A.M. No. P–12–3069, January 20, 2014
ATTY. VIRGILIO P. ALCONERA, Complainant, v. ALFREDO T. PALLANAN, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
VELASCO JR., J.:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendant MORITO RAFOLS, his privies, assigns, heirs, transferee, sublessee, co–lessee or agents if any to vacate from the subject lots and deliver possession thereof to the plaintiffs and for defendant to pay back rentals of P5,000.00 per month from June 2008 and every succeeding months thereafter until he vacate the premises and to jointly and severally, together with all other defendants, pay attorney’s fees in the amount of P20,000.00 with the other defendants and costs of litigation.
ATTY. ALCONERA: Pag hatod nimo didto sa demolition order, kabalo ka na wala pa ko kadawat ug denial? (When you served the demolition order, you know that I did not yet receive a copy of the denial order?)It is against the foregoing backdrop of events that Alconera filed a Complaint–Affidavit3 against the respondent sheriff for grave misconduct before this Court on April 6, 2011. The case was referred to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) and was docketed as AM No. 11–3634–P. As directed by the OCA, respondent filed his comment.4 In it, he averred that the duty of a court sheriff in enforcing a writ of execution is ministerial, and without a TRO enjoining it, a sheriff is duty bound to implement it.
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Denial sa unsa, motion? (Denial of what, motion?)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Oo. (Yes.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Attorney, ang motion inyoha nang kuan diri sa korte, and akoa sa writ ko. As long as the sheriff did not receive a TRO or any order from the court restraining him to implement the writ, I have to go. So in case, just in case, na may resolution si judge na ireconsider and iyang order after they declare, ideliver na sa area kung asa gi–execute so the sheriff will move out. (Attorney, the motion, that is your… what do you call this, here in court. Mine is the writ. As long as the sheriff did not receive a TRO or any order from the court restraining him to implement the writ, I have to go. So in case, just in case, the judge reconsiders his order, they will declare, deliver it to the area where the writ if executed so the sheriff will move out.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Mo execute diay ka? Dili diay ka mangutana kung duna pa bay motion for recon ani? (So you will execute? You will not inquire whether a motion for reconsideration has been filed?)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Bisag may motion for recon na, Attorney, I have to go gyud. (Even if there is a motion for reconsideration, I really have to go.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Uy, di man na ingon ana, uy! Ana imong natun–an as sheriff?
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Oo mao na sya. Mao na sya – sa akoa ha, mao na sya. (Yes, that is it. That is it – to me ha, that is it.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Kita ra ta sa Supreme Court ani. (Let us see each other in the Supreme Court.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: …(unintelligible) Ang imoha ana…imong motion ana… and imong motion ana, delaying tactic. (Your motion is a delaying tactic.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Ah, sige lang, atubang lang ta sa Supreme Court. (Ok, let’s just see each other in the Supreme Court.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Oo, atubangon nako ko na siya, pero mag–review pud ka.
ATTY. ALCONERA: Unsay mag–review? (What review?)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Motion nang imoha, Dong. (Yours is motion, Dong.) (“Dong” is equivalent to the Filipino term “Totoy”; if used by one to address someone older than him, it is an insult.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Naunsa man ka, Dong. (What happened to you, Dong?)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Motion na imoha… Dapat diri ka mag file, dili ka didto mag–file. Ayaw ko awaya. (Yours is motion. You should file it here, you do not file it there. Don’t quarrel with me.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Lahi imong tono sa akoa sa telepono Dong ba. (You were rude in the telephone, Dong.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Oo, kay lain man pud ka mag sulti. Ang imong venue kay diri, dili sa area. (Yes, because you also talked bad, your venue is here in court, not in the area.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Ingon nako sa imo nakadawat ka ba.. nakadawat ba ug… (I was just asking you whether you received…)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Dili nako na concern. (That is not my concern.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: O, ngano nag ingon man ka nga “Ayaw ko diktahe, Attorney?” (Why did you say, “Don’t dictate on me, Attorney?”)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Yes, do not dictate me. Kay abogado ka, sheriff ko. Lahi tag venue. Trabaho akoa, magtrabaho pud ka. (Yes, do not dictate me. Because you are a lawyer, and I am a sheriff. I do my job, you do yours.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Bastos kaayo ka manulti ba. (You are very rude!)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Ikaw ang bastos! (You are the one who is rude!)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Magkita ta sa Supreme Court. (I will see you in the Supreme Court.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Magkita ta, eh! Ikaw lang akong hadlukan nga wala man ka sa area. (As you wish, I am not afraid of you, you were not in the area.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Unsa nang inyong style diri, Kempeta? (What is your style here, Kempetai?)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Dili man! Na may order. Why can’t you accept? (No! There is an order. Why can’t you accept?)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Naay proseso, Dong. Mao ning proseso: ang MR, proseso ang MR. (There is a process, Dong. This is the process: MR.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Oo, proseso pud na ang akong pagimplement. Naa’y writ. (Yes, my implementing the writ is also a process. There is a writ.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Nabuang, ka Dong? (What is going on with you, Dong?)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Ka dugay na nimo nga abogado, wala ka kabalo! (You have been a lawyer for a long time now, yet you do not know!)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Dugay na bitaw. Ikaw bago ka lang na sheriff. (Yes, I have been a lawyer for a long time now, you, you are new in your job as sheriff).
