Administrative Complaint versus Hon. Judge Ruben Galvez
Republic of the Philippines
OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR
ATTY. NONNATUS CHUA, in his capacity as duly authorized representative of STEEL CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES,
– versus - Admin. Case No. ________
HON. JUDGE RUBEN GALVEZ in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch III, Regional Trial Court of Batangas City,
COMPLAINANT, through counsel respectfully avers as follows:
1. COMPLAINANT is a Filipino, of legal age, the Vice President for Legal and the authorized representative of Steel Corporation of the Philippines (“Steel Corp” for brevity), a domestic corporation organized and existing under Philippine laws, with principal place of business at Km 104 Barangay Munting Tubig, Balayan, Batangas. Complainant may be served with orders and notices, as well as pleadings and motions through undersigned counsel.
2. Respondent HON. JUDGE RUBEN GALVEZ (“Respondent Galvez” for brevity) is a Filipino, of legal age and a member of the Judiciary. He is the Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Batangas City (the “RTC”), Branch III, located at Pallocan West, Batangas City where he may be served with summons, notices, orders and other processes.
3. Steel Corp is a 100% Filipino–owned corporation engaged in the manufacture and production of cold-rolled coils (CRC) and high quality steel sheets. It owns the most modern and biggest integrated flat steel mill in the country today, built in 1998 and located in Balayan, Batangas.
4. While it enjoyed early successes upon the commencement of its commercial operations in 1999 and onwards, Steel Corp suffered setbacks brought about by factors entirely beyond its control, such as the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and the sudden huge devaluation of the peso against the US dollar. These resulted in foreign exchange losses to Steel Corp of some PhP1.3 billion.
5. On 11 September 2006, while Steel Corp’s negotiations for a debt restructuring plan with its creditors were ongoing, Banco De Oro Unibank, (“BDO”), formerly Equitable PCI Bank, Inc., one of Steel Corp’s creditors, suddenly filed with the Regional Trial Court (“RTC”) of Batangas City a creditor-initiated petition to place Steel Corp under corporate rehabilitation. The case was docketed as Spec. Proc. No. 06-7993 and was raffled off to Branch 2, the designated special commercial court for the Province of Batangas, then presided by Judge Maria Cecilia I. Austria.
6. Around 15 months thereafter, in a Decision dated 03 December 2007, the RTC approved what it referred to as the “Recommended” Rehabilitation Plan of the then rehabilitation receiver. Several parties, including Steel Corp, promptly challenged this Decision before the Court of Appeals in four (4) separate petitions for review under Rule 43, which were assigned to different divisions of the Court of Appeals, and respectively docketed as follows:
- CA-G.R. No. 101732 (Steel Corporation of the Philippines vs. Equitable PCI Bank, etc.);
- CA-G.R. No. 101880 (DEG-Deutsche etc. vs. Steel Corporation of the Philippines et al.);
- CA-G.R. No. 101881 (Equitable PCIBank Inc. vs. Steel Corporation of the Philippines; and,
- CA-G.R. No. 101913 (Investments 2234 Philippines Inc. vs Equitable PCIBank Inc. et al.)
7. Meanwhile, in the RTC, Judge Ma. Cecilia Austria subsequently inhibited herself and the case was assigned to Judge Albert Kalalo who, in due course issued the following orders, among others:
- Order dated 28 October 2009 compelling the creditor-assignors who assigned their credits and their respective assignees to disclose the actual assignment/transfer price pursuant to Art. 1634 of the Civil Code, which allows a debtor to release himself from debt by returning to the assignee whatever the amount the latter paid to the original creditor/assignor for the acquisition of said debt;
- Orders dated 12 November 2008, 07 January 2009 and 28 July 2010 suspending the rehabilitation proceedings due to the pendency of several appeals and the unresolved issue of the applicability of Art. 1634.
8. On 03 July 2008, the Twelfth Division of the Court of Appeals, acting on CA-G.R. SP No. 101881 (EPCIBank, Inc. vs. Steel Corp. of the Phils.), rendered a Decision setting aside the decision of the rehabilitation court and ordering termination of the rehabilitation proceedings.
9. From this decision, Steel Corp and DEG both appealed to the Supreme Court in the consolidated cases of G.R. No. 190462 and 190538 where the Supreme Court eventually rendered a Decision on 17 November 2010, declaring that the Court of Appeals cannot motu proprio terminate the proceedings because none of the parties asked for such relief. The Supreme Court then remanded the cases back to the Court of Appeals to be consolidated with CA-G.R. SP Nos. 101732, 101880 and 101913.
10. However, after accepting the remand and having all the appeals from the Decision dated 3 December 2007 consolidated, another Division of the Court of Appeals, in a Resolution dated 25 May 2012, refused to reconsider its earlier Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 101732 terminating the rehabilitation proceedings.
11. Thus, Steel Corp was constrained to file another petition for review with the Supreme Court, subsequently docketed as G.R. Nos. 202006-09 praying the reversal of the termination order. THE SAID CASES ARE STILL PENDING WITH THE SUPREME COURT AS SHOWN BY THE RESOLUTION DATED 30 JULY 2012.
12. On 09 December 2010, Judge Kalalo inhibited himself from presiding over the rehabilitation case but sustained his Order dated 28 July 2010 suspending the proceedings in the rehabilitation case.
13. The case was then transferred to the RTC Branch 3 of Batangas City presided over by Respondent Judge Ruben Galvez. Judge Galvez then issued the Order dated 22 March 2011 appointing Atty. Norma Singson-De Leon as the new rehabilitation receiver of Steel Corp.
14. Immediately upon receipt of the Order dated 22 March 2011, Steel Corp filed on 29 March 2011 an Urgent Manifestation and Motion dated 28 March 2011, praying that the RTC enjoin Atty. Singson-De Leon from assuming and performing the duties and functions of receiver of Steel Corp in view of the pendency of the issue on whether or not there is a necessity of appointing a receiver, as raised in a Motion to Conduct Hearing it previously filed.
15. Subsequently, Respondent Judge Galvez issued an Order dated 04 May 2011, on Steel Corp’s Motion to Resolve Critical Pending Incidents, partially granting Steel Corp’s Motion to Enforce/Implement Order dated 28 October 2009 and directing the creditors of Steel Corp to disclose within the fifteen (15) days the actual price or consideration paid by them for Steel Corp’s debts that were assigned, in connection with Article 1634 of the Civil Code.
