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PROBLEM AREAS IN LEGAL ETHICS CASES

NO.1 (CATIMBUHAN VERSUS CRUZ, 126 SCRA 190) G.R. No. L-51813-14 November 29, 1983 ROMULO CANTIMBUHAN, NELSON B. MALANA, and ROBERT V. LUCILA, petitioners, vs. HON. NICANOR J. CRUZ, JR., Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila, and FISCAL LEODEGARIO C. QUILATAN, respondents.

RELOVA, J.:+.wph!1 Appeal from the Order, dated August 16, 1979, of respondent Judge Nicanor J. Cruz, Jr., of the then Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila, disallowing the appearances of petitioners Nelson B. Malana and Robert V. Lucila as private prosecutors in Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 and 58550, both for less serious physical injuries, filed against Pat. Danilo San Antonio and Pat. Rodolfo Diaz, respectively, as well as the Order, dated September 4, 1979, denying the motion for reconsideration holding, among others, that "the fiscal's claim that appearances of friends of partylitigants should be allowed only in places where there is a scarcity of legal practitioner, to be well founded. For, if we are to allow non-members of the bar to appear in court and prosecute cases or defend litigants in the guise of being friends of the litigants, then the requirement of membership in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the additional requirement of paying professional taxes for a lawyer to appear in court, would be put to naught. " (p. 25, Rollo) Records show that on April 6, 1979, petitioner Romulo Cantimbuhan filed separate criminal complaints against Patrolmen Danilo San Antonio and Rodolfo Diaz for less serious physical injuries, respectively, and were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 and 58550 in the then Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila. Petitioners Nelson B. Malana and Robert V. Lucila, in 1979, were senior law students of the U.P.assistance to the needy clients in the Office of the Legal Aid. Thus, in August 1979, petitioners Malana and Lucila filed their separate appearances, as friends of complainant-petitioner Cantimbuhan. Herein respondent Fiscal Leodegario C. Quilatan opposed the appearances of said petitioners, and respondent judge, in an Order dated August 16, 1979, sustained the respondent fiscal and disallowed the appearances of petitioners Malana and Lucila, as private prosecutors in said criminal cases. Likewise, on September 4, 1979, respondent Judge issued an order denying petitioners' motion for reconsideration.

Hence, this petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with prayers, among others, that the Orders of respondent judge, dated August 16, 1979 and September 4, 1979, be set aside as they are in plain violation of Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and/or were issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Upon motion, the Court, on November 8, 1979, issued a temporary restraining order "enjoining respondent judge and all persons acting for and in his behalf from conducting any proceedings in Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 (People of the Philippines vs. Danilo San Antonio) and 58559 (People of the Philippines vs. Rodolfo Diaz) of the Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila on November 15, 1979 as scheduled or on any such dates as may be fixed by said respondent judge. Basis of this petition is Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court which states: t. hqw
SEC. 34. By whom litigation conducted. In the court of a justice of the peace a party may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly authorized member of the bar.

Thus, a non-member of the Philippine Bar a party to an action is authorized to appear in court and conduct his own case; and, in the inferior courts, the litigant may be aided by a friend or agent or by an attorney. However, in the Courts of First Instance, now Regional Trial Courts, he can be aided only by an attorney. On the other hand, it is the submission of the respondents that pursuant to Sections 4 and 15, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, it is the fiscal who is empowered to determine who shall be the private prosecutor as was done by respondent fiscal when he objected to the appearances of petitioners Malana and Lucila. Sections 4 and 15, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provide: t.hqw
SEC. 4. Who must prosecute criminal actions. All criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. xxx xxx xxx SEC. 15. Intervention of the offended party in criminal action . Unless the offended party has waived the civil action or expressly reserved the right to institute it separately from the criminal action, and subject to the provisions of section 4 hereof, he may intervene, personally or by attorney, in the prosecution of the offense.

And, they contend that the exercise by the offended party to intervene is subject to the direction and control of the fiscal and that his appearance, no less than his active conduct of the case later on, requires the prior approval of the fiscal. We find merit in the petition. Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, clearly provides that in the municipal court a party may conduct his litigation in person with the aid of an

agent appointed by him for the purpose. Thus, in the case of Laput vs. Bernabe, 55 Phil. 621, a law student was allowed to represent the accused in a case pending before the then Municipal Court, the City Court of Manila, who was charged for damages to property through reckless imprudence. "It is accordingly our view that error was committed in the municipal court in not allowing Crispiniano V. Laput to act as an agent or friend of Catalino Salas to aid the latter in conducting his defense." The permission of the fiscal is not necessary for one to enter his appearance as private prosecutor. In the first place, the law does not impose this condition. What the fiscal can do, if he wants to handle the case personally is to disallow the private prosecutor's participation, whether he be a lawyer or not, in the trial of the case. On the other hand, if the fiscal desires the active participation of the private prosecutor, he can just manifest to the court that the private prosecutor, with its approval, will conduct the prosecution of the case under his supervision and control. Further, We may add that if a non-lawyer can appear as defense counsel or as friend of the accused in a case before the municipal trial court, with more reason should he be allowed to appear as private prosecutor under the supervision and control of the trial fiscal. In the two criminal cases filed before the Municipal Court of Paraaque, petitioner Cantimbuhan, as the offended party, did not expressly waive the civil action nor reserve his right to institute it separately and, therefore, the civil action is deemed impliedly instituted in said criminal cases. Thus, said complainant Romulo Cantimbuhan has personal interest in the success of the civil action and, in the prosecution of the same, he cannot be deprived of his right to be assisted by a friend who is not a lawyer. WHEREFORE, the Orders issued by respondent judge dated August 16, 1979 and September 4, 1979 which disallowed the appearances of petitioners Nelson B. Malana and Robert V. Lucila as friends of party-litigant petitioner Romulo Cantimbuhan. are hereby SET ASIDE and respondent judge is hereby ordered to ALLOW the appearance and intervention of petitioners Malana and Lucila as friends of Romulo Cantimbuhan. Accordingly, the temporary restraining order issued on November 8, 1979 is LIFTED. SO ORDERED.

NO. 2 (JAVELLANA VS DILG 212 SCRA 475)

G.R. No. 102549 August 10, 1992 EDWIN B. JAVELLANA, petitioner, vs. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND LUIS T. SANTOS, SECRETARY, respondents. Reyes, Lozada and Sabado for petitioner.

GRIO-AQUINO, J.: This petition for review on certiorari involves the right of a public official to engage in the practice of his profession while employed in the Government. Attorney Erwin B. Javellana was an elected City Councilor of Bago City, Negros Occidental. On October 5, 1989, City Engineer Ernesto C. Divinagracia filed Administrative Case No. C-10-90 against Javellana for: (1) violation of Department of Local Government (DLG) Memorandum Circular No. 80-38 dated June 10, 1980 in relation to DLG Memorandum Circular No. 74-58 and of Section 7, paragraph b, No. 2 of Republic Act No. 6713, otherwise known as the "Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees," and (2) for oppression, misconduct and abuse of authority. Divinagracia's complaint alleged that Javellana, an incumbent member of the City Council or Sanggunian Panglungsod of Bago City, and a lawyer by profession, has continuously engaged in the practice of law without securing authority for that purpose from the Regional Director, Department of Local Government, as required by DLG Memorandum Circular No. 80-38 in relation to DLG Memorandum Circular No. 74-58 of the same department; that on July 8, 1989, Javellana, as counsel for Antonio Javiero and Rolando Catapang, filed a case against City Engineer Ernesto C. Divinagracia of Bago City for "Illegal Dismissal and Reinstatement with Damages" putting him in public ridicule; that Javellana also appeared as counsel in several criminal and civil cases in the city, without prior authority of the DLG Regional Director, in violation of DLG Memorandum Circular No. 80-38 which provides:
MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 80-38 TO ALL: PROVINCIAL GOVERNORS, CITY AND MUNICIPALITY MAYORS, KLGCD REGIONAL DIRECTORS AND ALL CONCERNED SUBJECT: AMENDING MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 80-18 ON SANGGUNIAN SESSIONS, PER DIEMS, ALLOWANCES, STAFFING AND OTHER RELATED MATTERS In view of the issuance or Circular No. 5-A by the Joint Commission on Local Government Personnel Administration which affects certain provisions of MC 80-18,

there is a need to amend said Memorandum Circular to substantially conform to the pertinent provisions of Circular No. 9-A. xxx xxx xxx C. Practice of Profession The Secretary (now Minister) of Justice in an Opinion No. 46 Series of 1973 stated inter alia that "members of local legislative bodies, other than the provincial governors or the mayors, do not keep regular office hours." "They merely attend meetings or sessions of the provincial board or the city or municipal council" and that provincial board members are not even required "to have an office in the provincial building." Consequently, they are not therefore to required to report daily as other regular government employees do, except when they are delegated to perform certain administrative functions in the interest of public service by the Governor or Mayor as the case may be. For this reason, they may, therefore, be allowed to practice their professions provided that in so doing an authority . . . first be secured from the Regional Directors pursuant to Memorandum Circular No. 74-58, provided, however, that no government personnel, property, equipment or supplies shall be utilized in the practice of their professions. While being authorized to practice their professions, they should as much as possible attend regularly any and all sessions, which are not very often, of their Sanggunians for which they were elected as members by their constituents except in very extreme cases, e.g., doctors who are called upon to save a life. For this purpose it is desired that they always keep a calendar of the dates of the sessions, regular or special of their Sanggunians so that conflicts of attending court cases in the case of lawyers and Sanggunian sessions can be avoided. As to members of the bar the authority given for them to practice their profession shall always be subject to the restrictions provided for in Section 6 of Republic Act 5185. In all cases, the practice of any profession should be favorably recommended by the Sanggunian concerned as a body and by the provincial governors, city or municipal mayors, as the case may be. (Emphasis ours, pp. 28-30, Rollo.)

On August 13, 1990, a formal hearing of the complaint was held in Iloilo City in which the complainant, Engineer Divinagracia, and the respondent, Councilor Javellana, presented their respective evidence. Meanwhile, on September 10, 1990, Javellana requested the DLG for a permit to continue his practice of law for the reasons stated in his letter-request. On the same date, Secretary Santos replied as follows:
1st Indorsement September 10, 1990 Respectfully returned to Councilor Erwin B. Javellana, Bago City, his within letter dated September 10, 1990, requesting for a permit to continue his practice of law for reasons therein stated, with this information that, as represented and consistent with law, we interpose no objection thereto, provided that such practice will not conflict or tend to conflict with his official functions. LUIS T. SANTO S

Secretar y. (p. 60, Rollo.)

On September 21, 1991, Secretary Luis T. Santos issued Memorandum Circular No. 90-81 setting forth guidelines for the practice of professions by local elective officials as follows:
TO: All Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors, Regional Directors and All Concerned. SUBJECT: Practice of Profession and Private Employment of Local Elective Officials Section 7 of Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), states, in part, that "In addition to acts and omission of public officials . . . now prescribed in the Constitution and existing laws, the following shall constitute prohibited acts and transactions of any public officials . . . and are hereby declared to be unlawful: . . . (b) Public Officials . . . during their incumbency shall not: (1) . . . accept employment as officer, employee, consultant, counsel, broker, agent, trustee or nominee in any private enterprise regulated, supervised or licensed by their office unless expressly allowed by law; (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: . . . xxx xxx xxx Under Memorandum Circular No. 17 of the Office of the President dated September 4, 1986, the authority to grant any permission, to accept private employment in any capacity and to exercise profession, to any government official shall be granted by the head of the Ministry (Department) or agency in accordance with Section 12, Rule XVIII of the Revised Civil Service Rules, which provides, in part, that: No officer shall engage directly in any . . . vocation or profession . . . without a written permission from the head of the Department: Provided, that this prohibition will be absolute in the case of those officers . . . 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, the time so devoted outside of office should be fixed by the Chief of the agency to the end that it will not impair in anyway the efficiency of the officer or employee . . . subject to any additional conditions which the head of the office deems necessary in each particular case in the interest of the service, as expressed in the various issuances of the Civil Service Commission . Conformably with the foregoing, the following guidelines are to be observed in the grant of permission to the practice of profession and to the acceptance of private employment of local elective officials, to wit: 1) The permission shall be granted by the Secretary of Local Government;

2) Provincial Governors, City and Municipal Mayors whose duties and responsibilities require that their entire time be at the disposal of the government in conformity with Sections 141, 171 and 203 of the Local Government Code (BP 337), are prohibited to engage in the practice of their profession and to accept private employment during their incumbency: 3) Other local elective officials may be allowed to practice their profession or engage in private employment on a limited basis at the discretion of the Secretary of Local Government, subject to existing laws and to the following conditions: a) That the time so devoted outside of office hours should be fixed by the local chief executive concerned to the end that it will not impair in any way the efficiency of the officials concerned; b) That no government time, personnel, funds or supplies shall be utilized in the pursuit of one's profession or private employment; c) That no conflict of interests between the practice of profession or engagement in private employment and the official duties of the concerned official shall arise thereby; d) Such other conditions that the Secretary deems necessary to impose on each particular case, in the interest of public service. (Emphasis supplied, pp. 31-32, Rollo.)

On March 25, 1991, Javellana filed a Motion to Dismiss the administrative case against him on the ground mainly that DLG Memorandum Circulars Nos. 80-38 and 90-81 are unconstitutional because the Supreme Court has the sole and exclusive authority to regulate the practice of law. In an order dated May 2, 1991, Javellana's motion to dismiss was denied by the public respondents. His motion for reconsideration was likewise denied on June 20, 1991. Five months later or on October 10, 1991, the Local Government Code of 1991 (RA 7160) was signed into law, Section 90 of which provides:
Sec. 90. Practice of Profession. (a) All governors, city and municipal mayors are prohibited from practicing their profession or engaging in any occupation other than the exercise of their functions as local chief executives. (b) Sanggunian members may practice their professions, engage in any occupation, or teach in schools except during session hours: Provided, That sanggunian members who are members of the Bar shall not:

(1) Appear as counsel before any court in any civil case wherein a local government unit or any office, agency, or instrumentality of the government is the adverse party; (2) Appear as counsel in any criminal case wherein an officer or employee of the national or local government is accused of an offense committed in relation to his office; (3) Collect any fee for their appearance in administrative proceedings involving the local government unit of which he is an official; and (4) Use property and personnel of the Government except when the sanggunian member concerned is defending the interest of the Government. (c) Doctors of medicine may practice their profession even during official hours of work only on occasions of emergency: Provided, That the officials concerned do not derive monetary compensation therefrom. (Emphasis ours.)

Administrative Case No. C-10-90 was again set for hearing on November 26, 1991. Javellana thereupon filed this petition for certiorari praying that DLG Memorandum Circulars Nos. 80-38 and 90-81 and Section 90 of the new Local Government Code (RA 7160) be declared unconstitutional and null void because: (1) they violate Article VIII, Section 5 of the 1987 Constitution, which provides:
Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: xxx xxx xxx (5) Promulgate rules concerning the protection and enforcement of constitutional rights, pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, the admission to the practice of law, the Integrated Bar, and legal assistance to the underprivileged. Such rules shall provide a simplified and inexpensive procedure for the speedy disposition of cases, shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade, and shall not diminish, increase, or modify substantive rights. Rules of procedure of special courts and quasi-judicial bodies shall remain effective unless disapproved by the Supreme Court.

(2) They constitute class legislation, being discriminatory against the legal and medical professions for only sanggunian members who are lawyers and doctors are restricted in the exercise of their profession while dentists, engineers, architects, teachers, opticians, morticians and others are not so restricted (RA 7160, Sec. 90 [b-1]). In due time, the Solicitor General filed his Comment on the petition and the petitioner submitted a Reply. After deliberating on the pleadings of the parties, the Court resolved to dismiss the petition for lack of merit. As a matter of policy, this Court accords great respect to the decisions and/or actions of administrative authorities not only because of the doctrine of separation of powers but also for their presumed knowledgeability and expertise in the enforcement of laws and

regulations entrusted to their jurisdiction (Santiago vs. Deputy Executive Secretary, 192 SCRA 199, citing Cuerdo vs. COA, 166 SCRA 657). With respect to the present case, we find no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the respondent, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), in issuing the questioned DLG Circulars Nos. 8030 and 90-81 and in denying petitioner's motion to dismiss the administrative charge against him. In the first place, complaints against public officers and employees relating or incidental to the performance of their duties are necessarily impressed with public interest for by express constitutional mandate, a public office is a public trust. The complaint for illegal dismissal filed by Javiero and Catapang against City Engineer Divinagracia is in effect a complaint against the City Government of Bago City, their real employer, of which petitioner Javellana is a councilman. Hence, judgment against City Engineer Divinagracia would actually be a judgment against the City Government. By serving as counsel for the complaining employees and assisting them to prosecute their claims against City Engineer Divinagracia, the petitioner violated Memorandum Circular No. 74-58 (in relation to Section 7[b-2] of RA 6713) prohibiting a government official from engaging in the private practice of his profession, if such practice would represent interests adverse to the government. Petitioner's contention that Section 90 of the Local Government Code of 1991 and DLG Memorandum Circular No. 90-81 violate Article VIII, Section 5 of the Constitution is completely off tangent. Neither the statute nor the circular trenches upon the Supreme Court's power and authority to prescribe rules on the practice of law. The Local Government Code and DLG Memorandum Circular No. 90-81 simply prescribe rules of conduct for public officials to avoid conflicts of interest between the discharge of their public duties and the private practice of their profession, in those instances where the law allows it. Section 90 of the Local Government Code does not discriminate against lawyers and doctors. It applies to all provincial and municipal officials in the professions or engaged in any occupation. Section 90 explicitly provides that sanggunian members "may practice their professions, engage in any occupation, or teach in schools expect during session hours." If there are some prohibitions that apply particularly to lawyers, it is because of all the professions, the practice of law is more likely than others to relate to, or affect, the area of public service. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. Costs against the petitioner. SO ORDERED.

NO. 3 ( ARTHUR CUEVAS, 90 SCAD 711)

B.M. No. 810 January 27, 1998 IN RE: PETITION TO TAKE THE LAWYER'S OATH BY ARTHUR M. CUEVAS, JR. RESOLUTION

FRANCISCO, J.: Petitioner Arthur M. Cuevas, Jr., recently passed the 1996 Bar Examinations 1. His oathtaking was held in abeyance in view of the Court's resolution dated August 27, 1996 which permitted him to take the Bar Examinations "subject to the condition that should (he) pass the same, (he) shall not be allowed to take the lawyer's oath pending approval

of the Court . . ." due to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide. The conviction stemmed from petitioner's participation in the initiation rites of the LEX TALIONIS FRATERNITAS, a fraternity in the SAN BEDA COLLEGE OF LAW, sometime in September 1991, where Raul I. Camaligan, a neophyte, died as a result of the personal violence inflicted upon him. Thereafter, petitioner applied for and was granted probation. On May 10, 1995, he was discharged from probation and his case considered closed and terminated. In this petition, received by the Court on May 5, 1997, petitioner prays that "he be allowed to take his lawyer's oath at the Court's most convenient time" 2 attaching thereto the Order dated May 16, 1995 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 10 of Antique discharging him from his probation, and certifications attesting to his righteous, peaceful and law abiding character issued by: (a) the Mayor of the Municipality of Hamtic, Antique; (b) the Officer-in-Charge of Hamtic Police Station; (c) the Sangguniang Kabataan of Pob. III, Hamtic, through its chairman and officers; (d) a member of the IBP Iloilo Chapter; (e) the Parish Priest and Vicar General of St. Joseph Cathedral, San Jose, Antique; and (f) the President of the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish of Sta. Monica, Hamtic, Antique. On July 15, 1997, the Court, before acting on petitioner's application, resolved to require Atty. Gilbert D. Camaligan, father of the deceased hazing victim Raul I. Camaligan, to comment thereon. In compliance with the Court's directive, Atty. Gilbert D. Camaligan filed his comment which states as follows:
1 He fully appreciates the benign concern given by this Hon. Court in allowing him to comment to the pending petition of Arthur M. Cuevas to take the lawyer's oath, and hereby expresses his genuine gratitude to such gesture. 2 He conforms completely to the observation of the Hon. Court in its resolution dated March 19, 1997 in Bar Matter No. 712 that the infliction of severe physical injuries which approximately led to the death of the unfortunate Raul Camaligan was deliberate (rather than merely accidental or inadvertent) thus, indicating serious character flaws on the part of those who inflicted such injuries. This is consistent with his stand at the outset of the proceedings of the criminal case against the petitioner and his co-defendants that they are liable not only for the crime of homicide but murder, since they took advantage of the neophytes' helpless and defenseless condition when they were "beaten and kicked to death like a useless stray dog", suggesting the presence of abuse of confidence, taking advantage of superior strength and treachery (People vs. Gagoco, 58 Phil. 524). 3 He, however, has consented to the accused-students' plea of guilty to the lesser offense of reckless imprudence resulting to the homicide, including the petitioner, out of pity to their mothers and a pregnant wife of the accused who went together at his house in Lucena City, literally kneeling, crying and begging for forgiveness for their sons, on a Christmas day in 1991 and on Maundy Thursday in 1992, during which they reported that the father of one of the accused died of heart attack upon learning of his son's involvement in the case. 4 As a Christian, he has forgiven the petitioner and his co-defendants in the criminal case for the death of his son. But as a loving father, who lost a son in whom he has high hope to become a good lawyer to succeed him, he still feels the pain of his untimely demise, and the stigma of the gruesome manner of taking his life. This he cannot forget.

5 He is not, right now, in a position to say whether petitioner, since then has become morally fit for admission to the noble profession of the law. He politely submits this matter to the sound and judicious discretion of the Hon. Court. 3

At the outset, the Court shares the sentiment of Atty. Gilbert D. Camaligan and commiserates with the untimely death of his son. Nonetheless, Atty. Gilbert D. Camaligan admits that "[h]e is not, right now, in a position to say whether petitioner since then has become morally fit . . ." and submits petitioner's plea to be admitted to the noble profession of law to the sound and judicious discretion of the Court. The petition before the Court requires the balancing of the reasons for disallowing or allowing petitioner's admission to the noble profession of law. His deliberate participation in the senseless beatings over a helpless neophyte which resulted to the latter's untimely demise indicates absence of that moral fitness required for admission to the bar. And as the practice of law is a privilege extended only to the few who possess the high standards of intellectual and moral qualifications the Court is duty bound to prevent the entry of undeserving aspirants, as well as to exclude those who have been admitted but have become a disgrace to the profession. The Court, nonetheless, is willing to give petitioner a chance in the same manner that it recently allowed Al Caparros Argosino, petitioner's co-accused below, to take the lawyer's oath. 4 Petitioner Arthur M. Cuevas, Jr.'s discharge from probation without any infraction of the attendant conditions therefor and the various certifications attesting to his righteous, peaceful and civic-oriented character prove that he has taken decisive steps to purge himself of his deficiency in moral character and atone for the unfortunate death of Raul I. Camaligan. The Court is prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general tendency of the youth to be rash, temerarious and uncalculating. 5 Let it be stressed to herein petitioner that the lawyer's oath is not a mere formality recited for a few minutes in the glare of flashing cameras and before the presence of select witnesses. Petitioner is exhorted to conduct himself beyond reproach at all times and to live strictly according to his oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. And, to paraphrase Mr. Justice Padilla's comment in the sister case of Re: Petition of Al Agrosino To Take Lawyer's Oath, Bar Matter No. 712, March 19, 1997, "[t]he Court sincerely hopes that" Mr. Cuevas, Jr., "will continue with the assistance he has been giving to his community. As a lawyer he will now be in a better position to render legal and other services to the more unfortunate members of society" 6. ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby resolved to allow petitioner Arthur M.. Cuevas, Jr., to take the lawyer's oath and to sign the Roll of Attorneys on a date to be set by the Court, subject to the payment of appropriate fees. Let this resolution be attached to petitioner's personal records in the Office of the Bar Confidant. SO ORDERED.

NO. 4 (CUNANAN 94 PHIL 534) EN BANC Resolution March 18, 1954

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to 1953; ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL., petitioners.

Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo, and Antonio Enrile Inton for petitioners. Office of the Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag for respondent. DIOKNO, J.: In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as Republic Act No. 972, popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953." Under the Rules of Court governing admission to the bar, "in order that a candidate (for admission to the Bar) may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject." (Rule 127, sec. 14, Rules of Court). Nevertheless, considering the varying difficulties of the different bar examinations held since 1946 and the varying degree of strictness with which the examination papers were graded, this court passed and admitted to the bar those candidates who had obtained an average of only 72 per cent in 1946, 69 per cent in 1947, 70 per cent in 1948, and 74 per cent in 1949. In 1950 to 1953, the 74 per cent was raised to 75 per cent. Believing themselves as fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by this court, and feeling conscious of having been discriminated against (See Explanatory Note to R.A. No. 972), unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a few percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar agitated in Congress for, 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. The President requested the views of this court on the bill. Complying with that request, seven members of the court 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 this court reiterated their unfavorable views on the matter, the President allowed the bill to become a law on June 21, 1953 without his signature. The law, which incidentally was enacted in an election year, reads in full as follows: REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972 AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX UP TO AND INCLUDING NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section fourteen, Rule numbered one hundred twenty-seven of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate who obtained a general average of seventy per cent in any bar examinations after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six up to the August nineteen hundred and fifty-one bar examinations; seventyone per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-two bar examinations; seventy-two per cent in the in the nineteen hundred and fifty-three bar examinations; seventy-three per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-four bar examinations; seventy-four per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-five bar examinations without a candidate obtaining a grade

below fifty per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar: Provided, however, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the next whole number. SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of seventy-five per cent in any subject in any bar examination after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing general average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may take. SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval. Enacted on June 21, 1953, without the Executive approval. After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar invoking its provisions, while others whose 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. To avoid injustice to individual petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration, irrespective of whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972. Unfortunately, the court has found no reason to revise their grades. If they are to be admitted to the bar, it must be pursuant to Republic Act No. 972 which, if declared valid, should be applied equally to all concerned whether they have filed petitions or not. A complete list of the petitioners, properly classified, affected by this decision, as well as a more detailed account of the history of Republic Act No. 972, are appended to this decision as Annexes I and II. And to realize more readily the effects of the law, the following statistical data are set forth: (1) The unsuccessful bar candidates who are to be benefited by section 1 of Republic Act No. 972 total 1,168, classified as follows: 1946 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 TOTAL (August) (November) 206 477 749 899 1,218 1,316 2,068 2,555 968 284 12,230 5,421 1,168 121 228 340 409 532 893 879 18 43 0 11 164 26 196 426

2,738 1,033

Of the total 1,168 candidates, 92 have passed in subsequent examination, and only 586 have filed either motions for admission to the bar pursuant to said Republic Act, or mere motions for reconsideration. (2) In addition, some other 10 unsuccessful candidates are to be benefited by section 2 of said Republic Act. These candidates had each taken from two to five different examinations, but failed to obtain a passing average in any of them. Consolidating, however, their highest grades in different subjects in previous examinations, with their latest marks, they would be sufficient to reach the passing average as provided for by Republic Act No. 972. (3) The total number of candidates to be benefited by this Republic Acts is therefore 1,094, of which only 604 have filed petitions. Of these 604 petitioners, 33 who failed in 1946 to 1951 had individually presented motions for reconsideration which were denied, while 125 unsuccessful candidates of 1952, and 56 of 1953, had presented similar motions, which are still pending because they could be favorably affected by Republic Act No. 972, although as has been already stated, this tribunal finds no sufficient reasons to reconsider their grades UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972 Having been called upon to enforce a law of far-reaching effects on the practice of the legal profession and the administration of justice, and because some doubts have been expressed as to its validity, the court set the hearing of the afore-mentioned petitions for admission on the sole question of whether or not Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional. We have been enlightened in the study of this question by the brilliant assistance of the members of the bar who have amply argued, orally an in writing, on the various aspects in which the question may be gleaned. The valuable studies of Messrs. E. Voltaire Garcia, Vicente J. Francisco, Vicente Pelaez and Buenaventura Evangelista, in favor of the validity of the law, and of the U.P. Women's Lawyers' Circle, the Solicitor General, Messrs. Arturo A. Alafriz, Enrique M. Fernando, Vicente Abad Santos, Carlos A. Barrios, Vicente del Rosario, Juan de Blancaflor, Mamerto V. Gonzales, and Roman Ozaeta against it, aside from the memoranda of counsel for petitioners, Messrs. Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo and Antonio Enrile Inton, and of petitioners Cabrera, Macasaet and Galema themselves, has greatly helped us in this task. The legal researchers of the court have exhausted almost all Philippine and American jurisprudence on the matter. The question has been the object of intense deliberation for a long time by the Tribunal, and finally, after the voting, the preparation of the majority opinion was assigned to a new member in order to place it as humanly as possible above all suspicion of prejudice or partiality. Republic Act No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation. Quoting a portion of the Explanatory Note of the proposed bill, its author Honorable Senator Pablo Angeles David stated: The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade is the tremendous handicap which students during the years immediately after the Japanese occupation has

to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of the preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation. Of the 9,675 candidates who took the examinations from 1946 to 1952, 5,236 passed. And now it is claimed that in addition 604 candidates be admitted (which in reality total 1,094), because they suffered from "insufficiency of reading materials" and of "inadequacy of preparation." By its declared objective, the law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law graduates who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as was exactly found by this Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. The public interest demands of legal profession adequate preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problem evolved by the times become more difficult. An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital requisites for the practice of law that should be developed constantly and maintained firmly. To the legal profession is entrusted the protection of property, life, honor and civil liberties. To approve officially of those inadequately prepared individuals to dedicate themselves to such a delicate mission is to create a serious social danger. Moreover, the statement that there was an insufficiency of legal reading materials is grossly exaggerated. There were abundant materials. Decisions of this court alone in mimeographed copies were made available to the public during those years and private enterprises had also published them in monthly magazines and annual digests. The Official Gazette had been published continuously. Books and magazines published abroad have entered without restriction since 1945. Many law books, some even with revised and enlarged editions have been printed locally during those periods. A new set of Philippine Reports began to be published since 1946, which continued to be supplemented by the addition of new volumes. Those are facts of public knowledge. Notwithstanding all these, if the law in question is valid, it has to be enforced. The question is not new in its fundamental aspect or from the point of view of applicable principles, but the resolution of the question would have been easier had an identical case of similar background been picked out from the jurisprudence we daily consult. Is there any precedent in the long Anglo-Saxon legal history, from which has been directly derived the judicial system established here with its lofty ideals by the Congress of the United States, and which we have preserved and attempted to improve, or in our contemporaneous judicial history of more than half a century? From the citations of those defending the law, we can not find a case in which the validity of a similar law had been sustained, while those against its validity cite, among others, the cases of Day (In re Day, 54 NE 646), of Cannon (State vs. Cannon, 240 NW, 441), the opinion of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1932 (81 ALR 1061), of Guaria (24 Phil., 37), aside from the opinion of the President which is expressed in his vote of the original bill and which the postponement of the contested law respects. This law has no precedent in its favor. When similar laws in other countries had been promulgated, the judiciary immediately declared them without force or effect. It is not within our power to offer a precedent to uphold the disputed law. To be exact, we ought to state here that we have examined carefully the case that has been cited to us as a favorable precedent of the law that of Cooper (22 NY, 81), where the Court of

Appeals of New York revoked the decision of the Supreme court of that State, denying the petition of Cooper to be admitted to the practice of law under the provisions of a statute concerning the school of law of Columbia College promulgated on April 7, 1860, which was declared by the Court of Appeals to be consistent with the Constitution of the state of New York. It appears that the Constitution of New York at that time provided: They (i.e., the judges) shall not hold any other office of public trust. All votes for either of them for any elective office except that of the Court of Appeals, given by the Legislature or the people, shall be void. They shall not exercise any power of appointment to public office. Any male citizen of the age of twenty-one years, of good moral character, and who possesses the requisite qualifications of learning and ability, shall be entitled to admission to practice in all the courts of this State. (p. 93). According to the Court of Appeals, the object of the constitutional precept is as follows: Attorneys, solicitors, etc., were public officers; the power of appointing them had previously rested with the judges, and this was the principal appointing power which they possessed. The convention was evidently dissatisfied with the manner in which this power had been exercised, and with the restrictions which the judges had imposed upon admission to practice before them. The prohibitory clause in the section quoted was aimed directly at this power, and the insertion of the provision" expecting the admission of attorneys, in this particular section of the Constitution, evidently arose from its connection with the object of this prohibitory clause. There is nothing indicative of confidence in the courts or of a disposition to preserve any portion of their power over this subject, unless the Supreme Court is right in the inference it draws from the use of the word `admission' in the action referred to. It is urged that the admission spoken of must be by the court; that to admit means to grant leave, and that the power of granting necessarily implies the power of refusing, and of course the right of determining whether the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications to entitle him to admission. These positions may all be conceded, without affecting the validity of the act. (p. 93.) Now, with respect to the law of April 7, 1860, the decision seems to indicate that it provided that the possession of a diploma of the school of law of Columbia College conferring the degree of Bachelor of Laws was evidence of the legal qualifications that the constitution required of applicants for admission to the Bar. The decision does not however quote the text of the law, which we cannot find in any public or accessible private library in the country. In the case of Cooper, supra, to make the law consistent with the Constitution of New York, the Court of Appeals said of the object of the law: The motive for passing the act in question is apparent. Columbia College being an institution of established reputation, and having a law department under the charge of able professors, the students in which department were not only subjected to a formal examination by the law committee of the institution, but to a certain definite period of

study before being entitled to a diploma of being graduates, the Legislature evidently, and no doubt justly, considered this examination, together with the preliminary study required by the act, as fully equivalent as a test of legal requirements, to the ordinary examination by the court; and as rendering the latter examination, to which no definite period of preliminary study was essential, unnecessary and burdensome. The act was obviously passed with reference to the learning and ability of the applicant, and for the mere purpose of substituting the examination by the law committee of the college for that of the court. It could have had no other object, and hence no greater scope should be given to its provisions. We cannot suppose that the Legislature designed entirely to dispense with the plain and explicit requirements of the Constitution; and the act contains nothing whatever to indicate an intention that the authorities of the college should inquire as to the age, citizenship, etc., of the students before granting a diploma. The only rational interpretation of which the act admits is, that it was intended to make the college diploma competent evidence as to the legal attainments of the applicant, and nothing else. To this extent alone it operates as a modification of pre-existing statutes, and it is to be read in connection with these statutes and with the Constitution itself in order to determine the present condition of the law on the subject. (p.89) xxx xxx xxx

The Legislature has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of admission, that has simply prescribed what shall be competent evidence in certain cases upon that question. (p.93) From the foregoing, the complete inapplicability of the case of Cooper with that at bar may be clearly seen. Please note only the following distinctions: (1) The law of New York does not require that any candidate of Columbia College who failed in the bar examinations be admitted to the practice of law. (2) The law of New York according to the very decision of Cooper, has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of admission of attorney at law; in effect, it does not decree the admission of any lawyer. (3) The Constitution of New York at that time and that of the Philippines are entirely different on the matter of admission of the practice of law. In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been disputably a judicial function and responsibility. Because of this attribute, its continuous and zealous possession and exercise by the judicial power have been demonstrated during more than six centuries, which certainly "constitutes the most solid of titles." Even considering the power granted to Congress by our Constitution to repeal, alter supplement the rules promulgated by this Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, to our judgment and proposition that the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of the attorneys at law is a legislative

function, properly belonging to Congress, is unacceptable. The function requires (1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals. and (3) decision as to whether these facts are governed by the rules and principles; in effect, a judicial function of the highest degree. And it becomes more undisputably judicial, and not legislative, if previous judicial resolutions on the petitions of these same individuals are attempted to be revoked or modified. We have said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting, suspending, disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly judicial. A comprehensive and conscientious study of this matter had been undertaken in the case of State vs. Cannon (1932) 240 NW 441, in which the validity of a legislative enactment providing that Cannon be permitted to practice before the courts was discussed. From the text of this decision we quote the following paragraphs: This statute presents an assertion of legislative power without parallel in the history of the English speaking people so far as we have been able to ascertain. There has been much uncertainty as to the extent of the power of the Legislature to prescribe the ultimate qualifications of attorney at law has been expressly committed to the courts, and the act of admission has always been regarded as a judicial function. This act purports to constitute Mr. Cannon an attorney at law, and in this respect it stands alone as an assertion of legislative power. (p. 444) Under the Constitution all legislative power is vested in a Senate and Assembly. (Section 1, art. 4.) In so far as the prescribing of qualifications for admission to the bar are legislative in character, the Legislature is acting within its constitutional authority when it sets up and prescribes such qualifications. (p. 444) But when the Legislature has prescribed those qualifications which in its judgment will serve the purpose of legitimate legislative solicitude, is the power of the court to impose other and further exactions and qualifications foreclosed or exhausted? (p. 444) Under our Constitution the judicial and legislative departments are distinct, independent, and coordinate branches of the government. Neither branch enjoys all the powers of sovereignty which properly belongs to its department. Neither department should so act as to embarrass the other in the discharge of its respective functions. That was the scheme and thought of the people setting upon the form of government under which we exist. State vs. Hastings, 10 Wis., 525; Attorney General ex rel. Bashford vs. Barstow, 4 Wis., 567. (p. 445) The judicial department of government is responsible for the plane upon which the administration of justice is maintained. Its responsibility in this respect is exclusive. By committing a portion of the powers of sovereignty to the judicial department of our state government, under 42a scheme which it was supposed rendered it immune from embarrassment or interference by any other department of government, the courts cannot escape responsibility fir the manner in which the powers of sovereignty thus committed to the judicial department are exercised. (p. 445)

The relation at the bar to the courts is a peculiar and intimate relationship. The bar is an attache of the courts. The quality of justice dispense by the courts depends in no small degree upon the integrity of its bar. An unfaithful bar may easily bring scandal and reproach to the administration of justice and bring the courts themselves into disrepute. (p.445) Through all time courts have exercised a direct and severe supervision over their bars, at least in the English speaking countries. (p. 445) After explaining the history of the case, the Court ends thus: Our conclusion may be epitomized as follows: For more than six centuries prior to the adoption of our Constitution, the courts of England, concededly subordinate to Parliament since the Revolution of 1688, had exercise the right of determining who should be admitted to the practice of law, which, as was said in Matter of the Sergeant's at Law, 6 Bingham's New Cases 235, "constitutes the most solid of all titles." If the courts and judicial power be regarded as an entity, the power to determine who should be admitted to practice law is a constituent element of that entity. It may be difficult to isolate that element and say with assurance that it is either a part of the inherent power of the court, or an essential element of the judicial power exercised by the court, but that it is a power belonging to the judicial entity and made of not only a sovereign institution, but made of it a separate independent, and coordinate branch of the government. They took this institution along with the power traditionally exercise to determine who should constitute its attorney at law. There is no express provision in the Constitution which indicates an intent that this traditional power of the judicial department should in any manner be subject to legislative control. Perhaps the dominant thought of the framers of our constitution was to make the three great departments of government separate and independent of one another. The idea that the Legislature might embarrass the judicial department by prescribing inadequate qualifications for attorneys at law is inconsistent with the dominant purpose of making the judicial independent of the legislative department, and such a purpose should not be inferred in the absence of express constitutional provisions. While the legislature may legislate with respect to the qualifications of attorneys, but is incidental merely to its general and unquestioned power to protect the public interest. When it does legislate a fixing a standard of qualifications required of attorneys at law in order that public interests may be protected, such qualifications do not constitute only a minimum standard and limit the class from which the court must make its selection. Such legislative qualifications do not constitute the ultimate qualifications beyond which the court cannot go in fixing additional qualifications deemed necessary by the course of the proper administration of judicial functions. There is no legislative power to compel courts to admit to their bars persons deemed by them unfit to exercise the prerogatives of an attorney at law. (p. 450) Furthermore, it is an unlawful attempt to exercise the power of appointment. It is quite likely true that the legislature may exercise the power of appointment when it is in pursuance of a legislative functions. However, the authorities are well-nigh unanimous that the power to admit attorneys to the practice of law is a judicial function. In all of the

states, except New Jersey (In re Reisch, 83 N.J. Eq. 82, 90 A. 12), so far as our investigation reveals, attorneys receive their formal license to practice law by their admission as members of the bar of the court so admitting. Cor. Jur. 572; Ex parte Secombre, 19 How. 9,15 L. Ed. 565; Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333, 18 L. Ed. 366; Randall vs. Brigham, 7 Wall. 53, 19 L. Ed. 285; Hanson vs. Grattan, 48 Kan, 843, 115 P. 646, 34 L.R.A. 519; Danforth vs. Egan, 23 S. D. 43, 119 N.W. 1021, 130 Am. St. Rep. 1030, 20 Ann. Cas. 413. The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it having been so generally held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the judgment of the court, and an attempt as this on the part of the Legislature to confer such right upon any one being most exceedingly uncommon, it seems clear that the licensing of an attorney is and always has been a purely judicial function, no matter where the power to determine the qualifications may reside. (p. 451) In that same year of 1932, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, in answering a consultation of the Senate of that State, 180 NE 725, said: It is indispensible to the administration of justice and to interpretation of the laws that there be members of the bar of sufficient ability, adequate learning and sound moral character. This arises from the need of enlightened assistance to the honest, and restraining authority over the knavish, litigant. It is highly important, also that the public be protected from incompetent and vicious practitioners, whose opportunity for doing mischief is wide. It was said by Cardoz, C.L., in People ex rel. Karlin vs. Culkin, 242 N.Y. 456, 470, 471, 162 N.E. 487, 489, 60 A.L.R. 851: "Membership in the bar is a privilege burden with conditions." One is admitted to the bar "for something more than private gain." He becomes an "officer of the court", and ,like the court itself, an instrument or agency to advance the end of justice. His cooperation with the court is due "whenever justice would be imperiled if cooperation was withheld." Without such attorneys at law the judicial department of government would be hampered in the performance of its duties. That has been the history of attorneys under the common law, both in this country and England. Admission to practice as an attorney at law is almost without exception conceded to be a judicial function. Petition to that end is filed in courts, as are other proceedings invoking judicial action. Admission to the bar is accomplish and made open and notorious by a decision of the court entered upon its records. The establishment by the Constitution of the judicial department conferred authority necessary to the exercise of its powers as a coordinate department of government. It is an inherent power of such a department of government ultimately to determine the qualifications of those to be admitted to practice in its courts, for assisting in its work, and to protect itself in this respect from the unfit, those lacking in sufficient learning, and those not possessing good moral character. Chief Justice Taney stated succinctly and with finality in Ex parte Secombe, 19 How. 9, 13, 15 L. Ed. 565, "It has been well settled, by the rules and practice of common-law courts, that it rests exclusively with the court to determine who is qualified to become one of its officers, as an attorney and counselor, and for what cause he ought to be removed." (p.727)

In the case of Day and others who collectively filed a petition to secure license to practice the legal profession by virtue of a law of state (In re Day, 54 NE 646), the court said in part: In the case of Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall, 333, 18 L. Ed. 366, the court, holding the test oath for attorneys to be unconstitutional, explained the nature of the attorney's office as follows: "They are officers of the court, admitted as such by its order, upon evidence of their possessing sufficient legal learning and fair private character. It has always been the general practice in this country to obtain this evidence by an examination of the parties. In this court the fact of the admission of such officers in the highest court of the states to which they, respectively, belong for, three years preceding their application, is regarded as sufficient evidence of the possession of the requisite legal learning, and the statement of counsel moving their admission sufficient evidence that their private and professional character is fair. The order of admission is the judgment of the court that the parties possess the requisite qualifications as attorneys and counselors, and are entitled to appear as such and conduct causes therein. From its entry the parties become officers of the court, and are responsible to it for professional misconduct. They hold their office during good behavior, and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by the judgment of the court after opportunity to be heard has been afforded. Ex parte Hoyfron, admission or their exclusion is not the exercise of a mere ministerial power. It is the exercise of judicial power, and has been so held in numerous cases. It was so held by the court of appeals of New York in the matter of the application of Cooper for admission. Re Cooper 22 N. Y. 81. "Attorneys and Counselors", said that court, "are not only officers of the court, but officers whose duties relate almost exclusively to proceedings of a judicial nature; and hence their appointment may, with propriety, be entrusted to the court, and the latter, in performing his duty, may very justly considered as engaged in the exercise of their appropriate judicial functions." (pp. 650-651). We quote from other cases, the following pertinent portions: Admission to practice of law is almost without exception conceded everywhere to be the exercise of a judicial function, and this opinion need not be burdened with citations in this point. Admission to practice have also been held to be the exercise of one of the inherent powers of the court. Re Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 Pac. 906. Admission to the practice of law is the exercise of a judicial function, and is an inherent power of the court. A.C. Brydonjack, vs. State Bar of California, 281 Pac. 1018; See Annotation on Power of Legislature respecting admission to bar, 65, A.L. R. 1512. On this matter there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative departments of the government. The distinction between the functions of the legislative and the judicial departments is that it is the province of the legislature to establish rules that shall regulate and govern in matters of transactions occurring subsequent to the legislative action, while the judiciary determines rights and obligations with reference to transactions that are past or conditions

that exist at the time of the exercise of judicial power, and the distinction is a vital one and not subject to alteration or change either by legislative action or by judicial decree. The judiciary cannot consent that its province shall be invaded by either of the other departments of the government. 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, p. 229. If the legislature cannot thus indirectly control the action of the courts by requiring of them construction of the law according to its own views, it is very plain it cannot do so directly, by settling aside their judgments, compelling them to grant new trials, ordering the discharge of offenders, or directing what particular steps shall be taken in the progress of a judicial inquiry. Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 192. In decreeing the bar candidates who obtained in the bar examinations of 1946 to 1952, a general average of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject, be admitted in mass to the practice of law, the disputed law is not a legislation; it is a judgment a judgment revoking those promulgated by this Court during the aforecited year affecting the bar candidates concerned; and although this Court certainly can revoke these judgments even now, for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this Court, and not the legislative nor executive department, that may be so. Any attempt on the part of any of these departments would be a clear usurpation of its functions, as is the case with the law in question. That the Constitution has conferred on Congress the power to repeal, alter or supplement the rule promulgated by this Tribunal, concerning the admission to the practice of law, is no valid argument. Section 13, article VIII of the Constitution provides: Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. Constitution of the Philippines, Art. VIII, sec. 13. It will be noted that the Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal responsibilities concerning the admission to the practice of law. the primary power and responsibility which the Constitution recognizes continue to reside in this Court. Had Congress found that this Court has not promulgated any rule on the matter, it would have nothing over which to exercise the power granted to it. Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules promulgated by this Court, but the authority and responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law and their supervision remain vested in the Supreme Court. The power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules does not signify nor permit that Congress substitute or take the place of this Tribunal in the exercise of its primary power on the matter. The Constitution does not say nor mean that Congress may admit, suspend, disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to the practice of law. Its

power is limited to repeal, modify or supplement the existing rules on the matter, if according to its judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession requires it. But this power does not relieve this Court of its responsibility to admit, suspend, disbar and reinstate attorneys at law and supervise the practice of the legal profession. Being coordinate and independent branches, the power to promulgate and enforce rules for the admission to the practice of law and the concurrent power to repeal, alter and supplement them may and should be exercised with the respect that each owes to the other, giving careful consideration to the responsibility which the nature of each department requires. These powers have existed together for centuries without diminution on each part; the harmonious delimitation being found in that the legislature may and should examine if the existing rules on the admission to the Bar respond to the demands which public interest requires of a Bar endowed with high virtues, culture, training and responsibility. The legislature may, by means of appeal, amendment or supplemental rules, fill up any deficiency that it may find, and the judicial power, which has the inherent responsibility for a good and efficient administration of justice and the supervision of the practice of the legal profession, should consider these reforms as the minimum standards for the elevation of the profession, and see to it that with these reforms the lofty objective that is desired in the exercise of its traditional duty of admitting, suspending, disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law is realized. They are powers which, exercise within their proper constitutional limits, are not repugnant, but rather complementary to each other in attaining the establishment of a Bar that would respond to the increasing and exacting necessities of the administration of justice. The case of Guaria (1913) 24 Phil., 37, illustrates our criterion. Guaria took examination and failed by a few points to obtain the general average. A recently enacted law provided that one who had been appointed to the position of Fiscal may be admitted to the practice of law without a previous examination. The Government appointed Guaria and he discharged the duties of Fiscal in a remote province. This tribunal refused to give his license without previous examinations. The court said: Relying upon the provisions of section 2 of Act No. 1597, the applicant in this case seeks admission to the bar, without taking the prescribed examination, on the ground that he holds the office of provincial fiscal for the Province of Batanes. Section 2 of Act No. 1597, enacted February 28, 1907, is as follows: Sec. 2. Paragraph one of section thirteen of Act Numbered One Hundred and ninety, entitled "An Act providing a Code of Procedure in Civil Actions and Special Proceedings in the Philippine Islands," is hereby amended to read as follows: 1. Those who have been duly licensed under the laws and orders of the Islands under the sovereignty of Spain or of the United States and are in good and regular standing as members of the bar of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this code; Provided, That any person who, prior to the passage of this act, or at any time thereafter, shall have held, under the authority of the United States, the position of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of First Instance, or judge or associate judge of the

