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BENGUET ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. ATTY. ERNESTO B.

FLORES (1998) Forum shopping exists when, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, a party seeks a favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another, or when he institutes two or more actions or proceedings grounded on the same cause, on the gamble that one or the other court would make a favorable disposition. The most important factor in determining the existence of forum shopping is the "vexation caused the courts and parties-litigants by a party who asks different courts to rule on the same or related causes or grant the same or substantially the same reliefs." Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, a lawyer has a duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice. The Code also enjoins him from unduly delaying a case by impeding the execution of a judgment or by misusing court processes. A lawyer must be a disciple of truth. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, he owes candor, fairness and good faith to the courts. He shall neither do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any. He also has a duty not to mislead or allow the courts to be misled by any artifice.

TEODORO REGALA, ET. AL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN (1996) As a matter of public policy, a client's identity should not be shrouded in mystery. Under this premise, the general rule is that a lawyer may not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of this client. Said general rule is however qualified by some important exceptions: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Client identity is privileged where a strong probability exists that revealing the client's name would implicate that client in the very activity for which he sought the lawyer's advice; Where disclosure would open the client to civil liability; his identity is privileged; and Where the government's lawyers have no case against an attorney's client unless, by revealing the client's name, the said name would furnish the only link that would form the chain of testimony necessary to convict an individual of a crime, the client's name is privileged. The content of any client communication to a lawyer lies within the privilege if it is relevant to the subject matter of the legal problem on which the client seeks legal assistance. where the nature of the attorney-client relationship has been previously disclosed and it is the identity which is intended to be confidential, the identity of the client has been held to be privileged, since such revelation would otherwise result in disclosure of the entire transaction.

Summarizing these exceptions, information relating to the identity of a client may fall within the ambit of the privilege when the client's name itself has an independent significance, such that disclosure would then reveal client confidences. The circumstances involving the engagement of lawyers in the case at bench, therefore, clearly reveal that the instant case falls under at least two exceptions to the general rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case, which is privileged information, because the privilege, as stated earlier, protects the subject matter or the substance (without which there would be not attorney-client relationship).

MAGLUCOT-AW, et al v. MAGLUCOT, et al (2000) Any court when it renders a decision does so as an arm of the justice system and as an institution apart from the persons that comprise it. Decisions are rendered by the courts and not the persons or personnel that may participate therein by virtue of their office. It is highly improper and unethical for counsel for petitioners to berate the researcher in his appeal. Counsel for petitioner should be reminded of the elementary rules of the legal profession regarding respect for the courts by the use of proper language in its pleadings and admonished for his improper references to the researcher of the CA in his petition. A lawyer shall abstain from scandalous, offensive, or menacing language or behavior before the courts.

PIKE ARRIETA v. ATTY JOEL LLOSA (1997) The party acknowledging must appear before the notary public or any person authorized to take acknowledgment of instruments or documents. Aside from being required to appear before the Notary Public, it is similarly incumbent upon the person acknowledging the instrument to declare before the same Notary Public that the execution of the instrument was done by him of his own free will. Notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. It is invested with substantial public interest. Notarization of a private document converts the document into a public one making it admissible in court without further proof of its authenticity. As a lawyer, respondent breached his professional responsibility by certifying under oath an instrument fully knowing that some of the signatories thereto were long dead. Atty. Joel A. Llosa is guilty of misconduct. But this being his first administrative offense, such should not warrant the supreme penalty of disbarment.

RAYMUNDO T. MAGDALUYO v. ATTY. ENRIQUE L. NACE (2000) Atty. Enrique T. Nace violated the prohibition in the Code of Professional Responsibility against engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. He was, indeed, less than sincere in asserting two conflicting rights over a portion of land that, in all probability, he knew not to be his. What made matters worse was his participation in bringing such claims to court, knowing them to be contradictory and therefore cannot both be true, though both could be totally false. In this he is guilty of consenting to if not actual commission of a falsehood before a court, again in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. As a lawyer, respondent is bound by his oath to do no falsehood or consent to its commission and to conduct himself as a lawyer according to the best of his knowledge and discretion. The lawyer's oath is a source of obligations and violation thereof is a ground for suspension, disbarment, or other disciplinary action.

EDISON G. CHENG v. ATTY. ALEXANDER M. AGRAVANTE (2004) Lawyers are instruments for the administration of justice. As vanguards of our legal system, they are expected to maintain not only legal proficiency but also a high standard of morality, honesty, integrity and fair dealing. Verily, lawyers must at all times faithfully perform their duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to their clients. As part of those duties, they must promptly pay their financial obligations. Their conduct must always reflect the values and norms of the legal profession as embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Court may disbar or suspend lawyers for any professional or private misconduct showing them to be wanting in moral character, honesty, probity and good demeanor -- or to be unworthy to continue as officers of the Court. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates all members of the bar to obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law. The issuance of worthless checks is a violation of this Rule and an act constituting gross misconduct. As a general rule, a court will not assume jurisdiction to discipline one of its officers for misconduct alleged to have been committed in his private capacity. Exceptions: The nature of the office, the trust relation which exists between attorney and client, as well as between court and attorney, and the statutory rules prescribing the qualifications of attorneys, uniformly require that an attorney shall be a person of good moral character. If that qualification is a condition precedent to a license or privilege to enter upon the practice of the law, it would seem to be equally essential during the continuance of the practice and the exercise of the privilege. So it is held that an attorney will be removed not only for malpractice and dishonesty in his profession, but also for gross misconduct not connected with his professional duties, which shows him to be unfit for the office and unworthy of the privileges which his license and the law confer upon him x x x.

We stress that membership in the legal profession is a privilege. It demands a high degree of good moral character, not only as a condition precedent to admission, but also as a continuing requirement for the practice of law. In this case, respondent fell short of the exacting standards expected of him as a guardian of law and justice.

NAKPIL v. VALDEZ There is no question that the interests of the estate and that of its creditors are adverse to each other. Respondents accou nting firm prepared the list of assets and liabilities of the estate and, at the same time, computed the claims of two creditors of the estate. There is clearly a conflict between the interest of the estate which stands as the debtor, and that of the two claimants who are creditors of the estate. Respondent undoubtedly placed his law firm in a position where his loyalty to his client could be doubted. In the estate proceedings, the duty of respondents law firm was to contest the claims of these two creditors but which claims were prepared by respondents account ing firm. Even if the claims were valid and did not prejudice the estate, the set-up is still undesirable. The test to determine whether there is a conflict of interest in the representation is probability, not certainty of conflict. It was respondents duty to inhibit ei ther of his firms from said proceedings to avoid the probability of conflict of interest. Public confidence in law and lawyers may be eroded by the irresponsible and improper conduct of a member of the bar. Thus, a lawyer should determine his conduct by acting in a manner that would promote public confidence in the integrity of the legal profession. Members of the bar are expected to always live up to the standards embodied in the Code of Professional Responsibility as the relationship between an attorney and his client is highly fiduciary in nature and demands utmost fidelity and good faith. In the case at bar, respondent exhibited less than full fidelity to his duty to observe candor, fairness and loyalty in his dealings and transactions with his clients.

