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#######################CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY#INTRODUCTIONBanogan
v. ZernaLedesma v. ClimacoCui v. CuiAlawi v. AlauyaCANON 1 - A lawyer shall
uphold the Constitution, obey the laws of the land and promote respect for law
and legal process.Re: Financial Audit of Atty. Raquel G. KhoChua v. Mesina
Soriano v. DizonStemmerik v. MasDe Ysasi III v. NLRCCordon v. BalicantaCANON 2
A lawyer shall make his legal services available in an efficient and convenient
manner compatible with the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the
profession.CANON 3 A lawyer in making known his legal services shall use only
true, honest, fair, dignified and objective information or statement of facts.In
re TagordaAtty. Ismael Khan v. Atty Rizalino SimbilloCanoy v. OrtizLinsangan v.
TolentinoCANON 4 A lawyer shall participate in development of the legal system
by initiating or supporting efforts in law reform and in the improvement of the
administration of justice.CANON 5 A lawyer shall keep abreast of legal
developments, participate in continuing legal education programs, support
efforts to achieve highest standards in law schools as well as in the practical
training of law students and assist in disseminating information regarding the
law and jurisprudence.CANON 6 These canons shall apply to lawyers in
government service in the discharge of their official duties.Suarez v. Platon
Ramos v. ImbangCatu v. RellosaPCGG v. SandiganbayanCANON 7 A lawyer shall at
all times uphold the integrity and dignity of the legal profession and support t
he activities of the integrated bar.In re GalangIn re Arthur M. CuevasSamaniego
v. FerrerArnobit v. ArnobitSt. Louis University etc v. Dela CruzAdvincula v.
MacabataCANON 8 A lawyer shall conduct himself with courtesy, fairness, and
candor toward his professional colleagues and shall avoid harassing tactics
against opposing counsel.Reyes v. ChiongDallong-Galiciano v. CastroAlcantara v.
PefiancoCamacho v. PagulayanTorres v. JavierLinsangan v. TolentinoCANON 9 A
lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, assist in the unauthorized practice of
law.Ulep v. Legal Clinic, Inc.Cayetano v. MonsodCambaliza v. Cristobal-Tenorio
Amalgamated Laborers Association v. CIRAguirre v. RamaJudge Laquindanum v.
QuintanaCANON 10 A lawyer owes candor, fairness and good faith to the court.
CANON 11 A lawyer shall observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and
judicial officers and should insist on similar conduct by others.Fernandez v. De
Ramos-VillalonRivera v. CorralJohnny Ng v. AlarFudot v. Cattleya LandBondoc v.
Judge SimbulanCANON 12 - A lawyer shall exert every effort and consider it his
duty to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice.Berbano v.
BarcelonaSebastian v. BajarHegna v. PaderangaPlus Builders v. RevillaFil-Garcia,
Inc. v. HernandezCANON 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.CANON 14 A lawyer shall not refuse his services to
the needy.Foodsphere v. MauricioSuspension of Atty. BagubayaoCANON 15 A lawyer
shall observe candor, fairness and loyalty in all his dealings and transactions
with his clients.Hilado v. DavidNakpil v. ValdesHornilla v. SalunatNorthwestern
University v. ArquilloQuiambao v. BambaHeirs of Falame v. BaguioPacana v.
Pascual-LopezCANON 16 A lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties
of his client that may come into his possession.Licuanan v. MeloPosidio v. Vitan
Lemoine v. BalonRe: Atty. MaqueraReddi v. SersbioDe Chavez-Blanco v. Lumasag
Wilson Charm v. Patta-MoyaJerry T. Wong v. Atty. Salvador N. Moya IICANON 17 A
lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful of the
trust and confidence in him.CANON 18 A lawyer shall serve his client with
competence and diligence.Hernandez v. GoPANELCO v. MontemayorSps. Adecer v. Akut
Belleza v. MacasaOvergaard v. ValdezAngalan v. DelanteSanton-Tan v. Robino
Somosot v. LaraCANON 19 A lawyer shall represent his client with zeal within
the bounds of law.Briones v. JimenezPena v. AparicioAUTHORITY OF THE LAWYER
Manalang v. Angeles
Garcia v. CASantiago v. De los SantosCANON 20 A lawyer
shall charge only fair and reasonable fees.Sesbreno v. CABautista v. Gonzales
Gamilla v. MarinoPineda v. De JesusRoxas v. De Zuzuarregui Law Firm of Tungol
and Tibayan v. CACANON 21 A lawyer shall preserve the confidence and secrets

of his client even after the attorney-client relationship is terminated.Regala


v. SandiganbayanPfleider v. PalancaMercado v. VitrioloGenato v. SilapanHadjula
v. MadiandaRebecca J. Palm v. Atty. Felipe Iledan, Jr.Canon 22 A lawyer may
withdraw his services only for good cause and upon notice appropriate in the
circumstances.Wack Wack Gold and Country Club v. CAVenterez v. CosmeSantero v.
VanceFrancisco v. PortugalMetrobank v. CADoronila-Tioseco v. CASesbreno v. CA
SUSPENSION AND DISBARMENTGatchalian Promotions v. NaldozaSantos v. LlamasLetter
of Atty. Cecilio ArevaloVda. de Barrera v. LaputBarrientos v. DaarolBerbano v.
BeltranTabas v. MalicdenSesbreno v. CANEW CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCTCANON 1
IndependenceLibarios v. DablosGo v. CASabitsana v. VillamorTan v. Rosete
Dimatulac v. VillonCANON 2 IntegrityFernandez v. HamoyDawa v. De AsaIn re
judge MarcosLachica v. FlordelizaSibayan-Joaquin v. JavellanaOlga v. Judge
Virgilio G. CaballeroCANON 3 ImpartialityDimo Realty & Development v.
DimaculanganPimentel v. SalangaMontemayor v. Bermejo, Jr.Oktubre v. Velasco
Sandoval v. CAThe Law Firm of Chavez v. Justice Dicdican, etc.CANON 4
ProprietyJ. King & Sons v. HontanosasCentrum Agri Business Realty Corp v.
Katalbas-MoscardonRizalina v. Judge Paulita B. Acosta-VillaranteAtty. Florencio
Alay Binalay v. Judge Elias Lelina, Jr.Concerned lawyers of Bulacan v. Presiding
Judge Pornillos, RTC Br. 10 Malolos CityVenancio Ino, Anna Jane D. Lihaylihay,
etc. Judge Alejandro CandaIn Re: Undated Letter of Louis BiraogoCANON 5
EqualityCANON 6 Competence and diligenceRepublic of the Philippines v. Judge
Ramon S. Caguioa, etc.Dee C. Chuan & Sons, Inc v. Judge William Simon P. Peralta
Prosecutor Jorge D. Baculi v. Judge Medel Arnaldo B. BelenDanilo David S.
Mariano v. Judge Jose P. NacionalAtty. Antonio G. Caneda v. Judge Eric F.
MenchavezNilda Verginesa-Suarez v. Judge Renato J. Dilag

CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITYINTRODUCTIONBANOGAN V. ZERNAFacts:The


original decision in this case was rendered by the cadastral court way back on
February 9, 1926, sixty one years ago. A motion to amend that decision was filed
on March 6, 1957, thirty one years later. This was followed by an amended
petition for review of the judgment on March 18, 1957, and an opposition thereto
on March 26, 1957. On October 11, 1971, or after fourteen years, a motion to
dismiss the petition was filed. The petition was dismissed on December 8, 1971,
and the motion for reconsideration was denied on February 14, 1972. The
petitioners then came to us on certiorari to question the orders of the
respondent judge. The respondent court dismissed the petition for review of the
decision rendered in 1926 on the ground that it had been filed out of time,
indeed thirty one years too late. Laches, it was held, had operated against the
petitioners. The petitioners contend that the said judgment had not yet become
final and executory because the land in dispute had not yet been registered in
favor of the private respondents. The said judgment would become so only after
one year from the issuance of the decree of registration. If anyone was guilty
of laches, it was the private respondents who had failed to enforce the judgment
by having the land registered in their the pursuant thereto. For their part, the
private respondents argue that the decision of February 9, 1926, became final
and executory after 30 days, same not having been appealed by the petitioners
during that period. They slept on their rights for thirty one years before it
occurred to them to question the judgment of the cadastral court. It is shown
that it is against their contentions and that under this doctrine they should
not have delayed in asserting their claim of fraud. Their delay was not only for
thirty one days but for thirty one years. Laches bars their petition now. Their
position is clearly contrary to law and logic and to even ordinary common sense.
Issue:W/N petitioners are already barred by laches.Held:YES. This Court has
repeatedly reminded litigants and lawyers alike that litigation must end and
terminate sometime and somewhere, and it is assent essential to an effective and
efficient administration of justice that, once a judgment has become final, the
winning party be not, through a mere subterfuge, deprived of the fruits of the
verdict. Courts must therefore guard against any scheme calculated to bring
about that result. Constituted as they are to put an end to controversies,
courts should frown upon any attempt to prolong them. There should be a greater
awareness on the part of litigants that the time of the judiciary, much more so
of this Court, is too valuable to be wasted or frittered away by efforts, far
from commendable, to evade the operation of a decision final and executory,
especially so, where, as shown in this case, the clear and manifest absence of
any right calling for vindication, is quite obvious and indisputable. One reason
why there is a degree of public distrust for lawyers is the way some of them
misinterpret the law to the point of distortion in a cunning effort to achieve
their purposes. By doing so, they frustrate the ends of justice and at the same
time lessen popular faith in the legal profession as the sworn upholders of the
law. While this is not to say that every wrong interpretation of the law is to
be condemned, as indeed most of them are only honest errors, this Court must
express its disapproval of the adroit and intentional misreading designed
precisely to circumvent or violate it. As officers of the court, lawyers have a
responsibility to assist in the proper administration of justice. They do not
discharge this duty by filing pointless petitions that only add to the workload
of the judiciary, especially this Court, which is burdened enough as it is. A
judicious study of the facts and the law should advise them when a case, such as
this, should not be permitted to be filed to merely clutter the already
congested judicial dockets. They do not advance the cause of law or their
clients by commencing litigations that for sheer lack of merit do not deserve
the attention of the courts.LEDESMA V. CLIMACOFacts: Atty. Ledesma was the
counsel de parte for one of the cases pending before the sala of Judge Climaco.
He filed a motion to withdraw from the case but the judge denied the motion and
instead appointed him counsel de oficio for two more cases. Atty. Ledesma filed
another motion to withdraw because he was appointed as election registrar, which
was still denied. Issue: Should his motion to withdraw as counsel prosper? Held:
No. The respondent judges denial was proper. It was observed that there is no
real conflict between his duties as election registrar and counsel de oficio.
The appointment of a lawyer as counsel de oficio is a privilege which veteran
lawyers in fact, readily welcome as an opportunity to render their services for

free. In the same way, all lawyers should treat it that way as an opportunity to
prove to the community that the proper performance of his profession is not
contingent upon the payment of his fees. CUI V. CUIFacts:The Hospicio de San
Jose de Barili, is a charitable institution established by the spouses Don Pedro
Cui and Dona Benigna Cui for the care and support, free of charge, of indigent
invalids, and incapacitated and helpless persons. It acquired corporate
existence by legislation (Act No. 3239). Sec. 2 of the Act gave the initial
management to the founders jointly and, in case of their incapacity or death, to
such persons as they may nominate or designate, in the order prescribed to
them. (embodied in Sec. 2 of the spouses deed of donation)Plaintiff Jesus Ma.
Cui and defendant Antonio Ma. Cui are brothers, being the sons of Mariano Cui,
one of the nephews of the spouses Don Pedro and Dona Benigna Cui. In 1960, the
then incumbent administrator of the Hospicio, resigned in favor of Antonio Cui
pursuant to a convenio entered into between them that was embodied on a
notarial document. Jesus Cui, however had no prior notice of either the
convenio or of his brothers assumption of the position. Upon the death of Dr.
Teodoro Cui, Jesus Cui wrote a letter to his brother Antonio, demanding that the
office be turned over to him. When the demand was not complied, Jesus filed this
case. Lower court ruled in favor of Jesus.ISSUEWho is best qualified as
administrator for the Hospicio? HELD Antonio should be the Hospicios
administrator.Jesus is the older of the two and under equal circumstances would
be preferred pursuant to sec.2 of the deed of donation. However, before the test
of age may be, applied the deed gives preference to the one, among the
legitimate descendants of the nephews named, who if not a lawyer (titulo de
abogado), should be a doctor or a civil engineer or a pharmacist, in that order;
or if failing all theses, should be the one who pays the highest taxes among
those otherwise qualified.Jesus Ma. Cui holds the degree of Bachelor of laws but
is not a member of the Bar, not having passed the examinations. Antonio Ma. Cui,
on the other hand, is a member of the Bar and although disbarred in 1957, was
reinstated by resolution, about two weeks before he assumed the position of
administrator of the Hospicio.The term titulo de abogado means not mere
possession of the academic degree of Bachelor of Laws but membership in the Bar
after due admission thereto, qualifying one for the practice of law. A
Bachelors degree alone, conferred by a law school upon completion of certain
academic requirements, does not entitle its holder to exercise the legal
profession. By itself, the degree merely serves as evidence of compliance with
the requirements that an applicant to the examinations has successfully
completed all the prescribed courses, in a law school or university, officially
approved by the Secretary of Education.The founders of the Hospicio provided for
a lwayer, first of all, because in all of the works of an administrator, it is
presumed, a working knowledge of the law and a license to practice the
profession would be a distinct asset.Under this criterion, the plaintiff Jesus
is not entitled as against defendant, to the office of administrator. Reference
is made to the fact that the defendant Antonio was disbarred (for immorality and
unprofessional conduct). However, it is also a fact, that he was reinstated
before he assumed the office of administrator. His reinstatement is recognition
of his moral rehabilitation, upon proof no less than that required for his
admission to the Bar in the first place. Also, when defendant was restored to
the roll of lawyers the restrictions and disabilities resulting from his
previous disbarment were wiped out.ALAWI V. ALAUYAFacts:Sophia Alawi was a sales
representative of E.B. Villarosa & Partners Co., Ltd. of Davao City, a real
estate and housing company. Ashari M. Alauya is the incumbent executive clerk of
court of the 4th Judicial Shari'a District in Marawi City, They were classmates,
and used to be friends.Through Alawi's agency, a contract was executed for the
purchase on installments by Alauya of one of the housing units of Villarosa. In
connection, a housing loan was also granted to Alauya by the National Home
Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC).Not long afterwards, Alauya addressed a
letter to the President of Villarosa & Co. advising of the termination of his
contract with the company. He claimed that his consent was vitiated because
Alawi had resorted to gross misrepresentation, deceit, fraud, dishonesty and
abuse of confidence. He laso wrote similar letters to the Vice President of
Villarosa and the Vice President of NHMFC. On learning of Alauya's letters,
Alawi filed an administrative complaint
against him. One of her grounds was Alauyas usurpation of the title of

"attorney," which only regular members of the Philippine Bar may properly use.
Alauya justified his use of the title, "attorney," by the assertion that it is
"lexically synonymous" with "Counsellors-at-law." a title to which Shari'a
lawyers have a rightful claim, adding that he prefers the title of "attorney"
because "counsellor" is often mistaken for "councilor," "konsehal" or the
Maranao term "consial," connoting a local legislator beholden to the mayor.
Withal, he does not consider himself a lawyer.Issue:Whether or not Alauya, a
member of the Sharia bar, can use the title of AttorneyHeld:He cant. The title
is only reserved to those who pass the regular Philippine bar.As regards
Alauya's use of the title of "Attorney," this Court has already had occasion to
declare that persons who pass the Shari'a Bar are not full-fledged members of
the Philippine Bar, hence may only practice law before Shari'a courts. While one
who has been admitted to the Shari'a Bar, and one who has been admitted to the
Philippine Bar, may both be considered "counsellors," in the sense that they
give counsel or advice in a professional capacity, only the latter is an
"attorney." The title of "attorney" is reserved to those who, having obtained
the necessary degree in the study of law and successfully taken the Bar
Examinations, have been admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and
remain members thereof in good standing; and it is they only who are authorized
to practice law in this jurisdiction.CANON 1RE: FINANCIAL AUDIT OF ATTY. RAQUEL
G. KHOFACTS:The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) instituted an
administrative case against Atty Kho, a former clerk of court of an RTC, after
an audit by the former found that the latter failed to remit P60K (confiscated
cash bonds) and P5K(Special Allowance for the Judiciary Fund). Atty Kho stated
that these amounts were stored in the courts safety vaults, as his usual
practice. The audit team advised him that he should deposit such amounts to the
Judicial Development Fund account and Atty Kho complied with the directives.
Subsequently, the ICA received a complaint that Atty Kho, along with his commonlaw wife, a stenographer, was engaged with lending out to court employees money
in his possession as clerk of court, personally deriving profit from the
interest earned. The OCA found Atty Kho liable of violating an OCA Circular
because he kept the funds in a safety vault for more than a year. The OCA then
recommended that its report be docketed as an A.C. and Kho be imposed a P10K
fine.ISSUE/S: W/N Atty. Kho is liable.HELD: YES. OCA recommendations VALID.
RATIO:Dishonesty ConductKho failed to make a timely turn-over of cash deposited
with him. The failure to remit the funds in due time constitutes gross
dishonesty and gross misconduct. It diminishes the faith of the people in the
Judiciary. Dishonesty, being in the nature of a grave offense, carries the
extreme penalty of dismissal from the service even if committed for the first
time. His malfeasance prima facie contravenes Canon 1, Rule 1.01 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility.And although Kho had restituted all his cash
accountabilities, he was nevertheless liable for failing to immediately deposit
the collections for the judiciary funds.Unlawful conductLawyers should always
keep in mind that, although upholding the Constitution and obeying the law is an
obligation imposed on every citizen, a lawyers responsibilities under Canon 1
mean more than just staying out of trouble with the law. The least a lawyer can
do in compliance with Canon 1 is to refrain from engaging in unlawful conduct.
The presence of evil intent on the part of the lawyer is not essential in order
to bring his act or omission within the terms of Rule 1.01 which specifically
prohibits lawyers from engaging in unlawful conduct.CHUA V. MESINAFacts:
Mesina was, for years, the Chua spouses legal counsel and adviser upon
whom they reposed trust and confidence. They were in fact lessees of a building
(Burgos Property) owned by Mesinas family, and another property (Melencio
Property), also owned by Mesinas family where the Chua spouses constructed
their house. These two properties were mortgaged by the registered owner,
Mesinas mother, Mrs. Mesina, in favor of the Planters Development Bank to
secure a loan she obtained. As Mrs. Mesina failed to meet her obligation to the
bank, Atty. Mesina convinced the Chua spouses to help Mrs. Mesina to settle her
obligation in consideration for which the Melencio property would be sold to
them at P850.00/sq. m. The spouses Chua and their business partner, Marcelina
Hsia, settled Mrs. Mesinas bank obligation in the amount of P983,125.40. A Deed
of Absolute Sale dated January 19, 1985 conveying the Melencio property for
P85,400.00 was thereafter executed by Mrs. Mesina, whose name appears therein as
Felicisima M. Melencio, in favor of complainants. As complainants were later

apprised of the amount of capital gains tax they were to pay, they consulted
respondent about it. Respondent thus suggested to them that another Deed of
Absolute Sale should be executed, antedated to 1979 before the effectivity of
the law mandating the payment of capital gains tax. As suggested by respondent,
another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated February 9, 1979 was executed by Mrs.
Mesina, whose name again appears therein as Felicisima M. Melencio, in favor
of complainants wherein the purchase price was also indicated to be P85,400.00.
After liquidating the advances made by the Chua spouses in the redemption
of the MESINA properties, Mrs. Mesina was found to have an existing balance
due the spouses in the amount of P400,000.00, on account of which they advised
respondent about it. Respondent, by Affidavit acknowledged such obligation to
be his and undertook to settle it within two years.Complainants were
subsequently issued on a title over the Melencio property. Not long after the
execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale or in February 1986, one Tecson filed an
Affidavit dated charging Mrs. Mesina, the spouses Chua, Marcelina Hsia and the
two witnesses to the said Deed of Absolute Sale, for Falsification of Public
Document and violation of the Internal Revenue Code. In his complaint
affidavit, Tecson alleged that he was also a lessee of the Melencio property and
was, along with the Chua spouses, supposed to purchase it but that contrary to
their agreement, the property was sold only to complainant and her cocomplainant, to his exclusion. Tecson went on to relate that the Deed of
Absolute Sale did not reflect the true value of the Melencio property and was
antedated to evade payment of capital gains tax. Tecson submitted documents
showing that indeed the July 9, 1979 Deed of Absolute Sale was antedated.
Respondent thereupon hatched a plan to dodge the falsification charge
against Mrs. Mesina et al. He proposed to complainants that they would simulate
a deed of sale of the Melencio property wherein complainants would resell it to
Mrs. Mesina.
Heeding the proposal of respondent, complainants executed a
Deed of Absolute Sale dated April 1, 1986 conveying to Felicisima M. Melencio
the Melencio property for P85,400.00.A new title was accordingly issued in the
name of Felicisima M. Melencio, the owners copy of which was entrusted to
complainants. Tecson subsequently filed an Affidavit of Desistance dated
September 5, 1986 alleging that his filing of the criminal complaint arose out
of mere misunderstanding and difference with herein complainants and their corespondents and he had no sufficient evidence against them.Some years later,
Mesina approached the Chua spouses and told them that he would borrow the
owners copy of Mrs. Mesinas title with the undertaking that he would, in four
months, let Mrs. Mesina execute a deed of sale over the Melencio property in
complainants favor. In fact, respondent gave complainants a written
undertaking dated May 2, 1990.
In the meantime, Mrs. Mesina died in the
early part of 1991. Despite respondents repeated promises to effect the
transfer of title in complainants name, he failed to do so. Complainants were
later informed that the Melencio property was being offered for sale to the
public. The spouses Chua and complainant Marcelina Hsia thus filed a complaint
against Mesina for Declaration of Nullity of Sale and Reconveyance of Real
Property.ISSUEWhether or not Mesina is guilty of Gross Misconduct? HELDThis Court
finds that indeed, respondent is guilty of gross misconduct.
First, by
advising complainants to execute another Deed of Absolute Sale antedated to 1979
to evade payment of capital gains taxes, he violated his duty to promote respect
for law and legal processes, and not to abet activities aimed at defiance of the
law; That respondent intended to, as he did defraud not a private party but the
government is aggravating.
Second, when respondent convinced complainants to
execute another document, a simulated Deed of Absolute Sale wherein they made it
appear that complainants reconveyed the Melencio property to his mother, he
committed dishonesty.
Third, when on May 2, 1990 respondent inveigled his own
clients, the Chua spouses, into turning over to him the owners copy of his
mothers title upon the misrepresentation that he would, in four months, have a
deed of sale executed by his mother in favor of complainants, he likewise
committed dishonesty.
As a rule, a lawyer is not barred from dealing with his
client but the business transaction must be characterized with utmost honesty
and good faith. The measure of good faith which an attorney is required to
exercise in his dealings with his client is a much higher standard that is
required in business dealings where
the parties trade at arms length.
In fine, respondent violated his oath

of office and, more specifically, Canon 1, Rules. 1.01 and Rules 1.02. SORIANO
V. DIZONFacts:A taxi driver (Soriano) filed an action for the disbarment of
Atty. Dizon, on the grounds that Dizon was convicted of a crime involving moral
turpitude, and violated Canon 1 of Rule 1.01 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.
Soriano allegedly fell victim to Dizon, who was found to have:
Driven his car under the influence of liquor;Reacted violently and attempted
assault for over a simple traffic incident;Shot at Soriano, who was unarmed and
not in the position to defend himself (treachery);Denied his acts despite
positive evidence against him (dishonesty);Guilty of dishonesty, claiming to be
mauled by the victim (Kawawang driver, binaril na nga, may lakas pa daw mag maul
ng attorney na may baril. Hindi din tanga mag rason si Dizon diba? );Despite
neing granted probation, he did not satisfy his civil liabilities to the victim
(Ano ba problema nito? !)Issues:Is Dizons crime of Frustrated Homicide
considered a crime involving moral turpitude
(2) Does his guilt to such crime
warrant disbarment? Held:Yes.Moral Turpitude is everything which is done
contrary to justice, modesty, or good moralsDizon was obviously the aggressor
for having pursued and shot Soriano, not only because of his treachery, but also
his intent to escape, betrayed by his attempt to wipe off his prints from the
gun. His inordinate reaction to a simple traffic incident clearly indicates his
non-fitness to be a lawyer.Yes.His illegal possession of fire-arms, and his
unjust refusal to satisfy his civil liabilities all justify disbarment. The
court reminds him that in oath and in the CPR, he is bound to obey the laws of
the land. The liabilities in question have been sitting for 4 years,
unsatisfied, despite it being the condition for his probation (you ungrateful
person!)Dizon displayed an utter lack of good moral character, which is an
essential qualification for the privilege to enter into the practice of law.
Good moral character includes at least common honesty.Manuel Dizon, hereby
disbarred. STEMMERIK V. MASFACTS:Stemmerik, a Danish citizen, wanted to buy
Philippine property due to its beauty. He consulted Atty Mas about his
intention, to which the latter advised him that he could legally buy such
properties. Atty Mas even suggested a big piece of property that he can buy,
assuring that it is alienable. Because of this, Stemmerik entrusted all of the
necessary requirements and made Atty Mas his attorney in fact as he went back to
Denmark. After some time, Atty Mas informed Stemmerik that he found the owner of
the big piece of property and stated the price of the property is P3.8M.
Stemmerik agreed, giving Atty Mas the money, and the latter supposedly drawing
up the necessary paperwork. When Stemmerik asked when he could have the property
registered in his name, Atty Mas cant be found. He returned to the Philippines,
employed another lawyer, and to his horror, was informed that aliens couldnt
own Philippine Lands and that the property was also inalienable. Stemmerik the
filed a DISBARMENT case against Atty MAS in the Commission on Bar Discipline
(CBD) of the IBP. The CBD ruled that Atty Mas abused the trust and confidence of
Stemmerik and recommended that he be disbarred. The IBP Board of Governors
adopted such recommendations.ISSUE/S: W/N Atty Mas can be disbarred.HELD: YES!
Disbarred.RATIO:Disobeyed the Laws and the Constitutional ProhibitionSection 7,
Article XII of the Constitution prohibits foreigners from buying Philippine
Lands. Respondent, in giving advice that directly contradicted a fundamental
constitutional policy, showed disrespect for the Constitution and gross
ignorance of basic law. Worse, he prepared spurious documents that he knew were
void and illegal.Deceitful ConductBy advising complainant that a foreigner could
legally and validly acquire real estate in the Philippines and by assuring
complainant that the property was alienable, respondent deliberately deceived
his client. He did not give due regard to the trust and confidence reposed in
him by complainant. Illegal ConductBy pocketing and misappropriating the P3.8
million given by complainant for the purchase of the property, respondent
committed a fraudulent act that was criminal in nature.DE YSASI III V. NLRC
Facts:Petitioner was employed by his father, herein private respondent, as farm
administrator of Hacienda Manucao in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental sometime in
April, 1980. As farm administrator, petitioner was responsible for the
supervision of daily activities and operations of the sugarcane farm and
attending to such other tasks as may be assigned to him by private respondent.
For this purpose, he lived on the farm, occupying the upper floor of the house
there.Following his marriage on June 6, 1982, petitioner moved to Bacolod City
with his wife and commuted to work daily. He suffered various ailments and was

hospitalized on two separate occasions in June and August, 1982. In November,


1982, he underwent fistulectomy, or the surgical removal of the fistula, a deep
sinuous ulcer. His recuperation lasted over four months. In June, 1983, he was
confined for acute gastroenteritis and, thereafter, for infectious hepatitis
from December, 1983 to January, 1984.During the entire periods of petitioner's
illnesses, private respondent took care of his medical expenses and petitioner
continued to receive compensation. However, in April, 1984, without due notice,
private respondent ceased to pay the latter's salary. Petitioner made oral and
written demands for an explanation for the sudden withholding of his salary.
Both demands, however, were not acted upon.Issues:(1) whether or not the
petitioner was illegally dismissed; (2) whether or not he is entitled to
reinstatement, payment of back wages, thirteenth month pay and other benefits;
and (3) whether or not he is entitled to payment of moral and exemplary damages
and attorney's fees because of illegal dismissal.Held:The decision of NLRC is
set aside. Private respondent is ORDERED to pay petitioner back wages for a
period not exceeding three (3) years, without qualification or deduction, and,
in lieu of reinstatement, separation pay equivalent to one (1) month for every
year of service, a fraction of six (6) months being considered as one (1) whole
year.Rule 1.04 of the Code of Professional Responsibility explicitly provides
that "(a) lawyer shall encourage his client to avoid, end or settle the
controversy if it will admit of a fair settlement."Counsels must be reminded
that their ethical duty as lawyers to represent their clients with zeal goes
beyond merely presenting their clients' respective causes in court. It is just
as much their responsibility, if not more importantly, to exert all reasonable
efforts to smooth over legal conflicts, preferably out of court and especially
in consideration of the direct and immediate consanguineous ties between their
clients. The useful function of a lawyer is not only to conduct litigation but
to avoid it whenever possible by advising settlement or withholding suit. He
should be a mediator for concord and a conciliator for compromise, rather than a
virtuoso of technicality in the conduct of litigation.Both counsels herein fell
short of what was expected of them, despite their avowed duties as officers of
the court. The records do not show that they took pains to initiate steps geared
toward effecting a rapprochement between their clients. On the contrary, their
acerbic and protracted exchanges could not but have exacerbated the situation
even as they may have found favor in the equally hostile eyes of their
respective clients.In the same manner, we find that the labor arbiter who
handled this regrettable case has been less than faithful to the letter and
spirit of the Labor Code mandating that a labor arbiter "shall exert all efforts
towards the amicable settlement of a labor dispute within his jurisdiction." If
he ever did so, or at least entertained the thought, the copious records of the
proceedings in this controversy are barren of any reflection of the same.CORDON
V. BALICANTAFACTS:Cordon, along with her daughter, inherited some properties
from her husband with the help of Atty Balicanta. Subsequently, Atty Balicanta
enticed them to form a corporation to develop the real properties inherited.
Such corp. was formed, and the properties were registered in the corp.s name.
Atty Balicanta was the one who single-handedly ran the corp.s affairs, by being
its Chairman, President, General Manager, and treasurer. By being such
officers, he made a number of acts: 1) made Cordon sign a voting trust
agreement; 2) made Cordon sign a SPA to sell/mortgage properties; 3) transferred
title of some of the properties to other people. And by using spurious Board
resolutions, Atty Balicanta also made the following acts: 1) obtained a loan
from Land Bank using the properties as collateral; 2) Sold the Corps right to
redeem the properties to another person; 3) demolished the ancestral home of the
Cordons and sold the lot to another person. In all of these, Atty Balicanta did
not account for the proceeds coming the sales and dispositions.The Cordons made
several demands for Atty Balicanta to give back the properties and to account
the proceeds of the loan. When such demands were unheeded, The Cordons
terminated Balicantas services and filed a complaint for disbarment against the
latter in the IBP. The Commissioner, in its report, recommended for Balicantas
disbarment as well. The IBP Board of Governors resolved that Balicanta be
suspended for 5 years for such conduct.ISSUE/S: W/N Balicanta be disbarred#.
HELD: YES! Disbarred.RATIO:Deceitful ConductThe
fraudulent acts he carried out against his client followed a well thought of
plan to misappropriate the corporate properties and funds entrusted to him. He

started his devious scheme by making himself the President, Chairman of the
Board, Director and Treasurer of the corporation, although he knew he was
prohibited from assuming the position of President and Treasurer at the same
time. He also entered into dishonest transactions under the cloak of sham
resolutions. His misdemeanors reveal a deceitful scheme to use the corporation
as a means to convert for his own personal benefit properties left to him in
trust by complainant and her daughter.Side Doctrine:Good moral character is more
than just the absence of bad character. Such character expresses itself in the
will to do the unpleasant thing if it is right and the resolve not to do the
pleasant thing if it is wrong. This must be so because vast interests are
committed to his care; he is the recipient of unbounded trust and confidence; he
deals with his clients property, reputation, his life, his all.CANONS 2 & 3IN
RE: TAGORDAFacts:Luis Tagorda was a member of the provincial board of Isabela.
Previous to the last election, he admits that he made use of a card written in
Spanish containing the fact that he was a candidate for third member of the
Province of Isabela & offering services as notary public (such as free
consultation, execution of deed of sale, etc.). He also admits that he wrote a
letter addressed to a lieutenant of a barrio if his home municipality saying
that he will continue his practice of law and for the lieutenant to make known
to the people of his desire to serve as lawyer & notary public (including his
services to handle land registration cases for P3/every registration).Issue: W/N
acts of Tagorda constituted advertisingHeld: Yes, Tagorda is in a way
advertising his services and is contrary to the Canons of Professional Ethics.
Solicitation of business by circulars or advertisements, or by personal
communications or interviews not warranted by personal relations is
unprofessional. His acts warrant disbarment, but because of the mitigating
circumstance of his youth and inexperience, he is therefore suspended. The law
is a profession and not a business. The lawyer may not seek or obtain employment
by himself or through others for to do so would be unprofessional. It is also
unprofessional for a lawyer to volunteer advice to bring lawsuit. Lastly,
solicitation of cases result in the lowering of the confidence of the community
and integrity of the members of the bar (as it results in needless litigations
and in incenting to strife otherwise peaceful citizens). ATTY. ISMAEL KHAN V.
ATTY RIZALINO SIMBILLOFACTS
A paid advertisement in the Philippine Daily
Inquirer was published which reads: Annulment of Marriage Specialist [contact
number]. Espeleta, a staff of the Supreme Court, called up the number but it
was Mrs. Simbillo who answered. She claims that her husband, Atty. Simbillo was
an expert in handling annulment cases and can guarantee a court decree within 46mos provided the case will not involve separation of property and custody of
children. It appears that similar advertisements were also published. An
administrative complaint was filed which was referred to the IBP for
investigation and recommendation. The IBP resolved to suspend Atty. Simbillo for
1year. Note that although the name of Atty. Simbillo did not appear in the
advertisement, he admitted the acts imputed against him but argued that he
should not be charged. He said that it was time to lift the absolute prohibition
against advertisement because the interest of the public isnt served in any way
by the prohibition.ISSUE
Whether or not Simbillo violated Rule2.03 &
Rule3.01.HELD
Yes!The practice of law is not a business --- it is a
profession in which the primary duty is public service and money. Gaining
livelihood is a secondary consideration while duty to public service and
administration of justice should be primary. Lawyers should subordinate their
primary interest.Worse, advertising himself as an annulment of marriage
specialist he erodes and undermines the sanctity of an institution still
considered as sacrosanct --- he in fact encourages people otherwise disinclined
to dissolve their marriage bond.Solicitation of business is not altogether
proscribed but for it to be proper it must be compatible with the dignity of the
legal profession. Note that the law list where the lawyers name appears must be
a reputable law list only for that purpose --- a lawyer may not properly publish
in a daily paper, magazineetc., nor may a lawyer permit his name to be
published the contents of which are likely to deceive or injure the public or
the bar.CANOY V. ORTIZFacts:A complaint was filed on April 2001 by Canoy against
Atty. Ortiz, accusing him for misconduct and malpractice. It is alleged that
Canoy filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against Coca Cola Philippines.
Atty. Ortiz appeared as counsel for Canoy in this proceeding. Canoy submitted

all the documents and records to Atty. Ortiz for the preparation of the position
paper. Thereafter, he made several unfruitful visits to the office of Atty.
Ortiz to follow-up the process of the case. On April 2000, Canoy was shocked to
learn that his complaint was actually dismissed way back in 1998 for failure to
prosecute, the parties not having submitted their position papers. Canoy alleged
that Ortiz had never communicated to him about the status of the case.Atty.
Ortiz informs the Court that he has mostly catered to indigent and low-income
clients, at considerable financial sacrifice to himself. Atty. Ortiz admits that
the period within which to file the position paper had already lapsed. He
attributes his failure to timely file the position paper to the fact that after
his election as Councilor of Bacolod City, he was frankly preoccupied with both
his functions as a local government official and as a practicing lawyer.Issue:
W/N Atty. Ortiz should be sanctioned? Held: Yes. Atty. Ortiz is to be sanctioned,
suspension for 1 month.Atty. Ortiz violated Canons 18 and 22. Under Canon 18.03,
a lawyer owes fidelity to his clients cause and must always be mindful of the
trust and confidence reposed to him. He owes his entire devotion to the interest
of the client. His negligence in connection therewith shall render him liable.
Under Canon 18.04, the relationship of a lawyer-client being one of confidence,
there is an ever present need for the client to be adequately and fully informed
of the developments of the case and should not be left in the dark. A lawyer
cannot shift the blame to complainant for failing to inquire the status about
the case as this is one of the lawyers duties.The adoption of additional duties
due to the election of Atty. Ortiz as councilor does not exonerate him of his
negligent behavior. The CPR allows a lawyer to withdraw his legal service if the
lawyer is elected or appointed to a public office since councilors are not
expressly prohibited to exercise their legal profession. LINSANGAN V. TOLENTINO
Facts:A complaint of disbarment was filed by Pedro Linsangan of the Linsangan,
Linsangan & Linsangan Law Office against Atty. Nicomedes Tolentino for
solicitation of clients & encroachment of professional services. Linsangan
alleges that Tolentino with the help of paralegal Labiano convinced his clients
to transfer legal representation by promising financial assistance and
expeditious collection of their claims. To induce them, Tolentino allegedly
texted and called them persistently. To support his allegation, Linsangan
presented the sworn affidavit of James Gregorio attesting that Labiano tried to
prevail over him to sever his client-atty relationship with Linsangan. Also, he
attached respondents calling card:Front##NICOMEDES TOLENTINO#LAW
OFFFICE#CONSULTANCY & MARITIME SERVICES#W/ FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE##Fe Marie L.
Labiano#Paralegal##1st MIJI Mansion, 2nd Flr. Rm. M-01 #Tel: 362-7820#6th Ave.,
cor M.H. Del Pilar #Fax: (632) 362-7821#Grace Park, Caloocan City #Cel.: (0926)
2701719##Back##SERVICES OFFERED:#CONSULTATION AND ASSISTANCE#TO OVERSEAS
SEAMEN#REPATRIATED DUE TO ACCIDENT,#INJURY, ILLNESS, SICKNESS, DEATH#AND
INSURANCE BENEFIT CLAIMS#ABROAD.In his defense, Tolentino denies knowing Labiano
and authorizing the printing and circulating of said calling card.Issue: W/N
Atty. Tolentino is guilty of advertising his servicesHeld: Yes. Atty. Tolentino
suspended for violating Rules 1.03, 2.03, 8.02 and 16.04 and Canon 3 of the Code
of Professional Responsibility.With regard to Canon 3, the practice of law is a
profession and not a business. Thus, lawyers should not advertise their talents
as merchants advertise their wares. To allow lawyers to advertise their
talents/skill is a commercialization of the practice of law (degrading the
profession in the publics estimation).With regard to Rule 2.03, lawyers are
prohibited from soliciting cases for purpose of gain, either personally or
through an agent. In relation to Rule 1.03, which proscribes ambulance chasing
(involving solicitation personally or through an agent/broker) as a measure to
protect community from barratry and champertry. As a final note regarding the
calling card presented as evidence by Linsangan, a lawyers best advertisement
is a well-merited. reputation for professional capacity and fidelity to trust
based on his character and conduct. For this reason, lawyers are only allowed to
announce their services by publication in reputable law lists or use of simple
professional cards.Professional calling cards may only contain the following
details:(a) lawyers name;(b) name of the law firm with which he is connected;
(c) address;(d) telephone number and(e) special branch of law practiced.
Labianos
calling card contained the phrase with financial assistance. The phrase was
clearly used to entice clients (who already had representation) to change

