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A.M. No. AC 4762 dated June 28, 2004

Mrs. Linda Vda. de Espino filed a letter-complaint with the Court

Administrator Alfredo Benipayo for "having employed fraud,
trickery and dishonest means in refusing to honor and pay [her]
late husband Virgilio Espino, when he was still alive, the sum of
P763,060.00" against Atty Pepito C.Presquito (respondent).
Mr. Espino and the respondent entered into an agreement for a
purchase of land by the latter from the former. The price of the
land was P1,437,410.00, payable on a staggered basis and by
installments. Respondent issues post dated checks as payment.
Respondent then entered into a joint venture or partnership
agreement with Mrs. Guadalupe Ares for the subdivision of the
land into home-size lots and its development, with a portion of the
land retained by respondent for his ownuse.
The land was eventually titled in the name of respondent and Mrs.
Ares, and subdivided into 35 to 36 lots.
The 8 post-dated checks issued by respondent were all
dishonored. Mr. Espino made repeated demands for payment from
respondent but the latter refused.
Mr. Espino died in December 1996.
His widow, complainant, then tried to collect from respondent the
value of the eight checks.
When complainants numerous pleas remained unheeded, she
filed the complaint in June 1997.
Respondent denied any wrongdoing, and said that the allegations
that he had employed "fraud, trickery and dishonest means" with
the late Mr. Espino were totally false and baseless.
Respondents claim that he and Mr. Espino, agreed that Mr Espino
will not encash the checks until theright of way problem has been
In addition, respondent claims that the balance would be offset
with the cost he incurred when he defended Mr. Espinos son in a
criminal case.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent failed to act with candor and
fairness towards the complainant.


Complainants testimony and exhibits have clearly established

there was an agreement between respondent and complainants
late husband for thesale of the latters land;
respondent had issued the eight checks in connection with said
these checks were dishonored and remain unpaid; and


the land sold had an existing road-rightof- way.

The responded failed to prove that he had legal cause to refuse
payment, or that he was entitled to legal compensation.
Respondents failure to present evidence is a breach of Rule 12.01
of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Having no legal defense to refuse payment of the 8 dishonored
chec ks, respondents indifference to complainants entreaties for
payment was conduct unbecoming of a member of the bar and an
officer of the court.
Respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility by his
unlawful, dishonest and deceitful conduct towards complainant
and her late husband, first by allowing the 8checks he issued to
bounce, then by ignoring the repeated demands for payment until
complainant was forced to file this complaint, and finally by
deliberately delaying the disposition of this case with dilatory
guilty of gross misconduct and is hereby SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for one (1) year, and ORDERED to immediately
account with complainant regarding the sale of the piece of land,
which has been subdivided in the name of respondent and his
business partner.


(A.C. No. 6723, March 15, 2010)

An Information for Estafa was filed against Atty. Fabroa

(complainant) along with others based on a joint affidavitcomplaint which Atty. Paguinto (respondent) prepared and
As the joint affidavit-complaint did not indicate the involvement of
complainant filed a Motion to Quash the information which the trial
court granted.
A Special General Assembly was presided by respondent and PNP
Sr. Supt. Gerangco, who were not members of the ten current
Gerangco declared himself Chair, appointed others to replace the
removed directors, and appointed respondent as Board Secretary .
Paguinto and his group took over the GEMASCO office and its
premises and sent letter-notices to Fabroa and the four removed
directors informing them to their removal from the Board and as
members of GEMASC, and advising them to cease and desist from
further discharging the duties of their positions.
Complainant filed with the Cooperative Development Authority
(CDA-Calamba) a complaint for annulment of the proceedings
taken during the special general assembly. Despite the Courts

grant, on respondents motion, of extension of time to file

Comment, respondent never filed any comment.
Issue: Whether the respondent committed misconduct for convincing with
in taking over the water facilities and filing criminal complaints against
Held: YES

The Court finds that by conniving with Gerangco in taking over the
Board of Directors and the GEMASCO facilities, respondent violated
the provisions of the Cooperative Code of the Philippines and the
He also violated the Lawyers Oath, which provides that a law shall
support the Constitution and obey the laws.
When respondent caused the filing of baseless criminal complaints
against complainant, he violated the Lawyers Oath that a lawyer
shall not wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless,
false or unlawful suit, nor give aid or consent to the same.
When, after obtaining an extension of time to file comment on the
complaint, respondent failed to file any and ignored this Courts
subsequent show cause order, he violated Rule 12.03 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility, which states that A lawyer shall not,
after obtaining extensions of the time to file pleadings,
memoranda or briefs, let the period lapse without submitting the
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so.
The Court notes that respondent had previously been suspended
from the practice of law for six months for violation of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, he having been found to have received
an acceptance fee and misled the client into believing that he had
filed a case for her when he had not.
It appears, however, that respondent has not reformed his ways.
Amore severe penalty this time is thus called for.
Wherefore, respondent, Atty. Oscar P. Paguinto, is SUSPENDED for
two years from thepractice of law for violation of Canon 10 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and the
Lawyers Oath, effective immediately.

AC NO 7922, OCT 1. 2013

Respondent Villaseca was charged for gross and inexcusable

negligence in handling a criminal case, as a consequence of which
the complainants were convicted.
The Supreme Court held that Atty. Villasecas failure to submit a
demurrer to evidence constitutes inexcusable negligence; it
showed his lack of devotion and zeal in preserving his clients

Furthermore, Atty. Villasecas failure to present any testimonial,

object or documentary evidence for the defense reveals his lack of
diligence in performing his duties as an officer of the Court; it
showed his indifference towards the cause of his clients.
Considering that the liberty and livelihood of his clients were at
stake, Atty. Villaseca should have exerted efforts to rebut the
presented prosecution evidence.
The Court emphasized that while a lawyer has complete discretion
on what legal strategy to employ in a case entrusted to him, he
must present every remedy or defense within the authority of the
law to support his clients cause.

DE LEON; January 19, 2001
Petition for review on certiorari of the Decision dated March 6, 1998 of the
Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite,
Branch 90, Imus, Cavite, declaring petitioner Rexie Efren A. Bugaring guilty
in direct contempt of court.

Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision dated

March 6, 1998 of the Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the
Regional Trial Court of Cavite, Branch 90, Imus, Cavite, declaring
petitioner Rexie Efren A. Bugaring guilty in direct contempt of
The incident subject of the petition occurred during a hearing held
on December 5, 1996 of Civil Case No. 1266-96 entitled Royal
Becthel Builders, Inc. vs. Spouses Luis Alvaran and Beatriz Alvaran,
et al., for Annulment of Sale and Certificates of Title, Specific
Performance and Damages with Prayer for Preliminary Injunction
and/or Temporary Restraining Order in the sala of respondent
judge Dolores S. Espaol of the Regional Trial Court of Cavite,
Branch 90,Imus, Cavite.
Pursuant to a motion filed by the previous counsel of Royal Bechtel
Builders, Inc., the trial court issued an order on February 27, 1996
directing the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cavite to
annotate at the back of certain certificates of title a notice of
lis pendens
Before the Register of Deeds of the Province of Cavite could
comply withsaid order, the defendant Spouses Alvaran on April 15,
1996, filed a motion to cancel
lis pendens
On July 19, 1996,petitioner, the newly appointed counsel of Royal
Bechtel Builders, Inc., filed an opposition to the motion to cancel
lis pendens
On August 16, 1996, the motion to cancel lis pendens was granted
by the court. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which

was opposed by the defendants. On November 5, 1996, petitioner

filed an Urgent Motion to Resolve, and on November 6, 1996, filed
a Rejoinder to Opposition and a Motion for Contempt of Court.
During the hearing of the motion for contempt of court held on
December 5, 1996, Judge Espaol cited petitioner indirect
contempt of court, thus:
During the hearing of this case, plaintiffs and counsel were present
together with one (1) operating a video camera who was taking
pictures of the proceedings of the case while counsel, Atty. Rexie
Efren Bugaring was making manifestation to the effect that he was
ready to mark his documentary evidence pursuant to his Motion to
cite (in contempt of court) the Deputy Register of Deeds of Cavite,
Diosdado Concepcion.
The Court called the attention of said counsel who explained that
he did not cause the appearance of the cameraman to take
pictures, however, he admitted that they came from a function,
and that was the reason why the said cameraman was in town
with him and the plaintiffs.
Notwithstanding the flimsy explanation given, the counsel sentout
the cameraman after the Court took exception to the fact that
although the proceedings are open to the public andthat it being a
court of record, and since its permission was not sought, such
situation was an abuse of discretion of theCourt.