RURAL BANK OF SILAY, INC. v. ATTY. ERNESTO H. PILLA (2001) Since respondent actually benefited from the falsified document, he is presumed to have a hand in the falsification of the same. 2

As a lawyer, respondent knows or ought to know that parties to a public document must personally appear before the notary public to attest that the same is their own free act and deed. In utter disregard of this requirement, respondent caused the special power of attorney to be notarized without the parties appearing before the notary public. Thereafter, respondent presented the same to complainant rural bank in order to obtain a loan therefrom. It is thus apparent that respondent had a hand in the falsification of the document especially considering that it was he who chiefly benefited from it. The settled rule is that in the absence of satisfactory explanation, one found in possession of and who used a forged document is the forger and therefore guilty of falsification. Further, if a person had in his possession a falsified document and he made use of it (uttered it), taking advantage of it and profiting thereby, the clear presumption is that he is the material author of the falsification. Rule 1.01 provides that [a] lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. The fact that the conduct pertained to respondents private dealings with complainant rural bank is of no moment. A lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for ANY mi sconduct, even if it pertains to his private activities, as long as it shows him to be wanting in moral character, honesty, probity, or good demeanor. Possession of good moral character is not only a good condition precedent to the practice of law, but a continuing qualification for all members of the bar.

EDISON G. CHENG v. ATTY. ALEXANDER M. AGRAVANTE (2004) His failure to perfect an appeal within the prescribed period constitutes negligence and malpractice proscribed by the Code of Professional Responsibility, which provide that a lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. Rule 10.01 A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in court; nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice. Rule 18.03 A lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable. [T]he belated filing of the Memorandum of Appeal cannot in any way mitigate respondents liability; o n the contrary, it shows ignorance on his part. As a lawyer, he ought to know that his Memorandum of Appeal, having been filed beyond the reglementary period, would surely be struck down for late filing.

CAMACHO v. PAGULAYAN (2000) A lawyer should not in any way communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by counsel, much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him, but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law. Although aware that the students were represented by counsel, respondent attorney proceeded, nonetheless, to negotiate with them and their parents without at the very least communicating the matter to their lawyer, herein complainant, who was counsel of record in Civil Case. This failure of respondent, whether by design or because of oversight, is an inexcusable violation of the canons of professional ethics and in utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague. Respondent fell short of the demands required of him as a lawyer and as a member of the Bar.

CAYETANO v. MONSOD (1991) 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 acts which are usually performed by members of the legal profession. Generally, to practice law is to render any kind of service which requires the use of legal knowledge or skill. 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, and other works where the work done involves the determination of the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and conditions.

JOHN HILARIO y SIBAL v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES The right to counsel in civil cases exists just as forcefully as in criminal cases, specially so when as a consequence, life, liberty, or property is subjected to restraint or in danger of loss. In criminal cases, the right of an accused person to be assisted by a member of the bar is immutable. Otherwise, there would be a grave denial of due process. Thus, even if the judgment had become final and executory, it may still be recalled, and the accused afforded the opportunity to be heard by himself and counsel. The right to counsel is absolute and may be invoked at all times. More so, in the case of an on-going litigation, it is a right that must be exercised at every step of the way, with the lawyer faithfully keeping his client company. 3

The filing of the petition for certiorari by petitioner without counsel should have alerted the CA and should have required petitioner to cause the entry of appearance of his counsel. Although the petition filed before the CA was a petition for certiorari assailing the RTC Order dismissing the petition for relief, the ultimate relief being sought by petitioner was to be given the chance to file an appeal from his conviction, thus the need for a counsel is more pronounced. To repeat the ruling in Telan, no arrangement or interpretation of law could be as absurd as the position that the right to counsel exists only in the trial courts and that thereafter, the right ceases in the pursuit of the appeal. It is even more important to note that petitioner was not assisted by counsel when he filed his petition for relief from judgment with the RTC. While as a general rule, the failure of petitioner to file his motion for reconsideration within the 15-day reglementary period fixed by law rendered the resolution final and executory, we have on some occasions relaxed this rule. The Court find the two days delay in filing his motion for reconsideration pardonable as it did not cause any prejudice to the other party. There is no showing that petitioner was motivated by a desire to delay the proceedings or obstruct the administration of justice. The suspension of the Rules is warranted in this case since the procedural infirmity was not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of petitioner.

JONAR SANTIAGO v. ATTY. EDISON V. RAFANAN (2004) Under the law, a lawyer is not disqualified from being a witness, except only in certain cases pertaining to privileged communication arising from an attorney-client relationship. The reason behind such rule is the difficulty posed upon lawyers by the task of dissociating their relation to their clients as witnesses from that as advocates. Witnesses are expected to tell the facts as they recall them. In contradistinction, advocates are partisans -- those who actively plead and defend the cause of others. It is difficult to distinguish the fairness and impartiality of a disinterested witness from the zeal of an advocate. The question is one of propriety rather than of competency of the lawyers who testify for their clients. Thus, although the law does not forbid lawyers from being witnesses and at the same time counsels for a cause, the preference is for them to refrain from testifying as witnesses, unless they absolutely have to; and should they do so, to withdraw from active management of the case.

ATTY RAFANAN CANNOT BE HELD ADMINISTRATIVELY LIABLE First, we consider it the duty of a lawyer to assert every remedy and defense that is authorized by law for the benefit of the client, especially in a criminal action in which the latters life and liberty are at stake. Having undertaken the defense of the accuse d, respondent, as defense counsel, was thus expected to spare no effort to save his clients from a wrong conviction. The Affidavit executed by Atty. Rafanan was clearly necessary for the defense of his clients, since it pointed out the fact that on the alleged date and time of the incident, his clients were at his residence and could not have possibly committed the crime charged against them. Notably, in his Affidavit, complainant does not dispute the statements of respondent or suggest the falsity of its contents. Second, paragraph (b) of Rule 12.08 contemplates a situation in which lawyers give their testimonies during the trial. In this instance, the Affidavit was submitted during the preliminary investigation which, as such, was merely inquisitorial. Not being a trial of the case on the merits, a preliminary investigation has the oft-repeated purposes of securing innocent persons against hasty, malicious and oppressive prosecutions; protecting them from open and public accusations of crime and from the trouble as well as expense and anxiety of a public trial; and protecting the State from useless and expensive prosecutions. The investigation is advisedly called preliminary, as it is yet to be followed by the trial proper. SIMON D. PAZ v. ATTY. PEPITO A. SANCHEZ (2006) Rule 15.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides that a lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests excep t by written consent of all concerned given after full disclosure of the facts. Lawyers are deemed to represent conflicting interests when, in behalf of one client, it is their duty to contend for that which duty to another client requires them to oppose. The proscription against representation of conflicting interest applies to a situation where the opposing parties are present clients in the same action or in an unrelated action. By respondents own admission, when he filed the DARAB case on Dizons behalf against complainant, both complainant and Dizon were respondents clients at that time. Respondent was representing complainant in the cases against Lizares where respondent was duty-bound to defend complainants title over the properties against the claims of Lizares. While it is not clear from the records that the Lizares cases included Dizons property, it is undisputed that respondent acted as complainants counsel in the Lizares cases. At the same time, respondent was also representing Dizon before the DARAB for cancellation of lis pendens involving Dizons property, which cancellation was needed for co mplainant to purchase the Dizon property. In filing the second DARAB case on Dizons behalf, respondent was duty -bound to assail complainants title over Dizons property, which complainant had purchased from Dizon. Respondent was clearly in a conflict of interest situation. REASON FOR THE PROHIBITION The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of attorney and client, which is one of trust and confidence of the highest degree. A lawyer becomes familiar with all the facts connected with his clients case. He learns from his client the weak points of the action as well as the strong ones. Such knowledge must be considered sacred and guarded with care. No opportunity must be given him to take advantage of the clients secrets. A lawyer must have the fullest confidence of his client. For if the confidence is abused, the profession will suffer by the loss thereof.

PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR. (1997)

To justify suspension or disbarment the act complained of must not only be immoral, but grossly immoral. A grossly immoral act is one that is so corrupt and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled or disgraceful as to be reprehensible to a high degree. It is a willful, flagrant, or shameless act which shows a moral indifference to the opinion of respectable members of the community. Respondent and complainant were sweethearts whose sexual relations were evidently consensual. We do not find complainants a ssertions that she had been forced into sexual intercourse, credible. She continued to see and be respondents girlfriend even after she had given birth to a son in 1964 and until 1971. All those years of amicable and intimate relations refute her allegations that she was forced to have sexual congress with him. Complainant was then an adult who voluntarily and actively pursued their relationship and was not an innocent young girl who could be easily led astray. Unfortunately, respondent chose to marry and settle permanently with another woman. We cannot castigate a man for seeking out the partner of his dreams, for marriage is a sacred and perpetual bond which should be entered into because of love, not for any other reason. We cannot help viewing the instant complaint as an act of revenge of a woman scorned, bitter and unforgiving to the end. It is also intended to make respondent suffer severely and it seems, perpetually, sacrificing the profession he worked very hard to be admitted into. Even assuming that his past indiscretions are ignoble, the twenty-six years that respondent has been prevented from being a lawyer constitute sufficient punishment therefor. During this time there appears to be no other indiscretion attributed to him. Respondent, who is now sixty-two years of age, should thus be allowed, albeit belatedly, to take the lawyers oath. IRENE RAYOS-OMBAC v. ATTY. ORLANDO A. RAYOS (1998) Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility states: A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. Rule 1.03 of the same Code, on the other hand, provides: A lawyer shall not, for any corrupt motive or interest, encourage any suit or proceeding or delay any man's cause. Respondent violated the Code of Professional Responsibility, as well as his oath as an attorney when he deceived his 85-year old aunt into entrusting to him all her money, and later refused to return the same despite demand. Respondent's wicked deed was aggravated by the series of unfounded suits he filed against complainant to compel her to withdraw the disbarment case she filed against him. Indeed, respondent's deceitful conduct makes him unworthy of membership in the legal profession. The nature of the office of a lawyer requires that he shall be of good moral character. This qualification is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession, but its continued possession is essential to maintain one's good standing in the profession. Considering the depravity of respondent's offense, we find the penalty recommended by the IBP to be too mild. Such offense calls for the severance of respondent's privilege to practice law not only for two years, but for life. EFFECT OF AFFIDAVIT OF DESISTANCE The affidavit of withdrawal of the disbarment case allegedly executed by complainant does not, in any way, exonerate the respondent. A case of suspension or disbarment may proceed regardless of interest or lack of interest of the complainant. What matters is whether, on the basis of the facts borne out by the record, the charge of deceit and grossly immoral conduct has been duly proven. This rule is premised on the nature of disciplinary proceedings. A proceeding for suspension or disbarment is not in any sense a civil action where the complainant is a plaintiff and the respondent lawyer is a defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve no private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for the public welfare. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice from the official ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his conduct as an officer of the court. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to the attorney's alleged misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the outcome except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. Hence, if the evidence on record warrants, the respondent may be suspended or disbarred despite the desistance of complainant or his withdrawal of the charges. In the instant case, it has been sufficiently proved that respondent has engaged in deceitful conduct, in violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility. FERNANDO C. CRUZ AND AMELIA CRUZ v. ATTY. ERNESTO C. JACINTO (2000) As a rule, a lawyer is nor barred from dealing with his client but the business transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty and good faith. However, the measure of good faith which an attorney is required to exercise in his dealings with his client is a much higher standard than is required in business dealings where the parties trade at arms length. Business transactions between an attorney and his client are disfavored and discouraged by the policy of the law. Hence, courts carefully watch these transactions to be sure that no advantage is taken by a lawyer over his client. This rule is founded on public policy for, by virtue of his office, an attorney is in an easy position to take advantage of the credulity and ignorance of his client. Thus, no presumption of innocence or improbability of wrongdoing is considered in an attorney's favor (Nakpit vs. Valdes, 286 SCRA 758 [1998]). Further, his fidelity to the cause of his client requires him to be ever mindful of the responsibilities that should be expected of him. Verily, a lawyer not, without being guilty of professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person whose interest conflicts with that of his former client The reason for the prohibition is found in the relation of attorney and client, which is one of trust and confidence at the highest degree (Maturan vs. Gonzales, 287 SCRA 943 [1998]).

Respondent utterly failed to perform his duties and responsibilities faithfully and well as to protect the rights and interests of his clients and by his deceitful actuations constituting violations of the Code of Professional Responsibilities must be subjected to disciplinary measures for his own good, as well as for the good of the entire membership of the Bar as a whole. SUSPENDED ATTY. AUGUSTO G. NAVARRO, for and in behalf of PAN-ASIA INTERNATIONAL COMMODITIES, INC. v. ATTY. ROSENDO MENESES III Meneses misappropriated the money entrusted to him and which he has failed and/or refused to account for to his client despite repeated demands . Such conduct on the part of respondent indicating his unfitness for the confidence and trust reposed on him, or showing such lack of personal honesty or of good moral character as to render him unworthy of public confidence, constitutes a ground for disciplinary action extending to disbarment. Meneses misconduct constitute a gross violation of his oath as a lawyer which, inter alia, imposes upon every lawyer the dut y to delay no man for money or malice. He blatantly disregarded Rule 16.01 of Canon 16 of the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides that a lawyer shall account for all money or property collected or received for or from his client. Respondent was merely holding in trust the money he received from his client to use as consideration for amicable settlement of a case he was handling. Since the amicable settlement did not materialize, he was necessarily under obligation to immediate return the money, as there is no showing that he has a lien over it. As a lawyer, he should be scrupulously careful in handling money entrusted to him in his professional capacity, because a high degree of fidelity and good faith on his part is exacted. Further, The right to institute a disbarment proceeding is not confined to clients nor is it necessary that the person complaining suffered injury from the alleged wrongdoing. Disbarment proceedings are matters of public interest and the only basis for judgment is the proof or failure of proof of the charge. DISBARRED ROMANA R. MALIGSA v. ATTY. ARSENIO FER CABANTING As a lawyer commissioned as notary public, respondent is mandated to subscribe to the sacred duties appertaining to his office, such duties being dictated by public policy and impressed with public interest. Faithful observance and utmost respect of the legal solemnity of an oath in an acknowledgment or jurat is sacrosanct. Simply put, such responsibility is incumbent upon respondent and failing therein, he must now accept the commensurate consequences of his professional indiscretion. By his effrontery of notarizing a fictitious or spurious document, he has made a mockery of the legal solemnity of the oath in an Acknowledgment. A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for any misconduct, whether in his professional or private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral character, in honesty, probity and good demeanor or unworthy to continue as an officer of the court. Considering the serious nature of the instant offense and in light of his prior misconduct hereinbefore mentioned for which he was penalized with a six (6) month suspension from the practice of law, with a warning that repetition of the same or similar act would be dealt with more severely, the contumacious behavior of respondent in the instant case which grossly degrades the legal profession indeed warrants the imposition of a much graver penalty. In the case before us, it would have been physically and legally impossible for the affiant Irene Maligsa to have executed the alleged Deed of Quitclaim on 5 May 1992 and to have personally subscribed to its authenticity and validity before respondent notary public on the same date, affiant having died on 21 April 1992. Also, it behooves respondent as a notary public to require the personal appearance of the person executing a document to enable the former to verify the genuineness of the signature of the affiant. DISBARRED CRISTINO G. CALUB v. ATTY. ARBRAHAM A. SULLER "A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for misconduct, whether in his professional or private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral character, in honesty, probity and good demeanor or unworthy to continue as an officer of the court." In this case, we find that suspension for one year recommended by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines is not sufficient punishment for the immoral act of respondent. The rape of his neighbor's wife constituted serious moral depravity even if his guilt was not proved beyond reasonable doubt in the criminal prosecution for rape. He is not worthy to remain a member of the bar. The privilege to practice law is bestowed upon individuals who are competent intellectually, academically and, equally important, morally." Good moral character is not only a condition precedent to admission to the legal profession, but it must also be possessed at all times in order to maintain one's good standing in that exclusive and honored fraternity." DISBARRED DOMINGO R. MARCELO v. ATTY. ADRIANO S. JAVIER, SR. (1992) The failure of Marcelo to recover his mortgaged property is because of Atty Javier's deliberate failure to furnish timely the complainant copies of the deed of real estate mortgage and the dacion en pago which he prepared and notarized and in concealing from Marcelo the true context and purpose of the said documents. In one word, the Atty. Javier is guilty of deceit."