16. Immediately the following day, Respondent Judge Galvez issued another Order dated 05 May 2011 recalling the previous day’s Order. In observance of judicial courtesy, Judge Galvez recalled the 04 May 2011 Order considering the pendency of certiorari cases (CA-G.R. No. 111556, CA-G.R. No. 111560, CA-G.R. No. 112175) on the applicability of Article 1634.
17. Subsequently, Respondent Judge Galvez issued the Order dated 09 May 2011 confirming the appointment of Atty. Singson-De Leon as rehabilitation receiver and denying Steel Corp’s Urgent Manifestation and Motion.
18. Naturally aggrieved by the issuance of the 09 May 2011 Order, Steel Corp was constrained to institute in the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to assail the Orders dated 22 March 2011 and 09 May 2011. The case is docketed as CA-G.R. SP NO. 119840 and pending at present.
19. Pending resolution of CA-G.R. SP NO. 119840, Atty. Singson-De Leon filed a Motion to Direct Steel Corporation of the Philippines to Comply with the Receiver’s Requests as Listed in her Letters dated 07 June 2011 and 01 July 2011 dated 18 July 2011 (“Motion to Direct”), praying that Steel Corp, thru its officers, be ordered to perform certain acts in recognition of her as a receiver, such as the provision for her of an office space; submission of weekly reports of daily disbursements, collections and cash; submission of minutes of board meetings, proof of adequate funds, list of creditors of Steel Corp and the corresponding amount owed by Steel Corp, list of debtors and the corresponding amount of claim, list of properties, income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement, names of key corporate officers, etc.
20. Steel Corp filed its Opposition thereto arguing, among others, that the aforesaid motion should be denied on the same basis of judicial courtesy recognized by Respondent Judge Galvez due to the pendency of CA-G.R. SP NO. 119840, which directly puts in issue the legality of the appointment of the receiver. Steel Corp also argued that the Motion is premature due to various pending appeals of Steel Corp as well as of three (3) principal creditors assailing the Approved Rehabilitation Plan (ARP), which Atty. Singson-De Leon sought to implement. More importantly, there are three (3) certiorari cases with the Supreme Court assailing the disclosure Order of the rehabilitation court issued on 28 October 2009. Thereafter, Atty. Singson-De Leon filed her Reply to the Opposition.
21. Meanwhile, acting on the Motion to Resolve Omnibus Motion with Supplemental Motion for Execution of one of the creditor banks, DEG-Deutsche Investitutions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft MBH (“DEG”) dated 13 July 2011 and the Motion to Resolve Motion for Partial Execution dated 03 January 2011 filed by creditor China Banking Corporation on the same issue of ordering Steel Corp to continuously comply with its alleged obligation to pay interest and principal amortization, Respondent Judge Galvez issued an Order dated 03 October 2011, denying the said Motions for being premature and, AGAIN, in deference to the higher tribunals decision and/or resolution. The pertinent portions of the 03 October 2011 Order are hereunder quoted:
“The Court is not unmindful of the plight of herein movant as well as the other secured creditors of SCP, but this time, the Court cannot as yet, resolve the aforesaid pending motions, fully aware of the related petitions mainly assailing the Approved Rehabilitation Plan, the imposable interest rate and the disclosure of assigned credits still pending before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Judicial courtesy and prudence dictate that the parties including this Court must await for the final resolution by the Appellate courts. Otherwise, it will be but a futile exercise.” (Emphasis supplied)
22. A few days thereafter, suddenly and inexplicably diverging from his consistent observance of judicial courtesy, Respondent Judge Galvez issued an Order dated 24 October 2011 granting Atty. Singson-De Leon’s Motion to Direct and thus, directing Steel Corp to give her access to the premises as receiver and to furnish copies of documents listed in her previous letters. The RTC also directed Steel Corp to negotiate with the receiver the amount of the receiver’s monthly fee.
23. Thus, Steel Corp was constrained anew to institute another certiorari case under Rule 65 before the Court of Appeals assailing the Order dated 24 October 2011, docketed as CA G.R. SP No. 122710. THIS CASE IS ALSO PENDING FINAL RESOLUTION.
24. Thereafter, in November 2011, Atty. Singson-De Leon reiterated her request to Steel Corp for financial records and entry in the Balayan plant for inspection purposes, invoking the dismissal by the Court of Appeals of Steel Corp’s Petition for Certiorari in CA-G.R. No. 119840. According to Atty. Singson-De Leon, her appointment as rehabilitation receiver was thus affirmed. The following month, December 2011, Steel Corp communicated to her that the decision in the aforesaid CA case has not yet attained finality and thus Steel Corp could not accede to her request.
25. Moreover, Steel Corp consistently assailed the purpose for which Atty. Singson-De Leon was being appointed as receiver when there was nothing that the new receiver could have done because, in fact, there were pending prejudicial issues that have yet to be resolved by the Court of Appeals, such as: (a) the four (4) appeals questioning the approved rehabilitation plan, (b) the right of Steel Corp to avail of Article 1634 of the Civil Code in order to reduce its total debt level, and (c) the recovery of its insurance claims in order to replace burned machinery and equipment. Through the pleadings and motions filed by Steel Corp, these pending matters were repeatedly made known to Respondent Judge Galvez and to Atty. Singson-De Leon.
26. Subsequent to an alleged five (5) occasions of surveillance operation conducted on the Balayan Plant from December 2011 to April 2012, Atty. Singson-De Leon rendered a Receiver’s Report III dated 11 June 2012 which was received by the RTC on 19 June 2012, recommending the termination of the instant rehabilitation proceedings and, worse, by her own unilateral judgment, the application of Republic Act No. 10142, otherwise known as the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act (FRIA) of 2010, thus, recommending the conversion of the case to liquidation proceedings pursuant to said law.
27. In said Receiver’s Report III, Atty. Singson-De Leon went all out to paint a picture of Steel Corp as an insolvent corporation that could not be rehabilitated anymore and must, therefore, be liquidated. Steel Corp timely filed its Comment (re: Receiver’s Report dated 11 June 2012).
28. On 19 September 2012, Respondent Judge Galvez, in utter disregard of Steel Corp’s fundamental right to due process and contrary to his past observance of judicial courtesy, believed and adopted the dubious Receiver’s Report III and issued a Liquidation Order. The dispositive portion of which reads:
“WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the instant corporate rehabilitation proceedings are hereby converted to liquidation proceedings.