counsels with a promise of loans to finance their legal actions. Money was
dangled to lure clients away from their original lawyers, thereby taking
advantage of their financial distress and emotional vulnerability. This crass
commercialism degraded the integrity of the bar and deserves no place in the
legal profession.CANONS 4, 5 & 6SUAREZ V. PLATONFacts: Suarez was charged with
sedition which was subsequently dismissed. He in turn filed a case for arbitrary
detention against Lieutenant Orais. After the case was handed to Judge Platon
following several changes in trial judge and several refusals by fiscals to
prosecute the case.Issue: Should mandamus issue to compel the fiscal to
reinstate the case? Held: Yes. It is unquestionable that in the proper cases, the
prosecutors must reinvestigate in order to properly dispense justice. At the
same time, it must be kept in mind that a prosecutor is the representative of a
sovereignty; he is interested only in the fact that justice is served, and this
also includes his refusing to prosecute if the innocence of the accused is quite
clear. He is a servant of the law, and his two-fold aim is not to let the guilty
escape nor let the innocent suffer. He is not at liberty to strike foul blows
because it is his duty to refrain from doing so as much as it is to use
legitimate methods of prosecution. RAMOS V. IMBANGFACTSIn 1992, the complainant
Diana Ramos sought the assistance of respondent Atty. Jose R. Imbang in filing
civil and criminal actions against the spouses Roque and Elenita
Jovellanos.She gave respondentP8,500 as attorney's fees but the latter issued
a receipt forP5,000 only. The complainant tried to attend the scheduled
hearings of her cases against the Jovellanoses. Oddly, respondent never allowed
her to enter the courtroom and always told her to wait outside. He would then
come out after several hours to inform her that the hearing had been cancelled
and rescheduled.This happened six times and for each appearance in court,
respondent charged herP350.After six consecutive postponements, the complainant
became suspicious. She personally inquired about the status of her cases in the
trial courts of Bian and San Pedro, Laguna. She was shocked to learn that
respondent never filed any case against the Jovellanoses and that he was in fact
employed in the Public Attorney's Office (PAO). HELD Attorney Imbang is
disbarred and his name stricken from the roll of attorneys. Lawyers are expected
to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity.More specifically, lawyers in
government service are expected to be more conscientious of their actuations as
they are subject to public scrutiny. They are not only members of the bar but
also public servants who owe utmost fidelity to public service. Government
employees are expected to devote themselves completely to public service. For
this reason, the private practice of profession is prohibited.Section 7(b)(2)
of the Code of Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees provides:
Section 7.Prohibited Acts and Transactions.-- In addition to acts and
omissions of public officials and employees now prescribed in the Constitution
and existing laws, the following constitute prohibited acts and transactions of
any public official and employee and are hereby declared unlawful:
xxxxxxxxx(b) Outside employment and other
activities related thereto, public officials and employees during their
incumbency shall not:xxxxxxxxx(1) Engage
in the private practice of profession unless authorized by the Constitution or
law, provided that such practice will not conflict with their official
function.# HYPERLINK
"http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2007/august2007/6788.htm" \l
"_ftn26#_ftn26" \o "" ##
Thus, lawyers in government service cannot handle
private cases for they are expected to devote themselves full-time to the work
of their respective offices.
In this instance, respondent receivedP5,000
from the complainant and issued a receipt on July 15, 1992 while he was still
connected with the PAO. Acceptance of money from a client establishes an
attorney-client relationship.Respondent's admission that he accepted money from
the complainant and the receipt confirmed the presence of an attorney-client
relationship between him and the complainant. Moreover, the receipt showed that
he accepted the complainant's case while he was still a government lawyer.
Respondent clearly violated the prohibition on private practice of profession.
Aggravating respondent's wrongdoing was his receipt of attorney's fees. The PAO
was created for the purpose of providing free legal assistance to indigent
litigants.Section 14(3), Chapter 5, Title III, Book V of the Revised
Administrative Code provides:
Sec. 14.xxxThe PAO shall be the principal

law office of the Government in extending free legal assistance to indigent


persons in criminal, civil, labor, administrative and other quasi-judicial
cases.
As a PAO lawyer, respondent should not have accepted attorney's fees
from the complainant as this was inconsistent with the office's
mission.Respondent violated the prohibition against accepting legal fees other
than his salary.Every lawyer is obligated to uphold the law.# HYPERLINK
"http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2007/august2007/6788.htm" \l
"_ftn31#_ftn31" \o "" ##This undertaking includes the observance of the abovementioned prohibitions blatantly violated by respondent when he accepted the
complainant's cases and received attorney's fees in consideration of his legal
services. Consequently, respondent's acceptance of the cases was also a breach
of Rule 18.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility because the prohibition
on the private practice of profession disqualified him from acting as the
complainant's counsel.
Aside from disregarding the prohibitions against
handling private cases and accepting attorney's fees, respondent also
surreptitiously deceived the complainant. Not only did he fail to file a
complaint against the Jovellanoses (which in the first place he should not have
done), respondent also led the complainant to believe that he really filed an
action against the Jovellanoses.He even made it appear that the cases were
being tried and asked the complainant to pay his appearance fees for hearings
that never took place. These acts constituted dishonesty, a violation of the
lawyer's oath not to do any falsehood. Respondent's conduct in office fell
short of the integrity and good moral character required of all lawyers,
specially one occupying a public office. Lawyers in public office are expected
not only to refrain from any act or omission which tend to lessen the trust and
confidence of the citizenry in government but also uphold the dignity of the
legal profession at all times and observe a high standard of honesty and fair
dealing. A government lawyer is a keeper of public faith and is burdened with a
high degree of social responsibility, higher than his brethren in private
practice.There is, however, insufficient basis to find respondent
guilty of violating Rule 16.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.
Respondent did not hold the money for the benefit of the complainant but
accepted it as his attorney's fees. He neither held the amount in trust for the
complainant (such as an amount delivered by the sheriff in satisfaction of a
judgment obligation in favor of the client)# HYPERLINK
"http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2007/august2007/6788.htm" \l
"_ftn34#_ftn34" \o "" ##nor was it given to him for a specific purpose (such as
amounts given for filing fees and bail bond).Nevertheless, respondent should
return theP5,000 as he, a government lawyer, was not entitled to attorney's
fees and not allowed to accept them.CATU V. RELLOSAFACTS Catu co-owns a lot and
building and contested the possession of one of the units in the said building
by Elizabeth (sister in law of Catu) and Pastor, who ignored demands to vacate
the place. The parties went to the Lupon Tagapamayapa to try to settle the issue
amicably. Respodent Rellosa as Punong Barangay presided over the conciliation
proceedings. The parties failed to settle their case, and the petitioner
brought the case to court.Surprisingly, Rellosa appeared in court as counsel for
Elizabeth and Pastor. This prompted Catu to file an administrative complaint
against Rellosa for his act of impropriety. IBP committee on bar discipline,
after investigation, ruled that Rellosa violated Rule 6.03# and RA 6713#. The
committee recommended Rellosas suspension from practice for 1 month.ISSUEW/N
Rellosa violated Rule 6.03HELD
No.Rule 6.03 applies only to a lawyer who
has left government service. Rellosa was an incumbent punong barangay at the
time he committed the act complained of.As such incumbent, the proper law that
governs him is RA 7160#, which actually allows him to practice his profession.
However, being a public official, he is also governed by Revised Civil Service
Rules, which requires him first to obtain a written permission from his
department head who is the Sec. of DILG. This he failed to do.SC ruled that
Rellosa violated the lawyers oath (to uphold and obey law), Rule 1.01 (lawyer
shall not engage in unlawful conduct), and Canon 7 (lawyer shall uphold
integrity and dignity of the profession), for a lawyer who disobeys law
disgraces the dignity of the legal profession.SC punished Rellosa with 6 months
suspension and strongly advised him to look up and take to heart the meaning of
the word delicadeza.__________Hofilena question: under RA 6713, are lawyers
allowed to practice their profession? Answer: Yes, RA 6713 says if the

constitution or law allows it Public officers however are subject to Civil


Service Rules which state that should they engage in private practice of their
profession, they should first secure a written permission from their department
head.PCGG V. SANDIGANBAYANFACTSGeneral Bank and Trust Company (GENBANK)
encountered financial difficulties. Later on, Central Bank issued a resolution
declaring GENBANK insolvent.Former Solicitor General Estelito P. Mendoza filed a
petition with the then Court of First Instance praying for the assistance and
supervision of the court in GENBANK's liquidation.After EDSA 1, Pres. Aquino
established the PCGG for the purpose of recovering ill gotten wealth. The PCGG,
on July 17, 1987, filed with the Sandiganbayan a complaint for 'reversion,
reconveyance, restitution, accounting and damages against respondents Tan, et
al. so PCGG issued several writs of sequestration on properties allegedly
acquired by the above-named persons by taking advantage of their close
relationship and influence with former President Marcos. These respondents were
represented by Mendoza.PCGG filed motions to disqualify respondent Mendoza as
counsel for respondents. The motions alleged that respondent Mendoza, as then
Solicitor General and counsel to Central Bank, 'actively intervened in the
liquidation of GENBANK, which was subsequently acquired by respondents Tan, et
al. and became Allied Banking Corporation.The motions to disqualify invoked Rule
6.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Rule 6.03 prohibits former
government lawyers from accepting 'engagement or employment in connection with
any matter in which he had intervened while in said service.ISSUEW/N Rule 6.03
of the Code of Professional Responsibility applies to respondent Mendoza? HELD
NO, IT DOES NOT APPLY. The matter or the act of respondent Mendoza as Solicitor
General involved in the case at bar is 'advising the Central Bank, on how to
proceed with the said bank's liquidation and even filing the petition for its
liquidation with the CFI of . In fine, the Court should resolve whether his act
of advising the Central Bank on the legal procedure to liquidate GENBANK is
included within the concept of 'matter under Rule 6.03.The 'matter where he
got himself involved was in informing Central Bank on the procedure provided by
law to liquidate GENBANK thru the courts and in filing the necessary petition.
The subject 'matter of Sp. Proc. No. 107812, therefore, is not the same nor is
related to but is different from the subject 'matter in Civil Case No. 0096
which is about the sequestration of the shares of respondents Tan, et al.The
jurisdiction of the PCGG does not include the dissolution and liquidation of
banks. It goes without saying that Code 6.03 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility cannot apply to respondent Mendoza because his alleged
intervention while a Solicitor General in Sp. Proc. No. 107812 is an
intervention on a matter different from the matter involved in Civil Case No.
0096.Secondly, the supposed intervention of Mendoza in the liquidation case is
not significant and substantial. We note that the petition filed merely seeks
the assistance of the court in the liquidation of GENBANK. The principal role of
the court in this type of proceedings is to assist the Central Bank in
determining claims of creditors against the GENBANK. Also, The disqualification
of respondent Mendoza has long been a dead issue. For a fact, the recycled
motion for disqualification in the case at bar was filed more than four years
after the filing of the petitions for certiorari, prohibition and injunction
with the Supreme Court which were subsequently remanded to the Sandiganbayan. At
the very least, the circumstances under which the motion to disqualify in the
case at bar were refiled put petitioner's motive as highly suspect.It is also
submitted that the Court should apply Rule 6.03 in all its strictness for it
correctly disfavors lawyers who 'switch sides. It is claimed that 'switching
sides' carries the danger that former government employee may compromise
confidential official information in the process. But this concern does not cast
a shadow in the case at bar. As afore-discussed, the act of respondent Mendoza
in informing the Central Bank on the procedure how to liquidate GENBANK is a
different matter from the subject matter of Civil Case No. 0005 which is about
the sequestration of the shares of respondents Tan, et al., in Allied Bank.
There is no switching sides for there were no sides.CANON 7IN RE GALANGDoctrine:
That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar
examinations of the fact that he had been with, or indicted for an alleged
crime, as a ground for revocation of his license to practice law, is well
settled.IN RE ARTHUR M. CUEVASFACTSPetitioner Arthur Cuevas Jr. recently passed
the bar examinations, but was precluded from taking the lawyers 1996 oath,

pending approval from the Supreme CourtThis stems from petitioners


participation in the initiation rites of the Lex Talionis Fraternitas of Sand
Beda where neophyte Raul Camaligan died as a result of hazing.Cuevas was charged
with Imprudence Resulting in Homicide.He applied for and was granted probation,
then was discharged on May 1995May 1997, he applied to Court that he may take
the lawyers oath and attached to his petition certifications attesting to his
righteous, peaceful and law abiding character.ISSUE May Cuevas take the
lawyers oath, taking in consideration the certifications attesting to his
righteous, peaceful and law abiding character? HELD Yes. Though his deliberate
participation in the initiation rites indicates absence of that moral fitness
required for admission into the bar, the court is willing to give the petitioner
a chance based on the various certifications: they sufficiently show that he has
a righteous, peaceful and civil oriented character; and he has proven that he
has taken steps to purge himself of his deficiency in moral character and atone
for the death of Raul Camaligan. SAMANIEGO V. ATTY. FERRER(Complaint for
immorality, abandonment and willful refusal to give support to an illegitimate
child)Facts:Samaniego was a client of Atty. Ferrer and their lawyer-client
relationship became intimate, when Atty. Ferrer courted her and she fell in
love. They lived together as "husband and wife" from 96-97 and their daughter
was born. The affair ended in 2000 and since then he failed to give support to
their daughter.Before the IBP Samaniego testified that she knew that Atty.
Ferrer was in a relationship but did not think he was already married. Atty.
Ferrer refused to appear during the hearing since he did not want to see
Samaniego.Atty. Ferrer manifested his willingness to support their daughter in a
position paper. He also reasoned that he found it unconscionable to abandon his
wife and 10 children to cohabit with Samaniego.IBP Board of Governors imposed
upon Atty. Ferrer the penalty of 6 months suspension for his refusal to support
his daughter. Atty. Ferrer filed MRwith prayer for to reduce the penalty
because it will further cause extreme hardship to his family of 10 children.
Upon finding that Atty. Ferrer lacked the degree of morality required of a
member of the bar, his prayer for reduced penalty was denied.#Held:SC finds
Atty. Ferrerguilty of gross immorality and he is ordered suspended for 6
months.Atty. Ferrer admitted his extra-marital affair and SC considers such
illicit relation as a disgraceful and immoral conduct subject to disciplinary
action. Although it is true that Samaniego was not entirely blameless for
knowing about Atty. Ferrers wife, it does not make this case less serious since
it is immaterial whether both are inpari delicto. Atty. Ferrer was held to have
violated Rule 1.01, Canon 7 and Rule 7.03.ST. LOUIS UNIVERSITY LABORATORY HIGH
SCHOOL FACULTY AND STAFF V. ATTY. DELA CRUZFacts:Disbarment case filed by the
Faculty members and Staff of the SLU-LHS against Atty. Dela Cruz, its principal,
on the ff grounds:Gross Misconduct: there were pending cases filed against the
respondent: criminal case for child abuse; admin case for unethical acts of
misappropriating money for teachers; and the labor case filed by SLU-LHS Faculty
for illegal deduction of salary.Grossly Immoral Conduct: respondent contracted a
second marriage despite the existence of his first marriage. He was married in
1982 and they separated in-fact a year after. 7 years after, he contracts
another marriage, but this was annulled for being bigamous.Malpractice:
respondent notarized documents (14 in total), from 88-97 despite the expiration
of his notarial commission in 87.Respondent denied the charges in the cases
pending against him, but admitted his second marriage and its subsequent
nullification. He also admitted having notarized documents when his notarial
commission had already expired. However, he offered defenses such as good faith,
lack of malice and noble intentions in doing the complained acts.IBP resolved to
suspend Atty. Dela Cruz for 1 year for his bigamous marriage and 1 year also for
notarizing without commission (2 years total)Held:SC finds respondent guilty of
immoral conduct, and suspended him from the practice of law for 2 years, and
another 2 years for notarizing documents.Respondent was already a member of the
Bar when he contracted the bigamous marriage. However, after his failed first
marriage, he remained celibate until the 2nd marriage, showed his good
intentions by marrying the 2nd wife, and he never absconded in his family
duties. The SC finds that penalty of disbarment is too harsh.As to the charge of
misconduct for having notarized documents without the necessary commission, SC
stresses
notarization is not an empty, meaningless, routinary act. For doing such

constitutes not only malpractice but also the crime of falsification of public
documents. Respondent also violated the Notarial Law for so doing, and this
falls squarely within the prohibition of Rule 1.01 and Canon 7.The other cases
against respondent are pending before the proper forums. At such stages, the
presumption of innocence still prevails in favor of the respondent.ARNOBIT V.
ARNOBITFACTSPetitioner Rebecca Arnobit filed this complaint against her husband,
respondent Atty. Ponciano Arnobit, praying that the court exercise its
disciplinary power over him.Rebecca alleged that she and respondent were married
on 1942; that they bore 12 children; that she saw respondent through law school,
continuously supporting him until he passed the bar; that several years after
their marriage, or in 1968, respondent left the conjugal home and began
cohabiting with Benita Buenafe Navarro who later bore him four more children.
Because of this, Rebecca was impelled to file a complaint for legal separation
and support, and a criminal case for adultery.Respondent admitted that Rebecca
is his wedded wife but he denied having cohabited with Benita. He also stated
that Rebecca was the cause of their separation alleging that she was always
traveling for business purposes without his knowledge and consent, thereby
neglecting her obligations toward her family. Hearings were conducted before the
Office of the SolGen and subsequently, before the IBP Commission on Bar
Discipline.Aside from herself, Rebecca presented 2 other witnesses: her sister,
who identified a letter sent to her by respondent apologizing for the
unhappiness he caused the family; and the other was Melecio Navarro, the husband
of Benita, who testified about how respondent took his wife Benita as a mistress
knowing fully well of their marriage. During the hearings, respondent, despite
due notice, repeatedly absented himself when it was his turn to present
evidence. He would also seek postponement, pleading illness, on the hearing
dates.IBP Commission on Bar Discipline Report:The IBP Commission on Bar
Discipline found respondent liable for abandonment and recommended his
suspension from the practice of law for 3 months. It averred that an indefinite
suspension is not recommended because respondent supports himself through the
practice of law and that it would be cruel deny him of this at this time when he
is already advanced in age.HELDThe Court agreed with the IBP recommendation but
ruled that gross immoral conduct was sufficiently proven warranting disbarment
of respondent.CANON 7 A lawyer shall at all times uphold the integrity and
dignity of the legal profession and support the activities of the Integrated
Bar.Rule 7.03 A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on
this fitness to practice law, nor should he, whether in public or private life
behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.
Possession of good moral character is not only a condition precedent to the
practice of law, but a continuing qualification for all members of the bar.Good
moral character is more than just the absence of bad character. It expresses
itself in the will to do the unpleasant thing if it is right and the resolve not
to do the pleasant thing if it is wrong.Immoral conduct has been described as
conduct which is so willful, flagrant, or shameless as to show indifference to
the opinion of good and respectable members of the community. To be the basis of
disciplinary action, such conduct must not only be immoral, but grossly immoral.
Grossly immoral meaning it must be so corrupt as to virtually constitute a
criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree or
committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to shock the
common sense of decency.Lawyers must not only be of good moral character but
must also be seen to be of good moral character and leading lives in accordance
with the highest moral standards of the community.The fact that respondents
philandering ways are far removed from the exercise of his profession would not
save the day from him. A lawyer may be suspended or disbarred for any misconduct
which, albeit unrelated to the actual practice of his profession, would show him
to be unfit for the office and unworthy of his license.Respondent has the duty
to show that he is morally fit to remain a member of the bar. This, he failed to
do. He never attended the hearings to rebut the charges against him,
irresistibly suggesting that they are true.Undoubtedly, respondents act of
leaving his wife and 12 children to cohabit and have children with another woman
constitutes gross immoral conduct. He should therefore be disbarred.ADVINCULA V.
MACABATAFACTSAtty. Macabata was the counsel of Cynthia Advincula. In two
separate incidents, Atty. Macabata turnedthe head of Advincula and kissed her on
the lips. These kissing incidents occurred after meetings regarding a case that

Advincula was involved in. in both incidents, Atty. Macabata kissed Advincula
inside the car, just before dropping her off in a public street. Atty. Macabata
apologized to Advincula via text messages immediately after the 2nd kissing
incident.
Advincula filed a petition for disbarment against Atty. Macabata on
the ground of grossly immoral character. Atty. Macabata admitted that he did
kiss Advincula, but that this was due to his feelings toward Advincula. ISSUEIs
Atty. Macabata guilty of grossly immoral character to merit his disbarment? HELD
The Supreme Court ruled that Atty. Macabata was NOT guilty of grossly immoral
character. Grossly immoral character must be so corrupt as to constitute a
criminal act, or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to a high degree or
committed under such scandalous or revolting circumstances as to show the common
sense of decency. To merit a disbarment, the act must be grossly immoral.
Atty. Macabatas act of kissing Advincula was not grossly immoral. The
kiss was not motivated by malice. This was proven by Atty. Macabatas immediate
apology and the fact that it happened in a well-populated place. Advincula
failed to prove that Atty. Macabata lured her or took advantage of her.
While the disbarment complaint was dismissed, Atty. Macabata was
reprimanded and given a stern warning. The court described his kissing of
Advincula as distasteful. (The Supreme Court also said that greetings like beso
are ok.)CANON 8REYES V. CHIONGFACTSTwo Chinese-Taiwanese businessmen (Xu and
Pan) entered into a business venture to set up a factory for seafood products.
Xu invested P300,000. Eventually, Xu discovered that Pan had not established the
factory and asked for his money back. Pan became hostile and ignored Xu. Xu
engaged the services of Atty. Reyes, who filed a complaint for estafa against
Pan (represented by Atty. Chiong). The complaint was assigned to Asst. Manila
City Prosecutor Pedro Salanga, who issued a subpoena for Pan to appear for
preliminary investigation. For failure to appear and submit a counter-affidavit,
Salanga filed a criminal complaint for estafa against Pan in the RTC of Manila.
The RTC issued a warrant of arrest against Pan. In response, Atty. Chiong filed
a motion to quash the warrant of arrest. He also filed with the RTC of Zamboanga
a civil complaint for the collection of a sum of money, damages, and for the
dissolution of the business venture against Xu, Atty. Reyes and Salanga. Atty.
Reyes then filed a disbarment case against Atty. Chiong for filing a groundless
suit, alleging that it was instituted to exact vengeance. Atty. Chiong alleges
that Atty. Reyes was impleaded for conniving with Xu in filing the estafa case.
Salanga was impleaded because of the supposed irregularities in conducting the
investigation. The SC referred the case to the IBP.ISSUEW/N the civil complaint
was groundless
W/N is was proper to implead Atty. Reyes and Prosecutor
Salanga in the civil complaintHELD Yes, civil complaint was groundless and it
was improper to implead Atty. Reyes and Prosecutor Salanga in said civil
complaint.IBP: civil complaint was filed purposely to obtain leverage against
the estafa case. There was no need to implead Atty. Reyes and Prosecutor Salanga
since they were not parties in the business venture. Their inclusion in the
complaint was improper and highly questionable and the suit was filed to harass
both of them. In filing the civil suit, Atty. Chiong violated his oath of office
and Canon 8 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. IBP recommended 2 years
suspensionSC: affirmed IBPs recommendation. In addition, the Court mentioned
some alternative remedies Atty. Chiong could have taken if his allegations were
indeed true. Chiong could have filed a motion for reinvestigation or motion for
reconsideration of Salangas decision to file the information for estafa. Motion
to Dismiss the estafa case was also available if it was indeed filed without
basis.Relevant Provisions:Canon 8 A lawyer shall conduct himself with
courtesy, fairness, and candor towards his professional colleagues, and shall
avoid harassing tactics against opposing counsel.Lawyers Oath not to
wittingly or willingly promote or sue any groundless, false or unlawful suit,
nor give aid nor consent to the same.ATTY. DALLONG- GALICINAO V. ATTY. CASTRO
Facts:Atty. Dallong-Galicinao is the Clerk of Court of RTC and Atty. Castro was
a private practitioner and VP of IBP-Nueva Vizcaya.Respondent went to
complainants office to inquire whether the records of Civil Case No. 784had
already been remanded to the MCTC. Respondent was not the counsel of either
party in that case.
Complainant replied that the record had not yet been
transmitted since a certified true copy of the CA decision should
first be presented. To this respondent retorted, You mean to say, I would
have to go to Manila to get a copy? Complainant replied that respondent may

show instead the copy sent to the party he represents. Respondent then replied
that complainant shouldve notified him. Complainant explained that it is not
her duty to notify the respondent of such duty. Angered, respondent yelled stuff
in Ilocano and left the office, banging the door so loud. He then returned to
the office and shouted,Ukinnam nga babai!(Vulva of your mother, you woman!
) Later, complainant filed amanifestationthat she wont appear in the
hearing of the case in view of the respondents public apology, and that the
latter was forgiven already.Held: Respondent is fined the amount of 10k with a
warning.Respondent was not the counsel of record of Civil Case No. 784. His
explanation that he will enter his appearance in the case when its records were
already transmitted to the MCTC is unacceptable. Not being the counsel of record
respondent had no right to impose his will on the clerk of court. He violated
Rule 8.02, because this was an act of encroachment. It matters not that he did
so in good faith.
His act of raising his voice and uttering vulgar
invectives to the clerk of court was not only ill-mannered but also unbecoming
considering that he did these in front of the complainants subordinates. For
these, he violated Rules 7.03 and 8.01 and Canon 8.The penalty was tempered
because respondent apologized to the complainant and the latter
accepted it. This is not to say, however, that respondent should be absolved
from his actuations. People are accountable for the consequences of the things
they say and do even if they repent afterwards. ALCANTARA V. PEFIANCOFacts:Atty.
Alcantara (incumbent District Pubic Attorney of PAO in Anitque) filed a
complaint against Atty. Pefianco for conduct unbecoming of the bar for using
improper and offensive language and threatening and attempting to assault
complainant. This happened when Atty, Salvani was conferring with his client in
the PAO office when the wife of the murdered victim, in tears, came and askef
for a settlement. Moved by the plight of the woman, Pefianco, who was standing
nearby, scolded and shouted at Salvani to not settle the case and to have his
client imprisoned so that he would realize his mistake. As head of the office,
Alcantara reproached Pefianco, but this ended up with Pefianco saying that
Alcantara was an idiot for sending him out of the PAO. Also, Pefianco tried to
attack Alcantara and even shouted at him, Gago ka!The IBP Committee on Bar
Discipline found that Pefianco violated Canon 8 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.Issue: W/N Pefianco is guilty of violating Canon 8 Held:Yes.
Canon 8 admonishes lawyers to conduct themselves with courtesy, fairness and
candor toward their fellow lawyers. Pefiancos meddling in a matter in which he
had no right to do so caused the incident. And although Pefianco was moved by
the womans plight, what he thought was righteous did not give him the right to
scold Salvani and insult and berate those who tried to calm him down. Whatever
moral righteousness he had was negated by the way he chose to express his
indignation.CAMACHO V. PAGULAYANFACTSAMA Computer College (AMACC) had a pending
case in the RTC for expelling some students due to having published
objectionable features or articles in the school paper. Thereafter, Atty.
Camacho who is the counsel for the expelled students filed a complaint against
Atty. Pangulayan, counsel for AMACC, for violation of Canon 9 of the Code of
Professional Ethics which provides that "A lawyer should not in any way
communicate upon the subject of controversy with a party represented by counsel,
much less should he undertake to negotiate or compromise the matter with him,
but should only deal with his counsel. It is incumbent upon the lawyer most
particularly to avoid everything that may tend to mislead a party not
represented by counsel and he should not undertake to advise him as to law." The
complaint was based on the fact that Atty. Pangulayan procured and effected from
the expelled students and their parents compromise agreements in which the
students waived all kinds of claims they may have against AMACC and to terminate
all civil, criminal and administrative proceedings filed against it. The
compromise agreements were procured by Atty. Pangulayan without the consent and
knowledge of Atty. Camacho given that he was already the counsel for the
students at that time. It was averred that the acts of Atty. Pangulayan was
unbecoming of any member of the legal profession warranting either disbarment or
suspension from the practice of law. ISSUEWhether or not Atty. Pangulayan
violated Canon 9 of the Code of Professional EthicsHELDYES! Atty. Pangulayan is
suspended for 3 months from the practice of law for having ciolated the Code of
Professional Ethics.In this case, when the compromise agreements were formalized
and effected by Atty. Pangulayan, Atty. Camacho was already the retained counsel

for the students in the pending case filed by the students against AMACC and
Atty. Pangulayan had full knowledge of such fact. However, Atty. Pangulayan
still proceeded to negotiate with the students and the parents without at least
communicating the matter with their lawyer even being aware that the students
were being represented by counsel. Such failure of Atty. Pangulayan, whether by
design or oversight, is an inexcusable violation of the canons of professional
ethics and in utter disregard of a duty owing to a colleague. Atty. Pangulayan
in this case fell short of the demands required of him as a lawyer and as a
member of the Bar. *In relation to our topic (not stated in case), such act of
Atty. Pangulayan is also in violation of Canon 8.02 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility which states that "A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly,
encroach upon the professional employment of another lawyer, however, it is the
right of any lawyer, without fear or favor, to give proper advice and assistance
to those seeking relief against unfaithful or neglectful counsel." TORRES V.
JAVIERFacts:Atty. Torres and Mrs. Celestino charge Atty. Javier for malpractice,
gross misconduct in office as an attorney an/or violation of the lawyers oath.
This stemmed from the remarks made by Javier in the pleadings he filed in a
petition for audit of all funds of the University of the East Faculty Assoc.
(UEFA) as counsel: 1. Motion to Expedite contained false statements with
malicious imputation of robbery and theft of UEFAs funds upon their persons;
and 2. In the atty.s fees case, Javier in his Reply used abusive and improper
language, and made a statement demeaning to the integrity of the profession
(not uncommon for trial lawyers to hear notaries asking their family members to
sign for them).Javier explained that he was angry because Torres had been
spreading reports and rumors implicating his clients including his wife to the
burglary. With respect to the atty.s fess case, he alleged that Torres, in his
Answer, did not confront the issues but mocked and made malicious accusations
against his wife. The IBP found Javier guilty of violating the Code of
Professional Responsibility.Issue: W/N Javier is guilty of violation of the
Code Held:Yes. For reasons of public policy, utterances made in the course of
judicial proceedings, including all kinds of pleadings, petitions and motion,
are absolutely privileged so long as they are pertinent and relevant to the
subject inquiry, however false or malicious they may be (must be material and
relevant). This privilege does not extend to those matters not related to the
controversy. The allegations in the Motion to Expedite fall under this
privilege, but not those in the Reply. The SC does not countenance Torres
incorporation of criticisms against Javiers wife as past president of UEFA, but
this does not justify Javiers retaliating statements (What kind of lawyer is
Torres? He lies through his teeth).Canon 8 instructs that a lawyers arguments
in his pleadings should be gracious to both the court and opposing counsel and
be of such words as may be properly addressed by one gentleman to another.
LINSANGAN V. TOLENTINOFACTSTolentino, with the help of Labiano, was pirating the
clients of Labiano by offering, in some instances, a 50K loan.ISSUEIs it an
encroachment on the professional practice of Labiano, thereby violating rule
8.02 which provides that, A lawyer shall not, directly or indirectly, encroach
upon the professional employment of another lawyer,? HELDYes.Settled is the
rule that a lawyer should not steal another lawyers client nor induce the
latter to retain him by a promise of better service, good result, or reduced
fees for his service. In this case, promise of a loan.CANON 9MAURICIO C. ULEP V.
THE LEGAL CLINIC, INC.FACTS: This is a petition praying for an order to the
respondent to cease and desist from issuing certain advertisements pertaining to
the exercise of the law profession other than those allowed by law.
The said
advertisement of the Legal Clinic invites potential clients to inquire about
secret marriage and divorce in Guam and annulment, and the like. It also says
that they are giving free books on Guam Divorce.
Ulep claims that such
advertisements are unethical and destructive of the confidence of the community
in the integrity of lawyers. He, being a member of the bar, is ashamed and
offended by the said advertisements. On the other hand, the respondent, while
admitting of the fact of the publication of the advertisements, claims that it
is not engaged in the practice of law but is merely rendering legal support
services through paralegals. It also contends
that such advertisements should be allowed based on certain US cases decided.
ISSUE:W/N the Legal Clinic Inc is engaged in the practice of law. W/N the same
can properly be the subject of the advertisements complained of.HELD/RATIO:

Yes, it constitutes practice of law. No, the ads should be enjoined.Practice of


law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of
law, legal procedures, knowledge, training and experience. To engage in the
practice of law is to perform those acts which are characteristic of the
profession. Generally, to practice law is to give advice or render any kind of
service that involves legal knowledge or skill.The practice of law is not
limited to the conduct of cases in court. It includes legal advice and counsel,
and the preparation of legal instruments and contract by which legal rights are
secured, although such matter may or may not be pending in a court. When a
person participates in a trial and advertises himself as a lawyer, he is in the
practice of law. One who confers with clients, advises them as to their legal
rights and then takes the business to an attorney and asks the latter to look
after the case in court, is also practicing law. Giving advice for compensation
regarding the legal status and rights of another and the conduct with respect
thereto constitutes a practice of law. The practice of law, therefore, covers a
wide range of activities in and out of court. And applying the criteria,
respondent Legal Clinic Inc. is, as advertised, engaged in the practice of
law.What is palpably clear is that respondent corporation gives out legal
information to laymen and lawyers. With its attorneys and so called paralegals,
it will necessarily have to explain to the client the intricacies of the law and
advise him or her on the proper course of action to be taken as may be provided
for by said law. That is what its advertisements represent and for the which
services it will consequently charge and be paid. That activity falls squarely
within the jurisprudential definition of "practice of law."The standards of the
legal profession condemn the lawyer's advertisement of his talents. A lawyer
cannot, without violating the ethics of his profession advertise his talents or
skill as in a manner similar to a merchant advertising his goods. The only
exceptions are when he appears in a reputable law list and use of an ordinary,
simple professional card. The advertisements do not fall under these exceptions.
To allow the publication of advertisements of the kind used by respondent would
only serve to aggravate what is already a deteriorating public opinion of the
legal profession whose integrity has consistently been under attack. Hence, it
should be enjoined.CAYETANO V. MONSODFACTSRespondent Christian Monsod was
nominated by then President Aquino for the position of COMELEC Chairman in 1991.
This nomination was opposed by petitioner Cayetano on the ground that Monsod
does not possess the required qualification of having been engaged in the
practice of law for at least 10 years. Apparently, the Constitution requires
that the COMELEC Chairperson be a member of the Philippine Bar who has been
engaged in the practice of law for at least 10 years. Despite Cayetanos
opposition, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination. Thus,
Cayetano filed an instant petition for certiorari and prohibition, basically
challenging the confirmation by the CA of Monsods nomination.ISSUEIs Monsod
qualified to be COMELEC Chairperson? HELDYES.The practice of law is not limited
to the conduct of cases in court. Practice of law under modem conditions
consists in no small part of work performed outside of any court and having no
immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces conveyancing, the giving
of legal advice on a large variety of subjects, and the preparation and
execution of legal instruments covering an extensive field of business and trust
relations and other affairs. Although these transactions may have no direct
connection with court proceedings, they are always subject to become involved in
litigation. They require in many aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide
experience with men and affairs, and great capacity for adaptation to difficult
and complex situations. These customary functions of an attorney or counselor at
law bear an intimate relation to the administration of justice by the courts. No
valid distinction, so far as concerns the question set forth in the order, can
be drawn between that part of the work of the lawyer which involves appearance
in court and that part which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his
office. It is of importance to the welfare of the public that these manifold
customary functions be performed by persons possessed of adequate learning and
skill, of sound moral character, and acting at all times under the heavy trust
obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys.
The SC, in
order to arrive at its decision, presented a brief history of Monsods
employment. After passing the bar exam, Atty. Monsod worked in the law office of
his father. From 1963 to 1970, he worked for the World Bank Group, where he was

assigned as operations officer in Costa Rica. His job involved getting


acquainted with the laws of member-countries negotiating loans and coordinating
legal, economic and project work of the bank. In 1970, he returned to the
Philippines and worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief executive of an
investment bank and a business conglomerate. By 1986, he rendered his services
to various companies as a legal and economic consultant and he also worked as a
Chief Executive Officer. He was also the Secretary-General and National Chairman
of NAMFREL in 1986-1987. His position in NAMFREL required his knowledge in
election law. Also, he sat as a member of the Davide Commission in 1990.
Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of
law". particularly the modern concept of law practice, and taking into
consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of the
Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a
lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of
contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the poor verily more
than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten years.PADILLA, J., dissenting:There are several
factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes "practice of
law."HabitualityCompensationApplication of law, legal principle, practice or
procedure which calls or legal knowledge, training and experience is within the
term "practice of law.Attorney-client relationship.CAMBALIZA V. CRISTOBALTENORIOFACTSCabliza, a former employee of Cristal-Tenorio in her law office,
filed a disbarment complaint on the grounds of deceit, grossly immoral conduct
and malpractice or other gross misconduct in office.Deceit: represented herself
to be married to Felicisimo Tenorio Jr, who has a prior existing marriageGrossly
immoral conduct: disseminated libellous affidavits against a Makati City
counselor.Malpractice: allowed her husband, a non-lawyer, to practice by making
him a senior partner in her law office. This is evidenced by 1) the law office
letterhead which included the husband as a senior partner, 2) an id wherein he
signed as an atty, 3) appearance in court as counsel.HELD Guilty of
malpractice. Violated Canon 9 and Rule 9.01Canon 9: a lawyer shall not assist in
unauthorized practice of lawRule 9.01: a lawyer shall not delated to any
unqualified person the performance of a task that may only be performed by
members of the bar in good standingEven though Cabliza later on withdrew her
complaint, IBP still pushed through with the investigation because such is a
disciplinary proceeding. There is no private interest affected such that
desistance of the complainant will terminate the proceedings. The purpose is to
protect the bar from those unfit to practice law.AMALGAMATED LABORERS
ASSOCIATION V. CIRFACTSThis case involves a controversy over Attorneys Fees
for legal services in the CIR.On 1956, Arceo + 47 other members of their UNION,
ALA and Javier lodged a complaint agains Binalbagan Sugar Central Company
(BISCOM) for unfair labor practices, as specified in the Industrial Peace Act.On
Nov 1962, the CIR rendered judgement in favor of the workers and it became final
on March 1963.On June 1963, the CIR directed the Chief Examiner to go to BISCOM
to compute the backwages of the complainant workersAtty. Fernandez filed a
Notice of Atty.s lien amounting to 25% of their money claim (PhP79, 755.22).
He explained that it was supposed to be 30% but Arsenio Reyes requested him to
25% to satisfy Atty. Carbonells lien of 5%. Atty. Carbonell disputed this claim
and even said that the verbal agreement entered into by the UNION and its
officers is that the 30% Atty.s Fees shall be divided equally by him, Atty.
Fernandez & Felisberto Javier, the UNIONs president. There are other matters in
this case regarding Jurisdiction but the one related to Legal Ethics is on the
issue on Atty.s FeesISSUEW/N IT MAY BE STIPULATED THAT THE UNION PRESIDENT MAY
SHARE IN THE ATTORNEYS FEES.HELDNO. The court struck down the alleged oral
agreement that the UNION President should share in the Atty.s Fees. The UNION
President is not the attorney for the laborers. He may seek compensation only as
such president. An agreement whereby a UNION President is allowed to share in
Atty.s Fees is immoral. Such a contract we emphatically reject. It cannot be
justified. Note Rule 9.02.AGUIRRE V. RAMAFACTSRespondent Edwin L. Rana was among
those who passed the 2000 Bar Examinations. On 21 May 2001,
one day before the scheduled mass oath-taking of successful bar examinees as
members of the Philippine Bar, complainant Donna Marie Aguirre filed against
respondent aPetition for Denial of Admission to the Bar, chargingrespondent
with unauthorized practice of law, grave misconduct, violation of law, and grave