A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession. The trust and confidence necessarily reposed by clients require in the attorney a high standard and appreciation of his duty to his clients, his profession, the courts and the public. The bar should maintain a high standard of legal proficiency as well as of honesty and fair dealing. Generally speaking, a lawyer can do honor to the legal profession by faithfully performing his duties to society, to the bar, to the courts and to his clients. To this end, nothing should be done by any member of the legal fraternity which might tend to lessen in any degree the confidence of the public in the fidelity, honesty and integrity of the profession. An attorney may be disbarred or suspended for any violation of his oath or of his duties as an attorney and counsellor which include the statutory grounds enumerated in Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court. These statutory grounds are so broad as to cover practically any misconduct of a lawyer in his professional or private capacity. It is a settled rule that the enumeration of the statutory grounds for disciplinary action is not exclusive and a lawyer may be disciplined on grounds other than those specifically provided in the law. Generally, a lawyer may be disbarred or suspended for any misconduct, whether in his professional or private capacity, which shows him to be wanting in moral character, in honesty, probity and good demeanor or unworthy to continue as an officer of the court, or an unfit or unsafe person to enjoy the privileges and to manage the business of others in the capacity of an attorney, or for conduct which tends to bring reproach on the legal profession or to injure it in the favorable opinion of the public. Any interested person or the court motu proprio may initiate disciplinary proceedings. There can be no doubt of the right of a citizen to bring to the attention of the proper authority acts and doings of public officers which citizens feel are incompatible with the duties of the office and from which conduct the citizen or the public might or does suffer undesirable consequences. The facts and evidence obtaining in this case indubitably reveal respondent's failure to live up to his duties as a lawyer in consonance with the strictures of the lawyer's oath, the Code of Professional Responsibility and the Canons of Professional Ethics, thereby occasioning unwarranted inconvenience and hardship on complainant. A lawyer's responsibility to protect and advance the interests of his client does not warrant a course of action propelled by ill motives and malicious intentions against the other party. WHETHER A LAWYER MAY BE DISBARRED OR SUSPENDED In all cases, the determination of whether an attorney should be disbarred or merely suspended for a period involves the exercise of a sound judicial discretion, mindful always of the fact that disbarment is the most severe form of disciplinary action and should be resorted to only in cases where the lawyer demonstrates an attitude or course of conduct wholly inconsistent with approved professional standards. In cases of lighter offenses or of first delinquency, an order of suspension, which is correctional in nature, should be inflicted. In view of the nature and consequences of a disciplinary proceeding, observance of due process as in other judicial determinations, is imperative along with a presumption of innocence in favor of the lawyer. Consequently, the burden of proof is on the complainant to overcome such presumption and establish his charges by clear preponderance of evidence. MARILOU SEBASTIAN v. ATTY. DOROTHEO CALIS Herein respondent is guilty of gross misconduct by engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct contrary to Canon 1, Rule 101 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Respondent deceived the complainant by assuring her that he could give her visa and travel documents; that despite spurious documents nothing untoward would happen; that he guarantees her arrival in the USA and even promised to refund her the fees and expenses already paid, in case something went wrong. All for material gain. Deception and other fraudulent acts by a lawyer are disgraceful and dishonorable. They reveal moral flaws in a lawyer. They are unacceptable practices. A lawyers relationship with others should be characterized by the highest degree of good faith, fairness and can dor. This is the essence of the lawyers oath. The lawyers oath is not mere facile words, drift and hollow, but a sacred trust that must be upheld and keep inviolable. The nature of the office of an attorney requires that he should be a person of good moral character. This requisite is not only a condition precedent to admission to the practice of law, its continued possession is also essential for remaining in the practice of law. We have sternly warned that any gross misconduct of a lawyer, whether in his professional or private capacity, puts his moral character in serious doubt as a member of the Bar, and renders him unfit to continue in the practice of law. It is dismaying to note how respondent so cavalierly jeopardized the life and liberty of complainant when he made her travel with spurious documents. How often have victims of unscrupulous travel agents and illegal recruiters been imprisoned in foreign lands because they were provided fake travel documents? Respondent totally disregarded the personal safety of the complainant when he sent her abroad on false assurances. Not only are respondents acts illegal, they are also detestable from the moral point of view. His utter lack of moral qualms and scruples is a real threat to the Bar and the administration of justice. DISBARRED VILLARIN v. SABATE, Jr. For notarizing the Verification of the Motion to Dismiss With Answer when three of the affiants thereof were not before him and for notarizing the same instrument of which he was one of the signatories, the respondent failed to exercise due diligence in upholding his duty as a notary public. Respondent failed to state in the preliminary statements of said motion/answer that the three respondents were represented by their designated attorneys-in-fact. Besides, having signed the Verification of the pleading, he cannot swear that he appeared before himself as Notary Public. The function of a notary public is, among others, to guard against any illegal or immoral arrangements. That function would be defeated if the notary public were one of the signatories to the instrument. For then, he would be interested in sustaining the validity thereof as it directly involves himself and the validity of his own act. It would place him in an inconsistent position, and the very purpose of the acknowledgment, which is to minimize fraud, would be thwarted. 7

A member of the bar who performs an act as a notary public should not notarize a document unless the persons who signed the same are the very same persons who executed and personally appeared before said notary public to attest to the contents and truth of what are stated therein. The acts of affiants cannot be delegated to anyone for what are stated therein are facts they have personal knowledge of and swore to the same personally and not through any representative.

