Case Digest on Dolores Gomez v. Judge Rodolfo A. Gatdula (293 SCRA 433)
Facts: Gomez is the complainant in 2 different criminal cases before Judge Gatdula. When she petitioned the SC to change the venue of 1 of the cases, Respondent suspended the scheduled hearings in both cases. When required by the SC to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him, he delayed his comment thereto. He eventually explained that the suspension of hearing was made because the request for change of venue was pending in the SC.
Held: Judge Gatdula acted vindictively & oppressively, apparently irked by the request of petitioner. He need not have suspended both hearings as the change of venue only involved one case. His delay in commenting on the change of venue also effectively delayed both cases by 5 months. His acts are not free from the appearance of impropriety, let alone beyond reproach, as required by Canon 3 of the Canons of Judicial Ethics.
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