Court of Land Registration, of the Philippine Islands, or the position of Attorney General, Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, assistant attorney in the office of the Attorney General, prosecuting attorney for the City of Manila, city attorney of Manila, assistant city attorney of Manila, provincial fiscal, attorney for the Moro Province, or assistant attorney for the Moro Province, may be licensed to practice law in the courts of the Philippine Islands without an examination, upon motion before the Supreme Court and establishing such fact to the satisfaction of said court. The records of this court disclose that on a former occasion this appellant took, and failed to pass the prescribed examination. The report of the examining board, dated March 23, 1907, shows that he received an average of only 71 per cent in the various branches of legal learning upon which he was examined, thus falling four points short of the required percentage of 75. We would be delinquent in the performance of our duty to the public and to the bar, if, in the face of this affirmative indication of the deficiency of the applicant in the required qualifications of learning in the law at the time when he presented his former application for admission to the bar, we should grant him license to practice law in the courts of these Islands, without first satisfying ourselves that despite his failure to pass the examination on that occasion, he now "possesses the necessary qualifications of learning and ability." But it is contented that under the provisions of the above-cited statute the applicant is entitled as of right to be admitted to the bar without taking the prescribed examination "upon motion before the Supreme Court" accompanied by satisfactory proof that he has held and now holds the office of provincial fiscal of the Province of Batanes. It is urged that having in mind the object which the legislator apparently sought to attain in enacting the above-cited amendment to the earlier statute, and in view of the context generally and especially of the fact that the amendment was inserted as a proviso in that section of the original Act which specifically provides for the admission of certain candidates without examination. It is contented that this mandatory construction is imperatively required in order to give effect to the apparent intention of the legislator, and to the candidate's claim de jure to have the power exercised. And after copying article 9 of Act of July 1, 1902 of the Congress of the United States, articles 2, 16 and 17 of Act No. 136, and articles 13 to 16 of Act 190, the Court continued: Manifestly, the jurisdiction thus conferred upon this court by the commission and confirmed to it by the Act of Congress would be limited and restricted, and in a case such as that under consideration wholly destroyed, by giving the word "may," as used in the above citation from Act of Congress of July 1, 1902, or of any Act of Congress prescribing, defining or limiting the power conferred upon the commission is to that extent invalid and void, as transcending its rightful limits and authority. Speaking on the application of the law to those who were appointed to the positions enumerated, and with particular emphasis in the case of Guaria, the Court held:

In the various cases wherein applications for the admission to the bar under the provisions of this statute have been considered heretofore, we have accepted the fact that such appointments had been made as satisfactory evidence of the qualifications of the applicant. But in all of those cases we had reason to believe that the applicants had been practicing attorneys prior to the date of their appointment. In the case under consideration, however, it affirmatively appears that the applicant was not and never had been practicing attorney in this or any other jurisdiction prior to the date of his appointment as provincial fiscal, and it further affirmatively appears that he was deficient in the required qualifications at the time when he last applied for admission to the bar. In the light of this affirmative proof of his defieciency on that occasion, we do not think that his appointment to the office of provincial fiscal is in itself satisfactory proof if his possession of the necessary qualifications of learning and ability. We conclude therefore that this application for license to practice in the courts of the Philippines, should be denied. In view, however, of the fact that when he took the examination he fell only four points short of the necessary grade to entitle him to a license to practice; and in view also of the fact that since that time he has held the responsible office of the governor of the Province of Sorsogon and presumably gave evidence of such marked ability in the performance of the duties of that office that the Chief Executive, with the consent and approval of the Philippine Commission, sought to retain him in the Government service by appointing him to the office of provincial fiscal, we think we would be justified under the abovecited provisions of Act No. 1597 in waiving in his case the ordinary examination prescribed by general rule, provided he offers satisfactory evidence of his proficiency in a special examination which will be given him by a committee of the court upon his application therefor, without prejudice to his right, if he desires so to do, to present himself at any of the ordinary examinations prescribed by general rule. (In re Guaria, pp. 48-49.) It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively to this Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other authorities say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license. The law in question, like those in the case of Day and Cannon, has been found also to suffer from the fatal defect of being a class legislation, and that if it has intended to make a classification, it is arbitrary and unreasonable. In the case of Day, a law enacted on February 21, 1899 required of the Supreme Court, until December 31 of that year, to grant license for the practice of law to those students who began studying before November 4, 1897, and had studied for two years and presented a diploma issued by a school of law, or to those who had studied in a law office and would pass an examination, or to those who had studied for three years if they commenced their studies after

the aforementioned date. The Supreme Court declared that this law was unconstitutional being, among others, a class legislation. The Court said: This is an application to this court for admission to the bar of this state by virtue of diplomas from law schools issued to the applicants. The act of the general assembly passed in 1899, under which the application is made, is entitled "An act to amend section 1 of an act entitled "An act to revise the law in relation to attorneys and counselors," approved March 28, 1884, in force July 1, 1874." The amendment, so far as it appears in the enacting clause, consists in the addition to the section of the following: "And every application for a license who shall comply with the rules of the supreme court in regard to admission to the bar in force at the time such applicant commend the study of law, either in a law or office or a law school or college, shall be granted a license under this act notwithstanding any subsequent changes in said rules". In re Day et al, 54 N.Y., p. 646. . . . After said provision there is a double proviso, one branch of which is that up to December 31, 1899, this court shall grant a license of admittance to the bar to the holder of every diploma regularly issued by any law school regularly organized under the laws of this state, whose regular course of law studies is two years, and requiring an attendance by the student of at least 36 weeks in each of such years, and showing that the student began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897, and accompanied with the usual proofs of good moral character. The other branch of the proviso is that any student who has studied law for two years in a law office, or part of such time in a law office, "and part in the aforesaid law school," and whose course of study began prior to November 4, 1897, shall be admitted upon a satisfactory examination by the examining board in the branches now required by the rules of this court. If the right to admission exists at all, it is by virtue of the proviso, which, it is claimed, confers substantial rights and privileges upon the persons named therein, and establishes rules of legislative creation for their admission to the bar. (p. 647.) Considering the proviso, however, as an enactment, it is clearly a special legislation, prohibited by the constitution, and invalid as such. If the legislature had any right to admit attorneys to practice in the courts and take part in the administration of justice, and could prescribe the character of evidence which should be received by the court as conclusive of the requisite learning and ability of persons to practice law, it could only be done by a general law, persons or classes of persons. Const. art 4, section 2. The right to practice law is a privilege, and a license for that purpose makes the holder an officer of the court, and confers upon him the right to appear for litigants, to argue causes, and to collect fees therefor, and creates certain exemptions, such as from jury services and arrest on civil process while attending court. The law conferring such privileges must be general in its operation. No doubt the legislature, in framing an enactment for that purpose, may classify persons so long as the law establishing classes in general, and has some reasonable relation to the end sought. There must be some difference which furnishes a reasonable basis for different one, having no just relation to the subject of the legislation. Braceville Coal Co. vs. People, 147 Ill. 66, 35 N.E. 62; Ritchie vs. People, 155 Ill. 98, 40 N.E. 454; Railroad Co. vs. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 17 Sup. Ct. 255.

The length of time a physician has practiced, and the skill acquired by experience, may furnish a basis for classification (Williams vs. People 121 Ill. 48, II N.E. 881); but the place where such physician has resided and practiced his profession cannot furnish such basis, and is an arbitrary discrimination, making an enactment based upon it void (State vs. Pennyeor, 65 N.E. 113, 18 Atl. 878). Here the legislature undertakes to say what shall serve as a test of fitness for the profession of the law, and plainly, any classification must have some reference to learning, character, or ability to engage in such practice. The proviso is limited, first, to a class of persons who began the study of law prior to November 4, 1897. This class is subdivided into two classes First, those presenting diplomas issued by any law school of this state before December 31, 1899; and, second, those who studied law for the period of two years in a law office, or part of the time in a law school and part in a law office, who are to be admitted upon examination in the subjects specified in the present rules of this court, and as to this latter subdivision there seems to be no limit of time for making application for admission. As to both classes, the conditions of the rules are dispensed with, and as between the two different conditions and limits of time are fixed. No course of study is prescribed for the law school, but a diploma granted upon the completion of any sort of course its managers may prescribe is made all-sufficient. Can there be anything with relation to the qualifications or fitness of persons to practice law resting upon the mere date of November 4, 1897, which will furnish a basis of classification. Plainly not. Those who began the study of law November 4th could qualify themselves to practice in two years as well as those who began on the 3rd. The classes named in the proviso need spend only two years in study, while those who commenced the next day must spend three years, although they would complete two years before the time limit. The one who commenced on the 3rd. If possessed of a diploma, is to be admitted without examination before December 31, 1899, and without any prescribed course of study, while as to the other the prescribed course must be pursued, and the diploma is utterly useless. Such classification cannot rest upon any natural reason, or bear any just relation to the subject sought, and none is suggested. The proviso is for the sole purpose of bestowing privileges upon certain defined persons. (pp. 647-648.) In the case of Cannon above cited, State vs. Cannon, 240 N.W. 441, where the legislature attempted by law to reinstate Cannon to the practice of law, the court also held with regards to its aspect of being a class legislation: But the statute is invalid for another reason. If it be granted that the legislature has power to prescribe ultimately and definitely the qualifications upon which courts must admit and license those applying as attorneys at law, that power can not be exercised in the manner here attempted. That power must be exercised through general laws which will apply to all alike and accord equal opportunity to all. Speaking of the right of the Legislature to exact qualifications of those desiring to pursue chosen callings, Mr. Justice Field in the case of Dent. vs. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 121, 9 S. Ct. 232, 233, 32 L. Ed. 626, said: "It is undoubtedly the right of every citizen of the United States to follow any lawful calling, business or profession he may choose, subject only to such restrictions as are imposed upon all persons of like age, sex, and condition." This right may in many respects be considered as a distinguishing feature of our republican institutions. Here all

vocations are all open to every one on like conditions. All may be pursued as sources of livelihood, some requiring years of study and great learning for their successful prosecution. The interest, or, as it is sometimes termed, the "estate" acquired in them that is, the right to continue their prosecution is often of great value to the possessors and cannot be arbitrarily taken from them, any more than their real or personal property can be thus taken. It is fundamental under our system of government that all similarly situated and possessing equal qualifications shall enjoy equal opportunities. Even statutes regulating the practice of medicine, requiring medications to establish the possession on the part of the application of his proper qualifications before he may be licensed to practice, have been challenged, and courts have seriously considered whether the exemption from such examinations of those practicing in the state at the time of the enactment of the law rendered such law unconstitutional because of infringement upon this general principle. State vs. Thomas Call, 121 N.C. 643, 28 S.E. 517; see, also, The State ex rel. Winkler vs. Rosenberg, 101 Wis. 172, 76 N.W. 345; State vs. Whitcom, 122 Wis. 110, 99 N.W. 468. This law singles out Mr. Cannon and assumes to confer upon him the right to practice law and to constitute him an officer of this Court as a mere matter of legislative grace or favor. It is not material that he had once established his right to practice law and that one time he possessed the requisite learning and other qualifications to entitle him to that right. That fact in no matter affect the power of the Legislature to select from the great body of the public an individual upon whom it would confer its favors. A statute of the state of Minnesota (Laws 1929, c. 424) commanded the Supreme Court to admit to the practice of law without examination, all who had served in the military or naval forces of the United States during the World War and received a honorable discharge therefrom and who (were disabled therein or thereby within the purview of the Act of Congress approved June 7th, 1924, known as "World War Veteran's Act, 1924 and whose disability is rated at least ten per cent thereunder at the time of the passage of this Act." This Act was held |unconstitutional on the ground that it clearly violated the quality clauses of the constitution of that state. In re Application of George W. Humphrey, 178 Minn. 331, 227 N.W. 179. A good summary of a classification constitutionally acceptable is explained in 12 Am. Jur. 151153 as follows: The general rule is well settled by unanimity of the authorities that a classification to be valid must rest upon material differences between the person included in it and those excluded and, furthermore, must be based upon substantial distinctions. As the rule has sometimes avoided the constitutional prohibition, must be founded upon pertinent and real differences, as distinguished from irrelevant and artificial ones. Therefore, any law that is made applicable to one class of citizens only must be based on some substantial difference between the situation of that class and other individuals to which it does not apply and must rest on some reason on which it can be defended. In other words, there must be such a difference between the situation and circumstances of all the members of the class and the situation and circumstances of all other members of the state in relation

to the subjects of the discriminatory legislation as presents a just and natural cause for the difference made in their liabilities and burdens and in their rights and privileges. A law is not general because it operates on all within a clause unless there is a substantial reason why it is made to operate on that class only, and not generally on all. (12 Am. Jur. pp. 151-153.) Pursuant to the law in question, those who, without a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, have obtained a general average of 69.5 per cent in the bar examinations in 1946 to 1951, 70.5 per cent in 1952, 71.5 per cent in 1953, and those will obtain 72.5 per cent in 1954, and 73.5 per cent in 1955, will be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar, notwithstanding that the rules require a minimum general average of 75 per cent, which has been invariably followed since 1950. Is there any motive of the nature indicated by the abovementioned authorities, for this classification ? If there is none, and none has been given, then the classification is fatally defective. It was indicated that those who failed in 1944, 1941 or the years before, with the general average indicated, were not included because the Tribunal has no record of the unsuccessful candidates of those years. This fact does not justify the unexplained classification of unsuccessful candidates by years, from 1946-1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955. Neither is the exclusion of those who failed before said years under the same conditions justified. The fact that this Court has no record of examinations prior to 1946 does not signify that no one concerned may prove by some other means his right to an equal consideration. To defend the disputed law from being declared unconstitutional on account of its retroactivity, it is argued that it is curative, and that in such form it is constitutional. What does Rep. Act 972 intend to cure ? Only from 1946 to 1949 were there cases in which the Tribunal permitted admission to the bar of candidates who did not obtain the general average of 75 per cent: in 1946 those who obtained only 72 per cent; in the 1947 and those who had 69 per cent or more; in 1948, 70 per cent and in 1949, 74 per cent; and in 1950 to 1953, those who obtained 74 per cent, which was considered by the Court as equivalent to 75 per cent as prescribed by the Rules, by reason of circumstances deemed to be sufficiently justifiable. These changes in the passing averages during those years were all that could be objected to or criticized. Now, it is desired to undo what had been done cancel the license that was issued to those who did not obtain the prescribed 75 per cent ? Certainly not. The disputed law clearly does not propose to do so. Concededly, it approves what has been done by this Tribunal. What Congress lamented is that the Court did not consider 69.5 per cent obtained by those candidates who failed in 1946 to 1952 as sufficient to qualify them to practice law. Hence, it is the lack of will or defect of judgment of the Court that is being cured, and to complete the cure of this infirmity, the effectivity of the disputed law is being extended up to the years 1953, 1954 and 1955, increasing each year the general average by one per cent, with the order that said candidates be admitted to the Bar. This purpose, manifest in the said law, is the best proof that what the law attempts to amend and correct are not the rules promulgated, but the will or judgment of the Court, by means of simply taking its place. This is doing directly what the Tribunal should have done during those years according to the judgment of Congress. In other words, the power exercised was not to repeal, alter or supplement the rules, which continue in force. What was done was to stop or suspend them. And this power is not included in what the Constitution has granted to Congress, because it

falls within the power to apply the rules. This power corresponds to the judiciary, to which such duty been confided. Article 2 of the law in question permits partial passing of examinations, at indefinite intervals. The grave defect of this system is that it does not take into account that the laws and jurisprudence are not stationary, and when a candidate finally receives his certificate, it may happen that the existing laws and jurisprudence are already different, seriously affecting in this manner his usefulness. The system that the said law prescribes was used in the first bar examinations of this country, but was abandoned for this and other disadvantages. In this case, however, the fatal defect is that the article is not expressed in the title will have temporary effect only from 1946 to 1955, the text of article 2 establishes a permanent system for an indefinite time. This is contrary to Section 21 (1), article VI of the Constitution, which vitiates and annuls article 2 completely; and because it is inseparable from article 1, it is obvious that its nullity affect the entire law. Laws are unconstitutional on the following grounds: first, because they are not within the legislative powers of Congress to enact, or Congress has exceeded its powers; second, because they create or establish arbitrary methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; and third, because their purposes or effects violate the Constitution or its basic principles. As has already been seen, the contested law suffers from these fatal defects. Summarizing, we are of the opinion and hereby declare that Republic Act No. 972 is unconstitutional and therefore, void, and without any force nor effect for the following reasons, to wit: 1. Because its declared purpose is to admit 810 candidates who failed in the bar examinations of 1946-1952, and who, it admits, are certainly inadequately prepared to practice law, as was exactly found by this Court in the aforesaid years. It decrees the admission to the Bar of these candidates, depriving this Tribunal of the opportunity to determine if they are at present already prepared to become members of the Bar. It obliges the Tribunal to perform something contrary to reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a manifest encroachment on the constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court. 2. Because it is, in effect, 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 Tribunal may reconsider said resolution at any time for justifiable reasons, only this Court and no other may revise and alter them. In attempting to do it directly Republic Act No. 972 violated the Constitution. 3. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules on admission to the Bar. Such additional or amendatory rules are, as they ought to be, intended to regulate acts subsequent to its promulgation and should tend to improve and elevate the practice of law, and this Tribunal shall consider these rules as minimum norms towards that end in the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of lawyers to the Bar, inasmuch as a good bar assists immensely in the daily performance of judicial functions and is essential to a worthy administration of justice. It is therefore 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. 4. The reason advanced for the pretended classification of candidates, which the law makes, is contrary to facts which are of general knowledge and does not justify the admission to the Bar of law students inadequately prepared. The pretended classification is arbitrary. It is undoubtedly a class legislation. 5. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the Constitution enjoins, and being inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the entire law is void. 6. Lacking in eight votes to declare the nullity of that part of article 1 referring to the examinations of 1953 to 1955, said part of article 1, insofar as it concerns the examinations in those years, shall continue in force.

RESOLUTION Upon mature deliberation by this Court, after hearing and availing of the magnificent and impassioned discussion of the contested law by our Chief Justice at the opening and close of the debate among the members of the Court, and after hearing the judicious observations of two of our beloved colleagues who since the beginning have announced their decision not to take part in voting, we, the eight members of the Court who subscribed to this decision have voted and resolved, and have decided for the Court, and under the authority of the same: 1. That (a) the portion of article 1 of Republic Act No. 972 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952, and (b) all of article 2 of said law are unconstitutional and, therefore, void and without force and effect. 2. That, for lack of unanimity in the eight Justices, that part of article 1 which refers to the examinations subsequent to the approval of the law, that is from 1953 to 1955 inclusive, is valid and shall continue to be in force, in conformity with section 10, article VII of the Constitution. Consequently, (1) all the above-mentioned petitions of the candidates who failed in the examinations of 1946 to 1952 inclusive are denied, and (2) all candidates who in the examinations of 1953 obtained a general average of 71.5 per cent or more, without having a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, are considered as having passed, whether they have filed petitions for admission or not. After this decision has become final, they shall be permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar on the date or dates that the chief Justice may set. So ordered. Bengzon, Montemayor, Jugo, Labrador, Pablo, Padilla, and Reyes, JJ., concur.

ANNEX I PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972 A resume of pertinent facts concerning the bar examinations of 1946 to 1953 inclusive follows: August, 19461 Board of Examiners: Hon. Pedro Tuason, Chairman, Prof. Gerardo Florendo, Atty. Bernardino Guerrero, Atty. Joaquin Ramirez, Atty. Crispin Oben, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty. Jose Perez Cardenas, and Hon. Bienvenido A. Tan, members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised 73'S 72'S Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade November, 1946 Board of Examiners: The same as that of August, 1946, except Hon. Jose Teodoro who was substituted by Atty. Honesto K. Bausan. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised (72 per cent and above 73 per cent --Minutes of March 31, 1947) Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 249 228 43 481 19 (per cent) (per cent) (per cent) 6 6 85 121 18 41.62 58.74 72 206 12

Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade (By resolution of the Court). October, 1947

(per cent) (per cent) (per cent)

52.20 47.80 72

Board of Examiners: Hon. Cesar Bengzon, Chairman, Hon. Guillermo B. Guevara, Atty. Antonio Araneta, Atty. Simon Cruz, Hon. Sixto de la Costa, Atty. Celso B. Jamora, Hon. Emilio Pea, Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty. Carlos B. Hilado, Members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised 70.55 per cent with 2 subject below 50 per cent 69 per cent 68 per cent Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade (by resolution of the Court). Note.--In passing the 2 whose grades were 68.95 per cent and 68.1 per cent respectively, the Court found out that they were not benefited at all by the bonus of 12 points given by the Examiner in Civil Law. August, 1948 Board of Examiners: Hon. Marceliano R. Montemayor, Chairman Hon. Luis P. Torres, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Sr., Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Hon. Jesus G. Barrera, Hon. Rafael Amparo, Atty. Alfonso Ponce Enrile, Members. (per cent) (per cent) (per cent) 1 40 2 409 340 972 54.59 45.41 69 749 43

Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised 71's 70's Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade (by resolution of the Court). August, 1949 (per cent) (per cent) (per cent) 29 35

899 64

490 409 11 62.40 37.60 70

Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Fernando Jugo, Hon. Enrique Filamor, Atty. Salvador Araneta, Hon. Pastor M. Endencia, Atty. Federico Agrava, Hon. Mariano H. de Joya, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Atty. Emeterio Barcelon, Members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised (74's) Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade (by resolution of the Court). August, 1950 Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo,2 Chairman, Hon. (per cent) (per cent) (per cent) 1,218 55 686 532 164 56.28 43.72 74

Guillermo B. Guevara, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Marcial P. Lichauco, Atty. Carlos B. Hilado, Atty. J. Antonio Araneta, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Hon. Francisco A. Delgado, Hon. Antonio Horrilleno, Members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised (The grade of 74 was raised to 75 per cent by recommendation and authority of the examiner in Remedial Law, Atty. Francisco Delgado). Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade August, 1951 Board of Examiners: Hon. Guillermo F. Pablo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M. Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Hon. Manuel Lim, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Hon. Vicente Albert, Atty. Arturo Alafriz, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised (74's) Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure (per cent) (per cent) 2,068 112 1,189 879 196 57.49 42.51 (per cent) (per cent) (per cent) 432 894 26 32.14 67.86 75 1,316 38

Passing grade August, 1952

(per cent)

75

Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M. Endencia, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Hon. Emilio Pea, Atty. Emilio P. Virata, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised (74's) Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure Passing grade August, 1953 Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M. Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Jr., Hon. Emilio Pea, Atty. Jose S. de la Cruz, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Hon. Mariano L. de la Rosa, Members. Number of candidates Number of candidates whose grades were raised (74's) Number of candidates who passed Number of candidates who failed Number of those affected by Republic Act No. 972 Percentage of success Percentage of failure (per cent) (per 2,555 100 1,570 986 284 61.04 38.96 (per cent) (per cent) (per cent) 2,738 163 1,705 1,033 426 62.27 37.73 75

cent) Passing grade (per cent) 75

A list of petitioners for admission to the Bar under Republic Act No. 972, grouped by the years in which they took the bar examinations, with annotations as to who had presented motions for reconsideration which were denied (MRD), and who filed mere motions for reconsideration without invoking said law, which are still pending, follows: PETITIONER UNDER THE BAR FLUNKERS' LAW Civ. Lan Merc Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen. d . Av. MRD- Agunod, Filemon L. 66 71 1. MRD- Cunanan, Albino 2. MRD- Mejia, Flaviano V. 3. 1948 MRD- Orlina, Soledad R. 4. 71 68 66 73 71 75 63 75 65 63 66 75 78 68 70 65 65 88 80 50 69.9 69.95 69.65 76 72 64 64 61 74 65 76 80 83 75 70 70 68 83 74 73 65 68 75 72 80 71.4 71.45 69.85

MRD- Vivero, Antonio Lu. 75 73 5. MRD- Gatchalian, Salud 6. 1949 7. Abaya, Jesus A. 69 79 72 66

75 62 70 83 76 78 71 69 72 64

75 71 89 86 81 72 77 80 81 79 71 85 78 81 74 78 70 70 77 76 77 80 81 83 82 82 69 78 74 67

55 60 65 65 55 60 60 55 60 65

75 65 80 80 85 75 75 85 80 70

70.8 70.5 71.8 72.05 72.2 71.95 73.15 72.65 71.95 70

MRD- Advincula, David D. 76 80 8. 9. Agraviador, Alfredo 63 85 L. 10. Alacar, Pascual C. 61 63 11. Amog, Pedro M. 12. Apolinario, Miguel S. 75 66 75 84

13. Aquino, Maximo G. 82 77 14. Asinas, Candido D. 75 83 15. Baldivino, Jose B. 16. Balintona, 75 65 75 80

Bernardo 17. Banawa, Angel L. 18. Bandala, Anacleto A. 19. Bandon, Alawadin L. 21. Blanco, Jose 22. Buenaluz, Victoriano T. 23. Canda, Benjamin S. 24. Canon, Guillermo 25. Carlos, Estela S. 26. Cerezo, Gregorio O. 27. Clarin, Manuel L. 28. Claudo, Conrado O. 29. Condevillamar, Antonio V. MRD- Cornejo, Crisanto 30. R. 31. Corona, Olvido D. 32. Dizon, Marcial C. 33. Enriquez, Agustin P. 34. Espiritu, Irineo E. 35. Fernandez, Macario J. 36. Gallardo, Amando C. 38. Garcia, Julian L. 39. Garcia, Leon Mo. 40. Garcia, Pedro V. 42. Genoves, Pedro 78 70 66 80 74 79 70 66 69 64 70 72 75 67 81 76 76 78 74 69 73 69 70 69 76 67 66 68 71 73 79 70 75 81 83 71 93 72 77 91 73 77 85 72 75 77 76 78 67 82 82 76 77 88 75 69 79 72 73 79 71 80 81 73 69 77 73 72 80 85 75 82 83 79 81 81 72 83 75 74 81 81 77 75 76 77 75 81 84 77 76 75 75 72 70 82 89 77 80 60 82 81 74 83 75 72 75 78 87 76 60 55 60 65 60 60 65 70 65 55 70 60 60 65 60 65 65 65 65 60 60 65 65 60 65 55 60 70 80 75 90 75 75 85 70 80 75 70 75 80 75 80 80 75 75 65 75 75 75 85 80 80 72.3 69.6 73.35 72.5 72.5 70.85 73.55 73.9 73.8 70.4 73.95 71.4 71.65 73.4 71.15 73.1 73.75 73.8 72.95 70.95 69.7 72.15 71.85 73.6 71.8 72.7

20. Baquero, Benjamin 76 79 75 75 75 71 75 72 77 86 75 81 69 76 75 82 76 62 68 65 72 75 68 76 76 86 75 77 80 88 63 82 78 79

37. Garcia, Freidrich M. 76 80 64 77 77 86 76 82 75 83

41. Garcia, Santiago C. 62 91

43. Gonzales, Amado P. 44. Guia, Odon R. de

75 71 77 76

71 66 71 73 67 74 56 74 65 75 61 72 62 76 75 60 70 65 71 75 71 67 68 69 68 82 69 61

75 86 75 81 74 76 80 74 90 82 61 87 79 78 85 77 74 64 76 73 82 80 70 70 75 89 66 76 81 75 77 80 81 76 72 64 83 80 71 78 80 75 72 79 81 75 77 85 78 77 84 78 81 90 83 76 76 75 68 79 83 76 76 82 74 77 82 69 72 81 70 82 80 79 79 71 55 87 93 80 79 81 91 74

60 60 65 65 60 55 60 65 60 65 65 65 65 60 55 60 60 60 65 60 65 65 65 65 50 55 55 60

75 75 75 70 75 85 85 85 80 75 85 70 80 75 80 75 75 80 80 65 80 80 75 75 75 75 80 75

72.65 70.9 70.85 73.6 72.45 70.65 70 70.3 70.3 73.15 71.75 71.15 70.4 71.75 71 70.7 71.55 71.95 70.95 71 70.95 72.55 71.15 71.9 70.1 69.6 69.5 70.6

45. Fernandez, Simeon 62 68 46. Jakosalem, Filoteo 82 83 47. Jesus, Felipe D. de 75 83 48. Jocom, Jacobo M. 49. Juares, Nicolas 50. Kalalang, Remigio 51. Layumas, Vicente L. 52. Leyson, Amancio F. 54. Lim, Jose E. 55. Lim, Jose F. 56. Linao, Mariano M. 57. Lopez, Angelo P. 58. Lopez, Eliezar M. 59. Lopez, Nicanor S. 77 77 77 84 65 75 67 84 69 83

53. Libanan, Marcelino 71 83 77 77 70 75 66 84 67 81 77 75 72 71

60. Manoleto, Proceso 72 70 D. 61. Mancao, Alfredo P. 67 64 62. Manera, Mariano A. 75 78 63. Mercado, Arsenio N. 67 64

64. Miranda, Benjamin 76 81 G. 65. Manad, Andres B. 1948 66. Orosco, Casimiro P. 67. Padua, Manuel C. 68. Palang, Basilio S. 69. Palma, Cuadrato 70. Paganiban, Jose V. 72 84 76 76 71 75 62 75 67 83 77 75

71. Pareja, Felipe 73. Paulin, Jose C. 74. Pido, Serafin C. 75. Pimentel, Luis P. 76. Plantilla, Rodrigo C. 77. Regalario, Benito B. 78. Robis, Casto P.

66 71 66 69 72 78 77 75 72 78 72 80 62 77

75 78 71 63 76 68 64 74 70 69 66 72 74 72 68 76 69 55 70 63 71 72 71 74 71 76 67

81 67 74 73 78 71 77 83 82 80 71 85 81 76 68 89 79 81 80 75 81 73 68 80 81 76 75 80 72 80 77 76 83 81 69 77 78 69 65 77 70 82 76 75 85 71 77 82 79 77 82 83 89 79 75 70 75 75 82 62 76 69 65 81 61 84 79 65 80 75 75 90 82 69 70 86 86 73 75 76 76

60 55 65 70 55 65 55 70 65 65 65 60 65 60 55 65 65 65 60 65 55 55 65 55 75 55 60

70 75 75 80 80 85 80 80 75 80 75 75 70 75 75 75 75 80 75 63 70 85 80 80 85 85 75

68.75 71.25 72.1 72.05 71.6 73.55 69.55 70.9 70.75 73.35 72.85 71 71.8 71.9 69.5 72.3 73.25 71.25 70.85 69.65 70.4 70.4 70.65 70.7 73.85 73.6 70.6

72. Patalinjug, Eriberto 73 77

79. Rodil, Francisco C. 68 69 80. Rodriguez, Mariano 80 75 I. 81. Romero, Crispulo P. 82. Saez, Porfirio D. 83. Saliguma, Crisogono D. 78 75 75 75 79 79

84. Samano, Fortunato 75 84 A. 85. Santos, Faustina C. 71 68 86. Santos, Josefina R. 68 69 87. Seludo, Ananias G. 75 80 88. Semilia, Rafael I. 89. Telan, Gaudencio 68 85 77 79

90. Tesorero, Leocadio 75 71 T. 91. Torre, Valentin S. de la 92. Torres, Ariston L. 93. Veyra, Zosimo C. de 94. Viado, Jose 95. Villacarlos, Delfin A. 96. Villamil, Leonor S. 85 81 78 71 70 75 67 70 73 87 73 81

97. Zabala, Amando A. 76 70

1950 MRD- Cruz, Filomeno de 98. la 70 71 78 55 68 75 61 63 68 75 81 76 72 76 85 69 79 84 88 75 69 68 76 61 77 82 89 72 78 69 67 70 57 85 64 65 62 75 66 60 65 83 96 93 93 96 85 72 69 82 73.4 70.2 71.9 71.3 70.2 70.15 70.25 72.8

99. Espaola, Pablo S. 71 78 100. Foronda, Clarencio 60 78 J. 101. Hechanova, Vicente 59 76

MRD- Pealosa, Osias R. 80 78 102. 103. Sarmiento, Floro A. 65 86 MRD- Torre, Catalino P. 104. 75 85

105. Ungson, Fernando 61 87 S. 1951 106. Abasolo, Romulo 107. Adeva, Daniel G. 108. Aguilar, Vicente Z. 109. Amodia, Juan T. MRD- Aosa, Pablo S. 110. 111. Antiola, Anastacio R. 112. Aquino, S. Rey A. 77 70 75 59 73 63 75 76 76 78 68 76 70 71

64 74 68 66 63 75 71 68 65 75 73 67 75 67 74

65 76 70 65 69 51 75 70 69 75 76 60 75 74 61 70 71 70 60 74 62 80 86 51 75 70 72 70 72 65 70 74 50 55 74 63 60 73 72 65 66 72 70 76 52

76 78 75 77 75 81 76 82 78 75 80 77 75 77 79

64 67 75 76 79 66 77 75 80 76 79 62 78 68 72

71.7 70.4 71.25 72.35 71.6 73.05 71.1 73.85 71.8 73.25 71.2 70.25 72.2 71.25 71.95

113. Atienza, Manuel G. 71 78 114. Avancea, Alfonso 71 71 MRD- Balacuit, Camilo N. 75 73 115. 116. Barinaga, Jeremias 68 69 L. MRD- Barrientos, 117. Ambrosio D. MRD- Benitez, Tomas P. 118. 119. Biason, Sixto F. MRD- Brias, Isagani A. 120. 76 60 67 75 73 82 71 69

121. Buela, Arcadio P. 122. Cabilao, Leonardo S. 124. Cacacho, Emilio V. 125. Calilung, Soledad C. MRD- Calimlim, Jose B. 126.

72 77 73 50

61 75 70 73 73 69 63 70 70 72 72 72 61 75 62 72 63 58 66 75 66 66 68

70 71 58 75 75 60 65 72 81 80 73 57 80 73 57 60 69 52 65 75 66 75 64 69 60 79 67 75 74 71 75 65 75 70 69 61 80 73 59 75 68 65 75 72 69 75 70 62 75 73 75 70 70 67 75 81 72 65 70 58 85 73 68 65 76 70 75 78 66

79 71 70 75 75 83 84 71 69 67 76 75 83 76 85 83 81 87 62 75 78 89 86

71 79 79 59 59 75 64 62 76 66 71 60 76 70 71 62 59 63 73 69 75 75 72

69.75 71.25 72.4 69.65 69.65 70 71.55 70.15 72.65 71.1 72.85 70.95 72.2 71.65 72.05 70.85 73.5 71.6 72.25 70.75 72.35 72.1 73.9

123. Cabrera, Ireneo M. 75 66 64 73 64 73

127. Calimlim, Pedro B. 66 82 128. Camello, Sotero H. 70 77 129. Campos, Juan A. 130. Castillo, Antonio del 71 88 78 78

MRD- Castillo, Dominador 75 61 131. Ad. MRD- Castro, Jesus B. 132. 133. Casuga, Bienvenido B. 134. Cabangbang, Santiago B. 135. Cruz, Federico S. 136. Dacanay, Eufemio P. 137. Deysolong, Felisberto 72 86 75 72 77 67 69 74 70 73 66 62

MRD- Dimaano, Jr., Jose 78 79 138. N. 139. Espinosa, Domingo 78 63 L. MRD- Farol, Evencia C. 140. 141. Felix, Conrado S. 142. Fernan, Pablo L. 80 78 71 71 67 88

143. Gandioco, Salvador 64 58 G. 144. Gastardo, Crispin B. 70 69

145. Genson, Angelo B. 75 57 146. Guiani, Guinald M. 68 60 147. Guina, Graciano P. 66 69 MRD- Homeres, 148. Praxedes P. 74 74

73 75 67 75 74 75 63 67 70 72 63 75 65 60 60 78 70 75 69 60 74 63 75 66 74

65 67 54 65 74 67 60 78 52 75 71 69 70 74 70 75 72 56 85 71 60 53 73 75 75 72 61 65 76 73 85 70 61 55 73 63 60 72 65 85 75 75 65 76 67 70 67 57 70 76 71 65 75 50 80 71 67 60 69 70 70 75 67 75 69 63 80 76 66 80 81 65 75 67 70

78 75 83 75 80 82 85 79 75 75 85 75 92 90 84 75 75 91 75 68 81 84 82 81 77

56 77 61 71 75 77 53 57 78 69 79 78 75 70 68 75 61 51 75 72 75 62 51 75 69

69.55 71.5 69.6 73.35 71.9 73.7 70.85 72.5 72.05 72.95 70.55 70.55 71.75 72.75 71.35 70.15 72.75 72.3 70.65 62.05 73.15 70.1 73.95 73.75 72.05

149. Ibarra, Venancio M. 60 75 150. Imperial, Monico L. 72 78 MRD- Ibasco, Jr., 151. Emiliano M. 71 70

152. Inandan, Fortunato 77 77 C. 153. Jimenez, Florencio 75 70 C. 154. Kintanar, Woodrow 70 83 M. 155. Languido, Cesar V. 63 71 156. Lavilles, Cesar L. 157. Llenos, Francisco U. 158. Leon, Marcelo D. de 159. Llanto, Priscilla 160. Machachor, Oscar MRD- Magsino, 161. Encarnacion 61 89 64 70 63 73 72 68 68 59 77 66

MRD- Maligaya, Demetrio 70 61 162. M. 163. Manio, Gregorio 67 67 164. Puzon, Eduardo S. 72 82 MRD- Marcial, Meynardo 66 75 165. R. 166. Martin, Benjamin S. 68 72 MRD- Monterroyo, 167. Catalina S. MRD- Montero, 168. Leodegario C. 169. Monzon, Candido T. 70 80 73 67 70 72

170. Natividad, Alberto M.

73 79

68 68 75 76 69 66 65 62 68 73 68 61 62 70 65 63 73 72 75 65 69 75 72 66 67 69

65 73 69 85 81 66 65 79 68 65 74 67 55 66 70 80 72 63 70 75 64 65 78 59 75 74 68 75 69 64 65 65 65 80 71 77 60 88 66 70 72 73 75 68 68 75 76 73 75 67 68 65 73 60 75 65 70 75 81 75 65 68 70 75 68 62 75 71 59 80 66 59 65 76 72 70 76 73

75 71 85 75 77 82 75 75 80 76 88 79 67 85 79 68 77 76 76 70 81 76 84 79 76 82

79 74 62 69 75 69 70 66 53 69 75 65 79 57 62 62 69 75 64 75 71 79 65 67 53 79

72.2 72.1 73.5 73.75 70.5 72.95 69.95 70.2 72.3 70 73.35 70.9 70.15 72.65 72.2 70.35 70.85 73 72.5 73 71.7 73.1 73.3 70.35 69.7 73.75

MRD- Navallo, Capistrano 70 72 171. C. 172. Nisce, Camilo Z. MRD- Ocampo, Antonio 173. F. de 174. Olaviar, Jose O. MRD- Perez, Cesario Z. 175. 177. Ramos-Balmori, Manuela 178. Recinto, Ireneo I. MRD- Redor, Francisco 179. K. MRD- Regis, Deogracias 180. A. 181. Rigor, Estelita C. MRD- Rimorin-Gordo, 182. Estela 66 66 75 81 72 70 75 76

176. Pogado, Causin O. 70 66 75 73 73 76 62 77 76 74 67 78 70 72

183. Rosario, Prisco del 70 64 184. Rosario, Vicente D. 75 91 del 185. Saavedra, Felipe 187. Salem, Romulo R. 188. Foz, Julita A. 189. Santa Ana, Candido T. 190. Santos, Aquilino 191. Santos, Valeriano V. 192. Suico, Samuel 193. Suson, Teodorico 73 80 77 81 75 72 77 69 72 66 76 72 73 79 74 68 186. Salazar, Alfredo N. 66 72

194. Tado, Florentino P. 64 76 195. Tapayan, Domingo 69 72 A.

MRD67 60 Tiausas, Miguel V. 196. 197. Torres, Carlos P. 198. Tria, Hipolito 200. Villa, Francisco C. 201. Villagonzalo, Job R. 202. Villarama, Jr., Pedro 1952 203. Abacon, Pablo MRP- Abad, Agapito 204. 75 72 73 76 68 71 69 72 65 80 78 67 75 74

71 71 75 75 73 74 75

75 79 67 70 70 63 60 69 54 75 71 67 75 68 79 65 72 51 55 75 66

84 82 78 78 65 69 67

60 71 66 76 75 71 75

72.7 71.6 70.05 72.1 70.2 70.25 71.45

199. Velasco, Avelino A. 65 72

78 73 76 79 78 93 61 80 71 78 80 78 61 73 66 75

81 78 72 85 75 63 81 70 66 87 76 51 84 70 75 91 68 59 83 72 87 81 73 70 73 76 65 87 56 65 84 75 58 77 66 78 88 76 67 88 72 62 87 63 77 81 61 67

64 62 77 63 69 60 72 72 68 77 76 69 79 72 75 73

55 75 58 70 70 60 70 62 65 70 75 62 75 62 77 65

72.7 70.95 72.7 71.7 72.9 71.2 71.9 73.65 71.85 72.8 73.65 73.55 73.4 72.65 73. 70.75

MRP- Abella, Ludovico B. 70 81 205. MRP- Abellera, Geronimo 75 79 206. F. MRP- Abenojar, Agapito 207. N. 209. Alano, Fabian T. 71 72

208. Alandy, Doroteo R. 64 83 70 83 MRP- Alcantara, Pablo V. 71 79 210. 211. Arcangel, Agustin Ag. MRP- Abinguna, Agapito 213. C. 214. Adove, Nehemias C. 215. Adrias, Inocencio C. 217. Andrada, Mariano L. 75 85

212. Acosta, Dionisio N. 75 81 66 85 76 86 75 83

216. Aglugub, Andres R. 75 83 76 85

MRP- Almeda, Serafin V. 72 72 218.

