CD: Amosco v. Judge Magro

August 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm (1976, Case Digests) (, , )

AMOSCO v. JUDGE MAGRO
A.M. No. 439-MJ September 30, 1976
Fernando, J.

Doctrine:
Misconduct is such act or conduct as affects the performance of the duties of a public officer and not only such as affects his character as a private individual.

In order for serious misconduct to be shown, there must be reliable evidence showing that the judicial acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an intention to violate the law, or were in persistent disregard of well known legal rules.

Facts:
Petitioner stated that respondent judge must be held answerable of grave misconduct for the latter’s alleged failure to pay the Burma sacks purchased.

Acting Judicial Consultant, Justice Lorenzo Relova recommended for the outright dismissal of the case. As ruled by Relova, the term ‘just debts’, applies to (1) claims adjudicated by a court of law, or (2) claims the existence and justness of which are admitted by the debtor [Section 19(N), Rule XVIII, B, Civil Service Rules]. Respondent’s defense that the debt was already settled, as evidenced by the original receipt issued by Amosco, would already refute complainant’s assertion and place the money claim beyond the purview of the term “just debts.”

Issue:
Whether or not the non-payment of a debt by a judge is considered “gross misconduct” as to warrant his removal from office

Held:
No. Misconduct is such act or conduct as affects the performance of the duties of a public officer and not only such as affects his character as a private individual. It is necessary to separate the character of the man from the character of the officer. Misconduct, malfeasance or misfeasance warranting removal from office of an officer, must have direct relation to and be connected with the performance of official duties amounting either to maladministration or willful intentional neglect and failure to discharge the duties of the office (Lacson v. Lopez).

In order for serious misconduct to be shown, there must be reliable evidence showing that the judicial acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an intention to violate the law, or were in persistent disregard of well known legal rules (In re Horilleno).

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