knows better the Rules of Court; that he was going to move for the
inhibition of the Presiding Judge for allegedly being antagonistic to
his client, and other invectives were hurled to the discredit of the
ISSUE: WON the contempt order by Judge Espaol had factual basis


When the respondent, Deputy Register of Deeds Concepcion

manifested that he needed the services of counsel andright then
and there appointed Atty. Elpidio Barzaga to represent him, the
case was allowed to be called again.
On the second call, Atty. Bugaring started to insist that he be
allowed to mark and present his documentary evidence in spite of
the fact that Atty. Barzaga was still manifesting that he be allowed
to submit a written pleading for his client, considering that the
Motion has so many ramifications and the issues are complicated.
At this point, Atty. Bugaring was insisting that he be allowed to
mark his documentary evidence and was raring to argue as in fact
he was already perorating despite the fact that Atty. Barzaga has
not yet finished with his manifestation.
As Atty. Bugaring appears to disregard orderly procedure, the
Court directed him to listen and wait for the ruling of theCourt for
an orderly proceeding.
While claiming that he was listening, he would speak up anytime
he felt like doing so. Thus, the Court declared him out of order, at
which point, Atty. Bugaring flared up and uttered words insulting
the Court; such as:that he knows better than the latter as he has
won all his cases of certiorari in the appellate Courts, that he




The power to punish for contempt is inherent in all courts and is

essential to the preservation of order in judicial proceedings and to
the enforcement of judgments, orders, and mandates of the court,
and consequently, to the dueadministration of justice.
Direct contempt is committed in thepresence of or so near a court
or judge and can be punished summarily without hearing.
Reasoning Petitioner cannot claim that there was irregularity in the
actuation of respondent judge in issuing the contempt order inside
her chamber without giving the petitioner the opportunity to
defend himself or make an immediate reconsideration. The records
show that petitioner was cited in contempt of court during the
hearing in the sala of respondent judge, and he even filed a
motion for reconsideration of the contempt order on the same day.
Petitioners alleged deference to the trial court in consistently
addressing the respondent judge as your Honor please
throughout the proceedings is belied by his behavior therein:
The veiled threat to file a petition for certiorari against the trial
court is contrary to Rule 11.03, Canon 11 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which mandates that a lawyer shall
abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
behavior before the Courts.
The hurled uncalled for accusation that the respondent judge was
partial in favor of the other party is against Rule 11.04, Canon 11
of the Code of Professional Responsibility which enjoins lawyers
from attributing to a judge motives not supported by the record
or have no materiality to the case.
Behaving without due regard to the trial courts order to maintain
order in the proceedings is in utter disregard to Canon 1 of the
Canons of Professional Ethics which makes it a lawyers duty to
maintain towards the courts (1) respectful attitude in order to
maintain its importance in the administration of justice, and Canon
11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates
lawyers to observe and maintain the respect due to the Courts
and to judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by
Behaving without due regard or deference to his fellow counsel
who at the time he was making representations in behalf of the
other party, was rudely interrupted by the petitioner and was not
allowed to further put a word in edgewise is violative of




Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and Canon 22 of

the Canons of Professional Ethics which obliges a lawyer to
conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his
professional colleagues, and
The refusal of the petitioner to allow the Registrar of Deeds of the
Province of Cavite, through counsel, to exercise his right to be
heard is against Section 1 of Article III, 1997 Constitution on the
right to due process of law, Canon 18 of the Canons of
Professional Ethics which mandates a lawyer to always treat an
adverse witness with fairness and due consideration, and Canon
12 of Code of Professional Responsibility which insists on a lawyer
to exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the
speedy and efficient administration of justice.
The Court cannot therefore help but notice the sarcasm in the
petitioners use of the phrase your honor please.
For, after using said phrase he manifested utter disrespect to the
court in his subsequent utterances. Surely this behavior from an
officer of the Court cannot and should not be countenanced, if
proper decorum is to be observed and maintained during court
A lawyer should not be carried away in espousing his
clients cause.
He should not forget that he is an officer of the court,
bound to exert every effort and placed under duty, to
assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice
He should not, therefore, misuse the rules of procedure to
defeat the ends of justice per Rule 10.03, Canon 10 of the
Canons of Professional Responsibility, or unduly delay a
case, impede the execution of a judgment or misuse court
processes, in accordance with Rule 12.04, Canon 12 of the
same Canons.
Lawyers should be reminded that their primary duty is to assist
the courts in the administration of justice.
Any conduct which tends to delay, impede or obstruct the
administration of justice contravenes such lawyers duty.
Disposition: Decision of the CA affirmed. RTC ordered to return to
the petitioner, Rexie Efren A. Bugaring, the sum of P1,000 out of
the original fine of P3,000


G.R. No. L-27662; October 29, 1968; FERNANDO J

February 24, 1967 WCC considered a complaint filed against it by

Mario Abitria forcompensation.

It was submitted for decision after he and a physician had

testified.The counsel of Manila Pest Control failed to appear at the
A motion for reconsideration was filed praying he be allowed to
present evidence on his behalf.
This MFR was denied.
Arbitria was employed by the MPC since February 4, 1956, working
six (6) days aweek and receiving an average monthly wage of
P180.00 as labourer.
He was assigned in the Research Division which conducted
research on rat traps and other matters regarding extermination of
pests, animals and insects.
In the place of his employment he was made to inhale dangerous
fumes as the atmosphere waspolluted with poisonous chemical
The working condition of his place of workwas also warm and
humid in view of the products being manufactured by
He was not extended any protective device and he was also made
to liftheavy objects in the painting and soldering.
Sometime in July, 1966 while the claimant was soldering [he]
began to experience symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis.
Because of his spitting of blood or hemoptysis, he went to consult
Dr.Felix Tuazon of the Quezon Institute whose diagnosis was
pulmonary tuberculosis.
The doctor testified that the nature of work of the claimant
involving strenuous physical exertion and other factors of work
such as the lowering of his resistance in view of the enormous
inhalation of chemical fumes.
The decision of the WCC was sent to Attorney Manuel Camacho
but care of petitioner's counsel, Attorney Manuel Corpuz.
MPC contends that the one "officially furnished" with a copy of
such decision was not its counsel, who was without any connection
with Attorney Camacho.
It would conclude, therefore, that it had not received a copy of a
decision which could not thereafter reach the stage of finality
calling for a writ of execution.
WCC explained via the affidavit of Mr. Guzman that when he went
to the office of Atty. Corpuz, on March 10, 1967 to deliver a copy of
the decision ..., but Atty. Corpuz refused to receive the said
decision alleging that he was no longer handling the case.Atty.
Corpuz, instead instructed Mr. Guzman to deliver the said decision
to Atty.Camacho since it was already Atty, Camacho who was
handling the case, and Atty.Camacho, according to Atty. Corpuz,
even had the records of the case.
Atty. Corpuz is impugning the delivery of the decision to Atty.

It was then alleged in the petition that on April 11, 1967, a motion
for reconsideration of the aforesaid order was filed with the
averment that petitioner was not aware of any decision rendered
in the case as no copy of the same had theretofore been furnished
to its counsel.
April 24, 1967 motion for reconsideration was denied
June 14, 1967 - a plea for execution was granted on behalf of
Arbiria andsubsequently the City Sheriff of Manila levied on the
petitioners properties.
The petitioner contends that the infringement of procedural due
process, theactuation of the Commission was either in excess of its
jurisdiction or with graveabuse of discretion.

