien T. Camba, Marlon M. Suligan, Chanda B.
Tolentino, Ferdinand R. Molina, Lanie F. Aguinaldo, Jasmine L. Lindain, Emilio P.
Domine, Arnold P. Obial, Ricardo E. Lampitoc, Jerome H. Aviles, Ana Lea M. Estacio,
Cristina E. Lampitoc, Melanie DC Begasa, Evangeline M. Ching, Karla Mae Pacunayen,
Ronaldo S. Quijano, Domingo H. Hocosol, Edwin P. Ubana, Marvin O. Balicuatro, Ma.
Luz D. Dionisio, Maribel A. Molina, Sevilla B. Del Castillo, Aida Josefina Ignacio, Benigno
A. Marzan, Ignacio Gonzales, Lawrence D. Perez, and Edmundo Vergara vs. Judge Eliza
B. Yu
The Philippine Supreme Court sustained the legal arguments of Judge Eliza B. Yu.