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CANON 13 - A LAWYER SHALL RELY UPON THE MERITS OF HIS CAUSE AND REFRAIN FROM ANY

IMPROPRIETY WHICH TENDS TO INFLUENCE, OR GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF INFLUENCING THE


COURT
Rule 13.01 - A lawyer shall not extend extraordinary attention or hospitality to, nor seek opportunity for cultivating
familiarity with Judges.
Rule 13.02 - A lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse
public opinion for or against a party.
Rule 13.03 - A lawyer shall not brook or invite interference by another branch or agency of the government in the
normal course of judicial proceedings.
CASES:
JIMENEZ vs. ATTY. VERANO
AC NO. 8198, JULY 15, 2014
FACTS: Brodett and Tecson (identified in media reports attached to the Complaint as the Alabang Boys) were
the accused in cases filed by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) for the illegal sale and use of
dangerous drugs. In a Joint Inquest Resolution issued on 2 December 2008, the charges were dropped for lack
of probable cause.
Because of the failure of Prosecutor John R. Resado to ask clarificatory questions during the evaluation of the
case, several media outlets reported on incidents of bribery and cover-up allegedly prevalent in investigations
of the drug trade. This prompted the House Committee on Illegal Drugs to conduct its own congressional
hearings. It was revealed during one such hearing that respondent had prepared the release order for his three
clients using the letterhead of the DOJ.
Jimenez and Vizconde, in their capacity as founders of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), sent a
letter of complaint to Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno. They stated that respondent had admitted to drafting the
release order, and had thereby committed a highly irregular and unethical act. They argued that respondent had
no authority to use the DOJ letterhead and should be penalized for acts unbecoming a member of the bar.
For his part, Atty. Lozano anchored his Complaint on respondents alleged violation of Canon 1 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility, which states that a lawyer shall uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land,
and promote respect for legal processes. Atty. Lozano contended that respondent showed disrespect for the law
and legal processes in drafting the said order and sending it to a high-ranking public official, even though the
latter was not a government prosecutor. Atty. Lozanos verified Complaint-Affidavit was filed with the Committee
on Bar Discipline of the IBP.
The Commissioner noted that both complaints remained unsubstantiated, while the letter-complaint of Jimenez
and Vizconde had not been verified. Therefore, no evidence was adduced to prove the charges. However, by his
own admissions in paragraphs 11 and 12 of his Comment, respondent drafted the release order specifically for
the signature of the DOJ Secretary. This act of feeding the draft order to the latter was found to be highly
irregular, as it tended to influence a public official. Hence, Commissioner Abelita found respondent guilty of
violating Canon 13 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and recommended that he be issued a warning not
to repeat the same or any similar action.
HELD: After a careful review of the records, we agree with the IBP in finding reasonable grounds to hold
respondent administratively liable. Canon 13, the provision applied by the Investigating Commissioner, states
that a lawyer shall rely upon the merits of his cause and refrain from any impropriety which tends to
influence, or gives the appearance of influencing the court. We believe that other provisions in the Code of
Professional Responsibility likewise prohibit acts of influence-peddling not limited to the regular courts, but
even in all other venues in the justice sector, where respect for the rule of law is at all times demanded
from a member of the bar.

