Anda di halaman 1dari 55

INTRODUCTION

Director of Religious Affairs vs. Bayot , 74 Phil. 579


Facts: Respondent is charged with malpractice for having published an
advertisement in Sunday Tribunal on June 13, 1943 which readsas follows
Marriage license promptly secured thru our assistance and the annoyance of delay
or publicity avoided if desired and marriage arranged to wishes of parties.
Consultation on any matter free for the poor. Everything confidential.
Issue: Whether

or

not

the

advertisement

is

ethical.

Held: It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a flagrant violation by


the respondent of the ethics of his profession, it being a brazen solicitation of
business from the public. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other
things that the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. It is highly
unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a
merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and a trade. The lawyer
degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practice of
mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public. As a member
of the bar, he defiles the temple of justice with mercenary activities as the moneychangers of old defiled the temple of Jehovah. The most worthy and effective
advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer is the establishment of a wellmerited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust. This cannot be
forced but must be the outcome of character and conduct. (Canon 27, Code of
Ethics.)
LEDESMA V CLIMACO
FACTS: Ledesma is counsel de parte of one accused. Thereafter, he was appointed
as Election Registrar of Cadiz, Negros Occidental by COMELEC. Ledesma withdrew
as counsel on the basis that his appointment as Election Registrar would require full
time service as well as on the volume or pressure of work will prevent him from
handling adequately the defense. Judge Climaco denied his motion, and even
appointed him as counsel de officio of the accused.
ISSUE: WoN the withdrawal of Ledesma should be allowed
HELD: No.RATIO:1.There is obvious reluctance of Ledesma to comply with his
responsibilities as counsel de oficio. Then, even assuming that he continues his
position, his volume of work is likely to be very much less than present. There is no
excuse for him to shirk from his obligation as member of the bar, who expects to
remain in good standing, should fulfill.2.Ledesma was not mindful of his obligation
as counsel de oficio. He ought to know that membership in the bar is a privilege
burdened with conditions. Being appointed as counsel de oficio requires a high
degree of fidelity (law is a profession and not a mere trade). Requires counsel of
repute and eminence.3.In criminal cases, right to counsel is absolute. No fair
hearing unless the accused be given an opportunity to be heard by counsel.4.The

denial by Judge Climaco was due to the principal effect to delay the case (case has
already been postponed for 8 times)
CUI V CUI
Facts: The main concern in this case is the respective qualifications of Jesus Cui and
Antonio Cui to the position of administrator of Hospicio de San Jose de Barii, a
charitable institution established by Don Pedro Cui and Dona Benigna Cui.Jesus and
Antonio are the sons of Mariano Cui, a nephew of the founders of the institution.
Antonios claim to the position is based on a convenio where then administrator
Teodoro resigned in favor of him. Jesus, however, had no prior notice of this. Jesuss
claim is that he should be preferred pursuant to the deed of donation (which
recognized their father Mariano as a legitimate descendant to the position) as he is
the older of the two. The deed, however, gives preference to a descendant who has
a titulo de abogado or a doctor, or a civil engineer, or a pharmacist (in order). Or
to the one who pays the highest taxes. Jesus holds the degree of Bachelor of Laws
but is not a member of the Bar, while Antonio is a member of the Bar (he was
formerly disbarred, though, by the SC and was just reinstated weeks before
assuming the position)
Issue: Who has a better right to the position of administrator between Jose and
Antonio?
What does the term titulo de abogado mean?
Held: Antonio. The term titulo de abogado is not just mere possession of the
academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but membership in the bar after due
admission thereto, qualifying one to the practice of law. Possession of the degree is
not indispensable to qualify as a lawyer since completion of the prescribed courses
may be shown in some other way. It was also argued that Antonio is disqualified for
having been previously disbarred since the deed also provided that an administrator
may be removed if found to lack a sound moral character. However, Antonio was
reinstated. This reinstatement is a recognition of his moral rehabilitation after
proving what was required by the Bar. Antonios restoration to the roll of lawyers
wiped out restrictions and disabilities resulting from the previous disbarment
Villegas vs Legaspi
This case is a consolidation of two cases involving the issue of whether or not a
member of Congress may appear before the regular courts as counsel for ordinary
litigants.
Case 1
In September 1979, Raul Villegas filed a civil case against spouses Vera Cruz et al
before the Court of First Instance (CFI) Cebu. The Vera Cruz spouses filed their
answer to the complaint and they were represented by Valentino Legaspi, then a
member of the Batasang Pambansa. Villegas then challenged the representation
made by Legaspi as counsel for the spouses on the ground that it is
unconstitutional; as pointed out by Villegas no member of the Batasang Pambansa
shall appear as counsel before any court without appellate jurisdiction. The
2

presiding judge however overruled Villegas challenged and proceeded with the
trial. The judge said that CFIs have appellate jurisdiction.
Case 2
In July 1979, Edgardo Reyes filed a civil case against N. V. Verenigde
Buinzenfabrieken Excelsior-De Maas, a corporation, before CFI Rizal. Estanisalo
Fernandez appeared as counsel for the corporation. Reyes questions the
appearance of Fernandez as counsel for the corporation on the same ground
invoked in Case 1 because Fernandez is also a member of the Batasang Pambansa.
ISSUE: Whether or not the said members, Estanislao Fernandez and Valentino
Legaspi, of the Batasang Pambansa may appear as counsels before the said CFIs.
HELD: No. Members of Congress are prohibited to appear as counsel berfore CFIs
acting in their original jurisdiction. CFIs have dual personalities. They can be courts
of general original jurisdiction (courts of origin) or appellate courts depending on
the case that they took cognizance of. In the cases at bar, CFI Cebu and CFI Rizal
acted as a courts of general original jurisdiction. Both cases were not elevated to
the said CFIs from any lower courts. Thus, the CFIs in the case at bar are courts
without appellate jurisdiction.
Enriquez Sr. vs. Gimenez [G.R. No. L-12817, April 29, 1960]
Facts: R.A. No. 1383 was passed creating the National Waterworks and
Sewerage Authority (NAWASA) as a public corporation and vesting in it the
ownership and control over all existing government-owned waterworks systems.
However, Bauan Batangas passed Res. No. 152 stating that it does not desire
to submit their local waterworks to the provisions of said R.A. No. 1383.
Provincial Fiscal rendered an opinion holding that R.A. No. 1383 is valid and
constitutional and declined to represent the municipality of Bauan in an action to be
brought against the NAWASA to test the validity and constitutionality of the Act.
Given this, the municipality engaged the services of a special counsel to commence
an action challenging the constitutionality of R.A. No. 1383.
The Petitioners are the special counsel seeking reimbursement for initial attorneys
fees, which the Auditor General disallowed citing that the Municipality of Bauan had
no authority to engage the services of a special counsel
Issue: Whether municipality of Bauan had authority to engage the services of a
special counsel
Held: No. The Provincial Fiscal is the legal adviser of the mayor and counsel of the
various municipalities of a province and it is his duty to represent the municipality in
any court except when he is disqualified by law, which in this case he is not.
A fiscal cannot refuse the performance of his functions on grounds not provided for
by law without violating his oath of office. Instead of engaging the services of a
special attorney, the municipal council should have requested the Secretary of
Justice to appoint an acting provincial fiscal in place of the provincial fiscal who had
declined to handle and prosecute its case in court.

Salcedo vs Hernandez
FACTS: In 1935, Atty. Vicente Francisco was the counsel for Felipe Salcedo in a case
entitled Felipe Salcedo vs Francisco Hernandez. Salcedo lost in that case and Atty.
Francisco filed a Motion for Reconsideration.
The trial court however ordered Atty. Francisco to explain why he should not be
disciplined. It appears that in the Motion filed by Atty. Francisco, he expressed his
disagreement with the judgment by stating that the judgment is absolutely
erroneous and constitutes an outrage to the right of [Salcedo] and a mockery of
the popular will expressed at the polls in the Municipality of Tiaong, Tayabas (so
this could be an election case); that the court should rectify itself or else the voters
in Tiaong might resort to the press publicly to denounce the judicial outrage and
that if uncorrected, the judgment will lead to the increase [of] the proselytes (new
converts) of sakdalism and make the public lose confidence in the administration
of justice.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Francisco should be disciplined.
HELD: Yes. He is guilty of contempt. A lawyer owes respect to the courts. A lawyer
is duty bound to uphold the courts dignity and authority and to defend its integrity.
The language used by Atty. Francisco is uncalled for and unjustified. In order to
appeal to reason and justice, it is highly improper and amiss to make trouble and
resort to threats. Even if assuming that the trial court did err in its judgment, Atty.
Francisco should still use temperate and respectful language in advancing the cause
of his client.
His insinuations that the voters in Tiaong, Tayabas might resort to sakdalism (a
seditious movement) is a suggestion to the people there of what they should do
should his client not get a favorable judgment. This is a veiled threat to the courts.
It promotes distrust to the courts.
It is laudable for Atty. Francisco to defend his client with all fervor and energy but he
must do so with respect to the dignity of the courts. The lawyer was fined and
reprimanded.
ALAWI VS ALAUYA
Facts:
Sophia Alawi was a sale representative of E.B. Villarosa & Partner Co., Ltd. of Davao
City. Ashari Alauya is the incumber executive of clerk of court of the 4th Judicial
Shari'a District in Marawi City. It appears that through Alawi's agency, a contract
was executed for the purchase on installments by Alauya of one of the housing units
belonging to the above mentioned firm (hereafter, simply Villarosa & Co.); and in
connection therewith, a housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the National
Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC). Not long afterwards, or more
precisely on December 15, 1995, Alauya addressed a letter to the President of
Villarosa & Co. advising of the termination of his contract with the company.
Ruling:
4

1. As regards Alauya's use of the title of "Attorney," this Court has already had
occasion to declare that persons who pass the Shari'a Bar are not full-fledged
members of the Philippine Bar, hence may only practice law before Shari'a courts.
The title of "attorney" is reserved to those who, having obtained the necessary
degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar Examinations, have been
admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and remain members thereof in
good standing; and it is they only who are authorized to practice law in this
jurisdiction.
2. WHEREFORE, respondent Ashari M. Alauya is hereby REPRIMANDED for the use
of excessively intemperate, insulting or virulent language, i.e., language
unbecoming a judicial officer, and for usurping the title of attorney; and he is
warned that any similar or other impropriety or misconduct in the future will be
dealt with more severely.
Pangan vs. Ramos
Facts: In 1979, a pending administrative case filed by Santa Pangan against Atty.
Dionisio Ramos was delayed because Atty. Ramos allegedly appeared before a court
in Manila. When the records of the said case was checked (one which Atty. Ramos
appeared in), it was found that he used the name Atty. Pedro D.D. Ramos. In his
defense, Atty. Ramos said he has the right to use such name because in his birth
certificate, his name listed was Pedro Dionisio Ramos. D.D. stands for Dionisio
Dayaw with Dayaw being his mothers surname. However, in the roll of attorneys,
his name listed was Dionisio D. Ramos.
ISSUE: Whether or not what Atty. Ramos did was correct.
HELD: No. The attorneys roll or register is the official record containing the names
and signatures of those who are authorized to practice law. A lawyer is not
authorized to use a name other than the one inscribed in the Roll of Attorneys in his
practice of law. The official oath obliges the attorney solemnly to swear that he will
do no falsehood. As an officer in the temple of justice, an attorney has irrefragable
obligations of truthfulness, candor and frankness. In representing himself to the
court as Pedro D.D. Ramos instead of Dionisio D. Ramos, respondent has
violated his solemn oath and has resorted to deception. The Supreme Court hence
severely reprimanded Atty. Ramos and warned that a similar infraction will warrant
suspension or disbarment.
PHILIPPINE LAWYER'S ASSOCIATION vs. CELEDONIO AGRAVA
FACTS:
On May 27, 1957, respondent Director issued a circular announcing that he had
scheduled an examination for the purpose of determining who are qualified to
practice as patent attorneys before the Philippines Patent Office. According to the
circular, members of the Philippine Bar, engineers and other persons with sufficient
scientific and technical training are qualified to take the said examination. The
petitioner contends that one who has passed the bar examination sand is licensed
by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines and who is in good standing
5

is duly qualified to practice before the Philippines Patent Office and that the
respondent Directors holding an examination for the purpose is in excess of his
jurisdiction and is in violation of the law.The respondent, in reply, maintains the
prosecution of patent cases does not involve entirely or purely the practice of law
but includes the application of scientific and technical knowledge and training as a
matter of actual practice so as to include engineers and other individuals who
passed the examination can practice before the Patent office. Furthermore, he
stressed that for the long time he is holding tests, this is the first time that his right
has been questioned formally.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the appearance before the patent Office and the preparation and
the prosecution of patent application, etc., constitutes or is included in the practice
of law.
HELD:
The Supreme Court held that the practice of law includes such appearance before
the Patent Office, the representation of applicants, oppositors, and other persons,
and the prosecution of their applications for patent, their opposition thereto, or the
enforcement of their rights in patent cases. Moreover, the practice before the
patent Office involves the interpretation and application of other laws and legal
principles, as well as the existence of facts to be established in accordance with the
law of evidence and procedure. The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of
cases or litigation in court but also embraces all other matters connected with the
law and any work involving the determination by the legal mind of the legal effects
of facts and conditions. Furthermore, the law provides that any party may appeal to
the Supreme Court from any final order or decision of the director. Thus, if the
transactions of business in the Patent Office involved exclusively or mostly technical
and scientific knowledge and training, then logically, the appeal should be taken not
to a court or judicial body, but rather to a board of scientists, engineers or technical
men, which is not the case.
Li vs. Bonifacio
Facts: Complainant Lesli Ui found out that her husband Carlos Ui was carrying out
an illicit relationship with respondent Atty. Iris Bonifacio with whom he begot two
children. Hence, a complaint for disbarment was filed by complainant against
respondent before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines on the ground of immorality, more particularly, for carrying on an illicit
relationship with the complainants husband. It is respondents contention that her
relationship with Carlos Ui is not illicit because they were married abroad and that
after June 1988, when respondent discovered Carlos Uis true civil status, she cut off
all her ties with him. Respondent averred that Carlos Ui never lived with her.
Issue: Whether or not she has conducted herself in an immoral manner for which
she deserves to be barred from the practice of law.