Issue: WON Atty. Corpuz misused the processes of the Court to delay the
delivery of justice

Atty. Corpuz refused to receive the copy of the decision of the WCC
and he is now impugning the delivery of the decision to Atty.
Camacho and denying the knowledge of it when in fact and in
truth the delivery of the decision to Atty. Camacho was madeper
his instruction.
An effort was made to serve petitioner with a copy of the decision;
that such effort failed was attributable to the conduct of its own
There is no reason why the decision would have been served on
some other counsel if there where no such misinformation, if there
where no such attempt to mislead
It is one thing to exert to the utmost one's ability to protect the
interest of one's client.
It is quite another thing, and this is to put it at its mildest, to take
advantage of any unforeseen turn of events, if not to create one,
to delay if not to defeat the recovery of what is justly due and
demandable, especially so, when as in this case, the obligee is a
necessitous and poverty-stricken man suffering from a dreaded
disease, that unfortunately afflicts so many of our countrymen and
even moreunfortunately requires an outlay far beyond the means
of our poverty stricken masses.
DISPOSITION: Preliminary injunction denied. With treble costs
against petitioner to be paid by his counsel, Attorney Manuel

TINGA; December 16, 2004
Administrative case in the Supreme Court. Disbarment.

In the early part of 1997, Napocor instituted expropriation

proceedings against several lot owners in Bulacan including the
complainant in this case.
April 1, 1997, a Contract of Legal Services was entered into
between the law firm Principe Villano and Clemente Law Offices
and SANDAMA, Inc. represented by its President Danilo V. Elfa.
SANDAMA is the organization of lot owners affected by the
expropriation proceedings. Complainant is a member of this
November 27, 1997, complainant executed a Kasulatan ng
Pagbibigay Kapangyarihan in favor of Danilo Elfa appointing the
latter as the attorney-in-fact of the complainant on the matter of
negotiation with the NPC.
December 21, 1999, NPCs Board of Directors approved the
amicable settlement of the expropriation cases by paying all the
lot owners the total of (P103,413,200.00).
More that two (2) years after the expropriation cases were
instituted and while complainant was represented therein by Atty.
Benjamin Mendoza, or on January 18, 2000, respondent filed an
Ex-Parte Motion to Separate Legal Fees From Selling Price
Between Plaintiffs and Defendants.
About ten days after respondent filed his motion to separate legal
fees, respondent filed his Notice of Entry of Appearance (dated
January 28, 2000) claiming that respondent is the legal counsel of
the complainant, a defendant in said case.
February 12, 2000, (69) lot owners including the complainant
wrote a letter to NPC informing the latter that they have never
authorized Mr. Danilo Elfa to hire the services of the respondents
law firm to represent them in the expropriation cases.
February 17, 2000, complainant filed an Opposition to
respondents entry of appearance and motion to separate legal
March 7, 2000, respondent filed a Notice of Attorneys Lien
claiming 40% of the selling price of the properties being
expropriated by NPC.
April 10, 2000, respondent filed a Notice of Adverse Claim before
the Register of Deeds of Bulacan claiming 40% of the rights, title
and interest of the lot owners over their lots being expropriated
including that of complainant.
November 20, 2000, respondent herein filed a Motion for Leave to
Intervene in the expropriation case claiming to be a co-owner of
the property being expropriated.
February 26, 2001, respondent filed an Opposition to the
Compromise Agreement submitted by the lot owners and NPC for
court approval.
Because of the actions taken by the respondent, the execution of
the decision approving the compromise agreement between the
lot owners and the NPC was delayed

June 6, 2001 - a complaint for disbarment was filed before the IBP.
Julian Malonso claimed that Atty Principe, without authority
entered his appearance as Malonsos counsel in the expropriation
proceedings initiated by Napocor. After illegally representing him,
Pincipe claimed 40% of the selling price of his land by way of
attorneys fees and in a Motion to Intervene, claimed to be a coowner of Malonsos property.
In the respondets anawer, he claims that the services of his law
office was engaged by Samahan ng mga Dadaanan at
Maapektuhan ng NAPOCOR (SANDAMA) through its president,
Danilo Elfa, as embodied in the Contract of Legal Services
executed on April 1, 19973.
Respondent claims that Malonso is a member of SANDAMA and
that the said member executed an SPA in favor of Elfa which
served as Elfas authority to act in behalf of Malonso
In Malonsos reply, he claimed that he did not authorize Elfa as the
SPA was executed after the Contract of Legal Services. He also
claims that he also had his own lawyer, Atty. Benjamin Mendoza.
Principe counters this argument saying that the agreement is a
continuing one, hence Malonso was within the coverage of the
According to the findings of the IBP investigator, the Contract of
Legal Services is between SANDAMA as a corporate being and the
respondents law firm.
SANDAMA is not a party in all of the expropriation proceedings
instituted by Napocor, neither does it claim co-ownership of the
properties being expropriated.
It was also found that the SPA was executed by Malonso in favor of
Elfa after the Contract of Legal Services, and the right of
coownership cannot be derived from the said documents.
A contract of legal services between a lawyer and his client is
personal and cannot be performed through intermediaries.
From the evidence presented by both parties, the Investigating
Commissioner found Principe guilty of misrepresentation.
He was found to have violated Canon3, Rule 10, Rule 10.01 and
Rule 12.04. the report recommended the penalty of a 2 year
Resolution of the IBP Board of Governors suspended him for 1 year
In his Appeal Memorandum, respondent claims that the Resolution
has no factual and legal basis, the complaint having been
motivated by pure selfishness and greed, and the Resolution itself
invalid for having failed to comply with Rule 139-B of the RoC.
According to the respondent, the Investigating Commissioner
continued to investigate the instant case despite the lapse of three
months provided under Section 8 of Rule 139- B, without any
extension granted by the SC.
Moreover, in the subsequent review made by the IBP Board of
Governors, no actual voting took place but a mere consensus, and

the required number of votes provided by the Rules was not

secured considering that there were only five (5) governors
Respondent opines that the actions of the IBP Board were aimed at
preventing him from pursuing his known intention to run for IBP
National President.

1. WON Atty. Principes suspension in the practice of law
properly arrived at.
2. WON Principe illegally represented the petitioners


Before a lawyer may be suspended from the practice of law by the

IBP, there should be:
a review of the investigators report;
a formal voting; and
a vote of at least five (5) members of the Board.
The rationale for this rule is simple: a decision reached by the
Board in compliance with the procedure is the official decision of
the Board as a body and not merely as the collective view of the
individual members thereof.
Without a vote having been taken, the Resolution is void and has
no effect.
Normally, non-compliance with the procedural rules would result in
the remand of the case.
However, the Court, in the public interest and the expeditious
administration of justice, has resolved actions on the merits
instead of remanding them for further proceedings, such as where
the ends of justice would not be subserved by the remand of the
case, or when public interest demands an early disposition of the
case, or where the trial court had already received all the evidence
of the parties. In view of the delay in resolving the instant
complaint against the respondent, the Court opts to resolve the
same based on the records before it.


The duty of the courts is not alone to see that lawyers act in a
proper and lawful manner; it is also their duty to see that lawyers
are paid their just and lawful fees.
It is the duty of the Supreme Court to see to it that a lawyer
accounts for his behavior towards the court, his client, his peers in
the profession and the public. However, the duty of the Court is
not limited to disciplining those guilty of misconduct, but also to
protecting the reputation of those wrongfully charged, much more,
those wrongfully found guilty.

On the other hand, the IBP is aimed towards the elevation of the
standards of the law profession, the improvement of the
administration of justice, and the enabling of the Bar to discharge
its public responsibility more effectively.
Despite its duty to police the ranks, the IBP is not exempt from the
duty to promote respect for the law and legal processes and to
abstain from activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening
confidence in the legal system.
Respect for law is gravely eroded when lawyers themselves, who
are supposed to be minions of the law, engage in unlawful
practices and cavalierly brush aside the very rules formulated for
their observance.
There are two stages in every action for expropriation.
The first is concerned with the determination by the courts of the
authority of the plaintiff to exercise the power of eminent domain
and the propriety of its exercise in the context of the facts
involved in the suit.
The second phase is concerned with the determination by the
court of the just compensation for the property sought to be taken
which relates to the valuation thereof.
But as it frequently happens, the public purpose dimension is not
as fiercely contested.
Moreover, in their quest to secure what they believe to be the fair
compensation of their property, the owners seek inroads to the
leverages of executive power where compensation compromises
are commenced and given imprimatur.
In this dimension, the services of lawyers different from the
ordinary litigator may prove to be handy or even necessary.
Negotiations are mostly out of court and reliant on the sagacity,
persuasion, patience, persistence and resourcefulness of the
In the instant case, the trial court had already ruled on the
valuation of the properties subject of the expropriation, the same
order which is subject of the appeal filed by the NAPOCOR.
Aware that it might take a long time before the said appeal is
finally resolved, and in view of the delay in the adjudication of the
case, the landowners and NAPOCOR negotiated for a compromise
To assist them, the landowners, through SANDAMA and its
president, Danilo Elfa, engaged the services of a lawyer in the
person of respondent. It is clear that respondent was hired
precisely for the negotiation phase of the case.
As a legal entity, a corporation has a personality distinct and
separate from its individual stockholders or members and from
that of its officers who manage and run its affairs.
The rule is that obligations incurred by the corporation, acting
through its directors, officers and employees, are its sole liabilities.