TIONGO v. AGUILAR Just because a lawyer is an officer of the court, he cannot criticize the courts. That is his right as a citizen, and it is even his duty as an officer of the court to avail of such right. Thus, In Re: Almacen (31 SCRA 562, 579-580 [1970]), this Court explicitly declared: Hence, as a citizen and as an 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 judge, which would not expose him to legal animadversion as a citizen." (Case of Austin, 28 Am dec. 657, 665). Nevertheless, such a right is not without limit. For, as this Court warned in Almacen: But it is a 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. 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 client's rights, lawyers even those gifted with superior intellect are enjoined to rein up their tempers. Elsewise stated, the right to criticize, which is guaranteed by the freedom of speech and of expression in the Bill of Rights of the Constitution, must be exercised responsibly, for every right carries with it a corresponding obligation. Freedom is not freedom from responsibility, but freedom with responsibility. FINED AND WARNED SHIPSIDE INCORPORATED v. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL. the requirement regarding verification of a pleading is formal, not jurisdictional . Such requirement is simply a condition affecting the form of the pleading, non-compliance with which does not necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. Verification is simply intended to secure an assurance that the allegations in the pleading are true and correct and not the product of the imagination or a matter of speculation, and that the pleading is filed in good faith. The court may order the correction of the pleading if verification is lacking or act on the pleading although it is not verified, if the attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the rules may be dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may thereby be served. On the other hand, the lack of certification, against forum shopping is generally not curable by the submission thereof after the filing of the petition. Section 5, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of civil Procedure provides that the failure of the petitioner to submit the required documents that should accompany the petition, including the certification against forum shopping, shall be sufficient ground for the dismissal thereof. The same rule applies to certifications against forum shopping signed by a person on behalf of a corporation which are unaccompanied by proof that said signatory is authorized to file a petition on behalf of the corporation. In the instant case, the merits of petitioner' case should be considered special circumstances or compelling reasons that justify tempering the requirement in regard to the certificate of non-forum shopping. Moreover, in Loyola, Roadway, and Uy, the Court excused non-compliance with the requirement as to the certificate of non-forum shopping. With more reason should we allow the instant petition since petitioner herein did submit a certification on non-forum shopping, failing only to show proof that the signatory was authorized to do so. That petitioner subsequently submitted a secretary's certificate attesting that Balbin was authorized to file an action on behalf of petitioner likewise, mitigates this oversight.

PRUDENCIO BANTOLINO, ET. AL. v. COCA-COLA BOTTLERS PHILS., INC. Administrative bodies like the NLRC are not bound by the technical niceties of law and procedure and the rules obtaining in courts of law. Indeed, the Revised Rules of Court and prevailing jurisprudence may be given only stringent application, i.e., by analogy or in a suppletory character and effect. The submission by respondent, citing People v. Sorrel,12 that an affidavit not testified to in a trial, is mere hearsay evidence and has no real evidentiary value, cannot find relevance in the present case considering that a criminal prosecution requires a quantum of evidence different from that of an administrative proceeding. Under the Rules of the Commission, the Labor Arbiter is given the discretion to determine the necessity of a formal trial or hearing. Hence, trial-type hearings are not even required as the cases may be decided based on verified position papers, with supporting documents and their affidavits. We cannot likewise accommodate respondent's contention that the failure of all the petitioners to sign the petition as well as the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping in contravention of Sec. 5, Rule 7, of the Rules of Court will cause the dismissal of the present appeal. While the Loquias case requires the strict observance of the Rules, it however provides an escape hatch for the transgressor to avoid the harsh consequences of non-observance. Thus -

x x x x We find that substantial compliance will not suffice in a matter involving strict observance of the rules. The attestation contained in the certification on non-forum shopping requires personal knowledge by the party who executed the same. Petitioners must show reasonable cause for failure to personally sign the certification. Utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction In their Ex Parte Motion to Litigate as Pauper Litigants, petitioners made a request for a fifteen (15)-day extension, i.e., from 24 April 2002 to 8 May 2002, within which to file their petition for review in view of the absence of a counsel to represent them. The records also reveal that it was only on 10 July 2002 that Atty. Arnold Cacho, through the UST Legal Aid Clinic, made his formal entry of appearance as counsel for herein petitioners. Clearly, at the time the instant petition was filed on 7 May 2002 petitioners were not yet represented by counsel. Surely, petitioners who are non-lawyers could not be faulted for the procedural lapse since they could not be expected to be conversant with the nuances of the law, much less knowledgeable with the esoteric technicalities of procedure. For this reason alone, the procedural infirmity in the filing of the present petition may be overlooked and should not be taken against petitioners. MINERVA UMPOC, ATTY. ILDEBRANDO VIERNESTO and ETHEL MANALOTO v. MILDRED MERCADO as Administratrix of the Estate of the late Dr. Jesusa Barrios (2005) It is apodictic that what determines the nature of an action as well as which court has jurisdiction over it are the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought. In an unlawful detainer case, the defendants possession was originally lawful but ceased to be so by the expiration of his right to possess. Hence, the phrase "unlawful withholding" has been held to imply possession on the part of defendant, which was legal in the beginning, having no other source than a contract, express or implied, and which later expired as a right and is being withheld by defendant. The allegations in the complaint obviously show the elements of unlawful withholding of property constitutive of unlawful detainer. They also conferred initiatory jurisdiction on the MeTC, because the case was filed within the one-year prescriptive period. Although the phrase "unlawfully withholding" was not actually used by respondent in her complaint, the allegations therein nonetheless amount to an unlawful withholding of the subject property by petitioners because they continuously refused to vacate the premises even after respondent had already sent them demand letters to the effect. In passing, we emphasize that our disquisitions on the issue of ownership in ejectment cases, as in the case at bar, is only provisional to determine who between the parties has the better right of possession. It is, therefore, not conclusive as to the issue of ownership, which is the subject matter of a separate case of annulment of title filed by respondent. Our ruling that the respondent has a better right of possession was arrived at on the basis of evidence without prejudice to the eventual outcome of the annulment case, where the issue as to who has title to the property in question is fully threshed out. As the law now stands, in an ejectment suit, the question of ownership may be provisionally ruled upon for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to possession de facto. JOVEN YUKI, JR. v. WELLINGTON CO

We do not agree. Section 2 of Rule 42 does not require that all the pleadings and documents filed before the lower courts must be attached as annexes to the petition. Aside from clearly legible duplicate originals or true copies of the judgments or final orders of both lower courts, it merely requires that the petition be accompanied by copies of pleadings and other material portions of the record as would support the allegations of the petition. As to what these pleadings and material portions of the record are, the Rules grants the petitioner sufficient discretion to determine the same. This discretion is of course subject to CAs evaluation whether the supporting documents are sufficient to make out a prima facie case. Thus, Section 3 empowers the CA to dismiss the petition where the allegations contained therein are utterly bereft of evidentiary foundation. Since in this case the CA gave due course to respondents Petition for Review and proceeded to decide it on the merits, it can be fairly assumed that the appell ate court is satisfied that respondent has sufficiently complied with Section 2 of Rule 42. The allegation of existence of implied new lease or tacita reconduccion will not divest the MeTC of jurisdiction over the ejectment case. It is an elementary rule that the jurisdiction of the court in ejectment cases is determined by the allegations pleaded in the complaint and cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer or pleadings filed by the defendant. This principle holds even if the facts proved during trial do not support the cause of action alleged in the complaint. In connection with this, it is well to note that in unlawful detainer cases the elements to be proved and resolved are the facts of lease and expiration or violation of its terms. Besides, we do not agree with the RTC that the MeTC does not have jurisdiction to resolve the issue of existence of implied new lease in the unlawful detainer case. Tacita reconduccion refers to the right of the lessee to continue enjoying the material or de facto possession of the thing leased within a period of time fixed by law. During its existence, the lessee can prevent the lessor from evicting him from the disputed premises. On the other hand, it is too well-settled to require a citation that the question to be resolved in unlawful detainer cases is, who is entitled to de facto possession. Therefore, since tacita reconduccion is determinative of who between the parties is entitled to de facto possession, the MeTC has jurisdiction to resolve and pass upon the issue of implied new lease in unlawful detainer case. In Mid-Pasig Land Development Corporation v. Court of Appeals, we ruled that the MeTC is clothed with exclusive original jurisdiction over an unlawful detainer case even if the same would entail compelling the plaintiff therein to recognize an implied lease agreement. Respondent did not acquiesce to petitioners continued possession of subject premises.

