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In Re: De Vera, [A.M. No.

01-12-03-SC, July 29, 2002]


Facts: Atty. De Vera made some remarks to the Philippine Daily Inquirer regarding a
pending case involving the constitutionality of the Plunder Law. In one statement, he
asked the SC to dispel rumors that it would vote in favor of a petition filed by Estradas
lawyers to declare the plunder law unconstitutional and that his group was greatly
disturbed by the rumors. In another statement, he said that a decision in favor of the
laws unconstitutionality would trigger mass actions and the people would not just
swallow any SC decision that is basically wrong. Atty. De Vera admitted to making the
statements but that these were factually accurate and that these are within his right to
freedom of speech. Also, his second statement is allegedly historically correct (Marcos
and Erap times) but that both statements are not to degrade the court, to destroy public
confidence and to bring it into disrepute. The SC found that de Veras acts constitute
indirect contempt and fined him P20, 000.
Issue: Whether or not Atty. De Veras acts constitute a violation of the provisions of the
Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held: Yes. Freedom of speech is not absolute, and must be balanced with
the requirements of equally important public interests, such as the maintenance of the
integrity of the courts and orderly functioning of the administration of justice. De Vera is
in abuse of his right. Unwarranted attacks on the dignity of the courts cannot be disguised
as free speech, for the exercise of said right cannot be used to impair the independence
and efficiency of courts or public respect and confidence thereof. His statements are not
fair criticisms of any decision of the Court, but are threats made against it to force the
Court to decide the issue in a particular manner, or risk earning the ire of the public. It
tends to promote distrust an undermines public confidence in the judiciary, by creating
the impression that the Court cannot be trusted to resolve cases impartially, uninfluenced
by public clamor and other extraneous influences.

EN BANC [G.R. No. 159486-88. November 25, 2003]


ESTRADA vs SANDIGANBAYAN[SPECIAL DIVISION],
Facts:
Attorney Alan F. Paguia, as counsel for Estrada, averred that the respondent justices have
violated Rule5.10 of the Code of Judicial Conduct by attending the EDSA 2 Rally
and by authorizing the assumption of Vice-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to
the Presidency in violation of the 1987 Constitution.
Rule 5.10. A judge is entitled to entertain
personal views on political
questions. But to avoid suspicion of political partisanship, a judge shall not
make
political
speeches,
contribute
to
party funds,
publicly endorse candidates for political office
or participate in other partisan politicalactivities.
Petitioner contended that the justices have prejudged a case that would assail the legality
of the attack on by President Arroyo. The subsequent decision of the Court in
Estrada vs Arroyo is a patent mockery of justice and due process. According
to Atty. Paguia during the hearing for the Motion for Reconsideration on June
11, 2003, the three justices of the Special Division of the Sandiganbayan
made manifest their bias and partiality against the client.
Thus, he averred, Presiding Justice Minita V. Chico-Nazario supposedly employed foul
and disrespectful language when she blurted out, Magmumukha naman kaming
gago, and Justice Teresita Leonardo-De Castro characterized the motion as
insignificant even before the prosecution could file its comments or
opposition thereto, remarking in open court that to grant Estrada s motion
would result in chaos and disorder.
P r o m p t e d b y t h e a l l e g e d b i a s a n d p a r t i a l a t t i t u d e o f t h e Sandiganba
yan justices, Atty. Paguia filed a motion for their disqualification on July 14, 2003. He
also asked the Court to include in its Joint Resolution the TRUTH of the acts of Chief
Justice Davide, et al.
last January 20, 2001 in: a.) going to EDSA 2 b) authorizing the proclamation of VicePresident Arroyo as President on the ground of permanent disability even
without proof of compliance with correspoinding constitutional conditions
such as a written declaration by either the President or majority of his
cabinet; and c)) actually proclaiming Vice President Arroyo on that same
ground of permanent disability.
In a letter, dated 30 June 2003, addressed to Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide,
Jr.,
and
Associate
Justice
Artemio V. Panganiban,
he has
demanded, in a clearly disguised form of forum shopping, for several

advisory opinions on matters pending before the Sandiganbayan.