219. Almonte-Peralta, Felicidad MRP- Amodia, Juan T. 220. MRP- Antonio, Felino A. 221. MRP- Antonio, Jose S. 222.

73 71 75 79 71 76 75 92

72 68 81 90 78 57 50 70 78 70 89 83 79 82 77 67 78 84 63 76 64 73 81 77

91 75 67 85 62 64 83 79 52 68 65 64 81 64 63 78 69 70 89 76 77 81 73 70 89 72 67 79 66 55 75 70 54 80 69 70 90 64 60 77 64 61 81 75 63 80 67 65 88 62 76 85 58 61 87 80 67 92 70 66 73 75 71 82 63 77 73 75 57 84 75 63

65 75 72 68 74 69 70 67 77 75 66 61 67 65 71 70 67 71 80 67 76 75 75 68

53 78 70 60 76 80 70 78 65 75 75 65 50 80 75 81 78 62 70 62 76 50 80 62

70.7 71.4 73.3 73.75 72.7 67.7 70.8 72.2 73.95 70.85 73.3 73 70.65 70.5 73.95 70.7 71.2 71.25 72.75 72.65 72.85 73.15 73.95 72.85

223. Aonuevo, Ramos 71 87 B. 224. Aquino, S. Rey A. 225. Arteche, Filomeno D. MRP- Arribas, Isaac M. 226. 67 77 78 83 75 78

MRP- Azucena, Ceferino 72 67 227. D. 228. Atienza, Ricardo 72 87 229. Balacuit, Camilo N. 75 78 MRP- Baclig, Cayetano S. 77 84 230. 231. Balcita, Oscar C. 75 77 232. Barilea, Dominador 71 67 Z. MRP- Banta, Jose Y. 233. MRP- Barrientos, 234. Ambrosio D. 235. Batucan, Jose M. 237. Bautista, Celso J. 238. Belderon, Jose MRP- Belo, Victor B. 239. 75 80 76 70 66 76 71 68 76 81 76 77

236. Bautista, Atilano C. 70 82

MRP- Bejec, Conceso D. 79 80 240. MRP- Beltran, Gervasio 241. M. MRP- Benaojan, 72 75 74 84

242. Robustiano O. MRP- Beria, Roger C. 243. MRP- Bihis, Marcelo M. 244. 70 80 75 86 79 65 78 76 75 71 62 76 78 53 83 66 80 81 69 71 77 71 71 53 81 79 68 72 92 64 64 83 73 59 83 68 59 75 70 55 78 71 67 91 72 63 75 74 70 89 58 70 91 71 85 84 60 62 88 69 75 67 62 71 77 78 51 80 58 64 87 70 66 90 62 75 89 70 55 90 65 75 87 78 63 76 64 75 64 84 70 71 72 71 76 71 67 75 71 68 66 75 78 69 66 72 72 76 68 78 75 82 78 80 60 80 60 71 76 50 76 62 75 75 62 82 75 60 91 56 71.85 73.45 72.75 73.05 72.75 71.15 70.9 72.2 70.5 73.3 70.85 70.6 70.85 73.7 71.8 71.8 71.95 71 70.65 71.2 73.15

MRP- Binaoro, Vicente M. 73 69 245. MRP- Bobila, Rosalio B. 246. 247. Buenafe, Avelina R. 248. Bueno, Anastacio F. 249. Borres, Maximino L. MRP- Cabegin, Cesar V. 250. 76 86 78 80 73 78 67 85 72 71

MRP- Cabello, Melecio F. 72 78 251. MRP- Cabrera, Irineo M. 252. 253. Cabreros, Paulino N. 79 88 71 79

254. Calayag, Florentino 69 79 R. MRP- Calzada, Cesar de 76 72 255. la 256. Canabal, Isabel 70 82 MRP- Cabugao, Pablo N. 76 87 257. 258. Calagi, Mateo C. 259. Canda, Benjamin S. 260. Cantoria, Eulogio 261. Capacio, Jr., Conrado 73 93 72 71 71 80 67 78

262. Capitulo, Alejandro 75 70 P. MRP- Calupitan, Jr., 75 93

263. Alfredo MRP- Caluya, Arsenio V. 75 86 264. MRP- Campanilla, 265. Mariano B. MRP- Campos, Juan A. 266. 267. Cardoso, Angelita G. 268. Cartagena, Herminio R. MRP- Castro, Daniel T. 269. 270. Cauntay, Gaudencio V. 272. Cerio, Juan A. 273. Colorado, Alfonso R. 274. Chavez, Doroteo M. 275. Chavez, Honorato A. MRP- Cobangbang, 276. Orlando B. 277. Cortez, Armando R. 80 75 66 85 78 71 71 72 65 75 70 78 70 78 83 73 65 77 72 69 75 80 79 79 74 88 74 78 79 63 64 76 87 77 52 77 73 71 84 67 61 76 79 56 89 64 73 76 85 60 73 77 69 87 76 75 86 60 54 74 77 66 84 73 69 86 74 53 82 76 61 86 60 66 76 62 55 86 79 50 85 72 57 83 76 72 92 67 75 80 70 71 77 63 80 69 80 75 64 72 76 67 66 71 78 69 76 80 68 68 73 75 82 76 57 60 70 69 80 70 75 80 84 75 80 64 66 60 75 65 76 71 73.9 73.65 73.25 71.8 71.65 73.15 71.2 73.35 71.75 72.6 73.1 73.65 73.85 73.1 71.45 73.7 72.95 72.4 71.45 73.35

271. Castro, Pedro L. de 70 68 75 82 68 75 73 65 77 76 69 81 78 60

278. Crisostomo, Jesus 76 87 L. MRP- Cornejo, Crisanto 279. R. MRP- Cruz, Raymundo 280. MRP- Cunanan, Jose C. 281. 68 87 75 81 78 92

282. Cunanan, Salvador 70 82 F. 283. Cimafranca, Agustin B. 71 76

284. Crisol, Getulio R.

70 91

78 69 72 87 82 82 86 64 71 82 63 81 53 78 73 85 75 84 88 73 58 74 80 82

85 68 55 82 66 62 86 80 55 83 71 50 74 80 67 84 77 52 73 54 54 89 71 78 81 69 75 73 79 70 67 64 60 82 68 63 88 75 77 86 76 72 83 66 67 76 66 63 89 75 62 84 71 59 93 72 67 81 63 77 68 66 64 86 58 67 82 80 71 83 65 60

71 80 68 65 67 73 75 75 80 72 70 71 62 64 65 76 75 69 65 69 75 70 67 75

50 71 79 70 57 50 75 66 70 56 72 75 76 75 66 75 65 86 75 75 78 76 70 75

70.8 72.85 71.5 71.25 73.65 72.65 72.25 72.8 73.65 73.9 68.35 72.2 68.05 73.9 70.65 73.95 72 73.4 73.2 72.65 67.1 71.7 73.05 73.9

MRP- Dusi, Felicisimo R. 76 82 285. MRP- Datu, Alfredo J. 286. 287. Dacuma, Luis B. 70 75 71 67

MRP- Degamo, Pedro R. 73 80 288. 289. Delgado, Vicente N. 70 84

MRP- Diolazo, Ernesto A. 75 83 290. 291. Dionisio, Jr., Guillermo 73 84

MRP- Dichoso, Alberto M. 71 77 292. MRP- Dipasupil, Claudio 293. R. MRP- Delgado, Abner 294. MRP- Domingo, 295. Dominador T. MRP- Duque, Antonio S. 297. 298. Duque, Castulo 300. Edisa, Sulpicio 301. Edradan, Rosa C. MRP- Enage, Jacinto N. 302. MRP- Encarnacion, 303. Alfonso B. 70 76 75 84 70 69

296. Ducusin, Agapito B. 70 78 75 77 75 80 65 77 70 75 66 70 75 86

299. Ebbah, Percival B. 70 80

304. Encarnacion, Cesar 65 78 305. Estoista, Agustin A. 78 76 MRP- Fabros, Jose B. 306. 66 75

MRP- Fajardo, Balbino P. 77 69 307.

308. Fajardo, Genaro P. 70 79 309. Evangelista, Felicidad P. 310. Familara, Raymundo Z. 311. Farias, Dionisio 312. Favila, Hilario B. 75 75 68 75 70 78 71 84

77 72 87 89 74 70 86 77 70 72 71 74 82 84 77 86 75 84 87 80 81 70 75 74

79 79 50 87 63 63 83 64 65 66 65 75 70 75 67 85 69 81 79 70 76 83 67 60 70 78 65 74 60 71 77 68 61 69 71 71 83 70 63 76 70 57 90 67 61 78 60 61 75 63 70 91 80 51 65 78 71 85 71 56 86 67 63 72 76 60 81 68 62 90 79 59

73 77 68 70 73 72 64 68 64 79 76 73 75 71 72 75 70 65 62 70 69 75 73 76

75 70 65 50 59 70 50 73 75 79 60 60 65 60 75 70 65 70 62 53 55 68 68 65

72.5 72.15 71.85 72.75 72.2 72.25 73 72.05 70.35 73.55 70.9 72.85 73.75 71.95 73.15 73.05 71.85 72.85 73.4 71.15 72.55 70.95 71.25 72.8

MRP- Feliciano, Alberto I. 71 69 313. MRP- Fernando, Lope F. 73 77 314. MRP- Flores, Dionisio S. 315. MRP- Fortich, Benjamin 316. B. 78 72 70 82

MRP- Fuente, Jose S. de 76 88 317. la 318. Fohmantes, Nazario S. 72 79

MRP- Fuggan, Lorenzo B. 76 81 319. 320. Gabuya, Jesus S. 321. Galang, Victor N. 323. Galem, Nestor R. 324. Gallardo, Jose Pe B. MRP- Gallos, Cirilo B. 325. 70 83 69 83 72 79 75 88 70 78

322. Gaerlan, Manuel L. 73 87

326. Galindo, Eulalio D. 70 89 327. Galman, Patrocinio 72 72 G. 328. Gamalinda, Carlos 76 79 S. 329. Gamboa, Antonio G. 330. Gannod, Jose A. MRP- Garcia, Matias N. 331. 71 67 69 80 67 78

MRP- Ganete, Carmelo 332.

75 87

77 80 72 71 85 71 90 72 69 79 74 64 71 84 72

82 74 57 82 67 57 86 78 52 81 76 63 78 64 69 89 55 70 84 77 59 67 70 60 84 64 79 73 72 69 72 61 66 81 74 61 87 73 60 76 66 58 81 72 72

68 64 70 69 70 70 69 73 75 68 78 78 67 76 66

81 70 76 62 54 60 65 73 76 80 75 58 55 60 76

73.3 70.5 70.9 70.85 72.35 70.05 73.3 70.75 73.6 73.9 70.75 71.75 69.65 72.9 70.6

333. Gilbang, Gaudioso 75 67 R. 334. Gofredo, Claro C. 335. Gomez, Jose S. 68 78 71 76

MRP- Gosiaoco, Lorenzo 68 93 336. V. MRP- Gonzales, Rafael 337. C. MRP- Gracia, Eulalia L. 338. de 339. Grageda, Jose M. A. 340. Guzman, Juan de 77 75 66 68 70 85 75 86

MRP- Guzman, Mateo de 76 79 341. 342. Guzman, Salvador 71 61 B. 343. Guzman, Salvador 75 84 T. de 344. Habelito, Geronimo 71 76 E. 345. Hedriana, Naterno G. 75 68

346. Hernandez, Quintin 67 75 B. 1952 347. Homeres, Agustin R. 348. Ines, Leonilo F. 349. Jamer, Alipio S. MRP- Ibasco, Jr., 350. Emiliano M. MRP- Jardinico, Jr., 351. Emilio 73 84 65 88 68 75 75 65 73 86

65 71 83 68 72 78 79

86 70 77 88 77 73 89 80 61 85 76 70 78 82 67 84 71 66 70 72 57

63 61 65 83 67 70 71

76 70 50 54 64 77 50

70.7 70.55 72 73.8 72.8 73.85 70.75

MRP- Jaen, Justiniano F. 76 75 352. 353. Jaring, Antonio S. 72 77

MRP- Javier, Aquilino M. 354. MRP- Jose, Nestor L. 356. 357. La Q, Jose M.

75 84

79 72 64 75 78 79 80 80 69 69 78 72 84 64 77 74 73 73 60 83 74 76 75 72

78 77 61 88 78 58 73 68 76 72 70 67 91 78 51 84 73 60 87 73 62 78 64 59 70 73 76 83 59 53 88 64 58 83 66 75 76 70 62 82 88 75 83 59 71 89 58 60 76 77 50 91 69 71 72 73 51 75 69 62 76 64 75 78 72 71 77 72 50 79 73 76

66 76 64 81 72 77 70 75 74 74 75 72 65 71 72 72 76 65 75 69 75 75 78 69

66 43 80 59 80 60 61 63 75 75 77 70 68 79 78 76 76 70 86 70 57 53 80 77

73.05 72.4 69.7 73.5 72.55 73 72.4 73 73.2 68.4 73.95 72.5 73.05 72.85 73.3 71.1 72.3 72.1 67.9 72.75 71.9 72.95 73.2 71.3

355. Jomuad, Francisco 75 75 78 61 75 71

358. Leon, Brigido C. de 67 75 359. Leones, Constante 68 81 B. 360. Liboro, Horacio T. 361. Llanera, Cesar L. 363. Luna, Lucito MRP- Luz, Lauro L. 364. MRP- Macasaet, Tomas 365. S. 366. Magbiray, Godofredo V. 367. Majarais, Rodolfo P. MRP- Makabenta, 368. Eduardo 72 69 77 81 70 75 76 90 73 81 80 67 70 62 75 90

362. Lomontod, Jose P. 75 76

MRP- Malapit, Justiniano 74 83 369. S. 370. Maloles, Iluminado 70 87 M. 371. Maniquis, Daniel R. 75 80 372. Maraa, Arsenio 373. Marasigan, Napoleon MRP- Marco, Jaime P. 374. 65 79 75 71 75 67

MRP- Martir, Osmundo P. 70 86 375. MRP- Masancay, 376. Amando E. MRP- Mati-ong, Ignacio 377. T. 73 87 62 87

378. Mara, Guillermo L. 70 78 MRP- Mercado, Felipe A. 73 77 379. MRP- Miculob, Eugenio 380. P. 381. Mison, Rafael M. Jr., MRP- Monponbanua, 382. Antonio D. MRP- Montero, 383. Leodegario C. 70 82 79 78 79 79 72 89

78 82 73 73 68 69 67 78 75 70 74 64 71 77 81 69 78 67 77 68 74 85 76 84

89 75 67 82 78 52 86 77 52 75 71 68 88 64 78 89 70 68 71 65 66 84 60 73 85 72 55 94 72 75 86 78 63 81 73 50 76 76 79 77 72 62 80 73 56 73 57 37 67 75 59 90 72 68 72 69 55 72 84 50 67 73 66 81 74 50 87 72 66 86 66 50

66 69 79 69 69 70 75 68 77 70 72 75 75 76 72 64 71 78 65 75 68 68 70 72

65 85 65 53 83 75 76 70 66 57 66 75 57 76 70 72 76 67 67 79 70 79 79 68

72.35 73.9 72.8 71.95 73.1 72.15 70.9 73 73.15 73.75 72.15 69.15 72.05 72.9 73.15 63.6 71.35 73.65 60.7 71.9 71.85 71.8 73.45 71.45

384. Morada, Servillano 75 76 S. 385. Mocorro, Generoso 78 84 MRP- Mosquera, 386. Estanislao L. 388. Macario, Pedro R. MRP- Nadela, Geredion 389. T. MRP- Nazareno, Romeo 390. P. MRP- Noguera, 392. Raymundo 75 78

387. Motus, Rodentor P. 80 78 70 67 72 64 67 70

391. Nieto, Benedicto S. 69 79 71 86

MRP- Nodado, Domiciano 70 70 393. R. 394. Nono, Pacifico G. MRP- Nuval, Manuel R. 395. 396. Ocampo, Augusto 398. Opia, Jr., Pedro MRP- Olaviar, Jose O. 399. 67 77 78 72 75 90 76 77 70 62

397. Oliveros, Amado A. 72 75

MRP- Olandesca, Per O. 70 91 400. 401. Orden, Apolonio J. 72 65

402. Ortiz, Melencio T. MRP- Pablo, Fedelino S. 403. MRP- Paderna, Perfecto 405. D. 406. Padlan, Crispin M. 407. Padilla, Jose C. 408. Padilla, Jr., Estanislao E. MRP- Palma, Bartolome 409. MRP- Papa, Angel A. 410. MRP- Parayno, Mario V. 411. 412. Paria, Santos L. MRP- Pasion, Anastacio 413. 414. Pastrana, Rizal R. MRP- Paulin, Jose O. 415.

71 75 72 64

78 76 69 72 76 67 78 80 85 74 85 68 71 80 73 75 81 74 72 74 82 75 81 60 79

81 66 67 86 72 61 80 76 52 75 78 58 79 68 67 82 78 75 86 59 75 82 71 75 85 77 59 89 69 66 77 64 67 81 82 79 76 68 63 87 75 50 83 69 71 62 75 70 92 69 58 87 59 68 82 69 71 86 65 79 76 66 64 87 74 67 69 72 53 93 64 78 82 65 62

70 76 72 75 74 78 78 69 63 76 63 76 77 65 68 60 67 76 60 65 74 64 67 76 71

78 75 80 70 66 75 50 75 71 73 76 58 83 80 65 66 70 75 75 72 50 75 70 83 66

72.1 72.95 71.95 72.6 71.65 73.3 72.95 73.25 73.45 73.65 71.85 72.55 71.65 70.9 73.2 70.4 71.25 73.2 71.15 70.55 72.15 70.8 71.05 72.9 71.55

404. Pacifico, Vicente V. 76 79 75 69 71 66 70 65 71 88 67 81 75 72 71 88 70 87 63 80 69 76 70 66

MRP- Pelaez, Jr., Vicente 79 87 416. C. 417. Pea, Jesus 418. Perez, Toribio R. 419. Pestao, Melquiades MRP- Pido, Serafin C. 420. 421. Pinlac, Filemon 422. Poblete, Celso B. MRP- Piza, Luz 423. 425. Quetulio, Josefina D. 75 75 71 64 77 81 77 81 67 76 72 79 68 70

424. Puzon, Eduardo S. 72 80 75 90

MRP- Quipanes, Melchor 69 88

426. V. MRP- Quietson, Bayani 427. R. 73 75 76 81 73 79 76 76 76 79 81 81 78 84 78 82 65 70 72 75 76 79 65 79 69 77 70 81 82 78 53 87 62 62 79 62 72 75 72 72 90 48 75 67 75 77 91 71 67 90 70 54 78 76 73 83 72 75 68 75 71 79 78 65 82 76 64 86 75 70 90 71 65 94 68 73 77 82 64 63 69 77 83 73 71 70 68 72 90 68 65 75 77 71 71 66 75 68 61 80 55 67 69 69 62 68 64 68 76 75 66 69 65 75 80 66 75 53 54 80 65 75 65 77 70 81 53 70 50 79 60 70 71 80 70 78 70 70 63 70 72.85 70.55 71.65 73.25 72.25 73.45 71.4 73.9 73.35 72.85 72.7 73.9 73.35 73.65 72.7 71.2 72.6 73.7 72.25 73.9 73.15 72.1 72.95

428. Racho, Macario D. 68 75 429. Ramirez, Sabas P. 71 80 MRP- Raffian, Jose A. 430. 80 83

MRP- Ramos, Patricio S. 75 87 431. MRP- Ramos-Balmori, 432. Manuela MRP- Raro, Celso 433. MRP- Rayos, Victor S. 434. 436. Reyes, Abdon L. 438. Reyes, Francisco M. 439. Reyes, Lozano M. MRP- Reyes, Oscar R. 440. 441. Rigonan, Cesar V. 442. Rivera, Honorio MRP- Rivero, 443. Buenaventura A. MRP- Robles, Enrique 444. 78 84 75 81 75 86

435. Revilla, Mariano S. 75 78 72 64 75 85 80 57 75 75 71 85 71 56 72 88 75 77 437. Reyes, Domingo B. 72 87

445. Rodriguez, Orestes 76 75 Arellano 446. Roldan, Jose V. 447. Rosario, Adelaida R. del 448. Rosario, Restituto F. del 67 80 80 75 75 75

MRP- Sabelino, Conrado 71 81 449. S.

450. San Juan, Damaso 77 86 451. Saiel, Felix L. 72 93 452. Samaniego, Jesus 75 80 B. MRP- Sandoval, 453. Emmanuel M. MRP- Sanidad, 454. Emmanuel Q. 455. Santiago, Jr., Cristobal 456. Santillan, Juanito Ll. 75 83 71 75 75 76 76 89

72 76 76 70 81 84 83 78 69 73 79 67 76 82 77 70 70 77 72 78 75 72 76

89 59 76 80 67 75 72 60 67 83 77 67 90 62 64 93 63 65 83 63 58 82 73 76 76 63 64 79 73 79 85 74 72 92 79 59 78 72 75 84 60 69 80 80 53 87 76 70 72 75 75 79 74 68 80 62 75 83 71 61 89 70 75 93 76 57 84 77 75

65 66 68 77 76 59 65 66 71 71 66 76 68 76 70 64 72 72 73 71 67 68 75

72 62 70 60 68 70 52 70 60 85 54 76 67 65 65 70 60 60 80 60 63 54 50

71.6 72.1 70.6 73.95 72.95 71.8 71.25 73.7 66.75 73.8 73.3 73.1 73.5 73.35 70.7 71.9 73.05 71.85 73.95 72 71.65 71.15 73.45

MRP- Santos, Rodolfo C. 75 75 457. MRP- Santos, Ruperto M. 67 54 458. MRP- Santos, Aquilino C. 72 71 459. MRP- Santos, Rufino A. 460. 461. Suanding, Bantas MRP- Sulit, Feliz M. 462. 75 81 75 67 76 79

463. Songco, Felicisimo 70 68 G. 464. Soriano, Aniceto S. 64 79 465. Suarez, Pablo D. MRP- Sybico, Jesus L. 466. 73 85 79 70

467. Tabaque, Benjamin 69 68 R. MRP- Tan Kiang, Clarita 468. MRP- Tando, Amado T. 469. 470. Tasico, Severo E. 81 79 71 82 71 69

471. Tiburcio, Ismael P. 73 82 MRP- Tiongson, Federico 70 70 472. T.

MRP- Tolentino, Jesus C. 75 89 473. 474. Torrijas, Alfredo A. 77 66 MRP- Tobias, Artemio M. 69 58 475. MRP- Trillana, Jr., 476. Apolonio 76 86

63 67 74 76 83 78 77 81 87 75 80 81 79 74 89 58 74 72 70 79 70 67 65

84 85 73 83 68 75 81 71 55 86 70 68 75 63 66 85 78 51 82 67 56 80 71 69 85 56 56 74 73 76 84 62 78 86 72 57 87 70 70 85 60 66 80 56 50 67 76 55 85 62 66 88 76 68 76 64 64 88 66 77 88 76 66 77 62 75 93 70 65

73 71 65 75 67 64 68 68 66 71 71 81 71 76 72 75 72 74 75 67 69 76 65

50 63 57 50 65 75 75 60 60 70 75 70 65 76 67 73 77 59 65 70 50 73 65

73.4 71.3 67.55 73.8 70.8 70.8 72.6 71.7 71 73.55 73.7 73.85 73.8 71.85 71.05 73.65 77.05 73.7 71.2 73.95 70.75 73.15 70.65

MRP- Trinidad, Manuel O. 66 91 477. 478. Trinidad, Pedro O. MRP- Udarbe, Flavio J. 479. 481. Umayam, Juanito C. MRP- Usita, Gelacio U. 482. 483. Valino, Francisco M. 66 78 80 82

480. Umali, Osmundo C. 68 75 77 75 75 72 72 81

484. Varela, Dominador 67 75 M. 485. Vega, Macairog L. de MRP- Velasco, 486. Emmanuel D. 487. Velez, Maria E. MRP- Venal, Artemio V. 488. MRP- Verzosa, Federico 490. B. 78 62 71 80 73 70 78 91

489. Venus, Conrado B. 69 81 75 79

MRP- Villafuerte, Eduardo 75 83 491. V. MRP- Villanueva, Cecilio 492. C. 493. Villar, Custodio R. MRP- Villaseor, 494. Leonidas F. 495. Viterbo, Jose H. 75 85 73 69 80 85 80 77

496. Yaranon, Pedro

70 77

76 72 83 78 76 69

85 72 50 76 63 77 84 62 59 75 60 81 79 62 77 89 76 62

75 70 72 75 69 71

75 60 77 75 82 64

71.85 71.1 72.65 73.95 71.3 71.2

MRP- Yasay, Mariano R. 75 75 497. MRP- Ygay, Venancio M. 73 80 498. 499. Yulo, Jr., Teodoro 500. Zamora, Alberto 73 82 70 65

501. Rigonan, Felipe C. 70 79

A list of those who petitioned for the consolidation of their grades in subjects passed in previous examinations, showing the years in which they took the examinations together with their grades and averages, and those who had filed motions for reconsideration which were denied, indicated by the initials MRD, follows:
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 72

Civ. Land Merc. Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen. Av. 1. Amao, Sulpicio M. 1946 1950 2. Baldo, Olegario Ga. 1951 1952 1953 3. Blanco, Jose B. MRD-1949 1951 4. Condeno, Mateo 1950 1951 5. Ducusin, Agapito B. MRD-1949 1950 69 60 70 71 76 55 73 76 67 67 71 75 55 56 60 89 68.65 68.1 71 70 80 60 62 61 75 75 65 77 81 64 55 67 92 81 69.3 67.85 75 64 75 71 70 58 75 77 65 68 76 70 60 75 90 71 72.15 66.95 65 65 57 76 68 74 58 75 68 55 59 84 72 68 76 63 59 52 75 73 71 72 57 76 64.9 69.75 66.7 68 59 67 80 76 67 76 73 77 62 73 80 49 71 50 57 66.5 67.4

6. Garcia, Manuel N. MRD-1949 1950 7. Luna, Lucito A. 1946 1952 8. Maraa, Arsenio s. 1949 1952 9. Montano, Manuel M. 1951 1952 1953 10. Pea, Jesus S. 1950 1951 1952 11. Placido, Sr., Isidro 1950 1951 12. Rementizo, Filemon S. 1949 1951 1952 13. Amao, Sulpicio M. 1952 1953 14. Rodulfa, Juan T. 67 65 80 67 51 78 69 69 74 75 77 62 73 69 53 80 66.35 70.9 65 68 68 75 57 53 72 48 68 75 60 60 91 67 58 75 66 56 55 55 75 85 75 64 66.65 64.05 65.7 68 65 78 62 70 75 75 69 60 73 70 57 58 75 69 71 67.75 66.8 25 70 75 75 77 75 45 65 75 75 45 79 66 62 75 52 52 70 46 70 60 71 50 66 46.2 66.4 70.4 61 70 78 60 77 64 58 65 66 60 70 79 66 68 81 63 52 50 75 70 71 64 50 78 64.8 66.4 70.65 72 65 68 79 68 60 75 75 72 73 72 51 60 75 75 86 69.35 67.9 63 70 53 75 69 69 76 75 83 59 76 53 57 74 69 75 66.55 68.4 60 57 70 65 82 51 79 70 69 54 69 85 60 56 80 84 69.25 60.3

1951 1952 15. Sanchez, Juan J. 1948 MRD-1949 1951 16. Santos, Constantino 1952 1953 17. Santos, Salvador H. 1951 1952 1953 18. Sevilla, Macario C. MRD-1948 MRD-1949 1950 MRD-1951 1953

67 70 39 67 70

60 71 69 56 59

70 67 82 69 55

65 68 78 67 75 76 75 72 60 68

56 75 72 77 57

75 71 55 60 78

66 70 50 75 67

67.75 70.1 63.5 68 65.8

62 73

76 71

54 70

82 72 65 78

77 64

66 65

65 78

66.65 70.4

60 75 70 50 47 35 68 70

64 64 71 64 66 65 59 73

55 70 79 76 78 40 72 74

70 68 81 76 65 72 66 66 64 71 75 63 55 69 70 81

52 55 54 69 86 57 65 56

70 61 66 60 65 27 75 69

75 75 80 52 85 49 75 71

62.85 69.1 70 63.1 68 45 69.3 71.05

Finally, with regards to the examinations of 1953, while some candidates--85 in all--presented motions for reconsideration of their grades, others invoked the provisions of Republic Act No. 972. A list of those candidates separating those who filed mere motions for reconsideration (56) from those who invoked the aforesaid Republic act, is as follows: 1953 PETITIONERS FOR RECONSIDERATION Civ. Lan Merc Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen. d . Av. 1. Acenas, Calixto R. 2. Alcantara, Pedro N. 3. Alejandro, Exequiel 73 70 67 70 67 72 68 75 71 62 82 51 85 87 54 75 80 76 67 71 75 77 80 77 73.45 72.8 73.4

4. Andres, Gregorio M. 5. Arnaiz, Antonio E. 6. Asis, Floriano U. de 8. Bala, Florencio F. 9. Baldo, Olegario A. 10. Barrios, Benjamin O. 11. Buhay, Eduardo L. 12. Burgos, Dominador C. 13. Cario, Eldo J. 14. Casar, Dimapuro 16. Estrellado, Benjamin R. 18. Feril, Domingo B.

70 73 66 80 66 78 64 82 57 74 65 71 73 76 72 80 79 81 67 73 67 79

86 76 75 76 47 68 76 71 89 60 84 80 64 68 84 87 86 70 75 76 66 76 75 78 67 68 60 70 66 73

58 79 50 58 79 68 81 77 55 68 76 50 70 82 58 68 76 52 75 80 62 91 76 61 61 66 37 75 74 74 79 77 61 71 75 70 73 82 62 69 77 60 65 70 60 80 81 63 77 64 74 75 73 63 59 80 51 84 77 57 70 72 59 77 81 62 70 77 55 65 78 56 69 73 59 68 71 51 71 79 62 61 79 68 75 85 73 78 83 52

71 77 73 75 75 71 83 74 69 76 71 73 71 76 65 61 66 73 72 77 71 70 71 69 73 75 68 75 71 72

78 81 69 70 82 76 73 78 68 74 74 78 74 74 70 80 69 75 71 83 74 68 82 81 75 78 72 72 75 75

72.7 73.4 71.25 70.95 67 66.7 73.95 73.35 70.05 73 73.35 73.95 70.2 71.1 71.6 72.8 73.9 71.65 71 73.6 69.1 73.7 70.35 69.9 70.45 70.85 69.75 71.1 72.75 72.35

7. Bacaiso, Celestino M. 71 65

15. Castaeda, Gregorio 70 73

17. Fabunan, Edilberto C. 70 72 75 71 19. Fernandez, Alejandro 65 75 G. 20. Gapus, Rosita S. (Miss) 21. Garcia, Rafael B. 22. Gracia, Miguel L. de 76 80 70 86 73 68

23. Gungon, Armando G. 68 76 24. Gutierrez, Antonio S. 68 77 25. Ilejay, Abraham I. 26. Leon, Benjamin La. De 27. Lugtu, Felipe L. 28. Lukman, AbdulHamid 77 70 66 66 62 70 76 64

29. Maloles, Jr., Benjamin 77 76 G. 30. Maloles, Julius G. 31. Mandi, Santiago P. 32. Margete, Rufino C. 33. Melocoton, Nestorio 77 71 65 76 70 76 70 81

B. 34. Molina, Manuel C. 35. Muoz, Mariano A. 36. Navarro, Buenaventura M. 37. Nodado, Domiciano R. 39. Pagulayan-Sy, Fernando 40. Padula, Benjamin C. 41. Pasno, Enrique M. 42. Pea, Jr., Narciso 43. Peralta, Rodolfo P. 44. Pigar, Leopoldo R. 45. Publico, Paciano L. 46. Radaza, Leovigildo 47. Ramos, Bernardo M. 48. Rabaino, Andres D. 49. Ravanera, Oscar N. 50. Renovilla, Jose M. 51. Sabaot, Solomon B. 75 78 75 80 80 75 60 67 70 86 65 67 71 71 54 66 81 52 78 76 76 75 75 80 80 80 69 74 47 67 56 61 75 63 67 74 57 75 83 55 50 70 50 61 70 56 62 83 67 62 74 78 54 71 58 78 67 66 81 68 63 61 72 72 76 70 59 61 77 50 93 81 52 73 78 55 71 82 62 68 79 52 69 82 69 76 74 56 75 73 50 77 69 50 52 73 64 75 68 54 66 68 73 56 66 70 75 72 67 59 71 74 71 66 69 69 62 69 72 68 67 71 70 85 76 79 75 67 72 68 78 73 69 79 67 86 80 76 78 78 79 68 72 77 65 77 70.95 73.75 73 61.7 66 70.4 69.05 69.85 72.55 63.7 73.75 70.6 72.2 70.1 70.65 73.6 69.5 73.85 69.1 69.55 60.9 67.15 64.5

38. Papas, Sisenando B. 65 62 63 75 70 77 78 72 70 95 70 70 76 75 68 69 75 78 64 62 68 72 70 77 65 75 69 73

52. Sumaway, Ricardo S. 66 76 53. Torrefiel, Sofronio O. 70 77 54. Vera, Federico V. de 55. Viray, Venancio Bustos 56. Ylaya, Angela P. (Miss) 60 61 65 67 63 70

PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972 Civ. Lan Merc Int. Pol. Crim. Rem. Leg. Gen. d . Av. 1. Ala, Narciso 2. Alcantara, Pedro N. 3. Arellano, Antonio L. 70 71 67 70 74 66 73 75 73 59 73 74 85 87 54 60 78 63 81 71 78 77 80 72 73.5 72.8 72.9

4. Buhay, Eduardo L. 6. Casuncad, Sulvio P. 7. Enriquez, Pelagio y Concepcion 8. Estonina, Severino

73 76 61 73 84 69 80 74

71 84 82 76 64 87 77 87 89 83 78 86 75 79 78 66 74 76 77 83 78 70 79 74 70 76

91 76 61 75 75 61 69 81 68 75 82 50 89 81 56 80 81 63 75 78 67 78 75 50 68 83 51 83 73 62 66 79 61 78 60 61 74 76 50 79 74 72 61 80 74 68 81 50 58 68 70 67 72 69 76 81 59 60 76 75 74 75 62 65 78 64 65 72 54 70 81 56 67 69 77 73 80 58

74 68 71 58 68 61 72 68 70 62 69 75 72 68 62 71 76 72 72 70 69 65 66 69 64 68

78 72 84 79 82 80 73 68 75 70 82 70 76 77 70 78 71 79 74 70 80 78 80 71 77 83

73.35 73.2 73.05 72.05 72.4 72.8 73.35 72.3 73.25 71 71.6 73.05 72.3 72.75 71.45 70.65 71.6 72.6 73.2 72.9 70.9 70.4 70 71.05 73.2 73.25

5. Calautit, Celestino R. 71 78

9. Fernandez, Alejandro 65 75 Q. 10. Fernandez, Luis N. 11. Figueroa, Alfredo A. 12. Formilleza, Pedro 13. Garcia, Manuel M. 14. Grospe, Vicente E. 15. Galema, Nestor R. (1952) 16. Jacobo, Rafael F. 17. Macalindong, Reinerio L. 19. Montano, Manuel M. 20. Plomantes, Marcos 21. Ramos, Eugenio R. 22. Reyes, Juan R. 23. Reyes, Santiago R. 24. Rivera, Eulogio J. 25. Santos, Constantino P. 26. Santos, Salvador H. 27. Sevilla, Macario C. 29. Viray, Ruperto G. 70 75 70 75 65 75 69 68 68 75 72 79 76 76 67 77

18. Mangubat, Antonio M. 70 70 78 64 73 67 70 80 71 73 65 78 65 67 73 71 70 71 70 73 76 73

28. Villavicencio, Jose A. 78 75

There are the unsuccessful candidates totaling 604 directly affected by this resolution. Adding 490 candidates who have not presented any petition, they reach a total of 1,094. The Enactment of Republic Act No. 972

As will be observed from Annex I, this Court reduced to 72 per cent the passing general average in the bar examination of august and November of 1946; 69 per cent in 1947; 70 per cent in 1948; 74 per cent in 1949; maintaining the prescribed 75 per cent since 1950, but raising to 75 per cent those who obtained 74 per cent since 1950. This caused the introduction in 1951, in the Senate of the Philippines of Bill No. 12 which was intended to amend Sections 5, 9, 12, 14 and 16 of Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, concerning the admission of attorneys-at-law to the practice of the profession. The amendments embrace many interesting matters, but those referring to sections 14 and 16 immediately concern us. The proposed amendment is as follows: SEC. 14. Passing average. In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed the examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the average, the foregoing subjects shall be given the following relative weights: Civil Law, 20 per cent; Land Registration and Mortgages, 5 per cent; Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law, 10 per cent; Political Law, 10 per cent; International Law, 5 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent; Social Legislation, 5 per cent; Taxation, 5 per cent. Unsuccessful candidates shall not be required to take another examination in any subject in which they have obtained a rating of 70 per cent or higher and such rating shall be taken into account in determining their general average in any subsequent examinations: Provided, however, That if the candidate fails to get a general average of 70 per cent in his third examination, he shall lose the benefit of having already passed some subjects and shall be required to the examination in all the subjects. SEC. 16. Admission and oath of successful applicants. Any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without falling below 50 per cent in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, or who has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the bar, shall be allowed to take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of office. (Arts. 4 and 5, 8, No. 12). With the bill was an Explanatory Note, the portion pertinent to the matter before us being: It seems to be unfair that unsuccessful candidates at bar examinations should be compelled to repeat even those subjects which they have previously passed. This is not the case in any other government examination. The Rules of Court have therefore been amended in this measure to give a candidate due credit for any subject which he has previously passed with a rating of 75 per cent or higher." Senate Bill No. 12 having been approved by Congress on May 3, 1951, the President requested the comments of this Tribunal before acting on the same. The comment was signed by seven Justices while three chose to refrain from making any and one took no part. With regards to the matter that interests us, the Court said: The next amendment is of section 14 of Rule 127. One part of this amendment provides that if a bar candidate obtains 70 per cent or higher in any subject, although failing to pass the examination, he need not be examined in said subject in his next examination. This is a sort of passing the Bar Examination on the installment plan, one or two or three

subjects at a time. The trouble with this proposed system is that although it makes it easier and more convenient for the candidate because he may in an examination prepare himself on only one or two subjects so as to insure passing them, by the time that he has passed the last required subjects, which may be several years away from the time that he reviewed and passed the firs subjects, he shall have forgotten the principles and theories contained in those subjects and remembers only those of the one or two subjects that he had last reviewed and passed. This is highly possible because there is nothing in the law which requires a candidate to continue taking the Bar examinations every year in succession. The only condition imposed is that a candidate, on this plan, must pass the examination in no more that three installments; but there is no limitation as to the time or number of years intervening between each examination taken. This would defeat the object and the requirements of the law and the Court in admitting persons to the practice of law. When a person is so admitted, it is to be presumed and presupposed that he possesses the knowledge and proficiency in the law and the knowledge of all law subjects required in bar examinations, so as presently to be able to practice the legal profession and adequately render the legal service required by prospective clients. But this would not hold true of the candidates who may have obtained a passing grade on any five subjects eight years ago, another three subjects one year later, and the last two subjects the present year. We believe that the present system of requiring a candidate to obtain a passing general average with no grade in any subject below 50 per cent is more desirable and satisfactory. It requires one to be all around, and prepared in all required legal subjects at the time of admission to the practice of law. xxx xxx xxx

We now come to the last amendment, that of section 16 of Rule 127. This amendment provides that any application who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office. In other words, Bar candidates who obtained not less than 70 per cent in any examination since the year 1946 without failing below 50 per cent in any subject, despite their non-admission to the Bar by the Supreme Court because they failed to obtain a passing general average in any of those years, will be admitted to the Bar. This provision is not only prospective but retroactive in its effects. We have already stated in our comment on the next preceding amendment that we are not exactly in favor of reducing the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent to govern even in the future. As to the validity of making such reduction retroactive, we have serious legal doubts. We should not lose sight of the fact that after every bar examinations, the Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general average grade, but also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed. The present amendment would have the effect of repudiating, reversing and revoking the Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may have obtained an average of 70 per cent or more but less than the general passing average fixed for that year. It is clear that this question involves legal implications, and this phase of the

amendment if finally enacted into law might have to go thru a legal test. As one member of the Court remarked during the discussion, when a court renders a decision or promulgate a resolution or order on the basis of and in accordance with a certain law or rule then in force, the subsequent amendment or even repeal of said law or rule may not affect the final decision, order, or resolution already promulgated, in the sense of revoking or rendering it void and of no effect. Another aspect of this question to be considered is the fact that members of the bar are officers of the courts, including the Supreme Court. When a Bar candidate is admitted to the Bar, the Supreme Court impliedly regards him as a person fit, competent and qualified to be its officer. Conversely, when it refused and denied admission to the Bar to a candidate who in any year since 1946 may have obtained a general average of 70 per cent but less than that required for that year in order to pass, the Supreme Court equally and impliedly considered and declared that he was not prepared, ready, competent and qualified to be its officer. The present amendment giving retroactivity to the reduction of the passing general average runs counter to all these acts and resolutions of the Supreme Court and practically and in effect says that a candidate not accepted, and even rejected by the Court to be its officer because he was unprepared, undeserving and unqualified, nevertheless and in spite of all, must be admitted and allowed by this Court to serve as its officer. We repeat, that this is another important aspect of the question to be carefully and seriously considered. The President vetoed the bill on June 16, 1951, stating the following: I am fully in accord with the avowed objection of the bill, namely, to elevate the standard of the legal profession and maintain it on a high level. This is not achieved, however, by admitting to practice precisely a special class who have failed in the bar examination, Moreover, the bill contains provisions to which I find serious fundamental objections. Section 5 provides that any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribed the corresponding oath of office. This provision constitutes class legislation, benefiting as it does specifically one group of persons, namely, the unsuccessful candidates in the 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 bar examinations. The same provision undertakes to revoke or set aside final resolutions of the Supreme Court made in accordance with the law then in force. It should be noted that after every bar examination the Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general average but also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have failed. The provision under consideration would have the effect of revoking the Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may have failed to obtain the passing average fixed for that year. Said provision also sets a bad precedent in that the Government would be morally obliged to grant a similar privilege to those who have

failed in the examinations for admission to other professions such as medicine, engineering, architecture and certified public accountancy. Consequently, the bill was returned to the Congress of the Philippines, but it was not repassed by 2/3 vote of each House as prescribed by section 20, article VI of the Constitution. Instead Bill No. 371 was presented in the Senate. It reads as follows: AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM 1946 UP TO AND INCLUDING 1953 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any bar examinations after July 4, 1946 up to the August 1951 Bar examinations; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in the 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; 74 per cent in 1955 bar examinations without a candidate obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar; Provided, however, That 75 per cent passing general average shall be restored in all succeeding examinations; and Provided, finally, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the next whole number. SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any bar examination after July 4, 1945 shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing general average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may take. SEC. 3. This bill shall take effect upon its approval. With the following explanatory note: This is a revised Bar bill to meet the objections of the President and to afford another opportunity to those who feel themselves discriminated by the Supreme Court from 1946 to 1951 when those who would otherwise have passed the bar examination but were arbitrarily not so considered by altering its previous decisions of the passing mark. The Supreme Court has been altering the passing mark from 69 in 1947 to 74 in 1951. In order to cure the apparent arbitrary fixing of passing grades and to give satisfaction to all parties concerned, it is proposed in this bill a gradual increase in the general averages for passing the bar examinations as follows; For 1946 to 1951 bar examinations, 70 per cent; for 1952 bar examination, 71 per cent; for 1953 bar examination, 72 per cent; for 1954 bar examination, 73 percent; and for 1955 bar examination, 74 per cent. Thus in 1956 the passing mark will be restored with the condition that the candidate shall not obtain in any subject a grade of below 50 per cent. The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade, is the tremendous handicap which students during the years immediately

after the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of the preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation. It is believed that by 1956 the preparation of our students as well as the available reading materials will be under normal conditions, if not improved from those years preceding the last world war. In this will we eliminated altogether the idea of having our Supreme Court assumed the supervision as well as the administration of the study of law which was objected to by the President in the Bar Bill of 1951. The President in vetoing the Bar Bill last year stated among his objections that the bill would admit to the practice of law "a special class who failed in the bar examination". He considered the bill a class legislation. This contention, however, is not, in good conscience, correct because Congress is merely supplementing what the Supreme Court have already established as precedent by making as low as 69 per cent the passing mark of those who took the Bar examination in 1947. These bar candidates for who this bill should be enacted, considered themselves as having passed the bar examination on the strength of the established precedent of our Supreme Court and were fully aware of the insurmountable difficulties and handicaps which they were unavoidably placed. We believe that such precedent cannot or could not have been altered, constitutionally, by the Supreme Court, without giving due consideration to the rights already accrued or vested in the bar candidates who took the examination when the precedent was not yet altered, or in effect, was still enforced and without being inconsistent with the principles of their previous resolutions. If this bill would be enacted, it shall be considered as a simple curative act or corrective statute which Congress has the power to enact. The requirement of a "valid classification" as against class legislation, is very expressed in the following American Jurisprudence: A valid classification must include all who naturally belong to the class, all who possess a common disability, attribute, or classification, and there must be a "natural" and substantial differentiation between those included in the class and those it leaves untouched. When a class is accepted by the Court as "natural" it cannot be again split and then have the dissevered factions of the original unit designated with different rules established for each. (Fountain Park Co. vs. Rensier, 199 Ind. 95, N. E. 465 (1926). Another case penned by Justice Cardozo: "Time with its tides brings new conditions which must be cared for by new laws. Sometimes the new conditions affect the members of a class. If so, the correcting statute must apply to all alike. Sometimes the condition affect only a few. If so, the correcting statute may be as narrow as the mischief. The constitution does not prohibit special laws inflexibly and always. It permits them when there are special evils with which the general laws are incompetent to cope. The special public purpose will sustain the special form. . . . The problem in the last analysis is one of legislative policy, with a wide margin of discretion conceded to the lawmakers. Only in the case of plain abuse will there be revision by the court. (In Williams vs. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, 286 U. S. 36, 77 L. Ed. 1015, 53 Sup. Ct. 431). (1932)

This bill has all the earmarks of a corrective statute which always retroacts to the extent of the care of correction only as in this case from 1946 when the Supreme Court first deviated from the rule of 75 per cent in the Rules of Court. For the foregoing purposes the approval of this bill is earnestly recommended. (Sgd.) PABLO ANGELES DAVID Senator Without much debate, the revised bill was passed by Congress as above transcribed. The President again asked the comments of this Court, which endorsed the following: Respectfully returned to the Honorable, the Acting Executive Secretary, Manila, with the information that, with respect to Senate Bill No. 371, the members of the Court are taking the same views they expressed on Senate Bill No. 12 passed by Congress in May, 1951, contained in the first indorsement of the undersigned dated June 5, 1951, to the Assistant Executive Secretary. (Sgd.) RICARDO PARAS The President allowed the period within which the bill should be signed to pass without vetoing it, by virtue of which it became a law on June 21, 1953 (Sec. 20, Art. VI, Constitution) numbered 972 (many times erroneously cited as No. 974). It may be mentioned in passing that 1953 was an election year, and that both the President and the author of the Bill were candidates for re-election, together, however, they lost in the polls.

Separate Opinions LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting: The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court, because lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the power to promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the Constitution to the Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the holding of examination, the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when a candidate has made or has not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court.

I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of the congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955 should be considered as having passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is necessary to show that it is an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing grade, while those taking earlier or later are not? I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rulemaking power of Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members thereof, and because it is discriminatory.

PARAS, C.J., dissenting: Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has always been adhered to, with certain exception presently to be specified. With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates included only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946 the list first released containing the names of successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average of 73 per cent or more but below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been released, and on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948, in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect made 69 per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being noticed perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127. Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly ranged from 69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.

In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys, presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a bill providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo. In 1953, the Congress passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference that in the later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by bar applicants, were eliminated. This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the President by merely not signing it within the required period; and in doing so the President gave due respect to the will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first vetoed by him. Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination after July 4, 1946, shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing in any subsequent examinations. Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No. 972 and failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions, praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized representatives of bar associations, were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations and the matter" involved "a new question of public interest." All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law is inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in Article VII, section 13, provides as follows: The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to

repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules. Little intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to the practice of law is concurrent. The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held prior to its approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the practice of law the various petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court expressly fix certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the motion were filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and admission to the practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be entrusted, under the Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word, because bar examinations and the admission to the practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only when they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny due process and equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no one the right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by this Court of different passing general averages in certain years. Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because we no longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during said period. It may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the matter of classification, the reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the Congress held public hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative judgment derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out. As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three branches of the Government. Republic

Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided by the Court in favor of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained the general average prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would provide that those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be allowed to practice law, because said statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court, namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent. Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred by the Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the examinations held in August 1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at 75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we are to admit that the Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the practice of law, that the latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general average. Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, since this Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and 70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many instances had doubted the propriety of legislative enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that ground. To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest, is to assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the circumstances into account before passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress, representing the people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972 as an expression of the will of the people through their duly elected representatives. I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent power to repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same way that this Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can and should only hope that the right men are put in the right places in our Government. Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its entirety.