Thus, property belonging to a corporation cannot be attached to

satisfy the debt of a stockholder and vice versa, the latter having
only an indirect interest in the assets and business of the former.
Thus, as summed by the IBP investigator, respondent is the lawyer
of SANDAMA, but SANDAMA is not a party litigant in all of the
expropriation cases; thus respondent had no basis to interfere in
the court proceedings involving the members. But things are not
as simple as that.
A review of the records reveals that respondent had grounds to
believe that he can intervene and claim from the individual
For one, the incorporation of the landowners into SANDAMA was
made and initiated by respondents firm so as to make
negotiations with NAPOCOR easier and more organized.
SANDAMA was a non-stock, non-profit corporation aimed towards
the promotion of the landowners common interest.
It presented a unified front which was far easier to manage and
represent than the individual owners. In effect, respondent still
dealt with the members, albeit in a collective manner.
Second, respondent relied on the representation of Danilo Elfa,
former SANDAMA president and attorney-in-fact of the members,
with whom he entered into a contract for legal services.
Respondent could not have doubted the authority of Elfa to
contract his firms services. After all, Elfa was armed with a Board
Resolution from SANDAMA, and more importantly, individual
grants of authority from the SANDAMA members, including
Third, the contract for legal services clearly indicated a contingent
fee of forty percent (40%) of the selling price of the lands to be
expropriated, the same amount which was reflected in the deed of
assignment made by the individual members of SANDAMA.
Respondent could have easily and naturally assumed that the
same figure assigned to SANDAMA was the same amount
earmarked for its legal services as indicated in their service
Being a non-stock, non-profit corporation, where else would
SANDAMA get the funds to pay for the legal fees due to
respondent and his firm but from the contribution of its members.
Lastly, respondents legal services were disengaged by
SANDAMAs new President Yolanda Bautista around the same time
when the SANDAMA members abandoned and disauthorized
former SANDAMA president Elfa, just when the negotiations bore
With all these circumstances, respondent, rightly or wrongly,
perceived that he was also about to be deprived of his lawful
compensation for the services he and his firm rendered to
SANDAMA and its members.

With the prevailing attitude of the SANDAMA officers and

members, respondent saw the immediate need to protect his
interests in the individual properties of the landowners.
The Court cannot hold respondent guilty of censurable conduct or
practice justifying the penalty recommended.
While filing the claim for attorneys fees against the individual
members may not be the proper remedy for respondent, the Court
believes that he instituted the same out of his honest belief that it
was the best way to protect his interests.
After all, SANDAMA procured his firms services and was led to
believe that he would be paid for the same.
There is evidence which tend to show that respondent and his firm
rendered legal and even extra-legal services in order to assist the
landowners get a favorable valuation of their properties.
They facilitated the incorporation of the landowners to expedite
the negotiations between the owners, the appraisers, and
They sought the assistance of several political personalities to get
some leverage in their bargaining with NAPOCOR.
Suddenly, just after concluding the compromise price with
NAPOCOR and before the presentation of the compromise
agreement for the courts approval, SANDAMA disengaged the
services of respondents law firm.
With the validity of its contract for services and its authority
disputed, and having rendered legal service for years without
having received anything in return, and with the prospect of not
getting any compensation for all the services it has rendered to
SANDAMA and its members, respondent and his law firm
auspiciously moved to protect their interests.
They may have been mistaken in the remedy they sought, but the
mistake was made in good faith.
Indeed, while the practice of law is not a business venture, a
lawyer nevertheless is entitled to be duly compensated for
professional services rendered.
It is but natural that he protects his interest, most especially when
his fee is on a contingent basis.
Respondent was disengaged by SANDAMA after a compromise
agreement was entered into by the lot owners and NAPOCOR.
Its motions for separate legal fees as well as for intervention were
dismissed by the trial court.
Presiding from the ultimate outcome of an independent action to
recover attorneys fees, the Court does not see any obstacle to
respondent filing such action against SANDAMA or any of its
The fact that the contract stipulates a maximum of forty percent
(40%) contingent fees does not make the contract illegal or

Contingent fees are not per se prohibited by law.

Its validity depends, in large measure, upon the reasonableness of
the amount fixed as contingent fee under the circumstances of the
Nevertheless, when it is shown that a contract for a contingent fee
was obtained by undue influence exercised by the attorney upon
his client or by any fraud or imposition, or that the compensation
is clearly excessive, the Court must, and will protect the aggrieved
Disposition WHEREFORE, this case is DISMISSED and considered
CLOSED. The Integrated Bar of the Philippines is enjoined to
comply with the procedure outlined in Rule 139-B in all cases
involving the disbarment and discipline of attorneys.


A.C. No. 7062; September 26, 2006; CARPIO MORALES

Sambajon, et al. are parties to a previous labor case in which the

Atty. Jose Suing is the counsel of their employer Microplast, Inc.
A judgment in favor of them was rendered by the Labor Arbiter
and a writ of execution was issued against Microplast, Inc.
In the meantime, the Labor Arbiter dismissed the case insofar as
the seven complainants are concerned on the basis of individual
Release Waiver and Quitclaims purportedly signed and sworn to by
Four of the seven who purportedly executed the Release Waiver
and Quitclaims, denied having signed and sworn to before the
Labor Arbiter the said documents or having received the
considerations therefor.
They subsequently filed an administrative complaint alleging that
respondent, acting in collusion with his clients Johnny and Manuel
Rodil, frustrated the implementation of the Writ of Execution by
presenting before the Labor Arbiter the spurious documents.
A Complaint seeking the disbarment of Atty. Jose A. Suing on the
grounds of deceit, malpractice, violation of Lawyers Oath and the
Code of Professional Responsibility was also filed.
During the administrative hearings before the IBP Commissioner, it
was apparent that Atty. Suing was coaching his client to prevent
himself from being incriminated.
It was also revealed that the Release Waiver and Quitclaims
allegedly signed were not the same documents originally
presented to the employees to be signed.

ISSUE: Whether or not the acts of Respondent Atty. Suing is an act

arguably violative of the Lawyers Code of Ethics

Diligence is the attention and care required of a person in a

given situation and is the opposite of negligence. A lawyer serves
his client with diligence by adopting that norm of practice
expected of men of good intentions.
He thus owes entire devotion to the interest of his client, warm
zeal in the defense and maintenance of his rights, and the exertion
of his utmost learning, skill, and ability to ensure that nothing shall
be taken or withheld from him, save by the rules of law legally
It is axiomatic in the practice of law that the price of success is
eternal diligence to the cause of the client.
The practice of law does not require extraordinary diligence
(exactissima diligentia) or that extreme measure of care and
caution which persons of unusual prudence and circumspection
use for securing and preserving their rights.
All that is required is ordinary diligence (diligentia) or that degree
of vigilance expected of a bonus pater familias.
In the case at bar, not only did Atty. Suing try to coach his client or
influence him to answer questions in an apparent attempt not to
incriminate him.
His client contradicted Atty. Suings claim that the Release Waiver
and Quitclaim which he prepared was not the one presented at the
Arbiters Office, as well as his implied claim that he was not
involved in releasing to the complainants the money for and in
consideration of the execution of the documents.
As an officer of the court, a lawyer is called upon to assist in the
administration of justice. He is an instrument to advance its cause.
Any act on his part that tends to obstruct, perverts or impedes the
administration of justice constitutes misconduct. While the
Commission on Bar Discipline is not a court, the proceedings
therein are nonetheless part of a judicial proceeding, a disciplinary
action being in reality an investigation by the Court into the
misconduct of its officers or an examination into his character.
WHEREFORE, respondent, Atty. Jose A. Suing, is found GUILTY of
negligence and gross misconduct and is SUSPENDED from the
practice of law for a period of Six (6) Months, with WARNING that a
repetition of the same or similar acts will be dealt with more


