The Supreme Court has dismissed a complaint filed by Pulupandan Mayor Magdaleno Peña against Justices Antonio Carpio and Maria Lourdes Sereno for lack of merit.
Peña said he could not comment on the decision as he has not received a copy yet.
Peña had sought to ascribe to Carpio the alleged fact that the counsel for Urban Bank, got an advance copy of a Nov. 13, 2002 SC resolution and faxed it to him on November 19, days before the Court released it for mailing, the SC said.
But, Peña has been unable to show that this advance copy came from Carpio and the SC First Division released the resolution for dissemination on November 14, days before a copy was faxed to Peña, the SC added.
Moreover, it was the Division Clerk of Court, not Carpio, who had the duty to release decisions and resolutions for dissemination, the SC noted.
The SC also said that Peña’s charge that Sereno unfairly refused to inhibit herself from taking part in the deliberation of the Urban Bank cases notwithstanding that Carpio’s former law office supposedly worked for her appointment in the Supreme Court, has no “extrinsic factual evidence to support it.”The charge is purely conjectural, it said.
In 1996, complainant Peña filed an action against Urban Bank and certain members of its Board of Directors before the Regional Trial Court BagoCity, Negros Occidental, for recovery of agent’s compensation and attorney’s fees allegedly for services he rendered in evicting the occupants of a bank property inPasayCity, the SC said.
The RTC rendered judgment on the case, ordering defendants to pay PeñaP28.5 million as compensation, attorney’s fees, reimbursement of expenses, and exemplary damages plus costs of suit.
The bank appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals but Peña succeeded in getting the RTC to allow execution of the decision in his favor pending appeal, the SC said
The bank challenged the advance execution of the RTC decision before the CA and the court stopped and annulled it.On motion, however, the CA amended its decision and allowed execution pending appeal because the bank in the meantime ran into financial difficulties, the SC said.
Nevertheless, the CA stayed the execution insofar as three defendant directors were concerned after they posted aP40 million bond in Peña’s favor.Because the stay did not cover Urban Bank and the rest of its directors, the sheriff levied on and sold some of their properties, including the bank’s club shares in Makati Sports Club Inc, the SC added.
The defendants affected by the execution pending appeal filed separate petitions for review of the CA’s amended decision before the Supreme Court, which were eventually consolidated and assigned to Carpio.
Following the lead of the three defendant directors, Urban Bank filed with the SC a motion to approve aP40 million bond for the stay of the execution of the RTC decision pending adjudication of its appeal in the main case.The SC granted the motion in its November 19, 2001 resolution.
With the SC issuance of the resolution, Export and Industry Bank, Urban Bank’s successor in interest, requested MSCI’s corporate secretary not to cancel or transfer Urban Bank’s club shares which were previously sold at public auction. Urban Bank itself filed an identical motion for clarification dated August 6, 2002.
On November 13, 2002 the SC, acting on the two motions, stated that its approval of the supersedeas bond “suspended or stayed” the running of the one-year period for the Bank to redeem the properties sold at public auction and prohibited the transfer of Union Bank’s MSCI club shares to the winning bidders.
On Dec. 10, 2002 Peña filed an urgent omnibus motion to expunge the bank’s motion for clarification and recall the Court’s November 13, 2002 resolution on the ground that he was neither furnished a copy of that motion nor given an opportunity to be heard on it.
On Sept. 19, 2011 Peña filed a complaint against Justices Carpio and Sereno.Peña averred that Carpio, as Member-in-Charge of the consolidated cases, caused the issuance of the falsified November 13, 2002 resolution which suspended and stayed the transfer of MSCI’s club shares from Urban Bank to those who won them in the bidding.
He also alleged that Sereno unjustifiably refused to inhibit herself from the case notwithstanding that Carpio’s former law office, the Villaraza Cruz Marcelo Angangco Law Office, had a significant role in her appointment to the Supreme Court.Peña said that, because of this, Sereno “will attempt to protect Justice Carpio.”
Pending consideration of Peña’s present complaint, on October 19, 2011 the Second Division rendered a decision in the consolidated cases respecting the merits of Peña’s claim for compensation, among others, against Urban Bank and the execution pending appeal of the RTC’s decision.The SCen bancdecision promulgated on April 17, 2012 found Peña guilty for violating Canons 8, 10 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and for failing to give due respect to the Courts and his fellow lawyers, and meted out to him the penalty of disbarment, the SC said.*CPG