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BAR MATTER NO.

702 May 12, 1994


Gentlemen:
Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a Resolution of the Court En Banc
dated May 12, 1994.
Bar Matter No. 702 (In the Matter of Petition to authorize Sharia'h District ourt
!u"#es to $%%oint Shari'a &a'(ers as Notaries Pu)lic* $tt(. +o(o M. Gam%on#*
%etitioner,
Petitioner +o(o M. Gam%on#* a Bachelor of &a's (&IB, #ra"uate of Notre Dame
-ni.ersit( 'ho 'as a"mitte" to the Phili%%ine Shari'a Bar on /cto)er 7* 0110*
file" the instant %etition %ra(in# that this ourt* after "ue notice an" hearin#*
issue an or"er authorizin# all Shari'a District ourt !u"#es to a%%oint Shari'a
&a'(ers 'ho %ossess the 2ualifications an" none of the "is2ualifications as
notaries %u)lic 'ithin their res%ecti.e 3uris"ictions.
/n the theor( that Shari'a District ourts are co4e2ual 'ith the re#ular +e#ional
5rial ourts in the hierarch( of the Phili%%ine !u"icial S(stem* %etitioner claims
that )( analo#(* Shari'a District ourt !u"#es ma( )e authorize" to a%%oint the
mem)ers of the Phili%%ine Shari'a Bar. Petitioner further ar#ues that* )ein# a
s%ecial mem)er of the Phili%%ine Bar an" a %racticin# Shari'a la'(er* notarial
'or6 is in"is%ensa)le an" im%erati.e in the e7ercise of his %rofession8 therefore*
he is 2ualifie" to )e a%%ointe" as notar( %u)lic )( Shari'a District !u"#e.
Petitioner li6e'ise claims that Shari'a la'(ers cannot )e a%%ointe" as notaries
%u)lic in their %laces of resi"ence an" in cities an" other %ilot centers 'here
Shari'a courts are esta)lishe" )ecause the +5 97ecuti.e !u"#es in ota)ato
an" Ma#uin"anao re2uire them to secure certifications from the IBP Secretar(
that there are no %racticin# la'(ers in the %lace 'here the( are a%%l(in#. 5hus*
Shari'a la'(ers lose their chance to )e a%%ointe" as notaries %u)lic )ecause of
the %olic( of the IBP cha%ters in +e#ion 02 to a%%oint re#ular IBP mem)ers
%racticall( in all munici%alities an" %ro.inces.
5he %etition is "enie".
5he a%%ointment* 2ualification* 3uris"iction an" %o'ers of notaries %u)lic are
#o.erne" )( the %ro.isions of the Notarial &a' em)o"ie" in Sections 2:0 to
Section 2;0* ha%ter 00 of the +e.ise" $"ministrati.e o"e* Section 2:2 of the
+e.ise" $"ministrati.e o"e as amen"e" )( 97ecuti.e /r"er No. ;0* Ma( 00*
01;< %ro.i"es:
Section 232. Appointment of notaries public. = !u"#es of
ourt of >irst Instance (no' +e#ional 5rial ourt, in the
res%ecti.e ma( a%%oint as man( notaries %u)lic as the %u)lic
#oo" re2uires* an" there shall )e at least one for e.er(
munici%alit( in each %ro.ince. Notaries %u)lic in the it( of
Manila shall )e a%%ointe" )( one of the 3u"#es of the ourt
of >irst Instance (no' +e#ional 5rial ourt, of Manila to )e
chosen )( the 3u"#es of the )ranches of sai" court? (@or"s
in %arenthesis su%%lie",
Strictl( s%ea6in#* Shari'a District ourts "o not form %art of the inte#rate" 3u"icial
s(stem of the Phili%%ines. Section 2 of the !u"iciar( +eor#anization $cts of 01A0
(B.P. Bl#. 021, enumerates the courts co.ere" )( the $ct* com%risin# the
inte#rate" 3u"icial s(stem. Shari'a ourts are not inclu"e" in the enumeration
not'ithstan"in# that* 'hen sai" B.P. Bl#. 021 too6 effect on $u#ust 0;* 01A0*
P.D. No. 00A: (other'ise 6no'n as ?o"e of Muslim Personal &a's of the
Phili%%ines?, 'as alrea"( in force. 5he Shari'a ourts are mentione" in Section
;< of the $ct onl( for the %ur%ose of inclu"in# them ?in the fun"in#
a%%ro%riations.?
