2013 (Legal Ethics) Bar Exam Questions: Essay Question 8

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The criminal case arising from the P10-Billion Peso pork barrel scandal was raffled to Sandiganbayan Justice Marciano Cobarde. Afraid that he would antagonize the parties, his political patrons and, ultimately, his judicial career, he decided to inhibit from participating in the case, giving “personal reasons” as his justification.

If you were to question the inhibition of SB Justice Cobarde, on what legal basis, and where and how will you do this? (8%)


  1. Justice Cobarde’s inhibition can be questioned with the Supreme Court for being violative of the Code of Judicial Conduct in particular the Canons on Independence and Integrity.

    The Judiciary is independent and cannot be influenced by other branches of government, nor can it be swayed by political interests. Further, judicial independence also requires a separation from the personal interests of the sitting judge, thus Justice Cobarde’s personal patrons and his judicial career should not have influenced him.

    The Canon on Integrity requires that judges observe the highest standard of moral uprightness and judges must not only act in the interest of justice, they must be perceived to act in the interest of justice.

    Members of the legal profession cannot be influenced by political patrons, nor should ambition hinder them in the performance of their duties. Judges are expected to impose a higher standard. Justice Cobarde should take the moral high ground, execute his duty as a judge and see to it that the case or any case in which he presides is decided without fear or favor.

  2. Hindi siyempre ganyan kaayos ang thoughts ko sa booklet at siyempre may mga erasures. Ang mantra ko sa Ethics exam “last na to, todo na ng bonggang-bongga!” Saka ang fun magsagot ng Ethics parang Essay writing contest ang peg hahaha. And to think na least prepared ako sa Ethics, nag-cram ako for this, 1reviewer lang kasabay ng lectures ni Atty. Duka. Tapos pre-week codal na lang kasi nagpapanic na ako sa Rem kasi ang dami ko pa di naaaral sa CivPro at depressed pa ako sa Crim.

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