Held: The complaint for disbarment against respondent Atty. Iris L. Bonifacio, for
alleged immorality, was dismissed.
All the facts taken together leads to the inescapable conclusion that respondent
was imprudent in managing her personal affairs. However, the fact remains that her
relationship with Carlos Ui, clothed as it was with what respondent believed was a
valid marriage, cannot be considered immoral. For immorality connotes conduct
that shows indifference to the moral norms of society and the opinion of good and
respectable members of the community. Moreover, for such conduct to warrant
disciplinary action, the same must be grossly immoral, that is, it must be so
corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be
reprehensible to a high degree.
Deles vs. Aragona
Facts: Aurora Soriano Deles, complainant , filed a verified letter-complaint against
Atty. Vicente E. Aragona, Jr. , respondent, for having made, under oath, false and
unfounded allegations against Deles in a motion filed in Court of Agrarian Relations,
Iloilo, cases 1254 and 1255, which allegedly caused hergreat mentaltorture and
moral suffering.
The CAR Case -- an intestate court issued an order denying a proposed lease of 10
hectares of the estate by Deles to one Carlos Fuentes and sustaining the possession
of Enrique Soriano (brother of Deles) as lessee of said land. In effect, the order
likewise sustained the possession by the brothers Federico and Carlos Aglinao of a
portion of the said land being tenanted by themupon authority of the lessee,
Enrique.
IN DISREGARD OF THE ORDER, Deles attempted to take possession of the
landholdings by placing thereon her own tenants. The Aglinaos countered by filing
against Deles two petitions with the Court of Agrarian Relations, Iloilo. After a
hearing, the men of Deles entered the land in question and planted rice thereon,
this unauthorized entry prompted Atty. Aragona to file an "Urgent Motion for
Issuance of Interlocutory Order" praying that Deles, her agent, or any person acting
for and in her behalf from interfering with the work of the Aglinaos in their
respective landholdings. Mrs. Soriano (wife of Enrique) went to see Atty. Aragano she told him that she was personally present when one Albert, a tenant of Deles,
accompanied by armed men, went to the land in question and harvested the palay
thereon over the protests f the Aglinaos; and that she was told that they were
acting upon orders of the Deles. POSSESSED OF THE ABOVE INFORMATION, Atty.
Aragona promptly prepared and filed with the CAR an "Urgent Motion to Declare
[Deles] in Contempt of Court."
Issue/s:
Whether Atty. Aragona should be disciplined or disbarred for having prepared and
filed under oath the said motion.
Held:

No. #1 -- In People vs. Aquino, this Court laid down the decisional authority that
[S]tatement made in the course of judicial proceedings are absolutely privileged
that is, privileged regardless of defamatory tenor and of the presence of malice if
the same are relevant, pertinent or material to the cause in hand or subject of the
inquiry. And that, in view of this, the person who makes them such as
a judge, lawyer, or witness does not thereby incur the risk of being found liable
thereon in a criminal prosecution or an action for the recovery of damages.
Since there is no doubt that the allegations made by the respondent in the
questioned motion for contempt are statements made in the course of a judicial
proceeding i.e., in C.A.R. cases 1254 and 1255 besides being relevant,
pertinent or material to the subject-matter of the said cases, they are absolutely
privileged, thereby precluding any liability on the part of the respondent.
#2 -- Even when the statements are found to be false, if there is probable cause for
belief in their truthfulness and the charge is made in good faith, the mantle of
privilege may still cover the mistake of the individual. Xxx. The ultimate test is that
of bona fides. Indeed, the actuations of Atty. Aragano were motivated by the
legitimate desire to serve the interests of his clients -- Mrs. Soriano informed Atty.
Aragano of the incident coupled with Deles' admissions.
MELANIO L. ZORETA vs. ATTY. HEHERSON ALNOR G. SIMPLICIANO
FACTS: This is a complaint for disbarment filed against Atty.Heherson Alnor G.
Simpliciano for allegedly notarizing several documents during the year
2002 after his commission as notary public had expired. The eight (8)
notarized documents for the year 2002 submitted by complainant, consisting of
affidavits of merit,
certifications
and
verifications
against
non-forum
shopping, and affidavits of service, were used and presented in the Regional Trial
Court of Antipolo City, Branch 74, in Civil Case
No.
01-6240,
and
in
respondent's petition for certiorari filed in the Court of Appeals.
It is
evident from the foregoing that when respondent notarized the aforementioned
documents, he was not commissioned as notary public, which was in violation
of the Notarial Law. Records also show, and as confirmed by IBP Commissioner
Navarro ,that as of 02 August 2002, respondent had already notarized
atotal of 590 documents after the expiration of his commission as notary public
without having renewed said commission amounting to gross misconduct
as a member of the legal profession.
Against the evidence
presented by complainant, respondent did not even attempt to present
any evidence. His counsel filed an ex-parte motion for extension to file answer,
which was granted, but no answer was forthcoming. Still, Hearing
Commissioner Lydia A. Navarro gave respondent a last chance to file
his answer; which was again unheeded. Thus, respondent was unable to
rebut complainants evidence that he was not so commissioned for the year in
question. His lack of interest and indifference in presenting his defense to
the charge and the evidence against him can only mean he has no
strong
and
valid
defense
to
offer.
Conclusively,
respondent Atty.
Simpliciano is not a duly commissioned Notary Public forand in Quezon City for
the year 2002.
8

ISSUE: What is the significance of the commission?


RULING:
For one, performing a notarial without such commission is a
violation of the lawyers oath to obey the laws, more specifically, the Notarial
Law. Appear that he is duly commissioned when he is not, he is, for all
legal
intents and purposes, indulging in deliberate falsehood, which the lawyers
oath similarly proscribes. These violations fall squarely within the prohibition of
Rule 1.01 of Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which
provides: A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct. The requirements for the issuance of a commission as notary
public must not be treated as a mere casual formality. For such
reprehensible
conduct,
the
Court
has
sanctioned erring
lawyers
by
suspension from the practice of law, evocation of the notarial commission and
disqualification from acting as such, and even disbarment.
A-1 FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC. vs. ATTY. LAARNI N. VALERIO
Facts: Valerio obtained a loan from complainant and secured the payment of the
loan obligation by issuing a postdated check. However, upon its maturity date, the
check was dishonored dueto insufficient funds. As of the filing of the instant case,
despite repeated demands to pay her obligation, Atty. Valerio failed to pay the
whole amount of her obligation. After repeated demands by the trial court Atty.
Valerio failed to give any response. After an administrative case had been filed by
complainant against Atty. Valerio with the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (IBPCBD),the latters mother explained that her daughter had been diagnosed with
schizophrenia; thus, could not properly respond to the complaint against her. IBPCBD recommended Atty. Valerio be suspended from the practice of law for a period
of two (2) years, having found her guilty of gross misconduct. IBP Board of
Governors adopted and approved with modification of the period of suspension to 1
year.
Issue: whether respondent is guilty of
of the Code of Professional Responsibility

gross

misconduct

and

violation

Ruling: SC sustains the findings and recommendations of the IBP-CBD. They must
at all times faithfully perform their duties to society, to the bar, the courts and to
their clients, which include prompt payment of financial obligations. They must
conduct themselves in a manner that reflects the values and norms of the legal
profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Court, finds
unmeritorious Mrs. Valerios justification that her daughter, Atty. Valerio, is
suffering from a health condition, i.e. schizophrenia, which has prevented her from
properly answering the complaint against her. Indeed, we cannot take the medical
certificate on its face, considering Mrs. Valerios failure to prove the contents of the
certificate or present the physician who issued it. Atty. Valerios conduct in the
course of the IBP and court proceedings is also a matter of serious concern. She
failed to answer the complaint against her. Despite due notice, she failed to attend
the disciplinary hearings set by the IBP. She also ignored the proceedings before the
court as she likewise failed to both answer the complaint against her and appear
during her arraignment, despite orders and notices from the court. Clearly, this
9

conduct runs counter to the precepts of the Code of Professional Responsibility and
violates the lawyers oath which imposes upon every member of the Bar the duty
to delay no man for money or malice. Atty. Valerio has failed to live up to the
values and norms of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
RE: 2003 BAR EXAMINATION BAR MATTER NO. 1222
FACTS:
This treats the Petition for Judicial Clemency and Compassion filed by petitioner
Danilo de Guzman. He prays that this Honorable Court in the exercise of equity and
compassion, grant petitioners plea for judicial clemency, and thereupon, order his
reinstatement as a member in good standing of the Philippine Bar. To recall, on
February 4, 2004, the Court promulgated a Resolution, in B.M. No. 1222, the
dispositive portion of which reads in part: WHEREFORE, the Court, acting on the
recommendations of the Investigating Committee, hereby resolves to DISBAR Atty.
DANILO DE GUZMAN from the practice of law effective upon his receipt of this
RESOLUTION;
The subject of the Resolution is the leakage of questions in Mercantile Law during
the 2003 Bar Examinations. Petitioner at that time was employed as an assistant
lawyer in the law firm of Balgos & Perez, one of whose partners, Marcial Balgos, was
the examiner for Mercantile Law during the said bar examinations. The Court had
adopted the findings of the Investigating Committee, which identified petitioner as
the person who had downloaded the test questions from the computer of Balgos
and faxed them to other persons.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the petition of Atty. De Guzman should be granted
HELD:
The Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) has favorably recommended the
reinstatement of petitioner in the Philippine Bar. Petitioner humbly acknowledged
the damaging impact of his act which unfortunately, compromised the integrity of
the bar examinations. As could be borne from the records of the investigation, he
cooperated fully in the investigation conducted and took personal responsibility for
his actions. Also, he has offered his sincerest apologies to Atty. Balgos, to the Court
as well as to all the 2003 bar examinees for the unforeseen and unintended effects
of his actions. Petitioner averred that he has since learned from his mistakes and
has taken the said humbling experience to make him a better person.

In re: Petition to sign in the roll of Attys, Medado


Facts:
Medado
graduated from the University
of the
College of Law in 1979, passing the Barwith an average of 82.7%

Philippines

10

May 7, 1980: He took the lawyers oath.


He was scheduled to sign the roll of attorneys onMay 13, 1980, but failed to do
so, as he hadmisplaced the Notice to Sign the Roll of Attorneysgiven by the Bar
Office, which he had left in hisprovince.
Yearslater, he found the notice, realizing him hadnot signed the roll. At that time, h
e was
alreadyworking in the field of corporation and tax, whichdid not include much litigati
on. In 2005, he attended the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education seminar, which
required him to provide his roll number to be credited, but he could not produce it.
Feb 6, 2012: He filed a petition to be allowed to sign the roll.
The Office of the Bar confidant had recommended that the petition be denied for
gross negligence, misconduct, and lack of merit, as he did not have a valid
justification for his actions.VII.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. Medado acted in gross negligence and misconduct.IX.X
Held: Yes, but the court granted his petition, with an additional fine of P32,000, and
penalty of not allowing him to sign for 1 year (because he cannot be suspended yet,
as he is not a full-fledged lawyer), wherein he is not allowed to practice.
In re: David
Facts: Respondent was suspended for bad practices in the exercise of his
profession as a lawyer for a period of five years from the November 9, 1949. The
defendant admits this suspension in `his written report filed on March 17, 1951, yet
he continued to exercise the profession within the period of suspension, November
9, 1949 to November 8, 1954. On Feb 28 1950 the respondent file a claim in the
case of Tan Tek vs Sy not as a lawyer but as an agent. (For and in behalf of Tan Tek
Sy) CFI decided in favor of Tan Tek, subsequently Atty Felix David filed a motion for
execution. In another civil case of the CFI called Malayan Saw Mill, Inc vs Tolentino,
defendant filed a brief for an order to demolish homes.
In order - says the appeal - to show That I did not Have the intention to disregard
the suspension of the Supreme Court, I did not With The Knowledge of Tan Tek
Identified Sy Even myself as the attorney for the Appelles But In Good Faith, I signed
for and in Behalf of the appellee Without Designating That I am Practicing as
attorney-at-law.
ISSUE: Whether the acts of Atty Felix David is tantamount to practice of law.
HELD: Yes. Neither can he allow his name to appear in such pleading by itself or as
part of firm name under the signature of another qualified lawyer because the
signature of an agent amounts to signing of a non-qualified senator or
congressman, the office of an attorney being originally an agency, and because he
will, by such act, be appearing in court or quasi-judicial or administrative body in
violation of the constitutional restriction. He cannot do indirectly what the
Constitution prohibits directly.
11

CAYETANO VS. MONSOD


FACTS: Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C.
Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the
Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments on April 25, 1991. Petitioner
opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required
qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
On June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of
Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office.
On the same day, he assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC.
Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of
Monsod's nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition
for certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent
appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared
null and void.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the appointment of Christian Monsod violates Sec 1 (1), Article IX-C
of the 1987 Constitution
HELD:
The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:
There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six
Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time
of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree,
and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately
preceding -elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be
members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years.
Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar
examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member
of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. He has also
been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years.
Black defines "practice of law" as:
The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal
principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not
limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation,
but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and
special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds,
and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients and all
actions taken for them in matters connected with the law. An attorney engages in
the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-an attorney,
using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney, counseling clients in legal
12

matters, negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and
collecting fees for services rendered by his associate.
In general, a practice of law requires a lawyer and client relationship, it is whether in
or out of court. Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a
lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of
contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than
satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of
law for at least ten years..
Soriano vs. Atty. Dizon
FACTS: Atty. Manuel Dizon was driving his brown Toyota Corolla with his wife. Along
Abanao Street, a taxi driver overtook him so he tailed the taxi driver until the latter
stopped to make a turn. He berated the taxi driver and held him by his shirt. To
stop the aggression, the taxi driver forced open his door causing the accused to fall
to the ground. Taking pity on the accused who looked elderly, the taxi driver got out
of his car to help him get up. When he was about to hit the taxi driver, he hit the
accused in the chest then he got up again and was about to box the taxi driver but
the latter caught his fist and turned his arm around. The accused went back to his
car and got his revolver making sure that the handle was wrapped in a
handkerchief. The taxi driver was on his way back to his vehicle when he noticed
the eyeglasses of the accused on the ground. He picked them up intending to
return them to the accused. But as he was handing the same to the accused, he
was met by the barrel of the gun held by the accused who fired and shot him hitting
him on the neck. He fell on the thigh of the accused so the latter pushed him out
and sped off. witness, Antonio Billanes, who came to the aid of Soriano and brought
the latter to the hospital. sustained a spinal cord injury, which caused paralysis on
the left part of his body and disabled him for his job as a taxi driver. Despite positive
identification and overwhelming evidence, Respondent denied that he had shot
Complainant; Apart from [his] denial, Respondent also lied when he claimed that he
was the one mauled by Complainant and two unidentified persons. Although he has
been placed on probation, Respondent has not yet (for 4 years) satisfied his civil
liabilities to Complainant. Convicted, by final judgment, of frustrated homicide
ISSUE: Whether or not frustrated homicide involves moral turpitude and where or
not
guilt
warrants
disbarment.
HELD: YES. DISBARRED. Moral turpitude has been defined as everything which is
done contrary to justice, modesty, or good morals; an act of baseness, vileness or
depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes his fellowmen, or to
society in general, contrary to justice, honesty, modesty, or good morals. Good
moral
character
includes
at
least
common
honesty.

