Judge disregards instruction by executive judge to transfer court; Defiance of lawful order

The facts and circumstances, culled chiefly from the documents submitted by Judge Villanueva in attempted exculpation, more than preponderantly establish his willful disobedience to the lawful orders of his superior officers, and his intransigent insistence on performing non-judicial functions to the prejudice of his judicial duties. He completely disregarded and refused to comply with the instructions of his Executive Judge (Hon. Guillermo Loja) to immediately transfer his court to the Hall of Justice - as every other Judge of Quezon City, of the RTC or MetroTC, had already done by that time - which instructions had avowedly been given on July 10, 1992 in the interest of public service, and in response to "(c)omplaints from Lawyers, Party Litigants, and personnel from the Office of the Clerk of Court, this Court, ** that they are encountering difficulties in going to and returning from your Court housed in one of the small buildings formerly occupied by the Metro Manila Commission." He had likewise completely disregarded and refused to comply with similar instructions given to him on July 23, 1992 by Deputy Court Administrator Reynaldo Suarez. According to the report of the audit team of the Office of the Court Administrator dated, September 16, 1992, Judge Villanueva was holding "court session in two (2) salas" - in the MMA Compound and in the new Hall of Justice, with the result that "the records of civil cases have to be brought out on the streets," unnecessarily exposing them to risk of loss. In truth, it would appear that he would have continued to use the area in question indefinitely had not Quezon City Mayor Ismael Mathay, acceding to the request of Congressman ** Defensor "to use the subject building as his District Office," directed that the same be made "available to Congressman ** Defensor as soon as possible." which directive had been promptly implemented in September, 1995 by the Chief, General Services Office, Quezon City. In view thereof, for willful disobedience and defiance of lawful orders, and culpable infringement of Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct, the Court hereby imposes on Judge Francisco D. Villanueva a fine of FIFTEEN THOUSAND PESOS (P15,000.00), payable within ten (10) days from finality of this Decision, and WARNS him that any future misconduct will be dealt with more severely. [A.M. No. 92-6-326-MeTC. December 16, 1996]