5he fact that 3u"#es thereof are re2uire" )( la' to %ossess the same
2ualifications as those of +e#ional 5rial ourts "oes not si#nif( that the Shari'a
ourt is a re#ular court li6e the +e#ional 5rial ourt. 5he latter is a court of
#eneral 3uris"iction* i.e.* com%etent to "eci"e all cases* ci.il an" criminal* 'ithin
its 3uris"iction. $ Shari'a District ourt* create" %ursuant to $rticle 0:7 of
Presi"ential Decree No. 00A:* is a court of limite" 3uris"iction* e7ercisin# ori#inal
onl( o.er cases s%ecificall( enumerate" in $rticle 0;: thereof. In other 'or"s* a
Shari'a District ourt is not a re#ular court e7ercisin# #eneral 3uris"iction 'ithin
the meanin# of Section 2:2 of the Notarial &a'.
5he fact* too* that Shari'a ourts are calle" ?courts? "oes not im%l( that the( are
on e2ual footin# or are i"entical 'ith re#ular courts* for the 'or" ?court? ma( )e
a%%lie" to tri)unals 'hich are not actuall( 3u"icial in character* )ut are 2uasi4
3u"icial a#encies* li6e the Securities an" 97chan#e ommission* &an"
+e#istration $uthorit(* Social Securit( ommission* i.il $eronautics Boar"s*
Bureau of Patents* 5ra"emar6 an" 5echnolo#(* 9ner#( +e#ulator( Boar"* etc. 1
Moreo.er* "ecisions of the Shari'a District ourts are not ele.ate" to this ourt )( a%%eal un"er +ule ;0* or )( %etition for re.ie'
un"er +ule ;<* of the +ules of ourt. 5heir "ecisions are final ?'hether on a%%eal from the Shari'a ircuit ourt or not? 2 an"
hence* ma( reach this ourt onl( )( 'a( of a s%ecial ci.il action un"er +ule B< of the +ules of ourt* similar to those of the
National &a)or +elations ommission* or the entral Boar" of $ssessment $%%eals. 3
>urthermore* the 2ualifications for a%%ointment as a 3u"#e of a Shari'a District ourt are "ifferent from those re2uire" of a 3u"#e of
a +e#ional 5rial ourt un"er Section 0< of Batas Pam)ansa Bl#. 021 'hich %ro.i"es:
Section 15. Qualifications = No %erson shall )e a%%ointe"
+e#ional trial ourt !u"#e unless he is a natural )orn citizen
of the Phili%%ines* at least thirt(4fi.e (ears of a#e* an"* for at
least ten (ears* has )een en#a#e" in the %ractice of la' in
the Phili%%ines re2uirin# a"mission to the %ractice of la' as
an in"is%ensa)le re2uirement.
In case of Shari'a ourt 3u"#es* on the other han"* a S%ecial Bar 97amination for
Shari'a ourts 'as authorize" )( the Su%reme ourt in its En Banc resolution
"ate" Se%tem)er 20* 01A:. 5hose 'ho %ass sai" e7amination are 2ualifie" for
a%%ointment for Shari'a court 3u"#es an" for a"mission to s%ecial mem)ershi% in
the Phili%%ine Bar to %ractice la' in the Shari'a courts %ursuant to $rticle 0<2* in
relation to $rticles 0;A an" 0<A of P.D. No. 00A:. Sai" $rticle 0<2* P.D. No. 00A:
%ro.i"es* thus:
Art. 152. Qualifications. = No %erson shall )e a%%ointe"
3u"#e of the Shari'a ircuit ourt unless he is a natural )orn
citizen of the Phili%%ines* at least t'ent(4fi.e (ears of a#e*
an" has %asse" an e7amination in the Sharia' an" Islamic
3uris%ru"ence (fi2h, to )e #i.en )( the Su%reme ourt for
a"mission to s%ecial mem)ershi% in the Phili%%ine Bar to
%ractice la' in the Shari'a courts.