misrepresentation.The Court allowed respondent to take his oath as a member of


the Bar during the scheduled oath-taking on 22 May 2001 but ruled that he cannot
sign the Roll of Attorneys pending the resolution of the charge against him.
Complainant charged respondent for unauthorized practice of law and grave
misconduct, allegingthat respondent, while not yet a lawyer, appeared as
counsel for Vice Mayoralty candidate George Bunan in the May 2001 elections
before the Municipal Board of Election Canvassers (MBEC) of Mandaon, Masbate,
and filed with the MBEC a pleading as counsel entitledFormal Objection to the
Inclusion in the Canvassing of Votes in Some Precincts for the Office of ViceMayor. Respondent also signed as counsel for Estipona-Hao in her petition to be
declared the winning mayoralty candidate. On the charge of violation of
law,respondent is not allowed by law to act as counsel for a client in any
court or administrative body, respondent being a municipal government employee
(Secretary of the Sangguniang Bayan of Mandaon, Masbate).The Court referred the
case to the Office of the Bar Confidant (OBC) for evaluation, report and
recommendation.OBCs Report and RecommendationThe OBC found that respondent
indeed appeared before the MBEC as counsel for Bunan in the May 2001 elections.
The minutes of the MBEC proceedings show that respondent actively participated
in the proceedings.The OBC likewise found that respondent appeared in the MBEC
proceedings even before he took the lawyers oath on 22 May 2001. Respondents
misconduct casts a serious doubt on his moral fitness to be a member of the
Bar.Such unauthorized practice of law is a ground to deny his admission to the
practice of law.HELDRespondent is guilty of unauthorized practice of law and
was thus denied admission to the Philippine bar.1. SC agreed with the finding of
the OBC that respondent engaged in the unauthorized practice of law and thus
does not deserve admission to the Philippine Bar.- Respondent appeared as
counsel for Bunan and signed as counsel in the pleadings - was also retained
as counsel of mayoralty candidate Emily Estipona-Hao and of party REFORMA LM-PPC
*all these took place before Respondent took his oath and signed the Roll of
Attorneys2. What constitutes the practice of law- Thepractice of lawis not
limited to the conduct of cases orlitigationin court; it embraces the
preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special
proceedings, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients
before judges and courts- all advice to clients, and all action taken for them
in mattersconnected with the law,incorporation services, assessment and
condemnation services contemplating an appearance before a judicial body, the
foreclosure of a mortgage, enforcement of a creditor's claim in bankruptcy and
insolvency proceedings, and conducting proceedings in attachment, and in matters
of estate and guardianship have been held to constitute law practice, as do the
preparation and drafting of legal instruments, where the work done involves the
determination by the trained legal mind of the legal effect of facts and
conditions. - any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application
of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and experience. - perform acts
which are usually performed by members of the legal profession. - render any
kind of service which requires the use of legal knowledge or skill.* respondent
was engaged in the practice of law when he appeared in the proceedings before
the MBEC and filed various pleadings, without license to do so. 3. The right to
practice law is not a natural or constitutional right but is a privilege.limited to persons of good moral character with special qualifications duly
ascertained and certified.- A bar candidate does not acquire the right to
practice law simply by passing the bar examinations. - although respondent
passed the 2000 Bar Examinations and took the lawyers oath, it is the signing
in the Roll of Attorneys that finally makes one a full-fledged lawyer.
LAQUINDANUM V. QUINTANAFacts: Judge Laquindanum charged Atty. Quintana with the
offense of notarizing documents beyond the jurisdiction of his notarial license
and with notarizing documents not known to him to be based on actual facts. It
was also found that his wife sometimes notarized the documents herself.Issue: Is
Atty. Quintana guilty of violating Canon 9? Held: Yes. He was found to have
assisted in the unauthorized practice of law by negligently letting his wife
notarize documents herself in his absence. His contention that he rectified this
error by slapping his wife is of no moment because he did not in the first place
take the necessary steps to prevent this. He was also charged with violations of
the notarial law. CANONS 10 & 11FERNANDEZ V. DE RAMOS-VILLALONFACTSThis is an
administrative case filed by petitioner Fernandez against Atty. Villalon. It

started from a case filed by a certain Carlos Palacios against Fernandez to


nullify a Deed of Donation. Atty. Villalon represented Palacios in the early
part of the case against Fernandez.In 2004, Palacios, owner of a lot in Makati,
sought the help of Fernandez to help him in a case against a land-grabbing
syndicate. Palacios won the case with the help of Fernandez.In Sept 2005,
Palacios bumped into a Mrs. Lirio who expressed interest in buying Palacios
Makati property. It turns out that it was being sold by Fernandez who allegedly
had a Deed of Donation which Palacios executed in his favor. This Deed of
Donation was registered.Palacios, with the help of Atty. Villalon, filed an
action tto nullify the Deed against Fernandez. However, Fernandez answered that
the title transfer in his name was proper, citing a Deed of Absolute Sale as
basis. He furthered alled that it was actually Palacios who forged the Deed of
Donation to cheat in taxes.In 2006, Fernandez filed a complaint for disbarment
against Atty. Villalon for violation of Rule 1.01, 7.03, 10.1, 10.2, 10.3. He
claims that Atty. Villalon has suppressed and excluded in the complaint filed by
her knowledge about the existence of the Deed of Absolute Sale, which was by the
way, unregistered. He says that no mention of it was made in the petition for
the annulment of thee Deed of Donation.Commissioner of IBP recommended the
dismissal of the case. Sustaining Atty. Villalons argument that she, as counsel
for Palacios, was under no duty to include the fact that the Deed of Sale
existed because only the clients operative facts, and not other evidentiary
facts, need to be included in the complaint. The Deed of Sale was a matter of a
defense that Fernandez as defendant can freely point out during the trial.
Fernandez appealed the case.ISSUE W/N there was grave abuse of discretion in
dismissing the complaint.HELDNone. Case against Villalon is dismissed.A lawyer,
as an officer of the court, has the duty to be truthful in all his dealings.
However, this duty does not require that the lawyer advance matters of defense
on behalf of his or her clients opponent. She (Villalon) is not duty bound to
build the case for her clients opponent, Fernandez.The cause of action chosen
by Palacios was for the annulment of the Deed of Donation. Client Palacios
informed her that the Deed of Sale was void for lack of consideration. Also, it
was not registered and was not the basis of the transfer of title of Palacios
property to Fernandez. Therefore, it is not a necessary evidence/fact to their
case.RIVERA V. CORRALFacts:
Rivera instituted a complaint for disbarment
charging Atty. Corral with malpractice and conduct unbecoming a member of the
Philippine Bar. A decision for an ejectment case was received by Atty. Corrals
secretary on February 23, 1990. Notice of Appeal was filed by Atty. Corral on
March 13, 1990. Next day, he went to the clerk of court and changed the date
February 23 to February 29 without the courts prior knowledge and permission.
Atty. Corral later on filed a reply to plaintiffs manifestation claiming that
he received the decision on February 28, not 29 (because there is no Feb 29).
Issue:
W/N Atty. Corral should be disbarred for changing the date when he
received the decision of the court without the courts prior knowledge of
decision Held:
No, Atty. Corral is suspended for 1 year. The correction of
date by Atty. Corral was made not to reflect the truth but to mislead the trial
court in believing that the notice of appeal was filed within the reglementary
period. Because if the decision was received on Feb 22, the notice of appeal
filed on March 13 is filed out of time. To extricate himself from such
predicament, Atty. Corral altered the date he received the courts decision. By
altering the material dates to make it appear that the Notice of Appeal was
timely filed, Atty. Corral committed an act of dishonesty. Dishonesty
constitutes grave misconduct. JOHNNY NG V. ALARFACTSThe case stemmed from a
labor case filed by the employees of the Ng Company against its employers. The
employees alleged that they did not receive their service incentive leave pay
from their employers due to the latters claim that the employees conducted a
strike at the Companys premises which hampered its ingress and egress. The case
was referred to the labor arbiter and the latter found that the employees have
been paid their service incentive leave pay. The employees appealed to NLRC but
the latter affirmed the labor
arbiters decision.In reaction to this, respondent filed a Motion for
Reconsideration with Motion to Inhibit (MRMI) where respondent used scandalous,
offensive, and menacing languages to support his complaint. He said that the
labor arbiter was cross-eyed in making his findings of fact and that
Commissioner Dinopol acted in the same manner with malice thrown in when he

adopted the findings of the labor arbiter. That the retiring commissioners of
NLRC circumvent the law and jurisprudence when the money claim involved in the
case is substantial. According to respondent, such acts constitute grave abuse
of discretion.Because of the MRMI, complainant filed a disbarment case with
IBPs Commission on Bar Discipline against respondent wherein it was alleged
that the latter violated certain codes and rules of the Code of Professional
Responsibility. Specifically, respondent allegedly violated Canons 8 and 11
wherein a lawyer is prohibited from using scandalous, oppressive, offensive, and
malicious language against an opposing counsel and before the courts.In his
defense, respondent argues that he did not violate any of the canons found in
the Code because 1) the NLRC is not among the courts referred to in the rules;
2) the Commissioners therein are not judges; and 3) the complainants in labor
cases are entitled to some latitude of righteous anger. Attached to respondents
counter-complaint is an affidavit made by the union president Batan alleging
that the lawyers of the complainant are the ones who violated the Code of
Professional Responsibility when they filed multiple suits arising from the same
cause of action and when they deliberately lessened the number of complainants
in the labor case.The findings of the Commission on Bar discipline led the IBP
to conclude that respondent is guilty of violating Canons 8 and 11, while the
lawyers of the complainant did not violate any canons of the Code. It
recommended that respondent be reprimanded with a stern warning that severe
penalties will be imposed in case a similar conduct will be committed again.
ISSUEW/N respondent violated Canons 8 and 11 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility.HELDYES. Respondent has clearly violated Canons 8 and 11 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. His actions erode the publics perception
of the legal profession. The MRMI contains insults and diatribes against the
NLRC, attacking both its moral and intellectual integrity, replete with implied
accusations of partiality, impropriety and lack of diligence. Respondent used
improper and offensive language in his pleadings that does not admit any
justification. Though a lawyer's language may be forceful and emphatic, it
should always be dignified and respectful, befitting the dignity of the legal
profession. The use of unnecessary language is proscribed if we are to promote
high esteem in the courts and trust in judicial administration.However, the
penalty of reprimand with stern warning imposed by the IBP Board of Governors is
not proportionate to respondents violation of the Canons of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Thus, he deserves a stiffer penalty of fine in the
amount of P5,000.00.Anent the Counter-Complaint filed against the lawyers of
complainant, the Court finds no reason to disturb the following findings and
recommendation of the Investigating Commissioner, as approved by the IBP Board
of Governors, to wit:The Counter-complainant Batan failed to submit any position
paper to substantiate its claims despite sufficient opportunity to do so.FUDOT
V. CATTLEYA LANDFACTSDe La Serna a requested for the inhibition of Associate
Justice Dante O. Tinga claiming that Justice Tinga, who was the ponente of the
decision, received P10 Million from Mr. Johnny Chan in exchange for a favorable
decision. De la serna allegesJOHNNY CHANcurtly told him that Chan already
given out 10M to JUSTICE DANTE O. TINGAin exchange for a favorable Decision in
the case between Fudot and Catltleya land(Mr. Chan is a representative of
Cattleya land). Atty. De La Serna said that Justice Tinga abandoned the doctrine
in the case Lim v, Jorge to accommodate Mr. Chan. He also said that the case was
prioritized for resolution and that Mr. Chan had prior knowledge of the outcome
of the case before the decision was promulgated.However, Mr. Chan related that
he approached De La Serna for the purpose of amicably settling their case with
Cattleya, and offered him to be their retainer in Bohol.However, he denied
having said to De La Serna that he had already spent so much money for the
Supreme Court#ISSUEW/N Atty. De La Serna is guilty of indirect contempt.HELD
Atty. De La Serna is guilty of indirect contempt.Contempt is defined as a
disobedience to the Court by setting up an opposition to its authority, justice
and dignity. It signifies not only a willful disregard or disobedience of the
court's orders but such conduct that tends to bring the authority of the court
and the administration of law into disrepute or in some manner to impede the due
administration of justice.Indirect contempt is one committed out of or not in
the presence of the court that tends to belittle, degrade, obstruct or embarrass
the court and justice.Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to
impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice has also been

considered to constitute indirect contempt.A lawyer is, first and foremost, an


officer of the court. Corollary to his duty to observe and maintain the respect
due to the courts and judicial officers is to support the courts against "unjust
criticism and clamor."His duty is to uphold the dignity and the authority of
the courts to which he owes fidelity, "not to promote distrust in the
administration of justice, as it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and
not destroy unnecessarily that high esteem and regard towards the courts so
essential to the proper administration of justiceAs part of the machinery for
the administration of justice, a lawyer is expected to bring to the fore
irregular and questionable practices of those sitting in court which tend to
corrode the judicial machinery. Thus, if he acquired reliable information that
anomalies are perpetrated by judicial officers, it is incumbent upon him to
report the matter to the Court so that it may be properly acted upon. An
omission or even a delay in reporting may tend to erode the dignity of, and the
public's trust in, the judicial system. This is not to say, however, that as an
officer of the court, he cannot criticize the court.It is a long recognized and
respected right of a lawyer, or any person, for that matter, to be critical of
courts and magistrates as long as they are made in properly respectful terms and
through legitimate channels. But it is the cardinal condition of all such
criticism that it shall be bona fide and shall not spill over the walls of
decency and propriety. 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.In this case, Atty. De La Serna's statements bear the badges
of falsehood while the common version of the witnesses who disputed his
statements is imbued with the hallmarks of truth. De La Serna's declarations
were maliciously and irresponsibly made. They exceeded the boundaries of decency
and propriety. The libelous attack on the integrity and credibility of Justice
Tinga tend to degrade the dignity of the Court and erode public confidence that
should be accorded to it. BONDOC V. JUDGE SIMBULANFACTSThere was a case for
corruption in the judges sala. the private prosecutors representing the
government were repeatedly absent or unprepared.This led to the case being
dismissed. the lawyer/private prosecutor was unhappy with the dismissal and
accused the judge of favoritism and gross ignorance of the law.The lawyer went
to the congressman in their district and through him filed a case against the
judge. this subsequent reached the supreme court.HELDThe supreme court found the
judge innocent and the lawyer was found to be the one behind the case (against
the judge) not the congressman.The lawyer was found guilty of indirect contempt
and given a stern warning as well as fined for 2500php by the court.Lesson: if
you file a case against a judge file it within the justice system (ie office of
the court administrator / IBP) not with your congressman or other non-judicial
people.CANON 12BERBANO V. BARCELONAFACTSFelicitas Berbano, heir of Rufino Hilapo
appointed Atty. Daen as their atty-in-fact for their pending casevwith the
Commission on the Settlement of Land Problems (regarding their Ayala lot being
claimed by Filinvest Dev. Corp.). Atty. Daen was subsequently arrested by
Muntinlupa police. The heirs of Hilapo looked for a lawyer to secure the release
of Atty. Daen. Berbano was recommended to Atty. Barcelona (by a certain Naty
Sibuya). After the first visit of Atty. Barcelona in Muntinlupa City Jail, they
learned that Atty. Daen had decided to engage the services of Atty. Barcelona.
Atty. Barcelona told Berbano that if they could produce P50K, he will cause the
release of Atty. Daen the next day. Since it was already late in the evening,
Berbano could only produce P15,700 by asking from relatives who were with her.
There were several subsequent meetings between Berbano and Atty. Barcelona
regarding the grease money to be used to allegedly bribe an SC justice.
Berbano made another payment via a pay-to-cash check for P24,000; and, in
another occasion, went to the house of Atty. Barcelona to give him P10,000.
Another P15,000 was handed to Atty. Barcelona by Atty. Daens nephew while
Berbano gave him P1000 for gasoline expenses when Atty. Barcelona informed them
that he could not secure Atty. Daens because the check had not been
encashed. By this time, the total amount given to Atty. Barcelona reached
P64,000. For failure to deliver on his promise and due to his sudden
disappearance, Berbano filed a complaint for disbarment against Atty. Barcelona
with the IBP. Commissioner Bautista found Atty. Barcelona guilty of malpractice
and serious breach of the Code of Professional Responsibility recommending him
to be disbarred and ordering him to return the P64,000 (For failure to file an

answer and to appear before the Commissioner, the decision was rendered ex
parte.). Board of Governors adopted the Commissioners findings but reduced the
penalty to suspension from the practice of law for 6 years.ISSUEW/N Atty.
Barcelona should be disbarredHELDAtty. Barcelona should be disbarred.Disbarment
proceedings are meant to safeguard the administration of justice by protecting
the court and the public from the misconduct of officers of the court and remove
from the profession of law persons whose disregard for their oath of office have
proved them unfit to continue discharging the trust reposed in them as members
of the bar. Berbanos Affidavit-Complaint and testimony was sufficient to
support the finding that respondent committed the acts complained of. The act of
Atty. Barcelona in not filing his answer and ignoring the hearings, despite due
notice, emphasized his contempt for legal proceedings. Hence, the Court finds no
compelling reason to overturn the Investigating Commissioners judgment.Atty.
Barcelona is guilty for violations of Canon 1, 7, 11, and 16 (Rule 16.01).
Instead of promoting respect for law and the legal processes, respondent
callously demeaned the legal profession by taking money from a client under the
pretext of having connections with a Member of the Court (to secure the release
of Atty. Daen). Also, this was not the first time Atty. Barcelona has been
charged and found guilty of conduct unbecoming a lawyer (The previous case also
involved misrepresentation and Atty. Barcelona also did not appear before the
IBP despite due notice.). Respondent has demonstrated a penchant for
misrepresenting to clients that he has the proper connections to secure the
relief they seek, and thereafter, ask for money, which will allegedly be given
to such connections (related to Canon 12). SEBASTIAN V. BAJARFACTSBajar was a
lawyer or the Bureau of Agrarian Legal Assistance of the DAR who represented
Fernando Tanlioco in numerous cases which raised the same issues. Tanlioco was
an agricultural lessee of a land owned by Sebastians spouse and sister-in-law
(landowners). The landowners filed anEjectmentcase againstTanliocoon the
basis of a conversion order of the land use from agricultural to residential.
The RTC rendered judgment orderingTanliocosejectmentsubject to the payment
of disturbance compensation. This was affirmed by the CA and SC. Bajar, as
counsel, filed another case for Specific Performance to produce the conversion
order. RTC dismissed this due to res judicata and lack of cause of action. Bajar
again filed another case for Maintenance of Possession with the DAR Adjudication
Board which raised the same issues of conversion and disturbance compensation.
Manuel S. Sebastian filed a disbarment complaint against Atty. Emily
A.Bajar(respondent) for obstructing, disobeying, resisting, rebelling, and
impeding final decisions of Regional Trial Courts, the Court of Appeals and of
the Honorable Supreme Court, and also for submitting those final decisions for
the review and reversal of the DARAB, an administrative body, and for
contemptuous acts and dilatory tactics. The Court issued a resolution requiring
Bajar to comment on the complaint lodged against her. After a 2nd Motion for
Extension, Bajar finally submitted her Comment which was alleged to not confront
the issues raised against her. The Court required Bajar to submit a Rejoinder
but failed, and was later ordered to show cause why she should not be subjected
to disciplinary action for such failure. The Court referred the case to the IBP
for hearing and decision. The IBP ruled that Bajar be SUSPENDED
INDEFINITELYfrom the practice of law for Unethical Practices and attitude
showing her propensity and incorrigible character to violate the basic tenets
and requirements of the Code of Professional Responsibility rendering her unfit
to continue in the practice of law. However, Bajar continued to practice law
despite the decision claiming that she did not receive a copy of the order.
ISSUE Whether Bajar violated the Canon 12 of the Code of Professional
ResponsibilityHELD
YES. Respondents act of filing cases with identical
issues in other venues despite the final ruling which was affirmed by the Court
of Appeals and the Supreme Court is beyond the bounds of the law. Respondent
abused her right of recourse to the courts. Respondent, acting
asTanliocoscounsel, filed cases for Specific Performance and Maintenance of
Possession despite the finality of the decision in theEjectmentcase which
involves the same issues. The Court held that an important factor in
determining the existence of forum-shopping is the vexation caused to the courts
and the parties-litigants by the filing of similar cases to claim substantially
the samereliefs.# HYPERLINK
"http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2007/september2007/3731%20.htm" \l

"_ftn72" \o "" #[72]#Indeed, while a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his
client, it should not be at the expense of truth and administration of justice.
It is evident from the records that respondent filed other cases tothwart the
execution of the final judgment in theEjectmentcase.In this case, respondent
has shown her great propensity to disregard court orders. Respondents acts of
wantonly disobeying her duties as an officer of the court show an utter
disrespect for the Court and the legal profession.However, the Court will not
disbar a lawyer if it finds that a lesser penalty will suffice to accomplish the
desired end.BajarwasSUSPENDEDfrom the practice of law for a period ofTHREE
YEARSeffective from notice, with aSTERN WARNINGthat a repetition of the same
or similar acts will be dealt with more severely.HEGNA V. PADERANGAFACTSHegna
was the lessee of a portion of land owned by the Baclayon spouses for 10 years
but during this period the Panaguinip spouses by means of force, threat,
intimidation, stealth and strategy (FISTS) entered upon the vacant portion of
the lot and constructed a shop for which he filed a forcible entry case.Hegna
won and the Panaguinip spouses were sentenced to vacate the leased premises and
to pay complainant compensatory damages for illegal occupation. When the MTCC of
Cebu issued a writ of execution and the Sheriff levied certain properties of the
spouses they sent a letter dated Dec 2001 to Hegna for a possible amicable
settlement which he denied. Then Atty. Paderanga filed a Third Party Complaint
alleging that he bought the lot and the vehicle during November and December of
2001 which caused the failure to levy the properties by the Sheriff.Hegna then
filed a letter complaint to the Office of the bar confidant for deliberately
falsifying documents, causing delay and a possible denial of justice. He also
filed criminal charges against Atty. Paderanga & Atty. Madarang (notary public)
for falsification of public documents and the Panaguinip spouses for false
testimony and perjury. His grounds were (1) the lot had no record of transfer
with the Register of Deeds, (2) the registration of the vehicle didnt reflect
any change of ownership & (3) the Notarial Register Book showed tampering and
erasures.The City Prosecutor dismissed the criminal complaint for lack ofprima
facieevidence of guilt but referred the administrative complaint to the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) for investigation. Atty. Paderangas
defense alleged that for ESTATE PLANNING purposes, he intentionally left these
properties in the name of the previous owner and that he alleged discrepancies
in the notarization were made to correct mistakes so that entries will speak the
truth.The Investigating Commissioner found that the dismissal was improper in
light of the letter handwritten by Respondents clients, written in Cebuano,
asking for mercy and forgiveness in relation to the forcible entry case. Such
letter was no longer necessary if indeed there was a GENUINE transfer of
ownership of properties. In addition, there were several instances where Atty.
Paderanga will meet with Hegna offering settlement and it was only when he
denied them that he received the Third Party Complaint. ISSUE W/n there was
indeed a genuine transfer of the lot and vehicle to Atty. Paderanga? HELD
Commissioner is convinced that there was indeed an anomaly which constitutes a
violation of the Canons of Professional Responsibility so given 1 year
suspension. His non-registration of the sale transaction so it would not appear
in the records of the BIR, the City Assessor or the Register of Deeds, on the
Land Registration Office so that he would not pay for the expenses of the sale
and transfer twice, once he decided to sell; or place them in his childrens
name, and avoid paying estate and inheritance taxes upon his death.Art. 1491 A
lawyer ought to have known that he cannot acquire the property of his client
which is in litigation.violated Rule 1.01 which provides that a lawyer shall not
engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct.violated the
Lawyers Oath, which mandates that he should support the Constitution, obey the
laws as well as the legal orders of the duly constituted authorities therein,
and do no falsehood or not consent to the doing of any in court. Further, he has
also failed to live up to the standard set by law that he should refrain from
counseling or abetting activities aimed at defiance of the
law or at lessening confidence in the legal system. The act of non-registration
of the deeds of sale to avoid paying tax may not be illegalper se; but, as a
servant of the law, a lawyer should make himself an exemplar for others to
emulate.PLUS BUILDERS V. REVILLAFACTSIn the case of PLUS BUILDERS, INC., and
EDGARDO C. GARCIA vs. ATTY. ANASTACIO E. REVILLA, JR., , En Banc, A.C. No. 7056,
February 11, 2009, the respondent lawyer filed a motion for reconsideration of

the decision of the Philippine Supreme Court, finding respondent guilty of gross
misconduct for committing a willful and intentional falsehood before the court,
misusing court procedure and processes to delay the execution of a judgment and
collaborating with non-lawyers in the illegal practice of law.On November 15,
1999, a decision was rendered by the Provincial Adjudicator of Cavite (PARAD) in
favor of complainant, Plus Builders, Inc. and against the tenants/farmers
Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al., who were the clients of respondent Atty. Anastacio
E. Revilla, Jr. The PARAD found that respondents clients were mere tenants and
not rightful possessors/owners of the subject land. The case was elevated all
the way up to the Supreme Court, with this Court sustaining complainants rights
over the land. Continuing to pursue his clients lost cause, respondent was
found to have committed intentional falsehood; and misused court processes with
the intention to delay the execution of the decision through the filing of
several motions, petitions for temporary restraining orders, and the last, an
action to quiet title despite the finality of the decision. Furthermore, he
allowed non-lawyers to engage in the unauthorized practice of law holding
themselves out as his partners/associates in the law firm.Respondent maintains
that he did not commit the acts complained of. The courses of action he took
were not meant to unduly delay the execution of the DARAB Decision dated
November 19, 1999, but were based on his serious study, research and experience
as a litigation lawyer for more than 20 years and on the facts given to him by
his clients in the DARAB case. He believes that the courses of action he took
were valid and proper legal theory designed to protect the rights and interests
of Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al. He stresses that he was not the original lawyer
in this case. The lawyer-client relationship with the former lawyer was
terminated because Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al. felt that their former counsel
did not explain/argue their position very well, refused to listen to them and,
in fact, even castigated them. As the new counsel, respondent candidly relied on
what the tenants/farmers told him in the course of his interview. They
maintained that they had been in open, adverse, continuous and notorious
possession of the land in the concept of an owner for more than 50 years. Thus,
the filing of the action to quiet title was resorted to in order to determine
the rights of his clients respecting the subject property. He avers that he
merely exhausted all possible remedies and defenses to which his clients were
entitled under the law, considering that his clients were subjected to
harassment and threats of physical harm and summary eviction by the complainant.
He posited that he was only being protective of the interest of his clients as a
good father would be protective of his own family, and that his services to
Leopoldo de Guzman, et. al were almost pro bono. HELDIt is the rule that when a
lawyer accepts a case, he is expected to give his full attention, diligence,
skill and competence to the case, regardless of its importance and whether he
accepts it for a fee or for free. A lawyers devotion to his clients cause not
only requires but also entitles him to deploy every honorable means to secure
for the client what is justly due him or to present every defense provided by
law to enable the latters cause to succeed. In this case, respondent may not be
wanting in this regard. On the contrary, it is apparent that the respondents
acts complained of were committed out of his over-zealousness and misguided
desire to protect the interests of his clients who were poor and uneducated. We
are not unmindful of his dedication and conviction in defending the less
fortunate. Taking the cudgels from the former lawyer in this case is rather
commendable, but respondent should not forget his first and foremost
responsibility as an officer of the court. In support of the cause of their
clients, lawyers have the duty to present every remedy or defense within the
authority of the law. This obligation, however, is not to be performed at the
expense of truth and justice. This is the criterion that must be borne in mind
in every exertion a lawyer gives to his case. Under the Code of Professional
Responsibility, a lawyer has the duty to assist in the speedy and efficient
administration of justice, and is enjoined from unduly delaying a case by
impeding execution of a judgment or by misusing court processes. #FIL-GARCIA,
INC. V. HERNANDEZFact
Filomeno Garcia, president of Fil-Garcia Inc., after
losing his case in the CA for a sum of money, secured the serviced of Atty.
Fernando Hernandez, who received the denied resolution for Garcia as counsel,
and was given 15 days to appeal.
Instead of filing the appeal, Hernandez
filed for a Motion for Extension the day before the expiration of the period to

file the appeal,, alleging that he was counsel for a mayoralty candidate and a
senatorial candidate, and he was also needed in the canvassing of votes, so the
urgency of the nature of his work will not allow him the limited time to file
the appeal, thus asked for 30 days extension. 30 days later, Hernandez again
filed his 2nd Motion for Extension, this time, because he fell ill, and his
physical state will not allow him to file the appeal on time, thus asking for 20
days extension.
20 days later, the 3rd Motion for Extension was filed, with
the grand excuse that because he fell ill the last time, his work load piled up,
thus requiring him more time to conclude on the work load he missed when he was
ill, plus the appeal, hence the request for 10 days extension, to which 10 days
later, he did actually file the appeal. (Finally!)
Of course, afterwards,
Hernandez learned that all three Motions for Extensions were denied by the
court, and to his dismay, received a copy of the resolution denying the appeal
all together. However, instead of informing his client, Fil-Garcia, he decides
to forward the resolution of denial of the appeal some 7 months later, which
greatly angered his client, pushing him to file for his disbarment. Issue
Is
Hernandez liable for malpractice, gross misconduct, tantamount to violation of
his oath as a lawyer, which warrant his disbarment? Held
Yes, to gross
negligence, but no to disbarment. The filing of 3 motions for extension on the
careless assumption that each motion will be granted by the Court, and without
taking care of informing himself of the Court's action thereon, constitutes
inexcusable negligence. Moreover, respondent knowingly referred to Rule 65 in
the petition he belatedly filed as an afterthought in his desperate attempt to
salvage the appeal.Rule 12.04 enjoins a lawyer not to "unduly delay a case,
impede the execution of judgment or misuse court proceedings." While pressure of
work or some other unavoidable reasons may constrain a lawyer to file a motion
for extension of time to file pleadings, he should not presume that his motion
for extension of time will be granted. Motions for extension of time to file a
pleading are not granted as a matter of course but lie in the sound discretion
of the court. It is thus incumbent on any movant for extension to exercise due
diligence to inform himself as soon as possible of the Court's action on his
motion, by timely inquiry from the Clerk of Court. Should he neglect to do so,
he runs the risk of time running out on him, for which he will have nobody but
himself to blame.A lawyer who finds it impracticable to continue as counsel
should inform the client and ask that he be allowed to withdraw from the case to
enable the client to engage the services of another counsel who can study the
situation and work out a solution.To make matters worse, it took respondent 7
months from the time he received a copy of the Court's resolution to inform
complainant of the same. He was merely suspended for 6 months, considering that
respondent humbly admitted his fault in not immediately informing complainant of
the status of the case.CANONS 13 & 14FOODSPHERE V. MAURICIOFACTSFoodsphere, Inc.
is the owner of CDO grocery products. One day, a Mr. Cordero bought canned goods
from a grocery store, one of them being a CDO liver spread canned good. When Mr.
Cordero and his family ate the liver spread, they found that it tasted sour and
subsequently discovered that the canned good was infested with a colony of
worms. A complaint was filed with the Bureau of Food and Drug Administration
(BFAD) and a subsequent investigation confirmed the presence of the parasites.
BFAD ordered a hearing between Foodsphere and the Corderos, where the latter
demanded P150k. Foodsphere refused, resulting to the Corderos threatening to
bring up the matter to the media.Meanwhile, Atty Mauricio faxed Foodsphere a
sample front page of a tabloid he was involved with, which contained articles
discrediting the latter, and threatened to publish it if they didnt pay the
amount the Corderos wanted. Foodsphere refused as well. Atty Mauricio thus
proposed a Kasunduan between the two, where Foodsphere agreed to settle the
matter for a lower amount, but added that Foodsphere advertise in Mauricios
tabloids and tv shows, in exchange for the withdrawal of the complaint. The
Corderos withdrew their complaint and BFAD dismissed the complaint
against Foodsphere.Mauricio then sent Foodsphere an Advertising Contract
asking the latter advertisements of various media (which were a lotand
expensive!) owned by Mauricio. As a sign of goodwill, Foodsphere offered to
patronize some advertisements only. Mauricio was disappointed with this and
threatened to proceed with the publications. And a few weeks later, Mauricio, in
his radio talk show (Batas ng Bayan) held a guessing contest with questions that
asked which company had worms in its liver spread. He also wrote in his columns

and aired in his tv shows about the same topic.Foodsphere filed criminal and
civil complaints against Mauricio about the discrediting remarks that he has
been making against the company. Foodsphere also filed the present
administrative complaint against Mauricio to the IBP, where he was ordered not
to make any more statements on the matter. Notwithstanding the pending cases
against him, Mauricio continued to publish articles against Foodsphere and
discredit them in his tv shows. Because of this, the IBP ordered that Mauricio
be suspended for 2 years. Mauricio now challenges the validity of the
suspension.ISSUE/SW/N Mauricios suspension was valid.HELDYES! Mauricio
suspended for 3 years.Continued Attacks Despite Pending Cases = Violation Of
Rule 13.02Despite the pendency of the case against Mauricio, and IBPs orders
that he discontinue with his actions, he still continued with his attacks
against Foodsphere and its products. This is a clear and conscious violation the
Code of Professional Responsibility which is an improper conduct of a member of
the bar.NOTE: The power of the media to form or influence public opinion cannot
be underestimated. SUSPENSION OF ATTY. BAGUBAYAOFACTSAdministrative case stemmed
from the events of the proceedings in Criminal Case No. 5144: People v. Luis
Plaza. Plaza was accused of murdering a policeman.Criminal case was originally
raffled to the sala of Judge Buyser. Buyser denied the Demurrer to the Evidence
of the accused, declaring that evidence presented was sufficient to prove the
crime of homicide but not murder. Counsel for Plaza filed a Motion to Fix
Amount of Bail, but Senior State Prosecutor Bagabuyo (who was in charge of the
case) objected thereto on the ground that the original charge of murder was not
subject to bail (Rules of Court).Judge Buyser inhibited himself from trying the
case because of the harsh insinuation of Bagabuyo that he lacks the cold
neutrality of an impartial magistrate by allegedly suggesting the filing of the
motion to fix the amount of bail.Case was transferred to Judge Tan, who fixed
the amount of bail at P40k.Instead of availing of judicial remediess, Bagabuyo
caused the publication of an article regarding the Order granting the bail in
the Mindanao Gold Star Daily, Senior prosecutor lambasts Surigao judge for
allowing murder suspect to bail out. In the article, Bagabuyo argued that the
crime of murder is non-bailable, but admitted that a judge could still opt to
allow a murder suspect to bail out in cases when the evidence of the prosecution
is weak. He claims that the former judge found the evidence to be strong. He
stated that he was not afraid to be cited for contempt because it was the only
way for the public to know that there are judges displaying judicial arrogance.
RTC directed Bagabuyo (and the writer of the article) to explain why he should
not be cited for indirect contempt of court for the publication of the article
which degraded the court with its presiding judge with its lies and
misrepresentations.Bagabuyo refused to explain and the RTC held him in contempt
of court, sentencing him to 30 days in jail (he posted a bail bond and was
released).Despite this, Bagabuyo presented himself to the media for interviews
in Radio Station DXKS and again, attacked the integrity of Judge Tan.In the
radio interview, Bagabuyo called Judge Tan a liar, ignorant of the law and that
as a mahjong aficionado, he was studying mahjong instead of studying the law.RTC
required Bagabuyo to explain and show cause why he should not be held in
contempt and be suspended from the practice of law for violating the Code of
Professional Responsibility (Rule 11.05 and Rule 13.02).Bagabuyo denied the
charge that he sought to be interviewed. He said that he was approached by
someone who asked him to comment on the Order. He justified his response to the
interview (at the instance of his friend) as a simple exercise of his
constitutional right of freedom of speech and that it was made without malice.
RTC found his denials lame, held him in contempt, and suspended him from the
practice of law for 1 year. In accordance with the Rules of Court, the case was
transmitted to the Office of the Bar Confidant, which recommended the
implementation of the RTCs order of suspension.ISSUEW/N Bagabuyo should be held
in contempt and suspended for violating Rule 11.05, Canon 11 and Rule 13.02 of
the Code of Professional Responsibility YESHELDCanon 11 mandates a lawyer to
observe and maintain the respect due to the courts and to judicial officers.
Bagabuyo violated Canon 11 when he indirectly stated that Judge Tan was
displaying judicial arrogance in the published article and when he stated that
Judge Tan was ignorant of the law and that as a mahjong aficionado, he was
studying mahjong instead of the law.Rule 11.05 states that a lawyer shall submit
grievances against a judge to the proper authorities.Bagabuyo violated Rule