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Pero kabalo ko. (But I know.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Susmaryosep!
SHERIFF PALLANAN: O, di ba? Wala sa padugayay. Naa sa kahibalo. (Isn’t that true? It is not the length of time one has spent on his job. It is the knowledge that one possesses.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Tanawa imong pagka sheriff, Dong. (Know you job as a sheriff, Dong.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Tanawa pud imong pagka abogado kung sakto. Pilde! Sige mo pangulekta didto ibayad sa imo! (Know your job also as a lawyer, see if you are correct. Loser! You [and the Rafols] are always collecting [from the other defendants] so your fees can be paid!)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Ngano wala man lagi nimo kuhaa ang mga butang didto, Dong? (Why did you not bring with you the things that you had gathered, Dong.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Oo, kay hulaton ta ka pag demotion. (Yes, because I will wait for you on demotion day.)
ATTY. ALCONERA: Nahadlok ka, Dong. (You were afraid, Dong.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Wala ko nahadlok, Doy. Sa demotion adto didto, Attorney. Sulayi ko! Sulayan nato imong pagkaabogado! (I’m not afraid of you, Doy. On demotion day, you go there, Attorney. You try me! Let us see how good a lawyer you are.) (“Doy” is the same as “Dong.”)
ATTY. ALCONERA: March 22 pa ang hearing sa imong abogado, Dong. (The hearing of the motion of your lawyer, is on March 22 yet, Dong.)
SHERIFF PALLANAN: Asus, Pinobre na imong style, Attorney. Bulok! (Your style is that of an impoverished lawyer, Attorney. Dullard!)
6. GRAVE MISCONDUCT OF ATTY. VIRGILIO ALCONERA – The planned attack happened in our office on March 18, 2011 in the afternoon, after lunch, in the presence of his lady companion (believed to [be] his daughter), who is so delighted in taking videos. He is so angry and at rage as if he is the boss in our office, yelling and nagging at me with NO RESPECT as a nomad. THE ONLY PERSON AROUND WAS ME, THE GIRL HE BROUGHT THERE (who is taking videos), AND THE NAGGING ATTY. VIRGILIO ALCONERA (JUST THREE OF US), while pointing his finger into his MOTION for Reconsideration that he is holding [sic] almost an inch to my face. Saying “KITA NIMO NI, KITA NIMO NI?” NA INSULTO KO NIMO NGANO WALA KA NI PATOO NAKO PAYLAN TAKA UG KASO HULATA SA SUPREME COURT! (DO YOU SEE THIS? DO YOU SEE THIS? YOU INSULTED ME WHY DID YOU NOT FOLLOW MY ORDER I WILL FILE CHARGES AGAINST YOU WAIT FOR IT IN THE SUPREME COURT!) HE wants me to shiver in scare and expect me to beg. No, GO I said. I ALWAYS REPEATED THE WORDS “WHERE IS YOUR T.R.O. Just present it.” Because he is too loud, Mrs. Nenita Paredes, our stenographer, ARRIVED and middle on us our arguments. On the mid part of the arguments, he recorded the events; he and his companion, cohort in designing the plan of the attack, orchestrated it. IT’S AN ASSAULT TO THE OFFICER OF THE LAW. He told me – SHERIFF KA LANG WALA KAY NABAL AN. NGANON NADAWAT MAN KA DIRI BOGO KA. (YOU ARE JUST A SHERIFF. WHAT DO YOU KNOW? WHY ARE YOU ADMITTED HERE YOU DUMB, WHO TAUGHT YOU THAT?) Ana mo diri IPINATAY! KINSA NAG TUDLO SA IMOHA ANA. While he almost struck his motion papers into my face, I was caught unaware.
Based on the findings and evaluation, the herein Executive Judge hereby recommends the respondent Sheriff be ADMONISHED. The respondent must be reminded that as a Court Employee, he must exercise utmost patience and humility in the performance of his duties amidst all the pressures and personal attacks against his person because he carried with him the image of the entire judiciary.