5he authorit( thus conferre" )( the Notarial &a' u%on 3u"#es of the ourt of >irst
Instance* no' the +e#ional 5rial ourt* in their res%ecti.e %ro.inces to a%%oint
notaries %u)lic cannot )e e7%an"e" to cloth the 3u"#es of the Shari'a District
ourt 'ith the same statutor( authorit(. 5he authorit( to a%%oint notaries %u)lic
contem%late" un"er Section 2:2 of the Notarial &a' an" the corres%on"in#
su%er.isin# authorit( o.er them authorize" un"er Section 2;A thereof re2uire the
2ualifications an" e7%erience of an +5 !u"#e.
It must )e ma"e clear in this re#ar" that since a %erson 'ho has %asse" the
Shari'a Bar 97amination "oes not automaticall( )ecome a re#ular mem)er of the
Phili%%ine Bar* he lac6s the necessar( 2ualification to )e a%%ointe" a notar(
%u)lic. Section 2:: of the Notarial &a' %ro.i"es for the 2ualifications for
a%%ointment as notar( %u)lic* thus:
Section 233. Qualifications for Appointment. = 5o )e
eli#i)le for a%%ointment as notar( %u)lic* a %erson must )e a
citizen of the Phili%%ines (or of the -nite" States, an" o.er
t'ent(4one (ears of a#e. Ce must* furthermore* )e a %erson
'ho has )een a"mitte" to the %ractice of la' or 'ho has
com%lete" an" %asse" in the stu"ies of la' in a re%uta)le
uni.ersit( or school of la'* or has %asse" the e7amination
for the office of the %eace or cler6 or "e%ut( cler6 of court* or
)e a %erson 'ho ha" 2ualifie" for the office of notar( %u)lic
un"er the S%anish so.erei#nt(.
In the chartere" cities an" in the ca%itals of the %ro.inces*
'here there are t'o or more la'(ers a%%ointe" as notaries
%u)lic* no %erson other than a la'(er or a %erson 'ho ha"
2ualifie" to hol" the office of notar( %u)lic un"er the S%anish
so.erei#nt( shall hol" sai" office.
In munici%alities or munici%al "istricts 'here no %erson
resi"es ha.in# the 2ualifications herein )efore s%ecifie" or
ha.in# them* refuses to hol" such office* 3u"#es of first
instance ma( a%%oint other %ersons tem%oraril( to e7ercise
the office of notar( %u)lic 'ho ha.e the re2uisite
2ualifications or fitness an" moralit(.
In an En Banc resolution of the ourt "ate" $u#ust <* 011:* in Bar Matter No.
BA0 ?+e: Petition to $llo' Shari'a &a'(ers to e7ercise their %rofession at the
re#ular courts*? this ourt cate#oricall( state" that a %erson 'ho has %asse" the
Shari'a Bar 97amination is onl( a s%ecial mem)er of the Phili%%ine Bar an" not a
full4fle"#e" mem)er thereof e.en if he is a Bachelor of &a's "e#ree hol"er. $s
such* he is authorize" to %ractice onl( in the Shari'a courts.
/nl( a %erson "ul( a"mitte" as mem)ers of the Phili%%ine Bar in accor"ance
'ith the +ules of ourt are entitle" to %ractice la' )efore the re#ular courts.
Section 0* +ule 0:A of the +e.ise" +ules of ourt %ro.i"es:
Section 1. ho may practice la!. = $n( %erson heretofore
"ul( a"mitte" as a mem)er of the )ar* or hereafter a"mitte"
as such in accor"ance 'ith the %ro.isions of this rule* an"
'ho is in #oo" an" re#ular stan"in#* is entitle" to %ractice
la'.
