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ADMISSION TO PRACTICE

1. In Re: Lanuevo 66 SCRA 245 (1975)


A.C. No. 1162. August 29, 1975
IN RE: VICTORIO D. LANUEVO, former Bar Confidant and Deputy Clerk of Court, Respondent.
A.C. No. 1163. August 29, 1975
IN RE: RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E. GALANG, 1971 Bar Examinee, Respondent.
A.C. No. 1164. August 29, 1975
IN RE: HON. BERNARDO PARDO, HON. RAMON PAMATIAN, ATTY. MANUEL TOMACRUZ, ATTY.
MANUEL MONTECILLO, ATTY. FIDEL MANALO and ATTY. GUILLERMO PABLO, JR., Members, 1971
Bar Examining Committee, Respondents.
Disbarment proceedings were filed against the Bar Confidant, Victorio Lanuevo and a 1971 bar candidate,
Ramon Galang, and disciplinary action against five bar examiners for acts and omissions committed in the
1971 bar examinations.
Based on a confidential letter from a bar flunked, The Supreme Court checked the records of the 1971 bar
examinations. As a result thereof, the grades in five subjects of an examinee (Ramon Galang) were found
to be charged, which, however, were the properly initialed and authenticated by each of the examiner
concerned. Upon investigation, the Bar Confidant admitted in his sworn statement having brought back the
five examination notebooks to the examiners for re-evaluation. In turn, the five examiners admitted, in
their individual sworn statements, having re-evaluated and re-checked the notebooks involved (all of which
had failing marks) upon the representation made to each of them separately and individually by the Bar
Confidant that examiners were authorized to do so and that the examinee concerned failed only in his
(examiner concerned) particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing. On the other hand,
Ramon Galang denied any knowledge of the actuations of the Bar Confidant.
The Supreme Court, holding that the Office of the Bar Confidant has absolutely nothing to do with the reevaluation or reconsideration of the grades of examinees who fail to make the passing mark before or after
the notebooks are submitted by the examiners and, that, therefore, the deception made by the Bar
Confidant was in violation of the trust and confidence reposed in him, disbarred the Bar Confidant and
ordered his name stricken from the roll of attorneys.
With respect to respondent Ramon Galang, the Supreme Court likewise disbarred him because of the
highly irregular manner of his passing the bar which was effected through an authorized re-evaluation of
his examination notebooks, and on the ground that he fraudulently concealed and withheld his pending
criminal case for slight physical injuries in all his seven applications to take the bar examinations which
indicates his lack of the requisite attributes of honesty, probity and good demeanor.
Respondent Bar Examiners were reminded to exercise the greatest or utmost care and vigilance in the
performance of their duties as such.
SYLLABUS
1. COURT PERSONNEL AND EMPLOYEES; BAR CONFIDANT; FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES. The Bar Confidant is
simply the custodian of bar examination notebooks for and in behalf of the court; hence, any suggestion or
request by him for re-evaluation or reconsideration of the grades of examinees who fail to make the
passing mark before or after the notebooks are submitted by the examiner, is not only presumptuous but
also offensive to the norms of delicacy. His position is primarily confidential as the designation indicates.
His functions in connection with the conduct of the Bar Examinations are defined and circumscribed by the
Court and must be strictly adhered to.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; FUNCTION IN CONNECTION WITH BAR EXAMINATIONS. After the connected notebooks are
submitted to the Bar Confidant by the Examiners, his only function is to tally the individual grades of every
examinee in all subjects taken and thereafter compute the general average. That done, he will then
prepare a comparative data showing the percentage of passing and failing in relation to a certain average
to be submitted to the Committee and to the Court and on the basis of which the Court will determine the
passing average, whether 75 or 74 or 73, etc. The Bar Confidant has noBUSINESS evaluating the answer

of the examinees and cannot assume the functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the Examiner
concerned. He is not the over-all Examiner and cannot presume to know better than the Examiner.
3. SUPREME COURT; JUDICIAL FUNCTION IN ADMITTING BAR CANDIDATES. The judicial function of the
Supreme Court is admitting candidates to the legal profession, which necessarily involves the exercise of
discretion, requires: (1) previous established rules and principles; (2) concrete facts whether past or
present, affecting determine individuals; and (3) a decision as to whether these facts are governed by the
rules and principles.
4. ID.; ID.; BAR EXAMINATION COMMITTEE. In the exercise of the judicial function in admitting bar
candidates, the Court acts through a Bar Examination Committee, composed of a member of the Court
who acts as Chairman and eight (8) members of the Bar who act as examiners in the eight (8) bar subject
with one subject assigned to each. Acting as a sort of liaison officer between the Court and Bar Chairman,
on the one hand, and the individual members of the Committee, on the other, is the Bar Confidant is at the
same time a deputy clerk of the court.
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ACTS OF COMMITTEE MUST BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH ESTABLISHED RULES OF COURT.
Every act of Committee in connection with the exercise of discretion in the admission of examinees to
membership of the Bar must be in accordance with the established rules of the Court and must always be
subject to the final approval of the Court.
6. BAR EXAMINATIONS; REQUEST FOR RE-EVALUATION. Any request for re-evaluation should be done by
the examinee and the same should be addressed to the Court, which alone can validly act thereon. Once
the bar examiner has submitted the corrected notebooks to the bar confidant the same cannot be
withdrawn for any purpose whatsoever without prior authority from the Court.
7. ID.; ADMISSION; REQUIREMENT; GOOD MORAL CHARACTER. Section 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised
Rules of Court of 1964, among others, provides that "every applicant for admission as a member of the Bar
must . . . of good moral character . . . and must produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory evidence of
good moral character, and that no charges against him involving moral turpitude have been filed or are
pending in any court in the Philippines." Prior to 1964, or under the old Rules of Court, a bar applicants was
required to produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory testimonials of good moral character (Sec. 2,
Rule 127). Under both rules, every applicant is duty bound to lay before the Court all his involvement in
any criminal case, pending or otherwise terminated, to enable the Court to fully ascertain or determine
applicants moral character. Furthermore, as to what crime involves moral turpitude is for the Supreme
Court to determine. Hence, the necessity of laying before or informing the Court of ones personal record,
whether he was criminally indicted, acquitted, convicted or the case dismissed or is still pending becomes
more compelling.
8. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE AT BAR. An applicants intentional withholding or concealment from the Supreme
Court of his pending case of slight physical injuries of his application to take the bar examination of 1962,
1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971, by virtue of which he was allowed unconditionally to take the
examinations seven times and to take his oath in 1972, is a ground for disbarment.
9. ID.; EXAMINERS REQUIRED TO EXERCISE UTMOST CARE. Examiners participation in the admission of
members to the Bar is one impressed with the highest consideration of public interest absolute purity of
the proceedings and so are required to exercise the greatest or utmost care and vigilance in the
performance of their duties relative thereto.
10. ATTORNEYS; REVOCATION OF LICENSE. Well-settled is the rule that concealment by an attorney in
his application to take the Bar Examinations of the fact that he had been charged with, or indicated for, a
crime, is a ground for revocation of his license to practice law.
11. ANTI-GRAFT LAW; DISMISSAL OF PUBLIC OFFICER UNDER SECTION 8, REPUBLIC ACT NO. 3019. Section
8 of Republic Act No. 3019 authorized the dismissal on removal of a public officer once it is determined
that his property or money "is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer or employee
and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property . . ."
DECISION
MAKASIAR, J.:

Administrative proceedings against Victorio D. Lanuevo for disbarment; Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman
E. Galang for disbarment; Hon. Bernardo Pardo, Hon. Ramon Pamatian, Atty. Manuel C. Tomacruz; Atty.
Manuel G. Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo and Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr. for disciplinary action for their
acts and omissions during the 1971 Bar Examinations.
In his request dated March 29, 1972 contained in a confidential letter to the Court for re-correction and reevaluation of his answers to the 1971 Bar Examinations questions, Oscar Landicho who flunked in the
1971, 1968 and 1967 Bar Examinations with a grade of 70.5%, 65.35% and 67.55%, respectively invited
the attention of the Court to "The starting fact that the grade in one examination (Civil Law) of at least one
bar candidate was raised for one reason or another, before the bar results were released this year"
(Confidential Letter, p. 2. Vol. I, rec.). This was confirmed, according to him, by the Civil Law Examiner
himself (Hon. Ramon C. Pamatian) as well as by Bar Confidant Victorio D. Lanuevo. He further therein
stated "that there are strong reasons to believe that the grades in other examination notebooks in other
subjects also underwent alterations to raise the grades prior to the release of the results. Note that
this was without any formal motion or requests from the proper parties, i.e., the bar candidates concerned.
If the bar examiners concerned reconsidered their grades without formal motion, there is no reason why
they may not do so now when proper request and motion therefor is made. It would be contrary to due
process postulates. Might not one say that some candidates got unfair and unjust treatment, for their
grades were not asked to be reconsidered unofficially? Why the discrimination? Does this not afford
sufficient reason for the Court en banc to go into these matters by its conceded power to ultimately decide
the matter of admission to the bar?" (p. 2, Confidential Letter, Vol. I, rec.).
Acting on the aforesaid confidential letter, the Court checked the records of the 1971 Bar Examinations
and found that the grades in five subjects Political Law and Public International Law, Civil Law,
Mercantile Law, Criminal Law and Remedial Law of a successful bar candidate with office code No. 954
underwent some changes which, however, were duly initialed and authenticated by the respective
examiner concerned. Further check of the records revealed that the bar candidate with office code No. 954
is one Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, a perennial bar candidate, who flunked in the 1969, 1967,
1966, 1964, 1963, and 1962 bar examinations with a grade of 67.55%, 68.65%, 72.75%, 68.2%, 56.45%
and 57.3%, respectively. He passed in the 1971 bar examinations with a grade of 74.15%, which was
considered as 75% by virtue of a Court resolution making 74% as the passing mark for the 1971 bar
examinations.
Upon the direction of the Court, the 1971 Bar Examination Chairman requested Bar Confidant Victorio D.
Lanuevo and the five (5) bar examiners concerned to submit their sworn statements on the matter, with
which request they complied.
In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, said Bar Confidant admitted having brought the five
examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, back to the respective examiners for
re-evaluation and/or re-checking, stating the circumstances under which the same was done and his
reasons for doing the same.
Each of the five (5) examiners in his individual sworn statement admitted having re-evaluated and/or rechecked the notebook involved pertaining to his subject upon the representation to him by Bar Confidant
Lanuevo that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee concerned failed only in his
particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing.
Finding a prima facie case against the respondents warranting a formal investigation, the Court required, in
a resolution dated March 5,1973, Bar Confidant Victorio Lanuevo "to show cause within ten (10) days from
notice why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys" (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 34, rec.).
Considering that the re-evaluation of the examination papers of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang,
was unauthorized, and therefore he did not obtain a passing average in the 1971 bar examinations, the
Court likewise resolved on March 5, 1971 to require him "to show cause within ten (10) days from notice
why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys" (Adm. Case No. 1163, p. 99, rec.). The five
examiners concerned were also required by the Court "to show cause within ten (10) days from notice why
no disciplinary action should be taken against them" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 31, rec.).
Respondent Tomacruz filed his answer on March 12, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.) while
respondents Pardo, Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Lanuevo filed theirs on March 19,1973 (Adm. Case
No. 1162, pp. 60-63, 32-35, 40-41, 36-39 and 35-38, rec.). At the hearing on August 27, 1973, respondent
Lanuevo filed another sworn statement in addition to, and in amplification of, his answer filed on March 19,

1973 (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.). Respondent Galang filed his unverified answer on March 16,
1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.). He was required by the Court to verify the same and
compliance came on May 18, 1973 (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 106-110, rec.).
In the course of the investigation, it was found that it was not respondent Bernardo Pardo who re-evaluated
and/or rechecked examination booklet with Office Code No. 954 in Political Law and Public International
Law of examinee Ramon Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, but Guillermo Pablo, Jr., examiner in Legal Ethics
and Practical Exercises, who was asked to help in the correction of a number of examination notebooks in
Political Law and Public International Law to meet the deadline for submission (pp. 17-24, Vol. V, rec.).
Because of this development, Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr. was likewise included as respondent in
Administrative Case No. 1164. Hon. Bernardo Pardo remained as a respondent for it was also discovered
that another paper in Political Law and Public International Law also underwent re-evaluation and/or rechecking. This notebook with Office Code No. 1622 turned out to be owned by another successful
candidate by the name of Ernesto Quitaleg. Further investigation resulted in the discovery of another reevaluation and/or re-checking of a notebook in the subject of Mercantile Law resulting in the change of the
grade from 47% to 50%. This notebook bearing Office Code No. 110 is owned by another successful
candidate by the name of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz and the latters father were
summoned to testify in the investigation.
An investigation conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation upon request of the Chairman of the
1971 Bar Examination Committee as Investigating Officer, showed that one Romy Galang y Esguerra, alias
Ramon E. Galang, a student in the School of Law of Manuel L. Quezon University, was, on September 8,
1959, charged with the crime of slight physical injuries in the Municipal Court of Manila committed on
Eufrosino F. de Vera, another student of the same university. Confronted with this information at the
hearing of August 13, 1973 (Vol. V, pp. 20-21, 32, rec.), respondent Galang declared that he does not
remember having been charged with the crime of slight physical injuries. Because of this denial, a
summons was issued to Eufrosino F. de Vera, who narrated the circumstances surrounding the case and
identified respondent Galang as the very same person charged with the crime of slight physical injuries in
that case (Vol. VI, pp. 45-60, rec.).
Respondent Galang, in all his applications to take the bar examinations, did not make mention of this fact
which he is required under the rules to do.
The joint investigation of all the cases commenced on July 17, 1973 and was terminated on October 2,
1973. Thereafter, parties-respondents were required to submit their memoranda. Respondents Lanuevo,
Galang and Pardo submitted their respective memorandum on November 14, 1973.
Before the joint hearing commenced, Oscar Landicho took upPERMANENT RESIDENCE IN AUSTRALIA ,
where he is believed to be gainfully employed. Hence, he was not summoned to testify.
At the joint investigation, all respondents, except respondent Pablo, who offered as evidence only his oral
testimony, submitted as their direct evidence the affidavits and answers earlier submitted by them to the
Court. The same became the basis for their cross-examination.
In their individual sworn statements and answers, which they offered as their direct testimony in the
investigation conducted by the Court, the respondents-examiners recounted the circumstances under
which they re-evaluated and/or re-checked the examination notebooks in question.
In His affidavit dated April 11, 1972, respondent Judge (later Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals)
Ramon C. Pamatian, examiner in Civil Law, affirmed:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"2. That one evening sometime in December last year, while I was correcting the examination notebooks,
Atty. Lanuevo, Bar Confidant, explained to me that it is the practice and the policy in bar examinations that
he (Atty. Lanuevo) make a review of the grades obtained in all segments and if he finds that candidate
obtained an extraordinarily high grade in one subject and a rather low one in another, he will bring back
the latter to the examiner concerned for re-evaluation and change of grade;
"3. That sometime in the latter part of January of this year, he brought back to me an examination booklet
in Civil Law for re-evaluation, because according to him the owner of the paper is on the borderline and if I
could reconsider this grade to 75% the candidate concerned will get passing mark;

"4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was really the practice and policy of the Supreme
Court to do so in the further belief that I was just manifesting cooperation indoing so, I re-evaluated the
paper and reconsidered the grade to 75%;
"5. That only one notebook in Civil Law was brought back to me for such re-evaluation and upon verifying
my files I found that the notebook is number 95;
"6. That the original grade was 64% and my re-evaluation of the answers were based on the same
standard used in the correction and evaluation of all others; thus, Nos. 3 and 4 with original grades of 7%
each was reconsidered to 10%; No. 5 with 4% to 5%; No. 7 with 3% to 5%; and No. 8 with 8% to 10%"
(underscoring supplied).
His answer dated March 19, 1973 substantially reiterated his allegations in his April 11, 1972 affidavit with
the following additional statements:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"3. . . . . However the grades in Nos. 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10, were not reconsidered as it is no longer possible to
make the reconsideration of these answers because of the same evaluation and standard; hence, Nos. 1, 2
and 10 remained at 5% and Nos. 6 and 9 at 10%;
"4. That at the time I made the reconsideration of examination booklet No. 95 I did not know the identity of
its owner until I received this resolution of the Honorable Supreme Court nor the identities of the
examiners in other subjects;
"5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and under the belief that I am authorized to do so
in view of the misrepresentation of said Atty. Lanuevo, based on the following
circumstances:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"a) Since I started correcting the papers on or about October 16, 1971, relationship between Atty. Lanuevo
and myself had developed to the point that with respect to the correction of the examination booklets of
bar candidates I have always followed him and considered his instructions as reflecting the rules and policy
of the Honorable Supreme Court with respect to the same; that I have no alternative but to take his words;
"b) That considering this relationship and considering his misrepresentation to me as reflecting the real
rules and policy of the Honorable Supreme Court, I did not bother any more to get the consent and
permission of the Chairman of the Bar Committee. Besides, at that time, I was isolating myself from all
members of the Supreme Court and specially the chairman of the Bar Committee for fear that I might he
identified as a bar examiner;
"e) That no consideration whatsoever has been received by me in return for such recorrection, and as proof
of it, I declined to reconsider and evaluate one booklet in Remedial Law aforesaid because I was not the
one who made the original correction of the same" (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-35, rec.; Emphasis
supplied).
Then Assistant Solicitor General, now CFI Judge, Bernardo Pardo, examiner in Political Law and Public
International Law, confirmed in his affidavit of April 8, 1972 that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"On a day or two after the Bar Confidant went to my residence to obtain from me the last bag of two
hundred notebooks (bearing examiners code numbers 1200 to 1400) which according to my record was on
February 5, 1972, he came to my residence at about 7:30 p.m. riding in a Vokswagen panel of the Supreme
Court, with at least two companions. The bar confidant had with him an examinees notebook bearing code
number 661, and, after the usual amenities, he requested me if it was possible for me to review and reexamine the said notebook because it appears that the examinee obtained a grade of 57, whereas,
according to the Bar Confidant, the said examinee had obtained higher grades in other subjects, the
highest of which was 84, if I recall correctly, in remedial law.
"I asked the Bar Confidant if I was allowed to review or re-examine the notebook as I had submitted the
same beforehand, and he told me that I was authorized to do so because the same was still within my
control and authority as long as the particular examinees name had not been identified or that the code
number decoded and the examinees name was revealed. The Bar Confidant told me that the name of the
examinee in the case presented hearing code number 661 had not been identified or revealed; and that it
might have been possible that I had given a particularly low grade to said examinee.

"Accepting at face value the truth of the Bar Confidants representations to me, and as it was humanly
possible that I might have erred in the grading of the said notebook, I re-examined the same, carefully
read the answers, and graded it in accordance with the same standards I had used throughout the grading
of the entire notebooks, with the result that the examinee deserved an increased grade of 66. After again
clearing with the Bar Confidant my authority to correct the grades and as he had assured me that the code
number of the examinee in question had not been decoded and his name known, . . . I therefore corrected
the total grade in the notebook and the grade card attached thereto, and properly initia(l)ed the same. I
also corrected the itemized grades (from item No. 1 to item No. 10) on the two sets of grading sheets, my
personal copy thereof, and the Bar Confidant brought with him the other copy of the grading sheet" (Adm.
Case No. 1164, pp. 58-59; rec.; Emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 17, 1973 which he denominated as "Explanation", respondent Bernardo P. Pardo
adopted and repleaded therein by reference the facts stated in his earlier sworn statement and in addition
alleged that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"3. At the time I reviewed the examinees notebook in political and international law, code numbered 661, I
did not know the name of the examinee. In fact, I came to know his name only upon receipt of the
resolution of March 5, 1973; now knowing his name, I wish to state that I do not know him personally, and
that I have never met him even up to the present;
"4. At that time, I acted under the impression that I was authorized to make such review and had
repeatedly asked the Bar Confidant whether I was authorized to make such revision and was so assured of
my authority as the name of the examinee had not yet been decoded or his identity revealed, the Bar
Confidants assurance was apparently regular and so appeared to be in the regular course of
officialBUSINESS which thus convinced me because there was no express prohibition in the rules and
guidelines given to me as an examiner, and the Bar Confidant was my official liaison with the Chairman,
as, unless called, I refrained as much as possible from frequent personal contact with the Chairman lest I
be identified as an examiner. . . .;
"5. At the time the Bar Confidant came to see me at about 7:30 oclock in the evening at my residence, I
felt it inappropriate to verify his authority with the Chairman. It did not appear to me that his
representation were unauthorized or suspicious. Indeed, the Bar Confidant was riding in the official vehicle
of the Supreme Court, a Volkswagen panel, accompanied by two companions, which was usual, and thus
looked like a regular visit to me of the Bar Confidant, as it was about the same hour that he used to see
me:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"7. Indeed, the notebook code numbered 661 was still in the same condition as when I submitted the
same. In agreeing to review the said notebook code numbered 661, my aim was to see if I committed an
error in the correction, not to make the examinee pass the subject. I considered it entirely humanly
possible to have erred because I corrected that particular notebook on December 31, 1971, considering
especially the representation of the Bar Confidant that the said examinee had obtained higher grades in
other subjects, the highest of which was 84% in remedial law, if I recall correctly. Of course, it did not strike
me as unusual that the Bar Confidant knew the grades of the examinee in the other subjects; I presumed
that, as Bar Confidant, he was in the position to know and that there was nothing irregular in
that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"8. In political and international law, the original grade obtained by the examinee with notebook code
numbered 661 was 57%. After review, it was increased by 9 points, resulting in a final grade of 661. Still,
the examinee did not pass the subject, and, as heretofore stated, my aim was not to make the examinee
pass, notwithstanding the representation that he had passed the other subjects. . . .
"9. I quite recall that during the first meeting of the Bar Examiners Committee, which according to my
diary was on February 8, 1972, the committee consensus was that where an examinee failed in only one
subject and passed the rest, the examiner in said subject would review the notebook. Nobody objected to
it as irregular. At the time of the Committees first meeting, we still did not know the names of the
candidates.
"10. In fine, I was a victim of deception, not a party to it. I had absolutely no knowledge of the motives of
the Bar Confidant or his malfeasance in office, and did not know the examinee concerned nor had I any
kind of contact with him before or after the review and even up to the present" (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp.

60-63; rec.; Emphasis supplied).


Atty. Manuel Tomacruz, examiner in Criminal Law, affirmed in his affidavit dated April 12,
1972:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"1. . . .
"2. That about weekly, the Bar Confidant would deliver and collect examination books to my then
residence at 951 Luna Mencias, Mandaluyong, Rizal.
"3. That towards the end when I had already completed correction of the books in Criminal Law and was
helping in the correction of some of the papers in another subject, the Bar Confidant brought back to me
one (1) paper in Criminal Law saving that particular examinee had missed the passing grade by only a
fraction of a percent and that if his paper in Criminal Law would be raised a few points to 75% then he
would make the general passing average.
"4. That seeing the justification, I raised the grade to 75%, that is, giving a raise of, if I remember correctly,
2 or 3 points, initialled the revised mark and revised also the mark in the general list.
"5. That I do not recall the number of the book of the examinee concerned" (Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 69,
rec.; Emphasis supplied).
In his answer dated March 12, 1973, respondent Tomacruz stated that "I accepted the word of the Bar
Confidant in good faith and without the slightest inkling as to the identity of the examinee in question who
up to now remains a total stranger and without expectation of nor did I derive any personal benefit" (Adm.
Case No. 1164, p. 70, rec.; Emphasis supplied).
Atty. Fidel Manalo, examiner in Remedial Law, stated in his affidavit dated April 14, 1972, that:chanrob1es
virtual 1aw library
"2. Sometime about the late part of January or early part of February 1912, Attorney Lanuevo, Bar
Confidant of the Supreme Court, saw me in my house at No. 1854 Asuncion Street, Makati, Rizal. He
produced to me an examinees notebook in Remedial Law which I had previously graded and submitted to
him. He informed me that he and others (he used the word we) had reviewed the said notebook. He
requested me to review the said notebook and possibly reconsider the grade that I had previously given.
He explained that the examinee concerned had done well in other subjects, but that because of the
comparatively low grade that I had given him in Remedial Law his general average was short of passing.
Mr. Lanuevo remarked that he thought that if the paper were reviewed I might find the examinee deserving
of being admitted to the Bar. As far as I can recall, Mr. Lanuevo particularly called my attention to the fact
in his answers the examinee expressed himself clearly and in good enough English. Mr. Lanuevo however
informed me that whether I would reconsider the grades I had previously given and submitted was entirely
within my discretion.
"3. Believing fully that it was within Mr. Lanuevos authority as Bar Confidant to address such a request to
me and that the said request was in order, I, in the presence of Mr. Lanuevo, proceeded to re-read and reevaluate each and every item of the paper in question. I recall that in my re-evaluation of the answers, I
increased the grades in some items, made deductions in other items, and maintained the same grades in
other items. However, I recall that after Mr. Lanuevo and I had totalled the new grades that I had given
after re-evaluation, the total grade increased by a few points, but still short of the passing mark of 75% in
my subject.
. . ." (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 74-75, rec.; Emphasis supplied).
In his answer (response) dated March 18, 1973, respondent Manalo reiterated the contents of his sworn
statement, adding the following:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"5. In agreeing to re-evaluate the notebook, with resulted in increasing the total grade of the examinee
concerned in Remedial Law from 63.75% to 74.5%, herein respondent acted in good faith. It may well be
that he could be faulted for not having verified from the Chairman of the Committee of Bar Examiners the
legitimacy of the request made by Mr. Lanuevo. Herein respondent, however, pleads in attenuation of such
omission, that

"a) Having been appointed an Examiner for the first time, he was not aware, not having been apprised
otherwise, that it was not within the authority of the Bar Confidant of the Supreme Court to request or
suggest that the grade of a particular examination notebook be revised or reconsidered. He had every
right to presume, owing to the highly fiduciary nature of the position of the Bar Confidant, that the request
was legitimate.
"c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee concerned, herein respondent carefully evaluated each
and every answer written in the notebook. Testing the answers by the criteria laid down by the Court, and
giving the said examinee the benefit of doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevos representation that it was only in
that particular subject that the said examinee failed, herein respondent became convinced that the said
examinee deserved a higher grade than that previously given to him, but that he did not deserve, in herein
respondents honest appraisal, to be given the passing grade of 75%. It should also be mentioned that, in
reappraising the answers, herein respondent downgraded a previous rating of an answer written by the
examinee, from 9.25% to 9%" (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 36-39, rec.; Emphasis supplied).
Atty. Manuel Montecillo, examiner in Mercantile Law, affirmed in his affidavit dated April 17,
1972:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"That during one of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners Committee after the Bar Examinations were
held, I was informed the one Bar examinee passed all other subjects except Mercantile Law;
"That I informed the Bar Examiners Committee that I would be willing to re-evaluate the paper of this
particular Bar candidate;
"That the next day, the Bar Confidant handed to me a Bar candidates notebook (No. 1613) showing a
grade of 61%;
"That I reviewed the who]e paper and after re-evaluating the answers of this particular Bar candidate I
decided to increase his final grade to 71%;
"That consequently, I amended my report and duly initialed the changes in the grade sheet" (Adm. Case
No. 1164, p. 72, rec.; Italics supplied).
In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Montecillo restated the contents of his sworn statement of
April 17, 1972, and
"2. Supplementary to the foregoing sworn statement, I hereby state that I re-evaluated the examination
notebook of Bar Candidate No. 1613 in Mercantile Law in absolute good faith and in direct compliance with
the agreement made during one of the deliberations of the Bar Examiners Committee that where a
candidate fails in only one subject, the Examiner concerned should make a re-evaluation of the answers of
the candidate concerned, which I did.
"3. Finally, I hereby state that I did not know at the time I made the aforementioned re-evaluation that
notebook No. 1613 in Mercantile Law pertained to bar examinee Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang,
and that I have never met up to this time this particular bar examinee" (Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41,
rec.; Emphasis supplied).
In his sworn statement dated April 12, 1972, Bar Confidant Lanuevo stated:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"As I was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in the grading sheets and the posting on the
record of ratings, I was impressed of the writing and the answers on the first notebook. This led me to
scrutinize all the set of notebooks. Believing that those five merited re-evaluation on the basis of the
memorandum circularized to the examiners shortly earlier to the effect that.
. . . in the correction of the papers, substantial weight should then be given to clarity of language and
soundness of reasoning (par. 4),
I took it upon myself to bring them back to the respective examiners for re-evaluation and/or re-checking.
"It is our experience in the Bar Division that immediately after the release of the results of the

examinations, we are usually swarmed with requests of the examinees that they be shown their
notebooks. Many of them would copy their answers and have them checked by their professors. Eventually
some of them would file motions or requests for re-correction and/or re-evaluation. Right now, we have
some 19 of such motions or requests which we are readying for submission to the Honorable Court.
"Often we feel that a few of them are meritorious, but just the same they have to be denied because the
result of the examinations when released is final and irrevocable.
"It was to at least minimize the occurrence of such instances that motivated me to bring those notebooks
back to the respective examiners for re-evaluation" (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 24, rec.;Italics supplied).
In his answer dated March 19, 1973, respondent Lanuevo avers:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"That he submitted the notebooks in question to the examiners concerned in his honest belief that the
same merited re-evaluation; that in so doing, it was not his intention to forsake or betray the trust reposed
in him as bar confidant but on the contrary to do justice to the examinee concerned; that neither did he
act in a presumptuous manner, because the matter of whether or not re-evaluation was in order was left
alone to the examiners decision; and that, to his knowledge, he does not remember having made the
alleged misrepresentation but that he remembers having brought to the attention of the Committee during
the meeting a matter concerning another examinee who obtained a passing general average but with a
grade below 50% in Mercantile Law. As the Committee agreed to remove the disqualification by way of
raising the grade in said subject, respondent brought the notebook in question to the Examiner concerned
who thereby raised the grade thus enabling the said examinee to pass. If he remembers right, the
examinee concerned is one surnamed de la Cruz or Ty-de la Cruz.
"Your Honors, respondent never entertained a notion that his act would stir such serious charges as would
tend to undermine his integrity because he did it in all good faith.
". . ." (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 35, rec.; Emphasis supplied).
On August 27, 1973, during the course of the investigation, respondent Lanuevo filed another sworn
statement in addition to, and in amplification of, his answer, stating:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
"1. That I vehemently deny having deceived the examiners concerned into believing that the examinee
involved failed only in their respective subjects, the fact of the matter being that the notebooks in question
were submitted to the respective examiners for re-evaluation believing in all good faith that they so
merited on the basis of the Confidential Memorandum (identified and marked as Exh. 1-Lanuevo,
particularly that portion marked as Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo) which was circulated to all the examiners earlier,
leaving to them entirely the matter of whether or not re-evaluation was in order;
"2. That the following coincidence prompted me to pry into the notebooks in
question:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"Sometime during the latter part of January and the early part of February, 1972, on my way hack to the
office (Bar Division) after lunch, I thought of buying a sweepstake ticket. I have always made it a point that
the moment I think of so buying, I pick a number from any object and the first number that comes into my
sight becomes the basis of the ticket that I buy. At that moment, the first number that I saw was 954
boldly printed on an electrical contribance (evidently belonging to the MERALCO) attached to a post
standing along the right sidewalk of P. Faura street towards the Supreme Court building from San Marcelino
street and almost adjacent to the southeastern corner of the fence of the Araullo High School (photograph
of the number 954, the contrivance on which it is printed and a portion of the post to which it is attached
is identified and marked as Exhibit 4-Lanuevo and the number 954 as Exh. 4-a-Lanuevo).
"With this number (954) in mind, I proceeded to Plaza Sta. Cruz to look for a ticket that would contain such
number. Eventually, I found a ticket, which I then bought, whose last three digits corresponded to 954.
This number became doubly impressive to me because the sum of all the six digits of the ticket number
was 27, a number that is so significant to me that everything I do I try somewhat instinctively to link or
connect it with said number whenever possible. Thus even in assigning code numbers on the Master List of
examinees from 1968 when I first took charge of the examinations as bar confidant up to 1971, I either
started with the number 27 (or 227) or end with said number. (1968 Master List is identified and marked
as Exh. 5-Lanuevo and the figure 27 at the beginning of the list, as Exh. 5-a-Lanuevo; 1969 Master List as

Exh. 6-Lanuevo and the figure 227 at the beginning of the list, as Exh. 6-a-Lanuevo; 1970 Master List as
Exh. 7-Lanuevo and the figure 227 at the beginning of the list as Exh. 7-a-Lanuevo; and the 1971 Master
List as Exh. 8-Lanuevo and the figure 227 at the end of the list as Exh. 8-a-Lanuevo).
"The significance to me of this number (27) was born out of these incidents in my life, to wit: (a) On
November 27, 1941 while with the Philippine Army stationed at Camp Manacnac, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija,
I was stricken with pneumonia and was hospitalized at the Nueva Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result. As
will be recalled, the last Pacific War broke out on December 8, 1941. While I was still confined at the
hospital, our camp was bombed and strafed by Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 resulting in many
casualties. From then on, I regarded November 27, 1941 as the beginning of a new life for me having been
saved from the possibility of being among the casualties; (b) On February 27, 1946, I was able to get out of
the army by way of honorable discharge; and (c) on February 27, 1947, I got married and since then we
begot children the youngest of whom was born on February 27, 1957.
"Returning to the office that same afternoon after buying the ticket, I resumed my work which at the time
was on the checking of the notebooks. While thus checking, I came upon the notebooks bearing the office
code number 954. As the number was still fresh in my mind, it aroused my curiosity prompting me to pry
into the contents of the notebooks. Impressed by the clarity of the writing and language and the apparent
soundness of the answers and, thereby, believing in all good faith on the basis of the aforementioned
Confidential Memorandum (Exh. 1-Lanuevo and Exh. 1-a-Lanuevo) that they merited re-evaluation, I set
them aside and later on took them back to the respective examiners for possible review recalling to them
the said Confidential Memorandum but leaving absolutely the matter to their discretion and judgment.
"3. That the alleged misrepresentation or deception could have reference to either of the two cases which I
brought to the attention of the Committee during the meeting and which the Committee agreed to refer
back to the respective examiners, namely:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"(a) That of an examinee who obtained a passing general average but with a grade below 50% (47%) in
Mercantile Law (the notebooks of this examinee hear the Office Code No. 110, identified and marked as
Exh. 9-Lanuevo and the notebook in Mercantile Law bearing the Examiners Code No. 951 with the original
grade of 47% increased to 50% after re-evaluation as Exh. 9-a-Lanuevo); and
"(b) That of an examinee who obtained a borderline general average of 73.15% with a grade below 60%
(57%) in one subject which, at the time, I could not pinpoint having inadvertently left in the office the data
thereon. It turned out that the subject was Political and International Law under Asst. Solicitor General
Bernardo Pardo (The notebooks of this examinee bear the Office Code No. 1622 identified and marked as
Exh. 10-Lanuevo and the notebook in Political and International Law bearing the Examiners Code No. 661
with the original grade of 57% increased to 66% after re-evaluation, as Exh. 10-a-Lanuevo). This notebook
in Political and International Law is precisely the same notebook mentioned in the sworn statement of Asst.
Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo (Exh. ----- Pardo).
"4. That in each of the two cases mentioned in the next preceding paragraph, only one (1) subject or
notebook was reviewed or re-evaluated, that is, only Mercantile Law in the former; and only Political and
International Law in the latter, under the facts and circumstances I made known to the Committee and
pursuant to which the Committee authorized the referral of the notebooks involved to the examiners
concerned;
"5. That at that juncture, the examiner in Taxation even volunteered to review or re-check some 19, or so,
notebooks in his subject but that I told the Committee that there was very little time left and that the
increase in grade after re-evaluation, unless very highly substantial, may not alter the outcome since the
subject carries the weight of only 10%" (Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.).
The foregoing last-minute embellishment only serves to accentuate the fact that Lanuevos story is devoid
of truth. In his sworn statement of April 12, 1972, he was "led to scrutinize all the set of notebooks" of
respondent Galang, because he "was impressed of the writing and the answers on the first notebook" as
he "was going over those notebooks, checking the entries in the grading sheets and the posting on the
record of ratings." In his affidavit of August 27, 1973, he stated that the number 954 on a Meralco post
provoked him "to pry into the contents of the notebooks" of respondent Galang "bearing office code
number 954."cralaw virtua1aw library
Respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, asserted, among others;