Homicide may or may not involve moral turpitude depending on the degree of
the
crime.
- a question of fact and frequently depends on all the surrounding circumstances
- act of aggression shown by respondent will not be mitigated by the fact that he
13

was hit once and his arm twisted by complainant. Under the circumstances, those
were reasonable actions clearly intended to fend off the lawyers assault.
- He shot the victim when the latter was not in a position to defend himself.
- To make matters worse, respondent wrapped the handle of his gun with a
handkerchief
so
as
not
to
leave
fingerprints.
- his illegal possession of an unlicensed firearm and his unjust refusal to satisfy his
civil
liabilities

Where their misconduct outside of their professional dealings is so gross as to


show them morally unfit for their office and unworthy of the privileges conferred
upon them by their license and the law, the court may be justified in suspending or
removing them from that office.
METROPOLITAN BANK V. CA
Facts: Atty. handled several cases from 1974 to 1983 concerning the declaration of
nullity of certain deeds of sale. Pending resolution in the RTC, Atty filed a motion to
enter his charging lien equal to 25% of the market value of the litigated properties
as atty fees. The court granted and the attys lien was annotated on the TCTs. The
cases were later dismissed with prejudice at the instance of the plaintiffs therein.
Thus the Bank now had the TCTs in its name and the attys lien was carried over.
Atty. filed a motion to fix his Atty Fees based on quantum meruit. RTC granted the
motion and fixed the fees at 936K. CA affirmed.
Issue: Is Atty. entitled to a charging lien? Is a separate suit necessary for
enforcement of the lien?
Held: Yes. CA reversed without prejudice to proper to the bringing of proper
proceedings. A charging lien, to be enforceable as security for the payment of
attorney's fees, requires as a condition sine qua non a judgment for money and
execution in pursuance of such judgment secured in the main action by the attorney
in favor of his client. A lawyer may enforce his right to fees by filing the necessary
petition as an incident in the main action in which his services were rendered when
something is due his client in the action from which the fee is to be paid.
Here, there was no money judgment. Thus there is no charging lien. And
court has no authority to fix a charging lien.
A petition for recovery of attorney's fees, either as a separate civil suit or as
an incident in the main action, has to be prosecuted and the allegations therein
established as any other money claim.
WELLINGTON REYES vs. ATTY. SALVADOR M. GAA
Facts: Complainant reported to the NBI that he had been the victim of extortion by
respondent lawyer. An entrapment was set up by the NBI. Complainant furnished
the NBI agents several peso bills for marking. The paper bills were sent to the
Forensic and Chemistry Division of the NBI and subsequently returned to
complainant for the use in the entrapment. Complainant went to the respondents
office and thereafter handed to respondent the marked money which he placed in
his pocket. The NBI agents then apprehended respondent and brought him to the
NBI Forensic and Chemistry Division for examination. Respondent's hands were
14

found positive of the yellow florescent powder applied earlier to the marked money.
The NBI recommended the prosecution of respondent for violation of Section 3(b) of
R.A. No. 3019 and recommended to the Secretary of Justice the filing of
administrative charges and the institution of disbarment proceedings against him. In
his answer to the complaint for disbarment, respondent asserted that complainant
surreptitiously planted the marked money in his pocket without his knowledge and
consent. In a resolution dated December 23, 1971, this Court resolved to refer the
disbarment case to the Solicitor General for investigation, report and
recommendation. However, upon the adoption of Rule 139-B of the Revised Rules of
Court., the case was transferred to the IBP Board of Governors for investigation and
disposition. On March 15, 1993, Commissioner Vicente Q. Roxas of the Commission
on Bar Discipline of the IBP recommended that respondent be disbarred. Said
recommendation was approved by the IBP Board of Governors in its resolution dated
March 26, 1994.
Issue: Whether or not the recommendation approved by the IBP Board of Governors
is correct
Ruling: Yes. Where the misconduct of a lawyer as a government official is of such a
character as to affect his qualification as a lawyer or to show moral delinquency,
then he may be disciplined as a member of the bar on such ground. The extortion
committed by respondent constitutes misconduct as a public official, which also
constitutes a violation of his oath as a lawyer. The lawyer's oath, imposes upon
every lawyer the duty to delay no man for money or malice. The lawyer's oath is a
source of his obligations and its violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment
or other disciplinary action.
Ting Dumali vs Torres
FACTS: The parents of Isidra Ting-Dumali died intestate and they left several
properties including two parcels of land Lot 1586 and Lot 1603 both in Malabon.
Isidra has 5 other siblings. In 1986 however, two of her siblings, Felicisima TingTorres and Miriam Ting-Saria, executed two Deeds of Extrajudicial Settlement. They
were assisted by Felicisimas husband, Atty. Rolando Torres who was also the
administrator of the Ting Estate. In the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement covering
Lot 1586, they made it appear that Felicisima and Miriam were the only heirs of the
Tings. Atty. In the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement covering Lot 1603, the signature
of Isidra was forged to make it appear that she was a party to the Deed. Torres then
presented the Deeds to the Registry of Deeds of Cavite for the purpose of
transferring the titles into the name of Miriam and Felicisima. Thereafter, Felicisima
and Miriam sold the lands to a corporation. Consequently, Isidra filed several
complaints. One of the complaints is this disbarment case against Atty. Torres.
Torres, in his defense, averred that he acted in good faith in allowing his wife and
Miriam to execute the Deeds; that he thought that the Deeds were agreed to by the
other siblings pursuant to a toka or verbal will left by Isidras mother and as
implemented by their eldest brother, Eliseo Ting; that the exclusion of the other
heirs was merely an oversight. Isidra denied the existence of the toka. Eliseo also
said there was no such toka.
15

ISSUE: Whether or not Torres should be disbarred for allowing the exclusion of the
other heirs from the Deeds of Extrajudicial Settlement despite his knowledge of
their presence.
HELD: Yes. He violated his oath as he engaged in deceitful conduct. He has
committed falsehood. By letting his wife and Miriam declare in a public document
that they are the only heirs to the estate when in fact there are other compulsory
heirs and then later presenting these Deeds to the Registry of Deeds, Atty. Torres
failed to advise that the two were doing acts contrary to law. He participated in the
making of these Deeds as well as to the subsequent transactions involving the sale
of the properties covered by the Deeds. His acts facilitated a wrong against the
other heirs.
People vs. Tuanda
FACTS: Respondent Fe T. Tuanda, a member of the Philippine Bar, asks this Court to
lift the suspension from the practice of law imposed upon her by a decision of
the Court of Appeals. In 1983, Atty. Fe Tuanda received from one Herminia A.
Marquez several pieces of jewelry with a total value of P36,000 for sale on
commission basis. In 1984, instead of returning the unsold pieces of jewelry worth
P26,250, she issued 3 checks. These checks weredishonored by the drawee bank,
Traders Royal Bank, for insufficiency of funds. Notwithstanding receipt of the notice
of dishonor, Tuanda made no effort to settle her obligation. Criminal cases were
filed, wherein she was acquitted of estafa but was found guilty of violation of BP 22
(The Anti-Bouncing Check Law). The appellate court affirmed the decision of the trial
court and imposed further suspension against Tuanda in the practice of law, on the
ground that the offense involves moral turpitude. Tuanda is now appealing to the
Supreme Court for her suspension to be lifted arguing that her suspension was a
penalty so harsh on top of the fines imposed to her in violation of the
aforementioned law. Arguing further that she intends no damage to the plaintiffappellee (Herminia A. Marquez)and she is not guilty of the offense charged.
ISSUE: Whether or not the suspension of Atty. Tuanda be lifted.
HELD: NO. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that "the offense [of] which she is
found guilty involved moral turpitude. Sections 27 and 28 of Rule 138 of the Revised
Rules of Court provide as follows:

Sec. 27. Attorneys renewed or suspended by Supreme Court on what


grounds. A member of the bar may be removed or suspended from his office
as attorney by the Supreme Court of any deceit, malpractice, or other gross
misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the
oath which he is required to take before admission to practice, or for a willful
disobedience of any lawful order of a superior court, or for corruptly or
willfully appearing as an attorney for a party to a case without authority so to
do. The practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either
personally or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice. (Italics
supplied)
16

Sec. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First


Instance. The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an
attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last preceding
section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his
profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.

Conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude relates to and affects the good
moral character of a person convicted of such offense. Herein, BP 22 violation is a
serious criminal offense which deleteriously affects public interest and public order.
The effects of the issuance of a worthless check transcends the private interest of
parties directly involved in the transaction and touches the interest of the
community at large. Putting valueless commercial papers in circulation, multiplied a
thousand fold, can very well pollute the channels of trade and commerce, injure
the banking system and eventually hurt the welfare of society and the public
interest. The crimes of which respondent was convicted also import deceit and
violation of her attorney's oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility under
both of which she was bound to "obey the laws of the land."
In re: Elmo Abad
FACTS: Court held respondent Elmo S. Abad a successful bar examinee but has not
been admitted to the Philippine Bar in contempt of Court for unauthorized practice
of law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case he failed to
pay the fine. (121 SCRA 217). He paid the fine. Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the
complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL METRO MANILA COURTS THE
FACT THAT ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW. The Report has
found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed
Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts. This
aspect opens the respondent to a charge for perjury. The Report also reveals that
Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels forAntonio S.
Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of the
Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to
account for his association with the respondent.
Respondent, when asked about the aforesaid motions, Exhibits "B" and "D", and the
signatures therein, denied that he filed the same and that the signatures therein are
his. He also denied that he appeared in the hearing in the afternoon of December 8,
1983 in the said trial court. According to him, he was in Batangas at the time. He
also testified that the only explanation he could give regarding the signatures in the
aforesaid exhibits is that the same could have been effected by Atty. Beltran to
show the Supreme Court that he (respondent) was still illegally practicing law. As to
the motion forexamination and analysis of respondent's signature, the Investigator,
to afford respondent full opportunity to prove his defense, sought the assistance of
the National Bureau of Investigation to compare respondent's signature in the
aforesaid exhibits with the signatures appearing in the pleadings that he filed in the
Supreme Court, which latter signature he admits as genuine and as his own. The
aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the

17

NBI, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the
decision of this Court of March 28, 1983.
ISSUES: Whether or not Abad can engage in practice of law.
Whether or not Atty. Jacobe liable in his collaboration with the respondent.
HELD: No. Only those licensed by the Supreme Court may practice law in this
country. The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a
privilege. It is limited to persons of good moral character with
special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege
presupposes possession of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment and
even public trust, since a lawyer is an officer of the court. A bar candidate does not
acquire the right to practice law simply by passing the bar examinations. The
practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who
has passed the bar examinations, if the person seekingadmission had practiced law
without license. Respondent Abad should know that the circumstances which he has
narrated do not constitute his admissionto the Philippine Bar and the right to
practice law thereafter. He should know that two essential requisites for becoming a
lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his lawyer's oath to be administered by
this Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys. (Rule 138, Secs. 17 and 19,
Rules of Court.) The regulation of the practice of law is unquestionably strict. Under
Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the Rules of Court, a person who engages in the
unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect contempt of court. Mr. Elmo S.
Abad is hereby fined Five Hundred (P500.00) pesos payable to this Court within ten
(10) days from notice failing which he shall serve twenty-five (25) days
imprisonment.
Yes. He violated Canon 9 Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified
person the performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a
member of the Bar. in good standing. A lawyer shall not assist anyone who is not a
member of the Bar to practice law in this country. Thus, he must not take as partner
or associate in his law firm a person who is not a lawyer, a lawyer who has been
disbarred and a lawyer who has been suspended from practice of law. The lawyer
who assists in an unauthorized practice of law whether directly or indirectly
is subject to disciplinary action. Finally, Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe is required to explain
within ten (10) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for collaborating
and associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is not a member
of the bar.
Aguirre

Rana

FACTS: Respondent is a successful bar passer who was allowed only to take oath
but not to sign the roll of attorneys pending the resolution of the complaint of the
petitioner who charges respondent with unauthorized practice of law, grave
misconduct, violation of law, and grave misrepresentation. Apparently, the
respondent appeared as counsel to an election candidate before the Municipal
Board of Election Canvassers (MBEC) of Masbate before he took his oath and
signed the rolls of attorneys. In his comment, respondent alleges he only provide
18

specific assistance and advice not as a lawyer but as a person who knows the law.
He contends that he did not sign the pleadings as a lawyer. The Office of the Bar
Confidant was tasked to investigate and its findings disclosed that according to the
minutes of the meeting of the MBEC, the respondent actively participated in the
proceeding and signed in the pleading as counsel for the candidate.
I:

WON

the

respondent

is

fit

for admission to

the

bar.

R: The court held that respondent did engaged in unauthorized practice of law. It
held that all the activities he participated during that time involves the practice of
law despite the fact that he is not yet a member of the Bar. The right to practice law
is not a right but a privilege extended to those morally upright and with the proper
knowledge and skills. It involves strict regulation, one of which is on the moral
character of its members. Passing the bar is not the only qualification to become an
attorney-at-law. Respondent should know that two essential requisites for becoming
a lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his lawyers oath to be administered by
this Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys. Because the court finds
respondent not morally fit to be admitted in the Bar, notwithstanding the fact that
he already took his oath, he was denied admission to the bar.
In re: Atty Marcial Edillon
FACTS: The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing Attorney in
the Philippines. The IBP Board of Governors recommended to the Court the removal
of the name of the respondent from its Roll of Attorneys for stubborn refusal to pay
his membership dues assailing the provisions of the Rule of Court 139-A and the
provisions of par. 2, Section 24, Article III, of the IBP By-Laws pertaining to the
organization of IBP, payment of membership fee and suspension for failure to pay
the same.
Edillon contends that the stated provisions constitute an invasion of his
constitutional rights in the sense that he is being compelled as a pre-condition to
maintain his status as a lawyer in good standing, to be a member of the IBP and to
pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this compelled financial
support of the said organization to which he is admitted personally antagonistic, he
is being deprived of the rights to liberty and properly guaranteed to him by the
Constitution. Hence, the respondent concludes the above provisions of the Court
Rule and of the IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force and effect.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court may compel Atty. Edillion to pay his membership
fee to the IBP.
HELD: The Integrated Bar is a State-organized Bar which every lawyer must be a
member of as distinguished from bar associations in which membership is merely
optional and voluntary. All lawyers are subject to comply with the rules prescribed
for the governance of the Bar including payment a reasonable annual fees as one of
the requirements. The Rules of Court only compels him to pay his annual dues and it
is not in violation of his constitutional freedom to associate. Bar integration does not
compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not the meeting
19

of his Integrated Bar Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its election as he chooses.
The only compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of annual dues. The
Supreme Court in order to further the States legitimate interest in elevating the
quality of professional legal services, may require the the cost of the regulatory
program the lawyers.
Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. The
right to practice law before the courts of this country should be and is a matter
subject to regulation and inquiry. And if the power to impose the fee as a regulatory
measure is recognize then a penalty designed to enforce its payment is not void as
unreasonable as arbitrary. Furthermore, the Court has jurisdiction over matters of
admission, suspension, disbarment, and reinstatement of lawyers and their
regulation as part of its inherent judicial functions and responsibilities thus the court
may compel all members of the Integrated Bar to pay their annual dues.
ADMISSION TO PRACTICE
IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO
A.M. No. 1162 August 29, 1975
Facts: This is a disbarment matter with regards to Attorney Victorio Lanuevo, the
Bar Confidant for the 1971 Bar Examinations. Supreme Court received a confidential
letter that speaks of the exam notebooks of a examinee named Ramon Galang who
has been re-evaluated and re-corrected such that he hurdled the Bar Exams and
was admitted to the Bar.
Lanuevo admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of Ramon E.
Galang back to the respective examiners for re-evalution or re-checking. The five
examiners admitted having re-evaluated or re-checked the notebook to him by the
Bar Confidant, stating that he has the authority to do the same and that the
examinee concerned failed only in his particular subject and was on the borderline
of passing. Ramon Galang was able to pass the 1971 bar exam because of
Lanuevos move but the exam results bears that he failed in 5 subjects namely in
(Political, Civil, Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
Galang on the otherhand, denied of having charged of Slight Physical Injuries on
Eufrosino de Vera, a law student of MLQU.
The five examiners were led by Lanuevo to believe that it is the Bar Committees
regular activity that when an examinee has failed in one subject alone, the rest he
passed, the examiner in that subject which he flunked will review his exam
notebook.
Afterwards, Lanuevo gained possession of few properties, including that of a house
in BF Homes, which was never declared in his declaration of assets and liabilities.
Issue: WON Lanuevo was guilty of defrauding the examiners such that Galang
passed the Bar? YES
Held: It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent
Lanuevos well-studied and well-calculated moves in successively representing
20

separately to each of the five examiners concerned to the effect that the examinee
failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing. To
repeat, the before the unauthorized re-evaluations were made, Galang failed in the
five (5) major subjects and in two (2) minor subjects which under no
circumstances or standard could it be honestly claimed that the examinee failed
only in one, or he was on the borderline of passing.
The Bar Confidant has absolutely nothing to do in the re-evaluation or
reconsideration of the grades of examinees who fail to make the passing mark
before or after their notebooks are submitted to it by the Examiners. The Bar
Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of the examinees and cannot
assume the functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the Examiners
concerned. He is not the over-all Examiner. He cannot presume to know better than
the examiner.
AS TO GALANGS CRIM CASE: The concealment of an attorney in his application to
take the Bar examinations of the fact that he had been charged with, or indicted for,
an alleged crime, is a ground for revocation of his license to practice law is well
settled. The practice of the law is not an absolute right to be granted every one who
demands it, but is a privilege to be extended or withheld in the exercise of sound
discretion. The standards of the legal profession are not satisfied by conduct which
merely enables one to escape the penalties of the criminal law.
Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.
Galang, was allowed to take the Bar examinations and the highly irregular manner
in which he passed the Bar, WE have no other alternative but to order the surrender
of his attorneys certificate and the striking out of his name from the Roll of
Attorneys.
DECISION: Lanuevo disbarred, Galang stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.
First Lepanto Ceramics vs CA
Facts: Petitioner's contention is that Circular No. 1-91 cannot be deemed to have
superseded Art. 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 (E.O. No. 226)
because the Code, which President Aquino promulgated in the exercise of legislative
authority, is in the nature of a substantive act of Congress defining the jurisdiction
of courts while the circular is a rule of procedure which this Court promulgated
pursuant to its rule-making power Petitioner questions the holding of the Second
Division that although the right to appeal granted by Art. 82 of the Code is a
substantive right which cannot be modified by a rule of procedure, nonetheless,
questions concerning where and in what manner the appeal can be brought are only
matters of procedure which this Court has the power to regulate.
Judicial review of the decisions and final orders of the BOI was originally provided for
in the Omnibus Investments Code of 1981. Art. 78 was thereafter amended by B.P.
Blg. 129, 3 by granting in 9 thereof exclusive appellate jurisdiction to the then
Intermediate Appellate Court (now the Court of Appeals) over the decisions and final
orders of quasi-judicial agencies. When the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987
(E.O. No. 226) was promulgated on July 17, 1987, the right to appeal from the
21

