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OBINTRODUCTION
01 - Religious Affairs v. Bayot (1955) (advertisement)
Doctrines:
Law is a profession and not a trade.
Section 25 of Rule 127 provides that the practice of soliciting cases at law for purpose of gain, either
personally or thru paid agents of brokers, constitutes malpractice.
Facts:
Attorney Estanislao Bayot is charged with malpractice for publishing an advertisement in the Sunday Tribune on
June 13, 2943. It states that he provides the service of securing marriage licenses and performing marriage ceremonies:
Marriage license promptly secured thru our assistance & the annoyance of delay publicity avoided
if desired, and marriage arranged to wishes of parties. Consultation on any matter free for the
poor. Everything confidential.
Legal assistance service
12 Escolta, Manila, Room, 105
Tel. 2-41-60.
Initially, he appeared in his own behalf and denied having the advertisement published. Subsequently, he
admitted, through his attorney, that he caused its publication. He asked for the indulgence and mercy of the Court,
promising not to repeat such professional misconduct in the future and to abide himself to the strict ethical rules of the
law profession. He added that it was only published once and that he never had any case by reason of the advertisement.
Issues:
1. W/N the advertisement is a violation of legal ethics.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
Section 25 of Rule 127 provides that the practice of soliciting cases at law for purpose of gain, either personally
or thru paid agents of brokers, constitutes malpractice. It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his
talents as a merchant advertises his wares. By advertising his services, the lawyer degrades himself and his
profession. The most worth and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer... is the establishment
of a well-merited 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.)
In the Tagorda case, the attorney involved repeatedly made solicitations. As a result, he was suspended from the
practice of law. This case is less serious in nature. Considering Bayots plea for leniency and his promise to not
repeat his actions, the Court merely reprimanded Bayot.

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02 - In Re: Cunanan (1954) (Bar Flunkers Law)


Doctrines:
It is the primary and d who obtained averages of a few percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar went to
Congress and secured in 1951 the passage of Senate Bill No. 12 which, among others, reduced the passing general
average in bar examinations to 70 per cent effective since 1946. Seven members of the SC subscribed to and
submitted written comments adverse thereto, and shortly thereafter the President vetoed it. Congress did not
override the veto. Instead, it approved Senate Bill No. 371, embodying substantially the provisions of the vetoed
bill. Although the members of the SC reiterated their unfavorable views on the matter, the President allowed the
bill to become a law on June 21, 1953 without his signature.
Republic Act Number 972, commonly known as the Bar Flunkers Act of 1953, admitted to the bar those
candidates (they took they Bar examinations during the war so reading materials were scarce) who had obtained an
average of 72 per cent by raising it to 75 percent. After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed
petitions for admission to the bar invoking its provisions, while other motions for the revision of their examination papers
were still pending also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others who have
sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the law in question.
Issues:
1. W/N RA No. 972 is constitutional and valid.
Held/Ratio:
1. No.
The law decrees the admission to the Bar of the candidates, depriving the SC of the opportunity to
determine if they are at present already prepared to become members of the Bar. It obliges the SC to
perform something contrary to reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a manifest encroachment on the
constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court.
A judgment revoking the resolution of this Court on the petitions of these 810 candidates, without having
examined their respective examination papers, and although it is admitted that this SC may reconsider said
resolution at any time for justifiable reasons, only the SC and no other may revise and alter them. In
attempting to do it directly, Republic Act No. 972 violated the Constitution.
By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules on
admission to the Bar. It is the primary and inherent prerogative of the Supreme Court to render the
ultimate decision on who may be admitted and may continue in the practice of law according to existing
rules.

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03 - Ledesma v. Climaco (1974)


Doctrines:
Membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. The law is dedicated to the ideal of service and not
a mere trade.
Facts:
Ledesma was appointed Election Registrar for the Municipality of Cadiz, Negros Occidental. He was also the
counsel de parte for one of the accused in a case pending in the sala of Judge Climaco. Because of his appointment, he
filed a motion to withdraw as counsel de parte. Judge Climaco denied Ledesmas motion. Further, Judge Climaco
appointed Ledesma as counsel de oficio for the two defendants in the case. Ledesma then filed an urgent motion to be
allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio, premised on the policy of the Comelec to require full time service. Judge
Climaco denied this as well.
Issues:
1. W/N Ledesma should be allowed to withdraw as counsel de oficio?
Held/Ratio:
1. NO.
Judge Climaco, in denying the urgent motion of Ledesma, said that when Ledesma assumed office as Election
Registrar on October 13, 1964, he knew since October 2 when trial would resume. The case dragged on for almost
a year because of the postponements obtained by the defense. Judge Climaco noted that there was no
incompatibility between the duty of Ledesma to the accused and to the court and the performance of his task as an
election registrar of the Comelec and that the ends of justice would be served by allowing and requiring Ledesma
to continue as counsel de oficio.
The SC held that Ledesma was less than duly mindful of his obligation as counsel de oficio. Ledesma ought to
have known that membership in the bar is a privilege burdened with conditions. It could be that for some lawyers
being appointed counsel de oficio is an irksome chore. But lawyers of repute and of eminence welcome such
appointments. The law is indeed a profession dedicated to the ideal of service and not a mere trade. Hence, a high
degree of fidelity to duty is required of one so designated. The fact that a lawyers services are rendered without
remuneration should not occasion a diminution in his zeal. Rather the contrary.
A lawyer has an indispensable role in the defense of an accused in a criminal case. Such should be enough to
disallow Ledesma from withdrawing. Though Ledesma is an election registrar, there is not likely an exorbitant
demand on his time now. The SC said that Ledesma should now exert himself sufficiently to perform his task as
defense counsel with competence, if not with zeal, if only to erase doubts as to his fitness to remain a member of
the profession in good standing.

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04 - Jesus Ma. Cui v. Antonio Ma. Cui, Romulo Cui (1964)


Doctrine:
A Bachelors degree alone, conferred by a law school upon completion of certain academic requirements, does
not entitle its holder to exercise the legal profession. The English equivalent of abogado is lawyer or attorney-
at-law. This term has a fixed and general signification, and has reference to that class of persons who are by
license officers of the courts, empowered to appear, prosecute and defend, and upon whom peculiar duties,
responsibilities and liabilities are devolved by law as a consequence.
Facts:
The Hospicio is a charitable institution established by the spouses Don Pedro Cui and Doa Benigna Cui for the
care and support, free of charge, of indigent invalids, and incapacitated and helpless persons. It acquired corporate
existence by Act No. 3239 and endowed with extensive properties by the said spouses through a series of donations.
When the spouses died, administration eventually passed to Dr. Teodoro Cui.
Section 2 of the Act gave the initial management to the founders jointly and, in case of their incapacity or death,
to such persons as they may nominate or designate, in the order prescribed to them.
Jesus Ma. Cui and Antonio Ma. Cui are brothers, being the sons of Mariano Cui, one of the nephews of the
spouses Don Pedro Cui and Doa Benigna Cui. Incumbent administrator, Dr. Teodoro Cui, resigned in favor of Antonio
Ma. Cui pursuant to a convenio entered into between them and embodied in a notarial document. The next day, Antonio
Ma. Cui took his oath of office. Jesus Ma. Cui, however, had no prior notice of either the convenio or of his brothers
assumption of the position.
When Dr. Teodoro Cui died, the plaintiff wrote a letter to the defendant demanding that the office be turned over
to him. When it was not complied with, he filed the complaint in this case. Romulo Cui later on intervened, claiming a
right to the same office, being a grandson of Vicente Cui, another one of the nephews mentioned by the founders of the
Hospicio in their deed of donation.
As between Jesus and Antonio the main issue turns upon their respective qualifications to the position of
administrator. Jesus is the older of the two and therefore under equal circumstances would be preferred pursuant to section
2. However, before the test of age may be, applied the deed of donation provides for a lawyer. If not a lawyer, the
administrator should be a doctor or a civil engineer or a pharmacist, in that order; or failing all these, should be the one
who pays the highest taxes among those otherwise qualified.
The specific point in dispute is the meaning of the term titulo de abogado. Jesus Ma. Cui holds the degree of
Bachelor of Laws from the University of Santo Tomas but is not a member of the Bar, not having passed the examinations
to qualify him as one. Antonio Ma. Cui, on the other hand, is a member of the Bar and although disbarred by this Court,
was reinstated by resolution, about two weeks before he assumed the position of administrator of the Hospicio de Barili.
Issue:
1. W/N Jesus Ma. Chui is entitled to the office of administrator.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The term titulo de abogado means not mere possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but
membership in the Bar after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice of law. In this jurisdiction
admission to the Bar and to the practice of law is under the authority of the Supreme Court. According to Rule
138 such admission requires passing the Bar examinations, taking the lawyers oath and receiving a certificate
from the Clerk of Court, this certificate being his license to practice the profession. For this purpose, however,
possession of the degree itself is not indispensable: completion of the prescribed courses may be shown in some
other way.
The founders of the Hospicio de San Jose de Barili must have intended for an actual lawyer because under Act
No. 3239 the duties of the managers or trustees of the Hospicio do work that requires, it is to be presumed, a
working knowledge of the law and a license to practice the profession would be a distinct asset.

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Although the latter is a member of the Bar he is nevertheless disqualified by virtue of paragraph 3 of the deed of
donation, which provides that the administrator may be removed on the ground of ineptitude in the discharge of
his office or lack of evident sound moral character. As far as moral character is concerned, the standard
required of one seeking reinstatement to the office of attorney cannot be less exacting than that implied in
paragraph 3 of the deed of donation as a requisite for the office which is disputed in this case. When the
defendant was restored to the roll of lawyers the restrictions and disabilities resulting from his previous
disbarment were wiped out.
As for the claim of intervenor, Romulo Cui, he is also a lawyer, grandson of Vicente Cui, one of the nephews of
the founders of the Hospicio mentioned by them in the deed of donation. He is further, in the line of succession,
than Antonio Ma. Cui, who is a son of Mariano Cui, another one of the said nephews. The intervenor contends
that the intention of the founders was to confer the administration by line and successively to the descendants of
the nephews named in the deed, in the order they are named. Since the last administrator was Dr. Teodoro Cui,
who belonged to the Mauricio Cui line, the next administrator must come from the line of Vicente Cui, to whom
the intervenor belongs. This interpretation, however, is not justified by the terms of the deed of donation.

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05 - Alawi v. Alauya (1997) (attorney v. counsellor)


Doctrines:
The term attorney is reserved for those who pass the Philippine Bar. It cannot be used by those who only took
and passed the Sharia Bar.
Public officials and employees must, at all times, respect the rights of others and refrain from doing any acts
contrary to law, good morals, public policy, good customs, and public order.
Facts:
Alawi and Alauya were high school classmates and were friends. However, Alauya, the Executive Clerk of Court
from the 4th District Sharia District of Marawi City alleged that Alawi obtained his signature on a blank piece of paper
through fraud and gross misrepresentation. He alleges that Alawi used this to make it look as if he was buying a house
from Villarosa & Co., where Alawi worked as a real estate sales agent. Moreover, because of that same transaction,
Alauya was able to receive a loan from the National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation, also without his consent.
Because of this, he sent strongly-worded letters to the president and VP of Villarosa, as well as to the NHMFC,
detailing in acerbic language Alawis supposed fraudulent and deceitful acts. One of the letters, though sent by
mail, did not have any postage stamp. Instead, the phrase Free Postage PD 26 was typewritten in the upper
right corner. In all of these letters, Alauya referred to himself as Attorney Ashary M. Alauya.
Because of the letters, Alawi filed a complaint against Alauya before the SC, alleging that he imputed malicious
and libelous charges against her with no solid ground, that he used the franking privilege given to the judiciary without
authority, and that he usurped the title attorney. According to Alauya, his reactions were merely normal from someone
who was distraught and has been victimized of fraud. He says that the word Attorney is synonymous with Counsellor-
at-law or Counsellor, which is the title reserved for those who pass the Sharia Bar. Alauya says that he prefers
attorney because most mistake counselor for councilor or konsehal. With regard to the alleged improper use of the
free postage service, Alauya says that he actually gave a subordinate P20 to mail the letters, and that to the best of his
knowledge, the letters were sent using that money. This was supported by an affidavit of one of his subordinates.
Issues:
1. W/N the Alauyas actions violated his duties as a public officer
2. W/N his use of the title Attorney was valid
3. W/N the his use of the franking privilege was valid
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, public officers are always expected to act with proper decorum. As a member of the Sharia Bar and an
officer of the Court, Alauya is impressed with an even stricter and more stringent standard of conduct. Righteous
indignation or vindication does not allow one to use virulent or insulting language, most especially name-calling.
As a man of the law, he is expected to act with restraint and dignity. While his actions may be mitigated, they
cannot be excused.
2. NO, the title attorney is reserved for those who pass the Philippine Bar. While both Sharia Bar and Philippine
Bar passers are considered counsellors, if one only took and subsequently passed the Sharia Bar, he is still not
entitled to use the title attorney.
3. The Court did not decide on this matter citing lack of evidence. In the end, the Court reprimanded Alauya for his
actions.

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ADMISSION TO PRACTICE
06 - Philippine Lawyers Association v. Celedonio Agrava (1959)
Doctrine:
The practice of law embraces any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal
principle, practice or procedure and calls for legal knowledge, training or experience.
In the exercise of police power, the legislature may regulate the practice of law by requiring further examination
in order to practice before any quasi-judicial or administrative agency.
Facts:
In 1957, Director Agrava of the Philippine Patent Office 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 Philippine
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 Philippine Lawyers Association
(PLA) opposed the circular and claims that one who has passed the bar examinations, licensed by the Supreme Court to
practice law in the Philippines and who is in good standing, is duly qualified to practice before the Philippine Patent
Office. Furthermore, PLA contends the issuance of such circular is in excess of Agravas jurisdiction. On the other hand,
Agrava maintains that 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, so much so that, as a matter of actual practice, the
prosecution of patent cases may be handled not only by lawyers. Director Agrava further contends that just as the Patent
Law of the United States of America authorizes the Commissioner of Patents to prescribe examinations to determine as to
who practice before the United States Patent Office, he is similarly authorized to do so by our Patent Law, as it is
patterned from the Patent Law of the United States of America.
Issue:
1. W/N the Circular is issued in excess of Director Agravas jurisdiction.
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes.
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court. In general, all advice to clients, and
all action taken for them in matters connected with the law or where the work done involves the determination
by the trained legal mind although the transactions may have no direct connection with court proceedings,
and those that may become involved in litigation require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill which only a
member of the bar can provide. The Supreme Court believes that the practice of law includes such appearance
before the Patent Office. The transaction of business in the Patent Office involves the use and application of
technical and scientific knowledge and training, still, all such business has to be rendered in accordance with
the Patent Law, as well as other laws, including the Rules and Regulations promulgated by the Patent Office in
accordance with law. Moreover, the proceedings undertaken in the Patent Office, if circumstances so
require, will be elevated to the Supreme Court on appeal, a process which cannot be undertaken by anyone
but a lawyer. It is then reasonable to hold that a member of the bar, because of his legal knowledge and training,
should be allowed to practice before the Patent Office, without further examination or other qualification.
On the contention of Director Agrava that he was authorized by law to conduct such examinations, the Court
ruled that his claim finds no basis in the law. There is no provision in the Patent Law which explicitly confers
upon the Director the authority to conduct such examinations in order to screen who may be admitted to
the patent office. What the law merely authorizes is the submission of application as well as other documents
which prove that the applicant does possess the skill needed to properly carry out the duties and tasks in the Patent
Office.

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07 - Cayetano v. Monsod (19xx)


Facts:
On April 25, 1991, Atty. Christian Monsod was appointed by then Pres. Aquino as Chairman of Comelec. Rene
Cayetano opposed such appointment by filing a petition to review decision of Commision on Appointments. He opposed
the appointment because Monsod allegedly does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the
practice of law for at least 10 years, as required by Article IX-C Sec. 1(1) of the Philippine Constitution. Monsod took his
oath of office on June 18,1991.
Monsods credentials
Member of Philippine Bar since 1960
After bar, worked in law office of his father
1963-1970 in World Bank Group as operations officer in Costa Rica and Panama involves getting acquainted
with laws of member-countries, negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic and project work
1970 in Meralco Group as CEO of investment bank
Since 1986 rendered service to various companies legal and economic consultant or CEO
1986-1987 secretary-general and national chairman of NAMFREL (election law)
Co-chairman of Bishops Businessmens Conference for Human Development
1990 - Davide Commission quasi-judicial body
1986-1987 member of Constitutional Commission as Chairman on Accountability of Public Officers
Issues:
1. W/N Monsod has fulfilled the 10 year practice of law requirement
Held/Ratio:
1. YES
Practice of Law means any activity, in or out of court which requires the application of law, legal procedure,
knowledge, training, and experience. Monsods experience as lawyer-economist, lawyer-manager, and lawyer-
negotiator is proof he is engaged in practice of law for more than 10-years.
Blacks Law Dictionary
Rendition of service requiring the knowledge and application of legal principles and technique to serve
the interest of another with his consent
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 giving all legal advice to clients
[J. Gutierrez, dissenting opinion]
Practice is envisioned as active and regular, not isolated, occasional, accidental, intermittent, incidental, seasonal
or extemporaneous
Nothing in the bio-data even remotely indicates Monsod has given the law enough attention or a certain degree of
commitment and participation
Difficult if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what constitutes the practice of law
Monsod was asked if he ever prepared contracts for parties in real-estate transaction; he answered very seldom

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Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge, the use of such is incidental and consists of isolated
activities which do not fall under the denominations of practice of law

08 - Wilfredo M. Catu v. Atty. Vicente G. Rellosa (2008)


Doctrine:
Public confidence in the law may be eroded by the irresponsible and improper conduct of a member of the Bar.
Facts:
Respondent was an attorney and originally stood as punong baranggay between petitioner and another party
during conciliation proceedings for a dispute over the possession of a unit in a building in Malate, Manila. The
conciliation having proved futile, petitioner initiated an ejectment proceeding against the adverse party. Respondent
appeared as counsel for the defendants in that case. Hence, petitioner initiated this administrative complaint against
respondent lawyer.
Issues
1. W/N respondent violated his oath as a lawyer by appearing as counsel for private defendants in the ejectment
proceedings.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
Under RA 7160, members of the sangguniang pambarangay are not covered by the express prohibition against the
practice of profession, unlike mayors, vice-mayors and governors. Respondent as punong baranggay was not
prohibited from practicing law as his profession. However, by appearing as counsel for the private defendants, he
violated Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules which provides:
Sec. 12. No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business, vocation,
or professionor be connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural, or industrial
undertaking without a written permission from the head of the 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; Provided,
further, That if an employee is granted permission to engage in outside activities, time so devoted
outside of office hours should be fixed by the agency to the end that it will not impair in any way
the efficiency of the officer or employee: And provided, finally, that no permission is necessary in
the case of investments, made by an officer or employee, which do not involve real or apparent
conflict between his private interests and public duties, or in any way influence him in the
discharge of his duties, and he shall not take part in the management of the enterprise or become
an officer of the board of directors.
Respondent should have asked for permission first from the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
before appearing for private defendants cause at court. As such, respondent is guilty of violating Canon 7 and
Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Supreme Court suspended respondent for six months.

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09 - In Re: Lanuevo (1975) (unauthorized re-evaluation of bar exam answers)


Doctrine:
Sec. 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Curt of 1964, candidates for admission to the bar must be of good
moral character. Galang has a pending criminal cases of Physical Injuries, he committed perjury when he declared
under oath that he had no pending criminal case this resulted him to revoked his license.
The judicial function of the Supreme Court in admitting candidates to the legal profession, which necessarily
involves the exercise of discretion, requires: (1) previous established rules and principles; (2) concrete facts,
whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals; and (3) a decision as to whether these facts are
governed by the rules and principles The determination of whether a bar candidate has obtained the required
passing grade certainly involves discretion. In the exercise of this function, the Court acts through a Bar
Examination Committee, composed of a member of the Court who acts as Chairman and eight (8) members of the
Bar who act as examiners in the eight (8) bar subjects with one subject assigned to each. Acting as a sort of liaison
officer between the Court and the Bar Chairman, on one hand, and the individual members of the Committee, on
the other, is the Bar Confidant who is at the same time a deputy clerk of the Court. Necessarily, every act of the
Committee in connection with the exercise of discretion in the admission of examinees to membership of the Bar
must be in accordance with the established rules of the Court and must always be subject to the final approval of
the Court. With respect to the Bar Confidant, whose position is primarily confidential as the designation indicates,
his functions in connection with the conduct of the Bar examinations are defined and circumscribed by the Court
and must be strictly adhered to.
Facts:
Landicho wrote a confidential letter to the court about the startling fact that the grade in one examination (Civil
Law) of at least one bar candidate was raised for one reason or another, before the bar results were released and
that there are grades in other examination notebooks in other subjects that underwent alterations to raise the
grades prior to release of results. The Court checked the records of the 1971 Bar Examinations and found that the
grades in five subjects of a successful bar candidate, Ramon Galang, underwent some changes which, however, were duly
initialed and authenticated by the respective examiner concerned.
Bar Confidant Lanuevo admitted bringing 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 and that the Bar Confidant claimed that he had authority to do return the notebooks and that the examinee
concerned failed only in his particular subject and was on the borderline of passing. As a result, Galang passed the Bar.
An investigation conducted by the NBI also showed that Ramon Galang, was charged with the crime of slight
physical injuries. Confronted with this information, respondent Galang declared that he does not remember having been
charged with the crime of slight physical injuries.
Issues:
1. W/N Lanuevo is guilty of defrauding the examiners into re-evaluating Galangs exam notebooks
2. W/N Galang is guilty of fraudulently concealing and withholding from the court his pending case
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. It is evident that Lanuevo staged the plot to convince the examiners to individually re-examine the grades of
Galang to help him pass even without the authority of the Court.
All respondents Bar examiners candidly admitted having made the re-evaluation and/or re-correction of the papers
in question upon the misrepresentation of respondent Bar Confidant Lanuevo. All, however, professed good faith;
and that they re-evaluated or increased the grades of the notebooks without knowing the identity of the examinee
who owned the said notebooks; and that they did the same without any consideration or expectation of any. The
favorable re-evaluations made by the examiners were to a certain extent influenced by the misrepresentation and
deception committed by respondent Lanuevo.

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It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected notebooks to the Bar Confidant, the
same cannot be withdrawn for any purpose whatsoever without prior authority from the Court. 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.
2. Yes. Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, is guilty of fraudulently concealing and withholding from the
Court his pending criminal case for physical injuries and, later, perjury when he declared under oath that he had
no pending criminal case in court. By falsely representing to the Court that he had no criminal case pending in
court, respondent Galang was allowed unconditionally to take the Bar examinations seven (7) times and in 1972
was allowed to take his oath.
That 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. Furthermore, respondents persistent denial of his involvement in any criminal case despite his having
been apprised by the Investigation of some of the circumstances of the criminal case including the very name of
the victim in that case and his continued failure to clear his name in that criminal case, indicate his lack of the
requisite attributes of honesty, probity and good demeanor. He is therefore unworthy of becoming a member of
the noble profession of law.

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10 - In re: Argosino (1997)


Doctrine:
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 the lawyers oath, thereby further tarnishing the
public image of lawyers which in recent years has undoubtedly become less than irreproachable.
Facts:
Argosino passed the bar examinations held in 1993 but the Court deferred his oath-taking due to his previous
conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Homicide. The criminal case which resulted in petitioners conviction,
arose from the death of a neophyte during fraternity initiation rites sometime in September 1991. Petitioner and 7 other
accused initially entered pleas of not guilty to homicide charges. Later, the 8 accused later withdrew their initial pleas and
upon re-arraignment all pleaded guilty to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
Petitioner filed before this Court a petition to be allowed to take the lawyers oath based on the order of his
discharge from probation. The Court noted however, that his probationary status was only for the length of 10 months.
Issue:
1. W/N Argosino may be allowed to take the lawyers oath.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The Court issued a resolution requiring 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. Petitioner submitted no less than 15 certifications/letters executed by, among others, 2 senators, 5 trial
court judges, and 6 members of religious orders. Petitioner likewise submitted evidence that a scholarship
foundation had been established in honor of the hazing victim, through joint efforts of the latters family and the 8
accused in the criminal case.
In allowing Mr. Argosino to take the lawyers 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 crime committed. They 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.

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11 - Santos, Jr. v. Llamas (2000) (nonpayment of IBP membership dues)


Doctrines:
Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay his annual dues. Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of Rule
139-A, default in the payment of annual dues for 6 months shall warrant suspension of membership in the
Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for 1 year shall be a ground for the removal of the name of the
delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys.
Facts:
This is a complaint for misrepresentation and non-payment of bar membership dues filed against respondent Atty.
Francisco R. Llamas.
In a letter-complaint to the SC, complainant Soliman M. Santos, Jr., a member of the bar, alleged that Llamas,
also a member of the bar, has not been indicating his proper PTR and IBP O.R. Nos. and data (date and place of issuance)
in his pleadings; that he only indicates IBP Rizal 259060; that he has been using this for at least 3 years already; and
that he has not been paying his IBP dues as evidenced by a certification from the President of IBP that Llamas last
payment of his IBP dues was in 1991.
Llamas admitted that since 1992, he has engaged in law practice without having paid his IBP dues. He likewise
admitted that he indicated IBP-Rizal 259060 in the pleadings he filed in court, at least for the years 1995, 1996, and
1997, thus misrepresenting that such was his IBP chapter membership and receipt number. He claims, however, that he is
only engaged in a limited practice and that he believes in good faith that he is exempt from the payment of taxes, such
as income tax, under R.A. No. 7432, 4 as a senior citizen since 1992. Being thus exempt, he believes that the subsequent
payment by him of dues with the Integrated Bar is covered by such exemption. In fact, he never exercised his rights as an
IBP member to vote and be voted upon.
IBP passed a resolution finding him guilty and ordering his suspension for three months.
Issues:
1. W/N Llamas is guilty.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Llamas is guilty of misrepresentation in his pleadings and of failure to pay his IBP dues.
a. Llamas can engage in the practice of law only by paying his dues, and it does not matter that his practice
is limited.
Rule 139-A provides:
Sec. 9. Membership dues. - Every member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual
dues as the Board of Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court
... .
Sec. 10. Effect of non-payment of dues. - Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this
Rule, default in the payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension
of membership in the Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall
be a ground for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of
Attorneys.
b. His tax exemption does not include the payment of membership or association dues.
While it is true that R.A. No. 7432, 4 grants senior citizens exemption from the payment of individual
income taxes subject to conditions, the exemption does not include payment of membership or
association dues.

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c. Llamas has violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.


By indicating IBP-Rizal 259060 in his pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public and the
courts that he had paid his IBP dues to the Rizal Chapter, respondent is guilty of violating the Code of
Professional Responsibility which provides:
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.
CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND
DIGNITY OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF
THE INTEGRATED BAR.
CANON 10 - A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO
THE COURT.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
court; nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice.
While still recognizing that Llamas failure to pay his IBP dues and his misrepresentation in the pleadings
merit the most severe penalty, in view of Llamas advanced age, his express willingness to pay his dues
and plea for a more temperate application of the law, the Court imposed upon him the penalty of 1-year
suspension from the practice of law or until he has paid his IBP dues, whichever is later.

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12 - Cordon v. Balicanta (2002) (lawyer who duped mother-daughter of their lands)


Facts:
When Rosaura Cordons husband died, she and her daughter, Rosemarie, inherited around 21 parcels of land in
Zamboanga City. Atty. Jesus Balicanta settled the estate of her late husband and also advised the Cordons on how to
manage their inheritance. He enticed them to organize a corporation and transfer their properties to such corporation for
development. Thus, Rosaura Enterprises, Inc. was born and the Cordons assumed majority ownership. However, it was
Balicanta who served as the Chairman of the Board, President, General Manager, and Treasurer. Balicanta also transferred
the titles of the property to one Tion Suy Ong. He also made them sign a voting trust agreement and a SPA allowing
Balicanta to sell and mortgage the Cordons properties.
Using a spurious board resolution, Balicanta obtained a P2.2 Million loan from the Land Bank of the Philippines,
supposedly to develop the Baliwasan Commercial Center using 9 of the Cordons properties as collateral. However, it was
later found out that the structure was made out of poor materials. For four years, Balicanta did not pay despite numerous
demands and notices from LBP. Finally, in 1983, Rosemarie found out what was happening when she saw that Balicanta
had their ancestral home demolished, selling the land to Tion Suy Ong again, and transferred her mom to a house in a
different town on the pretext that their home was being renovated.
The Cordons filed a disbarment case against Balicanta with the IBP Comission on Bar Discipline. Commissioner
Cunanan issued a report recommending Balicantas disbarment. While Balicantas disbarment was pending review before
Executive VP and Northern Luzon Governor Pilando, Balicanta alleged that Commissioner Cunanans report was penned
by the Cordons lawyers. Aside from this, Balicantas main defense is that he did not do anything out of line, that he was
only doing his job, and it was the Cordons who should be held accountable for being negligent in the running of the
corporation.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Balicanta should be disbarred
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Balicantas actions show an organized plan to deceive the Cordons and deprive them of their property. In
fact, Balicantas deceptions show in the evidence he adduced to supposedly defend himself. In his supporting
evidence, it showed that the Cordons only owned 266 of Rosaura Enterprises, Inc.s shares when the factual
finding of the IBP Committee showed that the Cordons owned 1,711 out of 1,750 shares. Also, Balicantas
actions were done without the approval of the corporations Board of Directors. It was also never explained why
the Cordons, despite holding around 90% of the companys outstanding stock, never participated in any of the
corporations actions.
These fraudulent acts should not be permitted to continue, especially from the member of the bar. The relation
between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in nature. Balicanta cant hide behind the corporations
separate juridical personality because he blatantly used the corporate veil to perpetrate his fraudulent acts. In this
case, it is clear that Balicanta behaved in a way that merits more than a mere suspension.

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CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY


LAWYERS DUTIES TO SOCIETY
13 - Roberto Soriano v. Atty. Manuel Dizon (2006) (disbarment; frustrated homicide)
Doctrine:
The purpose for a proceeding of disbarment is to protect the administration of justice by requiring that those who
exercise this important function to be competent, honorable and reliable lawyers in whom courts and clients
may repose confidence.
Facts:
Complainant was a taxi driver who overtook the accuseds car on his way home. Accused was drunk at that time
and tailed the taxi until it rounded by the Chugum and Carino streets. The accused stopped his car and berated Soriano.
There resulted an altercation, but Soriano merely tried to stop Dizon from attacking him, because he was the older guy
and he smelled of liquor. Dizon dropped his eyeglasses, and Soriano picked them up. However, when Soriano attempted
to return the eyeglasses, Dizon had gotten a gun and wrapped its handle with a handkerchief and fired a shot at Soriano.
The bullet hit Sorianos carotid artery, but he survived due to prompt medical treatment. Dizon was convicted of
frustrated homicide and applied for probation, which was granted. However, he obstinately refused to satisfy civil
liabilities with Soriano. He also tried to settle with Sorianos family with the vice mayors help, but that got nowhere. He
also fabricated stories that Soriano with two others beat him up. Also, he was found to be in possession of an unlicensed
firearm.
Issues:
1. W/N Manuel Dizons disbarment was proper.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
Accused displayed dishonestly and moral turpitude by his behavior. Among others, the following facts prove that
he lacks good moral character:
a. He was under the influence of liquor while driving his car;
b. He reacted violently and attempted to assault Complainant only because the latter, driving a taxi, had
overtaken him;
c. Complainant having been able to ward off his attempted assault, Respondent went back to his car, got a
gun, wrapped the same with a handkerchief and shot Complainant, who was unarmed;
d. When Complainant fell on him, Respondent simply pushed him out and fled;
e. Despite positive identification and overwhelming evidence, Respondent denied that he had shot
Complainant;
f. Apart from his denial, Respondent also lied when he claimed that he was the one mauled by Complainant
and two unidentified persons; and,
g. Although he has been placed on probation, Respondent has, to date, not yet satisfied his civil liabilities to
Complainant.
Under Section 27 of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude is a ground
for disbarment or suspension. By such conviction, a lawyer is deemed to have become unfit to uphold the
administration of justice and to be no longer possessed of good moral character.

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14 - St. Louis University v. Dela Cruz (2006) disbarment, immoral conduct


Doctrine:
Immoral conduct is that conduct which is willful, flagrant, or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference
to the opinion of the good and respectable members of the community and what is 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.
The power to disbar must be exercised with great caution, and may be imposed only in a clear case of misconduct
that seriously affects the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the Court. Disbarment should never
be decreed where any lesser penalty could accomplish the end desire.
Facts:
This is a disbarment case filed by the Faculty members and Staff of the Saint Louis University-Laboratory
High School (SLU-LHS) against Atty. Rolando C. Dela Cruz, principal of SLU-LHS, predicated on the following
grounds:
1. Gross Misconduct: (a) pending criminal case for child abuse allegedly committed by him against a high
school student; (b) pending administrative case for his alleged unprofessional and unethical acts of
misappropriating money supposedly for the teachers; and (c) pending labor case on alleged illegal deduction
of salary by respondent.
2. Grossly Immoral Conduct: In contracting a second marriage (with Mary Jane Pascua) despite the existence of
his first marriage (with Teresita Rivera); and
3. Malpractice: In notarizing (14) documents from 1988 to 1997 despite the expiration of his notarial
commission on December 31, 1987.
Issue:
1. W/N Dela Cruz should be disbarred?
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. A disbarment case is sui generis for it is neither purely civil nor purely criminal but is rather an investigation
by the court into the conduct of its officers. Thus, if the acquittal of a lawyer in a criminal action is not
determinative of an administrative case against him, or if an affidavit of withdrawal of a disbarment case does not
affect its course, then neither will the judgment of annulment of respondents second marriage also exonerate him
from a wrongdoing actually committed. So long as the quantum of proof - clear preponderance of evidence - in
disciplinary proceedings against members of the Bar is met, then liability attaches.
Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court cites grossly immoral conduct as a ground for disbarment.
Undoubtedly, respondents act constitutes immoral conduct. But is it so gross as to warrant his disbarment?
Indeed, he exhibited a deplorable lack of that degree of morality required of him as a member of the Bar. In
particular, he made a mockery of marriage, which is a sacred institution demanding respect and dignity.
Respondent was already a member of the Bar when he contracted the bigamous second marriage in 1989, having
been admitted to the Bar in 1985. As such, he cannot feign ignorance of the mandate of the law that before a
second marriage may be validly contracted, the first and subsisting marriage must first be annulled by the
appropriate court.
Moreover, notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. On the contrary, it is invested with substantive
public interest, such that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. A notarial
document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face and, for this reason, notaries public must observe
with the utmost care the basic requirements in the performance of their duties.
The practice of law is not a right but a privilege bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess the
qualifications required by law for the conferment of such privilege. It must be understood that the purpose of

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suspending or disbarring someone as an attorney is to remove from the profession a person whose misconduct has
proved him unfit to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging to an office of attorney and, thus, to
protect the public and those charged with the administration of justice, rather than to punish an attorney.
However, in this case, the Court held that respondents act was not grossly immoral as to warrant his
disbarment. From the recommendation and observation of the IBP investigator, the respondent had no intention
to flaunt the law and the high moral standard of the legal profession as shown by the following: (a) after his first
failed marriage and prior to his second marriage (for 7 years), he has not been romantically involved with any
woman; (b) his second marriage was a show of his noble intentions and total love for his wife; (c) he never
absconded from his obligations to support his wife and child; (d) he never disclaimed paternity over the child and
husbandry with relation to his wife; (e) since up to now, he remained celibate.
The Court found the imposition of disbarment upon him to be unduly harsh.

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15 - Maelotisea S. Garrido v. Attys. Angel E. Garrido and Romana P. Valencia (2010)


Doctrine
Possession of good moral character is both a condition precedent and a continuing requirement to warrant
admission to the bar and to retain membership in the legal profession. Admission to the practice only creates the
rebuttable presumption that the applicant has all the qualifications to become a lawyer.
Facts:
Maelotisea Sipin Garrido filed a complaint-affidavit and a supplemental affidavit for disbarment against Atty.
Garrido and Atty. Valencia
According to Maelotisea, she and Atty. Garrido were married back in 1962. Subsequently, she found out that the
two lawyers got married in Hong Kong in 1978, while she and Garrido were still married. She also found out that the two
had a daughter. In 1993, Atty. Garrido left the conjugal home and joined Atty. Valencia at their residence. Since he left
the conjugal home, he stopped giving Maelotisea and his family the needed financial support.
In his Counter-Affidavit, Atty. Garrido denied Maelotiseas charges and imputations. He alleged that Maelotisea
was not his legal wife, as he was already married to Constancia David when he married Maelotisea. As he and Maelotisea
grew apart over the years due to financial problems, Atty. Garrido met Atty. Valencia. He became close to Atty. Valencia
to whom he confided his difficulties. Together, they resolved his personal problems and his financial difficulties. He
denied that he failed to give financial support to his children with Maelotisea. Atty. Garrido emphasized that all his
marriages were contracted before he became a member of the bar, with the third marriage contracted after the death of
Constancia. Also, Atty Garrido argues that the offenses charged have prescribed under the IBP rules.
Maelotisea filed a motion for the dismissal of the complaints she filed arguing that she wanted to maintain
friendly relations with Atty. Garrido.
Issues:
1. W/N the disbarment case against Atty. Garrido would prosper
2. W/N the disbarment case against Atty. Valencia would prosper
3. W/N the offenses charged have prescribed
4. W/N Maelotiseas motion for the dismissal of the complaints she filed against the respondents will prosper
Held/Ratio:
1. YES
He did not possess the good moral character required of a lawyer at the time of his admission to the Bar. As a
lawyer, he violated his lawyers oath, Section 20(a) of Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, and Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, all of which commonly require him to obey the laws of the land. In marrying
Maelotisea, he committed the crime of bigamy.
He violated ethical rules of the profession, specifically, Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility,
which commands that he shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct; Canon 7 of
the same Code, which demands that [a] lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal
profession; Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides that, [a] lawyer shall not
engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor should he, whether in public or
private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
2. YES
Atty. Valencia violated Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, as her behavior
demeaned the dignity of and discredited the legal profession. Her actions were so corrupt as to approximate a
criminal act, for she married a man who, in all appearances, was married to another and with whom he has a
family. Her actions were also unprincipled and reprehensible to a high degree; as the confidante of Atty. Garrido,

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she preyed on his vulnerability and engaged in a romantic relationship with him during the subsistence of his two
previous marriages.
3. NO
Laws dealing with double jeopardy or with procedure do not apply in the determination of a lawyers
qualifications and fitness for membership in the Bar because admission to the practice of law is a component of
the administration of justice and is a matter of public interest.
4. NO
In light of the public service character of the practice of law, Maelotisea is considered more of a witness than a
complainant in these proceedings. She filed her affidavits of withdrawal only after she had presented her
evidence; her evidence are now available for the Courts examination and consideration, and their merits are not
affected by her desistance.

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16 - Caalim-Versonilla v. Atty. Pascua (2011)


Doctrine:
A lawyer is bound by his Attorneys Oath not to commit falsehood nor consent to the doing of any.
Facts:
Complainant alleged that Atty. Pascua prepared and notarized two Deeds of Extra-Judicial Settlement of the
Estate of Deceased Lope Caalim with Sale one for the value of P250,000.00 and the other with the value of
P1,000,000.00. Both were signed by the surviving spouse of Lope together with his children Virginia and Marivinia. Both
contained the same parties as well have identical registration numbers, page numbers and book numbers. Virginia alleged
that the deeds were false and simulated as Marivinia did not know how to write and she was confined in the Cagayan
Valley Medical Center at the date it was allegedly signed. Atty. Pascua responded by admitting to having prepared and
notarized both documents but denied any irregularity. He claimed that the vendee and the complainant went to his house
and asked to prepare a deed of sale for the parcel of land of Lope Located in Claveria, Cagayan and that the selling price
was P1M. He then typed and notarized the deed in which he gave copies to both parties. He then stated that the parties
asked who will should the taxes involved in the transaction and he replied by saying that the vendee will shoulder it.
Later, the parties returned to his house and pleaded that he prepare a new deed with a reduced selling price of P250K
which he did. He used the same document number, page number and book number because he reasoned that the second
deed supplanted the first. In a resolution the Court referred the case to the IBP for an investigation, report and
recommendation. Commissioner Fernando reported that after investigation, the respondent was administratively liable for
participation to defraud the government and recommended his suspension from the practice of law and of his notarial
commission. The IBP Board of Governor approved the report and recommended the suspension for the practice of law of
respondent for two years as well as suspension of his notarial commission for two years.
Issue:
1. W/N respondent broke his Attorneys Oath.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. By the account of Atty. Pascua of the execution and notarization of the subject deeds there is a clear basis
for disciplining him as a member of the bar and as a notary public. He did not deny preparing the first deed with
the value of P1M. He also did not deny that due to pleas of the parties he was moved by his humane and
compassionate disposition to prepare a new deed with a value of P250K in order to reduce the tax liabilities of
the parties. With this admission he abetted to deprive the Government the right to collect the correct tax due. He
violated Rule 1.02, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Canon 1 A lawyer should uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect
for law and legal process.
Rule 1.02 A lawyer shall not counsel of abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or lessening
the confidence in the legal system.
Atty. Pascua executed and notarized the second deed despite the knowledge of its illegal purpose. His desire to
accommodate his clients will not absolve him, who as a member of the bar, should have stood his ground and not
yielded to the pleas of the parties. He should have been more prudent and remained steadfast to his oath not to
commit no falsehood nor consent to the doing of any.
Respondent not only assisted the parties to an activity against the law but he also showed disrespect to his oath in
the Acknowledgement of the deed. By notarizing the deed, even if the document was fraudulent, he gave it full
faith and credit upon its face. Moreover, the duty of a notary public as per Rule 4, Section 4 of the 2004 Rules on
Notarial Practice, is to refuse any notarial act if he has good reason that the transaction is unlawful or immoral.
Atty. Pascua was reprimanded by the Supreme Court, suspended from the practice of law for 2 years, and his
notarial commission was revoked. He is further disqualified from reappointment as a notary public for 2 years.

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17 - Espinosa and Glindo v. Atty. Omana (1961) (illegally notarizing)


Doctrines:
In preparing and notarizing a void document, a lawyer violates Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides that [a] lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.
Facts:
Spouses Espinosa and Marantal charged Atty. Omana with violation of her oath as a lawyer, malpractice, and
gross misconduct in office.
On Nov. 1997, Espinosa and his wife sought Omanas legal advice on whether they could legally live separately
and dissolve their marriage. Omana then prepared a document entitled Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay (contract)
which reads:
KASUNDUAN NG PAGHIHIWALAY
KAMI, ELENA MARANTAL AT RODOLFO ESPINOSA, mga Filipino, may sapat na gulang, dating
legal na mag-asawa, kasalukuyang naninirahan at may pahatirang sulat sa Brgy. Buensoceso, Gumaca,
Quezon, at COMELEC, Intramuros, Manila ayon sa pagkakasunod-sunod, matapos makapanumpa ng
naaayon sa batas ay nagpapatunay ng nagkasundo ng mga sumusunod:
1. Na nais na naming maghiwalay at magkanya-kanya ng aming mga buhay ng walang pakialaman,
kung kayat bawat isa sa amin ay maaari ng humanap ng makakasama sa buhay;
2. Na ang aming mga anak na sina Ariel John Espinosa, 14 na taong gulang; Aiza Espinosa, 11
taong gulang at Aldrin Espinosa, 10 taong gulang ay namili na kung kanino sasama sa aming
dalawa. Si Ariel John at Aiza Espinosa ay sasama sa kanilang ama, Rodolfo Espinosa, at ang bunso,
Aldrin Espinosa at sasama naman sa ina na si Elena;
3. Na dahil sina Ariel John at Aiza ay nagsisipag-aral sa kasalukuyan sila ay pansamantalang
mananatili sa kanilang ina, habang tinatapos ang kanilang pag-aaral. Sa pasukan sila ay maaari ng
isama ng ama, sa lugar kung saan siya ay naninirahan;
4. Na ang mga bata ay maaaring dalawin ng sino man sa aming dalawa tuwing may pagkakataon;
5. Na magbibigay ng buwanang gastusin o suporta ang ama kay Aldrin at ang kakulangan sa mga
pangangailangan nito ay pupunan ng ina;
6. Na lahat ng mga kasangkapan sa bahay tulad ng T.V., gas stove, mga kagamitan sa kusina ay
aking (Rodolfo) ipinagkakaloob kay Elena at hindi na ako interesado dito;
7. Na lahat ng maaaring maipundar ng sino man sa amin dalawa sa mga panahong darating ay
aming mga sari-sariling pag-aari na at hindi na pinagsamahan o conjugal.
BILANG PATUNAY ng lahat ng ito, nilagdaan namin ito ngayong ika-17 ng Nobyembre, 1997, dito sa
Gumaca, Quezon.
The spouses, fully convinced of the validity of the contract started implementing its terms and conditions.
However, Marantal eventually took custody of all their children and took possession of most of the property they
acquired during their union.
Espinosa sought the advice of his friend, co-complainant Glindo, a law graduate, who informed him that the
contract executed by Omana was not valid. They hired a lawyer to file a complaint against Omana before the IBP. Omana
alleged that her signature was a forgery and that one of her office staff did it. She even presented a letter of apology from
her staff, Arlene, acknowledging that she notarized the document without Omanas knowledge.

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Espinosa later submitted a Karagdagang Salaysay stating that Omaa arrived at his residence together with a
girl whom he later recognized as the person who notarized the contract. He further stated that Omaa was not in her office
when the contract was notarized.
The Decision of the Commission on Bar Discipline: Espinosas desistance did not put an end to the
proceedings. The IBP-CBD found that Omaa violated Rule 1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
which provides that a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. The IBP-CBD
stated that Omaa had failed to exercise due diligence in the performance of her function as a notary public and to comply
with the requirements of the law. The IBP-CBD noted the inconsistencies in the defense of Omaa who first claimed
that it was her part-time staff who notarized the contract but then later claimed that it was her former maid who notarized
it.
Respondent truly signed the questioned document, yet she still disclaimed its authorship, thereby revealing much
more her propensity to lie and make deceit, which she is deserving [of] disciplinary sanction or disbarment.
The IBP-CBD recommended that Omaa be suspended for one year from the practice of law and for two years as
a notary public. Omana filed for a motion for reconsideration which was denied.
Issues:
1. W/N Omaa violated the Canon of Professional Responsibility in the notarization of Marantal and Espinosas
Kasunduan Ng Paghihiwalay.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES
This Court has ruled that the extrajudicial dissolution of the conjugal partnership without judicial approval is
void. The Court has also ruled that a notary public should not facilitate the disintegration of a marriage and
the family by encouraging the separation of the spouses and extrajudicially dissolving the conjugal
partnership, which is exactly what Omaa did in this case.
We cannot accept Omaas allegation that it was her part-time office staff who notarized the contract. We agree
with the IBP-CBD that Omaa herself notarized the contract. Even if it were true that it was her part-time staff
who notarized the contract, it only showed Omaas negligence in doing her notarial duties. We reiterate that a
notary public is personally responsible for the entries in his notarial register and he could not relieve himself of
this responsibility by passing the blame on his secretaries or any member of her staff.
We likewise agree with the IBP-CBD that in preparing and notarizing a void document, Omaa violated Rule
1.01, Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that [a] lawyer shall not engage in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Omaa knew fully well that the Kasunduan Ng
Paghihiwalay has no legal effect and is against public policy. Therefore, Omaa may be suspended from office
as an attorney for breach of the ethics of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
Court suspended Atty. Omana from the practice of law for 1 year and revoked her notarial commission, if still
existing, and suspended her as a notary public for 2 years.