Subsequently, the Court Ruled that the instant petition assailing the foregoing
orders must be Dismissed for gross insufficiency in substance and for utter
lack of merit. The Sandiganbayan committed no grave abuse of discretion, an
indispensable requirement to warrant a recourse to the extraordinary relief
of petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure.
-In a resolution, dated 08 July 2003, the Court strongly warned Attorney Alan Paguia,
on pain of disciplinary sanction, to desist from further making, directly or
indirectly, similar submissions to this Court or to its Members.-Unmindful of the
well-meant admonition to him by the Court, Attorney Paguia appears to persist on end.In
fact, on the 7th September 2003 issue of the Daily Tribune, Atty. Paguia wrote to say:
What is the legal effect of that violation of President Estradas right to due process of
law? It rendersthe decision in Estrada vs. Arroyo unconstitutional and void. The
rudiments of fair play were not observed. There was no fair play since it appears that
when President Estrada filed his petition, Chief J u s t i c e D a v i d e a n d h i s f e l l o w
justices had already committed to the other party-GMA- with a
judgment already made and waiting to be formalized after the
litigants shall have undergone the charade of a formal hearing.
After the justices had authorized the proclamation of GMA as
president, can they be expected to voluntarily admit the
unconstitutionality of their own act?
Issue:
WON Atty. Paguia committed a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Held:
-Criticism or comment made in good faith on the correctness or wrongness, soundness or
unsoundness, of a decision of the Court would be welcome for, if well-founded, such
reaction can enlighten the court andcontribute to the correction of an error if committed.
(In Re Sotto, 82 Phil 595.) However, Attorney Paguiahas not limited his discussions to
the merits of his clients case within the judicial forum. Indeed, he hasrepeated his
assault on the Court in both broadcast and print media.
Rule 13.02 of the Code of Professional Responsibility prohibits a member of the bar
from making such public statements on any pending case tending to arouse public
opinion for or against a party. By his acts, Attorney Paguia may have stoked the fires of
public dissension and posed a potentially dangerous threat to the administration
of justice.
-It should be clear that the phrase partisan political activities, in its
statutory context, relates to acts d e s i g n e d t o c a u s e t h e s u c c e s s o r t h e
defeat of a particular candidate or candidates who have filed
certificates of candidacy to a public office in an election. The taking of an oath of office

by any incoming President of the Republic before the Chief Justice of the Philippines is a
traditional official function of the Highest Magistrate. The assailed presence of
other justices of the Court at such an event could be no different from their
appearance in such other official functions as attending the Annual State of the Nation
Address by the President of the Philippines before the Legislative Department.-The
Supreme Court does not claim infallibility; but it will not countenance any wrongdoing
nor allow the erosion of our peoples faith in the judicial system, let alone, by those
who have been privileged by it to practice law in the Philippines.
-Canon 11 of the Code of Professional Responsibility mandates that
t h e l a w y e r s h o u l d o b s e r v e a n d maintain the respect due to the courts and
judicial officers and, indeed, should insist on similar conduct by others. In liberally
imputing sinister and devious motives and questioning the impartiality, integrity, and
authority of the members of the Court, Atty. Paguia has only succeeded in seeking to
impede, obstruct and pervert the dispensation of justice.
-The Court has already warned Atty. Paguia, on pain of disciplinary sanction,
to become mindful of his grave responsibilities as a lawyer and as an officer of the
Court. Apparently, he has chosen not to at all take heed.-WHEREFORE, Attorney Alan
Paguia is hereby indefinitely suspended from the practice of law, effective upon his
receipt hereof, for conduct unbecoming a lawyer and an officer of the Court.

Pobre vs Sen. Santiago


Facts:
Pobre asks that disbarment proceedings or other disciplinary actions be taken against Sen.
Santiago on her speech she delivered in the discharge of her duty as member of the
Congress on the Senate floor insulting the Judicial Bar Council and Chief Justice
Panganiban.
Issue:
Was the speech of Sen. Santiago within constitutional bounds of freedom of speech?
Ruling:
Yes. Although she has not categorically denied making such statements, she has
unequivocally said making them as part of her privilege speech. For the above reasons,
the plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or
disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally
or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court.
The Court, however, wishes to express its deep concern about the language Senator
Santiago, a member of the Bar, used in her speech and its effect on the administration of
justice. To the Court, the lady senator has undoubtedly crossed the limits of decency and
good professional conduct. It is at once apparent that her statements in question were

intemperate and highly improper in substance.


YOUNG VS BATUEGAS
A.C. No. 5379 May 9, 2003 ( YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.)
Young filed a complaint for disbarment against respondents for committing deliberate
falsehood in court & violating the lawyers oath. Young is the private prosecutor in the
murder case, P vs. Arana. Batuegas& Llantino were counsels for accused,Counsels for
accused filed a Manifestation w/Motion for Bail alleging that their
client voluntarilysurrendered to a person in authority on Dec 13,2000 but when in fact
accused was only in custody onDec 14, 2000, as shown by the Certificate of Detention
executed by Atty. Rogelio M. Mamauag, Chief of the Security Management Division of
the NBI.Clerk of court, Susa, also a respondent on this case filed the motion on Dec 15,
2000 despite theirregularities of the case of (lack of notice of hearing to the private
complainant, violation of the three-day notice rule, and failure to attach the Certificate of
Detention which was referred to in the Motion as Annex).
ISSUE:
WON the counsel is guilty of deliberate falsehood in declaring custody of the accused.
WON the prosecutor must be given a reasonable notice of hearing.
WON the clerk of court would be held liable for wrong entry.
HELD:
YES, To knowingly allege an untrue statement of fact in the pleading is a contemptuous
conduct that the court strongly condemn. They violated their oath when they resorted to
deception.Whether bail is a matter of right or discretion, reasonable notice of hearing is
required to be given to the prosecutor or fiscal, or at least, he must be asked for his
recommendation. In the case at bar, the prosecution was served with notice of hearing of
the motion for bail two days prior to the scheduled date. Although a motion may be heard
on short notice, respondents failed to show any good cause to justify the non-observance
of the three-day notice rule. Verily, as lawyers, they are obliged to observe the rules of
procedure and not to misuse them to defeat the ends of justice.Clerk of court should not
be made administratively liable for including the Motion in the calendar of the trial court,
considering that it was authorized by the presiding judge. However, he is reminded that
his administrative functions, although not involving the discretion or judgment of a judge,
are vital to the prompt and sound administration of justice. Thus, he should not hesitate to
inform the judge if he should find any act or conduct on the part of lawyers which are
contrary to the established rules of procedure.
Batuegas, Nazareno and LLantino suspended for 6 months. Complaint against Susa,
dismissed for lack of merit.
In re: Sotto
January 21, 1949
Atty. Vicente Sotto was required to show cause why he
s h o u l d n o t b e p u n i s h e d f o r c o n t e m p t i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h i s written
statement of the Supreme Court's decision in the matter of Angel Parazo's case, which
was published in Manila Times and in other newspapers in the locality. Sotto was given