The statements and others made during the hearing establish respondents admission that 1) he personally
approached the DOJ Secretary despite the fact that the case was still pending before the latter; and 2)
respondent caused the preparation of the draft release order on official DOJ stationery despite being
unauthorized to do so, with the end in view of expediting the case.
The way respondent conducted himself manifested a clear intent to gain special treatment and
consideration from a government agency. This is precisely the type of improper behavior sought to be
regulated by the codified norms for the bar. Respondent is duty-bound to actively avoid any act that
tends to influence, or may be seen to influence, the outcome of an ongoing case, lest the peoples faith
in the judicial process is diluted.
Rule 1.02 states: "A lawyer shall not counsel or abet activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening
confidence in the legal system." Further, according to Rule 15.06, "a lawyer shall not state or imply that he is
able to influence any public official, tribunal or legislative body. The succeeding rule, Rule 15.07, mandates a
lawyer to impress upon his client compliance with the laws and the principles of fairness.
Zeal and persistence in advancing a clients cause must always be within the bounds of the law. A selfrespecting independence in the exercise of the profession is expected if an attorney is to remain a member of
the bar. In the present case, we find that respondent fell short of these exacting standards. Given the import of
the case, a warning is a mere slap on the wrist that would not serve as commensurate penalty for the offense.
Atty. Felisberto L. Verano, Jr. is found GUILTY of violating Rules 1.02 and 15.07, in relation to Canon 13 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility, for which he is SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6) months
effective immediately.
FOODSPHERE, INC. VS. ATTY. MAURICIO JR.
AC NO. 7199, JULY 22, 2009
FACTS: Foodsphere, Inc. (complainant), a corporation engaged in the business of meat processing and
manufacture and distribution of canned goods and grocery products under the brand name CDO, filed a
Verified Complaint for disbarment before the Commission on Bar Discipline (CBD) of the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines (IBP) against Atty. Melanio L. Mauricio, Jr., popularly known as Batas Mauricio (respondent), a
writer/columnist of tabloids including Balitang Patas BATAS, Bagong TIKTIK, TORO and HATAW!, and a host of
a television program KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS telecast over UNTV and of a radio program Double B-BATAS
NG BAYAN aired over DZBB, for (1) grossly immoral conduct; (2) violation of lawyers oath and (3) disrespect to
the courts and to investigating prosecutors.
The above-mentioned case founded on certain facts: Alberto Cordero (Cordero) purportedly bought from a
grocery in Valenzuela City canned goods including a can of CDO Liver spread. Cordero and his relatives were
eating bread with the CDO Liver spread, they found the spread to be sour and soon discovered a colony of
worms inside the can. Corderos wife thus filed a complaint with the BFAD. Laboratory examination confirmed
the presence of parasites in the Liver spread. The BFAD conducted a conciliation hearing during which the
spouses Cordero demanded P150,000 as damages from complainant. Complainant refused to heed the
demand, however, as being in contravention of company policy and, in any event, outrageous. The Corderos
eventually forged a KASUNDUAN seeking the withdrawal of their complaint before the BFAD. The BFAD thus
dismissed the complaint. Respondent, who affixed his signature to the KASUNDUAN as a witness, later wrote in
one of his articles/columns in a tabloid that he prepared the document. Respondent sent complainant an
Advertising Contract asking complainant to advertise in the tabloid Balitang Patas BATAS and a Program Profile
of the television program KAKAMPI MO ANG BATAS also asking complainant to place spot advertisements.
Respondent, in his radio program Double B- Batas ng Bayan at radio station DZBB, announced the holding of a
supposed contest sponsored by said program, saying: xxx Ang tanong, aling liver spread sa Pilipinas an[g]
may uod? Also, Respondent wrote in his columns in the tabloids articles which put complainant in bad light.
Thus, in the August 31- September 6, 2004 issue of Balitang Patas BATAS, he wrote an article captioned
KADIRI ANG CDO LIVER SPREAD! In another article, he wrote IBA PANG PRODUKTO NG CDO SILIPIN!
which appeared in the same publication in its September 7-13, 2004 issue. And still in the same publication, its
September 14-20, 2004 issue, he wrote another article entitled DAPAT BANG PIGILIN ANG CDO. Respondent

continued his tirade against complainant in another tabloid with the several articles. And respondent, in several
episodes of his television program Kakampi Mo ang Batas aired over UNTV, repeatedly complained of what
complainant claimed to be the same baseless and malicious allegations/issues against it.
Complainant thus filed criminal complaints against respondent and several others for Libel and Threatening to
Publish Libel under Articles 353 and 356 of the Revised Penal Code before the Office of the City Prosecutor of
Quezon City and Valenzuela City. The complaints were pending at the time of the filing of the present
administrative complaint. The pending cases against him (respondent) and the issuance of a status quo order
notwithstanding, respondent continued to publish articles against complainant and to malign complainant
through his television shows.

HELD: By the above-recited acts, respondent violated Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
which mandates lawyers to refrain from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct. For, as
the IBP found, he engaged in deceitful conduct by, inter alia, taking advantage of the complaint against CDO to
advance his interest to obtain funds for his Batas Foundation and seek sponsorships and advertisements for
the tabloids and his television program.
He also violated Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates:A lawyer shall not make
public statements in the media regarding a pending case tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.
For despite the pendency of the civil case against him and the issuance of a status quo order
restraining/enjoining further publishing, televising and broadcasting of any matter relative to the complaint of
CDO, respondent continued with his attacks against complainant and its products. At the same time, respondent
violated Canon 1 also of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which mandates lawyers to uphold the
Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law and legal processes. For he defied said
status quo order, despite his (respondents) oath as a member of the legal profession to obey the laws as well
as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities.
The power of the media to form or influence public opinion cannot be underestimated. On reading the articles
respondent published, not to mention listening to him over the radio and watching him on television, it cannot be
gainsaid that the same could, to a certain extent, have affected the sales of complainant. Atty. Melanio
Mauricio is, for violation of the lawyers oath and breach of ethics of the legal profession as embodied in
the Code of Professional Responsibility, SUSPENDED from the practice of law for three years