The formal demands to vacate sent to petitioner, coupled with the filing of an ejectment suit, are categorical acts on the part of respondent showing that he is not amenable to another renewal of the lease contract. Therefore, petitioners contention that his stay in the subject premises is with the acquiescence of the respondent, has no leg to stand on. ROSA DELOS REYES v. SPOUSES FRANCISCO ODONES AND ARWENIA ODONES, ET AL. G.R. No. 178096, March 23, 2011, SECOND DIVISION, NACHURA, J.: Well-settled is the rule that what determines the nature of the action, as well as the court which has jurisdiction over the case, are the allegations in the complaint. In ejectment cases, the complaint should embody such statement of facts as to bring the party clearly within the class of cases for which the statutes provide a remedy, as these proceedings are summary in nature. The complaint must show enough on its face to give the court jurisdiction without resort to parol evidence. Unlawful detainer is an action to recover possession of real property from one who illegally withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. The possession by the defendant in unlawful detainer is originally legal but became illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess. The proceeding is summary in nature, jurisdiction over which lies with the proper MTC or metropolitan trial court. The action must be brought up within one year from the date of last demand, and the issue in the case must be the right to physical possession. A complaint sufficiently alleges a cause of action for unlawful detainer if it recites the following: 1. initially, possession of property by the defendant was by contract with or by tolerance of the plaintiff; 2. eventually, such possession became illegal upon notice by plaintiff to defendant of the termination of the latter's right of possession; 3. thereafter, the defendant remained in possession of the property and deprived the plaintiff of the enjoyment thereof; and within one year from the last demand The requirement that the complaint should aver, as jurisdictional facts, when and how entry into the property was made by the defendants applies only when the issue is the timeliness of the filing of the complaint before the MTC, and not when the jurisdiction of the MTC is assailed because the case is one for accion publiciana cognizable by the RTC. This is because, in forcible entry cases, the prescriptive period is counted from the date of defendants' actual entry into the property; whereas, in unlawful detainer cases, it is counted from the date of the last demand to vacate. Hence, to determine whether the case was filed on time, there is a necessity to ascertain whether the complaint is one for forcible entry or for unlawful detainer; and since the main distinction between the two actions is when and how defendant entered the property, the determinative facts should be alleged in the complaint. Based on the foregoing, the MTC validly acquired jurisdiction over the complaint and we agree with its conclusion that petitioner is entitled to the physical possession of the lot, she having been able to prove by preponderance of evidence, through the TCT registered in her name, that she is entitled to possession of the property as owner. The countervailing evidence presented by respondents that sought to dispute the authenticity of petitioner's TCT cannot be given weight in this case. Settled is the rule that the validity of a certificate of title cannot be attacked in an action for ejectment. VICTOR TING SENG DEE and EMILY CHAN-AZAJAR v. COURT OF APPEALS and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES For a violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 to be committed, the following elements must be present: (1) the making, drawing, and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; (2) the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue there are no sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon is presentment; and (3) the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment (Sycip, Jr. vs. CA, G.R. No. 125059, March 17, 2000). An analysis of the evidence presented, however, shows that not all the aforementioned elements have been established by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. From the evidence on record, it is clear that petitioners signed and issued the seven checks in question. However, for liability to attach under Batas Pambansa Blg. 22, it is not enough that the prosecution establishes that a check was issued and that the same was subsequently dishonored. The prosecution must also prove the second element, that is, it must further show that the issuer, at the time of the checks iss uance, had knowledge that he did not have enough funds or credit in the bank for payment thereof upon its presentment. In the case at bar, no effort was made to show that the demand letter was received by petitioners or their agent. All that we have on record is an illegible signature on the registry receipt as evidence that someone received the letter. As to whether this signature is that of one of the petitioners or of their authorized agent remains a mystery. From the registry receipt alone, it is possible that petitioners or their authorized agent did receive the demand letter. Possibilities, however, cannot replace proof beyond reasonable doubt. There being insufficient proof that petitioners received notice that their checks had been dishonored, the presumption that they knew of the insufficiency of the funds therefore cannot arise. BETTY KING v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES To hold a person liable under BP 22, it is not enough to establish that a check issued was subsequently dishonored. It must be shown further that the person who issued the check knew at the time of issue that that he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the draw ee bank for the payment 10