decisions and final orders of the BOI to the Supreme Court was again granted. By
then, however, the present Constitution had taken effect. 4 The Constitution now
provides in Art. VI, Sec. 30 that "No law shall be passed increasing the appellate
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as provided in this Constitution without its advice
and concurrence.
Issue: WON the provision is violative of the constitutional prohibition on increasing
the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court without its advice and concurrence.
Held: Yes. This provision is intended to give the Supreme Court a measure of
control over cases placed under its appellate jurisdiction. For the indiscriminate
enactment of legislation enlarging its appellate jurisdiction can unnecessarily
burden the Court and thereby undermine its essential function of expounding the
law in its most profound national aspects. Now, art. 82 of the 1987 Omnibus
Investments Code, by providing for direct appeals to the Supreme Court from the
decisions and final orders of the BOI, increases the appellate jurisdiction of this
Court. Since it was enacted without the advice and concurrence of this Court, this
provision never became effective.
IN RE: CUNANAN
FACTS: In the manner of the petitions for Admission to the Bar of unsuccessful
candidates of 1946 to 1953; Albino Cunanan et. al petitioners. In recent years few
controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as R.A. 972
popularly known as the Bar Flunkers Act of 1953.
Generally a candidate is deemed passed if he obtains a general ave of 75% in all
subjects w/o falling below 50% in any subject, although for the past few exams the
passing grades were changed depending on the strictness of the correcting of the
bar examinations (1946- 72%, 1947- 69%, 1948- 70% 1949-74%, 1950-1953
75%). Many of the bar examinees believed themselves to be fully qualified to
practice law as those reconsidered and passed by the S.C., and felt that they have
been discriminated against, unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a
few percentages lower than those admitted to the bar went to congress for, and
secured in 1951 Senate Bill no. 12, but was vetoed by the president after he was
given advise adverse to it. Not overriding the veto, the senate then approved
senate bill no. 372 embodying substantially the provisions of the vetoed bill. The bill
then became law on June 21, 1953 .Republic Act 972 has for its object, according to
its author, to admit to the Bar those candidates who suffered from insufficiency of
reading materials and inadequate preparations. By and large, the law is contrary to
public interest since it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who had inadequate
preparation for the practice of law profession, as evidenced by their failure in the
exams.
ISSUE: WoN RA 972 is constitutional?
HELD: No, RA 972 is not constitutional. In the judicial system from which ours has
been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorney
at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been indisputably
a judicial function and responsibility. It is obvious therefore, that the ultimate power
22

to grant license for the practice of law belong EXCLUSIVELY to the court and the law
passed by Congress on the matter is permissive in character, of as other authorities
may say, merely fix the minimum conditions for the license.
Kuroda vs Jalandoni 83Phil 171
Facts: Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial
Army and Commanding General of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The Philippines
during a period covering 19433 and 19444 who is now charged before a military
Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines
with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to discharge his duties as such
command, permitting them to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes
against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Forces in
violation of the laws and customs of war" comes before this Court seeking to
establish the illegality of Executive Order No. 68 of the President of the Philippines:
to enjoin and prohibit respondents Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port from
participating in the prosecution of petitioner's case before the Military Commission
and to permanently prohibit respondents from proceeding with the case of
petitioners.
Issue: W/N the participation of two American attorneys in the prosecution of this
case are qualified to practice law in Philippines in accordance with our Rules of court
Held: Yes. Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by a special
law and not by the Rules of court which govern ordinary civil court. It has already
been shown that Executive Order No. 68 which provides for the organization of such
military commission is a valid and constitutional law. There is nothing in said
executive order which requires that counsel appearing before said commission must
be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules
of Court. In facts it is common in military tribunals that counsel for the parties are
usually military personnel who are neither attorneys nor even possessed of legal
training. The Military Commission having been convened by virtue of a valid law
with jurisdiction over the crimes charged which fall under the provisions of
Executive Order No. 68, and having said petitioner in its custody, this Court will not
interfere with the due process of such Military commission.
Omico Mining and Industrial Corp. v. Vallejos,
Facts: On June 1, 1973, Alfredo Catolico (herein private respondent), then a judge
of the Court of First Instance of Cavite, filed with said court a complaint, presided by
respondent Judge Amador T. Vallejos, against Omico Mining and Industrial
Corporation and Frederick G. Webber, the latter in his personal capacity and as
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of said corporation, alleging two
(2) causes of action.
The first, for the return of ten (10) certificates of stock of the corporation borrowed
from him by the defendants, and the second, for the payment of his services as
legal counsel for the corporation.|||

23

Under the first cause of action, plaintiff Catolico alleged among others that he is a
resident of Cavite City where he is a judge of the Court of First Instance and
stockholder of the defendant Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation holding thirty
(30) certificates of stock, the same having been issued to him way back in August,
1969; that defendant corporation, through its co-defendant Frederick G. Webber,
pleaded with him that ten (10) certificates of stock, be allowed to remain with them
under their responsibility, for the two purposes; first was so that the stock can be
used as collateral for a loan amounting to P10 Million with Development Bank of the
Philippines and the after the loan was denied, the second was the stocks were to be
used as collateral for the purchase of the Bunning and Company of Tuguegarao for
P2,000,000.00. When those two transactions failed, he demanded several times of
the defendants for the return to him of the ten (10) certificates aforementioned so
that he could use them, but said demands were of no avail; that in view of the
failure of the defendants to comply with his demands, he is forced to file the
complaint seeking the return to him of said ten (10) certificates of stock.|||
Under the second cause of action, plaintiff wanted to be Defendant Corporation to
pay him his legal fees as he served as the head of their (corporations) legal
department. On October 13, 1968, both defendants entered into a contract of
personal and professional services with Catolico under the the condition that he
should render such services only after his office hours, "even into the dead wee
hours of the night and wherever such services would not run in conflict with his
duties as Judge"
Omico Corporation filed for motion to dismiss on two grounds, (1) improper venue,
plaintiff was not a resident of Cavite but of Quezon City; and, as to the second
cause of action, the contract of between plaintiff and defendants was entered into
in the City of Manila, and, therefore, the case should have been filed in Manila in
accordance with Section 1 of Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court; and (2) lack of
cause of action, the stocks were under the name of Vicente Resonda; and, with
respect to the contract of personal and professional services is illegal, void and
unenforceable, plaintiff being a judge of the Court of First Instance who is prohibited
by Section 35 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court from engaging in private
practice as a member of the Bar. While the motion to dismiss was pending
resolution by the court because Omico Corp had not yet presented to the court the
required proof of service, Catolico, filed a petition to declare the defendants in
default and to allow him to present his evidence. He said that after several months,
Omico Corp has not filed an answer and therefore in default. The motion to dismiss
was not address to their counsel but to the Clerk of Court. Because it was addressed
to the clerk of court and not their counsel, it was a useless piece of paper.
Issue:
1. Whether or not Judge Vallejos was fair and free from impropriety
2. Whether or not Judge Catolico contract with Omico Corporation for his legal
service is void.
First Issue: No, Judge Vallejos was not fair and not free from impropriety.

24

He was unduly strict regarding the requirements of notice of hearing to the Omico
Corp, and at the same time, unduly liberal, with respect to the Catolico. He required
Omico Corp for proof of service but for Catolico he none was required.
Such conduct falls short of the requirement that the official conduct of a
judge should not only be free from impropriety, but also from the
appearance of impropriety.
Second Issue: Yes it is void because it is contrary to law and public policy.
The contract of professional services entered into between private respondent and
the petitioners, while the former was still a judge of the Court of First Instance,
constituted private practice of law and in contravention of the express
provision of Section 35 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court.|||
It is based on sound reasons of public policy, for there is no question that the
rights, duties, privileges and functions of the office of an attorney-at-law are so
inherently incompatible with the high official functions, duties, powers,
discretions and privileges of a judge of the Court of First Instance.|||
This inhibitory rule makes it obligatory upon the judicial officers concerned to
give their full time and attention to their judicial duties, prevent them from
extending special favors to their own private interests and assure the public of
their impartiality in the performance of their functions. These objectives are
dictated by a sense of moral decency and the desire to promote the public interest.
It is evident, therefore, that the aforesaid contract is void because a contract,
whose cause, object or purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public
order or public policy, is considered inexistent and void from the beginning.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS SIMPLICIO VILLANUEVA
14 SCRA 109 Legal Ethics Practice of Law Isolated Appearance
FACTS: In 1959, Villanueva was charged with Malicious Mischief in the municipality
of Alaminos in Laguna. In said case, the private offended party asked his lawyer
friend, Ariston Fule to prosecute said case. Apparently, Fule was the fiscal in San
Pablo, Laguna. Villanueva the opposed the appearance of Fule as counsel for the
offended party as he said that according to the Rules of Court when an attorney had
been appointed to the position of Assistant Provincial Fiscal or City Fiscal and therein
qualified, by operation of law, he ceased to engage in private law practice.
ISSUE: Whether or not Ariston Fule is engaged in private law practice.
HELD: No. Private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to
be in the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his
professional services are available to the public for a compensation, as a source of
his livelihood or in consideration of his said services. In the case at bar, Fule is not
being compensated but rather hes doing it for free for his friend who happened to
be the offended party. Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists
in frequent or customary actions, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other

25

words, it is frequent habitual exercise. Further, the fact that the Secretary of Justice
approved Fules appearance for his friend should be given credence.
CONCEPCION DIA-AONUEVO vs. MUN. JUDGE BONIFACIO B. BERCACIO OF
TABACO, ALBAY.
FACTS: Respondent, incumbent Municipal Judge of Tabaco, Albay, faces this
administrative complaint for conduct unbecoming a Judge on two counts: (1)
engaging in the practice of law, and (2) failure to return promptly to complainant,
Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, the money deposited with him.
Synopsis: On the first count, respondent was found to have taken
active interest in the case of complainant by giving the latter legal
advice on the remedy available to her and her co-owners with regards
to the property sold to a third person; accepted from complainant the
sum of P3,500 to redeem the property from the vendee, plus P100 for
incidental expenses; written the vendee on behalf of complainant
offering to redeem the land in question; caused, when attempts at anout-of-court settlement failed, the filing of the complaint for which he
was issued a receipt for docketed and research fees; and being
present at the pre-trial. On the second count, respondent was found to
have obstinately refused to return the money (after the vendee had
rejected the extrajudicial offer to repurchase the property) despite
complainant's request for almost a year, so much so that the latter had
to secure the services of another counsel who was compelled to ask
from no less than a member of the judiciary the return of the amount
deposited with him. And instead of delivering the amount, he put up
the excuse that the money did not belong entirely to complainant and
that the latter agreed to his keeping the money during the pendency
of the case instituted to redeem the property.
Mrs. Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, claims to be a co-owner of an undivided interest of
a certain parcel of irrigated riceland situated in Cabilogan, Sto. Nio, Sto. Domingo,
Albay. This property was the object of a deed of sale executed by Maximo Balibado,
Justo Balibado and Petrona Balibado de Barrios in favor of Alfredo Ong and
acknowledged before Municipal Judge Bonifacio Bercacio, respondent herein, as exofficio notary public, on January 25, 1972. Having been apprised of the execution of
this deed of sale, complainant went to the office of Judge Bercacio to verify the
matter. Upon being shown a copy of the deed of sale, complainant informed
respondent judge that the vendors owned only one-third undivided portion of the
property and that she and other cousins of hers owned two-thirds thereof. Judge
Bercacio advised the complainant to redeem or repurchase the property from the
vendee, Alfredo Ong. Complainant then requested the judge to intercede in their
behalf with the vendee to allow them to redeem the property and for that purpose
she gave respondent the amount of P3,500.00 to be used to pay Alfredo Ong.
Respondent agreed and received the amount of P3,500.00 for which he issued a
receipt.
26

Respondent sent the corresponding letter to Alfredo Ong but the latter did not
answer. Forthwith a complaint was filed on March 8, 1972 with the Court of First
Instance of Albay (Civil Case No. 4591). During the pendency of the civil case,
complainant asked respondent judge to allow her to withdraw P1,500.00 from the
P3,500.00 she had deposited with him as she was then in need of money, but no
action was taken by respondent. The verbal request was followed by a registered
letter dated January 24, 1973 advising Judge Bercacio that complainant herein was
withdrawing the amount of P3,500.00 deposited with him and requesting him to
remit the said amount within ten days from receipt of the letter. There was still no
response from respondent Judge, hence, another letter was sent dated February 21,
1973. Due to the non-remittance of the aforementioned amount, Atty. Madrid filed
with the Court of First Instance an urgent motion dated August 20, 1973, praying
that Judge Bercacio be directed to consign in court the amount deposited with him
by the plaintiff, Mrs. Aonuevo.
Respondent violated Section 77 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended,
which provides in part:
"All provisions relative to the observance of office hours and the
holding of sessions applicable to courts of first instance shall likewise
apply to municipal judges, but the latter may, after office hours, and
with the permission of the district judge concerned, engage in teaching
or other vocation not involving the practice of law . . ."
Respondent submits that it was Atty. Berango and not he who assisted the
complainant, Mrs. Aonuevo, and her co-plaintiffs as counsel in the civil case; that
when he saw his name in the complaint as one of the lawyers, he called Atty.
Berango's attention to the mistake and this was immediately corrected in the
subsequent pleadings by deleting his name.
ISSUE: WON respondent engaged in an activity which involved the practice of law.
HELD: YES. The PRACTICE OF LAW is not limited to the conduct of cases in court
or participation in court proceedings but also includes preparation of pleadings or
papers in anticipation of a litigation, giving of legal advice to clients or persons
needing the same, etc. (Martin, Comments on Rules of Court, Vol. 6, 1974 Ed., p.
251; Moran, Rules of Court, 1970 Ed., Vol. 6, p. 206) Hence, even if we were to
accept respondent's explanation that it was: Atty. Berango who represented Mrs.
Aonuevo and her co-plaintiffs in court, respondent's actuations as noted above still
fall within the prohibition.
The rule disqualifying a municipal judge from engaging in the practice of law seeks
to avoid the evil of possible use of the power and influence of his office to affect the
outcome of a litigation where he is retained as counsel. Compelling reasons of
public policy lie behind this prohibition, and judges are expected to conduct
themselves in such a manner as to preclude any suspicion that they are
representing the interests of a party litigant.
27