“Pursuant to Section 112 of the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act of 2010, this Liquidation Order is hereby issued: (a) declaring debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines as insolvent; (b) declaring debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines as dissolved; (c) ordering the sheriff of the Regional Trial Court Branch 3, Batangas City to take possession and control of all the properties of the debtor, except those that may be exempt from execution; (d) ordering the publication of the Receiver’s Report III in a newspaper of general circulation once a week for two (2) consecutive weeks; (e) directing payments of any claims and conveyance of any property due debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines to the liquidator; (f) prohibiting payments, and transfer of ay property by debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines; (g) directing all creditors to file their claims with the liquidator within the period set by the rules of procedure; (h) authorizing the payment of administrative expenses as they become due.
“Let this case be set for hearing on (date shall not be less than thirty  days nor more than forty-five  days from the date of the last publication) for the election and appointment of the liquidator. Debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines as its creditors, who are not petitioners and its successors-in-interest, may submit the names of other nominees to the position of liquidator.
“Pursuant to Section 113 of the Financial Rehabilitation and Insolvency Act of 2010: (a) debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines is hereby deemed dissolved and its corporate or juridical existence terminated; (b) legal title to and control of all the assets of debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines, except those that may be exempt from execution, are hereby deemed vested in the liquidator or, pending his election or appointment, with the court; (c) all contracts of debtor Steel Corporation of the Philippines are hereby deemed terminated and/or breached, unless the liquidator, within ninety (90) days from the date of his assumption of office declares otherwise and the contracting parties agrees; (d) no separate action for the collection of an unsecured claim shall be allowed, and all such actions already pending will be transferred to the Liquidator for him to accept and settle or contest. If the liquidator contests or disputes the claim the court shall allow, hear and resolve such contest except when the case is already on appeal. In such case, the suit may proceed to judgment, and any final and executor judgment therein for a claim against the debtor shall be final and executory judgment therein for a claim against the debtor shall be filed and allowed in court; and (e) no foreclosure proceeding shall be allowed for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from issuance of this Order.” (emphasis supplied)
29. With a stroke of a pen, Respondent Judge essentially slaughtered the corporate life of Steel Corp without ample due process, without regard to the actual facts and applicable laws, and in utter and blatant disregard of the jurisdiction of the higher courts before whom the prejudicial appeals aforementioned are pending resolution. The manner of execution of the order and the issuance notices of garnishment by the sheriff on several depository banks and trade creditors of Steel Corp, allowed and tolerated by Respondent Judge, crippled its business all the more, preventing Steel Corp from payment of taxes, salaries of employees, obligations to suppliers and other crucial business expenses.
GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
I. IN ISSUING THE LIQUIDATION ORDER, RESPONDENT JUDGE GALVEZ IS GUILTY OF GROSS IGNORANCE OF THE LAW AN PROCEDURE AND/OR KNOWINGLY RENDERING AN UNJUST JUDGMENT AND GROSS INCOMPETENCE.
A. In ordering the liquidation of Steel Corp based merely upon the Rehabilitation Receiver’s recommendation, Respondent Galvez hastily and erroneously applied the F.R.I.A. without even the slightest regard to its apparent inapplicability.
B. In relying solely on said recommendation, Respondent Judge Galvez failed to discharge the duty to ascertain the pertinent facts of the case.
30. The relevant rules under the Code of Judicial Conduct provides:
“RULE 3.01 - A judge shall be faithful to the law and maintain professional competence.
“RULE 3.02 - In every case, a judge shall endeavor diligently to ascertain the facts and the applicable law unswayed by partisan interests, public opinion or fear of criticism.”
31. On the other hand, the New Code of Judicial Conduct provides pertinently as follows:
“CANON I, SECTION 1. Judges shall exercise the judicial function independently on the basis of their assessment of the facts and in accordance with a conscientious understanding of the law, free of any extraneous influence, inducement, pressure, threat or interference, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.
32. In the same vein, the Code of Judicial Ethics provides:
“Sec. 18. Influence of decisions upon the development of the law. A Judge should be mindful that his duty is the application of general law to particular instance, that ours is a government of laws and not of men, and that he violates his duty as a minister of justice under such a system if he seeks to do what he may personally consider substantial justice in a particular case and disregards the general law as he knows it to be binding on him. Such action may have detrimental consequences beyond the immediate controversy. He should administer his office with a due regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering that he is not a depository of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of law.”
33. Respondent Judge Galvez, as the presiding judge of the RTC, should have known that he did not have the authority to apply the FRIA, more particularly its provisions on liquidation, and decree the corporate demise of Steel Corp, especially upon the mere unilateral advice of the Rehabilitation Receiver.
34. Respondent Judge Galvez swallowed the Receiver’s recommendation hook, line and sinker, and closed his eyes to the fact that the FRIA, more particularly its provisions on liquidation, is a substantive law not susceptible to retroactivity.
35. It is elementary that, by its very nature and essence, a substantive law operates prospectively and may not be construed retroactively without affecting previous or past (vested) rights.
36. The landmark case of Bustos v. Lucero distinguished between substantive law and procedural law as follows:
“Substantive law creates substantive rights . . . Substantive rights is a term which includes those rights which one enjoys under the legal system prior to the disturbance of normal relations (60 C.J., 980).Substantive law is that part of the law which creates, defines and regulates rights, or which regulates rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action, as opposed to adjective or remedial law, which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or obtains a redress for their invasion.”
“[I]n determining whether a rule prescribed by the Supreme Court, for the practice and procedure of the lower courts, abridges, enlarges, or modifies any substantive right, the test is whether the rule really regulates procedure, that is, the judicial process for enforcing rights and duties recognized by substantive law and for justly administering remedy and redress for a disregard or infraction of them. If the rule takes away a vested right, it is not procedural. If the rule creates a right such as the right to appeal, it may be classified as a substantive matter; but if it operates as a means of implementing an existing right then the rule deals merely with procedure.”
38. A vested right is defined as “one which is absolute, complete and unconditional, to the exercise of which no obstacle exists, and which is immediate and perfect in itself and not dependent upon a contingency.”
39. Prior to the enactment of FRIA, there was no way that Steel Corp could have been ordered liquidated as there was no law or rule that would sanction such an order. Steel Corp, in the state of things then, had an absolute and complete vested and substantive right, independent of any contingency, against a liquidation.