11.05 when he caused the holding of a press conference and submitted to a radio
interview to air out his grievances against Judge Tan.Rule 13.02 states that a
lawyer shall not make public statements in the media regarding a pending case
tending to arouse public opinion for or against a party.Bagabuyo violated Rule
13.02 when he made statements in the article, which were made while Criminal
Case No. 5144 was still pending in court.A lawyer may be disbarred or suspended
for any violation of his oath, a patent disregard of his duties, or an odious
deportment unbecoming of an attorney. CANON 15HILADO V. DAVIDFACTSMrs. Hilado
filed an action against Assad to annul the sale of several house & lot between
Assad and her now deceased husband, during the Japanese occupation Assads
counsel is Atty. FranciscoMrs. Hilados counsels are the following: Delgado,
Dizon, Flores and Rodrigo Atty. Dizon wrote Atty. Francisco to discontinue
representing Assad because Mrs. Hilado consulted her about the case and even
turned over some documents to Atty. Francisco Atty. Francisco even wrote a legal
opinion/letter addressed to Mrs. Hilado regarding the same case, which states
that Atty. Francisco will not represent Mrs. Hilado in the case and he thinks
that the action against Assad will not prosper
Mrs. Hilados counsel filed a
motion to DISQUALIFY Atty. Francisco Atty. Franciscos version of the story:Mrs.
Hilado came to see Atty. Francisco about the case, but he refused to become her
counsel because he thinks that the action will not prosperDays later, Atty.
Franciscos assistant, Atty. Agrava, informed him that Mrs. Hilado left some
expediente in the firm. Atty. Francisco instructed Atty. Agrava to return the
expediente because they will not handle the case of Mrs. HiladoLater, the firms
stenographer showed Atty. Francisco a letter allegedly dictated by Atty. Agrava
which explains to Mrs. Hilado why they refuse to take the caseAtty. Francisco
allegedly signed the letter without reading it
Later on, Assad went to Atty.
Franciscos office. Afterwards, Atty. Francisco accepted the retainer fee Lower
Court Held: no other information was transmitted to Atty. Francisco other than
those in plaintiffs complaint and there was no attorney-client relationship
between Atty. Francisco and Mrs. Hilado. Hence, motion to disqualify is denied.
ISSUE W/N there was an attorney-client relationship between Atty. Francisco and
Mrs. Hilado HELD Yes, there was an attorney-client relationship because the
purpose of Mrs. Hilado was to obtain Atty. Franciscos personal service as a
lawyer Retainer and frequency of consultation is not needed , so long as the
purpose is to obtain professional advice or assistance and the attorney permits,
then an attorney-client relationship is establishedFormality is not essential
Even is no secret communication was given, as long as there is an attorneyclient relationship which precludes accepting opposite partys retainer in the
same litigation regardless of what type of information was received Only thus
can litigants be encouraged to entrust their secrets to their attorneys which is
of paramount importance to administration of justiceEven if the information was
only received by an assistant, it is still considered as professional service,
besides an information imparted to a member of a firm is made available to the
entire firm
Hence, Atty. Francisco is disqualified as Assads counsel
Ratio: Rule 15.02 a lawyer shall be bound by the rule on privileged
communication in respect of matters disclosed to him by a prospective client
NAKPIL V. VALDESFACTSValdes is Jose Nakpils accountant, consultant and lawyer.
Nakpil got interested in the purchase of a summer residence in Baguio but due to
lack of funds, he asked Valdes to buy it for him and hold it in trust.Valdes
obtained 2 loans (65k and 75k), then he bought the land and had the title issued
in his name.When Jose Nakpil died, Imelda, his wife, became the administratrix
of Joses estate. And, Valdes law firm filed for the settlement of Joses
estate.Baguio property became an issue because the property was not included in
Joses inventory of estate, but the loans used to purchase the property were
charged under his name.The title to the property was transferred from Valdes to
Caval Realty, Valdes
family realty corp.Valdes accounting firm handled the inventory of Joses
estate but also, handled the claims of Joses creditors- Angel Nakpil and ENORN,
INC.ISSUEw/n Valdes is guilty of representing conflicting interests in violation
of the code of professional ethicsHELDYes.The proscription applies no matter how
slight the adverse interest is.Representation of conflicting interests may be
allowed only upon full disclosure of the facts among all concerned parties, as
to the extent of conflict and probable adverse outcome.The preparation of claims
of the creditors against the estate is obviously improper because he had to

fight for one side, the claims he was defending against for the other side.The
defense that he had already resigned from the law firm was not supported by
evidence. His resignation from the accounting firm only shows that he was absent
for quite some time but returned to work during the tenure of the litigation of
claims. Thus, he cannot claim ignorance of the case.The test of impropriety of
representation of conflicting interests is not the certainty of such existence
but mere probability for it to exist.Even though he could have committed such
misconduct not as a lawyer but as an accountant, the court is not divested of
jurisdiction to punish a lawyer for misconduct committed outside the legal
field, as the good moral character requirement is not only a requisite for
entrance to the bar but a continuing requirement for the practice of law.A
lawyer should always act to promote public confidence to the legal profession.
HORNILLA V. SALUNATFACTS
Complainants in this case are members of the
Philippine Public School Teachers Association (PPSTA) who filed an intracorporate case against its members of the Board of Directors for unlawful
spending and the undervalued sale of the real properties of PPSTA corporation.
Attorney Salunat is the counsel of the Philippine Public School Teachers
Association (PPSTA) and at the same time the counsel of the PPSTA Board of
Directors. Hence, complainants now aver that Atty. Salunat is guilty of
conflict of interest.ISSUE
Can a lawyer, engaged by a corporation, defend
members of the board of the same corporation in a derivative suit? HELDNo, a
lawyer cannot. Hence, Atty. Salunat is guilty of representing conflicting
interest and is admonished to observe a higher degree of fidelity in the
practice of his profession.
The Court in this case explained the nature of a
derivative suit. Where corporation directors have committed a breach, ultra
vires acts, or negligence a stockholder may sue on behalf of himself and other
stockholders and for the benefit of the corporation. In this suit therefore, the
corporation is the real party in interest, while the stockholder who files a
suit for the corporations behalf is only the nominal party.
The test of
inconsistency of interest is whether the acceptance of a new relation will
prevent an attorney from the full discharge of his duty of undivided fidelity
and loyalty to his client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double
dealing in the performance thereof. A situation wherein a lawyer represents both
the corporation and its assailed directors unavoidably gives rise to a conflict
of interest. NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY V. ARQUILLOFACTSNorthwestern University
filed an administrative case against Atty. Arquillo for representing conflicting
interests in a NLRC case. The complaint alleges that Atty. Arquillo appeared as
counsel for both the petitioner and the respondent (Castro) in the labor case.
Atty. Arquillo, as a defense, contended that the petitioners and respondent he
represented in the labor case belonged to the same side as the latter party was
absolved from liability. Hence, there was no conflict of interests.ISSUE W/N
Atty. Arquillo represented conflicting interests.HELDYES. When a lawyer
represents two or more opposing parties, there is a conflict of interests, the
existence of which is determined by three separate tests: (1) when, in
representation of one client, a lawyer is required to fight for an issue or
claim, but is also duty-bound to oppose it for another client; (2) when the
acceptance of the new retainer will require an attorney to perform an act that
may injuriously affect the first client or, when called upon in a new relation,
to use against the first one any knowledge acquired through their professional
connection; or (3) when the acceptance of a new relation would prevent the full
discharge of an attorneys duty to give undivided fidelity and loyalty to the
client or would invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or double dealing in the
performance of that duty.Having agreed to represent one of the opposing parties
first, the lawyer should have known that there was an obvious conflict of
interests, regardless of his alleged belief that they were all on the same side.
It cannot be denied that the dismissed employees were the complainants in the
same cases in which Castro was one of the respondents.QUIAMBAO V. BAMBAFacts:
Quiambao charges Atty. Bamba with violation of CPR for representing
conflicting interests when the latter filed a case against her while he was at
that time representing her in another case, and for committing other acts of
disloyalty and double-dealing. Atty. Bamba is the counsel of Allied
Investigation Bureau (AIB) and its president and managing director (Quiambao).
Atty. Bamba is the counsel of Quaimbao in an ejectment case. Later on, Quiambao
resigned from AIB. While the ejectment case was still ongoing, Atty. Bamba, as

the counsel of AIB, filed a replevin case against Quiambao. Issue:


Whether
or not Atty. Bamba is guilty of misconduct for representing conflicting
interests in contravention of the basic tenets of the legal profession.Held:
Yes, Atty. Bamba is guilty. Suspended for 1 year. At the time Atty. Bamba filed
the replevin case on behalf of AIB, he was still the counsel of record of
Quiambao in the pending ejectment case. Under Rule 15.03, a lawyer shall not
represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given
after full disclosure of the facts. This is founded on the principles of public
policy because it is the only way that litigants can be encouraged to entrust
their secrets to their lawyers, which is of paramount importance in the
administration of justice. 3 Tests of Conflict of Interests:Whether a lawyer is
duty-bound to fight for an issue or claim in behalf of one client and, at the
same time, to oppose that claim for the other client Whether the acceptance of a
new relation would prevent the full discharge of the lawyers duty of undivided
fidelity and loyalty to the client or invite suspicion of unfaithfulness or
double-dealing in the performance of that dutyWhether the lawyer would be called
upon in the new relation to use against a former client any confidential
information acquired through their connection or previous employmentHEIRS OF
FALAME V. BAGUIOFACTSPlaintiffs, heirs of the late Lydio Falame, allege that
their father engaged the services of respondent Atty. Baguio to represent him in
an action for forcible entry (in which Lydio and his brother Raleigh were one of
the defendants). As counsel, Atty. Baguio used and submitted evidence of: 1.) A
special power of attorney executed by Lydio in favor of his brother, Raleigh
Falame, appointing him as his attorney-in-fact; and 2.) affidavit of Raleigh
Falame, executed before the respondent, in which Raleigh stated that Lydio owned
the property subject of the case.Plaintiffs further allege that even after a
favorable ruling for the defendants in the said case, Lydio still retained the
services of Atty. Baguio as his legal adviser and counsel of his businesses
until his death in 1996.However, in October of 2000 Atty. Baguio, in
representation of spouses Raleigh and Noemi Falame, filed a compliant against
the plaintiffs involving the same property that was the subject matter in the
first case. Said complaint sought the declaration of nullity of the deed of
sale, its registration in the registry of deeds, TCT issued as a consequence of
the registration of the sale and the real estate mortgage.Plaintiffs in turn,
filed an administrative case against Atty. Baguio alleging that by acting as
counsel for the spouses Falame in the second case, wherein they were impleaded a
defendants, respondent violated his oath of office and duty as an attorney. They
contend that the spouses Falames interests are adverse to those of his former
client, Lydio.The IBP Board of Governors passed a Resolution adopting and
approving Investigating Commissioner Winston Abuyuans report and recommendation
for the dismissal of this case.ISSUE W/N Atty. Baguio violated Rule 15.03 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility? HELD Yes, he violated the rule. Rule 15.03
of the Canon of Professional Responsibility provides: A lawyer shall not
represent conflicting interests except by written consent of all concerned given
after a full disclosure of the facts. A lawyer may not, without being guilty of
professional misconduct, act as counsel for a person whose interest conflicts
with that of his present or former client.The test is whether, on behalf of one
client, it is the lawyers duty to contest that which his duty another client
requires him to oppose or when the possibility of such situation will develop.
The rule covers not only cases in which confidential communications have been
confided, but also those in which no confidence has been bestowed or will be
used.The rule prohibits a lawyer from representing a client if that
representation will be directly adverse to any of his present or former clients.
The rule is grounded in the fiduciary obligation of loyalty.The termination of
attorney-client relation provides no justification for a lawyer
to represent an interest adverse to or in conflict with that of the former
client. The clients confidence once reposed should not be divested by mere
expiration of professional employment. The protection given to a client is
perpetual and does not cease with the termination of the litigation, nor is it
affected by the partys ceasing to employ the attorney and retaining another, or
by any other change of relation between them. It even survives the death of the
client. In the case at bar, respondent admitted having jointly represented Lydio
and Raleigh as defendants in the first civil case. Evidently, the attorneyclient relation between Lydio and respondent was established despite the fact

that it is immaterial whether such employment was paid, promised or charged for.
As defense counsel in the first civil case respondent advocated the stance that
Lydio solely owned the property subject of the case. In the second civil case
involving the same property, respondent, as counsel for Raleigh and his spouse,
has pursued the inconsistent position that Raleigh owned the same property in
common with Lydio, with complainants, who inherited the property, committing
acts which debase respondents rights as co-owner. The fact that the attorneyclient relation had ceased by reason of Lydios death or through the completion
of the specific task for which respondent was employed is not reason for
respondent to advocate a position opposed to the of Lydio. And while plaintiffs
have never been respondents clients, they derive their rights to the property
from Lydios ownership of it which respondent maintained in the first civil
case.PACANA V. PASCUAL-LOPEZFACTSPacana was the Operations Director for Multitel
Communications Corporation (MCC). Multitel was besieged by demand letters from
its members and investors because of the failure of its investment schemes.
Pacana earned the ire of Multitel investors after becoming the assignee of
majority of the shares of stock of Precedent and after being appointed as
trustee of a fund amounting to Thirty Million Pesos (P30,000,000.00) deposited
at Real Bank. Multitel later changed its name to Precedent.Pacana sought the
advice of Lopez who also happened to be a member of the Couples for Christ, a
religious organization where Pacana and his wife were also active members. From
then on, they constantly communicated, with the former disclosing all his
involvement and interests in Precedent and Precedents relation with Multitel.
Lopez gave legal advice to Pacana and even helped him prepare standard
quitclaims for creditors. In sum, Pacana avers that a lawyer-client relationship
was established between him and Lopez although no formal document was executed
by them at that time. There was an attempt to have a formal retainer agreement
signed but it didnt push through. After a few weeks, Pacana was surprised to
receive a demand letter from Lopez asking for the return and immediate
settlement of the funds invested by Lopezs clients in Multitel. Lopez explained
that she had to send it so that her clients defrauded investors of Multitel
would know that she was doing something for them and assured Pacana that there
was nothing to worry about.Both parties continued to communicate and exchange
information regarding the persistent demands made by Multitel investors against
Pacana. Pacana gave Lopez several amounts, first 900,000; then 1,000,000 to be
used in his case. Even when Pacana went to the states, they continued
communicating and he continued sending her money for the case. Wary that Lopez
may not be able to handle his legal problems, Pacana was advised by his family
to hire another lawyer. When Lopez knew about this, she wrote to complainant via
e-mail, as follows:Dear Butchie,Hi! Ok ka lang? Hope you are fine. Sorry if I
shocked you but I had to do it as your friend and lawyer.------------ I have
been informed by Efie that your family is looking at hiring Coco Pimentel. I
know him very well as his sister Gwen is my best friend. I have no problem if
you hire him but I will be hands off. I work differently kasi. -------- Efren
Santos will sign as your lawyer although I will do all the work. ----------Please do not worry. Give me 3 months to make it all disappear. But if you hire
Coco, I will give him the free hand to work with your case. -------- I will
stand by you always. This is my expertise. TRUST me! ----CandyWhen he got back
to the country, Lopez told Pacana she had earned P12,500,000.00 as attorneys
fees and was willing to give P2,000,000.00 to him in appreciation for his help.
This never happened though. Lopez also ignored Pacanas repeated requests for
accounting. She continued to evade him.Finally, Pacana filed a case with the IBP
for Lopezs disbarment. The IBP disbarred her.ISSUEWhether or not Lopez had
violated Rule 15.03 on representing conflicting interests.HELDYes! Attorney
Maricel Pascual-Lopez was DISBARRED for representing conflicting interests and
for engaging in unlawful, dishonest and deceitful conduct in violation of her
Lawyers Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. Ratio: Rule 15.03
A lawyer shall not represent conflicting interests except by written consent of
all concerned given after full disclosure of the facts. Lopez must have known
that her act of constantly and actively communicating with Pacana, who, at that
time, was beleaguered with demands from investors of Multitel, eventually led to
the establishment of a lawyer-client relationship. Lopez cannot shield herself
from the inevitable consequences of her actions by simply saying that the
assistance she rendered to complainant was only in the form of "friendly

accommodations," precisely because at the time she was giving assistance to


complainant, she was already privy to the cause of the opposing parties who had
been referred to her by the SEC.Given the situation, the most decent and ethical
thing which Lopez should have done was either to advise Pacana to engage the
services of another lawyer since she was already representing the opposing
parties, or to desist from acting as representative of Multitel investors and
stand as counsel for complainant. She cannot be permitted to do both because
that would amount to double-dealing and violate our ethical rules on conflict of
interest.Indubitably, Lopez took advantage of Pacanas hapless situation,
initially, by giving him legal advice and, later on, by soliciting money and
properties from him. Thereafter, Lopez impressed upon Pacana that she had acted
with utmost sincerity in helping him divest all the properties entrusted to him
in order to absolve him from any liability. But simultaneously, she was also
doing the same thing to impress upon her clients, the party claimants against
Multitel, that she was doing everything to reclaim the money they invested with
Multitel. CANON 16LICUANAN V. MELOFacts: Licuanan filed a complaint against
Atty. Melo for breach of professional ethics. Atty. Melo was Licuanans counsel
in an ejectment case filed against her tenant. Atty. Melo failed to remit to her
the rentals collected nor did the said lawyer report to her the receipt of said
amounts. It was only after a year from actual receipt that Atty. Melo turned
over his collections to Licuanan because a demand made by the latter.
Issue:
Whether or not Atty. Melo should be penalized for failure to remit rentals
collectedHeld:
Yes! Atty. Melo is disbarred.Ratio: The actuations of Atty.
Melo in retaining for his personal benefit over a 1 year period, the mount of
P5,220 received by him on behalf of his client, Licuanan is deprived of its use,
and withholding information on the same despite inquiries made by her, I a
breach of the Lawyers Oath to which he swore observance, and an evident
transgression of the CPR. Due to Atty. Melos professional misconduct, he has
breached the trust reposed in him by his client. Atty. Melos unprofessional
actuations considered, the SC find him guilty of deceit, malpractice and gross
misconduct in office. He has displayed lack of honesty and good moral character.
POSIDIO V. VITANFACTS
Posidio engaged the services of Vitan in a Testate
Proceeding of the deceased Nicolasa Arroyo to which she paid Php 20,000.00 as
legal fees. However, Vitan withdrew his appearance in the said case thus,
Posidio had to engage the services of another lawyer. Six years after, Vitan
contacted Posidio and told her that he has with some tax declarations and other
documents purportedly forming part of the estate of Nicolasa Arroyo, but was not
included in the inventory of properties for distribution. He convinced
complainant to file another case to recover her share in the alleged undeclared
properties and demanded P100,000.00 as legal fees. After several months,
however, respondent failed to institute any action. Complainant decided to
forego the filing of the case and asked for the return of the P100,000.00, but
respondent refused despite repeated demands.
The lower court ruled in favor of
Posidio and ordered Vitan to return the Php 100,000.00 and pay an additional Php
20,000.00 as interest and damages. In compliance, Vitan issued a Prudential Bank
check that was dishonored later on. Despite being sent a notice of dishonor and
the repeated demands to pay, Vitan refused to honor his obligation.
The case
was referred to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation, report
and recommendation. The Investigating Commissioner submitted his Report finding
Vitan guilty of violating the lawyers oath and the Code of Professional
Responsibility in defrauding his client and issuing a check without sufficient
funds to cover the same. The IBP penalized Vitan with a reprimand with stern
warning that a similar misconduct will warrant a more severe penalty.ISSUE
Whether or not Vitan should be
penalized? HELD
The Supreme Court agrees with the findings of the IBP.
However, they find that the penalty of reprimand is not commensurate to the
gravity of wrong committed by Vitan.
In the instant case, respondent
received the amount of P100,000.00 as legal fees for filing additional claims
against the estate of Nicolasa S. de Guzman Arroyo. However, he failed to
institute an action, thus it was imperative that he immediately return the
amount to complainant upon demand. Having received payment for services which
were not rendered, respondent was unjustified in keeping complainants money.
His obligation was to immediately return the said amount. His refusal to do so
despite complainants repeated demands constitutes a violation of his oath where

he pledges not to delay any man for money and swears to conduct himself with
good fidelity to his clients. A lawyer is obliged to hold in trust money or
property of his client that may come to his possession. He is a trustee to said
funds and property. He is to keep the funds of his client separate and apart
from his own and those of others kept by him. Money entrusted to a lawyer for a
specific purpose such as for the registration of a deed with the Register of
Deeds and for expenses and fees for the transfer of title over real property
under the name of his client if not utilized, must be returned immediately to
his client upon demand. The lawyers failure to return the money of his client
upon demand gave rise to a presumption that he has misappropriated said money in
violation of the trust reposed on him. The conversion by a lawyer of funds
entrusted to him by his client is a gross violation of professional ethics and a
betrayal of public confidence in the legal profession.LEMOINE V. BALONFACTS
Lemoine, the petitioner, is a French national who filed an insurance claim with
Metropolitan Insurance. His friend, Jesus Garcia, arranged for the engagement of
Atty. Balons services as his counselBalon advised Lemoine that he was charging
25% of the actual amount to being recovered payable upon successful recovery.
Lemoine never gave his consent as to the fee.
Since he was leaving the
country, Lemoine signed an undated Special Power of Attorney authorizing Balon
to bring any action against Metropolitan Insurance for the satisfaction of
Lemoines claim as well as to negotiate, sign, compromise, encash and receive
payments Metropolitan Insurance offered to settle Lemoines claim and Balon
confirmed his acceptance of the offer December 1998, Metropolitan Insurance
issued a China Bank check payable to Lemoine in the amount of P525,000 which was
received by Balon When Lemoine asked Balon as to the status of the case, Balon
answered that Metropolitan Insurance was offering P350,000 for settlement which
Lemoine suggested that Balon accept to avoid litigation
December 1999,
Lemoine visited the office of Metropolitan Insurance to ask on the status of the
case and it answered that the case was long settled via a check given to Balon.
Balon acknowledge that he is in possession of the check and that he is keeping
the check as attorneys lien pending Lemoines payment of his attorneys fee
equivalent to 50% of the entire amount collected. He also threatened Lemoine
that he will not hesitate to make proper representation with the Bureau of
Immigration and Deportation, DOLE and BIR if Lemoine will make any trouble to
Balon and that he has good network with the mentioned agencies.Balon later
claimed that he gave P233,000 to Garcia on the representation of Lemoine,
however, he gave no evidence to such turnoverISSUEW/N Atty. Balon violated the
Code of Professional ResponsibilityHELD YES.According to the SC, Atty. Balon
violated Canons 1, 15, 16, 17, 18 and 21. Specifically, Canon 16 which provides
that a lawyer shall hold in trust all moneys and properties of his client that
may come into his possession.Balon violated this and committed misconduct, when
he failed to render an account upon receipt of the money and further, when he
failed to deliver such amount to Lemoine.It is also the duty of the lawyer to
surrender such money collected when demanded upon him. Balon violated this duty
when he refuses to return the amount to Lemoine contending that he has a lien on
the fund.The lawyers continuing exercise of his retaining lien, as provided for
in Rule 16.03, presupposes that the client agrees with the amount of attorneys
fees to be charged. In case of disagreement, however, the lawyer must not
arbitrarily apply the funds in his possession to the payment of his fees, but
rather he can file the necessary action with the proper court to fix the fees.
And in the present case, Lemoine never gave his consent on the proposal of
Balon.It must be noted as well that before receiving the check, Balon proposes a
25% attorneys fees, after receiving the check, he was already asking for 50%.
SC found Balon guilty of malpractice, deceit, and gross misconduct, and ordered
disbarred.IN RE: SUSPENSION FROM THE PRACTICE OF LAW IN THE TERRITORY OF GUAM OF
ATTY LEON G. MAQUERAFacts: Atty Maquera was counsel for a certain Castro who was
indebted to Edward Benavente who obtained judgment in a civil case. Castros
propery was sold at public auction to satisfy the obligation, but Castro
retained the right to redemption over said property.In consideration for
Maqueras legal fees, Castro and Atty Maquera entered into an oral agreement
that he would assign his right of redemption to Maquera.Maquera purchased the
property from Benavente for $525.00 then sold it for $320,000.He was suspended
in the practice of law in Guam for two years forObtaining an unreasonably high
fee for his servicesDid not comply with Guams Model Rules by entering into a

business transaction with a client or knowingly acquire a pecuniary interest


adverse to a client unless the transaction and the terms governing the lawyer's
acquisition of such interest are fair and reasonable to the client, and are
fully disclosed to, and understood by the client and reduced in writingIssue:
May a member of the Philippine Bar who was disbarred or suspended from the
practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction where he has also be admitted as an
attorney be meted the same sanction as a member of the Philippine Bar for the
same infraction committed in the foreign jurisdiction? Ruling: It is not
automatic suspension or disbarment, but is prima facie evidence only. The power
of the Court to disbar/suspend a lawyer for acts an omission committed in a
foreign jurisdiction is found in Sec 27, Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court:
[]The disbarment or suspension of a member of the Philippine Bar by a
competent court or other disciplinatory agency in a foreign jurisdiction where
he has also been admitted as an attorney is a ground for his disbarment or
suspension if the basis of such action includes any of the acts hereinabove
enumerated.The judgment, resolution or order of the foreign court or
disciplinary agency shall be prima facie evidence of the ground for disbarment
or suspension.Also, he violated Article 1492 in relation to 1491 of the civil
code which prohibits a lawyer from acquiring by assignment the clients property
which is the subject of litigation. It extends to legal redemption.Most
particularly, Canon 17 which states that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of
his client and be mindful of the trust and confidence In him; and rule 1.01,
which prohibits a lawyer from engaging in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or
deceitful conduct.HOWEVER, there is a need to ascertain Maquera has the right to
explain why he should and should not be suspended/disbarred on those grounds.
Suspension/disbarment is NOT automaticNEVERTHELESS, the Court rules that Maquera
should be suspended from the practice of law for the non-payment of his IBP dues
from 1977.REDDI V. SERBIO, JR.Facts: Reddi, an Indian national, is a
philanthropist. She decided to put up a hospital in the Philippines and
acquired, with the help of Atty. Serbio, some properties to help speed up
generation of funds. It was later found out that some of the properties did not
in fact belong to the owners she paid.Issue: Is respondent guilty of violating
Canon 16? Held: Yes. Said canon requires that a lawyer should properly account
for all amounts in his custody which pertain to the client and return the same
upon demand. This the respondent plainly failed to do even after repeated
demands made by Reddi.DE CHAVEZ-BLANCO, REPRESENTED BY HER ATTORNEY-IN-FACT,
ATTY. EUGENIA J. MUOZ V. ATTY. JAIME B. LUMASAG, JR.FACTS:This is an
administrative complaint for disbarment filed by complainant de Chavez-Blanco
against respondent Atty. Lumasag, Jr., for deceit, dishonesty and gross
misconduct.Complainant and her husband was a resident of USA. They both owned
parcels of land in Quezon City, registered in complainants name. Complainant
authorized respondent Atty. Lumasag [being the 1st cousin of her husband] to
sell the lands.Complainant was informed by respondent that he had sold only one
lot and remitted the proceeds to complainant. Respondent further told
complainant that the other lots remained unsold due to the presence of
squatters.After few years, complainant discovered that more than one lot was
sold. Complainant then sent a demand letter to respondent directing him to remit
and turn over to her the entire proceeds of the sale of the properties.
Complainant also averred that the Special Power of Attorney, which respondent
had used to sell the lots is a forgery and a falsified document, as the
signature therein were not the real signatures of complainant and her spouse.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Atty. Lumasag, Jr. is guilty of deceit,
dishonesty and gross misconduct.HELD: Yes. Jaime Lumasag, Jr. is SUSPENDED from
the practice
of law for a period of six (6) months. A lawyer may be disciplined for any
conduct, in his professional or private capacity, that renders him unfit to
continue to be an officer of the court. Canon 1 of the Code of Professional
Responsibility commands all lawyers to uphold at all times the dignity and
integrity of the legal profession. Specifically, Rule 1.01 thereof provides:Rule
1.01A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest and immoral or deceitful
conduct.Respondent committed dishonesty and abused the confidence reposed in him
by the complainant and her spouse. Records show that two lots had been sold by
respondent as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute Sale. Respondent, however,
taking advantage of the absence of complainant and her spouse from the

Philippines and their complete trust in him, deceitfully informed them in a


letter that he had sold only one. They constitute gross misconduct for which he
may be suspended, following Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, which
provides:Sec. 27. Disbarment or suspension of attorneys by Supreme Court,
grounds therefor. A member of the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his
office as attorney by the Supreme Court for any deceit, malpractice, or other
gross misconduct in such office, grossly immoral conduct, or by reason of his
conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude, or for any violation of the
oath which he is required to take before the admission to practice, or for a
willful disobedience appearing as attorney for a party to a case without
authority to so do.WILSON CHAM V. ATTY. EVA PAITA-MOYA#FACTS:This is a complaint
for disbarment filed by complainant Wilson Cham against respondent Atty. Eva
Paita-Moya. Complainant Cham alleges that Atty. Paita-Moya committed deceit in
occupying a leased apartment unit and, thereafter, vacating the same without
paying the rentals due. Respondent stayed at the leased premises up without
paying her rentals. She also failed to settle her electric bills. Later on, a
report reached complainant's office that respondent had secretly vacated the
apartment unit, bringing along with her the door keys.ISSUE: Whether or not
Atty. Paita-MOya is guilty of gross misconduct.HELD: Yes. Atty. Eva Paita-Moya
is found guilty of gross misconduct and is hereby SUSPENDED for one month. A
review of the records would reveal that respondent is, indeed, guilty of willful
failure to pay just debt. Complainant is able to fully substantiate that
respondent has existing obligations that she failed to settle. Hence, when
respondent backtracked on her duty to pay her debts, such act already
constituted a ground for administrative sanction.Respondent's abandonment of the
leased premises to avoid her obligations for the rent and electricity bills
constitutes deceitful conduct violative of the Code of Professional
Responsibility, particularly Canon I and Rule 1.01 thereof, which explicitly
state:"CANON 1- A lawyer shall uphold the constitution, obey the laws of the
land and promote respect for law and legal processes."Rule 1.01- A lawyer shall
not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct."JERRY T. WONG
V. ATTY. SALVADOR N. MOYA IIFACTSJerry Wong as owner of a business selling
agricultural and veterinary products retained the services of Atty. Moya for the
purpose of collecting due and demandable debts in favor of the company.
Sometimes also, Atty. Moya handled personal cases of Wong and his wife.Later,
Atty. Moya asked financial help from Wong for the construction of his house and
the purchase of a car. Wong purchased a car on installment basis for Atty. Moya.
Wong issued postdated checks to cover the payment of the car while Atty. Moya
issued checks in favor of Wong to reimburse him for purchasing the car. The
checks issued by Wong were encashed by Transfarm (car seller) however, the
checks issued by Atty. Moya in favor of Wong were dishonored for the reason
account closed. Despite repeated demands, Atty. Moya refused to replace the
dishonored checks.Atty. Moya also introduced Wong to Quirino Tomlin from whom
the construction materials for his house was obtained. He bought this on credit
but Atty. Moya filed to pay this indebtedness causing embarrassment to Wong.
Atty. Moya also handled a case of the Wong spouses against Berting Diwa.
Judgment was rendered in favor of the spouses and as satisfaction of the
judgment, Diwa paid P15, 680.50. Atty. Moya as the counsel of the spouses
received the payment but did not inform them. The Wongs only found out about the
payment of money when they got hold of the Manifestation with Prayer to
Terminate Proceedings. The IBP-CBD ordered Atty. Moya to file his answer to the
complaint for disbarment filed by Wong. Atty. Moya filed 3motions for extensions
(after the 1st motion was granted and the time had elapsed, he filed another one
and so on and so forth). Subsequently, he filed a Motion to Dismiss. The IBP-CBD
denied the motion to dismiss and required him to file an answer. Atty. Moya
filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied. He then filed for an
extension to file his answer which was granted but with a warning that no
further extension requests will be entertained. When the time to elapse was near
he filed a Very Urgent Motion for Extension to File Answer but the IBP-CBD did
not accept this hence he was declared in default after failing to file his
answer. The IBP-CBD ordered both parties to file their position papers because a
complaint for disbarment, suspension or discipline of attorneys prescribes in
2years from the date of the professional misconduct which in this case occurred
in 2002 and that it was already 2005. Atty. Moya did not file any pleadings at

all.The IBP recommended that Atty. Moya be suspended for 1year. The IBP Board of
Governors modified this and suspended Atty. Moya for 2years.ISSUEWhether or not
the suspension of 2years is justifiable? HELDYes!Atty. Moya was charged for
having failed to pay his debts and for issuing worthless checks. He did not deny
these allegations. Rule1.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility provides
that a lawyers shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct. It has been held that the issuance of worthless checks as a violation
of this rule and constitutes a gross misconduct.The act of a lawyer in issuing a
check without sufficient funds to cover the same constitutes such willful
dishonesty and immoral conduct as to undermine the public confidence in the
legal profession. He cannot justify his act of issuing worthless checks by his
dire financial conditions. He should not have contracted debts which are beyond
his financial capacity to pay.If he suffered financial reverses he should have
explained this with particularity and not though generalized and unsubstantiated
allegations.Atty. Moya is accused of delay in the delivery of the sum of money
due to his client. His failure to explain such delay cannot be excused by his
bare allegation that the same had already been transmitted to the complainant.
His conduct in the course of the IBP proceedings in this case is also a matter
of serious concern. He submitted a motion to dismiss after requesting several
extensions of time to file his answer. His failure to attend the hearings and
belated plea to dismiss the case, despite orders to the contrary, show a callous
disregard of the lawful orders which caused undue delay in the IBP proceeding.
This conduct runs counter to the precepts of the Code of Professional
Responsibility and violates the lawyer's oath which imposes upon every member of
the bar the duty to delay no man for money or malice. It is stressed that
membership in the legal profession is a privilege burdened with conditions.
Adherence to the rigid standards of mental fitness, maintenance of the highest
degree of morality and faithful compliance with the Rules of the Legal
Profession are the conditions required for remaining a member of good standing
of the bar and for enjoying the privilege to practice law.As to the penalty,
failure to pay debts and issuance of worthless checks constitutes gross
misconduct for which a lawyer may be sanctioned with 1year suspension. However,
in this case, Atty. Moya is suspended for 2years because aside from issuing
worthless checks and failure to pay his debts, he also seriously breached his
client's trust and confidence to his personal advantage and had shown a wanton
disregard of the IBP's Orders in the course of its proceedings.CANONS 17 & 18
HERNANDEZ V. GOFACTSSometime in 1961, Hernandezs husband abandoned her and her
sonShortly thereafter, creditors of Hernandez s husband demanded payment of his
loansHernandez, fearful of mortgage foreclosures and aware of a impending claim
suit, engaged the legal services of Atty. GoAtty. Go advised Hernandez to give
him land titles covering three lots in Zamboanga City belonging to her, so that
he may sell them to enable her to pay the creditorsAlso, Atty. Go persuaded
Hernandez to execute deeds of sale in his favor without any monetary or valuable
considerationHernandez owns three more lots in Zamboanga City which were
mortgaged to creditors. When the mortgages fell due, Atty. Go redeemed the lots
and persuaded Hernandez to execute deeds of sale in his favor covering the said
lotsAtty. Go became the registered owner of all the lots belonging to Hernandez
In 1974, Hernandez came to know that Atty. Go did not sell her lots as agreed
upon, but instead he paid her creditors with his own funds and had her land
titles registered in his name, depriving her of real property worth millions
Hernandez filed a complaint with the IBPIBP: Atty. Go violated Canon 17 and
should be suspended for 3 yearsISSUE
W/N Atty. GO SHOULD BE
REPRIMANDEDHELD
YES, for violating Canons 16 and 17Atty. Go violated
Canon 16His
acts acquiring for himself Hernandezs lots entrusted to him are acts
constituting gross misconduct, a grievous wrong, a forbidden act, a dereliction
of duty, willful in character and implies a wrongful intent and not a mere error
in judgmentSuch conduct on the part of Atty. Go not only degrades himself but
also the honor of the legal professionAtty. Go violated Canon 17 which provides
that a lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of his client and he shall be mindful
of the trust and confidence reposed in him.Records show that Hernandez reposed
high degree of trust and confidence in Atty. Go and when she engaged his
services, she entrusted to him her land titles and allowed him to sell the same
Atty. Go, however, abused this trust and confidence when he did not sell her

properties to others but to himself without giving any monetary consideration to


Hernandez, thus depriving Hernandez the real worth of her propertiesAtty. Go is
duty bound to render a detailed report to Hernandez on how much he sold the lots
and the amounts paid to her creditors but failed to do soIn previous cases, the
Court disbarred and expelled lawyers from the practice of law in similar
circumstances, thus, the penalty recommended by the IBP is too lightAtty. Go was
ordered disbarred.PANELCO V. ATTY. JUAN AYAR MONTEMAYORFACTS:This is an
administrative complaint filed by Pangasinan Electric Cooperative I (PANELCO I)
charging Atty. Juan Ayar Montemayor with negligence.Some of the omissions of
Atty Montemayor were: Atty. Montemayor failed to serve and file the required
Appellant's Brief despite the lapse of the two extensions of time granted, hence
the Court of Appeals considered the appeal Abandoned The records also show that
respondent Atty. Juan Ayar Montemayor did not even bother to answer the
complaint nor present his defenseHence, PANELCO I prays that the court impose
sanctions on Atty. Montemayors gross negligence as counsel for complainant
which resulted [in] the damage of PANELCO I. ISSUE: Whether or not respondent
committed gross negligence or misconduct in mishandling complainants cases on
appeal, which eventually led to their dismissal, to the prejudice of the
complainant.HELD: Yes. WHEREFORE, Atty. Juan Ayar Montemayor is DISBARRED from
the practice of law. As counsel for complainant, respondent had the duty to
present every remedy or defense authorized by law to protect his client. When he
undertook his clients cause, he made a covenant that he will exert all efforts
for its prosecution until its final conclusion.He should undertake the task with
dedication and care. CANON 12 - A LAWYER SHALL EXERT EVERY EFFORT AND CONSIDER
IT HIS DUTY TO ASSIST IN THE SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE.
Rule 12.03 - A lawyer shall not, after obtaining extensions of time to
file pleadings, memorandaor briefs, let the periodlapse without submitting the
same or offering an explanation for his failure to do so.CANON 17 A LAWYER
OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST
AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.CANON 18 A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH
COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.
Rule 18.03 - A lawyer shall not neglect a legal
matter entrusted to him and his negligence in connection therewith shall render
him liable.CANON 19 - A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE
BOUNDS OF THE LAW.ADECER V. AKUTFACTS:Originally, there was a Criminal Case in
which complainants were charged with committing a crime (Other deceits)
punishable under the Revised Penal Code (Other Deceits). Respondent, Atty. Akut
was their legal counsel in the criminal case. Complainant accuses Atty. Akut for
being negligent.First, despite Atty. Akuts receipt of a copy of the Decision
and the consequent running of the fifteen (15)-day period to file a petition for
probation, respondent went out of town without contacting complainants to give
them proper legal advice. Furthermore, Atty. Akuts admission that complainants
were [1] under the impression that they first had to pay off their civil
liabilities prior to filing a petition for probation and [2] unaware that they
had only fifteen (15) days from their counsels receipt of a copy of the
decision to file their petition, proves that Atty. Akut failed to give
complainants timely legal advise.Atty. Akut explained that he was out of his
office most of the time because, he and his wife were always out of town looking
for faith healers to cure the malignant brain tumor of his wife, who eventually
succumbed to the cancer. Allegedly, after attending the "important" hearings, he
immediately went out of town seeking faith healers.ISSUE: Whether or not Atty.
Akut is guilty of negligence.HELD: Yes. WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED.
Atty. Emmanuel A. Akut is hereby SUSPENDED from the practice of law for six (6)
months. Every case a lawyer accepts deserves his full attention, skill and
competence, regardless of his impression that one case or hearing is more
important than the other. We commiserate with respondent for the loss of his
wife, however, failure of an attorney to file a timely motion for
reconsideration or an appeal renders him liable for negligence.By agreeing to be
his clients counsel, he represents that he will exercise ordinary diligence or
that reasonable degree of care and skill having reference to the character of
the business he undertakes to do, to protect the clients interests and take all
steps or do all acts necessaryBELLEZA V. MACASAFACTSOn November 10, 2004,
complainant went to see respondent on referral of their mutual friend, Joe Chua.
Complainant wanted to avail of respondents legal services in connection with
the case of her son, Francis John Belleza, who was arrested by policemen of