Respondent's claim is belied, however, by the active interest he took in the case of
Mrs. Aonuevo manifested as follows:
(a) He gave Mrs. Aonuevo legal advice on the remedy available to her and her coowners with regards to the property sold to Alfredo Ong.
(b) He accepted from Mrs. Aonuevo the sum of P3,500.00 for purposes of
redeeming the property from the vendee, plus P100.00 for incidental expenses.
(c) He wrote to Alfredo Ong for and in behalf of Mrs. Aonuevo and her co-owners
offering to redeem the land in question.
(d) When his attempts at an out-of-court settlement failed, he caused the filing of
the complaint in Civil Case No. 4591, for which he was issued a receipt for docket
and legal research fees.
(e) He was present together with Atty. Berango at the pre-trial of July 5, 1972, and
although, as he claims, it was Atty. Berango who made an appearance for that pretrial, the trial Judge nonetheless took note of respondent's presence so that the
Order dictated on that occasion reads: "Attys. Berango and Bercacio are notified of
the date of the trial."
De Guzman vs Visayan Rapid Transit
Facts: The Visayan Rapid Transit Co. and the Negros Transportation Co., Inc., during
the time the legal services are claimed to have been rendered by the petitioner,
were operating automobile lines in the Province of Occidental Negros. The
respondent, Nicolas Concepcion, was at the time the president, general manager,
and controlling stockholder of these two transportation companies. In January,
1933, Concepcion engaged the professional services of the petitioner, who was then
a law practitioner in the City of Manila. The employment was for the purpose of
obtaining the suppression, reduction and refund of certain toll rates on various
bridges along the line operated by the respondent transportation companies. The
herein petitioner accordingly took steps to obtain first the suppression, and later the
reduction of toll rates on said bridges and also the refund of toll charges already
collected by the Province of Occidental Negros. Petitioner filed with the said
Secretary of Public Works and Communication, petition asking for the reduction of
toll charges which was granted. As a result of this reduction of tolls, the respondents
have been benefited with an economy of P78,448 for every eighteen months. The
various incidental questions raised by the petitioner revolves around the reasonable
compensation to which he is entitled, and we pass on to the consideration of this
point. The respondents in their brief insinuate that the services of the petitioner
were unsolicited and unauthorized.
Issue: WON petitioner is entitled to compensation.
Held: Yes. Although the professional services rendered by the petitioner are purely
administrative and did not require a high degree of professional skill and
experience, the fact remains that these services were rendered and were productive
of substantial beneficial results to his clients. The following are the circumstances to
be considered in determining the compensation of an attorney: the amount and
character of the services rendered; the labor, time, and trouble involved; the nature
and importance of the litigation or business in which the services were rendered;
28

the responsibility imposed; the amount of money or the value of the property
affected by the controversy, or involved in the employment, the skill and experience
called for in the performance of the services; the professional character and social
standing of the attorney; the results secured; and whether or not the fee is absolute
or contingent, it being a recognized rule that an attorney may properly charge a
much a larger fee when it is to be contingent that when it is not. The financial ability
of the defendant may also be considered not to enhance the amount above a
reasonable compensation, but to determine whether or not he is able to pay a fair
and just compensation for the services rendered, or as as incident in ascertaining
the importance and gravity of the interests involved in the litigation. As warranted
by the records, it is obvious that as a result of the reduction of the rates of the toll
of the bridges in the said province, the respondents were benefited with an
economy of P78,448. The refund to the said corporations of the amount of P50,000
is a great relief and enhancement of their business. Facts and circumstances
considered, we are of the opinion that the reasonable compensation of the
petitioner is P7,000, deducting therefrom, however, the sum of P1,280 which the
petitioner had already received.
CAYETANO VS. MONSOD
FACTS: Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C.
Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the
Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments on April 25, 1991. Petitioner
opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required
qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. On
June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of
Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office.
On the same day, he assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC.
Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of
Monsod's nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition
for certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent
appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared
null and void.
ISSUE: Whether or not the appointment of Christian Monsod violates Sec 1 (1),
Article IX-C of the 1987 Constitution
HELD: The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:
There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six
Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time
of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree,
and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately
preceding -elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be
members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years.
Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar
examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member
29

of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. He has also
been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years.
Black defines "practice of law" as: The rendition of services requiring the knowledge
and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another
with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in
the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other
papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation
of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It
embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected
with the law. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office
where he is held out to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an
attorney, counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel
about pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by his
associate.
In general, a practice of law requires a lawyer and client relationship, it is whether in
or out of court. Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a
lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of
contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than
satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of
law for at least ten years..
Tajan vs Cusi Jr
Facts: In a letter addressed to petitioner Alfredo C. Tajan, he was required by
respondent Judge to explain within 72 hours why he should not be removed or
suspended from the practice of law for preparing, or causing to be prepared, a
petition in court containing factual averments which petitioner knew were false.
Petitioner denied the averments. Respondent Judge had his letter filed and docketed
as Adm. Case No. 59 against petitioner. Petitioner orally moved that respondent
Judge inhibit himself from hearing the administrative case in view of the latter's
conflicting positions as prosecutor and judge at the same time. Petitioner's thesis is
that respondent Judge has no authority on his own motion to hear and determine
proceedings for disbarment or suspension of attorneys because jurisdiction thereon
is vested exclusively and originally in the Supreme Court and not in courts of first
instance. Petitioner filed the present petition, and on this Court gave due course
thereto and ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.
Issue: WON respondent Court of First Instance judge has authority on his own
motion to hear and determine disbarment proceedings.
Held: YES. The law accords to the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance
the power to investigate and suspend members of the bar. Rule 138 of the Revised
Rules of Court provides that The Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may
suspend an attorney from practice for any of the causes named in the last
preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney shall not practice his
profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.

30

.It should be observed that proceedings for the disbarment of members of the bar
are not in any sense a civil action where there is a plaintiff and the respondent is a
defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no
redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the
public welfare. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice
from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. The attorney is
called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. The
complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's
alleged misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the
outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of
justice. The court may therefore act upon its own motion and thus be the initiator of
the proceedings, because, obviously the court may investigate into the conduct of
its own officers.
ALCALA VS DE VERA
FACTS: On May 19, 1964, Jose Alcala (now deceased) and his wife, Avelina Imperial,
filed this present petition for disbarment against respondent Honesto de Vera, a
practicing attorney of Locsin, Albay, who was retained by them as their counsel in
civil case 2478 of the Court of First Instance of Albay, entitled: "Ray Semenchuk vs.
Jose Alcala". Complainants charge Atty. Honesto de Vera with gross negligence and
malpractice: 1) for having maliciously and deliberately omitted to notify them of the
decision in civil case 2478 resulting in the deprivation of their right to appeal from
the adverse judgment rendered against them; and 2) for respondent's indifference,
disloyalty and lack of interest in petitioners' cause resulting to their damage and
prejudice. Respondent attorney, in his answer to these charges, asserted that he
notified his clients of the decision in question and that he defended complainants'
case to the best of his ability as demanded by the circumstances and that he never
showed indifference, lack of interest or disloyalty to their cause.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent's failure to notify his clients of the decision
sufficient cause for his disbarment?
HELD: NO. We concur with the above-quoted observations and add that the
correctness of the decision in case 2478 is no ground for exonerating respondent of
the charge but at most will serve only to mitigate his liability. While there is no
finding of malice, deceit, or deliberate intent to cause damage to his clients, there
is, nonetheless, proof of negligence, inattention, and carelessness on the part of
respondent in his failure to give timely notice of the decision in question.
Fortunately for respondent, his negligence did not result in any material or
pecuniary damage to the herein complainants and for this reason We are not
disposed to impose upon him what may be considered in a lawyer's career as the
extreme penalty of disbarment. As stated in the very early case of In Re Macdougall:
The disbarment of an attorney is not intended as a punishment, but is rather
intended to protect the administration of justice by requiring that those who
exercise this important function shall be competent, honorable, and reliable; men in
whom courts and clients may repose confidence. This purpose should be borne in

31

mind in the exercise of disbarment, and the power should be exercised with that
caution which the serious consequences of the action involves.
The profession of an attorney is acquired after long and laborious study. It is a
lifetime profession. By years of patience, zeal, and ability, the attorney may have
acquired a fixed means of support for himself and family of great pecuniary value,
and the deprivation of which would result in irreparable injury. (3 Phil. 70, 77-78)
In the words of former Chief Justice Marshall of the United States Court:
On one hand, the profession of an attorney is of great importance to an individual
and the prosperity of his whole life may depend on its exercise. The right to exercise
it ought not to be lightly or capriciously taken from him. On the other, it is extremely
that the respectability of the bar should be maintained and that its harmony with
the bench should be preserved. For these objects, some controlling power, some
discretion, ought to reside in the Court. This discretion, ought to be exercised with
great moderation and judgment; but it must be exercised. (Ex parte Burr. 9 Wheat
529; Martin, Legal & Judicial Ethics 1972 Ed. p. 213.)
Although respondent's negligence does not warrant disbarment or suspension under
the circumstances of the case, nonetheless it cannot escape a rebuke from Us as we
hereby rebuke and censure him, considering that his failure to notify his clients of
the decision in question manifests a lack of total dedication or devotion to their
interest expected of him under his lawyer's oath and the Canons of Professional
Ethics. Respondent's inaction merits a severe censure from the Court.
CANTIMBUHAN VS. CRUZ
FACTS:
On April 6, 1979, petitioner Romulo Cantimbuhan filed separate
criminal complaints against Patrolmen Danilo San Antonio and Rodolfo Diaz for less
serious physical injuries, respectively, and were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos.
58549 and 58550 in the then Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila.
Petitioners Nelson B. Malana and Robert V. Lucila, in 1979, were senior law students
of the U.P.assistance to the needy clients in the Office of the Legal Aid. Thus, in
August 1979, petitioners Malana and Lucila filed their separate appearances, as
friends of complainant-petitioner Cantimbuhan. Herein respondent Fiscal Leodegario
C. Quilatan opposed the appearances of said petitioners, and respondent judge, in
an Order dated August 16, 1979, sustained the respondent fiscal and disallowed the
appearances of petitioners Malana and Lucila, as private prosecutors in said
criminal cases. Likewise, on September 4, 1979, respondent Judge issued an order
denying petitioners' motion for reconsideration. Hence, this petition for certiorari,
mandamus and prohibition with prayers, among others, that the Orders of
respondent judge, dated August 16, 1979 and September 4, 1979, be set aside as
they are in plain violation of Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and/or were
issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
SEC. 34. By whom litigation conducted. In the court of a justice of the peace a
party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend
appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court,
32

a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his
appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.
Thus, a non-member of the Philippine Bar a party to an action is authorized to
appear in court and conduct his own case; and, in the inferior courts, the litigant
may be aided by a friend or agent or by an attorney. However, in the Courts of First
Instance, now Regional Trial Courts, he can be aided only by an attorney. And, they
contend that the exercise by the offended party to intervene is subject to the
direction and control of the fiscal and that his appearance, no less than his active
conduct of the case later on, requires the prior approval of the fiscal.
ISSUE: Whether or not a party in a case may be assisted by a person who is not a
member of the Philippine Bar and its appearance must be approved by the fiscal.
HELD: Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, clearly provides that in the
municipal court a party may conduct his litigation in person with the aid of an agent
appointed by him for the purpose. The permission of the fiscal is not necessary for
one to enter his appearance as private prosecutor. In the first place, the law does
not impose this condition. What the fiscal can do, if he wants to handle the case
personally is to disallow the private prosecutor's participation, whether he be a
lawyer or not, in the trial of the case. On the other hand, if the fiscal desires the
active participation of the private prosecutor, he can just manifest to the court that
the private prosecutor, with its approval, will conduct the prosecution of the case
under his supervision and control. Further, we may add that if a non-lawyer can
appear as defense counsel or as friend of the accused in a case before the
municipal trial court, with more reason should he be allowed to appear as private
prosecutor under the supervision and control of the trial fiscal. In the two criminal
cases filed before the Municipal Court of Paraaque, petitioner Cantimbuhan, as the
offended party, did not expressly waive the civil action nor reserve his right to
institute it separately and, therefore, the civil action is deemed impliedly instituted
in said criminal cases. Thus, said complainant Romulo Cantimbuhan has personal
interest in the success of the civil action and, in the prosecution of the same, he
cannot be deprived of his right to be assisted by a friend who is not a lawyer.
Hydro Resources Contractors Corp. v. Pagalilauan,
Facts: Hydro Resources Contractors Corporation (Hydro) hired the private
respondent Aban as its "Legal Assistant." On September 4, 1980, Aban fired
because of his alleged failure to perform his duties well. Aban filed a complaint
against the petitioner for illegal dismissal. The labor arbiter ruled that Aban was
illegally dismissed and was affirmed by the NLRC on appeal. The petitioner contends
that its relationship with Aban is that of a client with his lawyer. It is its position that
"(a) lawyer as long as he is acting as such, as long as he is performing acts
constituting practice of law, can never be considered an employee. His relationship
with those to whom he renders services, as such lawyer, can never be governed by
the labor laws. For a lawyer to so argue is not only demeaning to himself (sic), but
also his profession and to his brothers in the profession." Thus, the petitioner argues
that the labor arbiter and NLRC have no jurisdiction over the instant case.
33

Issue: Whether or not there is an employer-employee relationship


Held: Yes, there is an employer-employee relationship.
A lawyer, like any other professional, may very well be an employee of a
private corporation or even of the government. It is not unusual for a big
corporation to hire a staff of lawyers as its in-house counsel, pay them
regular salaries, rank them in its table of organization, and other. vise treat
them like its other officers and employees. At the same time, it may also contract
with a law firm to act as outside counsel on a retainer basis. The two classes of
lawyers often work closely together but one group is made up of employees while
the other is not. A similar arrangement may exist as to doctors, nurses, dentists,
public relations practitioners, and other professionals.|||
As stated in the case of Tabas v. California Manufacturing Co., (G.R. No. 80680,
January 26, 1989):
"This Court has consistently ruled that the determination of whether or not
there is an employer-employee relation depends upon four standards: (1) the
manner of selection and engagement of the putative employee; (2) the mode
of payment of wages; (3) the presence or absence of a power of dismissal;
and (4) the presence or absence of a power to control the putative
employee's conduct. Of the four, the right-of-control test has been held to be
the decisive factor."
Aban worked solely for the petitioner and dealt only with legal matters
involving the said corporation and its employees. Its also assisted the
Personnel Officer in processing appointment papers of employees. This latter duty is
not an act of lawyer in the exercise of his profession but rather a duty for the benefit
of the corporation.
The above-mentioned facts show that the petitioner paid Aban's wages,
exercised its power to hire and fire the respondent employee and more
important, exercised control over Aban by defining the duties and
functions of his work.
Moreover, estoppel lies against the petitioner. It may no longer question the
jurisdiction of the labor arbiter and NLRC. The petitioner presented documents
before the Labor Arbiter to prove that Aban was a managerial employee.
Now, it is disclaiming that Aban was ever its employee. The proper procedure was
for the petitioner to prove its allegations that Aban drank heavily, violated company
policies, spent company funds and properties for personal ends, and otherwise led
the employer to lose trust and confidence in him. The real issue was due process,
not the specious argument raised in this petition.
RAMOS VS. RADA

34

FACTS:
Moises R. Rada a messenger in the Court of First Instance of Camarines
Norte, Branch II, is charged with a violation of Section 12 of Civil Service Rule XVIII,
which provides as follows:
Sec. 12. No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business,
vocation, or profession or be connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural or
industrial undertaking without a written permission from the head of Department:
Provided, That this prohibition will be absolute in the case of those officers and
employees whose duties and responsibilities require that their entire time be at the
disposal of the Government:....
The respondent Rada receives a monthly salary of P267.75. On December 15,
1972 he was extended an appointment by the Avesco Marketing Corporation, thru
its president, Jimmy Tang, as representative to manage and supervise real
properties situated in Camarines Norte which were foreclosed by the corporation.
Rada accepted the appointment and discharged his duties as administrator. The
administrative complaint against Rada was filed with the Department of Justice on
October 3, 1973. He requested permission to accept the appointment on October
27, 1973. It is not indicated that his acceptance and discharge of the duties of the
position of administrator has at all impaired his efficiency as messenger; nor has it
been shown that he did not observe regular office hours.
ISSUE: Whether or not Moises Rada violated Section 12 of Civil Service Rule XVIII.
HELD:
Rada has violated the civil service rule prohibiting government
employees from engaging directly in a private business, vocation or profession or
being connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural or industrial undertaking
without a written permission from the head of the Department. But, indubitably,
also, his private business connection has not resulted in any prejudice to the
Government service. Thus, his violation of the rule the lack of prior permission is
a technical one, and he should be meted no more than the minimum imposable
penalty, which is reprimand.
The duties of messenger Rada are generally ministerial which do not require
that his entire day of 24 hours be at the disposal of the Government. Such being his
situation, it would be to stifle his willingness to apply himself to a productive
endeavor to augment his income, and to award a premium for slothfulness if he
were to be banned from engaging in or being connected with a private undertaking
outside of office hours and without foreseeable detriment to the Government
service. His connection with Avesco Marketing Corporation need not be terminated,
but he must secure a written permission from the Executive Judge of the Court of
First Instance of Camarines Norte, who is hereby authorized to grant or revoke such
permission, under such terms and conditions as will safeguard the best interests of
the service, in general, and the court, in particular.
He is hereby reprimanded. He may however apply, if he so desires, for
permission to resume his business connection with the corporation, in the manner
above indicated.
Beltran Jr. vs. Abad (132 SCRA 453) -1984