40. The provisions on liquidation under the FRIA will, therefore, not apply to Steel Corp as they cannot be applied retroactively being substantive in nature. Making liquidation available and applicable now when they were not available during the commencement of the case as well as during the entire proceeding is not merely procedural. It is certainly substantive as it removes the vested right not to be liquidated, (impliedly) guaranteed under the old laws and rules, namely the Interim and New Rules on Corporate Rehabilitation which governed the Steel Corp rehabilitation, and both of which did not provide for or allow or sanction such liquidation.
41. To hold otherwise, as Respondent Judge Galvez did in this case is oppressive, arbitrary, confiscatory, whimsical and capricious. It is analogous to imposing a new penalty to an act when such penalty was not imposable when the act was done. This, certainly, would work injustice.
42. It should be noted that Section 146 of the FRIA does not expressly provide for the retroactive application of the law to the Steel Corp Rehabilitation case. It precisely states in its applicability clause that it shall apply to “proceedings in insolvency, suspension of payments and rehabilitation cases then pending, except to the extent that in opinion of the court their application would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the procedures set forth in prior laws and regulations shall apply.”
43. Spec. Proc. No. 06-7993 has already gone so far in order to rehabilitate Steel Corp. Almost five (5) years have already been spent finding the best ways to rehabilitate the company. The RTC has already issued the Order dated 28 October 2009 finding Article 1634 of the Civil Code applicable to the assignments of Steel Corp’s debt papers and which would result in the enormous reduction of Steel Corp’s total debt level. Rehabilitation may not even be necessary in view thereof. Suddenly Respondent Judge Galvez issues the liquidation order killing Steel Corp and divesting it of all its assets? The injustice cannot be more pronounced. Applying the FRIA is no longer feasible in view of the Orders issued by the RTC itself which have far-reaching implications on the financial condition of Steel Corp.
44. Significantly, the rules and regulations implementing the FRIA have yet to be issued by the Supreme Court. In this connection, the second paragraph of Section 3 of the FRIA states that “the proceedings shall be conducted in a summary and non-adversarial manner consistent with the declared policies of this Act and in accordance with the rules of procedure that the Supreme Court may promulgate”.
45. Also, the FRIA, in Section 6 provides that “The Supreme Court shall designate the court or courts that will hear and resolve cases brought under this Act and shall promulgate the rules of pleading, practice and procedure to govern the proceedings brought under this Act.” It must be stressed that up until todate, the Supreme Court has not even designated the court or courts that will hear and resolve cases brought under this Act. The Supreme Court also has not promulgated the rules of pleading, practice and procedure to govern the proceedings brought under FRIA.
46. How can anybody proceed under Section 92 of the FRIA, specifically on the conversion from rehabilitation direct to liquidation proceedings upon the mere recommendation of the rehabilitation receiver, in the absence of the implementing rules providing the guidelines, standards and parameters applicable?
47. Thus, in the absence of designation of the courts that will hear and resolve the cases, Judge Galvez should have seriously contemplated on the facts of the case and the law applicable thereto. As it is, it is doubtful if he is authorized to apply the FRIA.
48. Considering that the Interim Rules of Procedure on Corporate Rehabilitation are apparently still the rules applicable to Steel Corp and the same do not have any provision granting the rehabilitation court the power to convert rehabilitation to liquidation proceedings, it is clear that Judge Galvez acted without authority and jurisdiction and in blatant abuse of his position in its issuance. The only power vested in the rehabilitation court is to terminate rehabilitation proceedings on the grounds provided therein which does not include the power to dissolve the debtor because the court exercises only summary and limited jurisdiction.
49. Respondent Judge Galvez’s reckless and irresponsible disregard of the foregoing basic laws, rules and jurisprudence resulting in the unjust deprivation of Steel Corp’s “life” renders him administratively liable.
50. Respondent Judge Galvez’s bad faith in the issuance of the liquidation order, and his knowledge that the same order is unjust, is illustrated by his sudden and inexplicable departure from his consistent recognition of the principle of judicial courtesy, as well as his absolute reliance on the Receiver’s Report without more.
51. Prior to the liquidation order, the RTC, formerly through Judge Kalalo and later through Judge Galvez, had been steadfast in observing the judicial courtesy rule.
52. Firstly, Judge Kalolo issued the Orders dated 12 November 2008, 07 January 2009 and 28 July 2010 suspending the rehabilitation proceedings due to the pendency of several appeals and the unresolved issue of Art. 1634;
53. Secondly, Judge Galvez, in an Order dated 05 May 2011 (Recall Order) has himself invoked the principle of judicial courtesy. In said Order, he recalled the 04 May 2011 Order considering the pendency of certiorari cases (CA-G.R. No. 111556, CA-G.R. No. 111560 and CA-G.R. No. 112175) on the applicability of Article 1634 of the Civil Code.
54. Thirdly, acting on the Motion to Resolve Omnibus Motion with Supplemental Motion for Execution of one of the creditor banks, DEG, dated 13 July 2011 and the Motion to Resolve Motion for Partial Execution dated 03 January 2011 filed by creditor China Banking Corporation on the same issue of ordering Steel Corp to continuously comply with its alleged obligation to pay interest and principal amortization, Judge Galvez issued an Order dated 03 October 2011, denying the said motions for being premature and in deference to the higher tribunals decision and/or resolution, ruling that “ Judicial courtesy and prudence dictate that the parties including this Court must await for the final resolution by the Appellate courts. Otherwise, it will be but a futile exercise.”
55. It was thus, perplexing when, in a sudden and complete turnaround, and without explanation as to the abandondment of the orders respecting judicial courtesy and relying solely on the Receiver’s personal opinion and recommendation, Judge Galvez issued the termination and liquidation order in complete reversal of its previous position to await the resolution of the pending prejudicial issues in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.
56. In effect, Judge Galvez altogether disregarded the proceedings pending before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, hence, disregarding and disrespecting their respective jurisdictions.
57. Moreover, as will be explained in the succeeding arguments, Judge Galvez deprived Steel Corp of the basic tenet of due process in not giving the latter the opportunity to present evidence against the Receiver’s recommendation.
58. True, a judge may not be disciplined for error of judgment absent proof that such error was made with a conscious and deliberate intent to cause an injustice. This does not mean, however, that a judge need not observe propriety, discreetness and due care in the performance of his official functions. That relative immunity is not a license to be negligent or abusive and arbitrary in performing his adjudicatory prerogatives.
59. In order to be able to render substantial justice and to maintain public confidence in the legal system, judges are expected to keep abreast of all laws and prevailing jurisprudence, consistent with the standard that magistrates must be the embodiment of competence, integrity and independence.
