OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, COMPLAINANT, VS. PRESIDING JUDGE JOSEPH CEDRICK O. RUIZ, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 61, MAKATI CITY, RESPONDENT
“x x x.
We emphasize that judges should be the embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence, and their conduct should be above reproach. They must adhere to exacting standards of morality, decency, and probity. A magistrate is judged, not only by his official acts, but also by his private morality and actions. Our people can only look up to him as an upright man worthy of judging his fellow citizens’ acts if he is both qualified and proficient in law, and equipped with the morality that qualifies him for that higher plane that standing as a judge entails.
In Conrado Abe Lopez v. Judge Rogelio S. Lucmayon,24 we ruled that:
The Code of Judicial Ethics mandates that the conduct of a judge must be free of a whiff of impropriety not only with respect to his performance of his judicial duties, but also to his behavior outside his sala as a private individual. There is no dichotomy of morality: a public official is also judged by his private morals. The Code dictates that a judge, in order to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, must behave with propriety at all times. As we have recently explained, a judge’s official life cannot simply be detached or separated from his personal existence. (emphasis ours)
The conduct of judges, official or otherwise, must always be beyond reproach and must be free from any suspicion tainting him, his exalted office, and the Judiciary. A conduct, act,- or-omission repugnant to the standards of public accountability and which tends to diminish the people’s faith and confidence in the Judiciary, must invariably be handled with the required resolve through the imposition of the appropriate sanctions imposed by law25 and by the standards and penalties applicable to the legal profession.
X x x.”