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18 - De Ysasi III v. NLRC (Father and son feud, illegal dismissal, Counsels should try to avoid litigation)
Doctrines:
Rule 1.04: A lawyer shall encourage his client to avoid, end, or settle the controversy if it will admit of a fair
settlement.
Facts:
In 1980, De Ysasi III (employee-son) was employed by his father, who is the private respondent in this case.
De Ysasi III was working as farm administrator for his father in Hacienda Manucao in Negros Occidental. Starting in
1982, De Ysasi III, the employee son, started suffering from various illnesses which required hospitalization. First,
he underwent fistulectomy which is the removial of the fistula, a deep sinuous ulcer. He had to recuperate for 4 months.
Second, he was confined for acute gastroenteritis. Third, he was also confined for infectious hepatitis for 2 months.
During the entire period of the illnesses, De Ysasi II, the father-employer, took care of the medical expenses of his
son and continued to give him his salary. However, in April 1984, without due notice, the father stopped paying his
sons salary. The son made oral and written demands for an explanation for the sudden stop of his income flow. The
demands were not heeded. So, De Ysasi III, the employee-son, filed an action with the NLRC against his father for
illegal dismissal.
Issues:
1. W/N the father illegally dismissed his son
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, there was illegal dismissal.
The Supreme Court stated its disappointment with the respective counsels of the petitioner and respondent
for not trying hard enough to avoid litigation between a father and a son. They did not initiate steps which
would lead to the reconciliation of the family. The Court reminded the counsels that it is their duty to avoid
litigation as much as possible, as long as justice would still be served. Thats the gist of it but here is what the
Court said:
The conduct of the respective counsel of the parties sorely disappoints the CourtIt is their
responsibility 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. The useful function of a lawyer is not only to conduct litigation but
to avoid it whenever possible by advising settlement or withholding suit.
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.
On this point, we find that both counsel herein fell short of what was expected of them. The
records do not show that they took pains to initiate steps geared toward effecting a
rapprochement between their clients.

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19 - Canoy v. Ortiz (2005)


Doctrine:
Lawyers who devote their professional practice in representing litigants who could ill afford legal services
deserve commendation. However, this mantle of public service will not deliver the lawyer, no matter how well-
meaning, from the consequences of negligent acts. It is not enough to say that all pauper litigants should be
assured of legal representation. They deserve quality representation as well.
Facts:
Canoy filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) for illegal dismissal against his
former employer, Coca Cola Bottlers Philippines. Atty. Ortiz appeared as counsel for Canoy. In 1998, the labor arbiter
ordered the parties to submit their respective position papers. Canoy submitted all the necessary documents to Atty. Ortiz
for the preparation of the position paper. When Canoy decided to follow-up the case himself with the NLRC in 2000, he
was shocked to learn that his complaint was actually dismissed in 1998, for failure to prosecute, the parties not having
submitted their position papers. The dismissal was without prejudice. Canoy alleged that Atty. Ortiz had never
communicated to him about the status of the case, much less the fact that he failed to submit the position paper.
Atty. Ortiz says that since he started practicing law, he has catered to indigent and low-income clients, at
considerable financial sacrifice, as well as hosting a legal assistance radio show that catered to the same. He pursued this
lifestyle until his election as Councilor of Bacolod City, a victory which he generously attributes to the help of the same
people whom he had helped by way of legal assistance before.
Canoy was among those low-income clients whom Atty. Ortiz deigned to represent. He claims that the Labor
Arbiter had already issued the order dismissing the case before he could submit the papers. Atty. Ortiz admits that the
period within which to file the position paper had already lapsed. He attributes this failure to timely file the position paper
to the fact that after his election as Councilor of Bacolod City, he was frankly preoccupied with both his functions as a
local government official and as a practicing lawyer.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Ortiz is guilty of misconduct and malpractice.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Several of the canons and rules in the Code of Professional Responsibility guard against the sort of conduct
displayed by Atty. Ortiz with respect to the handling of Canoys case. Atty. Ortiz should have filed the position
paper on time, owing to his duty as counsel of Canoy to attend to this legal matter entrusted to him. His failure to
do so constitutes a violation of Rule 18.03 which states that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to
him, and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
In the same vein, a lawyer shall keep the client informed of the status of his case and shall respond within a
reasonable time to the clients request for information as provided in Rule 18.04. If Atty. Ortizs schedule,
workload, or physical condition was such that he would not be able to make a timely filing, he should have
informed Canoy.
Neither is the Court mollified by the circumstance of Atty. Ortizs election as a City Councilor of Bacolod City,
as his adoption of these additional duties does not exonerate him of his negligent behavior. The Code of
Professional Responsibility does allow a lawyer to withdraw his legal services if the lawyer is elected or
appointed to a public office. However, city councilors are allowed to practice their profession or engage in any
occupation except during session hours, and in the case of lawyers such as Atty. Ortiz, subject to certain
prohibitions which are not relevant to this case.

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20 - Tan Tek Beng v. David


Doctrines:
Malpractice involves soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or
brokers.
Practice of law is a profession, not a business.
Facts:
Tan Tek Beng and David, a lawyer, entered into an agreement. A contract was signed by both parties and it stated
that: (1) all commission/attorneys fees from the clients supplied by Tan will be divided 50-50 between them, (2)
David will not deal directly with their clients without Tans consent, (3) Tan will be collecting and keeping the said
fees/advances, and (4) other clients who are related Tan and are contacted through him will be his clients. Their
business agreement did not last because there were mutual accusations of double cross. Tan Tek Beng alleged that David
did not honor their agreement. He filed a complaint against David.
Issues:
1. W/N disciplinary action should be taken against David
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
The agreement between Tan Tek Beng and David was void. Such agreement was tantamount to malpractice,
soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or through paid agents or brokers. The
commercialization of the practice of law is condemned. Remember that the practice of law is a profession, not a
business. Hence, David shouldve known better than to engage in such kind of agreements. David was
reprimanded for being guilty of malpractice.

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21 - In re Luis B. Tagorda (1929) (card and letter)


Doctrine:
The most worthy and effective advertisement possible, even for a young lawyer, and especially with his brother
lawyers, is the establishment of a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust.
Facts:
Luis B. Tagorda was an attorney who was elected as the third member of the provincial board of Isabela. He
admits that prior to his election, he made use of a card written in Spanish and Ilocano, which contains a list of tasks he
may undertake as a notary public, and a lawyer, as well as a general invitation to consult with him for free. Tagorda also
admits that after he was elected into office, he wrote a letter to one of his hometowns barrio lieutenants. The letter
basically informed the recipient of Tagordas intention to continue residing in Echague, despite having to attend board
sessions in Ilagan, in order that he may continue to serve his hometown as a notary public and lawyer. The letter subtly
offered information regarding Tagordas office hours, together with an express request that the recipient spread the word
as to his willingness to accept land registration cases for a fee of P3.00 per title.
The government, through the provincial fiscal of Isabela, together with the Attorney-General, brought this matter
to the attention of the Court.
Issue:
1. W/N Tagordas actions constitute malpractice
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure, as amended by Act No. 2828 expressly provides that the practice of
soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally, or through paid agents or brokers, constitutes
malpractice. This is in accord with the Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the Philippine Bar Association in
1917. Canon 27 of the said document provides that a well-merited reputation serves as a lawyers most effective
form of advertisement.
While the circulation of business cards is not per se improper, solicitation through such business cards, as well as
through personal communications is unprofessional. The law is a profession and not a business. Thus, a lawyer
may not seek or obtain employment by himself or through others.
Due to Tagordas claim of ignorance and remorse, the Court merely ordered that he be suspended from the
practice of law for a period of one month. It is worth noting that Justice Ostrand dissented, believing that a
reprimand would have been sufficient.

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22 - Ulep v. The Legal Clinic, Inc. (1993) (Advertising, divorce/foreign marriage)


Doctrines:
A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession advertise his talents or skill as in a manner similar
to a merchant advertising his goods. The prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal
business rests on the fundamental postulate that the practice of law is a profession.

Facts:
The Legal Clinic, Inc. had published the advertisements in annexes A and B shown below.
Annex A
SECRET MARRIAGE?
P560.00 for a valid marriage.
Info on DIVORCE. ABSENCE.
ANNULMENT. VISA.
THEN Please call: 521-0767 LEGAL 5217232, 5222041 CLINIC, INC. 8:30 am 6:00 pm 7-Flr. Victoria Bldg.,
UN Ave., Mla.
Annex B
GUAM DIVORCE.
DON PARKINSON
an Attorney in Guam, is giving FREE BOOKS on Guam Divorce through The Legal Clinic beginning Monday to
Friday during office hours.
Guam divorce. Annulment of Marriage. Immigration Problems, Visa Ext. Quota/Non-quota Res. & Special
Retirees Visa. Declaration of Absence. Remarriage to Filipina Fiancees. Adoption. Investment in the Phil.
US/Foreign Visa for Filipina Spouse/Children. Call Marivic.
THE 7F Victoria Bldg. 429 UN Ave., LEGAL Ermita, Manila nr. US Embassy CLINIC, INC. 1 Tel. 521-7232; 521-
7251; 522-2041; 521-0767
Ulep, as a member of the bar, seeks to prevent The Legal Clinic, Inc. from publishing any more of these
advertisements. Ulep asserts that such advertisements are unethical, demeaning of the law profession, and destructive of
the confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of the bar. On the other hand, The Legal Clinic claims
that it is not engaged in the practice of law but in the rendering of legal support services through paralegals with the use
of modern computers and electronic machines and should not therefore be banned from advertising its services.
Issues:
1. W/N The Legal Clinic, Inc. is engaged in the practice of law
2. W/N its activities can properly be the subject of advertisements

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Held/Ratio:
1. YES, The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedures,
knowledge, training and experience. Generally, to practice law is to give advice or render any kind of service that
involves legal knowledge or skill. The practice of law, therefore, covers a wide range of activities. While some of
the services being offered by The Legal Clinic merely involve mechanical and technical knowhow, such as the
installation of computer systems and programs for the efficient management of law offices, or the
computerization of research aids and materials, it is clear that it nonetheless gives out legal information to laymen
and lawyers. In providing information, for example, about foreign laws on marriage, divorce and adoption with its
attorneys and so called paralegals, it will necessarily have to explain to the client the intricacies of the law and
advise him or her on the proper course of action to be taken.
2. NO, the advertisements are not allowed
As for the advertisements, the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer in making known his
legal services shall use only true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of facts. He is not
supposed to use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, self-laudatory or
unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. The standards of the legal profession
condemn the lawyers advertisement of his talents. A lawyer cannot, without violating the ethics of his
profession advertise his talents or skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The
prescription against advertising of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental
postulate that the practice of law is a profession.
Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales, the prime incorporator, major stockholder and proprietor of The Legal Clinic, Inc., was
reprimanded by the Court, with a warning that running more advertisements similar to the ones above will be
dealt with more severely. FooThe Legal Clinic is prohibited from further advertising its services.

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23 - Khan v. Simbillo (2003) (annulment specialist)


Facts:
In the July 5, 2000 issue of the newspaper, Philippine Daily Inquirer, this ad appeared: ANNULMENT OF
MARRIAGE Specialist 532-4333/521-2667. Ms. Ma. Theresa B. Espeleta called the number with Mrs. Simbillo
answering and claiming that her husband is an expert in handling annulment cases and can guarantee a court decree within
four to six months, provided the case will not involve separation of property or custody of children and that he charges
P48, 000. Moreover, this was not the first time that the respondent used this advertisement.
On September 1, 2000, Atty. Ismael G. Khan, Jr., in his capacity as Assistant Court Administrator and Chief of the
Public Information Office, filed an administrative complaint against Atty. Rizalino T. Simbillo for improper advertising
and solicitation of his legal services, in violation of Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
and Rule 138, Section 27 of the Rules of Court. This was referred to the IBP and they decided to suspend him from the
practice of law for one (1) year with the warning that a repetition of similar acts would be dealt with more severely.
Issues:
1. W/N the suspension by the IBP is proper.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
It has been repeatedly stressed that the practice of law is not a business. It is a profession in which duty to public
service, not money, is the primary consideration. Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making
venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits. The gaining of a livelihood should be a
secondary consideration. The duty to public service and to the administration of justice should be the primary
consideration of lawyers, who must subordinate their personal interests or what they owe to themselves. The
following elements distinguish the legal profession from a business:
a. A duty of public service, of which the emolument is a by-product, and in which one may attain the
highest eminence without making much money;
b. A relation as an officer of the court to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity
and reliability;
c. A relation to clients in the highest degree of fiduciary;
d. A relation to colleagues at the bar characterized by candor, fairness, and unwillingness to resort to current
business methods of advertising and encroachment on their practice, or dealing directly with their clients.
The respondent clearly admitted to the acts. More so, what adds to the gravity of respondents acts is that in
advertising himself as a self-styled Annulment of Marriage Specialist, he wittingly or unwittingly erodes and
undermines not only the stability but also the sanctity of an institution still considered sacrosanct despite the
contemporary climate of permissiveness in our society.
Nonetheless, the solicitation of legal business is not altogether proscribed. However, for solicitation to be proper,
it must be compatible with the dignity of the legal profession and must not be misleading. If it is made in a modest
and decorous manner, it would bring no injury to the lawyer and to the bar.

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24 - In Re: Sycip (1979)


Doctrines:
The continued use of a firm name after the death of one or more of the partners designated by it is proper only
where sustained by local custom and not where by custom this purports to Identify the active members.
Facts:
Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. Alexander Sycip, and 2)
by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta, praying that they be allowed to continue using, in the names of
their firms, the names of partners who had passed away.
Petitioners base their petitions on the following arguments:
1. A partnership is not prohibited from continuing its business under a firm name which includes the name
of a deceased partner as under Art 1840 of the Civil Code.
2. In regulating other professions, such as accountancy and engineering, the legislature has authorized the
adoption of firm names without any restriction as to the use, in such firm name, of the name of a deceased
partner
3. The Canons of Professional Ethics are not transgressed by the continued use of the name of a deceased
partner in the firm name of a law partnership. Canon 33: The continued use of the name of a deceased or
former partner when permissible by local custom, is not unethical but care should be taken that no
imposition or deception is practiced through this use
4. No possibility of imposition or deception because the deaths of their respective deceased partners were
well-publicized in all newspapers of general circulation for several days
5. No local custom prohibits the continued use of a deceased partners name in a professional firms name
6. Continued use of a deceased partners name in the firm name of law partnerships has been consistently
allowed by U.S. Courts
Issues:
1. Whether the firms may continue to use of the partnership name despite the death of a partner
Held/Ratio:
1. No. The public relations value of the use of an old firm name can tend to create undue advantages and
disadvantages in the practice of the profession. An able lawyer without connections will have to make a name
for himself starting from scratch. Another able lawyer, who can join an old firm, can initially ride on that old
firms reputation established by deceased partners.
Secondly, Article 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than of a
professional partnership.
A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or
for business. The difference between the practice of law from those pertaining to business is that the law is a
profession.
Canon 33 does not consider as unethical the continued use of the name of a deceased or former partner in the firm
name of a law partnership when such a practice is permissible by local custom but the Canon warns that care
should be taken that no imposition or deception is practiced through this use. However, in the Philippines, no
local custom permits or allows the continued use of a deceased or former partners name in the firm names
of law partnerships. Firm names, under our custom, identify the more active and/or more senior members or
partners of the law firm.

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The possibility of deception upon the public, real or consequential, where the name of a deceased partner
continues to be used cannot be ruled out. A person in search of legal counsel might be guided by the familiar ring
of a distinguished name appearing in a firm title.
As for decisions in the United States, there is a custom allowing such. Many firms in the city use the names of
deceased members with the approval of other attorneys, bar associations and the courts.
A local custom as a source of right cannot be considered by a court of justice unless such custom is properly
established by competent evidence like any other fact. There is no proof of the existence of a local custom, and
of the elements requisite to constitute the same in the Philippines.
Petitioners desire to preserve the identity of their firms in the eyes of the public must bow to legal and ethical
impediment.

Justice Aquino dissent: petition may be granted with the condition that it be indicated in the letterheads of the two firms
(as the case may be) that Alexander Sycip, former Justice Ozaeta and Herminio Ozaeta are dead or the period when they
served as partners should be stated therein.
Obviously, the purpose of the two firms in continuing the use of the names of their deceased founders is to retain the
clients who had customarily sought the legal services of Attorneys Sycip and Ozaeta and to benefit from the goodwill
attached to the names of those respected and esteemed law practitioners. That is a legitimate motivation.

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25 - Suarez v. Platon (1940)


Doctrine:
Whilst the Court is averse to any form of vacillation by prosecutors in the prosecution of public offenses, it is
unquestionable that they may, in appropriate cases, in order to do justice and avoid injustice, reinvestigate cases in
which they have already filed the corresponding informations.
Facts:
Lt. Vivencio Orais arrested Atty. Fortunato Suarez in the train while the latter was going to Calauag for the crime
of sedition. Orais moved for the temporary dismissal of the case which was granted by the Justice of the Pease.
Suarez and the deputy provincial fiscal of Tayabas, Perfecto R. Palacio, in turn charged Orais and Damian
Jimenez in the justice of the peace court of Calauag with the crime of arbitrary detention, alleging that the reason for the
arrest was Orais had personal ill-feelings towards Suarez and that the lieutenant had conspired with the Justice of the
Peace to detain them for 8 hours.
Since the Justice of the Peace of Calauag was also being accused, the preliminary investigation was conducted by
the Justice of the Peace of Lopez. While the case was pending, the provincial fiscal of Tayabas, Ramon Valdez
reinvestigated the case and filed for a motion for the dismissal of the case.
Atty. Godofredo Reyes, on behald of Suarez objected to the motion of dismissal filed by the provincial fiscal. The
Bar Association of Tayabas, through its president, Emiliano A. Gala, entered its appearance as amicus curiae and likewise
objected to the dismissal of the case.
The judge denied the motion, ruling that there was prima facie case against the accused and assigned Fiscal
Palacio to handle the prosecution but Palacio refused and Yamson, the provincial fiscal of Sorsogon was assigned. Fiscal
Yamson after going over the case likewise entered a nolle prosequi. Atty. Reyes again vigorously objected to this motion
on the ground that there was sufficient proof to warrant the prosecution of the accused. Judge Platon was appointed to
preside over case No. 6426. He dismissed the case, holding that the evidence was insufficient to convict the accused of the
crime charged.
Issue:
1. W/N a peremptory writ of mandamus can be issued compelling the Judge Platon to reinstate the criminal case
which had been ordered dismissed.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. After the filing of the information by the provincial fiscal of Tayabas for arbitrary detention against
Lieutenant Orais and the justice of the peace of Lopez, the same fiscal, finding no evidence to support the
allegations, moved for the dismissal of the case. The prosecuting officer is the representative not of an ordinary
party to a controversy, but of a sovereignty whose obligation to govern impartially is as compelling as its
obligation to govern at all; and whose interest, therefore, in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case,
but that justice shall be done. As such, he is in a peculiar and very definite sense the servant of the law, the
twofold aim of which is that guilt shall not escape or innocence suffer. He may prosecute with earnestness and
vigor but, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain
from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring
about a just one.

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26 - Ramos v. Imbang (2007) (fake hearings)


Doctrines:
Lawyers in the public office are expected not only to refrain from any act or omission which tend to lessen the
trust and confidence of the citizenry in government but also uphold the dignity of the legal profession at all times
and observe a high standard of honesty and fair dealing. A government lawyer is a keeper of public faith and is
burdened with a high degree of social responsibility, higher than his brethren in private practice.
Government employees are expected to devote themselves completely to public service. The private practice of
profession for government employees is prohibited.
Facts:
A case for disbarment or suspension was filed against Atty. Imbang for multiple violations of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.
Diana Ramos asked Atty. Imbang to help her file cases against Spouses Jovellanos. She paid him attorneys fees,
for which Atty. Imbang issued a Receipt for P5,000. Atty. Imbang, on 6 separate occasions made her sit outside the
courtroom while only he would attend the scheduled hearings. He would come out hours later and tell her they were
rescheduled. (He would charge her for these hearings too). She eventually found out he never filed anything and
actually worked at the Public Attorneys Office (PAO).
Atty. Imbang claims that he declined Ramos when she requested his help due to his employment at the PAO. He
says he kept the P5,000 of Ramos for safekeeping, upon her request, while she tried to raise money to hire another lawyer.
He also claims that Ramos asked him to issue a Receipt as a favor only. He further claims that he had already resigned
from the PAO when he began assisting Ramos, but eventually lost contact with her.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Imbang engaged in the private practice of his profession, as prohibited for public
officials/employees under the law
2. W/N Atty. Imbang violated Rule 1.01, Rule 16.01, and Rule 18.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Atty. Imbang is guilty of violating the prohibitions on government lawyers from accepting private cases
and receiving lawyers fees other than their salaries.
Lawyers are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity. More specifically, lawyers in government
service are expected to be more conscientious of their actuations. Government employees are expected to devote
themselves completely to public service. Thus, Sec. 7(b)(2) of the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials
provides that the private practice of profession for government employees is prohibited unless authorized by
the Constitution or law. They cannot handle private cases.
Here, Atty. Imbang received P5,000 from Ramos and issued a Receipt when he was still connected with the
PAO. The Court rejected his claim that he issued said receipt to accommodate the request of a friend. His
acceptance of money from a client established an attorney-client relationship. Furthermore, as a PAO lawyer,
Imbing should not have accepted attorneys fees from an indigent. PAO was created for the purpose of providing
free legal assistance to indigents. He violated the prohibition against accepting legal fees other than his salary.
2. Atty. Imbing violated the ff:
1. Canon 1 (Duty to uphold the law) because he accepted Ramos case and accepted attorneys fees in
consideration for his services
2. Rule 18.01 (A lawyer cannot undertake legal services he knows or should know that he is not qualified to
render) because under Sec. 7 of the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, he was
disqualified from acting as Ramos counsel.

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3. Lawyers Oath (To do no falsehood) because he led Ramos to believe that he really filed an action against
the Jovellanoses. He made it appear the cases were being tried and asked Ramos for appearance fees for
hearings which never took place.
Contrary to the findings of the IBP Board, Atty. Imbing did not violate:
1. Rule 16.01 (Duty to account for all money / property received for / from his client). There was insufficient
basis for finding him guilty because he did not hold the P5,000 of Ramos in trust. He accepted them as his
attorneys fees. But he should still return it because he is not allowed to accept them, being a government lawyer.
He was disbarred from the practice of law.

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27 - PCGG v. Sandiganbayan (2005) (Allied Bank, ill-gotten wealth)


Doctrines:
Rule 6.03 A lawyer shall not, after leaving government service, accept engagement or employment in connection
with any matter which he had intervened while in said service.
Matter is defined any discrete, isolatable act as well as identifiable transaction or conduct involving a particular
situation and specific party, and not merely an act of drafting, enforcing or interpreting government or agency
procedures, regulations or laws, or briefing abstract principles of law. The act of advising the Central Bank, on
how to proceed with the said banks liquidation and even filing the petition for its liquidation with the CFI of
Manila is not the matter contemplated by Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Facts:
When President Corazon Aquino assumed office, one of her first acts was to establish the Presidential
Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to recover the ill-gotten wealth of former Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, his family
and cronies. Pursuant to this mandate, the PCGG, on July 17, 1897 filed with the Sandiganbayan a complaint for
reversion, reconveyance, restitution, accounting and damages against respondents, Lucio Tan, former Pres. Marcos,
Imelda Marcos and other cronies of the Marcoses. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 0005 of the Sandiganbayan
(second division). The PCGG issued several writs of sequestration on the properties allegedly acquired by the respondents
(this includes Allied Bank which was the liquidated General Bank and Trust Company) by means of taking advantage of
their close relationship with the former President. The Respondents filed a petition for certiorari, prohibition and
injunction seeking to nullify the writs of sequestration. After filing of the comments, the case was referred to the
Sandiganbayan (fifth division) for proper disposition.
In all these cases, Tan, et.al are represented by their counsel Atty. Estelito P. Mendoza, who served as the
Solicitor General from 1972 to 1986 during the administration of Former President Marcos. The PCGG filed motions to
disqualify respondent Mendoza as counsel for Tan, et al. The motions alleged that respondent Mendoza, as then Solicitor
General and counsel to Central Bank, actively intervened in the liquidation of GENBANK (Sp. Proc. No. 107812),
which was subsequently acquired by respondents Tan, et al. and became Allied Banking Corporation. Respondent
Mendoza allegedly intervened in the acquisition of GENBANK by respondents Tan, et al. when, in his capacity as then
Solicitor General, he advised the Central Banks officials on the procedure to bring about GENBANKs liquidation
and appeared as counsel for the Central Bank in connection with its petition for assistance in the liquidation of
GENBANK which he filed with the CFI. The motions to disqualify invoked Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Rule 6.03 prohibits former government lawyers from accepting engagement or employment in
connection with any matter in which he had intervened while in said service.
Issues:
1. W/N the appearance as counsel of Atty. Mendoza for Tan, et al. violates Rule 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The key to unlock Rule 6.03 lies in comprehending first, the meaning of matter referred to in the rule and,
second, the metes and bounds of the intervention made by the former government lawyer on the matter. The
American Bar Association in its Formal Opinion 342, defined matter as any discrete, isolatable act as well as
identifiable transaction or conduct involving a particular situation and specific party, and not merely an act of
drafting, enforcing or interpreting government or agency procedures, regulations or laws, or briefing abstract
principles of law.
Beyond doubt, the matter or the act of respondent Mendoza as Solicitor General 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 with the CFI of Manila. We hold that this 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.
ABA Formal Opinion No. 342 is clear as daylight in stressing that the drafting, enforcing or interpreting

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government or agency procedures, regulations or laws, or briefing abstract principles of law are acts
which do not fall within the scope of the term matter and cannot disqualify. It goes without saying that
Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility cannot apply to respondent Mendoza because his alleged
intervention while a Solicitor General in Sp. Proc. No. 107812 (liquidation of Genbank) is an intervention on a
matter different from the matter involved in Civil Case No. 0096 (the case involving the ill gotten wealth).
The petition in the special proceedings is an initiatory pleading; hence, it has to be signed by respondent Mendoza
as the then sitting Solicitor General. For another, the record is arid as to the actual participation of respondent
Mendoza in the subsequent proceedings. Similarly, the Court in interpreting Rule 6.03 was not unconcerned with
the prejudice to the client which will be caused by its misapplication. It cannot be doubted that granting a
disqualification motion causes the client to lose not only the law firm of choice, but probably an individual lawyer
in whom the client has confidence The client with a disqualified lawyer must start again often without the benefit
of the work done by the latter
The Court has to consider also the possible adverse effect of a truncated reading of the rule on the official
independence of lawyers in the government service. The case at bar involves the position of Solicitor General, the
office once occupied by respondent Mendoza. It cannot be overly stressed that the position of Solicitor General
should be endowed with a great degree of independence. It is this independence that allows the Solicitor General
to recommend acquittal of the innocent; it is this independence that gives him the right to refuse to defend
officials who violate the trust of their office. Any undue diminution of the independence of the Solicitor General
will have a corrosive effect on the rule of law.
Mr. Justices Panganiban and Carpio are of the view, among others, that the congruent interest prong of Rule 6.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility should be subject to a prescriptive period. Mr. Justice Tinga opines that
the rule cannot apply retroactively to respondent Mendoza. Obviously, and rightly so, they are disquieted by the
fact that (1) when respondent Mendoza was the Solicitor General, Rule 6.03 was not yet adopted by the IBP and
approved by this Court, and (2) the bid to disqualify respondent Mendoza was made after the lapse of time whose
length cannot, by any standard, qualify as reasonable.

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28 - Query of Atty. Karen M. Silverio-Buffe (2009) (retired Clerk of Court)


Doctrines:
In accordance with RA 6713, a public employee, generally, is prohibited from the practice of his profession
during his incumbency in the service.
By virtue of Canon 6, the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to government lawyers.
Facts:
Atty. Karen M. Silverio-Buffe was the Clerk of Court of RTC Branch 81 of Romblon. After resigning from her
position, she appeared as private counsel before the same branch she used to work in. She asked for declaratory relief and
posted the following query as to Section 7, RA 6713: Why may an incumbent engage in private practice under (b)(2),
assuming the same does not conflict or tend to conflict with his official duties, but a non-incumbent like myself cannot, as
is apparently prohibited by the last paragraph of Section 7? Why is the former allowed, who is still occupying the very
public position that he is able to exploit, but a non-incumbent like myself - who is no longer in a position of possible
abuse/exploitation cannot?
The pertinent provision of law provides:
Section 7. Prohibited Acts and Transactions. - In addition to acts and omissions of public
officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall
constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public official and employee and are hereby
declared to be unlawful:

(b) Outside employment and other activities related thereto. - Public officials and employees
during their incumbency shall not:

(2) Engage in the private practice of their profession unless authorized by the Constitution or
law, provided, that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with their official functions;
or

These prohibitions shall continue to apply for a period of one (1) year after resignation,
retirement, or separation from public office, except in the case of subparagraph (b) (2) above, but
the professional concerned cannot practice his profession in connection with any matter before
the office he used to be with, in which case the one-year prohibition shall likewise apply.
Atty. Buffe argued that the intent of the law is to remove influence, which the public officer might use to benefit
his or her private practice. She claimed that she held no more influence as she had retired from public service.
The Deputy Court Administrator opined that the questioned provision is in keeping with the time-honored
principle that public office is a public trust. Hence, the law was enacted to avoid any impropriety between the retired
officer and his former colleagues.
In addition, the Office of the Chief Attorney (OCAT) said that Atty. Buffe misread the law as a blanket authority
for a public employee to engage in private practice. The proper reading of this provision, according to the OCAT, is that
generally public employees are not allowed to engage in private practice, subject to a couple of exceptions provided by
the law.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Buffe violated RA 6713 and in so doing failed to uphold the Code of Professional Responsibility

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Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Atty. Buffes petition for declaratory relief does not serve to justify her actions in violation of the law.
Under Section 7 of RA 6713, the general rule is that all public officers are not allowed to practice their profession
privately during their incumbency. The exception is when the Constitution or the law permits it or when such
practice will not conflict with their official functions. This prohibition extends to a period of 1 year after
relinquishment of their public duties, except that during this period, they may engage in the private practice
allowed by the law under (b)(2). The exception to this exception is when the allowable private practice involves a
matter before the public office one previously was affiliated with.
In this case, Atty. Buffe, within a year from her resignation, appeared before the same RTC branch, where she
served as clerk of court in violation of RA 6713. Atty. Buffe did not deny these appearances. The doctrine of res
ipsa loquitur applies.

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29 - Rey Vargas et al v. Atty. Michael Ignes (2010) (Disbarment case, counsel without authority)
Doctrines:
Under Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, a member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from
his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for 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 to do so .
A lawyer appearing after his authority as counsel has expired is also appearance without authority.
Facts:
Koronadal Water District (KWD) is a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC). Atty. Michael
Ignes was hired as private legal counsel for 1 year effective April 17, 2006 with the consent of the Office of
Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) and Commission on Audit (COA). Controversy erupted when 2 different
groups, the Dela Pea Board and Yaphockun Board, simultaneously claimed to be the legitimate Board of Directors of
KWD.
The Dela Pea Board adopted Resolution 9 appointing respondents Atty. Rodolfo Viajar Jr. and Atty.
Leonard Mann as private collaborating counsels for all cases of KWD and its Board under the supervision of Atty.
Ignes.
On February 16, 2007 the OGCC approved the retainership contract of Atty. Benjamin Cunanan as new
legal counsel of KWD. This was pursuant to the Local Water Utilities Administrations confirmation that the Yaphockun
Board was the new board and that the latter requested for new counsel. In addition, it stated that the contract of Atty.
Ignes expired on January 14, 2007. Still, the following cases were filed by Attys. Ignes, Viajar and Mann:
Feb. 9 2007 Indirect Contempt of Court: KWD represented by its Gen. Manager Eleanor Gomba v. Efren
Cabucay
Feb. 19, 2007 Civil Case for Injunction and Damages: KWD represented by its Gen. Manager Eleanor Gomba
v. Rey Vargas
Mar. 9, 2007 Supplemental Complaint for the previous case
As a result, the complainants filed a disbarment case before the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD). The
IBP Board of Governors dismissed the disbarment case. The Investigating Commissioner recommended that the case
against Atty. Ignes be dismissed for lack of merit holding that he was unaware of the pre-termination of his contract when
he filed pleadings in the abovementioned cases. As to Attys. Viajar, Mann and Nadua, they were fined P 5,000 each for
failing to secure the conformity of the OGCC and COA to their employment as collaborating counsels. Hence, this
petition for review.
Issues:
1. W/N the respondents willfully appeared as counsel for KWD without legal authority and if yes, are
administratively liable for doing so.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Section 3 of Memorandum Circular No. 9 enjoins GOCCs from employing private lawyers/firms from
handling their cases and legal matters but under exceptional circumstances may do so provided,
a. The written conformity and acquiescence of the Solicitor General or the Government Corporate Counsel,
as the case may be AND
b. The written concurrence of the COA shall first be secured before the hiring of a private lawyer/firm.

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Despite admitting to be aware of the existence of MC 9 requiring indispensible conditions before a GOCC
can hire private counsel and that non-compliance with them would render said private counsel no
authority to file a case in behalf of a GOCC, they signed pleadings and voluntarily represented themselves
as counsels of KWD. Also, the respondents authority as counsel had already been raised in the previous civil
cases by virtue of an urgent motion to disqualify KWD counsels dated Feb 21, 2007 and even during the hearing 2
days later.
Even if they claim that their professional fees were not paid from the public coffers of KWD, it is clear that they
appeared as counsels of KWD without authority and not merely as counsel of the Dela Pea Board and KWD
personnel in their private suits as claimed as one of their defenses.
For Atty. John Nadua: Only the 4th Whereas Clause of Res. No. 9 partly stated that he and Atty. Ignes presently
stand as KWD legal counsels. No proof that COA and OGCC approved his engagement.
For Attys. Viajar and Mann: Although Resolution 9 granted them authority to act as collaborating counsels of
KWD, it had no approval from the OGCC and COA.
For Atty. Ignes: Although the OGCC and COA approved his retainership contract for 1 year effective April 17,
2006, he appeared as counsel of KWD without authority when it expired. Even assuming that he was not notified
of the pre-termination of his contract, records prove that he continued representing KWD even after April 17,
2007. A lawyer appearing after his authority as counsel has expired is also appearance without authority.
Disbarment should not be decreed where any less severe such as reprimand, suspension or fine would accomplish
the end desired. Attys. Ignes, Mann, Viajar and Nadua are found guilty of appearing as attorneys without
authority to do so and fined P5,000 each and are sternly warned that a similar offense in the future will be dealt
with more severely.

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THE LAWYERS DUTIES TO THE LEGAL PROFESSION


31 - Delos Reyes v. Aznar (1989) (Dean of Medicine, carnal knowledge)
Doctrines:
It is the duty of a lawyer, whenever his moral character is put in issue, to satisfy this Court that he is a fit and
proper person to enjoy continued membership in the Bar.
Facts:
Atty. Aznar was the Chairman of the College of Medicine of Southwestern University in Cebu while Delos Reyes
was a second year medical student. When she failed her pathology subject, she went to Atty. Aznar who assured her that
she would not fail. The Solicitor-General found out that Aznar told Delos Reyes to go with him to Manila so that she
wouldnt fail. From 12-14 February 1973, they stayed at the Ambassador Hotel where Aznar repeatedly had sex with
Delos Reyes. The latter said she consented because she was willing to forego her personal dignity in order to pass, and
that she feared that Aznar would push through with his threats to fail her if she didnt go with him. A few months after,
Delos Reyes got pregnant and Aznar allegedly forced her to abort it by making her go to a doctor and sedating her. When
she woke up, the abortion had already allegedly been done. Delos Reyes then filed a complaint for disbarment due to
gross immorality.
Delos Reyes presented detailed evidence while Aznar only presented two witnesses who said that Aznar
only went to Manila on December 1972 and that he stayed with them and with his family. Aznar himself never
appeared during the hearing to refute Delos Reyess allegations. He merely said that the complaint was out of
vengeance because he recommended that Delos Reyes be not admitted for enrollment because she failed most of her
subjects, that he never had any carnal knowledge of her, and that she was a woman of loose morals.
While the Sol-Gen found the abortion allegations uncorroborated, it found that there was sufficient evidence
against Aznars gross immoral conduct. The Sol-Gen recommended that Aznar be suspended from the practice of law for
three years since what happened was partially Delos Reyess fault because she willingly went with Aznar even if she
knew that he was married and had a family. Aznar, on the other hand, petitions that the Court declare that he already
served the three-year suspension because more than 10 years has lapsed before the case was filed.
Issues:
1. W/N Aznar should be disbarred
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, the Court didnt agree with the Sol-Gen that Aznar should only be suspended. First, he wasnt actively
practicing as a lawyer so to merely suspend him would serve no redeeming purpose. Second, he failed to
adduce any evidence on his behalf to engender any doubt as to Delos Reyess allegations. He only presented
two self-serving witnesses, and did not even speak up to present evidence that would contradict Delos Reyess
material points. His mere silence is not enough. When a lawyers integrity is challenged by evidence, its not
enough that he denies the charges against him. He must meet the issue and overcome the evidence, and show
proof that he still maintains the highest degree of morality and integrity, which is expected of him at all times.
Since he did not make a reasonable effort to help himself, he cannot expect the Court to give him the same full
and wide consideration to those who do. Third, the Court reasons that it was highly immoral of Aznar to
have taken advantage of his position in order to have carnal knowledge of Delos Reyes, more so because he
is a family man.

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38 - Galicinao v. Castro (2005)


Facts:
Atty. Castro was a private practitioner and Vice-President of IBP-Nueva Vizcaya Chapter. He went to
complainants office to inquire whether the complete records of Civil Case No. 784, had already been remanded to the
court of origin, MCTC in Nueva Vizcaya. It must be noted that respondent was not the counsel of record of either
party.
Complainant informed respondent that the record had not yet been transmitted since a certified true copy of the
decision of the Court of Appeals should first be presented to serve as basis for the transmittal of the records to the court of
origin.
Respondent then answered, You mean to say it is not your duty to remand the record of the case?
Complainant responded, No, Sir, I mean, its not our duty to notify you that you have to submit a copy of the
Court of Appeals decision.
Respondent angrily declared in Ilocano, Kayat mo nga saw-en, awan pakialam yon? Kasdiay? (You mean to
say you dont care anymore? Is that the way it is?) He then turned and left the office, banging the door on his way out to
show his anger. The banging of the door was so loud it was heard by the people at the adjacent RTC, Branch 30 where a
hearing was taking place.
After a few minutes, respondent returned to the office, still enraged, and pointed his finger at complainant and
shouted, Ukinnan, no adda ti unget mo iti kilientek haan mo nga ibales kaniak ah! (Vulva of your mother! If you are
harboring ill feelings against my client, dont turn your ire on me!)
Complainant was shocked at respondents words but still managed to reply, I dont even know your client, Sir.
Respondent left the office and as he passed by complainants window, he again shouted.
Eventually, complainant filed a Manifestation expressing her desire not to appear on the next hearing date in view
of respondents public apology, adding that respondent personally and humbly asked for forgiveness which she accepted.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Castro violated the Code of Professional Responsibility
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. It should be noted that respondent was not the counsel of record of Civil Case No. 784. Had he been
counsel of record, it would have been easy for him to present the required certified true copy of the decision of the
Court of Appeals. He need not have gone to Manila to procure a certified true copy of the decision since the Court
of Appeals furnishes the parties and their counsel of record a duplicate original or certified true copy of its
decision.
Not being the counsel of record and there being no authorization from either the parties to represent them,
respondent had no right to impose his will on the clerk of court.
Rule 8.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states:
Rule 8.02A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional
employment of another lawyer; however, it is the right of any lawyer, without fear or favor,
to give proper advice and assistance to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful
counsel.
Through his acts of constantly checking the transmittal of the records of Civil Case No. 784, respondent
deliberately encroached upon the legal functions of the counsel of record of that case. It does not matter
whether he did so in good faith.

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Moreover, in the course of his questionable activities relating to Civil Case No. 784, respondent acted rudely
towards an officer of the court.
Respondent ought to have realized that this sort of public behavior can only bring down the legal profession in the
public estimation and erode public respect for it. These acts violate Rule 7.03, Canon 8 and Rule 8.01, to wit:
Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflect on his fitness to
practice law, now shall he, whether in public or private life behave in scandalous manner to
the discredit of the legal profession.
Canon 8 A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his
professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
Rule 8.01 A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper.
The highest reward that can be bestowed on lawyers is the esteem of their brethren. This esteem cannot be
purchased, perfunctorily created, or gained by artifice or contrivance. It is born of sharp contexts and thrives
despite conflicting interest. It emanates solely from integrity, character, brains and skills in the honorable
performance of professional duty.

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39 - Camacho v. Pangulayan (2000)


Doctrine:
Canon 9 provides that A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party
represented by counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but
should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may
tend to mislead a party not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law.
Facts:
Atty. Camacho filed a complaint against the lawyers of the Pangulayan and Associates Law Offices (Attys.
Pangulayan, Balmores, Laurel, Bustos). Camacho, counsel of expelled students from the AMA Computer College
(AMACC), charged that the Pangulayan lawyers, as counsel for AMACC, procured separate occasions, without his
knowledge, compromise agreements (Re-Admission Agreements) with 4 of his clients which, in effect, required them to
waive all kinds of claims they might have had against AMACC, terminating all civil, criminal and administrative
proceedings filed against it.
The students were all members of the Editorial Board of DATALINE and caused to be published some
objectionable features or articles in the paper. The 3-member Student Disciplinary Tribunal was immediately convened
found the students guilty of the use of indecent language and unauthorized use of the student publication funds. The erring
students were then expelled.
Atty. Pangulayan stated that none of his co-respondents had taken part in the various Re-Admission Agreements
and were, in fact, no longer connected at the time with the Pangulayan and Associates Law Offices. The Re-Admission
Agreements had nothing to do with the dismissal of the civil case and were executed for the sole purpose of effecting the
settlement of an administrative case involving the 9 students of AMACC who were expelled.
After being furnished with execution of the letters of apology and Re-Admission Agreements, Judge Lopez
dismissed the case.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Pangulayan acted in accordance with ethical standards for procuring said agreements
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. It would appear that when the individual letters of apology and Re-Admission Agreements were formalized,
Camacho was by then already the retained counsel for the students in the civil case. Although aware that the
students were represented by counsel, Pangulayan proceeded to negotiate with them and their parents without at
the very least communicating the matter to their lawyer who was counsel of record. The failure of Pangulayan,
whether by design or because of oversight, is an inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics and in
utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague. He fell short of the demands required of him as a lawyer and as a
member of the Bar.
The Court concurred with the IBP Investigating Commission and the IBP Board of Governors in their findings but
found the recommended 6-month suspension too harsh a penalty and shortened it to 3-months. The case against
the other respondents is dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

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40 - Torres v. Javier (2005) (use of improper language in pleading and reply)


Doctrines:
Canon 8: A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional colleagues,
and shall avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
Rule 8.01. A lawyer shall not, in professional dealings, use language which is abusive, offensive or
otherwise improper.
Facts:
This case is a complaint filed by Atty. Ireneo L. Torres and Mrs. Natividad Celestino against Atty. Jose
Concepcion Javier for malpractice, gross misconduct in office as an attorney and/or violation of the lawyers oath.
The case started because of the remarks made by Atty. Javier in the pleadings he filed in a petition for audit of all
funds of the University of the East Faculty Association (UEFA). Atty. Torres is UEFAs counsel. The following are their
causes of action:
1. The pleadings by Atty. Torres which allege malicious imputation of crimes of theft of UEFAs funds,
destruction or concealment of UEFAs documents and some other acts tending to cause dishonor, discredit or
contempt upon their persons.
2. In the attorneys fees case, the Reply to Respondents Answer/Comment he filed before the DOLE used
language that was clearly abusive, offensive, and improper, inconsistent with the character of an attorney as a
quasi-judicial officer.
Atty. Torres and Mrs. Celestino averred that Atty. Javier violated the attorneys oath that he obey the laws and
do no falsehood and the Code of Professional Responsibility particularly Rule 10.01 thereof.
Atty. Javier, in his comment, stated that he was angry while he was preparing his motion, having known that the
UEFA office had been burglarized and Atty. Torres had been spreading reports and rumors implicating his clients
including his wife to burglary. With respect to the attorneys fees case, he stated that he merely wanted to bring to the
Bureau of Labor Relations attention that Atty. Torres had the habit of hurling baseless accusations against his wife to
embarrass her, thus prompting him to state these dismissed cases indubitably indicate Atty. Torres pattern of mental
dishonesty.
The Investigating Commissioner of the IBP found Atty. Javier guilty of violating the CPR for using inappropriate
and offensive remarks in his pleadings. The IC stated that though the remarks were made because of his emotional
reaction in view of the fact the Atty. Torres was in a legal dispute with his wife, this excuse cannot be sustained. The IC
recommended that Atty. Javier be reprimanded. The Board of Governors of the IBP adopted and approved the Report and
Recommendation of the IC.
Issues:
1. W/N the recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner is sufficient to punish Atty. Javier
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility (see doctrine) instructs that Atty. Javiers arguments in
his pleadings should be gracious to both the court and opposing counsel and be of such words as may be properly
addressed by one gentleman to another. The language vehicle does not run short of expressions which are
emphatic but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating but not offensive.

41 - Linsangan v. Tolentino (2009) (stealing clients)

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Doctrines:
A lawyer should not steal another lawyers client, nor induce the latter to retain him by a promise of better
service, good result or reduced fees for his services.
Facts:
Pedro Linsangan of the Linsangan Linsangan & Linsangan Law Office filed a disbarment complaint against Atty.
Tolentino. He alleged that Tolentino is guilty of solicitation of clients and encroachment of professional services.
Linsangan claimed that Tolentino and his paralegal, Labiano, convinced his clients to transfer legal representation.
Linsangan said that Tolentino promised them financial assistance and expeditious collection on their claims. Tolentino
apparently called and texted Linsangans clients.
To support his allegations, Linsangan presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried
to convince him to sever his association with Linsangan and employ Tolentinos services and even be able to get a loan of
P50,000. Linsangan also presented Labianos calling card which specifically states, w/ financial assistance.
Tolentino denied knowing Labiano and the printing and circulation of the said calling cared in his answer.
However, he later admitted that he knew her during the mandatory hearing.
The Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of the IBP found that Tolentino encroached on the professional
practice of Linsangan, violating Rule 8.02. He also contravened the rule against soliciting cases for gain. The CBD
recommended that Tolentino be reprimanded with a stern warning that any repetition would merit a heavier penalty.
Issues:
1. W/N the Tolentino should be disbarred?
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. HOWEVER, the SC held that he should be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one year and is
sternly warned that a repetition of the same or similar acts in the future shall be dealt with more severely.
Rule 8.02 requires that A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach upon the professional employment of
another lawyer. Tolentino violated such canon. The means employed by Tolentino in furtherance of such
misconduct themselves constituted distinct violations of ethical rules. A lawyer should not steal another lawyers
client, nor induce the latter to retain him by a promise of better service, good result or reduced fees for his
services. Tolentino never denied having Linsangans clients in his own client list. He also did not deny Labianos
connection to his office. Hence, Tolentino committed an unethical, predatory overstep in anothers legal practice.
The SC also noted that Tolentino violated Rules 1.03, 2.03, 16.04 and Canon 3 of the CPR, and Section 27, Rule
130 of the Rules of Court. The SC also reminded lawyers what professional cards should contain: (1) lawyers
name, (2) name of firm with which he is connected, (3) address, (4) telephone number, and (5) special branch of
law practiced.