60. Indeed, everyone, especially a judge, is presumed to know the law. When, as in this case, the law is so elementary, not to be aware of it constitutes gross ignorance of the law.
61. Judges are expected to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and procedural rules. They must know the laws and apply them properly in all good faith. Judicial competence requires no less. He should strive for excellence exceeded only by his passion for truth, to the end that he be the personification of justice and the rule of law.
62. When an error is so gross and patent, such error produces an inference of bad faith, making the judge liable for gross ignorance of the law. Observance of the law, which respondent ought to know, is required of every judge. When the law is sufficiently basic, a judge owes it to his office to simply apply it; anything less than that is either deliberate disregard thereof or gross ignorance of the law. It is a continuing pressing responsibility of judges to keep abreast with the law and changes therein. Ignorance of the law, which everyone is bound to know, excuses no one — not even judges – from compliance therewith. xxx Canon 4 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics requires that the judge should be studious of the principles of law. Canon 18 mandates that he should administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of the law itself, remembering that he is not a depository of arbitrary power, but a judge under the sanction of law. Indeed, it has been said that when the inefficiency springs from a failure to consider a basic and elemental rule, a law or principle in the discharge of his duties, a judge is either too incompetent and undeserving of the position and the title he holds or is too vicious that the oversight or omission was deliberately done in bad faith and in grave abuse of judicial authority.
II. RESPONDENT JUDGE GALVEZ, IN ISSUING THE LIQUIDATION ORDER, BLATANTLY DISREGARDED ALL THE APPEALED CASES ARISING FROM THE REHABILITATION CASE AND DISREGARDED AND DISRESPECTED THE RESPECTIVE JURISDICTIONS OF THE COURT OF APPEALS AND THE SUPREME COURT.
63. As previously narrated, the Twelfth Division of the Court of Appeals, acting on CA-G.R. SP No. 101881 (EPCIBank, Inc. vs. Steel Corp. of the Phils.), rendered a Decision on 03 July 2008, setting aside the decision of the rehabilitation court and ordering termination of the rehabilitation proceedings. Steel Corp and DEG both appealed to the Supreme Court in the consolidated cases of G.R. No. 190462 and 190538 where the Supreme Court eventually rendered a Decision on 17 November 2010, declaring that the Court of Appeals cannot motu proprio terminate the proceedings because none of the parties asked for such relief. The Supreme Court then remanded the cases back to the Court of Appeals to be consolidated with CA-G.R. SP Nos. 101732, 101880 and 101913.
64. However, after accepting the remand and having all the appeals from the Decision dated 3 December 2007 consolidated, another Division of the Court of Appeals, in a Resolution dated 25 May 2012, refused to reconsider its earlier Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 101732 terminating the rehabilitation proceedings.
65. Thus, Steel Corp was constrained to file another petition for review with the Supreme Court, subsequently docketed as G.R. Nos. 202006-09 praying the reversal of the termination order. THE SAID CASES ARE STILL PENDING WITH THE SUPREME COURT AS SHOWN BY THE RESOLUTION DATED 30 JULY 2012.
66. The RTC itself has recognized the significance of the aforesaid cases. Hence, in the Order dated 28 July 2010, it stated:
“The overriding importance of the disclosures sought in the Order of 28th October 2009 cannot be overemphasized as confirmed by the fact that three of the largest assignees/creditors have questioned before the Court of Appeals, by way of certiorari in C.A. Nos. 111560, 111560 and 112175 the correctness of the said Order and the applicability of Article 1634 of the Civil Code in this proceeding. The decisions in these latter cases would surely affect and have a great impact on the present proceedings and therefore would render nugatory any action that this Court may take under the premises. Otherwise stated, there is clear danger that a precipitate action by this Court on the issues now obtaining in this proceeding will render any decision by the appellate courts, in the aforesaid appeals, moot and academic.
x x x x x
“This Court had in fact earlier invoked the same consideration of judicial courtesy as basis for its Orders dated November 12, 2008 and January 7, 2009. Moreover for practical reconsideration likewise, it would be impractical to continue with the implementation of the approved rehabilitation plan when the amount of the total debt and the interests rate applicable thereon are still pending resolution with the Court of Appeals and the fate of the rehabilitation of SCP still pending with the Supreme Court.
“PREMISES CONSIDERED, the proceedings in this rehabilitation case are suspended until the final outcome of all certiorari cases with the Court of Appeals and the appeal pending with the Supreme Court.”(Emphasis supplied)
67. Given the pendency of the foregoing cases, from the very fact that the creditors themselves have been assailing the ARP and since a final ruling on the applicability of Article 1634 of the Civil Code is determinative, inter alia, of the total debt level of Steel Corp, the issues of the feasibility or non-feasibility of the rehabilitation of Steel Corp have been clearly lodged with the higher courts.
68. Respondent Judge Galvez, in perfunctorily issuing the liquidation order, pre-empted the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, thereby unjustly forfeiting and rendering useless the outcome of the aforementioned appeals and petitions involving no less than the issues of termination and applicability of Art. 1634 of the Civil Code, and other issues bearing on the feasibility of the rehabilitation of Steel Corp.
69. It was not for Judge Galvez to preempt or forestall the resolution of said cases as the superior courts have assumed jurisdiction thereon and are behooved to independently assess and rule on the foresaid material issues raised therein.
70. The observance of the rule on “judicial courtesy” should have been sustained by Judge Galvez as here, “there is a strong probability that the issues before the higher court would be rendered moot and moribund, as they were, in fact rendered moot and moribund, as a result of the continuation of the proceedings in the RTC, particularly by the issuance of the liquidation order.
71. Under these circumstances, and through his same acts, Judge Galvez has, thus, likewise violated the Canons of Judicial Ethics when he effectively deprived Steel Corp of the opportunity to the full benefit of the right of review. The Canons of Judicial Ethics provide:
“20. Review. In order that a litigant may secure the full benefit of the right of review accorded to him by law, a trial judge should scrupulously grant to the defeated party opportunity to present the situation arising upon the trial exactly as it arose, was presented, and decided by full and fair bill of exceptions or otherwise; and failure in this regard on the part of the judge is peculiarly worthy of condemnation because the wrong done is remediable.