APPEAL from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of Manila

Defendant-appellant, Uy Teng Piao, was sued by PNB for non

payment of obligations at the CFI of Manila and said court
rendered judgment in favor of PNB on September 9, 1934 for the

sum of P17,232.42 with interest of seven percent per annum from

June 1, 1924.
The court ordered the defendant appellant to deposit the money
due with the clerk of the court within three months from the date
of judgment. In case of failure to pay, the mortgage properties
should be sold at auction in accordance with law and the proceeds
to be applied to the payment of the judgment.
The defendant failed to comply with the payment order and the
properties were auctioned by the sheriff of Manila for a total of
P1,300 with PNB as the buyer.
On February 11, 1925, PNB secured from defendant a waiver of
the latters right to redeem one of the properties described as TCT
no. 8274 and thereafter sold the same to one Mariano Santos for
The other property, TCT No. 7264 was likewise resold and the
proceeds was credited to the account of Uy.
The total amount generated with the resale of the lots amonted to
P 11, 300.
On August 1, 1930, PNB instituted another court action for the
recover of the balance of the judgment amounting to P11,574.38
with interest at seven percent per annum.
The defendant claimed that in exchange for his waiver of his right
to redeem the first property resold by PNB, the bank would not
collect from him the balance of the judgment.
The CFI ruled that there was in fact a condonation made by the
bank through one of its officer, a certain Mr. Pecson.
Hence this appeal

1. WON PNB condoned the balance of the judgment. NO
2. WON a lawyer can appear as both counsel and witness in the same case.

There was no evidence presented except the uncertain testimony

of the defendant, that the bank did in fact agree to the
Even if the SC grants that Mr. Pecson did agree to the condonation,
there is not evidence presented that Mr. Pecson was authorized by
the bank through its board of directors or persons authorized by
the said board to bind the bank to the agreement.


The SC held that the appearance of a lawyer as both counsel and

witness in a trial is not strictly prohibited.

The SC however stated that it would be preferable if the lawyer in

this case can appear only as one or the other.
In other words, if they are to testify as required by the case, they
should withdraw from the active management of the case.
This is embodied in Canon 19 of the Code of Legal Ethics.
Disposition The decision of the CFI is reversed and the defendant
is ordered to pay PNB the sum of P11,574.38 with interest thereon
at the rate of seven percent per annum to be reckoned from
August 1, 1930. Costs for the defendant.


NATURE: Resolution

During the period July 8-10, 1987, members of the respondent

labor unions (Union of Filipino Employees and Kimberly
Independent Labor Union for Solidarity, Activism and
Nationalism-Olalia) intensified the intermittent pickets they had
been conducting since June 17, 1987 in front of the Padre Faura
gate of the Supreme Court building.
They set up pickets' quarters on the pavement in front of the
Supreme Court building, at times obstructing access to and egress
from the Court's premises and offices of justices, officials and
They constructed provisional shelters along the sidewalks, set up a
kitchen and littered the place with food containers and trash in
utter disregard of proper hygiene and sanitation.
They waved their red streamers and placards with slogans, and
took turns haranguing the court all day long with the use of
These acts were done even after their leaders had been received
by Justices Pedro L. Yap and Marcelo B. Fenian as Chairmen of the
Divisions where their cases are pending, and Atty. Jose C. Espinas,
counsel of the Union of Filipro Employees, had been called in order
that the pickets might be informed that the demonstration must
cease immediately for the same constitutes direct contempt of
court and that the Court would not entertain their petitions for as
long as the pickets were maintained.
Thus, on July 10, 1987, the Court en banc issued a resolution
giving the said unions the opportunity to withdraw graciously and
requiring the leaders of the respondent union leaders to appear
before the Court on July 14, 1987 at 10:30 A.M. and then and there
to SHOW CAUSE why they should not be held in contempt of court.
Atty. Jose C. Espinas was further required to SHOW CAUSE why he
should not be administratively dealt with
On the appointed date and time, the above-named individuals
appeared before the Court, represented by Atty. Jose C. Espinas,

apologizing for their actions described and assuring that the acts
would not be repeated.
Atty. Espinas likewise manifested to the Court that he had
explained to the picketers why their actions were wrong and that
the cited persons were willing to suffer such penalty as may be
warranted under the circumstances. He, however, prayed for the
Court's leniency considering that the picket was actually
spearheaded by the leaders of the "Pagkakaisa ng Mang. gagawa
as Timog Katagalogan" (PAMANTIK), an unregistered loose alliance
of about seventy-five (75) unions in the Southern Tagalog area,
and not by either the Union of Filipro Employees or the Kimberly
Independent Labor union.
Atty. Espinas further stated that he had explained to the picketers
that any delay in the resolution of their cam is usually for causes
beyond the control of the Court and that the Supreme Court has
always remained steadfast in its role as the guardian of the
To confirm for the record that the person cited for contempt fully
understood the reason for the citation and that they win abide by
their promise that said incident will not be repeated, the Court
required the respondents to submit a written manifestation to this
effect, which respondents complied with on July 17, 1987

ISSUE: WON the respondents and Atty. Espinas should be held in direct
contempt of Court

Contempt charges dismissed.

The respondents who are nonlawyers are not knowledgeable in her
intricacies of substantive and adjective laws.
They are not aware that even as the rights of free speech and of
assembly are protected by the Constitution, any attempt to
pressure or influence courts of justice through the exercise of
either right amounts to an abuse thereof, is no longer within the
ambit of constitutional protection, nor did they realize that any
such efforts to influence the course of justice constitutes contempt
of court.
The duty and responsibility of advising them, therefore, rest
primarily and heavily upon the shoulders of their counsel of
Atty. Jose C. Espinas, when his attention was called by this Court,
did his best to demonstrate to the pickets the untenability of their
acts and posture. It is their duty as officers of the court to properly
apprise their clients on matters of decorum and proper attitude
toward courts of justice, and to labor leaders of the importance of
a continuing educational program for their members.
The Court will not hesitate in future similar situations to apply the
full force of the law and punish for contempt those who attempt to

pressure the Court into acting one way or the other in any case
pending before it. Grievances, if any, must be ventilated through
the proper channels, i.e., through appropriate petitions, motions or
other pleadings in keeping with the respect due to the Courts as
impartial administrators of justice entitled to "proceed to the
disposition of its business in an orderly manner, free from outside
interference obstructive of its functions and tending to embarrass
the administration of justice.
courts and juries, in the decision of issues of fact and law should
be immune from every extraneous influence; that facts should be
decided upon evidence produced in court; and that the
determination of such facts should be uninfluenced by bias,
prejudice or sympathies.
Disposition WHEREFORE, the contempt charges against herein
respondents are DISMISSED. Henceforth, no demonstrations or
pickets intended to pressure or influence courts of justice into
acting one way or the other on pending cases shall be allowed in
the vicinity and/or within the premises of any and all courts.

TINGA; December 11, 2003
NATURE: Administrative case for disqualification

The election for the 16th IBP Board of Governors was set on April
26, 2003, a month prior to the IBP National Convention scheduled
on May 22-24, 2003 in compliance with IBP by laws.
Later on, the outgoing IBP Board reset the elections to May 31,
2003, or after the IBP National Convention.
Respondent De Vera, a member of the Board of Directors of the
Agusan del Sur IBP Chapter in Eastern Mindanao, along with Atty.
P. Angelica Y. Santiago, President of the IBP Rizal Chapter, sent a
letter requesting the IBP Board to reconsider its Resolution.
Their Motion was anchored on two grounds viz.
a. IBP By Laws require the holding of the election of
Regional Governors at least one month prior to the
national convention of the IBP to prevent it from being
politicized since post-convention elections may otherwise
lure the candidates into engaging in unacceptable
political practices, and;
b. holding the election on May 31, 2003 will render it
impossible for the outgoing IBP Board from resolving
protests in the election for governors not later than May
31, 2003, as expressed in the IBP By Laws.
Motion was denied. After the IBP national convention had been
adjourned, Attys. Oliver Owen L. Garcia, Emmanuel Ravanera and
Tony Velez filed a Petition before the IBP Board seeking (1) the
postponement of the election for Regional Governors to the
second or third week of June 2003; and (2) the disqualification of

respondent De Vera from being elected Regional Governor for

Eastern Mindanao Region.
IBP denied petition stating that there was no compelling
justification for the postponement of the elections and that the
petition for disqualification was premature.
Petitioners filed the present Petition before this Court, seeking the
same reliefs as those sought in their Petition before the IBP.
The SC issued a TRO, directing the IBP Board, its agents,
representatives or persons acting in their place and stead to cease
and desist from proceeding with the election for the IBP Regional
Governor in Eastern Mindanao.