"1. That herein respondent is not acquainted with former Bar Confidant Victorio Lanuevo and never met
him before except once when, as required by the latter respondent submitted certain papers necessary for
taking the bar examinations.
"4. That it has been the consistent policy of the Supreme Court not to reconsider failure cases; after the
official release thereof; why should it now reconsider a passing case, especially in a situation where the
respondent and the bar confidant do not know each other and, indeed, met only once in the ordinary
course of officialBUSINESS ?
"It is not inevitable, then, to conclude that the entire situation clearly manifests a reasonable doubt to
which respondent is richly entitled?
"5. That respondent, before reading a copy of this Honorable Courts resolution dated March 5, 1973, had
no knowledge whatsoever of former Bar Confidant Victorio Lanuevos actuations which are stated in
particular in the resolution. In fact, the respondent never knew this man intimately nor, had the herein
respondent utilized anyone to contact the Bar Confidant Lanuevo in his behalf.
"But, assuming as true, the said actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as stated in the Resolution, which are
evidently purported to show as having redounded to the benefit of herein respondent, these questions
arise: First, was the re-evaluation of Respondents examination papers by the Bar Examination Committee
done only or especially for him and not done generally as regards the paper of the other bar candidates
who are supposed to have failed? If the re-evaluation of Respondents grades was done among those of
others, then it must have been done as a matter of policy of the Committee to increase the percentage of
passing in that years examination and, therefore, the insinuation that only respondents papers were reevaluated upon the influence of Bar Confidant Lanuevo would be unjustifiable, if not far fetched. Secondly,
is the fact that Bar Confidant Lanuevos actuations resulted in herein Respondents benefit an evidence per
se of Respondents having caused actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo to be done in formers behalf? To
assume this could be disastrous in effect because that would be presuming all the members of the Bar
Examination Committee as devoid of integrity, unfit for the bar themselves and the result of their work
that year, as also unworthy of anything. All of these inferences are deductible from the narration of facts in
the resolution, and which only goes to show said narration of facts as unworthy of credence, or
consideration.
"7. This Honorable Tribunals Resolution of March 5, 1973 would make this Respondent Account or answer
for the actuations of Bar Confidant Lanuevo as well as for the actuations of the Bar Examiners implying the
existence of some conspiracy between them and the Respondent. The evident imputation is denied and it
is contended that the Bar Examiners were in the performance of their duties and that they should be
regarded as such in the consideration of this case.
". . ." (Adm. Case No. 1163, pp. 100-104, rec.).
I. The evidence thus disclosed clearly demonstrates how respondent Lanuevo systematically and cleverly
initiated and prepared the stage leading to the re-evaluation and/or re-correction of the answers of
respondent Galang by deceiving separately and individually the respondents-examiners to make the
desired revision without prior authority from the Supreme Court after the corrected notebooks had been
submitted to the Court through the respondent Bar Confidant, who is simply the custodian thereof for and
in behalf of the Court.
It appears that one evening, sometime around the middle part of December, 1971, just before Christmas
day, respondent Lanuevo approached Civil Law examiner Pamatian while the latter was in the process of
correcting examination booklets, and then and there made the representations that as Bar Confidant, he
makes a review of the grades obtained in all subjects of the examinees and if he finds that a candidate
obtains an extraordinarily high grade in one subject and a rather low one in another, he will bring back to
the examiner concerned the notebook for re-evaluation and change of grade (Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case
No. 1164, pp. 55-56; Vol. V, pp. 34, rec.).
Sometime in the latter part of January, 1972, respondent Lanuevo brought back to respondent-examiner
Pamatian an examination booklet in Civil Law for re-evaluation, representing that the examinee who owned
the particular notebook is on the borderline of passing and if his grade in said subject could be
reconsidered to 75%, the said examinee will get a passing average. Respondent-examiner Pamatian took

respondent Lanuevos word and under the belief that was really the practice and policy of the Supreme
Court and in his further belief that he was just manifesting cooperation in doing so, he re-evaluated the
paper and reconsidered the examinees grade in said subject to 75% from 64%. The particular notebook
belonged to an examinee with Examiners Code Number 95 and with Office Code Number 954. This
examinee is Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang. Respondent Pamatian did not know the identity of
the examinee at the time he re-evaluated the said booklet (Exhs. 1-Pamatian, 2-Pamatian, and 3-Pamatian,
Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 32-33, 55-56, 57; Vol. V, pp. 3-4, rec.).
Before Justice Pamatian made the revision, Examinee Galang failed in seven subjects including Civil Law.
After such revision, examinee Galang still failed in six subjects and could not obtain the passing average of
75% for admission to the Bar.
Thereafter, about the latter part of January, 1972 or early part of February, 1972, respondent Lanuevo
went to the residence of respondent-examiner Fidel Manalo at 1854 Asuncion Street, Makati, Rizal, with an
examinees notebook in Remedial Law, which respondent Manalo had previously corrected and graded.
Respondent Lanuevo then requested respondent Manalo to review the said notebook and possibly to
reconsider the grade given, explaining and representing that "they" had reviewed the said notebook and
that the examinee concerned had done well in other subjects, but that because of the comparatively low
grade given said examinee by respondent Manalo in Remedial Law, the general average of said examinee
was short of passing. Respondent Lanuevo likewise made the remark and observation that he thought that
if the notebook were reviewed, respondent Manalo might yet find the examinee deserving of being
admitted to the Bar. Respondent Lanuevo also particularly called the attention of respondent Manalo to the
fact that in his answers, the examinee expressed himself clearly and in good English. Furthermore,
respondent Lanuevo called the attention of respondent Manalo to Paragraph 4 of the Confidential
Memorandum that read as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"4. Examination questions should be more a test of logic, knowledge of legal fundamentals, and ability to
analyze and solve legal problems rather than a test of memory; in the correction of papers, substantial
weight should be given to clarity of language and soundness of reasoning."cralaw virtua1aw library
Respondent Manalo was, however, informed by respondent Lanuevo that the matter of reconsideration was
entirely within his (Manalos) discretion. Respondent Manalo, believing that respondent Lanuevo, as Bar
Confidant, had the authority to make such request and further believing that such request was in order,
proceeded to re-evaluate the examinees answers in the presence of Lanuevo, resulting in an increase of
the examinees grade in that particular subject, Remedial Law, from 63.25% to 74.5%. Respondent Manalo
authenticated with his signature the changes made by him in the notebook and in the grading sheet. The
said notebook examiners code number is 136, instead of 310 as earlier mentioned by him in his affidavit,
and belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1 & 2-Manalo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp.
36-39, 74-75; Vol. V, pp. 50-53, rec.).
But even after the re-evaluation by Atty. Manalo, examinee Galang could not make the passing grade due
to his failing marks in five subjects.
Likewise, in the latter part of January, 1972, on one occasion when respondent Lanuevo went to deliver to
respondent Guillermo Pablo, Jr. in the latters house a new batch of examination papers in Political Law and
Public International Law to be corrected, respondent Lanuevo brought out a notebook in Political Law
bearing Examiners Code Number 1752 (Exh. 5-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 66, rec.), informing
respondent Pablo that particular examinee who owns the said notebook seems to have passed in all other
subjects except in Political Law and Public International Law; and that if the said notebook would be reevaluated and the mark be increased to at least 75%, said examinee will pass the bar examinations. After
satisfying himself from respondent that this is possible the respondent Bar Confidant informing him that
this is the practice of the Court to help out examinees who are failing in just one subject respondent
Pablo acceded to the request and thereby told the Bar Confidant to just leave the said notebook.
Respondent Pablo thereafter re-evaluated the answers, this time with leniency. After the re-evaluation, the
grade was increased to 78% from 68%, or an increase of 10%. Respondent Pablo then made the
corresponding corrections in the grading sheet and accordingly initialed the changes made. This notebook
with Office Code Number 954 also belonged to Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Vol. V, pp. 43-46,
rec.).
After the re-evaluation by Atty. Pablo, Jr., examinee Galangs general average was still below the passing
grade, because of his failing marks in four subjects.

Towards the end of the correction of examination notebooks, respondent Lanuevo brought back to
respondent Tomacruz one examination booklet in Criminal Law, with the former informing the latter, who
was then helping in the correction of papers in Political Law and Public International Law, as he had already
finished correcting the examination notebooks in his assigned subject Criminal Law that the examinee
who owns that particular notebook had missed the passing grade by only a fraction of a percent and that if
his grade in Criminal Law would be raised a few points to 75%, then the examinee would make the passing
grade. Accepting the words of respondent Lanuevo, and seeing the justification and because he did not
want to be the one causing the failure of the examinee, respondent Tomacruz raised the grade from 64%
to 75% and thereafter, he initialed the revised mark and also revised the mark in the general list and
likewise initialed the same. The examinees Examiner Code Number is 746 while his Office Code Number is
954. This examinee is Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang (Exhs. 1, 2 & 3-Tomacruz, Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 65, 66 and 71; Vol. V, pp. 24-25, 60-61, rec.).
Respondent Tomacruz does not recall having been shown any memo by respondent Lanuevo when the
latter approached him for this particular re-evaluation; but he remembers Lanuevo declaring to him that
where a candidate had almost made the passing average but had failed in one subject, as a matter of
policy of the Court, leniency is applied in reviewing the examinees notebook in the failing subject. He
recalls, however, that he was provided a copy of the Confidential Memorandum but this was long before
the re-evaluation requested by respondent Lanuevo as the same was received by him before the
examination period (Vol. V, p. 61, rec.).
However, such revision by Atty. Tomacruz could not raise Galangs general average to a passing grade
because of his failing mark in three more subjects, including Mercantile Law. For the revision of examinee
Galangs notebook in Mercantile Law, respondent Lanuevo neatly set the last phase of his quite ingenious
scheme by securing authorization from the Bar Examination Committee for the examiner in Mercantile
Law to re-evaluate said notebook.
At the first meeting of the Bar Examination Committee on February 8, 1972, respondent Lanuevo
suggested that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed the rest, the examiner concerned
would review the notebook. Nobody objected to it as irregular and the Committee adopted the suggestion
(Exhs. A & B-Montecillo, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1161, pp. 41, 72, 63; Vol. Vi, p. 16, rec.).
At a subsequent meeting of the Bar Examination Committee, respondent Montecillo was informed by
respondent Lanuevo that a candidate passed all other subjects except Mercantile Law. This information
was made during the meeting within hearing of the other members, who were all closely seated together.
Respondent Montecillo made known his willingness to re-evaluate the particular paper. The next day,
respondent Lanuevo handed to respondent Montecillo a bar candidates notebook with Examiners Code
Number 1613 with a grade of 61%. Respondent Montecillo then reviewed the whole paper and after reevaluating the answers, decided to increase the final grade to 71%. The matter was not however
thereafter officially brought to the Committee for consideration or decision (Exhs. A & B-Montecillo, Adm.
Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, 70-11; Vol. V, pp. 33-34, rec.).
Respondent Montecillo declared that without being given the information that the particular examinee
failed only in his subject and passed all the others, he would not have consented to make the re-evaluation
of the said paper (Vol. V, p. 33, rec.). Respondent Montecillo likewise added that there was only one
instance he remembers, which is substantiated by his personal records, that he had to change the grade of
an examinee after he had submitted his report, referring to the notebook of examinee Ramon E. Galang,
alias Roman E. Galang, with Examiners Code Number 1613 and with Office Code Number 954 (Vol. V, pp
34-35, rec.).
A day or two after February 5, 1972, when respondent Lanuevo went to the residence of respondentexaminer Pardo to obtain the last bag of 200 notebooks, respondent Lanuevo returned to the residence of
respondent Pardo riding in a Volkswagen panel of the Supreme Court of the Philippines with two
companions. According to respondent Lanuevo, this was around the second week of February, 1972, after
the first meeting of the Bar Examination Committee. Respondent Lanuevo had with him on that occasion
an examinees notebook bearing Examiners Code No. 661. Respondent Lanuevo, after the usual
amenities, requested respondent Pardo to review and re-examine, if possible, the said notebook because,
according to respondent Lanuevo, the examinee who owns that particular notebook obtained higher
grades in other subjects, the highest of which is 84% in Remedial Law. After clearing with respondent
Lanuevo his authority to reconsider the grades, respondent Pardo re-evaluated the answers of the

examinee concerned, resulting in an increase of grade from 57% to 66%. Said notebook has number 1622
as office code number. It belonged to examinee Ernesto Quitaleg (Exhs. 1 & 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164,
pp. 58-63; Vol. V, pp. 12-24, 29-30, rec.).
II. Re: Administrative Case No. 1162, Victorio D. Lanuevo, Respondent.
A UNAUTHORIZED RE-EVALUATION OF THE ANSWERS OF EXAMINEE RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E.
GALANG, alias IN ALL FIVE (5) MAJOR SUBJECTS.
Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having requested on his own initiative the five examiners
concerned to re-evaluate the five notebooks of Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, that eventually
resulted in the increase of Galangs average from 66.25% to the passing grade 74.15%, or a total increase
of eight (8) weighted points, more or less, that enabled Galang to hurdle the 1971 Bar examinations via a
resolution of the Court making 74% the passing average for that years examination without any grade
below fifty percent (50%) in any subject. Galang thereafter took his lawyers oath. It is likewise beyond
dispute that he had no authority from the Court or the Committee to initiate such steps towards the said
re-evaluation of the answers of Galang or of other examinees.
Denying that he made representations to the examiners concerned that respondent Galang failed only in
their respective subjects and/or was on the borderline of passing, respondent Lanuevo sought to justify his
actuations on the authority of the aforequoted paragraph 4 of the Confidential Memorandum (Exhs. 1 and
1-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Cases Nos. 1162 & 1164, p. 51, Adm. Case No. 1162; Vol. VII, p. 4, rec.) distributed to
the members of the Bar Examination Committee. He maintains that he acted in good faith and "in his
honest belief that the same merited re-evaluation; that in doing so, it was not his intention to forsake or
betray the trust reposed in him as Bar Confidant but on the contrary to do justice to the examinee
concerned; and that neither did he act in a presumptuous manner because the matter of whether or not
re-evaluation was in order was left alone to the examiners decision . . ." (Exh. 2-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No.
1162, pp. 35-37, rec.).
But as openly admitted by him in the course of the investigation, the said confidential memorandum was
intended solely for the examiners to guide them in the initial correction of the examination papers and
never as a basis for him to even suggest to the examiners the re-evaluation of the examination papers of
the examinees (Vol. VII, p. 23, rec.). Any such suggestion or request is not only presumptuous but also
offensive to the norms of delicacy.
We believe the Examiners Pablo, Manalo, Montecillo, Tomacruz, Pardo and Pamatian whose
declarations on the matter of the misrepresentations and deceptions committed by respondent Lanuevo,
are clear and consistent as well as corroborate each other.
For indeed the facts unfolded by the declarations of the respondents-examiners (Adm. Case No. 1164) and
clarified by extensive cross-examination conducted during the investigation and hearing of the cases show
how respondent Lanuevo adroitly maneuvered the passing of examinee Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E.
Galang in the 1971 Bar Examinations. It is patent likewise from the records that respondent Lanuevo took
undue advantage of the trust and confidence reposed in him by the Court and the Examiners implicit in his
position as Bar Confidant as well as the trust and confidence that prevailed in and characterized his
relationship with the five members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee, who were thus deceived and
induced into re-evaluating the answers of only respondent Galang in five subjects that resulted in the
increase of his grades therein, ultimately enabling him to be admitted a member of the Philippine Bar.
It was plain, simple and unmitigated deception that characterized respondent Lanuevos well-studied and
well-calculated moves in successively representing separately to each of the five examiners concerned to
the effect that the examinee failed only in his particular subject and/or was on the borderline of passing. To
repeat, before the unauthorized re-evaluations were made, Galang failed in the five (5) major subjects and
in two (2) minor subjects while his general average was only 66.25% which under no circumstances or
standard could it be honestly claimed that the examinee failed only in one, or he was on the borderline of
passing. In fact, before the first notebook of Galang was referred back to the examiner concerned for reevaluation, Galang had only one passing mark and this was in Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, a minor
subject, with a grade of 81%. The averages and individual grades of Galang before and after the
unauthorized reevaluation are as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
BAI

1. Political Law and Public


International Law 68% 78% = 10 pts.
or 30 weighted points
BAI
Labor Laws and Social
Legislations 67% 67% = no reevaluation made.
2. Civil Law 64% 75% = 11 points
or 33 weighted points.
Taxation 74% 74% = no reevaluation made.
3. Mercantile Law 61% 71% = 10pts.
or 30 weighted points.
4. Criminal Law 64% 75% = 11 pts. or
22 weighted points.
5. Remedial Law 63.75% (64) 74.5% (75%) =
11 pts. or 44 weighted points.
Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises 81% 81% = no re
evaluation made.

General Weighted Averages 66.25% 74.15%


Hence, by the simple expedient of initiating the re-evaluation of the answers of Galang in the five (5)
subjects under the circumstances already narrated, Galangs original average of 66.25% was increased to
74.15% or an increase of 7.9 weighted points, to the great damage and prejudice of the integrity of the Bar
examinations and to the disadvantage of the other examinees. He did this in favor only of examinee
Galang, with the possible addition of examinees Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz. But only one
notebook was re-evaluated for each of the latter two Political Law and Public International Law forQuitaleg and Mercantile Law for Ty dela Cruz.
The Office of the Bar Confidant, it must be stressed, has absolutely nothing to do in the re-evaluation or
reconsideration of the grades of examinees who fail to make the passing mark before or after their
notebooks are submitted to it by the Examiners. After the corrected notebooks are submitted to him by the
Examiners, his only function is to tally the individual grades of every examinee in all subjects taken and
thereafter compute the general average. That done, he will then prepare a comparative data showing the
percentage of passing and failing in relation to a certain average to be submitted to the Committee and to
the Court and on the basis of which the Court will determine the passing average, whether 75 or 74 or 73,
etc. The Bar Confidant has no business evaluating the answers of the examinees and cannot assume the
functions of passing upon the appraisal made by the Examiner concerned. He is not the over-all Examiner.
He cannot presume to know better than the Examiner. Any request for re-evaluation should be done by the
examinee and the same should be addressed to the Court, which alone can validly act thereon. A Bar

Confidant who takes such initiative, exposes himself to suspicion and thereby compromises his position as
well as the image of the Court.
Respondent Lanuevos claim that he was merely doing justice to Galang without any intention of betraying
the trust and confidence reposed in him by the Court as Bar Confidant, can hardly invite belief in the face
of the incontrovertible fact that he singled out Galangs papers for re-evaluation, leaving out the papers of
more than ninety (90) examinees with far better averages ranging from 70% to 73 9% of which he was
fully aware (Vol. VI, pp. 46-47, 101, rec.), which could be more properly claimed as borderline cases. This
fact further betrays respondent Lanuevos claim of absolute good faith in referring back the papers of
Galang to the Examiners for re-evaluation. For certainly, as against the original weighted average of
66.25%, of Galang, there can hardly be any dispute that the cases of the aforesaid more than ninety (90)
examinees were more deserving of reconsideration. Hence, in trying to do justice to Galang, as claimed by
respondent Lanuevo, grave injustice was inflicted on the other examinees of the 1971 Bar examinations,
especially the said more than ninety candidates. And the unexplained failure of respondent Lanuevo to
apprise the Court or the Committee or even the Bar Chairman of the fact of re-evaluation before or after
the said re-evaluation and increase of grades, precludes, as the same is inconsistent with, any pretension
of good faith.
His request for the re-evaluation of the notebook in Political Law and International Law of Ernesto Quitaleg
and the notebook in Mercantile Law of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz was to give his actuations in the case of Galang
a semblance of impartiality, hoping that the over ninety examinees who were far better situated than
Galang would not give him away. Even the reevaluation of one notebook of Quitaleg and one notebook of
Ty dela Cruz violated the agreement of the members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee to reevaluate when the examinee concerned fails only in one subject. Quitaleg and Ty dela Cruz failed in four
(4) and three (3) subjects respectively as hereinafter shown.
The strange story concerning the figures 954, the office code number given to Galangs notebook, unveiled
for the first time by respondent Lanuevo in his supplemental sworn statement (Exh. 3-Lanuevo, Adm. Case
No. 1162, pp. 45-47, rec.) filed during the investigation with this Court as to why he pried into the papers
of Galang deserves scant consideration. It only serves to picture a man desperately clutching at straws in
the wind for support. Furthermore, it was revealed by respondent Lanuevo for the first time only on August
27, 1973 or a period of more than five (5) months after he filed his answer on March 19, 1973 (Exh. 2Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, pp. 35-36, rec.), showing that it was just an after-thought.
B. REFERRAL OF EXAMINEE ALFREDO TY DELA CRUZ NOTEBOOK IN MERCANTILE LAW TO RAISE HIS GRADE
OF 47% TO 50% TO EXAMINER MANUEL MONTECILLO AND OF EXAMINEE ERNESTO QUITALEGS NOTEBOOK
IN POLITICAL LAW TO EXAMINER BERNARDO PARDO FOR RE-EVALUATION, RESULTING IN THE INCREASE OF
HIS GRADE IN THAT SUBJECT FROM 57% TO 66%.
Likewise, respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo admitted having referred back the aforesaid notebooks on
Mercantile Law and Political Law respectively of Alfredo Ty dela Cruz and Ernesto Quitaleg to the Examiners
concerned.
The records are not clear, however, under what circumstances the notebooks of Ty dela Cruz and Quitaleg
were referred back to the Examiners concerned. Respondent Lanuevo claimed that these two cases were
officially brought to the Bar Examination Committee during its first meeting (Vol. VI, pp. 50-51, rec.) and
the latter decided to refer them back to the Examiners concerned for re-evaluation with respect to the
case of Quitaleg and to remove the disqualification in the case of Ty dela Cruz (Vol. VI, pp. 33-39, 84-86,
rec.). Respondent Lanuevo further claimed that the data of these two cases were contained in a sheet of
paper which was presented at the said first meeting of the Committee (Vol. VI, pp. 39-43, 49-51, rec.).
Likewise a record of the dates of every meeting of the Committee was made by respondent Lanuevo (Vol.
VI, p. 28, rec.). The alleged sheet containing the data of the two examinees and record of the dates of the
meeting of the Committee were not presented by respondent Lanuevo as, according to him, he left them
inadvertently in his desk in the Confidential Room when he went on leave after the release of the Bar
results (Vol. VI, pp. 28, 41-45, rec.). It appears, however, that the inventory conducted by officials of the
Court in the Confidential Room of respondent Lanuevo did not yield any such sheet or record (Exh. X, Adm.
Case No. 1162, p. 14, rec.; Vol. VIII, pp. 11-13, 20-22, 2931, rec.).
Respondent Examiner Montecillo, Mercantile Law, maintained that there was only one notebook in
Mercantile Law which was officially brought to him and this is substantiated by his personal file and record
(Vol. VI, pp. 34-35, rec.). According to him, this notebooks examiner code number is 1613 (Vol. V, p. 35,

rec.) and is owned by Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang. It appears, however, that the original
grade of 47% in Mercantile Law of Ty dela Cruz was changed to 50% as appearing in the cover of the
notebook of said examinee and the change is authenticated with the initial of Examiner Montecillo. He was
present when respondent Lanuevo presented in evidence the notebook of Ty dela Cruz bearing Examiner
Code Number 951 and Office Code Number 110 as Exhibit 9-Lanuevo in Administrative Case No. 1162, and
the figures 47 crossed out, replaced by the figures 50 bearing the initial of Examiner Montecillo as Exhibit
9-a-Lanuevo (Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 48, rec.; Vol. VI, pp. 23-24, Vol. VIII, p. 4, rec.); but Atty. Montecillo did
not interpose any objection to their admission in evidence.
In this connection, respondent Examiner Pardo testified that he remembers a case of an examinee
presented to the Committee, who obtained passing marks in all subjects except in one and the Committee
agreed to refer back to the Examiner concerned the notebook in the subject in which the examinee failed
(Vol. V, pp. 15-16, rec.). He cannot recall the subject, but he is certain that it was not Political Law (Vol. V,
p. 16, rec.). Further, Pardo declared that he is not aware of any case of an examinee who was on the
borderline of passing but who got a grade below 50% in one subject that was taken up by the Committee
(Vol. V, pp. 16-17, rec.).
Examiner Montecillo testified that it was the notebook with Examiner Code Number 1613 (belonging to
Galang) which was referred to the Committee and the Committee agreed to return it to the Examiner
concerned. The day following the meeting in which the case of an examinee with Code Number 1613 was
taken up, respondent Lanuevo handed him said notebook and he accordingly re-evaluated it. This
particular notebook with Office Code Number 954 belongs to Galang.
Examiner Tomacruz recalled a case of an examinee whose problem was Mercantile Law that was taken up
by the Committee. He is not certain of any other case brought to the Committee (Vol. V, pp. 59-61, rec.).
Pardo declared that there was no case of an examinee that was referred to the Committee that involved
Political Law. He re-evaluated the answers of Ernesto Quitaleg in Political Law upon the representation
made by respondent Lanuevo to him.
As heretofore stated, it was this consensus at the meeting on February 8, 1972 of the members of the
Committee that where an examinee failed in only one subject and passed all the others, the Examiner in
whose subject the examinee failed should reevaluate or recheck the notebook (Vol. V, p. 16, rec.: Exh. 2Pardo, allegation No. 9, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 60-63, Exh. A-Montecillo, Allegation No. 2, Adm. Case No.
1164, pp. 40-41, and Exh. B-Montecillo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 72, rec.).
At the time the notebook of Ernesto Quitaleg in Political Law with a grade of 57% was referred back to
Examiner Pardo, said examinee had other failing grades in three (3) subjects, as follows:chanrob1es virtual
1aw library
Labor Laws 73%
Taxation 69%
Mercantile Law 68%
Ernesto Quitalegs grades and averages before and after the re-evaluation of his grade in Political Law are
as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
BA
Political Law 57% 66% = 9 pts. or 27
weighted points
Labor Laws 73% 73% = No reevaluation
Civil Law 75% 75% ="
Taxation 69% 69% ="
Mercantile Law 68% 68% ="

Criminal Law 78% 78% ="


Remedial Law 85% 85% ="
Legal Ethics 83% 83% ="

Average (weighted) 73.15% 74.5%


(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27; Exhs. 10 and 10-A-Lanuevo, Adm. Case No. 1162, rec.)
Alfredo Ty dela Cruz, at the time his notebook in Mercantile Law was referred to Examiner Montecillo to
remove the disqualification grade of 47% in said subject, had two (2) other failing grades. These
are:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Political Law 70%
Taxation 72%
His grades and averages before and after the disqualifying grade was removed are as follows:chanrob1es
virtual 1aw library
BA
Political Law 70% 70% = No reevaluation
Labor Laws 75% 75% ="
Civil Law 89% 89% ="
Taxation 72% 72% ="
Mercantile Law 47% 50% = 3 pts. or 9
weighted points
Criminal Law 78% 78% = no reevaluation
Remedial Law 88% 88% ="
Legal Ethics 79% 79% ="

Weighted Averages 74.95% 75.4%


(Vol. VI, pp. 26-27, rec.).
The re-evaluation of the answers of Quitaleg in Political Law and the answers of Ty dela Cruz in Mercantile
Law, violated the consensus of the Bar Examination Committee in February, 1971, which violation was due
to the misrepresentation of respondent Lanuevo.
It must be stated that the referral of the notebook of Galang in Mercantile Law to Examiner Montecillo can
hardly be said to be covered by the consensus of the Bar Examination Committee because even at the
time of said referral, which was after the unauthorized re-evaluation of his answers of four (4) subjects,
Galang had still failing grades in Taxation and Labor Laws. His re-evaluated grade of 74.5% in Remedial
Law was considered 75% under the Confidential Memorandum and was so entered in the record. His grade
in Mercantile Law as subsequently reevaluated by Examiner Montecillo was 71%.

Respondent Lanuevo is therefore guilty of serious misconduct of having betrayed the trust and
confidence reposed in him as Bar Confidant, thereby impairing the integrity of the Bar examinations and
undermining public faith in the Supreme Court. He should be disbarred.
As to whether Ernesto Quitaleg and Alfredo Ty dela Cruz should be disbarred or their names stricken from
the Roll of Attorneys, it is believed that they should be required to show cause and the corresponding
investigation conducted.
III. Re: Administrative Case No. 1163, Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, Respondent.
A. The name of respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, should likewise be stricken off the
Roll of Attorneys. This is a necessary consequence of the un-authorized reevaluation of his answers in five
(5) major subjects Civil Law, Political and International Law, Criminal Law, Remedial Law, and Mercantile
Law.
The judicial function of the Supreme Court in admitting candidates to the legal profession, which
necessarily involves the exercise of discretion, requires: (1) previous established rules and principles; (2)
concrete facts, whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals; and (3) a decision as to whether
these facts are governed by the rules and principles (In re: Cunanan Flunkers Petition for Admission to
the Bar 94 Phil. 534, 544-545). The determination of whether a bar candidate has obtained the required
passing grade certainly involves discretion (Legal and Judicial Ethics, Justice Martin, 1969 ed., p. 13).
In the exercise of this function, the Court acts through a Bar Examination Committee, composed of a
member of the Court who acts as Chairman and eight (8) members of the Bar who act as examiners in the
eight (8) bar subjects with one subject assigned to each. Acting as a sort of liaison officer between the
Court and the Bar Chairman, on one hand, and the individual members of the Committee, on the other, is
the Bar Confidant who is at the same time a deputy clerk of the Court. Necessarily, every act of the
Committee in connection with the exercise of discretion in the admission of examinees to membership of
the Bar must be in accordance with the established rules of the Court and must always be subject to the
final approval of the Court. With respect to the Bar Confidant, whose position is primarily confidential as
the designation indicates, his functions in connection with the conduct of the Bar examinations are defined
and circumscribed by the Court and must be strictly adhered to.
The re-evaluation by the Examiners concerned of the examination answers of respondent Galang in five (5)
subjects, as already clearly established, was initiated by respondent Lanuevo without any authority from
the Court, a serious breach of the trust and confidence reposed by the Court in him as Bar Confidant.
Consequently, the re-evaluation that enabled respondent Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations and to
be admitted to the Bar is a complete nullity. The Bar Confidant does not possess any discretion with
respect to the matter of admission of examinees to the Bar. He is not clothed with authority to determine
whether or not an examinees answers merit re-evaluation or re-correction or whether the Examiners
appraisal of such answers is correct. And whether or not the examinee benefited was in connivance or a
privy thereto is immaterial. What is decisive is whether the proceedings or incidents that led to the
candidates admission to the Bar were in accordance with the rules.
B
Section 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court of 1964, in connection, among others, with the
character requirement of candidates for admission to the Bar, provides that "every applicant for admission
as a member of the Bar must be . . . of good moral character . . . and must produce before the Supreme
Court satisfactory evidence of good moral character, and that no charges against him involving moral
turpitude, have been filed or are pending in any court in the Philippines." Prior to 1964, or under the old
Rules of Court, a bar applicant was required to produce before the Supreme Court satisfactory testimonials
of good moral character (Sec. 2, Rule 127). Under both rules, every applicant is duty bound to lay before
the Court all his involvement in any criminal case, pending or otherwise terminated, to enable the Court to
fully ascertain or determine applicants moral character. Furthermore, as to what crime involves moral
turpitude, is for the Supreme Court to determine. Hence, the necessity of laying before or informing the
Court of ones personal record whether he was criminally indicted, acquitted, convicted or the case
dismissed or is still pending becomes more compelling. The forms for application to take the Bar
examinations provided by the Supreme Court beginning the year 1965 require the disclosure not only of
criminal cases involving moral turpitude filed or pending against the applicant but also of all other criminal
cases of which he has been accused. It is of course true that the application form used by respondent

Galang when he took the Bar for the first time in 1962 did not expressly require the disclosure of the
applicants criminal records, if any. But as already intimated, implicit in his task to show satisfactory
evidence or proof of good moral character is his obligation to reveal to the Court all his involvement in any
criminal case so that the Court can consider them in the ascertainment and determination of his moral
character. And undeniably, with the applicants criminal records before it, the Court will be in a better
position to consider the applicants moral character; for it could not be gainsaid that an applicants
involvement in any criminal case, whether pending or terminated by its dismissal or applicants acquittal
or conviction, has a bearing upon his character or fitness for admission to the Bar. In 1963 and 1964, when
respondent Galang took the Bar for the second and third time, respectively, the application form provided
by the Court for use of applicants already required the applicant to declare under oath that "he has not
been accused of, indicted for or convicted by any court or tribunal of any offense involving moral turpitude;
and that there is no pending case of that nature against him." By 1966, when Galang took the Bar
examinations for the fourth time, the application form prepared by the Court for use of applicants required
the applicant to reveal all his criminal cases whether involving moral turpitude or not. In paragraph 4 of
that form, the applicant is required under oath to declare that "he has not been charged with any offense
before a Fiscal, Municipal Judge, or other officer; or accused of, indicted for or convicted by any court or
tribunal of any crime involving moral turpitude; nor is there a pending case against him" (Adm. Case No.
1163, p. 56, rec.). Yet, respondent Galang continued to intentionally withhold or conceal from the Court his
criminal case of slight physical injuries which was then and until now is pending in the City Court of Manila;
and thereafter repeatedly omitted to make mention of the same in his applications to take the Bar
examinations in 1967, 1969 and 1971.
All told, respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, is guilty of fraudulently concealing and
withholding from the Court his pending criminal case for physical injuries in 1962, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967,
1969 and 1971; and in 1966, 1967, 1969 and 1971, he committed perjury when he declared under oath
that he had no pending criminal case in court. By falsely representing to the Court that he had no criminal
case pending in court, respondent Galang was allowed unconditionally to take the Bar examinations seven
(7) times and in 1972 was allowed to take his oath.
That the concealment of an attorney in his application to take the Bar examinations of the fact that he had
been charged with, or indicted for, an alleged crime, is a ground for revocation of his license to practice
law is well settled (see 165 ALR 1151, 7 CJS 741). Thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
" [1] It requires no argument to reach the conclusion that the respondent, in withholding from the board of
law examiners and from the justice of this court, to whom he applied for admission, information respecting
so serious a matter as an indictment for a felony, was guilty of fraud upon the court (cases cited)." [2] It is
equally clear that, had the board of law examiners, or the judge to whom he applied for admission, been
apprised of the true situation, neither the certificate of the board nor of the judge would have been
forthcoming" (State ex rel. Board of Law Examiners v. Podell, 207 N W 709 710)."cralaw virtua1aw
library
The license of respondent Podell was revoked and annulled, and he was required to surrender to the clerk
of court the license issued to him, and his name was stricken from the roll of attorneys (p. 710).
Likewise in Re Carpel, it was declared that:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
" [1] The power to admit to the bar on motion is conferred in the discretion of the Appellate Division. In
the exercise of the discretion, the court should be informed truthfully and frankly of matters tending to
show the character of the applicant and his standing at the bar of the state from which he comes. The
finding of indictments against him, one of which was still outstanding at the time of his motion, were facts
which should have been submitted to the court, with such explanations as were available. Silence
respecting them was reprehensible, as tending to deceive the court" (165 NYS, 102, 104; Italics supplied).
Carpels admission to the bar was revoked (p. 105).
Furthermore, respondents persistent denial of his involvement in any criminal case despite his having
been apprised by the Investigator of some of the circumstances of the criminal case including the very
name of the victim in that case (he finally admitted it when he was confronted by the victim himself, who
was called to testify thereon), and his continued failure for about thirteen years to clear his name in that
criminal case up to the present time, indicate his lack of the requisite attributes of honesty, probity and
good demeanor. He is therefore unworthy of becoming a member of the noble profession of law.