III. JUDGE GALVEZ DISPLAYED GROSS IGNORANCE OF THE LAW AND PROCEDURE, AND DEPRIVED STEEL CORP DUE PROCESS, IN NOT CONDUCTING A HEARING OR SCRUPULOUS INVESTIGATION OF THE RECEIVER’S REPORT.
72. The Canons of Judicial Ethics provide:
“15. Ex parte applications. Judges should discourage ex parte hearing of applications for injunctions and receivership where the order may work detriment to absent parties; they should act upon ex parte applications only where the necessity for quick action is clearly shown; if this be demonstrated, then the judge should endeavor to counter act the effect of the absence of opposing counsel by a scrupulous cross-examination and investigation as to the facts and the principles of law upon which the application is based, granting relief only when fully satisfied that the law permits it and the emergency demands it. The judge should remember that an injunction is a limitation upon the freedom of action of defendants and should not be granted lightly or inadvisedly. One applying for such relief must sustain the burden of showing clearly its necessity and this burden is increased in the absence of the party whose freedom of action is to be restrained even though only temporarily.”
73. Judge Galvez fell way short of this duty. While the recommendations by the Receiver evidently worked untold injustice and detriment to Steel Corp, Judge Galvez did not bother to conduct a hearing thereon. He did not even endeavor to counteract the effect of the absence or non-participation of Steel Corp by a scrupulous cross-examination or investigation as to the facts and the principles of law upon which the recommendation was based. He adopted the recommendation despite the apparent lack of legal and factual basis allowing it and absent an emergency that demands adoption of said recommendations. This is a blatant deprivation of due process.
74. To begin with, the due process guaranty serves as a protection against arbitrary regulation, and private corporations and partnerships are “persons” within the scope of the guaranty insofar as their property is concerned.
75. According to Respondent Judge Galvez, its task is “to determine if the rehabilitation of SCP is no longer feasible”. This task is, without question, grave considering its potential unsettling impact, especially to Steel Corp. But Respondent Judge Galvez completed this task without even affording Steel Corp a day in court. No evidentiary hearing was called by him prior to the issuance of the liquidation order. He swallowed completely, absolutely and considered as gospel truth the comments, observations, findings and conclusions of the rehabilitation receiver in her Receiver’s Report III. This is clear from its following declarations:
“SCP, rather than refuting the factual comments and observations of Atty. Singson-de Leon in her Report, chose to question her methodology and, to some extent, her integrity. But The Rehabilitation Receiver, being a court-appointed rehabilitation receiver, is first and foremost an officer of the court (Section 14, Rule 4, Interim Rules; Section 31, the FRIA). As an officer of the court, she has in her favor the presumption of regularity in the performance of her sworn duties and responsibilities (People v. Del Rosario) and her opinion deserves utmost consideration by this Court.
x x x x x
“As it stands, the following factual findings and conclusions of the Rehabilitation Receiver have not been satisfactorily refuted by contrary evidence:
x x x x x
“. . . This Court finds the Rehabilitation Receiver’s Report to be reliable, credible and convincing.
x x x x x
“This Court is not unmindful of its Order dated October 3, 2011, but with the submission of the Report recommending conversion to liquidation proceedings based on findings that are supported by credible and convincing evidence, this Court is duty-bound to urgently act on her recommendation, pursuant to the declared policy of the FRIA under Section 2 thereof that “when rehabilitation is not feasible, it is in the interest of the State to facilitate a speedy and orderly liquidation of the debtor’s assets and the settlement of their obligations.” (Emphasis supplied)
76. Judge Galvez states in his liquidation Order, citing the case of San Jose Timber et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission, that “the burden of demonstrating, by convincing and compelling evidence, that rehabilitation can be successful lies with the debtor”, and that the factual findings and conclusions of the rehabilitation receiver in her Report have not been satisfactorily refuted by contrary evidence. He also faults Steel Corp for not refuting the factual comments and observations of the rehabilitation receiver. He seems to be oblivious of the fact that the Receiver’s Report III was not set for hearing and it has not given Steel Corp a day in court to present its own evidence to refute the patently baseless conclusions of the rehabilitation receiver.
77. The consequences of a liquidation order are dire since it results in outright deprivation of corporate life and confiscation of Steel Corp’s property based solely on the recommendation of the rehabilitation receiver. And yet Respondent Judge Galvez did not set the Receiver’s Report III for hearing, nor did he personally investigate the correctness of the factual basis thereof, accepting receiver’s comments and observations as gospel-truth and, on the basis thereof, decreed the death of Steel Corp.
78. It does not suffice that Steel Corp was given the opportunity to file, as it did file, a Comment on the Receiver’s Report III. A day in court is a matter of right in judicial proceedings. The Code of Judicial Conduct requires, in incidents of this nature, hearing, investigation and even cross-examination. In civil cases, evidentiary hearings are likewise a must to establish the required preponderance of evidence. 
79. A.M. No. 00-8-10-SC promulgated by the Supreme Court on 04 September 2001 provides that a petition for rehabilitation is considered a special proceeding given that it seeks to establish the status of a party or a particular fact. The burden of proof in special proceedings is likewise preponderance of evidence. At any rate, since rehabilitation proceedings are judicial proceedings, Steel Corp has the right to an evidentiary hearing, of which it was denied by the Respondent Judge Galvez.
80. The case of Ligaya Santos vs. Judge Rolando How, dwelling on a judge’s disregard of due process, may be applied by analogy to the acts of Judge Galvez being complained of. In said case, the respondent judge cut short the hearing after the prosecution presented its evidence and dispensed altogether with the defense’s turn to adduce evidence in rebuttal. The Court ratiocinated:
“It is clear from the foregoing that respondent is remiss in his responsibility to endeavor at all times to avoid such actions as would impress upon litigants the disregard of due process.
“It is settled that as a matter of policy, the acts of a judge in his judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action. He cannot be subjected to liability – civil, criminal or administrative – for any of his official acts, no matter how erroneous, as long as he acts in good faith. To hold otherwise would be to render judicial office untenable, for no one called upon to try the facts or interpret the law in the process of administering justice can be infallible in his judgment.
“However, although a judge may not always be subjected to disciplinary action for every erroneous order or decision he renders, relative immunity is not a license to be negligent, abusive or arbitrary in the performance of his adjudicatory prerogatives.
“To constitute gross ignorance of the law, it is not enough that the subject decision, order or actuation of the judge in the performance of his official duties is contrary to existing law and jurisprudence but, most importantly, he must be moved by bad faith, fraud, dishonesty, or corruption. Good faith and absence of malice, corrupt motives or improper considerations, are sufficient defenses in which a judge charged with ignorance of the law can find refuge.