of such check in full upon its presentment. Because this element involves a state of mind which is difficult to establish, Section 2 of the law creates a prima facie presumption of such knowledge. In this light, the full payment of the amount appearing in the check within 5 banking days from notice of dishonor is a complete defense. The absence of a notice of dishonor necessarily deprives an accused an opportunity to preclude a criminal prosecution. Accordingly, procedural due process clearly enjoins that a notice of dishonor be actually served on petitioner. Petitioner has a right to demand and the basic postulates of fairness require -- that the notice of dishonor be actually sent to and received by her to afford her the opportunity to avert prosecution under BP 22. Thus, in order to create the prima facie presumption that the issuer knew of the insufficiency of funds, it must be shown that he or she received a notice of dishonor and, within 5 banking days thereafter, failed to satisfy the amount of the check or make arrangement for its payment. The records show that petitioner did not receive a notice of dishonor. In fact, Postmasters letter addressed to complainants counsel certified that the subject registered mail was returned to sender. RICARDO SUAREZ v. PEOPLE (2008) To commit a violation of B.P. Blg. 22, the following elements must be present and proved: 1. the making, drawing and issuance of any check to apply for account or for value; 2. the knowledge of the maker, drawer, or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of such check in full upon its presentment; and 3. the subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit or dishonor for the same reason had not the drawer, without any valid cause, ordered the bank to stop payment. The presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds arises when it is proved that the issuer had received this notice, and that within five banking days from its receipt, he failed to pay the amount of the check or to make arrangements for its payment. The full payment of the amount appearing in the check within five banking days from notice of dishonor is a complete defense. Accordingly, procedural due process requires that a notice of dishonor be sent to and received by the petitioner to afford the opportunity to avert prosecution under B.P. Blg. 22. The evidence shows that the prosecution proved that a notice of dishonor was sent to petitioner through registered mail. The prosecution presented a copy of the demand letter and properly authenticated the registry return receipt. However, it is not enough for the prosecution to prove that a notice of dishonor was sent to the petitioner. It is also incumbent upon the prosecution to show "that the drawer of the check received the said notice because the fact of service provided for in the law is reckoned from receipt of such notice of dishonor by the drawee of the check." A review of the records shows that the prosecution did not prove that the petitioner received the notice of dishonor. Registry return cards must be authenticated to serve as proof of receipt of letters sent through registered mail. The presentation of the registry card, with an unauthenticated signature, does not meet the required proof beyond reasonable doubt that the petitioner received such notice, especially considering that he denied receiving it. As there is insufficient proof that the petitioner received notice of dishonor, the presumption that he had knowledge of insufficiency of funds cannot arise. NARCISO A. TADEO v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (1998) It is not required, much less indispensable, for the prosecution to present the drawee banks representative as a witness to testify on the dishonor of the checks because of insufficiency of funds. The prosecution may present, as it did in this case, only complainant as a witness to prove all the elements of the offense charged. She is a competent and qualified witness to testify that she deposited the checks to her account in a bank; that she subsequently received from the bank the checks returned unpaid with a notation drawn against insufficient funds stamped or written on the dorsal side of the checks themselves, or in a notice attached to the dishonored checks duly given to complainant, and that petitioner failed to pay complainant the value of the checks or make arrangements for their payment in full within five (5) banking days after receiving notice that such checks had not been paid by the drawee bank. Otherwise stated, complainants sole testimony suffices to identify the dishonored checks with the drawee banks notation stamped or written on the dorsal side drawn against insufficient funds or in a notice attached there to and such notice of dishonor given to the drawer. A legal presumption arises that petitioner had knowledge of the making of the checks, the due presentment to the drawee bank for payment, the dishonor and the reason therefor written, stamped or notice of dishonor attached by the drawee bank to the returned checks. Such prima facie presumption proves that petitioner has knowledge of the insufficiency of funds. Unless rebutted, the prosecution may rely on such presumption to establish that element of the offense charged. It is for petitioner, as accused, to rebut the presumption, disputable as it is. Otherwise, the presumption would be sufficient basis to convict. Consequently, in the case below, the prosecution has proved all the essential elements of the offense charged with the sole testimony of complainant Luz Sison. The SC also noted that petitioner did not ask the trial court for leave to file a demurrer to evidence. In such case, he loses the right to adduce evidence in his defense. JURISDICTION IN CRIMINAL CASES 11

TRANSITORY CRIME AND CONTINUING OFFENSE

Continued crimes refers to a single crime consisting of a series of acts but all arising from one criminal resolution. Although there is a series of acts, there is only one crime committed, so only one penalty shall be imposed. Examples of continued crimes:

a) a collector of a commercial firm misappropriates for his personal use several amounts collected by him from different persons. There is only one crime because the different and successive appropriations are but the different moments during which one criminal resolution arises. b) Juan stole 2 books belonging to 2 different persons. He commits only one crime because there is unity of thought in the criminal purpose of the offender.

a) b)

A continued crime is not a complex crime as offender does not perform a single act but a series of acts. Therefore:

penalty not to be imposed in the maximum no actual provision punishing a continued crime its a principle applied in connection w/ 2 or more crimes committed w/ a single intention.

Continued crime is different from a transitory crime. Transitory crime is moving crime.

Example: kidnapping someone for ransom and moving him to another venue. The offenders can be prosecuted and tried in either of the 2 areas. REAL/MATERAIAL PLURALITY There is a series of acts performed by the offender Each act performed constitutes a separate crime because each act is generated by a criminal impulse CONTINUED CRIME Same Different acts constitute only one crime because all of the acts performed arise from one criminal resolution.

A "continuous crime" is a single crime consisting of a series ofacts arising from a single criminal resolution or intent not susceptible of division. According to Cuello Calon, when the actor, there being unity of purpose and of right violated, commits diverse acts each of which, although of a delictual character merely constitutes a partial execution of a single particular delict, such concurrence of delictual acts is called a " delito continuado." For it to exist there should be plurality of acts performed separately during a period of time; unity of penal provision infringed upon or violated; unity of criminal intent or purpose, which means that two or more violations of the same penal provision are united in one and the same intent leading to the perpetration of the same criminal purpose or aim. WHAT IS A TRANSITORY OFFENSE AND A CONTINUING OFFENSE? > TRANSITORY OFFENSE: crimes where some acts material and essential to the crimes and requisite to their commission occur in one municipality or territory and some acts are done in another place. >CONTINUING OFFENSE: consummated in one place, yet by nature of the offense, the violation of the law is deemed continuing HOW DO YOU DETERMINE JURISDICTION OVER A CONTINUING CRIME? > The courts of the territories where the essential ingredients of the crime took place have CONCURRENT JURISDICTION > But the court which first acquires jurisdiction excludes the other courts FENCING Robbery is the taking of personal property belonging to another, with intent to gain, by means of violence against or intimidation of any person, or using force upon anything. "Fencing", upon the other hand, is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. The crimes of robbery and fencing are clearly then two distinct offenses. The law on fencing does not require the accused to have participated in the criminal design to commit, or to have been in any wise involved in the commission of, the crime of robbery or theft. Neither is the crime of robbery or theft made to depend on an act of fencing in order that it can be consummated. True, the object property in fencing must have been previously taken by means of either robbery or theft but the place where the robbery or theft occurs is inconsequential. It may not be suggested, for instance, that, in the crime of bigamy which presupposes a prior subsisting marriage of an accused, the case should thereby be triable likewise at the place where the prior marriage has been contracted. 12