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42 - Atty. Bonifacio Barandon v. Atty Edwin Ferrer (2010) (drunk lawyer, uttered invectives)
Doctrine:
A lawyers language should always be dignified and respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal profession. The
use of intemperate language and unkind ascriptions has no place in the dignity of judicial forum.
Facts:
Atty. Barandon filed a complaint-affidavit with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Commission on Bar
Discipline (IBP-CBD) seeking the disbarment, suspension from the practice of law, or imposition of appropriate
disciplinary actions against Atty. Ferrer.
Atty Barandon was alleging Atty Ferrers conduct and the words he uttered at the courtroom of
Municipal Trial Court Daet before the start of a hearing (Civil Case 7040). Atty. Ferrer was drunk when he
uttered the words: Laban kung laban, patayan kung patayan, kasama ang lahat ng pamilya. Wala na palang magaling
na abogado sa Camarines Norte, ang abogadona rito ay mga taga-Camarines Sur, umuwi na kayo sa Camarines Sur,
hindi kayo taga-rito.
The Investigating Commissioner Milagros V. San Juan of the IBP-CBD submitted a Report, recommending the
suspension for two years of Atty. Ferrer. The Investigating Commissioner found enough evidence on record to prove
Atty. Ferrers violation of Canons 8.01 and 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Atty. Ferrer attributed to
Atty. Barandon, as counsel in Civil Case 7040, the falsification of the plaintiffs affidavit despite the absence of evidence
that the document had in fact been falsified and that Atty. Barandon was a party to it. The Investigating Commissioner
also found that Atty. Ferrer uttered the threatening remarks imputed to him in the presence of other counsels, court
personnel, and litigants before the start of hearing.
The IBP Board of Governors passed a resolution adopting and approving the Investigating Commissioners
recommendation but reduced the penalty of suspension to only one year. Ferrer filed a motion for reconsideration but was
denied.
Issue:
1. Whether or not the IBP Board of Governors and the IBP Investigating Commissioner erred in finding respondent
Atty. Ferrer guilty of the charges against him
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The Court has constantly reminded lawyers to use dignified language in their pleadings despite the
adversarial nature of our legal system.
Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility commands all lawyers to conduct themselves with courtesy,
fairness and candor towards their fellow lawyers and avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.
Specifically, in Rule 8.01, A lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper. Atty. Ferrers actions do not measure up to Rule 8.01. Evidence shows
that he imputed to Atty. Barandon pure malice when he had no evidence of the falsification of the affidavit
and that Atty. Barandon authored the same.
Atty. Ferrer also violated Canon 7, particularly rule 7.03: A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely
reflect on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life behave in scandalous manner
to the discredit of the legal profession. Ferrer uttered the invectives against Barandon with intent to annoy,
humiliate, incriminate, and discredit the former. A lawyers language should always be dignified and
respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal profession. The use of intemperate language and unkind
ascriptions has no place in the dignity of judicial forum. He should be aware that such kind of public behavior
can only bring down the legal profession in the public estimation and erode public respect for it.
The SC affirmed the one-year suspension of Atty. Ferrer as ordered by the IBP-CBD.

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43 - Cambaliza v. Cristal-Tenorio (2004)


Doctrines:
Canon 9 A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law.
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.
Facts:
A complaint for disbarment was filed with the IBP. Ana Cambaliza, a former employee of Atty. Ana Cristal-
Tenorio in her law office, charged Atty. Cristal-Tenorio with deceit, grossly immoral conduct, and malpractice or
other gross misconduct in office.
Grounds:
1. Deceit Atty. Cristal-Tenorio has been falsely representing herself to be married to Felicisimo Tenorio, who
has a prior and subsisting marriage with another woman. However, through spurious means, Atty. Cristal-Tenorio
and Felicisimo Tenorio were able to obtain a false marriage contract, which states that they were married on
Feb. 10, 1980 in Manila. Certifications from the Civil Registry of Manila and the NSO proved that no record of
marriage exists between them. The false date and place of marriage between the two are stated in the birth
certificates of their two children. But in the birth certificates of their other two children, another date and place of
marriage are indicated (Bukidnon and Feb. 12,1980).
2. Grossly Immoral Conduct Atty. Cristal-Tenorio caused the dissemination to the public of a libelous affidavit
derogatory to Makati City Councilor Divina Jacome. Atty. Cristal-Tenorio would openly and sarcastically declare
to her employees the alleged immorality of Councilor Jacome.
3. Malpractice or other gross misconduct in office (1) cooperated in the illegal practice of law by her husband,
who is NOT a member of the Phil. Bar; (2) converted her clients money to her own use and benefit, which led to
the filing of an estafa case against her; (3) threatened Cambaliza with the statement Isang Bala Ka Lang to
deter her from divulging her illegal activities.
Atty. Cristal-Tenorio DENIED all allegations against her. She said she was legally married. She did not
disseminate the libelous affidavit. On the contrary, it was Councilor Jacome who caused the execution of said document.
Additionally, the estafa case has been dropped and that she did not say the Isang Bala ka Lang statement. Atty. Cristal
Tenorio said that the case was filed by Cambaliza to get even with her. She terminated Cambalizas employment after
receiving numerous complaints about extortion with the promise of processing their passports and marriages to foreigners.
Likewise, this disbarment complaint is politically motivated: some politicians offered to re-hire the Cambaliza should
they initiate this complaint, which they did and for which they were re-hired.
In addition, Atty. Cristal-Tenorios law office is registered with the Department of Trade and Industry as a single
proprietorship. Hence, she has no partners in her law office.
In Cambalizas reply, she submitted (1) the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office where the name of
Felicisimo Tanorio is listed as senior partner and (2) a Sagip Communication Radio Group I.D. signed by Atty. Cristal-
Tenorio as Chairperson where her husband is identified as Atty. Felicisimo Tenorio. Her husband even appeared in
court hearings.
Upon cross-examination, when confronted with the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office bearing her
signature, Atty. Cristal-Tenorio admitted that Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he and a certain
Gerardo A. Panghulan, who is also not a lawyer, are named as senior partners because they have investments in
her law office.
In addition, declared that she married Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., on 12 February 1980 in Quezon City, but when
she later discovered that their marriage contract was not registered she applied for late registration on 5 April 2000. She
then presented as evidence a certified copy of the marriage contract issued by the Office of the Civil Registrar General and

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authenticated by the NSO. The erroneous entries in the birth certificates of her children as to the place and date of her
marriage were merely an oversight.
Cambaliza filed a Motion to Withdraw Complaint after realizing that this disbarment case arose out of a
misunderstanding and misappreciation of facts. She is NO LONGER INTERESTED in pursuing this case. IBP did
not act on this Motion.
Report of the IBP: IBP found Atty. Cristal-Tenorio guilty of the charge of cooperating in the illegal practice of
law by Felicismo Tenorio, in violation of Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility based on
the following evidence:
1. The letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office, which lists Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., as a senior partner
2. The Sagip Communication Radio Group identification card of Atty. Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., signed by
Atty. Cristal-Tenorio as Chairperson
3. Order by the MTC in a criminal case wherein Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., entered his appearance as counsel
and even moved for the provisional dismissal of the case
IBP recommended that Atty. Cristal-Tenorio be reprimanded. IBP Board of Governors modified the
penalty from reprimand to suspension from the practice of law for 6 months.
Issues:
1. W/N IBP should have acted on the disbarment case notwithstanding the Motion to Withdraw Complaint by
Cambaliza
2. W/N Atty. Cristal-Tenorio should be suspended
Held/Ratio:
1. YES
The IBP was correct in not acting on the Motion to Withdraw Complaint filed by Cambaliza. SC quoted from
another case:
A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the
complainant A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in any sense a civil action where
the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer 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 complainant or
the person who called the attention of the court to the attorneys 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. Hence, if the evidence on record warrants, the respondent may be
suspended or disbarred despite the desistance of complainant or his withdrawal of the charges.
2. YES
A lawyer who allows a non-member of the Bar to misrepresent himself as a lawyer and to practice law is
guilty of violating Canon 9 and Rule 9.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which read as follows:
Canon 9 A lawyer shall not directly or indirectly assist in the unauthorized practice of law.
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.
The term practice of law implies customarily or habitually holding oneself out to the public as a lawyer
for compensation as a source of livelihood or in consideration of his services. Holding ones self out as a
lawyer may be shown by acts indicative of that purpose like identifying oneself as attorney, appearing in court

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in representation of a client, or associating oneself as a partner of a law office for the general practice of law.
Such acts constitute unauthorized practice of law.
In this case, Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr., is not a lawyer, but he holds himself out as one. His wife, the
respondent herein, abetted and aided him in the unauthorized practice of the legal profession.
Atty. Cristal-Tenorio admitted that the letterhead of Cristal-Tenorio Law Office listed Felicisimo R. Tenorio, Jr.,
Gerardo A. Panghulan, and Maricris D. Battung as senior partners. She admitted that the first two are not
lawyers but paralegals. They are listed in the letterhead of her law office as senior partners because they
have investments in her law office. That is a blatant misrepresentation.
The lawyers duty to prevent, or at the very least not to assist in, the unauthorized practice of law is founded on
public interest and policy. Public policy requires that the practice of law be limited to those individuals
found duly qualified in education and character. The permissive right conferred on the lawyer is an individual
and limited privilege subject to withdrawal if he fails to maintain proper standards of moral and professional
conduct. The purpose is to protect the public, the court, the client, and the bar from the incompetence or
dishonesty of those unlicensed to practice law and not subject to the disciplinary control of the Court. It
devolves upon a lawyer to see that this purpose is attained. Thus, the canons and ethics of the profession enjoin
him not to permit his professional services or his name to be used in aid of, or to make possible the unauthorized
practice of law by, any agency, personal or corporate. And, the law makes it a misbehavior on his part, subject
to disciplinary action, to aid a layman in the unauthorized practice of law.

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44 - Aguirre v. Rana (2003) (counsel for vice mayoralty candidate)


Doctrine:
It is upon signing the roll of Attorneys that one becomes a full-fledged lawyer, prior to which one has no authority
to practice law.
Facts:
The respondent Edwin Rana was among those who passed the 2000 Bar Exams. A day before the mass oath
taking, the complainant Donna Aguirre filed against him a Petition for Denial of Admission to the Bar, charging him with
unauthorized practice of the law, grave misconduct, violation of the law, and grave misrepresentation. Because of these,
Rana was disallowed from signing his name in the Roll of Attorneys until the said charges are resolved.
These charges stemmed from the fact that during the mayoralty elections in May 2001, Rana, while not yet a
lawyer, appeared as counsel for candidates before the Municipal Board of Election Canvassers of Mandaon, Masbate.
Further, he even signed pleadings as counsel for George Bunan, Undersigned Counsel for, and in behalf of Vice
Mayoralty Candidate, George Bunan, and even entered his appearance as counsel for mayoralty candidate
Emily Estipona-Hao. All these were executed prior to his taking the lawyers oath. In denial of the charges, he claims to
have assisted the candidates not as a lawyer but as a person who knows the law. He also claims that the charges against
him were only brought as political vendetta by the daughter of the losing mayoralty candidate.
Issue:
1. W/N Rana was guilty of unauthorized practice of the law
Held:
1. YES. The Court referred the case to the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) for evaluation, report and
recommendation. The OBC found that Rana did in fact appear as counsel for Bunan in the mayoralty elections
even before he took the lawyers oath on May 22, 2001, thus recommending that he be denied admission to the
Philippine Bar. The SC agreed with the findings and conclusions of the OBC and denied him admission to the
Bar. The Court ruled that although he passed the examinations and took the oath, it is the signing in the Roll of
Attorneys that makes one a full-fledged lawyer. Prior to this, he had no authority to practice the law.

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45 - Amalgamated Laborers Association v. CIR (1968) (25% attorneys fees)


Facts:
In 1956, the Amalgamated Laborers Association (ALA) filed a case of unjust labor practices against Binalbagan
Sugar Central Company (Biscom) with the Court of Industrial Relations (CIR). They retained the services of Atty. Joseur
Carbonell (also petitioner) and Atty. Leonardo Fernandez (private respondent). Originally, 47 employees filed the case,
but in the end, only 10 remained w/ the case until it went to the Supreme Court. In 1962, ALA won the suit and Biscom
was instructed to reinstate the petitioners and award them back wages. In 1963, they assigned an official computer who
computed that petitioners were entitled to P79,755. Both ALA and Biscom appealed. While this was pending, Atty.
Ferndandez filed a Notice of Attorneys Lien. He said that per an agreement with ALA and its president, Felisberto Javier,
he was entitled to 25% contingent fee on the award as part of his attorneys fees. He stated that he has been the active
counsel of the laborers from the very start until the case reached the Supreme Court. A few months after, Atty. Carbonell
filed a notice of discharge with the Court, stating that the ALA Board has decided to terminate Atty. Fernandezs services.
In his reply, Fernandez said that the grounds for discharge were malicious and motivated by greed and ungratefulness.
As it turns out, the lawyers partnership soured sometime when the case was nearing conclusion. This prompted
Fernandez to ask for his fee. Fernandez further stated that his original fee was supposed to be 30% of the award, but that
Javier talked to him to lower it to 25% because they still had to give 5% to Carbonell. On the other hand, Javier asserts
that they had an oral agreement to split the 30% between the three of them (Javier, Carbonell, and Fernandez). In 1964,
the CIR ruled that Fernandez should be given 25% of the award as attorneys fees, and pursuant to this, P19,938 was
released to him. Petitioners allege that CIR had no authority to settle a dispute about attorneys fees in a labor case
because it is beyond its limited jurisdiction
Issues:
1. W/N the CIR had the authority to settle the dispute about the attorneys fees
2. W/N Fernandez is entitled to the 25% attorneys fees
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, the dispute about the attorneys fees is a tail-end feature of the main labor case, over which CIR has
jurisdiction. Its well-settled that a grant of jurisdiction over a subject matter includes jurisdiction over all the
reasonable things necessary for the administration of justice within the scope of jurisdiction. Sometimes, the court
may be called to decide upon matters which are beyond the original cause of action. When a court takes
cognizance of a cause of action, it may also take cognizance of other disputes relating to or incidental or collateral
to that cause of action even if it would not have originally had jurisdiction over such incidental matter. To direct
the dispute over the attorneys fees to another court would just result in a multiplicity of suits, which the courts
abhor and are trying to avoid.
2. YES, BUT he is not entitled to the entire 25%. The Court ruled that 30% is too unreasonable given that petitioners
are labor workers and earn only the minimum wage (except president Javier). Thus, it would be unreasonable to
deduct 30% from their award as attorneys fees. However, the Court said that 25% is reasonable and that this has
to be shared by Carbonell and Fernandez. Though Fernandez was the active counsel, the Court could not discount
the fact that Carbonell also acted in behalf of the petitioners. Javier cant accept any part of the attorneys fees
because pursuant to Canon 34, only attorneys may divide amongst themselves attorneys fees. The SC remanded
the case to the CIR to determine how Fernandez and Carbonell will split the P19,938.

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LAWYERS DUTIES TO COURTS


46 - Cobb-Perez v. Judge Lantin (1968)
Doctrine:
Accordingly, should there be a conflict between his duty to his client and that to the court, he should resolve the
conflict against the former and in favor of the latter, his primary responsibility being to uphold the cause of
justice.
A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court.
Facts:
Basically, the spouses Perez were involved in a civil case where a simple money judgment was rendered against
them. To execute the judgment, the court levied upon shares of stock of the spouses. With the help of the spouses
counsels Attys. Baizas and Bolinas, they resorted to a series of actions and petitions for the sole purpose of delaying
the execution of the simple money judgment which has long been final and executory.
What they did was attack the execution in a piecemeal fashion, causing the postponement of the execution sale six
times. More than eight years after the finality of the judgment have passed, and the same has yet to be satisfied.
In the courts final judgment, the writ of execution against the spouses Perez was upheld, and in addition, the
Supreme Court assessed treble costs against petitioners, to be paid by their counsels. Attys. Crispin D. Baizas and
A. N. Bolinas, while submitting to the judgment on the merits, seek reconsideration of the decision in so far as it
reflects adversely upon their professional conduct and condemns them to pay the treble costs adjudged against
their clients.
Issue:
1. W/N Attys. Baizas and Bolinas should be made to pay treble costs.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Attys. Baizas and Bolinao contends that if there was delay it was because they happened to be more
assertive, a quality of lawyers which is not to be condemned. The court replied that a counsels assertiveness in
espousing with candour and honesty his clients cause must be encouraged and is to be commended; what
the court does not and cannot countenance is a lawyers insistence despite the patent futility of his clients
position. It is the duty of a counsel to advise his clients if he finds that his clients cause is defenseless, then it is
his bounden duty to advise the latter to acquiesce and submit, rather than traverse the incontrovertible. A lawyer
must resist the whims and caprices of his client, and temper his clients propensity to litigate. Accordingly,
should there be a conflict between his duty to his client and that to the court, he should resolve the conflict
against the former and in favor of the latter, his primary responsibility being to uphold the cause of justice.

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47 - COMELEC v. Judge Naynoy (1998)


Doctrine:
Rule 10.02 of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall not knowingly
misquote or misrepresent the text of a decision or authority.
Facts:
Comelec filed an information against private respondents of this case for violation of Sec. 261(i) of the Omnibus
Election Code for having been engaged in partisan political activities with the RTC Branch 32. Judge Naynoy, of RTC Br.
32, motu proprio ordered the records of the case to be withdrawn and directed the Comelec Law Department to file the
said cases with the MTC. Judge Naynoy contends that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the cases because the maximum
imposable penalty in each case does not exceed six years imprisonment, citing BP 129 as amended by RA 7691.
RTC denied the Comelecs MR, hence, they filed a special civil action for certiorari with mandamus before the
SC.
Issue:
1. W/N the RTC has the jurisdiction over the cases filed before it
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Sec. 32(2) of BP 129, as amended by RA 7691, provides that:
... - Except in cases falling within the exclusive original jurisdiction of Regional Trial
Court and of the Sandiganbayan, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts,
and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise:
...
b. Exclusive original jurisdiction over all offenses punishable with imprisonment
not exceeding six (6) years xxx
One example of the exception pertained to in the opening sentence of the provision above is Sec. 268 of the
Election Code, which specifically vests the exclusive original jurisdiction to the RTC, criminal cases in violation
of the Election Code, regardless of the penalties imposed on the said offenses.
The SC said: It is obvious that respondent judge did not read at all the opening sentence of Section 32 of B.P.
Blg. 129, as amended. It is thus an opportune time, as any, to remind him, as well as other judges, of his duty to
be studious of the principles of law, to administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the system of the
law itself, to be faithful to the law, and to maintain professional competence. Thus, Judge Naynoy was
admonished for this.
FACTS and ISSUES RELEVANT to the TOPIC:
Counsel for COMELEC, Atty. Jose P. Balbuena, Director IV of Comelec Law Department, was also admonished for his
utter carelessness in his reference to the case against Judge Juan Lavilles, Jr. In the MR, he cited the case as: Alberto
Naldeza vs- Judge Juan Lavilles, Jr., A.M. No. MTJ-94-1009, March 5, 1996. However, in the petition to the SC, he
cited the case as: Alberto -vs- Judge Juan Lavilles, Jr., 245 SCRA 286.
The SC said that if he was diligent enough, he would have known that the correct name of the complainant was
ALBERTO NALDOZA. Moreover, the case was not reported in volume 245 of the SCRA, but in volume 254 of the
SCRA. The SC said, further: Worse, in both the motion for reconsideration and the petition, Atty. Balbuena deliberately
made it appear that the quoted portions were our findings or rulings, or, put a little differently, our own words. The truth
is, the quoted portion is just a part of the memorandum of the Court Administrator quoted in the decision.
Rule 10.02 of Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that a lawyer shall not knowingly misquote
or misrepresent the text of a decision or authority.

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48 - Fernandez v. De Ramos-Villalon (2009) (Syndicate)


Doctrines:
A lawyer, as an officer of the court, has a duty to be truthful in all his dealings. However, this duty does not
require that the lawyer advance matters of defense on behalf of his or her clients opponent.
Facts:
The Palacios owned a parcel of land in Brgy. San Lorenzo, a syndicate of land grabbers, where after her property
she, (the syndicate was trying to have their title Judicially Reconstituted). The Palacios as suggested by a friend, got the
help of Fernandez et. al. (complainant), who succeeded in stopping the syndicate.
After sometime the Palacios found out that Fernandez was able to, transfer the title of their land in his name, thru
a deed of donation.
The Palacios hired Atty. Villalon (defendant) as counsel, to have the deed of donation declared void.
Fernandez is now is filling a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Villalon, for violation of Rules 1.01, 7.03,
10.01,10.02, and 10.03 of the Canons of Professional Responsibility. Allegedly for suppressing and excluding in her
complaint a deed of sale between Fernandez and The Palacios (they were saying that there was a deed of sale between
Fernandez and The Palacios). And that Atty. Villalon induced a witness to sign a false affidavit. (The witness was the
one that introduced Fernandez to the Palacios, in the first affidavit the witness said, she was also victimized by Fernandez.
She retracted in a second affidavit saying that there was a valid sale, and she only signed the first affidavit because she
thought that it would not be used in court.)
The complaint was dismissed by the IBP, hence this petition.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Villalon should be disbarred for the deed of sale issue?
Held/Ratio:
1. No, A lawyer, as an officer of the court, has a duty to be truthful in all his dealings. However, this duty does not
require that the lawyer advance matters of defense on behalf of his or her clients opponent. A lawyer is his or her
clients advocate; while duty-bound to utter no falsehood, an advocate is not obliged to build the case for his or
her clients opponent. The respondents former client, Palacios, approached her to file a complaint for the
annulment of the Deed of Donation. This was the cause of action chosen by her client. Assuming arguendo that
the respondent knew of the presence of the Deed of Absolute Sale, its existence, is, indeed, a matter of defense for
Fernandez. We cannot fault the respondent for choosing not to pursue the nullification of the Deed of Absolute
Sale. The respondent alleged that her former client, Palacios, informed her that the Deed of Absolute Sale was
void for lack of consideration. Furthermore, unlike the Deed of Donation, the Deed of Absolute Sale was not
registered in the Registry of Deeds and was not the basis for the transfer of title of Palacios property to
Fernandez. Under the circumstances, it was not unreasonable for a lawyer to conclude, whether correctly or
incorrectly, that the Deed of Absolute Sale was immaterial in achieving the ultimate goal the recovery of
Palacios property.

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49 - Rivera v. Corral (2002) (tampering with court records; February 29)


Doctrine:
Altering material dates on court records is an act of dishonesty.
Facts:
Jose Rivera, a Baptist pastor, filed a Complaint for Disbarment against Atty. Napoleon Corral. The complaint
charges Atty. Corral with Malpractice and Conduct Unbecoming a Member of the Philippine Bar. According to Rivera,
Atty. Corral tampered with court records by manually changing the entries of a Decision without the Courts
knowledge and permission.
Justice Ybanez wrote the Decision (civil case ejectment) on February 12, 1990. Atty. Corrals secretary
received the Decision on February 23, 1990. On March 13, 1990, Atty. Corral filed a Notice of Appeal. The succeeding
day, Atty. Corral went to the Office of the Clerk of Court, Branch 7, Bacolod City and changed the date from
February 23, 1990 to February 29, 1990. However, Atty. Corral soon realized that there was no February 29, 1990. As a
result, he filed a Reply to Plaintiffs Manifestation claiming that he actually received the Decision on February 28, 1990.
Atty. Corral claimed that he corrected the papers in the presence and with the approval of the Clerk of Court. He
attributed the correction to a typographical error.
The Court referred the case to the IBP for investigation, report and recommendation. They found Atty. Corral
guilty and recommended his suspension for 6 months. Atty. Corral filed a motion for reconsideration of the IBPs decision
but this was denied. Atty. Corral filed a motion for reconsideration before the SC. He claimed that there was no due
process or hearing.
Issues:
1. W/N the penalty of suspension for 6 months is sufficient.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO.
The primary objective of administrative cases against lawyers is to punish and discipline erring lawyers and to
safeguard the administration of justice by protecting the courts and the public from the misconduct of
lawyers. If it is evident that a lawyer lacks moral character, honesty, probity and good demeanor or is unworthy to
continues as an officer of the court, he may be suspended or disbarred.
A lawyer must constantly uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. He can do this by faithfully
performing his duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. Every lawyer should act and comport
himself in such manner that would promote public confidence in the integrity of the profession.
Atty. Corral violated his solemn oath as a lawyer by engaging in unlawful, dishonest or deceitful conduct.
He committed an act of dishonesty by altering the material dates on the Notice of Appeal. He made it seem that it
was timely filed within the period prescribed. He deceived his client into thinking that it was filed on time. This
constitutes as grave misconduct upon the court. Further, his act is a disgraceful indictment on his moral fiber and
personal fitness to his calling as a lawyer. It is an embarrassment to the members of the Bar.
Atty. Corral is suspended for one year and sternly warned that a repetition will warrant a more severe penalty.

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50 - Conrado Que v. Atty. Anastacio Revilla, Jr. (2009)


Doctrine:
- While a lawyer owes absolute fidelity to the cause of his client, full devotion to his genuine interest, and warm
zeal in the maintenance and defense of his rights, as well as the exertion of his utmost learning and ability, he
must do so only within the bounds of the law.
Facts:
Respondent former Atty. Anastacio Revilla represented numerous clients that lost to an unlawful detainer case
against complainant Conrado Que. However, even before representing these people, the SC had opportunity to discipline
him in two prior cases: Plus Builders, Inc. and Edgardo Garcia v. Atty Anastacio Revilla, Jr. Now for this case,
respondent is facing a complaint for the following acts, all orchestrated to stall the execution of the MTCs final judgment
in favor of the complainant:
1. Respondents abuse of court processes in remedies: he filed two petitions for annulment of title, a petition for
annulment of judgment and a petition for declaratory relief. He also raised the lack of jurisdiction of the MTC
and RTC in these petitions;
2. Commission of forum-shopping;
3. Lack of candor toward his adversary (Atty. Uy) and the courts by resorting to numerous falsehoods;
4. The willful insult and maligning of his clients former and deceased counsel Atty. Catolico;
5. Unauthorized appearance for 15 of his clients, most of whom were deceased;
6. Filing a second and fraudulent petition for annulment of title as counsel for the Republic of the Philippines
when obviously unauthorized to do so (only the Solicitor General can do this)
Issue:
1. W/N Respondent ought to be disbarred for his numerous infractions of the laws.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The respondent has violated the following:
a. Rule 10.01, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility;
b. Rule 10.03, Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility;
c. Rule 12.02, Rule 12.04, Canon 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility;
d. Rule 19.01, Canon 19 of the Code of Professional Responsibility;
e. Rule against forum-shopping;
f. Sections 20(d), 21 and 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court
Aside from these, respondent also resulted to fraud before the court and even represented the Republic without its
consent.

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51 - De Leon v. Castelo (2011) [Falsification case]


Doctrine:
Lack of intent to misrepresent shows that the defendant is innocent from falsehood or falsification.
Facts:
This case stems from another suit where the government sought the transfer certificates of title (TCTs) covering
two parcels of land of the Spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu encroaching on a public callejon and on a portion of the
Malabon-Navotas River shoreline.
De Leon, as voluntary intervenor, accuses Castelo with the serious administrative offenses of dishonesty and
falsification warranting his disbarment or suspension as an attorney. De Leon claims that Castelo made it appear that
spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu have participated in the making and filing of the Answers when they were already dead
as of that time. Castelo claims that he prepared the initial pleadings based on his honest belief that Spouses Lim Hio and
Dolores Chu were then still living. Had he known that they were already deceased, he would have most welcomed the
information and would have moved to substitute Leonardo and William Lim as defendants for that reason
Issues:
1. W/N Castelo committed falsehood or falsification in his pleadings.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. To all attorneys, truthfulness and honesty have the highest value; they are expected to observe and maintain
the rule of law and to make themselves exemplars worthy of emulation by others.
CANON 1 - A LAWYER SHALL UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE
LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR LAW AND LEGAL
PROCESSES.
Rule 1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.
CANON 10 - A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE
COURT.
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in
Court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.
In the case at hand, Castelo expressly named therein as defendants vis--vis his intervention not only the Spouses
Lim Hio and Dolores Chu, the original defendants, but also their sons Leonardo Lim, and William Lim, the same
persons whom the respondent had already alleged in the answer to be the transferees and current owners of the
parcels of land. More so, the respondent did not misrepresent that Spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu were still
living. On the contrary, the respondent directly stated in the answer to the complaint in intervention with
counterclaim and cross-claim and in the clarification and submission that the Spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu
were already deceased.
Even assuming that any of the respondents pleadings might have created any impression that the Spouses Lim
Hio and Dolores Chu were still living, the respondent is still not guilty of any dishonesty or falsification. For one,
the respondent was acting in the interest of the actual owners of the properties when he filed the answer with
counterclaim and cross-claim on April 17, 2006. Secondly, having made clear at the start that the Spouses Lim
Hio and Dolores Chu were no longer the actual owners of the affected properties due to the transfer of ownership
even prior to the institution of the action, and that the actual owners needed to be substituted for said spouses,
whether the Spouses Lim Hio and Dolores Chu were still living or dead as of the filing of the pleadings became
immaterial. Lastly, De Leon could not disclaim knowledge that the Spouses were no longer living. His joining in
the action as a voluntary intervenor charged him with notice of all the other persons interested in the litigation.

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52 - In re: Almacen (1970)


Doctrine:
For his intestiture into the legal profession places upon his shoulders no burden more basic, more exacting and
more imperative than that of respectful behavior toward the courts.
The decisions of the judge must be obeyed because he is the tribunal appointed to decide, and the bar should at all
times be the foremost in rendering respectful submission.
Facts:
Atty. Almacen is the counsel of Calero in the case of Yaptinchay v. Calero. The trial court after hearing the
case rendered judgment against Calero. Atty Almacen moved for reconsideration and served copy of the motion to
Yaptinchay (the adverse party) but failed to notify the latter of the date and place of the hearing. In the CA, the court
moved to also dismiss the case because the MR does not contain a notice of time and place of hearing. Atty. Almacen
filed another motion for reconsideration but the SC refused to take the case and in a minute resolution denied the appeal.
It was at this point that Atty. Almacen filed his Petition to Surrender Lawyers Certificate of Title.
The pleading filed by Atty. Almacen is interspersed from beginning to end with insolent, contemptuous,
grossly disrespectful and derogatory remarks against the court, as well as its individual members. Atty. Almacen
described the court as a tribunal peopled by men who are calloused to our pleas of justice, who ignore without reason
their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity. He also referred to his
client as one who was deeply aggrieved by the courts unjust judgment and has become one of the sacrificial victims
before the altar of hypocrisy. He also mentioned justice as administered by the present members of the Supreme Court
is not only blind, but also deaf and dumb.
The Court decided by resolution to withhold action on his petition until he shall have actually surrendered his
certificate. Patiently, the Court waited for him to make good his proffer. No word came from him. So he was reminded to
turn over his certificate, which he had earlier vociferously offered to surrender, so that the Court could act on his petition.
To said reminder he manifested that he has no pending petition in connection with Case G.R. No. L-27654, Calero v.
Yaptinchay, said case is now final and executory; that the Courts resolution did not require him to do either a positive or
negative act; and that since his offer was not accepted, he chose to pursue the negative act.
The court asked Atty Almacen to show cause why no disciplinary actions must be taken against him. Atty.
Almacen asked that he be given permission to give his answer in an open and public hearing. He reasoned that since the
court is the complainant, prosecutor and judge, he preferred that he answer and be heard in an open and public hearing so
that the court could observe its sincerity and candor. The court allowed Atty. Almacen to file a written answer and
thereafter be heard in an oral argument but his written answer offers no apology but is full of sarcasm and
innuendo.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Almacens actions are ground for disciplinary action.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. If Atty. Almacen failed to move the appellate court to review the lower courts judgment, he has only
himself to blame. His own negligence caused the forfeiture of the remedy of appeal, which, incidentally, is
not a matter of right. To shift away from himself the consequences of his carelessness, he looked for a
whipping boy. But he made sure that he assumed the posture of a martyr, and, in offering to surrender his
professional certificate, he took the liberty of vilifying the Court and inflicting his exacerbating rancor on the
members thereof. It would thus appear that there is no justification for his scurrilous and scandalous
outbursts. Nonetheless the Court gave the unprecedented act of Atty. Almacen the most circumspect
consideration. It is natural for a lawyer to express his dissatisfaction each time he loses what he sanguinely
believes to be a meritorious case. That is why lawyers are given wide latitude to differ with, and voice their
disapproval of, not only the courts rulings but, also the manner in which they are handed down. However, the
proffered surrender of his lawyers certificate is, of course, purely potestative on Atty. Almacens part.

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Unorthodox though it may seem, no statute, no law stands in its way. Beyond making the mere offer, however,
he went farther. In haughty and coarse language, he actually availed of the said move as a vehicle for his
vicious tirade against this Court.
The virulence so blatantly evident in Atty. Almacens petition, answer and oral argumentation speaks for itself.
The vicious language used and the scurrilous innuendoes they carried far transcend the permissible bounds
of legitimate criticism. They could never serve any purpose but to gratify the spite of an irate attorney, attract
public attention to himself and, more important of all, bring the Court and its members into disrepute and destroy
public confidence in them to the detriment of the orderly administration of justice.
Because of this, Atty. Almacen is suspended indefinitely, until further orders.

53 - Surigao Mineral Reservation Board v. Cloribekl (1970)


Facts:
This is a case of contempt of court against several lawyers in two instances. In the first instance, there was an
adverse decision against MacArthur International Minerals Co. Vicente L. Santiago, Erlito R. Uy, Graciano Regala, and
Jose Beltran Sotto, purportedly made several disrespectful statements against the decision. In addition, they wanted
two of the SC Justices to inhibit from the case because, allegedly, the brother of Associate Justice Castro is a vice-
president of the favored party who is the chief beneficiary of the false, erroneous and illegal decision. As for Chief Justice
Concepcion, they allege that his son was appointed to the, at that time, newly formed Board of Investments shortly after
the decision.
Furthermore, claimed that there was unjudicial favoritism in favor of petitioners, their appointing authority and
a favored party directly benefited by the said decision.
A second contempt proceeding arose when, on July 14, 1969, respondent MacArthur, lodged a fourth motion for
reconsideration without express leave of court. It averred that decision is illegal because it was penned by the
Honorable Chief Justice Roberto Concepcion when in fact he was outside the borders of the Republic of the
Philippines. It quoted Section 1 Rule 51 of the Rules of Court on the Justices who may take part but not in its entirety.
In addition, they threatened to the effect that if they do not get a favorable judgment, they will file charges
of graft and corruption in the World Court.
Issues:
1. Whether the respondents are liable for contempt of court
Held/Ratio:
1. FIRST INSTANCE OF CONTEMPT
Atty. Vicente L. Santiago
He accuses in a reckless manner two justices of this Court for being interested in the decision of this case. He
makes it plain in the motion that the Chief Justice and Justice Castro not only were not free from the
appearance of impropriety but did arouse suspicion that their relationship did affect their judgment.
It is true that Santiago voluntarily deleted paragraph 6 which contained language that is as disrespectful. But we
cannot erase the fact that it has been made. Also, his signature appeared on the motion to inhibit which
included paragraph 6.
Paragraph 10 makes a sweeping statement that any other justices who have received favors or benefits directly or
indirectly from any of the petitioners or members of any board-petitioner, or their agents or principals, including
the President, should also inhibit themselves.
What is disconcerting is that Atty. Santiagos accusations have no basis in fact and in law. The slur made is
not limited to the Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Castro. It sweepingly casts aspersion on the whole court.

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A lawyer is an officer of the courts; he is, like the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the ends of
justice. His duty is to uphold the dignity and authority of the courts to which he owes fidelity, not to
promote distrust in the administration of justice. Faith in the courts a lawyer should seek to preserve. For, to
undermine the judicial edifice is disastrous to the continuity of government and to the attainment of the liberties
of the people. Thus has it been said of a lawyer that [a]s an officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty
to help build and not destroy unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards the courts so essential to
the proper administration of justice.
Since lawyers are administrators of justice, oath-bound servants of society, their first duty is not to their
clients, as many suppose, but to the administration of justice; to this, their clients success is wholly subordinate;
and their conduct ought to and must be scrupulously observant of law and ethics.
The Supreme Court found the language of Atty. Santiago a style that undermines and degrades the administration
of justice. He is held guilty of contempt of court.
Atty. Jose Beltran Sotto
Sotto accuses petitioners of having made false, ridiculous and wild statements in a desperate attempt to prejudice
the courts against MacArthur. He brands such efforts as scattershot desperation. He describes a proposition of
petitioners as corrupt on its face, laying bare the immoral and arrogant attitude of the petitioners.
A lawyers language should be dignified in keeping with the dignity of the legal profession. It is Sottos duty as a
member of the Bar to abstain from all offensive personality and to advance no fact prejudicial to the honor
or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he is charged. He
is thus guilty of contempt.
Atty. Graciano C. Regala, Atty. Erlito R. Uy
They are not really involved in the preparation of the pleadings. Not guilty.
SECOND INSTANCE OF CONTEMPT
First, it was not filed with leave of court.
Second, The Canons of Legal Ethics reminds the lawyer to characterize his conduct with candor and fairness, and
specifically states that it is not candid nor fair for the lawyer knowingly to misquote. While Morton Meads
is admittedly not a lawyer, it does not take a lawyer to see the deliberate deception that is being foisted upon this
Court. There was a qualification to the rule quoted and that qualification was intentionally omitted.
Third, the motion contained an express threat to take the case to the World Court and/or the United States
government in order to reverse the decision of the Court.
Atty. Calig Contends that he was dragged in the case only in the last minute. However, he still should have made
sure that his name would not be attached to pleadings contemptuous in character.
Atty. Santiago contends that he had nothing to do with the fourth motion. Nonetheless, A lawyer should use his
best efforts to restrain and to prevent his clients from doing those things which the lawyer himself ought
not to do, particularly with reference to their conduct towards courts, judicial officers, jurors, witnesses and
suitors. If a client persists in such wrongdoing the lawyer should terminate their relation.
The dignity of the Court, experience teaches, can never be protected where infraction of ethics meets with
complacency rather than punishment. The people should not be given cause to break faith with the belief that a
judge is the epitome of honor amongst men. To preserve its dignity, a court of justice should not yield to the
assaults of disrespect.

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54 - Johnny Ng v. Alar (2006) (used offensive words to support his complaint)


Doctrines:
A lawyer is prohibited from using scandalous, oppressive, offensive, and malicious language against an opposing
counsel and before the courts.
Though a lawyers language may be forceful and emphatic, it should always be dignified and respectful, befitting
the dignity of the legal profession.
Facts:
The case stemmed from a labor case filed by the employees of the Ng Company against its employers. The
employees alleged that they did not receive their service incentive leave pay from their employers due to the employers
claim that the employees conducted a strike at the Companys premises which hampered its ingress and egress. The case
was referred to the labor arbiter and the it was found that the employees have been paid their service incentive leave pay.
The employees appealed to NLRC but the latter affirmed the labor arbiters decision. In reaction to this, Atty.
Alar filed a Motion for Reconsideration with Motion to Inhibit (MRMI) where he used scandalous, offensive, and
menacing languages to support his complaint. He said that the labor arbiter was cross-eyed in making his findings of
fact and that Commissioner Dinopol acted in the same manner with malice thrown in when he adopted the findings of the
labor arbiter. That the retiring commissioners of NLRC circumvent the law and jurisprudence when the money claim
involved in the case is substantial. According to Alar, such acts constitute grave abuse of discretion.
Because of the MRMI, Johnny Ng filed a disbarment case with IBPs Commission on Bar Discipline against Alar
wherein it was alleged that the latter violated certain codes and rules of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Specifically, respondent allegedly violated Canons 8 and 11 wherein a lawyer is prohibited from using scandalous,
oppressive, offensive, and malicious language against an opposing counsel and before the courts.
In his defense, respondent argues that he did not violate any of the canons found in the Code because 1) the
NLRC is not among the courts referred to in the rules; 2) the Commissioners therein are not judges; and 3) the
complainants in labor cases are entitled to some latitude of righteous anger. Attached to respondents counter-complaint is
an affidavit made by the union president Batan alleging that the lawyers of the complainant are the ones who violated the
Code of Professional Responsibility when they filed multiple suits arising from the same cause of action and when they
deliberately lessened the number of complainants in the labor case.
The findings of the Commission on Bar discipline led the IBP to conclude that Alar is guilty of violating Canons
8 and 11, while the lawyers of Ng did not violate any canons of the Code. It recommended that Alar be reprimanded with
a stern warning that severe penalties will be imposed in case a similar conduct will be committed again.
Issue:
1. W/N Alar violated Canons 8 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held:
1. YES. Alar has clearly violated Canons 8 and 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. His actions erode the
publics perception of the legal profession. The MRMI contains insults and diatribes against the NLRC, attacking
both its moral and intellectual integrity, replete with implied accusations of partiality, impropriety and lack of
diligence. Alar used improper and offensive language in his pleadings that does not admit any justification.
Though a lawyers language may be forceful and emphatic, it should always be dignified and respectful, befitting
the dignity of the legal profession. The use of unnecessary language is proscribed if we are to promote high
esteem in the courts and trust in judicial administration. However, the penalty of reprimand with stern warning
imposed by the IBP Board of Governors is not proportionate to respondents violation of the Canons of the Code
of Professional Responsibility. Thus, he deserves a stiffer penalty of fine in the amount of P5,000. Anent the
Counter-Complaint filed against the lawyers of complainant, the Court finds no reason to disturb the following
findings and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner, as approved by the IBP Board of Governors, to

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wit: The Counter-complainant Batan failed to submit any position paper to substantiate its claims despite
sufficient opportunity to do so.

55 - Fudat v. Cattleya Land (2008)


Doctrine:
A lawyer is expected to bring to the fore irregular and questionable practices of those sitting in court which tend
to corrode the judicial machinery. Thus, if he acquired reliable information that anomalies are perpetrated by
judicial officers, it is incumbent upon him to report the matter to the Court so that it may be properly acted upon.
An omission or even a delay in reporting may tend to erode the dignity of, and the publics trust in, the judicial
system.
Well-recognized therefore is the right of a lawyer, both as an officer of the court and as a citizen, to criticize in
properly respectful terms and through legitimate channels the acts of courts and judges.
Facts:
De La Serna requests for the inhibition of Associate Justice Tinga, claiming he received P10 Million from Johnny
Chan in exchange for a favorable decision in a land dispute.
He relates that sometime in 2006, Chan informed him that he had already bought the interest of Cattleya Land,
Inc. (Cattleya) over a property adjacent to the property subject of the case and that he was interested in putting up a
resort/hotel in the property. He wanted to purchase Fudots interest in the property as well to put an end to the litigation.
They did not reach an agreement on the purchase price. In 2007, a certain Atty. Petralba also had advanced knowledge of
the decision.
According to De La Serna, Chan also told him that all negotiations for the purchase of his clients rights were off
and that he had already given out P10 million to Tinga in exchange for a favorable Decision, De La Serna a legal retainer
and a monthly fee to act as his lawyer in Bohol.
In his pleadings, De La Serna reiterated that the decision in this case was a rogue decision and like a mad dog,
it should be slain at right. He also finds it surprising that the instant case was decided less than 2 years after it was
submitted for resolution when the Oppus has been pending for 10 years before the Court. Also, out of 20,000 other cases,
why was this instant case selected and decided upon in such a short time?
The Court charged Atty. De La Serna with indirect contempt. At the hearing, De La Serna reiterated his
arguments which was corroborated by his son. Chan admitted that he approached De La Serna for the purpose of amicably
settling their case with Cattleya, and offered him to be their retainer in Bohol. However, he denied having said to De La
Serna that he had already spent so much money for the Supreme Court. He and Atty. Petralba added that the hearing was
the first time that they saw all the justices.
Issue:
1. W/N De La Serna should be charged with indirect contempt.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. An accusation of bribery is easy to concoct and difficult to disprove, the complainant must present panoply
of evidence in support of such an accusation. It will take more than the uncorroborated and independent
statements of Atty. De La Serna to cast an aura of credibility to his accusations.
The decision was promulgated on Sept. 13, 2007. Decisions of the Court are posted in its website a few days after
their promulgation. In this case, the decision was published in the web on Sept. 19, or before the decision was
posted in the Manila Central Post Office on Sept. 27. However, Mr. Chan stated that he learned of the decision
only sometime in October of 2007, after Atty. Petralba had told him about it. It would be irrational for Chan to
meet further with De La Serna and when he had already paid for P10 Million pesos for a favorable decision when
he already had advanced knowledge.

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Also, the Supreme Court is mandated by the Constitution to decide cases within 2 years from the date of
submission. As for the Oppus case, it is no longer pending as it was already been disposed of and was decided by
another ponente. As pointed out by Justice Carpio, there are no more than ten thousand cases pending in the
Supreme Court at any one time.
Claiming that De La Serna had been informed that a member of the Court was involved in bribery, yet he chose to
remain silent in the meantime and to divulge the information long after he had come to know that he lost the case.
He failed to inform the Court of this matter waited until Nov. 4, 2007 before he divulged the alleged bribery in his
Request for Inhibition which he did not even alleged in his prior Motion for Reconsideration.
While admitting that he did not even verify from other sources if Mr. Chans statement had any factual basis, De
La Serna offers another feeble explanation for his delayed reaction in that he could not just go to the Supreme
Court and request for investigation, as he could not even pass through the guards. A lawyer of De La Sernas
caliber and experience would know that there is a proper way of lodging a formal complaint for investigation,
including sending it by registered mail.
De La Serna is found guilty of indirect contempt of court.

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56 - Judge Baculi v. Atty. Battung (2011) (I am not afraid of you!)


Doctrine:
A lawyer who insults a judge inside a courtroom completely disregards the latters role, stature and position in our
justice system. An objecting or complaining lawyer cannot act in a manner that puts the courts in a bad light and
bring the justice system into disrepute.
Facts:
Judge Rene Baculi was the presiding judge of branch 2, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Tuguegarao
City. He filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Melchor Battung before the Commission on Discipline of the IBP
for violating Canons 11 and 12 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
The complaint arose out of an ejectment case filed against Battungs client. Judge Baculi argued that Battung filed
a motion to dismiss and a subsequent motion to quash the writ of execution he issued against Battungs client, despite
knowing that ejectment cases were within the jurisdiction of first level courts. Judge Baculi claims that Battung filed such
pleadings to delay the speedy and efficient administration of justice, in violation of Canon 12. This led to the incidents
which transpired on the day of the hearing, when Battung argued his motion in a loud, belligerent tone. After being cited
for contempt, he re-entered the courtroom and shouted, Judge, I will file a gross ignorance case against you! I am not
afraid of you! at the top of his lungs. After being cited for contempt the second time, Battung waited for the Judge
outside of the courtroom, where he challenged him to a fight, repeatedly shouting that he was not afraid. Judge Baculi
claims Battungs actions amounted to a gross violation of Rule 11.03, Canon 11, prohibiting lawyers from using
scandalous, menacing, and offensive language before the Courts.
In his defense, Battung claims that he reacted the way he did because Judge Baculi intentionally humiliated him.
He claims he was forced to argue his motion orally, even after expressing his intention not to do so, just so the Judge
could make it appear that he was negligent, incompetent and irresponsible in open court. Moreover, Battung claims that it
was the Judge who shouted first, and that he merely reacted to the tone of his voice.
The matter was referred to the IBP. Based on the audiotape of the proceedings, the transcript of stenographic
notes, and the joint-affidavit of the lawyers and litigants present during the hearing, Investigating Commissioner De la
Rama found that it was indeed Battung who shouted first, behaving in a manner disrespectful to both the Judge and the
Court. However, De la Rama found that the evidence submitted was insufficient to support the charge of violation of
Canon 12. Thus, he recommended that Battung be suspended from the practice of law for 6 months. The Board of
Governors adopted the recommendation, but lowered the penalty to reprimand.
Issues:
1. W/N Battung violated Rule 11.03, Canon 11 by using scandalous, menacing, and offensive language before
the Court
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Battung violated Rule 11.03, Canon 11. Lawyers cannot be allowed to publicly ridicule, demean and
disrespect a judge, and the court that he represents, as ordered by Rule 11.03, Canon 11, to wit:
Canon 11 - A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due the courts and to judicial
officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.
Rule 11.03 - A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive or menacing language or
behavior before the Courts.
A lawyer who insults a judge inside a courtroom completely disregards the latters role, stature and position in the
justice system. If Battung believed that the Judges actions exhibited incompetence and gross ignorance of the
law, he should have addressed his concerns through the proper administrative means. Battung not only
disrespected Judge Baculi and his Court, he did so publicly, in a manner that was calculated to disrupt court
proceedings. Thus, his actions merit not only reprimand, but also suspension from the practice of law for 1 year.

