Arevalo v. Hon. Pusgac, Presiding Judge, MTC, Camarines Sur


Arevalo v. Hon. Pusgac, Presiding Judge, MTC, Camarines Sur

A.M. No. MTJ-10-1928

August 19, 2019


                That on or about 5:00 in the afternoon of March 1, 2010, at Brgy. San Ramon, Municipality of Siruma, Camarines Sur, Philippines, and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the abovenamed accused, while Junelda and her relatives were preparing for the burial of her late mother Ester M. Zantua-Agravante in her own property located at Lot 50, Pinamandayanan, San Ramon, Siruma, Camarines Sur, Sps. Oscar Arevalo and Juliana P. Arevalo and their sons blocked the barangay road using cut trees, after more or 50 meters away from the barangay road 7 armed men holding sharp jungle bolos were stationed side by side of the road, while in the presence and within the hearing distance of several persons, threaten the undersigned complainant, by directing to the undersigned complainant the following threatening remark to wit: KUNG GARADANAN! GARADANAN!" PASALAMA T KA TA DAKUL KAMO!! TA KUNG DAI. .. GADAN KA NA! .. " (If it is killing, then it is killing. You are lucky because there are many of you. If not, you are already dead)" and other words of similar import, thereby casting fear, dishonor, discredit and contempt upon the person of the undersigned.


                Whether or the Judge should be liable


                Yes. The respondent judge's outright issuance of warrants of arrest against the complainants notwithstanding the applicability of the foregoing rules showed his serious lack of knowledge and understanding of basic legal rules and principles. The applicable rules had long been effective in criminal prosecutions, and the respondent judge could not have presented any acceptable excuse for his failure to know or apply them in the complainant's criminal cases. Even his defense of good faith is rendered futile by considering the nature, extent and effects of his transgressions. The Court held in Department of Justice v. Judge Mislang, that persistent disregard of well-known elementary rules reflects bad faith and partiality. In Uy v. Judge Javellana, where respondent judge therein also issued a warrant of arrest in a case covered by the rules on summary procedure, it was ruled that: Every judge is required to observe the law. When the law is sufficiently basic, a judge owes it to his office to simply apply it; and anything less than that would be constitutive of gross ignorance of the law. In short, when the law is so elementary, not to be aware of it constitutes gross ignorance of the law.


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