While this aspect of the investigation was not part of the formal resolution of the Court requiring him to
explain why his name should not be stricken from the Roll of Attorneys, respondent Galang was, as early as
August, 1973, apprised of his omission to reveal to the Court his pending criminal case. Yet he did not offer
any explanation for such omission.
Under the circumstances in which respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, was allowed to
take the Bar examinations and the highly irregular manner in which he passed the Bar, WE have no other
alternative but to order the surrender of his attorneys certificate and the striking out of his name from the
Roll of Attorneys. For as WE said in Re Felipe del Rosario:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"The practice of the law is not an absolute right to be granted every one who demands it, but is a privilege
to be extended or withheld in the exercise of sound discretion. The standards of the legal profession are
not satisfied by conduct which merely enables one to escape the penalties of the criminal law. It would be
a disgrace to the Judiciary to receive one whose integrity is questionable as an officer of the court, to
clothe him with all the prestige of its confidence, and then to permit him to hold himself as a duly
authorized member of the Bar (citing American cases)" [52 Phil. 399-401].
What WE now do with respondent Ramon E. Galang, alias Roman E. Galang, in this present case is not
without any precedent in this jurisdiction. WE had on several occasions in the past nullified the admission
of successful bar candidates to the membership of the Bar on the grounds, among others, of (a)
misrepresentations of, or false pretenses relative to, the requirement on applicants educational
attainment [Tapel v. Publico, resolution of the Supreme Court striking off the name of Juan T. Publico from
the Roll of Attorneys on the basis of the findings of the Court Investigators contained in their report and
recommendation, Feb. 23, 1962; In re: Telesforo A. Diao, 7 SCRA 475-478]; (black of good moral character
[In re: Peralta, 101 Phil. 313-314]; and (c) fraudulent passing of the Bar examinations [People v. Romualdez
re: Luis Mabunay, 57 Phil. 151; In re: Del Rosario, 52 Phil. 399 and People v. Castro and Doe, 54 Phil. 42].
In the cases of Romualdez (Mabunay) and Castro, the Court found that the grades of Mabunay and Castro
were falsified and they were convicted of the crime of falsification of public documents.
IV. RE: Administrative Case No. 1164, Assistant Solicitor General Bernardo Pardo (now CFI Judge), Judge
Ramon Pamatian (Later Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, now deceased) Atty. Manuel G.
Montecillo, Atty. Fidel Manalo, Atty. Manuel Tomacruz and Atty. Guillermo Pablo, Jr., Respondents.
All respondents Bar examiners candidly admitted having made the re-evaluation and/or re-correction of the
papers in question upon the misrepresentation of respondent Bar Confidant Lanuevo. All, however,
professed good faith; and that they re-evaluated or increased the grades of the notebooks without knowing
the identity of the examinee who owned the said notebooks; and that they did the same without any
consideration or expectation of any. These the records clearly demonstrate and WE are of the opinion and
WE so declare that indeed the respondents-examiners made the re-evaluation or recorrection in good faith
and without any consideration whatsoever.
Considering however the vital public interest involved in the matter of admission of members to the Bar,
the respondents bar examiners, under the circumstances, should have exercised greater care and caution
and should have been more inquisitive before acceding to the request of respondent Bar Confidant
Lanuevo. They could have asked the Chairman of the Bar Examination Committee, who would have
referred the matter to the Supreme Court. At least the respondents-examiners should have required
respondent Lanuevo to produce or show them the complete Fades and/or the average of the examinee
represented by respondent Lanuevo to have failed only in their respective and particular subject and/or
was on the borderline of passing to fully satisfy themselves that the examinee concerned was really so
circumstanced. This they could have easily done and the stain on the Bar examinations could have been
avoided.
Respondent Bar examiners Montecillo, Pamatian, and Manalo claimed and so declared under oath that the
answers of respondent Galang really deserved or merited the increased grades; and so with respondent
Pardo in connection with the reevaluation of Ernesto Quitalegs answers in Political Law. With respect to
respondents Tomacruz and Pablo, it would appear that they increased the grades of Galang in their
respective subject solely because of the misrepresentations of respondent Lanuevo. Hence, in the words of
respondent Tomacruz: "You brought to me one paper and you said that this particular examinee had almost
passed, however, in my subject he received 60 something, I cannot remember the exact average and if he
would get a few points higher, he would get a passing average. I agreed to do that because I did not wish

to be the one causing his failure. . . ." (Vol. V, pp. 60-61, rec.; see also allegations 3 and 4, Exh. 1Tomacruz, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 69, rec.;Emphasis ours). And respondent Pablo: ". . . he told me that this
particular examinee seems to have passed in all other subjects except this subject and that if I can reevaluate this examination notebook and increase the mark to at least 75, this particular examinee will pass
the bar examinations so I believe I asked him Is this being done? and he said Yes, that is the practice
used to be done before to help out examinees who are failing in just one subject so I readily acceded to
his request and said Just leave it with me and I will try to re-evaluate and he left it with me and what I did
was to go over the book and tried to be as lenient as I could. While I did not mark correct the answers
which were wrong, what I did was to be more lenient and if the answer was correct although it was not
complete I raise the grade so I had a total of 78 instead of 68 and what I did was to correct the grading
sheet accordingly and initial the changes" (Vol. V, pp. 44-45, rec.; Emphasis supplied).
It could not be seriously denied, however, that the favorable re-evaluations made by respondents
Pamatian, Montecillo, Manalo and Pardo notwithstanding their declarations that the increases in grades
they gave were deserved by the examinee concerned, were to a certain extent influenced by the
misrepresentation and deception committed by respondent Lanuevo. Thus in their own words:chanrob1es
virtual 1aw library
Montecillo
"Q And by reason of that information you made the reevaluation of the paper?
"A Yeas, your Honor.
"Q Would you have re-evaluated the paper of your own accord in the absence of such information?
"A No, your Honor, because I have submitted my report at that time" (Vol. V; p. 33, rec.; see also
allegations in paragraphs 2, 3, 4 & 5, Affidavit of April 17, 1972, Exh. B-Montecillo; allegation No. 2, Answer
dated March 19, 1973, Exh. A-Montecillo, Adm. Case No. 1164, pp. 40-41, and 72, rec.).
Pamatian
"3. That sometime in the later part of January of this year, he brought back to me an examination booklet
in Civil Law for reevaluation because according to him the owner of the paper is on the borderline and if I
could reconsider his grade to 75% the candidate concerned will get passing mark;
"4. That taking his word for it and under the belief that it was really the practice and policy of the Supreme
Court to do so and in the further belief that I was just manifesting cooperation in doing so, I reevaluated
the paper and reconsidered the grade to 75%; . . ." (Exh. 2-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 55, rec.); and
"5. That the above re-evaluation was made in good faith and under the belief that I am authorized to do so
in view of the misrepresentation of said Atty. Victorio Lanuevo, . . ." (Exh. 1-Pamatian, Adm. Case No. 1164,
pp. 33-34, rec.).
Manalo
"(c) In revising the grade of the particular examinee concerned, herein respondent carefully evaluated
each and every answer written in the notebook. Testing the answers by the criteria laid down by the Court,
and giving the said examinee the benefit of the doubt in view of Mr. Lanuevos representation that it was
only in that particular subject that said examinee failed, herein respondent became convinced that the
said examinee deserved a higher grade than that previously given him, but he did not deserve, in herein
respondents honest appraisal, to be given the passing grade of 75%. . . ." (allegation 5-c, p. 38, Exh. 1Manalo, rec.; Emphasis supplied).
Pardo
". . . I considered it entirely humanly possible to have erred, because I corrected that particular notebook
on December 31, 1971, considering especially the representation of the Bar Confidant that the said
examinee had obtained higher grades in other subjects, the highest of which was 84% in Remedial law, if I
recall correctly. . . ." (allegation 7, Exh. 2-Pardo, Adm. Case No. 1164, p. 62, rec.;Emphasis supplied).

With the misrepresentations and the circumstances utilized by respondent Lanuevo to induce the herein
examiners to make the re-evaluation adverted to, no one among them can truly claim that the reevaluation effected by them was impartial or free from any improper influence, their conceded integrity,
honesty and competence notwithstanding.
Consequently, Galang cannot justifiably claim that he deserved the increased grades given after the said
reevaluations (Galangs memo attached to the records, Adm. Case No. 1163).
At any rate, WE are convinced, in the light of the explanations of the respondents-examiners, which were
earlier quoted in full, that their actuations in connection with the reevaluation of the answers of Galang in
five (5) subjects do not warrant or deserve the imposition of any disciplinary action. WE find their
explanations satisfactory. Nevertheless, WE are constrained to remind herein respondents-examiners that
their participation in the admission of members to the Bar is one impressed with the highest consideration
of public interest absolute purity of the proceedings and so are required to exercise the greatest or
utmost care and vigilance in the performance of their duties relative thereto.
V
Respondent Atty. Victorio D. Lanuevo, in his memorandum filed on November 14, 1973, claimed that
respondent-examiner Pamatian "in bringing up this unfounded cause, or lending undue assistance or
support thereto . . . was motivated with vindictiveness due to respondents refusal to be pressured into
helping his (examiners) alleged friend a participant in the 1971 Bar Examinations whom said examiner
named as Oscar Landicho and who, the records will show, did not pass said examinations" (p. 9, Lanuevos
memo, Adm. Case No. 1162).
It must be stated that this is a very serious charge against the honor and integrity of the late Justice
Ramon Pamatian, who passed away on October 18, 1973 and therefore cannot refute Lanuevos
insinuations. Respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo did not bring this out during the investigation which in his
words is "essential to his defense." His pretension that he did not make this charge during the investigation
when Justice Pamatian was still alive, and deferred the filing of such charge against Justice Pamatian and
possibly also against Oscar Landicho before the latter departed for Australia "until this case shall have
been terminated lest it be misread or misinterpreted as being intended as a leverage for a favorable
outcome of this case on the part of respondent or an act of reprisal", does not invite belief; because he
does not impugn the motives of the five other members of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee, who also
affirmed that he deceived them into re-evaluating or revising the grades of respondent Galang in their
respective subjects.
It appears, however, that after the release of the results of the 1971 Bar examinations, Oscar Landicho,
who failed in that examinations, went to see and did see Civil Law Examiner Pamatian for the purpose of
seeking his help in connection with the 1971 Bar examinations. Examiner Pamatian advised Landicho to
see the Chairman of the 1971 Bar Examination Committee. Examiner Pamatian mentioned in passing to
Landicho that an examination booklet was re-evaluated by him (Pamatian) before the release of the said
bar results (Vol. V, pp. 6-7, rec.). Even though such information was divulged by respondent Pamatian after
the official release of the bar results, it remains an indecorous act, hardly expected of a member of the
Judiciary who should exhibit restraint in his actuations demanded by resolute adherence to the rules of
delicacy. His unseemly act tended to undermine the integrity of the bar examinations and to impair public
faith in the Supreme Court.
VI. The investigation failed in unearth direct evidence that the illegal machination of respondent Lanuevo
to enable Galang to pass the 1971 Bar examinations was committed for valuable consideration.
A. There are, however, acquisitions made by respondent Lanuevo immediately after the official release of
the 1971 Bar examinations in February, 1972, which may he out of proportion to his salary as Bar
Confidant and Deputy Clerk of Court of the Supreme Court.
1. On April 5, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife acquired from the BF Homes, Inc. a house and lot
with an area of 374 square meters, more or less. for the amount of P84,114 00. The deed of sale was dated
March 5, 1972 but was notarized only on April 5, 1972. On the same date, however, respondent Lanuevo
and his wife executed two (2) mortgages covering the said house and lot in favor of BF Homes, Inc. in the
total amount of P67,291.20 (First mortgage P58,879.80, Entry No. 90913: date of instrument April 5,
1972, date of inscription April 20, 1972; Second mortgage P8,411.40, Entry No. 90914: date of

instrument April 5, 1972, date of inscription April 20, 1972). [D-2 to D-4, Vol. III, rec.]. Respondent
Lanuevo paid as down payment the amount of only P17,000.00, which according to him is equivalent to
20%, more or less, of the purchase price of P84,114,00. Respondent Lanuevo claimed that P5,000.00 of the
P17,000.00 was his savings while the remaining P12,000.00 came from his sister in Okinawa in the form of
a loan and received by him through a niece before Christmas of 1971 in dollars ($2000) [Vol. VII, pp. 41-48;
Vol. VIII, pp. 2-3, rec.]
It appears, however, that his alleged P5,000.00 savings and P12,000.00 loan from his sister; are not fully
reflected and accounted for in respondents 1971 Statement of Assets and Liabilities which he filed on
January 17, 1972.
In said 1971 statement, respondent Lanuevo listed under Assets a bank deposit in the amount of only
P2,000.00. In his 1972 statement, his bank deposit listed under Assets was in the amount of P1,011.00,
which shows therefore that of the P2,000.00 bank deposit listed in his 1971 statement under Assets, only
the amount of P989.00 was used or withdrawn. The amount of P18,000.00 receivable listed under Assets in
his 1971 statement was not realized because the transaction therein involved did not push through
(Statement of Assets and Liabilities of respondent Lanuevo from 1965 to 1972; Vol. VIII, pp. 47-48, rec.).
Likewise, the alleged December, 1971 $2000 loan of respondent from his married sister in Okinawa is
extremely doubtful. In the first place, said amount of $2000 (P12,000.00) is not reflected in his 1971
Statement of Assets and Liabilities filed on January 17, 1972. Secondly, the alleged note which he allegedly
received from his sister at the time he received the $2000 was not even presented by respondent during
the investigation. And according to respondent Lanuevo himself, while he considered this a loan, his sister
did not seriously consider it as one. In fact, no mode or time of payment was agreed upon by them. And
furthermore, during the investigation, respondent Lanuevo promised to furnish the Investigator the
address of his sister in Okinawa. Said promise was not fulfilled as borne out by the records. Considering
that there is no showing that his sister, who has a family of her own, is among the top earners in Okinawa
or has saved a lot of money to give to him, the conclusion, therefore, that the P17,000.00 of respondent
Lanuevo was either an ill-gotten or undeclared income is inevitable under the foregoing circumstances.
On August 14, 1972, respondent Lanuevo and his wife mortgaged their BF Homes house and lot to the
GSIS for the amount of P65,000.00 (Entry No. 4992: August 14, 1972 date of instrument; August 23,
1972 date of inscription). On February 23, 1973, the second mortgage in favor of BF Homes, Entry No.
90914, was redeemed by respondent and was subsequently cancelled on March 20, 1975, Entry No.
30143. Subsequently, or on March 2, 1973 the first mortgage in favor of BF Homes, Entry No. 90913 was
also redeemed by respondent Lanuevo and thereafter cancelled on March 20, 1973, (See D-2 to D-4, Vol.
III, rec.). Hence, only the mortgage in favor of GSIS remains as the encumbrance of respondents house
and lot. According to respondent Lanuevo, the monthly amortization of the GSIS mortgage is P778.00 a
month, but that since May of 1973, he was unable to pay the same. In his 1972 Statement of Assets and
Liabilities, which he filed in connection with his resignation and retirement (filed October 13, 1972), the
house and lot declared as part of his assets, were valued at P75,756.90. Listed, however, as an item in his
liabilities in the same statement was the GSIS real estate loan in the amount of P64,200.00 (1972
Statement of Assets and Liabilities).
2. Listed as an asset in his 1972 Statement of Assets and Liabilities is a 1956 VW car valued at P5,200.00.
That he acquired this car sometime between January, 1972 and November, 1972 could be inferred from
the fact that no such car or any car was listed in his statement of assets and liabilities of 1971 or in the
years previous to 1965. It appears, however, that his listed total assets, excluding receivables in his 1971
Statement was P19,000 00, while in his 1972 (as of November, 1972) Statement, his listed total assets,
excluding the house and lot was P18,211.00, including the said 1956 VW car worth P5,200.00.
The proximity in point of time between the official release of the 1971 Bar examinations and the
acquisition of the above-mentioned properties, tends to link or tie up the said acquisitions with the illegal
machination committed by respondent Lanuevo with respect to respondent Galangs examination papers or
to show that the money used by respondent Lanuevo in the acquisition of the above properties came from
respondent Galang in consideration of his passing the Bar.
During the early stage of this investigation but after the Court had informed respondent Lanuevo of the
serious irregularities in the 1971 Bar examinations alleged in Oscar Landichos Confidential Letter and in
fact, after respondent Lanuevo had filed on April 12, 1972 his sworn statement on the matter, as ordered
by the Court, respondent Lanuevo surprisingly filed his letter of resignation on October 13, 1972 with the

end in view of retiring from the Court. His resignation before he was required to show cause on March 5,
1973 but after he was informed of the said irregularities, is indicative of a consciousness of guilt.
It must be noted that immediately after the official release of the results of the 1971 Bar examinations,
respondent Lanuevo went on vacation and sick leave from March 16, 1972 to January 15, 1973, obtaining
the cash value thereof in lump sum in the amount of P11,000.00. He initially claimed at the investigation
that he used a part thereof as a down payment for his BF Homes house and lot (Vol. VII, pp. 40-48, rec.),
which he bought on April 5, 1972.
Criminal proceedings may be instituted against respondent Lanuevo under Section 3 (a & e) in relation to
Section 9 of Republic Act No. 1379 (Anti-Graft Law) for:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
"a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of
rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official
duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be presented, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or
offense.
x
x
x
"(e) Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any
unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial
functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision
shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of
licenses or permits or other concessions."cralaw virtua1aw library
Section 8 of said Republic Act No. 3019 authorizes the dismissal or removal of a public officer once it is
determined that his property or money "is manifestly out of proportion to his salary as such public officer
or employee and to his other lawful income and the income from legitimately acquired property. . . ." (Sec.
2, Rep. Act 1379; Sec. 8, Rep. Act 3019).
It should he stressed, however, that respondent Lanuevos aforementioned Statements of Assets and
Liabilities were not presented or taken up during the investigation; but they were examined as they are
part of the records of this Court.
B. There are likewise circumstances indicating possible contacts between respondent Ramon E. Galang
and/or his father and respondent Victorio D. Lanuevo before the latter became the Bar Confidant.
1. Respondent Ramon E. Galang was a beneficiary of the G.I. Bill of Rights educational program of the
Philippine Veterans Board from his high school days 1951 to 1955 up to his pre-law studies at the
MLQ Educational Institution (now MLQ University) 1955 to 1958. From 1948 to 1958, respondent Victorio
D. Lanuevo was connected with the Philippine Veterans Board which is the governmental agency entrusted
with the affairs of our veterans including the implementation of the Veterans Bill of Rights. From 1955 to
1958, respondent Lanuevo successively held the positions of Junior Investigator, Veterans Claims
Investigator, Supervising Veterans Investigator and Veterans Claims Investigator (Service Record, p. 9,
Adm. Case No. 1162). During that period of time, therefore, respondent Lanuevo had direct contacts with
applicants and beneficiaries of the Veterans Bill of Rights. Galangs educational benefits was approved on
March 16, 1954, retroactive as of the date of waiver July 31, 1951, which is also the date of filing (A, Vol.
IV, rec.).
It is alleged by respondent Ramon E. Galang that it was his father who all the time attended to the
availment of the said educational benefits and even when he was already in Manila taking up his pre-law at
MLQ Educational Institution from 1955 to 1958. In 1955, respondent Galang was already 19 years old, and
from 1957 to 1958, he was employed as a technical assistant in the office of Senator Roy (Vol. V, pp. 7980, 86-87, rec.). [Subsequently, during the investigation, he claimed that he was the private secretary of
Senator Puyat in 1957 (Vol. VI, pp. 12-13, rec.)]. It appears, however, that a copy of the notice-letter dated
June 28, 1955 of the Philippine Veterans Board to the MLQ Educational Institution on the approval of the
transfer of respondent Galang from Sta. Rita Institute to the MLQ Educational Institution effective the first
semester of the school year 1955-56 was directly addressed and furnished to respondent Ramon E. Galang
at 2292 Int. 8 Banal St., Tondo, Manila (A-12, Vol. IV, rec.).
Respondent Ramon E. Galang further declared that he never went to the Office of the Philippine Veterans

to follow up his educational benefits and claimed that he does not even know the location of the said
office. He does not also know whether beneficiaries of the G.I. Bill of Rights educational benefits are
required to go to the Philippine Veterans Board every semester to submit their ratings (Vol. V, p. 86, rec.).
But respondent Galang admits that he has gone to the GSIS and City Court of Manila, although he insists
that he never bothered to take a look at the neighboring buildings (Vol. V, pp. 93-94, rec.). The huge and
imposing Philippine Veterans Building is beside the GSIS building and is obliquely across the City Court
building.
2. Respondent Lanuevo stated that as an investigator in the Philippine Veterans Board, he investigated
claims for the several benefits given to veterans like educational benefits and disability benefits; that he
does not remember, however, whether in the course of his duties as veterans investigator, he came across
the application of Ramon E. Galang for educational benefits and that he does not know the father of Mr.
Ramon E. Galang and has never met him (Vol. VII, pp. 28, 49, rec.).
3. Respondent Lanuevo, as a member of the USAFEE, belonged to the 91st Infantry operating at Zambales
and then Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, shortly before the war (Vol. VII, pp. 48-49, rec.). Later he joined the
guerilla movement in Samar.
He used to be a member of the Philippine Veterans Legion especially while working with the Philippine
Veterans Board (Vol. VII, p. 49, rec.).
He does not know the Banal Regiment of the guerillas, to which Galangs father belonged. During the
Japanese occupation, his guerilla outfit was operating in Samar only and he had no communications with
other guerilla organization in other parts of the country.
He attended meetings of the Philippine Veterans Legion in his chapter in Samar only and does not
remember having attended its meeting here in Manila, even while he was employed with the Philippine
Veterans Board. He is not a member of the Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor (Vol. VII, p. 519 rec.).
On November 27, 1941, while respondent Lanuevo was with the Philippine Army stationed at Camp
Manacnac, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, he was stricken with pneumonia and was hospitalized at the Nueva
Ecija Provincial Hospital as a result and was still confined there when their camp was bombed and strafed
by Japanese planes on December 13, 1941 (Sworn statement of respondent Lanuevo dated August 27,
1973, Adm. Case No. 1162, p. 46, rec.).
German Galang, father of respondent Galang, was a member of the Banal Guerilla Forces, otherwise known
as the Banal Regiment. He was commissioned and inducted as a member thereof on January 16, 1942 and
was given the rank of first lieutenant. His unit "was attached and served into the XI-Corps, US Army; XIII-C
US Army, 43rd Div., US Army, stationed headquarters at Sta. Rosa, Nueva Ecija and with the 38th Division
US army stationed at Corregidor in the mopping-up operations against the enemies, from 9 May 1945 date
of recognition to 31 December 1945, date of demobilization" (Affidavit of Jose Banal dated December 22,
1947, Vol. IV, A-3, rec.).
It should be stressed that once the bar examiner has submitted the corrected notebooks to the Bar
Confidant, the same cannot be withdrawn for any purpose whatsoever without prior authority from the
Court. Consequently, this Court expresses herein its strong disapproval of the actuations of the bar
examiners in Administrative Case No. 1164 as above delineated.
WHEREFORE, IN ADMINISTRATIVE CASE NO. 1162, RESPONDENT VICTORIO D. LANUEVO IS HEREBY
DISBARRED AND HIS NAME ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS, AND IN ADMINISTRATIVE
CASE NO. 1163, RESPONDENT RAMON E. GALANG, alias ROMAN E. GALANG, IS HEREBY LIKEWISE
DISBARRED AND HIS NAME ALSO ORDERED STRICKEN FROM THE ROLL OF ATTORNEYS.
DIGEST:
FACTS: Administrative proceeding against Victorio Lanuevo for disbarment.
Admitted having brought the five examination notebooks of Ramon E. Galang back to the respective
examiners for re-evalution or re-checking.
The five examiners admitted having re-evaluated or re-checked the notebook to him by the Bar Confidant,
stating that he has the authority to do the same and that the examinee concerned failed only in his
particular subject and was on the borderline of passing.

Ramon galang was able to pass the 1971 bar exam because of Lanuevos move but the exam results bears
that he failed in 5 subjects namely in (Political, Civil, Mercantile, Criminal & Remedial).
Galang on the otherhand, denied of having charged of Slight Physical Injuries on Eufrosino de Vera, a law
student of MLQU.
RULING: The court disbarred Lanuevo has no authority to request the examiners to re-evaluate grades
of examinees w/o prior authority from Supreme Court.
He does not possess any discretion with respect to the matter of admission of examinees to the bar. He
does not a have any business evaluating the answers of the examinees.
Consequently, Galang was also disbarred Sec. 2 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Curt of 1964,
candidates for admission to the bar must be of good moral character. Galang has a pending criminal
cases of Physical Injuries, he committed perjury when he declared under oath that he had no pending
criminal case this resulted him to revoked his license.

2. First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc. VS CA 237 SCRA 519 (1994)


G.R. No. 110571 March 10, 1994

FIRST LEPANTO CERAMICS, INC., petitioner,


vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS and MARIWASA MANUFACTURING, INC., respondents.
Castillo, Laman, Tan & Pantaleon for petitioner.
De Borja, Medialdea, Ata, Bello, Guevarra & Serapio for private respondent.
NOCON, J.:
Brought to fore in this petition for certiorari and prohibition with application for preliminary injunction is the
novel question of where and in what manner appeals from decisions of the Board of Investments (BOI)
should be filed. A thorough scrutiny of the conflicting provisions of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, otherwise
known as the "Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980," Executive Order No. 226, also known as the Omnibus
Investments Code of 1987 and Supreme Court Circular No. 1-91 is, thus, called for.
Briefly, this question of law arose when BOI, in its decision dated December 10, 1992 in BOI Case No. 92005 granted petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc.'s application to amend its BOI certificate of registration
by changing the scope of its registered product from "glazed floor tiles" to "ceramic tiles." Eventually,
oppositor Mariwasa filed a motion for reconsideration of the said BOI decision while oppositor Fil-Hispano
Ceramics, Inc. did not move to reconsider the same nor appeal therefrom. Soon rebuffed in its bid for
reconsideration, Mariwasa filed a petition for review with respondent Court of Appeals pursuant to Circular
1-91.
Acting on the petition, respondent court required the BOI and petitioner to comment on Mariwasa's petition
and to show cause why no injunction should issue. On February 17, 1993, respondent court temporarily
restrained the BOI from implementing its decision. This temporary restraining order lapsed by its own
terms on March 9, 1993, twenty (20) days after its issuance, without respondent court issuing any
preliminary injunction.
On February 24, 1993, petitioner filed a "Motion to Dismiss Petition and to Lift Restraining Order" on the
ground that respondent court has no appellate jurisdiction over BOI Case No. 92-005, the same being
exclusively vested with the Supreme Court pursuant to Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of
1987.
On May 25, 1993, respondent court denied petitioner's motion to dismiss, the dispositive portion of which
reads as follows:

WHEREFORE, private respondent's motion to dismiss the petition is hereby DENIED, for lack
of merit.
Private respondent is hereby given an inextendible period of ten (10) days from receipt
hereof within which to file its comment to the petition. 1
Upon receipt of a copy of the above resolution on June 4, 1993, petitioner decided not to file any motion for
reconsideration as the question involved is essentially legal in nature and immediately filed a petition
for certiorariand prohibition before this Court.
Petitioner posits the view that respondent court acted without or in excess of its jurisdiction in issuing the
questioned resolution of May 25, 1993, for the following reasons:
I. Respondent court has no jurisdiction to entertain Mariwasa's appeal from the BOI's
decision in BOI Case No. 92-005, which has become final.
II. The appellate jurisdiction conferred by statute upon this Honorable Court cannot be
amended or superseded by Circular No. 1-91. 2
Petitioner then concludes that:
III. Mariwasa has lost it right to appeal . . . in this case. 3
Petitioner argues that the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 or Batas Pambansa Bilang 129 and Circular
1-91, "Prescribing the Rules Governing Appeals to the Court of Appeals from a Final Order or Decision of
the Court of Tax Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies" cannot be the basis of Mariwasa's appeal to
respondent court because the procedure for appeal laid down therein runs contrary to Article 82 of E.O.
226, which provides that appeals from decisions or orders of the BOI shall be filed directly with this Court,
to wit:
Judicial relief. All orders or decisions of the Board
(of Investments) in cases involving the provisions of this Code shall immediately be
executory. No appeal from the order or decision of the Board by the party adversely affected
shall stay such an order or decision; Provided, that all appeals shall be filed directly with the
Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision.
On the other hand, Mariwasa maintains that whatever "obvious inconsistency" or "irreconcilable
repugnancy" there may have been between B.P. 129 and Article 82 of E.O. 226 on the question of venue
for appeal has already been resolved by Circular 1-91 of the Supreme Court, which was promulgated on
February 27, 1991 or four (4) years after E.O. 226 was enacted.
Sections 1, 2 and 3 of Circular 1-91, is herein quoted below:
1. Scope. These rules shall apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of the Court of
Tax Appeals. They shall also apply to appeals from final orders or decisions of any quasijudicial agency from which an appeal is now allowed by statute to the Court of Appeals or
the Supreme Court. Among these agencies are the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Land Registration Authority, Social Security Commission, Civil Aeronautics Board, Bureau of
Patents, Trademarks and Technology Transfer, National Electrification Administration, Energy
Regulatory Board, National Telecommunications Commission, Secretary of Agrarian Reform
and Special Agrarian Courts under RA 6657, Government Service Insurance System,
Employees Compensation Commission, Agricultural Inventions Board, Insurance Commission
and Philippine Atomic Energy Commission.