“However, good faith in situations of fallible discretion inhered only within the parameters of tolerable judgment and does not apply where the issues are so simple and the applicable legal principles evident and basic as to be beyond possible margins of error.
“In this case, respondent’s act of cutting short the hearing after the prosecution presented its evidence, without affording the defense to adduce evidence in rebuttal together with his outright denial of complainants’ request to offer proof, is a clear disregard of the right of the accused to disprove that the evidence of guilt is strong. It is of no moment that respondent required complainants to submit their memorandum. What is significant is that complainants were deprived of their constitutional right to present evidence during the hearing which the respondent may intelligently appreciate and evaluate in the light of the circumstances then obtaining.
“It must be stressed that occupying the exalted position of a judge entails a lot of responsibilities, foremost of which is proficiency in the law. Canon 3, Rule 3.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that a judge shall be faithful to the laws and maintain professional competence. He is mandated to be conversant with the law and to have more than a cursory acquaintance with the rules and authoritative doctrines. When the law is elementary, not to be aware of it constitutes gross ignorance thereof. Judges are expected to have more than just a modicum of acquaintance with the statutes and procedural rules.” (emphasis supplied, citations omitted)
IV. TOLERATING AND AIDING IN THE UNLAWFUL ENFORCEMENT OF THE LIQUIDATION ORDER.
81. Prior to Steel Corp’s notice of the issuance of the liquidation order, on 01 October 2012, at around 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, beyond office hours and when the Steel Corp office in Balayan, Batangas was already closed, Sheriff Nilo Villalobos, introducing himself as the sheriff of RTC Branch III, with Sheriff Eufemio Alea, apparently taking orders and submitting themselves under the control and supervision of lawyers later on identified as BDO lawyers Stephen Quiambao and Mikee Villa, and a horde of private security personnel, forcibly gained entry at the Balayan, Batangas Plant of Steel Corp. Their declared purpose was, allegedly, enforcing an order dated 19 September 2012 issued by Respondent Judge.
82. In gist, the Sheriffs of RTC Branch III, in conspiracy with or under the control and supervision of BDO lawyers (who incidentally were tolerated by Sheriffs in all their illegal acts) and abetted by private guards and goons, completely closed down the plant in Balayan, Batangas. Intimidating and threatening the safety of the personnel and employees of Steel Corp, they padlocked and chained the front gate. Employing intimidation and threats, they took over the Steel Corp Balayan plant and controlled the same with their own gang of security guards. They blocked its ingress and egress and disallowed any deliveries within the plant. As a matter of fact, there were Steel Corp employees trapped inside the plant who were illegally detained by the said Sheriffs and their cohorts for a number of hours before finally deciding to release them. A copy of an administrative complaint against the said sheriffs stating in detail their illegal acts, is hereto attached as Annex “R” and made integral part of this complaint, particularly of the present ground.
83. In said complaint, it is explained that it is at once apparent from the liquidation order that the only authority vested upon the Sheriff of the Regional Trial Court Branch 3, Batangas City, AND UPON SUCH SHERIFF ALONE, is the general authority to take possession and control of all the properties of the debtor, except those that may be exempt from execution. NO OTHER POWER ASIDE FROM THIS MAY BE INFERRED IN SAID ORDER. There is, thus, no authority for the Sheriffs to close down and paralyze the operation of the Steel Corp Balayan Plant; to issue notices of garnishment; to employ the assistance of private security personnel or peace officers for such purpose; to block the ingress and egress to and from the plant; to detain Steel Corp personnel; and, most importantly, to proceed with the taking of possession and control of Steel Corp properties with the aid, and much less, the supervision of BDO.
84. In fact, delegation of authority to the Sheriff in the liquidation order is derived verbatim from Section 112 of the FRIA, and is the only power or function given to a sheriff by said law in the event of a liquidation.
85. It should be further observed that, as of this time, the Supreme Court has not yet promulgated any rules and regulations to implement the FRIA.
86. Thus, in the absence of rules on execution in the /or the interim and the new Rules on Corporate Rehabilitation, there is no rule by which the liquidation order may be enforced.
87. It is significant to note furthermore that nowhere in the F.R.I.A. is it stated that the sheriff may proceed to enforce and execute the order immediately upon its rendition.
88. MOST IMPORTANTLY, THE LIQUIDATION ORDER IS NOT A WRIT OF EXECUTION IN THE SENSE THAT IT DOES NOT AWARD SOMETHING IN FAVOR OF A PARTY. ITS IMPORT, REGARDLESS OF ITS VALIDITY OR INVALIDITY, IS ONLY TO BRING THE PROPERTIES OF THE DEBTOR UNDER CUSTODIA LEGIS PENDING APPOINTMENT/ELECTION OF A LIQUIDATOR.
89. RESPONDENT JUDGE HAS THE DUTY AND IS PRESUMED TO KNOW THE ACTS OF HIS SHERIFF PURSUANT TO AND IN EXECUTION OF HIS ORDERS. Moreover, he has continuously accepted in his court the reports of his sheriff through the latter’s returns and manifestations. Nevertheless, despite knowledge of the abusive conduct and illegal acts of his Sheriff/s in the guise of implementing the liquidation order, and in conspiracy with BDO lawyers, as detailed in Annex “R” hereto, Respondent Judge did not do anything. Instead, the records of the case show that in an Order dated 05 October 2012, a copy of which is hereto attached as Annex “S,” Respondent Judge, upon the request of Sheriff Villalobos, even required the Provincial Director of Batangas PNP and the Chief of Police of Makati City to assist Villalobos in enforcing the said writ.
90. Judges should manage their courts with a view to a prompt and convenient disposition of their business. They should not tolerate abuse, indifference or neglect by clerks, sheriffs and other officers of the court. This is because the slightest semblance of impropriety on the part of judicial employees in the performance of their official duties stirs ripples of public suspicion and public distrust of judicial administrators.
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is respectfully prayed that, after due proceedings, Respondent Judge Galvez be disciplined under the foregoing charges and meted out with the necessary penalties under the New Code of Judicial Conduct, the Canons of Judicial Ethics, the Rules of Court and other pertinent laws.
Other reliefs just and equitable are likewise prayed for.