Separate Opinions LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting: The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court, because lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The power to admit is judicial in the sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the power to promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules) that is given in the Constitution to the Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit. Thus the rules on the holding of examination, the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are within the scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when a candidate has made or has not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court. I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of the congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955 should be considered as having passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this Court. It is a mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No reasoning is necessary to show that it is an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is furthermore objectionable as discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and 1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing grade, while those taking earlier or later are not? I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rulemaking power of Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members thereof, and because it is discriminatory.

PARAS, C.J., dissenting: Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has always been adhered to, with certain exception presently to be specified. With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates included only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946 the list first released containing the names of successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion for

reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average of 73 per cent or more but below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been released, and on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948, in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947 the Court in effect made 69 per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this amounted, without being noticed perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127. Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly ranged from 69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied. In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys, presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a bill providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and Jugo. In 1953, the Congress passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the important difference that in the later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the examination, and (4) the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by bar applicants, were eliminated. This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the President by merely not signing it within the required period; and in doing so the President gave due respect to the will of the Congress which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first vetoed by him. Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said Act also provides that any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any examination after July 4, 1946, shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing in any subsequent examinations. Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No. 972 and failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions, praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein. In virtue

of the resolution of July 6, 1953, this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized representatives of bar associations, were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the reason alleged for said hearing being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations and the matter" involved "a new question of public interest." All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law is inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in Article VII, section 13, provides as follows: The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive right. The existing laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines. Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning the admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules. Little intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate the admission to the practice of law is concurrent. The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held prior to its approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court refusing to admit to the practice of law the various petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative encroachment upon the judicial power. In my opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules of Court expressly fix certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on bar matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject to revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the motion were filed, and this has been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and admission to the practice of law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be entrusted, under the Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the subject and constitutional sense of the word, because bar examinations and the admission to the practice of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only when they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny due process and equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no one the right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative statute intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by this Court of different passing general averages in certain years.

Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because we no longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during said period. It may also be that there are no pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the matter of classification, the reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to recall that the Congress held public hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in the Act reflects good legislative judgment derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out. As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of courts, not merely for the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the three branches of the Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and decided by the Court in favor of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained the general average prescribed by section 14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would provide that those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent, will not be allowed to practice law, because said statute would then destroy a right already acquired under previous resolutions of this Court, namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from 75 to 79 per cent. Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred by the Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether they filed petitions for reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because during the examinations held in August 1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at 75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we are to admit that the Supreme Court and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the practice of law, that the latter may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general average. Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious, since this Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and 70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many instances had doubted the propriety of legislative enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them solely on that ground. To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest, is to assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public

hearings, and we are bound to assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the circumstances into account before passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that the Congress, representing the people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972 as an expression of the will of the people through their duly elected representatives. I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent power to repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law, may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same way that this Court may not do so. We are thus left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can and should only hope that the right men are put in the right places in our Government. Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its entirety.

NO 5 ( ALMACEN, 31 SCRA 562) G.R. No. L-27654 February 18, 1970 IN THE MATTER OF PROCEEDINGS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION AGAINST ATTY. VICENTE RAUL ALMACEN In L-27654, ANTONIO H. CALERO, vs.

VIRGINIA Y. YAPTINCHAY. RESOLUTION

CASTRO, J.: Before us is Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen's "Petition to Surrender Lawyer's Certificate of Title," filed on September 25, 1967, in protest against what he therein asserts is "a great injustice committed against his client by this Supreme Court." He indicts this Court, in his own phrase, as a tribunal "peopled by men who are calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without reasons their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity." His client's he continues, who was deeply aggrieved by this Court's "unjust judgment," has become "one of the sacrificial victims before the altar of hypocrisy." In the same breath that he alludes to the classic symbol of justice, he ridicules the members of this Court, saying "that justice as administered by the present members of the Supreme Court is not only blind, but also deaf and dumb." He then vows to argue the cause of his client "in the people's forum," so that "the people may know of the silent injustice's committed by this Court," and that "whatever mistakes, wrongs and injustices that were committed must never be repeated." He ends his petition with a prayer that
... a resolution issue ordering the Clerk of Court to receive the certificate of the undersigned attorney and counsellor-at-law IN TRUST with reservation that at any time in the future and in the event we regain our faith and confidence, we may retrieve our title to assume the practice of the noblest profession.

He reiterated and disclosed to the press the contents of the aforementioned petition. Thus, on September 26, 1967, the Manila Times published statements attributed to him, as follows:
Vicente Raul Almacen, in an unprecedented petition, said he did it to expose the tribunal's "unconstitutional and obnoxious" practice of arbitrarily denying petitions or appeals without any reason. Because of the tribunal's "short-cut justice," Almacen deplored, his client was condemned to pay P120,000, without knowing why he lost the case. xxx xxx xxx There is no use continuing his law practice, Almacen said in this petition, "where our Supreme Court is composed of men who are calloused to our pleas for justice, who ignore without reason their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity. xxx xxx xxx

He expressed the hope that by divesting himself of his title by which he earns his living, the present members of the Supreme Court "will become responsive to all cases brought to its attention without discrimination, and will purge itself of those unconstitutional and obnoxious "lack of merit" or "denied resolutions. (Emphasis supplied)

Atty. Almacen's statement that


... our own Supreme Court is composed of men who are calloused to our pleas of [sic] justice, who ignore their own applicable decisions and commit culpable violations of the Constitution with impunity

was quoted by columnist Vicente Albano Pacis in the issue of the Manila Chronicle of September 28, 1967. In connection therewith, Pacis commented that Atty. Almacen had "accused the high tribunal of offenses so serious that the Court must clear itself," and that "his charge is one of the constitutional bases for impeachment." The genesis of this unfortunate incident was a civil case entitled Virginia Y. Yaptinchay vs. Antonio H. Calero,1 in which Atty. Almacen was counsel for the defendant. The trial court, after due hearing, rendered judgment against his client. On June 15, 1966 Atty. Almacen received a copy of the decision. Twenty days later, or on July 5, 1966, he moved for its reconsideration. He served on the adverse counsel a copy of the motion, but did not notify the latter of the time and place of hearing on said motion. Meanwhile, on July 18, 1966, the plaintiff moved for execution of the judgment. For "lack of proof of service," the trial court denied both motions. To prove that he did serve on the adverse party a copy of his first motion for reconsideration, Atty. Almacen filed on August 17, 1966 a second motion for reconsideration to which he attached the required registry return card. This second motion for reconsideration, however, was ordered withdrawn by the trial court on August 30, 1966, upon verbal motion of Atty. Almacen himself, who, earlier, that is, on August 22, 1966, had already perfected the appeal. Because the plaintiff interposed no objection to the record on appeal and appeal bond, the trial court elevated the case to the Court of Appeals. But the Court of Appeals, on the authority of this Court's decision in Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Batu Construction & Co., L-16636, June 24, 1965, dismissed the appeal, in the following words:
Upon consideration of the motion dated March 27, 1967, filed by plaintiff-appellee praying that the appeal be dismissed, and of the opposition thereto filed by defendant-appellant; the Court RESOLVED TO DISMISS, as it hereby dismisses, the appeal, for the reason that the motion for reconsideration dated July 5, 1966 (pp. 90-113, printed record on appeal) does not contain a notice of time and place of hearing thereof and is, therefore, a useless piece of paper (Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Batu Construction & Co., G.R. No. L-16636, June 24, 1965), which did not interrupt the running of the period to appeal, and, consequently, the appeal was perfected out of time.

Atty. Almacen moved to reconsider this resolution, urging that Manila Surety & Fidelity Co. is not decisive. At the same time he filed a pleading entitled "Latest decision of the Supreme Court in Support of Motion for Reconsideration," citing Republic of the Philippines vs. Gregorio A. Venturanza, L-20417, decided by this Court on May 30,

1966, as the applicable case. Again, the Court of Appeals denied the motion for reconsideration, thus:
Before this Court for resolution are the motion dated May 9, 1967 and the supplement thereto of the same date filed by defendant- appellant, praying for reconsideration of the resolution of May 8, 1967, dismissing the appeal. Appellant contends that there are some important distinctions between this case and that of Manila Surety and Fidelity Co., Inc. vs. Batu Construction & Co., G.R. No. L- 16636, June 24, 1965, relied upon by this Court in its resolution of May 8, 1967. Appellant further states that in the latest case, Republic vs. Venturanza, L-20417, May 30, 1966, decided by the Supreme Court concerning the question raised by appellant's motion, the ruling is contrary to the doctrine laid down in the Manila Surety & Fidelity Co., Inc. case. There is no substantial distinction between this case and that of Manila Surety & Fidelity Co. In the case of Republic vs. Venturanza, the resolution denying the motion to dismiss the appeal, based on grounds similar to those raised herein was issued on November 26, 1962, which was much earlier than the date of promulgation of the decision in the Manila Surety Case, which was June 24, 1965. Further, the resolution in the Venturanza case was interlocutory and the Supreme Court issued it "without prejudice to appellee's restoring the point in the brief." In the main decision in said case (Rep. vs. Venturanza the Supreme Court passed upon the issue sub silencio presumably because of its prior decisions contrary to the resolution of November 26, 1962, one of which is that in the Manila Surety and Fidelity case. Therefore Republic vs. Venturanza is no authority on the matter in issue.

Atty. Almacen then appealed to this Court by certiorari. We refused to take the case, and by minute resolution denied the appeal. Denied shortly thereafter was his motion for reconsideration as well as his petition for leave to file a second motion for reconsideration and for extension of time. Entry of judgment was made on September 8, 1967. Hence, the second motion for reconsideration filed by him after the Said date was ordered expunged from the records. It was at this juncture that Atty. Almacen gave vent to his disappointment by filing his "Petition to Surrender Lawyer's Certificate of Title," already adverted to a pleading that is interspersed from beginning to end with the insolent contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and derogatory remarks hereinbefore reproduced, against this Court as well as its individual members, a behavior that is as unprecedented as it is unprofessional. Nonetheless we decided by resolution dated September 28, 1967 to withhold action on his petition until he shall have actually surrendered his certificate. Patiently, we 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 this 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 vs. Yaptinchay, said case is now final and executory;" that this Court's September 28, 1967 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." In the exercise of its inherent power to discipline a member of the bar for contumely and gross misconduct, this Court on November 17, 1967 resolved to require Atty. Almacen to show cause "why no disciplinary action should be taken against him." Denying the charges contained in the November 17 resolution, he asked for permission "to give reasons and cause why no disciplinary action should be taken against him ... in an open and public hearing." This Court resolved (on December 7) "to require Atty. Almacen to state, within five days from notice hereof, his reasons for such request, otherwise, oral argument shall be deemed waived and incident submitted for decision." To this resolution he manifested that since this Court is "the complainant, prosecutor and Judge," he preferred to be heard and to answer questions "in person and in an open and public hearing" so that this Court could observe his sincerity and candor. He also asked for leave to file a written explanation "in the event this Court has no time to hear him in person." To give him the ampliest latitude for his defense, he was allowed to file a written explanation and thereafter was heard in oral argument. His written answer, as undignified and cynical as it is unchastened, offers -no apology. Far from being contrite Atty. Almacen unremittingly repeats his jeremiad of lamentations, this time embellishing it with abundant sarcasm and innuendo. Thus:
At the start, let me quote passages from the Holy Bible, Chapter 7, St. Matthew: "Do not judge, that you may not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you. But why dost thou see the speck in thy brother's eye, and yet dost not consider the beam in thy own eye? Or how can thou say to thy brother, "Let me cast out the speck from thy eye"; and behold, there is a beam in thy own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam from thy own eye, and then thou wilt see clearly to cast out the speck from thy brother's eyes." "Therefore all that you wish men to do to you, even to do you also to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets." xxx xxx xxx Your respondent has no intention of disavowing the statements mentioned in his petition. On the contrary, he refirms the truth of what he stated, compatible with his lawyer's oath that he will do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court. But he vigorously DENY under oath that the underscored statements contained in the CHARGE are insolent, contemptuous, grossly disrespectful and derogatory to the individual members of the Court; that they tend to bring the entire Court, without justification, into disrepute; and constitute conduct unbecoming of a member of the noble profession of law. xxx xxx xxx Respondent stands four-square that his statement is borne by TRUTH and has been asserted with NO MALICE BEFORE AND AFTER THOUGHT but mainly motivated with

the highest interest of justice that in the particular case of our client, the members have shown callousness to our various pleas for JUSTICE, our pleadings will bear us on this matter, ... xxx xxx xxx To all these beggings, supplications, words of humility, appeals for charity, generosity, fairness, understanding, sympathy and above all in the highest interest of JUSTICE, what did we get from this COURT? One word, DENIED, with all its hardiness and insensibility. That was the unfeeling of the Court towards our pleas and prayers, in simple word, it is plain callousness towards our particular case. xxx xxx xxx Now that your respondent has the guts to tell the members of the Court that notwithstanding the violation of the Constitution, you remained unpunished, this Court in the reverse order of natural things, is now in the attempt to inflict punishment on your respondent for acts he said in good faith. Did His Honors care to listen to our pleadings and supplications for JUSTICE, CHARITY, GENEROSITY and FAIRNESS? Did His Honors attempt to justify their stubborn denial with any semblance of reason, NEVER. Now that your respondent is given the opportunity to face you, he reiterates the same statement with emphasis, DID YOU? Sir. Is this. the way of life in the Philippines today, that even our own President, said: "the story is current, though nebulous ,is to its truth, it is still being circulated that justice in the Philippines today is not what it is used to be before the war. There are those who have told me frankly and brutally that justice is a commodity, a marketable commodity in the Philippines." xxx xxx xxx We condemn the SIN, not the SINNER. We detest the ACTS, not the ACTOR. We attack the decision of this Court, not the members. ... We were provoked. We were compelled by force of necessity. We were angry but we waited for the finality of the decision. We waited until this Court has performed its duties. We never interfered nor obstruct in the performance of their duties. But in the end, after seeing that the Constitution has placed finality on your judgment against our client and sensing that you have not performed your duties with "circumspection, carefulness, confidence and wisdom", your Respondent rise to claim his God given right to speak the truth and his Constitutional right of free speech. xxx xxx xxx The INJUSTICES which we have attributed to this Court and the further violations we sought to be prevented is impliedly shared by our President. ... . xxx xxx xxx

What has been abhored and condemned, are the very things that were applied to us. Recalling Madam Roland's famous apostrophe during the French revolution, "O Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name", we may dare say, "O JUSTICE, what technicalities are committed in thy name' or more appropriately, 'O JUSTICE, what injustices are committed in thy name."

xxx xxx xxx We must admit that this Court is not free from commission of any abuses, but who would correct such abuses considering that yours is a court of last resort. A strong public opinion must be generated so as to curtail these abuses. xxx xxx xxx The phrase, Justice is blind is symbolize in paintings that can be found in all courts and government offices. We have added only two more symbols, that it is also deaf and dumb. Deaf in the sense that no members of this Court has ever heard our cries for charity, generosity, fairness, understanding sympathy and for justice; dumb in the sense, that inspite of our beggings, supplications, and pleadings to give us reasons why our appeal has been DENIED, not one word was spoken or given ... We refer to no human defect or ailment in the above statement. We only describe the. impersonal state of things and nothing more. xxx xxx xxx As we have stated, we have lost our faith and confidence in the members of this Court and for which reason we offered to surrender our lawyer's certificate, IN TRUST ONLY. Because what has been lost today may be regained tomorrow. As the offer was intended as our self-imposed sacrifice, then we alone may decide as to when we must end our self-sacrifice. If we have to choose between forcing ourselves to have faith and confidence in the members of the Court but disregard our Constitution and to uphold the Constitution and be condemned by the members of this Court, there is no choice, we must uphold the latter.

But overlooking, for the nonce, the vituperative chaff which he claims is not intended as a studied disrespect to this Court, let us examine the grain of his grievances. He chafes at the minute resolution denial of his petition for review. We are quite aware of the criticisms2 expressed against this Court's practice of rejecting petitions by minute resolutions. We have been asked to do away with it, to state the facts and the law, and to spell out the reasons for denial. We have given this suggestion very careful thought. For we know the abject frustration of a lawyer who tediously collates the facts and for many weary hours meticulously marshalls his arguments, only to have his efforts rebuffed with a terse unadorned denial. Truth to tell, however, most petitions rejected by this Court are utterly frivolous and ought never to have been lodged at all. 3 The rest do exhibit a first-impression cogency, but fail to, withstand critical scrutiny. By and large, this Court has been generous in giving due course to petitions for certiorari. Be this as it may, were we to accept every case or write a full opinion for every petition we reject, we would be unable to carry out effectively the burden placed upon us by the Constitution. The proper role of the Supreme Court, as Mr. Chief Justice Vinson of the U.S. Supreme Court has defined it, is to decide "only those cases which present questions whose resolutions will have immediate importance beyond the particular facts and parties involved." Pertinent here is the observation of Mr. Justice Frankfurter in Maryland vs. Baltimore Radio Show, 94 L. ed 562, 566:

A variety of considerations underlie denials of the writ, and as to the same petition different reasons may read different justices to the same result ... . Since there are these conflicting, and, to the uninformed, even confusing reasons for denying petitions for certiorari, it has been suggested from time to time that the Court indicate its reasons for denial. Practical considerations preclude. In order that the Court may be enabled to discharge its indispensable duties, Congress has placed the control of the Court's business, in effect, within the Court's discretion. During the last three terms the Court disposed of 260, 217, 224 cases, respectively, on their merits. For the same three terms the Court denied, respectively, 1,260, 1,105,1,189 petitions calling for discretionary review. If the Court is to do its work it would not be feasible to give reasons, however brief, for refusing to take these cases. The tune that would be required is prohibitive. Apart from the fact that as already indicated different reasons not infrequently move different members of the Court in concluding that a particular case at a particular time makes review undesirable.

Six years ago, in Novino, et al., vs. Court of Appeals, et al., 1,21098, May 31, 1963 (60 O.G. 8099), this Court, through the then Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon, articulated its considered view on this matter. There, the petitioners counsel urged that a "lack of merit" resolution violates Section 12 of Article VIII of the Constitution. Said Chief Justice Bengzon:
In connection with identical short resolutions, the same question has been raised before; and we held that these "resolutions" are not "decisions" within the above constitutional requirement. They merely hold that the petition for review should not be entertained in view of the provisions of Rule 46 of the Rules of Court; and even ordinary lawyers have all this time so understood it. It should be remembered that a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion; and so there is no need to fully explain the court's denial. For one thing, the facts and the law are already mentioned in the Court of Appeals' opinion. By the way, this mode of disposal has as intended helped the Court in alleviating its heavy docket; it was patterned after the practice of the U.S. Supreme Court, wherein petitions for review are often merely ordered "dismissed".

We underscore the fact that cases taken to this Court on petitions for certiorari from the Court of Appeals have had the benefit of appellate review. Hence, the need for compelling reasons to buttress such petitions if this Court is to be moved into accepting them. For it is axiomatic that the supervisory jurisdiction vested upon this Court over the Court of Appeals is not intended to give every losing party another hearing. This axiom is implied in sec. 4 of Rule 45 of the Rules of Court which recites:
Review of Court of Appeals' decision discretionary.A review is not a matter of right but of sound judicial discretion, and will be granted only when there are special and important reasons therefor. The following, while neither controlling nor fully measuring the court's discretion, indicate the character of reasons which will be considered: (a) When the Court of Appeals has decided a question of substance, not theretofore determined by the Supreme Court, nor has decided it in a way probably not in accord with law or with the applicable decisions of the Supreme Court;

(b) When the Court of Appeals has so far departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings, or so far sanctioned such departure by the lower court, as to call for the exercise of the power of supervision.

Recalling Atty. Almacen's petition for review, we found, upon a thoroughgoing examination of the pleadings. and records, that the Court of Appeals had fully and correctly considered the dismissal of his appeal in the light of the law and applicable decisions of this Court. Far from straying away from the "accepted and usual course of judicial proceedings," it traced the procedural lines etched by this Court in a number of decisions. There was, therefore, no need for this Court to exercise its supervisory power. As a law practitioner who was admitted to the Bar as far back as 1941, Atty. Almacen knew or ought to have known that for a motion for reconsideration to stay the running of the period of appeal, the movant must not only serve a copy of the motion upon the adverse party (which he did), but also notify the adverse party of the time and place of hearing (which admittedly he did not). This rule was unequivocally articulated in Manila Surety & Fidelity vs. Batu Construction & Co., supra :
The written notice referred to evidently is prescribed for motions in general by Rule 15, Sections 4 and 5 (formerly Rule 26), which provides that such notice shall state the time, and place of hearing and shall be served upon all the Parties concerned at least three days in advance. And according to Section 6 of the same Rule no motion shall be acted upon by the court without proof of such notice. Indeed it has been held that in such a case the motion is nothing but a useless piece of paper (Philippine National Bank v. Damasco, I,18638, Feb. 28, 1963; citing Manakil v. Revilla, 42 Phil. 81; Roman Catholic Bishop of Lipa v. Municipality of Unisan, 41 Phil. 866; and Director of Lands vs. Sanz, 45 Phil. 117). The reason is obvious: Unless the movant sets the time and place of hearing the Court would have no way to determine whether that party agrees to or objects to the motion, and if he objects, to hear him on his objection, since the Rules themselves do not fix any period within which he may file his reply or opposition.

If Atty. Almacen failed to move the appellate court to review the lower court's 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 this 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 we gave this unprecedented act of Atty. Almacen the most circumspect consideration. We know that 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. Moreover, every citizen has the right to comment upon and criticize the actuations of public officers. This right is not diminished by the fact that the criticism is aimed at a

judicial authority,4 or that it is articulated by a lawyer.5 Such right is especially recognized where the criticism concerns a concluded litigation, 6 because then the court's actuations are thrown open to public consumption. 7 "Our decisions and all our official actions," said the Supreme Court of Nebraska, 8 "are public property, and the press and the people have the undoubted right to comment on them, criticize and censure them as they see fit. Judicial officers, like other public servants, must answer for their official actions before the chancery of public opinion." The likely danger of confusing the fury of human reaction to an attack on one's integrity, competence and honesty, with "imminent danger to the administration of justice," is the reason why courts have been loath to inflict punishment on those who assail their actuations.9 This danger lurks especially in such a case as this where those who Sit as members of an entire Court are themselves collectively the aggrieved parties. Courts thus treat with forbearance and restraint a lawyer who vigorously assails their actuations. 10 For courageous and fearless advocates are the strands that weave durability into the tapestry of justice. Hence, as citizen and officer of the court, every lawyer is expected not only to exercise the right, but also to consider it his duty to expose the shortcomings and indiscretions of courts and judges. 11 Courts and judges are not sacrosanct. 12 They should and expect critical evaluation of their performance. 13 For like the executive and the legislative branches, the judiciary is rooted in the soil of democratic society, nourished by the periodic appraisal of the citizens whom it is expected to serve. 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. The reason is that
An attorney does not surrender, in assuming the important place accorded to him in the administration of justice, his right as a citizen to criticize the decisions of the courts in a fair and respectful manner, and the independence of the bar, as well as of the judiciary, has always been encouraged by the courts. ( In re Ades, 6 F Supp. 487) .

Criticism of the courts has, indeed, been an important part of the traditional work of the bar. In the prosecution of appeals, he points out the errors of lower courts. In written for law journals he dissects with detachment the doctrinal pronouncements of courts and fearlessly lays bare for -all to see that flaws and inconsistence" of the doctrines ( Hill v. Lyman, 126 NYS 2d 286). As aptly stated by Chief Justice Sharswood in Ex Parte Steinman, 40 Am. Rep. 641:
No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expansion or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities for observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. ... To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood, by the judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty

to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained. ... .

Hence, as a citizen and as Officer of the court a lawyer is expected not only to exercise the right, but also to consider it his duty to avail of such right. No law may abridge this right. Nor is he "professionally answerable for a scrutiny into the official conduct of the judges, which would not expose him to legal animadversion as a citizen." ( Case of Austin, 28 Am. Dee. 657, 665).
Above all others, the members of the bar have the beat Opportunity to become conversant with the character and efficiency of our judges. No class is less likely to abuse the privilege, as no other class has as great an interest in the preservation of an able and upright bench. (State Board of Examiners in Law v. Hart, 116 N.W. 212, 216)

To curtail the right of a lawyer to be critical of the foibles of courts and judges is to seal the lips of those in the best position to give advice and who might consider it their duty to speak disparagingly. "Under such a rule," so far as the bar is concerned, "the merits of a sitting judge may be rehearsed, but as to his demerits there must be profound silence." (State v. Circuit Court, 72 N.W. 196) But it is the cardinal condition of all such criticism that it shall be bona fide, and shall not spill over the walls of decency and propriety. 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. For, membership in the Bar imposes upon a person obligations and duties which are not mere flux and ferment. His investiture 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. He vows solemnly to conduct himself "with all good fidelity ... to the courts; 14 and the Rules of Court constantly remind him "to observe and maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers." 15 The first canon of legal ethics enjoins him "to maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude, not for the sake of the temporary incumbent of the judicial office, but for the maintenance of its supreme importance." As Mr. Justice Field puts it:
... the obligation which attorneys impliedly assume, if they do not by express declaration take upon themselves, when they are admitted to the Bar, is not merely to be obedient to the Constitution and laws, but to maintain at all times the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers. This obligation is not discharged by merely observing the rules of courteous demeanor in open court, but includes abstaining out of court from all insulting language and offensive conduct toward judges personally for their judicial acts. (Bradley, v. Fisher, 20 Law. 4d. 647, 652)

The lawyer's duty to render respectful subordination to the courts is essential to the orderly administration of justice. Hence, in the assertion of their clients' rights, lawyers even those gifted with superior intellect are enjoined to rein up their tempers.

The counsel in any case may or may not be an abler or more learned lawyer than the judge, and it may tax his patience and temper to submit to rulings which he regards as incorrect, but discipline and self-respect are as necessary to the orderly administration of justice as they are to the effectiveness of an army. 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. ( In Re Scouten, 40 Atl. 481) We concede that a lawyer may think highly of his intellectual endowment That is his privilege. And he may suffer frustration at what he feels is others' lack of it. That is his misfortune. Some such frame of mind, however, should not be allowed to harden into a belief that he may attack a court's decision in words calculated to jettison the timehonored aphorism that courts are the temples of right. (Per Justice Sanchez in Rheem of the Philippines vs. Ferrer, L-22979. June 26, 1967)

In his relations with the courts, a lawyer may not divide his personality so as to be an attorney at one time and a mere citizen at another. Thus, statements made by an attorney in private conversations or communications 16 or in the course of a political, campaign, 17 if couched in insulting language as to bring into scorn and disrepute the administration of justice, may subject the attorney to disciplinary action. Of fundamental pertinence at this juncture is an examination of relevant parallel precedents. 1. Admitting that a "judge as a public official is neither sacrosanct nor immune to public criticism of his conduct in office," the Supreme Court of Florida in State v. Calhoon, 102 So. 2d 604, 608, nevertheless declared that "any conduct of a lawyer which brings into scorn and disrepute the administration of justice demands condemnation and the application of appropriate penalties," adding that:
It would be contrary to, every democratic theory to hold that a judge or a court is beyond bona fide comments and criticisms which do not exceed the bounds of decency and truth or which are not aimed at. the destruction of public confidence in the judicial system as such. However, when the likely impairment of the administration of justice the direct product of false and scandalous accusations then the rule is otherwise.

2. In In Re Glenn, 130 N.W. 2d 672, an attorney was suspended for putting out and circulating a leaflet entitled "JUSTICE??? IN OTUMWA," which accused a municipal judge of having committed judicial error, of being so prejudiced as to deny his clients a fair trial on appeal and of being subject to the control of a group of city officials. As a prefatory statement he wrote: "They say that Justice is BLIND, but it took Municipal Judge Willard to prove that it is also DEAF and DUMB!" The court did not hesitate to find that the leaflet went much further than the accused, as a lawyer, had a right to do.
The entire publication evidences a desire on the part Of the accused to belittle and besmirch the court and to bring it into disrepute with the general public.

3. In In Re Humphrey, 163 Pac. 60, the Supreme Court of California affirmed the twoyear suspension of an attorney who published a circular assailing a judge who at that time was a candidate for re-election to a judicial office. The circular which referred to

two decisions of the judge concluded with a statement that the judge "used his judicial office to enable -said bank to keep that money." Said the court:
We are aware that there is a line of authorities which place no limit to the criticism members of the bar may make regarding the capacity, impartiality, or integrity of the courts, even though it extends to the deliberate publication by the attorney capable of correct reasoning of baseless insinuations against the intelligence and integrity of the highest courts. See State Board, etc. v. Hart. 116 N.W. 212, 17 LRA (N.S.) 585, 15 Ann Cas 197 and note: Ex parte Steinman 95 Pac. 220, 40 Am. Rep. 637. In the first case mentioned it was observed, for instance: "It may be (although we do not so decide) that a libelous publication by an attorney, directed against a judicial officer, could be so vile and of such a nature as to justify the disbarment of its author." Yet the false charges made by an attorney in that case were of graver character than those made by the respondent here. But, in our view, the better rule is that which requires of those who are permitted to enjoy the privilege of practicing law the strictest observance at all times of the principles of truth, honesty and fairness, especially in their criticism of the courts, to the end that the public confidence in the due administration of justice be upheld, and the dignity and usefulness of the courts be maintained. In re Collins, 81 Pac. 220.

4. In People ex rel Chicago Bar Asso. v. Metzen, 123 N.E. 734, an attorney, representing a woman who had been granted a divorce, attacked the judge who set aside the decree on bill of review. He wrote the judge a threatening letter and gave the press the story of a proposed libel suit against the judge and others. The letter began:
Unless the record in In re Petersen v. Petersen is cleared up so that my name is protected from the libel, lies, and perjury committed in the cases involved, I shall be compelled to resort to such drastic action as the law allows and the case warrants.

Further, he said: "However let me assure you I do not intend to allow such dastardly work to go unchallenged," and said that he was engaged in dealing with men and not irresponsible political manikins or appearances of men. Ordering the attorney's disbarment, the Supreme Court of Illinois declared:
... Judges are not exempt from just criticism, and whenever there is proper ground for serious complaint against a judge, it is the right and duty of a lawyer to submit his grievances to the proper authorities, but the public interest and the administration of the law demand that the courts should have the confidence and respect of the people. Unjust criticism, insulting language, and offensive conduct toward the judges personally by attorneys, who are officers of the court, which tend to bring the courts and the law into disrepute and to destroy public confidence in their integrity, cannot be permitted. The letter written to the judge was plainly an attempt to intimidate and influence him in the discharge of judicial functions, and the bringing of the unauthorized suit, together with the write-up in the Sunday papers, was intended and calculated to bring the court into disrepute with the public.

5. In a public speech, a Rhode Island lawyer accused the courts of the state of being influenced by corruption and greed, saying that the seats of the Supreme Court were bartered. It does not appear that the attorney had criticized any of the opinions or

decisions of the Court. The lawyer was charged with unprofessional conduct, and was ordered suspended for a period of two years. The Court said:
A calumny of that character, if believed, would tend to weaken the authority of the court against whose members it was made, bring its judgments into contempt, undermine its influence as an unbiased arbiter of the people's right, and interfere with the administration of justice. ... Because a man is a member of the bar the court will not, under the guise of disciplinary proceedings, deprive him of any part of that freedom of speech which he possesses as a citizen. The acts and decisions of the courts of this state, in cases that have reached final determination, are not exempt from fair and honest comment and criticism. It is only when an attorney transcends the limits of legitimate criticism that he will be held responsible for an abuse of his liberty of speech. We well understand that an independent bar, as well as independent court, is always a vigilant defender of civil rights. In Re Troy, 111 Atl. 723. 725.

6. In In Re Rockmore, 111 NYS 879, an attorney was suspended for six months for submitting to an appellate court an affidavit reflecting upon the judicial integrity of the court from which the appeal was taken. Such action, the Court said, constitutes unprofessional conduct justifying suspension from practice, notwithstanding that he fully retracted and withdrew the statements, and asserted that the affidavit was the result of an impulse caused by what he considered grave injustice. The Court said:
We cannot shut our eyes to the fact that there is a growing habit in the profession of criticising the motives and integrity of judicial officers in the discharge of their duties, and thereby reflecting on the administration of justice and creating the impression that judicial action is influenced by corrupt or improper motives. Every attorney of this court, as well as every other citizen, has the right and it is his duty, to submit charges to the authorities in whom is vested the power to remove judicial officers for any conduct or act of a judicial officer that tends to show a violation of his duties, or would justify an inference that he is false to his trust, or has improperly administered the duties devolved upon him; and such charges to the tribunal, if based upon reasonable inferences, will be encouraged, and the person making them protected. ... While we recognize the inherent right of an attorney in a case decided against him, or the right of the Public generally, to criticise the decisions of the courts, or the reasons announced for them, the habit of criticising the motives of judicial officers in the performance of their official duties, when the proceeding is not against the officers whose acts or motives are criticised, tends to subvert the confidence of the community in the courts of justice and in the administration of justice; and when such charges are made by officers of the courts, who are bound by their duty to protect the administration of justice, the attorney making such charges is guilty of professional misconduct.

7. In In Re Mitchell, 71 So. 467, a lawyer published this statement:


I accepted the decision in this case, however, with patience, barring possible temporary observations more or less vituperative and finally concluded, that, as my clients were foreigners, it might have been expecting too much to look for a decision in their favor against a widow residing here.

The Supreme Court of Alabama declared that:

... the expressions above set out, not only transcend the bounds of propriety and privileged criticism, but are an unwarranted attack, direct, or by insinuation and innuendo, upon the motives and integrity of this court, and make out a prima facie case of improper conduct upon the part of a lawyer who holds a license from this court and who is under oath to demean himself with all good fidelity to the court as well as to his client.

The charges, however, were dismissed after the attorney apologized to the Court. 8. In State ex rel. Dabney v. Breckenridge, 258 Pac. 747, an attorney published in a newspaper an article in which he impugned the motives of the court and its members to try a case, charging the court of having arbitrarily and for a sinister purpose undertaken to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The Court suspended the respondent for 30 days, saying that:
The privileges which the law gives to members of the bar is one most subversive of the public good, if the conduct of such members does not measure up to the requirements of the law itself, as well as to the ethics of the profession. ... The right of free speech and free discussion as to judicial determination is of prime importance under our system and ideals of government. No right thinking man would concede for a moment that the best interest to private citizens, as well as to public officials, whether he labors in a judicial capacity or otherwise, would be served by denying this right of free speech to any individual. But such right does not have as its corollary that members of the bar who are sworn to act honestly and honorably both with their client and with the courts where justice is administered, if administered at all, could ever properly serve their client or the public good by designedly misstating facts or carelessly asserting the law. Truth and honesty of purpose by members of the bar in such discussion is necessary. The health of a municipality is none the less impaired by a polluted water supply than is the health of the thought of a community toward the judiciary by the filthy wanton, and malignant misuse of members of the bar of the confidence the public, through its duly established courts, has reposed in them to deal with the affairs of the private individual, the protection of whose rights he lends his strength and money to maintain the judiciary. For such conduct on the part of the members of the bar the law itself demands retribution not the court.

9. In Bar Ass'n of San Francisco v. Philbrook, 170 Pac. 440, the filing of an affidavit by an attorney in a pending action using in respect to the several judges the terms criminal corrupt, and wicked conspiracies,," "criminal confederates," "colossal and confident insolence," "criminal prosecution," "calculated brutality," "a corrupt deadfall," and similar phrases, was considered conduct unbecoming of a member of the bar, and the name of the erring lawyer was ordered stricken from the roll of attorneys. 10. In State Board of Examiners v. Hart, 116 N.W. 215, the erring attorney claimed that greater latitude should be allowed in case of criticism of cases finally adjudicated than in those pending. This lawyer wrote a personal letter to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Minnesota impugning both the intelligence and the integrity of the said Chief Justice and his associates in the decisions of certain appeals in which he had been attorney for the defeated litigants. The letters were published in a newspaper. One of the letters contained this paragraph:

You assigned it (the property involved) to one who has no better right to it than the burglar to his plunder. It seems like robbing a widow to reward a fraud, with the court acting as a fence, or umpire, watchful and vigilant that the widow got no undue advantage. ... The point is this: Is a proper motive for the decisions discoverable, short of assigning to the court emasculated intelligence, or a constipation of morals and faithlessness to duty? If the state bar association, or a committee chosen from its rank, or the faculty of the University Law School, aided by the researches of its hundreds of bright, active students, or if any member of the court, or any other person, can formulate a statement of a correct motive for the decision, which shall not require fumigation before it is stated, and quarantine after it is made, it will gratify every right-minded citizen of the state to read it.

The Supreme Court of Minnesota, in ordering the suspension of the attorney for six months, delivered its opinion as follows:
The question remains whether the accused was guilty of professional misconduct in sending to the Chief Justice the letter addressed to him. This was done, as we have found, for the very purpose of insulting him and the other justices of this court; and the insult was so directed to the Chief Justice personally because of acts done by him and his associates in their official capacity. Such a communication, so made, could never subserve any good purpose. Its only effect in any case would be to gratify the spite of an angry attorney and humiliate the officers so assailed. It would not and could not ever enlighten the public in regard to their judicial capacity or integrity. Nor was it an exercise by the accused of any constitutional right, or of any privilege which any reputable attorney, uninfluenced by passion, could ever have any occasion or desire to assert. No judicial officer, with due regard to his position, can resent such an insult otherwise than by methods sanctioned by law; and for any words, oral or written, however abusive, vile, or indecent, addressed secretly to the judge alone, he can have no redress in any action triable by a jury. "The sending of a libelous communication or libelous matter to the person defamed does not constitute an actionable publication." 18 Am. & Eng. Enc. Law (2d Ed.) p. 1017. In these respects the sending by the accused of this letter to the Chief Justice was wholly different from his other acts charged in the accusation, and, as we have said, wholly different principles are applicable thereto. The conduct of the accused was in every way discreditable; but so far as he exercised the rights of a citizen, guaranteed by the Constitution and sanctioned by considerations of public policy, to which reference has been made, he was immune, as we hold, from the penalty here sought to be enforced. To that extent his rights as a citizen were paramount to the obligation which he had assumed as an officer of this court. When, however he proceeded and thus assailed the Chief Justice personally, he exercised no right which the court can recognize, but, on the contrary, willfully violated his obligation to maintain the respect due to courts and judicial officers. "This obligation is not discharged by merely observing the rules of courteous demeanor in open court, but it includes abstaining out of court from all insulting language and offensive conduct toward the judges personally for their official acts." Bradley v. Fisher, 13 Wall. (U.S.) 355, 20 L. Ed. 646. And there appears to be no distinction, as regards the principle involved, between the indignity of an assault by an attorney upon a judge, induced by his official act, and a personal insult for like cause by written or spoken words addressed to the judge in his chambers or at his home or elsewhere. Either act constitutes misconduct wholly different from criticism of judicial acts addressed or spoken to others. The distinction made is, we think entirely logical and well sustained by authority. It was recognized in Ex parte McLeod supra. While the court in that case, as has been shown, fully sustained the right of a citizen to criticise rulings of the court in actions which are ended, it held that one might be summarily punished for assaulting a judicial officer, in that case a commissioner of the court, for his rulings in a cause wholly concluded. "Is it in the power of any person," said

the court, "by insulting or assaulting the judge because of official acts, if only the assailant restrains his passion until the judge leaves the building, to compel the judge to forfeit either his own self-respect to the regard of the people by tame submission to the indignity, or else set in his own person the evil example of punishing the insult by taking the law in his own hands? ... No high-minded, manly man would hold judicial office under such conditions." That a communication such as this, addressed to the Judge personally, constitutes professional delinquency for which a professional punishment may be imposed, has been directly decided. "An attorney who, after being defeated in a case, wrote a personal letter to the trial justice, complaining of his conduct and reflecting upon his integrity as a justice, is guilty of misconduct and will be disciplined by the court." Matter of Manheim 133 App. Div. 136, 99 N.Y. Supp. 87 The same is held in Re Griffin (City Ct.) 1 N.Y. 7 and in Re Wilkes (City Ct.) 3 N.Y. In the latter case it appeared that the accused attorney had addressed a sealed letter to a justice of the City Court of New York, in which it was stated, in reference to his decision: "It is not law; neither is it common sense. The result is I have been robbed of 80." And it was decided that, while such conduct was not a contempt under the state, the matter should be "called to the attention of the Supreme Court, which has power to discipline the attorney." "If," says the court, "counsel learned in the law are permitted by writings leveled at the heads of judges, to charge them with ignorance, with unjust rulings, and with robbery, either as principals or accessories, it will not be long before the general public may feel that they may redress their fancied grievances in like manner, and thus the lot of a judge will be anything but a happy one, and the administration of justice will fall into bad repute." The recent case of Johnson v. State (Ala.) 44 South. 671, was in this respect much the same as the case at bar. The accused, an attorney at law, wrote and mailed a letter to the circuit judge, which the latter received by due course of mail, at his home, while not holding court, and which referred in insulting terms to the conduct of the judge in a cause wherein the accused had been one of the attorneys. For this it was held that the attorney was rightly disbarred in having "willfully failed to maintain respect due to him [the judge] as a judicial officer, and thereby breached his oath as an attorney." As recognizing the same principle, and in support of its application to the facts of this case, we cite the following: Ex parte Bradley, 7 Wall (U.S.) 364, 19 L. Ed. 214; Beene v. State, 22 Ark. 149; Commonwealth v. Dandridge, 2 Va. Cas. 408; People v. Green, 7 Colo 237, 244, 3 Pac. 65, 374, 49 Am. Rep. 351; Smith's Appeal, 179 Pa. 14, 36 Atl. 134; Scouten's Appeal, 186 Pa. 270, Atl. 481. Our conclusion is that the charges against the accused have been so far sustained as to make it our duty to impose such a penalty as may be sufficient lesson to him and a suitable warning to others. ...

11. In Cobb v. United States, 172 F. 641, the court affirmed a lawyer's suspension for 18 months for publishing a letter in a newspaper in which he accused a judge of being under the sinister influence of a gang that had paralyzed him for two years. 12. In In Re Graves, 221 Pac. 411, the court held that an attorney's unjustifiable attack against the official acts and decisions of a judge constitutes "moral turpitude." There, the attorney was disbarred for criticising not only the judge, but his decisions in general claiming that the judge was dishonest in reaching his decisions and unfair in his general conduct of a case.

13. In In Re Doss, 12 N.E. 2d 659, an attorney published newspaper articles after the trial of cases, criticising the court in intemperate language. The invariable effect of this sort of propaganda, said the court, is to breed disrespect for courts and bring the legal profession into disrepute with the public, for which reason the lawyer was disbarred. 14. In State v. Grimes, 354 Pac. 2d 108, an attorney, dissatisfied with the loss of a case, prepared over a period of years vicious attacks on jurists. The Oklahoma Supreme Court declared that his acts involved such gross moral turpitude as to make him unfit as a member of the bar. His disbarment was ordered, even though he expressed an intention to resign from the bar. The teaching derived from the above disquisition and impressive affluence of judicial pronouncements is indubitable: Post-litigation utterances or publications, made by lawyers, critical of the courts and their judicial actuations, whether amounting to a crime or not, which transcend the permissible bounds of fair comment and legitimate criticism and thereby tend to bring them into disrepute or to subvert public confidence in their integrity and in the orderly administration of justice, constitute grave professional misconduct which may be visited with disbarment or other lesser appropriate disciplinary sanctions by the Supreme Court in the exercise of the prerogatives inherent in it as the duly constituted guardian of the morals and ethics of the legal fraternity. Of course, rarely have we wielded our disciplinary powers in the face of unwarranted outbursts of counsel such as those catalogued in the above-cited jurisprudence. Cases of comparable nature have generally been disposed of under the power of courts to punish for contempt which, although resting on different bases and calculated to attain a different end, nevertheless illustrates that universal abhorrence of such condemnable practices. A perusal of the more representative of these instances may afford enlightenment. 1. In Salcedo vs. Hernandez, 61 Phil. 724, where counsel branded the denial of his motion for reconsideration as "absolutely erroneous and constituting an outrage to the rigths of the petitioner Felipe Salcedo and a mockery of the popular will expressed at the polls," this Court, although conceding that
It is right and plausible that an attorney, in defending the cause and rights of his client, should do so with all the fervor and energy of which he is capable, but it is not, and never will be so for him to exercise said right by resorting to intimidation or proceeding without the propriety and respect which the dignity of the courts requires. The reason for this is that respect for the courts guarantees the stability of their institution. Without such guaranty, said institution would be resting on a very shaky foundation,

found counsel guilty of contempt inasmuch as, in its opinion, the statements made disclosed
... an inexcusable disrespect of the authority of the court and an intentional contempt of its dignity, because the court is thereby charged with no less than having proceeded in utter disregard of the laws, the rights to the parties, and 'of the untoward consequences,

or with having abused its power and mocked and flouted the rights of Attorney Vicente J. Francisco's client ... .

2. In In re Sotto, 82 Phil. 595, counsel, a senator and the author of the Press Freedom Law, reaching to, the imprisonment for contempt of one Angel Parazo, who, invoking said law, refused to divulge the source of a news item carried in his paper, caused to be published in i local newspaper a statement expressing his regret "that our High Tribunal has not only erroneously interpreted said law, but it is once more putting in evidence the incompetency or narrow mindedness of the majority of its members," and his belief that "In the wake of so many blunders and injustices deliberately committed during these last years, ... the only remedy to put an end to go much evil, is to change the members of the Supreme Court," which tribunal he denounced as "a constant peril to liberty and democracy" and "a far cry from the impregnable bulwark of justice of those memorable times of Cayetano Arellano, Victorino Mapa, Manuel Araullo and other learned jurists who were the honor and glory of the Philippine Judiciary." He there also announced that one of the first measures he would introduce in then forthcoming session of Congress would have for its object the complete reorganization of the Supreme Court. Finding him in contempt, despite his avowals of good faith and his invocation of the guarantee of free speech, this Court declared:
But in the above-quoted written statement which he caused to be published in the press, the respondent does not merely criticize or comment on the decision of the Parazo case, which was then and still is pending consideration by this Court upon petition of Angel Parazo. He not only intends to intimidate the members of this Court with the presentation of a bill in the next Congress, of which he is one of the members, reorganizing the Supreme Court and reducing the number of Justices from eleven, so as to change the members of this Court which decided the Parazo case, who according to his statement, are incompetent and narrow minded, in order to influence the final decision of said case by this Court, and thus embarrass or obstruct the administration of justice. But the respondent also attacks the honesty and integrity of this Court for the apparent purpose of bringing the Justices of this Court into disrepute and degrading the administration. of justice ... . To hurl the false charge that this Court has been for the last years committing deliberately so many blunders and injustices, that is to say, that it has been deciding in favor of Que party knowing that the law and justice is on the part of the adverse party and not on the one in whose favor the decision was rendered, in many cases decided during the last years, would tend necessarily to undermine the confidence of the people in the honesty and integrity of the members of this Court, and consequently to lower ,or degrade the administration of justice by this Court. The Supreme Court of the Philippines is, under the Constitution, the last bulwark to which the Filipino people may repair to obtain relief for their grievances or protection of their rights when these are trampled upon, and if the people lose their confidence in the honesty and integrity of the members of this Court and believe that they cannot expect justice therefrom, they might be driven to take the law into their own hands, and disorder and perhaps chaos might be the result. As a member of the bar and an officer of the courts, Atty. Vicente Sotto, like any other, is in duty bound to uphold the dignity and authority of this Court, to which he owes fidelity according to the oath he has taken as such attorney, and not to promote distrust in the administration of justice. Respect to the courts guarantees the stability of other institutions, which without such guaranty would be resting on a very shaky foundation.