5his ourt further em%hasize" in its resolution in Bar Matter BA0* that:
In or"er to )e a"mitte" as mem)er of the Phili%%ine Bar* the
can"i"ate must %ass an e7amination for a"mission co.erin#
the follo'in# su)3ects: Political an" International &a'8 &a)or
an" Social &e#islation8 i.il &a' an" 5a7ation8 Mercantile
&a'8 riminal &a'8 +eme"ial &a'8 an" &e#al 9thics an"
Practical 97ercises (Sec. 00* +ule 0:A, >urther* in or"er that
a can"i"ate ma( )e "eeme" to ha.e %asse" the )ar
e7amination* he must ha.e o)taine" a #eneral a.era#e of
7<D in all the aforementione" su)3ects 'ithout failin# )elo'
<0D in an( su)3ect (Sec. 0;* +ule 0:A,. /n the other han"*
the su)3ects co.ere" )( the s%ecial )ar e7amination for
Shari'a courts are: (0, !uris%ru"ence (>i2h, an" ustomar(
la's ($"at,8 (2, Persons* >amil( +elations an" Pro%ert(8 (:,
Successions* @illsE$"3u"ication an" Settlement of Pro%ert(8
(;, Proce"ure in Shari'a ourts (See +esolution "ate"
Se%tem)er 20* 01A:,.
It is 2uite o).ious that the su)3ect matter of the t'o
e7aminations are "ifferent. 5he Phili%%ine Bar 97amination
co.ers the entire ran#e of the Phili%%ine &a's an"
3uris%ru"ence* 'hile the Shari'a Bar 97amination co.ers
Muslim %ersonal la's an" 3uris%ru"ence onl(. Cence* a
%erson 'ho has %asse" the Shari'a Bar 97amination* 'ho is
not a la'(er* is not 2ualifie" to %ractice la' )efore the
re#ular courts )ecause he has not %asse" the re2uisite
e7aminations for a"mission as a mem)er of the Phili%%ine
Bar. Co'e.er* the Shari'a )ar la'(er ma( a%%ear )efore the
Munici%al 5rial ourts as a#ent or frien" of a liti#ant* if
a%%ointe" )( the latter for the %ur%ose )ut not )efore the
+e#ional 5rial ourts as onl( "ul( authorize" mem)ers of
the Bar ma( con"uct liti#ations in the latter court (Sec. :;*
+ule 0:A,.
onsi"erin#* therefore that a %erson 'ho has %asse" the Shari'a Bar
97amination is onl( a s%ecial mem)er of the Phili%%ine Bar an" not a full4fle"#e"
mem)er thereof e.en if he hol"s a Bachelor of &a's De#ree* he is not 2ualifie"
to %ractice to 2ualifie" to %ractice la' )efore the re#ular courts. $s a #eneral rule*
a Shari'a &a'(er is not %ossesse" of the )asic re2uisite of ?%ractice of la'? in
or"er to )e a%%ointe" as a notar( %u)lic un"er Section 2:: of the Notarial &a' in
relation to Section 0* +ule 0:A of the +e.ise" +ules of ourt.
@C9+9>/+9* the %etition to authorize Shari'a District ourt !u"#es to a%%oint
Shari'a &a'(ers as notaries %u)lic in their res%ecti.e 3uris"iction is D9NI9D.
Fer( 5rul( Gours*
LU!"M"N#A #. $UNO
Cler" of Court
B(:
%S&'.( MA. LU"SA #. !"LLARAMA
Assistant Cler" of Court
)ootnote*
0 #ee ircular 0410* >e)ruar( 27* 0110.
2 $rt 0;<* P.D. 00A:.
: #ee +esolution of No.em)er 2B* 0110* G.+. No. 1<A1<*
Ceirs of Datu Man#in"ra Sinsuat* re%resente" )( &our"es
Sinsuat .. Datu Caa6on Sinsuat an" Con. oroco( D.
Moson* Shari'a District !u"#e8 cf.* 5am%ar .. -sman* 200
S+$ B<2 (0110,8 +ulona4$l $'a"hi .. $stih* 0B< S+$ 770
(01AA,.