WHEN CHANGE OF VENUE IS WARRANTED We are not unaware of a number of instances when the Court would allow a change of venue in criminal cases "whenever the interest of justice and truth so demand, and there are serious and weighty reasons to believe that a trial by the court that originally had jurisdiction over the case would not result in a fair and impartial trial and lead to a miscarriage of justice." Here, however, we do not see the attendance of such compelling circumstances, nor are we prepared to state that the lower court gravely abused its discretion in its questioned orders. ESTAFA and BP 22 In the crime of Estafa by postdating or issuing a bad check, deceit and damage are essential elements of the offense (U.S. vs. Rivera, 23 Phil. 383-390) and have to be established with satisfactory proof to warrant conviction. For Violation of the Bouncing Checks Law, on the other hand, the elements of deceit and damage are not essential nor required. An essential element of that offense is knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds (Lozano vs. Hon. Martinez, Nos. L63419, etc., December 18, 1986; 146 SCRA 323; Dingle vs. IAC, G.R. No. 75243, March 16, 1987,148 SCRA 595). The Anti-Bouncing Checks Law makes the mere act of issuing a worthless check a special offense punishable thereunder (Cruz vs. IAC, No. I,66327, May 28,1984,129 SCRA 490. Malice and intent in issuing the worthless check are immaterial, the offense being malum prohibitum (Que vs. People of the Philippines, et. al., G.R. Nos. 75217-18, September 21, 1987). The gravamen of the offense is the issuance of a check, not the non-payment of an obligation (Lozano vs. Hon. Martinez, supra). A. With the distinction clarified, the threshold question is whether or not venue was sufficiently conferred in the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga in the two cases. Section 14(a) of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Court, which has been carried over in Section 15(a) of Rule 110 of the 1985 Rules of Criminal Procedure, specifically provides: SEC. 14. Place where action is to be instituted (a) In all criminal prosecutions the action shall be instituted and tried in the court of the municipality or province wherein the offense was committed or any one of the essential ingredients thereof took place. In other words, a person charged with a transitory crime may be validly tried in any municipality or province where the offense was in part committed. In transitory or continuing offenses in which some acts material and essential to the crime and requisite to its consummation occur in one province and some in another, the Court of either province has jurisdiction to try the case, it being understood that the first Court taking cognizance of the Case will exclude the others (Tuzon vs. Cruz. No. L-27410, August 28, 1975, 66 SCRA 235). However, if an the acts material and essential to the crime and requisite of its consummation occurred in one municipality or territory, the Court of that municipality or territory has the sole jurisdiction to try the case (People vs. Yabut, L-42902, April 29, 1977, 76 SCRA 624). Estafa by postdating or issuing a bad check, may be a transitory or continuing offense. Its basic elements of deceit and damage may arise independently in separate places (People vs. Yabut, supra). In this case, deceit took place in San Fernando, Pampanga, while the damage was inflicted in Bulacan where the cheek was dishonored by the drawee bank in that place (See People vs. Yabut, supra). Jurisdiction may, therefore, be entertained by either the Bulacan Court or the Pampanga Court. For while the subject check was issued in Guiguinto, Bulacan, it was not completely drawn thereat, but in San Fernando, Pampanga, where it was uttered and delivered. "What is of decisive importance is the delivery thereat The delivery of the instrument is the final act essential to its consummation as an obligation" (People vs. Larue, 83 P. 2d 725, cited in People vs. Yabut, supra). For although the check was received by the SMC Sales Supervisor at Guiguinto, Bulacan, that was not the delivery in contemplation of law to the payee, SMC. Said supervisor was not the person who could take the check as a holder, that is, as a payee or indorsee thereof, with the intent to transfer title thereto. The rule is that the issuance as well as the delivery of the check must be to a person who takes it as a holder, which means "the payee or indorsee of a bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer, thereof" (Sec. 190, Negotiable Instruments Law, cited in People vs. Yabut, supra.) Thus, said representative had to forward the check to the SMC Regional Office in San Fernando, Pampanga, which was delivered to the Finance Officer thereat who, in turn, deposited it at the SMC depository bank in San Fernando, Pampanga. The element of deceit, therefore, took place in San Fernando, Pampanga, where the rubber check was legally issued and delivered so that jurisdiction could properly be laid upon the Court in that locality. The estafa charged in the two informations involved in the case before Us appears to be transitory or continuing in nature. Deceit has taken place in Malolos, Bulacan, while the damage in Caloocan City, where the checks were dishonored by the drawee banks there. Jurisdiction can, therefore, be entertained by either the Malolos court or the Caloocan court. While the subject checks were written, signed, or dated in Caloocan City, they were not completely made or drawn there, but in Malolos, Bulacan, where they were uttered and delivered. That is the place of business and residence of the payee. The place where the bills were written, signed or dated does not necessarily fix or determine the place where they were executed. What is of decisive importance is the delivery thereof. The delivery of the instrument is the final act essential to its consummation as an obligation (People vs. Larue, 83 P. 2d 725). An undelivered bill or note is inoperative. Until delivery, the contract is revocable (Ogden, Negotiable Instruments, 5th ed., at 107). And the issuance as well as the delivery of the check must be to a person who takes it as a holder, which means "(t)he payee or indorsee of a bill or note, who is in possession of it, or the bearer thereof" 13

(Sec. 190, Negotiable Instruments Law). Delivery of the check signifies transfer of possession, whether actual or constructive, from one person to another with intent to transfer title thereto (Bailey, Brady on Bank Checks, 3rd ed. at 57-59; Sec. 190, Negotiable Instruments Law). Thus, the penalizing clause of the provision of Art. 315, par. 2(d) states: "By postdating a check, or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank, or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check," Clearly, therefore, the element of deceit thru the issuance and delivery of the worthless checks to the complainant took place in Malolos, Bulacan, conferring upon a court in that locality jurisdiction to try the case. In respect of the Bouncing Checks Case, the offense also appears to be continuing in nature. It is true that the offense is committed by the very fact of its performance (Colmenares vs. Villar, No. L-27126, May 29, 1970, 33 SCRA 186); and that the Bouncing Checks Law penalizes not only the fact of dishonor of a check but also the act of making or drawing and issuance of a bouncing check (People vs. Hon. Veridiano, II, No. L-62243, 132 SCRA 523). The case, therefore, could have been filed also in Bulacan. As held in Que vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. Nos. 75217-18, September 11, 1987 "the determinative factor (in determining venue) is the place of the issuance of the check". However, it is likewise true that knowledge on the part of the maker or drawer of the check of the insufficiency of his funds, which is an essential ingredient of the offense is by itself a continuing eventuality, whether the accused be within one territory or another (People vs. Hon. Manzanilla, G.R. Nos. 66003-04, December 11, 1987). Accordingly, jurisdiction to take cognizance of the offense also lies in the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga. And, as pointed out in the Manzanilla case, jurisdiction or venue is determined by the allegations in the Information, which are controlling (Arches vs. Bellosillo, 81 Phil. 190, 193, cited in Tuzon vs. Cruz, No. L-27410, August 28, 1975, 66 SCRA 235). The Information filed herein specifically alleges that the crime was committed in San Fernando, Pampanga, and, therefore, within the jurisdiction of the Court below.

BUAYA v POLO Besides, the crime of estafa is a continuing or transitory offense which may be prosecuted at the place where any of the essential elements of the crime took place. One of the essential elements of estafa is damage or prejudice to the offended party. The private respondent has its principal place of business and office at Manila. The failure of the petitioner to remit the insurance premiums she collected allegedly caused damage and prejudice to private respondent in Manila. FALSIFICATION NOT A CONTINUING OFFENSE We now come to consider the question of when and where is the offense of falsification of a private document deemed consummated or committed? Upon this point, We have ruled clearly and definitely in U.S. v. Infante, ... that the crime of falsification of a private document defined and penalized by Article 304 of the Penal Code (now paragraph 2, Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code) is consummated when such document is actually falsified with the intent to prejudice a third person, whether such falsified document is or is not thereafter put to the illegal use for which it was intended." 19 United States v. Infante 20 was decided as far back as 1917, almost sixty years ago. Less than a month later that same year, United States v. Barreto, 21 which spoke to the same effect, was promulgated. As was pointed out by Justice Carson who likewise penned the Infante opinion: "It is evident, therefore, that the place where the crime is committed is the place where the document is actually falsified, and that the improper or illegal use of the document thereafter is in no wise a material or essential element of the crime of falsification of a private document; and even if it were otherwise, the charge that the crime was committed in a specific place would seem to be a sufficient allegation that all of the acts necessary to its consummation were in fact done at the place indicated." 22 There is also this opinion of Chief Justice Avancena in People v. Villanueva: 23 "The falsification of each of these six money orders committed separately by means of different acts constitutes independent crimes of falsification. (U.S. v. Infante and Barreto, 36 Phil. 146), and the appropriation of the respective amounts thereof by the defendant, likewise constitutes different crimes of malversation." 24 All of the above cases explicitly ruled on the specific point at issue. It does not admit of doubt though that while no such categorical statement may be found in other decisions of this Court, it has always been assumed that falsification is not a continuing offense.

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