Significantly, too, the Court therein hastened to emphasize that

... an attorney as an officer of the court is under special obligation to be respectful in his conduct and communication to the courts; he may be removed from office or stricken from the roll of attorneys as being guilty of flagrant misconduct (17 L.R.A. [N.S.], 586, 594.)

3. In Rheem of the Philippines vs. Ferrer: In re Proceedings against Alfonso Ponce Enrile, et al., supra, where counsel charged this Court with having "repeatedly fallen" into ,the pitfall of blindly adhering to its previous "erroneous" pronouncements, "in disregard of the law on jurisdiction" of the Court of Industrial Relations, our condemnation of counsel's misconduct was unequivocal. Articulating the sentiments of the Court, Mr. Justice Sanchez stressed:
As we look back at the language (heretofore quoted) employed in the motion for reconsideration, implications there are which inescapably arrest attention. It speaks of one pitfall into which this Court has repeatedly fallen whenever the jurisdiction of the Court of Industrial Relations comes into question. That pitfall is the tendency of this Court to rely on its own pronouncements in disregard of the law on jurisdiction. It makes a sweeping charge that the decisions of this Court, blindly adhere to earlier rulings without as much as making any reference to and analysis of the pertinent statute governing the jurisdiction of the industrial court. The plain import of all these is that this Court is so patently inept that in determining the jurisdiction of the industrial court, it has committed error and continuously repeated that error to the point of perpetuation. It pictures this Court as one which refuses to hew to the line drawn by the law on jurisdictional boundaries. Implicit in the quoted statements is that the pronouncements of this Court on the jurisdiction of the industrial court are not entitled to respect. Those statements detract much from the dignity of and respect due this Court. They bring into question the capability of the members and some former members of this Court to render justice. The second paragraph quoted yields a tone of sarcasm which counsel labelled as "so called" the "rule against splitting of jurisdiction."

Similar thoughts and sentiments have been expressed in other cases interest of brevity, need not now be reviewed in detail.

18

which, in the

Of course, a common denominator underlies the aforecited cases all of them involved contumacious statements made in pleadings filed pending litigation. So that, in line with the doctrinal rule that the protective mantle of contempt may ordinarily be invoked only against scurrilous remarks or malicious innuendoes while a court mulls over a pending case and not after the conclusion thereof, 19 Atty. Almacen would now seek to sidestep the thrust of a contempt charge by his studied emphasis that the remarks for which he is now called upon to account were made only after this Court had written finis to his appeal. This is of no moment. The rule that bars contempt after a judicial proceeding has terminated, has lost much of its vitality. For sometime, this was the prevailing view in this jurisdiction. The first stir for a modification thereof, however, came when, in People vs. Alarcon, 20 the then Chief Justice Manuel V. Moran dissented with the holding of the majority, speaking thru Justice Jose P. Laurel, which upheld the rule above-adverted to. A complete disengagement from the settled rule was later to be made in In re Brillantes, 21 a contempt proceeding, where the editor of the Manila Guardian was adjudged in contempt for publishing an editorial which asserted that the 1944 Bar Examinations

were conducted in a farcical manner after the question of the validity of the said examinations had been resolved and the case closed. Virtually, this was an adoption of the view expressed by Chief Justice Moran in his dissent in Alarcon to the effect that them may still be contempt by publication even after a case has been terminated. Said Chief Justice Moran in Alarcon:
A publication which tends to impede, obstruct, embarrass or influence the courts in administering justice in a pending suit or proceeding, constitutes criminal contempt which is 'summarily punishable by courts. A publication which tends to degrade the courts and to destroy public confidence in them or that which tends to bring them in any way into disrepute, constitutes likewise criminal contempt, and is equally punishable by courts. What is sought, in the first kind of contempt, to be shielded against the influence of newspaper comments, is the all-important duty of the courts to administer justice in the decision of a pending case. In the second kind of contempt, the punitive hand of justice is extended to vindicate the courts from any act or conduct calculated to bring them into disfavor or to destroy public confidence in them. In the first there is no contempt where there is no action pending, as there is no decision which might in any way be influenced by the newspaper publication. In the second, the contempt exists, with or without a pending case, as what is sought to be protected is the court itself and its dignity. Courts would lose their utility if public confidence in them is destroyed.

Accordingly, no comfort is afforded Atty. Almacen by the circumstance that his statements and actuations now under consideration were made only after the judgment in his client's appeal had attained finality. He could as much be liable for contempt therefor as if it had been perpetrated during the pendency of the said appeal. More than this, however, consideration of whether or not he could be held liable for contempt for such post litigation utterances and actuations, is here immaterial. By the tenor of our Resolution of November 17, 1967, we have confronted the situation here presented solely in so far as it concerns Atty. Almacen's professional identity, his sworn duty as a lawyer and his fitness as an officer of this Court, in the exercise of the disciplinary power the morals inherent in our authority and duty to safeguard and ethics of the legal profession and to preserve its ranks from the intrusions of unprincipled and unworthy disciples of the noblest of callings. In this inquiry, the pendency or nonpendency of a case in court is altogether of no consequence. The sole objective of this proceeding is to preserve the purity of the legal profession, by removing or suspending a member whose misconduct has proved himself unfit to continue to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities belonging to the office of an attorney. Undoubtedly, this is well within our authority to do. By constitutional mandate, 22 our is the solemn duty, amongst others, to determine the rules for admission to the practice of law. Inherent in this prerogative is the corresponding authority to discipline and exclude from the practice of law those who have proved themselves unworthy of continued membership in the Bar. Thus
The power to discipline attorneys, who are officers of the court, is an inherent and incidental power in courts of record, and one which is essential to an orderly discharge of judicial functions. To deny its existence is equivalent to a declaration that the conduct of attorneys towards courts and clients is not subject to restraint. Such a view is without support in any respectable authority, and cannot be tolerated. Any court having the right

to admit attorneys to practice and in this state that power is vested in this court-has the inherent right, in the exercise of a sound judicial discretion to exclude them from practice.
23

This, because the admission of a lawyer to the practice of law is a representation to all that he is worthy of their confidence and respect. So much so that
... whenever it is made to appear to the court that an attorney is no longer worthy of the trust and confidence of the public and of the courts, it becomes, not only the right, but the duty, of the court which made him one of its officers, and gave him the privilege of ministering within its bar, to withdraw the privilege. Therefore it is almost universally held that both the admission and disbarment of attorneys are judicial acts, and that one is admitted to the bar and exercises his functions as an attorney, not as a matter of right, but as a privilege conditioned on his own behavior and the exercise of a just and sound judicial discretion. 24

Indeed, in this jurisdiction, that power to remove or suspend has risen above being a mere inherent or incidental power. It has been elevated to an express mandate by the Rules of Court. 25 Our authority and duty in the premises being unmistakable, we now proceed to make an assessment of whether or not the utterances and actuations of Atty. Almacen here in question are properly the object of disciplinary sanctions. The proffered surrender of his lawyer's certificate is, of course, purely potestative on Atty. Almacen's part. 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 integrated entirety of his petition bristles with vile insults all calculated to drive home his contempt for and disrespect to the Court and its members. Picturing his client as "a sacrificial victim at the altar of hypocrisy," he categorically denounces the justice administered by this Court to be not only blind "but also deaf and dumb." With unmitigated acerbity, he virtually makes this Court and its members with verbal talons, imputing to the Court the perpetration of "silent injustices" and "short-cut justice" while at the same time branding its members as "calloused to pleas of justice." And, true to his announced threat to argue the cause of his client "in the people's forum," he caused the publication in the papers of an account of his actuations, in a calculated effort ;to startle the public, stir up public indignation and disrespect toward the Court. Called upon to make an explanation, he expressed no regret, offered no apology. Instead, with characteristic arrogance, he rehashed and reiterated his vituperative attacks and, alluding to the Scriptures, virtually tarred and feathered the Court and its members as inveterate hypocrites incapable of administering justice and unworthy to impose disciplinary sanctions upon him. The virulence so blatantly evident in Atty. Almacen's 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 ;this Court and its members into disrepute and destroy public confidence in them to the detriment of the orderly administration of justice. Odium of this character and texture presents no redeeming feature, and completely negates any pretense of passionate commitment to the truth. It is not a whit less than a classic example of gross misconduct, gross violation of the lawyer's oath and gross transgression of the Canons of Legal Ethics. As such, it cannot be allowed to go unrebuked. The way for the exertion of our disciplinary powers is thus laid clear, and the need therefor is unavoidable. We must once more stress our explicit disclaimer of immunity from criticism. Like any other Government entity in a viable democracy, the Court is not, and should not be, above criticism. But a critique of the Court must be intelligent and discriminating, fitting to its high function as the court of last resort. And more than this, valid and healthy criticism is by no means synonymous to obloquy, and requires detachment and disinterestedness, real qualities approached only through constant striving to attain them. Any criticism of the Court must, possess the quality of judiciousness and must be informed -by perspective and infused by philosophy. 26 It is not accurate to say, nor is it an obstacle to the exercise of our authority in ;the premises, that, as Atty. Almacen would have appear, the members of the Court are the "complainants, prosecutors and judges" all rolled up into one in this instance. This is an utter misapprehension, if not a total distortion, not only of the nature of the proceeding at hand but also of our role therein. Accent should be laid on the fact that disciplinary proceedings like the present are sui generis. Neither purely civil nor purely criminal, this proceeding is not and does not involve a trial of an action or a suit, but is rather an investigation by the Court into the conduct of its officers. 27 Not being intended to. inflict punishment, it is in no sense a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, there is neither a plaintiff nor a prosecutor therein It may be initiated by the Court motu proprio. 28 Public interest is its primary objective, and the real question for determination is whether or not the attorney is still a fit person to be allowed the privileges as such. Hence, in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court merely calls upon a member of the Bar to account for his actuations as an officer of the Court with the end in view of preserving the purity of the legal profession and the proper and honest administration of justice by purging the profession of members who by their misconduct have proved themselves no longer worthy to be entrusted with the duties and responsibilities pertaining to the office of an attorney. 29 In such posture, there can thus be no occasion to speak of a complainant or a prosecutor. Undeniably, the members of the Court are, to a certain degree, aggrieved parties. Any tirade against the Court as a body is necessarily and inextricably as much so against the individual members thereof. But in the exercise of its disciplinary powers, the Court acts as an entity separate and distinct from the individual personalities of its members. Consistently with the intrinsic nature of a collegiate court, the individual members act not as such individuals but. only as a duly constituted court. Their distinct individualities are lost in the majesty of their office. 30 So that, in a very real sense, if there be any

complainant in the case at bar, it can only be the Court itself, not the individual members thereof as well as the people themselves whose rights, fortunes and properties, nay, even lives, would be placed at grave hazard should the administration of justice be threatened by the retention in the Bar of men unfit to discharge the solemn responsibilities of membership in the legal fraternity. Finally, the power to exclude persons from the practice of law is but a necessary incident of the power to admit persons to said practice. By constitutional precept, this power is vested exclusively in this Court. This duty it cannot abdicate just as much as it cannot unilaterally renounce jurisdiction legally invested upon it. 31 So that even if it be conceded that the members collectively are in a sense the aggrieved parties, that fact alone does not and cannot disqualify them from the exercise of that power because public policy demands that they., acting as a Court, exercise the power in all cases which call for disciplinary action. The present is such a case. In the end, the imagined anomaly of the merger in one entity of the personalities of complainant, prosecutor and judge is absolutely inexistent. Last to engage our attention is the nature and extent of the sanctions that may be visited upon Atty. Almacen for his transgressions. As marked out by the Rules of Court, these may range from mere suspension to total removal or disbarment. 32 The discretion to assess under the circumstances the imposable sanction is, of course, primarily addressed to the sound discretion of the Court which, being neither arbitrary and despotic nor motivated by personal animosity or prejudice, should ever be controlled by the imperative need that the purity and independence of the Bar be scrupulously guarded and the dignity of and respect due to the Court be zealously maintained. That the misconduct committed by Atty. Almacen is of considerable gravity cannot be overemphasized. However, heeding the stern injunction that disbarment should never be decreed where a lesser sanction would accomplish the end desired, and believing that it may not perhaps be futile to hope that in the sober light of some future day, Atty. Almacen will realize that abrasive language never fails to do disservice to an advocate and that in every effervescence of candor there is ample room for the added glow of respect, it is our view that suspension will suffice under the circumstances. His demonstrated persistence in his misconduct by neither manifesting repentance nor offering apology therefor leave us no way of determining how long that suspension should last and, accordingly, we are impelled to decree that the same should be indefinite. This, we are empowered to do not alone because jurisprudence grants us discretion on the matter 33 but also because, even without the comforting support of precedent, it is obvious that if we have authority to completely exclude a person from the practice of law, there is no reason why indefinite suspension, which is lesser in degree and effect, can be regarded as falling outside of the compass of that authority. The merit of this choice is best shown by the fact that it will then be left to Atty. Almacen to determine for himself how long or how short that suspension shall last. For, at any time after the suspension becomes effective he may prove to this Court that he is once again fit to resume the practice of law.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS THE SENSE of the Court that Atty. Vicente Raul Almacen be, as he is hereby, suspended from the practice of law until further orders, the suspension to take effect immediately. Let copies of this resolution. be furnished the Secretary of Justice, the Solicitor General and the Court of Appeals for their information and guidance. Concepcion,. C.J., Reyes, J.B.L., Dizon, Makalintal, Zaldivar, Sanchez, Teehankee, Barredo and Villamor JJ., concur. Fernando, J., took no part.

NO. 6 ( OZAETA, 92 SCRA 1)

July 30, 1979 PETITION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE USE OF THE FIRM NAME "SYCIP, SALAZAR, FELICIANO, HERNANDEZ & CASTILLO." LUCIANO E. SALAZAR,

FLORENTINO P. FELICIANO, BENILDO G. HERNANDEZ. GREGORIO R. CASTILLO. ALBERTO P. SAN JUAN, JUAN C. REYES. JR., ANDRES G. GATMAITAN, JUSTINO H. CACANINDIN, NOEL A. LAMAN, ETHELWOLDO E. FERNANDEZ, ANGELITO C. IMPERIO, EDUARDO R. CENIZA, TRISTAN A. CATINDIG, ANCHETA K. TAN, and ALICE V. PESIGAN, petitioners. IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE USE OF THE FIRM NAME "OZAETA, ROMULO, DE LEON, MABANTA & REYES." RICARDO J. ROMULO, BENJAMIN M. DE LEON, ROMAN MABANTA, JR., JOSE MA, REYES, JESUS S. J. SAYOC, EDUARDO DE LOS ANGELES, and JOSE F. BUENAVENTURA, petitioners. RESOLUTION MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.:+.wph!1 Two separate Petitions were filed before this Court 1) by the surviving partners of Atty. Alexander Sycip, who died on May 5, 1975, and 2) by the surviving partners of Atty. Herminio Ozaeta, who died on February 14, 1976, praying that they be allowed to continue using, in the names of their firms, the names of partners who had passed away. In the Court's Resolution of September 2, 1976, both Petitions were ordered consolidated. Petitioners base their petitions on the following arguments: 1. Under the law, a partnership is not prohibited from continuing its business under a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner; in fact, Article 1840 of the Civil Code explicitly sanctions the practice when it provides in the last paragraph that: t.hqw
The use by the person or partnership continuing the business of the partnership name, or the name of a deceased partner as part thereof, shall not of itself make the individual property of the deceased partner liable for any debts contracted by such person or partnership. 1

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; 2 the legislative authorization given to those engaged in the practice of accountancy a profession requiring the same degree of trust and confidence in respect of clients as that implicit in the relationship of attorney and client to acquire and use a trade name, strongly indicates that there is no fundamental policy that is offended by the continued use by a firm of professionals of a firm name which includes the name of a deceased partner, at least where such firm name has acquired the characteristics of a "trade name." 3 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 because Canon 33 of

the Canons of Professional Ethics adopted by the American Bar Association declares that: t.hqw
... 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

4. There is 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; the stationeries now being used by them carry new letterheads indicating the years when their respective deceased partners were connected with the firm; petitioners will notify all leading national and international law directories of the fact of their respective deceased partners' deaths. 5 5. No local custom prohibits the continued use of a deceased partner's name in a professional firm's name; 6 there is no custom or usage in the Philippines, or at least in the Greater Manila Area, which recognizes that the name of a law firm necessarily Identifies the individual members of the firm. 7 6. The continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships has been consistently allowed by U.S. Courts and is an accepted practice in the legal profession of most countries in the world. 8 The question involved in these Petitions first came under consideration by this Court in 1953 when a law firm in Cebu (the Deen case) continued its practice of including in its firm name that of a deceased partner, C.D. Johnston. The matter was resolved with this Court advising the firm to desist from including in their firm designation the name of C. D. Johnston, who has long been dead." The same issue was raised before this Court in 1958 as an incident in G. R. No. L11964, entitled Register of Deeds of Manila vs. China Banking Corporation. The law firm of Perkins & Ponce Enrile moved to intervene as amicus curiae. Before acting thereon, the Court, in a Resolution of April 15, 1957, stated that it "would like to be informed why the name of Perkins is still being used although Atty. E. A. Perkins is already dead." In a Manifestation dated May 21, 1957, the law firm of Perkins and Ponce Enrile, raising substantially the same arguments as those now being raised by petitioners, prayed that the continued use of the firm name "Perkins & Ponce Enrile" be held proper. On June 16, 1958, this Court resolved: t.hqw
After carefully considering the reasons given by Attorneys Alfonso Ponce Enrile and Associates for their continued use of the name of the deceased E. G. Perkins, the Court found no reason to depart from the policy it adopted in June 1953 when it required Attorneys Alfred P. Deen and Eddy A. Deen of Cebu City to desist from including in their firm designation, the name of C. D. Johnston, deceased. The Court believes that, in view of the personal and confidential nature of the relations between attorney and client, and the high standards demanded in the canons of professional ethics, no practice should be

allowed which even in a remote degree could give rise to the possibility of deception. Said attorneys are accordingly advised to drop the name "PERKINS" from their firm name.

Petitioners herein now seek a re-examination of the policy thus far enunciated by the Court. The Court finds no sufficient reason to depart from the rulings thus laid down. A. Inasmuch as "Sycip, Salazar, Feliciano, Hernandez and Castillo" and "Ozaeta, Romulo, De Leon, Mabanta and Reyes" are partnerships, the use in their partnership names of the names of deceased partners will run counter to Article 1815 of the Civil Code which provides: t.hqw
Art. 1815. Every partnership shall operate under a firm name, which may or may not include the name of one or more of the partners. Those who, not being members of the partnership, include their names in the firm name, shall be subject to the liability, of a partner.

It is clearly tacit in the above provision that names in a firm name of a partnership must either be those of living partners and. in the case of non-partners, should be living persons who can be subjected to liability. In fact, Article 1825 of the Civil Code prohibits a third person from including his name in the firm name under pain of assuming the liability of a partner. The heirs of a deceased partner in a law firm cannot be held liable as the old members to the creditors of a firm particularly where they are non-lawyers. Thus, Canon 34 of the Canons of Professional Ethics "prohibits an agreement for the payment to the widow and heirs of a deceased lawyer of a percentage, either gross or net, of the fees received from the future business of the deceased lawyer's clients, both because the recipients of such division are not lawyers and because such payments will not represent service or responsibility on the part of the recipient. " Accordingly, neither the widow nor the heirs can be held liable for transactions entered into after the death of their lawyer-predecessor. There being no benefits accruing, there ran be no corresponding liability. Prescinding the law, there could be practical objections to allowing the use by law firms of the names of deceased partners. 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 firm's reputation established by deceased partners. B. In regards to the last paragraph of Article 1840 of the Civil Code cited by petitioners, supra, the first factor to consider is that it is within Chapter 3 of Title IX of the Code entitled "Dissolution and Winding Up." The Article primarily deals with the exemption from liability in cases of a dissolved partnership, of the individual property of the deceased partner for debts contracted by the person or partnership which continues the business using the partnership name or the name of the deceased partner as part

thereof. What the law contemplates therein is a hold-over situation preparatory to formal reorganization. Secondly, Article 1840 treats more of a commercial partnership with a good will to protect rather than of a professional partnership, with no saleable good will but whose reputation depends on the personal qualifications of its individual members. Thus, it has been held that a saleable goodwill can exist only in a commercial partnership and cannot arise in a professional partnership consisting of lawyers. 9t.hqw
As a general rule, upon the dissolution of a commercial partnership the succeeding partners or parties have the right to carry on the business under the old name, in the absence of a stipulation forbidding it, (s)ince the name of a commercial partnership is a partnership asset inseparable from the good will of the firm. ... (60 Am Jur 2d, s 204, p. 115) (Emphasis supplied)

On the other hand, t.hqw


... a professional partnership the reputation of which depends or; the individual skill of the members, such as partnerships of attorneys or physicians, has no good win to be distributed as a firm asset on its dissolution, however intrinsically valuable such skill and reputation may be, especially where there is no provision in the partnership agreement relating to good will as an asset. ... (ibid, s 203, p. 115) (Emphasis supplied)

C. A partnership for the practice of law cannot be likened to partnerships formed by other professionals or for business. For one thing, the law on accountancy specifically allows the use of a trade name in connection with the practice of accountancy. 10 t. hqw
A partnership for the practice of law is not a legal entity. It is a mere relationship or association for a particular purpose. ... It is not a partnership formed for the purpose of carrying on trade or business or of holding property." 11 Thus, it has been stated that "the use of a nom de plume, assumed or trade name in law practice is improper. 12 The usual reason given for different standards of conduct being applicable to the practice of law from those pertaining to business is that the law is a profession. Dean Pound, in his recently published contribution to the Survey of the Legal Profession, (The Lawyer from Antiquity to Modern Times, p. 5) defines a profession as "a group of men pursuing a learned art as a common calling in the spirit of public service, no less a public service because it may incidentally be a means of livelihood." xxx xxx xxx Primary characteristics which distinguish the legal profession from business are: 1. A duty of public service, of which the emolument is a byproduct, and in which one may attain the highest eminence without making much money. 2. A relation as an "officer of court" to the administration of justice involving thorough sincerity, integrity, and reliability.

3. A relation to clients in the highest degree fiduciary. 4. 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. 13

"The right to practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is in the nature of a privilege or franchise. 14 It is limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. 15 The right does not only presuppose in its possessor integrity, legal standing and attainment, but also the exercise of a special privilege, highly personal and partaking of the nature of a public trust." 16 D. Petitioners cited Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of the American Bar Association" in support of their petitions. It is true that 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. It must be conceded that in the Philippines, no local custom permits or allows the continued use of a deceased or former partner's 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. A glimpse at the history of the firms of petitioners and of other law firms in this country would show how their firm names have evolved and changed from time to time as the composition of the partnership changed. t.hqw
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. ... There would seem to be a question, under the working of the Canon, as to the propriety of adding the name of a new partner and at the same time retaining that of a deceased partner who was never a partner with the new one. (H.S. Drinker, op. cit., supra, at pp. 207208) (Emphasis supplied).

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. E. Petitioners argue that U.S. Courts have consistently allowed the continued use of a deceased partner's name in the firm name of law partnerships. But that is so because it is sanctioned by custom. In the case of Mendelsohn v. Equitable Life Assurance Society (33 N.Y.S. 2d 733) which petitioners Salazar, et al. quoted in their memorandum, the New York Supreme

Court sustained the use of the firm name Alexander & Green even if none of the present ten partners of the firm bears either name because the practice was sanctioned by custom and did not offend any statutory provision or legislative policy and was adopted by agreement of the parties. The Court stated therein: t.hqw
The practice sought to be proscribed has the sanction of custom and offends no statutory provision or legislative policy. Canon 33 of the Canons of Professional Ethics of both the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association provides in part as follows: "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." There is no question as to local custom. Many firms in the city use the names of deceased members with the approval of other attorneys, bar associations and the courts. The Appellate Division of the First Department has considered the matter and reached The conclusion that such practice should not be prohibited. (Emphasis supplied) xxx xxx xxx Neither the Partnership Law nor the Penal Law prohibits the practice in question. The use of the firm name herein is also sustainable by reason of agreement between the partners.
18

Not so in this jurisdiction where there is no local custom that sanctions the practice. Custom has been defined as a rule of conduct formed by repetition of acts, uniformly observed (practiced) as a social rule, legally binding and obligatory. 19 Courts take no judicial notice of custom. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. 20 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. 21 We find such proof of the existence of a local custom, and of the elements requisite to constitute the same, wanting herein. Merely because something is done as a matter of practice does not mean that Courts can rely on the same for purposes of adjudication as a juridical custom. Juridical custom must be differentiated from social custom. The former can supplement statutory law or be applied in the absence of such statute. Not so with the latter. Moreover, judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws form part of the legal system. 22 When the Supreme Court in the Deen and Perkins cases issued its Resolutions directing lawyers to desist from including the names of deceased partners in their firm designation, it laid down a legal rule against which no custom or practice to the contrary, even if proven, can prevail. This is not to speak of our civil law which clearly ordains that a partnership is dissolved by the death of any partner. 23 Custom which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. 24 The practice of law is intimately and peculiarly related to the administration of justice and should not be considered like an ordinary "money-making trade." t.hqw
... It is of the essence of a profession that it is practiced in a spirit of public service. A trade ... aims primarily at personal gain; a profession at the exercise of powers beneficial to mankind. If, as in the era of wide free opportunity, we think of free competitive self

assertion as the highest good, lawyer and grocer and farmer may seem to be freely competing with their fellows in their calling in order each to acquire as much of the world's good as he may within the allowed him by law. But the member of a profession does not regard himself as in competition with his professional brethren. He is not bartering his services as is the artisan nor exchanging the products of his skill and learning as the farmer sells wheat or corn. There should be no such thing as a lawyers' or physicians' strike. The best service of the professional man is often rendered for no equivalent or for a trifling equivalent and it is his pride to do what he does in a way worthy of his profession even if done with no expectation of reward, This spirit of public service in which the profession of law is and ought to be exercised is a prerequisite of sound administration of justice according to law. The other two elements of a profession, namely, organization and pursuit of a learned art have their justification in that they secure and maintain that spirit. 25

In fine, petitioners' desire to preserve the Identity of their firms in the eyes of the public must bow to legal and ethical impediment. ACCORDINGLY, the petitions filed herein are denied and petitioners advised to drop the names "SYCIP" and "OZAETA" from their respective firm names. Those names may, however, be included in the listing of individuals who have been partners in their firms indicating the years during which they served as such. SO ORDERED.

NO. 7 ( BONGALONTA VS CASTILLO 233 SCRA 310) CBD Case No. 176 January 20, 1995

SALLY D. BONGALONTA, complainant, vs. ATTY. PABLITO M. CASTILLO and ALFONSO M. MARTIJA, respondents. RESOLUTION

MELO, J.: In a sworn letter-complaint dated February 15, 1995, addressed to the Commission on Bar Discipline, National Grievance Investigation Office, Integrated Bar of the Philippines, complainant Sally Bongalonta charged Pablito M. Castillo and Alfonso M. Martija, members of the Philippine Bar, with unjust and unethical conduct, to wit: representing conflicting interests and abetting a scheme to frustrate the execution or satisfaction of a judgment which complainant might obtain. The letter-complaint stated that complainant filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Criminal Case No. 7635-55, for estafa, against the Sps. Luisa and Solomer Abuel. She also filed, a separate civil action Civil Case No. 56934, where she was able to obtain a writ of preliminary attachment and by virtue thereof, a piece of real property situated in Pasig, Rizal and registered in the name of the Sps. Abuel under TCT No. 38374 was attached. Atty. Pablito Castillo was the counsel of the Sps. Abuel in the aforesaid criminal and civil cases. During the pendency of these cases, one Gregorio Lantin filed civil Case No. 58650 for collection of a sum of money based on a promissory note, also with the Pasig Regional Trial Court, against the Sps. Abuel. In the said case Gregorio Lantin was represented by Atty. Alfonso Martija. In this case, the Sps. Abuel were declared in default for their failure to file the necessary responsive pleading and evidence ex-parte was received against them followed by a judgment by default rendered in favor of Gregorio Lantin. A writ of execution was, in due time, issued and the same property previously attached by complainant was levied upon. It is further alleged that in all the pleadings filed in these three (3) aforementioned cases, Atty. Pablito Castillo and Atty. Alfonso Martija placed the same address, the same PTR and the same IBP receipt number to wit" Permanent Light Center, No. 7, 21st Avenue, Cubao, Quezon City, PTR No. 629411 dated 11-5-89 IBP No. 246722 dated 1-12-88. Thus, complainant concluded that civil Case No. 58650 filed by Gregorio Lantin was merely a part of the scheme of the Sps. Abuel to frustrate the satisfaction of the money judgment which complainant might obtain in Civil Case No. 56934. After hearing, the IBP Board of Governors issued it Resolution with the following findings and recommendations:

Among the several documentary exhibits submitted by Bongalonta and attached to the records is a xerox copy of TCT No. 38374, which Bongalonta and the respondents admitted to be a faithful reproduction of the original. And it clearly appears under the Memorandum of Encumbrances on aid TCT that the Notice of Levy in favor of Bongalonta and her husband was registered and annotated in said title of February 7, 1989, whereas, that in favor of Gregorio Lantin, on October 18, 1989. Needless to state, the notice of levy in favor of Bongalonta and her husband is a superior lien on the said registered property of the Abuel spouses over that of Gregorio Lantin. Consequently, the charge against the two respondents ( i.e. representing conflicting interests and abetting a scheme to frustrate the execution or satisfaction of a judgment which Bongalonta and her husband might obtain against the Abuel spouses) has no leg to stand on. However, as to the fact that indeed the two respondents placed in their appearances and in their pleadings the same IBP No. "246722 dated 1-12-88", respondent Atty. Pablito M. Castillo deserves to be SUSPENDED for using, apparently thru his negligence, the IBP official receipt number of respondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija. According to the records of the IBP National Office, Atty. Castillo paid P1,040.00 as his delinquent and current membership dues, on February 20, 1990, under IBP O.R. No. 2900538, after Bongalonta filed her complaint with the IBP Committee on Bar Discipline. The explanation of Atty. Castillo's Cashier-Secretary by the name of Ester Fraginal who alleged in her affidavit dated March 4, 1993, that it was all her fault in placing the IBP official receipt number pertaining to Atty. Alfonso M. Martija in the appearance and pleadings Atty. Castillo and in failing to pay in due time the IBP membership dues of her employer, deserves scant consideration, for it is the bounded duty and obligation of every lawyer to see to it that he pays his IBP membership dues on time, especially when he practices before the courts, as required by the Supreme Court. WHEREFORE, it is respectfully recommended that Atty. Pablito M. Castillo be SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months for using the IBP Official Receipt No. of his co-respondent Atty. Alfonso M. Martija. The complaint against Atty. Martija is hereby DISMISSED for lack of evidence. (pp. 2-4, Resolution)

The Court agrees with the foregoing findings and recommendations. It is well to stress again that the practice of law is not a right but a privilege bestowed by the State on those who show that they possess, and continue to possess, the qualifications required by law for the conferment of such privilege. One of these requirements is the observance of honesty and candor. Courts are entitled to expect only complete candor and honesty from the lawyers appearing and pleading before them. A lawyer, on the other hand, has the fundamental duty to satisfy that expectation. for this reason, he is required to swear to do no falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court. WHEREFORE, finding respondent Atty. Pablito M. Castillo guilty committing a falsehood in violation of his lawyer's oath and of the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Court Resolved to SUSPEND him from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months, with a warning that commission of the same or similar offense in the future will result in the imposition of a more severe penalty. A copy of the

Resolution shall be spread on the personal record of respondent in the Office of the Bar Confidant. SO ORDERED.

NO. 8 ( CAYETANO VS MONSOD, 201 SCRA 210) G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991 RENATO CAYETANO, petitioner, vs. CHRISTIAN MONSOD, HON. JOVITO R. SALONGA, COMMISSION ON

APPOINTMENT, and HON. GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management, respondents. Renato L. Cayetano for and in his own behalf. Sabina E. Acut, Jr. and Mylene Garcia-Albano co-counsel for petitioner.

PARAS, J.:p We are faced here with a controversy of far-reaching proportions. While ostensibly only legal issues are involved, the Court's decision in this case would indubitably have a profound effect on the political aspect of our national existence. The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:
There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding -elections. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (Emphasis supplied)

The aforequoted provision is patterned after Section l(l), Article XII-C of the 1973 Constitution which similarly provides: There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and eight Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age and holders of a college degree. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. ' (Emphasis supplied) Regrettably, however, there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice of law as a legal qualification to an appointive office. Black defines "practice of law" as:
The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney, counseling clients in legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel about

pending litigation, and fixing and collecting fees for services rendered by his associate. (Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd ed.)

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. ( Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. v. Dworken, 129 Ohio St. 23, 193 N.E. 650) A person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he:
... for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms, associations or corporations as to their rights under the law, or appears in a representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings pending or prospective, before any court, commissioner, referee, board, body, committee, or commission constituted by law or authorized to settle controversies and there, in such representative capacity performs any act or acts for the purpose of obtaining or defending the rights of their clients under the law. Otherwise stated, one who, in a representative capacity, engages in the business of advising clients as to their rights under the law, or while so engaged performs any act or acts either in court or outside of court for that purpose, is engaged in the practice of law. (State ex. rel. Mckittrick v..C.S. Dudley and Co., 102 S.W. 2d 895, 340 Mo. 852)

This Court in the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v.Agrava, (105 Phil. 173,176177) stated:
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice, as do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions . (5 Am. Jr. p. 262, 263). (Emphasis supplied) Practice of law under modem conditions consists in no small part of work performed outside of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces conveyancing, the giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects, and the preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an extensive field of business and trust relations and other affairs. Although these transactions may have no direct connection with court proceedings, they are always subject to become involved in litigation. They require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide experience with men and affairs, and great capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations. These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at law bear an intimate relation to the administration of justice by the courts. No valid distinction, so far as concerns the question set forth in the order, can be drawn between that part of the work of the lawyer which involves appearance in court and that part which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his office. It is of importance to the welfare of the public that these manifold customary functions be performed by persons possessed of adequate learning and skill, of sound moral character, and acting at all times under the heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys. (Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. 3 [1953 ed.] , p. 665-666, citing In re Opinion of the Justices [Mass.], 194 N.E. 313, quoted in Rhode Is. Bar Assoc. v. Automobile Service Assoc. [R.I.] 179 A. 139,144). (Emphasis ours)

The University of the Philippines Law Center in conducting orientation briefing for new lawyers (1974-1975) listed the dimensions of the practice of law in even broader terms as advocacy, counselling and public service.
One may be a practicing attorney in following any line of employment in the profession. If what he does exacts knowledge of the law and is of a kind usual for attorneys engaging in the active practice of their profession, and he follows some one or more lines of employment such as this he is a practicing attorney at law within the meaning of the statute. (Barr v. Cardell, 155 NW 312)

Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service, which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill." (111 ALR 23) The following records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that it has adopted a liberal interpretation of the term "practice of law."
MR. FOZ. Before we suspend the session, may I make a manifestation which I forgot to do during our review of the provisions on the Commission on Audit. May I be allowed to make a very brief statement? THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir). The Commissioner will please proceed. MR. FOZ. This has to do with the qualifications of the members of the Commission on Audit. Among others, the qualifications provided for by Section I is that "They must be Members of the Philippine Bar" I am quoting from the provision "who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years".

To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the Bar who are now employed in the COA or Commission on Audit, we would like to make the clarification that this provision on qualifications regarding members of the Bar does not necessarily refer or involve actual practice of law outside the COA We have to interpret this to mean that as long as the lawyers who are employed in the COA are using their legal knowledge or legal talent in their respective work within COA, then they are qualified to be considered for appointment as members or commissioners, even chairman, of the Commission on Audit. This has been discussed by the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies and we deem it important to take it up on the floor so that this interpretation may be made available whenever this provision on the qualifications as regards members of the Philippine Bar engaging in the practice of law for at least ten years is taken up.
MR. OPLE. Will Commissioner Foz yield to just one question. MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer. MR. OPLE. Is he, in effect, saying that service in the COA by a lawyer is equivalent to the requirement of a law practice that is set forth in the Article on the Commission on Audit? MR. FOZ. We must consider the fact that the work of COA, although it is auditing, will necessarily involve legal work; it will involve legal work. And, therefore, lawyers who are employed in COA

now would have the necessary qualifications in accordance with the Provision on qualifications under our provisions on the Commission on Audit. And, therefore, the answer is yes. MR. OPLE. Yes. So that the construction given to this is that this is equivalent to the practice of law. MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer. MR. OPLE. Thank you. ... ( Emphasis supplied)

Section 1(1), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution, provides, among others, that the Chairman and two Commissioners of the Commission on Audit (COA) should either be certified public accountants with not less than ten years of auditing practice, or members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (emphasis supplied) Corollary to this is the term "private practitioner" and which is in many ways synonymous with the word "lawyer." Today, although many lawyers do not engage in private practice, it is still a fact that the majority of lawyers are private practitioners. (Gary Munneke, Opportunities in Law Careers [VGM Career Horizons: Illinois], [1986], p. 15). At this point, it might be helpful to define private practice. The term, as commonly understood, means "an individual or organization engaged in the business of delivering legal services." (Ibid.). Lawyers who practice alone are often called "sole practitioners." Groups of lawyers are called "firms." The firm is usually a partnership and members of the firm are the partners. Some firms may be organized as professional corporations and the members called shareholders. In either case, the members of the firm are the experienced attorneys. In most firms, there are younger or more inexperienced salaried attorneyscalled "associates." (Ibid.). The test that defines law practice by looking to traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous, unhelpful defining the practice of law as that which lawyers do. (Charles W. Wolfram, Modern Legal Ethics [West Publishing Co.: Minnesota, 1986], p. 593). The practice of law is defined as the performance of any acts . . . in or out of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law. (State Bar Ass'n v. Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., 145 Conn. 222, 140 A.2d 863, 870 [1958] [quoting Grievance Comm. v. Payne, 128 Conn. 325, 22 A.2d 623, 626 [1941]). Because lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and governmental realm, such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable.(Wolfram, op. cit.). The appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly familiar role for lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer. Most lawyers spend little time in courtrooms, and a large percentage spend their entire practice without litigating a case. (Ibid., p. 593). Nonetheless, many lawyers do continue to litigate and the litigating lawyer's role colors much of both the public image and the self perception of the legal profession. (Ibid.).

In this regard thus, the dominance of litigation in the public mind reflects history, not reality. (Ibid.). Why is this so? Recall that the late Alexander SyCip, a corporate lawyer, once articulated on the importance of a lawyer as a business counselor in this wise: "Even today, there are still uninformed laymen whose concept of an attorney is one who principally tries cases before the courts. The members of the bench and bar and the informed laymen such as businessmen, know that in most developed societies today, substantially more legal work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms. General practitioners of law who do both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more time doing what [is] loosely desccribe[d] as business counseling than in trying cases. The business lawyer has been described as the planner, the diagnostician and the trial lawyer, the surgeon. I[t] need not [be] stress[ed] that in law, as in medicine, surgery should be avoided where internal medicine can be effective." (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4). In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number of legal tasks, each involving different legal doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions, clients, and other interested parties. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers in specialized practice wig usually perform at least some legal services outside their specialty. And even within a narrow specialty such as tax practice, a lawyer will shift from one legal task or role such as advice-giving to an importantly different one such as representing a client before an administrative agency. (Wolfram, supra, p. 687). By no means will most of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively rare types a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work will require the lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of client counselling, advice-giving, document drafting, and negotiation. And increasingly lawyers find that the new skills of evaluation and mediation are both effective for many clients and a source of employment. ( Ibid.). Most lawyers will engage in non-litigation legal work or in litigation work that is constrained in very important ways, at least theoretically, so as to remove from it some of the salient features of adversarial litigation. Of these special roles, the most prominent is that of prosecutor. In some lawyers' work the constraints are imposed both by the nature of the client and by the way in which the lawyer is organized into a social unit to perform that work. The most common of these roles are those of corporate practice and government legal service. (Ibid.). In several issues of the Business Star, a business daily, herein below quoted are emerging trends in corporate law practice, a departure from the traditional concept of practice of law.
We are experiencing today what truly may be called a revolutionary transformation in corporate law practice. Lawyers and other professional groups, in particular those members participating in various legal-policy decisional contexts, are finding that understanding the major emerging trends in corporation law is indispensable to intelligent decision-making.

Constructive adjustment to major corporate problems of today requires an accurate understanding of the nature and implications of the corporate law research function accompanied by an accelerating rate of information accumulation. The recognition of the need for such improved corporate legal policy formulation, particularly "model-making" and "contingency planning," has impressed upon us the inadequacy of traditional procedures in many decisional contexts. In a complex legal problem the mass of information to be processed, the sorting and weighing of significant conditional factors, the appraisal of major trends, the necessity of estimating the consequences of given courses of action, and the need for fast decision and response in situations of acute danger have prompted the use of sophisticated concepts of information flow theory, operational analysis, automatic data processing, and electronic computing equipment. Understandably, an improved decisional structure must stress the predictive component of the policy-making process, wherein a "model", of the decisional context or a segment thereof is developed to test projected alternative courses of action in terms of futuristic effects flowing therefrom. Although members of the legal profession are regularly engaged in predicting and projecting the trends of the law, the subject of corporate finance law has received relatively little organized and formalized attention in the philosophy of advancing corporate legal education. Nonetheless, a cross-disciplinary approach to legal research has become a vital necessity. Certainly, the general orientation for productive contributions by those trained primarily in the law can be improved through an early introduction to multi-variable decisional context and the various approaches for handling such problems. Lawyers, particularly with either a master's or doctorate degree in business administration or management, functioning at the legal policy level of decision-making now have some appreciation for the concepts and analytical techniques of other professions which are currently engaged in similar types of complex decision-making. Truth to tell, many situations involving corporate finance problems would require the services of an astute attorney because of the complex legal implications that arise from each and every necessary step in securing and maintaining the business issue raised. (Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4). In our litigation-prone country, a corporate lawyer is assiduously referred to as the "abogado de campanilla." He is the "big-time" lawyer, earning big money and with a clientele composed of the tycoons and magnates of business and industry. Despite the growing number of corporate lawyers, many people could not explain what it is that a corporate lawyer does. For one, the number of attorneys employed by a single corporation will vary with the size and type of the corporation. Many smaller and some large corporations farm out all their legal problems to private law firms. Many others have in-house counsel only for certain matters. Other corporation have a staff large enough to handle most legal problems in-house. A corporate lawyer, for all intents and purposes, is a lawyer who handles the legal affairs of a corporation. His areas of concern or jurisdiction may include, inter alia: corporate legal research, tax laws research, acting out as corporate secretary (in board meetings), appearances in both courts and other adjudicatory agencies (including the Securities and Exchange Commission), and in other capacities which require an ability to deal with the law.

At any rate, a corporate lawyer may assume responsibilities other than the legal affairs of the business of the corporation he is representing. These include such matters as determining policy and becoming involved in management . ( Emphasis supplied.) In a big company, for example, one may have a feeling of being isolated from the action, or not understanding how one's work actually fits into the work of the orgarnization. This can be frustrating to someone who needs to see the results of his work first hand. In short, a corporate lawyer is sometimes offered this fortune to be more closely involved in the running of the business. Moreover, a corporate lawyer's services may sometimes be engaged by a multinational corporation (MNC). Some large MNCs provide one of the few opportunities available to corporate lawyers to enter the international law field. After all, international law is practiced in a relatively small number of companies and law firms. Because working in a foreign country is perceived by many as glamorous, tills is an area coveted by corporate lawyers. In most cases, however, the overseas jobs go to experienced attorneys while the younger attorneys do their "international practice" in law libraries. ( Business Star, "Corporate Law Practice," May 25,1990, p. 4). This brings us to the inevitable, i.e., the role of the lawyer in the realm of finance. To borrow the lines of Harvard-educated lawyer Bruce Wassertein, to wit: "A bad lawyer is one who fails to spot problems, a good lawyer is one who perceives the difficulties, and the excellent lawyer is one who surmounts them." ( Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4). Today, the study of corporate law practice direly needs a "shot in the arm," so to speak. No longer are we talking of the traditional law teaching method of confining the subject study to the Corporation Code and the Securities Code but an incursion as well into the intertwining modern management issues. Such corporate legal management issues deal primarily with three (3) types of learning: (1) acquisition of insights into current advances which are of particular significance to the corporate counsel; (2) an introduction to usable disciplinary skins applicable to a corporate counsel's management responsibilities; and (3) a devotion to the organization and management of the legal function itself. These three subject areas may be thought of as intersecting circles, with a shared area linking them. Otherwise known as "intersecting managerial jurisprudence," it forms a unifying theme for the corporate counsel's total learning. Some current advances in behavior and policy sciences affect the counsel's role. For that matter, the corporate lawyer reviews the globalization process, including the resulting strategic repositioning that the firms he provides counsel for are required to make, and the need to think about a corporation's; strategy at multiple levels. The salience of the nation-state is being reduced as firms deal both with global multinational entities and simultaneously with sub-national governmental units. Firms increasingly collaborate not only with public entities but with each other often with those who are competitors in other arenas. Also, the nature of the lawyer's participation in decision-making within the corporation is rapidly changing. The modem corporate lawyer has gained a new role as a stakeholder in some cases participating in the organization and operations of governance through participation on boards and other decision-making roles. Often these new patterns develop alongside existing legal institutions and laws are perceived as barriers. These

trends are complicated as corporations organize for global operations. ( Emphasis supplied) The practising lawyer of today is familiar as well with governmental policies toward the promotion and management of technology. New collaborative arrangements for promoting specific technologies or competitiveness more generally require approaches from industry that differ from older, more adversarial relationships and traditional forms of seeking to influence governmental policies. And there are lessons to be learned from other countries. In Europe, Esprit, Eureka and Race are examples of collaborative efforts between governmental and business Japan's MITI is world famous. (Emphasis supplied) Following the concept of boundary spanning, the office of the Corporate Counsel comprises a distinct group within the managerial structure of all kinds of organizations. Effectiveness of both long-term and temporary groups within organizations has been found to be related to indentifiable factors in the group-context interaction such as the groups actively revising their knowledge of the environment coordinating work with outsiders, promoting team achievements within the organization. In general, such external activities are better predictors of team performance than internal group processes. In a crisis situation, the legal managerial capabilities of the corporate lawyer vis-a-vis the managerial mettle of corporations are challenged . Current research is seeking ways both to anticipate effective managerial procedures and to understand relationships of financial liability and insurance considerations. (Emphasis supplied) Regarding the skills to apply by the corporate counsel, three factors are apropos: First System Dynamics. The field of systems dynamics has been found an effective tool for new managerial thinking regarding both planning and pressing immediate problems. An understanding of the role of feedback loops, inventory levels, and rates of flow, enable users to simulate all sorts of systematic problems physical, economic, managerial, social, and psychological. New programming techniques now make the system dynamics principles more accessible to managers including corporate counsels . (Emphasis supplied) Second Decision Analysis. This enables users to make better decisions involving complexity and uncertainty. In the context of a law department, it can be used to appraise the settlement value of litigation, aid in negotiation settlement, and minimize the cost and risk involved in managing a portfolio of cases. (Emphasis supplied) Third Modeling for Negotiation Management. Computer-based models can be used directly by parties and mediators in all lands of negotiations. All integrated set of such tools provide coherent and effective negotiation support, including hands-on on instruction in these techniques. A simulation case of an international joint venture may be used to illustrate the point. [Be this as it may,] the organization and management of the legal function, concern three pointed areas of consideration, thus: Preventive Lawyering. Planning by lawyers requires special skills that comprise a major part of the general counsel's responsibilities. They differ from those of remedial law. Preventive lawyering is concerned with minimizing the risks of legal trouble and maximizing legal rights for such legal entities at that time when transactional or similar facts are being considered and made.

