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The New Code of Judicial Conduct

for the Philippine Judiciary

Ronel Depalubos
Manuel Patrimonio II

Canon 1
Judicial independence is a prerequisite to the rule of law and a
fundamental guarantee of a fair trial.
A judge shall therefore uphold and
exemplify judicial independence in
both individual and institutional

Section 1
Judges shall exercise the judicial
function independently on the basis
of their assessment of the facts and
in accordance with a conscientious
understanding of the law, free of any
extraneous influence, inducement,
pressure, threat or interference,
direct or indirect, from any quarter or
for any reason.

Section 2
In performing judicial duties, judges
shall be independent from judicial
colleagues in respect of decisions
which the judge is obliged to make

Section 3
Judges shall refrain from influencing
in any manner the outcome of
litigation or dispute pending before
another court or administrative

Section 4
Judges shall not allow family, social,
or other relationships to influence
judicial conduct or judgment. The
prestige of judicial office shall not be
used or lent to advance the private
interests of others, nor convey or
impression that they are in a special
position to influence the judge.

Section 5
Judges shall not only be from from
inappropriate connections with, and
influence by, the executive and
legislative branches of government,
but must also appear to be free there
from to a reasonable observer.

Section 6
Judges shall be independent in
relation to society in general and in
relation to the particular parties to a
dispute which he or she has to

Section 7
Judges shall encourage and uphold
safeguards for the discharge of
judicial duties in order to maintain
and enhance the institutional and
operational independence of the

Section 8
Judges shall exhibit and promote high
standards of judicial conduct in order
to reinforce public confidence in the
judiciary, which is fundamental to the

Sabitsana, Jr. v. Villamor
Facts: Judge Villamor, in his capacity as
the executive judge, designated Judge
Pitao as the acting MTC judge of a
municipality. Thereafter, Judge Villamor
sent a letter through the wife of a certain
accused in a criminal case, which had long
been pending before the MCTC. The note
is to the effect that Judge Pitao should

Acquit the accused but when Pitao decided

otherwise, Judge Villamor directed the former
to forward the record to the latters sala.
Judge Villamor then acquited the accused.
Did Judge Villamor commit an act of
Held: Yes. A judge should avoid impropriety
and the appearance of impropriety in all
activities. A judge shall not influence in any
manner the outcome of litigation or dispute
pending before another court. This is because
such interference does not only subvert the

Independence of the judiciary but

also undermines the peoples faith in
its integrity and impartiality. Here,
Judge Villamors act of sending a
note to Judge Pitao for the latter to
decide a case in favor of the accused
constitiutes undue interference.

Alfonso v. Alonzo-Legasto
Facts: Several employees of the city
goverment of Quezon City were
appointed and assigned at the office
of the Clerk of Court-MeTc QC to
assist the organic staff of the
judiciary. However, the executive
judge of Metc QC, in view of a
reorganization plan, returned those
employees to different offices of QC
government saying that the court is

The QC Mayor to re-employ the laid off

employees. Did the judge commit any
improper conduct?
Held: Yes. An executive judge has no
authority to cause transfer of court
employees as the jurisdiction to do so is
lodged solely upon the SC through the
office of the Court Administrator. This is
so because of the need to maintain
judicial independence. Moreover, a
judge shall be free from in appropriate

Connections with and influence from

the executive and legislative branch.
Here, the judge did not act
independently of the LGU when she
asked the Mayor of QC to re-employ
the diplaced employees instead of
informing the SC through the OCA of
the nedd to streamline her court of
its personal needs.