2. Cases not covered. These rules shall not apply to decisions and interlocutory orders of
the National Labor Relations Commission or the Secretary of Labor and Employment under
the Labor Code of the Philippines, the Central Board of Assessment Appeals, and other
quasi-judicial agencies from which no appeal to the courts is prescribed or allowed by
statute.
3. Who may appeal and where to appeal. The appeal of a party affected by a final order,
decision, or judgment of the Court of Tax Appeals or of a quasi-judicial agency shall be taken
to the Court of Appeals within the period and in the manner herein provided, whether the
appeal involves questions of fact or of law or mixed questions of fact and law. From final
judgments or decisions of the Court of Appeals, the aggrieved party may appeal by certiorari
to the Supreme Court as provided in Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
It may be called that Section 9(3) of B.P. 129 vests appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions,
resolutions, orders or awards of quasi-judicial agencies on the Court of Appeals, to wit:
(3) Exclusive appellate jurisdiction over all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders,
awards of Regional Trial Courts and
quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling within
the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution, the
provisions of this Act, and of subparagraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph (4)
of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948.
The Intermediate Appellate Court shall have the power to try cases and conduct hearings,
receive evidence and perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in
cases falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and
conduct new trials or further proceedings.
These provisions shall not apply to decisions and interlocutory orders issued under the Labor
Code of the Philippines and by the Central Board of Assessment Appeals.
Clearly evident in the aforequoted provision of B.P. 129 is the laudable objective of providing a uniform
procedure of appeal from decisions of all quasi-judicial agencies for the benefit of the bench and the bar.
Equally laudable is the twin objective of B.P. 129 of unclogging the docket of this Court to enable it to
attend to more important tasks, which in the words of Dean Vicente G. Sinco, as quoted in our decision
in Conde v. Intermediate Appellate Court 4is "less concerned with the decisions of cases that begin and end
with the transient rights and obligations of particular individuals but is more intertwined with the direction
of national policies, momentous economic and social problems, the delimitation of governmental authority
and its impact upon fundamental rights.
In Development Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 5 this Court noted that B.P. 129 did not deal
only with "changes in the rules on procedures" and that not only was the Court of Appeals reorganized, but
its jurisdiction and powers were also broadened by Section 9 thereof. Explaining the changes, this Court
said:
. . . Its original jurisdiction to issue writs of mandamus, prohibition, certiorari and habeas
corpus, which theretofore could be exercised only in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, was
expanded by (1) extending it so as to include the writ of quo warranto, and also (2)
empowering it to issue all said extraordinary writs "whether or not in aid of its appellate
jurisdiction." Its appellate jurisdiction was also extended to cover not only final judgments of
Regional Trial Courts, but also "all final judgments, decisions, resolutions, orders or awards of
. . . quasi-judicial agencies, instrumentalities, boards or commissions, except those falling
within the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in accordance with the Constitution,

the provisions of this Act, and of sub-paragraph (1) of the third paragraph and subparagraph
(4) of the fourth paragraph of Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948," it being noteworthy in
this connection that the text of the law is broad and comprehensive, and the explicitly stated
exceptions have no reference whatever to the Court of Tax Appeals. Indeed, the intention to
expand the original and appellate jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over quasi-judicial
agencies, instrumentalities, boards, or commissions, is further stressed by the last
paragraph of Section 9 which excludes from its provisions, only the "decisions and
interlocutory orders issued under the Labor Code of the Philippines and by the Central Board
of Assessment Appeals." 6
However, it cannot be denied that the lawmaking system of the country is far from perfect. During the
transitional period after the country emerged from the Marcos regime, the lawmaking power was lodged
on the Executive Department. The obvious lack of deliberation in the drafting of our laws could perhaps
explain the deviation of some of our laws from the goal of uniform procedure which B.P. 129 sought to
promote.
In exempli gratia, Executive Order No. 226 or the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987 provides that all
appeals shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or
decision.
Noteworthy is the fact that presently, the Supreme Court entertains ordinary appeals only from decisions
of the Regional Trial Courts in criminal cases where the penalty imposed is reclusion perpetua or higher.
Judgments of regional trial courts may be appealed to the Supreme Court only by petition for review
on certiorari within fifteen (15) days from notice of judgment in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of
Court in relation to Section 17 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, this being the clear intendment of
the provision of the Interim Rules that "(a)ppeals to the Supreme Court shall be taken by petition
for certiorari which shall be governed by Rule 45 of the Rules of Court." Thus, the right of appeal provided
in E.O. 226 within thirty (30) days from receipt of the order or decision is clearly not in consonance with the
present procedure before this Court. Only decisions, orders or rulings of a Constitutional Commission (Civil
Service Commission, Commission on Elections or Commission on Audit), may be brought to the Supreme
Court on original petitions for certiorari under Rule 65 by the aggrieved party within thirty (30) days form
receipt of a copy thereof. 7
Under this contextual backdrop, this Court, pursuant to its Constitutional power under Section 5(5), Article
VIII of the 1987 Constitution to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice and procedure in all courts,
and by way of implementation of B.P. 129, issued Circular 1-91 prescribing the rules governing appeals to
the Court of Appeals from final orders or decisions of the Court of Tax Appeals and quasi-judicial agencies
to eliminate unnecessary contradictions and confusing rules of procedure.
Contrary to petitioner's contention, although a circular is not strictly a statute or law, it has, however, the
force and effect of law according to settled jurisprudence. 8 In Inciong v. de Guia, 9 a circular of this Court
was treated as law. In adopting the recommendation of the Investigating Judge to impose a sanction on a
judge who violated Circular No. 7 of this Court dated
September 23, 1974, as amended by Circular No. 3 dated April 24, 1975 and Circular No. 20 dated October
4, 1979, requiring raffling of cases, this Court quoted the ratiocination of the Investigating Judge, brushing
aside the contention of respondent judge that assigning cases instead of raffling is a common practice and
holding that respondent could not go against the circular of this Court until it is repealed or otherwise
modified, as "(L)aws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not
be excused by disuse, or customs or practice to the contrary." 10
The argument that Article 82 of E.O. 226 cannot be validly repealed by Circular 1-91 because the former
grants a substantive right which, under the Constitution cannot be modified, diminished or increased by
this Court in the exercise of its rule-making powers is not entirely defensible as it seems. Respondent

correctly argued that Article 82 of E.O. 226 grants the right of appeal from decisions or final orders of the
BOI and in granting such right, it also provided where and in what manner such appeal can be brought.
These latter portions simply deal with procedural aspects which this Court has the power to regulate by
virtue of its constitutional rule-making powers.
The case of Bustos v. Lucero 11 distinguished between rights created by a substantive law and those arising
from procedural law:
Substantive law creates substantive rights . . . . Substantive rights is a term which includes
those rights which one enjoys under the legal system prior to the disturbance of normal
relations (60 C.J., 980). Substantive law is that part of the law which creates, defines and
regulates rights, or which regulates rights and duties which give rise to a cause of action, as
oppossed to adjective or remedial law, which prescribes the method of enforcing rights or
obtains a redress for their invasion. 12
Indeed, the question of where and in what manner appeals from decisions of the BOI should be brought
pertains only to procedure or the method of enforcing the substantive right to appeal granted by E.O. 226.
In other words, the right to appeal from decisions or final orders of the BOI under E.O. 226 remains and
continues to be respected. Circular 1-91 simply transferred the venue of appeals from decisions of this
agency to respondent Court of Appeals and provided a different period of appeal, i.e., fifteen (15) days
from notice. It did not make an incursion into the substantive right to appeal.
The fact that BOI is not expressly included in the list of quasi-judicial agencies found in the third sentence
of Section 1 of Circular 1-91 does not mean that said circular does not apply to appeals from final orders or
decision of the BOI. The second sentence of Section 1 thereof expressly states that "(T)hey shall also apply
to appeals from final orders or decisions of any quasi-judicial agency from which an appeal is now allowed
by statute to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court." E.O. 266 is one such statute. Besides, the
enumeration is preceded by the words "(A)mong these agencies are . . . ," strongly implying that there are
other quasi-judicial agencies which are covered by the Circular but which have not been expressly listed
therein. More importantly, BOI does not fall within the purview of the exclusions listed in Section 2 of the
circular. Only the following final decisions and interlocutory orders are expressly excluded from the circular,
namely, those of: (1) the National Labor Relations Commission; (2) the Secretary of Labor and
Employment; (3) the Central Board of Assessment Appeals and (4) other quasi-judicial agencies from which
no appeal to the courts is prescribed or allowed by statute. Since in DBP v. CA 13 we upheld the appellate
jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals over the Court of Tax Appeals despite the fact that the same is not
among the agencies reorganized by B.P. 129, on the ground that B.P. 129 is broad and comprehensive,
there is no reason why BOI should be excluded from
Circular 1-91, which is but implementary of said law.
Clearly, Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Article 82 of E.O. 226 insofar as the manner and
method of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned. Appeals from decisions of
the BOI, which by statute was previously allowed to be filed directly with the Supreme Court, should now
be brought to the Court of Appeals.
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing reasons, the instant petition for certiorari and prohibition with
application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction is hereby DISMISSED for lack of
merit. The Temporary Restraining Order issued on July 19, 1993 is hereby LIFTED.
SO ORDERED.

DIGEST:
Facts:

1.

Petitioner assailed the conflicting provisions of B.P. 129, EO 226 (Art. 82) and a circular, 1-91 issued by the
Supreme Court which deals with the jurisdiction of courts for appeal of cases decided by quasi-judicial
agencies such as the Board of Investments (BOI).

2. BOI granted petitioner First Lepanto Ceramics, Inc.'s application to amend its BOI certificate of registration
by changing the scope of its registered product from "glazed floor tiles" to "ceramic tiles." Oppositor
Mariwasa filed a motion for reconsideration of the said BOI decision while oppositor Fil-Hispano Ceramics,
Inc. did not move to reconsider the same nor appeal therefrom. Soon rebuffed in its bid for reconsideration,
Mariwasa filed a petition for review with CA.
4. CA temporarily restrained the BOI from implementing its decision. The TRO lapsed by its own terms twenty
(20) days after its issuance, without respondent court issuing any preliminary injunction.
5.

Petitioner filed a motion to dismiss and to lift the restraining order contending that CA does not have
jurisdiction over the BOI case, since the same is exclusively vested with the Supreme Court pursuant to
Article 82 of the Omnibus Investments Code of 1987.

6.

Petitioner argued that the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980 or B.P. 129 and Circular 1-91, "Prescribing
the Rules Governing Appeals to the Court of Appeals from a Final Order or Decision of the Court of Tax
Appeals and Quasi-Judicial Agencies" cannot be the basis of Mariwasa's appeal to respondent court
because the procedure for appeal laid down therein runs contrary to Article 82 of E.O. 226, which provides
that appeals from decisions or orders of the BOI shall be filed directly with the Supreme Court.

7.

While Mariwasa maintains that whatever inconsistency there may have been between B.P. 129 and Article
82 of E.O. 226 on the question of venue for appeal, has already been resolved by Circular 1-91 of the
Supreme Court, which was promulgated on February 27, 1991 or four (4) years after E.O. 226 was enacted.
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the case
YES. Circular 1-91 effectively repealed or superseded Article 82 of E.O. 226 insofar as the manner and
method of enforcing the right to appeal from decisions of the BOI are concerned. Appeals from decisions of
the BOI, which by statute was previously allowed to be filed directly with the Supreme Court, should now
be brought to the Court of Appeals.

3. In Re: Cunanan 94 PHIL 534 (1954)


Resolution

March 18, 1954

In the Matter of the Petitions for Admission to the Bar of Unsuccessful Candidates of 1946 to
1953;
ALBINO CUNANAN, ET AL., petitioners.
Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo, and Antonio Enrile Inton for petitioners.
Office of the Solicitor General Juan R. Liwag for respondent.
DIOKNO, J.:
In recent years few controversial issues have aroused so much public interest and concern as Republic Act
No. 972, popularly known as the "Bar Flunkers' Act of 1953." Under the Rules of Court governing admission
to the bar, "in order that a candidate (for admission to the Bar) may be deemed to have passed his
examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects, without
falling below 50 per cent in any subject." (Rule 127, sec. 14, Rules of Court). Nevertheless, considering the
varying difficulties of the different bar examinations held since 1946 and the varying degree of strictness
with which the examination papers were graded, this court passed and admitted to the bar those
candidates who had obtained an average of only 72 per cent in 1946, 69 per cent in 1947, 70 per cent in
1948, and 74 per cent in 1949. In 1950 to 1953, the 74 per cent was raised to 75 per cent.

Believing themselves as fully qualified to practice law as those reconsidered and passed by this court, and
feeling conscious of having been discriminated against (See Explanatory Note to R.A. No. 972),
unsuccessful candidates who obtained averages of a few percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar
agitated in Congress for, and secured in 1951 the passage of Senate Bill No. 12 which, among others,
reduced the passing general average in bar examinations to 70 per cent effective since 1946. The
President requested the views of this court on the bill. Complying with that request, seven members of the
court subscribed to and submitted written comments adverse thereto, and shortly thereafter the President
vetoed it. Congress did not override the veto. Instead, it approved Senate Bill No. 371, embodying
substantially the provisions of the vetoed bill. Although the members of this court reiterated their
unfavorable views on the matter, the President allowed the bill to become a law on June 21, 1953 without
his signature. The law, which incidentally was enacted in an election year, reads in full as follows:
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM NINETEEN HUNDRED
AND FORTY-SIX UP TO AND INCLUDING NINETEEN HUNDRED AND FIFTY-FIVE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
assembled:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section fourteen, Rule numbered one hundred twentyseven of the Rules of Court, any bar candidate who obtained a general average of seventy per cent
in any bar examinations after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six up to the August nineteen
hundred and fifty-one bar examinations; seventy-one per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-two
bar examinations; seventy-two per cent in the in the nineteen hundred and fifty-three bar
examinations; seventy-three per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-four bar examinations;
seventy-four per cent in the nineteen hundred and fifty-five bar examinations without a candidate
obtaining a grade below fifty per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to take and subscribe the
corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine Bar:Provided, however, That for the
purpose of this Act, any exact one-half or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and
included as part of the next whole number.
SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of seventy-five per cent in any subject in any bar
examination after July fourth, nineteen hundred and forty-six shall be deemed to have passed in
such subject or subjects and such grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing
general average that said candidate may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may take.
SEC. 3. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Enacted on June 21, 1953, without the Executive approval.
After its approval, many of the unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar
invoking its provisions, while others whose motions for the revision of their examination papers were still
pending also invoked the aforesaid law as an additional ground for admission. There are also others who
have sought simply the reconsideration of their grades without, however, invoking the law in question. To
avoid injustice to individual petitioners, the court first reviewed the motions for reconsideration,
irrespective of whether or not they had invoked Republic Act No. 972. Unfortunately, the court has found
no reason to revise their grades. If they are to be admitted to the bar, it must be pursuant to Republic Act
No. 972 which, if declared valid, should be applied equally to all concerned whether they have filed
petitions or not. A complete list of the petitioners, properly classified, affected by this decision, as well as a
more detailed account of the history of Republic Act No. 972, are appended to this decision as Annexes I
and II. And to realize more readily the effects of the law, the following statistical data are set forth:
(1) The unsuccessful bar candidates who are to be benefited by section 1 of Republic Act No. 972 total
1,168, classified as follows:

1946

(August)

206

121

18

1946

(November)

477

228

43

1947

749

340

1948

899

409

11

1949

1,218

532

164

1950

1,316

893

26

1951

2,068

879

196

1952

2,738 1,033

426

2,555

284

1953

TOTAL

968

12,23 5,421 1,168


0

Of the total 1,168 candidates, 92 have passed in subsequent examination, and only 586 have filed either
motions for admission to the bar pursuant to said Republic Act, or mere motions for reconsideration.
(2) In addition, some other 10 unsuccessful candidates are to be benefited by section 2 of said Republic
Act. These candidates had each taken from two to five different examinations, but failed to obtain a
passing average in any of them. Consolidating, however, their highest grades in different subjects in
previous examinations, with their latest marks, they would be sufficient to reach the passing average as
provided for by Republic Act No. 972.
(3) The total number of candidates to be benefited by this Republic Acts is therefore 1,094, of which only
604 have filed petitions. Of these 604 petitioners, 33 who failed in 1946 to 1951 had individually presented
motions for reconsideration which were denied, while 125 unsuccessful candidates of 1952, and 56 of
1953, had presented similar motions, which are still pending because they could be favorably affected by
Republic Act No. 972, although as has been already stated, this tribunal finds no sufficient reasons to
reconsider their grades
UNCONSTITUTIONALITY OF REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972

Having been called upon to enforce a law of far-reaching effects on the practice of the legal profession and
the administration of justice, and because some doubts have been expressed as to its validity, the court
set the hearing of the afore-mentioned petitions for admission on the sole question of whether or not
Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional.
We have been enlightened in the study of this question by the brilliant assistance of the members of the
bar who have amply argued, orally an in writing, on the various aspects in which the question may be
gleaned. The valuable studies of Messrs. E. Voltaire Garcia, Vicente J. Francisco, Vicente Pelaez and
Buenaventura Evangelista, in favor of the validity of the law, and of the U.P. Women's Lawyers' Circle, the
Solicitor General, Messrs. Arturo A. Alafriz, Enrique M. Fernando, Vicente Abad Santos, Carlos A. Barrios,
Vicente del Rosario, Juan de Blancaflor, Mamerto V. Gonzales, and Roman Ozaeta against it, aside from the
memoranda of counsel for petitioners, Messrs. Jose M. Aruego, M.H. de Joya, Miguel R. Cornejo and Antonio
Enrile Inton, and of petitioners Cabrera, Macasaet and Galema themselves, has greatly helped us in this
task. The legal researchers of the court have exhausted almost all Philippine and American jurisprudence
on the matter. The question has been the object of intense deliberation for a long time by the Tribunal, and
finally, after the voting, the preparation of the majority opinion was assigned to a new member in order to
place it as humanly as possible above all suspicion of prejudice or partiality.
Republic Act No. 972 has for its object, according to its author, to admit to the Bar, those candidates who
suffered from insufficiency of reading materials and inadequate preparation. Quoting a portion of the
Explanatory Note of the proposed bill, its author Honorable Senator Pablo Angeles David stated:
The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade is the tremendous handicap which
students during the years immediately after the Japanese occupation has to overcome such as the
insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of the preparation of students who took up
law soon after the liberation.
Of the 9,675 candidates who took the examinations from 1946 to 1952, 5,236 passed. And now it is
claimed that in addition 604 candidates be admitted (which in reality total 1,094), because they suffered
from "insufficiency of reading materials" and of "inadequacy of preparation."
By its declared objective, the law is contrary to public interest because it qualifies 1,094 law graduates
who confessedly had inadequate preparation for the practice of the profession, as was exactly found by
this Tribunal in the aforesaid examinations. The public interest demands of legal profession adequate
preparation and efficiency, precisely more so as legal problem evolved by the times become more difficult.
An adequate legal preparation is one of the vital requisites for the practice of law that should be developed
constantly and maintained firmly. To the legal profession is entrusted the protection of property, life, honor
and civil liberties. To approve officially of those inadequately prepared individuals to dedicate themselves
to such a delicate mission is to create a serious social danger. Moreover, the statement that there was an
insufficiency of legal reading materials is grossly exaggerated. There were abundant materials. Decisions
of this court alone in mimeographed copies were made available to the public during those years and
private enterprises had also published them in monthly magazines and annual digests. The Official
Gazette had been published continuously. Books and magazines published abroad have entered without
restriction since 1945. Many law books, some even with revised and enlarged editions have been printed
locally during those periods. A new set of Philippine Reports began to be published since 1946, which
continued to be supplemented by the addition of new volumes. Those are facts of public knowledge.
Notwithstanding all these, if the law in question is valid, it has to be enforced.
The question is not new in its fundamental aspect or from the point of view of applicable principles, but the
resolution of the question would have been easier had an identical case of similar background been picked
out from the jurisprudence we daily consult. Is there any precedent in the long Anglo-Saxon legal history,
from which has been directly derived the judicial system established here with its lofty ideals by the
Congress of the United States, and which we have preserved and attempted to improve, or in our
contemporaneous judicial history of more than half a century? From the citations of those defending the
law, we can not find a case in which the validity of a similar law had been sustained, while those against its
validity cite, among others, the cases of Day (In re Day, 54 NE 646), of Cannon (State vs. Cannon, 240 NW,
441), the opinion of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts in 1932 (81 ALR 1061), of Guaria (24 Phil., 37),
aside from the opinion of the President which is expressed in his vote of the original bill and which the
postponement of the contested law respects.

This law has no precedent in its favor. When similar laws in other countries had been promulgated, the
judiciary immediately declared them without force or effect. It is not within our power to offer a precedent
to uphold the disputed law.
To be exact, we ought to state here that we have examined carefully the case that has been cited to us as
a favorable precedent of the law that of Cooper (22 NY, 81), where the Court of Appeals of New York
revoked the decision of the Supreme court of that State, denying the petition of Cooper to be admitted to
the practice of law under the provisions of a statute concerning the school of law of Columbia College
promulgated on April 7, 1860, which was declared by the Court of Appeals to be consistent with the
Constitution of the state of New York.
It appears that the Constitution of New York at that time provided:
They (i.e., the judges) shall not hold any other office of public trust. All votes for either of them for
any elective office except that of the Court of Appeals, given by the Legislature or the people, shall
be void. They shall not exercise any power of appointment to public office. Any male citizen of the
age of twenty-one years, of good moral character, and who possesses the requisite qualifications of
learning and ability, shall be entitled to admission to practice in all the courts of this State. (p. 93).
According to the Court of Appeals, the object of the constitutional precept is as follows:
Attorneys, solicitors, etc., were public officers; the power of appointing them had previously rested
with the judges, and this was the principal appointing power which they possessed. The convention
was evidently dissatisfied with the manner in which this power had been exercised, and with the
restrictions which the judges had imposed upon admission to practice before them. The prohibitory
clause in the section quoted was aimed directly at this power, and the insertion of the provision"
expecting the admission of attorneys, in this particular section of the Constitution, evidently arose
from its connection with the object of this prohibitory clause. There is nothing indicative of
confidence in the courts or of a disposition to preserve any portion of their power over this subject,
unless the Supreme Court is right in the inference it draws from the use of the word `admission' in
the action referred to. It is urged that the admission spoken of must be by the court; that to admit
means to grant leave, and that the power of granting necessarily implies the power of refusing, and
of course the right of determining whether the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications to
entitle him to admission.
These positions may all be conceded, without affecting the validity of the act. (p. 93.)
Now, with respect to the law of April 7, 1860, the decision seems to indicate that it provided that the
possession of a diploma of the school of law of Columbia College conferring the degree of Bachelor of Laws
was evidence of the legal qualifications that the constitution required of applicants for admission to the
Bar. The decision does not however quote the text of the law, which we cannot find in any public or
accessible private library in the country.
In the case of Cooper, supra, to make the law consistent with the Constitution of New York, the Court of
Appeals said of the object of the law:
The motive for passing the act in question is apparent. Columbia College being an institution of
established reputation, and having a law department under the charge of able professors, the
students in which department were not only subjected to a formal examination by the law
committee of the institution, but to a certain definite period of study before being entitled to a
diploma of being graduates, the Legislature evidently, and no doubt justly, considered this
examination, together with the preliminary study required by the act, as fully equivalent as a test of
legal requirements, to the ordinary examination by the court; and as rendering the latter
examination, to which no definite period of preliminary study was essential, unnecessary and
burdensome.
The act was obviously passed with reference to the learning and ability of the applicant, and for the
mere purpose of substituting the examination by the law committee of the college for that of the
court. It could have had no other object, and hence no greater scope should be given to its

provisions. We cannot suppose that the Legislature designed entirely to dispense with the plain and
explicit requirements of the Constitution; and the act contains nothing whatever to indicate an
intention that the authorities of the college should inquire as to the age, citizenship, etc., of the
students before granting a diploma. The only rational interpretation of which the act admits is, that
it was intended to make the college diploma competent evidence as to the legal attainments of the
applicant, and nothing else. To this extent alone it operates as a modification of pre-existing
statutes, and it is to be read in connection with these statutes and with the Constitution itself in
order to determine the present condition of the law on the subject. (p.89)
xxx

xxx

xxx

The Legislature has not taken from the court its jurisdiction over the question of admission, that has
simply prescribed what shall be competent evidence in certain cases upon that question. (p.93)
From the foregoing, the complete inapplicability of the case of Cooper with that at bar may be clearly seen.
Please note only the following distinctions:
(1) The law of New York does not require that any candidate of Columbia College who failed in the bar
examinations be admitted to the practice of law.
(2) The law of New York according to the very decision of Cooper, has not taken from the court its
jurisdiction over the question of admission of attorney at law; in effect, it does not decree the admission of
any lawyer.
(3) The Constitution of New York at that time and that of the Philippines are entirely different on the matter
of admission of the practice of law.
In the judicial system from which ours has been evolved, the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of attorneys at law in the practice of the profession and their supervision have been
disputably a judicial function and responsibility. Because of this attribute, its continuous and zealous
possession and exercise by the judicial power have been demonstrated during more than six centuries,
which certainly "constitutes the most solid of titles." Even considering the power granted to Congress by
our Constitution to repeal, alter supplement the rules promulgated by this Court regarding the admission
to the practice of law, to our judgment and proposition that the admission, suspension, disbarment and
reinstatement of the attorneys at law is a legislative function, properly belonging to Congress, is
unacceptable. The function requires (1) previously established rules and principles, (2) concrete facts,
whether past or present, affecting determinate individuals. and (3) decision as to whether these facts are
governed by the rules and principles; in effect, a judicial function of the highest degree. And it becomes
more undisputably judicial, and not legislative, if previous judicial resolutions on the petitions of these
same individuals are attempted to be revoked or modified.
We have said that in the judicial system from which ours has been derived, the act of admitting,
suspending, disbarring and reinstating attorneys at law in the practice of the profession is concededly
judicial. A comprehensive and conscientious study of this matter had been undertaken in the case of
State vs. Cannon (1932) 240 NW 441, in which the validity of a legislative enactment providing that
Cannon be permitted to practice before the courts was discussed. From the text of this decision we quote
the following paragraphs:
This statute presents an assertion of legislative power without parallel in the history of the English
speaking people so far as we have been able to ascertain. There has been much uncertainty as to
the extent of the power of the Legislature to prescribe the ultimate qualifications of attorney at law
has been expressly committed to the courts, and the act of admission has always been regarded as
a judicial function. This act purports to constitute Mr. Cannon an attorney at law, and in this respect
it stands alone as an assertion of legislative power. (p. 444)
Under the Constitution all legislative power is vested in a Senate and Assembly. (Section 1, art. 4.)
In so far as the prescribing of qualifications for admission to the bar are legislative in character, the
Legislature is acting within its constitutional authority when it sets up and prescribes such
qualifications. (p. 444)

But when the Legislature has prescribed those qualifications which in its judgment will serve the
purpose of legitimate legislative solicitude, is the power of the court to impose other and further
exactions and qualifications foreclosed or exhausted? (p. 444)
Under our Constitution the judicial and legislative departments are distinct, independent, and
coordinate branches of the government. Neither branch enjoys all the powers of sovereignty which
properly belongs to its department. Neither department should so act as to embarrass the other in
the discharge of its respective functions. That was the scheme and thought of the people setting
upon the form of government under which we exist. State vs. Hastings, 10 Wis., 525; Attorney
General ex rel. Bashford vs. Barstow, 4 Wis., 567. (p. 445)
The judicial department of government is responsible for the plane upon which the administration
of justice is maintained. Its responsibility in this respect is exclusive. By committing a portion of the
powers of sovereignty to the judicial department of our state government, under 42a scheme which
it was supposed rendered it immune from embarrassment or interference by any other department
of government, the courts cannot escape responsibility fir the manner in which the powers of
sovereignty thus committed to the judicial department are exercised. (p. 445)
The relation at the bar to the courts is a peculiar and intimate relationship. The bar is an attache of
the courts. The quality of justice dispense by the courts depends in no small degree upon the
integrity of its bar. An unfaithful bar may easily bring scandal and reproach to the administration of
justice and bring the courts themselves into disrepute. (p.445)
Through all time courts have exercised a direct and severe supervision over their bars, at least in
the English speaking countries. (p. 445)
After explaining the history of the case, the Court ends thus:
Our conclusion may be epitomized as follows: For more than six centuries prior to the adoption of
our Constitution, the courts of England, concededly subordinate to Parliament since the Revolution
of 1688, had exercise the right of determining who should be admitted to the practice of law, which,
as was said in Matter of the Sergeant's at Law, 6 Bingham's New Cases 235, "constitutes the most
solid of all titles." If the courts and judicial power be regarded as an entity, the power to determine
who should be admitted to practice law is a constituent element of that entity. It may be difficult to
isolate that element and say with assurance that it is either a part of the inherent power of the
court, or an essential element of the judicial power exercised by the court, but that it is a power
belonging to the judicial entity and made of not only a sovereign institution, but made of it a
separate independent, and coordinate branch of the government. They took this institution along
with the power traditionally exercise to determine who should constitute its attorney at law. There is
no express provision in the Constitution which indicates an intent that this traditional power of the
judicial department should in any manner be subject to legislative control. Perhaps the dominant
thought of the framers of our constitution was to make the three great departments of government
separate and independent of one another. The idea that the Legislature might embarrass the
judicial department by prescribing inadequate qualifications for attorneys at law is inconsistent with
the dominant purpose of making the judicial independent of the legislative department, and such a
purpose should not be inferred in the absence of express constitutional provisions. While the
legislature may legislate with respect to the qualifications of attorneys, but is incidental merely to
its general and unquestioned power to protect the public interest. When it does legislate a fixing a
standard of qualifications required of attorneys at law in order that public interests may be
protected, such qualifications do not constitute only a minimum standard and limit the class from
which the court must make its selection. Such legislative qualifications do not constitute the
ultimate qualifications beyond which the court cannot go in fixing additional qualifications deemed
necessary by the course of the proper administration of judicial functions. There is no legislative
power to compel courts to admit to their bars persons deemed by them unfit to exercise the
prerogatives of an attorney at law. (p. 450)
Furthermore, it is an unlawful attempt to exercise the power of appointment. It is quite likely true
that the legislature may exercise the power of appointment when it is in pursuance of a legislative
functions. However, the authorities are well-nigh unanimous that the power to admit attorneys to
the practice of law is a judicial function. In all of the states, except New Jersey (In re Reisch, 83 N.J.

Eq. 82, 90 A. 12), so far as our investigation reveals, attorneys receive their formal license to
practice law by their admission as members of the bar of the court so admitting. Cor. Jur. 572; Ex
parte Secombre, 19 How. 9,15 L. Ed. 565;Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall. 333, 18 L. Ed. 366; Randall vs.
Brigham, 7 Wall. 53, 19 L. Ed. 285; Hanson vs. Grattan, 48 Kan, 843, 115 P. 646, 34 L.R.A. 519;
Danforth vs. Egan, 23 S. D. 43, 119 N.W. 1021, 130 Am. St. Rep. 1030, 20 Ann. Cas. 413.
The power of admitting an attorney to practice having been perpetually exercised by the courts, it
having been so generally held that the act of the court in admitting an attorney to practice is the
judgment of the court, and an attempt as this on the part of the Legislature to confer such right
upon any one being most exceedingly uncommon, it seems clear that the licensing of an attorney is
and always has been a purely judicial function, no matter where the power to determine the
qualifications may reside. (p. 451)
In that same year of 1932, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, in answering a consultation of the Senate
of that State, 180 NE 725, said:
It is indispensible to the administration of justice and to interpretation of the laws that there be
members of the bar of sufficient ability, adequate learning and sound moral character. This arises
from the need of enlightened assistance to the honest, and restraining authority over the knavish,
litigant. It is highly important, also that the public be protected from incompetent and vicious
practitioners, whose opportunity for doing mischief is wide. It was said by Cardoz, C.L., in People ex
rel. Karlin vs. Culkin, 242 N.Y. 456, 470, 471, 162 N.E. 487, 489, 60 A.L.R. 851: "Membership in the
bar is a privilege burden with conditions." One is admitted to the bar "for something more than
private gain." He becomes an "officer of the court", and ,like the court itself, an instrument or
agency to advance the end of justice. His cooperation with the court is due "whenever justice would
be imperiled if cooperation was withheld." Without such attorneys at law the judicial department of
government would be hampered in the performance of its duties. That has been the history of
attorneys under the common law, both in this country and England. Admission to practice as an
attorney at law is almost without exception conceded to be a judicial function. Petition to that end is
filed in courts, as are other proceedings invoking judicial action. Admission to the bar is accomplish
and made open and notorious by a decision of the court entered upon its records. The
establishment by the Constitution of the judicial department conferred authority necessary to the
exercise of its powers as a coordinate department of government. It is an inherent power of such a
department of government ultimately to determine the qualifications of those to be admitted to
practice in its courts, for assisting in its work, and to protect itself in this respect from the unfit,
those lacking in sufficient learning, and those not possessing good moral character. Chief Justice
Taney stated succinctly and with finality in Ex parte Secombe, 19 How. 9, 13, 15 L. Ed. 565, "It has
been well settled, by the rules and practice of common-law courts, that it rests exclusively with the
court to determine who is qualified to become one of its officers, as an attorney and counselor, and
for what cause he ought to be removed." (p.727)
In the case of Day and others who collectively filed a petition to secure license to practice the legal
profession by virtue of a law of state (In re Day, 54 NE 646), the court said in part:
In the case of Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall, 333, 18 L. Ed. 366, the court, holding the test oath for
attorneys to be unconstitutional, explained the nature of the attorney's office as follows: "They are
officers of the court, admitted as such by its order, upon evidence of their possessing sufficient
legal learning and fair private character. It has always been the general practice in this country to
obtain this evidence by an examination of the parties. In this court the fact of the admission of such
officers in the highest court of the states to which they, respectively, belong for, three years
preceding their application, is regarded as sufficient evidence of the possession of the requisite
legal learning, and the statement of counsel moving their admission sufficient evidence that their
private and professional character is fair. The order of admission is the judgment of the court that
the parties possess the requisite qualifications as attorneys and counselors, and are entitled to
appear as such and conduct causes therein. From its entry the parties become officers of the court,
and are responsible to it for professional misconduct. They hold their office during good behavior,
and can only be deprived of it for misconduct ascertained and declared by the judgment of the
court after opportunity to be heard has been afforded. Ex parte Hoyfron, admission or their
exclusion is not the exercise of a mere ministerial power. It is the exercise of judicial power, and has
been so held in numerous cases. It was so held by the court of appeals of New York in the matter of

the application of Cooper for admission. Re Cooper 22 N. Y. 81. "Attorneys and Counselors", said
that court, "are not only officers of the court, but officers whose duties relate almost exclusively to
proceedings of a judicial nature; and hence their appointment may, with propriety, be entrusted to
the court, and the latter, in performing his duty, may very justly considered as engaged in the
exercise of their appropriate judicial functions." (pp. 650-651).
We quote from other cases, the following pertinent portions:
Admission to practice of law is almost without exception conceded everywhere to be the exercise of
a judicial function, and this opinion need not be burdened with citations in this point. Admission to
practice have also been held to be the exercise of one of the inherent powers of the court. Re
Bruen, 102 Wash. 472, 172 Pac. 906.
Admission to the practice of law is the exercise of a judicial function, and is an inherent power of
the court. A.C. Brydonjack, vs. State Bar of California, 281 Pac. 1018; See Annotation on Power of
Legislature respecting admission to bar, 65, A.L. R. 1512.
On this matter there is certainly a clear distinction between the functions of the judicial and legislative
departments of the government.
The distinction between the functions of the legislative and the judicial departments is that it is the
province of the legislature to establish rules that shall regulate and govern in matters of
transactions occurring subsequent to the legislative action, while the judiciary determines rights
and obligations with reference to transactions that are past or conditions that exist at the time of
the exercise of judicial power, and the distinction is a vital one and not subject to alteration or
change either by legislative action or by judicial decree.
The judiciary cannot consent that its province shall be invaded by either of the other departments
of the government. 16 C.J.S., Constitutional Law, p. 229.
If the legislature cannot thus indirectly control the action of the courts by requiring of them
construction of the law according to its own views, it is very plain it cannot do so directly, by
settling aside their judgments, compelling them to grant new trials, ordering the discharge of
offenders, or directing what particular steps shall be taken in the progress of a judicial inquiry.
Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 192.
In decreeing the bar candidates who obtained in the bar examinations of 1946 to 1952, a general average
of 70 per cent without falling below 50 per cent in any subject, be admitted in mass to the practice of law,
the disputed law is not a legislation; it is a judgment a judgment revoking those promulgated by this
Court during the aforecited year affecting the bar candidates concerned; and although this Court certainly
can revoke these judgments even now, for justifiable reasons, it is no less certain that only this Court, and
not the legislative nor executive department, that may be so. Any attempt on the part of any of these
departments would be a clear usurpation of its functions, as is the case with the law in question.
That the Constitution has conferred on Congress the power to repeal, alter or supplement the rule
promulgated by this Tribunal, concerning the admission to the practice of law, is no valid argument.
Section 13, article VIII of the Constitution provides:
Section 13. The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading,
practice, and procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be
uniform for all courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive
rights. The existing laws on pleading, practice and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes, and
are declared Rules of Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the
same. The Congress shall have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning
pleading, practice, and procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Constitution of the Philippines, Art. VIII, sec. 13.
It will be noted that the Constitution has not conferred on Congress and this Tribunal equal responsibilities
concerning the admission to the practice of law. the primary power and responsibility which the