Managerial Jurisprudence. This is the framework within which are undertaken those activities of the firm to which legal consequences attach. It needs to be directly supportive of this nation's evolving economic and organizational fabric as firms change to stay competitive in a global, interdependent environment. The practice and theory of "law" is not adequate today to facilitate the relationships needed in trying to make a global economy work. Organization and Functioning of the Corporate Counsel's Office . The general counsel has emerged in the last decade as one of the most vibrant subsets of the legal profession. The corporate counsel hear responsibility for key aspects of the firm's strategic issues, including structuring its global operations, managing improved relationships with an increasingly diversified body of employees, managing expanded liability exposure, creating new and varied interactions with public decision-makers, coping internally with more complex make or by decisions. This whole exercise drives home the thesis that knowing corporate law is not enough to make one a good general corporate counsel nor to give him a full sense of how the legal system shapes corporate activities. And even if the corporate lawyer's aim is not the understand all of the law's effects on corporate activities, he must, at the very least, also gain a working knowledge of the management issues if only to be able to grasp not only the basic legal "constitution' or makeup of the modem corporation. " Business Star", "The Corporate Counsel," April 10, 1991, p. 4). The challenge for lawyers (both of the bar and the bench) is to have more than a passing knowledge of financial law affecting each aspect of their work. Yet, many would admit to ignorance of vast tracts of the financial law territory. What transpires next is a dilemma of professional security: Will the lawyer admit ignorance and risk opprobrium?; or will he feign understanding and risk exposure? (Business Star, "Corporate Finance law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).

Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of Chairman of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments on April 25, 1991. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. On June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office. On the same day, he assumed office as Chairman of the COMELEC. Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Monsod's nomination, petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition praying that said confirmation and the consequent appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be declared null and void. Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar examinations of 1960 with a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its inception in 1972-73. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten years. (p. 124, Rollo)

After graduating from the College of Law (U.P.) and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod worked in the law office of his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-1970), Monsod worked as an operations officer for about two years in Costa Rica and Panama, which involved getting acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic, and project work of the Bank. Upon returning to the Philippines in 1970, he worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief executive officer of an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate, and since 1986, has rendered services to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer. As former Secretary-General (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable in election law. He appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. In the field of advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as former CoChairman of the Bishops Businessmen's Conference for Human Development, has worked with the under privileged sectors, such as the farmer and urban poor groups, in initiating, lobbying for and engaging in affirmative action for the agrarian reform law and lately the urban land reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal knowledge as a member of the Davide Commission, a quast judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987), and Chairman of its Committee on Accountability of Public Officers, for which he was cited by the President of the Commission, Justice Cecilia Muoz-Palma for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with individual freedoms and public accountability and the party-list system for the House of Representative. (pp. 128-129 Rollo) ( Emphasis supplied) Just a word about the work of a negotiating team of which Atty. Monsod used to be a member.
In a loan agreement, for instance, a negotiating panel acts as a team, and which is adequately constituted to meet the various contingencies that arise during a negotiation. Besides top officials of the Borrower concerned, there are the legal officer (such as the legal counsel), the finance manager, and an operations officer (such as an official involved in negotiating the contracts) who comprise the members of the team. (Guillermo V. Soliven, "Loan Negotiating Strategies for Developing Country Borrowers," Staff Paper No. 2, Central Bank of the Philippines, Manila, 1982, p. 11). (Emphasis supplied) After a fashion, the loan agreement is like a country's Constitution; it lays down the law as far as the loan transaction is concerned. Thus, the meat of any Loan Agreement can be compartmentalized into five (5) fundamental parts: (1) business terms; (2) borrower's representation; (3) conditions of closing; (4) covenants; and (5) events of default. ( Ibid., p. 13). In the same vein, lawyers play an important role in any debt restructuring program . For aside from performing the tasks of legislative drafting and legal advising, they score national development policies as key factors in maintaining their countries' sovereignty. (Condensed from the work paper, entitled "Wanted: Development Lawyers for Developing Nations," submitted by L. Michael Hager, regional legal adviser of the United States Agency for International Development, during the Session on Law for the Development of Nations at the Abidjan World Conference in Ivory Coast, sponsored by the World Peace Through Law Center on August 26-31, 1973). ( Emphasis supplied)

Loan concessions and compromises, perhaps even more so than purely renegotiation policies, demand expertise in the law of contracts, in legislation and agreement drafting and in renegotiation. Necessarily, a sovereign lawyer may work with an international business specialist or an economist in the formulation of a model loan agreement. Debt restructuring contract agreements contain such a mixture of technical language that they should be carefully drafted and signed only with the advise of competent counsel in conjunction with the guidance of adequate technical support personnel. ( See International Law Aspects of the Philippine External Debts , an unpublished dissertation, U.S.T. Graduate School of Law, 1987, p. 321). ( Emphasis supplied) A critical aspect of sovereign debt restructuring/contract construction is the set of terms and conditions which determines the contractual remedies for a failure to perform one or more elements of the contract. A good agreement must not only define the responsibilities of both parties, but must also state the recourse open to either party when the other fails to discharge an obligation. For a compleat debt restructuring represents a devotion to that principle which in the ultimate analysis is sine qua non for foreign loan agreements-an adherence to the rule of law in domestic and international affairs of whose kind U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said: "They carry no banners, they beat no drums; but where they are, men learn that bustle and bush are not the equal of quiet genius and serene mastery." (See Ricardo J. Romulo, "The Role of Lawyers in Foreign Investments," Integrated Bar of the Philippine Journal, Vol. 15, Nos. 3 and 4, Third and Fourth Quarters, 1977, p. 265).

Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". particularly the modern concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years . Besides in the leading case of Luego v. Civil Service Commission, 143 SCRA 327, the Court said:
Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the officer in which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. If he does, then the appointment cannot be faulted on the ground that there are others better qualified who should have been preferred. This is a political question involving considerations of wisdom which only the appointing authority can decide. (emphasis supplied)

No less emphatic was the Court in the case of ( Central Bank v. Civil Service Commission, 171 SCRA 744) where it stated:
It is well-settled that when the appointee is qualified, as in this case, and all the other legal requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no alternative but to attest to the appointment in accordance with the Civil Service Law. The Commission has no authority to revoke an appointment on the ground that another person is more qualified for a particular position. It also has no authority to direct the appointment of a substitute of its choice. To do so would be an encroachment on the discretion vested upon the appointing authority. An appointment is essentially within the discretionary power of

whomsoever it is vested, subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess the qualifications required by law. ( Emphasis supplied)

The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar, consists of four (4) stages: (1) nomination; (2) confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; (3) issuance of a commission (in the Philippines, upon submission by the Commission on Appointments of its certificate of confirmation, the President issues the permanent appointment; and (4) acceptance e.g., oath-taking, posting of bond, etc. . . . ( Lacson v. Romero, No. L-3081, October 14, 1949; Gonzales, Law on Public Officers, p. 200) The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) SubArticle C, Article IX of the Constitution which provides:
The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years, and the last Members for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity. Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion, suffice it to say that his definition of the practice of law is the traditional or stereotyped notion of law practice, as distinguished from the modern concept of the practice of law, which modern connotation is exactly what was intended by the eminent framers of the 1987 Constitution. Moreover, Justice Padilla's definition would require generally a habitual law practice, perhaps practised two or three times a week and would outlaw say, law practice once or twice a year for ten consecutive years. Clearly, this is far from the constitutional intent.

Upon the other hand, the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my written opinion, I made use of a definition of law practice which really means nothing because the definition says that law practice " . . . is what people ordinarily mean by the practice of law." True I cited the definition but only by way of sarcasm as evident from my statement that the definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous" or defining a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being defined. Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations, most individuals, in making use of the law, or in advising others on what the law means, are actually practicing law. In that sense, perhaps, but we should not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Monsod is a lawyer, a member of the Philippine Bar, who has been practising law for over ten years. This is different from the acts of persons practising law, without first becoming lawyers. Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of the Philippines, say, on the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. This matter, I greatly doubt. For one thing, how can an action or petition be brought against the President? And even assuming that he is indeed disqualified, how can the action be entertained since he is the incumbent President?

We now proceed: The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsod's confirmation, implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law. The judgment rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. (Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the Court interfere with the Commission's judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise of the Court's corrective power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for has been clearly shown. Additionally, consider the following: (1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President, may the Supreme Court reverse the Commission, and thus in effect confirm the appointment? Clearly, the answer is in the negative. (2) In the same vein, may the Court reject the nominee, whom the Commission has confirmed? The answer is likewise clear. (3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U.S. Congress) decides to confirm a Presidential nominee, it would be incredible that the U.S. Supreme Court would still reverse the U.S. Senate. Finally, one significant legal maxim is:
We must interpret not by the letter that killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life.

Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah. Once, the procurator of Judea asked Delilah (who was Samson's beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Delilah agreed on condition that
No blade shall touch his skin; No blood shall flow from his veins.

When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured, the procurator placed an iron rod burning white-hot two or three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. This blinded the man. Upon hearing of what had happened to her beloved, Delilah was beside herself with anger, and fuming with righteous fury, accused the procurator of reneging on his word. The procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his skin? Did any blood flow from his veins?" The procurator was clearly relying on the letter, not the spirit of the agreement.

In view of the foregoing, this petition is hereby DISMISSED. SO ORDERED.

NO 9 ( BURBE VS MAGULTA) [AC No. 99-634. June 10, 2002] DOMINADOR P. BURBE, complainant, vs. ATTY. ALBERTO C. MAGULTA, respondent. DECISION
PANGANIBAN, J.:

After agreeing to take up the cause of a client, a lawyer owes fidelity to both cause and client, even if the client never paid any fee for the attorney-client relationship. Lawyering is not a business; it is a profession in which duty to public service, not money, is the primary consideration. The Case

Before us is a Complaint for the disbarment or suspension or any other disciplinary action against Atty. Alberto C. Magulta. Filed by Dominador P. Burbe with the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) on June 14, 1999, the Complaint is accompanied by a Sworn Statement alleging the following:
x x x x x x xxx

That in connection with my business, I was introduced to Atty. Alberto C. Magulta, sometime in September, 1998, in his office at the Respicio, Magulta and Adan Law Offices at 21-B Otero Building, Juan de la Cruz St., Davao City, who agreed to legally represent me in a money claim and possible civil case against certain parties for breach of contract; That consequent to such agreement, Atty. Alberto C. Magulta prepared for me the demand letter and some other legal papers, for which services I have accordingly paid; inasmuch, however, that I failed to secure a settlement of the dispute, Atty. Magulta suggested that I file the necessary complaint, which he subsequently drafted, copy of which is attached as Annex A, the filing fee whereof will require the amount of Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (P25,000.00); That having the need to legally recover from the parties to be sued I, on January 4, 1999, deposited the amount of P25,000.00 to Atty. Alberto C. Magulta, copy of the Receipt attached as Annex B, upon the instruction that I needed the case filed immediately; That a week later, I was informed by Atty. Alberto C. Magulta that the complaint had already been filed in court, and that I should receive notice of its progress; That in the months that followed, I waited for such notice from the court or from Atty. Magulta but there seemed to be no progress in my case, such that I frequented his office to inquire, and he would repeatedly tell me just to wait; That I had grown impatient on the case, considering that I am told to wait [every time] I asked; and in my last visit to Atty. Magulta last May 25, 1999, he said that the court personnel had not yet acted on my case and, for my satisfaction, he even brought me to the Hall of Justice Building at Ecoland, Davao City, at about 4:00 p.m., where he left me at the Office of the City Prosecutor at the ground floor of the building and told to wait while he personally follows up the processes with the Clerk of Court; whereupon, within the hour, he came back and told me that the Clerk of Court was absent on that day; That sensing I was being given the run-around by Atty. Magulta, I decided to go to the Office of the Clerk of Court with my draft of Atty. Magultas complaint to personally verify the progress of my case, and there told that there was no record at all of a case filed by Atty. Alberto C. Magulta on my behalf, copy of the Certification dated May 27, 1999, attached as Annex C; That feeling disgusted by the way I was lied to and treated, I confronted Atty. Alberto C. Magulta at his office the following day, May 28, 1999, where he continued to lie to with the excuse that the delay was being caused by the court personnel, and only when shown the certification did he admit that he has not at all filed the complaint because he had spent the

money for the filing fee for his own purpose; and to appease my feelings, he offered to reimburse me by issuing two (2) checks, postdated June 1 and June 5, 1999, in the amounts of P12,000.00 and P8,000.00, respectively, copies of which are attached as Annexes D and E; That for the inconvenience, treatment and deception I was made to suffer, I wish to complain Atty. Alberto C. Magulta for misrepresentation, dishonesty and oppressive conduct;
xxx xxx x x x.i[1]

On August 6, 1999, pursuant to the July 22, 1999 Order of the IBP Commission on Bar Discipline,ii[2] respondent filed his Answeriii[3] vehemently denying the allegations of complainant for being totally outrageous and baseless. The latter had allegedly been introduced as a kumpadre of one of the formers law partners. After their meeting, complainant requested him to draft a demand letter against Regwill Industries, Inc. -- a service for which the former never paid. After Mr. Said Sayre, one of the business partners of complainant, replied to this letter, the latter requested that another demand letter -- this time addressed to the former -- be drafted by respondent, who reluctantly agreed to do so. Without informing the lawyer, complainant asked the process server of the formers law office to deliver the letter to the addressee. Aside from attending to the Regwill case which had required a three-hour meeting, respondent drafted a complaint (which was only for the purpose of compelling the owner to settle the case) and prepared a compromise agreement. He was also requested by complainant to do the following: 1. 2. 3. 4. Write a demand letter addressed to Mr. Nelson Tan Write a demand letter addressed to ALC Corporation Draft a complaint against ALC Corporation Research on the Mandaue City property claimed by complainants wife

All of these respondent did, but he was never paid for his services by complainant. Respondent likewise said that without telling him why, complainant later on withdrew all the files pertinent to the Regwill case. However, when no settlement was reached, the latter instructed him to draft a complaint for breach of contract. Respondent, whose services had never been paid by complainant until this time, told the latter about his acceptance and legal fees. When told that these fees amounted to P187,742 because the Regwill claim was almost P4 million, complainant promised to pay on installment basis. On January 4, 1999, complainant gave the amount of P25,000 to respondents secretary and told her that it was for the filing fee of the Regwill case. When informed of the payment, the lawyer immediately called the attention of complainant, informing the latter of the need to pay the acceptance and filing fees before the complaint could be filed. Complainant was told that the

amount he had paid was a deposit for the acceptance fee, and that he should give the filing fee later. Sometime in February 1999, complainant told respondent to suspend for the meantime the filing of the complaint because the former might be paid by another company, the First Oriental Property Ventures, Inc., which had offered to buy a parcel of land owned by Regwill Industries. The negotiations went on for two months, but the parties never arrived at any agreement. Sometime in May 1999, complainant again relayed to respondent his interest in filing the complaint. Respondent reminded him once more of the acceptance fee. In response, complainant proposed that the complaint be filed first before payment of respondents acceptance and legal fees. When respondent refused, complainant demanded the return of the P25,000. The lawyer returned the amount using his own personal checks because their law office was undergoing extensive renovation at the time, and their office personnel were not reporting regularly. Respondents checks were accepted and encashed by complainant. Respondent averred that he never inconvenienced, mistreated or deceived complainant, and if anyone had been shortchanged by the undesirable events, it was he. The IBPs Recommendation In its Report and Recommendation dated March 8, 2000, the Commission on Bar Discipline of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) opined as follows: x x x [I]t is evident that the P25,000 deposited by complainant with the Respicio Law Office was for the filing fees of the Regwill complaint. With complainants deposit of the filing fees for the Regwill complaint, a corresponding obligation on the part of respondent was created and that was to file the Regwill complaint within the time frame contemplated by his client, the complainant. The failure of respondent to fulfill this obligation due to his misuse of the filing fees deposited by complainant, and his attempts to cover up this misuse of funds of the client, which caused complainant additional damage and prejudice, constitutes highly dishonest conduct on his part, unbecoming a member of the law profession. The subsequent reimbursement by the respondent of part of the money deposited by complainant for filing fees, does not exculpate the respondent for his misappropriation of said funds. Thus, to impress upon the respondent the gravity of his offense, it is recommended that respondent be suspended from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year.iv[4] The Courts Ruling We agree with the Commissions recommendation. Main Issue: Misappropriation of Clients Funds

Central to this case are the following alleged acts of respondent lawyer: (a) his non-filing of the Complaint on behalf of his client and (b) his appropriation for himself of the money given for the filing fee. Respondent claims that complainant did not give him the filing fee for the Regwill complaint; hence, the formers failure to file the complaint in court. Also, respondent alleges that the amount delivered by complainant to his office on January 4, 1999 was for attorneys fees and not for the filing fee. We are not persuaded. Lawyers must exert their best efforts and ability in the prosecution or the defense of the clients cause. They who perform that duty with diligence and candor not only protect the interests of the client, but also serve the ends of justice. They do honor to the bar and help maintain the respect of the community for the legal profession.v[5] Members of the bar must do nothing that may tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public in the fidelity, the honesty, and integrity of the profession.vi[6] Respondent wants this Court to believe that no lawyer-client relationship existed between him and complainant, because the latter never paid him for services rendered. The former adds that he only drafted the said documents as a personal favor for the kumpadre of one of his partners. We disagree. A lawyer-client relationship was established from the very first moment complainant asked respondent for legal advice regarding the formers business. To constitute professional employment, it is not essential that the client employed the attorney professionally on any previous occasion. It is not necessary that any retainer be paid, promised, or charged; neither is it material that the attorney consulted did not afterward handle the case for which his service had been sought. If a person, in respect to business affairs or troubles of any kind, consults a lawyer with a view to obtaining professional advice or assistance, and the attorney voluntarily permits or acquiesces with the consultation, then the professional employment is established.vii[7] Likewise, a lawyer-client relationship exists notwithstanding the close personal relationship between the lawyer and the complainant or the nonpayment of the formers fees.viii[8] Hence, despite the fact that complainant was kumpadre of a law partner of respondent, and that respondent dispensed legal advice to complainant as a personal favor to the kumpadre, the lawyer was duty-bound to file the complaint he had agreed to prepare -- and had actually prepared -- at the soonest possible time, in order to protect the clients interest. Rule 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that lawyers should not neglect legal matters entrusted to them. This Court has likewise constantly held that once lawyers agree to take up the cause of a client, they owe fidelity to such cause and must always be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in them.ix[9] They owe entire devotion to the interest of the client, warm zeal in the maintenance and the defense of the clients rights, and the exertion of their utmost learning and abilities to the end that nothing be taken or withheld from the client, save by the rules of law legally applied.x
[10]

Similarly unconvincing is the explanation of respondent that the receipt issued by his office to complainant on January 4, 1999 was erroneous. The IBP Report correctly noted that it was quite incredible for the office personnel of a law firm to be prevailed upon by a client to issue a receipt erroneously indicating payment for something else. Moreover, upon discovering the mistake -if indeed it was one -- respondent should have immediately taken steps to correct the error. He should have lost no time in calling complainants attention to the matter and should have issued another receipt indicating the correct purpose of the payment. The Practice of Law -- a Profession, Not a Business In this day and age, members of the bar often forget that the practice of law is a profession and not a business.xi[11] Lawyering is not primarily meant to be a money-making venture, and law advocacy is not a capital that necessarily yields profits.xii[12] The gaining of a livelihood is not a professional but a secondary consideration.xiii[13] 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 practice of law is a noble calling in which emolument is a byproduct, and the highest eminence may be attained without making much money.xiv[14] In failing to apply to the filing fee the amount given by complainant -- as evidenced by the receipt issued by the law office of respondent -- the latter also violated the rule that lawyers must be scrupulously careful in handling money entrusted to them in their professional capacity.xv[15] Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states that lawyers shall hold in trust all moneys of their clients and properties that may come into their possession. Lawyers who convert the funds entrusted to them are in gross violation of professional ethics and are guilty of betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession.xvi[16] It may be true that they have a lien upon the clients funds, documents and other papers that have lawfully come into their possession; that they may retain them until their lawful fees and disbursements have been paid; and that they may apply such funds to the satisfaction of such fees and disbursements. However, these considerations do not relieve them of their duty to promptly account for the moneys they received. Their failure to do so constitutes professional misconduct.xvii[17] In any event, they must still exert all effort to protect their clients interest within the bounds of law. If much is demanded from an attorney, it is because the entrusted privilege to practice law carries with it correlative duties not only to the client but also to the court, to the bar, and to the public.xviii[18] Respondent fell short of this standard when he converted into his legal fees the filing fee entrusted to him by his client and thus failed to file the complaint promptly. The fact that the former returned the amount does not exculpate him from his breach of duty. On the other hand, we do not agree with complainants plea to disbar respondent from the practice of law. The power to disbar must be exercised with great caution. Only in a clear case of misconduct that seriously affects the standing and the character of the bar will disbarment be imposed as a penalty.xix[19]

WHEREFORE, Atty. Alberto C. Magulta is found guilty of violating Rules 16.01 and 18.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of one (1) year, effective upon his receipt of this Decision. Let copies be furnished all courts as well as the Office of the Bar Confidant, which is instructed to include a copy in respondents file. SO ORDERED.

NO. 10 ( PAFLU VS BINALBAGAN- ISABELA SUGAR 42 SCRA 302) G.R. No. L-23959 November 29, 1971 PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF FREE LABOR UNIONS (PAFLU), ENRIQUE ENTILA & VICTORIANO TENAZAS petitioners, vs. BINALBAGAN ISABELA SUGAR COMPANY, COURT OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS, & QUINTIN MUNING respondents.

REYES, J.B.L., J.: May a non-lawyer recover attorney's fees for legal services rendered? This is the issue presented in this petition for review of an order, dated 12 May 1964, and the en banc resolution, dated 8 December 1964, of the Court of Industrial Relations, in its Case No. 72ULP-Iloilo, granting respondent Quintin Muning a non-lawyer, attorney's fees for professional services in the said case. The above-named petitioners were complainants in Case No. 72-ULP-Iloilo entitled, "PAFLU et al. vs. Binalbagan Isabela Sugar Co., et al." After trial, the Court of Industrial Relations rendered a decision, on 29 March 1961, ordering the reinstatement with backwages of complainants Enrique Entila and Victorino Tenazas. Said decision became final. On 18 October 1963, Cipriano Cid & Associates, counsel of record for the winning complainants, filed a notice of attorney's lien equivalent to 30% of the total backwages. On 22 November 1963, Atty. Atanacio Pacis also filed a similar notice for a reasonable amount. Complainants Entila and Tenazas on 3 December 1963, filed a manifestation indicating their non-objection to an award of attorney's fees for 25% of their backwages, and, on the same day, Quentin

Muning filed a "Petition for the Award of Services Rendered" equivalent to 20% of the backwages. Munings petition was opposed by Cipriano Cid & Associates the ground that he is not a lawyer. The records of Case No. 72-ULP-Iloilo show that the charge was filed by Cipriano Cid & Associates through Atty. Atanacio Pacis. All the hearings were held in Bacolod City and appearances made in behalf of the complainants were at first by Attorney Pacis and subsequently by respondent Quintin Muning. On 12 May 1964, the Court of Industrial Relations awarded 25% of the backwages as compensation for professional services rendered in the case, apportioned as follows:
Attys. Cipriano Cid & Associates ............................................. 10% Quintin Muning ......................................................................... 10% Atty. Atanacio Pacis ................................................................. 5%

The award of 10% to Quintin Muning who is not a lawyer according to the order, is sought to be voided in the present petition. Respondent Muning moved in this Court to dismiss the present petition on the ground of late filing but his motion was overruled on 20 January 1965. 1 He asked for reconsideration, but, considering that the motion contained averments that go into the merits of the case, this Court admitted and considered the motion for reconsideration for all purposes as respondent's answer to the petitioner for review. 2 The case was considered submitted for decision without respondent's brief. 3 Applicable to the issue at hand is the principle enunciated in Amalgamated Laborers' Association, et al. vs. Court of Industrial Relations, et al ., L-23467, 27 March 1968, 4 that an agreement providing for the division of attorney's fees, whereby a non-lawyer union president is allowed to share in said fees with lawyers, is condemned by Canon 34 of Legal Ethics and is immoral and cannot be justified. An award by a court of attorney's fees is no less immoral in the absence of a contract, as in the present case. The provision in Section 5(b) of Republic Act No. 875 that
In the proceeding before the Court or Hearing Examiner thereof, the parties shall not be required to be represented by legal counsel ...

is no justification for a ruling, that the person representing the party-litigant in the Court of Industrial Relations, even if he is not a lawyer, is entitled to attorney's fees: for the same section adds that
it shall be the duty and obligation of the Court or Hearing Officer to examine and cross examine witnesses on behalf of the parties and to assist in the orderly presentation of evidence.

thus making it clear that the representation should be exclusively entrusted to duly qualified members of the bar.

The permission for a non-member of the bar to represent or appear or defend in the said court on behalf of a party-litigant does not by itself entitle the representative to compensation for such representation. For Section 24, Rule 138, of the Rules of Court, providing
Sec. 24. Compensation of attorney's agreement as to fees . An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, ...

imports the existence of an attorney-client relationship as a condition to the recovery of attorney's fees. Such a relationship cannot exist unless the client's representative in court be a lawyer. Since respondent Muning is not one, he cannot establish an attorney-client relationship with Enrique Entila and Victorino Tenezas or with PAFLU, and he cannot, therefore, recover attorney's fees. Certainly public policy demands that legal work in representation of parties litigant should be entrusted only to those possessing tested qualifications and who are sworn, to observe the rules and the ethics of the profession, as well as being subject to judicial disciplinary control for the protection of courts, clients and the public. On the present issue, the rule in American jurisdictions is persuasive. There, it is stated:
But in practically all jurisdictions statutes have now been enacted prohibiting persons not licensed or admitted to the bar from practising law, and under statutes of this kind, the great weight of authority is to the effect that compensation for legal services cannot be recovered by one who has not been admitted to practice before the court or in the jurisdiction the services were rendered. 5 No one is entitled to recover compensation for services as an attorney at law unless he has been duly admitted to practice ... and is an attorney in good standing at the time. 6

The reasons are that the ethics of the legal profession should not be violated; 7 that acting as an attorney with authority constitutes contempt of court, which is punishable by fine or imprisonment or both, 8 and the law will not assist a person to reap the fruits or benefit of an act or an act done in violation of law; 9 and that if were to be allowed to non-lawyers, it would leave the public in hopeless confusion as to whom to consult in case of necessity and also leave the bar in a chaotic condition, aside from the fact that non-lawyers are not amenable to disciplinary measures. 10
And the general rule above-stated (referring to non-recovery of attorney's fees by non-lawyers) cannot be circumvented when the services were purely legal, by seeking to recover as an "agent" and not as an attorney. 11

The weight of the reasons heretofore stated why a non-lawyer may not be awarded attorney's fees should suffice to refute the possible argument that appearances by non-lawyers before the Court of Industrial Relations should be excepted on the ground that said court is a court of special jurisdiction; such special jurisdiction does not weigh the aforesaid reasons and cannot justify an exception. The other issue in this case is whether or not a union may appeal an award of attorney's fees which are deductible from the backpay of some of its members. This issue arose because it was the union PAFLU, alone, that moved for an extension of time to file the present petition for review; union members Entila and Tenazas did not ask for extension but they were

included as petitioners in the present petition that was subsequently filed, it being contended that, as to them (Entila and Tenazas), their inclusion in the petition as co-petitioners was belated. We hold that a union or legitimate labor organization may appeal an award of attorney's fees which are deductible from the backpay of its members because such union or labor organization is permitted to institute an action in the industrial court, 12 on behalf of its members; and the union was organized "for the promotion of the emloyees' moral, social and economic well-being"; 13 hence, if an award is disadvantageous to its members, the union may prosecute an appeal as an aggrieved party, under Section 6, Republic Act 875, which provides:
Sec. 6. Unfair Labor Practice cases Appeals. Any person aggrieved by any order of the Court may appeal to the Supreme Court of the Philippines ...,

since more often than not the individual unionist is not in a position to bear the financial burden of litigations. Petitioners allege that respondent Muning is engaged in the habitual practice of law before the Court of Industrial Relations, and many of them like him who are not licensed to practice, registering their appearances as "representatives" and appearing daily before the said court. If true, this is a serious situation demanding corrective action that respondent court should actively pursue and enforce by positive action to that purpose. But since this matter was not brought in issue before the court a quo, it may not be taken up in the present case. Petitioners, however, may file proper action against the persons alleged to be illegally engaged in the practice of law. WHEREFORE, the orders under review are hereby set aside insofar as they awarded 10% of the backwages as attorney's fees for respondent Quintin Muning. Said orders are affirmed in all other respects. Costs against respondent Muning.

NO. 11

iiEN BANC

Bar Matter No. 553 June 17, 1993 MAURICIO C. ULEP, petitioner, vs. THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC., respondent. R E SO L U T I O N

REGALADO, J.: Petitioner prays this Court "to order the respondent to cease and desist from issuing advertisements similar to or of the same tenor as that of annexes "A" and "B" (of said petition) and to perpetually prohibit persons or entities from making advertisements pertaining to the exercise of the law profession other than those allowed by law." The advertisements complained of by herein petitioner are as follows:
Annex A SECRET MARRIAGE? P560.00 for a valid marriage. Info on DIVORCE. ABSENCE. ANNULMENT. VISA. THE 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 Retiree's 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

It is the submission of petitioner that the advertisements above reproduced are champterous, unethical, demeaning of the law profession, and destructive of the confidence of the community in the integrity of the members of the bar and that, as a member of the legal profession, he is ashamed and offended by the said advertisements, hence the reliefs sought in his petition as hereinbefore quoted. In its answer to the petition, respondent admits the fact of publication of said advertisement at its instance, but 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. Respondent further argues that assuming that the services advertised are legal services, the act of advertising these services should be allowed supposedly in the light of the case of John R. Bates and Van O'Steen vs. State Bar of Arizona , 2 reportedly decided by the United States Supreme Court on June 7, 1977. Considering the critical implications on the legal profession of the issues raised herein, we required the (1) Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), (2) Philippine Bar Association (PBA), (3) Philippine Lawyers' Association (PLA), (4) U.P. Womens Lawyers' Circle (WILOCI), (5) Women Lawyers Association of the Philippines (WLAP), and (6) Federacion International de Abogadas (FIDA) to submit their respective position papers on the controversy and, thereafter, their memoranda. 3 The said bar associations readily responded and extended their valuable services and cooperation of which this Court takes note with appreciation and gratitude. The main issues posed for resolution before the Court are whether or not the services offered by respondent, The Legal Clinic, Inc., as advertised by it constitutes practice of law and, in either case, whether the same can properly be the subject of the advertisements herein complained of. Before proceeding with an in-depth analysis of the merits of this case, we deem it proper and enlightening to present hereunder excerpts from the respective position papers adopted by the aforementioned bar associations and the memoranda submitted by them on the issues involved in this bar matter.
1. Integrated Bar of the Philippines: xxx xxx xxx Notwithstanding the subtle manner by which respondent endeavored to distinguish the two terms, i.e., "legal support services" vis-a-vis "legal services", common sense would readily dictate that the same are essentially without substantial distinction. For who could deny that document search, evidence gathering, assistance to layman in need of basic institutional services from government or non-government agencies like birth, marriage, property, or business registration, obtaining documents like clearance, passports, local or foreign visas, constitutes practice of law? xxx xxx xxx The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) does not wish to make issue with respondent's foreign citations. Suffice it to state that the IBP has made its position manifest, to wit, that it strongly opposes the view espoused by respondent (to the effect that today it is alright to

advertise one's legal services). The IBP accordingly declares in no uncertain terms its opposition to respondent's act of establishing a "legal clinic" and of concomitantly advertising the same through newspaper publications. The IBP would therefore invoke the administrative supervision of this Honorable Court to perpetually restrain respondent from undertaking highly unethical activities in the field of law practice as aforedescribed. 4 xxx xxx xxx A. The use of the name "The Legal Clinic, Inc." gives the impression that respondent corporation is being operated by lawyers and that it renders legal services. While the respondent repeatedly denies that it offers legal services to the public, the advertisements in question give the impression that respondent is offering legal services. The Petition in fact simply assumes this to be so, as earlier mentioned, apparently because this (is) the effect that the advertisements have on the reading public. The impression created by the advertisements in question can be traced, first of all, to the very name being used by respondent "The Legal Clinic, Inc." Such a name, it is respectfully submitted connotes the rendering of legal services for legal problems, just like a medical clinic connotes medical services for medical problems. More importantly, the term "Legal Clinic" connotes lawyers, as the term medical clinic connotes doctors. Furthermore, the respondent's name, as published in the advertisements subject of the present case, appears with (the) scale(s) of justice, which all the more reinforces the impression that it is being operated by members of the bar and that it offers legal services. In addition, the advertisements in question appear with a picture and name of a person being represented as a lawyer from Guam, and this practically removes whatever doubt may still remain as to the nature of the service or services being offered. It thus becomes irrelevant whether respondent is merely offering "legal support services" as claimed by it, or whether it offers legal services as any lawyer actively engaged in law practice does. And it becomes unnecessary to make a distinction between "legal services" and "legal support services," as the respondent would have it. The advertisements in question leave no room for doubt in the minds of the reading public that legal services are being offered by lawyers, whether true or not. B. The advertisements in question are meant to induce the performance of acts contrary to law, morals, public order and public policy. It may be conceded that, as the respondent claims, the advertisements in question are only meant to inform the general public of the services being offered by it. Said advertisements, however, emphasize to Guam divorce, and any law student ought to know that under the Family Code, there is only one instance when a foreign divorce is recognized, and that is: Article 26. . . . Where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to remarry under Philippine Law.

It must not be forgotten, too, that the Family Code (defines) a marriage as follows: Article 1. Marriage is special contract of permanent union between a man and woman entered into accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relation during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code. By simply reading the questioned advertisements, it is obvious that the message being conveyed is that Filipinos can avoid the legal consequences of a marriage celebrated in accordance with our law, by simply going to Guam for a divorce. This is not only misleading, but encourages, or serves to induce, violation of Philippine law. At the very least, this can be considered "the dark side" of legal practice, where certain defects in Philippine laws are exploited for the sake of profit. At worst, this is outright malpractice. Rule 1.02. A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system. In addition, it may also be relevant to point out that advertisements such as that shown in Annex "A" of the Petition, which contains a cartoon of a motor vehicle with the words "Just Married" on its bumper and seems to address those planning a "secret marriage," if not suggesting a "secret marriage," makes light of the "special contract of permanent union," the inviolable social institution," which is how the Family Code describes marriage, obviously to emphasize its sanctity and inviolability. Worse, this particular advertisement appears to encourage marriages celebrated in secrecy, which is suggestive of immoral publication of applications for a marriage license. If the article "Rx for Legal Problems" is to be reviewed, it can readily be concluded that the above impressions one may gather from the advertisements in question are accurate. The Sharon Cuneta-Gabby Concepcion example alone confirms what the advertisements suggest. Here it can be seen that criminal acts are being encouraged or committed (a bigamous marriage in Hong Kong or Las Vegas) with impunity simply because the jurisdiction of Philippine courts does not extend to the place where the crime is committed. Even if it be assumed, arguendo, (that) the "legal support services" respondent offers do not constitute legal services as commonly understood, the advertisements in question give the impression that respondent corporation is being operated by lawyers and that it offers legal services, as earlier discussed. Thus, the only logical consequence is that, in the eyes of an ordinary newspaper reader, members of the bar themselves are encouraging or inducing the performance of acts which are contrary to law, morals, good customs and the public good, thereby destroying and demeaning the integrity of the Bar. xxx xxx xxx It is respectfully submitted that respondent should be enjoined from causing the publication of the advertisements in question, or any other advertisements similar thereto. It is also submitted that respondent should be prohibited from further performing or offering some of the services it presently offers, or, at the very least, from offering such services to the public in general. The IBP is aware of the fact that providing computerized legal research, electronic data gathering, storage and retrieval, standardized legal forms, investigators for gathering of evidence, and like services will greatly benefit the legal profession and should not be stifled but instead encouraged. However, when the conduct of such business by non-members of the Bar encroaches upon the practice of law, there can be no choice but to prohibit such business.

Admittedly, many of the services involved in the case at bar can be better performed by specialists in other fields, such as computer experts, who by reason of their having devoted time and effort exclusively to such field cannot fulfill the exacting requirements for admission to the Bar. To prohibit them from "encroaching" upon the legal profession will deny the profession of the great benefits and advantages of modern technology. Indeed, a lawyer using a computer will be doing better than a lawyer using a typewriter, even if both are (equal) in skill. Both the Bench and the Bar, however, should be careful not to allow or tolerate the illegal practice of law in any form, not only for the protection of members of the Bar but also, and more importantly, for the protection of the public. Technological development in the profession may be encouraged without tolerating, but instead ensuring prevention of illegal practice. There might be nothing objectionable if respondent is allowed to perform all of its services, but only if such services are made available exclusively to members of the Bench and Bar. Respondent would then be offering technical assistance, not legal services. Alternatively, the more difficult task of carefully distinguishing between which service may be offered to the public in general and which should be made available exclusively to members of the Bar may be undertaken. This, however, may require further proceedings because of the factual considerations involved. It must be emphasized, however, that some of respondent's services ought to be prohibited outright, such as acts which tend to suggest or induce celebration abroad of marriages which are bigamous or otherwise illegal and void under Philippine law. While respondent may not be prohibited from simply disseminating information regarding such matters, it must be required to include, in the information given, a disclaimer that it is not authorized to practice law, that certain course of action may be illegal under Philippine law, that it is not authorized or capable of rendering a legal opinion, that a lawyer should be consulted before deciding on which course of action to take, and that it cannot recommend any particular lawyer without subjecting itself to possible sanctions for illegal practice of law. If respondent is allowed to advertise, advertising should be directed exclusively at members of the Bar, with a clear and unmistakable disclaimer that it is not authorized to practice law or perform legal services. The benefits of being assisted by paralegals cannot be ignored. But nobody should be allowed to represent himself as a "paralegal" for profit, without such term being clearly defined by rule or regulation, and without any adequate and effective means of regulating his activities. Also, law practice in a corporate form may prove to be advantageous to the legal profession, but before allowance of such practice may be considered, the corporation's Article of Incorporation and Bylaws must conform to each and every provision of the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Rules of Court. 5 2. Philippine Bar Association: xxx xxx xxx. Respondent asserts that it "is not engaged in the practice of law but engaged in giving legal support services to lawyers and laymen, through experienced paralegals, with the use of modern computers and electronic machines" (pars. 2 and 3, Comment). This is absurd. Unquestionably, respondent's acts of holding out itself to the public under the trade name "The Legal Clinic, Inc.," and soliciting employment for its enumerated services fall within the realm of a practice which thus yields itself to the regulatory powers of the Supreme Court. For respondent to say that it is merely engaged in paralegal work is to stretch credulity. Respondent's own commercial advertisement which announces a certain Atty. Don Parkinson to be handling the fields of law belies its pretense. From all indications, respondent "The Legal Clinic, Inc." is offering and rendering legal services through its reserve of lawyers. It has been

held that the practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court, but includes drawing of deeds, incorporation, rendering opinions, and advising clients as to their legal right and then take them to an attorney and ask the latter to look after their case in court See Martin, Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1984 ed., p. 39). It is apt to recall that only natural persons can engage in the practice of law, and such limitation cannot be evaded by a corporation employing competent lawyers to practice for it. Obviously, this is the scheme or device by which respondent "The Legal Clinic, Inc." holds out itself to the public and solicits employment of its legal services. It is an odious vehicle for deception, especially so when the public cannot ventilate any grievance for malpractice against the business conduit. Precisely, the limitation of practice of law to persons who have been duly admitted as members of the Bar (Sec. 1, Rule 138, Revised Rules of Court) is to subject the members to the discipline of the Supreme Court. Although respondent uses its business name, the persons and the lawyers who act for it are subject to court discipline. The practice of law is not a profession open to all who wish to engage in it nor can it be assigned to another (See 5 Am. Jur. 270). It is a personal right limited to persons who have qualified themselves under the law. It follows that not only respondent but also all the persons who are acting for respondent are the persons engaged in unethical law practice. 6 3. Philippine Lawyers' Association: The Philippine Lawyers' Association's position, in answer to the issues stated herein, are wit: 1. The Legal Clinic is engaged in the practice of law; 2. Such practice is unauthorized; 3. The advertisements complained of are not only unethical, but also misleading and patently immoral; and 4. The Honorable Supreme Court has the power to supress and punish the Legal Clinic and its corporate officers for its unauthorized practice of law and for its unethical, misleading and immoral advertising. xxx xxx xxx Respondent posits that is it not engaged in the practice of law. It claims that it merely renders "legal support services" to answers, litigants and the general public as enunciated in the Primary Purpose Clause of its Article(s) of Incorporation. (See pages 2 to 5 of Respondent's Comment). But its advertised services, as enumerated above, clearly and convincingly show that it is indeed engaged in law practice, albeit outside of court. As advertised, it offers the general public its advisory services on Persons and Family Relations Law, particularly regarding foreign divorces, annulment of marriages, secret marriages, absence and adoption; Immigration Laws, particularly on visa related problems, immigration problems; the Investments Law of the Philippines and such other related laws. Its advertised services unmistakably require the application of the aforesaid law, the legal principles and procedures related thereto, the legal advices based thereon and which activities call for legal training, knowledge and experience. Applying the test laid down by the Court in the aforecited Agrava Case, the activities of respondent fall squarely and are embraced in what lawyers and laymen equally term as "the practice of law." 7

4. U.P. Women Lawyers' Circle: In resolving, the issues before this Honorable Court, paramount consideration should be given to the protection of the general public from the danger of being exploited by unqualified persons or entities who may be engaged in the practice of law. At present, becoming a lawyer requires one to take a rigorous four-year course of study on top of a four-year bachelor of arts or sciences course and then to take and pass the bar examinations. Only then, is a lawyer qualified to practice law. While the use of a paralegal is sanctioned in many jurisdiction as an aid to the administration of justice, there are in those jurisdictions, courses of study and/or standards which would qualify these paralegals to deal with the general public as such. While it may now be the opportune time to establish these courses of study and/or standards, the fact remains that at present, these do not exist in the Philippines. In the meantime, this Honorable Court may decide to make measures to protect the general public from being exploited by those who may be dealing with the general public in the guise of being "paralegals" without being qualified to do so. In the same manner, the general public should also be protected from the dangers which may be brought about by advertising of legal services. While it appears that lawyers are prohibited under the present Code of Professional Responsibility from advertising, it appears in the instant case that legal services are being advertised not by lawyers but by an entity staffed by "paralegals." Clearly, measures should be taken to protect the general public from falling prey to those who advertise legal services without being qualified to offer such services. 8 A perusal of the questioned advertisements of Respondent, however, seems to give the impression that information regarding validity of marriages, divorce, annulment of marriage, immigration, visa extensions, declaration of absence, adoption and foreign investment, which are in essence, legal matters , will be given to them if they avail of its services. The Respondent's name The Legal Clinic, Inc. does not help matters. It gives the impression again that Respondent will or can cure the legal problems brought to them. Assuming that Respondent is, as claimed, staffed purely by paralegals, it also gives the misleading impression that there are lawyers involved in The Legal Clinic, Inc., as there are doctors in any medical clinic, when only "paralegals" are involved in The Legal Clinic, Inc. Respondent's allegations are further belied by the very admissions of its President and majority stockholder, Atty. Nogales, who gave an insight on the structure and main purpose of Respondent corporation in the aforementioned "Starweek" article." 9 5. Women Lawyer's Association of the Philippines: Annexes "A" and "B" of the petition are clearly advertisements to solicit cases for the purpose of gain which, as provided for under the above cited law, (are) illegal and against the Code of Professional Responsibility of lawyers in this country. Annex "A" of the petition is not only illegal in that it is an advertisement to solicit cases, but it is illegal in that in bold letters it announces that the Legal Clinic, Inc., could work out/cause the celebration of a secret marriage which is not only illegal but immoral in this country. While it is advertised that one has to go to said agency and pay P560 for a valid marriage it is certainly fooling the public for valid marriages in the Philippines are solemnized only by officers authorized to do so under the law. And to employ an agency for said purpose of contracting marriage is not necessary. No amount of reasoning that in the USA, Canada and other countries the trend is towards allowing lawyers to advertise their special skills to enable people to obtain from qualified

practitioners legal services for their particular needs can justify the use of advertisements such as are the subject matter of the petition, for one (cannot) justify an illegal act even by whatever merit the illegal act may serve. The law has yet to be amended so that such act could become justifiable. We submit further that these advertisements that seem to project that secret marriages and divorce are possible in this country for a fee, when in fact it is not so, are highly reprehensible. It would encourage people to consult this clinic about how they could go about having a secret marriage here, when it cannot nor should ever be attempted, and seek advice on divorce, where in this country there is none, except under the Code of Muslim Personal Laws in the Philippines. It is also against good morals and is deceitful because it falsely represents to the public to be able to do that which by our laws cannot be done (and) by our Code of Morals should not be done. In the case (of) In re Taguda, 53 Phil. 37, the Supreme Court held that solicitation for clients by an attorney by circulars of advertisements, is unprofessional, and offenses of this character justify permanent elimination from the Bar. 10 6. Federacion Internacional de Abogados: xxx xxx xxx 1.7 That entities admittedly not engaged in the practice of law, such as management consultancy firms or travel agencies, whether run by lawyers or not, perform the services rendered by Respondent does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that Respondent is not unlawfully practicing law. In the same vein, however, the fact that the business of respondent (assuming it can be engaged in independently of the practice of law) involves knowledge of the law does not necessarily make respondent guilty of unlawful practice of law. . . . . Of necessity, no one . . . . acting as a consultant can render effective service unless he is familiar with such statutes and regulations. He must be careful not to suggest a course of conduct which the law forbids. It seems . . . .clear that (the consultant's) knowledge of the law, and his use of that knowledge as a factor in determining what measures he shall recommend, do not constitute the practice of law . . . . It is not only presumed that all men know the law, but it is a fact that most men have considerable acquaintance with broad features of the law . . . . Our knowledge of the law accurate or inaccurate moulds our conduct not only when we are acting for ourselves, but when we are serving others. Bankers, liquor dealers and laymen generally possess rather precise knowledge of the laws touching their particular business or profession. A good example is the architect, who must be familiar with zoning, building and fire prevention codes, factory and tenement house statutes, and who draws plans and specification in harmony with the law. This is not practicing law. But suppose the architect, asked by his client to omit a fire tower, replies that it is required by the statute. Or the industrial relations expert cites, in support of some measure that he recommends, a decision of the National Labor Relations Board. Are they practicing law? In my opinion, they are not, provided no separate fee is charged for the legal advice or information, and the legal question is subordinate and incidental to a major non-legal problem. It is largely a matter of degree and of custom.