18 October 2012, Pasig City.
TOPACIO LAW OFFICE
Counsel for Complainant
Suite 107, Skyway Twin Towers
H.Javier Street, Ortigas Center
Pasig City, Metro Manila
Telephone Number (+632)5710270
Fax Number (+632)5711626
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
FERDINAND S. TOPACIO
Attorney’s Roll No. 38271
IBP Lifetime Membership No. 562537
PTR No. 6881405/1.24.12/ Cavite City
MCLE COMPLIANCE NO. III-0017589
Issued on 24 June 2010
JOSELITO O. LOMANGAYA
IBP O.R. No. 878159/ 01.04.12/ Makati City
PTR No. 1300321 / 01.03.12 / Mandaluyong
Roll of Attorneys No. 47328
MCLE COMPLIANCE No. III – 0014660
Issued on 23 April 2010
VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION
I, ____________________ , Filipino, of legal age, married, after having been duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state that:
- I am the authorized representative of Steel Corporation of the Philippines to commence this action by virtue a Secretary’s Certificate dated __________;
- I have caused the preparation of the foregoing Complaint and have read the same and understood the contents thereof which are true of my own personal knowledge and based on authentic records;
- While there is a pending Petition for Review of the Liquidation Order referred to in this complaint, filed by Steel Corp against BDO Unibank, et al., now docketed in the Court of Appeals as CA-G.R. No. 126882, where some issues similar hereto may have been raised, I have not heretofore commenced any other administrative complaint or proceeding against the Respondent Judge Galvez in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency;
- To the best of my knowledge, no other similar administrative action or proceeding is now pending in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or any other tribunal or agency;
- Should I hereinafter learn that a similar administrative action or proceeding has been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, or any other tribunal or agency, I undertake to report such fact within five (5) days from such notice to this Honorable Office.
Done this __ of October 2012 in ______________ City.
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this __ day of October, 2010 at ______________, affiant exhibiting to me his ___________I.D. No. __________ , issued on ________ at ____________.
 A copy of a Secretary’s Certificate, attesting to the fact of Complainant’s authority to file this complaint on behalf of Steel Corp, is hereto attached as Annex “A.”
 A copy of the Order dated 28 October 2009 is integrally attached as Annex “B” hereto.
 A copy of the Order dated 12 November 2008 is integrally attached as Annex “C”
 A copy of the Order dated 07 January 2009 is integrally attached as Annex “D“.
 A copy of the Order dated 28 July 2010 is integrally attached as Annex “E”
 A copy of the Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 101881 dated 03 July 2008 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “F“.
 A copy of the said Decision dated 17 November 2010 in G.R. No. 190462 and 190538 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “G“.
 A copy of the Resolution dated 30 July 2012 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “H”.
 A copy of the Order dated 09 December 2010 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “I.”
 A copy of the Order dated 22 March 2011 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “J”.
 A copy of the Order dated 04 May 2011 is integrally attached as Annex “K”
 A copy of the Order dated 05 May 2011 is integrally attached as Annex “L”.
 A copy of the Order dated 09 May 2011, is integrally attached as Annex “M”.
 A copy of the Order dated 03 October 2011, is integrally attached as Annex “N”.
 A copy of the Order dated 24 October 2011, is integrally attached as Annex “O”.
 A copy of the Receiver’s Report III dated 11 June 2012 is integrally attached as Annex “P”.
 A copy of the liquidation order is hereto attached as Annex “Q”.
 Suppletorily applicable to the New Code of Judicial Conduct
 A.M. No. 03-05-01-SC: Adopting the New Code of Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary
 Suppletorily applicable to the New Code of Judicial Conduct
 Tirona v. Alejo, [G.R. No. 129313. October 10, 2001.]
 81 Phil. 640.
 295 SCRA 470, 492, September 16, 1998
 Bernabe vs Alejo, G.R. No. 140500. January 21, 2002
 A copy of the Order dated 05 May 2011, is integrally attached as Annex “L”.
 A copy of the Order dated 03 October 2011, is integrally attached as Annex “M.”
 Dipatuan Vs. Mangotara A.M. No. RTJ-09-2190, April 23, 2010
 Carpio v. De Guzman, 262 SCRA 615 .
 Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Judicial Conduct; See also Buzon, Jr. v. Velasco, 253 SCRA 601 ; Galan Realty Co., Inc. v. Arranz, 237 SCRA 770 .
 Agcaoili v. Ramos, 229 SCRA 705 , citing Santos v. Judge Isidro, 200 SCRA 597 .
 Cortes v. Judge Catral, 279 SCRA 1 ; Cui v. Madayag, 245 SCRA 1 .
 Conducto v. Monzon, 291 SCRA 619 , citing Estoya v. Abraham-Singson, supra, citing Cuaresma v. Aguilar, 226 SCRA 73 .
 Reyes v. Paderanga, A.M. No. RTJ-06-1973, March 14, 2008, 548 SCRA 244, 258-259
 De Guzman, Jr. v. Sison, A.M. No. RTJ-01-1629, 26 March 2001
 A copy of the Decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 101881 dated 03 July 2008 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “F“.
 A copy of the said Decision dated 17 November 2010 in G.R. No. 190462 and 190538 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “G“.
 A copy of the Resolution dated 30 July 2012 is integrally attached hereto as Annex “H”.
 City of Manila, et al. v. Hon. Laguio, Jr., et al., G.R. No. 118127, 12 April 2005.
 See page 3 of the liquidation order.
 G.R. No. 162196, 27 February 2012.
 See page 11 of the liquidation order.
 See page 4 of the liquidation order.
 Velez v. de Vera, A.C. No. 6697, 25 July 2006.
 See People v. Dapitan, G.R. No. 90625, May 23, 1991, 197 SCRA 378, citing People v. Castillo, 76 Phil. 72 (1946); Banco Español de Filipino v. Palanca, 37 Phil. 921 (1918); Macabingkil v. Yatco, 21 SCRA 150 (1967); Apurillo v. Garciano, 28 SCRA 1054 (1969); Shell Company of the Philippines, Ltd. v. Enage, 49 SCRA 416 (1973); Lorenzana v. Cayetano, 68 SCRA 485 (1975).
 Section 2 of Rule 72 of the Rules of Court provides that “[i]n the absence of special provisions, the rules provided for in ordinary actions shall be, as far as practicable, applicable in special proceedings.”
 A.M. No. RTJ-05-1946, January 26, 2007
 Ramirez v. Corpuz-Macandog, 144 SCRA 462, September 26, 1986
 Buenaventura v. Benedicto, 38 SCRA 71, March 27, 1971