Constitution recognizes continue to reside in this Court. Had Congress found that this Court has not
promulgated any rule on the matter, it would have nothing over which to exercise the power granted to it.
Congress may repeal, alter and supplement the rules promulgated by this Court, but the authority and
responsibility over the admission, suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of attorneys at law and their
supervision remain vested in the Supreme Court. The power to repeal, alter and supplement the rules does
not signify nor permit that Congress substitute or take the place of this Tribunal in the exercise of its
primary power on the matter. The Constitution does not say nor mean that Congress may admit, suspend,
disbar or reinstate directly attorneys at law, or a determinate group of individuals to the practice of law. Its
power is limited to repeal, modify or supplement the existing rules on the matter, if according to its
judgment the need for a better service of the legal profession requires it. But this power does not relieve
this Court of its responsibility to admit, suspend, disbar and reinstate attorneys at law and supervise the
practice of the legal profession.
Being coordinate and independent branches, the power to promulgate and enforce rules for the admission
to the practice of law and the concurrent power to repeal, alter and supplement them may and should be
exercised with the respect that each owes to the other, giving careful consideration to the responsibility
which the nature of each department requires. These powers have existed together for centuries without
diminution on each part; the harmonious delimitation being found in that the legislature may and should
examine if the existing rules on the admission to the Bar respond to the demands which public interest
requires of a Bar endowed with high virtues, culture, training and responsibility. The legislature may, by
means of appeal, amendment or supplemental rules, fill up any deficiency that it may find, and the judicial
power, which has the inherent responsibility for a good and efficient administration of justice and the
supervision of the practice of the legal profession, should consider these reforms as the minimum
standards for the elevation of the profession, and see to it that with these reforms the lofty objective that
is desired in the exercise of its traditional duty of admitting, suspending, disbarring and reinstating
attorneys at law is realized. They are powers which, exercise within their proper constitutional limits, are
not repugnant, but rather complementary to each other in attaining the establishment of a Bar that would
respond to the increasing and exacting necessities of the administration of justice.
The case of Guaria (1913) 24 Phil., 37, illustrates our criterion. Guaria took examination and failed by a
few points to obtain the general average. A recently enacted law provided that one who had been
appointed to the position of Fiscal may be admitted to the practice of law without a previous examination.
The Government appointed Guaria and he discharged the duties of Fiscal in a remote province. This
tribunal refused to give his license without previous examinations. The court said:
Relying upon the provisions of section 2 of Act No. 1597, the applicant in this case seeks admission
to the bar, without taking the prescribed examination, on the ground that he holds the office of
provincial fiscal for the Province of Batanes.
Section 2 of Act No. 1597, enacted February 28, 1907, is as follows:
Sec. 2. Paragraph one of section thirteen of Act Numbered One Hundred and ninety, entitled "An Act
providing a Code of Procedure in Civil Actions and Special Proceedings in the Philippine Islands," is
hereby amended to read as follows:
1. Those who have been duly licensed under the laws and orders of the Islands under the
sovereignty of Spain or of the United States and are in good and regular standing as members of
the bar of the Philippine Islands at the time of the adoption of this code; Provided, That any person
who, prior to the passage of this act, or at any time thereafter, shall have held, under the authority
of the United States, the position of justice of the Supreme Court, judge of the Court of First
Instance, or judge or associate judge of the Court of Land Registration, of the Philippine Islands, or
the position of Attorney General, Solicitor General, Assistant Attorney General, assistant attorney in
the office of the Attorney General, prosecuting attorney for the City of Manila, city attorney of
Manila, assistant city attorney of Manila, provincial fiscal, attorney for the Moro Province, or
assistant attorney for the Moro Province, may be licensed to practice law in the courts of the
Philippine Islands without an examination, upon motion before the Supreme Court and establishing
such fact to the satisfaction of said court.
The records of this court disclose that on a former occasion this appellant took, and failed to pass
the prescribed examination. The report of the examining board, dated March 23, 1907, shows that

he received an average of only 71 per cent in the various branches of legal learning upon which he
was examined, thus falling four points short of the required percentage of 75. We would be
delinquent in the performance of our duty to the public and to the bar, if, in the face of this
affirmative indication of the deficiency of the applicant in the required qualifications of learning in
the law at the time when he presented his former application for admission to the bar, we should
grant him license to practice law in the courts of these Islands, without first satisfying ourselves
that despite his failure to pass the examination on that occasion, he now "possesses the necessary
qualifications of learning and ability."
But it is contented that under the provisions of the above-cited statute the applicant is entitled as of
right to be admitted to the bar without taking the prescribed examination "upon motion before the
Supreme Court" accompanied by satisfactory proof that he has held and now holds the office of
provincial fiscal of the Province of Batanes. It is urged that having in mind the object which the
legislator apparently sought to attain in enacting the above-cited amendment to the earlier statute,
and in view of the context generally and especially of the fact that the amendment was inserted as
a proviso in that section of the original Act which specifically provides for the admission of certain
candidates without examination. It is contented that this mandatory construction is imperatively
required in order to give effect to the apparent intention of the legislator, and to the candidate's
claim de jure to have the power exercised.
And after copying article 9 of Act of July 1, 1902 of the Congress of the United States, articles 2, 16 and 17
of Act No. 136, and articles 13 to 16 of Act 190, the Court continued:
Manifestly, the jurisdiction thus conferred upon this court by the commission and confirmed to it by
the Act of Congress would be limited and restricted, and in a case such as that under consideration
wholly destroyed, by giving the word "may," as used in the above citation from Act of Congress of
July 1, 1902, or of any Act of Congress prescribing, defining or limiting the power conferred upon
the commission is to that extent invalid and void, as transcending its rightful limits and authority.
Speaking on the application of the law to those who were appointed to the positions enumerated, and with
particular emphasis in the case of Guaria, the Court held:
In the various cases wherein applications for the admission to the bar under the provisions of this
statute have been considered heretofore, we have accepted the fact that such appointments had
been made as satisfactory evidence of the qualifications of the applicant. But in all of those cases
we had reason to believe that the applicants had been practicing attorneys prior to the date of their
appointment.
In the case under consideration, however, it affirmatively appears that the applicant was not and
never had been practicing attorney in this or any other jurisdiction prior to the date of his
appointment as provincial fiscal, and it further affirmatively appears that he was deficient in the
required qualifications at the time when he last applied for admission to the bar.
In the light of this affirmative proof of his defieciency on that occasion, we do not think that his
appointment to the office of provincial fiscal is in itself satisfactory proof if his possession of the
necessary qualifications of learning and ability. We conclude therefore that this application for
license to practice in the courts of the Philippines, should be denied.
In view, however, of the fact that when he took the examination he fell only four points short of the
necessary grade to entitle him to a license to practice; and in view also of the fact that since that
time he has held the responsible office of the governor of the Province of Sorsogon and presumably
gave evidence of such marked ability in the performance of the duties of that office that the Chief
Executive, with the consent and approval of the Philippine Commission, sought to retain him in the
Government service by appointing him to the office of provincial fiscal, we think we would be
justified under the above-cited provisions of Act No. 1597 in waiving in his case the ordinary
examination prescribed by general rule, provided he offers satisfactory evidence of his proficiency
in a special examination which will be given him by a committee of the court upon his application
therefor, without prejudice to his right, if he desires so to do, to present himself at any of the
ordinary examinations prescribed by general rule. (In re Guaria, pp. 48-49.)

It is obvious, therefore, that the ultimate power to grant license for the practice of law belongs exclusively
to this Court, and the law passed by Congress on the matter is of permissive character, or as other
authorities say, merely to fix the minimum conditions for the license.
The law in question, like those in the case of Day and Cannon, has been found also to suffer from the fatal
defect of being a class legislation, and that if it has intended to make a classification, it is arbitrary and
unreasonable.
In the case of Day, a law enacted on February 21, 1899 required of the Supreme Court, until December 31
of that year, to grant license for the practice of law to those students who began studying before
November 4, 1897, and had studied for two years and presented a diploma issued by a school of law, or to
those who had studied in a law office and would pass an examination, or to those who had studied for
three years if they commenced their studies after the aforementioned date. The Supreme Court declared
that this law was unconstitutional being, among others, a class legislation. The Court said:
This is an application to this court for admission to the bar of this state by virtue of diplomas from
law schools issued to the applicants. The act of the general assembly passed in 1899, under which
the application is made, is entitled "An act to amend section 1 of an act entitled "An act to revise
the law in relation to attorneys and counselors," approved March 28, 1884, in force July 1, 1874."
The amendment, so far as it appears in the enacting clause, consists in the addition to the section
of the following: "And every application for a license who shall comply with the rules of the supreme
court in regard to admission to the bar in force at the time such applicant commend the study of
law, either in a law or office or a law school or college, shall be granted a license under this act
notwithstanding any subsequent changes in said rules". In re Day et al, 54 N.Y., p. 646.
. . . After said provision there is a double proviso, one branch of which is that up to December 31,
1899, this court shall grant a license of admittance to the bar to the holder of every diploma
regularly issued by any law school regularly organized under the laws of this state, whose regular
course of law studies is two years, and requiring an attendance by the student of at least 36 weeks
in each of such years, and showing that the student began the study of law prior to November 4,
1897, and accompanied with the usual proofs of good moral character. The other branch of the
proviso is that any student who has studied law for two years in a law office, or part of such time in
a law office, "and part in the aforesaid law school," and whose course of study began prior to
November 4, 1897, shall be admitted upon a satisfactory examination by the examining board in
the branches now required by the rules of this court. If the right to admission exists at all, it is by
virtue of the proviso, which, it is claimed, confers substantial rights and privileges upon the persons
named therein, and establishes rules of legislative creation for their admission to the bar. (p. 647.)
Considering the proviso, however, as an enactment, it is clearly a special legislation, prohibited by
the constitution, and invalid as such. If the legislature had any right to admit attorneys to practice
in the courts and take part in the administration of justice, and could prescribe the character of
evidence which should be received by the court as conclusive of the requisite learning and ability of
persons to practice law, it could only be done by a general law, persons or classes of persons.
Const. art 4, section 2. The right to practice law is a privilege, and a license for that purpose makes
the holder an officer of the court, and confers upon him the right to appear for litigants, to argue
causes, and to collect fees therefor, and creates certain exemptions, such as from jury services and
arrest on civil process while attending court. The law conferring such privileges must be general in
its operation. No doubt the legislature, in framing an enactment for that purpose, may classify
persons so long as the law establishing classes in general, and has some reasonable relation to the
end sought. There must be some difference which furnishes a reasonable basis for different one,
having no just relation to the subject of the legislation. Braceville Coal Co. vs. People, 147 Ill. 66, 35
N.E. 62; Ritchie vs. People, 155 Ill. 98, 40 N.E. 454; Railroad Co. vs. Ellis, 165 U.S. 150, 17 Sup. Ct.
255.
The length of time a physician has practiced, and the skill acquired by experience, may furnish a
basis for classification (Williams vs. People 121 Ill. 48, II N.E. 881); but the place where such
physician has resided and practiced his profession cannot furnish such basis, and is an arbitrary
discrimination, making an enactment based upon it void (State vs. Pennyeor, 65 N.E. 113, 18 Atl.
878). Here the legislature undertakes to say what shall serve as a test of fitness for the profession
of the law, and plainly, any classification must have some reference to learning, character, or ability

to engage in such practice. The proviso is limited, first, to a class of persons who began the study of
law prior to November 4, 1897. This class is subdivided into two classes First, those presenting
diplomas issued by any law school of this state before December 31, 1899; and, second, those who
studied law for the period of two years in a law office, or part of the time in a law school and part in
a law office, who are to be admitted upon examination in the subjects specified in the present rules
of this court, and as to this latter subdivision there seems to be no limit of time for making
application for admission. As to both classes, the conditions of the rules are dispensed with, and as
between the two different conditions and limits of time are fixed. No course of study is prescribed
for the law school, but a diploma granted upon the completion of any sort of course its managers
may prescribe is made all-sufficient. Can there be anything with relation to the qualifications or
fitness of persons to practice law resting upon the mere date of November 4, 1897, which will
furnish a basis of classification. Plainly not. Those who began the study of law November 4th could
qualify themselves to practice in two years as well as those who began on the 3rd. The classes
named in the proviso need spend only two years in study, while those who commenced the next
day must spend three years, although they would complete two years before the time limit. The
one who commenced on the 3rd. If possessed of a diploma, is to be admitted without examination
before December 31, 1899, and without any prescribed course of study, while as to the other the
prescribed course must be pursued, and the diploma is utterly useless. Such classification cannot
rest upon any natural reason, or bear any just relation to the subject sought, and none is
suggested. The proviso is for the sole purpose of bestowing privileges upon certain defined persons.
(pp. 647-648.)
In the case of Cannon above cited, State vs. Cannon, 240 N.W. 441, where the legislature attempted by law
to reinstate Cannon to the practice of law, the court also held with regards to its aspect of being a class
legislation:
But the statute is invalid for another reason. If it be granted that the legislature has power to
prescribe ultimately and definitely the qualifications upon which courts must admit and license
those applying as attorneys at law, that power can not be exercised in the manner here attempted.
That power must be exercised through general laws which will apply to all alike and accord equal
opportunity to all. Speaking of the right of the Legislature to exact qualifications of those desiring to
pursue chosen callings, Mr. Justice Field in the case of Dent. vs. West Virginia, 129 U.S. 114, 121, 9
S. Ct. 232, 233, 32 L. Ed. 626, said: "It is undoubtedly the right of every citizen of the United States
to follow any lawful calling, business or profession he may choose, subject only to such restrictions
as are imposed upon all persons of like age, sex, and condition." This right may in many respects be
considered as a distinguishing feature of our republican institutions. Here all vocations are all open
to every one on like conditions. All may be pursued as sources of livelihood, some requiring years of
study and great learning for their successful prosecution. The interest, or, as it is sometimes
termed, the "estate" acquired in them that is, the right to continue their prosecution is often of
great value to the possessors and cannot be arbitrarily taken from them, any more than their real or
personal property can be thus taken. It is fundamental under our system of government that all
similarly situated and possessing equal qualifications shall enjoy equal opportunities. Even statutes
regulating the practice of medicine, requiring medications to establish the possession on the part of
the application of his proper qualifications before he may be licensed to practice, have been
challenged, and courts have seriously considered whether the exemption from such examinations
of those practicing in the state at the time of the enactment of the law rendered such law
unconstitutional because of infringement upon this general principle. State vs. Thomas Call, 121
N.C. 643, 28 S.E. 517; see, also, The State ex rel. Winkler vs. Rosenberg, 101 Wis. 172, 76 N.W. 345;
State vs. Whitcom, 122 Wis. 110, 99 N.W. 468.
This law singles out Mr. Cannon and assumes to confer upon him the right to practice law and to
constitute him an officer of this Court as a mere matter of legislative grace or favor. It is not
material that he had once established his right to practice law and that one time he possessed the
requisite learning and other qualifications to entitle him to that right. That fact in no matter affect
the power of the Legislature to select from the great body of the public an individual upon whom it
would confer its favors.
A statute of the state of Minnesota (Laws 1929, c. 424) commanded the Supreme Court to admit to
the practice of law without examination, all who had served in the military or naval forces of the
United States during the World War and received a honorable discharge therefrom and who (were

disabled therein or thereby within the purview of the Act of Congress approved June 7th, 1924,
known as "World War Veteran's Act, 1924 and whose disability is rated at least ten per cent
thereunder at the time of the passage of this Act." This Act was held |unconstitutional on the
ground that it clearly violated the quality clauses of the constitution of that state. In re Application
of George W. Humphrey, 178 Minn. 331, 227 N.W. 179.
A good summary of a classification constitutionally acceptable is explained in 12 Am. Jur. 151-153 as
follows:
The general rule is well settled by unanimity of the authorities that a classification to be valid must
rest upon material differences between the person included in it and those excluded and,
furthermore, must be based upon substantial distinctions. As the rule has sometimes avoided the
constitutional prohibition, must be founded upon pertinent and real differences, as distinguished
from irrelevant and artificial ones. Therefore, any law that is made applicable to one class of
citizens only must be based on some substantial difference between the situation of that class and
other individuals to which it does not apply and must rest on some reason on which it can be
defended. In other words, there must be such a difference between the situation and circumstances
of all the members of the class and the situation and circumstances of all other members of the
state in relation to the subjects of the discriminatory legislation as presents a just and natural cause
for the difference made in their liabilities and burdens and in their rights and privileges. A law is not
general because it operates on all within a clause unless there is a substantial reason why it is
made to operate on that class only, and not generally on all. (12 Am. Jur. pp. 151-153.)
Pursuant to the law in question, those who, without a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, have
obtained a general average of 69.5 per cent in the bar examinations in 1946 to 1951, 70.5 per cent in
1952, 71.5 per cent in 1953, and those will obtain 72.5 per cent in 1954, and 73.5 per cent in 1955, will be
permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar, notwithstanding
that the rules require a minimum general average of 75 per cent, which has been invariably followed since
1950. Is there any motive of the nature indicated by the abovementioned authorities, for this
classification ? If there is none, and none has been given, then the classification is fatally defective.
It was indicated that those who failed in 1944, 1941 or the years before, with the general average
indicated, were not included because the Tribunal has no record of the unsuccessful candidates of those
years. This fact does not justify the unexplained classification of unsuccessful candidates by years, from
1946-1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955. Neither is the exclusion of those who failed before said years under
the same conditions justified. The fact that this Court has no record of examinations prior to 1946 does not
signify that no one concerned may prove by some other means his right to an equal consideration.
To defend the disputed law from being declared unconstitutional on account of its retroactivity, it is argued
that it is curative, and that in such form it is constitutional. What does Rep. Act 972 intend to cure ? Only
from 1946 to 1949 were there cases in which the Tribunal permitted admission to the bar of candidates
who did not obtain the general average of 75 per cent: in 1946 those who obtained only 72 per cent; in the
1947 and those who had 69 per cent or more; in 1948, 70 per cent and in 1949, 74 per cent; and in 1950
to 1953, those who obtained 74 per cent, which was considered by the Court as equivalent to 75 per cent
as prescribed by the Rules, by reason of circumstances deemed to be sufficiently justifiable. These
changes in the passing averages during those years were all that could be objected to or criticized. Now, it
is desired to undo what had been done cancel the license that was issued to those who did not obtain
the prescribed 75 per cent ? Certainly not. The disputed law clearly does not propose to do so. Concededly,
it approves what has been done by this Tribunal. What Congress lamented is that the Court did not
consider 69.5 per cent obtained by those candidates who failed in 1946 to 1952 as sufficient to qualify
them to practice law. Hence, it is the lack of will or defect of judgment of the Court that is being cured, and
to complete the cure of this infirmity, the effectivity of the disputed law is being extended up to the years
1953, 1954 and 1955, increasing each year the general average by one per cent, with the order that said
candidates be admitted to the Bar. This purpose, manifest in the said law, is the best proof that what the
law attempts to amend and correct are not the rules promulgated, but the will or judgment of the Court, by
means of simply taking its place. This is doing directly what the Tribunal should have done during those
years according to the judgment of Congress. In other words, the power exercised was not to repeal, alter
or supplement the rules, which continue in force. What was done was to stop or suspend them. And this
power is not included in what the Constitution has granted to Congress, because it falls within the power to
apply the rules. This power corresponds to the judiciary, to which such duty been confided.

Article 2 of the law in question permits partial passing of examinations, at indefinite intervals. The grave
defect of this system is that it does not take into account that the laws and jurisprudence are not
stationary, and when a candidate finally receives his certificate, it may happen that the existing laws and
jurisprudence are already different, seriously affecting in this manner his usefulness. The system that the
said law prescribes was used in the first bar examinations of this country, but was abandoned for this and
other disadvantages. In this case, however, the fatal defect is that the article is not expressed in the title
will have temporary effect only from 1946 to 1955, the text of article 2 establishes a permanent system for
an indefinite time. This is contrary to Section 21 (1), article VI of the Constitution, which vitiates and annuls
article 2 completely; and because it is inseparable from article 1, it is obvious that its nullity affect the
entire law.
Laws are unconstitutional on the following grounds: first, because they are not within the legislative
powers of Congress to enact, or Congress has exceeded its powers; second, because they create or
establish arbitrary methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles; and third, because their
purposes or effects violate the Constitution or its basic principles. As has already been seen, the contested
law suffers from these fatal defects.
Summarizing, we are of the opinion and hereby declare that Republic Act No. 972 is unconstitutional and
therefore, void, and without any force nor effect for the following reasons, to wit:
1. Because its declared purpose is to admit 810 candidates who failed in the bar examinations of 19461952, and who, it admits, are certainly inadequately prepared to practice law, as was exactly found by this
Court in the aforesaid years. It decrees the admission to the Bar of these candidates, depriving this
Tribunal of the opportunity to determine if they are at present already prepared to become members of the
Bar. It obliges the Tribunal to perform something contrary to reason and in an arbitrary manner. This is a
manifest encroachment on the constitutional responsibility of the Supreme Court.
2. Because it is, in effect, a judgment revoking the resolution of this Court on the petitions of these 810
candidates, without having examined their respective examination papers, and although it is admitted that
this Tribunal may reconsider said resolution at any time for justifiable reasons, only this Court and no other
may revise and alter them. In attempting to do it directly Republic Act No. 972 violated the Constitution.
3. By the disputed law, Congress has exceeded its legislative power to repeal, alter and supplement the
rules on admission to the Bar. Such additional or amendatory rules are, as they ought to be, intended to
regulate acts subsequent to its promulgation and should tend to improve and elevate the practice of law,
and this Tribunal shall consider these rules as minimum norms towards that end in the admission,
suspension, disbarment and reinstatement of lawyers to the Bar, inasmuch as a good bar assists
immensely in the daily performance of judicial functions and is essential to a worthy administration of
justice. It is therefore the primary and inherent prerogative of the Supreme Court to render the ultimate
decision on who may be admitted and may continue in the practice of law according to existing rules.
4. The reason advanced for the pretended classification of candidates, which the law makes, is contrary to
facts which are of general knowledge and does not justify the admission to the Bar of law students
inadequately prepared. The pretended classification is arbitrary. It is undoubtedly a class legislation.
5. Article 2 of Republic Act No. 972 is not embraced in the title of the law, contrary to what the Constitution
enjoins, and being inseparable from the provisions of article 1, the entire law is void.
6. Lacking in eight votes to declare the nullity of that part of article 1 referring to the examinations of 1953
to 1955, said part of article 1, insofar as it concerns the examinations in those years, shall continue in
force.

RESOLUTION
Upon mature deliberation by this Court, after hearing and availing of the magnificent and impassioned
discussion of the contested law by our Chief Justice at the opening and close of the debate among the

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

ANNEX I
PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972
A resume of pertinent facts concerning the bar examinations of 1946 to 1953 inclusive follows:

August, 19461

Board of Examiners: Hon. Pedro Tuason, Chairman, Prof. Gerardo


Florendo, Atty. Bernardino Guerrero, Atty. Joaquin Ramirez, Atty.
Crispin Oben, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Atty. Federico Agrava, Atty. Jose
Perez Cardenas, and Hon. Bienvenido A. Tan, members.

Number of candidates

206

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised

12

73'S

72'S

Number of candidates who passed

85

Number of candidates who failed

121

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

18

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

41.62

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

58.74

Passing grade

(per
cent)

72

November, 1946

Board of Examiners: The same as that of August, 1946, except Hon.


Jose Teodoro who was substituted by Atty. Honesto K. Bausan.

Number of candidates

481

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised

19

(72 per cent and above 73 per cent --Minutes of March 31, 1947)

Number of candidates who passed

249

Number of candidates who failed

228

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

Percentage of success

43

(per

52.20

cent)

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

Passing grade
(By resolution of the Court).

(per
cent)

47.80

72

October, 1947

Board of Examiners: Hon. Cesar Bengzon, Chairman, Hon. Guillermo


B. Guevara, Atty. Antonio Araneta, Atty. Simon Cruz, Hon. Sixto de la
Costa, Atty. Celso B. Jamora, Hon. Emilio Pea, Atty. Federico Agrava,
Atty. Carlos B. Hilado, Members.

Number of candidates

749

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised

43

70.55 per cent with 2 subject below 50 per

cent

69 per cent

40

68 per cent

Number of candidates who passed

409

Number of candidates who failed

340

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

972

Percentage of success

(per

54.59

cent)

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

Passing grade

(per
cent)

45.41

69

(by resolution of the Court).


Note.--In passing the 2 whose grades were 68.95 per cent and
68.1 per cent respectively, the Court found out that they were
not benefited at all by the bonus of 12 points given by the
Examiner in Civil Law.

August, 1948

Board of Examiners: Hon. Marceliano R. Montemayor, Chairman Hon.


Luis P. Torres, Hon. Felipe Natividad, Hon. Jose Teodoro, Sr., Atty.
Federico Agrava, Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Hon. Jesus G. Barrera, Hon.
Rafael Amparo, Atty. Alfonso Ponce Enrile, Members.

Number of candidates

899

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised

64

71's

29

70's

35

Number of candidates who passed

490

Number of candidates who failed

409

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

11

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

62.40

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

37.60

Passing grade

(per
cent)

70

(by resolution of the Court).

August, 1949

Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Fernando


Jugo, Hon. Enrique Filamor, Atty. Salvador Araneta, Hon. Pastor M.
Endencia, Atty. Federico Agrava, Hon. Mariano H. de Joya, Hon. Felipe
Natividad, Atty. Emeterio Barcelon, Members.

Number of candidates

1,218

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised (74's)

55

Number of candidates who passed

686

Number of candidates who failed

532

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

164

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

56.28

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

43.72

Passing grade

(per
cent)

74

(by resolution of the Court).

August, 1950

Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo,2 Chairman, Hon. Guillermo


B. Guevara, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Marcial P. Lichauco, Atty.
Carlos B. Hilado, Atty. J. Antonio Araneta, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor,
Hon. Francisco A. Delgado, Hon. Antonio Horrilleno, Members.

Number of candidates

1,316

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised

38

(The grade of 74 was raised to 75 per cent by


recommendation and authority
of the examiner in Remedial Law, Atty. Francisco Delgado).

Number of candidates who passed

432

Number of candidates who failed

894

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

26

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

32.14

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

67.86

Passing grade

(per
cent)

75

August, 1951

Board of Examiners: Hon. Guillermo F. Pablo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor


M. Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Hon. Manuel Lim, Hon. Felipe
Natividad, Hon. Vicente Albert, Atty. Arturo Alafriz, Hon. Enrique V.
Filamor, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Members.

Number of candidates

2,068

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised (74's)

112

Number of candidates who passed

1,189

Number of candidates who failed

879

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

196

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

57.49

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

42.51

Passing grade

(per
cent)

75

August, 1952

Board of Examiners: Hon. Sabino Padilla, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.


Endencia, Hon. Enrique V. Filamor, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Hon. Emilio
Pea, Atty. Emilio P. Virata, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe Natividad,
Atty. Macario Peralta, Sr., Members.

Number of candidates

2,738

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised (74's)

163

Number of candidates who passed

1,705

Number of candidates who failed

1,033

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.


972

426

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

62.27

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

37.73

Passing grade

(per
cent)

75

August, 1953

Board of Examiners: Hon. Fernando Jugo, Chairman, Hon. Pastor M.


Endencia, Atty. Enrique Altavas, Atty. Francisco Ortigas, Jr., Hon.
Emilio Pea, Atty. Jose S. de la Cruz, Hon. Alfonso Felix, Hon. Felipe
Natividad, Hon. Mariano L. de la Rosa, Members.

Number of candidates

Number of candidates whose grades were


raised (74's)

Number of candidates who passed

2,555

100

1,570

Number of candidates who failed

986

Number of those affected by Republic Act No.

284

972

Percentage of success

(per
cent)

61.04

Percentage of failure

(per
cent)

38.96

Passing grade

(per
cent)

75

A list of petitioners for admission to the Bar under Republic Act No. 972, grouped by the years in which
they took the bar examinations, with annotations as to who had presented motions for reconsideration
which were denied (MRD), and who filed mere motions for reconsideration without invoking said law, which
are still pending, follows:

PETITIONER UNDER THE BAR FLUNKERS' LAW

Ci Lan Mer Int Pol Cri


v. d
c.
.
.
m.

Re
m.

Le Gen.
g. Av.

MRD- 1. Agunod, Filemon L.

66 71

61

76 80 83

73

75 71.4

MRD- 2. Cunanan, Albino

76 72

74

75 70 70

65

72 71.45

MRD- 3. Mejia, Flaviano V.

64 64

65

68 83 74

68

80 69.85

MRD- 4. Orlina, Soledad R.

71 68

66

75 63 75

70

88 69.9

MRD- 5. Vivero, Antonio Lu.

75 73

73

65 63 66

65

80 69.95

MRD- 6. Gatchalian, Salud

72 66

71

75 78 68

65

50 69.65

1948

1949

7. Abaya, Jesus A.

69 79

75

75 71 89

55

75 70.8

76 80

62

86 81 72

60

65 70.5

63 85

70

77 80 81

65

80 71.8

10. Alacar, Pascual C.

61 63

83

79 71 85

65

80 72.05

11. Amog, Pedro M.

75 66

76

78 81 74

55

85 72.2

12. Apolinario, Miguel S.

75 84

78

78 70 70

60

75 71.95

13. Aquino, Maximo G.

82 77

71

77 76 77

60

75 73.15

14. Asinas, Candido D.

75 83

69

80 81 83

55

85 72.65

15. Baldivino, Jose B.

75 65

72

82 82 69

60

80 71.95

16. Balintona, Bernardo

75 80

64

78 74 67

65

70 70

17. Banawa, Angel L.

78 70

70

75 81 83

60

60 72.3

18. Bandala, Anacleto A.

66 80

66

71 93 72

55

70 69.6

19. Bandon, Alawadin L.

74 79

69

77 91 73

60

80 73.35

20. Baquero, Benjamin

76 79

64

77 85 72

65

75 72.5

21. Blanco, Jose

75 75

70

75 77 76

60

90 72.5

MRD- 8. Advincula, David D.

9. Agraviador, Alfredo L.

22. Buenaluz, Victoriano T.

75 71

72

78 67 82

60

75 70.85

23. Canda, Benjamin S.

75 72

75

82 76 77

65

75 73.55

24. Canon, Guillermo

77 86

67

88 75 69

70

85 73.9

25. Carlos, Estela S.

75 81

81

79 72 73

65

70 73.8

26. Cerezo, Gregorio O.

69 76

76

79 71 80

55

80 70.4

27. Clarin, Manuel L.

75 82

76

81 73 69

70

75 73.95

28. Claudo, Conrado O.

76 62

78

77 73 72

60

70 71.4

29. Condevillamar, Antonio


V.

68 65

74

80 85 75

60

75 71.65

72 75

69

82 83 79

65

80 73.4

31. Corona, Olvido D.

68 76

73

81 81 72

60

75 71.15

32. Dizon, Marcial C.

76 86

69

83 75 74

65

80 73.1

33. Enriquez, Agustin P.

75 77

70

81 81 77

65

80 73.75

34. Espiritu, Irineo E.

80 88

69

75 76 77

65

75 73.8

35. Fernandez, Macario J.

63 82

76

75 81 84

65

75 72.95

36. Gallardo, Amando C.

78 79

67

77 76 75

60

65 70.95

37. Garcia, Freidrich M.

76 80

66

75 72 70

60

75 69.7

MRD- 30. Cornejo, Crisanto R.

38. Garcia, Julian L.

64 77

68

82 89 77

65

75 72.15

39. Garcia, Leon Mo.

77 86

71

80 60 82

65

75 71.85

40. Garcia, Pedro V.

76 82

73

81 74 83

60

85 73.6

41. Garcia, Santiago C.

62 91

79

75 72 75

65

80 71.8

42. Genoves, Pedro

75 83

70

78 87 76

55

80 72.7

43. Gonzales, Amado P.

75 71

71

75 86 75

60

75 72.65

44. Guia, Odon R. de

77 76

66

81 74 76

60

75 70.9

45. Fernandez, Simeon

62 68

71

80 74 90

65

75 70.85

46. Jakosalem, Filoteo

82 83

73

82 61 87

65

70 73.6

47. Jesus, Felipe D. de

75 83

67

79 78 85

60

75 72.45

48. Jocom, Jacobo M.

77 77

74

77 74 64

55

85 70.65

49. Juares, Nicolas

77 84

56

76 73 82

60

85 70

50. Kalalang, Remigio

65 75

74

80 70 70

65

85 70.3

51. Layumas, Vicente L.

67 84

65

75 89 66

60

80 70.3

52. Leyson, Amancio F.

69 83

75

76 81 75

65

75 73.15

53. Libanan, Marcelino

71 83

61

77 80 81

65

85 71.75

54. Lim, Jose E.

77 77

72

76 72 64

65

70 71.15

55. Lim, Jose F.

70 75

62

83 80 71

65

80 70.4

56. Linao, Mariano M.

66 84

76

78 80 75

60

75 71.75

57. Lopez, Angelo P.

67 81

75

72 79 81

55

80 71

58. Lopez, Eliezar M.

77 75

60

75 77 85

60

75 70.7

59. Lopez, Nicanor S.

72 71

70

78 77 84

60

75 71.55

60. Manoleto, Proceso D.

72 70

65

78 81 90

60

80 71.95

61. Mancao, Alfredo P.

67 64

71

83 76 76

65

80 70.95

62. Manera, Mariano A.

75 78

75

75 68 79

60

65 71

63. Mercado, Arsenio N.

67 64

71

83 76 76

65

80 70.95

64. Miranda, Benjamin G.

76 81

67

82 74 77

65

80 72.55

65. Manad, Andres B.

77 75

68

82 69 72

65

75 71.15

66. Orosco, Casimiro P.

72 84

69

81 70 82

65

75 71.9

67. Padua, Manuel C.

76 76

68

80 79 79

50

75 70.1

68. Palang, Basilio S.

71 75

82

71 55 87

55

75 69.6

1948

69. Palma, Cuadrato

62 75

69

93 80 79

55

80 69.5

70. Paganiban, Jose V.

67 83

61

81 91 74

60

75 70.6

71. Pareja, Felipe

66 71

75

81 67 74

60

70 68.75

72. Patalinjug, Eriberto

73 77

78

73 78 71

55

75 71.25

73. Paulin, Jose C.

66 69

71

77 83 82

65

75 72.1

74. Pido, Serafin C.

72 78

63

80 71 85

70

80 72.05

75. Pimentel, Luis P.

77 75

76

81 76 68

55

80 71.6

76. Plantilla, Rodrigo C.

72 78

68

89 79 81

65

85 73.55

77. Regalario, Benito B.

72 80

64

80 75 81

55

80 69.55

78. Robis, Casto P.

62 77

74

73 68 80

70

80 70.9

79. Rodil, Francisco C.

68 69

70

81 76 75

65

75 70.75

80. Rodriguez, Mariano I.

80 75

69

80 72 80

65

80 73.35

81. Romero, Crispulo P.

78 75

66

77 76 83

65

75 72.85

82. Saez, Porfirio D.

75 75

72

81 69 77

60

75 71

83. Saliguma, Crisogono D.

79 79

74

78 69 65

65

70 71.8

84. Samano, Fortunato A.

75 84

72

77 70 82

60

75 71.9

85. Santos, Faustina C.

71 68

68

76 75 85

55

75 69.5

86. Santos, Josefina R.

68 69

76

71 77 82

65

75 72.3

87. Seludo, Ananias G.

75 80

69

79 77 82

65

75 73.25

88. Semilia, Rafael I.

68 85

55

83 89 79

65

80 71.25

89. Telan, Gaudencio

77 79

70

75 70 75

60

75 70.85

90. Tesorero, Leocadio T.

75 71

63

75 82 62

65

63 69.65

91. Torre, Valentin S. de la

85 81

71

76 69 65

55

70 70.4

92. Torres, Ariston L.

78 71

72

81 61 84

55

85 70.4

93. Veyra, Zosimo C. de

70 75

71

79 65 80

65

80 70.65

94. Viado, Jose

67 70

74

75 75 90

55

80 70.7

95. Villacarlos, Delfin A.

73 87

71

82 69 70

75

85 73.85

96. Villamil, Leonor S.

73 81

76

86 86 73

55

85 73.6

97. Zabala, Amando A.

76 70

67

75 76 76

60

75 70.6

70 71

78

81 76 72

64

96 73.4

71 78

55

76 85 69

65

93 70.2

1950

MRD-98. Cruz, Filomeno de la

99. Espaola, Pablo S.

100. Foronda, Clarencio J.

60 78

68

79 84 88

62

93 71.9

101. Hechanova, Vicente

59 76

75

75 69 68

75

96 71.3

80 78

61

76 61 77

66

85 70.2

65 86

63

82 89 72

60

72 70.15

75 85

68

78 69 67

65

69 70.25

105. Ungson, Fernando S.

61 87

75

70 57 85

83

82 72.8

106. Abasolo, Romulo

77 70

64

65 76 70

76

64 71.7

107. Adeva, Daniel G.

75 59

74

65 69 51

78

67 70.4

108. Aguilar, Vicente Z.

73 63

68

75 70 69

75

75 71.25

109. Amodia, Juan T.

75 76

66

75 76 60

77

76 72.35

MRD-110. Aosa, Pablo S.