If it were usual for one intending to erect a building on his land to engage a lawyer to advise him and the architect in respect to the building code and the like, then an architect who performed this function would probably be considered to be trespassing on territory reserved for licensed attorneys. Likewise, if the industrial relations field had been pre-empted by lawyers, or custom placed a lawyer always at the elbow of the lay personnel man. But this is not the case. The most important body of the industrial relations experts are the officers and business agents of the labor unions and few of them are lawyers. Among the larger corporate employers, it has been the practice for some years to delegate special responsibility in employee matters to a management group chosen for their practical knowledge and skill in such matter, and without regard to legal thinking or lack of it. More recently, consultants like the defendants have the same service that the larger employers get from their own specialized staff. The handling of industrial relations is growing into a recognized profession for which appropriate courses are offered by our leading universities. The court should be very cautious about declaring [that] a widespread, well-established method of conducting business is unlawful, or that the considerable class of men who customarily perform a certain function have no right to do so, or that the technical education given by our schools cannot be used by the graduates in their business. In determining whether a man is practicing law, we should consider his work for any particular client or customer, as a whole. I can imagine defendant being engaged primarily to advise as to the law defining his client's obligations to his employees, to guide his client's obligations to his employees, to guide his client along the path charted by law. This, of course, would be the practice of the law. But such is not the fact in the case before me. Defendant's primarily efforts are along economic and psychological lines. The law only provides the frame within which he must work, just as the zoning code limits the kind of building the limits the kind of building the architect may plan. The incidental legal advice or information defendant may give, does not transform his activities into the practice of law. Let me add that if, even as a minor feature of his work, he performed services which are customarily reserved to members of the bar, he would be practicing law. For instance, if as part of a welfare program, he drew employees' wills. Another branch of defendant's work is the representations of the employer in the adjustment of grievances and in collective bargaining, with or without a mediator. This is not per se the practice of law. Anyone may use an agent for negotiations and may select an agent particularly skilled in the subject under discussion, and the person appointed is free to accept the employment whether or not he is a member of the bar. Here, however, there may be an exception where the business turns on a question of law. Most real estate sales are negotiated by brokers who are not lawyers. But if the value of the land depends on a disputed right-of-way and the principal role of the negotiator is to assess the probable outcome of the dispute and persuade the opposite party to the same opinion, then it may be that only a lawyer can accept the assignment. Or if a controversy between an employer and his men grows from differing interpretations of a contract, or of a statute, it is quite likely that defendant should not handle it. But I need not reach a definite conclusion here, since the situation is not presented by the proofs. Defendant also appears to represent the employer before administrative agencies of the federal government, especially before trial examiners of the

National Labor Relations Board. An agency of the federal government, acting by virtue of an authority granted by the Congress, may regulate the representation of parties before such agency. The State of New Jersey is without power to interfere with such determination or to forbid representation before the agency by one whom the agency admits. The rules of the National Labor Relations Board give to a party the right to appear in person, or by counsel, or by other representative. Rules and Regulations, September 11th, 1946, S. 203.31. 'Counsel' here means a licensed attorney, and ther representative' one not a lawyer. In this phase of his work, defendant may lawfully do whatever the Labor Board allows, even arguing questions purely legal. (Auerbacher v. Wood, 53 A. 2d 800, cited in Statsky, Introduction to Paralegalism [1974], at pp. 154-156.). 1.8 From the foregoing, it can be said that a person engaged in a lawful calling (which may involve knowledge of the law) is not engaged in the practice of law provided that: (a) The legal question is subordinate and incidental to a major non-legal problem;. (b) The services performed are not customarily reserved to members of the bar; . (c) No separate fee is charged for the legal advice or information. All these must be considered in relation to the work for any particular client as a whole. 1.9. If the person involved is both lawyer and non-lawyer, the Code of Professional Responsibility succintly states the rule of conduct: Rule 15.08 A lawyer who is engaged in another profession or occupation concurrently with the practice of law shall make clear to his client whether he is acting as a lawyer or in another capacity. 1.10. In the present case. the Legal Clinic appears to render wedding services (See Annex "A" Petition). Services on routine, straightforward marriages, like securing a marriage license, and making arrangements with a priest or a judge, may not constitute practice of law. However, if the problem is as complicated as that described in "Rx for Legal Problems" on the Sharon CunetaGabby Concepcion-Richard Gomez case, then what may be involved is actually the practice of law. If a non-lawyer, such as the Legal Clinic, renders such services then it is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. 1.11. The Legal Clinic also appears to give information on divorce, absence, annulment of marriage and visas (See Annexes "A" and "B" Petition). Purely giving informational materials may not constitute of law. The business is similar to that of a bookstore where the customer buys materials on the subject and determines on the subject and determines by himself what courses of action to take. It is not entirely improbable, however, that aside from purely giving information, the Legal Clinic's paralegals may apply the law to the particular problem of the client, and give legal advice. Such would constitute unauthorized practice of law. It cannot be claimed that the publication of a legal text which publication of a legal text which purports to say what the law is amount to legal practice. And the mere fact that the principles or rules stated in the text may be accepted by a particular reader as a solution to his problem does not affect this. . . . . Apparently it is urged that the conjoining of these two, that is, the text and the forms, with advice as to how the forms should be filled out, constitutes the unlawful practice of law. But that is the situation with many approved and

accepted texts. Dacey's book is sold to the public at large. There is no personal contact or relationship with a particular individual. Nor does there exist that relation of confidence and trust so necessary to the status of attorney and client. THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL OF LEGAL PRACTICE THE REPRESENTATION AND ADVISING OF A PARTICULAR PERSON IN A PARTICULAR SITUATION. At most the book assumes to offer general advice on common problems, and does not purport to give personal advice on a specific problem peculiar to a designated or readily identified person. Similarly the defendant's publication does not purport to give personal advice on a specific problem peculiar to a designated or readily identified person in a particular situation in their publication and sale of the kits, such publication and sale did not constitutes the unlawful practice of law . . . . There being no legal impediment under the statute to the sale of the kit, there was no proper basis for the injunction against defendant maintaining an office for the purpose of selling to persons seeking a divorce, separation, annulment or separation agreement any printed material or writings relating to matrimonial law or the prohibition in the memorandum of modification of the judgment against defendant having an interest in any publishing house publishing his manuscript on divorce and against his having any personal contact with any prospective purchaser. The record does fully support, however, the finding that for the change of $75 or $100 for the kit, the defendant gave legal advice in the course of personal contacts concerning particular problems which might arise in the preparation and presentation of the purchaser's asserted matrimonial cause of action or pursuit of other legal remedies and assistance in the preparation of necessary documents (The injunction therefore sought to) enjoin conduct constituting the practice of law, particularly with reference to the giving of advice and counsel by the defendant relating to specific problems of particular individuals in connection with a divorce, separation, annulment of separation agreement sought and should be affirmed. (State v. Winder, 348, NYS 2D 270 [1973], cited in Statsky, supra at p. 101.). 1.12. Respondent, of course, states that its services are "strictly non-diagnostic, non-advisory. "It is not controverted, however, that if the services "involve giving legal advice or counselling," such would constitute practice of law (Comment, par. 6.2). It is in this light that FIDA submits that a factual inquiry may be necessary for the judicious disposition of this case. xxx xxx xxx 2.10. Annex "A" may be ethically objectionable in that it can give the impression (or perpetuate the wrong notion) that there is a secret marriage. With all the solemnities, formalities and other requisites of marriages (See Articles 2, et seq., Family Code), no Philippine marriage can be secret. 2.11. Annex "B" may likewise be ethically objectionable. The second paragraph thereof (which is not necessarily related to the first paragraph) fails to state the limitation that only "paralegal services?" or "legal support services", and not legal services, are available." 11

A prefatory discussion on the meaning of the phrase "practice of law" becomes exigent for the proper determination of the issues raised by the petition at bar. On this score, we note that the clause "practice of law" has long been the subject of judicial construction and interpretation. The courts have laid down general principles and doctrines explaining the meaning and scope of the term, some of which we now take into account. Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedures, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the practice of law is to

perform those acts which are characteristic of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give advice or render any kind of service that involves legal knowledge or skill. 12 The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes legal advice and counsel, and the preparation of legal instruments and contract by which legal rights are secured, although such matter may or may not be pending in a court. 13 In the practice of his profession, a licensed attorney at law generally engages in three principal types of professional activity: legal advice and instructions to clients to inform them of their rights and obligations, preparation for clients of documents requiring knowledge of legal principles not possessed by ordinary layman, and appearance for clients before public tribunals which possess power and authority to determine rights of life, liberty, and property according to law, in order to assist in proper interpretation and enforcement of law. 14 When a person participates in the a trial and advertises himself as a lawyer, he is in the practice of law. 15 One who confers with clients, advises them as to their legal rights and then takes the business to an attorney and asks the latter to look after the case in court, is also practicing law. 16 Giving advice for compensation regarding the legal status and rights of another and the conduct with respect thereto constitutes a practice of law. 17 One who renders an opinion as to the proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is, to that extent, practicing law. 18 In the recent case of Cayetano vs. Monsod, 19 after citing the doctrines in several cases, we laid down the test to determine whether certain acts constitute "practice of law," thus:
Black defines "practice of law" as: The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the law.

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases on court.(Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. v. Dworken , 129 Ohio St. 23, 193N. E. 650). A person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he:
. . . . for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms, associations or corporations as to their right under the law, or appears in a representative capacity as an advocate in proceedings, pending or prospective, before any court, commissioner, referee, board, body, committee, or commission constituted by law or authorized to settle controversies and there, in such representative capacity, performs any act or acts for the purpose of obtaining or defending the rights of their clients under the law. Otherwise stated, one who, in a representative capacity, engages in the business of advising clients as to their rights under the law, or while so engaged performs any act or acts either in court or outside of court for that purpose, is engaged in the practice of law. (State ex. rel. Mckittrick v. C.S. Dudley and Co., 102 S. W. 2d 895, 340 Mo. 852).

This Court, in the case of Philippines Lawyers Association v. Agrava (105 Phil. 173, 176177),stated:
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation services contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters or estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice, as do the preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves the determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions. (5 Am. Jr. p. 262, 263). Practice of law under modern conditions consists in no small part of work performed outside of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces conveyancing, the giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects and the preparation and execution of legal instruments covering an extensive field of business and trust relations and other affairs. Although these transactions may have no direct connection with court proceedings, they are always subject to become involved in litigation. They require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide experience with men and affairs, and great capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations. These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at law bear an intimate relation to the administration of justice by the courts. No valid distinction, so far as concerns the question set forth in the order, can be drawn between that part of the work of the lawyer which involves appearance in court and that part which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his office. It is of importance to the welfare of the public that these manifold customary functions be performed by persons possessed of adequate learning and skill, of sound moral character, and acting at all times under the heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys. (Moran, Comments on the Rules o Court, Vol. 3 [1973 ed.], pp. 665666, citing In Re Opinion of the Justices [Mass], 194 N. E. 313, quoted in Rhode Is. Bar Assoc. v. Automobile Service Assoc. [R.I.] 197 A. 139, 144).

The practice of law, therefore, covers a wide range of activities in and out of court. Applying the aforementioned criteria to the case at bar, we agree with the perceptive findings and observations of the aforestated bar associations that the activities of respondent, as advertised, constitute "practice of law." The contention of respondent that it merely offers legal support services can neither be seriously considered nor sustained. Said proposition is belied by respondent's own description of the services it has been offering, to wit:
Legal support services basically consists of giving ready information by trained paralegals to laymen and lawyers, which are strictly non-diagnostic, non-advisory, through the extensive use of computers and modern information technology in the gathering, processing, storage, transmission and reproduction of information and communication, such as computerized legal research; encoding and reproduction of documents and pleadings prepared by laymen or lawyers; document search; evidence gathering; locating parties or witnesses to a case; fact finding investigations; and assistance to laymen in need of basic institutional services from government or non-government agencies, like birth, marriage, property, or business registrations; educational or employment records or certifications, obtaining documentation like clearances, passports, local or foreign visas; giving information about laws of other countries that they may find useful, like foreign divorce, marriage or adoption laws that they can avail of preparatory to emigration to the foreign country, and other matters that do not involve

representation of clients in court; designing and installing computer systems, programs, or software for the efficient management of law offices, corporate legal departments, courts and other entities engaged in dispensing or administering legal services. 20

While some of the services being offered by respondent corporation 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, these will not suffice to justify an exception to the general rule. What is palpably clear is that respondent corporation gives out legal information to laymen and lawyers. Its contention that such function is non-advisory and non-diagnostic is more apparent than real. In providing information, for example, about foreign laws on marriage, divorce and adoption, it strains the credulity of this Court that all the respondent corporation will simply do is look for the law, furnish a copy thereof to the client, and stop there as if it were merely a bookstore. 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 as may be provided for by said law. That is what its advertisements represent and for the which services it will consequently charge and be paid. That activity falls squarely within the jurisprudential definition of "practice of law." Such a conclusion will not be altered by the fact that respondent corporation does not represent clients in court since law practice, as the weight of authority holds, is not limited merely giving legal advice, contract drafting and so forth. The aforesaid conclusion is further strengthened by an article published in the January 13, 1991 issue of the Starweek/The Sunday Magazine of the Philippines Star, entitled "Rx for Legal Problems," where an insight into the structure, main purpose and operations of respondent corporation was given by its own "proprietor," Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales:
This is the kind of business that is transacted everyday at The Legal Clinic, with offices on the seventh floor of the Victoria Building along U. N. Avenue in Manila. No matter what the client's problem, and even if it is as complicated as the Cuneta-Concepcion domestic situation, Atty. Nogales and his staff of lawyers, who, like doctors are "specialists" in various fields can take care of it. The Legal Clinic, Inc. has specialists in taxation and criminal law, medico-legal problems, labor, litigation, and family law. These specialist are backed up by a battery of paralegals, counsellors and attorneys. Atty. Nogales set up The Legal Clinic in 1984. Inspired by the trend in the medical field toward specialization, it caters to clients who cannot afford the services of the big law firms. The Legal Clinic has regular and walk-in clients. "when they come, we start by analyzing the problem. That's what doctors do also. They ask you how you contracted what's bothering you, they take your temperature, they observe you for the symptoms and so on. That's how we operate, too. And once the problem has been categorized, then it's referred to one of our specialists. There are cases which do not, in medical terms, require surgery or follow-up treatment. These The Legal Clinic disposes of in a matter of minutes. "Things like preparing a simple deed of sale or an affidavit of loss can be taken care of by our staff or, if this were a hospital the residents or the interns. We can take care of these matters on a while you wait basis. Again, kung baga sa hospital, out-patient, hindi kailangang ma-confine. It's just like a common cold or diarrhea," explains Atty. Nogales.

Those cases which requires more extensive "treatment" are dealt with accordingly. "If you had a rich relative who died and named you her sole heir, and you stand to inherit millions of pesos of property, we would refer you to a specialist in taxation. There would be real estate taxes and arrears which would need to be put in order, and your relative is even taxed by the state for the right to transfer her property, and only a specialist in taxation would be properly trained to deal with the problem. Now, if there were other heirs contesting your rich relatives will, then you would need a litigator, who knows how to arrange the problem for presentation in court, and gather evidence to support the case. 21

That fact that the corporation employs paralegals to carry out its services is not controlling. What is important is that it is engaged in the practice of law by virtue of the nature of the services it renders which thereby brings it within the ambit of the statutory prohibitions against the advertisements which it has caused to be published and are now assailed in this proceeding. Further, as correctly and appropriately pointed out by the U.P. WILOCI, said reported facts sufficiently establish that the main purpose of respondent is to serve as a one-stop-shop of sorts for various legal problems wherein a client may avail of legal services from simple documentation to complex litigation and corporate undertakings. Most of these services are undoubtedly beyond the domain of paralegals, but rather, are exclusive functions of lawyers engaged in the practice of law. 22 It should be noted that in our jurisdiction the services being offered by private respondent which constitute practice of law cannot be performed by paralegals. Only a person duly admitted as a member of the bar, or hereafter admitted as such in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, and who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law. 23 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 lawyers 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. 24 The same rule is observed in the american jurisdiction wherefrom respondent would wish to draw support for his thesis. The doctrines there also stress that the practice of law is limited to those who meet the requirements for, and have been admitted to, the bar, and various statutes or rules specifically so provide. 25 The practice of law is not a lawful business except for members of the bar who have complied with all the conditions required by statute and the rules of court. Only those persons are allowed to practice law who, by reason of attainments previously acquired through education and study, have been recognized by the courts as possessing profound knowledge of legal science entitling them to advise, counsel with, protect, or defend the rights claims, or liabilities of their clients, with respect to the construction, interpretation, operation and effect of law. 26 The justification for excluding from the practice of law those not admitted to the bar is found, not in the protection of the bar from competition, but in the protection of the public from being advised and represented in legal matters by incompetent and unreliable persons over whom the judicial department can exercise little control. 27

We have to necessarily and definitely reject respondent's position that the concept in the United States of paralegals as an occupation separate from the law profession be adopted in this jurisdiction. Whatever may be its merits, respondent cannot but be aware that this should first be a matter for judicial rules or legislative action, and not of unilateral adoption as it has done. Paralegals in the United States are trained professionals. As admitted by respondent, there are schools and universities there which offer studies and degrees in paralegal education, while there are none in the Philippines. 28 As the concept of the "paralegals" or "legal assistant" evolved in the United States, standards and guidelines also evolved to protect the general public. One of the major standards or guidelines was developed by the American Bar Association which set up Guidelines for the Approval of Legal Assistant Education Programs (1973). Legislation has even been proposed to certify legal assistants. There are also associations of paralegals in the United States with their own code of professional ethics, such as the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. and the American Paralegal Association. 29 In the Philippines, we still have a restricted concept and limited acceptance of what may be considered as paralegal service. As pointed out by FIDA, some persons not duly licensed to practice law are or have been allowed limited representation in behalf of another or to render legal services, but such allowable services are limited in scope and extent by the law, rules or regulations granting permission therefor. 30 Accordingly, we have adopted the American judicial policy that, in the absence of constitutional or statutory authority, a person who has not been admitted as an attorney cannot practice law for the proper administration of justice cannot be hindered by the unwarranted intrusion of an unauthorized and unskilled person into the practice of law. 31 That policy should continue to be one of encouraging persons who are unsure of their legal rights and remedies to seek legal assistance only from persons licensed to practice law in the state.
32

Anent the issue on the validity of the questioned 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. 33 He is not supposed to use or permit the use of any false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, undignified, selflaudatory or unfair statement or claim regarding his qualifications or legal services. 34 Nor shall he pay or give something of value to representatives of the mass media in anticipation of, or in return for, publicity to attract legal business. 35 Prior to the adoption of the code of Professional Responsibility, the Canons of Professional Ethics had also warned that lawyers should not resort to indirect advertisements for professional employment, such as furnishing or inspiring newspaper comments, or procuring his photograph to be published in connection with causes in which the lawyer has been or is engaged or concerning the manner of their conduct, the magnitude of the interest involved, the importance of the lawyer's position, and all other like self-laudation. 36 The standards of the legal profession condemn the lawyer's 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. 37 The prescription against advertising

of legal services or solicitation of legal business rests on the fundamental postulate that the that the practice of law is a profession. Thus, in the case of The Director of Religious Affairs. vs. Estanislao R. Bayot 38 an advertisement, similar to those of respondent which are involved in the present proceeding, 39 was held to constitute improper advertising or solicitation. The pertinent part of the decision therein reads:
It is undeniable that the advertisement in question was a flagrant violation by the respondent of the ethics of his profession, it being a brazen solicitation of business from the public. Section 25 of Rule 127 expressly provides among other things that "the practice of soliciting cases at law for the purpose of gain, either personally or thru paid agents or brokers, constitutes malpractice." It is highly unethical for an attorney to advertise his talents or skill as a merchant advertises his wares. Law is a profession and not a trade. The lawyer degrades himself and his profession who stoops to and adopts the practices of mercantilism by advertising his services or offering them to the public. As a member of the bar, he defiles the temple of justice with mercenary activities as the money-changers of old defiled the temple of Jehovah. "The most worthy 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.).

We repeat, the canon of the profession tell us that the best advertising possible for a lawyer is a well-merited reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust, which must be earned as the outcome of character and conduct. Good and efficient service to a client as well as to the community has a way of publicizing itself and catching public attention. That publicity is a normal by-product of effective service which is right and proper. A good and reputable lawyer needs no artificial stimulus to generate it and to magnify his success. He easily sees the difference between a normal by-product of able service and the unwholesome result of propaganda. 40 Of course, not all types of advertising or solicitation are prohibited. The canons of the profession enumerate exceptions to the rule against advertising or solicitation and define the extent to which they may be undertaken. The exceptions are of two broad categories, namely, those which are expressly allowed and those which are necessarily implied from the restrictions. 41 The first of such exceptions is the publication in reputable law lists, in a manner consistent with the standards of conduct imposed by the canons, of brief biographical and informative data. "Such data must not be misleading and may include only a statement of the lawyer's name and the names of his professional associates; addresses, telephone numbers, cable addresses; branches of law practiced; date and place of birth and admission to the bar; schools attended with dates of graduation, degrees and other educational distinction; public or quasi-public offices; posts of honor; legal authorships; legal teaching positions; membership and offices in bar associations and committees thereof, in legal and scientific societies and legal fraternities; the fact of listings in other reputable law lists; the names and addresses of references; and, with their written consent, the names of clients regularly represented." 42 The law list must be a reputable law list published primarily for that purpose; it cannot be a mere supplemental feature of a paper, magazine, trade journal or periodical which is published principally for other purposes. For that reason, a lawyer may not properly publish

his brief biographical and informative data in a daily paper, magazine, trade journal or society program. Nor may a lawyer permit his name to be published in a law list the conduct, management or contents of which are calculated or likely to deceive or injure the public or the bar, or to lower the dignity or standing of the profession. 43 The use of an ordinary simple professional card is also permitted. The card may contain only a statement of his name, the name of the law firm which he is connected with, address, telephone number and special branch of law practiced. The publication of a simple announcement of the opening of a law firm or of changes in the partnership, associates, firm name or office address, being for the convenience of the profession, is not objectionable. He may likewise have his name listed in a telephone directory but not under a designation of special branch of law. 44 Verily, taking into consideration the nature and contents of the advertisements for which respondent is being taken to task, which even includes a quotation of the fees charged by said respondent corporation for services rendered, we find and so hold that the same definitely do not and conclusively cannot fall under any of the above-mentioned exceptions. The ruling in the case of Bates, et al. vs. State Bar of Arizona, 45 which is repeatedly invoked and constitutes the justification relied upon by respondent, is obviously not applicable to the case at bar. Foremost is the fact that the disciplinary rule involved in said case explicitly allows a lawyer, as an exception to the prohibition against advertisements by lawyers, to publish a statement of legal fees for an initial consultation or the availability upon request of a written schedule of fees or an estimate of the fee to be charged for the specific services. No such exception is provided for, expressly or impliedly, whether in our former Canons of Professional Ethics or the present Code of Professional Responsibility. Besides, even the disciplinary rule in the Bates case contains a proviso that the exceptions stated therein are "not applicable in any state unless and until it is implemented by such authority in that state." 46 This goes to show that an exception to the general rule, such as that being invoked by herein respondent, can be made only if and when the canons expressly provide for such an exception. Otherwise, the prohibition stands, as in the case at bar. It bears mention that in a survey conducted by the American Bar Association after the decision in Bates, on the attitude of the public about lawyers after viewing television commercials, it was found that public opinion dropped significantly 47 with respect to these characteristics of lawyers:
Trustworthy from 71% to 14% Professional from 71% to 14% Honest from 65% to 14% Dignified from 45% to 14%

Secondly, it is our firm belief that with the present situation of our legal and judicial systems, to allow the publication of advertisements of the kind used by respondent would only serve to aggravate what is already a deteriorating public opinion of the legal profession whose integrity has consistently been under attack lately by media and the community in general. At this point in time, it is of utmost importance in the face of such negative, even if unfair, criticisms at times, to adopt and maintain that level of professional conduct which is beyond reproach, and

to exert all efforts to regain the high esteem formerly accorded to the legal profession. In sum, it is undoubtedly a misbehavior on the part of the lawyer, subject to disciplinary action, to advertise his services except in allowable instances 48 or to aid a layman in the unauthorized practice of law. 49 Considering that Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales, who is the prime incorporator, major stockholder and proprietor of The Legal Clinic, Inc. is a member of the Philippine Bar, he is hereby reprimanded, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar acts which are involved in this proceeding will be dealt with more severely. While we deem it necessary that the question as to the legality or illegality of the purpose/s for which the Legal Clinic, Inc. was created should be passed upon and determined, we are constrained to refrain from lapsing into an obiter on that aspect since it is clearly not within the adjudicative parameters of the present proceeding which is merely administrative in nature. It is, of course, imperative that this matter be promptly determined, albeit in a different proceeding and forum, since, under the present state of our law and jurisprudence, a corporation cannot be organized for or engage in the practice of law in this country. This interdiction, just like the rule against unethical advertising, cannot be subverted by employing some so-called paralegals supposedly rendering the alleged support services. The remedy for the apparent breach of this prohibition by respondent is the concern and province of the Solicitor General who can institute the corresponding quo warranto action, 50 after due ascertainment of the factual background and basis for the grant of respondent's corporate charter, in light of the putative misuse thereof. That spin-off from the instant bar matter is referred to the Solicitor General for such action as may be necessary under the circumstances. ACCORDINGLY, the Court Resolved to RESTRAIN and ENJOIN herein respondent, The Legal Clinic, Inc., from issuing or causing the publication or dissemination of any advertisement in any form which is of the same or similar tenor and purpose as Annexes "A" and "B" of this petition, and from conducting, directly or indirectly, any activity, operation or transaction proscribed by law or the Code of Professional Ethics as indicated herein. Let copies of this resolution be furnished the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the Office of the Bar Confidant and the Office of the Solicitor General for appropriate action in accordance herewith.

iii iv v vi vii viii

ixNO. 12 A.M. No. 3048 June 3, 1991 JOSE C. MACIAS, ET AL., complainants, vs. MANUEL EB PACANA, MANUEL EB. VILLAMIL, MOUSILLINE ERIBERTO PACANA, AGUSTIN V. TAN, JULITA V. TAN ANG, JACINTO V. TAN, ODONA V. TAN, EUFEMIA IGNACIO TAN, CATALINA VILLAMIL VDA. DE TAYKO, PEDRO V. MIQUIABAS, PACITA V. MIQUIABAS, CARLOS V. MIQUIABAS, JUAN V. MIQUIABAS, JESUS V. MIQUIABAS, MARINA V. MIQUIABAS, SALUD V. MIQUIABAS, ANTONIO PENALOSA, VICENTE V. PENALOSA, MARCIANO O. KHO, ATTY. ERASMO B. DAMASING, JUDGE ALEJANDRO B. PALLUGNA, JR., JUDGE EULALIO D. ROSETE, JUDGE SEVERO MALVAR, JUDGE FEDERICO B. ALFONSO, JR., ATTY. ELONIL J. TAYKO, ATTY. MARCELINO C. MAXINO, ATTY. PACIFICO Q. MACALUA, ATTY. DIEGO R. ESPLAGO, ATTY. MANUEL, MA. UBAY-UBAY, ATTY. FAUSTO DUGENIO, Atty. RAUL TITO BARIAS, ATTY. VICTORIANO H. BUNALES, ATTY. POTENCIANO DE LOS REYES, AND ONE STILL UNKNOWN HEARING OFFICER, LRC, MANILA, respondents.

PER CURIAM:p The original Complaint, dated 5 May 1987, and the Amended Complaint, dated 4 March 1988, filed by petitioner Jose C. Macias on his own behalf and that of his co-complainants, implicated: (1) Judge Alejandro B. Pallugna, Municipal Judge of Magsaysay, Misamis Oriental, and later City Judge of Gingoog City, same province; (2) Judge Severo Malvar, District Judge of the then Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental, Branch VIII; (3) Judge Eulalio Rosete of the same Court, Branch V, Cagayan de Oro City; (4) former Judge Federico Alfonso, later Court of Appeals Justice; (5) Respondent lawyers; and (6) some private parties. On 31 January 1989, the Court dismissed the complaint against three of the Judges for having become moot and academic. The Judges were: Judge Malvar, who had retired on 3 November 1978; Judge Rosete, who had also retired on 12 February 1985, and died not long after; and former Court of Appeals Justice Federico Alfonso, whose resignation was accepted by the President on 31 July 1986. On 14 September 1989, the Court: (1) denied reconsideration of the said Resolution; (2) referred the case against Judge Pallugna and respondent lawyers to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation, report and recommendation; and (3) informed Complainants that their remedy against respondent private parties was before the civil Courts. On 18 October 1990, in the absence of any report from the IBP, the Court recalled the records therefrom and referred the case to the Chief Attorney of this Court for report and recommendation. In the interim, on 15 October 1990, respondent, Atty. Potenciano R. de los Reyes, Jr., moved to dismiss the Complaint and Amended Complaint against him for being baseless in fact and

in law. In another pleading, dated 22 January 1991, he prays that he be dropped as a party respondent in this case. As required, the Chief Attorney submitted her Report on 15 March 1991 and has recommended that Respondent Judge Pallugna be suspended for six (6) months for unauthorized notarization of private documents, and that the Complaint against respondent lawyers, including movant Atty. Potenciano R. de los Reyes, Jr., be dismissed. The Court has noted that in complainants' Amended Complaint of 11 January 1991, still filed without the assistance of counsel, they had dropped their charges against respondent lawyers stating that the latter will be charged the proper forum. The records disclose that Complainants had also charged Judge Pallugna before the Tanodbayan, docketed as TBP No. 85-01271, wherein respondent Judge was accused of having engaged in the practice of law and absenteeism. The pleadings were forwarded to this Court and docketed as AM No. R-545-MTJ. In the resolution of 4 September 1990, the Court dismissed that case for lack of sufficient evidence to substantiate the charges and for failure to prosecute. In this administrative case, complainants pray that Judge Pallugna be disbarred or dismissed from the service for: (1) unauthorized practice of law, and violation of the Canons of Judicial Ethics on "avoidance of appearance of impropriety," which resulted in their having been cheated of their inheritance; (2) unauthorized notarization of private documents; and (3) Perjury; for having submitted two inconsistent comments to the investigating bodies, namely, the Tanodbayan and this Court (Rollo, pp. 204-206). Complainants claim that Respondent Judge engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by appearing, sometime in 1970, (1) for one of the oppositors in Spec. Proc. No. 59-M entitled "Repetition for Intestate Estate of Deceased Moises Villamil, Dr. Agustin V. Tan, Petitioner"; and (2) for having filed Spec. Proc. No. 1089 "For Adoption of Manuel Pacana," both before the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental. The charge of unauthorized practice of law is a settled matter. On 4 September 1990, in A.M. No. 545-MTJ, we had resolved:
AM No. R-545-MTJ (Jose C. Macias vs. Judge Alejandro B. Pallugna, Municipal Trial Court, Gingoog City). Acting on the sworn position paper of Jose C. Macias charging respondent Judge Alejandro B. Pallugna with engaging in the practice of law and absenteeism, the COURT RESOLVED TO DISMISS this case against the respondent judge for lack of sufficient evidence to substantiate the charges and for complainant's failure to prosecute. Let a copy of this resolution be attached to respondent's personal record.

Indeed, when Respondent Judge filed the questioned adoption proceedings and appeared as counsel for the oppositor in the intestate proceedings, he was authorized to engage in private practice by the then existing law. Judge Pallugna's acquisition of estate property, alleged to be contrary to Judicial ethics, transpired after the proceedings had terminated and the property adjudicated to the legal heirs. When the property was acquired, therefore, it was no longer in litigation. No irregularity

can be attributed to him either when he inquired as to the status of. Civil Case No. 6644 involving the same property, being a transferee of a portion thereof. And as far as the adverse results to Complainants of the two (2) aforementioned cases are concerned, as a result of which they had allegedly lost the inheritance which is their due, the Court notes that Complainants neither appeared in Court to oppose the petitions filed, nor did they take any steps to challenge the judgments rendered, respectively, by the Courts of First Instance of Misamis Oriental, Branches III and VIII. By and large, therefore, the questionable maneuvers attributed to Respondent Judge in the handling of the subject cases do not provide sufficient basis for disciplinary action. Neither is there sufficient evidence that Respondent Judge had perjured himself in the comments he submitted before the Tanodbayan and this Court. When he stated in his Comment before the Tanodbayan that he had been a Judge since 1964 while before this Court he stated that he was a practicing lawyer, what was obviously meant was that as a Municipal Judge during the years involved, he was then authorized to practice law. The records, however, sufficiently provide a clear basis for a finding of Respondent Judge's administrative liability for unauthorized notarization of three (3) private documents, as follows: (1) Deed of Absolute Sale, dated 10 June 1977, executed by Manuel E. Villamil, conveying a parcel of land to one Marciano Kho;(2) Memorandum of Agreement, dated 8 October 1974, executed by Manuel E. Villamil and Agustin Tan; and (3) Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate of the late Cristina E. Vda. de Villamil, dated 20 August 1974, executed by Manuel E. Villamil. It is well settled that Municipal Judges may not engage in Notarial work except as notaries Public ex-officio. While Municipal Judges, under Section 77 of the Judiciary Act, before its amendment by Rep. Act No. 6031 on 4 August 1969, were permitted to pursue any other occupation or calling after office hours such authorization excluded engaging in the work of a regular notary public (In re Appointment of Judge Alejandro B. Pallugna, Jr., as Notary Public," L-29321, 29 February 1972, 43 SCRA 446). As Notaries Public ex- officio, they may engage only in the notarization of documents connected with the exercise of their official functions. They may not, as such Notaries Public ex-officio, undertake the preparation and acknowledgment of private documents, contracts and other acts of conveyances, which bear no relation to the performance of their functions as Judges (Adm. Matter No. 89-11-1303 MTC, 1989). More importantly, Respondent Judge notarized the 'three (3) private documents after this Court had affirmed, on 29 February 1972 the cancellation of his notarial commission by the then Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental ("In Re Appointment of Judge Pallugna, Jr., as Notary Public," supra), precisely because of the prohibition against Municipal Judges engaging in notarial work, except only in an ex officio capacity. WHEREFORE, for unauthorized notarization of three (3) private documents, in complete disregard of the Decision of this Court in his own case, supra, Respondent Judge Alejandro B, Pallugna, Jr., is hereby FINED Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos, with a stern WARNING that the commission of similar acts in the future will warrant a severer sanction.

The charges against respondent lawyers, including Atty. Potenciano R. de los Reyes, Jr., are hereby DISMISSED, the same having been dropped by Complainants in their Amended Complaint, dated 27 December 1990. Let copies of this Decision be spread in public respondents' respective personal records. SO ORDERED.

NO. 13

A.M. No. 1625 February 12, 1990 ANGEL L. BAUTISTA, complainant, vs. ATTY. RAMON A. GONZALES, respondent. RESOLUTION

PER CURIAM: In a verified complaint filed by Angel L. Bautista on May 19, 1976, respondent Ramon A. Gonzales was charged with malpractice, deceit, gross misconduct and violation of lawyer's oath. Required by this Court to answer the charges against him, respondent filed on June 19, 1976 a motion for a bill of particulars asking this Court to order complainant to amend his complaint by making his charges more definite. In a resolution dated June 28, 1976, the Court granted respondent's motion and required complainant to file an amended complaint. On July 15, 1976, complainant submitted an amended complaint for disbarment, alleging that respondent committed the following acts:
1. Accepting a case wherein he agreed with his clients, namely, Alfaro Fortunado, Nestor Fortunado and Editha Fortunado [hereinafter referred to as the Fortunados] to pay all expenses, including court fees, for a contingent fee of fifty percent (50%) of the value of the property in litigation. 2. Acting as counsel for the Fortunados in Civil Case No. Q-15143, wherein Eusebio Lopez, Jr. is one of the defendants and, without said case being terminated, acting as counsel for Eusebio Lopez, Jr. in Civil Case No. Q-15490; 3. Transferring to himself one-half of the properties of the Fortunados, which properties are the subject of the litigation in Civil Case No. Q-15143, while the case was still pending; 4. Inducing complainant, who was his former client, to enter into a contract with him on August 30, 1971 for the development into a residential subdivision of the land involved in Civil Case No. Q-15143, covered by TCT No. T-1929, claiming that he acquired fifty percent (50%) interest thereof as attorney's fees from the Fortunados, while knowing fully well that the said property was already sold at a public auction on June 30, 1971, by the Provincial Sheriff of Lanao del Norte and registered with the Register of Deeds of Iligan City; 5. Submitting to the Court of First Instance of Quezon City falsified documents purporting to be true copies of "Addendum to the Land Development Agreement dated August 30, 1971" and submitting the same document to the Fiscal's Office of Quezon City, in connection with the complaint for estafa filed by respondent against complainant designated as I.S. No. 7512936; 6. Committing acts of treachery and disloyalty to complainant who was his client; 7. Harassing the complainant by filing several complaints without legal basis before the Court of First Instance and the Fiscal's Office of Quezon City; 8. Deliberately misleading the Court of First Instance and the Fiscal's Office by making false assertion of facts in his pleadings; 9. Filing petitions "cleverly prepared (so) that while he does not intentionally tell a he, he does not tell the truth either."

Respondent filed an answer on September 29, 1976 and an amended answer on November 18, 1976, denying the accusations against him. Complainant filed a reply to respondent's answer on December 29, 1976 and on March 24, 1977 respondent filed a rejoinder.

In a resolution dated March 16, 1983, the Court referred the case to the Office of the Solicitor General for investigation, report and recommendation. In the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General, complainant presented himself as a witness and submitted Exhibits "A" to "PP", while respondent appeared both as witness and counsel and submitted Exhibits "1" to "11". The parties were required to submit their respective memoranda. On May 16, 1988 respondent filed a motion to dismiss the complaint against him, claiming that the long delay in the resolution of the complaint against him constitutes a violation of his constitutional right to due process and speedy disposition of cases. Upon order of the Court, the Solicitor General filed a comment to the motion to dismiss on August 8, 1988, explaining that the delay in the investigation of the case was due to the numerous requests for postponement of scheduled hearings filed by both parties and the motions for extension of time to file their respective memoranda." [Comment of the Solicitor General, p. 2; Record, p. 365]. Respondent filed a reply to the Solicitor General's comment on October 26, 1988. In a resolution dated January 16, 1989 the Court required the Solicitor General to submit his report and recommendation within thirty (30) days from notice. On April 11, 1989, the Solicitor General submitted his report with the recommendation that Atty. Ramon A. Gonzales be suspended for six (6) months. The Solicitor General found that respondent committed the following acts of misconduct:
a. transferring to himself one-half of the properties of his clients during the pendency of the case where the properties were involved; b. concealing from complainant the fact that the property subject of their land development agreement had already been sold at a public auction prior to the execution of said agreement; and c. misleading the court by submitting alleged true copies of a document where two signatories who had not signed the original (or even the xerox copy) were made to appear as having fixed their signatures [Report and Recommendation of the Solicitor General, pp. 17-18; Rollo, pp. 403-404].

Respondent then filed on April 14, 1989 a motion to refer the case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation and disposition pursuant to Rule 139-B of the Revised Rules of Court. Respondent manifested that he intends to submit more evidence before the IBP. Finally, on November 27, 1989, respondent filed a supplemental motion to refer this case to the IBP, containing additional arguments to bolster his contentions in his previous pleadings. I. Preliminarily, the Court will dispose of the procedural issue raised by respondent. It is respondent's contention that the preliminary investigation conducted by the Solicitor General was limited to the determination of whether or not there is sufficient ground to proceed with the case and that under Rule 139 the Solicitor General still has to file an administrative complaint against him. Respondent claims that the case should be referred to the IBP since Section 20 of Rule 139-B provides that:

This Rule shall take effect on June 1, 1988 and shall supersede the present Rule 139 entitled DISBARMENT OR SUSPENSION OF ATTORNEYS. All cases pending investigation by the Office of the Solicitor General shall be transferred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines Board of Governors for investigation and disposition as provided in this Rule except those cases where the investigation has been substantially completed.

The above contention of respondent is untenable. In the first place, contrary to respondent's claim, reference to the IBP of complaints against lawyers is not mandatory upon the Court [Zaldivar v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. Nos. 79690-707; Zaldivar v. Gonzales, G.R. No. 80578, October 7, 1988]. Reference of complaints to the IBP is not an exclusive procedure under the terms of Rule 139-B of the Revised Rules of Court [ Ibid]. Under Sections 13 and 14 of Rule 139-B, the Supreme Court may conduct disciplinary proceedings without the intervention of the IBP by referring cases for investigation to the Solicitor General or to any officer of the Supreme Court or judge of a lower court. In such a case, the report and recommendation of the investigating official shall be reviewed directly by the Supreme Court. The Court shall base its final action on the case on the report and recommendation submitted by the investigating official and the evidence presented by the parties during the investigation. Secondly, there is no need to refer the case to the IBP since at the time of the effectivity of Rule 139-B [June 1, 1988] the investigation conducted by the Office of the Solicitor General had been substantially completed. Section 20 of Rule 139-B provides that only pending cases, the investigation of which has not been substantially completed by the Office of the Solicitor General, shall be transferred to the IBP. In this case the investigation by the Solicitor General was terminated even before the effectivity of Rule 139-B. Respondent himself admitted in his motion to dismiss that the Solicitor General terminated the investigation on November 26, 1986, the date when respondent submitted his reply memorandum [Motion to Dismiss, p. 1; Record, p. 353]. Thirdly, there is no need for further investigation since the Office of the Solicitor General already made a thorough and comprehensive investigation of the case. To refer the case to the IBP, as prayed for by the respondent, will result not only in duplication of the proceedings conducted by the Solicitor General but also to further delay in the disposition of the present case which has lasted for more than thirteen (13) years. Respondent's assertion that he still has some evidence to present does not warrant the referral of the case to the IBP. Considering that in the investigation conducted by the Solicitor General respondent was given ample opportunity to present evidence, his failure to adduce additional evidence is entirely his own fault. There was therefore no denial of procedural due process. The record shows that respondent appeared as witness for himself and presented no less than eleven (11) documents to support his contentions. He was also allowed to crossexamine the complainant who appeared as a witness against him. II. The Court will now address the substantive issue of whether or not respondent committed the acts of misconduct alleged by complainant Bautista.

After a careful review of the record of the case and the report and recommendation of the Solicitor General, the Court finds that respondent committed acts of misconduct which warrant the exercise by this Court of its disciplinary power. The record shows that respondent prepared a document entitled "Transfer of Rights" which was signed by the Fortunados on August 31, 1971. The document assigned to respondent one-half (1/2) of the properties of the Fortunados covered by TCT No. T-1929, with an area of 239.650 sq. mm., and TCT No. T-3041, with an area of 72.907 sq. m., for and in consideration of his legal services to the latter. At the time the document was executed, respondent knew that the abovementioned properties were the subject of a civil case [Civil Case No. Q-15143] pending before the Court of First Instance of Quezon City since he was acting as counsel for the Fortunados in said case [See Annex "B" of Original Complaint, p. 12; Rollo, p. 16]. In executing the document transferring one-half (1/2) of the subject properties to himself, respondent violated the law expressly prohibiting a lawyer from acquiring his client's property or interest involved in any litigation in which he may take part by virtue of his profession [Article 1491, New Civil Code]. This Court has held that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's property or interest in litigation is a breach of professional ethics and constitutes malpractice [Hernandez v. Villanueva, 40 Phil. 774 (1920); Go Beltran v. Fernandez, 70 Phil. 248 (1940)]. However, respondent notes that Canon 10 of the old Canons of Professional Ethics, which states that "[t]he lawyer should not purchase any interests in the subject matter of the litigation which he is conducting," does not appear anymore in the new Code of Professional Responsibility. He therefore concludes that while a purchase by a lawyer of property in litigation is void under Art. 1491 of the Civil Code, such purchase is no longer a ground for disciplinary action under the new Code of Professional Responsibility. This contention is without merit. The very first Canon of the new Code states that "a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal process" (Emphasis supplied), Moreover, Rule 138, Sec. 3 of the Revised Rules of Court requires every lawyer to take an oath to 44 obey the laws [of the Republic of the Philippines] as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein." And for any violation of this oath, a lawyer may be suspended or disbarred by the Supreme Court [Rule 138, Sec. 27, Revised Rules of Court]. All of these underscore the role of the lawyer as the vanguard of our legal system. The transgression of any provision of law by a lawyer is a repulsive and reprehensible act which the Court will not countenance. In the instant case, respondent, having violated Art. 1491 of the Civil Code, must be held accountable both to his client and to society. Parenthetically, it should be noted that the persons mentioned in Art. 1491 of the Civil Code are prohibited from purchasing the property mentioned therein because of their existing trust relationship with the latter. A lawyer is disqualified from acquiring by purchase the property and rights in litigation because of his fiduciary relationship with such property and rights, as well as with the client. And it cannot be claimed that the new Code of Professional Responsibility has failed to emphasize the nature and consequences of such relationship. Canon 17 states that "a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him." On the other hand, Canon 16 provides that "a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his

possession." Hence, notwithstanding the absence of a specific provision on the matter in the new Code, the Court, considering the abovequoted provisions of the new Code in relation to Art. 1491 of the Civil Code, as well as the prevailing jurisprudence, holds that the purchase by a lawyer of his client's property in litigation constitutes a breach of professional ethics for which a disciplinary action may be brought against him. Respondent's next contention that the transfer of the properties was not really implemented, because the land development agreement on which the transfer depended was later rescinded, is untenable. Nowhere is it provided in the Transfer of Rights that the assignment of the properties of the Fortunados to respondent was subject to the implementation of the land development agreement. The last paragraph of the Transfer of Rights provides that:
... for and in consideration of the legal services of ATTY. RAMON A. GONZALES, Filipino, married to Lilia Yusay, and a resident of 23 Sunrise Hill, New Manila, Quezon City, rendered to our entire satisfaction, we hereby, by these presents, do transfer and convey to the said ATTY. RAMON A. GONZALES, his heirs, successor, and assigns, one-half (1/2) of our rights and interests in the abovedescribed property, together with all the improvements found therein [Annex D of the Complaint, Record, p. 28; Emphasis supplied].