- For enforcing the writ despite the fact that complainant has yet to receive the copy of the order denying his motion for reconsideration on the issuance of the writ of execution;
- For allegedly leaking to the opposing counsel the issuance of the order denying the motion for reconsideration;
- For allegedly demanding P720,000 from Rafols for a P165,000.00 obligation; and
- For allegedly being arrogant and disrespectful.
Section 19. Immediate execution of judgment; how to stay same. — If judgment is rendered against the defendant, execution shall issue immediately upon motion, unless an appeal has been perfected and the defendant to stay execution files a sufficient supersedeas bond, approved by the Municipal Trial Court and executed in favor of the plaintiff to pay the rents, damages, and costs accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and unless, during the pendency of the appeal, he deposits with the appellate court the amount of rent due from time to time under the contract, if any, as determined by the judgment of the Municipal Trial Court. In the absence of a contract, he shall deposit with the Regional Trial Court the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the premises for the preceding month or period at the rate determined by the judgment of the lower court on or before the tenth day of each succeeding month or period. The supersedeas bond shall be transmitted by the Municipal Trial Court, with the other papers, to the clerk of the Regional Trial Court to which the action is appealed.
Section 10. Execution of judgments for specific act. —
x x x
(c) Delivery or restitution of real property. — The officer shall demand of the person against whom the judgment for the delivery or restitution of real property is rendered and all persons claiming rights under him to peaceably vacate the property within three (3) working days, and restore possession thereof to the judgment obligee, otherwise, the officer shall oust all such persons therefrom with the assistance, if necessary, of appropriate peace officers, and employing such means as may be reasonably necessary to retake possession, and place the judgment obligee in possession of such property. Any costs, damages, rents or profits awarded by the judgment shall be satisfied in the same manner as a judgment for money.
Public service requires integrity and discipline. For this reason, public servants must exhibit at all times the highest sense of honesty and dedication to duty. By the very nature of their duties and responsibilities, they must faithfully adhere to, hold sacred and render inviolate the constitutional principle that a public office is a public trust; that all public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty and efficiency.
x x x
At all times, employees of the judiciary are expected to accord respect to the person and the rights of another, even a co–employee. Their every act and word should be characterized by prudence, restraint, courtesy and dignity. Government service is people–oriented; high–strung and belligerent behavior has no place therein.
Rude and hostile behavior often translates a personal conflict into a potent pollutant of an otherwise peaceful work environment; ultimately, it affects the quality of service that the office renders to the public. Letting personal hatred affect public performance is a violation of the principle enshrined in the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, a principle that demands that public interest be upheld over personal ones.
Improper behavior especially during office hours exhibits not only a paucity of professionalism at the workplace, but also great disrespect for the court itself. Such demeanor is a failure of circumspection demanded of every public official and employee. Thus, the Court looks “with great disfavor upon any display of animosity by any court employee” and exhorts every court personnel to act with strict propriety and proper decorum to earn public trust for the judiciary. Colleagues in the judiciary, including those occupying the lowliest position, are entitled to basic courtesy and respect.
In discharging its constitutional duty of supervising lower courts and their personnel, this Court cannot ignore the fact that the judiciary is composed essentially of human beings who have differing personalities, outlooks and attitudes; and who are naturally vulnerable to human weaknesses. Nevertheless, the Code of Judicial Ethics mandates that court personnel must not only be, but also be perceived to be, free from any impropriety –– with respect not only to their duties in the judicial branch, but also to their behavior anywhere else.
1 Penned by Judge Jose A. Bersales; Exhibit “F” of the Judicial Affidavit of Virgilio Alconera.
2Rollo, p. 14.
3 Id. at 1.
4 Id. at 173.
5 Exhibit “J” of the Judicial Affidavit of Virgilio Alconera.
6Rollo, p. 188.
7 Penned by Judge Oscar P. Noel, Jr.
8Tan v. Quitorio, A.M. No. P–11–2919, May 31, 2011.
9Lim v. Uni–Tan Marketing Corporation, G.R. No. 147328, February 20, 2002, 377 SCRA 491, 499.
10Chua v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 113886, February 24, 1998, 286 SCRA 437, 444–445.
11De Laureano v. Adil, No. L–43345, July 29, 1976, 72 SCRA 149, 157.
12 Id. at 156.
13Cebu International Finance Corporation v. Cabigon, A.M. No. P–06–2107, February 14, 2007, 515 SCRA 616, 622.
14San Manuel Wood Products, Inc. v. Tupas, A.M. No. MTJ–93–892, October 25, 1995, 249 SCRA 466, 476.
15Mendoza v. Doroni, A.M. No. P–04–1872, January 31, 2006, 481 SCRA 41, 52–53.
16Abenojar v. Lopez, A.M. No. P–2221, November 2, 1982, 118 SCRA 1, 4.
17 A.M. No. P–04–1925, December 16, 2004, 447 SCRA 69.