76 78

63

75 74 61

75

79 71.6

111. Antiola, Anastacio R.

68 76

75

70 71 70

81

66 73.05

112. Aquino, S. Rey A.

70 71

71

60 74 62

76

77 71.1

113. Atienza, Manuel G.

71 78

68

80 86 51

82

75 73.85

114. Avancea, Alfonso

71 71

65

75 70 72

78

80 71.8

MRD-102. Pealosa, Osias R.

103. Sarmiento, Floro A.

MRD-104. Torre, Catalino P.

1951

MRD-115. Balacuit, Camilo N.

75 73

75

70 72 65

75

76 73.25

68 69

73

70 74 50

80

79 71.2

MRD-117. Barrientos, Ambrosio D.

76 60

67

55 74 63

77

62 70.25

MRD-118. Benitez, Tomas P.

67 75

75

60 73 72

75

78 72.2

73 82

67

65 66 72

77

68 71.25

71 69

74

70 76 52

79

72 71.95

121. Buela, Arcadio P.

72 77

61

70 71 58

79

71 69.75

122. Cabilao, Leonardo S.

73 50

75

75 75 60

71

79 71.25

123. Cabrera, Ireneo M.

75 66

70

65 72 81

70

79 72.4

64 73

73

80 73 57

75

59 69.65

64 73

73

80 73 57

75

59 69.65

127. Calimlim, Pedro B.

66 82

69

60 69 52

83

75 70

128. Camello, Sotero H.

70 77

63

65 75 66

84

64 71.55

129. Campos, Juan A.

71 88

70

75 64 69

71

62 70.15

130. Castillo, Antonio del

78 78

70

60 79 67

69

76 72.65

116. Barinaga, Jeremias L.

119. Biason, Sixto F.

MRD-120. Brias, Isagani A.

124. Cacacho, Emilio V.

125. Calilung, Soledad C.

MRD-126. Calimlim, Jose B.

MRD-131. Castillo, Dominador Ad.

75 61

72

75 74 71

67

66 71.1

MRD-132. Castro, Jesus B.

72 86

72

75 65 75

76

71 72.85

75 72

72

70 69 61

75

60 70.95

134. Cabangbang, Santiago B. 77 67

61

80 73 59

83

76 72.2

135. Cruz, Federico S.

69 74

75

75 68 65

76

70 71.65

136. Dacanay, Eufemio P.

70 73

62

75 72 69

85

71 72.05

137. Deysolong, Felisberto

66 62

72

75 70 62

83

62 70.85

78 79

63

75 73 75

81

59 73.5

78 63

58

70 70 67

87

63 71.6

MRD-140. Farol, Evencia C.

80 78

66

75 81 72

62

73 72.25

141. Felix, Conrado S.

71 71

75

65 70 58

75

69 70.75

142. Fernan, Pablo L.

67 88

66

85 73 68

78

75 72.35

143. Gandioco, Salvador G.

64 58

66

65 76 70

89

75 72.1

144. Gastardo, Crispin B.

70 69

68

75 78 66

86

72 73.9

145. Genson, Angelo B.

75 57

73

65 67 54

78

56 69.55

146. Guiani, Guinald M.

68 60

75

65 74 67

75

77 71.5

133. Casuga, Bienvenido B.

MRD-138. Dimaano, Jr., Jose N.

139. Espinosa, Domingo L.

147. Guina, Graciano P.

66 69

67

60 78 52

83

61 69.6

74 74

75

75 71 69

75

71 73.35

149. Ibarra, Venancio M.

60 75

74

70 74 70

80

75 71.9

150. Imperial, Monico L.

72 78

75

75 72 56

82

77 73.7

71 70

63

85 71 60

85

53 70.85

152. Inandan, Fortunato C.

77 77

67

53 73 75

79

57 72.5

153. Jimenez, Florencio C.

75 70

70

75 72 61

75

78 72.05

154. Kintanar, Woodrow M.

70 83

72

65 76 73

75

69 72.95

155. Languido, Cesar V.

63 71

63

85 70 61

85

79 70.55

156. Lavilles, Cesar L.

61 89

75

55 73 63

75

78 70.55

157. Llenos, Francisco U.

64 70

65

60 72 65

92

75 71.75

158. Leon, Marcelo D. de

63 73

60

85 75 75

90

70 72.75

159. Llanto, Priscilla

72 68

60

65 76 67

84

68 71.35

160. Machachor, Oscar

68 59

78

70 67 57

75

75 70.15

MRD-161. Magsino, Encarnacion

77 66

70

70 76 71

75

61 72.75

MRD-162. Maligaya, Demetrio M.

70 61

75

65 75 50

91

51 72.3

MRD-148. Homeres, Praxedes P.

MRD-151. Ibasco, Jr., Emiliano M.

163. Manio, Gregorio

67 67

69

80 71 67

75

75 70.65

164. Puzon, Eduardo S.

72 82

60

60 69 70

68

72 62.05

66 75

74

70 75 67

81

75 73.15

68 72

63

75 69 63

84

62 70.1

MRD-167. Monterroyo, Catalina S.

70 80

75

80 76 66

82

51 73.95

MRD-168. Montero, Leodegario C.

73 67

66

80 81 65

81

75 73.75

169. Monzon, Candido T.

70 72

74

75 67 70

77

69 72.05

170. Natividad, Alberto M.

73 79

68

65 73 69

75

79 72.2

MRD-171. Navallo, Capistrano C.

70 72

68

85 81 66

71

74 72.1

172. Nisce, Camilo Z.

66 66

75

65 79 68

85

62 73.5

MRD-173. Ocampo, Antonio F. de

75 81

76

65 74 67

75

69 73.75

72 70

69

55 66 70

77

75 70.5

75 76

66

80 72 63

82

69 72.95

70 66

65

70 75 64

75

70 69.95

177. Ramos-Balmori, Manuela 75 73

62

65 78 59

75

66 70.2

178. Recinto, Ireneo I.

68

75 74 68

80

53 72.3

MRD-165. Marcial, Meynardo R.

166. Martin, Benjamin S.

174. Olaviar, Jose O.

MRD-175. Perez, Cesario Z.

176. Pogado, Causin O.

73 76

MRD-179. Redor, Francisco K.

62 77

73

75 69 64

76

69 70

MRD-180. Regis, Deogracias A.

76 74

68

65 65 65

88

75 73.35

181. Rigor, Estelita C.

67 78

61

80 71 77

79

65 70.9

MRD-182. Rimorin-Gordo, Estela

70 72

62

60 88 66

67

79 70.15

183. Rosario, Prisco del

70 64

70

70 72 73

85

57 72.65

184. Rosario, Vicente D. del

75 91

65

75 68 68

79

62 72.2

185. Saavedra, Felipe

73 80

63

75 76 73

68

62 70.35

186. Salazar, Alfredo N.

66 72

73

75 67 68

77

69 70.85

187. Salem, Romulo R.

77 81

72

65 73 60

76

75 73

188. Foz, Julita A.

75 72

75

75 65 70

76

64 72.5

189. Santa Ana, Candido T.

77 69

65

75 81 75

70

75 73

190. Santos, Aquilino

72 66

69

65 68 70

81

71 71.7

191. Santos, Valeriano V.

76 72

75

75 68 62

76

79 73.1

192. Suico, Samuel

73 79

72

75 71 59

84

65 73.3

193. Suson, Teodorico

74 68

66

80 66 59

79

67 70.35

194. Tado, Florentino P.

64 76

67

65 76 72

76

53 69.7

195. Tapayan, Domingo A.

69 72

69

70 76 73

82

79 73.75

67 60

71

75 79 67

84

60 72.7

197. Torres, Carlos P.

68 71

71

70 70 63

82

71 71.6

198. Tria, Hipolito

69 72

75

60 69 54

78

66 70.05

199. Velasco, Avelino A.

65 72

75

75 71 67

78

76 72.1

200. Villa, Francisco C.

65 80

73

75 68 79

65

75 70.2

201. Villagonzalo, Job R.

78 67

74

65 72 51

69

71 70.25

202. Villarama, Jr., Pedro

75 74

75

55 75 66

67

75 71.45

203. Abacon, Pablo

75 72

78

81 78 72

64

55 72.7

MRP-204. Abad, Agapito

73 76

73

85 75 63

62

75 70.95

MRP-205. Abella, Ludovico B.

70 81

76

81 70 66

77

58 72.7

MRP-206. Abellera, Geronimo F.

75 79

79

87 76 51

63

70 71.7

MRP-207. Abenojar, Agapito N.

71 72

78

84 70 75

69

70 72.9

208. Alandy, Doroteo R.

64 83

93

91 68 59

60

60 71.2

209. Alano, Fabian T.

70 83

61

83 72 87

72

70 71.9

MRD-196. Tiausas, Miguel V.

1952

MRP-210. Alcantara, Pablo V.

71 79

80

81 73 70

72

62 73.65

211. Arcangel, Agustin Ag.

75 85

71

73 76 65

68

65 71.85

212. Acosta, Dionisio N.

75 81

78

87 56 65

77

70 72.8

66 85

80

84 75 58

76

75 73.65

214. Adove, Nehemias C.

76 86

78

77 66 78

69

62 73.55

215. Adrias, Inocencio C.

75 83

61

88 76 67

79

75 73.4

216. Aglugub, Andres R.

75 83

73

88 72 62

72

62 72.65

217. Andrada, Mariano L.

76 85

66

87 63 77

75

77 73.

72 72

75

81 61 67

73

65 70.75

73 71

72

91 75 67

65

53 70.7

MRP-220. Amodia, Juan T.

75 79

68

85 62 64

75

78 71.4

MRP-221. Antonio, Felino A.

71 76

81

83 79 52

72

70 73.3

MRP-222. Antonio, Jose S.

75 92

90

68 65 64

68

60 73.75

223. Aonuevo, Ramos B.

71 87

78

81 64 63

74

76 72.7

224. Aquino, S. Rey A.

67 77

57

78 69 70

69

80 67.7

225. Arteche, Filomeno D.

78 83

50

89 76 77

70

70 70.8

MRP-213. Abinguna, Agapito C.

MRP-218. Almeda, Serafin V.

219. Almonte-Peralta,
Felicidad

MRP-226. Arribas, Isaac M.

75 78

70

81 73 70

67

78 72.2

MRP-227. Azucena, Ceferino D.

72 67

78

89 72 67

77

65 73.95

228. Atienza, Ricardo

72 87

70

79 66 55

75

75 70.85

229. Balacuit, Camilo N.

75 78

89

75 70 54

66

75 73.3

MRP-230. Baclig, Cayetano S.

77 84

83

80 69 70

61

65 73

231. Balcita, Oscar C.

75 77

79

90 64 60

67

50 70.65

232. Barilea, Dominador Z.

71 67

82

77 64 61

65

80 70.5

MRP-233. Banta, Jose Y.

75 80

77

81 75 63

71

75 73.95

MRP-234. Barrientos, Ambrosio D.

76 70

67

80 67 65

70

81 70.7

235. Batucan, Jose M.

66 76

78

88 62 76

67

78 71.2

236. Bautista, Atilano C.

70 82

84

85 58 61

71

62 71.25

237. Bautista, Celso J.

71 68

63

87 80 67

80

70 72.75

238. Belderon, Jose

76 81

76

92 70 66

67

62 72.65

MRP-239. Belo, Victor B.

76 77

64

73 75 71

76

76 72.85

MRP-240. Bejec, Conceso D.

79 80

73

82 63 77

75

50 73.15

MRP-241. Beltran, Gervasio M.

72 75

81

73 75 57

75

80 73.95

MRP-242. Benaojan, Robustiano O. 74 84

77

84 75 63

68

62 72.85

MRP-243. Beria, Roger C.

70 80

79

79 68 72

64

78 71.85

MRP-244. Bihis, Marcelo M.

75 86

65

92 64 64

84

75 73.45

MRP-245. Binaoro, Vicente M.

73 69

78

83 73 59

70

82 72.75

MRP-246. Bobila, Rosalio B.

76 86

76

83 68 59

71

78 73.05

247. Buenafe, Avelina R.

78 80

75

75 70 55

72

80 72.75

248. Bueno, Anastacio F.

73 78

71

78 71 67

71

60 71.15

249. Borres, Maximino L.

67 85

62

91 72 63

76

80 70.9

MRP-250. Cabegin, Cesar V.

72 71

76

75 74 70

71

60 72.2

MRP-251. Cabello, Melecio F.

72 78

78

89 58 70

67

71 70.5

MRP-252. Cabrera, Irineo M.

79 88

53

91 71 85

75

76 73.3

253. Cabreros, Paulino N.

71 79

83

84 60 62

71

50 70.85

254. Calayag, Florentino R.

69 79

66

88 69 75

68

76 70.6

MRP-255. Calzada, Cesar de la

76 72

80

67 62 71

66

62 70.85

256. Canabal, Isabel

70 82

81

77 78 51

75

75 73.7

76 87

69

80 58 64

78

75 71.8

MRP-257. Cabugao, Pablo N.

258. Calagi, Mateo C.

73 93

71

87 70 66

69

62 71.8

259. Canda, Benjamin S.

72 71

77

90 62 75

66

82 71.95

260. Cantoria, Eulogio

71 80

71

89 70 55

72

75 71

261. Capacio, Jr., Conrado

67 78

71

90 65 75

72

60 70.65

262. Capitulo, Alejandro P.

75 70

53

87 78 63

76

91 71.2

MRP-263. Calupitan, Jr., Alfredo

75 93

81

76 64 75

68

56 73.15

MRP-264. Caluya, Arsenio V.

75 86

70

87 77 52

77

82 73.9

MRP-265. Campanilla, Mariano B.

80 75

78

77 73 71

63

76 73.65

MRP-266. Campos, Juan A.

66 85

83

84 67 61

80

57 73.25

267. Cardoso, Angelita G.

78 71

73

76 79 56

69

60 71.8

268. Cartagena, Herminio R.

71 72

65

89 64 73

80

70 71.65

65 75

77

76 85 60

75

69 73.15

270. Cauntay, Gaudencio V.

70 78

72

73 77 69

64

80 71.2

271. Castro, Pedro L. de

70 68

69

87 76 75

72

70 73.35

272. Cerio, Juan A.

75 82

75

86 60 54

76

75 71.75

273. Colorado, Alfonso R.

68 75

80

74 77 66

67

80 72.6

MRP-269. Castro, Daniel T.

274. Chavez, Doroteo M.

73 65

79

84 73 69

66

84 73.1

275. Chavez, Honorato A.

77 76

79

86 74 53

71

75 73.65

MRP-276. Cobangbang, Orlando B. 69 81

74

82 76 61

78

80 73.85

277. Cortez, Armando R.

78 60

88

86 60 66

69

64 73.1

278. Crisostomo, Jesus L.

76 87

74

76 62 55

76

66 71.45

MRP-279. Cornejo, Crisanto R.

68 87

78

86 79 50

80

60 73.7

MRP-280. Cruz, Raymundo

75 81

79

85 72 57

68

75 72.95

MRP-281. Cunanan, Jose C.

78 92

63

83 76 72

68

65 72.4

282. Cunanan, Salvador F.

70 82

64

92 67 75

73

76 71.45

283. Cimafranca, Agustin B.

71 76

76

80 70 71

75

71 73.35

284. Crisol, Getulio R.

70 91

78

85 68 55

71

50 70.8

MRP-285. Dusi, Felicisimo R.

76 82

69

82 66 62

80

71 72.85

MRP-286. Datu, Alfredo J.

70 75

72

86 80 55

68

79 71.5

71 67

87

83 71 50

65

70 71.25

73 80

82

74 80 67

67

57 73.65

70 84

82

84 77 52

73

50 72.65

287. Dacuma, Luis B.

MRP-288. Degamo, Pedro R.

289. Delgado, Vicente N.

MRP-290. Diolazo, Ernesto A.

75 83

86

73 54 54

75

75 72.25

73 84

64

89 71 78

75

66 72.8

MRP-292. Dichoso, Alberto M.

71 77

71

81 69 75

80

70 73.65

MRP-293. Dipasupil, Claudio R.

70 76

82

73 79 70

72

56 73.9

MRP-294. Delgado, Abner

75 84

63

67 64 60

70

72 68.35

MRP-295. Domingo, Dominador T.

70 69

81

82 68 63

71

75 72.2

296. Ducusin, Agapito B.

70 78

53

88 75 77

62

76 68.05

75 77

78

86 76 72

64

75 73.9

298. Duque, Castulo

75 80

73

83 66 67

65

66 70.65

299. Ebbah, Percival B.

70 80

85

76 66 63

76

75 73.95

300. Edisa, Sulpicio

65 77

75

89 75 62

75

65 72

301. Edradan, Rosa C.

70 75

84

84 71 59

69

86 73.4

MRP-302. Enage, Jacinto N.

66 70

88

93 72 67

65

75 73.2

MRP-303. Encarnacion, Alfonso B.

75 86

73

81 63 77

69

75 72.65

304. Encarnacion, Cesar

65 78

58

68 66 64

75

78 67.1

305. Estoista, Agustin A.

78 76

74

86 58 67

70

76 71.7

291. Dionisio, Jr., Guillermo

MRP-297. Duque, Antonio S.

MRP-306. Fabros, Jose B.

66 75

80

82 80 71

67

70 73.05

MRP-307. Fajardo, Balbino P.

77 69

82

83 65 60

75

75 73.9

308. Fajardo, Genaro P.

70 79

77

79 79 50

73

75 72.5

309. Evangelista, Felicidad P.

75 75

72

87 63 63

77

70 72.15

310. Familara, Raymundo Z.

68 75

87

83 64 65

68

65 71.85

311. Farias, Dionisio

70 78

89

66 65 75

70

50 72.75

312. Favila, Hilario B.

71 84

74

70 75 67

73

59 72.2

MRP-313. Feliciano, Alberto I.

71 69

70

85 69 81

72

70 72.25

MRP-314. Fernando, Lope F.

73 77

86

79 70 76

64

50 73

MRP-315. Flores, Dionisio S.

78 72

77

83 67 60

68

73 72.05

MRP-316. Fortich, Benjamin B.

70 82

70

70 78 65

64

75 70.35

MRP-317. Fuente, Jose S. de la

76 88

72

74 60 71

79

79 73.55

72 79

71

77 68 61

76

60 70.9

76 81

74

69 71 71

73

60 72.85

320. Gabuya, Jesus S.

70 83

82

83 70 63

75

65 73.75

321. Galang, Victor N.

69 83

84

76 70 57

71

60 71.95

318. Fohmantes, Nazario S.

MRP-319. Fuggan, Lorenzo B.

322. Gaerlan, Manuel L.

73 87

77

90 67 61

72

75 73.15

323. Galem, Nestor R.

72 79

86

78 60 61

75

70 73.05

324. Gallardo, Jose Pe B.

75 88

75

75 63 70

70

65 71.85

70 78

84

91 80 51

65

70 72.85

326. Galindo, Eulalio D.

70 89

87

65 78 71

62

62 73.4

327. Galman, Patrocinio G.

72 72

80

85 71 56

70

53 71.15

328. Gamalinda, Carlos S.

76 79

81

86 67 63

69

55 72.55

329. Gamboa, Antonio G.

71 67

70

72 76 60

75

68 70.95

330. Gannod, Jose A.

69 80

75

81 68 62

73

68 71.25

MRP-331. Garcia, Matias N.

67 78

74

90 79 59

76

65 72.8

MRP-332. Ganete, Carmelo

75 87

77

82 74 57

68

81 73.3

333. Gilbang, Gaudioso R.

75 67

80

82 67 57

64

70 70.5

334. Gofredo, Claro C.

68 78

72

86 78 52

70

76 70.9

335. Gomez, Jose S.

71 76

71

81 76 63

69

62 70.85

MRP-336. Gosiaoco, Lorenzo V.

68 93

85

78 64 69

70

54 72.35

MRP-337. Gonzales, Rafael C.

77 75

71

89 55 70

70

60 70.05

MRP-325. Gallos, Cirilo B.

MRP-338. Gracia, Eulalia L. de

66 68

90

84 77 59

69

65 73.3

339. Grageda, Jose M. A.

70 85

72

67 70 60

73

73 70.75

340. Guzman, Juan de

75 86

69

84 64 79

75

76 73.6

76 79

79

73 72 69

68

80 73.9

342. Guzman, Salvador B.

71 61

74

72 61 66

78

75 70.75

343. Guzman, Salvador T. de

75 84

64

81 74 61

78

58 71.75

344. Habelito, Geronimo E.

71 76

71

87 73 60

67

55 69.65

345. Hedriana, Naterno G.

75 68

84

76 66 58

76

60 72.9

346. Hernandez, Quintin B.

67 75

72

81 72 72

66

76 70.6

347. Homeres, Agustin R.

73 84

65

86 70 77

63

76 70.7

348. Ines, Leonilo F.

65 88

71

88 77 73

61

70 70.55

349. Jamer, Alipio S.

68 75

83

89 80 61

65

50 72

MRP-350. Ibasco, Jr., Emiliano M.

75 65

68

85 76 70

83

54 73.8

MRP-351. Jardinico, Jr., Emilio

73 86

72

78 82 67

67

64 72.8

MRP-352. Jaen, Justiniano F.

76 75

78

84 71 66

70

77 73.85

MRP-341. Guzman, Mateo de

1952

353. Jaring, Antonio S.

72 77

79

70 72 57

71

50 70.75

MRP-354. Javier, Aquilino M.

75 84

79

78 77 61

66

66 73.05

355. Jomuad, Francisco

75 75

72

88 78 58

76

43 72.4

78 61

64

73 68 76

64

80 69.7

357. La Q, Jose M.

75 71

75

72 70 67

81

59 73.5

358. Leon, Brigido C. de

67 75

78

91 78 51

72

80 72.55

359. Leones, Constante B.

68 81

79

84 73 60

77

60 73

360. Liboro, Horacio T.

72 69

80

87 73 62

70

61 72.4

361. Llanera, Cesar L.

77 81

80

78 64 59

75

63 73

362. Lomontod, Jose P.

75 76

69

70 73 76

74

75 73.2

363. Luna, Lucito

70 75

69

83 59 53

74

75 68.4

MRP-364. Luz, Lauro L.

76 90

78

88 64 58

75

77 73.95

MRP-365. Macasaet, Tomas S.

73 81

72

83 66 75

72

70 72.5

366. Magbiray, Godofredo V.

80 67

84

76 70 62

65

68 73.05

367. Majarais, Rodolfo P.

70 62

64

82 88 75

71

79 72.85

75 90

77

83 59 71

72

78 73.3

MRP-356. Jose, Nestor L.

MRP-368. Makabenta, Eduardo

MRP-369. Malapit, Justiniano S.

74 83

74

89 58 60

72

76 71.1

370. Maloles, Iluminado M.

70 87

73

76 77 50

76

76 72.3

371. Maniquis, Daniel R.

75 80

73

91 69 71

65

70 72.1

372. Maraa, Arsenio

65 79

60

72 73 51

75

86 67.9

373. Marasigan, Napoleon

75 71

83

75 69 62

69

70 72.75

MRP-374. Marco, Jaime P.

75 67

74

76 64 75

75

57 71.9

MRP-375. Martir, Osmundo P.

70 86

76

78 72 71

75

53 72.95

MRP-376. Masancay, Amando E.

73 87

75

77 72 50

78

80 73.2

MRP-377. Mati-ong, Ignacio T.

62 87

72

79 73 76

69

77 71.3

378. Mara, Guillermo L.

70 78

78

89 75 67

66

65 72.35

MRP-379. Mercado, Felipe A.

73 77

82

82 78 52

69

85 73.9

MRP-380. Miculob, Eugenio P.

70 82

73

86 77 52

79

65 72.8

381. Mison, Rafael M. Jr.,

79 78

73

75 71 68

69

53 71.95

MRP-382. Monponbanua, Antonio


D.

79 79

68

88 64 78

69

83 73.1

MRP-383. Montero, Leodegario C.

72 89

69

89 70 68

70

75 72.15

75 76

67

71 65 66

75

76 70.9

384. Morada, Servillano S.

385. Mocorro, Generoso

78 84

78

84 60 73

68

70 73

MRP-386. Mosquera, Estanislao L.

75 78

75

85 72 55

77

66 73.15

387. Motus, Rodentor P.

80 78

70

94 72 75

70

57 73.75

388. Macario, Pedro R.

70 67

74

86 78 63

72

66 72.15

MRP-389. Nadela, Geredion T.

72 64

64

81 73 50

75

75 69.15

MRP-390. Nazareno, Romeo P.

67 70

71

76 76 79

75

57 72.05

69 79

77

77 72 62

76

76 72.9

MRP-392. Noguera, Raymundo

71 86

81

80 73 56

72

70 73.15

MRP-393. Nodado, Domiciano R.

70 70

69

73 57 37

64

72 63.6

394. Nono, Pacifico G.

67 77

78

67 75 59

71

76 71.35

MRP-395. Nuval, Manuel R.

78 72

67

90 72 68

78

67 73.65

396. Ocampo, Augusto

75 90

77

72 69 55

65

67 60.7

397. Oliveros, Amado A.

72 75

68

72 84 50

75

79 71.9

398. Opia, Jr., Pedro

76 77

74

67 73 66

68

70 71.85

MRP-399. Olaviar, Jose O.

70 62

85

81 74 50

68

79 71.8

MRP-400. Olandesca, Per O.

70 91

76

87 72 66

70

79 73.45

391. Nieto, Benedicto S.

401. Orden, Apolonio J.

72 65

84

86 66 50

72

68 71.45

402. Ortiz, Melencio T.

71 75

78

81 66 67

70

78 72.1

MRP-403. Pablo, Fedelino S.

72 64

76

86 72 61

76

75 72.95

76 79

69

80 76 52

72

80 71.95

75 69

72

75 78 58

75

70 72.6

406. Padlan, Crispin M.

71 66

76

79 68 67

74

66 71.65

407. Padilla, Jose C.

70 65

67

82 78 75

78

75 73.3

408. Padilla, Jr., Estanislao E.

71 88

78

86 59 75

78

50 72.95

MRP-409. Palma, Bartolome

67 81

80

82 71 75

69

75 73.25

MRP-410. Papa, Angel A.

75 72

85

85 77 59

63

71 73.45

MRP-411. Parayno, Mario V.

71 88

74

89 69 66

76

73 73.65

412. Paria, Santos L.

70 87

85

77 64 67

63

76 71.85

MRP-413. Pasion, Anastacio

63 80

68

81 82 79

76

58 72.55

414. Pastrana, Rizal R.

69 76

71

76 68 63

77

83 71.65

MRP-415. Paulin, Jose O.

70 66

80

87 75 50

65

80 70.9

MRP-416. Pelaez, Jr., Vicente C.

79 87

73

83 69 71

68

65 73.2

404. Pacifico, Vicente V.

MRP-405. Paderna, Perfecto D.

417. Pea, Jesus

75 75

75

62 75 70

60

66 70.4

418. Perez, Toribio R.

71 64

81

92 69 58

67

70 71.25

419. Pestao, Melquiades

77 81

74

87 59 68

76

75 73.2

MRP-420. Pido, Serafin C.

77 81

72

82 69 71

60

75 71.15

421. Pinlac, Filemon

67 76

74

86 65 79

65

72 70.55

422. Poblete, Celso B.

72 79

82

76 66 64

74

50 72.15

68 70

75

87 74 67

64

75 70.8

424. Puzon, Eduardo S.

72 80

81

69 72 53

67

70 71.05

425. Quetulio, Josefina D.

75 90

60

93 64 78

76

83 72.9

MRP-426. Quipanes, Melchor V.

69 88

79

82 65 62

71

66 71.55

MRP-427. Quietson, Bayani R.

73 75

76

77 70 81

71

53 72.85

428. Racho, Macario D.

68 75

81

82 78 53

66

54 70.55

429. Ramirez, Sabas P.

71 80

73

87 62 62

75

80 71.65

MRP-430. Raffian, Jose A.

80 83

79

79 62 72

68

65 73.25

MRP-431. Ramos, Patricio S.

75 87

76

75 72 72

61

75 72.25

MRP-432. Ramos-Balmori, Manuela 78 84

76

90 48 75

80

65 73.45

MRP-423. Piza, Luz

MRP-433. Raro, Celso

75 81

76

67 75 77

55

77 71.4

MRP-434. Rayos, Victor S.

75 86

79

91 71 67

67

70 73.9

435. Revilla, Mariano S.

75 78

81

90 70 54

69

81 73.35

436. Reyes, Abdon L.

72 64

81

78 76 73

69

53 72.85

437. Reyes, Domingo B.

72 87

78

83 72 75

62

70 72.7

438. Reyes, Francisco M.

75 85

84

68 75 71

68

50 73.9

439. Reyes, Lozano M.

80 57

78

79 78 65

64

79 73.35

75 75

82

82 76 64

68

60 73.65

441. Rigonan, Cesar V.

71 85

65

86 75 70

76

70 72.7

442. Rivera, Honorio

71 56

70

90 71 65

75

71 71.2

MRP-443. Rivero, Buenaventura A.

72 88

72

94 68 73

66

80 72.6

MRP-444. Robles, Enrique

75 77

75

77 82 64

69

70 73.7

445. Rodriguez, Orestes


Arellano

76 75

76

63 69 77

65

78 72.25

446. Roldan, Jose V.

67 80

79

83 73 71

75

70 73.9

447. Rosario, Adelaida R. del

80 75

65

70 68 72

80

70 73.15

448. Rosario, Restituto F. del

75 75

79

90 68 65

66

63 72.1

MRP-440. Reyes, Oscar R.

MRP-449. Sabelino, Conrado S.

71 81

69

75 77 71

75

70 72.95

450. San Juan, Damaso

77 86

72

89 59 76

65

72 71.6

451. Saiel, Felix L.

72 93

76

80 67 75

66

62 72.1

452. Samaniego, Jesus B.

75 80

76

72 60 67

68

70 70.6

MRP-453. Sandoval, Emmanuel M.

75 83

70

83 77 67

77

60 73.95

MRP-454. Sanidad, Emmanuel Q.

71 75

81

90 62 64

76

68 72.95

455. Santiago, Jr., Cristobal

75 76

84

93 63 65

59

70 71.8

456. Santillan, Juanito Ll.

76 89

83

83 63 58

65

52 71.25

MRP-457. Santos, Rodolfo C.

75 75

78

82 73 76

66

70 73.7

MRP-458. Santos, Ruperto M.

67 54

69

76 63 64

71

60 66.75

MRP-459. Santos, Aquilino C.

72 71

73

79 73 79

71

85 73.8

MRP-460. Santos, Rufino A.

75 81

79

85 74 72

66

54 73.3

461. Suanding, Bantas

75 67

67

92 79 59

76

76 73.1

76 79

76

78 72 75

68

67 73.5

463. Songco, Felicisimo G.

70 68

82

84 60 69

76

65 73.35

464. Soriano, Aniceto S.

64 79

77

80 80 53

70

65 70.7

MRP-462. Sulit, Feliz M.

465. Suarez, Pablo D.

73 85

70

87 76 70

64

70 71.9

79 70

70

72 75 75

72

60 73.05

69 68

77

79 74 68

72

60 71.85

MRP-468. Tan Kiang, Clarita

81 79

72

80 62 75

73

80 73.95

MRP-469. Tando, Amado T.

71 82

78

83 71 61

71

60 72

470. Tasico, Severo E.

71 69

75

89 70 75

67

63 71.65

471. Tiburcio, Ismael P.

73 82

72

93 76 57

68

54 71.15

MRP-472. Tiongson, Federico T.

70 70

76

84 77 75

75

50 73.45

MRP-473. Tolentino, Jesus C.

75 89

63

84 85 73

73

50 73.4

474. Torrijas, Alfredo A.

77 66

67

83 68 75

71

63 71.3

MRP-475. Tobias, Artemio M.

69 58

74

81 71 55

65

57 67.55

MRP-476. Trillana, Jr., Apolonio

76 86

76

86 70 68

75

50 73.8

MRP-477. Trinidad, Manuel O.

66 91

83

75 63 66

67

65 70.8

66 78

78

85 78 51

64

75 70.8

80 82

77

82 67 56

68

75 72.6

68 75

81

80 71 69

68

60 71.7

MRP-466. Sybico, Jesus L.

467. Tabaque, Benjamin R.

478. Trinidad, Pedro O.

MRP-479. Udarbe, Flavio J.

480. Umali, Osmundo C.

481. Umayam, Juanito C.

77 75

87

85 56 56

66

60 71

75 72

75

74 73 76

71

70 73.55

483. Valino, Francisco M.

72 81

80

84 62 78

71

75 73.7

484. Varela, Dominador M.

67 75

81

86 72 57

81

70 73.85

485. Vega, Macairog L. de

78 62

79

87 70 70

71

65 73.8

71 80

74

85 60 66

76

76 71.85

73 70

89

80 56 50

72

67 71.05

78 91

58

67 76 55

75

73 73.65

69 81

74

85 62 66

72

77 77.05

MRP-490. Verzosa, Federico B.

75 79

72

88 76 68

74

59 73.7

MRP-491. Villafuerte, Eduardo V.

75 83

70

76 64 64

75

65 71.2

MRP-492. Villanueva, Cecilio C.

75 85

79

88 66 77

67

70 73.95

493. Villar, Custodio R.

73 69

70

88 76 66

69

50 70.75

MRP-494. Villaseor, Leonidas F.

80 85

67

77 62 75

76

73 73.15

495. Viterbo, Jose H.

80 77

65

93 70 65

65

65 70.65

496. Yaranon, Pedro

70 77

76

85 72 50

75

75 71.85

MRP-482. Usita, Gelacio U.

MRP-486. Velasco, Emmanuel D.

487. Velez, Maria E.

MRP-488. Venal, Artemio V.

489. Venus, Conrado B.

MRP-497. Yasay, Mariano R.

75 75

72

76 63 77

70

60 71.1

MRP-498. Ygay, Venancio M.

73 80

83

84 62 59

72

77 72.65

499. Yulo, Jr., Teodoro

73 82

78

75 60 81

75

75 73.95

500. Zamora, Alberto

70 65

76

79 62 77

69

82 71.3

501. Rigonan, Felipe C.

70 79

69

89 76 62

71

64 71.2

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

Ci
v.