It is clear from the foregoing that the parties intended the transfer of the properties to respondent to be absolute and unconditional, and irrespective of whether or not the land development agreement was implemented. Another misconduct committed by respondent was his failure to disclose to complainant, at the time the land development agreement was entered into, that the land covered by TCT No. T-1929 had already been sold at a public auction. The land development agreement was executed on August 31, 1977 while the public auction was held on June 30, 1971. Respondent denies that complainant was his former client, claiming that his appearance for the complainant in an anti-graft case filed by the latter against a certain Gilbert Teodoro was upon the request of complainant and was understood to be only provisional. Respondent claims that since complainant was not his client, he had no duty to warn complainant of the fact that the land involved in their land development agreement had been sold at a public auction. Moreover, the sale was duly annotated at the back of TCT No. T-1929 and this, respondent argues, serves as constructive notice to complainant so that there was no concealment on his part. The above contentions are unmeritorious. Even assuming that the certificate of sale was annotated at the back of TCT No. T-1929, the fact remains that respondent failed to inform the complainant of the sale of the land to Samauna during the negotiations for the land development agreement. In so doing, respondent failed to live up to the rigorous standards of ethics of the law profession which place a premium on honesty and condemn duplicitous conduct. The fact that complainant was not a former client of respondent does not exempt respondent from his duty to inform complainant of an important fact pertaining to the land which is subject of their negotiation. Since he was a party to the land development agreement, respondent should have warned the complainant of the sale of the land at a public auction so that the latter could make a proper assessment of the viability of the project they were jointly undertaking. This Court has held that a lawyer should observe honesty and fairness even in his private dealings and failure to do so is a ground for disciplinary action

against him [Custodio v. Esto, Adm. Case No. 1113, February 22, 1978, 81 SCRA 517]. Complainant also charges respondent with submitting to the court falsified documents purporting to be true copies of an addendum to the land development agreement. Based on evidence submitted by the parties, the Solicitor General found that in the document filed by respondent with the Court of First Instance of Quezon City, the signatories to the addendum to the land development agreement namely, Ramon A. Gonzales, Alfaro T. Fortunado, Editha T. Fortunado, Nestor T. Fortunado, and Angel L. Bautistawere made to appear as having signed the original document on December 9, 1972, as indicated by the letters (SGD.) before each of their names. However, it was only respondent Alfaro Fortunado and complainant who signed the original and duplicate original (Exh. 2) and the two other parties, Edith Fortunado and Nestor Fortunado, never did. Even respondent himself admitted that Edith and Nestor Fortunado only signed the xerox copy (Exh. 2-A) after respondent wrote them on May 24, 1973, asking them to sign the said xerox copy attached to the letter and to send it back to him after signing [Rejoinder to Complainant's Reply, pp. 4-6; Rollo, pp. 327329]. Moreover, respondent acknowledged that Edith and Nestor Fortunado had merely agreed by phone to sign, but had not actually signed, the alleged true copy of the addendum as of May 23, 1973 [Respondent's Supplemental Motion to Refer this Case to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, p. 16]. Thus, when respondent submitted the alleged true copy of the addendum on May 23, 1973 as Annex "A" of his Manifestation filed with the Court of First Instance of Quezon City, he knowingly misled the Court into believing that the original addendum was signed by Edith Fortunado and Nestor Fortunado. Such conduct constitutes willful disregard of his solemn duty as a lawyer to act at all times in a manner consistent with the truth. A lawyer should never seek to mislead the court by an artifice or false statement of fact or law [Section 20 (d), Rule 138, Revised Rules of Court; Canon 22, Canons of Professional Ethics; Canon 10, Rule 10.01, Code of Professional Responsibility]. Anent the first charge of complainant, the Solicitor General found that no impropriety was committed by respondent in entering into a contingent fee contract with the Fortunados [Report and Recommendation, p. 8; Record, p. 394]. The Court, however, finds that the agreement between the respondent and the Fortunados, which provides in part that:
We the [Fortunados] agree on the 50% contingent fee, provided, you [respondent Ramon Gonzales] defray all expenses, for the suit, including court fees. Alfaro T. Fortunado [signed] Editha T. Fortunado [signed] Nestor T. Fortunado [signed] C O N F

O R M E Ramon A. Gonzales [signed] [Annex A to the Complaint, Record, p. 4].

is contrary to Canon 42 of the Canons of Professional Ethics which provides that a lawyer may not properly agree with a client to pay or bear the expenses of litigation. [See also Rule 16.04, Code of Professional Responsibility]. Although a lawyer may in good faith, advance the expenses of litigation, the same should be subject to reimbursement. The agreement between respondent and the Fortunados, however, does not provide for reimbursement to respondent of litigation expenses paid by him. An agreement whereby an attorney agrees to pay expenses of proceedings to enforce the client's rights is champertous [JBP Holding Corp. v. U.S. 166 F. Supp. 324 (1958)]. Such agreements are against public policy especially where, as in this case, the attorney has agreed to carry on the action at his own expense in consideration of some bargain to have part of the thing in dispute [See Sampliner v. Motion Pictures Patents Co., et al., 255 F. 242 (1918)]. The execution of these contracts violates the fiduciary relationship between the lawyer and his client, for which the former must incur administrative sanctions. The Solicitor General next concludes that respondent cannot be held liable for acting as counsel for Eusebio Lopez, Jr. in Civil Case No. Q-15490 while acting as counsel for the Fortunados against the same Eusebio Lopez, Jr. in Civil Case No. Q-15143. The Court, after considering the record, agrees with the Solicitor General's findings on the matter. The evidence presented by respondent shows that his acceptance of Civil Case No. Q-15490 was with the knowledge and consent of the Fortunados. The affidavit executed by the Fortunados on June 23, 1976 clearly states that they gave their consent when respondent accepted the case of Eusebio Lopez, Jr. [Affidavit of Fortunados, dated June 23, 1976; Rollo, p. 198]. One of the recognized exceptions to the rule against representation of conflicting interests is where the clients knowingly consent to the dual representation after full disclosure of the facts by counsel [Canon 6, Canons of Professional Ethics; Canon 15, Rule 15.03, Code of Professional Responsibility]. Complainant also claims that respondent filed several complaints against him before the Court of First Instance and the Fiscal's Office of Quezon City for the sole purpose of harassing him. The record shows that at the time of the Solicitor General's investigation of this case, Civil Case No. Q-18060 was still pending before the Court of First Instance of Quezon City, while the complaints for libel (I.S. No. 76-5912) and perjury (I.S. No. 5913) were already dismissed by the City Fiscal for insufficiency of evidence and lack of interest, respectively [Report and Recommendation, pp. 16-17; Rollo, pp. 402-403]. The Solicitor General found no basis for holding that the complaints for libel and perjury were used by respondent to harass complainant. As to Civil Case No. Q-18060, considering that it was still pending resolution,

the Solicitor General made no finding on complainants claim that it was a mere ploy by respondent to harass him. The determination of the validity of the complaint in Civil Case No. Q-18060 was left to the Court of First Instance of Quezon City where the case was pending resolution. The Court agrees with the above findings of the Solicitor General, and accordingly holds that there is no basis for holding that the respondent's sole purpose in filing the aforementioned cases was to harass complainant. Grounds 6, 8 and 9 alleged in the complaint need not be discussed separately since the above discussion on the other grounds sufficiently cover these remaining grounds. The Court finds clearly established in this case that on four counts the respondent violated the law and the rules governing the conduct of a member of the legal profession. Sworn to assist in the administration of justice and to uphold the rule of law, he has "miserably failed to live up to the standards expected of a member of the Bar." [Artiaga v. Villanueva, Adm. Matter No. 1892, July 29, 1988, 163 SCRA 638, 647]. The Court agrees with the Solicitor General that, considering the nature of the offenses committed by respondent and the facts and circumstances of the case, respondent lawyer should be suspended from the practice of law for a period of six (6) months. WHEREFORE, finding that respondent Attorney Ramon A. Gonzales committed serious misconduct, the Court Resolved to SUSPEND respondent from the practice of law for SIX (6) months effective from the date of his receipt of this Resolution. Let copies of this Resolution be circulated to all courts of the country for their information and guidance, and spread in the personal record of Atty. Gonzales. SO ORDERED.

xiNO. 14
G.R. No. 90983 September 27, 1991 LAW FIRM OF RAYMUNDO A. ARMOVIT, petitioner vs. COURT OF APPEALS, JUDGE GENARO C. GINES, Presiding Judge of Branch XXVI, Regional Trial Court, First Judicial Region, San Fernando, La Union, and BENGSON COMMERCIAL BUILDING, INC., respondents. Raymundo A. Armovit and Rafael R. Armovit for petitioner. Pacifico C. Yadao for private respondent.

SARMIENTO, J.:p Before the Court is Atty. Raymundo Armovit's claim for attorney's fees against the private respondent. It appears that Atty. Armovit was engaged as counsel for the private respondent in a complaint to have an extrajudicial foreclosure of certain properties by the Government Service Insurance System declared null and void; that the parties allegedly agreed that the private respondent shall pay P15,000.00 as initial compensation and twenty percent in contingent fees; that after trial, the defunct Court of First Instance rendered judgment annulling foreclosure and ordering the Government Service Insurance System to restructure the private respondent's loan; that thereafter, the System appealed; the on appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of lower court; and that the Appellate Court's judgment has since attained finality. It also appears that when Atty. Armovit sought execution with the court a quo, he was informed by Romualdo Bengson president of the respondent corporation, that the firm has retained the services of Atty. Pacifico Yadao. He was also informed that the company would pay him the agreed compensation and that Atty. Yadao's fees were covered by a separate agreement. The private respondent, however, later ignored his billings and over the phone, directed him allegedly not to take part in the execution proceedings. Forthwith, he sought the entry of an attorney's lien in the records of the case. The lower court allegedly refused to make the entry and on the contrary issued an order ordering the Philippine National Bank to "release to the custody of Mr. Romualdo F. Bengzon and/or Atty Pacifico Yadao" 1 the sum of P2,760,000.00 (ordered by the Court of Appeals as rentals payable by the Government Service Insurance System). Atty. Armovit then moved, apparently for the hearing of hi motion to recognize attorney's lien, and thereafter, the trial court. issued an order in the tenor as follows:
When this case was called for hearing on the petition to record attorney's charging lien, Attys. Armovit and Aglipay appeared for the petitioners. Atty. Armovit informed the Court that they are withdrawing the petition considering that they are in the process of amicably settling their differences with the plaintiff, which manifestation was confirmed by Atty. Yadao as well as the plaintiffs, Romualdo Bengson and Brenda Bengson, who are present today. In view of this development, the petition to record attorney charging lien, the same being in order and not contrary to law, moral and public policy, as prayed for by Attys. Armovit and Aglipay, it hereby withdrawn. The parties, therefore are hereby directed to co ply faithfully with their respective obligations. SO ORDERED. 2

However, upon the turnover of the money to the private respondent, Mrs. Brenda Bengson (wife of Romualdo Bengzon delivered to Atty. Armovit the sum of P300,000.00 only. Armovit protested and demanded the amount of P552,000.0 twenty percent of P2,760,000.00), for which Mrs. Bengzon made assurances that he will be paid the balance.

On November 4, 1988, however, Atty. Armovit received a order emanating from the trial court in the tenor as follows:
During the hearing on the petition to record attorney's charge lien on October 11, 1988, Attys. Armovit and Aglipay withdrew their petition to record attorney's charging lien, which was duly approve petition to recordby the Court, after which the Court directed the parties to comp faithfully with their respective obligations. In compliance with the Order of this Court, the plaintiff submitted a pleading denominated as compliance alleging that petition (Atty. Armovit) has already received from the plaintiff the sum P300,000.00, Philippine Currency, as and by way of attorney's fees With the receipt by the petitioner from the plaintiff of this amount, the latter has faithfully complied with its obligation. WHEREFORE, the Order of this Court dated October 11, 1988 approving the withdrawal of the petition to record attorney's charging lien, on motion of the petitioner, is now final. SO ORDERED. 3

Reconsideration having been denied, Atty. Armovit went the Court of Appeals on a petition for certiorari and prohibition. On August 25, 1989, the Court of Appeals 4 rendered judgment dismissing the petition. Reconsideration having been likewise denied by the Appellate Court, Atty. Armovit instituted the instant appeal. Shortly thereafter, we required the private respondent comment. The private respondent did not materially traverse Atty. Armorvit's chronicle of events but added: that the private respondent hired the petitioner after the Government Service Insurance System had answered and that it was Atty. Benjam Bernardino who prepared the complaint; that for his appearances, Atty. Armovit was paid a total of P108,000.00, not to mention "beach resort accommodations"; 5 that Atty. Armovit did not inform the private respondent that the court had rendered judgment which they would have appealed; that they lost an appeal on account of Atty. Armovit's indiscretion; that the forthwith engaged the services of another lawyer, Atty. Yadao; and that it was the latter who prepared the brief in the Court Appeals (on GSIS's appeal). The private respondent also alleged that it opposed Atty. Armovit's effort to record his attorney's lien on grounds of allege nullity of the retainer agreement, Atty. Armovit's negligence and because of excessive fees demanded. The private respondent also insisted that the retainer agreement was signed by only one of seven directors, and it could no bind the corporation. Atty. Armovit, in any event, had also been allegedly more than sufficiently compensated. The private respondent alleged that Atty. Armovit had bee paid P300,000.00 an amount approved by the court, and an amount he accepted and for which he is allegedly estoppel from claiming a higher amount. The order of the court has the effect of res judicata, the private respondent claimed, as well as a compromise agreement which is immediately

executory. The disposition of the Court of Appeals was that since the receipt evidencing payment to Atty. Armovit of the sum P300,000.00 "was without any qualification as 'advance' 'partial' or 'incomplete'," 6 the intention of the parties was that was full payment. The Appellate Court also noted Atty. Armorvit's withdrawal of his motion to record attorney's lien and figured that Atty. Armovit was satisfied with the payment P300,000,00. The only issue is whether or not Atty. Armovit is entitled to the sum of P252,000.00 more, in addition to the sum P300,000.00 already paid him by the private respondent.There is no question that the parties had agreed on a compensation as follows:
a) P15,000.00 by way of acceptance and study fee, payable within five (5) days from date; b) 20% contingent fee computed on the value to be recovered b favorable judgment in the cases; and c) the execution and signing of a final retainer agreement complete with all necessary details.
7

(While the parties' agreement speaks of "a final retain agreement" 8 to be executed later, it does not appear that the parties did enter into a "final" agreement thereafter.) The private respondent's version however is that while it may be true that the agreed compensation was twenty percent of all recoveries, the parties later agreed on a compromise sum approved allegedly by the trial court, per its Order of October 11, 1988. The Court is inclined to believe that Atty. Armovit never agreed on the compromise sum of P300,000.00. It is true that he did agree to withdraw his motion to annotate attorney's lien, but because the parties were "in the process of amicably settling their differences" 9 and not because Atty. Armovit had agreed to accept a lower amount as full payment. There is nothing, on top of that, Atty. Armovit's manifestation that would suggest that he was accepting the sum of P300,00.00 as agreed final payment, other than the fact that an agreement was supposedly certain. We quote:
ATTY. ARMOVIT: Your Honor, we would like to manifest in Court that we served notice to the counsel of the plaintiff, Bengson Commercial Building, a copy of the petition to record attorney's charging lien, and together with the president of the corporation, Mr. Romualdo Bengson, and his wife, Mrs. Brenda Bengson, we have discussed the problem and we all agreed upon is an earnest one at this time, this representation is withdrawing his petition to record charging lien. ATTY. YADAO: No objection, Your Honor, because we have to agree with Atty. Armovit. I am in full accord with this.
10

There is nothing there that would indicate Atty. Armovit's willingness to accept, in fact, a lower figure in consideration of his withdrawal of his request to enter attorney's lien. What the Court takes his statement to mean is that he was withdrawing his request on the certainty that the private respondent would pay him the money, presumably, under more becoming circumstances.

The Court does not therefore see how the private respondent can hold Atty. Armovit to have been in estoppel. The fact that Atty. Armovit did not, after all, accept the sum of P300,000.00 as final compensation is indeed indicated by the behavior of the private respondent, through Mrs. Romualdo Bengson, when she assured Atty. Armovit that the balance was forthcoming. 11 According to Mrs. Bengson, she wished the rest of the Bengsons to witness the final payment and when the occasion was present, wished for a postponement on account of "All Saints Day." 12 The parties never therefore amended their original agreement, and what appears to the Court is a clear effort on the part of a client, with the apparent approval of the trial court, to renege on a valid agreement with its lawyer. The Court believes that the trial court, in accepting the private respondent's "compliance" as a final payment of Atty. Armovit's fees, was guilty of a grave abuse of discretion. The private respondent had nothing with which to comply, and the parties, as manifested by Atty. Armovit, were "in the process [merely] of amicably settling their differences." 13 It is apparent furthermore that the trial judge himself was out to deny Atty. Armovit the agreed compensation. In his order of October 4, 1988, he commanded:
The PNB is hereby ordered and directed to release to the custody of Mr. Romualdo F. Bengson and /or Atty. Pacifico Yadao, counsel for the plaintiff, the sum of Two Million Seven Hundred Sixty Thousand Pesos (P2,760,000.00), Philippine Currency for the satisfaction of the rentals of the Bengson Building against the GSIS. 14

in spite of the fact that Atty. Armovit had remained the private respondent's counsel of record. It is fundamental that unless a lawyer has been validly discharged, his authority to act for his client continues and should be recognized by the court. 15 The fact that the receipt evidencing payment by the private respondent of the amount of P300,000.00 "was without any qualification as 'advance' or 'partial' or 'incomplete'," 16 as the Court of Appeals noted and the Court of Appeals took to mean "full payment", will not weaken Atty. Armovit's demand for the balance. There is nothing in the receipt that will suggest that will suggest that it was full payment either, and the fact that Atty. Armovit accepted it does not mean that he was satisfied that it was final payment. The fact of the matter is that the private respondent had assured him that the balance was forthcoming. The private respondent can not justifiably downplay Atty. Armovit as negligent (for failing to appeal) or his demand for fees excessive (that he had been paid enough). Atty. Armovit, after all, succeeded in obtaining a favorable decision for his client, an although his prayer for various damages were denied, he secceeded in obtaining a substantial award (P1,900,00.00 in unpaid rentals) for his client. On appeal, the Court of Appeals sustained his theory. It should be noted that the private respondent had in fact stood to lose substantial properties on foreclosure Atty. Armovit not only restored to the private respondent its foreclosured properties, he succeeded in having the private respondent's loans restructed and the Government Service Insurance System pay rentals. No client can ask a better result from a

lawyer. Obviously, the private respondent's effort to downgrade Atty. Armovit's performance is a wild, if not cheap, shot of a client out to evade its obligations to its lawyer. The fact that Atty. Armovit may have been paid substantially (in initial fees) while the case was dragging is no justification for denying him the full amount under their agreement. It has been held that initial fees and fees paid in the progress of litigation are independent of the contingent fees. 17 That the retainer agreement was never approved by the board of the corporation is also a poor excuse because the fact of the matter is that the private respondent did deliver to Atty. Armovit the sum of P300,000.00 in partial payment, and the private respondent can not now deny him the balance bay alleging lack of authority of the Bengson spouses. Contingent fees are valid in this jurisdiction. 18 It is true that attorney's fees must at all times be reasonable; 19 however, we do not find Atty. Armovit's claim for "twenty percent of all recoveries" to be unreasonable. In the case of Aro v. Naawa, 20 decided in 1969, this Court awarded the agreed fees amid the efforts of the client to deny him fees by terminating his services. In parallel vein, we are upholding Atty. Armovit's claim for P252,000.00 more pursuant to the contingent fee agreement amid the private respondent's own endeavours to evade its obligations. Several times, we have come down hard on erring practitioners. We will not however be slow either, in coming to the rescue of aggrieved brother-lawyers in protecting the integrity of the bar from unscrupulous litigants. WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED. The private respondent is ORDERED to pay the petitioner the sum of P252,000.00. Costs against the private respondent. IT IS SO ORDERED.

NO. 15
G.R. No. L-77691 August 8,1988 PATERNO R. CANLAS, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, and FRANCISCO HERRERA, respondents. Paterno R. Canlas Law Offices for petitioner. Abalos, Gatdula & Bermejo for private respondent.

SARMIENTO, J.: The case dramatizes the unpleasant spectacle of a lawyer tangling with his own client, more often than not, in the matter of fees. The lawyer, the petitioner himself, would have his petition decided on pure questions of procedure, yet, the Court cannot let pass unnoticed the murkier face of the controversy, wherein the law is corrupted to promote a lawyer's selfseeking ends, and the law profession, debased into a simple business dealing. Accordingly, we resolve it on the basis not only of the questions raised by the petitioner pertaining to procedure, but considering its serious ethical implications, on its merits as well. We turn to the facts. The private respondent was the registered owner of eight (six, according to the petitioner) parcels of land located in Quezon City. 1 Between 1977 and 1978, 2 he obtained various loans from the L & R Corporation, a financing institution, in various sums totalling P420,000.00 As security therefor, he executed deeds of mortgage in favor of the corporation over the parcels aforesaid. On August 28,1979, and upon the maturing of said loans, the firm caused an extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage following his failure to pay, as a consequence of which, the said eight (six, according to the petitioner) parcels of land were disposed of at public auction, and in which L & R Corporation was itself the highest bidder. Pending redemption, the private respondent filed a complaint for injunction against L & R Corporation, to enjoin consolidation of title in its name, in which he succeeded in obtaining preliminary injunctive relief. He was represented by the petitioner. Two years later, and with no imminent end to the litigation in sight, the parties entered into a compromise agreement whereby L & R Corporation accorded the private respondent another year to redeem the

foreclosed properties subject to payment of P600,000.00, with interest thereon at one per cent per month. They likewise stipulated that the petitioner shall be entitled to attorney's fees of P100,000.00. On November 19, 1982, the court 3 approved the compromise. The private respondent, however, remained in dire financial straits a fact the petitioner himself concede 4 for which reason he failed to acquire the finding to repay the loans in question, let alone the sum of P100,000.00 in attorney's fees demanded by the petitioner. That notwithstanding, the petitioner moved for execution insofar as his fees were concemed. The court granted execution, although it does not appear that the sum was actually collected.
5

Sometime thereafter, the petitioner and the private respondent met to discuss relief for the latter with respect to his liability to L & R Corporation on the one hand, and his obligation to the petitioner on the other. The petitioner contends that the private respondent "earnestly implored" 6 him to redeem the said properties; the private respondent maintains that it was the petitioner himself who 'offered to advance the money," 7 provided that he, the private respondent, executed a "transfer of mortgage" 8 over the properties in his favor. Who implored whom is a bone of contention, but as we shall see shortly, we are inclined to agree with the private respondent's version, considering primarily the petitioner's moral ascendancy over his client and the private respondent's increasing desperation. The records further show that the parties, pursuant to their agreement, executed a "Deed of Sale and Transfer of Rights of Redemption and/or to Redeem," a document that enabled the petitioner, first, to redeem the parcels in question, and secondly, to register the same in his name. The private respondent alleges that he subsequently filed loan applications with the Family Savings Bank to finance a wet market project upon the subject premises to find, according to him, and to his dismay, the properties already registered in the name of the petitioner. He likewise contends that the "Deed of Sale and Transfer of Rights of Redemption and/or to Redeem" on file with the Register of Deeds (for Quezon City) had been falsified as follows:
WHEREFORE, for and in full settlement of the attorney's fees of TRANSFEREE in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (Pl00,000.00) I, FRANCISCO HERRERA, hereby transfer, assign and convey unto TRANSFEREE, Atty. Paterno R. Canlas, any and all my rights of the real properties and/or to redeem from the Mortgagee, L & R Corporation my mortgaged properties foreclosed and sold at public auction by the Sheriff of Quezon City and subject matter of the above Compromise Agreement in Civil Case No. Q30679 ... 9

whereas it originally reads:


WHEREFORE, for and in full settlement of the attorney's fees of TRANSFEREE in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND PESOS (P100,000.00), I, FRANCISCO HERRERA, hereby transfer, assign and convey unto TRANSFEREE, Atty. Paterno R. Canlas, any and all my rights of equity of redemption and/or to redeem from the Mortgagee, L & R Corporation my mortgaged properties foreclosed and sold at public auction by the Sheriff of Quezon City and subject matter of the above Compromise Agreement in Civil Case No. Q30679. . . 10

As a consequence, the private respondent caused the annotation of an adverse claim upon the respective certificates of title embracing the properties. Upon learning of the same, the petitioner moved for the cancellation of the adverse claim and for the issuance of a writ of

possession. The court granted both motions. The private respondent countered with a motion for a temporary restraining order and later, a motion to recall the writ of possession. He likewise alleges that he commenced disbarment proceedings before this Court against the petitioner 11 as well as various criminal complaints for estafa, falsification, and "betrayal of trust" 12 with the Department of Justice. On December 1, 1983, finally, he instituted an action for reconveyance and reformation of document, 13 praying that the certificates of title issued in the name of the petitioner be cancelled and that "the Deed of Sale and Transfer of Rights of Equity of Redemption and/or to Redeem dated May 3, 1983 ... be reformed to reflect the true agreement of Francisco Herrera and Paterno R. Canlas, of a mortgage." 14 He vehemently maintains that the petitioner's "agreement with [him] was that the latter would lend the money to the former for a year, so that [petitioner] would have time to look for a loan for the wet market which [the petitioner] intended to put up on said property." 15 Predictably, the petitioner moved for dismissal. The trial court, however, denied the private respondent's petition. It held that the alteration complained of did not change the meaning of the contract since it was "well within [the petitioner's] rights" 16 "to protect and insure his interest of P654,000.00 which is the redemption price he has paid;" 17 secondly, that the petitioner himself had acquired an interest in the properties subject of reconveyance based on the compromise agreement approved by Judge Castro in the injunction case, pursuant to Section 29(b), of Rule 39, of the Rules of Court, that had, consequently, made him a judgment creditor in his own right; thirdly, that the private respondent had lost all rights over the same arising from his failure to redeem them from L & R Corporation within the extended period; and finally, that the petitioner cannot be said to have violated the ban against sales of properties in custodia legis to lawyers by their clients pendente lite, since the sale in question took place after judgment in the injunction case abovesaid had attained finality. The complaint was consequently dismissed, a dismissal that eventually attained a character of finality. Undaunted, the private respondent, on December 6, 1985, filed a suit for "Annulment Of Judgment 18 in the respondent Court of Appeals, 19 praying that the orders of Judge Castro: (1). granting execution over the portion of the compromise agreement obliging the private respondent to pay the petitioner P100,000.00 as attorney's fees; (2) denying the private respondent's prayer for a restraining order directed against the execution: and (3) denying the motion to recall writ of possession, all be set aside. The petitioner filed a comment on the petition, but followed it up with a motion to dismiss. On December 8, 1986, the respondent Court of Appeals promulgated the first of its challenged resolutions, denying the motion to dismiss. On March 3, 1987, the Appellate Court denied reconsideration. 20 Hence the instant petition. As we stated, the petitioner assails these twin resolutions on grounds of improper procedure. Specifically, he assigns the following errors: I.

THE RESPONDENT COURT GRAVELY ABUSE [sic] ITS DISCRETION IN NOT DISMISSING AC G.R. NO. 07860 ON THE GROUND THAT IT IS IN REALITY A PETITION FOR CERTIORARI FILED OUT OF TIME AND SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN DUE COURSE. II. THE RESPONDENT COURT GRAVELY ABUSE [sic] ITS DISCRETION IN NOT DISMISSING AC G.R. NO. 07860 ON THE GROUND OF RES JUDICATA III. THE RESPONDENT COURT GRAVELY ABUSE [sic] ITS DISCRETION IN NOT CONSIDERING AC G. R. 07860 AS MOOT AND ACADEMIC SINCE PETITIONER HAD DISPOSED OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES LONG BEFORE THE FILING OF THIS SUIT. IV THE RESPONDENT COURT GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION IN NOT DENYING PETITIONER'S MOTION TO DISMISS SOLELY ON THE GROUND THAT THE ARGUMENT RAISED THEREIN ARE BUT REHASH OF THE ARGUMENTS IN HIS COMMENT TO THE PETITION. 21 The petitioner argues that the petition pending with the respondent court "is actually a petition for certiorari," 22 disguised as a pleading for annulment of judgment and that in such a case, it faces alleged legal impediments (1) It had been filed out of time, allegedly two years from the issuance of the assailed orders, and (2) It was not preceded by a motion for reconsideration. He adds that assuming annulment of judgment were proper, no judgment allegedly exists for annulment, the aforesaid two orders being in the nature of interlocutory issuances. On purely technical grounds, the petitioner's arguments are impressive. Annulment of judgment, we have had occasion to rule, rests on a single ground: extrinsic fraud. What "extrinsic fraud" means is explained in Macabingkil v. People's Homesite and Housing Corporation : 23
xxx xxx xxx It is only extrinsic or collateral fraud, as distinguished from intrinsic fraud, however, that can serve as a basis for the annulment of judgment. Fraud has been regarded as extrinsic or collateral, within the meaning of the rule, "where it is one the effect of which prevents a party from having a trial, or real contest, or from presenting all of his case to the court, or where it operates upon matters pertaining, not to the judgment itself, but of the manner in which it was procured so that there is not a fair submission of the controversy." In other words, extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the prevailing party in the litigation which is committed outside of the trial of the case, whereby the defeated party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his side of the case, by fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. 24

A perusal of the petition of therein private respondent Herrera pending before the respondent Court reveals no cause of action for annulment of judgment. In the first place, and as herein petitioner Canlas correctly points out, the judgment itself is not assailed, but rather, the orders

merely implementing it. Secondly, there is no showing that extrinsic fraud, as Makabingkil defines it, indeed vitiated the proceedings presided over by Judge Castro. On the contrary, Herrera's petition in the respondent court will show that he was privy to the incidents he complains of, and in fact, had entered timely oppositions and motions to defeat Atty. Canlas' claims under the compromise agreement. What he objects to is his suspected collusion between Atty. Canlas and His Honor to expedite the former's collection of his fees. He alleges that his counsel had deliberately, and with malevolent designs, postponed execution to force him (Herrera) to agree to sell the properties in controversy to him (Atty. Canlas) subject to redemption. ("...[I]t was understandable that respondent Atty. Paterno R. Canlas did not implement the writ of execution, instead he contacted petitioner in order that petitioner would sign the questioned documents. This was the clincher of the plan of respondent Atty, Paterno R. Canlas to divest petitioner of his properties. For this purpose, it is obvious that respondent Atty. Paterno R. Canlas had to conspire with the respondent court judge to achieve his plan." 25) Aside from being plain speculation, it is no argument to justify annulment. Clearly, it does not amount to extrinsic fraud as the term is defined in law. Neither is it proper for the extraordinary remedy of certiorari. Certiorari presupposes the absence of an appeal 26 and while there is no appeal from execution of judgment, appeal lies in case of irregular implementation of the writ. 27 In the case at bar, there is no irregular execution to speak of As a rule, "irregular execution" means the failure of the writ to conform to the decree of the decision executed. 28 In the instant case, respondent Herrera's charges, to wit, that Judge Castro had erred in denying his motions for temporary restraining order and to recall writ of possession, or that His Honor had acted hastily (". . . that respondent court/judge took only one [1) day to resolve petitioner's motion for issuance of [a] [restraining] order. . ." 29) in denying his twofold motions, do not make out a case for irregular execution. The orders impugned are conformable to the letter of the judgment approving the parties'compromise agreement. The lengths the private respondent, Francisco Herrera, would go to in a last-ditch bid to hold on to his lands and constraints of economic privation have not been lost on us. It is obvious that he is uneasy about the judgment on compromise itself, as well as the subsequent contract between him and his lawyer. In such a case, Article 2038 of the Civil Code applies:
Art. 2038. A compromise in which there is mistake, fraud, violence intimidation, undue influence, or falsity of documents, is subject to the provisions of article 1330 of this Code ...

in relation to Article 1330 thereof:


Art. 1330. A contract where consent is given through mistake, violence, intimidation, undue influence, or fraud is voidable.

in relation to its provisions on avoidance of'contracts. 30 The court notes that he had, for this purpose, gone to the Regional Trial Court, a vain effort as we stated, and in which the decision had become final.

We, however, sustain Atty. Canlas' position-on matters of procedure for the enlightenment solely of the bench and the bar. It does not mean that we find merit in his petition. As we have intimated, we cannot overlook the unseemlier side of the proceeding, in which a member of the bar would exploit his mastery of procedural law to score a "technical knockout" over his own client, of all people. Procedural rules, after all, have for their object assistance unto parties "in obtaining just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding." 31 If procedure were to be an impediment to such an objective, "it deserts its proper office as an aid to justice and becomes its great hindrance and chief enemy." 32 It was almost eight decades ago that the Court held:
... A litigation is not a game of technicalities in which one, more deeply schooled and skilled in the subtle art of movement and position, entraps and destroys the other. It is, rather, a contest in which each contending party fully and fairly lays before the court the facts in issue and then, brushing aside as wholly trivial and indecisive all imperfections of form and technicalities of procedure, asks that justice be done upon the merits. Lawsuits, unlike duels, are not to be won by the a rapier's thrust ... 33

It is a ruling that almost eight decades after it was rendered, holds true as ever. By Atty. Canlas' own account, "due to lack of paying capacity of respondent Herrera, no financing entity was willing to extend him any loan with which to pay the redemption price of his mortgaged properties and petitioner's P100,000.00 attorney's fees awarded in the Compromise Judgment," 34 a development that should have tempered his demand for his fees. For obvious reasons, he placed his interests over and above those of his client, in opposition to his oath to "conduct himself as a lawyer ... with all good fidelity ... to [his] clients." 35 The Court finds the occasion fit to stress that lawyering is not a moneymaking venture and lawyers are not merchants, a fundamental standard that has, as a matter of judicial notice, eluded not a few law advocates. The petitioner's efforts partaking of a shakedown" of his own client are not becoming of a lawyer and certainly, do not speak well of his fealty to his oath to "delay no man for money." 36 It is true that lawyers are entitled to make a living, in spite of the fact that the practice of law is not a commercial enterprise; but that does not furnish an excuse for plain lust for material wealth, more so at the expense of another. Law advocacy, we reiterate, is not capital that yields profits. The returns it births are simple rewards for a job done or service rendered. It is a calling that, unlike mercantile pursuits which enjoy a greater deal of freedom from government interference, is impressed with a public interest, for which it is subject to State regulation. 37 Anent attomey's fees, section 24, of Rule 138, of the Rules, provides in part as follows:
SEC. 24. Compensation of attorneys, agreement as to fees. An attorney shall be entitled to have and recover from his client no more than a reasonable compensation for his services, with a view to the importance of the subject matter of the controversy, the extent of the services rendered, and the professional standing of the attorney... A written contract for services shall control the amount to be paid therefor unless found by the court to be unconscionable or unreasonable.

So also it is decreed by Article 2208 of the Civil Code, reproduced in part, as follows:
Art. 2208 ...

In all cases, the attorney's fees and expenses of litigation must be reasonable.

We do not find the petitioner's claim of attorney's fees in the sum of P100,000.00 reasonable. We do not believe that it satisfies the standards set forth by the Rules. The extent of the services he had rendered in Civil Case No. 30679, and as far as the records will yield, is not impressive to justify payment of such a gargantuan amount. The case itself moreover did not involve complex questions of fact or law that would have required substantial effort as to research or leg work for the petitioner to warrant his demands. The fact that the properties subject thereof commanded quite handsome prices in the market should not be a measure of the importance or non-importance of the case. We are not likewise persuaded that the petitioner's stature warrants the sum claimed. All things considered, we reduce the petitioner's fees, on a quantum meruit basis, to P20,000.00. It is futile to invoke the rule granting attorneys a lien upon the things won in litigation similar to that vested upon redemptioners. 38 To begin with, the rule refers to realty sold as a result of execution in satisfaction of judgment. In this case, however, redemption was decreed by agreement (on compromise) between the mortgagor and mortgagee. It did not give the petitioner any right to the properties themselves, much less the right of redemption, although provisions for his compensation were purportedly provided. It did not make him a redemptioner for the plain reason that he was not named one in the amicable settlement. To this extent, we reverse Judge Pedro Santiago's ruling in Civil Case No. 40066, recognizing Atty. Canlas' "legal right, independent of the questioned deed of sale and transfer which was executed subsequently on May 3, 1983, to redeem the subject realty from the L & R Corporation pursuant to Sec. 29 (b), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court." 39 Whatever right he had, it was, arguably with respect alone to his renumeration. It did not extend to the lands. Secondly, and assuming that such a right exists, it must be in proportion to the " just fees and disbursements" 40 due him. It is still subject to the tempering hand of this Court. The Court notes a hidden agenda in the petitioner's haste to execute the compromise agreement and subsequently, to force the transfer of the properties to himself. As we have observed, in spite of the issuance of the writ of execution, it does not appear that the petitioner took pains to implement it. We find this perplexing given his passionate and persistent pleas that he was entitled to the proceeds. There can indeed be no plausible explanation other than to enable him to keep an "ace" against the private respondent that led finally, to the conveyance of the properties in his favor. To be sure, he would have us beheve that by redeeming the same from the mortgagee and by in fact parting with his own money he had actually done the private respondent a favor, but this is to assume that he did not get anything out of the transaction. Indeed, he himself admits that "[t]itles to the properties have been issued to the new owners long before the filing of private respondents [sic] petition for annulment." 41 To say that he did not profit therefrom is to take either this Court or the petitioner for naive, a proposition this Court is not prepared to accept under the circumstances. We are likewise convinced that it was the petitioner who succeeded in having the private respondent sign the "Deed of Sale and Transfer of Rights of Equity of Redemption and/or to

Redeem," a pre-prepared document apparently, that allowed him (the petitioner) to exercise the right of redemption over the properties and to all intents and purposes, acquire ownership thereof. As we have earlier averred, the private respondent, by reason of bankruptcy, had become an easy quarry to his counsel's moral influence and ascendancy. We are hard put to believe that it was the private respondent who "earnestly implored" 42 him to undertake the redemption amid the former's obstinate attempts to keep his lands that have indeed led to the multiple suits the petitioner now complains of, apart from the fact that the latter himself had something to gain from the transaction, as alluded to above. We are of the opinion that in ceding his right of redemption, the private respondent had intended merely to forestall the total loss of the parcels to the mortgagee upon the understanding that his counsel shall acquire the same and keep them therefore within reach, subject to redemption by his client under easier terms and conditions. Surely, the petitioner himself would maintain that he agreed to make the redemption"in order that [he] may already be paid the P100,000.00 attorney's fees awarded him in the Compromise Agreement," 43 and if his sole concern was his fees, there was no point in keeping the properties in their entirety. The Court simply cannot fag for the petitioner's pretensions that he acquired the properties as a gesture of magnanimity and altruism He denies, of course, having made money from it, but what he cannot dispute is the fact that he did resell the properties. 44 But if he did not entertain intents of making any profit, why was it necessary to reword the conveyance document executed by the private respondent? It shall be recalled that the deed, as originally drafted, provided for conveyance of the private respondent's "rights of equity of redemption and/or redeem" 45 the properties in his favor, whereas the instrument registered with the Register of Deeds purported to transfer "any and all my rights of the real properties and/or to redeem," 46 in his favor. He admits having entered the intercalations in question but argues that he did so "to facilitate the registration of the questioned deed with the Register of Deeds" 47 and that it did not change the meaning of the paper, for which Judge Santiago acquitted him of any falsification charges. 48 To start with, the Court is at a loss how such an alteration could "facilitate" registration. Moreover, if it did not change the tenor of the deed, why was it necessary then? And why did he not inform his client? At any rate, the agreement is clearly a contract of adhesion. Its provisions should be read against the party who prepared it. But while we cannot hold the petitioner liable for falsification this is not the proper occasion for it we condemn him nonetheless for infidelity to his oath "to do no falsehood" 49 This brings us to the final question: Whether or not the conveyance in favor of the petitioner is subject to the ban on acquisition by attorneys of things in litigation. The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code state as follows:
Art. 1491. The following persons cannot acquire by purchase, even at a public or judicial action, either in person or through the mediation of another: (1) The guardian, the property of the person or persons who may be under his guardianship; (2) Agents, the property whose administration or sale may have been intrusted to them, unless the consent of the principal have been given;

(3) Executors and administrators, the property of the estate under administration; (4) Public officers and employees, the property of the State or of any subdivision thereof, or of any government owned or controlled corporation, or institution, the administration of which has been instrusted to them; this provision shall apply to judges and government experts who, in any manner whatsoever, take part in the sale; (5) Justice judges prosecuting attorneys clerks of superior and inferior courts, and other officers and employees connected with the administration of justice, the property and rights in litigation or levied upon an execution before the court within whose jurisdiction or territory they exercise their respective functions; 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 . (6) Any others specially disqualified by law.**

In Rubias v. Batiller, 50 we declared such contracts to be void by force of Article 1409, paragraph (7), of the Civil Code, defining inexistent contracts. In Director of Lands v. Ababa 51 however, we said that the prohibition does not apply to contingent contracts, in which the conveyance takes place after judgment, so that the property can no longer be said to be "subject of litigation." In the instant case, the Court observes that the "Deed of Sale and Transfer of Rights of Equity of Redemption and/or to Redeem" was executed following the finality of the decision approving the compromise agreement. It is actually a new contract not one in pursuance of what had been agreed upon on compromise in which, as we said, the petitioner purportedly assumed redemption rights over the disputed properties (but in reality, acquired absolute ownership thereof). By virtue of such a subsequent agreement, the lands had ceased to be properties which are "the object of any litigation." Parenthetically, the Court states that a writ of possession is improper to eject another from possession unless sought in connection with: (1) a land registration proceeding; (2) an extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage of real property; (3) in a judicial foreclosure of property provided that the mortgagor has possession and no third party has intervened; and (4) in execution sales. 52 It is noteworthy that in this case, the petitioner moved for the issuance of the writ pursuant to the deed of sale between him and the private respondent and not the judgment on compromise. (He was, as we said, issued a writ of execution on the compromise agreement but as we likewise observed, he did not have the same enforced. The sale agreement between the parties, it should be noted, superseded the compromise.) The writ does not lie in such a case. His remedy is specific performance. At any rate, the transfer, so we hold, is not subject to the injunction of Article 1491 of the Civil Code. But like all voidable contracts, it is open to annulment on the ground of mistake, fraud, or undue influence, 53 which is in turn subject to the right of innocent purchasers for value. 54 For this reason, we invalidate the transfer in question specifically for undue influence as earlier detailed. While the respondent Herrera has not specifically prayed for invalidation, this is the clear tenor of his petition for annulment in the Appellate Court. It appearing, however, that the properties have been conveyed to third persons whom we presume to be innocent purchasers for value, the petitioner, Atty. Paterno Canlas, must be held liable, by way of actual damages, for such a loss of properties.

We are not, however, condoning the private respondent's own shortcomings. In condemning Atty. Canlas monetarily, we cannot overlook the fact that the private respondent has not settled his hability for payment of the properties. To hold Atty. Canlas alone liable for damages is to enrich said respondent at the expense of his lawyer. The parties must then set off their obligations against the other. To obviate debate as the actual amounts owing by one to the other, we hold Francisco Herrera, the private respondent, liable to Atty. Paterno Canlas, the petitioner, in the sum of P654,000.00 representing the redemption price of the properties, 55 in addition to the sum of P20,000. 00 as and for attomey's fees. We order Atty. Canlas, in turn, to pay the respondent Herrera the amount of P1,000,000.00, the sum he earned from the resale thereof, 56 such that he shall, after proper adjustments, be indebted to his client in the sum of P326,000.00 as and for damages. Needless to say, we sustain the action of the respondent Court of Appeals in taking cognizance of the petition below. But as we have stated, we are compelled, as the final arbiter of justiciable cases and in the highest interests ofjustice, to write finis to the controversy that has taxed considerably the dockets of the inferior courts. Let the Court further say that while its business is to settle actual controversies and as a matter of general policy, to leave alone moot ones, its mission is, first and foremost, to dispense justice. At the outset, we have made clear that from a technical vantage point, certiorari, arguably lies, but as we have likewise stated, the resolution of the case rests not only on the mandate of technical rules, but if the decision is to have any real meaning, on the merits too. This is not the first time we would have done so; in many cases we have eschewed the rigidity of the Rules of Court if it would establish a barrier upon the administration ofjustice. It is especially so in the case at bar, in which no end to suit and counter-suit appears imminent and for which it is high time that we have the final say. We likewise cannot, as the overseer of good conduct in both the bench and the bar, let go unpunished what convinces us as serious indiscretions on the part of a lawyer. WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered. 1. ORDERING the petitioner, Atty. Patemo Canlas, to pay to the private respondent, Francisco Herrera, the sum of P326,000.00, as and for damages; 2. ORDERING the petitioner to SHOW CAUSE why no disciplinary action may be imposed on him for violation of his oath, as a lawyer, within ten (10) days from notice, after which the same will be consolidated with AC No. 2625; 3. DISMISSING this petition and REMANDING the case to the respondent Court of Appeals for execution; and 4. ORDERING the petitioner to pay costs. SO ORDERED.

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