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57 - Berbano v. Atty. Barcelona (2003)


Doctrines:
A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The trust and confidence
necessarily reposed by clients require in the attorney a high standard and appreciation of his duty to his clients, his
profession, the courts and the public. The bar should maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well as of
honesty and fair dealing. Generally speaking, a lawyer can do honor to the legal profession by faithfully
performing his duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. To this end, nothing should be
done by any member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public
in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of the profession
Facts:
Berbano seeks the disbarment of Atty. Barcelona for Malpractice and Gross Misconduct Unbecoming a Lawyer,
Dereliction of Duty and Unjust Enrichment.
Barcelon is one of the heirs of Hilapo. Hilapo owns a lot in Alabang which is being claimed by Filinvest in a
case. The heirs of Hilapo appointed Mr. Daen as their attorney-in-fact giving him authority to prosecute their case.
Mr. Daen was arrested on the strength of an expired warrant of arrest and he was detained in jail. Since Mr. Daen
needed the assistance of a lawyer for his release, Atty. Barcelona was recommended. Atty. Barcelona arrived in jail
and Mr. Daen engaged his services to get him out. Atty. Barcelona told Berbano that if they could produce FIFTY
THOUSAND pesos he will cause the release of Mr. Daen the following day. Since it was late in the evening, Berbano
couldnt produce 50k. Atty. Barcelona insisted that he must pay even just a little so Berbano gave him 15k. Atty.
Barcelon went to ChowKing and received the money there. Before he left, he asked Berbano to meet him at Maxs Resto
at around 12 noon. Atty. Barcelon left because according to him, he would go see a justice from the SC who could help
the release of Mr. Daen.
The next day, Berbano went to Maxs Resto. He told Berbano that he just came from the SC and that he fixed
the case of Mr. Daen. Berbano was surprised because he did not have with him any single document at the time. Berbano
handed him a pay-to-cash check for 24k. Atty. Barcelona said that Justices of the SC do not accept checks but he
accepted it saying that he will have the check rediscounted. The next morning, Atty. Barcelona called Berbano and said
that he was not able to rediscount the check and Berbano must produce the amount of 5k and give it to him in Maxs
Resto at 12 noon. Atty. Barcelona did not show up. Atty. Barcelona then called their house and moved their meeting to
Mcdo. He was not there. His wife called Berbano to move the meeting to their house. In their house, they gave 10k. They
again met up with Atty. Barcelona and gave him another 15k and 1k for gas.
A week after, Daen was still not released. When they called Atty. Barcelonas house he allegedly boarded a
private plane to attend a peace talk with the Muslims. Another week passed, Berbano saw Atty. Barcelona and said that he
will return the entire amount of 64k. But he never showed up and never returned their calls.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Barcelona should be disbarred?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Atty. Barcelona is guilty of culpable violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility:
CANON 1 A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote
respect for law and for legal processes.
CANON 7 A lawyer shall at all times upholds the integrity and dignity of the legal profession,
and support the activities of the integrated bar.
CANON 11 A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to
judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.

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CANON 16 A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may
come into his possession.
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or
from the client.
Atty. Barcelona has demonstrated a penchant for misrepresenting to clients that he has the proper connections to
secure the relief they seek, and thereafter, ask for money, which will allegedly be given to such connections. In
this case, he misrepresented to Berbano that he could get the release of Mr. Porfirio Daen through his connection
with a Supreme Court Justice. Not only that, he even had the audacity to tell Berbano that the Justices of the
Supreme Court do not accept checks.
Its also not his first time to be charged with and found guilty of conduct unbecoming a lawyer. In a case filed by
Gil Aquino, Atty. Barcelona misrepresented that he could secure the restructuring of a loan though his connection
with a legal assistant named Gonzalo in PNB. He got 60k from Aquino but there was no such employee by the
name of Gonzalo.
The Judiciary has been besieged enough with accusations of corruption and malpractice. For a member of the
legal profession to further stoke the embers of mistrust on the judicial system with such irresponsible
representations is reprehensible and cannot be tolerated. Atty. Barcelona made a mockery of the Judiciary and
further eroded public confidence in courts and lawyers

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58 - Manuel S. Sebastian v. Atty. Emily A. Bajar (2007) (Suspension, forum-shopping)


Doctrines:
An important factor in determining the existence of forum- shopping is the vexation caused to the courts and the
parties-litigants by the filing of similar cases to claim substantially the same reliefs.
While a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client, it should not be at the expense of truth and administration
of justice.
Facts:
Bajar worked for the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance (BALA) of the Department of Agrarian Reform. She
represented Tanlioco, an agricultural lessee in a land owned, and respondent in an ejectment case filed, by petitioner
Sebastians wife. The RTC rendered judgment against Tanlioco on the basis of a conversion order converting the land
use from agricultural to residential. The CA and SC affirmed the ejectment. Bajar, despite the finality of the ejectment
order, filed with the RTC a complaint for specific performance to produce the conversion order. The RTC dismissed on
the ground of res judicata and lack of cause of action. Bajar then filed another case for maintenance of possession, now
with the DAR-Adjudication Board (DARAB).
Sebastian now filed an administrative case with the SC for disbarment against Bajar for violation of Rule
10.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility since she misused the rules of procedure through forum-shopping to
obstruct the administration of justice. Bajar filed a comment with the court alleging (1) that Sebastian had no
personality to file a complaint because he was not the real party in interest and (2) that she only filed the cases to avail of
all the legal remedies attributed by the law to her client. Sebastian submitted a reply alleging that Bajar did not confront
the issue on disbarment but merely passed upon the issues which were already passed upon in the cases decided above.
Issues:
1. W/N Bajar was guilty of violating Rule 10.3 regarding the misuse of rules of procedure to obstruct the
administration of justice.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The fact that she merely availed of all the legal remedies available to her client is not an excuse. While
lawyers owe their entire devotion to the interest of their clients and zeal in the defense of their clients rights, they
should not forget that they are first and foremost, officers of the court, bound to exert every effort to assist
in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. Bajars act of filing cases with identical issues in other
venues despite the final ruling, affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, is beyond the bounds of
the law.
BAJAR WAS MERELY SUSPENDED FOR THREE YEARS.

59 - Hegna v. Paderanga (2009)


Doctrine:
A lawyer ought to have known that he cannot acquire the property of his client which is in litigation. A thing is
said to be in litigation not only if there is some contest or litigation over it in court, but also the moment that
becomes subject to the judicial action of the judge.
Facts:
Hegna leased a portion of land, which was owned by the heirs of Sabina Baclayon for 10 years. Hegna filed a case
against the Panaguinip spouses alleging that they entered the vacant portion of the leased premises and then built a shop
without his consent. Despite his demands, they refused to comply with his demands. The MTCC rendered a Decision in
favor of Hegna, ordering the spouses to vacate the leased premises.

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Subsequently, Atty. Paderanga filed an Affidavit of Third-Party Claim before Sheriff Suarin, the sheriff executing
the judgment in the said civil case. He claimed that he was the owner of another parcel of land and a FUSO (Canter series)
vehicle, which he bought from the spouses, both of which could be erroneously levied by a writ of execution issued in the
civil case. He filed for Annulment of Judgment with prayer for the issuance of an injunction and temporary restraining
order (TRO) with damages against Hegna, Judge Rosales and Suarin.
Hegna sent a letter-complaint to the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) against Paderanga for deliberately
falsifying documents, which caused delay in the execution of the decision, arguing that the third-party claim was full of
irregularities, one of which was that the transfer of the properties were not registered with the Register of Deeds.
Paderange replied that he did not bother to register such properties for estate-planning purposes and that he had planned
to re-sell the properties.
The Court referred the administrative complaint to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). The IBP found that
there was a multitude of irregularities surrounding the execution of the Affidavit and, coupled with the letter sent by the
Panaguinip spouses left unrebutted by Paderanga, there is substantial evidence that the Affidavit of Third Party Claim was
purposely filed to thwart the enforcement of the decision in the forcible entry case. This was also adopted by the IBP
Board of Governors who suspended Paderange for 1 year.
Issue:
1. W/N Paderanga violated the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Although Paderange denied having acted as counsel for the Panaguinips in the forcible entry case filed by
complainant, his involvement in the said case was still highly suspect. After the writ of execution had been issued,
he went with them to amicably settle with Hegna on two separate occasions, ostensibly to protect his own
interests. He actually led Hegna to believe that he was, in fact, the counsel for defendants-spouses. It was only
after the meetings had transpired that he received the affidavit of a third-party claim executed by Paderange,
stating that the he was the owner of the property and motor vehicle.
The Court is more inclined to believe that when Hegna and the Panaguinips failed to reach an agreement,
Paderange came forward as a third-party claimant to prevent the levy and execution of said properties. He,
therefore, violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provides that a lawyer shall not
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. This conduct has been construed not to pertain
exclusively to the performance of a lawyers professional duties.
In addition, while the act of registration of a document is not necessary in order to give it legal effect as between
the parties, requirements for the recording of the instruments are designed to prevent frauds and to permit and
require the public to act with the presumption that a recorded instrument exists and is genuine. While Paderanges
acts may not be considered as falsification, he had shown intent to defraud the government, which had the right to
collect revenue from him.

60 - Manipud v. Bautista (2009) (Forum Shopping)


Doctrine:
When an issue before this Court or the IBP, then complainant could not raise the same in this late stage of the
proceedings.
Facts:
Macasieb was the mortgagor of the property foreclosed Manipud due to failure to pay. Then Manipud filed a case
against Bautista claiming that Bautista committed forum shopping, in defending her client and aunt, Macasieb. The IBP
dismissed the complaint saying to merit disciplinary action, forum shopping must be willful and deliberate which was not
the case.
On June 2, 2008, complainant filed before this Court a Comment on the Resolution of the IBP Board of Governors

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with Motion for Reinvestigation. He claimed that forum shopping was not the sole issue raised for resolution but also
respondents alleged violation of the Oath of Attorney. He argued that the IBP should have also discussed and resolved
respondents act of allegedly resurrecting Jovita de Macasieb from the dead and for allowing an impostor to impersonate
the dead.
Issue:
1. W/N the case should be dismissed?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Even assuming to be true complainants allegation that he only learned on October 3, 2006, that the
mortgagor, Jovita de Macasieb, has been dead since 1968, still he failed to raise this issue at the Mandatory
Conference before the IBP where the issues were defined. The transcript of stenographic notes taken during the
mandatory conference on September 13, 2007, long after complainant allegedly knew of the death of Jovita de
Macasieb, shows that respondents act of allegedly resurrecting Jovita de Macasieb from the dead and for
allowing an impostor to impersonate the dead was never raised as an issue

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61 - Nestle Philippines, Inc. v. Hon. Augusto Sanchez and the Union of Filipro Employees (1987)
Kimberly Independent Union for Solidarity, Activism, and Nationalism Olalia v. NLRC (1987)
(Picketing outside the SC)
Doctrine:
It is the duty of lawyers, as officers of the Court, to properly apprise their clients on matters of decorum and
proper attitude toward courts of justice.
An abuse of the exercise of the right to petition the Court would amount to an attempt to influence the Court.
Facts:
[This is a consolidated case.]
Petitions of the Union of Filipro Employees and Kimberly Independent Union were pending before the Supreme
Court. From June-July 1987, the two unions picketed outside the Supreme Court premises, obstructing access to the
premises. The unions and their respective counsels, Atty. Espinas (for Filipro) and Atty. Flores (for Kimberly), were
summoned by the Court to appear before them and explain why they should not be held in contempt, and were informed
that their petitions would not be entertained if they continue picketing. Atty. Espinas and the unions appeared before
the Court. Espinas apologized to the Court in behalf of the picketers and assured that the acts would not be repeated. He
also asked for the Courts leniency and explained that the picketing was actually spearheaded by an unregistered union
and not by either the Union of Filipro Employees or the Kimberly Independent Union. He also assured the Court that he
explained to the unions that the reason for the delay in the resolution of their cases was due to factors beyond the
powers of the Court and that the Court has been steadfast in its duty to protect the Constitution.
Issue:
1. W/N the Unions and their Counsels should be cited for contempt.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO but only because they desisted from conducting pickets and the Court accepted their apology. The right
of petition is conceded to be an inherent right of the citizen under all free governments. However, an abuse of
this right would amount to an attempt to influence the Court in resolving matters in their favor. It is well
settled that in the determination of cases, the Courts should be immune from every extraneous influence; that
facts should be decided upon evidence produced in court; and that the determination of such facts should be
uninfluenced by bias, prejudice or sympathies. An attempt to influence the Court is a violation of the right of
the adverse party and the citizenry to an impartial trial.
In the case at bar, the SC acknowledged that the picketers are not knowledgeable in the intricacies of the law. It is
the duty of their lawyer to tell them the consequences of their actions, which Atty. Espinas did after his
attention was called by the Court.
The Court ordered that the incident be a reminder to all members of the legal profession that it is their duty as
officers of the court to properly apprise their clients on matters of decorum and proper attitude toward
courts of justice, and to labor leaders of the importance of a continuing educational program for their members.

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62 - Foodsphere, Inc. v. Mauricio (2009) (CDO Liver Spread, Rule 13.02)


Doctrine:
Rule 13.02 provides that a lawyer should refrain from making public statements in the media regarding a pending
case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.
Facts:
Foodsphere is a meat processing company under the brand name CDO. One day, a certain Cordero purportedly
bought from a grocery in Valenzuela City food items, which include a can of CDO Liver spread. However, while eating,
they found the CDO Liver spread to be sour and soon discovered a colony of worms inside the can. So, they filed a
complaint with BFAD.
The BFAD conducted a hearing where the spouses Cordero demanded P150,000 as damages from Foodsphere.
Foodsphere refused the demand, but instead, counter-offered to pay the actual medical expenses incurred by the Corderos
as long as they were supported by receipts. However, the offer was turned down. The Corderos then threatened to bring
the matter to the attention of the media.
Later, Atty. Mauricio, a writer/columnist in tabloids and host of TV and radio programs, sent Foodsphere a copy
of the front page of the would-be issue of one tabloid, which contains words discrediting Foodsphere and its products.
Mauricio threatened to publish the articles unless Foodsphere gave in to the demand of the Corderos, but still, no
agreement was made between the parties.
Then, Mauricio proposed to settle the matter for P50,000, P15,000 will go to the Corderos and P 35,000 to his
Batas Foundation. He also directed Foodsphere to place paid advertisements in tabloids and television program where he
is a columnist and host. The parties eventually agreed to the settlement proposed by Mauricio so the BFAD dismissed the
complaint.
Mauricio then sent Foodsphere an Advertising Contract asking Foodsphere to advertise in the tabloid Balitang
Patas BATAS for its next 24 weekly issues, and a Program Profile of his television program asking Foodsphere to place
spot advertisements. However, Foodsphere offered to buy only three full-page advertisements in the tabloid, and three
spots of TV commercials in the television program. Mauricio relayed to Foodsphere that he was disappointed with the
offer and threatened to proceed with the publication of the columns.
Later, Mauricio announced in his radio program that whoever answers his question of which liver spread product
has worms in it shall win a prize. Moreover, Mauricio wrote articles in his columns which put Foodsphere in bad light.
Also, in several episodes of his television program, Mauricio repeatedly complained many things against Foodsphere.
Foodsphere thus filed criminal complaints against Mauricio for Libel and Threatening to Publish Libel before the
Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City and Valenzuela City. In his Entry of Appearance with Highly Urgent
Motion to Elevate These Cases to the Department of Justice and Motion to Dismiss, Mauricio used words which were
disrespectful to the Office of the City Prosecutor and to the court. Foodsphere also filed a civil case against
Mauricio before the Regional Trial Court, Valenzuela City.
Despite the issuance of a status quo order, Mauricio continued to publish articles against Foodsphere and to
criticize Foodsphere through his television shows.
On the administrative complaint filed before the IBP, the IBP held that Mauricio should be suspended for 2 years
for violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Issue:
1. W/N Mauricio violated the Code of Professional Responsibility
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Mauricio violated the following Canons/Rule:

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Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates lawyers to refrain from engaging in
unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. - He engaged in deceitful conduct by taking advantage of the
complaint against CDO to advance his interest to obtain funds for his Batas Foundation and seek sponsorships
and advertisements for the tabloids and his television program.
Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates a lawyer to refrain from making public
statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party. - He
continued with his attacks against Foodsphere despite the pendency of the civil case and the issuance of a status
quo order against him.
Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates lawyers to uphold the Constitution, obey
the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes. - He defied the said status quo order.
Canon 8 and Rule 8.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which mandates lawyers to conduct himself
with courtesy, fairness and candor toward his professional colleagues, and shall avoid harassing tactics against
opposing counsel, and that a lawyer shall not, in his professional dealings, use language which is abusive,
offensive or otherwise improper, by using intemperate language.
Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which directs a lawyer to at all times uphold the integrity
and the dignity of the legal profession. - He failed to live up to his oath and to comply with the exacting
standards of the legal profession.

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63 - In Re: Suspension of Atty. Bagabuyo (2007)


Facts:
This entire series of events all started with a criminal case (People v. Luis Bucalon Plaza). Atty. Bagabuyo was
the Senior State Prosecutor, and the case was heard in the sala of Judge Buyser in the Surigao RTC. In the case, the
accused filed a Demurrer to Evidence, which was denied because the evidence of the prosecution was enough to prove
homicide, but not murder, which was the offense charged. So the counsels defense moved to fix the bail amount, which
was objected by Atty. Bagabuyo, saying that murder was non-bailable.
At this point, Judge Buyser inhibited himself because of Atty. Bagabuyos harsh insinuation that he lacks the
cold neutrality of an impartial magistrate because he was allegedly the one who suggested to the accuseds counsel to file
a motion to fix the amount of bail. So the case was transferred to the sala of Judge Tan.
Judge Tan approved the motion to fix the bail amount to P40,000. Atty. Bagabuyos MR was denied, and he
appealed to the CA. Not only that, he also caused the publication of an article regarding the order granting bail in
the Mindanao Gold Star Daily, entitled Senior prosecutor lambasts Surigao judge for allowing murder suspect to bail
out. In this article, it was stated that the evidence of guilt was strong, and that the reason for the inhibition of Judge
Buyser was unclear. It also stated that Bagabuyo would file criminal and administrative charges against Judge Tan,
saying he displayed judicial arrogance.
Because of this article, an indirect contempt proceeding was held, and Bagabuyo was found guilty and was
punished with 30 days of imprisonment, with a P100,000 bond. He filed the bond and appealed the decision.
While the indirect contempt case was on appeal, Bagabuyo let himself be interviewed in Radio Station DXKS,
and again attacked the integrity of Judge Tan. In these interviews, Bagabuyo called Judge Tan a liar, ignorant of the
law, and a dictator. Because of these interviews, he was again required to explain why he should not be cited in contempt
as well as suspended from the practice of law for violating Rule 11.05 of Canon 11 and Rule 13.02 of Canon 13 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. During the hearings, Atty. Bagabuyo did not show up, despite numerous
cancellations to give Prosecutor Bagabuyo all the chances he asks for. When Bagabuyo finally gave his Answer,
wherein he alleged he was merely exercising his freedom of speech and that he did not seek to be interviewed, the court
again found him guilty of indirect contempt. This time, not only was he to suffer 90 days imprisonment and pay P30,000,
but he was also suspended from the practice of law for 1 year.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Bagabuyo should be suspended from the practice of law.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Atty. Bagabuyo should be suspended (1 year). A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for any violation of
his oath, a patent disregard of his duties, or an odious deportment unbecoming an attorney. The grounds for
sanctions are not preclusive in nature even as they are broad enough as to cover practically any kind of
impropriety that a lawyer does or commits in his professional career or in his private life.
Atty. Bagabuyo violated Rule 11.05 when he admittedly caused the holding of a press conference where he made
statements against allowing the accused to be released on bail. He also violated Canon 11 when he indirectly
stated that Judge Tan was displaying judicial arrogance.
His statements were also made while the criminal case was pending in court, which further violated Rule 13.02,
which states that a lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to
arouse public opinion for or against a party.
The radio interview also violated Rule 11.05 for not resorting to the proper authorities only for redress of his
grievances against Judge Tan. It also violated Canon 11 for disrespect of the court and its officer when he stated
that Judge Tan was ignorant of the law, was a mahjong afficionado and was studying mahjong instead of the law,
and was a liar.

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He also violated the Lawyers Oath, as he swore to conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his
knowledge and discretion with all good fidelity as well to the courts as to his clients. As a senior state prosecutor
and officer of the court, he should have set the example of observing and maintaining the respect due to the courts
and to judicial officers.
The Court is not against lawyers raising grievances against erring judges but the rules clearly provide for the
proper venue and procedure for doing so, precisely because respect for the institution must always be maintained.

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NATURE AND CREATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP


64 - Hilado v. David (1949) (lawyer gave advice to opposing party)
Doctrines:
The mere relation of attorney and client precludes the attorney from accepting the opposite partys retainer in the
same litigation regardless of what information was received by him from his first client.
Facts:
Respondents are seeking the disqualification of Atty. Francisco in handling a case where he allegedly had given
prior legal advice to the opposing party.
Blandina Hilado brought an action against Selim Jacob Assad to annul a sale of several houses and lot.
Hilado - represented by Attys. Delgado, Dizon, Flores, and Rodrigo
Selim Jacob Assad- represented by Attys. Ohnick, Velilla, and Balonkita
Subsequently, Atty. Francisco entered his appearance as attorney of record for Assad in substitution of the latters
prior attorneys who have withdrawn from the case.
Atty. Dizon, in the name of his firm, wrote Atty. Francisco urging him to discontinue representing the defendants
on the ground that their client (Hilado) had consulted with him (Atty. Francisco) about her case, that she turned over
papers to him and that he had sent her a written opinion. Not receiving an answer to this letter, Atty. Delgado, Dizon,
Flores, and Rodrigo filed a formal motion to disqualify Atty. Francisco from handling the case.
In his answer, Atty. Francisco averred that Mrs. Hilado came to see him about a suit she had instituted against a
certain Syrian to annul the conveyance of a real estate. According to Francisco, he had told Hilado that it was a lost case.
Days after, Hilado dropped by the office and left papers with his (Franciscos) partner in the law firm, Atty. Agrava.
Francisco averred that he signed a letter (written by Atty. Agrava) without reading it which contained the reasons why the
case could not be handled by the law office. This letter was sent together with the papers that were returned to Hilado.
Months after, Assan requested Atty. Francisco to handle his case because his American lawyers had gone to the States and
left the case in the hands of other attorneys. Atty. Francisco accepted the offer and entered his appearance.
The judge trying the case dismissed the motion for disqualification on the ground that there was no attorney-client
relationship that existed.
Issues:
1. W/N there existed an attorney-client relationship between Hilado and Francisco.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
In order to constitute the relation (of attorney and client) a professional one and not merely one of principal and
agent, the attorneys must be employed either to give advice upon a legal point, to prosecute or defend an action in
court of justice, or to prepare and draft, in legal form such papers as deeds, bills, contracts and the like. It is not
essential that the client should have employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion nor is it
necessary that any retainer should have been paid, promised, or charged for. Neither is it material that the attorney
consulted did not afterward undertake the case about which the consultation was had.
There is no law or provision in the Rules of Court expressly prohibiting attorneys from acting on behalf of both
parties to a controversy whose interests are opposed to each other, but such prohibition is necessarily implied
from the duty of a lawyer to preserve the secrets of his clients. To permit the information obtained by the lawyer
to be used in the interest of another is to strike at the element of confidence which lies at the basis of the relation
of attorney and client.

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That only copies of pleadings already filed in court were furnished to Francisco and that there was no secret
communication transmitted would not vary the situation. The mere relation of attorney and client precludes
the attorney from accepting the opposite partys retainer in the same litigation regardless of what
information was received by him from his first client.
The court held: So without impugning respondents good faith, we nevertheless can not sanction his taking up
the cause of the adversary of the party who had sought and obtained legal advice from his firm; this, not
necessarily to prevent any injustice to the plaintiff but to keep above reproach the honor and integrity of
the courts and of the bar. Without condemning the respondents conduct as dishonest, corrupt, or fraudulent, we
do believe that upon the admitted facts it is highly in expedient. It had the tendency to bring the profession, of
which he is a distinguished member, into public disrepute and suspicion and undermine the integrity of justice.
Also, that it was his partner who wrote the letter and that he merely signed it without reading it would not save
Atty. Francisco in this case because an information obtained from a client by a member or assistant of a law firm
is information imparted to the firm.
The motion for disqualification should be allowed.

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65 - Hadjula v. Madianda (2007)


Doctrines:
Among the burdens of the lawyer-client relationship is that which enjoins the lawyer to keep inviolate
confidential information acquired or revealed during legal consultations. The fact that one is, at the end of the day,
not inclined to handle the clients case is hardly of consequence
Facts:
Hadjula and Madianda used to be friends as they both worked at the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP). Madianda
was the Chief Legal Officer. Hadjula was the Chief Nurse of the Medical, Dental and Nursing Services. Hadjula
approached Madianda for some legal advice. Hadjula disclosed personal secrets and produced copies of a marriage
contract, birth certificate, and baptismal certificate, only to be later informed that Madianda would refer the matter to a
lawyer friend. Hadjula alleged that it was malicious of Madianda to have refused handling her case only after she had
already heard her secrets.
In 2000, Hadjula filed a criminal complaint against Madianda. Hadjula alleged that Madianda, a member of the
BFP promotion board, demanded a cellular phone in exchange for her promotion. Hadjula claimed that in retaliation,
Madianda filed a counter-complaint with the Ombudsman, charging her with falsification of public documents and
immorality, the charges being based on the disclosures Hadjula had earlier made to Madianda. Madianda also filed a
disciplinary case against Hadjula before the PRC.
Hadjula filed a disbarment complaint against Madianda for disclosing personal secrets and confidential
information she revealed in the course of seeking legal advice. Madianda denied that Hadjula sought any legal advice and
dismissed any suggestion that there existed a lawyer-client relationship between them. Madianda also said that the
supposed confidential data and sensitive information Hadjula was referring to were of common knowledge in the BFP
(BFP employees knew of Hadjulas illicit relationship and that they also know about the child support case Hadjula had
filed against her lover).
The IBP held that Madianda violated legal ethics when she revealed information given to her during legal
consultation. The IBP recommended that Madianda be reprimanded.
Issues:
1. W/N Madianda should be reprimanded?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES.
When Hadjula went to Madianda to bare what she considered her personal secrets and sensitive documents for the
purpose of obtaining legal advice and assistance, a lawyer-client relationship arose. Among the burdens of such
relationship is that which enjoins the lawyer to keep inviolate confidential information acquired or revealed
during legal consultations. The fact that one is, at the end of the day, not inclined to handle the clients case is
hardly of consequence. Of little moment is the fact that no formal professional engagement follows the
consultation. Nor will it make any difference that no contract whatsoever was executed by the parties to
memorialize the relationship. The SC has previously held that if a person, in respect to business affairs or troubles
of any kind, consults a lawyer with a view of obtaining professional advice or assistance, and the attorney
voluntarily permits or acquiesces with the consultation, then the professional employment is established. In
addition, the essential factors to establish the existence of the attorney-client privilege communication are: (1)
where legal advice of any kind is sought (2) from a professional legal adviser in his capacity as such, (3) the
communications relating to that purpose, (4) made in confidence (5) by the client, (6) are at his instance
permanently protected (7) from disclosure by himself or by the legal advisor, (8) except the protection be waived.
Madianda breached this duty when she used the information Hadjula shared with her as bases in the criminal and
administrative complaints she filed.

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66 - Gonzales v. Chavez (1992) (OSG withdraws because he was made laughing stock)
Doctrine:
The Office of the Solicitor General is mandated by law to represent the Government and its agencies in any
litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer.
Solicitor General is obligated to perform his functions and to perform them well. He may not abdicate his
function through an arbitrary exercise of his discretion. Withdrawal of appearance on flimsy and petty
grounds is tantamount to withdrawing on no grounds at all.
Facts:
This case involves a complaint against then Solicitor General, Francisco Chavez. SolGen Chavez (Counsel of the
Republic and PCGG) was then handling various cases (39 for PCGG, 144 total.) Then suddenly in 1990 he withdrew as
counsel for the PCGG and filed petition for Withdrawal of Appearance with Reservation. This resulted in PCGG hiring
40 private lawyers to continue the case where they would each receive monthly compensation of 10k. (the PCGG cases
were about the ill-gotten wealth of Marcos and cronies)
Petitioner Gonzales (as citizen taxpayer) then filed a complaint against the Solicitor General and PCGG on the
ground that it affects matters on public duty and unlawful expenditures of public fund. There are 2 main points in his
allegations. (1) Solicitor Generals unilateral withdrawal from the PCGG cases is null and void because it has no valid
reason and theres no consent of the Republic or the PCGG. In citing a case, Gonzales states that because its the duty of
the SolGen to appear for the Republic, he must proceed to discharge his duty regardless of personal convictions or
opinions. (2) PCGG acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in hiring private lawyers as substitutes for the SolGen. He
claims that by employing private lawyers, PCGG created a public office and named new public officers (actions not
within their authority.)
In his defense, OSG claims that Sol Gen Chavez inhibited himself from appearing in the cases because for them
the subject is already a closed matter. (e.g. OSG argued that asset was under sequestration only to be informed by adverse
party that such order was already lifted) basically SolGen says that all throughout the proceedings they could not
perform his functions because of the lack of consultation and communication with PCGG. SolGen does not want to
continuously be the laughing stock so he withdraws from appearing in the said cases.
In their defense, PCGG asserts that hiring private lawyers is not ultra vires act for it was a means by which it can
effectively exercise its powers. PCGG claims that pon the withdrawal of SolGen it badly needed some legal assistance
because of the complexities of the said case. The 2 prosecutors sent by the DOJ was not enough. Hiring private lawyers
was geared to protect the interest of the State.
Issues:
1. W/N Solicitor General neglected his public duty by withdrawing as counsel for RP and PCGG (in cases he filed in
court)
2. W/N PCGG acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in hiring private lawyers as result of such withdrawal of
appearance.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The Court held that the withdrawal of the SolGen mainly for the main reason that he had already become
the laughing stock in the hearings is arbitrary. The Court looked through the revised Admin Code, Sec 35
wherein it states that OSG was tasked to represent the Govt of the Philippines, its agencies in any litigation,
proceeding and investigation or matters requiring the services of a lawyer. In this case the Court delved on the
history of Solicitor General and the power and nature bestowed upon him by the law. According to the SC, Sol
Gen (as a public officer) is called upon to share in the task and responsibility of dispensing justice and resolving
disputes. The SolGen in this case, therefore, is compelled to appear before court to ensure that case of RP against
those who illegally amassed wealth at the expense of people be made accountable.

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In the end, SC finds that SolGens withdrawal of his appearance on behalf of the PCGG (ultimately the Filipino
people- his client) was beyond the scope of his authority. As a public official, it is his sworn duty to provide
legal services to Govt particularly to represent it in litigation. Withdrawal from case because of flimsy, petty
and arbitrary grounds (such as to stop being the laughing stock) renders such action null and void.
2. NO. The Court held that PCGGs action of hiring private lawyers was justified because upon the withdrawal of
the OSG, the former was left without the proper and sufficient legal assistance to continue in the campaign to
legally recover wealth amassed by the Marcoses. They are left with no choice but to hire private lawyers to
continue the work left by the SolGen.

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LAWYERS DUTIES OF FAIR DEALINGS AND AVOIDING CONFLICT OF INTERESTS


67 - Bautista v. Barrios (1963) (extra-judicial partition; decline professional employment)
Doctrine:
A lawyer should decline professional employment if its acceptance will involve a violation of any of the rules of
the legal profession.
He may not handle a case to nullify a contract, which he prepared.
Facts:
In August 1955, Rufina Baustista engaged the services of Atty. Barrios to draft an extra-judicial partition between
Bautista (and her brothers and sisters) on one side, and Federico Rovero, on the other. The deed distributed the conjugal
properties of Rovero and his late wife, Maria. Maria was also Bautistas sister. Atty. Barrios prepared the deed and the
parties signed it.
In September 1955, Bautista sued Rovero in a civil case. Rovero refused to deliver the properties awarded to
Bautista in the extra-judicial partition. Bautista asked Atty. Barrios to represent her. However, Atty. Barrios refused. As a
result, she engaged the services of Atty. Arrieta. Thereafter, Atty. Barrios appeared for the opposing party, Rovero.
Bautista sued Atty. Barrios for malpractice as he prepared a deed at her request and appeared for the opposing
party.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Barrios committed malpractice.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. A lawyer should decline professional employment if its acceptance will involve a violation of any of the
rules of the legal profession.
In his answer to the complaint, Atty. Barrios admitted that he prepared the deed upon the joint request of Rovero,
Bautista and her siblings. Further, when Bautista asked Atty. Barrios to file a complaint for the enforcement of the
deed, he refused and failed to inform he that Rovero hired him to draft the partition.
Even assuming that Atty. Barrios assertions are true (that he was employed by both Rovero and Bautista to draft
the partition), he cannot appear for one as against the other in a subsequent litigation. At most, Atty. Barrios may
appear for one party the one who sought to enforce the partition as drafter. He may not handle a case to nullify a
contract, which he prepared. He also violated Bautistas confidence by alleging that the undisclosed
modifications were known to Bautista at the time of the execution of the partition.
Atty. Barrios is suspended for a period of two years.

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68 - Tiana v. Ocampo (1991)


Doctrine:
The representation of conflicting interests is prohibited not only because the relation of attorney and client is one
of trust and confidence of the highest degree, but also because of the principles of public policy and good taste.
An attorney has the duty to deserve the fullest confidence of his client and represent him with undivided loyalty.
Once this confidence is abused, the entire profession suffers.
Facts:
This is a consolidation of 2 disbarment cases against Atty. Ocampo filed by Maria Tiana and the spouses Angel.
The 1st administrative case:
Tiania claims that Ocampo has been her retaining counsel in all her legal problems and court cases as early as
1966 and has always had her unqualified faith and confidence.
Concepcion Blaylock sued Tiania for ejectment from a parcel of land. Ocampo appeared for both Tiania and also
for Blaylock. Tiania confronted Ocampo about this but he reassured her that he will take care of everything and that there
was no need for her to hire a new lawyer since he is still her lawyer. Ocampo prepared the answer in the said ejectment
case. Then Ocampo made Tiania sign a Compromise Agreement which the latter signed. 2 years from the submission of
the Compromise Agreement, Tiania was shocked when she received an order to vacate the property. To hold off her
ejectment for another two years, Ocampo advised Tiania to pay him a certain amount for the sheriff.
Ocampo denied the charges. He admitted that although he handled some legal problems and executed some
notarial deeds for Tiania, she had also engaged the services of various counsel to represent her in several criminal and
civil cases, so he could not be the complainants retaining counsel in all her legal problems and court cases. Ocampo
then insisted that he appeared on behalf of Mrs. Blaylock, and not as counsel of Tiania. He further argued that the overdue
filing of a complaint against a lawyer should already create a suspicion about the motives of the complainant or the merit
of the complaint.
The 2nd administrative case:
The Angel spouses allege that they sold their house in favor of Concepcion Blaylock. Ocampo acted as their
counsel and prepared the Deed of Sale of a Residential House and Waiver of Rights Over a Lot. With the money paid by
Blaylock, the Angel spouses bought another parcel of land. Again, Ocampo prepared the Deed of Sale. In addition,
Ocampo allegedly made the Angel spouses sign 2 more documents which, accordingly, were made parts of the sale
transaction. Those documents later turned out to be a Real Estate Mortgage of the property and a Promissory Note, both in
favor of Blaylock.
The Angel spouses never realized the nature of the said documents until they received a complaint naming them
as defendants in a collection suit filed by Ocampo on behalf of the plaintiff, Commercial Corporation of Olongapo, a firm
headed by Blaylock. They alleged that Ocampo reassured them that there was no need for them to engage the services of a
new lawyer since he will take care of everything. Ocampo even appeared as counsel for the Angel spouses in a civil case
however, they lost and a Notice to Vacate was served on them.
Ocampo alleged that it was his client, Blaylock, who introduced to him the Angel spouses. Blaylock wanted
Ocampo to check the background of the Angel spouses in connection with a loan they were seeking from Blaylock. He
admits appearing for the Angel spouses in the civil case, but only because he had his client Blaylocks interest foremost in
his mind.
The Solicitor General charged the Ocampo with malpractice and gross misconduct punishable under Section 27 of
Rule 138 of the Rules of Court of the Philippines and violation of his oath of office as an attorney for representing
conflicting interests.
Issue:
1. W/N Ocampo was guilty of representing conflicting interests.

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Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting
interest except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts.
The test of the conflict of interest in disciplinary cases against a lawyer is whether or not the acceptance of a new
relation will prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client
or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance thereof. Applying it to the present
cases, the Court found no cogent reason to disturb the findings of the Solicitor General upholding the complaints
against the Ocampo. His aforementioned acts of representing Blaylock, and at the same time advising Tiania, the
opposing party, as in the first administrative case, and once again representing Blaylock and her interest while
handling the legal documents of another opposing party as in the second case, whether the said actions were
related or totally unrelated, constitute serious misconduct. They are improper to the Ocampos office as attorney.
Taking into consideration the advanced age of the Ocampo who is 73 years old, the Court found him guilty of
malpractice and gross misconduct and suspend him from the practice of law for 1 year.

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70 - Hornilla v. Salunat (2003) (Derivative Suit)


Doctrine:
Rule 15.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interest except by written consent of all concerned given
after a full disclosure of the facts.
In all derivate suit actions, outside counsel must be retained to represent one of the defendants. Furthermore, this
restriction on dual representation should not be waivable by consent in the usual way; the corporation should
presumptively incapable of giving consent.
Facts:
Complainants Hornilla and Ricafort who are members of the Philippine Public School Teacher Association
(PPSTA), filed an intra-corporate case against the members and the Board of Director before the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) and the Office of the Ombudsman for unlawful spending and undervalue sale of real property of the
PPSTA. Salunat was a member of the ASSA Law and Associates and is the retained counsel of the PPSTA. Salunat
appeared as counsel for the PPSTA Board members in these cases. Complainants contend that Salunat was guilty of
conflict of interest because he was engaged by the PPSTA of which complainants were members. Despite demands by the
complainants for him to withdraw, Salunat refused to withdraw his appearance. Therefore, the complainants filed an
administrative complaints against Salunat with the IBP Commission on
Bar Disciple for illegal and unethical practice and conflict of interest. In his answer to the complaint, Salunat said that he
entered his appearance as counsel for the PPSTA Board Members in the SEC case for and in behalf of the AASA Law
Office, while in the Ombudsman case, this was handled by another partner of the firm. After investigation, Commissioner
Navarro of the CBD recommended Salunats suspension for 6 months which the Board of Governor adopted.
Issue:
1. W/N a lawyer engaged by a corporation defend members of its own board of the same corporation in a derivative
suit.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. In all derivative suits, outside counsel must be retained to represent one of the defendants.
The SC first explained the meaning of conflict of interest as per Rule 15.03. There is conflict of interest when a
lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties. The test is whether or not in behalf of
one client, it is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or claim, but it is his duty to oppose it for the other client. In
brief, if he argues for one client, this argument will be opposed by him when he argues for the other client. This
rule covers not only cases in which confidential communications have been confided, but also those in which no
confidence has been bestowed or will be used. Also, there is conflict of interests if the acceptance of the new
retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously affect his first client in any matter in
which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new relation to use against his first client
any knowledge acquired through their connection. Another test of the inconsistency of interests is whether the
acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and
loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance thereof.
The SC then explained what a derivative suit is. A corporations board of director is the body which exercise all
the powers provided in the Corporation Code and its trustees or directors are clothed with a fiduciary character
and are clearly separate and distinct from the corporate entity itself. So where corporate directors or trustees have
committed breach of trust through fraud, ultra vires acts, etc., and the corporation is unwilling to institute suit to
remedy wrong, a stockholder may sue on his behalf for the benefit of the corporation to bring redress to the wrong
done to the corporation and the stockholders. In a derivative suit the corporation is the real party in interest while
the stockholder filing the suit is only a nominal party. The corporation should be included as a party in the suit.
With this backdrop, the SC said that the emerging rule is against dual representation in all derivative actions.
Outside counsel must be retained to represent one of the defendants. This restriction on dual representation should
not be waivable by consent in the usual way; the corporation should be presumptively incapable of giving

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consent. A lawyer engaged as counsel for corporation cannot represent members of the same corporations board
of directors in a derivative suit brought against them. To do so would be tantamount to representing conflicting
interest.
In the case at bar, records show that in the SEC case filed by the PPSTA against its own Board of Director,
Sulunat as managing partner of the law firm retained by PPSTA, appeared as counsel of record for the Board of
Director. In this case, Salunat was guilty of conflict of interest when represented the parties against whom his
other clients, the PPSTA, filed suit. In the Ombudsman case, Salunat filed an Manifestation of Extreme Urgency
when he prayed for dismissal of the complaints against his clients, the individual board members. By filing the
pleading, he entered his appearance. This also constitute conflict of interest considering that the complaint in the
name of the individual member of the PPSTA was brought in behalf of and to protect the interest of the
corporation.
Salunat was found guilty and considering this was only his first offence he is only ADMONISHED.

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71 - Northwestern University v. Arquillo (2005)


Doctrines:
Lawyers shall not represent conflicting interests, except with all the concerned clients written consent, given after
a full disclosure of facts.
Representing both sides will tend to deprive the relation of attorney and client of those special elements, which
make it one of trust and confidence.
Facts:
Ben Nicolas, on behalf of Northwestern University, filed with the IBP a complaint. Nicolas charged Atty.
Arquillo with deceit, malpractice, gross misconduct and/or violation of his oath as attorney by representing conflicting
interests. They allege that Arquillo represented conflicting interests in a case before the NLRC. Arquillo allegedly acted as
counsels for both complainants (there were several) and respondent, Castro.
Arquillo failed to neither submit his answer nor appear in the scheduled hearing. He was deemed to have waived
his right to participate in the proceedings. The IBP found Arquillo guilty of violating the conflict-of-interests rule. The
IBP recommended that Arquillo be suspended from the practice of law for 2 years.
Issues:
1. W/N Arquillo should be suspended
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, but the SC reduced it to 1 year.
The Code of Professional Responsibility requires lawyers to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all their
dealings and transactions with their clients. Corollary to this duty, lawyers shall not represent conflicting interests,
except with all the concerned clients written consent, given after a full disclosure of facts.
When a lawyer represents 2 or more opposing parties, there is a conflict of interests, the existence of which is
determined by three separate tests: (1) when, in representation of one client, a lawyer is required to fight for an
issue or claim, but is also duty-bound to oppose it for another client; (2) when the acceptance of the new retainer
will require an attorney to perform an act that may injuriously affect the first client or, (3) when the acceptance of
a new relation would prevent the full discharge of an attorneys duty to give undivided fidelity and loyalty to the
client or would invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the performance of that duty.
In his Motion for Reconsideration, Arquillo said that there was no conflict of interest because all those he
represented were allegedly on the same side. The SC said that having agreed to represent one of the opposing
parties, the lawyer should have known that there was an obvious conflict of interests, regardless of his alleged
belief that they were on the same side. Representing both sides will tend to deprive the relation of attorney and
client of those special elements, which make it one of trust and confidence.

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72 - Quiambao v. Bamba (2005) (Security Agency)


Doctrine:
The prohibition against representation of conflicting interests applies to a situation where the opposing parties
are present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action.
Facts:
Quiambao (complainant) was the president of Allied Investigation Bureau Inc. (AIB). Quiambao acquired the
services of Atty. Bamba (defendant) for AIB and her personal case. Atty. Bamba was her counsel for an ejectment case
against another person. Not long after she resigned from the AIB, the respondent filed on behalf of AIB a complaint for
replevin and damages against for the purpose of recovering from her the car of AIB. This he did without withdrawing as
counsel of record in the ejectment case, which was then still pending.
Quiambao also alleges that Atty. Bamba convinced her and assisted her in making another security agency,
Quiambao Risk Management Specialists, Inc., (QRMSI), having Atty. Bamba as silent partner. And that Atty. Bamba
convinced complainants brother Leodegario Quiambao to organize another security agency, San Esteban Security
Services, Inc. (SESSI) where Atty. Bamba served as its incorporator, director, and president.
Quiambao now charges Atty. Bamba with violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility for representing
conflicting interests, and for committing other acts of disloyalty and double-dealing.
Issue:
1. W/N respondent is guilty of misconduct for representing conflicting interests in contravention of the basic tenets
of the legal profession?
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes, he violated Rule 15.03, of the Code of Professional Responsibility; A lawyer shall not represent conflicting
interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. This requires that
lawyers should keep the clients confidence, but also to avoid the appearance of treachery and double-dealing.
The prohibition against representation of conflicting interests applies to a situation where the opposing parties are
present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. It is of no moment that the lawyer would not be called
upon to contend for one client that which the lawyer has to oppose for the other client, or that there would be no
occasion to use the confidential information acquired from one to the disadvantage of the other as the two actions
are wholly unrelated. It is enough that the opposing parties in one case, one of whom would lose the suit, are
present clients and the nature or conditions of the lawyers respective retainers with each of them would affect the
performance of the duty of undivided fidelity to both clients.
It does not matter, that the ejectment case and the replevin case are unrelated cases with different issues, parties,
and subject matters, the prohibition is still applicable. His representation of opposing clients in both cases, though
unrelated, obviously constitutes conflict of interest or, at the least, invites suspicion of double-dealing. While Atty.
Bamba alledges that Quiambao expressly consented to his continued representation in the ejectment case, He
failed to show that he fully disclosed the facts to both his clients and he failed to present any written consent of
the complainant and AIB as required under Rule 15.03.
Also Atty. Bamba has financial interest and he is the president in SESSI, which is engaged in a business
competing with his client AIB. This kind of situation passes the second test of conflict of interest, which is
whether the acceptance of a new relationship would prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of undivided
fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double-dealing in the performance of that
duty.
He also violated 1.02, by counseling activities aimed at defiance of the law, since under the law, one cannot
organize or have interest in more than one security agency, by assisting Leodegario Quiambao, president of AIB,
to create SESSI, by having the stocks of SESSI in the name of Leodegarios wife and kid.