ten days more besides the five originally given him to file his answer, and although
his answer was filed after the expiration of the period of time given him the said
answer was admitted. He does not deny the authenticity of the statement as it has been
published. He however, contends that under
section1 3 , A r t i c l e V I I I o f t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n , w h i c h c o n f e r s u p o n t h i s
S u p r e m e C o u r t t h e p o w e r t o p r o m u l g a t e r u l e s c o n c e r n i n g pleading,
practice, and procedure, the Supreme Court has has no power to impose correctional
penalties upon the citizens, and it can only impose fines and imprisonment by virtue
of a law, and has to be promulgated by Congress with the approval of the
Chief Executive. He also alleges in his answer that "in the exercise of the freedom of
speech guaranteed by the Constitution, the respondent made his statement in the
press with the utmost good faith and with no intention of offending any of the
majority of the honorable members of this high Tribunal, who, in his opinion,
erroneously decided the Parazo case; but he has not attacked, or intended
toattack the honesty or integrity of any one.
Issue: Whether or not Sotto is guilty of contempt.
HELD:The Court finds that the respondent Sotto knowingly published false
imputations against its members.
He accused them of such
depravity as to have committed "blunders and injustices
d e l i b e r a t e l y." H e h a s m a l i c i o u s l y b r a n d e d t h e m t o b e
incompetent, narrow-minded, perpetrators of evil, "a constant peril to liberty and
democracy," to be the opposite of those who were the honor and glory of the
Philippines judiciary, to be n e e d i n g a l e s s o n i n l a w, t o b e r e n d e r i n g
an intolerable sentence, to be needing replacement by better
qualified Justices.
R e s p o n d e n t h a s n o t p r e s e n t e d a n y e v i d e n c e o r o f f e r e d a n y t o support
his slanderous imputations, and no single word can be found in his answer showing that
he ever believed that the imputations are based on fact.It is also well settled that an
attorney as an officer of the court is
under special obligation to be respectful in his conduct and
communication to the courts, he may be removed from office or
stricken from the roll of attorneys as being guilty of flagrant
misconduct.

Maceda vs. Vasquez (G.R. No. 102781)


Facts: Respondent Napoleon Abiera of PAO filed a complaint before the Office of the
Ombudsman against petitioner RTC Judge Bonifacio Sanz Maceda. Respondent Abiera
alleged that petitioner Maceda has falsified his certificate of service by certifying that all
civil and criminal cases which have been submitted for decision for a period of 90 days
have been determined and decided on or before January 31, 1989, when in truth and in
fact, petitioner Maceda knew that no decision had been rendered in 5 civil and 10
criminal cases that have been submitted for decision. Respondent Abiera alleged that
petitioner Maceda falsified his certificates of service for 17 months.
Issue: Whether or not the investigation made by the Ombudsman constitutes an
encroachment into the SCs constitutional duty of supervision over all inferior courts
Held: A judge who falsifies his certificate of service is administratively liable to the SC
for serious misconduct and under Sec. 1, Rule 140 of the Rules of Court, and criminally
liable to the State under the Revised Penal Code for his felonious act.
In the absence of any administrative action taken against him by the Court with regard to
his certificates of service, the investigation being conducted by the Ombudsman
encroaches into the Courts power of administrative supervision over all courts and its
personnel, in violation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
Art. VIII, Sec. 6 of the Constitution exclusively vests in the SC administrative
supervision over all courts and court personnel, from the Presiding Justice of the CA
down to the lowest municipal trial court clerk. By virtue of this power, it is only the SC
that can oversee the judges and court personnels compliance with all laws, and take the
proper administrative action against them if they commit any violation thereof. No other

branch of government may intrude into this power, without running afoul of the doctrine
of separation of powers.
Where a criminal complaint against a judge or other court employee arises from their
administrative duties, the Ombudsman must defer action on said complaint and refer the
same to the SC for determination whether said judge or court employee had acted within
the scope of their administrative duties.