35

Facts: Mr. Elmo S. Abad was a successful examinee of the 1978 bar examinations
but has not been admitted to the Philippine Bar in contempt of Court for
unauthorized practice of law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary
imprisonment and had paid the fine. Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the complainant,
filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL METRO MANILA COURTS THE FACT THAT
ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW. However, a report was found
that Abad signed Exhibits B, C and D and had made appearances in Metro Manila
courts despite his denials under oath where he can be charged for Perjury.
Respondent denied that he appeared in the hearing on December 08, 1983 and that
the signatures on the aforementioned Exhibits are his where he said it could have
been made up by Atty. Beltran. Signatures underwent forensic examination and the
aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the
NBI, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the
decision of this Court of March 28, 1983.
Issue: Whether or not Abad can engage in practice of law
Ruling of the Court: No. Only those licensed by the Supreme Court may practice
law in this country. The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right
but is a privilege. It is limited to persons of good moral character with
special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege
presupposes possession of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment and
even public trust, since a lawyer is an officer of the court. The practice of law is a
privilege that can be withheld even from one who has passed the bar examinations,
if the person seeking admission had practiced law without license He should know
that two essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed,
namely: his lawyer's oath to be administered by this Court and his signature in
the Roll of Attorneys. (Rule 138, Secs. 17 and 19, Rules of Court.) The regulation
of the practice of law is unquestionably strict. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the
Rules of Court, a person who engages in the unauthorized practice of law is liable
for indirect contempt of court.
Bacarro v. Pinatacan
Facts: This is an administrative case filed against respondent with moral turpitude
and immorality. Complainant gave birth to a baby girl named Maria Rochie Bacarro
Pinatacan; that because of respondent's betrayal, her family suffered shame,
disrepute, moral distress and anxiety; and, that these acts of respondent render him
unfit to become a member of the Bar. On the other hand, respondent maintains that
even admitting the truth of complainant's allegations, the circumstances of their
relationship with each other, does not justify him for disqualification to the practice
of law.
Issue: WON respondent is entitled to take the lawyers oath despite having a case
involving his good moral character
Held: Yes, the court allowed Ruben to take the lawyers oath. considering that
respondent has legally recognized and acknowledged complainant's child Maria
Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan as his own, and has undertaken to give financial support
to the said child, We hold that he has realized the wrongfulness of his past conduct
36

and is now prepared to turn over a new leaf. But he must be admonished that his
admission to and continued membership in the Bar are dependent, among others,
on his compliance with his moral and legal obligations as the father of Maria Rochie
Bacarro Pinatacan.
Ratio: One of the indispensable requisites for admission to the Philippine Bar is that
the applicant must be of good moral character. This requirement aims to maintain
and uphold the high moral standards and the dignity of the legal profession, and
one of the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of this noble
profession only those persons who are known to be honest and to possess good
moral character. "As a man of law, (a lawyer) is necessary a leader of the
community, looked up to as a model citizen" He sets an example to his fellow
citizens not only for his respect for the law, but also for his clean living. Thus,
becoming a lawyer is more than just going through a law course and passing the
Bar examinations.
DIAO VS. MARTINEZ
FACTS: After successfully passing the corresponding examinations held in 1953,
Telesforo A. Diao was admitted to the Bar. About two years later, Severino Martinez
charged him with having falsely represented in his application for such Bar
examination, that he had the requisite academic qualifications. The matter was in
due course referred to the Solicitor General who caused the charge to be
investigated; and later he submitted a report recommending that Diao's name be
erased from the roll of attorneys, because contrary to the allegations in his petition
for examination in this Court, he (Diao) had not completed, before taking up law
subjects, the required pre-legal education prescribed by the Department of Private
Education, specially, in the following particulars:
(a) Diao did not complete his high school training; and
(b) Diao never attended Quisumbing College, and never obtained his A.A. diploma
therefrom which contradicts the credentials he had submitted in support of his
application for examination, and of his allegation therein of successful completion of
the "required pre-legal education".
Answering this official report and complaint, Telesforo A. Diao, practically admits the
first charge: but he claims that although he had left high school in his third year, he
entered the service of the U.S. Army, passed the General Classification Test given
therein, which (according to him) is equivalent to a high school diploma, and upon
his return to civilian life, the educational authorities considered his army service as
the equivalent of 3rd and 4th year high school.
ISSUE: Whether or not Telesforo Diaos false statement of facts regarding his
educational qualifications is a ground for disbarment?
HELD: Yes. The court ruled that the respondent's failure to exhibit any certification
to that effect (the equivalence) by the proper school officials. However, it is
unnecessary to dwell on this, since the second charge is clearly meritorious. Diao
never obtained his A.A. from Quisumbing College; and yet his application for
37

examination represented him as an A.A. graduate (1940-1941) of such college. Now,


asserting he had obtained his A.A. title from the Arellano University in April, 1949,
he says he was erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of Quisumbing
College, in his school records.
Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations;
but due to his false representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and
was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such admission having been obtained under
false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he hurdled the Bar
examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification
to become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the
regular manner is equally essential..
RE: PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYERS OATH
FACTS: Petitioner Al Caparros Argosino passed the bar examinations held in 1993.
The Court however deferred his oath-taking due to his previous conviction for
Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide. The criminal case which resulted in
petitioner's conviction, arose from the death of a neophyte during fraternity
initiation rites sometime in September 1991. Petitioner and seven (7) other accused
initially entered pleas of not guilty to homicide charges. The eight (8) accused later
withdrew their initial pleas and upon re-arraignment all pleaded guilty to reckless
imprudence resulting in homicide.The trial court granted herein petitioner's
application for probation. The trial court as well issued an order approving a report
dated 6 April 1994 submitted by the Probation Officer recommending petitioner's
discharge from probation.
On 14 April 1994, petitioner filed before this Court a petition to be allowed to take
the lawyer's oath based on the order of his discharge from probation. On 13 July
1995, the Court through then Senior Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano issued a
resolution requiring petitioner Al C. Argosino to submit to the Court evidence that he
may now be regarded as complying with the requirement of good moral character
imposed upon those seeking admission to the bar. In compliance with the above
resolution, petitioner submitted no less than fifteen (15) certifications/letters
executed by among others two (2) senators, five (5) trial court judges, and six (6)
members of religious orders. Petitioner likewise submitted evidence that a
scholarship foundation had been established in honor of Raul Camaligan, the hazing
victim, through joint efforts of the latter's family and the eight (8) accused in the
criminal case.
ISSUE: Whether or not Al Argosino may take the lawyers oath office and admit him
to the practice of law.
HELD: The practice of law is a privilege granted only to those who possess the
strict intellectual and moral qualifications required of lawyers who are instruments
in the effective and efficient administration of justice. It is the sworn duty of this
Court not only to "weed out" lawyers who have become a disgrace to the noble
profession of the law but, also of equal importance, to prevent "misfits" from taking
38

the lawyer's oath, thereby further tarnishing the public image of lawyers which in
recent years has undoubtedly become less than irreproachable.
After a very careful evaluation of this case, we resolve to allow petitioner Al
Caparros Argosino to take the lawyer's oath, sign the Roll of Attorneys and practice
the legal profession with the following admonition: In allowing Mr. Argosino to take
the lawyer's oath, the Court recognizes that Mr. Argosino is not inherently of bad
moral fiber. On the contrary, the various certifications show that he is a devout
Catholic with a genuine concern for civic duties and public service.
The Court is persuaded that Mr. Argosino has exerted all efforts to atone for the
death of Raul Camaligan. We are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt,
taking judicial notice of the general tendency of youth to be rash, temerarious and
uncalculating. We stress to Mr. Argosino that the lawyer's oath is NOT a mere
ceremony or formality for practicing law. Every lawyer should at ALL TIMES weigh
his actions according to the sworn promises he makes when taking the lawyer's
oath. If all lawyers conducted themselves strictly according to the lawyer's oath and
the Code of Professional Responsibility, the administration of justice will
undoubtedly be faster, fairer and easier for everyone concerned.
Collantes v Renomeron
Facts: This complaint for disbarment is relative to the administrative case filed by
Atty. Collantes, house counsel for V& G Better Homes Subdivision, Inc. (V&G),
against Atty. Renomeron, Register of Deeds of Tacloban City, for the latters irregular
actuations with regard to the application of V&G for registration of 163 pro forma
Deed of Absolute Sale with Assignment (in favor of GSIS) of lots in its subdivision.
Although V&G complied with the desired requirements, respondent suspended the
registration of the documents with certain special conditions between them,
which was that V&G should provide him with weekly round trip ticket from Tacloban
to Manila plus P2,000.00 as pocket money per trip, or, in lieu thereof, the sale of
respondents Quezon City house and lot by V&G or GSIS representatives.
Eventually, respondent formally denied the registration of the documents. He
himself elevated the question on the registrability of the said documents to
Administrator Bonifacio (of the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration
Administration-NLTDRA). The Administrator then resolved in favor of the
registrability of the documents. Despite the resolution of the Administrator, the
respondent still refused the registration thereof but demanded from the parties
interested the submission of additional requirements not adverted in his previous
denial.
The issue in this disbarment proceeding is whether the respondent register of
deeds, as a lawyer, may also be disciplined by this Court for his malfeasances as a
public official. The answer is yes, for his misconduct as a public official also
constituted a violation of his oath as a lawyer.

39

The lawyer's imposes upon every lawyer the duty to delay no man for money or
malice. The lawyer's oath is a source of his obligations and its violation is a ground
for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action.

The Code of Professional Responsibility applies to lawyers in government service in


the discharge of their official tasks (Canon 6). Just as the Code of Conduct and
Ethical Standards for Public Officials requires public officials and employees to
process documents and papers expeditiously (Sec. 5, subpars. [c] and [d] and
prohibits them from directly or indirectly having a financial or material interest in
any transaction requiring the approval of their office, and likewise bars them from
soliciting gifts or anything of monetary value in the course of any transaction which
may be affected by the functions of their office (Sec. 7, subpars. [a] and [d]), the
Code of Professional Responsibility forbids a lawyer to engage in unlawful,
dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1.01, Code of Professional
Responsibility), or delay any man's cause "for any corrupt motive or interest" (Rule
1.03).|||

The acts of dishonesty and oppression which Attorney Renomeron committed as a


public official have demonstrated his unfitness to practice the high and noble calling
of the law (Bautista vs. Judge Guevarra, 142 SCRA 632; Court Administrator vs.
Rodolfo G. Hermoso, 150 SCRA 269). He should therefore be disbarred.
WHEREFORE, it is hereby ordered that Attorney Vicente C. Renomeron be disbarred
from the practice of law in the Philippines, and that his name be stricken off the Roll
of Attorneys.

LAWYERS DUTIES TO SOCIETY


IN

RE:

DISBARMENT

PROCEEDINGS

AGAINST

ATTY.

DIOSDADO

Q.

GUTIERREZ)
FACTS: Respondent Diosdado Q. Gutierrez is a member of the Philippine Bar,
admitted to it on October 5, 1945. In criminal case No. R-793 of the Court of First
Instance of Oriental Mindoro he was convicted of the murder of Filemon Samaco,
former municipal mayor of Calapan, and together with his co-conspirators was
sentenced to the penalty of death. Upon review by this Court the judgment of
conviction was affirmed on June 30, 1956 (G. R. No. L-7101), but the penalty was
changed to reclusin perpetua. After serving a portion of the sentence respondent
was granted a conditional pardon by the President on August 19, 1958. The

40

unexecuted portion of the prison term was remitted "on condition that he shall not
again violate any of the penal laws of the Philippines."
On October 9, 1958 the widow of the deceased Filemon Samaco, victim in the
murder case, filed a verified complaint before this Court praying that respondent be
removed from the roll of lawyers pursuant to Rule 127, section 5. Respondent
presented his answer in due time, admitting the facts alleged by complainant
regarding his previous conviction but pleading the conditional pardon in defense, on
the authority of the decision of this Court in the case of In re Lontok, 43 Phil. 293.

Under section 5 of Rule 127 a member of the bar may be removed or suspended
from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court by reason of his conviction of a
crime involving moral turpitude. Murder is, without doubt, such a crime. The term
"moral turpitude" includes everything which is done contrary to justice, honesty,
modesty or good morals.

ISSUE: The only question to be resolved is whether or not the conditional pardon
extended to respondent places him beyond the scope of the rule on disbarment
aforecited.

HELD: Reliance is placed by him squarely on the Lontok case. The respondent
therein was convicted of bigamy and thereafter pardoned by the Governor-General.
In a subsequent proceeding for his disbarment on the ground of such conviction,
this Court decided in his favor and held: "When proceedings to strike on attorney's
name from the rolls are founded on, and depend alone, on a statute making the fact
of a conviction for a felony ground for disbarment, it has been held that a pardon
operates to wipe out the conviction and is a bar to any proceeding for the
disbarment of the attorney after the pardon has been granted."

It is our view that the ruling does not govern the question now before us. In making
it the Court proceeded on the assumption that the pardon granted to respondent
Lontok was absolute.
The pardon granted to respondent here is not absolute but conditional, and merely
remitted the unexecuted portion of his term. It does not reach the offense itself,
unlike that in Ex parte Garland, which was "a full pardon and amnesty for all
offenses by him committed in connection with the rebellion (civil war) against the
government of the United States." The foregoing considerations render In re Lontok
inapplicable here. Respondent Gutierrez must be judged upon the fact of his
41

conviction for murder without regard to the pardon he invokes in defense. The crime
was qualified by treachery and aggravated by its having been committed in band,
by taking advantage of his official position (respondent being municipal mayor at
the time) and with the use of a motor vehicle. People vs. Diosdado Gutierrez, supra.
The degree of moral turpitude involved is such as to justify his being purged from
the profession.
WHEREFORE, pursuant to Rule 127, Section 5, and considering the nature of the
crime for which respondent Diosdado Q. Gutierrez has been convicted, he is ordered
disbarred and his name stricken from the roll of lawyers.
DE YSASI III VS NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
231 SCRA 173 Legal Ethics Duty of a Lawyer To Encourage Settlement of Suits
FACTS: Jon De Ysasi and Jon De Ysasi III are father and sons respectively. The elder
Ysasi owns a hacienda in Negros Occidental. De Ysasi III is employed in the
hacienda as the farm administrator. In November 1982, De Ysasi III underwent
surgery and so he missed work. He was confined and while hes nursing from his
infections he was terminated, without due process, by his father. De Ysasi III filed
against his father for illegal dismissal before the National Labor Relations
Commission. His father invoked that his son actually abandoned his work.
ISSUE: Whether or not De Ysasi III abandoned his work.
HELD: No. His absence from work does not constitute abandonment. To constitute
abandonment, there must be a.) failure to report for work or absence without valid
or justifiable reason, and b.) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee
relationship, with the second element as the more determinative factor and being
manifested by some overt acts. No such intent was proven in this case.
The Supreme Court, in making its decision, noted that the lawyers for both camps
failed to exert all reasonable efforts to smooth over legal conflicts, preferably out of
court and especially in consideration of the direct and immediate consanguineous
ties between their clients especially considering that the parties involved are father
and son. This case may have never reached the courts had there been an earnest
effort by the lawyers to have both parties find an off court settlement but records
show that no such effort was made. The useful function of a lawyer is not only to
conduct litigation but to avoid it whenever possible by advising settlement or
withholding suit. He is often called upon less for dramatic forensic exploits than for
wise counsel in every phase of life. He should be a mediator for concord and a
conciliator for compromise, rather than a virtuoso of technicality in the conduct of
litigation.
Rule 1.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility explicitly provides that (a)
lawyer shall encourage his client to avoid, end or settle the controversy if it will
admit of a fair settlement. Both counsel fell short of what was expected of them,
despite their avowed duties as officers of the court. In the same manner, the labor
arbiter who handled this regrettable case has been less than faithful to the letter
and spirit of the Labor Code mandating that a labor arbiter shall exert all efforts
towards the amicable settlement of a labor dispute within his jurisdiction. If he

42

ever did so, or at least entertained the thought, the copious records of the
proceedings in this controversy are barren of any reflection of the same.