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73 - Clarita J. Samala v. Atty. Luciano D. Valencia (2007) (Memory Aid - maximum of 5 words only)

Facts:
This is a case filed by Clarita J. Samala against Atty. Luciano D. Valencia for Disbarment on the following
grounds: (a) serving on two separate occasions as counsel for contending parties; (b) knowingly misleading the court by
submitting false documentary evidence; (c) initiating numerous cases in exchange for nonpayment of rental fees; and (d)
having a reputation of being immoral by siring illegitimate children. After respondent filed his Comment, the Court, in its
Resolution, referred the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Valencia is guilty of serving on two separate occasions as counsel for contending parties (RULE 15
and RULE 21 issue)
2. W/N Atty. Valencia knowingly mislead the court by submitting false documentary evidence (RULE 10)
3. W/N Atty. Valencia is guilty of being immoral by siring illegitimate children (RULE 1)
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. In case No. 95-105-MK, Leonora M. Aville v. Editha Valdez for nonpayment of rentals, Valencia, while
being the counsel for defendant Valdez, also acted as counsel for the tenants Lagmay, Valencia, Bustamante and
Bayuga by filing an Explanation and Compliance.
In another case No.98-6804, Editha S. Valdez and Joseph J. Alba, Jr. v. Salve Bustamante and her husband for
ejectment, Valencia represented Valdez against Bustamante - one of the tenants in the property subject of the
controversy. In the decision, Presiding Judge dela Cruz warned Valencia to refrain from repeating the act of being
counsel of record of both parties.
But in Case No. 2000-657-MK, entitled Editha S. Valdez v. Joseph J. Alba, Jr. and Register of Deeds of
Marikina City, Valencia, as counsel for Valdez, filed a Complaint for Rescission of Contract with Damages and
Cancellation of Transfer Certificate of Title against Alba, respondents former client in Civil Case No. 98-6804
and SCA Case No. 99-341-MK.
Records reveal that at the hearing, Valencia admitted that in Case No. 95-105-MK, he was the lawyer for Lagmay
but not for Bustamante and Bayuga. He also admitted that he represented Valdez against Bustamante and her
husband but denied being the counsel for Alba although the case is entitled Valdez and Alba v. Bustamante and
her husband because Valdez told him to include Alba as the two were the owners of the property and it was only
Valdez who signed the complaint for ejectment. But, while claiming that he did not represent Alba, he, however,
avers that he already severed his representation for Alba when he charged Alba with estafa Civil Case No. 2000-
657-MK for not turning over the proceed collected in Civil Case No. 98-6804.
Termination of the relation of attorney and client provides no justification for a lawyer to represent an interest
adverse to or in conflict with that of the former client. Consequently, a lawyer should not, even after the
severance of the relation with his client, do anything, which will injuriously affect his former client in any
matter in which he previously represented him nor should he disclose or use any of the clients confidences
acquired in the previous relation. Termination of the attorney-client relationship precludes an attorney from
representing a new client whose interest is adverse to his former client. Alba may not be his original client but the
fact that he filed a case entitled Valdez and Alba v. Bustamante and her husband, is a clear indication that
respondent is protecting the interests of both Valdez and Alba in the said case.
Valencia is bound to comply with Rule 15.03, Canon 15 which states that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting
interests except by written consent of all concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. and Canon 21 which
states that a lawyer shall preserve the confidences and secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relation
is terminated. A lawyer becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his clients case. He learns from his

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client the weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge must be considered sacred and
guarded with care.
2. YES. In a case for ejectment, respondent submitted TCT No. 273020 as evidence of Valdezs ownership despite
the fact that a new TCT No. 275500 was already issued in the name of Alba. Records reveal that respondent filed
Civil Case No. 00-7137 on November 27, 2000 and presented TCT No. 273020 as evidence of Valdezs
ownership of the subject property. During the hearing before Commissioner Raval, Valencia avers that when the
Answer was filed in the said case, that was the time that he came to know that the title was already in the name of
Alba; so that when the court dismissed the complaint, he did not do anything anymore. He further avers that
Valdez did not tell him the truth and things were revealed to him only when the case for rescission was filed in
2002. Upon examination of the record, it was noted that Civil Case No. 2000-657-MK for rescission of contract
and cancellation of TCT No. 275500 was also filed on November 27, 2000, thus belying the averment of
respondent that he came to know of Albas title only in 2002.
Respondent failed to comply with Canon 10, which provides that a lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent
to the doing of any in court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice. It matters not
that the trial court was not misled by respondents submission. What is decisive in this case is respondents intent
in trying to mislead the court by presenting TCT No. 273020 despite the fact that said title was already cancelled
and a new one, was already issued in the name of Alba.
3. Yes. During the hearing, respondent admitted that he sired three children by Teresita Lagmay while his first wife
was still alive. He also admitted that he has eight children by his first wife and after his wife died in 1997, he
married Lagmay in 1998. He further admitted that Lagmay was staying in one of the apartments being claimed by
complainant. However, he does not consider his affair with Lagmay as a relationship and does not consider the
latter as his second family. It is of no moment that respondent eventually married Lagmay after the death of his
first wife. The fact still remains that respondent did not live up to the exacting standard of morality and decorum
required of the legal profession.

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74 - Pacana v. Pascual-Lopez (2009)


Doctrine:
There is conflict of interest when a lawyer represents inconsistent interests of two or more opposing parties. The
test is whether or not in behalf of one client, it is the lawyers duty to fight for an issue or claim, but it is his duty
to oppose it for the other client. In brief, if he argues for one client, this argument will be opposed by him when he
argues for the other client. This rule covers not only cases in which confidential communications have been
confided, but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be used. Also, there is conflict of
interests if the acceptance of the new retainer will require the attorney to perform an act which will injuriously
affect his first client in any matter in which he represents him and also whether he will be called upon in his new
relation to use against his first client any knowledge acquired through their connection. Another test of the
inconsistency of interests is whether the acceptance of a new relation will prevent an attorney from the full
discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double
dealing in the performance thereof
Facts:
Pacana was the Operations Director for Multitel Communications Corporation (MCC). MCC changed its name to
Precedent Communications Corporation (Precedent).
According to Pacana, in mid-2002, Multitel was besieged by demand letters from its members and investors
because of the failure of its investment schemes. He alleges that he earned the ire of Multitel investors after becoming the
assignee of majority of the shares of stock of Precedent and after being appointed as trustee of a fund amounting to Thirty
Million Pesos (P30,000,000.00) deposited at Real Bank. Distraught, complainant sought the advice of Pascual-Lopez who
also happened to be a member of the Couples for Christ, a religious organization where complainant and his wife were
also active members. Atty. Pascual-Lopez gave legal advice to complainant and even helped him prepare standard
quitclaims for creditors. A Retainer Agreement was made between the parties but not signed by Pacana because
the proposed fees were not within his means.
After a few weeks, Pacana was surprised to receive a demand letter from Pascual-Lopez asking for the return and
immediate settlement of the funds invested by Pascual-Lopezs clients in Multitel. When complainant confronted Atty.
Pascual-Lopez about the demand letter, the latter explained that she had to send it so that her clients defrauded
investors of Multitel would know that she was doing something for them and assured complainant that there was
nothing to worry about. She also asked money from complainant allegedly for safekeeping to be used only for his case
whenever necessary.
When complainant went to the United States (US), he received several messages from Pascual-Lopez sent
through electronic mail (e-mail) and short messaging system (SMS, or text messages) warning him not to return to the
Philippines because Rosario Baladjay, president of Multitel, was arrested and that complainant may later on be implicated
in Multitels failed investment system. . Pacana, thereafter, received several e-mail messages from Pascual-Lopez
updating him of the status of the case against Multitel and promised that she will settle the matter discreetly with
government officials she can closely work with in order to clear complainants name
When Pacanas family advised him to get a new lawyer, Atty. Pascual-Lopez wrote him an email referring to
herself as his friend and lawyer, and that if Coco Pimentel will be hired to replace her, that she will be hands off with the
case because she works differently.
About a month thereafter, Atty. Pascual-Lopez personally met with complainant and his wife and told
them that she has already accumulated P12,500,000.00 as attorneys fees and was willing to give P2,000,000.00 to
Pacana in appreciation for his help but later on she changed her mind and told him that she would instead invest
theP2,000,000.00 on his behalf in a business venture. Pacana declined and explained to her that he and his family
needed the money instead to cover their daily expenses as he was no longer employed. she allegedly agreed, but she
failed to fulfill her promise.
Later on, Pacana noticed that Pascual-Lopez was evading him, always saying that she is busy. He thenwrote
Pascual-Lopez a letter formally asking for a full accounting of all the money, documents and properties given to

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the latter. Atty. Pascual-Lopez wrote explaining that all the properties and cash turned over to her by complainant
had been returned to her clients who had money claims against Multitel. In exchange for this, she said that she was
able to secure quitclaim documents clearing complainant from any liability. Still unsatisfied, Pacana decided to file
an affidavit-complaint against Pascual-Lopez before the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) seeking the disbarment of Pascual-Lopez. In sum, Pacana avers that a lawyer-client relationship was
established between him and Atty. Pascual Lopez although no formal document was executed by them at that time.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Pascual-Lopez represented conflicting interests
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Pascual-Lopezs act of constantly and actively communicating with Pacana and assisting him by giving
legal advice eventually led to the establishment of a lawyer-client relationship.
Rule 15.03, Canon 15 of the Code of Professional responsibility provides:
Rule 15.03 A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all
concerned given after full disclosure of the facts.
Pascual-Lopez cannot shield herself from the inevitable consequences of her actions by simply saying that
the assistance she rendered to complainant was only in the form of friendly accommodations, precisely
because at the time she was giving assistance to complainant, she was already privy to the cause of the
opposing parties who had been referred to her by the SEC.
The absence of a written contract will not preclude the finding that there was a professional relationship between
the parties. Documentary formalism is not an essential element in the employment of an attorney; the
contract may be express or implied. To establish the relation, it is sufficient that the advice and assistance of an
attorney is sought and received in any matter pertinent to his profession
Given the situation, the most decent and ethical thing, which Pascual-Lopez should have done was either to advise
complainant to engage the services of another lawyer since she was already representing the opposing parties, or
to desist from acting as representative of Multitel investors and stand as counsel for complainant. She cannot be
permitted to do both because that would amount to double-dealing and violate our ethical rules on conflict of
interest

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LAWYERS FIDUCIARY OBLIGATIONS


76 - Licuanan v. Melo (1989) (Lawyer did not tell client about receiving any money)
Doctrines:
Money collected by a lawyer in pursuance of a judgment in favor of his clients is held in trust and must be
immediately turned over to them
Money of the client or collected for the client of other trust property coming into the possession of the lawyer
should be reported and accounted for promptly, and should not under any circumstance be commingled with his
own or be used by him.
Facts:
Leonila Licuanan, through her counsel Atty. Melo, filed an ejectment case against Aida Pineda who was one of
her tenants. The City Court of Manila ruled for Licuanan and ordered Pineda to pay her rentals. In the months following
the favorable judgement, Pineda proceeded to pay rentals to Atty. Melo. However, Atty. Melo did not remit the money
to Licuanan. In fact, he did not even tell Licuanan about receiving them even when Licuanan called him regularly to
ask for updates regarding the ejectment case.
Because Licuanan was not receiving any of the rental payments, she filed an administrative complaint against
Pineda before the Chief of the Tuberculosis Society accusing her of moral turpitude for not paying the rentals which the
court had ordered her to pay. Of course, the complaint was found to be groundless because Pineda was actually paying the
rentals to Atty. Melo who was not remitting to Licuanan. In turn, Pineda filed a case for damages against Licuanan
because the accusation that she was not paying her rentals had caused her humiliation.
Licuanan later found out, through another counsel, about the money paid by Pineda to Atty. Melo. Licuanans
new counsel demandad the same from Atty. Melo who only then remitted the rentals. (This was about a year after he
actually received them.) However, he explains by saying that he did not tell Licuanan about the money and only kept it to
himself for a while because he wanted to surprise her by his success. Atty. Melo collected a total amount of P5220 over a
period of one year. Licuanan filed a complaint against Atty. Melo for breach of professional ethics.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Melo was guilty of breach of professional ethics
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Atty. Melo was guilty of breach of professional ethics.
The acts of Atty. Melo of keeping the money for his personal benefit, depriving Licuanan of use of money that
was rightfully hers, and withholding information regarding their receipt despite inquiries made by her, is
obviously in breach of professional ethics. Particularly:
The lawyer should refrain from any action whereby for his personal benefit or gain he abuses or takes advantage
of the confidence reposed in him by his client. Money of the client or collected for the client of other trust
property coming into the possession of the lawyer should be reported and accounted for promptly, and
should not under any circumstance be commingled with his own or be used by him.
Atty. Melo breached the trust reposed in him by his client. His actions went against the very nature of an attorney-
client relationship, which is characterized by confidence and trust. Atty. Melo was disbarred and his name
stricken from the Roll of Attorneys.

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77 - Daniel Lemoine v. Amadeo Balon, Jr. (2003) (Insurance Claim + Attorneys lien)
Doctrine:
A lawyer must hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that he may come to possess. This
commandment entails certain specific acts to be done by a lawyer such as rendering an accounting of all money
or property received for or from the client, as well as delivery of the funds or property to the client when due
or upon demand.
A lawyer who practices or utilizes deceit in his dealings with his client not only violates his duty of fidelity,
loyalty and devotion to the clients cause but also degrades himself and besmirches the fair name of an honorable
profession.
Facts:
Daniel Lemoine, a French national, filed a complaint before the IBP against Atty. Balon for estafa and
misconduct. Balon Jr. acted as Lemoines attorney in an insurance claim against Metropolitan Insurance regarding his lost
vehicle. A certain Jess Garcia arranged for the meeting of Balon and Lemoine. Balon insisted that for his fees, he shall be
paid 25% of whatever amount is to be collected from the insurance company. Lemoine objected to this arrangement,
but still hired the services of Balon.
A few days before Dec. 23, 1998, Lemoine signed an undated, prepared Special Power of Attorney authorizing
Garcia or Balon to institute actions, negotiate and encash checks received from Metropolitan. On Dec. 23, the SPA was
dated and Metropolitan issued a check payable to Lemoine for P525,000. Balon received the check. Fast forward,
Lemoine inquired with Garcia about the status of the claim, Garcia echoed to him that Balon wrote him a letter on March
1999 stating that the claim was still pending, that it is still subject to negotiations and that Metropolitan offered 350K. He
suggested to Garcia that they accept the 350K to avoid litigation.
On Dec 1999, Lemoine went to Metropolitan Insurance to personally inquire about the claim and he learned that it
had long been settled in Dec 1998. He immediately went to Balons law office. The next day Balon sent Lemoine a letter
stating that he is in fact in possession of the money but he will not turn it over to Lemoine and will continue to retain it
until Lemoine pays him an amount of 50% of the claim. In his letter he also stated that he will not hesitate to institute
cases in the Bureau of Immigration, NLRC, NBI against Lemoine, warning that he has good network relations with
them.
Lemoine thus instituted this action. Lemoine contends that Balon is entitled only to 50K and not 50% of the claim
as attorneys fees and that respondent acted fraudulently with regard to the claim. Balon in his counter-affidavit stated
that he is entitled to 50% because that was the practice in the insurance industry and that the absence of a contract
between him and Lemoine justifies the claim. He also contends that Garcia, as Lemoines attorney in fact already
approved of the 50% arrangement and that the balance of the claim minus the costs and attorneys fees were already
delivered to Garcia. No written memorandum to prove this claim was submitted. Balon also stated that the March letter
offering the 350K was made only at the request of Garcia for show to another business partner. The IBP ruled that he is
guilty of misconduct and recommended that he be suspended.
Issue:
1. W/N Balon should be disbarred.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Balon acted in violation of Canon 16 of the CPR. A lawyer must hold in trust all moneys and properties
of his client that he may come to possess. This commandment entails certain specific acts to be done by a lawyer
such as rendering an accounting of all money or property received for or from the client, as well as delivery of the
funds or property to the client when due or upon demand. Respondent breached this Canon when after he
received the proceeds of complainants insurance claim, he did not report it to complainant, who had a
given address in Makati, or to his co-attorney-in-fact Garcia who was his contact with respect to complainant.

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Balon could not justify his misconduct based on his right to attorneys lien. The fact that he kept the money from
Lemoine and only informed him that he has it when Lemoine himself discovered it cannot be tolerated. The fact
that he also altered the check to add his name as payee is grossly unacceptable. He abused his right to attorneys
lien.
It is evident from the facts that Balon misappropriated the money. The SC found it somewhat fishy that at first
he wanted only 25% of the claim but after he received the money, he wanted 50 % of it. Moreover, the fact that he
said he paid Garcia the balance of the claim minus the fees during several occasions from May-October 1999,
contrary to his earlier affidavit admitting that he had the whole 525,000 in his possession evinces that he has
already misappropriated the money. Balon was disbarred.

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78 - Tan v. Balon Jr. (2007) (Atty. Balon, indirect contempt)


Doctrines:
It has been held that contempt of court is a defiance of the authority, justice or dignity of the court, such conduct
as tends to bring the authority and administration of the law into disrespect. It signifies not only a willful
disregard or disobedience of the courts order but such conduct as tends to bring the authority of the court and the
administration of law into disrepute or in some manner to impede the due administration of justice.
Facts:
Petitioner Nicolas Tan, the latter sought after the services of Atty. Amadeo Balon to collect from Guisande an
unpaid amount worth P96,085. Atty. Balon then sent several demand letters to Guisande but failed to inform Tan about
the status of the demands and the case. Petitioner Tan availed of the services of another lawyer, Atty. Jubay, who
immediately filed a case of Estafa against Guisande. Guisande informed Tan and Atty. Jubay that he already
tendered partial payment to Atty. Balon, giving him cash worth P60,000. Tan then confronted Atty. Balon, and the
latter confirmed Guisandes statements. Atty. Balon then promised to give the payment as soon as possible, but less the
20% (P12,000) to be applied as attorneys fees. He then issued checks worth P48,000 as payment for the balance.
The checks were dishonored for being drawn from a closed account. Tan again went after Atty. Balon for the
remaining amount, to which the latter replied that he will deposit the money in Tans account. Unsurprisingly, Atty. Balon
again failed to deposit the entire amount, providing on half of the amount owing to Tan.
Tan, aggrieved by the several incidents, filed the instant petition against Atty. Balon. The case was referred to the
IBP, which prompted Atty. Balon to file a motion transferring the case to the regular courts because the matter
concerns a contract of loan, not lawyer-client relationship. After granting the motion, IBP later discovered that
Atty. Balon has already been disbarred (LOL) because of a prior case (Lemoine v. Balon Jr), which also involved
respondents failure to return the money. Balon stated that his disbarment only became final in April of 2005, two years
after the decision for disbarment took place.
IBP was unsatisfied with the explanation and recommended that Balon be cited for contempt for failing to
disclose information regarding his disbarment. Cases were filed, but petitioner Tan eventually filed an Affidavit of
Desistance claiming that he is no longer pursuing Balon because of some extra-judicial settlement between the parties.
Issues:
1. W/N Ordinary Citizen Balon can be cited for contempt for his failure to disclose information regarding his
disbarment.
Held:
1. YES. Despite the Affidavit of Desistance filed by Petitioner, the Court finds it proper to provide a disciplinary
sanction against Balon.
In the case of Lemoine v. Balon Jr, respondent misappropriated a check owing to Lemoine. Instead of delivering
the check, Balon falsified the signatures to make it appear that the P525,000 was payable to him. The Court
found Balon guilty of malpractice, deceit and misconduct and ordered for his disbarment. Notwithstanding
his disbarment, Balon continued to represent himself as a lawyer and even signed legal documents under the
name Balon Law Office. His argument that the disbarment only became final on a later date is untenable,
because good faith requires disclosure of such information (his disbarment) as soon as possible.
Because of his unrepentant actions, Balon was found guilty of Indirect Contempt and given a fine of P30,000.

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79 - Reddi v. Atty. Sebrio (2009)


Doctrine:
CANON 16 A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his
possession.
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from the client.
Facts:
Reddi an American-Indian was involved in various charitable activities in India. She visited the Philippines with
Luistro and noting the extreme poverty in the country decided to put up a hospital. To speed up the generation of funds,
Luistro suggested that Reddi enter the real estate business. Reddi was introduced to Atty. Sebrio to help her acquire
properties to develop and/or resale.
Sebrio helped her form 3 corporations, Tagaytay Twins, Manila Chic Twins and Tanu, Inc., as the corporate
vehicle to effect the purchase of property. According to Reddi, Sebrio cajoled her to purchase several properties in
Tagaytay, Las Pinas, Makati and Quezon City. With regard to the Tagaytay property, Serbio represented to Reddi that his
client, Monzon owned a 27 hectare property and a Memorandum of Agreement was executed between them wherein
Reddi agreed to title the property for P20M and once titled it would be resold and the profits divided among them.
It was found out later that this property was foreclosed and this was being judicially challenged by Monzon and
the counsel on record was Sebrio. Reddi remitted $1K, $36K and P2M to Monzon. With regard to the Las Pinas and
Quezon City properties, Reddi alleged that she remitted payments to Sebrio for an undisclosed amount. With regard to the
Pasay property, Reddi alleged that she sent sum of money to purchase the property to defray the cost of its mortgage
obligation (P5M to a certain Atty. Go), secure the title, relocate squatters and bribe a judge.
Reddi later found out that this property was titled in the name of PBC and Banco de Oro. On the Makati property,
Sebrio introduced Reddi to a certain Mangco an alleged officer of the estate of Ramos to buy a property in Forbes Park for
a total of P12M. Reddi later found out that neither did the property belong to Ramos nor was it for sale.
In light of all these facts, Reddi demanded from Sebrio to return the total amount of $3M. This is the amount that
Reddi allegedly remitted to Sebrio for all these failed transaction. No amount was returned. Reddi then filed a complaint
against Sebrio, asking for his disbarment. In his Comment, Sebrio said he received a total of $544K from Reddi and this
was used to purchase the Las Pinas and Makati property as well as the setting up of the 3 corporations and other expenses.
He said that the Las Pinas property was not titled to Tanu Inc. because Reddi did not provide the money needed and he
was exercising his lien over it; the same with the Quezon City property.
With regard to the Tagaytay property, Sebrio claimed that Reddi wanted to get out of their MOA to recover her
partial payment of $2M. Specifically, with regards to the Makati property, Sebrio claimed that he paid P500K to Mangco.
The Court referred the case to the IBP wherein in the initial conference, Sebrio did not appear so that the Commissioner
declared him in default. In the report and recommendation of the commissioner, which was adopted by the IBP, they
found Sebrio guilty of Canon 1 Rule 1.01, Rule 15.06, Art 315 of the RPC for estafa, Canon 16, Rule 16.01. They
recommended his disbarment.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Sebrio should be disbarred.
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. The SC affirmed in toto the recommendation of the IBP finding Sebrio guilty charges except for the charge
of estafa, which should be tried in a more proper forum. The SC found that Sebrios dishonest and deceitful
conduct with respect with the intended transaction, real estate acquisition was clearly established.
For failing to account of the sums of money he received and failed to return to Reddi, Atty. Sebrio violated Canon
16 and Rule 16.01 of the CPR, which states:

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CANON 16 A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come
into his possession.
Rule 16.01 A lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from
the client.
The SC emphasized that respondent admits having received from complainant at least US$544,828. He claims,
however, that the amount was used for the purchase of the Las Pias property and the discharge of the mortgage
thereon, the setting up of the corporations earlier mentioned, and the downpayment on the Makati property and
related representation expenses therefor. The SC found that the claim does not lie and was not a proper accounting
of the amount received. All respondent presented to account for the money is a handwritten acknowledgment of a
supposed partial payment of P500K for the Makati property, purportedly executed by one Mangco. By any
standard, this document is a mere piece of paper, Mangco not having been presented, if he exists at all, to confirm
that he indeed issued the receipt. Since respondent failed to credibly account, upon demand, for the money held
by him in trust an element of misappropriation complainants claim that respondent employed deceit on her is
established. If those documents actually exist, and considering that his license to practice law is on the line,
respondent could have readily attached even photocopies thereof to his Comment in order to lend a semblance of
credibility to his claim.
Atty. Sebrio was adjudged guilty and was disbarred by the Court. In addition, he was ordered to return from the
Reddi the amount of $544k.

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80 - De Chavez-Blanco v. Atty. Lumasag (2009) (lawyer cousin deceives American cousins wife)
Doctrines:
A lawyer may be disciplined for any conduct, in his professional or private capacity, that renders him unfit to
continue to be an officer of the court. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility commands all lawyers
to uphold at all times the dignity and integrity of the legal profession. Specifically, Rule 1.01 thereof provides: A
lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest and immoral or deceitful conduct.
Facts:
Nelia De Chavez-Blanco is married to Mario Blanco, an American citizen. Both are residents of the U.S.. Nelia is
the owner of two (2) adjacent parcels of land in Quezon city, each with an area of 400 square meters. Atty. Jaime
Lumasag, Jr., the respondent, is the first cousin of the husband, Mario Blanco.
In a document, Nelia authorized Atty. Lumasag to sell the two lots. In a letter dated March 20, 1990, Atty.
Lumasag informed Nelia that he had sold only one lot for the price of P320,000 and therefrom he deducted P38,130 for
taxes and commissions. Allegedly, per Nelias instructions, Atty. Lumasag remitted the remaining balance of P281,900 to
a certain Belen Johnnes. In 1995, Nelia was informed by Atty. Lumasag that the other lot remained unsold due to the
presence of squatters on the property. In December of 1998, Mario discovered that the two lots had already been sold in
March of 1990 for P 1,120,000 and that new titles had been issued to the transferees. Mario wrote a letter to Atty.
Lumasag about these facts but Atty. Lumasag disregarded it. In 1999, Nelia, through his attorney-in-fact, sent a demand
letter for the entire proceeds of the sale. Atty. Lumasag admits to the sale of the lots, and receipt of the proceeds but
never tendered or offered to tender the same despite repeated and continued demands. Thus, Nelia filed with the
IBP this administrative complaint for disbarment against Atty. Lumasag for deceit, dishonesty, and gross misconduct.
Nelia claims the lots were sold for P 1,120,000. She further claims that the Special Power of Attorney (SPA) was
a falsified document, and hers and her husbands signatures therein were forged. However, no documentary evidence was
presented on the claimed P 1,120,000. Neither was it proven that the SPA was a falsified document, or the signatures a
forgery.
However, evidence showed that the Deed of Absolute Sale dated March 11, 1990 that both two lots were
sold for P 560,000. In Atty. Lumasags letter dated March 20, 1990, he acknowledged therein that he received P
320,000 for the total value of one lot. The Report of the IBP Commissioner held therefore that there was clear
deception on the part of Atty. Lumasag for informing the Blanco spouses that he had sold only one lot when the
truth was that there was a sale of both lots. During the hearing, Atty. Lumasag admitted that the sale covered two lots.
He was therefore not forthcoming towards the Blanco spouses.
The IBP Commissioner recommended that, in view of the fact that Atty. Lumasag was already 72 years old, he
be meted out the penalty of suspension of one-year suspension, not disbarment as had been prayed for and not the five-
year suspension as had been earlier resolved by the IBP Board of Governors. Moreover, the IBP Commissioner
recommended that respondent be ordered to deliver to Complainant the amount of P240,000.00 plus the legal interest rate
of 6% per annum computed from March 1990.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Lumasag should be disbarred.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The Court ordered the suspension of Atty. Lumasag, Jr. for a period of six months, and to deliver the balance
of P240,000 plus legal interest to the Spouses Blanco. Atty. Lumasags actions erode the public perception of the
legal profession. They constitute gross misconduct for which he may be suspended, following Section 27, Rule
138 of the Rules of Court, which provides:
Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court, grounds therefor. A member of the
bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any
deceit, malpractice, or other gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by

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reason of his conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the oath
which he is required to take before the admission to practice, or for a willful disobedience
appearing as attorney for a party to a case without authority to so do.
Nelia asks that respondent be disbarred. The Court finds, however, that suspension from the practice of law is
sufficient to discipline respondent. The supreme penalty of disbarment is meted out only in clear cases of
misconduct that seriously affect the standing and character of the lawyer as an officer of the court and member of
the bar. While the Court will not hesitate to remove an erring attorney from the esteemed brotherhood of lawyers,
where the evidence calls for it, the Court will also not disbar him where a lesser penalty will suffice to
accomplish the desired end. In this case, the Court finds the recommended penalty of suspension of two (2)
years for respondent to be too severe, considering his advanced age. The Court believes that a suspension of six
(6) months is sufficient. Suspension, by the way, is not primarily intended as punishment, but as a means to
protect the public and the legal profession.

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82 - Heirs and/or Estate of Atty. Rolando Siapian v. Intestate Estate of the Late Eufrocina Mackay (2010)
Doctrine:
A lawyer shall have a lien over the funds and may apply so much thereof as may be necessary to satisfy his lawful
fees and disbursements, giving notice promptly thereafter to his client. He shall also have a lien to the same extent
on all judgments and executions he has secured for his client as provided for in the Rules of Court.
Facts:
Eufrocina G. Mackay died and left four children: Antonio, Arturo, Domingo and Elpidio. Another child,
Honorato, predeceased Eufrocina. Antonio filed before the RTC of Caloocan a petition for the settlement of
Eufrocinas intestate estate and for his appointment as administrator. The other heirs opposed Antonios
appointment and pushed instead for the appointment of Arturo to represent them in the case. Arturo and the other
siblings (Arturo et al) engaged the services of Atty. Rolando P. Siapian and agreed to pay him P3M legal fees. The
intestate court issued an order appointing Antonio and Arturo et al as co-special administrators of the estate. About a year
after, Arturo, et al. told the RTC that they had terminated the services of Atty. Siapian. Atty. Siapian filed a motion for
enforcement and annotation of his attorneys lien. He also asked the court to 1) not recognize any new counsel
representing Arturo et al because his services were illegally terminated, 2) direct Arturo et al to pay his attorneys fees
and 3) to order the Register of Deeds to inscribe his claim as a lien on the titles of the Estate to its properties. The
motion was initially denied for lack of jurisdiction of the intestate court but it was subsequently granted. Atty. Siapian
eventually died and was replaced by his heirs.
On appeal, the CA ruled that the intestate courts decision was null and void because an estate cannot be
held liable for attorneys fees arising out of the dispute between the estates beneficiaries and their lawyer. Only Arturo
et al and his siblings, in their personal capacity, should be held liable. The heirs of Atty. Siapian moved for
reconsideration.
Issues:
1. W/N the CA properly set aside the lower courts order for Arturo et al to pay Atty. Siapians P3M claim
for attorneys fees and that the claim be annotated on the titles of the properties of the estate.
Held:
1. NO.
It is settled that a claim for attorneys fees may be asserted either in the very action in which a lawyer
rendered his services or in a separate action but enforcing it in the main case is preferred because it reduces
multiplicity of suits. The intestate court in this case, therefore, correctly allowed Atty. Siapian to interject his
claim for attorneys fees in the estate proceedings against some of the heirs
Since the award of P3 million in attorneys fees in favor of Atty. Siapian had already become final and
executory, the intestate court was within its powers to order the Register of Deeds to annotate his lien on
the Estates titles to its properties. The Estate has no cause for complaint since the lien was neither a claim nor a
burden against the Estate itself. It was not enforceable against the Estate but only against Arturo et al et al, et
al, who constituted the majority of the heirs. It is a lien contingent on the intestate courts final determination
of Arturo, et al.s shares of what would remain of the estates properties after payment of taxes and debts

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83 - Mananquil v. Villegas (1990)


Doctrine:
The claim of good faith is no defense to a lawyer who has failed to adhere faithfully to the legal disqualifications
imposed upon him, designed to protect the interests of his client.
Facts:
Felomina Zerna died, and Felix Leong was designated as the administrator of the estate. Atty. Crisostomo
Villegas, the respondent, was Felix Leongs counsel of record in the estate proceedings.
During the pendency of the estate proceedings, and while Atty. Villegas was Leongs counsel of record, Leong
entered into lease agreements with Hijos de Jose Villegas partnership. The lease agreements pertained to various
parcels of land belonging to the estate. Hijos de Jose Villegas was a partnership of the heirs of Jose Villegas, of
which Atty. Villegas was a partner. These lease agreements were made without the permission of the probate court. It is
also worth mentioning that Atty. Villegas even became the Managing Partner of the partnership for a certain period of
time, and within such time, he renewed the lease agreements (he wasnt the managing partner from the very beginning; it
was his brother-in-law, Marcelo Pastrano, who entered into the agreements with Felix Leong).
Mananquil filed a complaint for gross misconduct or malpractice against Atty. Villegas, alleging that the terms of
the lease contracts were iniquitous and that they were executed without the permission of the probate court. Both parties
agreed to just submit position papers regarding their sides, and the controversy adjudicated on their basis alone.
The Solicitor General declared Atty. Villegas in breach of his duty because permission from the probate court was
not first obtained before the contracts were entered into. He, however, found no evidence to support the contention that
the lease agreements were iniquitous. He recommended the suspension of Atty. Villegas for 3 months.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Villegas should be sanctioned
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Atty. Villegas should be suspended from the practice of law for 3 months (4 months in the dispositive
portion, may be an error).
The Court ruled that Felix Leong had the authority to enter into the lease agreements even without the consent of
the probate court, as an administrator may exercise acts of administration without special authority from the court
having jurisdiction of the estate, so long as it is necessary for the payment of the debts and expenses of the
administration. It has long been settled that an administrator has the power to enter into lease contracts involving
the properties of the estate without prior judicial authority and approval (citing numerous cases). Therefore, Atty.
Villegas should not be sanctioned for not obtaining the approval of the probate court before entering into the lease
agreements.
Nevertheless, Atty. Villegas should be sanctioned for participating in the execution of the lease agreements. By
virtue of Art. 1646 of the Civil Code, the persons referred to in Art. 1491 are prohibited from leasing, either in
person or through the mediation of another, the properties or things mentioned in that article. The list provides for
those disqualified from such contracts.
5. Justices, judges, prosecuting attorneys, ... ; this prohibition includes the act of acquiring by
assignment and shall apply to lawyers, with respect to the property and rights which may be
the object of any litigation in which they may take part by virtue of their profession.
The prohibitions are grounded on public policy considerations which disallow the transactions entered into by
them, whether directly or indirectly, in view of the fiduciary relationship involved, or the peculiar control
exercised by these individuals over the properties or rights covered.
Even if the designated lessees in the assailed lease contracts were the Heirs of Jose Villegas and the partnership
Hijos de Jose Villegas, and Atty. Villegas signed merely as agent, the contracts are still covered by the

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prohibition. To rule otherwise would be to lend a stamp of judicial approval on an arrangement, which, in effect,
circumvents that which is directly prohibited by law. In piercing through the legal fiction of separate juridical
personality, Atty. Villegas stands to benefit from the contractual relationship created between his client Felix
Leong and his family partnership over properties involved in the ongoing estate proceedings.
Atty. Villegas contention of good faith cannot be sustained, as the prohibition is intended to curtail any undue
influence of the lawyer upon his client on account of his fiduciary and confidential association. The claim of
good faith is no defense to a lawyer who has failed to adhere faithfully to the legal disqualifications imposed
upon him, designed to protect the interests of his client.

84 - Claro M. Recto v. Harden (1956)


Doctrine:
Contingent fees are not prohibited in the Philippines and are impliedly sanctions by Canon 13 of the Canons of
Professional Ethics (Old canon).
In the United States, the great weight of authority recognizes the validity of contracts for contingent fees,
provided such contracts are not in contravention of public policy, and it is only when the attorney has taken an
unfair or unreasonable advantage of his client that such a claim is condemned.
Facts:
Esperanza Harden employed the services of Atty. Claro M. Recto (yes, him) for a case against her husband, Fred
Harden. The complaint filed by Mrs. Harden involved the increase in the amount of support payments for her and their
daughter and the division of their conjugal property, among others. All of this was supposedly in preparation for the
divorce contract to be obtained by Mrs. Harden in the United States. For this, Recto and Mrs. Harden executed a
service contract, wherein Mrs. Harden agreed to pay Recto (1) 25% of the increase awarded by the court in the
allowance given by Mr. Harden to Mrs. Harden for support (for two years only); (2) litigation expenses which may
be rewarded; and (3) 20% of her share in the conjugal partnership.
The case was filed, and the lower court ruled in favor of Mrs. Harden and Recto (with lots of winnings). On
appeal, however, Recto submitted a manifestation that Mrs. Harden wanted to dismiss the case, and did not wish to pursue
any other complaints against her husband. Recto, however, added to this manifestation that he wanted to hold the
properties involved in receivership (one of the rulings in the lower court) because Mrs. Harden supposedly dropped all the
charges in order to avoid paying Rectos fees. The appellate court ruled in his favor and remanded the issue of his
attorneys fees to the lower court.
The lower court, upon investigation, ruled that Recto was entitled to the awards as stipulated in the service
contract, for the total amount of P369,410.04 (this was later increased to P384,110.97). They took into consideration the
hard work, time, and effort Recto put into the case (he even kept the records and documents safe during World War II).
Hence, Mr. and Mrs. Harden appealed.
Issues:
1. W/N Recto is entitled to the fees
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Recto is entitled to the full amount of P384,110.97.
Mr. and Mrs. Harden had 4 contentions. First, that the contract should be deemed void because it served to bind
the conjugal partnership without the husbands consent. This contention, however, is untenable, given the fact
that the contract did not seek to bind the conjugal partnership, but merely made the partnership serve as a basis
for the computation of the fees. The contract neither gives nor purports to give any right whatsoever, personal or
real, in and to the share of the wife.
Second, they contend that contingent fees are not allowed in the Philippines by virtue of Art. 1491 of the Civil
Code. This was also held to be erroneous by the Court, as contingent fees are not prohibited in the Philippines and

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are impliedly sanctioned by Canon 13 (old canons) of the Canons of Professional Ethics. In fact, in the United
States, the great weight of authority recognizes the validity of contracts for contingent fees, provided such
contracts are not in contravention of public policy, and it is only when the attorney has taken an unfair or
unreasonable advantage of his client that such a claim is condemned.
Third, they contend that the contract was executed for the purpose of securing a decree of divorce, which is in
violation of Philippine laws. Again, this is wrong because the language of the contract as well as the intent of the
parties does not bear this out. The purpose was not to secure a divorce, but merely to protect the interest of Mrs.
Harden in the conjugal partnership during the pendency of a divorce suit she intended to file in the United States.
Moreover, as Mr. and Mrs. Harden are U.S. citizens, they are governed by the laws of the U.S., which permit
divorce.
Finally, the contention that the terms of the contract are harsh, inequitable, and oppressive cannot be sustained as
well. This last objection is based upon principles of equity, but pursuant thereto, one who seeks equity must come
with clean hands. This is not the case, as the circumstances surrounding the case show that the agreements
supposedly for the settlement of the differences between Mr. and Mrs. Harden were made for the purpose of
circumventing or defeating the rights of Recto. Mrs. Harden would not waive all of the rights and assets awarded
to her for the paltry sum agreed upon.

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Gamilla vs. Mario, Jr (2003) (union officer, lawyer)


Doctrines:
A lawyer is not authorized to have financial stakes in the subject matter of the suit brought in behalf of his client.
Facts:
In 1986 respondent Atty. Mario Jr., as president of the UST Faculty Union, together with other union officers
entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the management of UST for the provision of economic benefits. When
the CBA expired, the parties could not reach an agreement, which prompted the faculty members of UST go on strike.
As a counter-measure UST terminated the employment of 16 officers and directors of the UST Faculty
Union including Atty. Mario. The dismissal resulted into bitter legal battles which were resolved by the Court in favor
of the dismissed employees by ordering their reinstatement with back wages.
After the conflict, UST, through a memorandum of agreement was made to pay P40M minus several deductions.
About P9M was left but the officers deducted P5M as compensation for back wages.
A disbarment case was filed against Atty. Mario, accusing him of failing to account the money awarded to
them. His suspension was lifted when the bureau of labor relations held that Atty. Mario properly accounted for the
P40M award.
Issues:
1. Whether Atty. Mario committed unethical acts despite the fact that he properly accounted for the funds
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Atty. Mario failed to avoid conflict of interests, first, when he negotiated for the compromise
agreement wherein he played the diverse roles of union president, union attorney and interested party
being one of the dismissed employees seeking his own restitution, and thereafter, when he obtained the
attorneys fees of P4.2M without full prior disclosure of the circumstances justifying such claim to the
members of the UST Faculty Union. He was involved in obvious conflict of interests when in addition he chose to
act as concurrent lawyer and president of the UST Faculty Union in forging the compromise agreement. No
doubt, a lawyer is not authorized to have financial stakes in the subject matter of the suit brought in behalf
of his client.
He jeopardized his obligation to protect the interest of the union by also being one of the dismissed officers. Atty.
Mario ought to have disclosed to the members of the UST Faculty Union, if not the entire bargaining unit of
faculty members, his interest in the compromise agreement as one of the dismissed union officers seeking
compensation for the claim of back wages and other forms of damages, and also the reasons for reducing the
claim of the faculty members from more than P9M to only P2M.
The situation of Atty. Mario is not any different from that of an executor or administrator of an estate who may
not charge against the estate any professional fee for legal services rendered by him because his efforts as such are
already paid for in his capacity as executor or administrator.
He was reprimanded.

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Vinson B. Pineda v. Atty. Clodualdo de Jesus (2006) (Nagpaderma na, nagsamantala pa.)
Doctrine:
A lawyer may enforce his right to his fees by:
1. (Preferred) Filing the necessary petition as an incident of the main action in which his services were
rendered; or
2. In an independent suit against his client.
Principle of Quantum Meruit as much as the lawyer deserves permitted when no express agreement as to
fees. Mechanism to prevent unscrupulous clients from running away without paying their attorneys a share of the
fruits of their labor.
1. The SC has the power to delete the award of attorneys fees because when lawyers take their oath as
attorneys they submitted themselves to the authority of the SC and their professional fees to judicial
control.
Facts:
Vinson Pineda was represented by Attys. De Jesus, Ambrosio, and Mariano in a case for nullification of
marriage. The Pineda spouses reached a settlement regarding property relations and visitation rights. The court approved
the settlement and declared their marriage null and void.
Throughout the proceedings, respondent counsels were well compensated. They, including their relatives and
friends, even availed of free products and treatments from petitioners dermatology clinic. However, respondent
counsels billed additional legal fees amounting to 16.5M. Pineda refused to pay and instead paid them checks totaling
1.2M as full payment for settlement.
Atty. De Jesus etc. filed a motion in the same trial court where the nullity proceedings commenced, a motion for
lawyers fees amounting to 50M (equivalent to 10% of the property entitled to Pineda under the settlement). The trial
court and the CA ordered the ff. attorneys fees:
De Jesus Mariano Ambrosio
RTC 5M 2M 2M
CA 1M 500K 500K

Pineda now contests the award before the Supreme Court.


Issues:
1. W/N had jurisdiction over the claim for additional legal fees.
2. W/N the lawyers were entitled to additional legal fees.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. A lawyer may enforce his right to his fees by filing the necessary petition as an incident of the main action
in which his services were rendered or in an independent suit against his client. The former is preferable to
avoid multiplicity of suits.
2. NO. The motion was in violation of Rule 20.4 which mandates lawyers to enter into suits regarding their legal
fees only when there is injustice/fraud. There is no such injustice/fraud in the case at bar because the lawyers had
been adequately paid. They could not charge petitioner a fee based on percentage, absent an express
agreement to that effect. The payments to them in cash, checks, free products and services from petitioners
business all of which were not denied by respondents more than sufficed for the work they did. The "full
payment for settlement" should have discharged petitioners obligation to them. The vernacular word for the

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lawyers conduct is nagsasamantala. The practice of law is a decent profession and not a money-making trade.
Compensation should be but a mere incident.

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LAWYERS DUTY TO PRESERVE CLIENTS CONFIDENCE


Regala v. Sandiganbayan (1996)

Facts:
A complaint was filed before the Sandiganbayan by the PCGG against Eduardo Cojuangco for recovery of ill-
gotten wealth, which includes shares of stocks. Among the defendants in this complaint are Regala, Angara, Cruz,
Concepcion, Vinluan, Lazatin, Escueta, and Hayudini who are all partners of ACCRA Law Firm. ACCRA law
performed legal services for clients. More specifically, the members of the law firm delivered to its client stock
certificates endorsed in blank representing the shares registered in the client's name, and a blank deed of trust or
assignment covering said shares. In the course of this, ACCRA law came to know the assets of their clients as well as
personal and business circumstances. They also assisted in the organization and acquisition of companies and they also
acted as nominees-stockholders of the said corporations involved in sequestration proceedings. (coco levy scandal)
The PCGG said that they would drop the ACCRA law partners from the complaint if they comply with the
following conditions:
1. Disclosure of identity of its clients
2. Submission of documents substantiating lawyer-client relationship
3. Submission of the deeds of assignments the ACCRA law partners executed in favor of its clients covering
their respective shareholdings.
Sandiganbayan promulgated a resolution that basically said that until ACCRA lawyers prove the existence and
identity of their clients, they cannot excuse themselves from the consequences of their acts. So they are still impleaded in
the complaint. (So names of their clients in exchange for exclusion from the complaint)
Issues:
1. W/N the ACCRA lawyers should be subjected to the strict application of the law of agency
2. (ETHICS RELATED) W/N the attorney-client privilege prohibits ACCRA lawyers from revealing identity of
their client(s) and the other information requested by the PCGG
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The ACCRA lawyers are being prosecuted solely on the basis of activities and services performed in the
course of their duties as lawyers. They are being impleaded in the complaint so it can be used as leverage to
compel them to name their clients and consequently to enable the PCGG to nail these clients. PCGG has NO valid
cause of action against the ACCRA lawyers and should exclude them.
A lawyer-client relationship is MORE than a principal-agent relationship because he possesses special powers of
trust and confidence reposed on him by his client. A lawyer is also as independent as the judge of the court, thus
his powers are entirely different from and superior to those of an ordinary agent.
Thus, in the creation of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules, ethical conduct and duties that breathe life into
it, among those, the fiduciary duty to his client which is of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character,
requiring a very high degree of fidelity and good faith.
2. YES. While the general rule is that a lawyer should name his client (Just in case Sir asks: Reasons on naming
client 1. Court has right to know, 2. Attorney-client relationship does not exist if there is no client, 3. Privilege
pertains to the subject matter of the relationship, 4. Due process right to know), the general rule DOES not
apply in this case.

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The general rule is qualified by some exceptions. Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists
that revealing the clients name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the
lawyers advice. So basically, when disclosure would open the client to liability, his identity is privileged.
The circumstances involving the engagement of lawyers in the case at bench, therefore, clearly reveal that the
instant case falls under at least two exceptions to the general rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name
would lead to establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged
information, because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance (without
which there would be no attorney-client relationship).
The preparation of the deed of assignment was part of their service to their clients. More important, it
constituted an integral part of their duties as lawyers. If ACCRA lawyers will identify their clients, they would
implicate them in the very activity for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the alleged accumulation of
ill-gotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations.
Revelation of the client's name would obviously provide the necessary link for the prosecution to build its case,
where none otherwise exists. The prosecution should get their own sources and NOT from compelled testimony.

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Pfelider v. Palanca (1970)


Doctrine:
Suing ones attorney may result in the termination of the attorney-client relationship. It is incompatible with the
mutual confidence and trust essential to every attorney-client relationship.
Facts:
Palanca is the legal counsel of Pfleider. Pfleider leased an agricultural land to Palanca known as Hacienda Asia
for a period of ten years. In their contract, the parties agreed that a specified portion of the lease rentals would be paid to
Pfleider, and the remainder would be delivered by Palanca to Pfleider's listed creditors. The arrangement went smoothly
until Pfleider filed a civil suit against Palanca He asked for rescission of the lease contract because of the default of
Palanca.
Pfleider also filed for the disbarment of Palanca on the following grounds:
a. Palanca did not follow the instructions of Pfleider to settle his estafa case against Matiao in 1965 and the
latter also failed to deposit the sum of P5,000 with the court.
b. Palanca has fraudulently charged the P5,000 as part of the lease rental of the Hacienda Asia.
c. Palanca also falsely represented having paid one Guintos the sum of P866 for the account of Pfleider
when in truth and in fact, Guintos only received P86.
d. The list of creditors which Pfleider has confidentially supplied Palanca was disclosed by Palanca in
violation of their attorney-client relationship.
According to Palanca, he had informed him through letters that he had negotiated the dismissal of the complaint
and that he had deposited P5,000 with the court of Dumaguete city.
Issues:
1. W/N Palanca committed a breach of fidelity against his client
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The letter relied upon by Pfleider did not show that Palanca stated that he had successfully negotiated the
dismissal of the criminal complaint against Pfleider. Further, Palancas services were implicitly terminated by
Pfleider upon the filing of a civil suit against his lawyer. The civil suit for rescission resulted in the termination of
the attorney-client relationship. The object of the civil suit resulted in a conflict of interest. This was
incompatible with the mutual confidence and trust essential to every attorney-client relationship.