Bacolod City earlier that day for alleged violation of Republic Act (RA)
9165.Respondent agreed to handle the case forP30,000.The following day,
complainant made a partial payment ofP15,000 to respondent thru their mutual
friend Chua. On November 17, 2004, she gave him an additionalP10,000. She paid
theP5,000 balance on November 18, 2004. Both payments were also made thru Chua.
On all three occasions, respondent did not issue any receipt.On November 21,
2004, respondent receivedP18,000 from complainant for the purpose of posting a
bond to secure the provisional liberty of her (complainants) son. Again,
respondent did not issue any receipt. When complainant went to the court the
next day, she found out that respondent did not remit the amount to the court.
Complainant demanded the return of theP18,000 from respondent on several
occasions but respondent ignored her. Moreover, respondent failed to act on the
case of complainants son and complainant was forced to avail of the services of
the Public Attorneys Office for her sons defense.Thereafter, complainant filed
a verified complaintfor disbarment against respondent in the Negros Occidental
chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). In an order dated July
13, 2005,the CBD required respondent to submit his answer within 15 days from
receipt thereof. Respondent, in an urgent motion for extension of time to file
an answer dated August 10, 2005,simply brushed aside the complaint for being
"baseless, groundless and malicious" without, however, offering any explanation.
He also prayed that he be given until September 4, 2005 to submit his answer.
Respondent subsequently filed urgent motionsfor second and third extensions of
time praying to be given until November 4, 2005 to submit his answer. He never
did.HELDRespondent Grossly Neglected The Cause of His Client, Atty. Macasa is
disbarredRespondent undertook to defend the criminal case against complainants
son. Such undertaking imposed upon him the following duties:CANON 17 A LAWYER
OWES FIDELITY TO THE CAUSE OF HIS CLIENT AND HE SHALL BE MINDFUL OF THE TRUST
AND CONFIDENCE REPOSED IN HIM.CANON 18 A LAWYER SHALL SERVE HIS CLIENT WITH
COMPETENCE AND DILIGENCE.x x x x x x x x xRule 18.03 A
lawyer shall not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him, and his negligence in
connection therewith shall render him liable.x x x x x x x x
xCANON 19 A LAWYER SHALL REPRESENT HIS CLIENT WITH ZEAL WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF
THE LAW.A lawyer who accepts the cause of a client commits to devote himself
(particularly his time, knowledge, skills and effort) to such cause. He must be
ever mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him, constantly striving to
be worthy thereof. Accordingly, he owes full devotion to the interest of his
client, warm zeal in the maintenance and defense of his clients rights and the
exertion of his utmost learning, skill and ability to ensure that nothing shall
be taken or withheld from his client, save by the rules of law legally applied.A
lawyer who accepts professional employment from a client undertakes to serve his
client with competence and diligence. He must conscientiously perform his duty
arising from such relationship. He must bear in mind that by accepting a
retainer, he impliedly makes the following representations: that he possesses
the requisite degree of learning, skill and ability other lawyers similarly
situated possess; that he will exert his best judgment in the prosecution or
defense of the litigation entrusted to him; that he will exercise reasonable
care and diligence in the use of his skill and in the application of his
knowledge to his clients cause; and that he will take all steps necessary to
adequately safeguard his clients interest.A lawyers negligence in the
discharge of his obligations arising from the relationship of counsel and client
may cause delay in the administration of justice and prejudice the rights of a
litigant, particularly his client. Thus, from the perspective of the ethics of
the legal profession,
a lawyers lethargy in carrying out his duties to his client is both
unprofessional and unethical.If his clients case is already pending in court, a
lawyer must actively represent his client by promptly filing the necessary
pleading or motion and assiduously attending the scheduled hearings. This is
specially significant for a lawyer who represents an accused in a criminal case.
The accused is guaranteed the right to counsel under the Constitution.However,
this right can only be meaningful if the accused is accorded ample legal
assistance by his lawyer:The right to counsel proceeds from the fundamental
principle of due process which basically means that a person must be heard
before being condemned. The due process requirement is a part of a person's
basic rights; it is not a mere formality that may be dispensed with or performed

perfunctorily.The right to counsel must be more than just the presence of a


lawyer in the courtroom or the mere propounding of standard questions and
objections. The right to counsel means that the accused is amply accorded legal
assistance extended by a counsel who commits himself to the cause for the
defense and acts accordingly. The right assumes an active involvement by the
lawyer in the proceedings, particularly at the trial of the case, his bearing
constantly in mind of the basic rights of the accused, his being well-versed on
the case, and his knowing the fundamental procedures, essential laws and
existing jurisprudence.The right of an accused to counsel is beyond question a
fundamental right. Without counsel, the right to a fair trial itself would be of
little consequence, for it is through counsel that the accused secures his other
rights. In other words, the right to counsel is the right to effective
assistance of counsel.The right of an accused to counsel finds substance in the
performance by the lawyer of his sworn duty of fidelity to his client.Tersely
put, it means an effective, efficient and truly decisive legal assistance, not a
simply perfunctory representation.In this case, after accepting the criminal
case against complainants son and receiving his attorneys fees, respondent did
nothing that could be considered as effective and efficient legal assistance.
For all intents and purposes, respondent abandoned the cause of his client.
Indeed, on account of respondents continued inaction, complainant was compelled
to seek the services of the Public Attorneys Office. Respondents lackadaisical
attitude towards the case of complainants son was reprehensible. Not only did
it prejudice complainants son, it also deprived him of his constitutional right
to counsel. Furthermore, in failing to use the amount entrusted to him for
posting a bond to secure the provisional liberty of his client, respondent
unduly impeded the latters constitutional right to bail.OVERGAARD V. VALDEZ
FACTSOvergaard is a Dutch national who engaged the services of Atty. Valdez.
They entered into a retainer agreement, providing that for 900K, Valdez would
represent Overgaard as counsel in 2 cases filed by him (Estafa and a mandamus
case) and 2 cases filed against him (Other Light threats and violation of the
Anti-Violation against women and their children act).Overgaard sent $16, 854 to
Atty. Valdez via telegraphic bank transfer. 4 months after, Overgaard demanded
for a report on the status of his cases. In spite of many phone calls and
emails, Valdez couldnt be reached. Hence, Overgaard inquired on his own, and
discovered that Valdez didnt file his entry of appearance in any of the cases,
that a counter-affidavit was required from him, and that the criminal cases
against him have already been arraigned and warrants were issued for his arrest.
He was constrained to find a new lawyer.Overgaard then wrote again and tried to
locate Valdez to demand the return of documents entrusted to the latter, as well
as the $16K payment. No word was heard from Valdez. Overgaard filed a case with
the IBP for Valdezs dismissal for gross malpractice, immoral character,
dishonesty and deceitful conduct.The IBP required Valdez to file an answer, but
he did not comply. He also failed to attend the hearing and was declared in
default. Later, a clarificatory hearing was set, but Valdez never showed. IBP
found him guilty of violating canons 1, 15, 16, 17, and 18 and his penalty was a
3-year suspension and he was ordered to return Overgaards money.HELDSC agrees
with the findings of IBP, but declared that Valdez be disbarred for falling
below the standards required of lawyers.Canon 18 provides that a lawyer must
serve his client with competence and diligence. Rule 18.03 requires a lawyer to
not neglect a legal matter entrusted to him and his negligence will make him
liable. Valdez should indeed be liable because he was not just incompetent, he
was useless; not just negligent, he was indolent; and rather than helping his
client, he prejudiced him. He abandoned his client and left him without any
recourse. It was a clear evasion of duty. Also, his failure to act on the
disbarment case against him, without any explanation, is a clear evidence of
negligence on his part.Rule 18.04 requires that a lawyer keep his client
informed of the status of his case and to respond within reasonable time to the
clients request for information. Despite Overgaards efforts, Valdez avoided
his client and never bothered to reply. Clearly, the rule was violated.ANGALAN
V. DELANTEFACTSThis is a complaint filed by the heirs of an illiterate couple
belonging to the Samal Tribe against Atty. Delante for gross violation of
professional responsibility particularly Canons 16 and 17.The couple owned a
property in Samal, Davao del Norte. On 15 April 1971, Angalan and complainants
borrowed P15,000 from Spouses Eustaquio. To secure the loan, Angalan and

complainants mortgaged their property and surrendered the title to the Spouses
Eustaquio. When complainants tried to pay the loan and recover the title from
the Spouses Eustaquio, the Spouses Eustaquio refused. Complainants learned that
the document which the Spouses Eustaquio prepared, and which complainants
signed, was a deed of absolute sale and not a real estate mortgage. They also
learned that Navarro R. Eustaquio (Navarro) had transferred the title over the
property to his name.Complainants engaged the services of respondent for the
purpose of recovering their property.Respondent lawyer filed a complaint for the
reconveyance of the property. Complainants and the Spouses Eustaquio entered
into an amicable settlement. In the amicable settlement, the complainants
offered the spouses the sum of P30K as repurchase price which the spouses
accepted. However, complainants did not have the P30,000 repurchase price for
the property. Respondent Delante advanced the P30,000 and, in return,
complainants allowed respondent to possess the property and gather its produce
until he is paid.When complainants tried to repay the P30,000 repurchase price
and recover the property from respondent, respondent refused. Complainants
learned that respondent transferred the title of the property to his name.
Complainants filed a complaint praying that (1) the deed of absolute sale
prepared by the Spouses Eustaquio and signed by the complainants be declared
void, (2) title issued in the name of Atty. Delante be declared void, and (3)
respondent be made to pay damages.As defense, respondent alleges that:The
complainants only borrowed money from him without any intention to pay him back
or at least offer an explanation as to how they would be able to repay himThat
the couple did not really engage his services as counsel for an annulment suit
against Navarro EustaquioThe sale between Eustaquio and the complainants was a
valid sale and not a mortgageThe actual buyer of the property was Atty.
Delantes former client who is now residing in New York. But after 11 years, the
buyer did not return to the Philippines anymore so he authorized Atty. Delante
to have the property in his name upon refund of the purchase price.Complainants
filed a complaint dated with the Court charging respondent with gross violation
of the Code of Professional Responsibility.In a Report dated 15 October 2007,
Commissioner Hababag of the IBP found that respondent violated the Code of
Professional Responsibility. IBP Board of governors approved but increased the
penalty from a 6-month suspension to 1-year. ISSUE Whether or not respondent
committed grave violation of [the] Code of Professional Responsibility when he
bought the property of his client[s] without their knowledge, consent and
against their will? HELDYES.The Court is not impressed with Atty. Delantes
defenses. Angalan and complainants went to respondents office not to seek
advice about borrowing money but to engage his services for the purpose of
recovering their property. First, after Angalan and complainants went to
respondents office, respondent filed a complaint with the CFI praying that the
Spouses Eustaquio reconvey the property to Angalan and complainants. Second, in
the complaint, respondent stated that, "by reason of unwarranted refusal on the
part of the defendants to reconvey the property to plaintiffs, the latter have
been constrained to engage, and in fact have engaged, the services of counsel."
Third, respondent issued a receipt to complainants stating that he "RECEIVED
from Mr. MACARIO CAPUL and FRANCISCA RAFAEL CAPUL the sum of ONE THOUSAND TWO
HUNDRED PESOS (P1,200.00) representing full payment of professional services in
regard to the recovery of Original Certificate of Title No. P-11499 in the name
of Angalan (Samal)." Fourth, in respondents letter dated 10 January 1979 and
addressed to the barrio captain of Umbay, Samal, Davao del Norte, he stated that
he was the lawyer of complainants.As to his claim regarding his former
client purchasing the propertyAmicable settlement ( there was an agreed
repurchase price to which both parties agreed toLetter to the barrio captain
( the lawyer stated that complainants repurchased the property from the Spouses
Eustaquio. (This will inform you that the Heirs of Angalan Samal have already
redeemed their property through me from Mr. Navarro Eustaquio since September,
1978.)Insufficient proof ( Respondent did not give any detail or proof to
substantiate his story the name of the alleged client, an affidavit of the
alleged client, the old passport of the alleged client showing immigration
stamps, or any form of correspondence between him and the alleged client. The
Court agrees with the observation of Commissioner Hababag that respondents
"vain attempt to salvage his malicious acts [is] too flimsy to gain belief and
acceptance."Canon 17 states that lawyers shall be mindful of the trust and

confidence reposed in them. Respondent should have been mindful of the trust and
confidence complainants reposed in him. Complainants allege that they are
illiterate and that the Spouses Eustaquio took advantage of them. Complainants
engaged the services of respondent in the hope that he would help them recover
their property. Instead of protecting the interests of complainants, respondent
took advantage of complainants and transferred the title of the property to his
name.Considering the depravity of respondents offense, the Court finds the
recommended penalty too light. Violation of Canons 16 and 17 constitutes gross
misconduct. Section 27, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court states that a member of
the bar may be disbarred or suspended from his office as attorney by the Court
for gross misconduct. A person who takes the 8.102-hectare property of his
illiterate clients and who is incapable of telling the truth is unfit to be a
lawyer. The Court finds Atty. Leonido C. Delante GUILTY of violating Canons 16
and 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. Accordingly, the Court
DISBARS him from the practice of law and ORDERS that his name be stricken from
the Roll of Attorneys. SANTOS-TAN V. ATTY. ROMEO R. ROBISOFACTSComplainant
Santos-Tan charged respondent with malpractice for grossly neglecting his duties
and responsibilities as counsel for complainant and for issuing a bouncing
check.Complainant found out that her case had not progressed and that the only
pleading that respondent had filed was his notice of appearance.ISSUES: (1)
Whether respondent was negligent in handling complainants case (NO); and (2)
Whether respondent should be disciplined for issuing a bouncing check (YES).
RATIO:On the issue of negligence on the part of respondent in handling
complainants case, the Court agrees that based on the facts presented there was
nothing that he could have done to expedite the resolution of the motion for
reconsideration then pending before the RTC. The RTC had already ordered that
the motion for reconsideration be submitted for resolution. Respondent could not
be faulted if the acting presiding judge did not want to act on the motion until
the regular presiding judge return.Regarding the other issues, as a lawyer,
respondent is deemed to know the law, especially Bouncing Check Law. By issuing
a check in violation of the provisions of this law, respondent is guilty of
serious misconduct. The act of a lawyer in issuing a check which is drawn
against insufficient funds constitutes deceitful conduct or conduct unbecoming
an officer of the court. The Court has held that the issuance of checks which
were later dishonored for having been drawn against a closed account indicates a
lawyers unfitness for the trust and confidence reposed on him. It shows a lack
of personal honesty and good moral character as to render him unworthy of public
confidence. As such, we have held that deliberate failure to pay just debts and
the issuance of worthless checks constitute gross misconduct, for which a lawyer
may be sanctioned with suspension from the practice of law. Respondent violated
the Attorneys Oath that he will, among others, obey the laws. The Code of
Professional Responsibility specifically provides:CANON 1 A LAWYER SHALL
UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION, OBEY THE LAWS OF THE LAND AND PROMOTE RESPECT FOR THE
LAW AND LEGAL PROCESSES.IN VIEW WHEREOF, respondent Atty. Romeo R. Robiso is
ORDERED SUSPENDED from the practice of law for a period of ONE (1) month.SOMOSOT
V. LARAFACTSAtty Gerardo Lara represented Ofelia Somosot in a collections case
against Golden Collections Marketting Corp.Golden Collections filed
interrogatories and request for AdmissionAtty Lara objected, stating that such
interrogatories and admission should be sent directly to Mrs. SomosotAt this
point, we should take note that Atty Lara is already sensitive about the P27,000
in unpaid attys feesNov. 2001, Atty Lara was appointed as a consultant in the
Board of Investment, a government positionLara tried to locate Somosot about the
fees in her office in Greenhills; office was locked and according to the
security guard, they had moved office without leaving a forwarding address. Lara
also attempted to call Mr and Mrs Somosot, but they couldnt be reachedLara
filed his Withdrawal of Appearance in court, without the required conformity of
his client, Somosot, because she could be located. This was denied.Dec. 2001,
upon learning that Somosots new office was in Pasig, he called her where he
advised that she should find another Lawyer. She informed her that she already
did.September, 2005. Lara receives a letter from Somosot giving him one last
chance to give her a reason not to instigate a disbarment suit against him.
ISSUEW/N Atty Lara, from the facts stated, is deemed incompetent in his services
to Mrs. Ofelia Somosot.HELDYes.Atty Laras services were insufficient. His
neglect (or refusal) to reply to the Interrogatories and Request for Admissions

himself eventually caused the court to rule against Mrs. Somosot. Records do not
show how exactly he tried to address the Interrogatories issue or whether he
appealed the case or not. He did not mention how he tried to locate Mrs. Somosot
to inform her about the Interrogatories and Request for Admission. He only took
the initiative when he learned that he had been appointed into a government
position.Lara was very much sensitive about his unpaid billings, and this
shouldnt be a reason for him not to inform his client about the cases
developmentHe had two valid reasons for withdrawing as her Atty. One, his
appointment in a government office; and two, Somosots refusal to pay his fees.
He could have secured her conformity to the withdrawal of appearance when they
talked on December 2001, but because he failed to do so, he remain as counsel of
record.CANON 19ATTY. GEORGE C. BRIONES V. ATTY. JACINTO D. JIMENEZFACTS:The
complainant in this disbarment case is Atty. Briones. The respondent is Atty.
Jimenez. Complainant Briones is the Special Administrator of the Henson Estate,
while respondent Jimenez is the counsel for Heirs of Henson.The root of herein
administrative complaint for Disbarment is an RTC Order (2002). The RTC Order
directed complainant Briones to deliver the residue of the estate to the Heirs
in proportion to their shares. Complainant Briones did not reply to the demand,
so respondent Jimenez opted to file a criminal complaint in behalf of his
clients for refusal to obey the lawful order of the court.Complainant Briones
now claims that respondent Jimenez is guilty of violation of Rule 19.01 of the
Code of Professional responsibility by filing the unfounded criminal complaint
against complainant to obtain an improper advantage:Rule 19.01 - A lawyer shall
employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful objectives of his client
and shall not present, participate in presenting or threaten to present
unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage in any case of
proceeding.ISSUE: Whether or not respondent Atty. Jimenez should be
administratively liable.HELD: Yes. Atty. Jacinto D. Jimenez is found guilty of
and REPRIMANDED [since no evidence of malice or bad faith] for violation of Rule
19.01 of the Code of Professional Responsibility Fair play demands that
respondent should have filed the proper motion with the RTC to attain his goal
of having the residue of the estate delivered to his clients and not subject
complainant to a premature criminal prosecution.Canon 19 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility enjoins a lawyer to represent his client with zeal.
However, the same Canon provides that a lawyers performance of his duties
towards his client must be within the bounds of the law. Rule 19.01 of the same
Canon requires, among others, that a lawyer shall employ only fair and honest
means to attain the lawful objectives of his client. To permit lawyers to resort
to unscrupulous practices for the protection of the supposed rights of their
clients is to defeat one of the purposes of the state the administration of
justice. While lawyers owe their entire devotion to the interest of their
clients and zeal in the defense of their clients right, they should not forget
that they are, first and foremost, officers of the court, bound to exert every
effort to assist in the speedy and efficient administration of justice.PENA V.
APARICIOFACTSAtty. Aparicio was the legal counsel for Grace Hufana in an alleged
dismissal case before the NLRC against Pena, President of MOF Company. Atty.
Aparicio prayed that his client be given separation pay. Pea rejected the
claim. Thereafter, Pea sent notices to Hufana to return to work. Atty. Aparicio
replied with a letter reiterating the claim of his client. The letter also
contained threats against the company stating that if the claim is not paid on
Aug. 10, 2005, they will file multiple
charges such as, criminal charges for tax evasion, falsification of documents,
and for the cancellation of the companys business license.Pea filed an
administrative complaint against Atty. Aparicio with the Commission on Bar
Discipline of the IBP for violating Rule 19.01 of Canon 19 of the Code of
Professional Responsibility. Atty. Aparicio in turn filed counterclaims for the
defamatory charges against him. The IBP dismissed the complaint because Pea had
allegedly failed to file his position paper and the certification against forum
shopping. The IBP transmitted the records of the case to the SC. Atty. Aparicio
filed an MR with the SC reiterating his claim for damages against Pea in the
amount of P400M for filing false, malicious, defamatory, fraudulent suit against
him. Pea likewise filed this Petition for Review alleging that he submitted his
position paper and that the dismissal denied him of due process.ISSUEW/N Atty.
Aparicio is guilty of violating Rule 19.01? HELDYup!First of all, the SC found

that Pea actually submitted his position paper. In addition, disbarment


proceedings are sui generis, hence, the requirement of a certification of forum
shopping is not to be strictly complied with in such a case. At any rate, Pea
actually submitted a certification against forum shopping after Atty. Aparicio
filed the motion to dismiss, curing the supposed defect in the original
complaint.Now to the merits Canon 19, a lawyer shall represent his client with
zeal within the bounds of the law, this shows that a lawyers duty to his
client is subordinate to his duty in the administration of justice.Rule 19.01,
a lawyer shall employ only fair and honest means to attain the lawful
objectives of his client and shall not present, participate in presenting or
threaten to present unfounded criminal charges to obtain an improper advantage
in any case or proceeding. Under such Rule, a lawyer should not file or
threaten to file baseless criminal cases against the adversaries of his client
to secure a leverage to compel the adversaries to yield to the claims of the
lawyers client. This is exactly what Atty. Aparicio did in this case.
Furthermore, his threats were not only unethical, but they amounted to blackmail
extortion of money by threats of accusation or exposure in the public prints.
Blackmail and extortion would not only entail disbarment but also possible
criminal prosecution. Worse yet, Atty. Aparicio actually admitted and even found
it his obligation to tell the truth of the offenses he imputed against Pea. He
also stated that the writing of demand letters is standard practice.SC ruled
that Atty. Aparicios assertions are misleading because the fact of the matter
is, he used such threats to gain leverage against Pea and force the latter to
accede to his clients claims. The letter even implied a promise to keep
silent about the said violations if the claim is met.While it is true that
writing demand letters is standard practice in the profession of law, such
letters must not contain threats such as those found in this case.Nevertheless,
SC held that disbarment is too severe a penalty considering that Atty. Aparicio
wrote the letter out of his overzealousness to protect his clients interests.
Therefore, the SC reprimanded him with a stern warning.

POST MIDTERM CASESAUTHORITY OF THE LAWYER: CONDUCT OF LITIGATIONMANALANG V.


ANGELESFACTS:Manalang and Cirillo alleged that they were the complainants in a
case for overtime and separation pay filed against their employer, the
Philippine Racing Club Restaurant, before the National Labor Relations.
Respondent was their counsel. Judgment was rendered in their favor, in the
amount of P6,500. After the decision became final, a writ of execution issued.
However, without authority from his clients, respondent compromised the award
and was able to collect P5,500 only.Complainants said they made several demands
upon respondent to turn over to them the amount collected minus the agreed upon
attorney's fees of thirty percent (30%), but Atty. Angeles refused and offered
to give them only the sum of P2,650.Respondent counsel stated that he offered to
give complainants their money, but they insisted that he "deduct from this
attorney's fees the amount of P2,000, representing the amount discounted by the
counsel of the Philippine Racing Club Restaurant, together with sheriff legal
fees and other administrative expenses." Respondent claimed that to accept
complainants' proposition meant that he "would not be compensated for
prosecuting and handling, the case.ISSUE:Whether respondent Atty. Francisco F.
Angeles should be suspended from the practice of law because of grave misconduct
related to his clients' funds.HELDWhere a member of the bar stands charged with
malpractice, the proceedings are not meant solely to rule on his culpability but
also to determine if the lawyer concerned is possessed of that good moral
character, which is a condition precedent to the privilege of practicing law and
continuing in the practice thereof.Money claims due to workers cannot, as a
rule, be the object of settlement or compromise effected by counsel without the
consent of the workers concerned . A client has every right to expect from his
counsel that nothing will be taken or withheld from him, save by the rules of
law validly applied. By compromising the judgment without the consent of his
clients, respondent not only went against the stream of judicial dicta, he also
exhibited an uncaring lack of devotion to the interest of his clients as well as
want of zeal in the maintenance and defense of their rights. In so doing, he
violated Canon 17 of the Code of Professional Responsibility.A lawyer shall hold
in trust all moneys and properties of his client that may come into his
possession. In the instant case, the records clearly and abundantly point to
respondent's receipt of and failure to deliver upon demand, the amount of P4,550
intended for his clients. This is a clear breach of Rule 16.03, Canon 16 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility. Moreover, his excuse in his answer, that he
should be allowed to deduct sheriff's fees and other administrative expenses
before delivering the money due his clients, is unsatisfactory. Respondent
clearly failed to comply with the Rules of Court in the enforcement of an
attorney's liens. The records of this case are barren of any statement of
respondent's claims for lien or payment of his alleged disbursements. Nor did
respondent present any showing that he caused written notices of his lien on the
money judgment to be served upon his clients and to the losing partyHis act of
holding on to his clients' money without their acquiescence is conduct
indicative of lack of integrity and propriety. He was clinging to something
which was not his, and to which he had no right. He appears oblivious of the
admonition that a member of the legal fraternity should refrain from any act or
omission which might lessen the trust and confidence reposed by the public in
the fidelity, honesty, and integrity of the legal profession.This is the first
case on record against him, a fact which could be taken into account by way of
mitigation. Considering further the amount involved, the penalty of six (6)
months suspension appears to us in order.GARCIA V. CAFACTS:Guevara spouse seeks
recovery of a lady's diamond ring which they bought from Rebullida. Guevara
claims that while talking to Consuelo S. de Garcia, owner of La Bulakea
restaurant, she recognized her ring in the finger of Mrs. Garcia and asked where
she bought it, which Garcia answered from her comadre. Guevarra told Garcia that
a ring was stolen from her house in February, 1952. Garcia handed the ring to
Guevara and it fitted her finger. Two or three days later, at the request of
Guevarra, her husband Lt. Col. Juan Guevara, Lt. Cementina of Pasay PD, Garcia
and her attorney proceeded to the store of Mr. Rebullida to whom they showed the
ring in question. Mr. Rebullida examined the ring and after consulting the stock
card thereon, concluded that it was the very ring that plaintiff bought from him
in 1947. The ring was returned to Garcia who despite a written request failed to
deliver the ring to Guevara.Garcia refused to deliver the ring which had been

examined by Mr. Rebullida, claiming it was lost.Garciass defense was that they
denied having made any admission before Guevara or Mr. Rebullida or the sheriff.
Her evidence tends to show that the ring was purchased by her from Mrs. Miranda
who got it from Miss Angelita Hinahon who in turn got it from the owner, Aling
Petring, who was boarding in her house; that the ring she bought could be
similar to, but not the same ring plaintiff purchased from Mr. Rebullida which
was stolen; that according to a pawn-shop owner the big diamond was never
dismantled. When dismantled, defendant's diamond was found to weigh 2.57 cts,
unlike the one claimed by Guevara spouse.Apparently Garcias own counsel
admitted through an answer that the ring in question was the same ring, which is
being claimed by the Guevara spouse.ISSUE:Whether or not a lawyer needs an SPA
to admit the truth of certain factsHELD: NO. Garcia is contradicted by her own
extra-judicial admissions, although made by her counsel. For an attorney who
acts as counsel of record and is permitted to act such, has the authority to
manage the cause, and this includes the authority to make admission for the
purpose of the litigation... Garcias proffered explanation that her counsel
misunderstood her is futile because the liability to error as to the identity of
the vendor and the exchange of the ring with another ring of the same value, was
rather remote.The rings identification was confirmed by Mr. Rafael Rebullida,
whose testimony is entitled to great weight, with his 30 years experience
behind him in the jewelry business Indeed, Garcia made no comment when in her
presence Rebullida after examining the ring and stock card told Guevara that
that was her ring, nor did she answer plaintiff's letter of demand,asserting
ownership. None of the people whom she mentioned, was able to corroborate the
story of how she bought the ring.SANTIAGO V. DELOS SANTOSFacts:Plaintiff, now
appellant, applied for registration of a parcel of land. In a motion to set the
case for hearing, he attached documents indicative of the land being public in
character, thus lending support to the opposition of the Director of Forestry,
the Director of Lands, and a certain Pacita V. de los Santos. The then Judge
Cecilia Muoz Palma, now an Associate Justice of this Court, dismissed the suit.
Its reversal is sought in this appeal.Issue:Was the counsel negligent in the
preparation of the pleadings? Yes.Held:Attached to such pleading were the
documents, which, in the language of the then Judge Palma, "show that the land
object of this registration proceeding is part of the public domain ... ."
Former counsel ought to have realized the fatal effect on his client's case of
such an admission. If it were his intention to demolish entirely the pretension
of plaintiff to the claim that he had been in open, public, uninterrupted,
peaceful and adverse possession in the concept of owner from July 26, 1894 up to
the present, he could not have succeeded any better. What was so categorically
therein set forth as to such parcel of land being a part of a public forest,
although thereafter released by the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural
Resources for agricultural purposes, is conclusive and binding.How did the
present counsel for plaintiff, the law firm of Luna and Manalo, seek to
extricate him from a predicament of his own making? It would rely on certain
procedural doctrines; more specifically, it would insist on the motion to
dismiss of oppositor Pacita V. de los Santos as not being entitled to
recognition as there was a general order of default except as to the Bureau of
Lands and the Bureau of Forestry, not lifted as to her, and that she had no
interest to oppose the application of the registration of her land, although
admittedly there was a claim on her part under a pasture lease agreement in her
favor. Hence the plea for the order of dismissal being set aside and plaintiff
being allowed to present evidence. What purpose, it may pertinently be asked,
would be served thereby if, after the time-consuming effort, it would clearly
appear that plaintiff could not in truth show that there was such an open,
uninterrupted, peaceful and adverse possession in the concept of owner? Nor is
it to be forgotten that in the motion to dismiss of oppositor de los Santos, it
was stated: "That the son of applicant Luis Santiago, namely Juanito S.
Santiago, was one time the Lessee of the aforesaid timber area sought to be
registered by him under Pasture Lease Agreement No. 182 on April 18, 1955, which
Lease Agreement was cancelled by the Government on August 18, 1958 for failure
of Lessee Santiago to make the improvements and comply otherwise with the terms
and conditions of the Lease Contract; ... ." There was no denial of such
allegation.An admission made in the pleadings cannot be controverted
by the party making such admission and are conclusive as to him, and that all

proofs submitted by him contrary thereto or inconsistent therewith, should be


ignored, whether objection is interposed by the party or not. CANON 20SESBRENO
V. CAFacts:Atty. Sesbreno is the counsel of 52 employees who sued the province
of Cebu for reinstatement and back wages. They signed 2 documents whereby the
employees agreed to pay Atty. Sesbreno 30% as attorneys fees and 20% expenses
to be taken from their back salaries. The trial court rendered a decision in
favor the employees and fixed Atty. Sesbrenos attorneys fees at 40% of back
salaries, terminal leave, gratuity pay and retirement benefits and 20% as
expenses, or a total of 60% of all monies paid to the employees. The court later
on modified the attorneys fees to 50%. Atty. Sesbreno appealed to the CA, which
decided that the attorneys fees should be reduced to 20% of the back salaries
awarded to the employees. Atty. Sesbreno appeals to the SC on the ground that
attorneys fees amounting to 50% of all monies awarded to his clients as
contingent fees should be upheld for being consistent with prevailing case law
and the contract of professional services between the parties.
Issue:
Whether or not the Court of Appeals had the authority to reduce the amount of
attorneys fees awarded to Atty. Sesbreno, notwithstanding the contract for
professional services signed by the clientHeld: Yes! The CA has the authority to
reduce the amount of attorneys fees. A lawyer may charge and receive as
attorneys fees is always subject to judicial control. In the case at bar, the
parties entered into a contingent fee contract, wherein Atty. Sesbreno will get
50% from the employees money claims if they will win the case. However, the
court finds the 50% fee as unconscionable. Stipulated attorneys fees are
unconscionable whenever the amount is by far so disproportionate compared to the
value of the services rendered as to amount to fraud perpetrated upon the
client. Contingent fee contracts are under the supervision and close scrutiny of
the court in order that clients may be protected from unjust charges. The court
held that a fee of 20% of back salaries would be a fair settlement.
BAUTISTA V. GONZALESFacts:Atty. Gonzales is the lawyer of the Fortunados in a
civil case wherein Atty. Gonzales agreed to pay all expenses, including court
fees, for a contingent fee of 50% of the value of the property in litigation.
Issue:Whether or not the contingent fee agreement between Atty. Gonzales and the
Forunados is validHeld:No. There was no impropriety in entering into a
contingent fee contract with the Fortunados. However, the agreement between
Atty. Gonzales and the Fortunados is contrary to the Code of Professional
Responsibility which provides that a lawyer may not properly agree with a client
to pay or bear the expenses of litigation. Although a lawyer may in good faith,
advance the expenses of litigation, the same should be subject to reimbursement.
The agreement between Atty. Gonzales and Fortunados does not provide for
reimbursement to Atty. Gonzales of litigation expenses paid by him. An agreement
whereby an attorney agrees to pay expenses of proceedings to enforce the
clients rights is champertous. Such agreements are against public policy. The
execution of these contracts violates the fiduciary relationship between the
lawyer and his client, for which the former must incur administrative sanctions.
GAMILLA V. MARINOFacts:Atty. Eduardo Marino Jr. was the president of the UST
Faculty Union. Theres a long history of collective bargaining agreement between
UST and UST Faculty Union. During the series of agreements between UST and the
UST Faculty Union, Atty. Marino was removed from his position but continued to
serve as a lawyer for the UST Faculty Union. In the end, the UST Faculty won and
was awarded 42 million pesos for back wages, salaries, additional compensations,
etc. Complainants are members of the UST Faculty Union questioning the lack of
transparency in the disbursement of the monetary benefits (42M) for the faculty
members, and prays for the expulsion of Atty. Marino for failure to account for
the balance of 42M ceded to them by UST and the attorneys fees amounting to
4.2M which he deducted from the benefits allotted to faculty members.
Issue:
Whether or not the 4.2M attorneys fees is proportionate to the legal services
rendered by Atty. MarinoHeld: No. The record does not show any justification for
such huge amount of compensation nor any clear differentiation between his legal
services and his tasks union president comprising in all probity the same duties
for which he has collected a hefty compensation as attorney for the union.
Furthermore, there was lack of notice and transparency in Atty. Marinos dual
role a lawyer and president of UST Faculty Union when he obtained 4.2M as
attorneys fees. A simple accounting of the money that he and others concerned
received from UST, as well as an explanation on the details of the agreements,

would have enlightened the faculty members about the probability of conflict of
interests on respondents part and guided them to look for alternative actions
to protect their own interests. The objective of a disciplinary case is not so
much to punish the individual attorney as to protect the dispensation of justice
by sheltering the judiciary and the public from the misconduct or inefficiency
of officers of the court. Restorative justice not retribution is our goal in
this type of proceedings. In view of this, instead of taking a more stern
measure against respondent, a reprimand and a warning would be sufficient
disciplinary action. Hence, Atty. Mario is admonished to refrain from all
appearances and acts of impropriety including circumstances indicating conflict
of interests, and to behave at all times with circumspection and dedication
befitting a member of the Bar, especially observing candor, fairness and loyalty
in all transactions with his client. VINSON PINEDA V. ATTY. DE JESUS, ATTY.
AMBROSIO AND ATTY. MARIANOFacts:Aurora Pineda filed for declaration of nullity
of marriage against Vinson Pineda. Aurora proposed a settlement regarding
visitation rights and the separation of properties which was accepted by Vinson.
Settlement was approved by the trial court and their marriage was declared null
and void.Throughout the proceedings the respondent counsels were compensated but
they still billed petitioner additional legal fees in amounting to P16.5M.
Vinson refused to pay the additional fees but instead paid P1.2M.Respondents
filed a complaint with the same trial court.Trial court ordered Vinson to pay a
total of P9M. CA reduced the amount to a total of P2M.Issues:W/N the RTC had
jurisdiction over the claim for additional legal fees? W/N respondents were
entitled to additional legal fees? Held:A lawyer may enforce his right to his
fees by filing the petition as an incident of the main action. RTC has
jurisdiction.The respondents were seeking to collect P50M which was 10% of the
value of the properties awarded to Vinson. What respondents were demanding was
additional payment for service rendered in the same case.The professional
engagement between petitioner and respondents was governed by quantum meruit.
Rule 20.4 of the Code of Professional Responsibility advises lawyers to avoid
controversies with clients concerning their compensation and to resort to
judicial action only to prevent imposition, injustice or fraud. Suits to collect
fees should be avoided and should be filed only when circumstances force lawyers
to resort to it.In this case, there was no justification for the additional
legal fees sought by respondents. It was an act of unconscionable greed!ROXAS V.
DE ZUZUARREGUI, JRFacts:The Zuzuarreguis engaged the legal services of Attys.
Romeo G. Roxas and Santiago N. Pastor, to represent them in the case. This was
sealed by a Letter-Agreement, wherein it was contained that the attorneys would
endeavor to secure just compensation with the NHA and other government agencies
at a price of 11pesos or more per square meter, and that any lower amount shall
not entitle them to any attys fees. They also stipulated that in the event they
get it for 11pesos per square meter, their contingent fee shall be 30% of the
just compensation. They also stipulated that their lawyers fees shall be in
proportion to the cash/bonds ratio of the just compensation.[]A Compromise
Agreement was executed between the Zuzuarreguis and the NHA. The Compromise
Agreement, stipulated among other things, that the just compensation of the
Zuzuarregui properties would be at P19.50 per square meter payable in NHA Bonds.
In a Decision dated 20 December 1985, the RTC, approved the Compromise Agreement
submitted by the parties.The total amount in NHA bonds released to Atty. Romeo
G. Roxas in behalf of the Zuzuarreguis amounted to P54,500,000.00. Out of this
amount, the records show that the amount turned over to the Zuzuarreguis by
Atty. Roxas amounted to P30,520,000.00 (representing the actual just
compensation, although this amount is bigger) in NHA bonds.Computed at P19.50
per square meter, the 1,790,570.36 square meters property of the Zuzuarreguis
was expropriated at a total price of P34,916,122.00. The total amount released
by the NHA was P54,500,000.00. The difference of P19,583,878.00 is, undoubtedly,
the yield on the bonds.On 25 August 1987, a letter was sent by the Zuzuarreguis
new counsel, Jose F. Gonzalez, to Attys. Roxas and Pastor, demanding that the
latter deliver to the Zuzuarreguis the yield corresponding to bonds paid by the
NHA within a period of 10 days from receipt, under pain of administrative, civil
and/or criminal action.Issue:The honorable court of appeals gravely
erred on a question of law in holding that the letter-agreement re: contingent
fees cannot be allowed to stand as the law between the partiesHeld:A contract is
a meeting of the minds between two persons whereby one binds himself, with