Petitioners Claim

De Vera had transferred his IBP membership from the Pasay,

Paranaque, Las Pinas and Muntinlupa (PPLM) Chapter to Agusan
del Sur Chapter because he coveted the IBP presidency. [Following
the rotation rule, whoever will be elected Regional Governor for
Eastern Mindanao Region in the 16th Regional Governors elections
will automatically become the EVP. The EVP will automatically
succeed the President in the next term]
De Vera lacks the requisite moral aptitude.
He was sanctioned by the Supreme Court for irresponsibly
attacking the integrity of the SC Justices during the deliberations
on the constitutionality of the plunder law.
He also could have been disbarred in the United States for
misappropriating his clients funds had he not surrendered his
California license to practice law.
De Vera actively campaigned for the position of Eastern Mindanao
Governor during the IBP National Convention, a prohibited act
under the IBP By-Laws

Respondents Comments

Court has no jurisdiction over the present controversy: the election

of the Officers of the IBP, including the determination of the
qualification of those who want to serve the organization, is purely
an internal matter
Petitioners have no legal standing because there is no
disqualification in the by laws.
Only election protests are provided for but only qualified nominees
can file protest.
Petitioners are not among qualified nominees.
An IBP member is entitled to select, change or transfer his chapter
It was upon the invitation of the officers and members of the
Agusan del Sur IBP Chapter that he transferred his IBP

It is unfair and unkind for the petitioners to state that his

membership transfer was done for convenience and as a mere
subterfuge to qualify him for the Eastern Mindanao governorship
He denies exhibiting disrespect to the Court or to any of its
members during its deliberations on the constitutionality of the
plunder law
As for the administrative complaint filed against him by one of his
clients when he was practicing law in California, which in turn
compelled him to surrender his California license to practice law,
he maintains that it cannot serve as basis for determining his
moral qualification to run for the position as there is no final
judgment finding him guilty of the administrative charge
On the alleged politicking he committed during the IBP National
Convention, he states that it is baseless to assume that he was
campaigning simply because he declared that he had 10 votes to
support his candidacy for governorship in the Eastern Mindanao
Region and that the petitioners did not present any evidence to
substantiate their claim that he or his handlers had billeted the
delegates from his region at the Century Park Hotel

1.WON this Court has jurisdiction over the present controversy

As there exists a clear constitutional grant of power to the SC to

promulgate rules affecting the IBP, the SC has jurisdiction over the
present controversy.
Sec. 5, Art. 8 of the 1987 Constitution confers power to SC to
supervise all activities of the IBP.
The IBP by-laws also recognize the full range of the power of
supervision of the SC over the IBP.

2. WON petitioners have a cause of action against respondent De Vera, the

determination of which in turn requires the resolution of two sub-issues,
a. WON the petition to disqualify respondent De Vera is the proper remedy
under the IBP By-Laws

3. WON the present Petition is premature

Petition to seek disqualification of a person is premature when the

person has not yet even been nominated.
Before a member is elected governor, he has to be nominated first
for the post. In this case, respondent De Vera has not been
nominated for the post.
In fact, no nomination of candidates has been made yet by the
members of the House of Delegates from Eastern Mindanao.
Conceivably too, assuming that respondent De Vera gets
nominated, he can always opt to decline the nomination.

4. Assuming that petitioners have a cause of action and that the present
petition is not premature, WON respondent De Vera is qualified to run for
Governor of the IBP Eastern Mindanao Region

Since the IBP By-laws do not provide for disqualification of

candidates for IBP governor, petition to disqualify is not the proper
Petition has no firm ground to stand on.
Changes previously adopted by the Court simplified the election
process and made it less controversial.
The grounds for disqualification were thus removed in the present

b. WON the petitioners are the proper parties to bring this suit;

With the applicability of Section 40 of the IBP By- Laws to the

present petition, petitioners are not the proper parties to bring the
As provided in the aforesaid section, only nominees can file with
the President of the IBP a written protest setting forth the grounds
therefore. only IBP members from Agusan del Sur and Surigao del
Norte are qualified to be nominated and elected at the election for
the 16th Regional Governor of Eastern Mindanao.
This is pursuant to the rotation rule enunciated in the aforequoted
Sections 37 and 38 of the IBP By-Laws.
Petitioner Garcia is from Bukidnon IBP Chapter while the other
petitioners, Ravanera and Velez, are from the Misamis Oriental IBP
Consequently, the petitioners are not even qualified to be
nominated at the forthcoming election.

As long as an aspiring member meets the basic requirements

provided in the IBP By-Laws, he cannot be barred.
The basic qualifications for one who wishes to be elected governor
for a particular region are:
a. he is a member in good standing of the IBP,
b. he is included in the voters list of his chapter or he is not
disqualified by the Integration Rule, by the By-Laws of the
Integrated Bar, or by the By-Laws of the Chapter to which
he belongs,
c. he does not belong to a chapter from which a regional
governor has already been elected, unless the election is
the start of a new season or cycle, and
d. he is not in the government service.
With regards to his transfer of membership the same is valid
having been made 17 months prior election,

The only condition required under the rules is that the transfer
must be made not less than three months prior to the election of
officers in the chapter to which the lawyer wishes to transfer.
There is nothing in the By-Laws which explicitly provides that one
must be morally fit before he can run for IBP governorship. For
one, this is so because the determination of moral fitness of a
candidate lies in the individual judgment of the members of the
House of Delegates.
For another, basically the disqualification of a candidate involving
lack of moral fitness should emanate from his disbarment or
suspension from the practice of law by this Court, or conviction by
final judgment of an offense which involves moral turpitude. The
contempt ruling cannot serve as a basis to consider respondent De
Vera immoral.
The act for which he was found guilty of indirect contempt does
not involve moral turpitude (an act of baseness, vileness or
depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his
fellow men, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and
customary rule of right and duty between man and man, or
conduct contrary to justice, honesty, modesty or good morals.)
On the administrative complaint in California, no final judgment
was rendered by the California Supreme Court finding him guilty of
the charge.
On the allegation that respondent de Vera or his handlers had
housed the delegates from Eastern Mindanao in the Century Park
Hotel to get their support for his candidacy, again petitioners did
not present any proof to substantiate the same.
It must be emphasized that bare allegations, unsubstantiated by
evidence, are not equivalent to proof under our Rules of Court
Disposition Petition to disqualify respondent Atty. Leonard De
Vera to run for the position of IBP Governor for Eastern Mindanao
in the 16th election of the IBP Board of Governors is hereby
DISMISSED. The Temporary Restraining Order issued by this
Court on 30 May 2003 which enjoined the conduct of the election
for the IBP Regional Governor in Eastern Mindanao is hereby

De Veras defense

Questioned here are alleged contemptuous statements uttered by

Atty. Leonard deVera regarding the case involving the
constitutionality of the Plunder Law.
1.PDI, Nov. 6, 2001:De Vera asked SC to dispel rumors that it
would decide infavor of Estradas lawyers declaring the law
unconstitutional for its supposed vagueness.
2.PDI, Nov. 19, 2001: People are getting dangerously passionate

He had to make those statements since the integrity of the Court,

including its Honorable members, was being viciously attacked.
He & his group (Equal Justice for All Movement) were greatly
disturbed by such rumors.
His statements were factually accurate. He was merely exercising
his constitutionally guaranteed rt to freedom of speech. It was an
expression of his opinion & was historically correct.
He did not make those statements to degrade the Court, destroy
public confidence in it & to bring it into disrepute.

Issue: WON de Vera should be held in contempt of court.