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Rebecca J. Palm v. Atty Felipe Iledan (2009) (breach of confidentiality of lawyer)


Doctrines:
A lawyer shall preserve the confidence and secrets of his client even after the attorney-client relationship is
terminated
Facts:
Palm is the President of Comtech. From Feb to Nov 2003, Atty. Iledan served as Comtechs retained corporate
counsel. Palm personally met with Atty. Iledan to discuss potential amendments in the corporate by-laws. In a meeting,
Atty. Iledan suggested that Comtech amend its corporate by-laws to allow participation during board meetings, thru
teleconference, of members of the Board of Directors who were outside the Philippines.
Prior to the completion of the amendments, Palm became uncomfortable with the close relationship between Atty.
Iledan and Elda Soledad, a former officer and director of Comtech who resign and who was suspected of releasing
unauthorized disbursements of corporate funds. Thus, Comtech terminated the retainer agreement with Atty. Iledan
effective Nov 2003.
In a stockholders meeting held on Jan 2004, Atty. Iledan attended as proxy for Gary Harrison. Steven and
Deanna Palm, members of the board were present through teleconference. Iledan asserted that the Palms could not
participate in the meeting because the by-laws had not yet been amended to allow such teleconferencing.
Comtechs new counsel sent a demand letter to Soledad for the return of PHP 90,466.10 representing her
unauthorized disbursements when she was still the treasurer of Comtech. She failed to comply, so Comtech filed an estafa
case. Atty. Iledan appeared as Counsel for Soledad.
Palm filed a disbarment case against Atty Iledan in the IBP. IBP ruled in favor of Palm. It opined that Iledan
obtained knowledge about the intended amendment and that by objecting to the participation of the Palms (in the Board
meeting) he used privilege information while he was Comtechs retained counsel. IBP also found that by Iledans
representation of Soledad, there was a conflict of interest with a former client. IBP recommends 1 year suspension.
Issues:
1. W/N there was a violation of Lawyer-Client Relationship
2. W/N Iledan was guilty of representing an interest in conflict with the interest of a former client
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. Canon 21 provides that A lawyer shall preserve the confidence and secrets of his client even after the
attorney-client relationship is terminated. What transpired on Jan 2004 was not a board meeting but a
stockholders meeting. Iledan attended as a proxy for Harrison. The physical presence of a stockholder is not
necessary in a stockholders meeting because a member may vote by proxy. Hence, there was no need for the
Palms to attend through teleconferencing as they could just have sent their proxies to the meeting.
Also, the information about the necessity of amendment could not be considered as confidential information.
The stockholders are aware of such proposed amendment since as per Corp. Code at least a majority of the
outstanding capital stock is needed to implement it. The SEC also requires the submission of copies of the
amendments or the new by-laws attached to the original articles of incorporation. Thus, the documents are
public records and cannot be considered confidential.
Based on the foregoing facts, disclosure made by the respondent during the stockholders meeting could not be
considered as violation of Canon 21.
2. NO. Canon 15.03 provides A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interest except by written consent of all
concerned given after a full disclosure of the facts. There is no conflict of interest when Ileda represented
Soledad in a case filed by Comtech. The case where Iledan represents Soledad is an Estafa case filed by Comtech
against its former officer. There was nothing in the records that would show that respondent used against
Comtech any confidential information acquired while he was still Comtechs retained counsel. Further,

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respondent made the representation after the termination of his retainer agreement with Comtech. A lawyers
immutable duty to a former client does not cover transactions that occurred beyond the lawyers employment with
the client.

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JUDICIAL ETHICS
CANON 1 INDEPENDENCE
01 - Libarios v. Juge Dabalos (1991) (bail without hearing)
Doctrines:
In the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge done in his judicial capacity are not
subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts may be erroneous. While judges should not be
disciplines for inefficiency on account merely of occasional mistakes or errors of judgment, yet it is highly
imperative that they should be conversant with basic legal principles.
Facts:
Originally, there was a frustrated murder case with Mayor Corvera as complainant, against Pablo Macapas.
Mayor Calo was counsel for Macapas. After hearing, Macapas supposedly shot Corvera inside a courtroom. A formal
charge of murder was filed against Macapas (1st accused), Mayor Calo (lawyer), and Allocod (bodyguard).
Judge Dabalos issued an Order issuing warrants of arrest, but granting bail to, Calo and Allocod, because
evidence of guilt against them was merely circumstantial. (No bail was granted to Macapas). There was no prior hearing
to determine whether evidence of guilt was strong. The CA set aside this Order for having been issued with grave abuse of
discretion. An administrative complaint was filed against Judge Dabalos where it was claimed that his granting bail to the
accused Calo and Alllocod without a hearing was tantamount to gross ignorance and willful disregard of the Rules of
Criminal Procedure (Sec. 5, Rule 114 requires a hearing before an accused charged with a capital offense can be granted
bail). They also raise impartiality on the ground of said Judges close association with Calo.
The Judge claimed that hearing was not necessary because the accused in this case were no longer in custody, that
he was a mere employee of Calo, and that he was justified in finding that the evidence of guilt is circumstantial
against Calo and Allocod. He stated that the acts being attributed to Calo as the mastermind behind the killing do not
appear to be a natural conduct of man; that he has known Calo to be of above-average intelligence for 20 years; and other
instances indicating serious doubts as to the probability of Calo providing the weapon and pushing the gunman
(Macapas) to kill Corvera inside the Courtroom.
Issues:
1. W/N the Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, the Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion in granting bail without hearing.
In the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge done in his judicial capacity are not
subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts may be erroneous. But, while judges should not be
disciplined for inefficiency on account merely of occasional mistakes or errors of judgment, yet, it is highly
imperative that they should be conversant with basic legal principles.
Irrespective of respondent judge's opinion that the evidence of guilt against herein accused is not strong,
the law and settled jurisprudence demanded that a hearing be conducted before bail was fixed for the temporary
release of accused Calo, Jr. and Allocod, if bail was at all justified. Moreover, when the Judge, in the same order,
directed the issuance of warrants of arrest, it was a superfluous and useless ceremony because with the grant of
bail the accused could secure their freedom at once.
Furthermore, considering that respondent judge had a close association with respondent Calo, Jr. as a former
employee of the said accused, he should have refrained from acting in the manner that he did in order to avoid any
doubt as to his judicial impartiality.
Judge Dabalos was imposed a fine of P20,000 and warned to exercise more care and diligence in his duties as a
judge, and that a similar offense in the future will be dealt with more severely.

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03 - Go v. CA (1992)
Doctrine:
A judge should administer justice impartially and without delay.
Where the trial court abuses its discretion by indefinitely suspending summary proceeding involving ejectment
cases, a petition for certiorari may be entertained by the proper court to correct the blunder.
Facts:
Star Group Resources and Development (Star Group) filed with the MTCC of Iloilo City an ejectment case
against Go and Siong. Upon motion of Go, the court, in an Order, held in abeyance the preliminary conference in the
ejectment case until after the case for specific performance involving the same parties shall have been finally
decided by Branch 37 RTC of Iloilo City.
An appeal was taken by Star Group from the aforesaid Order which was assigned to herein public
respondent RTC of Iloilo City (Branch 34). Go filed with Branch 34 a motion to dismiss the appeal on the ground
that the appealed order is interlocutory and therefore not appealable. The motion was denied by Branch 34. Go
subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration, which was likewise denied. Hence, Go filed the present petition
for certiorari, raising the issue of whether or not the respondent RTC (Branch 34) acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in denying petitioner's motion to dismiss appeal.
Issue:
1. W/N an appeal is proper as a remedy to challenge the suspension of proceedings, which is an interlocutory order,
in an ejectment suit.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The undisputed facts illustrate that there is a procedural void. The existing procedural rules do not provide
an adequate remedy to Star Group. It may be recalled that the MTCC, acting on Go's motion, held in abeyance the
preliminary conference in the ejectment suit, until the termination of a pending case for specific performance
involving the same parties. In challenging the order of the MTCC, Star group appealed to the RTC. Go filed
a motion to dismiss, arguing that the assailed order was interlocutory and, therefore, not subject to appeal.
Indisputably, the appealed order is interlocutory, for "it does not dispose of the case but leaves something else to
be done by the trial court on the merits of the case." It is axiomatic that an interlocutory order cannot be
challenged by an appeal. However, where the assailed interlocutory order is patently erroneous and the
remedy of appeal would not afford adequate and expeditious relief, the Court may allow certiorari as a
mode of redress.
Clearly, Star Group cannot appeal the order, being interlocutory. But neither can it file a petition for
certiorari, because ejectment suits fall under the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure, Section 19 (g) of
which considers petitions for certiorari prohibited pleadings. Based on the foregoing, Star Group was literally
caught "between Scylla and Charybdis1" in the procedural void observed by the Court of Appeals and the RTC.
Under these extraordinary circumstances, the Court is constrained to provide it with a remedy consistent
with the objective of speedy resolution of cases.
The purpose of the Rules on Summary Procedure is "to achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination of
cases without regard to technical rules. In situations wherein a summary proceeding is suspended
indefinitely, a petition for certiorari alleging grave abuse of discretion may be allowed. Because of the
extraordinary circumstances in this case, a petition for certiorari, in fact, gives spirit and life to the Rules on

1. Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters noted by Homer; later Greek tradition sited them on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina
between Sicily and the Italian mainland. Scylla was rationalized as a rock shoal (described as a six-headed sea monster) on the Italian side of the
strait and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily. They were regarded as a sea hazard located close enough to each other that they
posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice versa.

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Summary Procedure. A contrary ruling would unduly delay the disposition of the case and negate the
rationale of the said Rules.
Star Group herein filed an appeal to question the interlocutory order. This recourse was upheld by the
RTC and the CA in order to fill a "procedural void." The SC held, however, that the appeal should instead
be treated as a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 because an appeal ordinarily entails a longer process
which negates an expeditious resolution.
Go contends that if such "procedural void" exists, no remedy is sanctioned by law, and the courts thus have no
power to provide one. Go avers that the defect lies in the law and can only be remedied by the legislature. This
argument is unacceptable. First, at issue in this case is not a law passed by the legislature, but procedural rules
promulgated by the Supreme Court. Section 5, Article VIII of the Constitution, categorically allows the Court to
lay down rules concerning, among others, procedure in all courts. Second, courts are "empowered, even
obligated, to suspend the operation of the rules," when a rule "deserts its proper office as an aid to justice
and becomes its great hindrance and chief enemy such that rigid application thereof frustrates rather than
promotes substantial justice." Thus, it has been held that "the power of this Court to suspend its own rules
or to except a particular case from their operations whenever the purposes of justice require it, cannot be
questioned."
In short, because Star Group was left without remedy, the court, in the interest of justice, was correct in
suspending the operation of rules and allowing the appeal, even if it was against the rules. But, since this case falls
within the rules on Summary procedure, the SC says the appeal should be treated as a petition for certiorari
because it would be more consistent with the objective of Summary Proceedings, which is the expeditious
resolution of cases.

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04 - Sabitsana v. Villamor (1991)


Facts:
First Complaint
Atty. Sabitsana charged respondent, Judge Villamor with falsification of his monthly Certificates of Service by
making it appear that he had resolved all cases submitted for decision within the 90-day period required by the Judiciary
Act of 1948 when actually he had 15 cases undecided. In an on-the-spot audit of he cases pending before the sala of the
Respondent judge, it was found out that there were indeed 87 cases undecided beyond the 90-day reglementary period
Respondent claimed that he had not violated the 90-day rule. He did not deny, however, that before said date,
there were other cases not decided within the 90-day rule, including those listed in the Complaint allegedly because the
transcripts were incomplete. He added that he had no hand in the preparation of his monthly reports of pending cases; that
after he had ordered the person-in-charge of preparing the Certificates of Service to explain why she had made it appear
that said cases were decided within 90 days from its submission when actually they were not, she stated that he had
nothing to do with the preparation of the monthly report except to sign after she had prepared them. He shifts the blame on
his Clerk of Court who, he claims, was inefficient in the management of records.
Second Complaint
Respondent, as Executive Judge of the RTC designated Judge Pitao as Acting Judge of an MCTC, which was then
vacant. Sometime after while Judge Pitao was at his residence, he received a note handcarried by a woman, whom he
came to know later as the wife of Guillermo Lipango, the accused in a Criminal Case which had long been pending trial in
the MCTC now under him.
After some time, Judge Pitao sought respondent, regarding his application for LOA. During their conversation,
respondent mentioned the case of "People vs. Lipango," asked Judge Pitao whether he had received the note and that he
(Pitao) better acquit the accused. Despite this, Judge Pitao still rendered his decision convicting the accused. This made
the Respondent mad and thus, directed Judge Pitao to forward the records to the former's Court. In addition to this,
Respondent also revoked Judge Pitaos designation as acting Judge of the MCTC. To make matters worst, Respondent
promulgated his decision acquitting accused-appellant Guillermo Lipango of the crime charged. This was done despite the
fact that the records of the case disclosed that no notice had been sent to the parties of the receipt of the entire record to
enable them to submit their respective memoranda.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge is guilty of not discharging his administrative responsibilities diligently.
2. W/N guilty of having undue interest in a pending criminal case before a lower Court over which he exercised
supervision
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Respondent sits not only to Judge litigated cases with the least possible delay but that his responsibilities
include being an effective manager of the Court and its personnel. As the incumbent judge, ought to know the
cases submitted to him for decision, particularly those pending for more than ninety days. He is supposed to keep
his own record of cases submitted for decision so that he could act on them promptly and without delay. He
should be more diligent because he could be held accountable for any error or falsification in his certificates. He
need not be reminded of his deadlines by a subordinate court employee like the clerk of court. Court employees
are not the guardians of a judge's responsibilities.
Additionally, he was inexcusably negligent for failure to account for the records of twelve civil and two criminal
cases. A judge is expected to ensure that the records of the cases assigned to his sala are intact. There is no
justification for missing records save fortuitous events.
2. YES. Cardinal is the rule that a Judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities.
Interference by members of the bench in-pending suits with the end in view of influencing the course or the result
of litigation does not only subvert the independence of the judiciary but also undermines the people's faith in its

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integrity and impartiality.


The clincher came when respondent Judge decided the same case, which was appealed to his branch although he
knew that no notice had been sent yet by the branch clerk of court to the parties of the receipt of the entire record
to enable the precaution and the defense to submit memoranda. Respondent's excuse was that under the rules, it
was (and still is) the duty of the clerk of court to notify the parties of the fact that the original record of the case,
together with the transcripts and exhibits, had been received. Respondent overlooked, however, that the same rule
provides that the RTC judge shall decide the case on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the
court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs, as may have been filed
Whether or not the accused deserved the acquittal, in point of fact, is of no moment as Respondent's mere act of
interference in a criminal case seals his fate.

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06 - Alfonso v. Alonzo-Legasto (2002)


Facts:
On 16 August 1993 respondent Judge Rose Marie Alonzo-Legasto wrote a letter to Mayor Ismael Mathay, Jr.
returning all but one of the forty-one (41) complainants to the Quezon City Government issued Office Order No. 47
reassigning the forty-three (43) City Government employees including herein forty-one (41) complainants to different
offices of the Quezon City Government. Complainants averred conspiracy between respondents Camaya and Remedios
Baby Garcia, the alleged girl Friday of respondent Judge, on one hand, and on the other, Judge Legasto, purportedly to
favor some of her favorite national employees and Respondent Judge was likewise charged with doctoring a payroll to
fraudulently collect thirty (30) days of election-related work during the 11 May 1992 elections when she should have been
credited with only five (5) days of work among others.
Issue:
1. W/N the respondents (especially Judge) are guilty?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. It is our considered opinion that her decision to return the forty-one (41) City Government employees
previously detailed with the MeTC exceeded her authority under Sec. IV of Administrative Order No. 6 which is
limited to the temporary re-assignment of court employees, i.e., for a period of three (3) months extendible only
once for the same period. Also, other than the fact that all forty-one (41) employees were appointees of the
Quezon City Government, there were no common derogatory records which would explain respondent Judge's
recommendation for their collective transfer. On the other hand, respondent Garcia would herself admit that some
of the complainants had been commended for their punctuality and excellent attendance and by respondent
Camaya for their outstanding performance. We can reasonably infer from these admitted facts that the move to
return complainants was not based on any valid and substantive ground. respondent Judge Rose Marie Alonzo-
Legasto, in her capacity as then Executive Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Quezon City, is FINED
P10,000.00 to be paid within twenty (20) days from notice of this Decision

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07 - In Re: Suspension of Clerk of Court Rogelion R. Joboco, RTC branch 16 Naval, Biliran (1998)
Doctrines:
Acts of judge, which pertain to his judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary powers unless they are
committed with fraud, dishonesty, corruption and bad faith. Even if the acts are erroneous the judge is not admin
accountable unless any of the 4 causes are present.
(Closest to CANON 1 Independence) Congenial relationship between a judge and another govt official (legis or
executive branch) does not by itself tarnish the independence of the judiciary. Without any showing or actual
proof that such close relationship formed basis a judge cant be convicted of conduct Unbecoming of a judge with
regard to aspect of independence.
Facts:
This case involves a series of complaints and counter-complaints between Executive RTC Judge Maceda and
Clerk of Court Atty. Joboco. The controversy began when Judge Maceda issued the first (among many) suspension order
against Atty. Joboco for Infidelity in custody of case records. The following complaints were filed by the two parties
against each other:
Filed by Judge Maceda against Atty. Joboco
CHARGE REASON STATUS
Infidelity in the custody of case Judge maceda holds joboco GUILTY, as clerk of court it was
records personally liable for the missing his positive duties to exercise
case records of a certain case responsibility and be vigilant in
guarding the records of the case
Sabotaging judicial reforms Judge alleges Joboco guilty of NOT GUILTY, Court did not
erroneously serving notice to find a blatant, malicious,
counsel and bondsmen and not to deliberate effort in jocobo in
accused thisaspect
Grave misconduct, usurpation of Joboco failed to comply with GUILTY, overstepped
judicial authority judges order to turn over boundaries of his functions, and
documents, exhibits in a case usurping the acts which should
Tampering of subpoena
have been under the discretion of
the judge (maceda)

Insubordination DISMISSED
Falsification of accomplishment
of certificate of service
Agitating workers to go on mass
leaves

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Filed by atty. Joboco against Judge Maceda


CHARGE REASON STATUS
Oppression He alleges that judge maceda ill- NOT GUILTY, may not be held
treated him and called him admin liable because Court finds
Continuing oppression
degrading names like good for these actions of Judge were
nothing meant to enforce disciplinary
measures in his court
Gross ignorance of the law Filed by joboco in response to NOT GUILTY, for lack of
the numerous suspension orders factual and legal basis
Abuse of position
issued by judge maceda against
Gross abuse of Discretion using him
his position
Conduct unbecoming of a Judge is alleged to be close and NOT GUILTY, but advised by
judge dependent on the Governor of court.
Biliran (he was seen to be
asking money from
government and using The Court held that the congenial
governments vehicle and relationship of the Governor and
leased house) Judge Maceda does not by itself
tarnish the independent judiciary
. In the absence of any showing
or actual proof that their close
relationship formed basis for
the achievement of corrupt
ends or anomalous
undertakings, the charge of
conduct unbecoming of a judge
should DISMISSED.

Held/Ratio:
1. Atty. Joboco was found guilty of some selected and not all charges filed against him by Judge Maceda. The
Court imposed a fine against him because they could not impose a suspension on him since he was recently
appointed to another position: 3rd assistant city prosecutor. Charges against the Judge Maceda were all dismissed
but he was advised by the Court to exert care and consideration in his dealings with his office staff to avert future
repetition of such administrative misdemeanors.

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08 - In Re: Derogatory News Items Charging CA Associate Justice Demetrio Demetria with Interference on Behalf
of a Suspected Drug Queen
Doctrine:
A judge should refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation or dispute pending before
another court or administrative agency.
Facts:
Senior Prosecutor Formaran III charged Yu Yuk Lai, together with her supposed nephew, Kenneth
Monceda before the RTC of Manila with violation of Sec. 15, Art. III, RA 6425, as amended, for "conspiring,
confederating and mutually helping one another, with deliberate intent and without authority of law to willfully,
unlawfully and feloniously sell and deliver to a poseur-buyer three (3) kilograms, more or less, of
methylamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu), which is a regulated drug." Yu Yuk Lai and Kenneth Monceda were held
at the detention cell of the PNP Narcotics Group in Camp Crame, Q.C. They filed for bail, but was denied by Judge
Laguio because he found the evidence against them strong and sufficient to warrant a conviction. Yu Yuk Lai and
Monceda then filed a Joint Motion for Inhibition arguing that the trial court's actuations "do not inspire the belief that its
decision would be just and impartial." Judge Laguio, Jr. inhibited himself. The case was re-raffled to Judge Angel V.
Colet. Accused Yu Yuk Lai then filed a Motion to Order the Confinement of the Accused in a Hospital. Before Judge
Colet could resolve the motion, the case was handled by the Branch's Pairing Judge Manuel T. Muro. Judge Muro granted
accused Yu Yuk Lai's motion and allowed her to be confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital for a period not exceeding
seven (7) days, which was extended to a month.
Soon, rumors circulated in the Manila City Hall that Judge Muro was partial towards accused Yu Yuk Lai.
Concerned court employees" wrote the Secretary of Justice and alleged that Judge Muro ordered the hospitalization
of Yu Yuk Lai "even if she was not sick and there was already a rumor circulating around the City Hall, that the
notorious Judge had given the go signal to the counsel of the accused to file the Motion to Quash, which would be
granted for a consideration of millions of pesos."
SP Formaran III filed a Motion for Inhibition praying that Judge Muro inhibit himself from further handling
the case. Meanwhile, at around 7:30 o'clock in the morning, while Yu Yuk Lai was supposed to be confined at the Manila
Doctors Hospital, accused Yu Yuk Lai was arrested inside the VIP room of the Casino Filipino at the Holiday Inn
Pavilion, Manila, while playing baccarat, unescorted.
Later in the afternoon, Justice Demetria, PATAFA President Go Teng Kok (Yu Yuk Lais friend) and Atty.
Reinerio Paas, lawyer of Go Teng Kok and a close friend of Justice Demetria, went to the office of SP Formaran III in the
DOJ. Justice Demetria asked about the status of the case. SP Formaran III informed the parties about the motion
for inhibition that he filed against Judge Muro. Justice Demetria asked SP Formaran III if he could do something
to help Go Teng Kok who was desperate in helping Yu Yuk Lai out of her situation. SP Formaran told them he
would bring up the matter to CSP Zuno, just to end the conversation. The parties left. In the afternoon, through a
phone call, Justice Demetria was quoted saying to CSP Zuno: "Pakisabi mo nga kay State Prosecutor Formaran na
iwithdraw na iyong kanyang Motion to Inhibit para naman makagawa na ng Order si Judge Muro." Politely, CSP
Zuo said that he would see what he could do. Tingnan ko po kung ano ang magagawa ko."
A few days after, The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that a "Supreme Court Justice and an outspoken sports
person and leader" had been exerting "undue pressure" on the DOJ to go slow in prosecuting re-arrested drug queen Yu
Yuk Lai. That same afternoon, the names of Justice Demetria and Mr. Go Teng Kok were disclosed to the media to clear
the name of the Supreme Court justices who might have been affected by the erroneous news report. The following day,
several newspapers named Justice Demetria and Go Teng Kok as "drug lawyers."
Issue:
1. W/N Justice Demetria really did intercede in behalf of suspected drug queen Yu Yuk Lai.

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Held/Ratio:
1. YES. While Justice Demetria vehemently denied knowing Go Teng Kok, Yu Yuk Lai and the other parties, and
interfering with the criminal case, his denial cannot stand against the positive assertions of CSP Zuo and SP
Formaran III, which are consistent with natural human experience. The testimony of CSP Zuo is plainly
unambiguous and indubitably consistent with the other facts and circumstances surrounding the case.
CSP Zuo testified that as far as he could recall Justice Demetria said, "Pakisabi mo nga kay State Prosecutor
Formaran na iwithdraw na iyong kanyang Motion to Inhibit para naman makagawa ng Order si Judge
Muro." In his discussion with Go Teng Kok and Justice Demetria, SP Formaran III said that he would consult his
superiors regarding the proposal to withdraw the motion. The timely telephone call to CSP Zuo was thus a
logical follow-up.
Even the requested "help" for Go Teng Kok, whom respondent Justice claims he did not know and met
only that time, could not have meant any other assistance but the withdrawal of the motion to inhibit Judge
Muro. True, Justice Demetria never categorically asked SP Formaran III to withdraw his Motion. But when
respondent Justice Demetria asked the state prosecutor at that particular time "to do something to help
Mr. Go Teng Kok," the latter was pleading for the withdrawal of the motion, and nothing else. That was
the only form of "help" that Go Teng Kok wanted.
In sum, the SC found the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses convincing and trustworthy, as compared
to those of the defense which do not only defy natural human experience but are also riddled with major
inconsistencies which create well-founded and overriding doubts.
The conduct and behavior of everyone connected with an office charged with the dispensation of justice is
circumscribed with the heavy burden of responsibility. His at all times must be characterized with propriety
and must be above suspicion. His must be free of even a whiff of impropriety, not only with respect to the
performance of his judicial duties, but also his behavior outside the courtroom and as a private individual.
Although every office in the government service is a public trust, no position exacts a greater demand on moral
righteousness and uprightness than a seat in the Judiciary. High ethical principles and a sense of propriety
should be maintained, without which the faith of the people in the Judiciary cannot be preserved. There is
simply no place in the Judiciary for those who cannot meet the exacting standards of judicial conduct and
integrity. Justice Demetria is found guilty of violating Rule 2.04 of the Code of Judicial Conduct and is ordered
dismissed from the service.

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CANON 2 - INTEGRITY
09 - Kilat v. Macias (2005) (inhibit self; raffled to the same court)
Doctrine:
In order to avoid suspicions of wrongdoing, a judge must respect and observe the prevailing rules.
He should administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the judicial system.
A judge cannot exercise his discretion whether to inhibit himself from a case or not.
Facts:
Kilat filed an administrative complaint against Judge Mariano Macias, Executive Judge of the RTC of Liloy,
Zamboanga de Norte. Her charges included immorality, conduct unbecoming of a judicial officer, rape, and violation of
the Anti-Child Abuse Law.
Kilat claimed that she met Macias when she was 16 years old. He fetched her from school, had dinner with her,
and brought her to a hotel. She tried to leave the hotel room but Macias threatened her with a gun and subsequently had
sexual intercourse with her. Macias gave her 1,500php and warned her not to tell anyone. Eventually, she became his
kept woman. However, Kilat claimed that she left Macias upon discovering that he was having another affair.
Judge Macias contended that Kilat was merely being used by his ex-wife, Mayor and Vice Mayor, who wanted
him dismissed from his work. Kilat confessed that the Mayor and Vice Mayor approached her to help her file a case for
rape against Macias. She refused. The Vice Mayor told Kilats mother that her father would be give a job in the
municipal hall if they agree to file the rape case. Kilats mother refused and she was threatened with a lawsuit.
Eventually, Kilat was forced to sign the affidavit-complant against Macias. Kilat was brought to Manila and was locked
up in a house for almost three weeks. She was able to escape.
Macias filed a Manifestation informing the Court of the Resolution of the Office of the Ombudsman, which
dismissed the criminal complaint for rape filed against him
Kilat filed charges against those who kidnapped her. The case was raffled to the RTC branch presided by Macias.
Macias ordered for the arrest of the persons. The accused moved for the inhibition of Macias on the ground that he is
directly involved in the case. Macias issued an order inhibiting himself.
Issues:
1. W/N Macias should have inhibited himself from the case.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Rule 137 of the Rules of Court mandatorily disqualifies a judge or judicial officer to sit in any case in
which: (a) he, or his wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise; (b) he is related
to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the fourth degree,
computed according to the rules of civil law; (c) he has been executor, administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel;
or (d) he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the written
consent of all parties in interest, signed by them and entered upon the record.
In order to avoid suspicions of wrongdoing, a judge must respect and observe the prevailing rules. Here, one of
the accused in the criminal case is his ex-wife. Further, the persons involved were the same people who wanted
him dismissed from his work. His swift issuance of the arrest warrant suspiciously smells of vengeance and
vindication. He should not use his position in the judiciary for his personal concerns.
He should administer his office with due regard to the integrity of the judicial system. To avoid any doubt or
suspicion of bias, he should have inhibited himself from the very beginning. He cannot exercise his discretion
whether to inhibit himself or not. It is immaterial that he inhibited himself after the accused moved for his
inhibition.

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Penalty for violating the rule on mandatory inhibition and bias and abuse of authority: fine of 20,000 php to
be deducted from his disability benefits.

10 - Sps. Jesus and Nenita Jacinto vs. Hon. Placido Vallarta (2005) (Isuzu cargo truck)
Doctrine:
Rule 2.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides that a "judge should so behave at all times as to promote
public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary."
The judicial office circumscribes the personal conduct of a magistrate and imposes a number of restrictions. This
is a price that judges have to pay for accepting and occupying their exalted positions in the administration of
justice.
Maintaining the dignity of courts and enforcing the duty of the citizens to respect them are necessary adjuncts to
the administration of justice.
Facts
Petitioner spouses have initiated this complaint against Judge Vallarta on account of a civil case between them
and Spouses Magundayao over an Isuzu cargo truck that was sold to the Jacintos. The Magundayaos were alleged to be
rich and affluent in Gapan, Nueva Ecija. They originally sold the truck to the Jacintos, but subsequently they applied for
a Writ of Replevin for it in Judge Vallartas sala. The Jacintos were many times being coerced by the judge to enter into
an amicable settlement with the Magundayaos, but while a compromise agreement was executed, the Magundayaos
always failed to hold their end of the bargain. The Jacintos also discovered that the company that endorsed the
Magundayaos replevin bond (Utility Assurance Corporation) was not authorized to do such business in the MTC of
Gapan. Also pending the action, Judge Vallarta often displayed actions and made utterances2 that made clear to the
spouses that he does not intend to prioritize their complaint and that they would need money if they want their action to
proceed faster. Thus the Jacintos complained against Judge Vallarta.
Issues
1. W/N Judge Vallarta is guilty of conduct unbecoming of a member of the judiciary.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. While the Spouses Jacinto failed to prove that Vallarta is guilty of gross ignorance of the law, the SC
decided that he nonetheless violated Rule 2.01 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Respondent judge displayed
conduct that fell short of the standards expected of a magistrate of the law. His unguarded utterances, impatience,
and undisguised lack of concern bordering on contempt for the plight of complainants, who had humbly looked
up to him and sought his help, constituted vulgar and unbecoming conduct that eroded public confidence in the
judiciary. From the standpoint of conduct and demeanor expected of members of the bench, a resort to
intemperate language only detracts from the respect due them and becomes self-destructive.

2. Quoting from the original. Some of the utterances made by Vallarta are as follows: Kung ayaw ninyong sabihin magtalikuran tayo. Hindi ko
alam kung kailan ko maaksiyunan yang problema ninyo. Tingnan ko sa Martes (March 12, 2002) kung naroon ako (MTC-Gapan) kung hindi
ako makarating pasensiya kayo at hintayin ninyo kung kailan ko aaksiyunan yang problema ninyo.

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11 - Royeca v. Animas (1976)


Doctrine:
While the court has the power to punish for contempt, this power should be used protect the dignity of the Court
and not vindicate perceived personal indignation. It should be judiciously used and if to admonish or warn is
sufficient, this should be used instead.
Facts:
Petitioner Royeca was found guilty of direct contempt by Judge Animas and was sentenced to imprisonment of 10
days and a fine of Php200. Royeca sought relief by way of certiorari claiming that Animas acted with grave abuse of
discretion compounded by the assailed order containing colorful and derogatory epithets. This was triggered by a motion
for inhibition filed by Royeca in a civil case where he was a plaintiff which contained the statement that he as a plaintiff
has been left with no choice except to doubt its actuation . . . and more than hinted at its failure to dispense justice in
accordance with the time honored principle that all men are equal in the eyes of the law. Royeca was ordered to leave
the courtroom. Thereafter, he and his counsel were ordered to explain why they should not be cited for indirect contempt.
An apology was offered but this did not appease Judge Animas who issued the assailed order containing the statement
which described Royeca as possessed of polluted and stupid mind, and a self anointed local tyrant, and who has
assumed the posture of a crocodile which, while displaying tears, will grab through any victim within his reach without
questions asked. In his comment, Animas said he was only defending himself and was provoked by the malicious and
false motion to inhibit. Royeca admitted the he made the motion to inhibit but it was because Animas was ordering them
to compromise when the possibility of any settlement is impossible.
Issue:
1. W/N Judge Animas exercised grave abuse of discretion in issuing the contempt order.
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Certiorari was granted and the order finding Royeca guilty of direct contempt is nullified and set aside. The
Court recognized that Judge Animas was motivated by his sincere belief that it was a proper response to what he
perceives as an affront to the court. However, he was too sensitive. Admittedly there were hints that Animas was
unsympathetic but it should not have produced a high degree of indignation. The Court approves the intention of
Animas to protect the court but he should not have used intemperate and insulting language. The contempt power
ought not to be utilized for the purpose of merely satisfying what is admittedly a natural tendency to strike back at
a party who has not shown respect to the dignity of the court.
It is not open to dispute that implied in the judicial power vested in courts under the Constitution is the inherent
power to punish for contempt. There are a number of decisions dealing with direct contempt. It cannot be denied
either that unless exercised with restraint and judiciousness, this power lends itself to manifestations of whim,
caprice and arbitrariness. There is a compelling and exigent need therefore for judges to take the utmost care lest
prejudice, innate or covert hostility to personality of counsel, or previous incidents lead them to characterize
conduct susceptible of innocent explanation as slights on the dignity of the court. It is ever timely to remember
how easy it is to overstep the dividing line that should separate the prosecutor form the judge, when both roles are
merged in the same person. The infusion of personal element may go unnoticed. Even if such were not the case
objectively viewed, such an impression may be difficult to avoid by laymen. That is a consideration that cannot be
overlooked. It is important that public confidence in judicial impartiality and fairness be not impaired. It is not so
much for the sake of the judge alone then, but much more so for vindicating the popular belief in court
proceedings being marked by calmness and dignity, that there should be a curb on the otherwise human failing of
detecting disrespect in conduct or statements from counsel that cannot satisfy the highest standard of politeness
itself, an admonition or warning should suffice. There must be caution and hesitancy on the part of judges against
the exercise of this awesome prerogative under such circumstances.

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12 - Tan v. Rosete (2004) (Showed copy of draft)


Doctrines:
Canon 1: A judge must be the embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. Also, check the course
syllabus for the doctrine/topic your case is under.
Canon 2: A judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of
the judiciary
Facts:
Lucila Tan filed a complaint against Judge Maxwell Rosete for Gross Misconduct and violation of the Anti-
Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Tan was the private complainant in two criminal cases which was pending in an MeTC in San Juan, of which
Judge Rosete was the presiding Judge. The criminal cases were both entitled People v. Alfonso Pe Sy for BP 22 and other
deceits.
Tan alleges that a member of Judge Rosetes staff talked to her and showed her a draft of the decision
dismissing the criminal cases she filed. She claims that the staff member asked for Php150,000 so that the case will
not be dismissed and allowed her to keep a copy of the draft decision. Tan also asserts that she met with Judge Rosete,
who was with 2 other people, in Sangkalan restaurant where again, they discussed the case. Tan says she did not give
the money because she believed that her evidence was strong.
Judge Rosete denies all these allegations. He contends that it was Tan who in fact approached him and tried to
bribe him so that he will decide in her favor. He says she offered him Php300,000 for down payment of a car he wanted to
buy. Furthermore, he claims that after he made the decision, he left for New Zealand would therefore have had no
opportunity to change his decision whether bribe money was involved or not. He says that while he was in New Zealand,
he even received a call from then Mayor Jinggoy Estrada who asked him to decide the case in favor of Tan.
Judge Rosete decided against Tan and dismissed the criminal cases.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge Rosete committed Gross Misconduct and violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Judge Rosete was guilty. Since Tan and Rosete offered directly contradicting versions of what happened,
the SC only had to choose which version was more credible. The SC believed Tans version of events because it
was clear and gave full detail. The presentation of the unsigned decision as evidence bolstered the credibility of
her claim because it would have been impossible to obtain a copy without the participation of the Judge or court
staff.
On the other hand, there were inconsistencies in the testimonies of the witnesses presented by Judge Rosete. One
of his witnesses admitted to being in Sangkalan restaurant with Judge Rosete and Tan, whereas his other witness
denied being there. Also, Judge did not present the complete records of his trip to New Zealand. He presented his
departure dates from the Philippines but did not present evidence as to when he came back.
In ruling against Judge Rosales, the SC stated that judges must be the embodiment of competence, integrity
and independence. A judge must not only be pure but above suspicion. The strict standards of conduct
demanded from judges are designed to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the
judiciary because the peoples confidence in the justice system is founded not only on the legal knowledge of
judges, but also on the highest standard of integrity and moral uprightness they are expected to possess. Rosetes
act of sending a member of his staff to talk with complainant and show copies of his draft decisions, and his act of
meeting with litigants outside the office premises beyond office hours violate the standard of judicial conduct
required to be observed by members of the Bench.
Judge Rosete was suspended from office without salary and other benefits for 4 months.

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13 - Atty. Cabrera v. Judge Pajares (1986) (judge accepted bribe)


Doctrines:
members of the judiciary should display not only the highest integrity but must at all times conduct
themselves in such manner as to be beyond reproach and suspicion.
the judge is the visible representation of the law and more importantly, of justice. From him the people draw
their will and awareness to obey the law. They see in him an intermediary of justice between two conflicting
interests, . Thus, for the judge to return that regars, he must be first to abide by the law and weave an example
for the others to follow, He should be studiously careful to avoid even the slightest infraction of law.
Facts:
Atty. Cabrera was defendant in a civil case filed by his father and half brothers and sisters for annulment of sale of
land before the sala of Judge Pajares. Pajares told Cabrera that he needed some money. Following the advise of his
counsel, Cabrera expressed his willingness to extend financial assistance in the amount of P 1,000. After a while, Pajares
again informed Cabrera of his monetary needs. This time, Cabrera decided to deliver Pajares to the authorities.
Accompanied by an NBI agent who posed as his wife, Cabrera went to the office of Pajares to tell him that he was
withdrawing from the proposed settlement with his father and siblings. Cabrera handed Pajares an envelope with ten
marked 100-peso bills. At that point, Cabrera alerted the NBI agents waiting outside.
Issues:
1. W/N Pajares accepted the envelope containing a thousand pesos
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The NBI found the envelope containing the marked bills between the pages of Judge Pajares diary. Pajares
fingers on his left hand likewise tested positive for fluorescent marks applied to the bills.
For his defense, Pajares said that he was under the assumption that the money was for the surveyor who will be
hired for the settlement. The argument fails to convince as Cabrera had already told him that he was not pushing
through with the settlement.
Finding that the criminal offense of indirect bribery may not be equated with the penalty of separation from the
judicial service, the Court disapproved the investigators recommendation and imposed the penalty of dismissal
from service with forfeiture of all retirement benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of
government.

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14 - In re: Judge Marcos (2001) (Mistress)


Doctrine:
The personal behavior of a judge should be free from the appearance of impropriety, and his personal behavior,
not only in the bench and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond
reproach.
The fact that complainant has lost interest in prosecuting the administrative case against herein respondent judge
will not necessarily warrant a dismissal
Facts:
The case arose from a complaint made by the wife of Judge Marcos, Mrs. Marcos. She alleged that Judge Marcos
was not supporting the family properly and that he had a mistress, named Mae Tacaldo. Presenting evidences such as a
Islacom Statement of Account, showing that Judge Marcos has been paying the phone bill of his mistress, a birthday card
given to him saying -"It is wonderful to share my life with you." -and ending it with -"MT cares a lot, you know.", Paying
for a restaurant bill, that the wife has never been to, buying jewellery that was not received by his wife or daughter,
buying groceries that was never received by the family. And by living together with his mistress in an apartment. And a
testimony of the Chief Justice Davide, that Judge Marcos admitted to him, in a fun run, that he was living with his
mistress.
Judge Marcose denies the allegations. And said since his wife/complainant, has already made an affidavit of
desistance the case should be dismissed.
Issue:
1. W/N the Judge should be dismissed based on the evidence?
2. W/N the affidavit of desistance would dismiss the case?
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes, the Islacom Statement of Account was addressed to Judge Marcos not in his conjugal dwelling, but at the
residence of Mae Tacaldo. While Judge Marcos denied owning a cell phone there is an improbability that Islacom
would send a phone bill to him if he were not the real owner thereof. If he did not really own the cell phone was it
not expected of him, being a judge and all, to have stood his ground and insisted that as he did not own nor lose a
cell phone, it is preposterous of him to execute an Affidavit of Loss.
Someone with the initials M.T. sent Judge Marcos for his birthday a birthday card. This person could be Mae
Tacaldo (mistress) or Monalila Tecson (clerk of court). Although Judge Marcos' Branch Clerk of Court has these
initials we, as well as Judge Marcos, do not believe that she would send Judge Marcos a card with the greeting -"It
is wonderful to share my life with you." -and ending it with -"MT cares a lot, you know." Only a person who is
truly intimate with Judge Marcos would send such a card.
We are not swayed by the denials made by respondent judge that he and Ms. Tacaldo were the owners of a Toyota
Revo.
Judge Marcos and Ms. Tacaldo jointly bought a motor vehicle - a Toyota Revo - and had it registered in their
names as co-owners. They obtained insurance for the same vehicle with them as joint beneficiaries. They
executed a chattel mortgage over the same in favor of PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. and when they finally sold
the same vehicle on September 18, 2000 to Amina Advincula, they both signed the Deed of Sale as joint owners.
These actions clearly indicate that they were the joint owners of the Toyota Revo.
Marcos wanted us to believe that if his name was put in the motor vehicle's registration, the Tacaldos' entry in the
cooperative's business of running public utility vehicles would be assured. He went to extraordinary lengths to
help the Tacaldos by having the vehicle registered in his and Ms. Tacaldo's names.
There is nothing in the records to show that it was essential for respondent to be registered as an owner in order
that the motor vehicle could ply the Toledo City -Cebu City routes. A simple phone call/oral request by Judge

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Marcos to the cooperative officers would have been sufficient, to our mind, to allow the Tacaldos' entry to the
cooperative business of transporting passengers.
Respondent's posture that Mrs. Marcos is also guilty of immorality does not excuse nor even mitigate his actions.
It is respondent's private action that is being investigated not his wife's.
The personal behavior of a judge should be free from the appearance of impropriety, and his personal behavior,
not only in the bench and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond
reproach.
If good moral character is required of a lawyer, with more reason is the requirement exacted of a member of the
judiciary who at all times is expected to observe irreproachable behavior and is bound not to outrage public
decency.
Keeping a mistress is certainly not an act one would expect of a judge who is expected to possess the highest
standard of morality and decency. If a judge fails to have high ethical standards, the confidence and high respect
for the judiciary diminishes as he represents the judiciary.
Jurisprudence is rich in cases where the Court has inflicted on judges the punishment of dismissal for immorality
especially when it is committed openly and flagrantly, causing scandal in the place where his court is situated.
2. Herein respondent cannot find comfort in the "affidavit of desistance" signed by his wife and children. Generally,
the Court attaches no persuasive value to affidavits of desistance, especially when executed as an afterthought.
The fact that complainant has lost interest in prosecuting the administrative case against herein respondent judge
will not necessarily warrant a dismissal thereof. Once charges have been filed, the Supreme Court may not be
divested of its jurisdiction to investigate and ascertain the truth of the matter alleged in the complaint.
Judge Ferdinand J. Marcos has demonstrated himself to be wanting of moral integrity. He has violated the code of
Judicial Conduct, which requires every judge to be the embodiment of competence, integrity, and independence
and to avoid the appearance of impropriety in all activities as to promote public confidence in the integrity and
impartiality of the judiciary. Having tarnished the image of the Judiciary, respondent must be meted out the
severest form of disciplinary sanction dismissal from the service.

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15 - Centrum Agri Business Realty Corp v. Katalbas (1995)


Doctrine:
The evidence in this case may not be sufficient to secure conviction in a criminal case. But the standards of
integrity required of members of the Bench are not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to escape the
penalties of the criminal law.
Facts:
The case originated in a complaint filed by Centrum with the MTCC of Bacolod City for the ejectment of the
tenants of their building who refuse to pay rent. The case was under Judge Katalbas, On July 13, 1992, Judge Katalbas-
Moscardon ordered the release of her decision dated June 15, 1992, which orders the tenants to vacate the premises and
pay the rentals due.
In its present complaint, Centrum charges Judge Katalbas with (1) corrupt acts and practices, gross dishonesty,
serious misconduct or conduct highly prejudicial to the best interest of the service, dereliction of duty, (2) knowingly
rendering an unjust interlocutory order, and (3) gross ignorance of the law. By her decision dated June 15, 1992, but
released only on July 13, 1992, which Centrum points out, is the same date as its complaint in this case. Centrum claims
that a duplicate original of this decision, signed by the judge and initialled by her on every page, in which the amounts of
rentals adjudged against the defendant-appellants in the first draft dated June 10, 1992 were substantially increased, was
given to it (Centrum) on or before June 20, 1992 as security that respondent judge would make good her undertaking.
(they are saying the Judge gave them the a draft of the decision, showing that she will rule in favour of them)
Issue:
1. W/N the Judge is guilty of the charges and therefore should be dismissed?
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. On the Charge of Corruption, Serious Misconduct and Dereliction of Duty
First. Although there is no competent proof of how Centrum was able to obtain a copy of respondent judge's
initial draft dated June 10, 1992, the fact is that a copy was obtained by it. This, in itself, even without any
allegation of corruption on the part of respondent judge, is highly irregular. Since respondent judge is ultimately
responsible for the safekeeping of her papers, the burden of accounting for this fact is on her.
Judge Katalbas claims the draft from which Atty. Chua's copy was taken was not given to her by her stenographer
because the latter had a sudden attack of asthma, it has not been explained why the stenographer placed the draft
inside her desk drawer instead of surrendering it to the judge. If, on the other hand, the stenographer suffered an
asthmatic attack while preparing the draft, then the copy in the possession of petitioner could only have been
made after the stenographer returned to work and finished typing the draft. In either case Jude Katalbas should
have taken the draft from the stenographer to prevent its falling into the hands of unscrupulous individuals. The
evidence suggests a scheme to extort money from Centrum through the release to it of the June 10, 1992 draft,
because Centrum likewise appears to have obtained a duplicate original of the final decision before its
promulgation on July 13, 1992. In the final decision substantial increases in the awards of compensation for the
use and occupation of the premises were given to Centrum.
It would appear that the June 10, 1992 draft was given to Centrum to make it "negotiate" for increases in the
monetary awards to be given to it. Atty. Chua (centrums counsel) testified that the xerox copy of the June 10,
1992 draft, given to Atty. Chua to indicate the portions which should be modified. He, therefore, drew double
lines on the draft to indicate the portions that need revision and have to be changed are not agreeable to Mr.
Gochangco (Centrums general manager)
That these revisions for Centrum's benefit were indeed made is shown by the amount of accrued rentals which the
tenants where ordered to pay Centrum.
All in all, the changes embodied in the June 15, 1992 decision represent an increase in the amount of rentals in the
June 10, 1992 draft from P53,000.00/month to P60,000.00/month for the period January 1, 1988 until December

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31, 1988 and an increase from P53,000.00/month to P81,000.00/month from January 1, 1989 until the place is
vacated.
The increase in the total amounts awarded in the June 15, 1992 decision is due to the fact that in the June 15, 1992
decision respondent judge assessed different rates of rentals for the period January 1, 1988 to December 31, 1988,
and from January 1989 until the place is vacated, while in the June 10, 1992 draft she assessed just one rate from
January 1, 1988 until the place is vacated.
Neither in her decision nor in her testimony did respondent judge give any reason for the use of different rates. It
is entirely possible that, she made the change simply in response to the suggestions made in the June 10, 1992
draft by Atty. Chua.
Second. It may be wondered why despite the fact that substantial increases in monetary awards had been obtained
by it Centrum still filed this administrative case and thereby expose its representatives to the risk of prosecution
for bribery or violation of law, such as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. No. 3019). On the other
hand, the reason why the case was filed by Centrum against the Judge, appears to be that although the decision in
its favor had been prepared as early as June 15, 1992, its release was not in sight even after nearly a month,
leading to the fear that Judge Katalbas will not increase the awards in favor of Centrum. Although Judge Katalbas
eventually ordered the release of the June 15, 1992 decision on July 13, 1992, which is the date of the complaint
in this case, Centrum did not receive its official copy of the decision until July 18, 1992, while its counsel, Atty.
Chua, did not receive his copy until July 21, 1992.
Third. There was delay in the release of the decision of the judge. According to her, she finished correcting the
intermediate draft, which became the final decision, on June 15, 1992. Considering that according to her she could
have decided the case on the records alone, and that Centrum had been pressing for the early resolution of the
appeal through the filing of two motions to this effect, there was no reason why respondent judge had to allow the
tenants an extension to file a supplemental memorandum. That the tenants did not after all file a supplemental
memorandum only shows that it was not really indispensable. As this Court had occasion to state, it is not enough
that judges write their decisions; it is also important to promulgate and make it known to all concerned.
Otherwise, what good would a favorable decision be if the interested party is kept in the dark about it? It would
only be a tool for maneuvers on the part of the losing party or a valuable commodity for sale by unscrupulous
persons.
The evidence in this case may not be sufficient to secure conviction in a criminal case. But the standards of
integrity required of members of the Bench are not satisfied by conduct, which merely enables one to escape the
penalties of the criminal law.
On the Charge of Gross Ignorance of the Law and Knowingly Rendering an Unjust Order. The judge's errors in
this case are so gross as to be inexcusable. It is clear from the decision that the MTCC adopted the increased
monthly rentals, which Centrum demanded after the expiration of their lease. Judge Katalbas had no power to
increase or reduce the amount fixed by the lower court as reasonable rent for the premises since this is a question,
which would have to be decided in disposing of the appeal on the merits.
Judge Katalbas was dismissed.