respect to the other, to give something or to render some service. Contracts


shall be obligatory, in whatever form they may have been entered into, provided
all the essential requisites for their validity are present. The Zuzuarreguis,
in entering into the Letter-Agreement, fully gave their consent thereto. In
fact, it was them (the Zuzuarreguis) who sent the said letter to Attys. Roxas
and Pastor, for the purpose of confirming all the matters which they had agreed
upon previously. There is absolutely no evidence to show that anybody was forced
into entering into the Letter-Agreement. Verily, its existence, due execution
and contents were admitted by the Zuzuarreguis themselves.In the presence of a
contract for professional services duly executed by the parties thereto, the
same becomes the law between the said parties is not absolute but admits an
exception that the stipulations therein are not contrary to law, good morals,
good customs, public policy or public order.Under the contract in question,
Attys. Roxas and Pastor are to receive contingent fees for their professional
services. It is a deeply-rooted rule that contingent fees are not per se
prohibited by law. They are sanctioned by Canon 13 of the Canons of Professional
Ethics.A contract for contingent fee, where sanctioned by law, should be
reasonable under all the circumstances of the case including the risk and
uncertainty of the compensation, but should always be subject to the supervision
of a court, as to its reasonableness.Indubitably entwined with the lawyers duty
to charge only reasonable fees is the power of this Court to reduce the amount
of attorneys fees if the same is excessive and unconscionable.Attorneys fees
are unconscionable if they affront ones sense of justice, decency or
reasonableness. It becomes axiomatic therefore, that power to determine the
reasonableness or the, unconscionable character of attorney's fees stipulated by
the parties is a matter falling within the regulatory prerogative of the courts.
In the instant case, Attys. Roxas and Pastor received an amount which was equal
to forty-four percent (44%) of the just compensation paid (including the yield
on the bonds) by the NHA to the Zuzuarreguis, or an amount equivalent to
P23,980,000.00 of the P54,500,000.00. Considering that there was no full blown
hearing in the expropriation case, ending as it did in a Compromise Agreement,
the 44% is, undeniably, unconscionable and excessive under the circumstances.
Its reduction is, therefore, in order.It is imperative that the contingent fees
received by Attys. Roxas and Pastor must be equitably reduced. In the opinion of
this Court, the yield that corresponds to the percentage share of the
Zuzuarreguis in the P19.50 per square meter just compensation paid by the NHA
must be returned by Attys. Roxas and Pastor.The yield on the NHA bonds amounted
to P19,583,878.00. This amount must therefore be divided between the
Zuzuarreguis, on the one hand, and Attys. Roxas and Pastor, on the other. The
division must be pro rata. Attys. Roxas and Pastor, in the opinion of this
Court, were not shortchanged for their efforts for they would still be earning
or actually earned attorneys fees in the amount of P6,987,078.75On the issue of
moral and exemplary damages, we cannot award the same for there was no direct
showing of bad faith on the part of Attys. Roxas and Pastor, for as we said
earlier, contingency fees are not per se prohibited by law. It is only necessary
that it be reduced when excessive and unconscionable, which we have already
done.LAW FIRM OF TUNGOL & TIBAYAN V. CA AND SPOUSES INGCOFacts:Ingcos hired the
petitioner law firm to enforce delivery of a land title. Complaint was filed by
the law firm in behalf of the Ingcos before the HLURB against Villa Crista
alleging that the Ingcos had paid P5.1M for a lot but Villa Crista failed to
deliver the title thereto. The Ingcos and Villa Crista entered into a compromise
whereby the latter was bound to refund P4.8M provided that in case of breach of
such obligation, an additional P200k would be paid by way of liquidated damages.
Villa Crista failed to pay. Writ of execution issued. Sheriff levied and
auctioned 10 lots belonging to Villa Crista. The Ingcos bought 3 lots, the
payment of which includes P5.1M contract price for the initial lot they
primarily bought, P1.35M attorneys fees and other expenses. The Ingcos then
terminated the services of the law firm.The law firm filed with the HLURB to
recover 25% of the excess of the existing prevailing selling price or the fair
market value of the 3 lots. It also filed for damages in the RTC.The law firm
argued that the spouses still owed P4.5M; that in their contract the law firm
was entitled to 25% of the excess of the total bid price.HLURB arbiter ruled for
the law firm. HLURHB Board reversed. The Office of the President reversed,
affirming the HLURB arbiters decision. CA reversed the OP.Held:SC ruled that

the lawyers are not entitled to additional fees. The spouses acquired the 3 lots
as the highest bidder at the auction sale. It can be said that the lots had been
acquired not through the recovery efforts of the law firm.Moreover, during the
negotiations with Villa Crista, it was Renato Ingco who was actually
negotiating, not the lawyers.When the auction sale was made, the attorney-client
relationship no longer existed, hence the lawyers are not entitled to the
additional fees.CANON 21REGALA V. SANDIGANBAYANFACTS:The Republic of the
Philippines instituted a Complaint before the Sandiganbayan (SB), through the
Presidential Commission on Good Govt (PCGG) against Eduardo M. Cojuangco, Jr.,
as one of the principal defendants, for the recovery of alleged ill-gotten
wealth, which includes shares of stocks in the named corps. in PCGG Case No. 33
(CC No. 0033) entitled "RP vs. Eduardo Cojuangco, et al." Among the defendants
named in the case are herein petitioners and herein private respondent Raul S.
Roco, who all were then partners of the law firm Angara, Abello, Concepcion,
Regala and Cruz (ACCRA) Law Offices. ACCRA Law Firm performed legal services for
its clients and in the performance of these services, the members of the law
firm delivered to its client documents which substantiate the client's equity
holdings. In the course of their dealings with their clients, the members of the
law firm acquire information relative to the assets of clients as well as their
personal and business circumstances. As members of the ACCRA Law Firm,
petitioners and private respondent Raul Roco admit that they assisted in the
organization and acquisition of the companies included in CC No. 0033, and in
keeping with the office practice, ACCRA lawyers acted as nominees-stockholders
of the said corporations involved in sequestration proceedings. PCGG filed a
"Motion to Admit 3rd Amended Complaint" & "3rd Amended Complaint" w/c excluded
Roco from the complaint in PCGG Case No. 33 as partydefendant, Roco having
promised hell reveal the identity of the principal/s for whom he acted as
nominee/stockholder in the companies involved in PCGG Case # 33. Petitioners
were included in 3rd Amended Complaint for having plotted, devised, schemed,
conspired & confederated w/each other in setting up, through the use of coconut
levy funds, the financial & corporate framework & structures that led to
establishment of UCPB, UNICOM, COCOLIFE, COCOMARK, CIC, & more than 20 other
coconut levy funded corps, including the acquisition of San Miguel Corp. shares
& its institutionalization through presidential directives of the coconut
monopoly. Through insidious means & machinations, ACCRA Investments Corp.,
became the holder of roughly 3.3% of the total outstanding capital stock of
UCPB. In their answer to the Expanded Amended Complaint, petitioners alleged
that their participation in the acts w/ w/c their co-defendants are charged, was
in furtherance of legitimate lawyering Petitioner Paraja Hayudini, who had
separated from ACCRA law firm, filed a separate answer denying the allegations
in the complaint implicating him in the alleged ill-gotten wealth. Petitioners
then filed their "Comment &/or Opposition" w/ Counter-Motion that PCGG exclude
them as parties-defendants like Roco. PCGG set the ff. precedent for the
exclusion of petitioners: (a) the disclosure of the identity of its clients; (b)
submission of documents substantiating the lawyer-client relationship; and (c)
the submission of the deeds of assignments petitioners executed in favor of its
clients covering their respective shareholdings. Consequently, PCGG presented
supposed proof to substantiate compliance by Roco of the same conditions
precedent. However, during said proceedings, Roco didnt refute petitioners'
contention that he did actually not reveal the identity of the client involved
in PCGG Case No. 33, nor had he undertaken to reveal the identity of the client
for whom he acted as nominee-stockholder. In a Resolution, SB denied the
exclusion of petitioners, for their refusal to comply w/ the conditions required
by PCGG. It held, ACCRA lawyers cannot excuse themselves from the consequences
of their acts until they have begun to establish the basis for recognizing the
privilege; the existence and identity of the client. ACCRA lawyers filed MFR
w/c was denied. Hence, ACCRA lawyers filed the petition for certiorari.
Petitioner Hayudini, likewise, filed his own MFR w/c was also denied thus, he
filed a separate petition for certiorari, assailing SBs resolution on
essentially same grounds averred by petitioners, namely: SB gravely abused its
discretion
in subjecting petitioners to the strict application of the law of agency. SB
gravely abused its discretion in not considering petitioners & Roco similarly
situated &, thus, deserving equal treatmentSB gravely abused its discretion in

not holding that, under the facts of this case, the attorney-client privilege
prohibits petitioners from revealing the identity of their client(s) and the
other information requested by the PCGG. SB gravely abused its discretion in not
requiring that dropping of partydefendants be based on reasonable & just
grounds, w/ due consideration to constitutional rts of petitioners PCGG, through
its counsel, refutes petitioners' contention, alleging that the revelation of
the identity of the client is not w/in the ambit of the lawyer-client
confidentiality privilege, nor are the documents it required (deeds of
assignment) protected, because they are evidence of nominee status.RULING
(pulled out only the pertinent sections ():WON ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE
PROHIBITS PETITIONERS FROM REVEALING THE IDENTITY OF THEIR CLIENT(S) & THE OTHER
INFORMATION REQUESTED BY THE PCGG
YES. Nature of lawyer-client relationship is
premised on the Roman Law concepts of locatio conductio operarum (contract of
lease of services) where one person lets his services and another hires them
without reference to the object of which the services are to be performed,
wherein lawyers' services may be compensated by honorarium or for hire, and
mandato (contract of agency) wherein a friend on whom reliance could be placed
makes a contract in his name, but gives up all that he gained by the contract to
the person who requested him. But the lawyer-client relationship is more than
that of the principal-agent and lessor-lesseeAn attorney is more than a mere
agent or servant, because he possesses special powers of trust and confidence
reposed on him by his client. An attorney occupies a "quasi-judicial office"
since he is in fact an officer of the Court & exercises his judgment in the
choice of courses of action to be taken favorable to his client.Thus, in the
creation of lawyer-client relationship, there are rules, ethical conduct and
duties that breathe life into it, among those, the fiduciary duty to his client
which is of a very delicate, exacting and confidential character, requiring a
very high degree of fidelity and good faith, that is required by reason of
necessity and public interest based on the hypothesis that abstinence from
seeking legal advice in a good cause is an evil which is fatal to the
administration of justice. Attorney-client privilege, is worded in Rules of
Court, Rule 130: Sec. 24. Disqualification by reason of privileged
communication. The following persons cannot testify as to matters learned in
confidence in the following cases: xxx An attorney cannot, without the consent
of his client, be examined as to any communication made by the client to him, or
his advice given thereon in the course of, or with a view to, professional
employment, can an attorney's secretary, stenographer, or clerk be examined,
without the consent of the client and his employer, concerning any fact the
knowledge of which has been acquired in such capacity. Further, Rule 138 of the
Rules of Court states: Sec. 20. It is the duty of an attorney: (e) to maintain
inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself, to preserve the secrets
of his client, and to accept no compensation in connection with his client's
business except from him or with his knowledge and approval. This duty is
explicitly mandated in Canon 17, CPR (A lawyer owes fidelity to the cause of
his client and he shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed in him.)
Canon 15, CPE also demands a lawyer's fidelity to client. An effective lawyerclient relationship is largely dependent upon the degree of confidence which
exists between lawyer and client which in turn requires a situation which
encourages a dynamic and fruitful exchange and flow of information. Thus, the
Court held that this duty may be asserted in refusing to disclose the name of
petitioners' client(s) in the case at bar. The general rule is that a lawyer may
not invoke the privilege and refuse to divulge the name or identity of his
client. Reasons advanced for the general rule: Court has a right to know that
the client whose privileged information is sought to be protected is flesh and
blood. Privilege begins to exist only after the attorney-client relationship has
been established. Privilege generally pertains to subject matter of relationship
Due process considerations require that the opposing party should, as a general
rule, know his adversary. Exceptions to the gen. rule: 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. Ex-Parte Enzor and U.S. v. Hodge and Zweig: The subject matter
of the relationship was so closely related to the issue of the client's identity
that the privilege actually attached to both. Where disclosure would open the
client to civil liability, his identity is privileged. Neugass v. Terminal Cab

Corp.: couldnt reveal name of his client as this would expose the latter to
civil litigation. Matter of Shawmut Mining Company: We feel sure that under
such conditions no case has ever gone to the length of compelling an attorney,
at the instance of a hostile litigant, to disclose not only his retainer, but
the nature of the transactions to w/c it related, when such information could be
made the basis of a suit against his client. 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. Baird vs. Korner: a lawyer could not be forced to reveal the names
of clients who employed him to pay sums of money to govt voluntarily in
settlement of undetermined income taxes, unsued on, & w/ no govt audit or
investigation into that client's income tax liability pending Apart from these
principal exceptions, there exist other situations which could qualify as
exceptions to the general rule: if the content of any client communication to a
lawyer 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 & it is the identity w/c 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. Instant case falls under at least 2 exceptions to the
general rule. First, disclosure of the alleged client's name would lead to
establish said client's connection with the very fact in issue of the case,
which is privileged information, because the privilege, as stated earlier,
protects the subject matter or the substance (without which there would be no
attorney-client relationship). The link between the alleged criminal offense and
the legal advice or legal service sought was duly established in the case at
bar, by no less than the PCGG itself as can be seen in the 3 specific conditions
laid down by the PCGG which constitutes petitioners' ticket to non-prosecution
should they accede thereto. From these conditions, particularly the third, we
can readily deduce that the clients indeed consulted the petitioners, in their
capacity as lawyers, regarding the financial and corporate structure, framework
and set-up of the corporations in question. In turn, petitioners gave their
professional advice in the form of, among others, the aforementioned deeds of
assignment covering their client's shareholdings. Petitioners have a legitimate
fear that identifying their clients would implicate them in the very activity
for which legal advice had been sought, i.e., the alleged accumulation of illgotten wealth in the aforementioned corporations. Secondly, under the third main
exception, revelation of the client's name would obviously provide the necessary
link for the prosecution to build its case, where none otherwise exists. While
the privilege may not be invoked for illegal purposes such as in a case where a
client takes on the services of an attorney, for illicit purposes, it may be
invoked in a case where a client thinks he might have previously committed
something illegal and consults his attorney. Whether or not the act for which
the client sought advice turns out to be illegal, his name cannot be used or
disclosed if the disclosure leads to evidence, not yet in the hands of the
prosecution, which might lead to possible action against him. The Baird
exception, applicable to the instant case, is consonant with the principal
policy behind the privilege, i.e., that for the purpose of promoting freedom of
consultation of legal advisors by clients, apprehension of compelled disclosure
from attorneys must be eliminated. What is sought to be avoided then is the
exploitation of the general rule in what may amount to a fishing expedition by
the prosecution.In fine, the crux of petitioner's objections ultimately hinges
on their expectation that if the prosecution has a case against their clients,
the latter's case should be built upon evidence painstakingly gathered by them
from their own sources and not from compelled testimony requiring them to reveal
the name of their clients, information which unavoidably reveals much about the
nature of the transaction
which may or may not be illegal. The utmost zeal given by Courts to the
protection of the lawyer-client confidentiality privilege and lawyer's loyalty
to his client is evident in the duration of the protection, which exists not

only during the relationship, but extends even after the termination of the
relationship. We have no choice but to uphold petitioners' right not to reveal
the identity of their clients under pain of the breach of fiduciary duty owing
to their clients, as the facts of the instant case clearly fall w/in recognized
exceptions to the rule that the client's name is not privileged information.
Otherwise, it would expose the lawyers themselves to possible litigation by
their clients in view of the strict fiduciary responsibility imposed on them in
exercise of their duties.IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FOR DISBARMENT OF
ATTORNEY PALANCA:WILLIAM PFLEIDER VS. ATTORNEY PALANCAFacts:Palanca was the
legal counsel of Pfleider. Pfleider leased an agricultural land to Palanca known
as Hacienda Asia. Pfleider filed a civil suit against Palanca for rescission of
the lease contract for defaulting in rental payments. He also filed this
administrative complaint of gross misconduct against Palanca. Pfleider alleged
that in a criminal case for estafa filed against him in which Palanca was his
counsel, the latter sought to negotiate the dismissal of the complaint. Pfleider
alleged that Palanca informed him through letters that he had successfully
negotiated the dismissal of the complaint and that he had deposited P5k with the
court. Issue:W/N Palanca was guilty of gross misconduct? W/N the filing of the
civil suit for the rescission of the lease contract terminated the attorneyclient relationship? Held:Palanca was not guilty of gross misconduct. The letters
relied upon by Pfleider did not show that Palanca stated that he had
successfully negotiated the dismissal of the criminal complaint against
Pfleider.The civil suit for rescission terminated the attorney-client
relationship. While the object of the suit was the rescission of the lease
contract, the conflict of interest became incompatible with the mutual
confidence and trust essential to every attorney-client relationship.MERCADO V.
ATTY. VITRIOLOFacts:Atty. Vitriolo was the counsel of Mercado in a case for
annulment of marriage filed by the latters husband. Vitriolo filed a criminal
action for falsification of public documents against Mercado alleging that the
latter made false entries in the certificates of live birth of her children
which were presented in the annulment case.Mercado filed this complaint alleging
that due to the criminal case filed against her by Vitriolo, information
relating to her civil case for annulment was divulged. Hence, Vitriolo breached
the privilege and confidence reposed within a lawyer-client relationship.
Mercado prayed the Vitriolo be disbarred.Issue:W/N Vitriolo violated the rule on
privileged communication between attorney and client when he filed a criminal
case against his former client? Held:SC provided the factors which are essential
to establish the existence of the communication privilege between an attorney
and his client.There exists an attorney-client relationship, or a prospective
attorney-client relationship, and it is by reason of this relationship that the
client made the communication.The client made the communication in confidence.
The legal advice must be sought from the attorney in his professional capacity.
SC ruled that in applying all there rules, the evidence on record fails to
substantiate Mercados allegations. Mercado did not even specify the alleged
communication. all her claims were couched in general terms and lacked
specificity.GENATO V. ATTY SILAPANFacts:Atty. Silapan was leasing office space
in Genatos building. Atty. Silapan handled some of Genatos cases. After a
while, Atty. Silapan borrowed money from Genato to buy a car. Atty. Silapan
bought the car, and issued a postdated check to Genato. The check was
dishonored. Genato filed a case against Atty. Silapan under BP 22. In his
defense, he alleged that Genato was in the business of buying an selling
deficiency taxed imported cars, shark loans and other shady deals and that he
was also involved in bribery cases. Genato claimed that Atty. Silapan was guilty
of breaking their confidential lawyer-client relationship. Issue: Was Atty.
Silapan guilty of the breach? Held: No. While Canon 17 provides that a lawyer
shall be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him, especially with
privileged communication the protection is only limited to communications
which are legitimately and properly within the scope of a lawful employment of a
lawyer. It does not extend to those made in contemplation of a crime or
perpetration of a fraud. Thus, here, the attorney-client privilege does not
attach, there being no professional employment in the strictest sense. However,
the disclosures were not indispensable to protect Atty. Silapans rights as they
were not pertinent to the case. It was improper for him to disclose those
information as they were not the subject matter of litigation at hand. His

professional competence and legal advice were not being attacked in the said
case. A lawyer must conduct himself with integrity. He is therefore suspended
for 6 months.HADJULA V. ATTY MADIANDA
Facts:Hadjula claimed that she asked
legal advice from her friend, Atty. Madianda. She disclosed confidential
information during that period. However, after the confidential information was
given by Hadjula, Atty. Madianda referred her to another lawyer. Hadjula filed a
complaint against Atty. Madianda because of this, claiming the lawyer just
wanted to hear her secrets. In answering the complaint, Atty. Madianda filed a
counter complaint against Hadjula for falsification of public documents and
immorality using the disclosures as basis for the charges. Issue: What is to
become of Atty. Madianda? Held: Reprimanded.
The moment complainant approached
the then receptive respondent to seek legal advice, a veritable lawyer-client
relationship evolved between the two. Atty. Madianda should have kept the
information secret and confidential, under the attorney-client privilege rule.
However, the seriousness of the respondents offense notwithstanding, the
Court feels that there is room for compassion, absent compelling evidence that
she (Atty. Madianda) acted with ill-will. It appears that she was actuated by
the urge to retaliate without perhaps realizing that in the process of giving
bent to a negative sentiment, she was violating the rule of confidentiality.PALM
V. ATTY. ILEDANFacts:Palm is the president of Comtech, which hired Atty. Iledan
as its retained counsel. She filed a case of disbarment against Atty. Iledan for
breach of the attorney-client privilege and conflict of interests.
The basis
of the claim of breach occurred during a meeting. Atty. Iledan claimed that the
stockholders meeting cannot take place via teleconferencing because they have
yet to amend the by-laws of the corporation to allow such mode of
communications. Palm claims this was a breach of the attorney-client privilege
of confidentiality.
The basis of the conflict of interests stemmed from
Atty. Iledan being the counsel of Soledad who was filed with an estafa case by
Comtech.Issue: Was Atty. Iledan guilty of breach? How about conflict of
interests? Held:
No. Although the information about the necessity to amend the
corporate by-laws may have been given to respondent, it could not be considered
a confidential information. The amendment, repeal or adoption of new by-laws
may be effected by the board of directors or trustees, by a majority vote
thereof, and the owners of at least a majority of the outstanding capital stock,
or at least a majority of members of a non-stock corporation.It means the
stockholders are aware of the proposed amendments to the by-laws. Further,
whenever any amendment or adoption of new by-laws is made, copies of the
amendments or the new by-laws are filed with the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) and attached to the original articles of incorporation and bylaws.The documents are public records and could not be considered confidential.
It is settled that the mere relation of attorney and client does not
raise a presumption of confidentiality. The client must intend the communication
to be confidential. Since the proposed amendments must be approved by at least a
majority of the stockholders, and copies of the amended by-laws must be filed
with the SEC, the information could not have been intended to be confidential.
Thus, the disclosure made by respondent during the stockholders meeting could
not be considered a violation of his clients secrets and confidence within the
contemplation of Canon 21 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. The Court
also finds no conflict of interest when respondent represented Soledad in a case
filed by Comtech. The case where respondent represents Soledad is an Estafa
case filed by Comtech against its former officer. There was nothing in the
records that would show that respondent used against Comtech any confidential
information acquired while he was still Comtechs retained counsel. Further,
respondent made the representation after the termination of his retainer
agreement with Comtech. A lawyers immutable duty to a former client does not
cover transactions that occurred beyond the lawyers employment with the client.
The intent of the law is to impose upon the lawyer the duty to protect the
clients interests only on matters that he previously handled for the former
client and not for matters that arose after the lawyer-client relationship has
terminatedCANON 22 WACK WACK GOLF V. CA, PETRONILO ARCANGEL AND ANTONINO
BERNARDO
Facts:Wack-wack
was in a labor case against Arcangel. During the pendency of the case, Wackwack wanted to change their counsel from Balcoff, Poblador and Cruz to the Law
Office of Juan Chudian. During the hearing, neither Wack-wack nor their original

counsels showed up, so Arcangel was allowed to present his evidence without
Wack-wack. The court awarded judgment to Arcangel. The law firm of Chuidian then
filed a petition to set aside the judgment on the ground of misunderstanding.
This petition was denied by the lower court. Wack-wack assails the denial of the
petition.
It has to be taken note of that the court did not know of the change
of counsel because Chudian only entered his appearance after the judgment was
rendered against Wack-wack.Issue: Was the trial court correct in denying the
petition to set aside the judgment? Held: Yes. As such counsel of record,
Balcoff, Poblador and Cruz must have known that, its impending relief as
counself for the defendant notwithstanding, it is still under obligation to
protect the clients interest until its final release from the professional
relationship with such client. The court could recognize no other representation
on behalf of the client except such counsel of record until a formal
substitution of attorney is effected.
Any agreement or arrangement such
counsel of record and its client may reach regarding the presentation of the
clients case in court is purely their private concern. Proceedings in court
cannot be made to depend on them.VENTEREZ V. ATTY COSMEFacts:Venterez and
friends hired Atty. Cosme as counsel for a land title dispute. The court rule
against Venterez and friends. They wanted to file a motion for reconsideration
but Atty. Cosme failed or refused to do so. Because of this, Venterez was
constrained to contract another lawyer to prepare the MR. Atty. Cosme claims
that the son of one of the complainants informed him that he was withdrawing the
case from him because he (the son) already engaged another lawyer to take over
the case. Atty. Cosme explained that he even turned over the records of the case
to the son and thus, ceased to be counsel any longer. Issue: Is Atty. Cosme
guilty of culpable negligence in handling the case? Held: Yes. Once a lawyer
agrees to take up the cause of a client, he owes fidelity to such cause and must
be mindful of the trust and confidence reposed on him. An attornery who
undertakes an action impliedly stipulates to carry it to its termination that
is, until the case becomes final and executory. Any dereliction of duty affects
the client.
The Court cannot accept Atty. Cosmes defense that he had
already withdrawn from the case. A lawyer may retire at any time with the
written consent of his client fileed in court and with a copy thereof served
upon the adverse party. Should the client refuse to give his consent, the lawyer
must file an application with the court. The application must be based on a good
case. What constitutes good cause? See Rule 22.01, Canon 22.
There was no
proper revocation in this case. He is suspended for 3 months.SANTECO V. ATTY.
AVANCEFacts:Santeco got Atty. Avance to handle a case for her in a civil suit.
She paid her P12,000 as acceptance money. Losing in the first instance, Atty.
Avance made representations that she was going to file a petition for certiorari
with the CA.
She didnt. She also didnt appear during scheduled hearings,
causing the case to get dismissed for failure to prosecute.Issue: Is Atty.
Avance grossly remiss in the performance of her duties? Held: Yes. Aggravating
her gross negligence in the performance of her duties, she abruptly stopped
appearing as complainants counsel even as proceedings were still pending with
neither a withdrawal nor an explanation for doing so. This violated Canon 22.
Suspended for 5 years. FRANCISCO VS. PORTUGALFacts: Atty was counsel for
complainants in a criminal case. Atty was retained After judgment was rendered
convicting appellants. Atty filed an MR and another Motion and Petition for
review of the judgment of conviction. But after the filing, Atty disappeared and
was nowhere to be found. Later, the complainants found out that their petitions
were denied for being filed out of time and for failure to pay the docket fees.
The decision became final and warrants of arrest were issued.Atty argues that he
had decided to withdraw as counsel. He wrote a letter to one of the complainants
giving them instructinos to sign and file with the Court the Notice to Withdraw.
But the complainant didnt file it with the court because they were aware that
it would be difficult to find another counsel.Issue: Is Atty guilty of
negligence in handling the case? Held: Yes! 3 month suspension. Atty should have
filed the notice of withdrawal himself if he truly wanted to withdraw. At the
very least, he should have informed the court. For failure to do so, Atty was
negligent. Atty was also negligent in filing the petition out of time.
eventually he would have known that the petition was denied but still he failed
to informe the convicts and return their calls.One of the fundamental rules of
ethics is the principle that an attorney who undertakes to conduct an action

impliedly stipulates to carry it to its conclusion. He is not at liberty to


abandon it without reasonable cause. A lawyers right to withdraw from a case
before its final adjudication arises only from the clients written consent or
from a good cause.After agreeing to take up the cause of a client, a lawyer owes
fidelity to both cause and client, even if the client never paid any fee for the
attorney-client relationship. Lawyering is not a business; it is a profession in
which duty of public service, not money, is the primary consideration.
METROPOLITAN BANK V. CAFacts: Atty. handled several cases from 1974 to 1983
concerning the declaration of nullity of certain deeds of sale. Pending
resolution in the RTC, Atty filed a motion to enter his charging lien equal to
25% of the market value of the litigated properties as atty fees. The court
granted and the attys lien was annotated on the TCTs. The cases were later
dismissed with prejudice at the instance of the plaintiffs therein. Thus the
Bank now had the TCTs in its name and the attys lien was carried over.Atty.
filed a motion to fix his Atty Fees based on quantum meruit. RTC granted the
motion and fixed the fees at 936K. CA affirmed.Issue: Is Atty. entitled to a
charging lien? Is a separate suit necessary for enforcement of the lien? Held:
Yes! Yes! CA reversed without prejudice to proper to the bringing of proper
proceedings. A charging lien, to be enforceable as security for the payment of
attorney's fees, requires as a condition sine qua non a judgment for money and
execution in pursuance of such judgment secured in the main action by the
attorney in favor of his client. A lawyer may enforce his right to fees by
filing the necessary petition as an incident in the main action in which his
services were rendered when something is due his client in the action from which
the fee is to be paid.Here, there was no money judgment. Thus there is no
charging lien. And court has no authority to fix a charging lien.A petition for
recovery of attorney's fees, either as a separate civil suit or as an incident
in the main action, has to be prosecuted and the allegations therein established
as any other money claim.DORONILLA V. CAFacts: Heirs of Doronilla had a dispute
with their counsel over his Atty Lien. The RTC declared that Counsel was
entitled to 10% of the shares of the heirs.Counsel filed a motion to annotate
attorney's lien on the title of parcels of land of the estate which the heirs
had inherited. The RTC granted the motion.Issue: Is the order of annotation
proper? Held: No! An attorney's lien does not extend to land which is the subject
matter of the litigation.SESBRENO V. CAFacts: Atty was hired as counsel by some
workers. They agreed that Atty would take 30% of whatever they may recover. The
trial court ordered reinstatement and payment of backwages. The employer
appealed the decision.Pending appeal, the workers entered into a compromise
agreement that they waived their right to be reinstated with the agreement of
payment of full backwages at once. The court adopted the compromise and ordered
the withholding of the payment of 55% for the lien of the Atty. But instead of
withholding, the employer directly paid the workers in full. Thus Atty filed a
complaint for collection against the employer and employees.Atty. moved to
dismiss the case against the employees. Later the trial court ordered payment of
669K by the employee. The CA reversed.Issue: Is the employer liable for the
Attys fees? Held: No! CA affirmed. Atty rightly commenced the action against
both his clients and the judgment debtors. However, at the instance of the
petitioner himself, the complaint against his clients was withdrawn on the
ground that he had settled his differences with them. He maintained the case
against employers because, according to him, the computation of the employees
money claims should have been based on the national and not the provincial wage
rate. Thus, petitioner insists that the respondents should be made liable for
the difference.Attys act in withdrawing the case against the employees and
agreeing to settle their dispute may be considered a waiver of his right to the
lien.Even if there was such a breach of the contract, he had waived his right to
claim against the respondents by accepting payment and/or absolving from
liability those who were primarily liable to him.SUSPENSION AND DISBARMENT
GATCHALIAN PROMOTIONS V. NALDOZAFacts: Atty. convinced his clients to appeal a
case from the POEA to the SC. Atty asked from complainants $2.5K which he said
were to be used for payment of
docket fees and that the court could take cognizance of the case. Later,
complainant corporation came to know that the fees to be paid to the SC
consisted only of nominal fees for such kind of appeal. Atty in order to cover
up presented complainant a fake xerox copy of an alleged Supreme Court receipt

representing payment of $2.5K.A criminal case was filed for estafa. Atty was
acquitted but was held civilly liable for $2.5K. Issue: Should Atty be
disbarred? Should the case be dismissed because of his acquittal? Held: Yes
disbarred! No, complaint shouldnt be dismissed. Administrative cases against
lawyers belong to a class of their own. They are distinct from and they may
proceed independently of civil and criminal cases. The burden of proof is
clearly preponderant evidence.A finding of guilt in a criminal case or liability
in a civil case will not necessarily result in a finding of liability in the
administrative case and vice versa. Neither will a favorable disposition in the
civil action absolve the administrative liability of the lawyer. The basic
premise is that criminal and civil cases are altogether different from
administrative matters, such that the disposition in the first two will not
inevitably govern the third and vice versa. Disciplinary proceedings against
lawyers are sui generisRespondent's acts are more despicable. Not only did he
misappropriate the money entrusted to him; he also faked a reason to cajole his
client to part with his money. Worse, he had the gall to falsify an official
receipt of this Court to cover up his misdeeds. Clearly, he does not deserve to
continue being a member of the bar.SANTOS V. LLAMASFacts:This is a complaint for
misrepresentation and non-payment of bar membership dues filed against
respondent Atty. Francisco R. Llamas.In a letter-complaint to this Court dated
February 8, 1997, complainant Soliman M. Santos, Jr., himself a member of the
bar, alleged that:On my oath as an attorney, I wish to bring to your attention
and appropriate sanction the matter of Atty. Francisco R. Llamas who, for a
number of years now, has not indicated the proper PTR and IBP O.R. Nos. and data
(date & place of issuance) in his pleadingsThis matter is being brought in the
context of Rule 138, Section 1 which qualifies that only a duly admitted member
of the bar "who is in good and regular standing, is entitled to practice law".
There is also Rule 139-A, Section 10 which provides that "default in the payment
of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in the
Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground for
the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys."
Issues:W/N counsel is guilty of misrepresentation? YESW/N he is exempt from
paying his dues? YESHeld:Rule 139-A provides:Sec. 9. Membership dues. - Every
member of the Integrated Bar shall pay such annual dues as the Board of
Governors shall determine with the approval of the Supreme Court. A fixed sum
equivalent to ten percent (10%) of the collections from each Chapter shall be
set aside as a Welfare Fund for disabled members of the Chapter and the
compulsory heirs of deceased members thereof.Sec. 10. Effect of non-payment of
dues. - Subject to the provisions of Section 12 of this Rule, default in the
payment of annual dues for six months shall warrant suspension of membership in
the Integrated Bar, and default in such payment for one year shall be a ground
for the removal of the name of the delinquent member from the Roll of Attorneys.
In accordance with these provisions, respondent can engage in the practice of
law only by paying his dues, and it does not matter that his practice is
"limited." While it is true that R.A. No. 7432, 4 grants senior citizens
"exemption from the payment of individual income taxes: provided, that their
annual taxable income does not exceed the poverty level as determined by the
National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for that year," the exemption
does not include payment of membership or association dues.Second. By indicating
"IBP-Rizal 259060" in his pleadings and thereby misrepresenting to the public
and the courts that he had paid his IBP dues to the Rizal Chapter, respondent is
guilty of violating the Code of Professional Responsibility which provides:Rule
1.01 - A lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful
conduct.CANON 7 - A LAWYER SHALL AT ALL TIMES UPHOLD THE INTEGRITY AND DIGNITY
OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, AND SUPPORT THE ACTIVITIES OF THE INTEGRATED BAR. Esmso
CANON 10 - A LAWYER OWES CANDOR, FAIRNESS AND GOOD FAITH TO THE COURT.Rule 10.01
- A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any court;
nor shall he mislead or allow the court to be misled by any artifice.
Respondents failure to pay his IBP dues and his misrepresentation in the
pleadings he filed in court indeed merit the most severe penalty. However, in
view of respondents advanced age, his express willingness to pay his dues and
plea for a more temperate application of the law, we believe the penalty of one
year suspension from the practice of law or until he has paid his IBP dues,
whichever is later, is appropriate.LETTER OF ATTY. CECILIO AREVALO JR REQUESTING

EXEMPTION FROM PAYMENT OF IBP DUTIESFACTS:Atty Arevalo wrote a letter in Sept


2004, asking to be exempted from payment of IBP duties amounting to P12,035
(unpaid duties from 1977-2005). Atty Arevalo was admitted to the Bar in 1961.
He was with the Philippine Civil Service from 1962 to 1986. After that, he
migrated and worked in the USA until 2003. His main contention was that he
cannot be assessed IBP dues for the above amount because he was working with the
Civil Service then, and the Civil Service Law prohibits the practice of ones
profession while in government service. He also contends that he cannot be
assessed for the years he was working in the USA.IBP commented on the letter
saying that the IBP membership is NOT based on the actual practice of law. Once
a lawyer passes the Bar, he continues to be a member of the IBP, and one of his
obligations as member is the payment of annual dues. The validity of such dues
has been upheld by the SC in saying that it is necessary to defray the cost of
the Integrated Bar Program and no one is exempted from paying the dues. What was
allowed was the voluntary termination and reinstatement later on of membership.
If membership is terminated, dues wouldnt be assessed.Basically, the main
contention of Atty. Arevalo is that the IBPs policy of Non-Exemption in payment
of annual membership dues is invalid because it would be oppressive for one who
has been in an inactive status and is without income derived from his law
practice. Also, it is a deprivation of property right without due process.ISSUE:
W/N Atty. Arevalo is entitled to exemption from payment of his dues during the
time he was inactive in the practice of law, when he was in the Civil Service
and abroad? HELD/RATIO: NO. Integration of the Bar is essentially a process by
which every member of the Bar is afforded an opportunity to do his shares in
carrying out the objectives of the Bar as well as obliged to bear his portion of
its responsibilities. Organized by or under the direction of the State, an
Integrated Bar is an official national body of which all lawyers are required to
be members. They are, therefore, subject to all the rules prescribed for the
governance of the Bar, including the requirement of payment of a reasonable
annual fee for the effective discharge of the purposes of the Bar.Bar
integration does not compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. The only
compulsion to which he is subjected is the payment of his annual dues. The
public interest promoted by the integration of the Bar far outweighs the slight
inconvenience to a member resulting from his required payment of the annual
dues.Thus, payment of dues is a necessary consequence of membership in the IBP,
of which no one is exempt. This means that the compulsory nature of payment of
dues subsists for as long as ones membership in the IBP remains regardless of
the lack of practice of, or the type of practice, the member is engaged in.There
is nothing in the law or rules which allows exemption from payment of membership
dues. At most, as correctly observed by the IBP, he could have informed the
Secretary of the Integrated Bar of his intention to stay abroad before he left.
In such case, his membership in the IBP could have been terminated and his
obligation to pay dues could have been discontinued.VDA. DE BARRERA V. LAPUT
Gross Misconduct as ground for discipline of lawyer(Lawyer suspended for
intimidating his client to sign papers by placing his revolver on his lap when
she refused to do so)Facts:Respondent Atty. Laput represented petitioner Vda. de
Barrera (Mrs. Barrera) in the estate proceedings of her late husband. Laput
presented to her several papers or pleadings for her signature. However, Mrs.
Barrera refused to sign the pleadings but requested Laput to leave them so that
she may ask somebody to translate the same for her (she was from Cebu). Laput
got angry and drew his revolver from its holster and placed it on his lap to
intimidate the 72-year-old woman into signing the papers. Mrs. Barrera was
compelled to sign them, but is now before the court seeking the disbarment of
Laput.Issue: W/N Laput should be disbarred for gross misconduct Held:Yes. The
acts are inherently improper and censurable, more so considering that they were
performed by a man dealing with a 72-year-old woman. The offense is compounded
by the circumstance that, being a member of the BAR, the offender should have
set an example of a man of peace and champion of the Rule of Law. Worse still
is the fact that the offended party is the very person
whom the offender had pledged to defend and protect his client. He was
suspended from the practice of law for 1 year. VICTORIA BARRIENTOS V.
TRANSFIGURACION DAAROLFACTS: This is a disbarment case filed by Barrientos
against Atty Daarol, on grounds of deceit and grossly immoral conduct.
Barrientos first knew Daarlo in 1969. She was a college student, single.

Atty. Daarol went to her house because he was a friend of her sister, hence they
also became friends. She knew Daarol to be a single and as a General Manager of
ZANECO (electic cooperative). On June 1973, Daarol went to Barrientos house and
asked her to be one of the usherettes in the Masons convention so the latter
said he should ask for the permission of her parents. They consented and so she
served as an usherette, Daarol picking her up and taking her home everyday. In
July 1973, Daarol came to petitioners house and invited her for a joy ride,
with the permission of her mother (who was Daarols former classmate). They
went to the beach and Daarol proposed his love for Barrientos and told her that
if she would accept him, he would marry her within 6 months from her acceptance.
After a few days of courting, she accepted the offer of love. Visitations
continued and they agreed to get married in Dec 1973. In Aug 1973, he took
Barrientos to a party and when they left, he took her for a joy ride to an
airport in Sicayab where there were no houses around. There, he pressured her
into having sexual intercourse reiterating that he loved her, and that he would
marry her and that December was very near anyway they would marry soon. She gave
in after much hesitation because she loved him. She cried after the deed.
This event happened frequently thereafter during August to October 1973,
where she consented because she loved him. Eventually, she became pregnant and
informed Daarol. He however suggested that she have the baby aborted. She
refused. He told her that she didnt have to worry because they were getting
married soon anyway.
In late October 1973, Daarol came to see Barrientos and
her mother and told them that he could not marry her because he was already
married. He reassured them though that he has been separated from his wife for
16 years and that he would work for the annulment of his marriage and
subsequently marry her. So Barrientos waited and delivered the baby but
eventually wasnt able to contact Daarol anymore (he went MIA).ISSUE: W/N Daarol
should be disbarred for grossly immoral conduct.HELD/RATIO: YES. The fact of his
previous marriage was disclosed by respondent only after the complainant became
pregnant. Even then, respondent misrepresented himself as being eligible to remarry for having been estranged from his wife for 16 years and dangled a
marriage proposal on the assurance that he would work for the annulment of his
first marriage. It was a deception after all as it turned out that respondent
never bothered to annul said marriage.Respondent resorted to deceit in the
satisfaction of his sexual desires at the expense of the gullible complainant.
He is perverted. He says that: "I see nothing wrong with this relationship
despite my being married." Worse, he even suggested abortion.Finally, respondent
even had the temerity to allege that he is a Moslem convert and as such, could
enter into multiple marriages and has inquired into the possibility of marrying
complainant. As records indicate, however, his claim of having embraced the
Islam religion is not supported by any evidence save that of his self-serving
testimony.By his acts of deceit and immoral tendencies to appease his sexual
desires, respondent Daarol has amply demonstrated his moral delinquency. Hence,
his removal for conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar on the grounds of deceit
and grossly immoral conduct is in order.FELICITAS BERBANO V. ATTY. WENCESLAO
BARCELONAFACTS:
This is a disbarment case filed by Berbano against Atty.
Barcelona for Malpractice and Gross Misconduct Unbecoming of a Lawyer,
Dereliction of Duty and Unjust Enrichment.
Berbano was one of the
heirs of a certain Hilapo, who owned a lot in Alabang. Said lot was being
claimed by FIlinvest Development Corp so Berbano and her co-heirs appointed a
certain Mr. Daen as attorney-in-fact. However, Mr. Dane was arrested in Jan 1999
and was detained so he needed the assistance of a law for his release. Someone
recommended Atty. Barcelona to them. So later that month, Atty. Barcelona went
to see Mr. Daen in jail. The latter engaged the services of Atty. Barcelona for
his release. Atty. Barcelona told them that they (Berbano and Co.) had to
produce P50,000 at that time so that he could secure Daens release the
following day. Berbano didnt have enough money and time to immediately come up
with such big amount but they were able to come up with P15,700. She handed
Atty. Barcelona the money. He said that he would go to the SC to talk to someone
regarding the release of Daen, and that they should just meet tomorrow.
The
day after, they met again. Berbano handed over another check worth P24,000. The
day after, they gave another P10,000 to Atty. Barcelona (through his wife and
daughter). There were other payments of money, the total amounting to P64,000.
After much time wasted, and promises reiterated of the release of Daen, Atty.