Declaring the law unconstitutional would trigger mass actions

probably more massive than those that led to People Power II.
Holding the law unconstitutional would lead to a crisis far worse
than jueteng.
People wont just swallow an SC decision w/c is basically wrong.
Sovereignty must prevail.

The judiciary must be allowed to decide cases independently, free

of outside influence or pressure.
Such is essential in maintaining democracy as well as peace &
order in society. Maintaining the dignity of courts & enforcing the
duty of citizens to respect them are necessary to the
administration of justice.
ROC, Rule 71, Sec. 3 (d) allows the court to hold liable for
contempt anyone whos guilty of conduct directed against the
dignity/authority of the court or of an act obstructing the
administration of justice w/c tends to bring the court into
.Freedom of speech includes the rt to know & discuss judicial
proceedings but it does not include statements w/c aim to
undermine the Courts integrity & authority and interfere w/the
admin of justice. Freedom of speech is not absolute & such should
be balanced w/the requirements of equally impt pub interests.
Making contemptuous statements is an abuse of this right
Courts should be immune from every extraneous influence as they
resolve the issues presented before them.
Its an act of preserving the unprejudiced tribunal.
People v. Godoy: citizens are allowed to comment on judicial
proceedings, decisions& the fitness of the justices, but he has no rt
to attempt to degrade the court, destroy public confidence in it &
encourage people to disregard & set naught its orders, judgments
& decrees. Such would be an abuse of the liberty of speech & of
the press.

De Veras statements are threats aimed to force the SC to decide

in a particular manner or risk earning the ire of the public.
These show disrespect for the Court & the judicial system tending
to promote distrust & undermine public confidence in the judiciary
by creating an impression that it cant be trusted.
Such is contrary to DeVeras duty to uphold the dignity & authority
of the courts & to promote confidence in the fair admin of justice &
in the SC as the last bulwark of justice & democracy.
DISPOSITION: De Vera is guilty of indirect contempt of court &
fined P20,000.00 to be paid w/in 10 days from receipt of decision

MONTEMAYOR; July 25, 1959
NATURE: Original action in the Supreme Court. Certiorari and Prohibition
with Preliminary Injunction.

A certain Manuel Monroy was murdered. CFI Pasay found Castelo,

de Jesus, Bonifacio, Mendoza, Berdugo et al. guilty of murder.
They all appealed and Castelo sought new trial. Castelo was again
found guilty.
Pres Magsaysay ordered reinvestigation.
Philippine Constabulary questioned people and got confessions
pointing to persons other than those convicted.
Castelo et al wrote to Fiscal Salva to conduct reinvestigation on
basis of new confessions. Fiscal conferred w/ SolGen and the
Justice Sec decided to have the results of investigation made
available to counsel for appellants.
Chief of Phil Constabulary furnished Fiscal Salva copies of the
affidavits and confessions.
Salva organized a committee for reinvestigation and subpoenaed
Timoteo Cruz, who was implicated as instigator and mastermind in
the new affidavits and confessions. Cruz counsel questioned
jurisdiction of the committee and of Salva to conduct preliminary
investigation bec the case was pending appeal in the SC. Counsel
filed this present petition.
Salva said he subpoenaed Cruz bec of Cruz oral and personal
request to allow him to appear at the investigation.
SC issued writ of preliminary injunction stopping the prelim

1. WON Salva and his committee can push through with the investigation.
2. WON Cruz can be compelled to appear and testify before Salva.NO
3. WON Salva conducted the investigation property. NO

SC believed Salva that it was Cruz who personally reqested to

allow him to appear at the investigation.
Normally, when a criminal case handled by fiscal is tried and
decided and appealed to a higher court, functions of fiscal have
terminated. However, Salva has justified his reinvestigation bec in
the orig case, one of the defendants (Salvador Realista y de
Guzman) was not included in the trial.
The duty of a prosecuting attorney is not only to prosecute and
secure conviction of the guilty but also to protect the innocent.
Writ of preliminary injunction dissolved. Investigation may
Petition for certiorari and prohibition granted in part, denied in


Under the law, Cruz had right to be present at the investigation

but he need not be present. His presence is more of a right than a
legal obligation.

Salva shld have done investigation privately in his office and not
publicly in the session hall of Municipal Court of Pasay where
microphones were installed and media people were present.
He should also not have made the media people ask questions.
SC was disturbed and annoyed by such publicity.
Salva is publicly reprehended and censured.
DISPOSITION: In view of the foregoing, the petition for certiorari
and prohibition is granted in part and denied in part. Considering
the conclusion arrived at by us, respondent Francisco G. H. Salva is
hereby publicly reprehended and censured for the uncalled for and
wide publicity and sensationalism that he had given to and
allowed in connection with his investigation, which we consider
and find to be contempt of court; and, furthermore, he is warned
that a repetition of the same would meet with a more severe
disciplinary action and penalty. No costs.



G.R. No. L-30894 March 25, 1970; CASTRO, J

Major Eduardo Martelino is charged with the violation of the 94th

and 97th Articles of War, as a result of the alleged shooting on
March 18, 1968 of some Muslim recruits then undergoing
commando training on the island of Corregidor.
On August 12, 1969 Martelino sought the disqualification of the
President of the general court-martial, following the latter's

admission that he read newspaper stories of the Corregidor

Martelino contended that the case had received such an amount of
publicity in the press and other news media and in fact was being
exploited for political purposes in connection with the presidential
election on November 11, 1969 as to imperil his right to a fair trial.
After deliberating, the military court denied the challenge.
Respondents assert that despite the publicity which the case had
received, no proof has been presented showing that the courtmartial's president's fairness and impartiality have been impaired.
On the contrary, they claim, the petitioner's own counsel
expressed confidence in the "integrity, experience and
background" of the members of the court.

Issue: WON the publicity given to the case against the petitioners was
such as to prejudice their right to a fair trial?

The spate of publicity in this case did not focus on the guilt of the
petitioners but rather on the responsibility of the Government for
what was claimed to be a "massacre" of Muslim trainees.
If there was a "trial by newspaper" at all, it was not of the
petitioners but of the Government.
Absent here is a showing of failure of the court-martial to protect
the accused from massive publicity encouraged by those
connected with the conduct of the trial either by a failure to
control the release of information or to remove the trial to another
venue or to postpone it until the deluge of prejudicial publicity
shall have subsided.
Indeed we cannot say that the trial of the petitioners was being
held under circumstances which did not permit the observance of
those imperative decencies of procedure which have come to be
identified with due process.
Granting the existence of "massive" and "prejudicial" publicity,
since the petitioners here do not contend that the respondents
have been unduly influenced but simply that they might be by the
"barrage" of publicity, we think that the suspension of the courtmartial proceedings has accomplished the purpose sought by the
petitioners' challenge for cause, by postponing the trial of the
petitioner until calmer times have returned.
The atmosphere has since been cleared and the publicity
surrounding the Corregidor incident has so far abated that we
believe the trial may now be resumed in tranquillity
ACCORDINGLY, subject to our pronouncement that each of the 23
petitioners is entitled to one separate peremptory challenge, the
present petition is denied. The temporary restraining order issued
by this Court on August 29,1969 is hereby lifted. No
pronouncement as to costs.

VITUG; June 29, 2001

KBP, an association representing duly franchised and authorized

television and radio networks throughout the country, sent a letter
requesting this Court to allow live media coverage of the
anticipated trial of the plunder and other criminal cases filed
against former President Joseph E. Estrada before the
Sandiganbayan in order "to assure the public of full transparency
in the proceedings of an unprecedented case in our history."
The request was seconded by Mr. Cesar N. Sarino in his letter to
the Chief Justice and, still later, by Senator Renato Cayetano and
Attorney Ricardo Romulo.
The Honorable Secretary of Justice Hernando Perez formally filed
the instant petition; public interest, the petition further averred,
should be evident bearing in mind the right of the public to vital
information affecting the nation.
In effect, the petition seeks a re-examination of the 23 rd October
1991 resolution of this Court in a case for libel filed by then
President Corazon C. Aquino: Accordingly, in order to protect the
parties' right to due process, to prevent the distraction of the
participants in the proceedings and in the last analysis, to avoid
miscarriage of justice, the Court resolved to PROHlBIT live radio
and television coverage of court shall be limited and restricted as
above indicated."