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16 - Samson v. Judge Caballero (2009) (nag-no sa personal data sheet)


Doctrines:
The Court is extraordinarily strict with judges because, being the visible representation of the law, they should set
a good example to the bench, bar and students of the law. The standard of integrity imposed on them is and
should be higher than that of the average person for it is their integrity that gives them the right to judge.
Facts:
Samson disclosed that, on behalf of Community Rural Bank of Guimba (Nueva Ecija), she had filed criminal and
administrative charges for grave abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of
Article 208 of the Revised Penal Code against Caballero, who was then a public prosecutor, in the Office of the
Ombudsman. The Ombudsman dismissed the charges. Samson then filed a petition for review in the CA. The CA directed
the Ombudsman to file and prosecute the administrative charges against Caballero. While the case was pending in the CA,
Caballero was interviewed several times by the JBC for the position of RTC judge.
Caballero admitted that there were cases against him in the Ombudsman. He insisted that the charges had been
dismissed. He also insisted that he had informed the JBC of the cases.
Samson, in her reply, stated that the Ombudsman decision was not yet final and executory as it was timely
appealed by way of petition for review in the CA. Samson also presented Caballeros Personal Data Sheet (PDS) where
Caballero categorically denied ever having been charged formally with any infraction.
The Office of the Court Administrator found Caballero administratively liable for dishonesty and falsification of
an official document for his false statements in his PDS. It recommended that Caballero be dismissed from the service
with forfeiture of benefits and with prejudice to re-employment in the government service.
Issues:
1. W/N Caballero should be administratively liable?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The SC said that it had no way of knowing whether Caballero withheld information from the JBC since
there was no concrete evidence to back up such claim. BUT, he is not exonerated on such basis alone. He
committed dishonesty when he checked the box indicating no to the question have you ever been formally
charged? in his 2006 PDS. The SC held that it was not inadvertence on his part when he answered no to the
very simple question posed in the PDS. He knew exactly what the question called for and what it meant, and that
he was committing an act of dishonesty but proceeded to do it anyway. To make matters worse, he even sought to
wriggle his way out of his predicament by insisting that the charges against him were already dismissed. The SC
is convinced of Caballeros capacity to lie and evade the truth. His dishonesty misled the JBC and tarnished the
image of the judiciary. He does not even seem remorseful for what he did as he sees nothing wrong with it. Also,
since membership in the bar is an integral qualification for membership in the bench, the moral fitness of a judge
also reflects his moral fitness as a lawyer. A judge who disobeys the basic rules of judicial conduct also violates
his oath as a lawyer.
It cannot be denied that Caballeros dishonesty did not only affect the image of the judiciary, it also put his moral
character in serious doubt and rendered him unfit to continue in the practice of law. Possession of good moral
character is not only a prerequisite to admission to the bar but also a continuing requirement to the practice of law.
If the practice of law is to remain an honorable profession and attain its basic ideals, those counted within its
ranks should not only master its tenets and principles but should also accord continuing fidelity to them. The
requirement of good moral character is of much greater import, as far as the general public is concerned, than the
possession of legal learning. The Court is extraordinarily strict with judges because, being the visible
representation of the law, they should set a good example to the bench, bar and students of the law. The standard
of integrity imposed on them is and should be higher than that of the average person for it is their integrity that
gives them the right to judge. SC dismissed him from the service and disbarred him as well.

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CANON 3 IMPARTIALITY

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18 - Pimentel v. Salanga 1967


When a judge does not inhibit himself, and he is not legally disqualified by the first paragraph of Section 1, Rule
137, the rule remains as it has been he has to continue with the case.
Facts:
Pimentel filed several administrative charges against Judge Salanga who was handling three of his cases. Pimentel
wanted his cases to be transferred in another sala because he believes that Judge Salanga will be biased against him.
Judge Salanga refused the request to be disqualified to try the cases on the ground that the transfer would make
the parties suffer expenses and delays. Also, one of the cases is nearing judgment.
Issue:
1. Is a judge disqualified from acting in litigations in which counsel of record for one of the parties is his adversary
in an administrative case said counsel lodged against him?
Held/Ratio:
1. No. Sec. 1 Rule 137 of the Rules of Court:
Disqualification of judges. No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which he, or his
wife or child, is pecuniarily interested as heir, legatee, creditor or otherwise, or in which he is
related to either party within the sixth degree of consaguinity or affinity, or to counsel within the
fourth degree, computed according to the rules of the civil law, or in which be has been executor,
administrator, guardian, trustee or counsel, or in which he has presided in any inferior court when
his ruling or decision is the subject of review, without the written consent of all parties in interest,
signed by them and entered upon the record.
A judge may, in the exercise of his sound discretion, disqualify himself from sitting in a case, for
just or valid reasons other than those mentioned above.
A judge cannot be disqualified by a litigant or his lawyer for grounds other than those specified in the first
paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137. When a judge does not inhibit himself, and he is not legally disqualified by the
first paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137, the rule remains as it has been he has to continue with the case.
Also, a charge made before trial that a party "will not be given a fair, impartial and just hearing" is "premature."
Prejudice is not to be presumed. Especially if weighed against a judge's legal obligation under his oath to
administer justice "without respect to person and do equal right to the poor and the rich." To disqualify or not to
disqualify himself then, as far as respondent judge is concerned, is a matter of conscience.
This is not to say that all avenues of relief are closed to a party properly aggrieved. If a litigant is denied a fair and
impartial trial, induced by the judge's bias or prejudice, we will not hesitate to order a new trial, if necessary, in
the interest of justice.
A judge may not be legally prohibited from sitting in a litigation. But when suggestion is made of record that he
might be induced to act in favor of one party or with bias or prejudice against a litigant arising out of
circumstance reasonably capable of inciting such a state of mind, he should conduct a careful self-examination.
He should exercise his discretion in a way that the people's faith in the courts of justice is not impaired. A salutary
norm is that he reflect on the probability that a losing party might nurture at the back of his mind the thought that
the judge had unmeritoriously tilted the scales of justice against him.

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19 - Ty v. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank (2004)


Doctrines:
The role of the trial judge in the conduct of judicial proceedings should only be confined to promote the
expeditious resolution of controversies and prevent unnecessary waste of time or to clear up some obscurity
Facts:
Banco Filipino filed with thte RTC of Batangas, Branch 84, presided by Judge Tac-an, an action for reconveyance
of real property against Nancy Ty, and Tala Realty, et al.
Judge Tac-an issued the following orders:
1. For Tala Realty, et al to produce books and documents regarding the case DESPITE Banco Filipinos failure
to tender the costs for such production and inspection (Judge Tac-an said that Banco Filipinos failure to
advance the expenses is not important since the documents cannot be the subject of assessment for cost and
that the amount is insignificant by any standard)
2. Banco Filipino also filed a manifestation/omnibus motion praying for the declaration of certain allegations
and propositions as being factually established and for the allegations/defenses in Tala Realty, et al.s answer
to be stricken out. The RTC granted the motion to declare certain facts.
3. RTC ordered Tala Realty, et al. to produce additional documents, not requested by Banco Filipino.
4. The RTC also granted Banco Filipinos urgent motion to reset hearing and for extension of time to appoint a
commissioner.
5. Banco Filipino was also directed to present its next witness
6. Banco Filipino formally offered its exhibits, all of which were admitted by the RTC (despite a motion for
reconsideration from Tala Realty, et al.).
Thereafter, Tala Realty, et al. filed a motion for the voluntary inhibition and/or disqualification of Judge Tac-an
on the grounds of manifest judgment and partiality. Judge Tac-an claimed that all the orders were based on facts,
applicable law, and jurisprudence.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge Tac-an committed grave abuse of discretion in denying the motion for voluntary inhibition
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. First, Judge Tac-ans peremptory act of absolving Banco Filipino from paying the expenses for the
production of documents is disturbing for its lack of basis. There was no basis to concluded that the amount
involved was insignificant considering that no reference of any amount was made by the parties.
Second, Judge Tac-an should not have ordered Tala Realty, et al. to produce documents not requested by Banco
Filipino and directing Banco Filipino to present its witness. The role of the trial judge in the conduct of
judicial proceedings should only be confined to promote the expeditious resolution of controversies and
prevent unnecessary waste of time or to clear up some obscurity. There is, however, undue interference
where the judges participation in the conduct of the trial tends to build or bolster a case for one of the
parties. There is undue interference if the judge orders the presentation of specific documentary evidence without
a corresponding motion from any party, or directs a party when and who to present as a witness and what matters
such witness will testify on. Judge Tac-an transgressed the boundaries of impartiality when he suggested to Banco
Filipino what evidence to present to prove its case. While the trial court may interfere in the manner of presenting
evidence in order to promote the orderly conduct of the trial, the final determination of what evidence to adduce is
the sole prerogative of the contending parties. Courts, while not unmindful of their primary duty to administer
justice, without fear or favor, and to dispose of cases speedily and in as inexpensive a manner as is possible for

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the court and the parties, should refrain from showing any semblance of bias or more or less partial attitude in
order not to create any false impression in the minds of the litigants.
In resolving the formal offer of exhibits of Banco Filipino, Judge Tac-an exercised undue haste. Without awaiting
the reply of parties, Judge Tac-an already issued an order admitting all the exhibits offered.
Judge Tac-an had in fact already prejudged the case. He issued an interlocutory order on the principal issue that
effectively disposes of the merits of the case.
It is of utmost importance that a judge must preserve the trust and confidence reposed in him by the parties as an
impartial, unbiased and dispassionate dispenser of justice. When he conducts himself in a manner that gives rise,
fairly or unfairly, to perceptions of bias, such faith and confidence are eroded. His decisions, whether right or
wrong, will always be under suspicion of irregularity.

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20 - Datuin, Jr. v. Soriano (2002)


Doctrine:
Notatu dignum is the presumption of regularity in the performance of the judge's functions.
Bias, prejudice and even undue interest cannot be presumed, especially weighed against a judge's sacred
allegation under oath of office to administer justice without respect to any person and do equal right to the poor
and rich.
A judge may not be held administratively accountable for every erroneous order or decision he renders.
Facts:
Olivia Natividad filed a complaint for sum of money against Teresita Lopez before the RTC of Malolos, Bulacan.
Atty. Hermogenes Datuin, Jr. is the attorney of Lopez. The case was raffled to Branch 13, presided by Judge Andres
Soriano.
In the course of the trial, Atty. Datuin file a Motion for Disqualification against the judge. He claimed that Judge
Soriano showed his partial and bias attitude towards Natividad by arrogantly hollering at him without any justifiable cause
or motive during pre-trial. Datuin also filed a letter before the Office of the Chief Justice for Soriano's alleged failure to
resolve the Motion for Disqualification. He claimed that Soriano is incompetent with respect to hearing and deciding
cases. He requested that the motion be treated as an administrative charge against Soriano "for removal from office".
The case eventually reached the CA and the Investigating Justice recommended the dismissal of the complaint.
Issue:
1. W/N the judge may be held administratively liable.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. In administrative proceedings, the burden of proof lies with the complainant. Such must be supported by
substantial evidence. However, Datuin failed was unable to do so.
The Motion for Disqualification filed by complainant had already been granted by Soriano before Datuin lodged
his letter-complaint. Further, with respect to Datuin's allegation that Soriano yelled at him during pre-trial, there
was no evidence as to its content and the circumstances under which it was made. With regard to the charge of
incompetence, such was not established with the required amount of proof. Notatu dignum is the presumption of
regularity in the performance of the judge's functions. Therefore, bias, prejudice and even undue interest cannot
be presumed, especially weighed against a judge's sacred allegation under oath of office to administer justice
without respect to any person and do equal right to the poor and rich.
It is a matter of public policy that in the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge in his
judicial capacity are generally not subject to disciplinary action even though such acts are erroneous.

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22 - Oktubre v. Velasco (2004)


Doctrine:
Rule 2.03 of the Code of Judicial Conduct provides: A judge shall not allow family, social or other relationships
to influence judicial conduct or judgment. The prestige of judicial office shall not be used or lent to advance the
private interests of others, nor convey or permit others to convey the impression that they are in a special position
to influence the judge.
Facts:
Jordan Oktubre filed a complaint against Judge Velasco of the MTC of Maasin City in Southern Leyte, on behalf
of Peggy Louise DArcy vda. De Paler. She is the widow of Abraham Paler, the Uncle of Judge Velasco.
During his lifetime, Abraham built a 4-storey commercial and residential building in Maasin City on a lot he
owned in common with his siblings. When he died, none of his heirs petitioned for the settlement of his estate so DArcy
administered the Paler building. While he had a room in the Paler building, Velasco rarely used it as he stayed most of the
time in Javier, Sogod, Southern Leyte.
After his appointment to the MTC, Velasco with DArcys permission, stayed in the Paler building for a few days.
He sought an extension of his stay but DArcy turned him down since she would be using the room. However, Velasco
was able to continue staying in the building by transferring to another room.
Oktubre alleges that DArcys refusal to grant extension to Velascos stay triggered the following series of events:
1. Velasco sent letters to the other tenants of the building, passing himself off as administrator and
directing them to send their rental payments to his office in the MTC, despite the fact that no action has been
filed yet for that matter in court.
2. Velasco sent a strongly worded letter to DArcy, using his offices letterhead from the MTC, with the very
obvious purpose of intimidating her. The letter stated that he is taking over possession of the building on
behalf of his relatives.
3. Velasco moved out from the garage of the building, the service jeep owned by DArcy and put it outside
of the building causing it to be exposed to the sun and rain.
DArcy, in response, moved the jeep back into the garage and removed one wheel so that it cannot be moved
again. She also had a padlock installed her room to prevent him from having access. Velasco destroyed the padlock and
changed it with another one with the precise purpose of controlling the ingress and egress in the building.
A complaint was filed against Velasco. After the hearing, the Chief of Police confronted Oktubre with a warrant
of arrest, charging him with robbery for stealing the wheel. The order was signed by Velasco. Upon further examination
of the complaint, it was found out that the complaint was supported by the sole affidavit of a witness in the person
of no other than Judge Velasco himself. Subsequently, Oktubre was also charged with a case of Malicious Mischief and
Falsification by Private Individual as well as Use of Falsified Documents.
Velasco claimed that he merely acted to protect his co-heirs interest in the Paler building and in the other
properties claimed by DArcy. He also stated that: 1) he changed the padlock because this was already worn-out; 2) he
temporarily transferred the jeep because the garage had to be cleaned; and 3) the demand letters to the tenants were
lawful.
Issue:
1. W/N the Judge is guilty of Grave Misconduct, Gross Ignorance of the Law and Grave Abuse of Authority
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. His excuse for sending the letters is that he wanted to protect the interest of his maternal co-heirs is flimsy.
Even if he is the administrator of the estates, he has no business using his salas letterhead for private matters.
Velasco should know that a courts letterhead should be used only for official correspondence. He aggravates his

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liability when he further required them to pay their rent at the MTC although he was then staying at the same
building. By these calculated steps, respondent Judge in the words of Rule 2.03, clearly intended to use the
prestige of his judicial office to advance the interest of his maternal co-heirs.
Although he is the complainant in the three criminal complaints, Velasco did not disqualify himself from the
cases. He even issued a warrant of arrest resulting in the arrest and detention of complainant. His subsequent
inhibition from the three cases does not detract from his culpability for he should not have taken cognizance of the
cases in the first place.
With respect to the issuance by inferior courts of warrants of arrest, it is necessary that the judge be satisfied that
probable cause exists. The only instance where the judge may dispense with such procedure is when the
application for the warrant of arrest is filed before a Regional Trial Court judge. In such a case, the RTC judge
can rely on the report of the prosecutor on the finding of probable cause. The case against Oktubre does not fall
under such exception.
He is DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture of retirement benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement in
any branch of the government. However, he shall receive any accrued leaves due him as of this date.

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23 - Sandoval v. CA (1996)
Facts:
A parcel of land in Quezon City on which a five-door apartment building stands is the subject of this case. Such
land was covered by a TCT in the name of Lorenzo Tan.
October 1984, Lorenzo L. Tan, Jr. (real Tan Jr.) was notified of the need to present his owners copy of the TCT
to the Registry of Deeds, Quezon City in connection with an adverse claim. He explained that he was still looking for his
copy of the TCT. November 1984, he discovered that one Godofredo Valmeo had an adverse claim annotated on his title
in the RoD. Another Lorenzo L. Tan, Jr. (fake Tan Jr) had mortgaged the property to Valmeo to secure an obligation.
December 1984, real Tan, Jr. filed a complaint for cancellation of the annotation of mortgage and damages.
In April 1985, real Tan Jr. met Juan C. Sandoval who claimed to be the new owner. He informed Sandoval of the
case he previously filed. Upon further investigation, Sandoval discovered that as early as September 13, 1984, fake Tan,
Jr. sold such property on Pacto de Retro. He also executed a waiver in favor of Bienvenido Almeda. Consequently, fake
Tan Jr's TCT was cancelled and a new TCT was issued in the name of Bienvenido Almeda. Almeda then sold the
property to Sandoval and a new CT was issued in favor of Sandoval.
Real Tan Jr.'s original annulment complaint was amended and he impleaded Sandoval with additional causes of
action: nullification of the deed of sale with pacto de retro, the waiver and the cancellation of TCT Nos. 326781 and
329487 in the QC Registry of Deeds. He alleged that Sandoval had prior knowledge of legal flaws which tainted
Bienvenido Almedas title. Petitioner claims that he was a purchaser in good faith and for valuable consideration. He
bought the property through real estate brokers whom he contacted after seeing the property advertised Manila Bulletin in
the March 3, 1985 issue. After guarantees were given by the brokers and his lawyers go-signal to purchase the property,
petitioner negotiated with Bienvenido Almeda who executed a Deed of Sale and a new TCT in favor of Sandoval. RTC
ruled in favor of real Tan Jr.
Only Sandoval appealed to the CA wherein Justice Luis Victor, the one who penned the decision, affirmed the
decision of the RTC. Hence, this petition for review with the SC where Sandoval prays for the reversal of the CA
decision. Two issues are presented for resolution. First, he contends that he was denied due process when the ponente of
the decision in the Court of Appeals, Justice Luis Victor, did not inhibit himself from the case inasmuch as he was, for a
time, the presiding judge in the court a quo trying the case. Second, petitioner maintains that he is an innocent purchaser
for value who should not be held accountable for the fraud committed against real Tan, Jr.
Issues:
1. W/N Juan Sandoval is a purchaser in good faith
2. W/N the Justice who penned the decision in the CA should have inhibited himself from taking part in the case
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. Petitioner should have been aware of his vendors fraudulent or forged title.
A purchaser in good faith is one who buys property of another, without notice that some other person has a right
to, or interest in, such property and pays a full and fair price for the same, at the time of such purchase, or before
he has notice of the claim or interest of some other persons in the property. He buys the property with the belief
that the person from whom he receives the thing was the owner and could convey title to the property.
It was testified to by the Office of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City that there were two copies of TCT No.
196518(real Tan Jr's TCT) in the Register of Deeds, only one of which could be genuine. This apparently came
about when real Tan Jr's TCT was lost and a forged copy was made. One copy was used to entice Valmeo and the
other was used by Almeda. The two copies of the TCT soon found their way to the Registry of Deeds. By the
time that the sale to Sandoval was being negotiated, the two copies of real Tan Jr's TCT were already in the files
of the Register of Deeds. Since Sandovals lawyer apparently made a verification at the Register of Deeds, it was
inevitable for him to come across the two copies. Sandoval was thus aware in fact of the irregularity attending
such TCT and its derivative certificates.

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2. NO. The principle that approximates the situation obtaining herein is the disqualification of a judge from deciding
a case where his ruling in a lower court is the subject of review or in which he has presided in any inferior
court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review.
To be sure, as trial court judge, he presided partly over the case below, heard part of plaintiffs evidence and ruled
on motions. The decision itself, however, was penned by another judge, the Honorable Lucas Bersamin, who took
over as presiding judge when then Judge Luis Victor was promoted. Upon elevation to the Court of Appeals, it
was only the time that Justice Victor became the ponente. Hence, he cannot be said to have been placed in a
position where he had to review his own decision as judge in the trial court. Accordingly, he was not legally
bound to inhibit himself from the case.
Nevertheless, Justice Victor should have been more prudent and circumspect and declined to take on the case,
owing to his earlier involvement in the case. The Court has held that a judge should not handle a case in which he
might be perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be susceptible to bias and partiality, which is intended to preserve and
promote public confidence in the integrity and respect for the judiciary. While it is not legally required, it is the
court's view that his active participation in the case below constitutes a just or valid reason, under Section 1 of
Rule 137 for him to voluntarily inhibit himself from the case.

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26 - Paredes v. Gopengco (1969)


Facts:
Mayor Antonio Villegas and City Engineer Tolentino of Manila, were accused of malicious mischief. The case
was assigned to Judge Paredes. Manufacturers Building, Inc. and Padilla filed a written motion in said case asking the
petitioner Judge either to voluntarily inhibit or disqualify himself from further taking cognizance of the malicious
mischief case since the counsel for the accused is the law firm of Paredes, Poblador, Cruz and Nazareno of which former
Senator Quintin Paredes, father of Judge Paredes, is the senior partner. The motion for voluntary inhibition or
disqualification was denied by Judge Paredes principally on the ground that the law firm above-mentioned was not the
counsel of record in the malicious mischief case and, therefore, the matter is not covered by Section 1, Rule 137, of the
Rules of Court, which, among other things, disqualifies a judge when he is related within the fourth degree of
consanguinity or affinity to the counsel of any of the parties. Manufacturers Building, Inc. and Padilla filed a petition for
certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction with the CFI Manila to annul the order of Judge Paredes and to
restrain him from proceeding with the trial of the malicious mischief case. Judge Gopengco allowed the petition and later
on issued a restraining order and a writ of preliminary injunction restraining Judge Paredes from taking cognizance of the
malicious mischief case during the pendency of said petition. Thus this present case where a petition for certiorari and
prohibition with preliminary injunction was filed to annul the orders of the respondent Judge Gopengco and to restrain
him from taking cognizance of the petition filed by Manufacturers Building Inc. and Ambrosio Padilla, except to dismiss
the case for lack of jurisdiction.
Issue:
1. Judge Paredes should inhibit himself in the proceeding of the malicious mischief case
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Sec 1 rule 137 provides that a judge must disqualify himself from the case where a judge is related by
consanguinity or affinity to a party litigant within the 6th civil degree or to counsel within the 4th civil
degree. While technically the law firm headed by former Senator Paredes was not the counsel of record in the
malicious mischief case, and Judge Paredes thus ruled that he was not disqualified by reason of relationship to
counsel, it is nevertheless admitted that said law firm was the counsel of petitioner Villegas during the
preliminary investigation in the fiscal's office, but withdrew from the case when it was assigned by raffle to the
branch prescribed by Judge Paredes. Respondents still assert that said law firm "is the retained and continuing
private counsel and/or lawyers" of petitioner Villegas, mentioning among the pending cases handled by it for said
petitioner, the preliminary investigation of a libel case filed also by respondent Padilla against him. Without in
any way casting any reflection on the fairness and integrity of Judge Paredes, but considering the circumstances
of the case and that the City Court of Manila has several other branches to whom the case may be reassigned by
raffle, it is the Court's view that it is in the best interests of justice if petitioner judge should inhibit himself from
proceeding with the hearing of the case.

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27 - Bellosillo v. Saludo (2006)


Facts:
Bellosillo filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Saludo for alleged gross professional misconduct and
malpractice. Essentially, Bellosillo charged respondent of pocketing the settlement money in the Philippine Plaza
bombing incident; improper financial dealings through borrowings of cash and post-dated checks; and unwarranted
solicitations in the form of gifts, pianos, lechon, and wallpapering of Saludos house. The SC directed the IBP Board of
Governors to investigate on the matter, and found that Bellosillos actuations were motivated by vengeance, hatred and ill-
will acting as she did only after the aforesaid civil cases were filed against her, for which she blamed Saludo. Bellosillo
elevated the case to the SC via a petition for certiorari, alleging a bias for Saludo as he and the Investigating
Commissioner are both members of the U.P. Sigma Rho Fraternity.
Issue :
1. W/N Bellosillo's contention has merit
Held/Ratio:
1. No. Membership in a college fraternity, by itself, does not constitute a ground to disqualify an investigator,
prosecutor or judge from acting on the case of a respondent who happens to be a member of the same fraternity. A
trial Judge, appellate Justice, or member of this Court who is or was a member of a college fraternity, a university
alumni association, a socio-civic association like Jaycees or Rotary, a religion oriented organization like Knights
of Columbus or Methodist Men, and various other fraternal organizations is not expected to automatically inhibit
himself or herself from acting whenever a case involving a member of his or her group happens to come before
him or her for action. A member in good standing of any reputable organization is expected all the more to
maintain the highest standards of probity, integrity, and honor and to faithfully comply with the ethics of the legal
profession.
The power to disbar must be exercised with great caution, and only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously
affects the standing and character of a lawyer as an officer of the court and as a member of the Bar. To be the
basis of disciplinary action, the lawyers conduct must not only be immoral but grossly immoral. That is, it must
be so corrupt as to constitute a criminal act or as unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree or
committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the common sense of decency. For the
Court to exercise its disciplinary powers, the case against the respondent must be established by clear, convincing
and satisfactory proof. In the absence of any showing that the findings of the IBP are totally devoid of support in
the record or that they are so glaringly erroneous as to constitute serious abuse of discretion, such findings must
stand. Consequently, absent any showing that there is grave abuse of discretion in dismissing the complaint, the
Court must give credence to the findings and recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner and the IBP
Board of Governors that the complaint must be dismissed for lack of merit.

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28 - Choa v. Chiongson (1996) (moot perjury)


Doctrines:
There is no antimony between free expression and the integrity of the system of administering justice. For the
protection and maintenance of freedom of expression itself can be secured only within the context of a functioning
and orderly system of dispensing justice, within the context, in other words, of viable independent institutions for
delivery of justice which are accepted by the general community.
A wide chasm exists between fair criticism, on the one hand, and abuse and slander of courts and the judges
thereof, on the other. Intemperate and unfair criticism is a gross violation of the duty of respect to courts. It is
such a misconduct that subjects a lawyer to disciplinary action.
Facts:
Choas wife filed a case against him. In that case, respondent judge Chiongson found him guilty of perjury.
Choas lawyer, Atty. Raymundo Quiroz, appealed the case to the CA. However, instead of being content with that,
Quiroz also filed an administrative case against Chiongson saying that the latter convicted Choa of perjury only
because he was the neighbor of Choas wife. The SC dismissed that administrative case in February 2006. Together
with that decision, the SC also directed Quiroz to show cause w/in 15 days why he should not be disciplinary dealt with
for his failure to comply with the duties and responsibilities of a member of the Bar.
Quiroz argues that he didnt intend to willingly or knowingly promote or sue a groundless administrative suit
since he was in the honest belief that his client, Choa, had a cause of action against Chiongson. According to Quiroz, he
really believed that Chiongson only convicted Choa of perjury (even if there wasnt showing of any) because of the
formers relation to the latters wife.
Issues:
1. W/N Quiroz violated his oath by willingly promoting a groundless suit against Chiongson
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The SC held that Quiroz cannot claim good faith since he knew that Choas case was on appeal. Therefore,
the SC surmised and concluded that his reason for advising Choa to institute an administrative case against
Chiongson was only to influence the appellate court judge (whos handling Choas civil suit) by implying
that Chiongson erred in convicting Choa because there was already an administrative case filed against
him. The SC held that while lawyers have the freedom of speech to fairly criticize the actions of the members of
the bar, this criticism must be bona fide it must not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. Any criticism
against a judge made in the guise of an administrative complaint, which is clearly unfounded and impelled
by an ulterior motive wont excuse the lawyer from disciplinary action under the guise that hes just being
true to his duty of fidelity to his client. Lawyers shouldnt encourage groundless suits against court officers or
employees since the latters time is better used for the enhancement of public service rather than warding off such
groundless suits. Thus, Quiroz was given a warning and fined Php5k.

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CANON 4 PROPRIETY
29 - Cabreana v. Avelino (1981) (bokbok, defective furniture is art)
Doctrines:
A judge's official conduct should be free from the appearance of impropriety and his personal conduct and
behavior should be beyond reproach. He should be temperate, patient, and impartial, having always in mind that
every litigant is entitled to "nothing short of the cold neutrality of an independent, wholly-free disinterested and
impartial tribunal
Facts:
The spouses Cabreana filed a case of rescission w/ damages against Teody Tumakay, whose furniture company
the Cabreanas commissioned to make pieces of furniture for their home. However, the Cabreanas found out that the
furniture was made w/ sub-par materials and shoddy worksmanship. Respondent Judge Avelino was the presiding judge
over the case. When the Cabreanas moved to have an ocular inspection of the defective furniture, Avelino rode in
Tumakays car to the Cabreanas home. While Anna Rose was describing the cracks and defects, Avelino kept on
contradicting her and ordering the stenographer to state on the record that the defects were mere scratches or was
designated as art. He even insinuated that the bokbok (wood borers) dust evidencing that the furniture were not made of
narra wood (as was the agreement) were only planted by the Cabreanas and their counsel. Thereafter, the Cabreanas filed
an administrative case against him. Avelinos defense is that he was just making sure that the record correctly reflected his
observations and the real state of the furniture.
Issues:
1. W/N Avelino should be held administratively liable for his actions
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Avelinos acts showed his lack of restraint, impatience, and intolerance, which shows that he falls
short of the required judicial norm of conduct. Judges are given transportation allowance precisely so they
wont have to hitch rides with the parties. By hitching a ride w/ Tumakay, he openly exposed himself and his
office to suspicion, which impaired the trust and faith of the people in the administration of justice. The
Investigating Judge of the CA correctly observed that instead of merely observing the ocular inspection, Avelino
actively participated to the point of cross-examining Anna Rose herself. This, he should not have done. Plus, his
so-called observations were contradicted by the photographic evidence on record.

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30 - Maniquis v. Pizarro (2005)


Facts:
On 15 December 1997, complainant obtained a loan in the amount of one million pesos from Don C. Mejia.
When complainant defaulted in the payment of its obligation, Mejia caused the foreclosure of the property thru the Office
of the Sheriff of Quezon City by filing an extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage. The property was thereafter
sold at public auction to Mejia who submitted the highest bid and a Certificate of Sale was issued in his favor. The
complainant did not exercise its right to redeem the property, consequently Mejia consolidated his ownership over the
land, caused the cancellation of the previous title and the issuance of a new title.
There were many petitions and motions filed, all against the petitioner. On 05 March 2002, complainant filed the
administrative complaint against respondent judge before this Courtdocketed as OCA-IPI-02-1431-RTJ for bias, partiality
and gross ignorance of the law in connection with respondent judges disposition of LRC Case No. Q-12842 (00). To be
addressed in the instant case are the following: (1) the correctness of the Decision dated 15 January 2001, granting the
petition for the issuance of a writ of possession in favor of Mejia; (2) the break-open Order dated 17 September 2001; (3)
the order dated 06 March 2001 denying notice of appeal of the Decision rendered by Judge Pizarro which granted the
petition for a writ of possession; and (4) the order dated 16 July 2001 granting Mejias motion to dismiss complainants
notice of appeal denying complainants petition from relief of judgment, among other things, after the trial court through
the respondent judge initially gave due course to it.
Issue:
1. W/N respondent judge is liable.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. Regarding the writ of possession and break open order, the question raised in this case has already been
settled in Vda. De Jacob v. Court of Appeals [184 SCRA 199], in which it was held that the pendency of a
separate civil suit questioning the validity of the mortgage cannot bar the issuance of the writ of possession,
because the same is a ministerial act of the trial court after title on the property has been consolidated in the
mortgagee. The ruling was reiterated in Navarra v. Court of Appeals [204 SCRA 850], in which we held that as a
rule any question regarding the validity of the mortgage or its foreclosure cannot be a legal ground for refusing
the issuance of a writ of possession. This Court has consistently held that the duty of the trial court to grant a writ
of possession is ministerial, thus respondent was right.
More so, on the 06 March 2001 order of respondent judge, it must be noted that the dismissal of the complainants
appeal was premised on its withdrawal of its opposition to the petition which withdrawal was confirmed by the
result of the investigation and report submitted by Justice Guerrero.
Per report of Justice Buenaventura J. Guerrero, the investigation before the Court of Appeals yielded the
information that there was in fact withdrawal by the complainant of its opposition to the petition.
As for partiality, the court has held that bare allegations of bias are not enough in the absence of clear and
convincing evidence to overcome the presumption that the judge will undertake his noble role to dispense justice
according to law and evidence and without fear or favor. Complainant failed to prove anything.

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31 - Vidal v. Judge Dojillo (2005)


Facts:
Judge Dojillo is charged with misconduct. There was an election protest filed by Judge Dojillos BROTHER
against Vidal (complainant). Vidal won in the election for Barangay Captain while the brother of Judge Dojillo lost.
Vidal alleges that during the hearings of the election protest, Judge Dojillo sat beside the counsel of his brother and
actively coached, aided, and assisted the counsel. They also exchanged notes! Judge Dojillo displayed assertive
presence and display of partisan activities.
Of course the Judge denied this. Judge Dojillo said he was just there to give moral support and in the process,
observe how election protest proceedings are conducted.
Issues:
1. W/N the presence of Judge Dojillo in the election protest of his brother constitutes misconduct
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Although concern for family members is deeply ingrained in the Filipino culture, Dojillo being a judge,
should bear in mind that he is also called upon to serve the higher interest of preserving the integrity of the
entire judiciary. Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge to avoid not only impropriety but
also the mere appearance of impropriety in all activities.
Even if Judge Dojillo did not intend to use his position as a judge to influence the outcome of his brothers case, it
cannot be denied that his presence in the courtroom would immediately give cause for the community to
suspect that his being a colleague in the judiciary would influence the judge.
Judge Dojillo should have refrained from publicly showing his active interest and participation. He was
REPRIMANDED.

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32 - Re: Anonymous Complaint Against Judge Edmundo T. Acua (2005) (Judges favorite expressions)
Doctrines:
Judges are demanded to be always temperate, patient and courteous both in conduct and in language. Indeed, a
judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the
judiciary.
Facts:
The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) received a letter from concerned citiznes of the lower court,
reporting the alleged practices of Judge Edmundo Acua, RTC, Caloocan City. The letter stated the following:
1. That Judge Acua conducted trials, signed orders and even sentenced accused while on official leave. The
letter went on to question whether Judge Acua had authority to impose such sentences, issue orders and
conduct hearings.
2. List of Judge Acuas dialogues and favorite expressions (putris, anak ng pating, putang ina, pogi/beauty,
tulungan niyo naman ako, hirap na hira na ako, mali ka nanaman)
3. That Judge Acua spends much of his energy talking and loves to berate and embarrass people, not caring
whether he speaks in open court, as long as he has an audience
4. That Judge Acuas decisions usually take about 7 to 10 drafts, as he changes his mind so many times
5. That Judge Acua loves to glorify himself and that his behavior was weird
Judge Acua, in his comment, said that the writers of the letter was actuated by improper motive and sent with no
other purpose but to harass him. He said that at the time he conducted trial, signed orders and issued sentences, he was not
yet on leave. He also said that he had decided to defer his leave for another week as his siblings who would be going with
him to Canada had not yet secured their visas. Regarding his weird behavior, he said that he was still mourning the loss of
his eldest son who died of an aneurism. Judge Acua admitted having made some of the alleged humiliating statements
while he was discussing performance ratings of his staff. He also admitted that putris, putang ina, beauty/pogi were
among of his favorite expressions, but that he did not use them often, certainly not in open court, and that he had been
misquoted.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge Acua should be reprimanded?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. He is guilty of impropriety and is reprimanded. He is sternly warned that the repetition of the same or
similar act shall be dealt with more severely.
Regarding Judge Acuas approved leave, there was nothing repulsive in deferring the date of his leave. Judge
Acuas decision to report for work appears to have been motivated by his honest belief that he could defer his
leave and make the necessary adjustments after.
As to the use of his humiliating and insensitive expressions, it is improper for the extolled office of a magistrate of
the law. By virtue of the very office he holds, the public expects more of the Judge as he undeniably occupies an
exalted yet delicate niche in the administration of justice. Those who don the judicial robe and wiled the judicial
gavel ought to impress in their consciousness that appearance is an essential manifestation of reality. Judges are
demanded to be always temperate, patient and courteous both in conduct and in language. Indeed, a judge should
so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. Propriety
and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the activities of a judge. Thus, Judge
Acuas claim that his favorite expressions were not directed to anyone in particular is unacceptable.

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33 - Floride Dawa, et.al v. Judge Armando C. De Asa (1998) (pervert judge)


Doctrine:
The people's confidence in the judicial system is founded not only on the magnitude of legal knowledge and the
diligence of the members of the bench, but also on the highest standard of integrity and moral uprightness they are
expected to possess. More than simply projecting an image of probity, a judge must not only appear to be a "good
judge"; he must also appear to be a "good person."
By the very nature of the bench, judges, more than the average man, are required to observe an exacting standard
of morality and decency. The character of a judge is perceived by the people not only through his official acts but
also through his private morals, as reflected in his external behavior. It is therefore paramount that a judge's
personal behavior, both in the performance of his duties and in his daily life, be free from the appearance of
impropriety as to be beyond reproach.
Facts
These are two consolidated complaints of sexual harassment under Republic Act No. 7877/ acts of
lasciviousness, grave or serious misconduct, and for violation of the high standard of morals demanded by judicial ethics
against Judge Armando C. De Asa of MTC Branch 51, Caloocan City. The judge was complained of having the tendency
to corner female employees of MTC Branch 51 and kissing them. Among the complainants were Floride Dawa, Noraliz
Jorgensen, Femenina Lazaro-Barreto, Atty. Mona Lisa A. Buencamino, Cielito M. Mapue, Jean Marie Lazaro, Zenaida
Reyes and Mrs. Maria Victoria Cruz.
Respondent denied having done the lascivious acts, saying that everything was orchestrated by Atty. Mona Lisa
A. Buencamino because she resented his assignment as Acting Executive Judge.
Issue
1. W/N respondent is guilty of acts complained of?
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. The SC adopted the findings of the investigating officer, saying that there is enough evidence and
corroborated testimony that respondent committed the acts he is charged with. Moreover, the complainants
testimonies were also corroborated by Judge Santiago (the Executive Judge). Respondent has not proven any
vicious motive for complainants to invent their stories. It is highly improbable that the three complainants would
perjure themselves only to accommodate Atty. Buencamino who may have had some real or imagined resentment
against respondent. The fact that respondent was strict in requiring the employees of the court to perform their
duties and to observe office hours and his prohibition against loitering and idleness in the premises of the court is
not enough to motivate the three women into exposing themselves to ridicule and chastisement, not to mention
criminal prosecution, by relating false stories that would also be derogatory to them.
De Asa is dismissed from service with forfeiture of all benefits and with prejudice to reemployment in any branch
of the government including GOCCs.

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34 - Padilla v. Zantua (1994)


Facts:
Mayor Roger Padilla of the Municipality of Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte charged MTC Judge Roberto
Zantua with serious irregularities and grave misconduct in the performance of his official duties for:
1. Failure to decide cases within the prescribed period
2. Unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases
3. Manifest partiality in favor of a litigant
4. Fraternizing with lawyers who have pending cases in his sala
Padilla complains that some of the cases pending in the judges sala have not even been tried. He also alleges that
Zantua is always seen eating and drinking in public establishments with Atty. Augusto Schneider, the opposing counsel in
several criminal cases pending in Zantuas sala.
In defense, Zantua answered that the delays were due to numerous postponements. He also denied the allegation
that he is fraternizing with lawyers who have pending cases in his sala. He explained that Atty. Schneider was the only
lawyer in their municipality so it is only natural for him to be friendly with him. But he maintains that their friendship has
never been a hindrance for the proper disposition of cases since his impartiality is known not only in their municipality
but also in the whole province.
He also said that the complaint was brought against him because he earned the ire of Mayor Padilla. He refused to
succumb to the pressure of favoring the mayor in a case of slander by deed filed against the latter.
The Office of the Court Administrator recommended the dismissal of the charges for alleged failure to decide
cases within the prescribed period and unreasonable delay in the disposition of cases.
Issues:
1. W/N the dismissal of the charges against Judge Zantua for failure to decide cases within the prescribed period was
proper
2. W/N Judge Zantua is guilty of manifest partiality in favor of a litigant and fraternizing with a lawyer, specifically
Atty. Schneider, who has pending cases in his sala
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Padilla failed to specifically cite any of the cases referred to in the complaint which remained undecided
after the lapse of the required 90-day period to decide cases. Hence, the dismissal of charges of violation of the
90-day period is in order. Also, the delays in the cases were caused by the numerous postponements and were not
entirely the fault of Zantua.
2. YES. The act of Judge Zantua in eating and drinking with a lawyer who has pending cases in his sala may well
arouse suspicion in the public mind, thus tending to erode the trust of the litigants in the impartiality of the judge.
It is of no moment that Atty. Augusto Schneider is the only lawyer in the locality. Constant company with a
lawyer tends to breed intimacy to the point that favors in the future may be asked from the judge which he may
find hard to resist.
Public confidence in the Judiciary is eroded by irresponsible or improper conduct of judges. A judge must
avoid all impropriety and the appearance thereof. Being the subject of constant public scrutiny, a judge should
freely and willingly accept restrictions on conduct that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen.
Judges should conduct themselves beyond reproach and suspicion, and be free from any appearance of
impropriety in their personal behavior not only in the discharge of their official duties but also in their
everyday life.

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[Judge Zantua was admonished with a warning that a repetition of similar acts in the future will be dealt with
more severely.]

35 - J. King & Sons v. Judge Hontanosas (2004)


Doctrine:
Judges and members of their families shall neither ask for nor accept, any gift, bequest, loan or favor in relation to
anything done or to be done or omitted to be done by him orher in connection with the performance of judicial
duties
Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the activities of a judge
Judges shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all of their activities.
Facts:
Richard L. King was the plaintiff in a case for Specific Performance with Damages with Prayer for Writ of
Preliminary Attachment pending before the RTC presided over by Judge Hontanosas. An urgent motion to discharge and
lift writ of preliminary attachment was filed by defendants before the respondent on July 5, 2002 and on the same day,
Judge Hontanosas issued an Order lifting the writ of preliminary attachment. Judge Hontanosas approved defendants
counter-bond despite knowledge that the bonding companys Supreme Court Clearance was not valid and the maximum
net retention of the bonding company had a deficiency of P22,541,463.69. At a meeting in his house, Judge Hontanosas
asked Rafael King (brother of Richard King) to match defendants offer to pay P250,000.00 so that the Order of
July 5, 2002 will be reconsidered formally if a motion for reconsideration is filed by complainant. Richard King filed
a complaint against Judge Hontanosas with the Office of Court Administrator stating that the Judge solicited money and
that the July 5 order was promulgated without a hearing.
Judge Hontanosas, in his comment, vehemently denies soliciting money from the King brothers. He contends that
the King brothers is merely a dissatisfied litigant which cannot accept an unfavorable court ruling; and that the questioned
orders were issued by him in the exercise of lawful judicial discretion in accordance with the rules of procedure, the
evidence on record, and with the dictates of justice and equity. He also alleged that a hearing on the defendants motion to
lift the preliminary attachment was actually held on July 5, 2002 between eleven oclock in the morning and twelve
oclock noon as shown by the transcript of stenographic notes taken during said hearing. He held the hearing because the
motion was urgent in nature, and he did it in the spirit of equity and justice.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge Hontanosas was guilty of extortion
2. W/N Judge Hontanosas was guilty of gross ignorance of the law for not holding a full-blown hearing on the
motion.
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Human experience tells us that extortion would be done in utmost secrecy, minimizing possible
witnesses. Hence, Judge Hontanosas required the King brothers to meet him at his house, where everything
would be under his control. The testimonies of Richard and Rafael King were found to be very candid, forthright,
unwavering, and bereft of any material or significant inconsistencies. It would be impractical to require that there
be any documentary evidence or a paper trail of the commission of extortion would be quite absurd for, naturally,
Judge Hontanosas would not allow such incriminating evidence to exist.
2. Yes. Section 4, Rule 15 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides that Every written motion required to be
heard and the notice of the hearing thereof shall be served in such a manner as to ensure its receipt by the other
party at least three (3) days before the date of hearing, unless the court for good cause sets the hearing on shorter
notice. A perusal of the motion to lift attachment shows that a copy of the same was mailed to plaintiffs counsel
only on July 3, 2002. The courts receiving stamp showed that said motion was filed in court only at 11:02 in the
morning of July 5, 2002, despite the fact that the notice of hearing for said motion stated that said motion would

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be set for hearing at 8:30 in the morning of July 5, 2002. The proximity of the date of mailing of the copy of the
motion to the other party and the hearing date indicated in the notice of hearing clearly shows that it is impossible
for the other party to receive said motion at least three days before the date of hearing. Evidently, the party filing
the motion to lift attachment had already violated the three-day notice rule. Moreover, Judge Hontinosas acted
with indecent haste in immediately holding a hearing on the motion to lift attachment filed only a few minutes
before said hearing, in considering the same submitted for resolution, and in issuing the order lifting the writ of
preliminary attachment and approving the counter-bond, all on the same day of July 5, 2002, without giving the
King brothers the opportunity to be heard on the matter.
Judge Hontinosas was found guilty of gross misconduct, gross ignorance of the law and is dismissed from the
service.
It was stated by the King brothers that Judge Hontanasas frequented their karaoke bar and used the facilities free
of charge. The Court said that such conduct is improper and a disgrace to the profession and that the judge
miserably failed to live up to the standards of judicial conduct.