Lan Mer
d
c.

Int Pol Cri


.
.
m.

Re
m.

Le
g.

Gen
. Av.

1. Amao, Sulpicio M.

1946

68 67

76

76 73 73

49

50 66.5

1950

59 80

67

77 62 80

71

57 67.4

1951

65 76

58

55 59 63

75

72 64.9

1952

65 68

75

84 72 59

73

57 69.7
5

1953

57 74

68

68 76 52

71

76 66.7

2. Baldo, Olegario Ga.

3. Blanco, Jose B.

MRD-1949

75 75

70

75 77 76

60

90 72.1
5

1951

64 71

58

65 68 70

75

71 66.9
5

1950

71 80

62

75 75 81

55

92 69.3

1951

70 60

61

65 77 64

67

81 67.8
5

MRD-1949

69 70

76

73 76 71

55

60 68.6
5

1950

60 71

55

67 67 75

56

89 68.1

MRD-1949

60 70

82

79 70 69

60

80 69.2
5

1950

57 65

51

69 54 85

56

84 60.3

4. Condeno, Mateo

5. Ducusin, Agapito B.

6. Garcia, Manuel N.

7. Luna, Lucito A.

1946

63 53

69

76 75 76

57

69 66.5
5

1952

70 75

69

83 59 53

74

75 68.4

1949

72 68

68

75 75 72

60

75 69.3
5

1952

65 79

60

72 73 51

75

86 67.9

1951

61 60

58

60 70 63

75

64 64.8

1952

70 77

65

79 66 52

70

50 66.4

1953

78 64

66

68 81 50

71

78 70.6
5

1950

25 75

45

75 45 52

46

71 46.2

1951

70 77

65

79 66 52

70

50 66.4

1952

75 75

75

62 75 70

60

66 70.4

8. Maraa, Arsenio s.

9. Montano, Manuel M.

10. Pea, Jesus S.

11. Placido, Sr., Isidro

1950

68 78

70

75 69 70

58

69 67.7
5

1951

65 62

75

60 73 57

75

71 66.8

1949

65 75

72

75 60 75

55

85 66.6
5

1951

68 57

48

60 91 66

55

75 64.0
5

1952

68 53

68

67 58 56

75

64 65.7

1952

67 80

51

69 69 77

73

53 66.3
5

1953

65 67

78

74 75 62

69

80 70.9

1951

67 60

70

65 68 56

75

66 67.7
5

1952

70 71

67

78 67 75

71

70 70.1

12. Rementizo, Filemon S.

13. Amao, Sulpicio M.

14. Rodulfa, Juan T.

15. Sanchez, Juan J.

1948

39 69

82

75 76 72

55

50 63.5

MRD-1949

67 56

69

75 72 77

60

75 68

1951

70 59

55

60 68 57

78

67 65.8

1952

62 76

54

82 72 77

66

65 66.6
5

1953

73 71

70

65 78 64

65

78 70.4

1951

60 64

55

70 68 52

70

75 62.8
5

1952

75 64

70

81 76 55

61

75 69.1

1953

70 71

79

65 72 54

66

80 70

MRD-1948

50 64

76

66 66 69

60

52 63.1

MRD-1949

47 66

78

64 71 86

65

85 68

16. Santos, Constantino

17. Santos, Salvador H.

18. Sevilla, Macario C.

1950

35 65

40

75 63 57

27

49 45

MRD-1951

68 59

72

55 69 65

75

75 69.3

1953

70 73

74

70 81 56

69

71 71.0
5

Finally, with regards to the examinations of 1953, while some candidates--85 in all--presented motions for
reconsideration of their grades, others invoked the provisions of Republic Act No. 972. A list of those
candidates separating those who filed mere motions for reconsideration (56) from those who invoked the
aforesaid Republic act, is as follows:
1953 PETITIONERS FOR RECONSIDERATION

Ci Lan Mer Int Pol Cri


v. d
c.
. .
m.

Re
m.

Le Gen.
g. Av.

1. Acenas, Calixto R.

73 70

68

62 82 51

67

77 73.45

2. Alcantara, Pedro N.

67 70

75

85 87 54

71

80 72.8

3. Alejandro, Exequiel

67 72

71

75 80 76

75

77 73.4

4. Andres, Gregorio M.

70 73

86

58 79 50

71

78 72.7

5. Arnaiz, Antonio E.

66 80

76

58 79 68

77

81 73.4

6. Asis, Floriano U. de

66 78

75

81 77 55

73

69 71.25

7. Bacaiso, Celestino M.

71 65

76

68 76 50

75

70 70.95

8. Bala, Florencio F.

64 82

47

70 82 58

75

82 67

9. Baldo, Olegario A.

57 74

68

68 76 52

71

76 66.7

10. Barrios, Benjamin O.

65 71

76

75 80 62

83

73 73.95

11. Buhay, Eduardo L.

73 76

71

91 76 61

74

78 73.35

12. Burgos, Dominador C.

72 80

89

61 66 37

69

68 70.05

13. Cario, Eldo J.

79 81

60

75 74 74

76

74 73

14. Casar, Dimapuro

67 73

84

79 77 61

71

74 73.35

15. Castaeda, Gregorio

70 73

80

71 75 70

73

78 73.95

16. Estrellado, Benjamin R.

67 79

64

73 82 62

71

74 70.2

17. Fabunan, Edilberto C.

70 72

68

69 77 60

76

74 71.1

18. Feril, Domingo B.

75 71

84

65 70 60

65

70 71.6

19. Fernandez, Alejandro G.

65 75

87

80 81 63

61

80 72.8

20. Gapus, Rosita S. (Miss)

76 80

86

77 64 74

66

69 73.9

21. Garcia, Rafael B.

70 86

70

75 73 63

73

75 71.65

22. Gracia, Miguel L. de

73 68

75

59 80 51

72

71 71

23. Gungon, Armando G.

68 76

76

84 77 57

77

83 73.6

24. Gutierrez, Antonio S.

68 77

66

70 72 59

71

74 69.1

25. Ilejay, Abraham I.

77 70

76

77 81 62

70

68 73.7

26. Leon, Benjamin La. De

66 66

75

70 77 55

71

82 70.35

27. Lugtu, Felipe L.

62 70

78

65 78 56

69

81 69.9

28. Lukman, Abdul-Hamid

76 64

67

69 73 59

73

75 70.45

29. Maloles, Jr., Benjamin G.

77 76

68

68 71 51

75

78 70.85

30. Maloles, Julius G.

77 71

60

71 79 62

68

72 69.75

31. Mandi, Santiago P.

65 76

70

61 79 68

75

72 71.1

32. Margete, Rufino C.

70 76

66

75 85 73

71

75 72.75

33. Melocoton, Nestorio B.

70 81

73

78 83 52

72

75 72.35

34. Molina, Manuel C.

75 78

70

61 75 63

66

85 70.95

35. Muoz, Mariano A.

75 80

86

67 74 57

68

76 73.75

36. Navarro, Buenaventura M.

80 75

65

75 83 55

73

79 73

37. Nodado, Domiciano R.

60 67

67

50 70 50

56

75 61.7

38. Papas, Sisenando B.

65 62

71

61 70 56

66

67 66

39. Pagulayan-Sy, Fernando

63 75

71

62 83 67

70

72 70.4

40. Padula, Benjamin C.

70 77

54

62 74 78

75

68 69.05

41. Pasno, Enrique M.

78 72

66

54 71 58

72

78 69.85

42. Pea, Jr., Narciso

70 95

81

78 67 66

67

73 72.55

43. Peralta, Rodolfo P.

70 70

52

81 68 63

59

69 63.7

44. Pigar, Leopoldo R.

76 75

78

61 72 72

71

79 73.75

45. Publico, Paciano L.

68 69

76

76 70 59

74

67 70.6

46. Radaza, Leovigildo

75 78

76

61 77 50

71

86 72.2

47. Ramos, Bernardo M.

64 62

75

93 81 52

66

80 70.1

48. Rabaino, Andres D.

68 72

75

73 78 55

69

76 70.65

49. Ravanera, Oscar N.

70 77

80

71 82 62

69

78 73.6

50. Renovilla, Jose M.

65 75

80

68 79 52

62

78 69.5

51. Sabaot, Solomon B.

69 73

80

69 82 69

69

79 73.85

52. Sumaway, Ricardo S.

66 76

69

76 74 56

72

68 69.1

53. Torrefiel, Sofronio O.

70 77

74

75 73 50

68

72 69.55

54. Vera, Federico V. de

60 61

47

77 69 50

67

77 60.9

55. Viray, Venancio Bustos

65 67

67

52 73 64

71

65 67.15

56. Ylaya, Angela P. (Miss)

63 70

56

75 68 54

70

77 64.5

PETITIONERS UNDER REPUBLIC ACT NO. 972

Ci Lan Mer Int Pol Cri


v. d
c.
. .
m.

Re
m.

Le Gen.
g. Av.

1. Ala, Narciso

70 71

73

59 73 74

81

77 73.5

2. Alcantara, Pedro N.

67 70

75

85 87 54

71

80 72.8

3. Arellano, Antonio L.

74 66

73

60 78 63

78

72 72.9

4. Buhay, Eduardo L.

73 76

71

91 76 61

74

78 73.35

5. Calautit, Celestino R.

71 78

84

75 75 61

68

72 73.2

6. Casuncad, Sulvio P.

61 73

82

69 81 68

71

84 73.05

7. Enriquez, Pelagio y
Concepcion

84 69

76

75 82 50

58

79 72.05

8. Estonina, Severino

80 74

64

89 81 56

68

82 72.4

9. Fernandez, Alejandro Q.

65 75

87

80 81 63

61

80 72.8

10. Fernandez, Luis N.

70 75

77

75 78 67

72

73 73.35

11. Figueroa, Alfredo A.

70 75

87

78 75 50

68

68 72.3

12. Formilleza, Pedro

65 75

89

68 83 51

70

75 73.25

13. Garcia, Manuel M.

69 68

83

83 73 62

62

70 71

14. Grospe, Vicente E.

68 75

78

66 79 61

69

82 71.6

15. Galema, Nestor R. (1952)

72 79

86

78 60 61

75

70 73.05

16. Jacobo, Rafael F.

76 76

75

74 76 50

72

76 72.3

17. Macalindong, Reinerio L.

67 77

79

79 74 72

68

77 72.75

18. Mangubat, Antonio M.

70 70

78

61 80 74

62

70 71.45

19. Montano, Manuel M.

78 64

66

68 81 50

71

78 70.65

20. Plomantes, Marcos

73 67

74

58 68 70

76

71 71.6

21. Ramos, Eugenio R.

70 80

76

67 72 69

72

79 72.6

22. Reyes, Juan R.

71 73

77

76 81 59

72

74 73.2

23. Reyes, Santiago R.

65 78

83

60 76 75

70

70 72.9

24. Rivera, Eulogio J.

65 67

78

74 75 62

69

80 70.9

25. Santos, Constantino P.

73 71

70

65 78 64

65

78 70.4

26. Santos, Salvador H.

70 71

79

65 72 54

66

80 70

27. Sevilla, Macario C.

70 73

74

70 81 56

69

71 71.05

28. Villavicencio, Jose A.

78 75

70

67 69 77

64

77 73.2

29. Viray, Ruperto G.

76 73

76

73 80 58

68

83 73.25

There are the unsuccessful candidates totaling 604 directly affected by this resolution. Adding 490
candidates who have not presented any petition, they reach a total of 1,094.

The Enactment of Republic Act No. 972


As will be observed from Annex I, this Court reduced to 72 per cent the passing general average in the bar
examination of august and November of 1946; 69 per cent in 1947; 70 per cent in 1948; 74 per cent in
1949; maintaining the prescribed 75 per cent since 1950, but raising to 75 per cent those who obtained 74
per cent since 1950. This caused the introduction in 1951, in the Senate of the Philippines of Bill No. 12
which was intended to amend Sections 5, 9, 12, 14 and 16 of Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, concerning
the admission of attorneys-at-law to the practice of the profession. The amendments embrace many
interesting matters, but those referring to sections 14 and 16 immediately concern us. The proposed
amendment is as follows:
SEC. 14. Passing average. In order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed the
examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 70 per cent without falling
below 50 per cent in any subject. In determining the average, the foregoing subjects shall be given
the following relative weights: Civil Law, 20 per cent; Land Registration and Mortgages, 5 per cent;
Mercantile Law, 15 per cent; Criminal Law, 10 per cent; Political Law, 10 per cent; International Law,
5 per cent; Remedial Law, 20 per cent; Legal Ethics and Practical Exercises, 5 per cent; Social
Legislation, 5 per cent; Taxation, 5 per cent. Unsuccessful candidates shall not be required to take
another examination in any subject in which they have obtained a rating of 70 per cent or higher
and such rating shall be taken into account in determining their general average in any subsequent
examinations: Provided, however, That if the candidate fails to get a general average of 70 per cent
in his third examination, he shall lose the benefit of having already passed some subjects and shall
be required to the examination in all the subjects.
SEC. 16. Admission and oath of successful applicants. Any applicant who has obtained a general
average of 70 per cent in all subjects without falling below 50 per cent in any examination held
after the 4th day of July, 1946, or who has been otherwise found to be entitled to admission to the
bar, shall be allowed to take and subscribe before the Supreme Court the corresponding oath of
office. (Arts. 4 and 5, 8, No. 12).
With the bill was an Explanatory Note, the portion pertinent to the matter before us being:
It seems to be unfair that unsuccessful candidates at bar examinations should be compelled to
repeat even those subjects which they have previously passed. This is not the case in any other
government examination. The Rules of Court have therefore been amended in this measure to give
a candidate due credit for any subject which he has previously passed with a rating of 75 per cent
or higher."
Senate Bill No. 12 having been approved by Congress on May 3, 1951, the President requested the
comments of this Tribunal before acting on the same. The comment was signed by seven Justices while
three chose to refrain from making any and one took no part. With regards to the matter that interests us,
the Court said:
The next amendment is of section 14 of Rule 127. One part of this amendment provides that if a bar
candidate obtains 70 per cent or higher in any subject, although failing to pass the examination, he
need not be examined in said subject in his next examination. This is a sort of passing the Bar
Examination on the installment plan, one or two or three subjects at a time. The trouble with this
proposed system is that although it makes it easier and more convenient for the candidate because
he may in an examination prepare himself on only one or two subjects so as to insure passing them,
by the time that he has passed the last required subjects, which may be several years away from
the time that he reviewed and passed the firs subjects, he shall have forgotten the principles and
theories contained in those subjects and remembers only those of the one or two subjects that he
had last reviewed and passed. This is highly possible because there is nothing in the law which
requires a candidate to continue taking the Bar examinations every year in succession. The only
condition imposed is that a candidate, on this plan, must pass the examination in no more that
three installments; but there is no limitation as to the time or number of years intervening between
each examination taken. This would defeat the object and the requirements of the law and the
Court in admitting persons to the practice of law. When a person is so admitted, it is to be
presumed and presupposed that he possesses the knowledge and proficiency in the law and the
knowledge of all law subjects required in bar examinations, so as presently to be able to practice

the legal profession and adequately render the legal service required by prospective clients. But
this would not hold true of the candidates who may have obtained a passing grade on any five
subjects eight years ago, another three subjects one year later, and the last two subjects the
present year. We believe that the present system of requiring a candidate to obtain a passing
general average with no grade in any subject below 50 per cent is more desirable and satisfactory.
It requires one to be all around, and prepared in all required legal subjects at the time of admission
to the practice of law.
xxx

xxx

xxx

We now come to the last amendment, that of section 16 of Rule 127. This amendment provides that
any application who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all subjects without failing
below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day of July, 1946, shall be
allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office. In other words, Bar candidates who
obtained not less than 70 per cent in any examination since the year 1946 without failing below 50
per cent in any subject, despite their non-admission to the Bar by the Supreme Court because they
failed to obtain a passing general average in any of those years, will be admitted to the Bar. This
provision is not only prospective but retroactive in its effects.
We have already stated in our comment on the next preceding amendment that we are not exactly
in favor of reducing the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per cent to govern even in
the future. As to the validity of making such reduction retroactive, we have serious legal doubts. We
should not lose sight of the fact that after every bar examinations, the Supreme Court passes the
corresponding resolution not only admitting to the Bar those who have obtained a passing general
average grade, but also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration of those who have
failed. The present amendment would have the effect of repudiating, reversing and revoking the
Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may have obtained an
average of 70 per cent or more but less than the general passing average fixed for that year. It is
clear that this question involves legal implications, and this phase of the amendment if finally
enacted into law might have to go thru a legal test. As one member of the Court remarked during
the discussion, when a court renders a decision or promulgate a resolution or order on the basis of
and in accordance with a certain law or rule then in force, the subsequent amendment or even
repeal of said law or rule may not affect the final decision, order, or resolution already promulgated,
in the sense of revoking or rendering it void and of no effect.
Another aspect of this question to be considered is the fact that members of the bar are officers of
the courts, including the Supreme Court. When a Bar candidate is admitted to the Bar, the Supreme
Court impliedly regards him as a person fit, competent and qualified to be its officer. Conversely,
when it refused and denied admission to the Bar to a candidate who in any year since 1946 may
have obtained a general average of 70 per cent but less than that required for that year in order to
pass, the Supreme Court equally and impliedly considered and declared that he was not prepared,
ready, competent and qualified to be its officer. The present amendment giving retroactivity to the
reduction of the passing general average runs counter to all these acts and resolutions of the
Supreme Court and practically and in effect says that a candidate not accepted, and even rejected
by the Court to be its officer because he was unprepared, undeserving and unqualified,
nevertheless and in spite of all, must be admitted and allowed by this Court to serve as its officer.
We repeat, that this is another important aspect of the question to be carefully and seriously
considered.
The President vetoed the bill on June 16, 1951, stating the following:
I am fully in accord with the avowed objection of the bill, namely, to elevate the standard of the
legal profession and maintain it on a high level. This is not achieved, however, by admitting to
practice precisely a special class who have failed in the bar examination, Moreover, the bill contains
provisions to which I find serious fundamental objections.
Section 5 provides that any applicant who has obtained a general average of 70 per cent in all
subjects without failing below 50 per cent in any subject in any examination held after the 4th day
of July, 1946, shall be allowed to take and subscribed the corresponding oath of office. This

provision constitutes class legislation, benefiting as it does specifically one group of persons,
namely, the unsuccessful candidates in the 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1950 bar examinations.
The same provision undertakes to revoke or set aside final resolutions of the Supreme Court made
in accordance with the law then in force. It should be noted that after every bar examination the
Supreme Court passes the corresponding resolution not only admitting to the Bar those who have
obtained a passing general average but also rejecting and denying the petitions for reconsideration
of those who have failed. The provision under consideration would have the effect of revoking the
Supreme Court's resolution denying and rejecting the petitions of those who may have failed to
obtain the passing average fixed for that year. Said provision also sets a bad precedent in that the
Government would be morally obliged to grant a similar privilege to those who have failed in the
examinations for admission to other professions such as medicine, engineering, architecture and
certified public accountancy.
Consequently, the bill was returned to the Congress of the Philippines, but it was not repassed by 2/3 vote
of each House as prescribed by section 20, article VI of the Constitution. Instead Bill No. 371 was presented
in the Senate. It reads as follows:
AN ACT TO FIX THE PASSING MARKS FOR BAR EXAMINATIONS FROM 1946 UP TO AND
INCLUDING 1953
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress
assembled:
SECTION 1. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 14, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court, any bar
candidate who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any bar examinations after July 4, 1946
up to the August 1951 Bar examinations; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent in
the 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; 74 per cent in 1955 bar
examinations without a candidate obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be
allowed to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as member of the Philippine
Bar; Provided, however, That 75 per cent passing general average shall be restored in all
succeeding examinations; and Provided, finally, That for the purpose of this Act, any exact one-half
or more of a fraction, shall be considered as one and included as part of the next whole number.
SEC. 2. Any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any bar
examination after July 4, 1945 shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such
grade or grades shall be included in computing the passing general average that said candidate
may obtain in any subsequent examinations that he may take.
SEC. 3. This bill shall take effect upon its approval.
With the following explanatory note:
This is a revised Bar bill to meet the objections of the President and to afford another opportunity to
those who feel themselves discriminated by the Supreme Court from 1946 to 1951 when those who
would otherwise have passed the bar examination but were arbitrarily not so considered by altering
its previous decisions of the passing mark. The Supreme Court has been altering the passing mark
from 69 in 1947 to 74 in 1951. In order to cure the apparent arbitrary fixing of passing grades and
to give satisfaction to all parties concerned, it is proposed in this bill a gradual increase in the
general averages for passing the bar examinations as follows; For 1946 to 1951 bar examinations,
70 per cent; for 1952 bar examination, 71 per cent; for 1953 bar examination, 72 per cent; for 1954
bar examination, 73 percent; and for 1955 bar examination, 74 per cent. Thus in 1956 the passing
mark will be restored with the condition that the candidate shall not obtain in any subject a grade of
below 50 per cent. The reason for relaxing the standard 75 per cent passing grade, is the
tremendous handicap which students during the years immediately after the Japanese occupation
has to overcome such as the insufficiency of reading materials and the inadequacy of the
preparation of students who took up law soon after the liberation. It is believed that by 1956 the
preparation of our students as well as the available reading materials will be under normal
conditions, if not improved from those years preceding the last world war.

In this will we eliminated altogether the idea of having our Supreme Court assumed the supervision
as well as the administration of the study of law which was objected to by the President in the Bar
Bill of 1951.
The President in vetoing the Bar Bill last year stated among his objections that the bill would admit
to the practice of law "a special class who failed in the bar examination". He considered the bill a
class legislation. This contention, however, is not, in good conscience, correct because Congress is
merely supplementing what the Supreme Court have already established as precedent by making
as low as 69 per cent the passing mark of those who took the Bar examination in 1947. These bar
candidates for who this bill should be enacted, considered themselves as having passed the bar
examination on the strength of the established precedent of our Supreme Court and were fully
aware of the insurmountable difficulties and handicaps which they were unavoidably placed. We
believe that such precedent cannot or could not have been altered, constitutionally, by the
Supreme Court, without giving due consideration to the rights already accrued or vested in the bar
candidates who took the examination when the precedent was not yet altered, or in effect, was still
enforced and without being inconsistent with the principles of their previous resolutions.
If this bill would be enacted, it shall be considered as a simple curative act or corrective statute
which Congress has the power to enact. The requirement of a "valid classification" as against class
legislation, is very expressed in the following American Jurisprudence:
A valid classification must include all who naturally belong to the class, all who possess a common
disability, attribute, or classification, and there must be a "natural" and substantial differentiation
between those included in the class and those it leaves untouched. When a class is accepted by the
Court as "natural" it cannot be again split and then have the dissevered factions of the original unit
designated with different rules established for each. (Fountain Park Co. vs. Rensier, 199 Ind. 95, N.
E. 465 (1926).
Another case penned by Justice Cardozo: "Time with its tides brings new conditions which must be
cared for by new laws. Sometimes the new conditions affect the members of a class. If so, the
correcting statute must apply to all alike. Sometimes the condition affect only a few. If so, the
correcting statute may be as narrow as the mischief. The constitution does not prohibit special laws
inflexibly and always. It permits them when there are special evils with which the general laws are
incompetent to cope. The special public purpose will sustain the special form. . . . The problem in
the last analysis is one of legislative policy, with a wide margin of discretion conceded to the
lawmakers. Only in the case of plain abuse will there be revision by the court. (In Williams vs. Mayor
and City Council of Baltimore, 286 U. S. 36, 77 L. Ed. 1015, 53 Sup. Ct. 431). (1932)
This bill has all the earmarks of a corrective statute which always retroacts to the extent of the care
of correction only as in this case from 1946 when the Supreme Court first deviated from the rule of
75 per cent in the Rules of Court.
For the foregoing purposes the approval of this bill is earnestly recommended.

(Sgd.) PABLO ANGELES DAVID


Senator

Without much debate, the revised bill was passed by Congress as above transcribed. The President again
asked the comments of this Court, which endorsed the following:
Respectfully returned to the Honorable, the Acting Executive Secretary, Manila, with the information
that, with respect to Senate Bill No. 371, the members of the Court are taking the same views they
expressed on Senate Bill No. 12 passed by Congress in May, 1951, contained in the first
indorsement of the undersigned dated June 5, 1951, to the Assistant Executive Secretary.

(Sgd.) RICARDO PARAS

The President allowed the period within which the bill should be signed to pass without vetoing it, by virtue
of which it became a law on June 21, 1953 (Sec. 20, Art. VI, Constitution) numbered 972 (many times
erroneously cited as No. 974).
It may be mentioned in passing that 1953 was an election year, and that both the President and the author
of the Bill were candidates for re-election, together, however, they lost in the polls.

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

PARAS, C.J., dissenting:


Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed
his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects,
without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has always been adhered to, with
certain exception presently to be specified.
With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates
included only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for
reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised
to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946 the list first
released containing the names of successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general
average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general
average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that

in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average of 73 per cent or more but
below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been
released, and on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were
allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948,
in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a general average of 70
per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed
petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947
the Court in effect made 69 per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this
amounted, without being noticed perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.
Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly
ranged from 69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court
in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.
In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys,
presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a
bill providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per
cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President
mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and
Jugo. In 1953, the Congress passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the
important difference that in the later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and
regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as
new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the examination, and (4)
the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by bar applicants, were eliminated.
This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the President by merely not signing
it within the required period; and in doing so the President gave due respect to the will of the Congress
which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first vetoed by him.
Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any
examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent
in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar
examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said
Act also provides that any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any
examination after July 4, 1946, shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade
or grades shall be included in computing the passing in any subsequent examinations.
Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No.
972 and failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions,
praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation
that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953,
this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized
representatives of bar associations, were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the
reason alleged for said hearing being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of
Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations and the matter" involved "a new question
of public interest."
All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law
is inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in
Article VII, section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all
courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive right. The existing
laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of
Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall
have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning
the admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules.

Little intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate
the admission to the practice of law is concurrent.
The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held
prior to its approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court
refusing to admit to the practice of law the various petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative
encroachment upon the judicial power. In my opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions
on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules
of Court expressly fix certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on
bar matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject to
revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the motion were filed, and this has
been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and admission to the practice of
law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be entrusted, under the
Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the
subject and constitutional sense of the word, because bar examinations and the admission to the practice
of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other
examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only
when they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny
due process and equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post
facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no one the
right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative statute
intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by this Court of different passing
general averages in certain years.
Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because
we no longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance
that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during said period. It may also be that there are no
pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the
matter of classification, the reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to
recall that the Congress held public hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in
the Act reflects good legislative judgment derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.
As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative
Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by
the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially
aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of
courts, not merely for the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the
three branches of the Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and
decided by the Court in favor of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the
previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained the general average prescribed by section
14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would provide that
those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent,
will not be allowed to practice law, because said statute would then destroy a right already acquired under
previous resolutions of this Court, namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from
75 to 79 per cent.
Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred
by the Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing
average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court
on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and
on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether
they filed petitions for reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because
during the examinations held in August 1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at
75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we are to admit that the Supreme Court
and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the practice of law, that the latter
may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general average.
Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious,
since this Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and
70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since

this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many instances had
doubted the propriety of legislative enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them
solely on that ground.
To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest,
is to assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not
considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public hearings, and we are bound to
assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the
circumstances into account before passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that
the Congress, representing the people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I
am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972 as an expression of the will of the people through their duly
elected representatives.
I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent
power to repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law,
may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same way that this Court may not do so. We are thus
left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can and should only hope that the right men are
put in the right places in our Government.
Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its
entirety.
Separate Opinions
LABRADOR, J., concurring and dissenting:
The right to admit members to the Bar is, and has always been, the exclusive privilege of this Court,
because lawyers are members of the Court and only this Court should be allowed to determine admission
thereto in the interest of the principle of the separation of powers. The power to admit is judicial in the
sense that discretion is used in is exercise. This power should be distinguished from the power to
promulgate rules which regulate admission. It is only this power (to promulgate amendments to the rules)
that is given in the Constitution to the Congress, not the exercise of the discretion to admit or not to admit.
Thus the rules on the holding of examination, the qualifications of applicants, the passing grades, etc. are
within the scope of the legislative power. But the power to determine when a candidate has made or has
not made the required grade is judicial, and lies completely with this Court.
I hold that the act under consideration is an exercise of the judicial function, and lies beyond the scope of
the congressional prerogative of amending the rules. To say that candidates who obtain a general average
of 72 per cent in 1953, 73 per cent in 1954, and 74 per cent in 1955 should be considered as having
passed the examination, is to mean exercise of the privilege and discretion judged in this Court. It is a
mandate to the tribunal to pass candidates for different years with grades lower than the passing mark. No
reasoning is necessary to show that it is an arrogation of the Court's judicial authority and discretion. It is
furthermore objectionable as discriminatory. Why should those taking the examinations in 1953, 1954 and
1955 be allowed to have the privilege of a lower passing grade, while those taking earlier or later are not?
I vote that the act in toto be declared unconstitutional, because it is not embraced within the rule-making
power of Congress, because it is an undue interference with the power of this Court to admit members
thereof, and because it is discriminatory.
PARAS, C.J., dissenting:
Under section 145 of Rule of Court No. 127, in order that a bar candidate "may be deemed to have passed
his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75 per cent in all subjects,
without falling below 50 per cent in any subject.' This passing mark has always been adhered to, with
certain exception presently to be specified.
With reference to the bar examinations given in August, 1946, the original list of successful candidates
included only those who obtained a general average of 75 per cent or more. Upon motion for
reconsideration, however, 12 candidates with general averages ranging from 72 to 73 per cent were raised

to 75 per cent by resolution of December 18, 1946. In the examinations of November, 1946 the list first
released containing the names of successful candidates covered only those who obtained a general
average of 75 per cent or more; but, upon motion for reconsideration, 19 candidates with a general
average of 72 per cent were raised to 75 per cent by resolution of March 31, 1947. This would indicate that
in the original list of successful candidates those having a general average of 73 per cent or more but
below 75 per cent were included. After the original list of 1947 successful bar candidates had been
released, and on motion for reconsideration, all candidates with a general average of 69 per cent were
allowed to pass by resolution of July 15, 1948. With respect to the bar examinations held in August, 1948,
in addition to the original list of successful bar candidates, all those who obtained a general average of 70
per cent or more, irrespective of the grades in any one subject and irrespective of whether they filed
petitions for reconsideration, were allowed to pass by resolution of April 28, 1949. Thus, for the year 1947
the Court in effect made 69 per cent as the passing average, and for the year 1948, 70 per cent; and this
amounted, without being noticed perhaps, to an amendment of section 14 of Rule 127.
Numerous flunkers in the bar examinations held subsequent to 1948, whose general averages mostly
ranged from 69 to 73 per cent, filed motions for reconsideration invoking the precedents set by this Court
in 1947 and 1948, but said motions were uniformly denied.
In the year 1951, the Congress, after public hearings where law deans and professors, practising attorneys,
presidents of bar associations, and law graduates appeared and argued lengthily pro or con, approved a
bill providing, among others, for the reduction of the passing general average from 75 per cent to 70 per
cent, retroactive to any bar examination held after July 4, 1946. This bill was vetoed by the President
mainly in view of an unfavorable comment of Justices Padilla, Tuason, Montemayor, Reyes, Bautista and
Jugo. In 1953, the Congress passed another bill similar to the previous bill vetoed by the President, with the
important difference that in the later bill the provisions in the first bill regarding (1) the supervision and
regulation by the Supreme Court of the study of law, (2) the inclusion of Social Legislation and Taxation as
new bar subjects, (3) the publication of the bar examiners before the holding of the examination, and (4)
the equal division among the examiners of all the admission fees paid by bar applicants, were eliminated.
This second bill was allowed to become a law, Republic Act No. 972, by the President by merely not signing
it within the required period; and in doing so the President gave due respect to the will of the Congress
which, speaking for the people, chose to repass the bill first vetoed by him.
Under Republic Act No. 972, any bar candidates who obtained a general average of 70 per cent in any
examinations after July 4, 1946 up to August 1951; 71 per cent in the 1952 bar examinations; 72 per cent
in 1953 bar examinations; 73 per cent in the 1954 bar examinations; and 74 per cent in the 1955 bar
examinations, without obtaining a grade below 50 per cent in any subject, shall be allowed to pass. Said
Act also provides that any bar candidate who obtained a grade of 75 per cent in any subject in any
examination after July 4, 1946, shall be deemed to have passed in such subject or subjects and such grade
or grades shall be included in computing the passing in any subsequent examinations.
Numerous candidates who had taken the bar examinations previous to the approval of Republic Act No.
972 and failed to obtain the necessary passing average, filed with this Court mass or separate petitions,
praying that they be admitted to the practice of law under and by virtue of said Act, upon the allegation
that they have obtained the general averages prescribed therein. In virtue of the resolution of July 6, 1953,
this Court held on July 11, 1953 a hearing on said petitions, and members of the bar, especially authorized
representatives of bar associations, were invited to argue or submit memoranda as amici curiae, the
reason alleged for said hearing being that some doubt had "been expressed on the constitutionality of
Republic Act No. 972 in so far as it affects past bar examinations and the matter" involved "a new question
of public interest."
All discussions in support of the proposition that the power to regulate the admission to the practice of law
is inherently judicial, are immaterial, because the subject is now governed by the Constitution which in
Article VII, section 13, provides as follows:
The Supreme Court shall have the power to promulgate rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure in all courts, and the admission to the practice of law. Said rules shall be uniform for all
courts of the same grade and shall not diminish, increase or modify substantive right. The existing
laws on pleading, practice, and procedure are hereby repealed as statutes and are declared Rules of
Court, subject to the power of the Supreme Court to alter and modify the same. The Congress shall

have the power to repeal, alter, or supplement the rules concerning pleading, practice, and
procedure, and the admission to the practice of law in the Philippines.
Under this constitutional provision, while the Supreme Court has the power to promulgate rules concerning
the admission to the practice of law, the Congress has the power to repeal, alter or supplement said rules.
Little intelligence is necessary to see that the power of the Supreme Court and the Congress to regulate
the admission to the practice of law is concurrent.
The opponents of Republic Act No. 972 argue that this Act, in so far as it covers bar examinations held
prior to its approval, is unconstitutional, because it sets aside the final resolutions of the Supreme Court
refusing to admit to the practice of law the various petitioners, thereby resulting in a legislative
encroachment upon the judicial power. In my opinion this view is erroneous. In the first place, resolutions
on the rejection of bar candidates do not have the finality of decisions in justiciable cases where the Rules
of Court expressly fix certain periods after which they become executory and unalterable. Resolutions on
bar matters, specially on motions for reconsiderations filed by flunkers in any give year, are subject to
revision by this Court at any time, regardless of the period within which the motion were filed, and this has
been the practice heretofore. The obvious reason is that bar examinations and admission to the practice of
law may be deemed as a judicial function only because said matters happen to be entrusted, under the
Constitution and our Rules of Court, to the Supreme Court. There is no judicial function involved, in the
subject and constitutional sense of the word, because bar examinations and the admission to the practice
of law, unlike justiciable cases, do not affect opposing litigants. It is no more than the function of other
examining boards. In the second place, retroactive laws are not prohibited by the Constitution, except only
when they would be ex post facto, would impair obligations and contracts or vested rights or would deny
due process and equal protection of the law. Republic Act No. 972 certainly is not an ex post
facto enactment, does not impair any obligation and contract or vested rights, and denies to no one the
right to due process and equal protection of the law. On the other hand, it is a mere curative statute
intended to correct certain obvious inequalities arising from the adoption by this Court of different passing
general averages in certain years.
Neither can it be said that bar candidates prior to July 4, 1946, are being discriminated against, because
we no longer have any record of those who might have failed before the war, apart from the circumstance
that 75 per cent had always been the passing mark during said period. It may also be that there are no
pre-war bar candidates similarly situated as those benefited by Republic Act No. 972. At any rate, in the
matter of classification, the reasonableness must be determined by the legislative body. It is proper to
recall that the Congress held public hearings, and we can fairly suppose that the classification adopted in
the Act reflects good legislative judgment derived from the facts and circumstances then brought out.
As regards the alleged interference in or encroachment upon the judgment of this Court by the Legislative
Department, it is sufficient to state that, if there is any interference at all, it is one expressly sanctioned by
the Constitution. Besides, interference in judicial adjudication prohibited by the Constitution is essentially
aimed at protecting rights of litigants that have already been vested or acquired in virtue of decisions of
courts, not merely for the empty purpose of creating appearances of separation and equality among the
three branches of the Government. Republic Act No. 972 has not produced a case involving two parties and
decided by the Court in favor of one and against the other. Needless to say, the statute will not affect the
previous resolutions passing bar candidates who had obtained the general average prescribed by section
14 of Rule 127. A law would be objectionable and unconstitutional if, for instance, it would provide that
those who have been admitted to the bar after July 4, 1946, whose general average is below 80 per cent,
will not be allowed to practice law, because said statute would then destroy a right already acquired under
previous resolutions of this Court, namely, the bar admission of those whose general averages were from
75 to 79 per cent.
Without fear of contradiction, I think the Supreme Court, in the exercise of its rule-making power conferred
by the Constitution, may pass a resolution amending section 14 of Rule 127 by reducing the passing
average to 70 per cent, effective several years before the date of the resolution. Indeed, when this Court
on July 15, 1948 allowed to pass all candidates who obtained a general average of 69 per cent or more and
on April 28, 1949 those who obtained a general average of 70 per cent or more, irrespective of whether
they filed petitions for reconsideration, it in effect amended section 14 of Rule 127 retroactively, because
during the examinations held in August 1947 and August 1948, said section (fixing the general average at
75 per cent) was supposed to be in force. In stands to reason, if we are to admit that the Supreme Court

and the Congress have concurrent power to regulate the admission to the practice of law, that the latter
may validly pass a retroactive rule fixing the passing general average.
Republic Act No. 972 cannot be assailed on the ground that it is unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious,
since this Court had already adopted as passing averages 69 per cent for the 1947 bar examinations and
70 per cent for the 1948 examinations. Anyway, we should not inquire into the wisdom of the law, since
this is a matter that is addressed to the judgment of the legislators. This Court in many instances had
doubted the propriety of legislative enactments, and yet it has consistently refrained from nullifying them
solely on that ground.
To say that the admission of the bar candidates benefited under Republic Act 972 is against public interest,
is to assume that the matter of whether said Act is beneficial or harmful to the general public was not
considered by the Congress. As already stated, the Congress held public hearings, and we are bound to
assume that the legislators, loyal, as do the members of this Court, to their oath of office, had taken all the
circumstances into account before passing the Act. On the question of public interest I may observe that
the Congress, representing the people who elected them, should be more qualified to make an appraisal. I
am inclined to accept Republic Act No. 972 as an expression of the will of the people through their duly
elected representatives.
I would, however, not go to the extent of admitting that the Congress, in the exercise of its concurrent
power to repeal, alter, or supplement the Rules of Court regarding the admission to the practice of law,
may act in an arbitrary or capricious manner, in the same way that this Court may not do so. We are thus
left in the situation, incidental to a democracy, where we can and should only hope that the right men are
put in the right places in our Government.
Wherefore, I hold that Republic Act No. 972 is constitutional and should therefore be given effect in its
entirety.

