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Digest: Ong v. Rosales (325 SCRA 689, 2000)

Digest:  Ong v. Rosales (325 SCRA 689, 2000)


Facts:  Complainant Victor D. Ong avers that in connection with the aforecited civil case, a compromise agreement 2 was entered into in his behalf by his counsel, Atty. Abraham G. Espejo, and Atty. Gilbert M. Fabella, attorney-in-fact of plaintiff Anunciacion Jayin. Judge Rosales prepared an Order 3 approving the compromise agreement and signed the same on January 17, 1997, a copy of which was received by the complainant’s messenger. Complainant thought that everything was settled. Later, he received word from Atty. Fabella requesting two hundred thousand (P200,000.00) pesos as additional compensation. Subsequently, he received notice from Judge Rosales that the court had not approved the compromise agreement and his order approving the compromise agreement was not effective.

Complainant avers that Judge Rosales and Atty. Fabella conspired with each other to the complainant’s prejudice. Complainant inquires why Judge Rosales had allowed Atty. Fabella to repeatedly postpone the hearing of the case. He avers that Judge Rosales abused his authority and made a sham out of court proceedings by rendering inoperative an order that he had signed. Furthermore, complainant wants to know why respondent judge insisted he did not issue the order when the same had his signature. Lastly, complainant claims that respondent judge’s actions can only erode the faith in the judicial system of laymen like him. He requests for an investigation of Judge Rosales and then appropriate sanction, if the latter is guilty. He also seeks investigation of Atty. Fabella by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Issue: Whether or not respondent judge is guilty.

Ruling: the Office of the Court Administrator found negligence on the part of the respondent judge for the premature and highly irregular release of the questioned order, and recommended that the judge be reprimanded.

Judges, by the very delicate nature of their functions, should be more circumspect in the performance of their duties. 6 By his own admission, respondent judge failed to live up to this standard. He explained in his comment that the Order dated January 17, 1997 was removed from his desk by someone from among his staff and was released by one of his clerks to the defendant’s representative who happened to be in the office. The respondent judge, however, hastily absolved his clerk of any wrongdoing when he said that he was convinced that no member of his staff acted with malice.




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