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36 - Macias v. Judge Araula (1982)


Doctrine:
Avoidance of appearance of impropriety. A judges official conduct should be free from the appearance of
impropriety, and his personal behavior, not only in the bench and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in
his everyday life, should be beyond reproach.
Essential conduct. He should be temperate, ... patient ... .
Judges, indeed, should be not only men of highest integrity but they should also at all times conduct themselves in
such a manner as to be above suspicion.
Facts:
Lamberto Macias filed an administrative complaint against Judge Araula, a judge in Southern Leyte, for serious
infractions of the law, illegal and unethical participation in partisan politics, and electioneering, when:
1. He delivered the political campaign speech in a rally sponsored by the Kilusan ng Bagong Lipunan (KBL),
urging his audience to vote for the KBL candidates (his wife was the Chairman of KBL); and
2. He delivered again a political campaign speech at a KBL rally during which he said, among others, Let us
unite in this election; it is useless to support the Pusyon Bisaya because it is leaderless; President Marcos is
still around to promote the welfare of the town of Dauin.
Macias likewise asserted in the same complaint that the judge was guilty of serious infractions of the law,
oppression, and grave misconduct, when:
1. Two days after the elections in which the KBL candidates lost in Dauin, aggrieved and enraged by the
peoples repudiation oh his political leadership and of his wifes leadership in Dauin, he made a round in the
public market, in the company of members of his family and goons, threatened, coerced, and physically
ejected licit market vendors who were identified as Pusyon Bisaya followers, overturning and throwing out
tables and market equipment, warning and challenging Pusyon followers in the market, and telling them to get
out and that they can no longer sell goods in the market because they are Pusyon; and
2. In the same occasion, he, together with his three sons and goons, challenged Douglas Enriquez and his
brother Atty. Enriquez, a Pusyon coordinator in Dauin, to a fist fight (raised clenched fists and
shouted, You are brave, you challenge me!); and when Douglas ran to his brother Rudy, Judge Araula,
his sons, and his goons followed him, and while there, his sons tore Douglas collar, slapped him, and threw a
lighted cigarette upon the face of Rudy. At this time, the judge was drunk.
Issue:
1. W/N Judge Araula is guilty
Held/Ratio:
1. NO (except for #2 in the second paragraph). [The case was long and most of them focused on the findings of fact
of the investigating judge.] The investigating judge found the witness as regards the events in the market place to
be not credible, as she often changed her testimonies. The witnesses presented for the first two charges were also
overturned by witnesses offered by Judge Araula.
The Court also considered it mitigating that Judge Araula was enraged, since the complainants supposedly went to
the city hall with brooms and made fun of them (Pusyon swept the elections, hence the brooms). Also, most of the
complained acts were done by his sons, not by him, and there was insufficient evidence to prove that he was
drunk. Nevertheless, the Court found the last allegation sufficient for a reprimand and stern admonition that a
repetition of similar acts would be dealt with more severely (see doctrines).

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37 - Carual v. Brusola (1999)


Facts:
This case stems from a previous quieting of title case filed by Carua, with an SPA from his son, against spouses
Bo. Apparently, respondent appeared as counsel for the Bos. omplainant also suspected that all the pleadings filed by
Andres Bo in the civil case pending before RTC Branch 16, Tabaco, Albay involving said lot were prepared by
respondent judge as the style of writing showed that they were drafted by a lawyer or judge. Complainant further alleged
that respondent judge violated RA 3019 by being partial and giving undue favor to a private individual.
Issue:
1. W/N respondent's violates Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct which enjoins members of the bench to
regulate their extra-judicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with their judicial duties.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. In his Comment to the administrative complaint, as well as in his testimony before the investigating Justice
of the Court of Appeals, respondent judge admitted that he has been the administrator of the properties of the
heirs of Victor Bocaya since 1976 and he did not resign from such position even after his appointment to the
judiciary on March 23, 1990. This is a clear violation of Rule 5.06 of the Code of Judicial Conduct. The only
exception is when the estate or trust belongs to, or the ward is a member of his immediate family, and only if his
service as executor, administrator, trustee, guardian or fiduciary will not interfere with the proper performance of
his judicial duties.
More so, under Section 35, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court, judges are prohibited from engaging in the
private practice of law or giving professional advice to clients. This is reiterated in Rule 5.07 of the Code of
Judicial Conduct. As in Rule 5.06, this rule is also based on public policy because the rights, duties, privileges
and functions of the office of an attorney-at-law are inherently incompatible with the high official functions,
duties, powers, discretion and privileges of a judge.
Nonetheless, it has not been proved that respondent judge has regularly engaged in private practice. Although
complainant suspects that it was respondent who prepared the pleadings filed by Andres Bo and Ursula Bo in
connection with the civil case for quieting of title pending before the RTC of Tabaco, Albay, such suspicion has
remained a suspicion and was not proven to be a fact. There is no direct evidence, testimonial or documentary, to
show that respondent judge prepared said pleadings.

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38 - De La Paz v. Judge Inutan (1975)


Doctrine:
A judges official conduct should be free from appearance of impropriety, and his personal behavior not only
upon the bench and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should be beyond reproach.
The judge is the visible representation of the law and, more importantly, of justice. From him, the people draw
their will and awareness to obey the law. They see in him an intermediary of justice between two conflicting
interests. For the judge to return that regard, he must be the first one to abide by the law and weave an example
for others to follow. He should studiously careful to avoid even the slightest infraction of the law.
Facts:
The vice-governor of Davao del Norte, Cecilia de la Paz (petitioner), together with her husband (Ludovico) and
son-in-law (Roberto), were having lunch in a restaurant. Judge Inutan then entered the restaurant, obviously drunk (red
face, messy hair, bloodshot eyes, cant walk straight). He seated himself in the table beside them and drank beer. After
some time, he took out his revolver and played with the firing pin and the ball. At this point, the waitresses moved away.
Since the gun was facing their direction, Cecilia asked her husband for them to move away. He first went to the
bathroom, and while there, Judge Inutan holstered his gun, went to their son-in-law, pulled a chair, took a seat beside him,
and said, You are very handsome and I respect you but to prove I am a man I will fire this gun. As he said this, he
pulled out his gun again and pointed it at the left side of Roberto. At this point, Cecilia went to the judge and pleaded with
him not to fire, saying she was the vice-governor. Ludovico also came back from the bathroom and stated that Cecilia was
also the younger sister of Senator Almendras. At this, Judge Inutan said, Goddemit that Senator Almendras, were it not
for him, I would be in a higher position now. He then held Cecilias arm and rubbed it up and down.
Cecilia and the others then went to the police station to file a complaint against the judge. She also charged the
judge with disgraceful and immoral conduct, drunkenness, and conduct prejudicial to the judiciary. Judge Inutan then sent
a letter of apology to Cecilia, but when the case was investigated, the judge narrated a different set of facts (he wasnt
drunk, the gun merely dropped from its holster and he caught it, etc.)
Issue:
1. W/N Judge Inutan is guilty
Held/Ratio:
1. YES (except immoral conduct). The Court gave more weight to the testimony of the complainant because there
was no ill motive that could be ascribed to her (she had no pending case before the judge and they never knew
each other before the incident). They also took into consideration the apology letter of the judge, saying he would
not have needed to apologize had his version of events been true.
However, the charge of immorality (pertaining to when the judge rubbed Cecilias arm up and down), cannot be
sustained. That particular instance should be interpreted as a product of the drunkenness of the judge, and not to
any lascivious or prurient interest.
When the judge lost judicial composure and acted like an uninhibited drunkard in the streets and public places, he
not only stripped himself of his dignity as a man but disrobed the court of the respect of the people it serves. Such
act demeans his judicial office and elicits suspicion of his capacity to discharge justice. The apprehension may lie
where such suspicion may be stretched too far by the people themselves and may unduly include the whole
judicial machinery. And that would lay the way for the people to weaken, if not lose, their faith in the
administration of justice.

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CANON 5 - EQUALITY
39 - Espayos v. Lee (1979)
Doctrines:
Canon 5 Section 2: Judges shall not in the performance of his judicial duties, by words or conduct, manifest bias
or prejudice towards any person or group on irrelevant grounds.
Facts:
Through a verified letter-complaint, Espayos charged Judge Lee, Municipal Judge of Magallanes, Sorsogon, for
Conduct Unbecoming of a Judge and Partiality in the Administration of Justice.
A complaint for less serious physical injuries was filed by the station commander of Magallanes police
department before Judge Lee when one Pareja threw a piece of stone at Espayos hitting him on the nose. Espayo alleges
the following:
a. Without Espayo knowing, Pareja was arraigned appearing in court without a lawyer pleading guilty for slight
physical injuries and Judge Lee immediately sentenced him to 15 days of imprisonment despite previous
notice of Espayos lawyer that the complaint was to be amended to serious physical injuries (because his left
nostril closed, as seen from his inability to blow out smoke)
b. Before denying Espayos petition to prove damages, Judge Lee offered him P80.00 then later P100.00 saying
that Espayos could not get anything from Pareja because he was insolvent
c. Judge Lee made his house his office and goes to the municipal building only when he tries cases and performs
marriage ceremonies.
Espayos filed a motion withdrawing his complaint stating he had lost interest due to the circulization of the
municipal courts (Judge Lee was transferred to Bacon, Sorsogon). The investigator recommended the dismissal of the
case for failure to prosecute.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge Lee is guilty
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Complainants desistance is not an obstacle to taking disciplinary action against respondent because
the latters answers to the charges reveals the he had not performed his duties properly.
In a letter-answer ordered by the Supreme Court, Judge Lee explained:
a. Before arraignment, Pareja told him that he could not afford the expenses of litigation and would be
willing to plead guilty although he was innocent of the crime charged provided that the penalty would not
exceed 15 days imprisonment. In response, he advised Pareja that if he was really intending to plead
guilty, he should state that he is willing to plead guilty to a lesser offense when the complaint is read to
him.
b. He denied that he offered P80/100 and rationalized that Espayos could still file a separate civil action for
damages despite denial of petition to prove damages sustained in the same case.
c. Admitted that he stays in the library of his house when he studies cases and prepares for decisions
because i. his library is more complete and nearer to the library of his brother, ii. Clerk of court could stay
in the office and could call him if needed, iii. He needed secrecy and concentration in making decisions
(which was difficult in the office because of the constant entrance and exit of people and clerks noise
using the typewriter)
It was improper and unethical to suggest to Pareja what he should do at the arraignment. That
impropriety generated suspicion that Judge was in collusion with Pareja. It is this sort of misbehavior,

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which would be resented by the offended party and making him conclude that the sentence meted out was
fixed or known as lutong macao A judges official conduct should be free from impropriety and the
appearance of impropriety. (Canon 4)
As well-stated by Justice Muoz Palma, "reasons of public policy, the preservation of the good image of the
judiciary, and avoidance of an appearances of impropriety, require that a judge should hold office at the
regular place of business of the court and not at his residence. A judge holding office in his house makes
himself open to suspicion and possible criticism that his official actuations cannot bear public scrutiny,
more particularly of his co-officials in the local government"
Lastly, when a criminal action is instituted a civil action for recovery of civil liability arising from the offense is
impliedly instituted unless the offended party expressly waives or reserves his right to institute it separately,
which Espayos did not do.
For having committed the above-mentioned irregularities showing that he had not performed his duties properly
he is severely censured and warned that a more drastic penalty will be imposed in case of similar irregularities in
the future.
***Case under Canon 5 but only mentioned Canon 4 in discussion, so just in case, focus on the issue A.
Under Canon 5, ensuring equality of treatment to all before the courts is essential to the due performance of the
judicial office. Canon 5 Section 2: Judges shall not in the performance of his judicial duties, by words or conduct,
manifest bias or prejudice towards any person or group on irrelevant grounds.

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40 - People v. Boras (2000)


Facts:
While her parents were sleeping, 6 year old Melanie Medalla remained downstairs playing. At 9am, Boras, the
accused in this case, invited her to go with him. Boras was their neighbor and since she was familiar with him, she agreed
to go with him. About 15 meters from their house, under a guava tree, Boras told Melanie to magkitaon which means
we will have sex. She was placed on top of accused and was raped.
During the trial, the victim was asked questions like, whether she had the opportunity when she was raped to hold
the penis of Boras or whether Boras penis was hard when she was raped.
Issue:
1. W/N the manner of examination of the victim should be tempered.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. It must be stressed that in dealing with rape cases of children, especially those below twelve years of age,
due care must be observed by the trial court in handling the victim. In fact, more often than not, the grueling
experience in the trial court in the course of direct and cross-examination is more traumatic than the fact
of rape itself. On such occasions, mishandling of victims lead to psychological imbalances which, if not
properly treated by medical experts will lead to an abnormal behavioral response against the idea of sex
itself and disturbed interaction with the opposite sex or of the same sex. The frightful experience of rape
committed to children who are bereft of mundane wiles necessitates the highest degree of tact, patience and
diplomacy. No woman, especially a child of tender years would exactly remember step-by-step the sexual
intercourse in the hands of the maniacal beast. It is enough that the child was able to explain in her own way that
there was sexual intercourse. By subjecting her into explaining whether she was forced or intimidated is
excessive. For proof of force and intimidation is unnecessary in statutory rape. Considering that there is a
medical report substantiating the allegations made by the victim, the manner of examination of the victim
must be tempered. Especially in this case, since the child is only six years old who remains uncorrupted.

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41 - Cua Shuk Yin v. Judge Perello (2005) (Greedy and usurer Chinese woman!)
Doctrine:
In the absence of malice, fraud, dishonesty or corruption, the acts of a judge in his judicial capacity are not subject
to disciplinary action, even if such acts are erroneous.
Judges must bear in mind that their behavior must reaffirm the peoples faith in the integrity of the judiciary, and
that justice must not merely be done but must also be seen to be done
Facts:
Cua Shuk Yin filed a complaint for undue delay against Judge Norma Perello. Cua Shuk Yin had a case under
Judge Perello against Sps. Arciaga. According to her, Perello had a history of being negligent and tolerating delays of
the other party. It was only after the SC ordered Perello to resolve with dispatch cases pending in her sala and warned
her that such other delays would be dealt with severely, that Perello decided to resolve her case. The case was decided
against Cua but was reversed by the CA. Perello issued an order for the execution of the CA decision giving the
Spouses 90 days to pay their loan otherwise their properties would be foreclosed. 90 days have lapsed but Perello failed
to issue a writ of execution despite persistent follow-ups. Cua filed another administrative case against Perello. The
Office of the Court Administrator recommended that the case be dismissed because it involved Perellos
understanding of a judicial question - the start of the 90-day period - which should be resolved in a judicial action and
not in an administrative action. However, the OCA recommended that Perello be admonished for calling Cua Shuk Yin
names such as greedy and usurer Chinese woman, tagging her lawyer as lazy and negligent while branding her own
clerk of court as equally lazy and incompetent.
Issues:
1. W/N the finding of the OCA should be upheld.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Perellos act of not issuing the writ was not motivated by bad faith because it was justified by her
understanding of the law. For her, the 90-day period should start on the issuance of her order executing the CA
judgment and not the entry of judgment of the CA. If Cua wanted to question this, she shouldve done so in a
judicial action.
As for the improper language, the Court stated that:
Propriety and the appearance of propriety are essential to the performance of all the activities of a
judge. As such, the esteemed position of a magistrate of the law demands temperance, patience
and courtesy both in conduct and in language. As subjects of constant public scrutiny, personal
restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by the ordinary citizen should be freely and
willingly accepted by a judge. In particular, he or she must exhibit conduct consistent with the
dignity of the judicial office. Thus, judges must bear in mind that their behavior must reaffirm the
peoples faith in the integrity of the judiciary, and that justice must not merely be done but must
also be seen to be done.

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CANON 6 COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE


42 - Republic of the Philippines v. Judge Ramon Caguioa (2009)
Doctrine:
Judges are not common men and women, whose errors men and women forgive and time forgets. Judges sit as the
embodiment of the peoples sense of justice, their last recourse where all other institutions have failed. Dela
Cruz v. Pascua, A.M. No. RTJ-99-1461, June 26, 2001, 359 SCRA 569.
Facts:
(The case is a consolidated one, tackling 3 complaints against Judge Caguioa, Presiding Judge of Branch 74,
Olongapo, RTC)
Case 1
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Indigo Corp against the Secretary of Finance, and (herein
complainant) the Republic. A law was enacted subjecting Indigo Corp., a corporation operating in the Subic Special
Economic Zone, to excise taxes on tobacco and alchohol products. Indigo contends that the law violates their certificate
of tax exemptions granted to them by the SBMA. They filed a case for declaratory relief seeking to declare provisions
of the law unconstitutional. They also asked that a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to enjoin the Republic
from implementing the law. Judge Caguioa ordered the issuance of the writ stating that Indigo had a vested right
over the tax exemptions and that they have shown that the implementation of the law would violate this right. He also
said that the presumption of validity was rebutted by the Indigo. He also arbitrarily imposed an injunction bond of 1M
to be paid by Indigo. Pending trial, he also approved several motions for intervention without informing the
Republic of said motions. The Republic filed several MRs but they were denied, in fact, it took several months before
Caguioa acted upon the motions of the Republic.
The Republic charged Caguioa with gross ignorance of the law and manifest partiality.
Case 2
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Salvacion against Caringal. Salvacion was district collector of the
Port of Subic. The Commissioner of Customs issued an order (CPO) reassigning Salvacion to another position, and in
his stead, assigned Caringal. Another CPO reassigning Caringal to another position, named to take her place was
Marietta Zamoranos. However, Finance Sec. Teves suspended the effectivity of said CPOs. Another memorandum was
issued ordering all employees to go back to their original positions. However, Caringal refused to leave, thus Salvacion
filed against her a petition for mandamus in Caguioas court. Caguioa issued a petition for preliminary injunction
enjoining Caringal from exercising the powers of district collector. Subsequently, the CPOs were approved. Thereafter,
upon motion by Salvacion, Teves and the Commissioner of Customs were impleaded as parties and directed them to
observe the injunction. Salvacion also sought an injunction against Zamoranos for taking office as district officer.
Caguioa issued the writ of injunction, but Zamoranos still entered office. The Commissioner contended that (1) venue
was improperly laid because it should be lodged on the court having jurisdiction over the territory where they were
taking office (Manila), (2) there is failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Caguioa disregarded the contentions and
ordered Salvacion to be reinstated.
Complainant Commissioner of Customs now charges Caguioa with gross ignorance of the law, manifest
partiality and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Case 3
The case stemmed from a civil case for recovery of possession and ownership of several parcels of land filed in
Caguioas court docketed as Burns v. Beltran. The case was dismissed due to prescription. Afterwards, a writ of
execution was issued in favor of Beltran. On appeal, the CA found that the case was not really dismissed for prescription
but because Burns had no personality to sue for recovery of ownership because she is a mere homestead applicant. Only
the State may file such actions for recovery, which they already did by filing reversion suits regarding the subject land in

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another court Caguioa knew about these suits. The CA also ordered the writ of execution to be void because it was
not in consonance with the decision, which dismissed the case due to prescription and not due to adjudication based on
the merits.
Burns Jr., son of the petitioner in Burns v. Beltran, charged Caguioa and Sherriff Perez with Grave Misconduct.
Caguioas Defense
Caguioa argues that the mistakes he committed in issuing the questioned orders should be considered as mere
errors of judgment that do not warrant administrative disciplinary action, because his acts were never proven to be, and
were in fact never, motivated by bad faith, ill will, fraud and corrupt motives. According to him, the judiciary will be
paralyzed if judges will be penalized for errors they make in the absence of fraud or bad faith. As regards the writ of
execution in the third case, he said that it would be better if he issued the writ than let everyone wait for the outcome of
the reversion suits.
Issues:
1. W/N Caguioa is guilty of gross ignorance of the law and manifest partiality.
2. W/N Caguioa is guilty of gross ignorance of the law, manifest partiality, and conduct prejudicial to the best
interest of service.
3. W/N Caguioa is guilty of grave misconduct.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES for Gross Ignorance. It is elementary that taxes are the lifeblood of the government, and there are no
vested rights for tax exemptions. The issuance of the injunction was without basis. Moreover, the arbitrary
ordering of a P1M bond which was not proportionate to the number of businesses of Indigo which will benefit
from the injunction defeats the purpose of issuing injunctive bonds which is to protect the person affected by
the injunction against loss or damages when the court finds out that the person asking for injunction is not really
entitled to it. (No evidence of manifest partiality)
2. YES for Gross Ignorance. The injunctions were issued outside of Caguioas jurisdiction. The Gayacao
doctrine (stating that even if the officers are outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court, if those affected are
under its jurisdiction, the action is valid) is not applicable because it applies only to cases where there is a
question of whether an order of a public official is valid or not, and not when the action involves enjoining such
official from enforcing such orders.
Moreover, it is elementary that the issuance of a preliminary injunction requires a vested right that would be
affected and it is fairly obvious and well known that a public office is NOT a vested right. (No evidence of
manifest partiality)
3. NO. Guilty only of simple misconduct because for grave misconduct to exist the judicial act complained of
should be corrupt or inspired by the intention to violate the law, or a persistent disregard of well- known rules.
This is not clearly evident in this case. (As for the sherriff, he is not at fault because he is obligated to implement
the writ.)
SC RULED:
For Case 3: Suspension for 3 Months
For Cases 1 and 2: DISMISSAL with forfeiture of benefits except leave credits.

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43 - Caneda v. Judge Menchavez (2009) (judge with a gun)


Doctrines:
Judges are demanded to be always temperate, patient and courteous in both conduct and in language
Facts:
Atty. Caneda (complainant) was the counsel of the defendants in a partition case being resolved under the sala of
RTC Judge Menchavez.
Atty. Caneda wanted to move for settlement only in case that the opposing counsel shall withdraw its motion for
reconsideration pending in the Supreme Court. The opposing counsel refused to such settlement. Now, Atty. Caneda
wanted to resolve the issue thru mediation. A heated argument between the two counsels of the partition case caused
Judge Menchavez to lose his temper. Judge Menchavez said: Nevermind mediation, its useless!
Then Atty. Caneda remarked that the case is being delayed because no proper summons (by publication) was
served to the parties of the partition case. Again, Judge Menchavez lost his temper shouting I said no publication
period!, while banging his gavel. He banged it so hard that the head broke off and flew towards Atty. Caneda almost
hitting him. The Judge then quickly returned to his chambers. After a few minutes, he came out with a gun and
smashed it on the table. He shouted at Atty. Caneda, What do you want? Devil! Hardheaded!
Atty. Caneda apologized but was ignored by Judge Menchavez and moved to hear the next case.
Upon the complaint by Atty. Caneda, Menchavez claims that the bringing out of the gun was made in defense of
his life because the conversations inside the courtroom was that too intense.
Issues:
1. W/N Judge Menchavez violated the Code of Judicial Conduct
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that Judges are demanded to be always temperate, patient and courteous both
in conduct and in language.
Judge Menchavez should have cited the counsels in direct contempt in the process of their heated arguments with
the judge.
He should always be aware of the decorum needed to be done by judges because they represent the legal system.

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44 - Nilda Verginesa-Suarez v. Judge Renato J. Dilag (2009)


Facts:
This case is a consolidation of two administrative complaints:
A.M. NO. 06-07-415-RTC stemmed from the Complaint-Affidavit filed before the OCA by Suarez, a court
stenographer, against Judge Dilag and Pascua allegedly for collecting P30,000.000 from litigants in consideration of
favorable judgments in cases for annulment or declaration of nullity of marriage. The respondent judge would allegedly
dismiss or deny first the case/incident and then, after payment through Pascua, he would approve or grant said
case/incident. Suarez presented the sets of dismissed and granted decisions in the Pancho, Tomboc, and Del Rosario
cases, and identified the signatures of Judge Dilag in the said dismissed decisions. Suarez supported her accusation with a
sworn statement of a certain Belen Trapane who allegedly paid the amount of P30,000.00 to Pascua to obtain a favorable
judgment in an action for declaration of nullity of marriage lodged before the court presided by Judge Dilag.
A.M. No. 06-07-415-RTC, on the other hand, arose from a series of anonymous letters addressed to Chief
Justice Hilario Davide, which reported the alleged graft and corrupt practices of Judge Dilag. According to this
letter, Judge Dilag would initially dismiss a case, but, after payment, would subsequently re-open the case and
grant the same.
The OCA directed a discreet investigation of the allegations against Judge Dilag. The judicial audit team
observed, among others, that Judge Dilag committed irregularities in the handling and disposition of cases before his sala.
The judicial audit team recommended to the OCA that the foregoing findings be consolidated with Administrative Matter
No. RTJ-06-2014 and referred to an Investigating Justice of the Court of Appeals.
Issue:
1. W/N respondent Judge Dilag is guilty of gross misconduct and/or gross negligence in the handling of the above-
mentioned cases as set forth by the OCA.
2. W/N Judge Dilag is guilty of graft and corruption
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Judge Dilag is accountable for gross misconduct constituting violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct,
specifically Sections 1 and 2 of Canon 2; Section 2 of Canon 3; and, Section 1 of Canon 4, of the New Code of
Judicial Conduct for the Philippine Judiciary.
In the case at bench, the existence of the two (2) sets of conflicting decisions in the Pancho, Tomboc and Del
Rosario cases, respectively, though speculative, absent clear evidence that respondent Judge received
monetary considerations, the same, however, from a reasonable point of view, would seriously arouse the
suspicion of a reasonable mind that something is wrong.
While not conclusively and clearly proving the charge of graft and corruption, the same casts a cloud of
suspicion upon the integrity, impartiality and propriety of which respondent Judge is expected to possess
and manifest. These requirements are concepts of the mind which can only be manifested through actuations of a
magistrate. Thus, as explicitly worded in the New Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge must not merely possess
these requirements but he must be also be seen and perceived to be such. The judiciary is the bastion of
justice, fairness and equity. Certainly, it cannot afford to have erring magistrates who will only tarnish its image
rather than maintain and preserve the same.
2. No. There is no sufficient, clear and convincing evidence to hold respondent Judge administratively liable for
graft and corruption. Jurisprudence dictates that the ground for the removal of a judicial officer must be
established beyond reasonable doubt. The general rules regarding the admissibility of evidence in criminal
trials apply to charges of misconduct in office, willful neglect, corruption or incompetence.
In the instant case, there is no clear and convincing evidence that indeed respondent Judge received money
from litigants to obtain favorable decisions. The testimonies of Belen Trapane and Aurea Rowena Cayabyab,
stating to the effect that they each paid P30,000.00 to respondents, through respondent Pascua, cannot be given

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due weight against respondent Judge for being hearsay evidence. By the same token, the rumors relative to the
alleged acceptance of money in exchange for a favorable decision remain as such and cannot be admitted as
evidence, let alone given due evidentiary weight. Corollary, private complainant Suarez fell short of the required
degree of proof needed in an administrative charge of graft and corruption.

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45 - Abad v. Bleza (1986)


Doctrine:
Although a judge is nearing retirement, he should not relax in his study of the law and court decisions. Service in
the judiciary means a continuous study and research on the law from beginning to end.
Facts:
Two administrative cases were filed against Judge Bleza.
Case 1
Abad charged Bleza with knowingly rendering a decision with malice, gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of
discretion, and misconduct. The case stemmed from a criminal case against Ponce and Sabater for attempted and
frustrated homicide, wherein Abad was complainant. Abad alleges that after a cockfight, Ponce and him got into a heated
argument which resulted to him being shot by Sabater, Ponces bodyguard. Bleza acquitted Ponce because he never fired
the gun but merely pointed it towards Abad, such act does not constitute attempted homicide wherein there is a need to
fire the gun at the victim without inflicting a mortal wound. Sabater on the other hand was found guilty of frustrated
murder because he shot Abad fearing that Abad will stab him using a broken beer bottle, but Bleza mitigated his liability
because he had no intent to kill. Then CA Justice Kapunan was tasked by the SC to investigate on the matter. He
recommended the dismissal of the complaint but said that Bleza be reprimanded for not knowing that lack of
intent to kill was not a mitigating circumstance.
Issue:
1. W/N Abad should be held administratively liable.
Held/Ratio:
1. NO. The recommendation is well taken although the reprimand may be dispensed with considering Blezas
poor health and his impending retirement. As a matter of public policy, in the absence of fraud, dishonesty or
corruption, the acts of a judge in his judicial capacity are not subject to disciplinary action, even though such acts
are. However, while judges should not be disciplined for inefficiency on account merely of occasional mistakes or
errors of judgment, yet it is highly imperative that they should be conversant with basic legal They are called
upon to exhibit more than just a cursory acquaintance with statutes and to keep themselves abreast of the latest
laws, rulings and jurisprudence affecting their jurisdiction.
Case 2
Ocampo filed a case against Cruz for allegedly forcing him to withdraw an administrative case he filed against a
certain Ortiz. Ocampo alleged that Cruz threatened him that if he does not withdraw he will lose his job in the
Fire Department and that because he did not accede to Cruzs demand, Cruz filed against him false administrative
complaints (neglect of duty, tardiness) which caused him sleepless nights. Bleza ruled in favor of Ocampo. Cruz
charges Bleza of knowingly rendering a wrong judgment against him because there was insufficient evidence. The
SC did not pass upon this case because the original case was still subject of an appeal in the CA.

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46 - Atty. Macalintal v. Judge Teh (1997)


Doctrine:
Decisions of courts need not only be just but must be perceived to be just and completely free from suspicion or
doubt both in its fairness and integrity. Judges, being the visible representation of the law and, most importantly,
of justice, should be the embodiment of independence, competence, and integrity. A member of the bench must
continuously keep himself abreast of legal and jurisprudential developments and show acquaintance with statutes,
procedural rules, and authorities doctrines.
When the inefficiency springs from a failure to consider so basic and elemental a rule, a law, or a principle in the
discharge of his duties, a judge is either too incompetent and undeserving of the position and title he holds or he is
too vicious that the oversight or omission was deliberately done in bad faith and in grave abuse of judicial
authority. In both instances, the judges dismissal is in order. After all, faith in the administration of justice exists
only if every party-litigant is assured that occupants of the bench cannot justly be accused of deficiency in their
grasp of legal principles.
Facts:
Atty. Macalintal had an election case pending in the court of Judge Teh. Judge Teh issued an adverse resolution to
the client of Atty. Macalintal, so Atty, Macalintal filed a certiorari petition with COMELEC. While the case was pending
there, Judge Teh actively participated in the proceedings by filing his comment on the petition and, later on, an
urgent manifestation. Atty. Macalintal filed a motion for Judge Teh to inhibit, but instead of acting on the motion, he
hired his own lawyer and filed his answer before his own court. In his answer, he prayed for the dismissal of the
Motion for Inhibition, attorneys fees, and costs against Atty. Macalintal.
The SC ordered Judge Teh to act on the motion. Judge Teh then ruled [remember, this was before his own court]
to dismiss Atty. Macalintals Motion to Inhibit, and ordered Macalintal to pay his attorneys fees and costs since he had to
hire his own lawyer.
The Court treated the letter-complaint of Macalintal as an administrative complaint against Judge Teh for showing
prima facie Judge Tehs gross incompetence and ignorance.
Issue:
1. W/N Judge Teh is guilty
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Judge Teh was held guilty of gross ignorance of the law, and was dismissed from service, with forfeiture of
benefits, and with prejudice to re-employment in the government.
While a judge or court is joined as a party in a certiorari petition, such judge is merely a nominal or formal party,
and his active participation is not called for unless expressly ordered by the Court. When the Court ordered him to
act on the Motion to Inhibit, instead of either inhibiting himself or continuing with the case (as are provided in the
Rules), he hired his own lawyer and filed an answer. He either misunderstood or chose to misunderstand the
order. Further, Judge Teh acted both as a party litigant and as a judge before his own court, and even had the gall
to rule in his own favor. [see 2nd doctrine]

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2004 RULES ON NOTARIAL PRACTICE


01 - Heirs of the Late Spouses Villanueva v. Beradio (2007)
Doctrines:
The notarial seal converts the document from private to public, after which it may be presented as evidence
without need for proof of its genuineness and due execution.
Notarization should not be treated as an empty, meaningless, or routinary execution. Notaries public must inform
themselves of the facts to which they intend to certify and take no part in illegal transactions.
Facts:
Alfonso, one of the five children of Spouses Villanueva (both deceased), executed an Affidavit of Adjudication
stating that he is the only surviving son and the sole heir of the spouses and that he is adjudicating to himself a parcel
of land owned by them (the spouses). He then sold the land to Adriano Villanueva. Both Affidavit of Adjudication and
Deed of Sale were notarized by Atty. Beradio. However, Alfonsos sister Florencia was still alive when the affidavit
and the deed of sale were executed. Also, during that time, there were descendants of his other siblings.
The heirs filed a disbarment case against Beradio contending that she was aware of these facts when she notarized
the documents since she had been their neighbor from the time of their birth. In her comment, Beradio admitted having
notarized both documents but she denied that she fraudulently conspired with Alfonso. She claimed that her act was done
in good faith since all of the other heirs already received their share of the estate and that it was Alfonso who lived in the
same compound as their parents and took care of them. When they died, the title remained in the custody of Alfonso and
when he and his wife needed money to finance the schooling of their children, they sold the land. Beradio claims that she
notarized the documents in good faith, to assist and to guide people who come to her for legal assistance as contained in
her lawyers oath.
Issues:
1. W/N Atty. Beradio is guilty.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. In the performance of notarial acts, the notary public must be mindful of the significance of the notarial seal
affixed on the document. The notarial seal converts the document from private to public, after which it may
be presented as evidence without need for proof of its genuineness and due execution. Thus, notarization should
not be treated as an empty, meaningless, or routinary execution. Notaries public must inform themselves of
the facts to which they intend to certify and take no part in illegal transactions. They must guard against any
illegal or immoral arrangements.
Beradio admitted that she knew of the falsity of Alfonsos statement that he was the sole heir of the spouses
Villanueva. She therefore notarized the affidavit of adjudication while fully aware that it contained a material
falsehood and also proceeded to notarize the deed of sale knowing that it took basis from the unlawful affidavit of
adjudication. The proper distribution of the estate is not at issue here. Her liability springs from her failure to
discharge properly her duties as a notary public and as a member of the bar.
The SC REVOKED her notarial commission, DISQUALIFIED her from being commissioned for 1 year, and
SUSPENDED her from the practice of law for 6 months.

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02 - Pantoja-Mumar v. Atty. Flores (2007)


Doctrine:
The notarization of documents is not an empty, meaningless or routinary act. It is invested with public interest,
such that only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. A notarial document is by law
entitled to full faith and credit upon its face, and for this reason, notaries public must observe utmost care in
complying with the elementary formalities of their duties.
Facts:
The complainant Chita Pantoja-Mumar is one of the compulsory heirs of the late Jose Pantoja. She and her 11 co-
heirs had procured the services of the respondent Atty. Januario Flores who prepared for them an Extrajudicial Partition
with Absolute Sale document in favor of the Spouse Perez. On strength of the said deed, the spouses Perez were able to
secure a torrens title over the Pantoja property.
Pantoja-Mumar now sues Atty. Flores, alleging that the latter had violated his oath as a lawyer and breached his
duties as a notary public. Pantoja-Mumar alleges that Atty. Flores:
1. notarized the said document knowing that there was no actual transaction between the Pantojas and the spouses
Perez;
2. had the document thumbmarked by a person other than Maxima Pantoja (her sister); and
3. made it appear that the falsified/fabricated and forged document was acknowledged before him on December 29,
1987, when in fact the he and the spouses Perez prepared and falsified and forged the said document on June 13,
1988, when they were able to fraudulently obtain the first page of the document from one Lucresia Awe.
Flores denies all the charges and instead proffered his version of the facts: that the signing took place at their
ancestral home on Dec 29; that the surviving spouse of Jose Pantoja and all the children (except the complainant Mumar)
were present and all signed; that Mrs. Pantoja pleaded that the notarization push through because she needed the money
and that she undertook to secure the signature of her daughter Pantoja-Mumar; and regarding Maximinas false
thumbmark, that the family insisted on taking the document to the other room for Maximina to sign because she was
reclusive and suffering from mental imbalance.
Issue:
1. W/N there was a breach of notarial duties
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. It was admitted by Atty. Flores himself that he believed Maximina was suffering from mental imbalance and
that he did not see her affix her thumbmark on the assailed deed, yet he still notarized the document. It was also
found that he notarized the document without the authority and/or in the absence of some of the supposed
signatories.
The court did not decide on the validity of the sale because it forms part of the merits of another case. it did,
however, revoke his notarial commission, disqualify him from reappointment as a Notary Public for 2 years, and
suspend him from the practice of law for 1 year. [instead of disbarment, the penalty was made light since it was
his first offense]

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03 - Tan Tiong Bo a.k.a. Henry Tan v. Gonzales (2007) (Southwoods)


Doctrine:
Notarization is invested with substantive public interest. Only those qualified or authorized may act as notaries
public.
When a notary certifies to the due execution and delivery of the document under his hand and seal, the document
is converted into a public document. It is presumed to be regular.
Facts:
Tan purchased several parcels of land at the Manila Southwoods Residential Estates, operated by Fil-Estate Golf
and Development, Inc. (FEGDI) and Fil-Estate Properties, Inc. (FEPI). The principal office of FEPI was in Pasig City.
In one of the transactions, Tan signed and executed a Deed of Sale. After paying the contract price in full, the
corresponding TCT and Deed of Sale was delivered to him. Attorney Gonzales who is the corporate counsel for FEPI
and a notary public for Quezon City notarized the Deed of Sale. Alice Bondoc signed as the vendors authorized
representative.
Tan purchased another lot from Southwoods. However, he was not able to secure a certificate of titles nor was he
able to refund his payment. As a result, he filed a case for estafa in Pasig City. Bondoc, FEPIs authorized representative,
claimed that she had not personally met nor transacted with Tan. She admitted that they signed the deed of sale, but at
different times and in different places, and not in each others presence.
Tan initiated a disbarment case against Gonzales. During the preliminary conference with the IBP Commission
on Bar Discipline, Gonzales admitted that his notarial appointment covers Quezon City and that the deed of sale was
notarized in Pasig City.
Issues:
1. W/N Gonzales violated the notarial law and the lawyers oath for notarizing a conveying deed outside the
territorial jurisdiction of his notarial commission.
2. W/N Gonzales violated the notarial law and the lawyers oath for notarizing a conveying deed without requiring
the personal presence of the signatories of the deed.
Held/Ratio:
1. YES. Notarization is invested with substantive public interest. Only those qualified or authorized may act as
notaries public. The requirements for the issuance of a commission are treated with a formality definitely more
than casual. Performing a notarial act without a commission is a violation of the lawyers oath to obey the laws,
particularly the Notarial Law.
Here, the notarial commission of Gonzales was issued for Quezon City. However, the deed of sale was notarized
in Pasig City where he is not authorized. Gonzales act constitutes malpractice of law and falsification.
2. NO. When a notary certifies to the due execution and delivery of the document under his hand and seal, the
document is converted into a public document. As a result, the deed of sale is presumed to be regular. Without
any competent proof or evidence to the contrary, the certification stating that both vendor and vendee personally
appeared before the notary public must be upheld. The declaration of Bondoc is not clear and convincing
evidence as to overturn the presumption of regularity. Her declaration simply means that she had not appeared
together with the buyers before the notary public. The law is silent as to whether the parties must be present
before the notary public at the same time.
Penalty: Permanently barred from being commissioned as a Notary Public; Suspended for 2 years.

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04 - Baylon v. Almo (2008)


Doctrine:
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with substantive public interest, such that
only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notaries public. Notarization converts a private document
into a public document thus making that document admissible in evidence without further proof of its
authenticity. A notarial document is by law entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative
agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon the acknowledgment executed by a notary public and
appended to a private instrument.
Notaries public should not take for granted the solemn duties pertaining to their office. Slipshod methods in their
performance of the notarial act are never to be countenanced. They are expected to exert utmost care in the
performance of their duties, which are dictated by public policy and are impressed with public interest
Facts:
Complainant Baylon filed this case against Atty. Jose Almo before the IBP for allegedly notarizing an SPA forged
by his wife Rosario Baylon together with one Pacita Filio and Rodolfo Llantino, Jr on June 17,1996 in order to mortgage
their real property located in Signal village Taguig. Complainant substantiated his claim that his signature on the notarized
SPA was forged by presenting a certification from the Gov. of Singapore that on June 17, 1996 he was vaccinated in
Singapore, a certification from the Phil. Bureau of Immigration that he was out of the country from March 21, 1995 to
January 28, 1997 and an NBI report that the specimen signature was indeed not his.
That due to this SPA, their property was mortgaged and thereafter was foreclosed due to his wifes failure to pay
said mortgage.
Atty. Almo, in his defense claimed that he did not connive with complainants wife and that at first he refused to
notarize the SPA because the complainant was not present, but when his wife returned with a man she introduced as
Charles Baylon (complainant) who likewise presented a community tax certificate with the name Charles Baylon, it was
only then that he notarized the SPA. An affidavit of Atty. Almos secretary attesting to this was appended to his answer.
After due proceedings, the IBP-Commission on Bar Discipline recommended to the IBP-Board of Governors that
the respondent be strongly admonished for notarizing the SPA; that his notarial commission be revoked; and that the
respondent be barred from being granted a notarial commission for one year
Issue:
1. W/N respondent was negligent in the performance of his duties as a notary public
Held/Ratio:
1. Yes. Respondent should not have relied on the community tax certificate in ascertaining complainants
identification. The court explained thus, Mindful of his duties as a notary public and taking into account the
nature of the SPA, which in this case authorized the complainant's wife to mortgage the subject real property, the
respondent should have exercised utmost diligence in ascertaining the true identity of the person who represented
himself and was represented to be the complainant. He should not have relied on the Community Tax Certificate
presented by the said impostor in view of the ease with which community tax certificates are obtained these days.
As a matter of fact, recognizing the established unreliability of a community tax certificate in proving the
identity of a person who wishes to have his document notarized, we did not include it in the list of
competent evidence of identity that notaries public should use in ascertaining the identity of persons
appearing before them to have their documents notarized.
Moreover, considering that respondent admitted in the IBP hearing on February 21, 2005 that he had already
previously notarized some documents for the complainant, he should have compared the complainant's signatures
in those documents with the impostor's signature before he notarized the questioned SPA.

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06 - Lanuzo v. Atty. Bongon (2008)


Doctrine:
Notarization is not a meaningless routinary act. A notarized document is by law entitled to full credit upon its face
and it is for this reason that notaries public must observe the basic requirements in notarizing documents.
Otherwise, the confidence of the public in notarized documents will be undermined.
A notary public should not notarize a document unless the persons who signed it are the same persons who
executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and the truth of what are stated therein, the
purpose being to enable the notary public to verify the genuineness of the signatures of the acknowledging parties
and to ascertain that the document is the parties free act.
Facts:
Lanuzo Jr. bought a parcel of land from Nangyo. Flocerfida (complainant, Lanuzo Jr.s wife) went to pay the real
estate taxes on the land, but found out that the land was earlier sold by Nangyo to a certain Santos. She was able to obtain
the Deed of Sale from the Assessors office, which was verified by Atty. Borongon as the Notary Public. This Deed of
Sale was signed by the spouses Nangyo as co-vendors and was notarized in 2004. However, it was found out that
Primitiva Nangyo (one of the signees) died in 1997.
Flocerfida then filed a complaint against Atty. Bongon for falsification of documents and violation of notarial
rules. She alleged that Atty. Bongon conspired with Nangyo to defraud her and her husband.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Bongon violated the rules on notarial practice
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Atty. Bongon was sentenced to 1 year suspension from the practice of law and 2 years disqualification from
being a notary public.
While the investigators found no evidence to show that Atty. Bongon conspired to defraud the Lanuzos and
intentionally falsified the documents, the facts clearly showed that he notarized the deed of sale wherein one of
the signatories was not in his presence. Notaries public should not notarize a document unless the persons who
signed it are the same persons who executed and personally appeared before him to attest to the contents and the
truth of what are stated therein.
In this case, Atty. Bongons notarization would make it appear that Primitiva appeared before him in order to
notarize a document, which is impossible given that she was already dead at the time. Atty. Bongon failed to
exercise utmost diligence in the performance of his functions as a notary public. By notarizing the questioned
deed, he engaged in unlawful, dishonest, immoral, or deceitful conduct.

ALS2014B 171 of 173

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LEGAL ETHICS DIGESTS ALS2014B JUSTICE HOFILENA

07 - Gonzales v. Atty. Padiernos (2008)


Doctrines:
A notarial document is, on its face and by authority of law, entitled to full faith and credit. For this reason,
notaries public must observe utmost care in complying with the formalities intended to ensure the integrity of the
notarized document and the act or acts it embodies.
A notary public is duty bound to require the person executing the document to be personally present, and to swear
before him that he is the person named in the document and is voluntarily and freely executing the act mentioned
in the document. The notary public faithfully discharges this duty by at least verifying the identity of the person
appearing before him based on the identification papers presented.
Facts:
Three documents for sale, subdivision, and affidavit of non-tenancy over a big parcel of land in Nueva Ecija were
presented to Atty. Padiernos for notarization. These documents were allegedly all signed and executed by Gonzales, the
complainant. Gonzales claims that all of these signatures were forged because at the time of their notarization, she was in
the United States. Moreover, one of the vendees also attested that she was in the United States as well at the time of the
notarization.
In his answer, Atty. Padiernos avers that while he admits that he notarized the documents, he denied the charges
of false certification claiming that in a case (which he failed to cite), the Court held that it is not necessary for notaries
public to know the signatories personally, provided that he/she signed in the presence of the Notary, alleging that they are
the same persons who signed the names.
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Padiernos violated the rules on notarial practice
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, he should be suspended for 3 months from the practice of law and his notarial commission should be
revoked.
Atty. Padiernos did not know the complainant personally, yet he still failed to require proof of identity from the
person who appeared before him and executed and authenticated the three documents. If he merely observed the
proper procedure, the fraudulent transfer of property could have been prevented. His acts eroded the publics
confidence in the notarial system and brought it into disrepute. (See doctrines)

ALS2014B 172 of 173

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LEGAL ETHICS DIGESTS ALS2014B JUSTICE HOFILENA

08 - Williams and Rian Jr. v. Atty. Icao (2008)


Doctrine:
An administrative complaint against a member of the bar does not prescribe.
Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with substantive public interest, such that
only those who are qualified or authorized may act as notary public. As a notarial document is by law entitled to
full faith and credit upon its face, notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic requirements in the
performance of their duties, lest the confidence of the public in the integrity of the document will be undermined.
Facts:
Atty. Icao notarized a Declaration of Heirship and Partition even when the signatories did not sign the document
in his presence, as was derived from the testimony of the signatories. Also, the Community Tax Certificate of one of the
signatories was not recorded (required under the old rules on notarial practice). Most notably, the signatures on different
pages of the document were different from each other, highly irregular if indeed the document was signed in front of a
lawyer.
Atty. Icao admitted that the document wasnt signed in his presence, but that the signatories appeared before him,
he ascertained their identities, they explained the contents of the document and acknowledged them to be true and correct,
and that they executed it freely and voluntarily (so basically he was contending that they presented a substantially
complete document and he merely attested to their averments).
Issue:
1. W/N Atty. Icao violated the rules on notarial practice
Held/Ratio:
1. YES, Atty. Icao should be suspended from the practice of law and from his commission as a notary public for one
year.
Firstly, one of the requirements under the old notarial rules is the documentation of the residence certificate
number. This formality is mandatory and cannot be neglected, failure to comply with which results in the
revocation of a notarys commission.
Second, by his own admission, the signatories did not sign the document in Atty. Icaos presence. He should have
asked them to affix their signatures in his presence, since they appeared before him anyway. By failing to do so,
he failed to heed his duty as a notary public to demand that the document for notarization be signed in his
presence.
Moreover, the document contained patently and obviously false statements, which should have alerted Atty. Icao
of the irregularities therein (the counsel was included as one of the heirs).

ALS2014B 173 of 173

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