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Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« on: May 19, 2008, 02:19:07 PM »
SC scolds, fines judge for gross ignorance of law

By Kit Bagaipo
Visayas Bureau
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 19:56:00 05/18/2008

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines--For gross ignorance of the law, a Regional Trial Court judge in Tagbilaran City was reprimanded by the Supreme Court and ordered to pay a fine of P20,000.

RTC Branch 3 Presiding Judge Venancio Amila was found guilty by the high tribunal of gross ignorance of the law in connection with his decision in a criminal case involving bouncing checks.

The high court ruling, promulgated on March 28, 2008, is an offshoot of three separate complaints filed by government prosecutor Lord Marapao at the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) against Amila for allegedly promulgating erroneous rulings.

The high court dismissed the first and third complaints since both cases are still being tried. But it found Amila's conduct in the second case to be in violation of the New Code of Judicial Conduct.

The second case, which stemmed from Criminal Case Nos. 14988 and 14989 both entitled People of the Philippines v. Ricardo Suarez for violation of Batas Pambansa 22 (Bouncing Check Law), is an appeal of a decision of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), convicting Suarez for issuing bouncing checks. The appeal landed in Amila's court.

Amila reversed the MTCC ruling on the ground that the penalty imposed by the law on Suarez was harsh and oppressive. Amila then absolved Suarez of any criminal liability.

Marapao questioned the RTC ruling before the Court of Appeals, which later voided Amila's decision and reinstated the MTCC order.

The CA ruling became the basis for the complaint that Marapao filed against the judge before the OCA, saying that Amila's ruling was contrary to prevailing jurisprudence involving the bouncing check law.

The judge admitted he was not conversant with recent jurisprudence about the law because of his lack of time to read and the many cases he had to attend to. He said his decisions were based on codal provisions and on what he called common sense on justice, fairness and equity.

But the Supreme Court, quoting Canon 6, Section 3 of the New Code of Judicial Conduct said that judges should at all times "take reasonable steps to maintain and enhance their knowledge, skills and personal qualities necessary for the proper performance of judicial duties; take advantage, for this purpose, of the training and other facilities which should be made available, under judicial control, to judges."

"A heavy case load is no reason for a judge not to keep abreast with recent decisions of the Supreme Court. Ignorance of the law excuses no one," the high tribunal said.

The Supreme Court also stressed that a judge must "be conversant with basic legal principles and be aware of well-settled authoritative doctrines" and should "exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and rules."

The resolution warned Amila that he would face more severe penalties should he be judged guilty of gross ignorance of the law again.

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Lorenzo

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Re: Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2008, 11:30:28 PM »
How was this individual picked to be the judge of the law? A judge, is in essence, THE law. A living, breathing herald of the Philippine Constitution and laws connected to that sacred document.

A judge who does not know the law is disgraceful. Fining this individual is not enough; should be removed from office. And someone, with a greater understanding and knowledge of the law, should be elected as judge.

The discountenance of it all.

olintaha

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Re: Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2008, 05:11:13 AM »
In fairness to the judge, he is a good musician.   :)
He is a known composer in the pop song industry.  In fact he used to compose songs for the Cebu Metro Pop Song Festival.
Even in his chambers you can hear him strumming his guitar.

benelynne

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Re: Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2008, 05:38:56 AM »

Then he should be able to face the music... Maybe a change of career is in the offing, perhaps as judge of music competition? Here, he does not have to take note of the fine print of the law, he just has to play by the notes...

grazie7y

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Re: Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2008, 05:52:51 AM »
It tickles me no end to read that a judge was charged for ignorance of the law! ;D  Bitaw seriously, this was an appeal for the previous ruling against the check bouncer so you think Judge Amila would leaf his books to look for BP 22 for him to be able to give a sound judgment.
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Re: Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2008, 06:14:03 AM »
 ;D ;D   ;D maulaw baya ta labina kay taga Bohol man kaha ni si Judge.  Ikomparar ra diay ni nga daghan dinhi sa ato nga dunay mga driving license pero di kabalo mo-drive unya wa pa gjoy sakyanan. :-[

olintaha

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Re: Tagbilaran judge scored for ignorance of the law
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2008, 06:21:57 AM »

He plays the guitar very well.  He knows the notes, the flats & sharps, without need of chordbook.



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