502 Phil. 26
She alleged that while her motions remained unresolved, David's motions were favorably resolved with dispatch by the respondent judge. She assailed the May 26, 2004 Order directing her to enroll their children at David's preferred school, Philippine Jin Nan Institute, Inc., without considering her children's preference and the money she spent in enrolling them at the Philippine Academy of Sakya.
1) Urgent Motion to Fix the Date of Support dated March 2, 2004; 2) Motion to fix Date when Defendant would Give his Monthly Support dated April 23, 2004; 3) Omnibus Motion to Censure and Require Defendant to Give Monthly Support dated May 4, 2004; 4) Manifestation as regards the Preferred Schools and Failure of Defendant to Give Monthly Support dated May 21, 2004; 5) Manifestation and Omnibus Motion for Reconsideration and Motion to Resolve Defendant's Failure to Comply with the Court's Order (regarding defendant's failure to give monthly support since April 2004) dated June 3, 2004; and 6) Very Urgent Ex-Parte Motion to Direct Defendant to Give Monthly Support of P40,000.00 for the months of April, May and June 2004 dated June 11, 2004.
In administrative proceedings, the complainant bears the onus of establishing, by substantial evidence, the averments of his complaint. Notatu dignum is the presumption of regularity in the performance of a judge's functions, hence bias, prejudice and even undue interest cannot be presumed, specially weighed against a judge's sacred allegation under oath of office to administer justice without respect to any person and do equal right to the poor and to the rich. In a long line of cases decided by this Court, it was held that bare allegations of bias are not enough in the absence of clear and convincing evidence to overcome the presumption that the judge will undertake his noble role to dispense justice according to law and evidence and without fear or favor. In Sinnott v. Barte, it was further held, mere suspicion that a judge is partial is not enough. There should be clear and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and partiality. Extrinsic evidence is required to establish bias, bad faith, malice or corrupt purpose, in addition to the palpable error that may be inferred from the decision or order itself. Although the decision may seem so erroneous as to raise doubts concerning a judge's integrity, absent extrinsic evidence, the decision itself would be insufficient to establish a case against the judge. (Emphasis supplied)To merit disciplinary action, the error or mistake must be gross or patent, malicious, deliberate or in bad faith. In the absence of a showing to the contrary, defective or erroneous decision or order is presumed to have been issued in good faith.
The Court will not shirk from its responsibility of imposing discipline upon erring members of the bench. At the same time, however, the Court should not hesitate to shield them from unfounded suits that only serve to disrupt rather than promote the orderly administration of justice. This Court could not be the instrument that would destroy the reputation of any member of the bench, by pronouncing guilt on mere speculation.WHEREFORE, the administrative complaint against Judge Socorro B. Inting and Branch Clerk of Court Shirley M. Pagalilauan of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 4, for bias and partiality, is DISMISSED.