ISSUE: WON live radio and television coverage of the trial of the plunder
and other criminal cases filed against Pres. Estrada should be

The propriety of granting or denying the instant petition involve

the weighing out of the constitutional guarantees of freedom of
the press and the right to public information, on the one hand, and
the fundamental rights of the accused, on the other hand, along
with the constitutional power of a court to control its proceedings
in ensuring a fair and impartial trial.
Due process guarantees the accused a presumption of innocence
until the contrary is proved in a trial that is not lifted above its
individual settings nor made an object of public's attention and
where the conclusions reached are induced not by any outside
force or influence10 but only by evidence and argument given in
open court, where fitting dignity and calm ambiance is demanded.
An accused has a right to a public trial but it is a right that belongs
to him, more than anyone else, where his life or liberty can be held
critically in balance. A public trial aims to ensure that he is fairly
dealt with and would not be unjustly condemned and that his
rights are not compromised in secrete conclaves of long ago.

A public trial is not synonymous with publicized trial; it only

implies that the court doors must be open to those who wish to
come, sit in the available seats, conduct themselves with decorum
and observe the trial process.
The courts recognize the constitutionally embodied freedom of the
press and the right to public information.
It also approves of media's exalted power to provide the most
accurate and comprehensive means of conveying the proceedings
to the public and in acquainting the public with the judicial process
in action; nevertheless, within the courthouse, the overriding
consideration is still the paramount right of the accused to due
process17 which must never be allowed to suffer diminution in its
constitutional proportions.
The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, in its Resolution of 16 Apri1
2001, expressed its own concern on the live television and radio
coverage of the criminal trials of Mr. Estrada;
Live television and radio coverage can negate the rule on
exclusion of witnesses during the hearings intended to assure a
fair trial; at stake in the criminal trial is not only the life and liberty
of the accused but the very credibility of the Philippine criminal
justice system, and live television and radio coverage of the trial
could allow the "hooting throng" to arrogate unto themselves the
task of judging the guilt of the accused, such that the verdict of
the court will be acceptable only if popular; and live television and
radio coverage of the trial will not subserve the ends of justice but
will only pander to the desire for publicity of a few grandstanding
Parenthetically, the United States Supreme Court and other federal
courts do not allow live television and radio coverage of their
The sad reality is that the criminal cases presently involved are of
great dimensions so involving as they do a former President of the
It is undeniable that these cases have twice become the nation's
focal points in the two conflicting phenomena of EDSA II and EDSA
III where the magnitude of the events has left a still divided nation.
The transcendental events in our midst do not allow us to turn a
blind eye to yet another possible extraordinary case of mass
action being allowed to now creep into even the business of the
courts in the dispensation of justice under a rule of law.
At the very least, a change in the standing rule of the court
contained in its resolution of 23 October 1991 may not appear to
be propitious
The court recognizes the modern technologial and scientific
OF ANY PERSON in a hasty bid to apply these advancements
before safety nets are there. Petition is DENIED

Foodsphere, Inc. vs. Atty. Mauricio, Jr.

[AC No. 7199. July 22, 2009] CARPIO-MORALES, J.

[A] certain Alberto Cordero (Cordero) purportedly bought from a

grocery in Valenzuela City canned goods including a can of CDO
Liver spread.
As Cordero and his relatives were eating bread with the CDO Liver
spread, they found the spread to be sour and soon discovered a
colony of worms inside the can.
This was complained before the BFAD. After conciliation meetings
between Cordero and the petitioner, the Corderos eventually
forged a KASUNDUAN seeking the withdrawal of their complaint
before the BFAD.
The BFAD thus dismissed the complaint. Respondent, Atty.
Mauricio, Jr., who affixed his signature to the KASUNDUAN as a
witness, later wrote in one of his articles/columns in a tabloid that
he prepared the document.
Complainant filed criminal complaints against respondent and
several others for Libel and Threatening to Publish Libel under
Articles 353 and 356 of the Revised Penal Code before the Office
of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City and Valenzuela City.
The complaints were pending at the time of the filing of the
present administrative complaint.
Despite the pendency of the civil case against him and the
issuance of a status quo order restraining/enjoining further
publishing, televising and broadcasting of any matter relative to
the complaint of CDO, respondent continued with his attacks
against complainant and its products.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent violated the Code of Professional


Respondent suspended for three (3) years from the practice of law.
The above actuations of respondent are also in violation of Rule
13.03 of the Canon of Professional Responsibility which reads: A
lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a
pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a
Despite the pendency of civil case against him, he continued with
his attacks against complainant and its products
The language employed by respondent undoubtedly casts
aspersions on the integrity of the Office of the City Prosecutor and
all the Prosecutors connected with said Office.
Respondent clearly assailed the impartiality and fairness of the
said Office in handling cases filed before it and did not even design
to submit any evidence to substantiate said wild allegations.

The use by respondent of the above-quoted language in his

pleadings is manifestly violative of Canon 11 and the fundamental
Canon 1 also of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
mandates lawyers to uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of
the land and promote respect for law and legal processes.
Respondent defied said status quo order, despite his
(respondents) oath as a member of the legal profession to obey
the laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted
Further, respondent violated Canon 8 and Rule 8.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility which mandate, and by failing to live up
to his oath and to comply with the exacting standards of the legal
profession, respondent also violated Canon 7 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which directs a lawyer to at all times
uphold the integrity and the dignity of the legal profession.

Maglasang vs. People

[G.R. No. 90083, October 4, 1990, per curiam]

Khalyxto Maglasang was convicted in the court in San Carlos,

Negros Occidental.
His counsel, Atty. Castellano, filed for a petition for certiorari
through registered mail.
Due to non-compliance with the requirements, the court dismissed
the petition and a motion for reconsideration.
Atty. Castellano then sent a complaint to the Office of the
President where he accused the five justices of the 2nd division,
with biases and ignorance of the law or knowingly rendering unjust
He accused the court of sabotaging the Aquino administration for
being Marcos appointees, and robbing the Filipino people genuine
justice and democracy.
He also said that the SC is doing this to protect the judge who was
impleaded in the petition and for money reasons.
He alleges further that the court is too expensive to be reached by
ordinary men.
The court is also inconsiderate and overly strict and meticulous.
When asked to show cause why he should not be cited in
contempt, Castellano said that the complaint was constructive
criticism intended to correct in good faith the erroneous and very
strict practices of the justices concerned.

He also said that the justices have no jurisdiction over his act and
that they should just answer the complaint.
The SC found him guilty of contempt and improper conduct and
ordered to pay P1, 000 or imprisonment of 15 days, and to suffer
six months suspension.

Issue: Whether or not the Atty. Castellanos acts constitute a violation of

the provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held: Yes.

The court found his comments scurrilous and contumacious.

He went beyond the bounds of constructive criticism. What he said
are not relevant to the cause of his client.
They cast aspersion on the Courts integrity as a neutral and final
arbiter of all justiciable controversies before it.
The explanation of Castellano in his negligence in the filing of the
petition for certiorari did not render his negligence excusable.
It is clear that the case was lost not by the alleged injustices
Castellano irresponsibly ascribed to the members of the Court, but
his inexcusable negligence and incompetence.
As an officer of the court, he should have known better than to
smear the honor and integrity of the Court just to keep the
confidence of his client.
Also, with the complaint he filed, the most basic tenet of the
system of government separation of power - has been lost.
He should know that not even the President of the Philippines can
pass judgment on any of the Courts acts.
WHEREFORE, Atty. Marceliano L. Castellano is found guilty of
the Bar and an officer of the Court, and is hereby ordered to PAY
within fifteen (15) days from and after the finality of this
Resolution a fine of One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos, or SUFFER
ten (10) days imprisonment in the municipal jail of Calatrava,
Negros Occidental in case he fails to pay the fine seasonably, and
SUSPENDED from the practice of law throughout the Philippines for
six (6) months as soon as this Resolution becomes final, with a
WARNING that a repetition of any misconduct on his part will be
dealt with more severely. Let notice of this Resolution be entered
in Atty. Castellano's record, and be served on the Integrated Bar of
the Philippines, the Court of Appeals, and the Executive Judges of
the Regional Trial Courts and other Courts of the country, for their
information and guidance.