Barcelona wasnt seen again and he didnt return their calls. Daen was still in
jail. Atty. Barcelona failed to file an answer. Commissioner on Bar Discipline
found Barcelona guilty of malpractice and serious breach of CPR. He recommended
disbarment and return of the P64,000. IBP Board of Governots adopted such
findings but recommended only suspension.ISSUE: W/N Atty. Barcelona should be
disbarred.HELD/RATIO: Yes. The object of a disbarment proceeding is not so much
to punish the individual attorney himself, as to safeguard the administration of
justice by protecting the court and the public from the misconduct of officers
of the court, and to remove from the profession of law persons whose disregard
for their oath of office have proved them unfit to continue discharging the
trust reposed in them as members of the bar.In disbarment proceedings, the
burden of proof rests upon the complainant, and for the court to exercise its
disciplinary powers, the case against the respondent must be established by
clear, convincing and satisfactory proof. Considering the serious consequence of
the disbarment or suspension of a member of the Bar, this Court has consistently
held that clear preponderant evidence is necessary to justify the imposition of
the administrative penalty.Complainants evidence consists solely of her
Affidavit-Complaint and testimony before the Commission attesting to the truth
of the allegations laid down in her affidavit. The act of respondent in not
filing his answer and ignoring the hearings set by the Investigating Commission,
despite due notice, emphasized his contempt for legal proceedings.Respondent
collected money from the complainant and the nephew of the detained person in
the total amount of P64,000.00 for the immediate release of the detainee through
his alleged connection with a Justice of the Supreme Court. He deserves to be
disbarred from the practice of law. Respondent has demonstrated a penchant for
misrepresenting to clients that he has the proper connections to secure the
relief they seek, and thereafter, ask for money, which will allegedly be given
to such connections. In this case, respondent misrepresented to complainant
that he could get the release of Mr. Porfirio Daen through his connection with a
Supreme Court Justice. In so doing, respondent placed the Court in dishonor and
public contempt.He is disbarred.HILDA D. TABAS V. ATTY. BONIFACIO B. MANGIBIN
FACTS:
This is a disbarment case filed by Tabas against Atty. Mangibin for
allegedly having committed forgery. Tabas claims that in March 2001, a certain
Galvan mortgaged to her a piece of real property to secure a P48,000 loan. The
deed of the REM was registered and annotated. On October 2001 however, a certain
Castillejos, falsely representing herself as Tabas, appeared before Atty.
Mangibin and asked him to prepare a discharge of the said mortgage and then
notarize it afterwards. Atty. Mangibin prepared the said discharge but he
didnt ask Castillejos for any other document other that a Community Tax
Certificate. He later on notarized the said deed. Subsequently, the mortgagor
Galvan was able to mortgage the same property again with Rural Bank of Nauilian.
When Tabas learned of the cancellation, she promptly informed Atty. Mangibin
that her signature in the deed was forged. However, he did not help her.
Atty. Mangibin admits of the discharge deed but denies liability for the
falsification under a claim of good faith. He says he did not know of
Castillejos fraudulent intent and so, he cannot be faulted. He claims it is
beyond the realm of his futy to investigate the identity of persons appearing
before him. And that as a matter of routine, he only requires the CTCs of
persons appearing before him. IBP recommended to give respondent merely a
warning, to be more careful in the preparation of legal documents so that such
situations may me avoided in the future. Bar Confidant however recommended
suspension. He was found guilty of gross negligence.ISSUE: W/N Atty. Mangibin is
liable for violating the Notarial Law and should be suspended from the practice
of law.HELD/RATIO: Yes, suspended for 2 years.A notarial document is, by law,
entitled to full faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative
agencies, and the public at large must be able to rely upon the acknowledgment
executed by a notary public and appended to a private instrument.For this
reason, notaries public must observe with utmost care the basic requirements in
the performance of their duties.
Otherwise, the confidence of the public in the integrity of public instruments
would be undermined. A notary public should not notarize a document unless the
person who signed the same is the very same person who executed and personally
appeared before him to attest to the contents and truth of matters stated in the
document. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the notary public to

verify the genuineness of the signature of the acknowledging party and to


ascertain that the document is the party's free act and deed.The circumstances
in this case indubitably show that respondent did not take even ordinary
precautions required in the premises.Respondents conduct showed serious lack
of due care in the performance of his duties as a notary public. Because of his
carelessness, respondent failed to notice the glaring difference in the
signature of mortgagee in the deed of real estate mortgage from her purported
signature in the questioned discharge of real estate mortgage. Hence, he
breached Canon I of the Code of Professional Responsibility, which requires
lawyers to promote respect for the law and legal processes as well as to uphold
the Constitution and obey the laws of the land.SESBRENO V. COURT OF APPEALS
FACTS:
On January 26, 1970, Mrs. Rosario Sen and other camineros hired the
petitioner to prosecute their cases. They had undertaken an an agreement wherein
it was stated that Sesbreno will get 30% of whatever back salaries, damages,
etc. they may recover. Atty. Sesbreno registered his charhing/retaining lien on
the Agreement.
The camineros he was representing obtained a favorable
judgment. RTC ordered that they be reinstate with back salaries, with privileges
and adjustments. The respondent to that case DPWH appealed to the SC where
Sesbreno still represented the camineros. Later on, the Governor of Cebu
proposed a compromise settlement of the cases. The parties signed a Compromise
Agreement wherein it is stated that camineros will be paid full back wages. Also
states that the camineros are subject to lawyers charging and retaining liens
as registered in the lower court. Sespreno was not the counsel anymore after
finality of judgment adopting the compromise agreement. The camineros moved for
execution however, only 45% of the amount due them was released because the
court retained the 55%, holding it was payment of the lawyers fees pending
determination of such amount. However, instead of complying with the court order
directing partial payment, the province of Cebu directly paid the camineros the
full amount of their adjudicated claims. Sesbreno now sues for Damages and
Attorneys Fees against respondents and his former clients. RTC ruled in favor
of Sesbreno. The court further upheld the petitioners status as a quasi-party
considering that he had a registered charging lien.CA reversed.ISSUE: W/N Atty.
Sesbreno is entitled to Damages for breach of contract.HELD/RATIO: NO. The
compromise agreement had been validly entered into by the respondents and the
camineros and the same became the basis of the judgment rendered by this Court.
Petitioners claim for attorneys fees was evidenced by an agreement for
attorneys fees voluntarily executed by the camineros where the latter agreed to
pay the former thirty (30%) percent of whatever back salaries, damages, etc.
that they might recover in the mandamus and other cases that they were filing or
have filed. Clearly, no fixed amount was specifically provided for in their
contract nor was a specified rate agreed upon on how the money claims were to be
computed. The use of the word whatever shows that the basis for the
computation would be the amount that the court would award in favor of the
camineros. Considering that the parties agreed to a compromise, the payment
would have to be based on the amount agreed upon by them in the compromise
agreement approved by the court.To insure payment of his professional fees and
reimbursement of his lawful disbursements in keeping with his dignity as an
officer of the court, the law creates in favor of a lawyer a lien, not only upon
the funds, documents and papers of his client which have lawfully come into his
possession until what is due him has been paid, but also a lien upon all
judgments for the payment of money and executions issued pursuant to such
judgments rendered in the case wherein his services have been retained by the
client.A charging lien is an equitable right to have the fees and costs due to
the lawyer for services in a suit secured to him out of the judgment or recovery
in that particular suit. It is based on the natural equity that the plaintiff
should not be allowed to appropriate the whole of a judgment in his favor
without paying thereout for the services of his attorney in obtaining such
judgment.Lawyering is not a moneymaking venture and lawyers are not merchants.
Law advocacy is not capital that yields profits. The returns it births are
simple rewards for a job done or service rendered. It is a calling that, unlike
mercantile pursuits which enjoy a greater deal of freedom from governmental
interference, is impressed with a public interest, for which it is subject to
state regulation. Considering that petitioners claim of higher attorneys fees
is baseless and considering further that he had settled his case as against his

former clients, SC did not sustain his right to damages for breach of contract.
The attendant circumstances, in fact, show that the camineros acknowledged their
liability to the petitioner and they willingly fulfilled their obligation. It
would be contrary to human nature for the petitioner to have acceded to the
withdrawal of the case against them, without receiving the agreed attorneys
fees.NEW CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCTCANON 1LIBARIOS V. DABALOS(Gross ignorance of
the law; close association)Facts: Judge Dabalos without conducting any hearing
directed the issuance of a warrant of arrest against accused and at the same
time fixed the bail for accused Calo and Allocod. Held: Judge Dabalos is fined
with a warning.
It has been an established legal principle or rule that in
cases where a person is accused of a capital offense, the trial court must
conduct a hearing in a summary proceeding to prove that the evidence of guilt
against the accused is strong, before resolving the issue of bail for the
temporary release of the accused. Irrespective of respondent judge's opinion
that the evidence of guilt against herein accused is not strong, the law and
settled jurisprudence demanded that a hearing be conducted before bail was
fixed. Respondent judge's disregard of an established rule of law by depriving
the prosecution of the opportunity to prove that the evidence of guilt against
the accused was strong, amounted to gross ignorance of the law, which is subject
to disciplinary action. Considering that respondent judge had a close
association with respondent Calo, Jr. as a former employee of the said accused,
prudence and regard for his position as judge demanded that he should have
refrained from fixing the bail of said accused and from concluding that the
evidence against him was merely "circumstantial", in order to avoid any doubt as
to his judicial impartiality. Respondent judge should have waited for the raffle
of the case and allowed the judge to whom the case was actually raffled to
resolve the issue of fixing the bail of said accused, if he was bailable. A
judge should not only render a just, correct and impartial decision but should
do so in a manner as to be free from any suspicion as to his fairness,
impartiality and integrity.GO V. COURT OF APPEALSFacts:
Accused presented
himself before the police to verify reports that he was being hunted by the
police. He was thereafter detained. The prosecutor then informed accused of his
right to preliminary investigation but that he must first sign a waiver of the
provision of Art.125 of the RPC. Accused refused to execute such waiver. The
prosecutor filed an information for murder with no recommended bail and a
certification that no preliminary investigation was conducted because accused
did not sign a waiver of the provisions of Art.125 of the RPC. Counsel of
accused however later filed a motion for release and proper preliminary
investigation. After the case was raffled to the RTC, Judge Pelayo initially
allowed the release of accused on a cash bond and issued an order granting the
leave to conduct preliminary investigation. Later on however, Pelayo motu
proprio issued an order recalling the granting of bail and proceeded to trial.
Accused and his counsel continuously opposed this.Held: (Note: What is related
to ethics is actually found in the concurring opinion of Justice Gutierrez) I
am at a loss for reasons why an experienced Judge should insist on proceeding to
trial in a sensational murder case without a preliminary investigation despite
vigorous and continued objection and reservation of rights of the accused and
notwithstanding the recommendation of the prosecutor that said rights be
respected I agree with Justice Isagani Cruz that the trial court has apparently
been moved by a desire to cater to public opinion to the detriment of the
impartial administration of justice. Mass media has its duty to fearlessly but
faithfully inform the public about events and persons. However, when a case has
received wide and sensational publicity, the trial court should be doubly
careful not only to be fair and impartial but also to give the appearance of
complete objectivity in its handling of the case.SABITSANA V. VILLAMORFacts:
It was discovered that there were 87 cases undecided by respondent judge
beyond the 90-day reglementary period. The dismal state of the Courthouse of the
respondent judge which was described as bereft of any dignity as a court of law
has been noted.
Judge Villamor however shifts the blame on his clerk of court, Atty. Jocobo who
he claims was inefficient in the management of the court records.
Also, in
the case of theft by Lipango, Villamor designated Judge Pitao as acting judge of
the MCTC. Villamor warned Pitao to acquit Lipango because the case was being
backed up by someone powerful. He did this by sending a letter to Pitao through

Lipangos wife. However, Pitao still convicted Lipango because the evidence of
guilt was strong. When Pitao was away for some conference, he found out that
Villamor revoked his designation and appointed another as judge of the MCTC. And
finally, when the case was elevated to the RTC where Villamor was assigned he
acquitted Lipango.Held: Villamor violated Canon3 and Canon2A judge sits not only
to Judge litigated cases with the least possible delay but that his
responsibilities include being an effective manager of the Court and its
personnel. Canon 3, Rule 3.08, of the Code of Judicial Conduct, provides: A
judge should diligently discharge administrative responsibilities, maintain
professional competence in court management, and facilitate the performance of
the administrative functions of other judges and court personnel. Also, under
Rule 3.09 is that: A judge should organize and supervise the court personnel to
ensure the prompt and efficient dispatch of business, and require at all times
the observance of high standards of public service and fidelity.Cardinal is the
rule that a Judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in
all activities. The Canons mince no words in mandating that a Judge shall
refrain from influencing in any manner the outcome of litigation or dispute
pending before another Court (Canon 2, Rule 2.04). Interference by members of
the bench in-pending suits with the end in view of influencing the course or the
result of litigation does not only subvert the independence of the judiciary but
also undermines the people's faith in its integrity and impartialityTAN V.
ROSETEFacts:
Before the cases were decided, respondent judge allegedly sent
a member of his staff to talk to complainant. The staff member told complainant
Tan that Judge Rosete was asking for P150,000.00 in exchange for the nondismissal of the cases. She was shown copies of respondent judges decision in
the criminal cases, both still unsigned, dismissing the complaints against the
accused. She was told that respondent judge would reverse the disposition of
the cases as soon as she remits the amount demanded. Complainant, however, did
not accede to respondents demand because she believed that she had a very
strong case, well supported by evidence. The criminal cases were eventually
dismissed by respondent judge.Held: We have repeatedly admonished our judges to
adhere to the highest tenets of judicial conduct. They must be the embodiment
of competence, integrity and independence. The exacting standards of conduct
demanded from judges are designed to promote public confidence in the integrity
and impartiality of the judiciary because the peoples confidence in the
judicial system is founded not only on the magnitude of legal knowledge and the
diligence of the members of the bench, but also on the highest standard of
integrity and moral uprightness they are expected to possess. When the judge
himself becomes the transgressor of any law which he is sworn to apply, he
places his office in disrepute, encourages disrespect for the law and impairs
public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary itself. It
is therefore paramount that a judges personal behavior both in the performance
of his duties and his daily life, be free from any appearance of impropriety as
to be beyond reproach. Respondents act of sending a member of his staff to
talk with complainant and show copies of his draft decisions, and his act of
meeting with litigants outside the office premises beyond office hours violate
the standard of judicial conduct required to be observed by members of the
Bench. They constitute gross misconduct which is punishable under Rule 140 of
the Revised Rules of CourtDIMATULAC V. VILLONNote: Ill skip the facts because
its exhaustingly long and complicated (recall: Kenjies 40page case. Haha. Note,
there are actually a lot of respondents but only Villon is related to us).
Basically, there was denial of due process.Judge Villon --- Acting with
deliberate dispatch, set the date of arraignment without even perusing the
records (otherwise he wouldve known among others, that there was a motion to
defer proceedings because of an appeal pending in the DOG, there was an order
giving petitioners 10days to file a petition with the CA, the filing of such
petition, order of the CA directing respondent accused to comment on the
petition to show cause why the application for a write of preliminary injunction
should not be grantedetc.,). All the foregoing demanded from any impartial mind
a cautious attitude as these were unmistakable indicia of the probability of a
miscarriage of justice should arraignment be precipitately held. While it may be
true that he was not bound to await the DOJ's resolution of the appeal his
judicial instinct should have led him to peruse the documents to initially
determine if indeed murder was the offense committed; or, he could have directed

the private prosecutor to secure a resolution on the appeal within a specified


time. Given the totality of circumstances, judge Villon should not have merely
acquiesced to the findings of the public prosecutor.IMPORTANT: The judge "should
always be imbued with a high sense of duty and responsibility in the discharge
of his obligation to promptly and properly administer justice." He must view
himself as a priest, for the administration of justice is akin to a religious
crusade. Thus, exerting the same devotion as a priest "in the performance of the
most sacred ceremonies of religious liturgy," the judge must render service with
impartiality commensurate with the public trust and confidence reposed in him.
Although the determination of a criminal case before a judge lies within his
exclusive jurisdiction and competence, his discretion is not unfettered, but
rather must be exercised within reasonable confines. The judge's action must not
impair the substantial rights of the accused, nor the right of the State and
offended party to due process of law.CANON 2FERNANDEZ V. HAMOYFacts:
Despite
the lapse of more than 10years, respondent judge failed to render judgment in
the case were complainant was counsel to plaintiff. After Hamoy was transferred,
complainant learned he brought the records of the case to his new station.
Hamoys excuse was that his utility aid mixed the records up and because the
dockets were congested with so many family-cases his court being the only family
court in the area. He also failed to comply with the directives of the OCA.
Also, he was able to collect his salary when he claimed in his certification
that he had no pending cases.Held: Respondent Judge cannot be absolved from
liability for the inefficiency of his court personnel. Judges are charged with
the administrative responsibility of organizing and supervising his court
personnel to secure the prompt and efficient dispatch of business, requiring at
all times the observance of high standards of public service and fidelity. More
importantly, judges have a duty to decide their cases within the reglementary
period. On meritorious grounds, they may ask for additional time. It must be
stressed, however, that their application for extension must be filed before the
expiration of the prescribed period. Upon his transfer to another post,
respondent Judge should have asked the permission of the Court Administrator to
bring the records of the cases to his new assignment or should have apprised the
parties of his action with respect thereto. Furthermore, respondent Judge
should be held liable for his failure to obey directives from this Court and the
Court Administrator. Needless to say, judges should respect the orders and
decisions of higher tribunals, much more so this Court from which all other
courts should take their bearingsIn the Judiciary, moral integrity is more than
a cardinal virtue, it is a necessity. Respondent Judge must bear in mind that
the exacting standards of conduct demanded of judges are designed to promote
public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. A judge
who fails to decide cases within the prescribed period but collects his salary
upon a false certificate is guilty of dishonesty amounting to gross misconduct
and deserves the condemnation of all right thinking men. In view of the
primordial role of judges in the administration of justice, only those with
irreproachable integrity and probity must be entrusted with judicial powers.DAWA
V. DE ASAFacts:Presiding judge Armando de Asa was charged with sexual harassment
and/or acts of lasciviousness by Floride Dawa, Femenina Lazaro-Barreto and
Noraliz Jorgensen. Dawa and Barreto were employed as stenographic reporters
while Jorgensen was a casual employee in the Office of the Mayor of Caloocan
City and detailed to the Office of the Clerk of Court. They charged de Asa for
allegedly forcing himself on them and kissing them on the lips.Issue: Whether de
Asa violated Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial EthicsRuling. Yes.Canon 2 provides
that a judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all
activities. He should behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the
integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. It is therefore paramount that a
judge's personal behavior, both in the performance of his duties and in his
daily life, be free from the appearance of impropriety as to be beyond
reproach.In the present case, the
Court found totally unacceptable the temerity of the respondent judge in
subjecting herein complainants, his subordinates all, to his unwelcome sexual
advances and acts of lasciviousness. Not only do the actions of respondent judge
fall short of the exacting standards for members of the judiciary; they stand no
chance of satisfying the standards of decency even of society at large. His
severely abusive and outrageous acts, which are an affront to women,

unmistakably constitute sexual harassment because they necessarily ". . . result


in an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment for the employees. Let it
be remembered that respondent has moral ascendancy and authority over
complainants, who are mere employees of the court of which he is an officer.
The Court concludes with moral certainty that he acted beyond the bounds of
decency, morality and propriety and violated the Code of Judicial Conduct. The
bench is not a place for persons like him. His gross misconduct warrants his
removal from office.IN RE JUDGE MARCOSFacts:Two complaints were filed by Romeo
T. Zacarias and a concerned citizen of Gerona, Tarlac. These Complaints
identically charged Judge Martonino R. Marcos (Formerly of the Municipal Trial
Court in Cities, Branch 2, Tarlac City) and Clerk of Court Shirley M. Visaya (of
the 5thMunicipal Circuit Trial Court of Gerona, Tarlac) with immoral conduct
and illegal solicitation from litigants. Zacarias alleged that, on two
occasions, Judge Marcos and Visaya tried to extort money from him in exchange
for a favorable decision in a criminal case against Zacarias and for his
provisional release. He further alleged that upon some inquiries, he was
informed that the respondent Judge does not approve bailbonds without bribe
money and that the respondents are engaged in an illicit love affair which is
common knowledge to municipal and court personnel and as well as to the people
of Gerona.Issue: Whether respondents violated the Code of Judicial Conduct
Ruling: Yes.The Code of Judicial Conduct mandates that a magistrate should
avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities and
should be the embodiment of competence, integrity and independence. Since
appearance and reality fuse in the performance of judicial functions, the judge
-- like Caesars wife -- must not only be pure, but also be beyond suspicion.
the actions of respondent judge were not free from all appearances of
impropriety. His conduct lacked the meticulous care expected of one ever
mindful of the image of the judiciary that one portrays. It is the kind of
behavior for which he must be administratively dealt with, as it erodes public
confidence in the judicial system. As to respondent clerk, we find that she was
equally remiss in the performance of her duties. By her own admission, she
required complainant to post the cash bond, even though she had not been
instructed to do so by respondent judge. She thereby arrogated judicial power
unto herself. The determination of whether to require a cash bond, like the
approval of bail or the release of the accused, is purely a judicial function.
It was certainly not among the mandated duties of respondent clerk. It has been
stressed that the conduct and behavior of everyone charged with the dispensation
of justice is circumscribed by the trust and confidence reposed in a public
office. The image of a court of justice is necessarily mirrored in the conduct,
official or otherwise, of the men and women who work therein, from the judge to
the lowliest clerk. LACHICA V. FLORDELIZAFacts:Dr. Amparo A. Lachica, the
Municipal Health Officer of Jose Abad Santos, Davao del Sur, charged the
respondent, Judge Rolando A. Flordeliza of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of
Jose Abad Santos-Sarangani, Davao del Sur, with abuse of judicial position and
intimidation, for allegedly compelling her to sign a death certificate even
though she was not the attending physician. According to Lachica, during a
party, Judge Flordeliza, who was drunk at that time, threatened to file an
administrative case against her if she will refuse to sign the death
certificate. Issue: Whether respondent-judge is guilty as charged of abuse of
judicial position and intimidation amounting to violation of the Code of
Judicial ConductRuling: Yes. A judges official conduct should be free from the
appearance of impropriety, and his personal behavior, not only upon the bench
and in the performance of judicial duties, but also in his everyday life, should
be beyond reproach.From all the foregoing, as well as the evidence on record,
this Court is convinced that the charge of misconduct against the respondent
judge has been established by substantial evidence, which is the quantum of
proof required in administrative cases. His undue interest in having complainant
sign the Death Certificate is highly questionable, to say the least.Further,
his inebriated demeanor and incoherent behavior during the festivities, as
attested to by a witness is reprehensible in a judge and should be subjected to
disciplinary action. Respondent was FINED in the amount of TEN THOUSAND
(P10,000.00) PESOS, with a stern warning that a repetition of the same or
similar acts in the future will be dealt with more severely.SIBAYAN-JOAQUIN V.
JAVELLANAFacts:Eliezer A. Sibayan-Joaquin charged Judge Roberto S. Javellana,

acting presiding judge of the RTC of San Carlos City, Branch 57, with grave
misconduct in the performance of official duties, graft and gross ignorance of
the law.The complaint was an offshoot of a case forestafa filed by SibayanJoaquin for and in behalf of Andersons Group, Inc., against Romeo Tan before the
San Carlos City RTC.Complainant averred that there was an undue delay in the
rendition of judgment in the criminal case, the decision, that had acquitted the
accused Romeo Tan, having been rendered only on the tenth month after the case
was submitted for decision. Respondent judge was also cited for impropriety by
complainant because he was often seen with Attorney Vic Agravante, counsel for
the accused, whose vehicle respondent judge would even use at times.Issue:
Whether Judge Javellana violated Canon 2 of the Code of Judicial EthicsRuling:
Yes.The Investigating Justice has seen impropriety on the part of respondent
judge in his close association with a counsel for a litigant. The Court shares
the view and disquisition of the Honorable Justice.Judges, indeed, should be
extra prudent in associating with litigants and counsel appearing before them so
as to avoid even a mere perception of possible bias or partiality.It is not
expected, of course, that judges should live in retirement or seclusion from any
social intercourse.Indeed, it may be desirable, for instance, that they
continue, time and work commitments permitting, to relate to members of the bar
in worthwhile endeavors and in such fields of interest, in general, as are in
keeping with the noble aims and objectives of the legal profession.In pending
or prospective litigations before them, however, judges should be scrupulously
careful to avoid anything that may tend to awaken the suspicion that their
personal, social or sundry relations could influence their objectivity, for not
only must judges possess proficiency in law but that also they must act and
behave in such manner that would assure, with great comfort, litigants and their
counsel of the judges' competence, integrity and independence. The respondent
was ADMONISHED to constantly be circumspect in his conduct and dealings with
lawyers who have pending cases before him.SAMSON V. CABALLEROFacts:This is an
administrative complaint for dishonesty and falsification of a public document
against respondent Judge Virgilio G. Caballero. Complainant Olga M. Samson
alleged that respondent Judge Virgilio G. Caballero should not have been
appointed to the judiciary for lack of the constitutional qualifications of
proven competence, integrity, probity and independence, and for violating the
Rules of the Judicial and Bar Council (JBC) which disqualifies from nomination
any applicant for judgeship with a pending administrative case.According to the
complainant, respondent, during his JBC interviews, deliberately concealed the
fact that he had pending administrative charges against him. She disclosed that,
on behalf of Community Rural Bank of Guimba (Nueva Ecija), Inc., she had filed
criminal and administrative charges for grave abuse of authority, conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service and violation of Article 208 of
the Revised Penal Code against respondent in the Office of the Ombudsman on July
23, 2003.At that time a public prosecutor, respondent allegedly committed
certain improprieties and exceeded his powers by overruling the Secretary of
Justice in a reinvestigation he conducted.Issue: Whether respondent violated the
Code of Judicial EthicsRuling: Yes. Since membership in the bar is an integral
qualification for membership in the bench, the moral fitness of a judge also
reflects his moral fitness as a lawyer.A judge who disobeys the basic rules of
judicial conduct also violates his oath as a lawyer. In this particular case,
respondents dishonest act was against the lawyers oath to do no falsehood,
nor consent to the doing of any in court.It cannot be denied that respondents
dishonesty did not only affect the image of the judiciary, it also put his moral
character in serious doubt and rendered him unfit to continue in the practice of
law. Possession of good moral character is not only a prerequisite to admission
to the bar but also a continuing requirement to the practice of law.If the
practice of law is to remain an honorable profession and attain its basic
ideals, those counted within its ranks should not only master its tenets and
principles
but should also accord continuing fidelity to them.The requirement of good
moral character is of much greater import, as far as the general public is
concerned, than the possession of legal learning. The first step towards the
successful implementation of the Courts relentless drive to purge the judiciary
of morally unfit members, officials and personnel necessitates the imposition of
a rigid set of rules of conduct on judges. The Court is extraordinarily strict

with judges because, being the visible representation of the law, they should
set a good example to the bench, bar and students of the law. The standard of
integrity imposed on them is and should be higher than that of the average
person for it is their integrity that gives them the right to judge.Respondent
was DISBARREDfor violation of Canons 1 and 11 and Rules 1.01 and 10.01 of the
Code of Professional Responsibility and his nameSTRICKENfrom the Roll of
Attorneys.CANON 3DIMO REALTY V. DIMACULANGANFacts:Leonardo P. Dimaculangan,
respondent, filed with the Regional Trial Court a complaint for specific
performance against Dimo Realty & Development, Inc. (Dimo Realty) and spouses
Gregorio and Luz Mojares Dizon, petitioners. The complaint alleges that sometime
in 1967 to 1968, petitioners engaged the services of respondent as geodetic
surveyor to subdivide (into subdivision lots) 2 parcels of land situated in
Barrio Namuco, Rosario, Batangas. As payment for respondents services,
petitioner agreed to give him 1 subdivision lot at Villa Luz Subdivision and pay
him P9,200.00 in cash. After the completion of respondents work, petitioners
paid him P9,200.00 in installments and delivered to him possession of the lot.
However, despite respondents demands, petitioners failed to deliver the title
of the lot, prompting him to file with the RTC a complaint for specific
performance and damages. The trial court issued an orderdismissing the
complaint for improper venue. Respondent then filed a motion for reconsideration
with motion for inhibition alleging partiality on the part of the presiding
judge Hon. Pedro T. Santiago. CA denied the motion for inhibition.Issue: Whether
the CA erred in denying the motion for inhibitionRuling: No. Suffice it to state
that whether judges should inhibit themselves from a case rests on their own
"sound discretion." Otherwise stated, inhibition partakes of voluntariness on
the part of the judges themselves. This Court has to be shown acts or conduct of
the judge clearly indicative of arbitrariness or prejudice before the latter can
be branded the stigma of being biased or partial.In a catena of cases, we held
that "bias and prejudice, to be considered valid reasons for the voluntary
inhibition of judges, must be proved with clear and convincing evidence. Bare
allegations of partiality and prejudgment will not suffice. These cannot be
presumed, especially if weighed against the sacred obligation of judges whose
oaths of office require them to administer justice without respect to person and
to do equal right to the poor and the rich." Here, petitioners merely alleged
the arbitrary issuance of a temporary restraining order without however showing
bias or prejudice on the part of the trial judge. In fact, the Court of Appeals
held that "such error of the respondent judge does not necessarily warrant his
inhibition in the case."PIMENTEL V. SALANGAFacts:Challenged here in an original
petition for certiorari and/or prohibition is the right of respondent judge of
the Court of First Instance of Ilocos Sur (Branch IV) to sit in judgment in
cases where petitioner, a practicing attorney, appears as counsel.Petitioner's
misgivings stem from the fact that he is complainant in an administrative case
he himself lodged in this Court on May 12, 1967, against respondent judge upon
averments of "serious misconduct, inefficiency in office, partiality, ignorance
of the law and incompetence."Petitioner moved in the court below to have
respondent judge disqualify himself from sitting in Civil Case 21-C, Criminal
Cases 4898 and C-5, and Election Case 2470 aforesaid. He there prayed that the
records of those cases be transferred to another sala.Respondent judge rejected
the foregoing motion. He stood his ground with the statement that the
administrative complaint against him is no cause for disqualification under the
Rules of CourtIssue: Is a judge disqualified from acting in litigations
in which counsel of record for one of the parties is his adversary in an
administrative case said counsel lodged against him? NO.Held:Rule 126 [of the
old Rules] enumerates the grounds for disqualification of a judge upon being
challenged and under which he should disqualify himself. The rule, however, has
never been interpreted to prohibit a judge from voluntarily inhibiting himself,
in the absence of any challenge by either party, due to his close blood
relationship with counsel for one of said parties. Considering the spirit of the
Rule, it would seem that cases of voluntary inhibition, based on good, sound
and/or ethical grounds, is a matter of discretion on the part of the judge and
the official who is empowered to act upon the request for such inhibition.The
exercise of sound discretion mentioned in the rule has reference exclusively
to a situation where a judge disqualifies himself, not when he goes forward with
the case.7 For, the permissive authority given a judge in the second paragraph

of Section 1, Rule 137, is only in the matter of disqualification, not


otherwise. Better stated yet, when a judge does not inhibit himself, and he is
not legally disqualified by the first paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137, the rule
remains as it has been he has to continue with the case.A judge cannot be
disqualified by a litigant or his lawyer for grounds other than those specified
in the first paragraph of Section 1, Rule 137.This is not to say that all
avenues of relief are closed to a party properly aggrieved. If a litigant is
denied a fair and impartial trial, induced by the judge's bias or prejudice, we
will not hesitate to order a new trial, if necessary, in the interest of
justice.Efforts to attain fair, just and impartial trial and decision, have a
natural and alluring appeal. But, we are not licensed to indulge in unjustified
assumptions, or make a speculative approach to this ideal. It ill behooves this
Court to tar and feather a judge as biased or prejudiced, simply because counsel
for a party litigant happens to complain against him. To disqualify or not to
disqualify himself then, as far as respondent judge is concerned, is a matter of
conscience.In the end we are persuaded to say that since respondent judge is not
legally under obligation to disqualify himself, we may not, on certiorari or
prohibition, prevent him from sitting, trying and rendering judgment in the
cases herein mentionedMONTEMAYOR V. BERMEJO(The RULING portion is kind of
lengthy because I think the refutation of the Court for every misconduct alleged
is important. ()Facts:Dr. Montemayor asserts that the respondent Judge failed to
decide the case within the period provided under Section 11, Rule 70 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure (Rules of Court).Dr. Montemayor filed with the Office
of the Court Administrator (OCA) the instant Administrative Complaint charging
Judge Bermejo with gross incompetence and inefficiency, gross negligence, gross
ignorance of the law, gross misconduct, and/or conduct prejudicial to the best
interest of the service.Moreover, Judge Bermejo did not resolve the three
Motions for Execution and two Motions to Require Defendants Counsel to Inform
the Court the Date He Received a Copy of the Judgment.Dr. Montemayor also avers
that Judge Bermejo prevented the transmittal of the records of the case to the
appellate court within 15 days from the perfection of the appeal in violation of
Section 6, Rule 40 of the Rules of Court. According to him, it was only after
the respondent Judge received the defendants supersedeas bond that the former
issued the Order dated May 5, 2003 directing the Branch Clerk of Court to
transmit the records of the case to the appellate court.The respondent Judge
maintains that he is not liable for delay in the rendition of judgment. In
essence, he argues that since the Order deeming the case submitted for
resolution was issued on September 23, 2002, the rendition of judgment on
October 10, 2002 was made within the mandatory 30-day period.Issue:Is the
respondent judge guilty of delaying rendition of judgment and violating the Code
of Judicial Ethics? YES.Held:The reckoning point from which the mandatory period
for rendition of judgment should be computed is the receipt of the last
affidavits and position papers of the parties, or the expiration of the period
for filing the same, as provided by the Rules, not from the issuance of the
order by the judge deeming the case submitted for resolution. The reckoning
point is fixed by law, not by the judge. A judge cannot by himself choose to
prolong the period for deciding cases beyond that authorized by the law. The
records do not reveal when the parties received Judge Bermejos Order requiring
them to submit their respective affidavits and position papers. Assuming,
however, that the court received the defendants Position Paper on August 14,
2002, as respondent Judge claims, judgment should have been rendered on
September 13, 2002. Instead, the decision was dated October 10, 2002, or nearly
a month after the lapse of the mandatory period for rendition of judgment and
almost two months from the receipt of the defendants Position Paper. Plainly,
Judge Bermejo is guilty of delay and, thus, administratively liable.Rule 1.02 of
the Code of Judicial Conduct requires judges to administer justice without
delay. Rule 3.05 of the same Code admonishes
all judges to dispose of the courts business promptly and decide cases within
the required periods. The failure to decide a case within the required period is
not excusable, constitutes gross inefficiency and is a ground for the imposition
of administrative sanctions against the defaulting judge. The respondent Judge,
however, can only offer feeble excuses for his inaction on the plaintiffs
Motions for Execution. He claims that the first Motion for Execution prayed that
hearing be set on a date that was not a motion day. Judge Bermejo forgets that

while the Rules of Court requires all motions to be scheduled for hearing on
Friday afternoons, or if Friday is a non-working day, in the afternoon of the
next working day, the same Rules provides an exception for motions requiring
immediate action. Perhaps, as a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in an
unlawful detainer case is immediately executory, the plaintiffs believed that
their motion came under the exception. However, if the respondent Judge did not
share this view, he could have simply set the motion for hearing on the next
motion day. Instead, he untenably ignored the motion.Judge Bermejo also
rationalizes his failure to act on the motion on the ground that there was no
proof yet that the defendants counsel had received notice of the Judgment.The
plaintiffs filed their first Motion for Execution almost two months later on
December 12, 2002. The fact that the registry receipts of the service of
judgment had not yet returned at this point would have been cause for
apprehension for any responsible judge. Yet Judge Bermejo has not conveyed any
semblance of anxiety. He did not inquire from, nor inform, the Clerk of Court
about the absence of the receipts two months after copies of the Judgment were
sent to the parties. Instead, he found the lack of registry receipts a
convenient reason for tarrying on the motion.These circumstances may lead a
sophisticated mind to conclude one of two things.One, the registry receipts are
indeed missing from the records but Judge Bermejo is denying it to cover up such
loss. This conclusion is buttressed by the odd fact that, despite the
seriousness of Dr. Montemayors allegations, the respondent Judge has not
offered in these administrative proceedings any evidence of the existence of the
registry receipts. An obvious disregard of keeping records is evidence of
incompetence and lack of professionalism.A judge is charged with exercising
extra care in ensuring that the records of the cases and official documents in
his custody are intact. There is no justification for missing records save
fortuitous events.Two, Judge Bermejo is suppressing proof of the registry return
receipts, in which case, he is not only guilty of dragging his feet in the
resolution of the motions but, worse, bias in favor of the defendant.Other
circumstances support the theory of bias. Judge Bermejo provides a flimsy
justification for his inaction on Dr. Montemayors Second Motion for Execution.
According to the respondent Judge, the court was undertaking its semestral
inventory when the motion was filed. Even if the Court were to admit the
adequacy of this obvious pretext, Judge Bermejo, at the very least, should have
set the motion for hearing on the next motion day after the inventory. But
again, he disregarded the second motion.Next, under Section 19, Rule 70, supra,
in case the defendant does not file any supersedeas bond or did not make any
monthly deposit, the plaintiff would be entitled as a matter of right to the
immediate execution of the inferior courts judgment. In such a case the
execution is mandatory.However, by countenancing, permitting, and even creating
the many delays in obvious disregard of the letter and the spirit of the Rules
of Court and the Rule on Summary Procedure, Judge Bermejo has put in question
his partiality. It bears reminding him that a judge must at all times not only
be impartial but maintain the appearance of impartiality. Thus, under Canon 2
of the Code of Judicial Conduct, a judge should avoid impropriety and appearance
of impropriety in all activities. Specifically, under Rule 2.01 of the Code, a
judge should so behave at all times as to promote public confidence in the
integrity and impartiality of the judiciary. The appearance of bias or prejudice
can be as damaging to public confidence and the administration of justice as
actual bias or prejudice. ACCORDINGLY, the Court finds respondent Judge Juan O.
Bermejo, Jr. of delay in the rendition of judgment in violation of Rules 1.02
and 3.05 of the Code of Judicial Conduct for which he is fined the amount of
P5,000.00. Respondent Judge is also declared guilty of impropriety in violation
of Canon 2 of said Code and is fined the amount of P10,000.00.OKTUBRE V. VELASCO
FACTS:Oktubre is the administrator of Paler Building, owned by Peggy DArcy.
DArcy is the aunt-in-law of Judge Velasco. Shortly after Velascos appointment
to the MTC of Maasin, he asked DArcy if he could reside at the Paler Building.
He was initially allowed by DArcy however when he sought an extension to stay
thereat he was denied by DArcy. Nevertheless, Judge Velasco was able to stay in
the building albeit in another room. Judge Velasco then sent letters to the
tenants of the building declaring that he was the lawful owner of the building
and all rentals should be deposited by them at his office in the MTC. He also
sent a strongly worded letter using the MTCs letterhead to DArcy asserting