PAJARES VS. ABAD SANTOS


FACTS: This is an appeal interposed by petitioner Gloria Pajares from the order
dated July 21, 1962 issued by the Court of First Instance of Manila, dismissing her
petition for certiorari with preliminary injunction against respondent Judge Estrella
Abad Santos of the Municipal Court of Manila and respondent Udharam Bazar & Co.
In its complaint the Udharam Bazar & Co. averred, among others, as follows: That
defendant in 1961, ordered from the plaintiff quantities of readymade goods and
delivered to her in good condition and same were already sold, but did not make the
full payment up to the present time; That defendant is still indebted to the plaintiff
in the sum of P354.85, representing the balance of her account as the value of the
said goods, which is already overdue and payable."
Instead of answering the complaint against her, Gloria Pajares, however, moved for
a bill of particulars praying the inferior court to require the Udharam Bazar & Co. to
itemize the kinds of goods which she supposedly purchased from the said company,
the respective dates they were taken and by whom they were received as well as
their purchase prices, alleging that without this bill she would not be able to meet
the issues raised in the complaint.
After due hearing, the inferior court denied the motion of Gloria Pajares for a bill of
particulars. Her motion for reconsideration having been denied too by the said
court, she then brought the incident on certiorari to the Court of First Instance of
Manila, alleging in support of her petition that in denying her motion for a bill of
particulars, the respondent judge acted in grave abuse of discretion.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondent judge erred denying the petitioners bill of
particulars?
HELD: No error was therefore committed by the lower court in summarily
dismissing appellant's petition for certiorari against respondent judge's order
denying her motion for a bill of particulars, as pretended by appellant in her lone
assignment of error. Well may we apply to this appeal, the words of Mr. Justice J.B.L.
Reyes in an analogous case, 2 that "the circumstances surrounding this litigation
definitely prove that appeal is frivolous and a plain trick to delay payment and
prolong litigation unnecessarily. Such attitude deserves condemnation, wasting as it
does, the time that the courts could well devote to meritorious cases."Here, this
simple collection case has needlessly clogged the court dockets for over seven
years. Had appellant been but prudently advised by her counsel to confess
judgment and ask from her creditor the reasonable time she needed to discharge
her lawful indebtedness, the expenses of litigation that she has incurred by way of
filing fees in the Court of First Instance, premiums for her appeal bond, appellate
court docket fees, printing of her appellant's brief, and attorney's fees would have
been much more than sufficient to pay off her just debt to appellee. Yet, here she
43

still remains saddled with the same debt, burdened by accumulated interests, after
having spent uselessly much more than the amount in litigation in this worthless
cause. As we recently said in another case, 3 the cooperation of litigants and their
attorneys is needed so that needless clogging of the court dockets with
unmeritorious cases may be avoided. There must be more faithful adherence to
Rule 7, section 5 of the Rules of Court which provides that "the signature of an
attorney constitutes a certificate by him that he has read the pleading and that to
the best of his knowledge, information and belief, there is good ground to support
it; and that it is not interposed for delay" and expressly admonishes that "for a
willful violation of this rule an attorney may be subjected to disciplinary action."
People vs. Rosqueta Jr.
Facts: Rosqueta Jr and two others were convicted of a crime. They appeal their
conviction until it reached the Supreme Court. Their lawyer (counsel de parte), Atty.
Gregorio Estacio, failed to file their Brief. And so the Supreme Court ordered Atty.
Estacio to show cause why he should not be disciplined for failure to file said Brief.
Atty. Estacio failed yet again to submit his explanation. The Supreme Court then
suspended him from the practice of law except for the purpose of filing the Brief in
this particular case. Atty. Estacio then filed a Motion for Reconsideration where he
explained that he did actually prepare an explanation the same being left with
Rosqueta Sr (father of accused) for the latter to mail it. But then Rosqueta Sr.s
house burned down together with the explanation. He only came to know of this
fact when he was preparing for the Motion for Reconsideration. Atty. Estacio also
explained that his clients are withdrawing their appeal by reason of their failure to
raise the needed fund for the appeal.

Issue of the Case: Whether or not Atty. Estacios suspension should continue.

Ruling of the Court: No. His liability is mitigated. But the Supreme Court noted
that Atty. Estacio has been irresponsible, has been negligent and inattentive to his
duty to his clients. Atty. Estacio should be aware that even in those cases where
counsel de parte is unable to secure from his clients or from their near relatives the
amount necessary to pursue the appeal that does not necessarily conclude his
connection with the case. He should be aware that in the pursuance of the duty
owed this Court as well as to a client, he cannot be too casual and unconcerned
about the filing of pleadings. It is not enough that he prepares them; he must see to
it that they are duly mailed. Such inattention as shown in this case is inexcusable.

DE ROY and RAMOS, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and LUIS BERNAL, SR. et al.

44

FACTS: The firewall of a burned-out building owned by petitioners collapsed and


destroyed the tailoring shop occupied by the family of private respondents,
resulting in injuries to private respondents and the death of Marissa Bernal, a
daughter. Private respondents had been warned by petitioners to vacate their shop
in view of its proximity to the weakened wall but the former failed to do so. On the
basis of the foregoing facts, the Regional Trial Court. First Judicial Region, Branch
XXXVIII, presided by the Hon. Antonio M. Belen, rendered judgment finding
petitioners guilty of gross negligence and awarding damages to private
respondents. On appeal, the decision of the trial court was affirmed in toto by the
Court of Appeals in a decision promulgated on August 17, 1987, a copy of which
was received by petitioners on August 25, 1987. On September 9, 1987, the last
day of the fifteen-day period to file an appeal, petitioners filed a motion for
extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration, which was eventually denied
by the appellate court in the Resolution of September 30, 1987. Petitioners filed
their motion for reconsideration on September 24, 1987 but this was denied in the
Resolution because the same was not filed within the grace period as inscribed in
the present jurisprudence.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals committed grave abuse of discretion in
denying the motion and let the petitioner be bound by the negligence of their
counsel
HELD: The Court finds that the Court of Appeals did not commit a grave abuse of
discretion when it denied petitioners' motion for extension of time to file a motion
for reconsideration. In the instant case, petitioners' motion for extension of time
was more than a year after the expiration of the grace period. Hence, it is no longer
within the coverage of the grace period. Considering the length of time from the
expiration of the grace period to the promulgation of the decision of the Court of
Appeals on August 25, 1987, petitioners cannot seek refuge in the ignorance of their
counsel regarding said rule for their failure to file a motion for reconsideration within
the reglamentary period. It is the bounden duty of counsel as lawyer in active law
practice to keep abreast of decisions of the Supreme Court particularly where issues
have been clarified, consistently reiterated, and published in the advance reports of
Supreme Court decisions (G. R. s) and in such publications as the Supreme Court
Reports Annotated (SCRA) and law journals.
Far Eastern Shipping VS CA
FACTS: On June 20, 1980, the M/V PAVLODAR, flying under the flagship of the USSR,
owned and operated by the Far Eastern Shipping Company (FESC for brevity's sake),
arrived at the Port of Manila from Vancouver, British Columbia at about 7:00 o'clock
in the morning. The vessel was assigned Berth 4 of the Manila International Port, as
its berthing space. Captain Roberto Abellana was tasked by the Philippine Port
Authority to supervise the berthing of the vessel. Appellant Senen Gavino was
assigned by the Appellant Manila Pilots' Association (MPA for brevity's sake) to
conduct docking maneuvers for the safe berthing of the vessel to Berth No. 4.
When the vessel reached the landmark (the big church by the Tondo North Harbor)
one-half mile from the pier, Gavino ordered the engine stopped. When the vessel
was already about 2,000 feet from the pier, Gavino ordered the anchor dropped.
45

Kavankov relayed the orders to the crew of the vessel on the bow. The left anchor,
with two (2) shackles, were dropped. However, the anchor did not take hold as
expected. The speed of the vessel did not slacken. A commotion ensued between
the crew members. A brief conference ensued between Kavankov and the crew
members. When Gavino inquired what all the commotion was about, Kavankov
assured Gavino that there was nothing to it.
After Gavino noticed that the anchor did not take hold, he ordered the engines halfastern. Abellana, who was then on the pier apron, noticed that the vessel was
approaching the pier fast. Kavankov likewise noticed that the anchor did not take
hold. Gavino thereafter gave the "full-astern" code. Before the right anchor and
additional shackles could be dropped, the bow of the vessel rammed into the apron
of the pier causing considerable damage to the pier. The vessel sustained damage
too, (Exhibit "7-Far Eastern Shipping). Kavankov filed his sea protest (Exhibit "1Vessel"). Gavino submitted his report to the Chief Pilot (Exhibit "1-Pilot") who
referred the report to the Philippine Ports Authority (Exhibit 2-Pilot"). Abellana
likewise submitted his report of the incident (Exhibit "B").
On January 10, 1983, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA, for brevity), through the
Solicitor General, filed before the Regional Trial Court of Manila, Branch 39, a
complaint for a sum of money against Far Eastern Shipping Co., Capt. Senen C.
Gavino and the Manila Pilots' Association, docketed as Civil Case No. 83-14958, 4
praying that the defendants therein be held jointly and severally liable to pay the
plaintiff actual and exemplary damages plus costs of suit. In a decision dated
August 1, 1985, the trial court ordered the defendants therein jointly and severally
to pay the PPA the amount of P1, 053,300.00 representing actual damages and the
costs of suit. 5
ISSUE: The defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals and raised the following
issues: (1) is the pilot of a commercial vessel, under compulsory pilotage, solely
liable for the damage caused by the vessel to the pier, at the port of destination, for
his negligence? And (2) would the owner of the vessel be liable likewise if the
damage is caused by the concurrent negligence of the master of the vessel and the
pilot under a compulsory pilotage?
HELD: As stated at the outset, respondent appellate court affirmed the findings of
the court a quo except that if found no employer-employee relationship existing
between herein private respondents Manila Pilots' Association (MPA, for short) and
Capt. Gavino.
Petitioner asserts that since the MV PAVLODAR was under compulsory pilotage at
the time of the incident, it was the compulsory pilot, Capt. Gavino, who was in
command and had complete control in the navigation and docking of the vessel. It is
the pilot who supersedes the master for the time being in the command and
navigation of a ship and his orders must be obeyed in all respects connected with
her navigation. Consequently, he was solely responsible for the damage caused
upon the pier apron, and not the owners of the vessel. It claims that the master of
the boat did not commit any act of negligence when he failed to countermand or
overrule the orders of the pilot because he did not see any justifiable reason to do
46

so. In other words, the master cannot be faulted for relying absolutely on the
competence of the compulsory pilot. If the master does not observe that a
compulsory pilot is incompetent or physically incapacitated, the master is justified
in relying on the pilot.
ISSUE: Whether or not the actions of the counsels of FESC (Del Rosario and Del
Rosario Law Firm) and PPA (OSG) constitute forum shopping?
HELD: YES. Sec. 2, Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure incorporates the
former Circular No. 28-91 which provided for what has come to be known as the
certification against forum shopping as an additional requisite for petitions filed with
the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, aside from the other requirements
contained in pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court therefor, with the end in view
of preventing the filing of multiple complaints involving the same issues in the
Supreme Court, Court of Appeals or different divisions thereof or any other tribunal
or agency.
The records show that the law firm of Del Rosario and Del Rosario through its
associate, Atty. Herbert A. Tria, is the counsel of record for FESC in both G.R. No.
130068 and G.R. No. 130150. Inasmuch as MPA's petition in G.R. No. 130150 was
posted by registered mail on August 29, 1997 and taking judicial notice of the
average period of time it takes local mail to reach its destination, by reasonable
estimation it would be fair to conclude that when FESC filed its petition in G.R. No.
130068 on September 26, 1997, it would already have received a copy of the
former and would then have knowledge of the pendency of the other petition
initially filed with the First Division. It was therefore incumbent upon FESC to inform
the Court of that fact through its certification against forum shopping. For failure to
make such disclosure, it would appear that the aforequoted certification
accompanying the petition in G.R. No. 130068 is defective and could have been a
ground for dismissal thereof.
As between the lawyer and the courts, a lawyer owes candor, fairness and good
faith to the court. 26 He is an officer of the court exercising a privilege which is
indispensable in the administration of justice. 27 Candidness, especially towards the
courts, is essential for the expeditious administration of justice. Courts are entitled
to expect only complete honesty from lawyers appearing and pleading before
them. 28 Candor in all dealings is the very essence of honorable membership in the
legal profession. 29 More specifically, a lawyer is obliged to observe the rules of
procedure and not to misuse them to defeat the ends of justice. 30 It behooves a
lawyer, therefore, to exert every effort and consider it his duty to assist in the
speedy and efficient administration of justice. 31 Being an officer of the court, a
lawyer has a responsibility in the proper administration of justice. Like the court
itself, he is an instrument to advance its ends the speedy, efficient, impartial,
correct and inexpensive adjudication of cases and the prompt satisfaction of final
judgments. A lawyer should not only help attain these objectives but should likewise
avoid any unethical or improper practices that impede, obstruct or prevent their
realization, charged as he is with the primary task of assisting in the speedy and
efficient administration of justice. 32
47