possession over the building.Judge Velasco caused the removal of the buildings
service jeep from its garage. DArcy then instructed Oktubre to replace the
vehicle in the building and to take measures to ensure that the removal would
not be repeated. Oktubre successfully replaced the vehicle and removed one of
its wheels and put it inside the computer room of the building. Thereafter,
Judge Velasco caused the destruction and replacement of the padlock to Oktubres
room and the access gate to the third floor of the building.Oktubre then filed a
complaint against the judge in the Punong Baranggay. Conciliation proceedings
failed.After the hearing, Oktubre was asked by a police officer to come with him
to the station at the chiefs request. Upon arrival, he was confronted with an
arrest warrant signed under authority by Judge Velasco in connection with the
alleged robbery of the jeepneys wheel and he was put behind bars pursuant
thereto.
After obtaining his release he was again filed suit for malicious
mischief and falsification of documents again by Judge Velasco. All the
complaints were supported by the sole affidavit of Judge Velasco which he
prosecuted using his Office. ISSUE: Whether or not Judge Velasco is guilty of
grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority and gross ignorance of the law.
RULING:Respondent Judge is Liable for Grave Misconduct and Grave Abuse of
Authority.Note Canon 2, Rule 2.03 of Code of Judicial Conduct and Rule 3.12 of
the same code. For inappropriately using his Offices letterhead and for acting
on his own criminal complaints against complainant and DArcy, respondent Judge
violated these rules.Thus, he is liable for grave misconduct [and grave abuse
of authority.On Respondent Judges failure to Recuse Himself from His Criminal
Complaints. Note the principle that no judge should preside in a case in which
he is not wholly free, disinterested, impartial and independent. A Judge should
not handle a case in which he might be perceived to be susceptible to bias and
partiality. The rule is intended to preserve the peoples faith and confidence
in the courts of justice.True, a judge should possess proficiency in law so that
he can competently construe and enforce the law. However, it is more important
that he should act and behave in such a manner that the parties before him have
confidence in his impartiality.# HYPERLINK
"http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2004/jul2004/am_mtj_02_1444.htm" \l
"_ftn13#_ftn13" \o "" ##Indeed, even conduct that gives rise to the mere
appearance of partiality is proscribed.Here, although he is the complainant in
the three criminal complaints, respondent Judge did not disqualify himself from
the cases.Worse, he even issued a warrant of arrest in Criminal Case No. 5485,
resulting in the arrest and detention of complainant. By doing so, respondent
Judge violated Rule 3.12 and, by implication Section 1 of Rule 137, which covers
the preliminary stages of criminal prosecution. To be sure, the situation in
this case does not fall under any of the instances enumerated in Rule 3.12.
Nevertheless, as the provision itself states, such enumeration is not exclusive.
More importantly, paragraph (d) prohibits a judge from sitting in a case where
he is related to a party or to counsel within the sixth and fourth degree of
consanguinity or affinity, respectively.Thus, there is more reason to prohibit
a judge from doing so in cases where he is a party. Indeed, the idea that a
judge can preside over his own case is anathema to the notion of impartiality
that such was no longer included in the enumeration in Rule 3.12 nor covered by
Section 1 of Rule 137.Respondent Judges subsequent inhibition from the three
cases does not detract from his culpability for he should not have taken
cognizance of the cases in the first place. The evil that the rule on
disqualification seeks to prevent is the denial of a party of his right to due
process. This becamefait accompliwhen respondent Judge refused to abide by
such rule. WHEREFORE, we find respondent Ramon P. Velasco, Presiding Judge of
the Municipal Trial Court,MaasinCity,Southern Leyte, GUILTY of Grave
Misconduct, Gross Ignorance of the Law, and Grave Abuse of Authority for
violation of Rule 2.03 and Rule 3.12 of the Code of Judicial Conduct.He is
DISMISSED from the service with forfeiture
of retirement benefits and with prejudice to reinstatement in any branch of the
government or any of its agencies or instrumentalities, including government
owned or controlled corporations.However, he shall receive any accrued leaves
due him as of this date.#SANDOVAL V. CAFacts:It appears that an impostor
succeeded in selling property lawfully titled in anothers name by
misrepresenting himself as the latter. The lower court ruled in favor of the
original owner and nullified the deed of sale in favor of the buyer who claims

to be a purchaser in good faith. CA affirmed.[]Hence, this petition for review


where Juan C. Sandoval prays for the reversal of the Court of Appeals decision.
Two issues are presented for resolution. First, petitioner contends that he was
denied due process when the ponente of the decision in the Court of Appeals,
Justice Luis Victor, did not inhibit himself from the case inasmuch as he was,
for a time, the presiding judge in the court a quo trying the case. Second,
petitioner maintains that he is an innocent purchaser for value who should not
be held accountable for the fraud committed against private respondent Tan, Jr.
Issue:Whether or not the Justice who penned the assailed decision in the Court
of Appeals should have inhibited himself from taking part in the case.Held:In
every instance the judge shall indicate the legal reason for inhibition.A
judges conduct should be above reproach and in the discharge of his judicial
duties he should be conscientious, studious, thorough, courteous, patient,
punctual, just, impartial, fearless of public clamour, and regardless of private
influence should administer justice according to law and should deal with the
patronage of the position as a public trust; and he should not allow outside
matters or his private interests to interfere with the prompt and proper
performance of his office.From the foregoing legal principles, we find no basis
for Justice Victor to inhibit himself from deciding the case. To be sure, as
trial court judge, he presided partly over the case below, heard part of
plaintiffs evidence and ruled on motions. The decision itself, however, was
penned by another judge, the Honorable Lucas Bersamin, who took over as
presiding judge when then Judge Luis Victor was promoted. Upon elevation to the
Court of Appeals, the case was assigned to Justice Victor as ponente.The
principle that approximates the situation obtaining herein is the
disqualification of a judge from deciding a case where his ruling in a lower
court is the subject of review or in which he has presided in any inferior
court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review. Granted that
Justice Victor presided partly over the case in the court a quo, his was not the
pen that finally rendered the decision therein. Hence, he cannot be said to
have been placed in a position where he had to review his own decision as judge
in the trial court. Accordingly, he was not legally bound to inhibit himself
from the case.Nevertheless, Justice Victor should have been more prudent and
circumspect and declined to take on the case, owing to his earlier involvement
in the case. The Court has held that a judge should not handle a case in which
he might be perceived, rightly or wrongly, to be susceptible to bias and
partiality, which axiom is intended to preserve and promote public confidence in
the integrity and respect for the judiciary. While he is not legally required to
decline from taking part in the case, it is our considered view that his active
participation in the case below constitutes a just or valid reason, under
Section 1 of Rule 137 for him to voluntarily inhibit himself from the case.THE
LAW FIRM OF CHAVEZ V. JUSTICE DICDICANFacts:This is an administrative complaint
against Justice Dicdican filed by Ma. Asparen, a party to a case involving St.
Mary Mazzarello School. In that case, the school imposed disciplinary sanctions
on Ms. Asparen but the same was lifted by Hon. Elumba, judge of the Trial Court.
The respondent justice of the CA issued a TRO.So complainant here sought the
inhibition of respondent from the case on the ground that the latter had
previously represented various religious organizations during his practice in
law and the petitioner in this case is run by a religious organization.
Respondent denied that such circumstance affected his impartiality in the case
but he nevertheless inhibited himself.Despite such inhibition, it was still
alleged that Justice still appeared as one of the signatories of a resolution
dated Nov. 21, 2006 of the CA admitting the memorandum of the petitioner school
and which deemed the petition as submitted for resolution.Complainant alleged
that respondent justices actions showed his manifest bias and prejudice against
his client in the case. Respondent Justice however, was able to show that no
document was forwarded to him when he inhibited from the case. It was also shown
that another Justice took over the same. It was also shown that his inclusion as
a signatory was a mere mistake by the stenographer as shown by the letter of
apology.Held:
Complaint was devoid of merit. In administrative proceedings,
burden of proof is upon complainant. If complainant fails to do so, respondent
is under no obligation to prove his defense.
In the present case, the
complainant failed to substantiate his imputations of impropriety and partiality
against respondent justice. He failed to present any other evidence to prove his

charges.
A partys remedy if prejudiced by the orders of a magistrate lies
with the proper reviewing court, not with the office of the court administrator
by means of an administrative complaint. When some other judicial means is
available, an administrative complaint is not the appropriate remedy for every
act of a judge deemed aberrant or irregular.CANON 4J. KING & SONS COMPANY V.
JUDGE HONTANOSASFacts:Complainant alleges that it is the plaintiff in a case
pending before the RTC presided over by respondent. Respondent issued an Order
granting the application for writ of preliminary attachment. An urgent motion to
discharge and lift writ of preliminary attachment was filed by defendants before
the respondent and on the same day, respondent issued an Order lifting the writ
of preliminary attachment. Said Order was issued sans proper notice and hearing
as required by the Rules of Civil Procedure. Respondent approved defendants
counter-bond despite knowledge that the bonding companys Supreme Court
Clearance was not valid and the maximum net retention of the bonding company had
a deficiency. At a meeting in his house, respondent asked Rafael King to match
defendants offer to pay P250,000.00 so that the Order of July 5, 2002 will be
reconsidered formally if a motion for reconsideration is filed by complainant.
Respondents favorite hang-out is the karaoke music lounge of Metropolis Hotel
owned by herein complainant, and he uses said facilities "gratis et amore."Held:
We agree with the Investigating Justices finding that respondent is guilty of
gross ignorance of the law for not holding a full-blown hearing on the motion to
lift attachment and for violating the three-day notice rule. Respondent acted
with indecent haste in immediately holding a hearing on the motion to lift
attachment filed only a few minutes before said hearing, in considering the same
submitted for resolution, and in issuing the order lifting the writ of
preliminary attachment and approving the counter-bond, all on the same day
without giving complainant the opportunity to be heard on the matter.It is has
been oft repeated that judges cannot be held to account or answer criminally,
civilly or administratively for an erroneous judgment of decision rendered by
him in good faith, or in the absence of fraud, dishonesty or corruption.
However, it has also been held that when the law violated is elementary, a judge
is subject to disciplinary action. The principles of due notice and hearing are
so basic that respondents inability to accord a litigant their right thereto
cannot be excused. In this case, we believe that respondents actuations reek of
malice and bad faith. Thus, we find respondent guilty of gross ignorance of the
law for violating the three-day notice rule and failing to give herein
complainant due notice and the opportunity to be heard on the matterAs to the
matter of the approval of the counter-bond, respondent utterly failed to
exercise due care in examining the supporting papers. The respondent should know
the basic requirements before approving a surety bond or a judicial bond such as
counter-bond.It is indeed grossly improper for respondent to meet with a
litigant at his home and to frequent the karaoke bar owned by such litigant,
enjoying the use thereof for free. Respondent thereby received benefits from a
litigant appearing in his court. Respondents defense that his wife offered to
pay but the management of the karaoke bar did not allow her to do so, is feeble.
The testimonies of the waiters at said bar are quite clear that respondents
wife would sign the order slips, but no payment was ever given by respondent or
his wife. Respondent should have insisted on paying, especially considering that
complainant has a total of three cases pending before his court. By
entertaining a litigant in his home and receiving benefits given by said
litigant, respondent miserably failed to live up to the standards of judicial
conduct.Insistence on personal integrity and honesty as indispensable
qualifications for judicial office reflect an awareness in the legal profession
of the immensity of the damage that can be done to the legal order by judicial
corruption.CENTRUM AGRI-BUSINESS REALTY CORP V. JUDGE BETHEL KATALBAS-MOSCARDON
Facts:Petitioner Centrum filed a complaint with the MTCC for ejectment
of several stores leasing its building (JVLS Building). Centrum bought this
property from JVLS Co. Inc., but the tenants refused to pay rent to Centrum
(These tenants on the other hand sued JVLS to enforce their right of first
option). MTCC ruled for Centrum, ordered the tenants to pay rent covering 53
months + interests. The tenants appealed this decision to RTC where respondent
is the presiding judge. In that appeal, Centrum moved for the execution of the
MTCC decision, but respondent refused. The tenants moved for 30 days within
which to file their supplemental memorandum, which the judge granted, but

limited the period to 10 days. Centrum urged for the early resolution of the
case, but the judge said that Centrums motion was already moot and academic,
but she wanted to give the tenants a chance to file their memorandum (meaning a
ruling was already made).The judge on July 13 released the decision in favour of
Centrum, but with different rental rates (higher, in favour of Centrum). This
decision was dated June 15.In the present administrative case against respondent
judge, Centrum charged her with 1. Corrupt acts and practices, gross dishonesty,
serious misconduct; 2. Knowingly rendering an unjust interlocutory order; 3.
Gross ignorance of the law.Centrum states that not only were the amounts in the
decision substantially increased, it also disclosed that it had received a
duplicate copy of the decision even before it was promulgated, signed by the
respondent. Judge claimed she was innocent and had no idea how Centrum got a
copy. Centrum also alleges that the judge unjustly denied its motion for
execution.Held:Respondent judge is guilty of serious misconduct and is dismissed
from office.Although there is no proof of how Centrum obtained a copy of the
decision even before its promulgation, the fact is that a copy was obtained by
it and this is highly irregular. Since the judge is ultimately responsible for
the safekeeping of her papers, the burden of accounting is on her.(judge claims
that her stenographer was at fault)This was not merely a simple case of breach
of confidentiality, but evidence suggests a scheme to extort money from Centrum.
There was a negotiation between the Judge and Centrum, as admitted by the
latters counsel. Why Centrum filed this case against the judge appears to be
that the decision, although it was completed as of June 15, was not promulgated
until after nearly a month, leading Centrum to fear that respondent judge would
welsh on her undertaking to increase the awards in its favour.On rendering an
unjust interlocutory order and gross ignorance of the law, the court finds the
judges errors in this case to be grossly inexcusable. The judge violated
certain provisions in the rules of court applicable to ejectment proceedings.
RIZALINA CAPCO-UMALI V. PAULITA ACOSTA-VILLARANTEFacts:Judge Rizalina CapcoUmali (petitioner) charged Judge Paulita Acosta-Villarante (respondent) with
violation of Canon 4.The petitioner and other judges made a courtesy call to the
Mayor of Mandaluyong and they talked about local allowance of judges. The Mayor
noticed the disparity in the amounts received (respondent was receiving more,
compared to petitioner and other judges). So the Mayor ordered that the
allowance received by respondent be reverted to the previous rates.During the
first ever monthly meetingof RTC judges, what happened in the courtesy call was
reported. Angered, respondent yelled accusations of paninira at the Executive
judge (she was there during the courtesy call and was presiding over the
meeting). Petitioner, also present at the meeting, felt that she had to rescue
the executive judge and explained what happened. This time, respondent yelled at
petitioner, called her sinungaling and told petitioner to stop talking because
nakakahiwa boses mo. Petitioner yelled back, matanda ka na, malapit ka na sa
kamatayan gumagawa ka pa ng ganyan, madadamay pa kami, to which the respondent
answered that she was ready to die any moment because she did no wrong.
Basically, they had a screaming match until they were pacified.Judge Villarante
then wrote a Memorandumaddressed to Executive Judge of the Mandaluyong RTC,
copies of which were furnished to the Justices of the SC, JBC, other judges of
Mandaluyong, its Congressman, and prosecutor.The memo suggested that the
holding of monthly meeting of judges be suspended, considering what transpired.
Petitioner filed a complaint for libel based on the memorandum. In causing the
circulation of the memorandum, respondent claimed that it was her obligation to
bring to the attention of concerned officials the personal demeanor of
petitioner that would put the judiciary in public scrutiny and disrespect.Held:
Both judges are fined (11,000 for petitioner, 16,000 for respondent) and given a
stern warning for having violated Sec 1, Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial
ConductCourts are looked upon by the people with high respect.Misbehavior by
judges and employees necessarily diminishes their dignity.Any fighting or
misunderstanding is a disgraceful occurrence reflecting adversely on the image
of the Judiciary.By fighting, respondent judges failed to observe the proper
decorum expected of members of the Judiciary.More detestable is the fact that
their squabble arose out of a mere allowance coming from the local government.
The behaviour of both parties was very unbecoming. Judge Capco-Umalifailed to
live up to the standard of proprietyrequired of judges. While she might have
been provoked by Judge Acosta-Villarantes referral to her as a liar,she should

have maintained her composure instead of shouting back at a fellow judge.She


should have exercised self-restraint instead of reacting in such a very
inappropriate manner. Judge Acosta-Villaranteshould also be required to answer
for her failure to observe the basic norm of propriety demanded from a judge.
She provoked petitioner by calling her sinungaling. She should have been more
cautious in choosing her words. She also repeated the uncalled for conduct when
she wrote the memorandum and caused its circulation. If indeed the memorandum
was produced strictly to allow the parties to cool off and avoid a repetition of
the incident, there was no need to mention the alleged misbehavior of Judge
Capco-Umali during the meeting.The memorandum was thus written as a medium for
retaliation against Judge Capco-Umali.BINALAY V. LELINA, JR.Facts: Complainant
Atty. Binalay filed this administrative case against Judge Lelina, Jr. for
violating Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and Canon 4 of the New Code of Judicial
Conduct (both are with regard to prohibition on judges in the private practice
of law).Respondent judge is preventively suspended for being charged with rape,
abduction with rape and slight illegal detention. While still under suspension,
the judge filed a manifestation for the court to grant him the permission to
practice law during the remainder of his preventive suspension, or if such
cannot be granted, to consider him resigned from the judiciary.It turned out,
however, that even before he filed this manifestation, he had already engaged in
the private practice of law representing 2 persons in a criminal case, and one
in a civil case, all of which are still pending. All pleadings in those cases
were signed by him, as a partner of the Bartolome Lelina Calimag Densing &
Associates Law Offices.In the meantime, the office of court administrator
directed respondent to desist from engaging in the practice of law pending the
courts resolution of his manifestation. In his comment, the judge argues that
the prohibition to engage in practice of law applies only to judges who are in
the active service and should not cover those under suspension. He also said he
was forced to practice law due to his impoverished life and because of the
continuing sufferings of his wife and children.Held:Judge is suspended and
sternly warned. By being merely suspended, judge remains to bound by the
prohibition to practice law. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos ditinguire debemos.
Law does not make a distinction between a suspended judge and an active judge.
The fact that he tried to secure an authorization to engage in the practice of
law only shows that he is aware of the prohibition.Moreover, he should not
permit the law firm to still carry his name. By allowing the firm to do so, he
held himself in public as a lawyer, in violation of the rules and norms of
judicial ethics.CONCERNED LAWYERS OF BULACAN V. PRESIDING JUDGE PORNILLOS(Judge
dismissed for borrowing money from lawyers with pending cases before her)Facts:
Complainants charged Judge Pornillos for, among others, the violation of the
Canons of Judicial Conduct for borrowing money from her staff and lawyers in
amounts ranging from P500-P5k. The Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) made
an investigation and found that such attaches no administrative liability (since
they were already paid or waived by the creditors and were obtained 19 years
ago).Issue: W/N Judge Pornillos should be held administratively liable.Held:
Yes. Judge Pornillos was dismissed from the service for gross misconduct
(aggravated by undue delay in rendering decisions and violation of SC rules).
Under the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil service, borrowing
money by superior officers from subordinates is a violation punishable by
reprimand, suspension, and dismissal from service. At the very least, she
should be admonished for dealing with her subordinates in an improper manner.
More severely prohibited is borrowing money or property from lawyers and
litigants in case pending before the court (a serious charge under Sec. 8, Rule
140 of ROC). Under Canon 5 of the Code of Judicial Conduct (the old one), a
judge shall refrain from financial
and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on the courts
impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of judicial activities, or
increase involvement with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court.
LIHAYLIHAY V. JUDGE ALEJANDRO CANDAFacts:Petitioner filed a complaint against
Judge Canda for the ff. acts:Threatening her through text message that she would
be in trouble (because he thought she was supporting an applicant for sheriff
which he opposed)Filing admin. complaints and criminal cases to harass her
Describing her as a GRO, undignified, a whore, disgusting, repulsive,
pakialamera, offensive, etc. (in a letter he wrote to the Executive Judge after

he found out she ad him blotted with the police because of the text threat)
Publishing such remarks in a newspaperIssue: W/N Judge Canda is guilty of gross
misconduct Held:Yes. Sec. 2, Canon 4: As a subject of constant public scrutiny,
judges must accept personal restrictions that might be viewed as burdensome by
the ordinary citizenin particular, judges shall conduct themselves in a way
that is consistent with the dignity of the judicial office.Sec. 6, Canon 4:
Judges are entitled to freedom of expression, but in exercising such right, they
shall always conduct themselves in a manner as to preserve the dignity of the
judicial office.The acts committed by Judge Canda are unbecoming of a judge, and
these subjected the judiciary to embarrassment. He was fined and was given a
stern warning. IN RE: UNDATED LETTER OF LOUIS BIRAOGOFacts:The Supreme Court,
en banc, continued its deliberations on the draft of Justice Ruben Reyes in 3
consolidated cases (Limkaichong case). Since there was no further objection,
the En Banc approved it. Being printed on Gilbert paper, Justice Reyes
immediately circulated the ponencia during the same session. However, they
decided to withhold the promulgation of the Gilbert copy because 9 justices
wanted to concur only in the result (if the majority concurred only in result,
the ponencia would have no doctrinal value). They decided to hold oral
arguments.Biraogo, a petitioner in one of the 3 cases, held a press conference
and circulated to the media an undated letter signed by him together with a
photocopy of the unpromulgated ponencia. He insinuated that the Court unlawfully
and with improper motives withheld the promulgation of the ponencia. Since the
unauthorized release of the copy infringed on the confidential deliberations of
the SC and constituted contempt of court, the SC directed an investigation. The
Investigating Committee found that the leak came from Justice Reyes himself.
Hence, he must be liable for grave misconduct. Issue: W/N Justice Reyes is
liable for gross misconduct Held:YES. He is suspended from the practice of law
indefinitely. The New Code of Judicial Conduct provides that confidential
information* acquired by justices and judges in their official capacity shall
not be used or disclosed for any other purposes not related to their judicial
duties.
*Information not yet made public concerning the work of any justice or
judge relating to pending cases. CANONS 5 & 6REPUBLIC V. CAGUIOAConsolidation
of 3 cases against respondentFACTSCase 1: Judge Caguioa issued a writ of
preliminary injunction against the Republic for the implementation of a law#
which required the payment of duties and taxes to importers in the Subic Bay
Freeport Zone, who formerly had an exemption to such taxes but was subsequently
required by virtue of such law. He also granted various ex-parte motions for
interventions of different but similarly situated corporations, and approved an
injunction bond of P1M for all the petitioners. These orders were immediately
implemented despite the MRs filed by the OSG. The Republic filed administrative
cases against Caguioa for manifest partiality, gross ignorance of the law and
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. This was acted upon by
the OCA and subsequently by the CA, stating that Caguioa gravely abused his
discretion for ordering the issuance of the writ of Preliminary Injunction.Case
2: (Almost similar circumstances, different people involved) Judge Caguioa
issued a writ of preliminary injunction and a TRO, to enjoin a person from
acting as an officer in a Govt agency. The agency filed administrative cases
against Caguioa for manifest partiality, gross ignorance of the law and conduct
prejudicial to the best interest of the service.Case 3: Caguioa ordered a Writ
of Execution, after his order of dismissal of a case based on prescription.
Private Petitioner filed a case for Grave Misconduct against Caguioa. The CA saw
this as invalid, because the Writ should conform to the dispositive portion of
the decision. The Order of dismissal did not adjudicate any rights of the
parties and resolved no other matter except the dismissal of the case. The
findings of the Investigative Justice of the CA:Case 1: Guilty of gross
ignorance of the law + conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Evidence on the Manifest Partiality was insufficient.Case 2: Same as Case 1.Case
3: Guilty of simple misconduct.Penalty: 1-year suspension + Stern Warning.
ISSUE/S: W/N Caguioa is guilty of Gross Ignorance of the Law, Conduct
Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service and Simple Misconduct.HELD: YES!
Adopt findings of the CA. Caguioa Dismissed from service + forfeiture of
retirement benefits except leave credits.RATIO: Gross Ignorance of the LawJudge
Caguioa issued the Writs of Preliminary Injunction that did not satisfy the
legal requisites for its issuance, and which was enforced outside of his

territorial jurisdiction. In the former, the applicants of the Writ showed no


clear and unmistakable right that was material and substantial as would warrant
the issuance of such Writ, and the of its urgency and necessity. In short, he
issued the Writs without basis. The requisites for the issuance of the Writ are
basic and elementary, and should have been known by Caguoia. Basic rules should
be at the palm of their hands. Where the law is basic, lack of conversance with
it, and for transgressing the elementary jurisdictional limits of his court, a
judge should be administratively liable for gross ignorance of the law. Not
Grave MisconductEven though Caguioa issued the Writs without basis, in this
circumstance, it only amounts to simple misconduct. For grave misconduct to
exist, the judicial act complained of should be corrupt, or with evident bad
faith. Such conduct was not evident in the case.DEE C. CHUAN & SONS INC. V.
PERALTAFACTS:Sept 13, 2002: Final order of an unlawful detainer case in favor of
Dee C. Chuan & Sons Inc. An appeal was filed with Peralta, an RTC Judge. March
18, 2003: DCCSI filed a "motion to dismiss appeal and for issuance of writ of
execution" for failure of the appellants to post the required bond and to pay
the rentals due in accordance with the decision of the MeTC. March 21, 2003:
Acting on the Motion, Peralta required appellants to file their comment.August
11, 2003, October 20, 2003 and December 3, 2003: DCCSI filed a motion to
resolve. However, despite the lapse of more than one year, respondent failed and
refused to resolve the pending motions. Complaint thus filed.
When asked by
the OCA about the case, Peralta said that it "ha (d) been resolved by (his)
Court and the same (was) already for mailing" and attached a copy of his order
dated May 5, 2004. In his order, he dismissed the appeal for failure of the
appellants to file their memorandum and directed the issuance of a writ of
execution in favor of DCCSI. The OCA, in its report, found Peralta indeed failed
to resolve several motions for more than a year and showed indifference in his
comment and recommended that he be held liable for inefficiency in the
performance of his official duties and fined in the amount of P11, 000.
ISSUE/S: W/N Peralta is liable for inefficiency and undue delay in rendering a
decision or order.HELD: YES! FINED + Sternly Warned.RATIO:Delivery of Decisions
with Reasonable PromptnessThe Constitution mandates that all cases or matters
filed before all lower courts shall be decided or resolved within 90 days from
the time the case is submitted for decision. Peralta ignored this mandate.
Failure to comply within the mandated period constitutes a serious violation of
the constitutional right of the parties to a speedy disposition of their cases.
For more than a year, Peralta failed to resolve
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######## #m#o#t#i#o#n#s# ## #t#h#e# #m#o#t#i#o#n# #t#o# #d#i#s#m#i#s#s#
#a#p#p#e#a#l# #a#n#d# #f#o#r# #i#s#s#u#a#n#c#e# #o#f# #w#r#i#t# #o#f#
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#o#f# Judicial Conduct which requires judges to dispose of the courts business
promptly and decide cases within the required periods. A judges failure to
resolve motions and incidents within the prescribed period of three months as
gross inefficiency for it undermines the peoples faith and confidence in the
judiciary, lowers its standards and brings it to disrepute.BACULI V. BELENFACTS:
Baculi, a Provincial Prosecutor, filed an Information against a person-accused
for frustrated homicide. Belen, a RTC Judge, directed Baculi to submit evidence
that
the notice of preliminary investigation was duly served and received by such
person. After a series of pleadings filed by Baculi, Belen directed the former
why he should not be cited for tempt of court for making unfounded statements in
his pleadings. No such reason was given, thus Belen found Baculi guilty of
direct contempt for making scurrilous (vulgar) and contumacious (rebellious)
statements in one of the latter's Motions, and subsequently for indirect
contempt. Baculi moved that such order be set aside, but was denied by Belen,
stating that such Decisions are final and executory. Therefore, Baculi filed a
complaint against Belen, denying the claims against him, and added that Belen

was induced by revenge because it was Baculi who indicted him in a previous
libel case against him, and that Belen had a 'power complex'.ISSUE: W/N Belen is
guilty of gross ignorance of the law for citing Baculi in indirect contempt.
HELD: YES! Suspended for 6 months + Stern warning.RATIO:Gross Ignorance of the
LawIndirect contempt is any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, to
impede, obstruct, or degrade the administration of justice. The scurrilous and
contumacious statements constitute direct contempt because it is equivalent to
misbehavior committed in the presence of or so near a court or judge as to
interrupt the administration of justice. But such is not the reason for indirect
contempt. And even if such statements were considered as indirect contempt,
Belen did not follow the proper procedure under the Rules of Court. This
strengthens the OCA's findings that Belen is grossly ignorant of basic
procedure.Unfamiliarity with the Rules of Court is a sign of incompetence. Basic
procedural rules must be at the palm of his hands. When the law is so
elementary, such as the provisions of the Rules of Court, not to know, or to act
as if one does not know the same, and failure to follow basic legal commands
embodied in the law and the rules constitutes gross ignorance of the law, from
which no one is excused, and surely not a judge like Belen.MARIANO V. JUDGE
NACIONALFacts:This is an administrative complaint for gross inefficiency, gross
ignorance of the law, dereliction of duty and violation of judicial conduct
stemming from an action for ejectment.In the ejectment proceeding, Judge
Nacional issued a pre-trial order dated Sep. 3, 2004 requiring the parties to
file their respective position papers on Sep. 30, 2004 (w/c the parties complied
with). Nacional subsequently issued an order dated Dec. 28, 2004 requiring
parties to submit their respective memoranda in the form of a court decision
which the parties complied with. The case was eventually decided by Nacional on
Feb. 14, 2005. Complaint alleges that the issuance of the Dec. 28, 2004 order
violated the prohibition on memoranda by the Revised Rules on Summary Procedure
and that Nacional violated the Rules when he decided the case only on Feb. 14,
2005 (136 days from the date required by law).Judge Nacional admits that he
exceeded the maximum period allowed under the Revised Rules and offered the
following excuses: (1) quality of decision had priority over compliance w/
reglementary pd; (2) heavy caseload; and (3) documents were voluminous. Issue:
W/N Nacional violated basic procedure and code of judicial conduct? Held: Yes, he
is fined P40K for gross ignorance of the law and procedure, P20K for violation
of Canons 3 & 6 (Code of Judicial Conduct) and P10K for violations of CPRThe
urgency of restoring social order is the paramount consideration in settling
unlawful detainer and forcible entry cases. The necessity of promptly resolving
unlawful detainer and forcible entry cases is made more imperative by express
provisions of the periods of rendition of judgment (30 days after receipt of the
affidavits and position period, or expiration of the period for the filing the
same ROC/Rules of Summary Procedure). Corollarily, Sec 5 of Canon 6 of Code of
Judicial Conduct mandates judges to perform all judicial duties efficiently,
fairly and with reasonable promptness. The justifications advanced by Nacional
cannot be accepted because doing so will undermine the wisdom behind procedural
rules & diminish respect for the law. The judge (by himself) cannot choose to
prolong the period for deciding cases beyond that authorized by law. If a judge
needs more time to decide a case, he should formally request the SC for an
extension of the deadline.Failure to apply elementary rules of procedure
constitutes gross ignorance of the law and procedure. Lack of malice or good
faith will not exonerate Nacional because the rules violated were basic
procedural law. All he had to do was apply them, but he chose not to. It is
settled that one who accepts the position of judge owes the public and the court
the ability o be proficient in the law and the duty to maintain the professional
competence at all times. Competence and diligence are prerequisites to the due
performance of judicial office. (Note: length of service does not mitigate
administrative penalty)CANEDA V. MENCHAVEZFacts:Complainant Atty. Caneda is
counsel for defendant Virginia Guzman, in Civil Case Roberto Borromeo v. Heirs
of Juan Borromeo, for judicial partition pending with Judge Mechanvezs sala.
During the Dec. 14, 2005 hearing of said partition case, the motion to segregate
the inheritance shares of one of the plaintiffs, Roberto Borromeo was due to be
taken up. During the hearing, the defendants agreed to a partition subject to
plaintiffs withdrawal of a motion for reconsideration it filed before the SC to
clear one of the areas (subject to partition) of squatters. Because the

plaintiff could not withdraw the MR before the SC, Atty. Caneda suggested
mediation. Judge Menchavez blurted out never mind mediation, walay hinundan
na. When Judge Menchavez checked on the progress of the case, Atty. Caneda
remarked it was being delayed because no proper summons had been served on the
defendants who were residing outside the country. Menchavez reacted angrily and
banged his gavel & shouted I said no publication period. Afterwards, Menchavez
slammed the table with his hand and went inside his chambers. Afterwards, Judge
Menchavez came back with a holstered handgun and smashed it on the table, as he
angrily shouted at Atty. Caneda Unsay gusto nimo? Yawa! Gahig ulo!Atty. Caneda
filed a complaint against Judge Menchavez alleging that the Judges act of
challenging him inside the courtroom in the presence of many people was improper
Issue: W/N Judge Menchavez should be held liableHeld: Yes, Judge Menchavez
overstepped the norms of propriety demanded of a member of the bench by losing
his cool and uttering intemperate language during the hearing. In the courtroom,
a lawyer makes submissions before a judge whose role is to hear and consider the
submissions, and subsequently rule on the matter. It is not a situation where
two equals, such as the opposing counsels, argue against each other. Menchavez
should have coolly ruled and allowed counsel to respond to his ruling instead of
proceeding in a manner that invited further arguments. Atty. Caneda also erred
when he continued to argue despite Judge Menchavezs ruling. However, Menchavez
should have directed the complainant to wind up his arguments under pain of
direct contempt if he persisted in his arguments. Direct contempt is not
enforced by the judges act of bringing out of his weapon and asking counsel the
direct question what do you want? This confrontational manner has no place in
our present justice system. There are agents of the law, officers of the court &
the police who can be called upon to implement contempt orders & restore order
as needed.Judge Menchavezs overreacting by bringing out a gun for everyone
present in the court to see, even for purposes of maintaining order and decorum
in court, is inexcusable in the absence of overt acts of physical aggression by
a party before the court. While the New Code of Judicial Conduct requires a
magistrate to maintain order and decorum in the court, the Code itself sets its
limits (as provided for by Sec. 6 of Canon 6) wherein the judge himself must
observe decorum by acting with dignity and courtesy to all those present in the
courtroom. Judges are demanded to be always temperate, patient, and courteous
both in conduct and in language. SUAREZ V. DILAGFacts:Suarez filed
administrative complaints of (a) graft and corruption against Judge Dilag and
Court Stenographer Pascua and (b) grave misconduct and ignorance of the law
against Judge Dilag allegedly for collecting P30K from litigants in
consideration of favorable judgments in cases for annulment or declaration of
nullity of marriage. Suarez further pointed out the existence of conflicting
decisions rendered by Judge Dilar (Pancho Case, Tomboc Case, del Rosario Case
which were all previously dismissed but subsequently reopened the case and
granted the petition).After referral to an investigation officer, the
Investigating Justice found Judge Dilag liable for (1) gross misconduct for
singing conflicting decisions; (2) gross ignorance of the law and procedure in
handling Moreno and Perez cases; and (3) gross negligence and inefficiency for
failing to administer supervision over his staff when a fake registry return
receipt was effected in Cayabyab Case and entries of judgment were effected in
Moreno Case & Dinoso v. Corpuz. Pascua was found guilty of graft and corruption.
Issue: W/N Judge Dilag should be held liable? Held: Yes, Judge Dilag is dismissed
from service, with forfeiture of all retirement benefits, excluding accrued
leave benefits and disqualification from reinstatement or appointment to any
public office.A judge is the embodiment of competence, integrity, and
independence to uphold and maintain public confidence
in the legal system. Thus, while he is expected to keep abreast of developments
in law and jurisprudence, he is presumed to have more than a cursory knowledge
of the rules of procedure (Eg. taking cognizance of a second petition for
declaration of nullity on the ground of psychological incapacity when Dilag had
already dismissed with prejudice the first petition involving the same parties,
issues, and causes of action with that of the first petition). Not every error
is indicative of ignorance, for if committed in good faith, no administrative
sanction is imposed. Good faith, however, inheres only within the parameters of
tolerable judgment. It does not apply where the issues are so simple and the
applicable legal procedures evident and basic as to be beyond possible margins

of error. In the case at bench, Dilag failed to follow basic legal procedures
which are not excusable but renders him administratively liable for gross
ignorance of the law and procedure (During questioning, Dilag said that refiling is allowed in a dismissal with or without prejudice. Also, he deiced a
case even before the submission of the City Prosecutor relative to the
investigation to determine collusion between the parties as required under Sec.
9 of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment
of Voidable Marriages)Dilag was charged with gross ignorance of the law.
However, to warrant a finding of gross ignorance of the law, the error must be
so gross and patent as to produce an inference of bad faith. The acts complained
of must not only be contrary to existing law and jurisprudence, but were also
motivated by bad faith, fraud, dishonesty, and corruption. For to hold a judge
administratively accountable for ever erroneous order or decision he renders
would be intolerable. In the case at bar, there was no allegation whatsoever
that Dilag was motivated by bad faith, malice or corruption when he issued the
premature warrant of arrest. Be that as it may, the Court holds him
administratively liable for his unfamiliarity with the rules on the conduct of
prelim investigations. Judges should be conversant with basic legal norms and
precepts as well as with the statutes and procedural rules. They are expected to
follow developments in the law and to apply them. Having accepted the exalted
position of a judge, whereby he judges his fellowmen, the judge owes it to the
public who depend on him, and to the dignity of the court he sits in, to be
proficient in the law. Thus, the Code of Judicial Conduct requires a judge to be
faithful to the law and be the embodiment of professional competence. # By
virtue of Section 12(b), Rule 139-B of the Rules of Court, this resolution is
automatically elevated to the SC for final action.# A lawyer shall not, after
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