Counsel for PPA did not make matters any better. Despite the fact that, save for the
Solicitor General at the time, the same legal team of the Office of the Solicitor
General (OSG, for short) composed of Assistant Solicitor General Roman G. Del
Rosario and Solicitor Luis F. Simon, with the addition of Assistant Solicitor General
Pio C. Guerrero very much later in the proceedings, represented PPA throughout the
appellate proceedings in both G.R. No. 130068 and G.R. No. 130150 and was
presumably fully acquainted with the facts and issues of the case, it took the OSG
an inordinately and almost unreasonably long period of time to file its comment,
thus unduly delaying the resolution of these cases. It took several changes of
leadership in the OSG from Silvestre H. Bello III to Romeo C. dela Cruz and,
finally, Ricardo P. Galvez before the comment in behalf of PPA was finally filed.
Another thing that baffles the Court is why the OSG did not take the initiative of
filing a motion for consolidation in either G.R. No. 130068 or G.R. No. 130150,
considering its familiarity with the background of the case and if only to make its job
easier by having to prepare and file only one comment. It could not have been
unaware of the pendency of one or the other petition because, being counsel for
respondent in both cases, petitioner is required to furnish it with a copy of the
petition under pain of dismissal of the petition for failure otherwise. We find here a
lackadaisical attitude and complacency on the part of the OSG in the handling of its
cases and an almost reflexive propensity to move for countless extensions, as if to
test the patience of the Court, before favoring it with the timely submission of
required pleadings.
It must be emphasized that the Court can resolve cases only as fast as the
respective parties in a case file the necessary pleadings. The OSG, by needlessly
extending the pendency of these cases through its numerous motions for extension,
came very close to exhausting this Court's forbearance and has regrettably fallen
short of its duties as the People's Tribune. The OSG is reminded that just like other
members of the Bar, the canons under the Code of Professional Responsibility apply
with equal force on lawyers in government service in the discharge of their official
tasks.
These ethical duties are rendered even more exacting as to them because, as
government counsel, they have the added duty to abide by the policy of the State
to promote a high standard of ethics in public service. Furthermore, it is incumbent
upon the OSG, as part of the government bureaucracy, to perform and discharge its
duties with the highest degree of professionalism, intelligence and skill and to
extend prompt, courteous and adequate service to the public.
LORENZO JOSE VS COURT OF APPEALS
70 SCRA 257 Legal Ethics Solicitor General May Recommend Dismissal of a Case
in the Interest of Justice
FACTS: In February 1968, Lorenzo Jose was caught possessing several firearms and
explosives. He was prosecuted for illegally possessing said firearms and explosives.
During trial, he said that he is authorized to carry the explosives but he cannot
present (at that time) his permit hence he made a reservation to present his
48

evidence at a later time. The trial court acquitted him in the other cases but
convicted him for illegal possession of hand grenade.
He filed a notice of appeal but at the same time asked the trial court for a new trial
so that he may be able to present his new evidence. The trial court denied the
request for new trial because Jose was able to perfect his appeal.
The Court of Appeals likewise denied Joses request for a new trial as it ruled that
there is no reversible error committed by the trial court. Jose filed a motion for
reconsideration and for new trial. The Solicitor General opposed the MFR/New Trial
as it stated that the evidence sought to be presented by Jose does not fall under
newly discovered evidence; that his permit to possess a hand grenade was
supposed to be known to Jose at the time of the trial and not discovered thereafter.
Undeterred, Jose submitted a reply where he finally indicated he is an undercover
agent for the Philippine Constabulary; that being such, he was authorized to carry
firearms and explosives; that the reason why he did not disclose the same
immediately was because of his fear for reprisals considering that he resides in
Huklandia; he enclosed a letter from then Major General Fidel Ramos confirming
this fact.
With the foregoing, the Solicitor General filed a Manifestation where he
recommended the granting of the new trial even if the same violates the Rules of
Court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Solicitor General is correct.
HELD: Yes. This is a situation where a rigid application of rules of procedure must
bow to the overriding goal of courts of justice to render justice where justice is
due to secure to every individual all possible legal means to prove his innocence of
a crime of which he is charged. The Solicitor General embodies the principle that a
prosecuting officer, as the representative of a sovereignty whose obligation and
interest in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case but that justice shall
be done, has the solemn responsibility to assure the public that while guilt shall not
escape, innocence shall not suffer. The recommendation by the Solicitor General in
this case acknowledges that the interests of justice will best be served by
remanding this case to the court of origin for a new trial.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS. PINEDA
THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff and appellant,
vs.
AMBROCIO CANO Y PINEDA, defendant and appellee.
G.R. No. L-19660
May 24, 1966
CONCEPCION, J.:

49

FACTS: Defendant was accused of the crime of damage to property with multiple
physical injuries, thru reckless imprudence. The information alleges that, on or
about September 21, 1960, on the National Highway at San Isidro, San Fernando,
Pampanga, thru reckless negligence and utter disregard of traffic rules and
regulations and without exercising due precaution to avoid accident to persons
and/or damage to property, and by driving at a speed more than that allowed by
law and on the wrong side of the road of the defendant, the bus driven by him hit
another bus causing upon some of its passengers, serious physical injuries and
upon still others slight physical injuries, in addition to damage to property.
ISSUE: WON the crime of slight physical injuries thru reckless imprudence can be
complexed with damage to property, serious and less serious physical injuries thru
reckless imprudence.
HELD: The information herein does not purport to complex the offense of slight
physical injuries with reckless negligence with that of damage to property and
serious and less serious physical injuries thru reckless imprudence. It is merely
alleged in the information that, thru reckless negligence of the defendant, the bus
driven by him hit another bus causing upon some of its passengers serious physical
injuries, upon others less serious physical injuries and upon still others slight
physical injuries, in addition to damage to property.
From the viewpoint both of trial practices and justice, it is, to say the least, doubtful
whether the prosecution should split the action against the defendant, by filing
against him several informations, namely, one for damage to property and serious
and less serious physical injuries, thru, reckless negligence, before the court of first
instance, and another for slight physical injuries thru reckless negligence, before the
justice of the peace of municipal court. One thing is, however, certain. Such splitting
of the action would work unnecessary inconvenience to the administration of justice
in general and to the accused in particular, for it would require the presentation of
substantially the same evidence before two different courts, the municipal court and
the court of first instance. Worse, still, in the event of conviction in the municipal
court and appeal to the court of first instance, said evidence would still have to be
introduced once more in the latter court.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES VS MADERA
57 SCRA 349 Legal Ethics Prosecutor Must Recommend Dismissal of Case If
There is No Ground To Sustain It
FACTS: In April 1970, while Elino Bana was sleeping in his house, he was shot by
Raymundo Madera. Behind Madera were Marianito Andres and Generoso Andres.
Elino Bana died before he could be brought to the hospital but he made a dying
statement wherein he positively identified Madera as his shooter. Two of Banas
sons who were at the house when the shooting happened identified Madera as the
shooter as well as the two behind him. The trial court convicted the three for
murder. They appealed. Then Solicitor General Estelito Mendoza recommended the
conviction of Madera but also recommended the acquittal of Marianito and
Generoso.
50

ISSUE: Whether or not the conviction is correct.


HELD: No, insofar as Marianito and Generoso is concerned Maderas guilt is
proven beyond reasonable doubt. But Marianitos and Generosos guilt were not
established. Their mere presence behind Madera when the latter shot and killed
Bana is not constitutive of their guilt without any showing that they shared the
criminal intent of Madera. It must be shown that they had knowledge of the criminal
intention of the principal, which may be demonstrated by previous or simultaneous
acts which contributes to the commission of the offense as aid thereto whether
physical or moral. This was absent in the case at bar.
The Supreme Court lauded the Solicitor General for recommending the acquittal of
the two. The Supreme Court also emphasized that the prosecutors finest hour is not
when he wins a case with the conviction of the accused. His finest hour is still when,
overcoming the advocates natural obsession for victory, he stands up before the
Court and pleads not for the conviction of the accused but for his acquittal. For
indeed, his noble task is to prosecute only the guilty and to protect the innocent.
TAN VS GALLARDO 73 SCRA 306
Facts: Petitioners seek the annulment of respondent Judge's Orders in certain Criminal Cases. The
Solicitor General informed this Court, thus: that they are "persuaded that there are bases for stating
that the rendition of respondent Judge's decision and his resolution on the motion for new trial were
not free from suspicion of bias and prejudice. It was the submission of said official "that the case
should he remanded to the trial court for the rendition of a new decision and with instruction to
receive additional evidence proferred by the accused with the right of the prosecution to present
rebuttal evidence as may be warranted. Private prosecutors objected the remand of the case.
Petitioners contend that the private prosecutors has no standing to intervene. Private prosecutors
contend that they have the right to take part in the proceedings and to take a stand inconsistent with
that of the SolGen.
Issue: WON Private prosecutors have the right to intervene independently of the Solicitor General
and to adopt a stand inconsistent with that of the latter in the present proceedings.
HELD: No. Although the private prosecutors may be permitted to intervene, they are not in control of
the case, and their interests are subordinate to those of the People of the Philippines represented by
the fiscal. The position occupied by the offended party is subordinate to that of the promotor fiscal
because, as promotor fiscal alone is authorized to represent the public prosecution, or the People of
the Philippine Islands, in the prosecution of offenders, and to control the proceeding. It is evident,
therefore, that since the Solicitor General alone is authorized to represent the State or the People of
the Philippines the interest of the private prosecutors is subordinate to that of the State and they
cannot be allowed to take a stand inconsistent with that of the Solicitor General, for that would be
tantamount to giving the latter the direction and control of the criminal proceedings, contrary to the
provisions of law and the settled rules on the matter.
It is undisputed that the sole purpose of courts of justice is to enforce the laws uniformly and
impartially without regard to persons or their circumstances or the opinions of men. A judge,
according to Justice Castro, now Chief Justice of this Court, should strive to be at all times "wholly

51

free, disinterested, impartial and independent. Elementary due process requires a hearing before an
impartial and disinterested tribunal. A judge has both the duty of rendering a just decision and the
duty, of doing it in a manner completely free from suspicion as to its fairness and as to his integrity.

PEOPLE VS SENDAYDIEGO 81 SCRA 120


People vs Sendaydiego
Facts: In this criminal action for malversation, it is contended that the trial court erred in allowing
private prosecutors Millora and Urbiztondo to prosecute the case thereby allegedly subjecting the
accused to proceedings marked by undue publicity, pre-judgment, bias and political self-interest.
Atty. Vicente D. Millora, a senior member of the provincial board actually handled the prosecution of
the case from the preliminary investigation, which started on June 5, 1969, up to the termination of
the trial on July 29, 1970.
At the commencement of the preliminary investigation, the counsel for the accused auditor inquired
whether Atty. Millora was authorized by the provincial board to act as private prosecutor in
representation of the province of Pangasinan, the offended party. Atty. Millora replied that there was
a board resolution designating him as a private prosecutor. The acting provincial commander, who
filed the complaints manifested to the trial court that he had authorized Atty. Millora to act as private
prosecutor.
Another defense counsel filed a written motion to inhibit Millora and the others as private
prosecutors. The lower court denied the motion. At trial, the city fiscal moved "that the private
prosecutor (Millora) be authorized to conduct the examination subject to our (the fiscal's) control and
supervision". The trial court granted the motion.
Issue: WON There was compliance with the rule that the criminal action should be prosecuted under
the direction and control of the fiscal.
Held: Yes. The record shows that at every hearing the provincial fiscal, the city fiscal or an assistant
fiscal were present together with the private prosecutor. Under the foregoing circumstances, we
believe that there was substantial compliance with the rule that the criminal action should be
"prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal" and that "the provincial fiscal shall represent
the province" in any court (Sec.4, Rule 110, Rules of Court; sec. 1683, Revised Administrative
Code).

MISAMIN VS. SAN JUAN


FACTS: Respondent Atty. Miguel San Juan, as noted in the Report of the SolicitorGeneral, "admits having appeared as counsel for the New Cesar's Bakery in the
proceeding before the NLRC while he held office as captain in the Manila
Metropolitan Police. However, he contends that the law did not prohibit him from
such isolated exercise of his profession. He contends that his appearance as
52

counsel, while holding a government position, is not among the grounds provided by
the Rules of Court for the suspension or removal of attorneys. The respondent also
denies having conspired with the complainant Misamin's attorney in the NLRC
proceeding in order to trick the complainant into signing an admission that he had
been paid his separation pay. Likewise, the respondent denies giving illegal
protection to members of the Chinese community in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
ISSUE: Whether or not an administrative case against defendant should prosper
HELD: The Supreme Court ruled in the negative. That the matter to be decided
should be through an administrative proceeding as noted in the recommendation of
the Solicitor General. The Report of the Solicitor-General did not take into account
respondent's practice of his profession notwithstanding his being a police official, as
"this is not embraced in Section 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court which
provides the grounds for the suspension or removal of an attorney. The respondent's
appearance at the labor proceeding notwithstanding that he was an incumbent
police officer of the City of Manila may appropriately be referred to the National
Police Commission and the Civil Service Commission.
Nonetheless, while the charges have to be dismissed, still it would not be
inappropriate for respondent member of the bar to avoid all appearances of
impropriety. Certainly, the fact that the suspicion could be entertained that far from
living true to the concept of a public office being a public trust, he did make use, not
so much of whatever legal knowledge he possessed, but the influence that laymen
could assume was inherent in the office held not only to frustrate the beneficent
statutory scheme that labor be justly compensated but also to be at the beck and
call of what the complainant called alien interest, is a matter that should not pass
unnoticed. Respondent, in his future actuations as a member of the bar. Should
refrain from laying himself open to such doubts and misgivings as to his fitness not
only for the position occupied by him but also for membership in the bar? He is not
worthy of membership in an honorable profession who does not even take care that
his honor remains unsullied.
PCGG VS. SANDIGANBAYAN & MENDOZA
FACTS: In 1976, General Bank and Trust Company (GENBANK) encountered
financial difficulties. GENBANK had extended considerable financial support to
Filcapital Development Corporation causing it to incur daily overdrawing on its
current account with the Central BankAs a bailout, the Central Bank extended
emergency loans to GENBANK which reached a total of P310 million. Despite the
mega loans, GENBANK failed to recover from its financial woes. On March 25, 1977,
the Central Bank issued a resolution declaring GENBANK insolvent and unable to
resume business with safety to its depositors, creditors and the general public,
and ordering its liquidation.
A public bidding of GENBANKs assets was held from March 26 to 28, 1977, wherein
the Lucio Tan group submitted the winning bid. Subsequently, former Solicitor
General Estelito P. Mendoza filed a petition with the then Court of First
53

Instance praying for the assistance and supervision of the court in GENBANKs
liquidation as mandated by Section 29 of Republic Act No. 265.
After EDSA Revolution I Pres Aquino established the PCGG to recover the alleged illgotten wealth of former Pres Marcos, his family and cronies. Pursuant to this
mandate, the PCGG filed with the Sandiganbayan a complaint for reversion,
reconveyance, restitution against respondents Lucio Tan, at.al. PCGG issued several
writs of sequestration on properties allegedly acquired by them by taking advantage
of their close relationship and influence with former Pres. Marcos. The
abovementioned respondents Tan, et. al are represented as their counsel, former
Solicitor General Mendoza.
PCGG filed motions to disqualify respondent Mendoza as counsel for respondents
Tan et. al. with Sandiganbayan. It was alleged that Mendoza as then Sol Gen and
counsel to Central Bank actively intervened in the liquidation of GENBANK which
was subsequently acquired by respondents Tan et. al., which subsequently became
Allied Banking Corporation. The motions to disqualify invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility which prohibits former government lawyers from
accepting engagement or employment in connection with any matter in which he
had intervened while in the said service.
ISSUE: Whether Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to
respondent Mendoza. The prohibition states: A lawyer shall not, after leaving
government service, accept engagement or employment in connection with any
matter in which he had intervened while in the said service.
HELD: The case at bar does not involve the adverse interest aspect of Rule 6.03.
Respondent Mendoza, it is conceded, has no adverse interest problem when he
acted as Solicitor General and later as counsel of respondents et.al. Before the
Sandiganbayan.
However there is still the issue of whether there exists a congruent-interest
conflict sufficient to disqualify respondent Mendoza from representing respondents
et. al. The key is unlocking the meaning of matter and the metes and bounds of
intervention that he made on the matter. Beyond doubt that the matter or the
act of respondent Mendoza as SolGen involved in the case at bar is advising the
Central Bank, on how to proceed with the said banks liquidation and even filing the
petition for its liquidation in CFI of Manila. The Court held that the advice given by
respondent Mendoza on the procedure to liquidate GENBANK is not the matter
contemplated by Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Respondent Mendoza had nothing to do with the decision of the Central Bank to
liquidate GENBANK. He also did not participate in the sale of GENBANK to Allied
Bank. The legality of the liquidation of GENBANK is not an issue in the sequestration
cases. Indeed, the jurisdiction of the PCGG does not include the dissolution and
liquidation of banks. Thus, the Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
cannot apply to respondent Mendoza because his alleged intervention while SolGen
is an intervention on a matter different from the matter involved in the civil case of
sequestration.
54

In the metes and bounds of the intervention. The applicable meaning as the term
is used in the Code of Professional Ethics is that it is an act of a person who has the
power to influence the subject proceedings. The evil sought to be remedied by the
Code do not exist where the government lawyer does not act which can be
considered as innocuous such as drafting, enforcing, or interpreting government or
agency procedures, regulations or laws or briefing abstract principles of law. The
court rules that the intervention of Mendoza is not significant and substantial. He
merely petitions that the court gives assistance in the liquidation of GENBANK. The
role of court is not strictly as a court of justice but as an agent to assist the Central
Bank in determining the claims of creditors. In such a proceeding the role of the
SolGen is not that of the usual court litigator protecting the interest of government.

55