DIGEST:
1.
1.

1.
2.
a.

b.

3.

FACTS:
RA 972 IS CONTRARY TO PUBLIC INTEREST BECAUSE IT QUALIFIES 1,094 LAW GRADUATES WHO
CONFESSEDLY HAD INADEQUATE PREPARATION FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE PROFESSION.
Public interest demands adequate preparation and efficiency, especially that legal problems
become more difficult.
i.
RA 972 (BAR FLUNKERS ACT 1953): in order that a candidate may be deemed to have passed
his examinations successfully, he must have obtained a general average of 75% in all subjects, without
falling below 0% in any subject.
This court passed and admitted to the bar, candidate who had obtained an average only of 72 then raised
to 75%.
Unsuccessful candidates of few percentage lower than those admitted to the Bar agitated in Congress for
and secured in 1951 the passage Senate Bill 12, reduced the passing grade to 70% since 1946.
President vetoed it. Congress did not override the veto. Instead, it approved the bill without its signature.
i.
Any bar candidate who obtained 70% after July 1946 to Aug 1951, 71% 1952,
72% 1953, 73% 1954, 74% 1955 without a below 50% in any subject shall be allowed to take oath.
ii.
Any bar candidate who obtained 75% in any subject after July 1946 shall be
deemed to have passed, such grades shall be added in computing the passing the general average that
said candidate may obtain any following examinations.
After approval, unsuccessful postwar candidates filed petitions for admission to the bar invoking its
provisions, others who motioned for revision of exam papers also invoked the law.
i.
To avoid injustice, court reviewed motions for reconsideration. Court did not find a
reason to revise their grades. If they are admitted to bar, it must be pursuant to RA 972 which, if declared
valid, should be applied equally to all concerned whether they filed petitions or not.
Unsuccessful candidates who benefited section 1 totaled 1,168. 92 have passed the subsequent
examination and only 568 have filed either motions for admission to bar pursuant to the Act or mere
motions for reconsideration.

a.

b.
c.
d.
e.

10 candidates are to be benefited, each taken from 2 to 5 different examinations, but failed to obtain
passing average in any of them. Consolidating, highest grades in different subjects with their latest marks,
they would be sufficient to reach passing average as provided in RA 972.
Total number of candidates to be benefited is 1,094 with only 604 filed petitions.
33 who failed in 1946-1951 filed motions for reconsideration got denied.
125 of 1952 and 56 of 1953 were pending.
Tribunal found no sufficient reasons to reconsider their grades.
ISSUE: WON RA 972 is constitutional. NO.
HELD: Portion of Art. 1 referring to the examinations of 1946 to 1952, and all of Art. 2 of said law are
unconstitutional. Therefore, void and without force and effect.
Part of Art. 1 referring to the examinations following to the approval of the law from 1953 to 1955
inclusive, is valid and shall continue to be in force, in conformity with Sec. 10, Art. 7 of the Constitution.

Consequently:
a. All the above-mentioned petitions 1946 to 1952 are denied
b. All candidates in 1953 examinations, obtaining 71.5%+, without having a grade -50% in any subject, are
considered passed.
c. Permitted to take and subscribe the corresponding oath of office as members of the Bar
1.
Article 2 permits partial passing of examinations at indefinite intervals.
a. Does not take into account that the laws and jurisprudence are not stationary
b. Article not expressed in the title will have temporary effect only from 1946 to 1955, the text of article 2
establishes a permanent system for an indefinite time.
i.
Contrary to Constitution, which vitiates and annuls article 2 completely; and because it is
inseparable from article 1, it is obvious that its nullity affect the entire law.
2.
UNCONSTITUTIONALITY:
a. Not within the legislative powers of Congress to enact, or Congress has exceeded its powers.
b. Create or establish arbitrary methods or forms that infringe constitutional principles.
c. Purposes or effects violate the Constitution or its basic principles.
3.
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

4.
a.

GENERAL RULE:
A classification to be valid must rest upon material differences between the person included in it and
those excluded.
Must be based upon substantial distinctions.
Therefore, any law that is made applicable to one class of citizens only must be based on some
substantial difference between the situation of that class and other individuals who do not apply.
Must rest on some reason on which it can be defended.
There should be a a difference between the situation and circumstances of all the members of the class
and the situation and circumstances of all other members of the state.
LAW NOT CONSIDERED GENERAL:
Operates on all within a clause unless there is a substantial reason why it is made to operate on that class
only, and not generally on all.
i.
It was indicated why unsuccessful candidates prior 1946 were not included.
ii.
No record of examinations prior to 1946, does not mean they dont have right for equal
consideration.

4. Kuroda VS Jalandoni 83 PHIL 171 (1949)


G.R. No. L-2662

March 26, 1949

SHIGENORI KURODA, petitioner,


vs.
Major General RAFAEL JALANDONI, Brigadier General CALIXTO DUQUE, Colonel MARGARITO
TORALBA, Colonel IRENEO BUENCONSEJO, Colonel PEDRO TABUENA, Major FEDERICO ARANAS,
MELVILLE S. HUSSEY and ROBERT PORT, respondents.
Pedro Serran, Jose G. Lukban, and Liberato B. Cinco for petitioner.
Fred Ruiz Castro Federico Arenas Mariano Yengco, Jr., Ricardo A. Arcilla and S. Melville Hussey for
respondents.
MORAN, C.J.:
Shigenori Kuroda, formerly a Lieutenant-General of the Japanese Imperial Army and Commanding General
of the Japanese Imperial Forces in The Philippines during a period covering 19433 and 19444 who is now
charged before a military Commission convened by the Chief of Staff of the Armed forces of the Philippines
with having unlawfully disregarded and failed "to discharge his duties as such command, permitting them
to commit brutal atrocities and other high crimes against noncombatant civilians and prisoners of the
Imperial Japanese Forces in violation of the laws and customs of war" comes before this Court seeking to
establish the illegality of Executive Order No. 68 of the President of the Philippines: to enjoin and prohibit
respondents Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port from participating in the prosecution of petitioner's case
before the Military Commission and to permanently prohibit respondents from proceeding with the case of
petitioners.
In support of his case petitioner tenders the following principal arguments.
First. "That Executive Order No. 68 is illegal on the ground that it violates not only the provision of our
constitutional law but also our local laws to say nothing of the fact (that) the Philippines is not a signatory
nor an adherent to the Hague Convention on Rules and Regulations covering Land Warfare and therefore
petitioners is charged of 'crimes' not based on law, national and international." Hence petitioner argues
"That in view off the fact that this commission has been empanelled by virtue of an unconstitutional law an
illegal order this commission is without jurisdiction to try herein petitioner."
Second. That the participation in the prosecution of the case against petitioner before the Commission
in behalf of the United State of America of attorneys Melville Hussey and Robert Port who are not attorneys
authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law in the Philippines is a diminution of our personality as an
independent state and their appointment as prosecutor are a violation of our Constitution for the reason
that they are not qualified to practice law in the Philippines.
Third. That Attorneys Hussey and Port have no personality as prosecution the United State not being a
party in interest in the case.
Executive Order No. 68, establishing a National War Crimes Office prescribing rule and regulation
governing the trial of accused war criminals, was issued by the President of the Philippines on the 29th
days of July, 1947 This Court holds that this order is valid and constitutional. Article 2 of our Constitution
provides in its section 3, that
The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy and adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the of the nation.
In accordance with the generally accepted principle of international law of the present day including the
Hague Convention the Geneva Convention and significant precedents of international jurisprudence
established by the United Nation all those person military or civilian who have been guilty of planning
preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and offenses consequential and
incidental thereto in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and civilization are held
accountable therefor. Consequently in the promulgation and enforcement of Execution Order No. 68 the
President of the Philippines has acted in conformity with the generally accepted and policies of
international law which are part of the our Constitution.

The promulgation of said executive order is an exercise by the President of his power as Commander in
chief of all our armed forces as upheld by this Court in the case of Yamashita vs. Styer (L-129, 42 Off. Gaz.,
664) 1when we said
War is not ended simply because hostilities have ceased. After cessation of armed hostilities
incident of war may remain pending which should be disposed of as in time of war. An importance
incident to a conduct of war is the adoption of measure by the military command not only to repel
and defeat the enemies but to seize and subject to disciplinary measure those enemies who in their
attempt to thwart or impede our military effort have violated the law of war. (Ex parte Quirin 317
U.S., 1; 63 Sup. Ct., 2.) Indeed the power to create a military commission for the trial and
punishment of war criminals is an aspect of waging war. And in the language of a writer a military
commission has jurisdiction so long as a technical state of war continues. This includes the period of
an armistice or military occupation up to the effective of a treaty of peace and may extend beyond
by treaty agreement. (Cowles Trial of War Criminals by Military Tribunals, America Bar Association
Journal June, 1944.)
Consequently, the President as Commander in Chief is fully empowered to consummate this unfinished
aspect of war namely the trial and punishment of war criminal through the issuance and enforcement of
Executive Order No. 68.
Petitioner argues that respondent Military Commission has no Jurisdiction to try petitioner for acts
committed in violation of the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention because the Philippines is not
a signatory to the first and signed the second only in 1947. It cannot be denied that the rules and
regulation of the Hague and Geneva conventions form, part of and are wholly based on the generally
accepted principals of international law. In facts these rules and principles were accepted by the two
belligerent nation the United State and Japan who were signatories to the two Convention, Such rule and
principles therefore form part of the law of our nation even if the Philippines was not a signatory to the
conventions embodying them for our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope
and is not confined to the recognition of rule and principle of international law as continued inn treaties to
which our government may have been or shall be a signatory.
Furthermore when the crimes charged against petitioner were allegedly committed the Philippines was
under the sovereignty of United States and thus we were equally bound together with the United States
and with Japan to the right and obligation contained in the treaties between the belligerent countries.
These rights and obligation were not erased by our assumption of full sovereignty. If at all our emergency
as a free state entitles us to enforce the right on our own of trying and punishing those who committed
crimes against crimes against our people. In this connection it is well to remember what we have said in
the case of Laurel vs. Misa (76 Phil., 372):
. . . The change of our form government from Commonwealth to Republic does not affect the
prosecution of those charged with the crime of treason committed during then Commonwealth
because it is an offense against the same sovereign people. . . .
By the same token war crimes committed against our people and our government while we were a
Commonwealth are triable and punishable by our present Republic.
Petitioner challenges the participation of two American attorneys namely Melville S. Hussey and Robert
Port in the prosecution of his case on the ground that said attorney's are not qualified to practice law in
Philippines in accordance with our Rules of court and the appointment of said attorneys as prosecutors is
violative of our national sovereignty.
In the first place respondent Military Commission is a special military tribunal governed by a special law
and not by the Rules of court which govern ordinary civil court. It has already been shown that Executive
Order No. 68 which provides for the organization of such military commission is a valid and constitutional
law. There is nothing in said executive order which requires that counsel appearing before said commission
must be attorneys qualified to practice law in the Philippines in accordance with the Rules of Court. In facts
it is common in military tribunals that counsel for the parties are usually military personnel who are neither
attorneys nor even possessed of legal training.

Secondly the appointment of the two American attorneys is not violative of our nation sovereignty. It is
only fair and proper that United States, which has submitted the vindication of crimes against her
government and her people to a tribunal of our nation should be allowed representation in the trial of
those very crimes. If there has been any relinquishment of sovereignty it has not been by our government
but by the United State Government which has yielded to us the trial and punishment of her enemies. The
least that we could do in the spirit of comity is to allow them representation in said trials.
Alleging that the United State is not a party in interest in the case petitioner challenges the personality of
attorneys Hussey and Port as prosecutors. It is of common knowledge that the United State and its people
have been equally if not more greatly aggrieved by the crimes with which petitioner stands charged before
the Military Commission. It can be considered a privilege for our Republic that a leader nation should
submit the vindication of the honor of its citizens and its government to a military tribunal of our country.
The Military Commission having been convened by virtue of a valid law with jurisdiction over the crimes
charged which fall under the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, and having said petitioner in its custody,
this Court will not interfere with the due process of such Military commission.
For all the foregoing the petition is denied with costs de oficio.
Paras, Feria, Pablo, Bengzon, Tuason, Montemayor and Reyes, JJ., concur.
Separate Opinions
PERFECTO, J., dissenting:
A military commission was empanelled on December 1, 1948 to try Lt. Gen. Shigenori Kuroda for Violation
of the laws and customs of land warfare.
Melville S. Hussey and Robert Port, American citizens and not authorized by the Supreme Court to practice
law were appointed prosecutor representing the American CIC in the trial of the case.
The commission was empanelled under the authority of Executive Order No. 68 of the President of the
Philippines the validity of which is challenged by petitioner on constitutional grounds. Petitioner has also
challenged the personality of Attorneys Hussey and Port to appear as prosecutors before the commission.
The charges against petitioner has been filed since June 26, 1948 in the name of the people of the
Philippines as accusers.
We will consideration briefly the challenge against the appearance of Attorneys Hussey and Port. It
appearing that they are aliens and have not been authorized by the Supreme Court to practice law there
could not be any question that said person cannot appear as prosecutors in petitioner case as with such
appearance they would be practicing law against the law.
Said violation vanishes however into insignificance at the side of the momentous question involved in the
challenge against the validity of Executive Order No. 68. Said order is challenged on several constitutional
ground. To get a clear idea of the question raised it is necessary to read the whole context of said order
which is reproduced as follows:
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 68.
ESTABLISHING A NATIONAL WAR CRIMES OFFICE AND PRESCRIBING RULES AND REGULATION
GOVERNING THE TRIAL OF ACCUSED WAR CRIMINAL.
I, Manuel Roxas president of the Philippines by virtue of the power vested in me by the Constitution
and laws of the Philippines do hereby establish a National War Crimes Office charged with the
responsibility of accomplishing the speedy trial of all Japanese accused of war crimes committed in
the Philippines and prescribe the rules and regulation such trial.

The National War crimes office is established within the office of the Judge Advocate General of the
Army of the Philippines and shall function under the direction supervision and control of the Judge
Advocate General. It shall proceed to collect from all available sources evidence of war crimes
committed in the Philippines from the commencement of hostilities by Japan in December 1941,
maintain a record thereof and bring about the prompt trial maintain a record thereof and bring
about the prompt trial of the accused.
The National War Crimes Office shall maintain direct liaison with the Legal Section General
Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied power and shall exchange with the said Office
information and evidence of war crimes.
The following rules and regulation shall govern the trial off person accused as war criminals:
ESTABLISHMENT OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS
(a) General. person accused as war criminal shall be tried by military commission to be convened
by or under the authority of the Philippines.
II. JURISDICTION
(a) Over Person. Thee military commission appointed hereunder shall have jurisdiction over all
persons charged with war crimes who are in the custody of the convening authority at the time of
the trial.
(b) Over Offenses. The military commission established hereunder shall have jurisdiction over all
offenses including but not limited to the following:
(1) The planning preparation initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of
international treaties agreement or assurance or participation in a common plan or conspiracy for
the accomplishment of any of the foregoing.
(2) Violation of the laws or customs of war. Such violation shall include but not be limited to murder
ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for other purpose of civilian population of or in
occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or internees or person on the seas or
elsewhere; improper treatment of hostage; plunder of public or private property wanton destruction
of cities towns or village; or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(3) Murder extermination enslavement deportation and other inhuman acts committed against
civilian population before or during the war or persecution on political racial or religion ground in
executive of or in connection with any crime defined herein whether or not in violation of the local
laws.
III. MEMBERSHIP OF COMMISSIONS
(a) Appointment. The members of each military commission shall be appointed by the President
of the Philippines or under authority delegated by him. Alternates may be appointed by the
convening authority. Such shall attend all session of the commission, and in case of illness or other
incapacity of any principal member, an alternate shall take the place of that member. Any vacancy
among the members or alternates, occurring after a trial has begun, may be filled by the convening
authority but the substance of all proceeding had evidence taken in that case shall be made known
to the said new member or alternate. This facts shall be announced by the president of the
commission in open court.
(b) Number of Members. Each commission shall consist of not less than three (3) members.
(c) Qualifications. The convening authority shall appoint to the commission persons whom he
determines to be competent to perform the duties involved and not disqualified by personal interest
or prejudice, provided that no person shall be appointed to hear a case in which he personally

investigated or wherein his presence as a witness is required. One specially qualified member
whose ruling is final in so far as concerns the commission on an objection to the admissibility of
evidence offered during the trial.
(d) Voting. Except as to the admissibility of evidence all rulings and finding of the Commission
shall be by majority vote except that conviction and sentence shall be by the affirmative vote of not
less than conviction and sentence shall be by the affirmative vote of not less than two-thirds (2\3)
of the member present.
(e) Presiding Member. In the event that the convening authority does not name one of the
member as the presiding member, the senior officer among the member of the Commission present
shall preside.
IV. PROSECUTORS
(a) Appointment. The convening authority shall designate one or more person to conduct the
prosecution before each commission.
(b) Duties. The duties of the prosecutor are:
(1) To prepare and present charges and specifications for reference to a commission.
(2) To prepare cases for trial and to conduct the prosecution before the commission of all cases
referred for trial.
V. POWER AND PROCEDURE OF COMMISSION
(a) Conduct of the Trial. A Commission shall:
(1) Confine each trial strictly to fair and expeditious hearing on the issues raised by the charges,
excluding irrelevant issues or evidence and preventing any unnecessary delay or interference.
(2) Deal summarily with any contumacy or contempt, imposing any appropriate punishment
therefor.
(3) Hold public session when otherwise decided by the commission.
(4) Hold each session at such time and place as it shall determine, or as may be directed by the
convening authority.
(b) Rights of the Accused. The accused shall be entitled:
(1) To have in advance of the trial a copy of the charges and specifications clearly worded so as to
apprise the accused of each offense charged.
(2) To be represented, prior to and during trial, by counsel appointed by the convening authority or
counsel of his own choice, or to conduct his own defense.
(3) To testify in his own behalf and have his counsel present relevant evidence at the trial in support
of his defense, and cross-examine each adverse witness who personally appears before the
commission.
(4) To have the substance of the charges and specifications, the proceedings and any documentary
evidence translated, when he is unable otherwise to understand them.
(c) Witnesses. The Commission shall have power:

(1) To summon witnesses and require their attendance and testimony; to administer oaths or
affirmations to witnesses and other persons and to question witnesses.
(2) To require the production of documents and other evidentiary material.
(3) To delegate the Prosecutors appointed by the convening authority the powers and duties set
forth in (1) and (2) above.
(4) To have evidence taken by a special commissioner appointed by the commission.
(d) Evidence.
(1) The commission shall admit such evidence as in its opinion shall be of assistance in proving or
disproving the charge, or such as in the commission's opinion would have probative value in the
mind of a reasonable man. The commission shall apply the rules of evidence and pleading set forth
herein with the greatest liberality to achieve expeditious procedure. In particular, and without
limiting in any way the scope of the foregoing general rules, the following evidence may be
admitted:
(a) Any document, irrespective of its classification, which appears to the commission to have been
signed or issued by any officer, department, agency or member of the armed forces of any
Government without proof of the signature or of the issuance of the document.
(b) Any report which appears to the commission to have been signed or issued by the International
Red Cross or a member of any medical service personnel, or by any investigator or intelligence
officer, or by any other person whom commission considers as possessing knowledge of the
matters contained in the report.
(c) Affidavits, depositions or other signed statements.
(d) Any diary, letter to other document, including sworn statements, appearing to the commission
to contain information relating to the charge.
(e) A copy of any document or other secondary evidence of the contents, if the original is not
immediately available.
(2) The commission shall take judicial notice of facts of common knowledge, official government
documents of any nation, and the proceedings, records and findings of military or other agencies of
any of the United Nation.
(3) A commission may require the prosecution and the defense to make a preliminary offer of proof
whereupon the commission may rule in advance on the admissibility of such evidence.
(4) The official position of the accused shall not absolve him from responsibility nor be considered in
mitigation of punishment. Further action pursuant to an order of the accused's superior, or of his
Government, shall not constitute a defense, but may be considered in mitigation of punishment if
the commission determines that justice so requires.
(5) All purposed confessions or statements of the accused shall bee admissible in evidence without
any showing that they were voluntarily made. If it is shown that such confession or statement was
procured by mean which the commission believe to have been of such a character that may have
caused the accused to make a false statement the commission may strike out or disregard any such
portion thereof as was so procured.
(e) Trial Procedure. The proceedings of each trial shall be conducted substantially as follows
unless modified by the commission to suit the particular circumstances:
(1) Each charge and specification shall be read or its substance stated in open court.

(2) The presiding member shall ask each accused whether he pleads "Guilty" or "Not guilty."
(3) The prosecution shall make its opening statement."(4) The presiding member may at this or any
other time require the prosecutor to state what evidence he proposes to submit to the commission
and the commission thereupon may rule upon the admissibility of such evidence.
(4) The witnesses and other evidence for the prosecution shall be heard or presented. At the close
of the case for the prosecution, the commission may, on motion of the defense for a finding of not
guilty, consider and rule whether he evidence before the commission may defer action on any such
motion and permit or require the prosecution to reopen its case and produce any further available
evidence.
(5) The defense may make an opening statement prior to presenting its case. The presiding
member may, at this any other time require the defense to state what evidence it proposes to
submit to the commission where upon the commission may rule upon the admissibility of such
evidence.
(6) The witnesses and other evidence for the defense shall be heard or presented. Thereafter, the
prosecution and defense may introduce such evidence in rebuttal as the commission may rule as
being admissible.
(7) The defense and thereafter the prosecution shall address the commission.
(8) The commission thereafter shall consider the case in closed session and unless otherwise
directed by the convening authority, announce in open court its judgment and sentence if any. The
commission may state the reason on which judgment is based.
( f ) Record of Proceedings. Each commission shall make a separate record of its proceeding in
the trial of each case brought before it. The record shall be prepared by the prosecutor under the
direction of the commission and submitted to the defense counsel. The commission shall be
responsible for its accuracy. Such record, certified by the presiding member of the commission or
his successor, shall be delivered to the convening authority as soon as possible after the trial.
(g) Sentence. The commission may sentence an accused, upon conviction to death by hanging or
shooting, imprisonment for life or for any less term, fine or such other punishment as the
commission shall determine to be proper.
(h) Approval of Sentence. No. sentence of a military commission shall be carried into effect until
approved by the chief off Staff: Provided, That no sentence of death or life imprisonment shall be
carried into execution until confirmed by the President of the Philippines. For the purpose of his
review the Chief of Staff shall create a Board of Review to be composed of not more than three
officers none of whom shall be on duty with or assigned to the Judge Advocate General's Office. The
Chief of Staff shall have authority to approve, mitigate remit in whole or in part, commute, suspend,
reduce or otherwise alter the sentence imposed, or (without prejudice to the accused) remand the
case for rehearing before a new military commission; but he shall not have authority to increase the
severity of the sentence. Except as herein otherwise provided the judgment and sentence of a
commission shall final and not subject to review by any other tribunal.
VI. RULE-MAKING POWER
Supplementary Rule and Forms. Each commission shall adopt rules and forms to govern its
procedure, not inconsistent with the provision of this Order, or such rules and forms as may be
prescribed by the convening authority]or by the President of the Philippines.
VII. The amount of amount of seven hundred thousand pesos is hereby set aside out of the
appropriations for the Army of the Philippines for use by the National War Crimes Office in the
accomplishment of its mission as hereinabove set forth, and shall be expended in accordance with
the recommendation of the Judge Advocate General as approved by the President. The buildings,
fixtures, installations, messing, and billeting equipment and other property herefore used by then

Legal Section, Manila Branch, of the General Headquarters, Supreme Commander for the Allied
Power, which will be turned over by the United States Army to the Philippines Government through
the Foreign Liquidation Commission and the Surplus Property Commission are hereby specification
reserved for use off the National War Crimes Office.
Executive Order No. 64, dated August 16, 1945, is hereby repealed.
Done in the City of Manila, this 29th day of July in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and fortyseven, and of the Independence of the Philippines, the second.

MANUEL ROXAS
President of the Philippines

By the President:
EMILIO ABELLO
Chief of the Executive Office
EXECUTIVE LEGISLATION
Executive Order No. 68 is a veritable piece of Legislative measure, without the benefit of congressional
enactment.
The first question that is trust at our face spearheading a group of other no less important question, is
whether or not the President of the Philippines may exercise the legislative power expressly vested in
Congress by the Constitution. .
The Constitution provides:
The Legislative powers shall be vested in a Congress of the Philippines which shall consist of a
Senate and House of Representatives. (Section 1, Article VI.)
While there is no express provision in the fundamental law prohibiting the exercise of legislative power by
agencies other than Congress, a reading of the whole context of the Constitution would dispel any doubt as
to the constitutional intent that the legislative power is to be exercised exclusively by Congress, subject
only to the veto power of the President of the President of the Philippines, to the specific provision which
allow the president of the Philippines to suspend the privileges of the writ of habeas corpus and to place
any part of the Philippines under martial law, and to the rule-making power expressly vested by the
Constitution in the Supreme Court.
There cannot be any question that the member of the Constitutional Convention were believers in the
tripartite system of government as originally enunciated by Aristotle, further elaborated by Montequieu
and accepted and practiced by modern democracies, especially the United State of America, whose
Constitution, after which ours has been patterned, has allocated the three power of government
legislative, executive, judicial to distinct and separate department of government.
Because the power vested by our Constitution to the several department of the government are in the
nature of grants, not recognition of pre-existing power, no department of government may exercise any
power or authority not expressly granted by the Constitution or by law by virtue express authority of the
Constitution.
Executive Order No. 68 establishes a National War Crimes Office and the power to establish government
office is essentially legislative.

The order provides that person accused as war criminals shall be tried by military commissions. Whether
such a provision is substantive or adjective, it is clearly legislative in nature. It confers upon military
commissions jurisdiction to try all persons charge with war crimes. The power to define and allocate
jurisdiction for the prosecution of person accused of any crime is exclusively vested by the Constitution in
Congress. .
It provides rules of procedure for the conduct of trial of trial. This provision on procedural subject
constitutes a usurpation of the rule-making power vested by Constitution in the Supreme Court.
It authorized military commission to adopt additional rule of procedure. If the President of the Philippines
cannot exercise the rule -making power vested by the Constitution in the Supreme Court, he cannot, with
more reason, delegate that power to military commission.
It appropriates the sum of P7000,000 for the expenses of the National War Crimes office established by the
said Executive Order No. 68. This constitutes another usurpation of legislative power as the power to vote
appropriations belongs to Congress.
Executive Order No. 68., is, therefore, null and void, because, though it the President of the Philippines
usurped power expressly vested by the Constitution in Congress and in the Supreme Court.
Challenged to show the constitutional or legal authority under which the President issued Executive Order
No. 68, respondent could not give any definite answer. They attempted, however, to suggest that the
President of the Philippines issued Executive Order No. 68 under the emergency power granted to him by
Commonwealth Act No. 600, as amended by Commonwealth Act No. 620, and Commonwealth Act No. 671,
both of which are transcribed below:

COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 600.


AN ACT DECLARING A STATE OF EMERGENCY AND AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO
PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATION TO SAFEGUARD THE INTEGRITY OF THE PHILIPPINES
AND TO INSURE THE TRANQUILITY OF ITS INHABITANTS.
Be it enacted by the National Assembly of the Philippines:
SECTION 1. The existence of war in many parts of the world has created a national emergency
which makes it necessary to invest the President of the Philippines with extraordinary power in
order to safeguard the integrity of the Philippines and to insure the tranquility of its inhabitants, by
suppressing espionage, lawlessness, and all subversive to the people adequate shelter and clothing
and sufficient food supply, and by providing means for the speedy evacuation of the civilian
population the establishment of an air protective service and the organization of volunteer guard
units, and to adopt such other measures as he may deem necessary for the interest of the public.
To carry out this policy the President is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations which shall
have the force and effect off law until the date of adjournment of the next regulation which shall
have the force and effect of law until the date of adjournment of the next regular session of the First
Congress of the Philippines, unless sooner amended or repealed by the Congress of Philippines.
Such rules and regulation may embrace the following objects: (1) to suppress espionage and other
subversive activities; (2) to require all able-bodied citizens (a) when not engaged in any lawful
occupation, to engage in farming or other productive activities or (b) to perform such services as
may bee necessary in the public interest; (3) to take over farm lands in order to prevent or shortage
of crops and hunger and destitution; (4) to take over industrial establishment in order to insure
adequate production, controlling wages and profits therein; (5) to prohibit lockouts and strikes
whenever necessary to prevent the unwarranted suspension of work in productive enterprises or in
the interest of national security; (6) to regulate the normal hours of work for wage-earning and
salaried employees in industrial or business undertakings of all kinds; (7) to insure an even
distribution of labor among the productive enterprises; (8) to commandership and other means of
transportation in order to maintain, as much as possible, adequate and continued transportation
facilities; (9) to requisition and take over any public service or enterprise for use or operation by the

Government;(10) to regulate rents and the prices of articles or commodities of prime necessity,
both imported and locally produced or manufactured; and (11) to prevent, locally or generally,
scarcity, monopolization, hoarding injurious speculations, and private control affecting the supply,
distribution and movement of foods, clothing, fuel, fertilizer, chemical, building, material,
implements, machinery, and equipment required in agriculture and industry, with power to
requisition these commodities subject to the payment of just compensation. (As amended by Com.
Act No. 620.)
SEC. 2. For the purpose of administering this Act and carrying out its objective, the President may
designate any officer, without additional compensation, or any department, bureau, office, or
instrumentality of the National Government.
SEC. 3. Any person, firm, or corporation found guilty of the violation of any provision of this Act or of
this Act or any of the rules or regulations promulgated by the President under the authority of
section one of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than ten years or by a fine of
not more than ten thousand pesos, or by both. If such violation is committed by a firm or
corporation, the manager, managing director, or person charge with the management of the
business of such firm, or corporation shall be criminally responsible therefor.
SEC. 4. The President shall report to the national Assembly within the first ten days from the date of
the opening of its next regular session whatever action has been taken by him under the authority
herein granted.
SEC. 5. To carry out the purposed of this Act, the President is authorized to spend such amounts as
may be necessary from the sum appropriated under section five Commonwealth Act Numbered four
hundred and ninety-eight.
SEC. 6. If any province of this Act shall be declared by any court of competent jurisdiction to be
unconstitutional and void, such declaration shall not invalidate the remainder of this Act.
SEC. 7. This Act shall take upon its approval.
Approved, August 19, 1940.

COMMONWEALTH ACT NO. 671


AN ACT DECLARING A STATE OF TOTAL EMERGENCY AS A RESULT OF WAR INVOLVING THE
PHILIPPINES AND AUTHORIZING THE PRESIDENT TO PROMULGATE RULE AND REGULATIONS
TO MEET SUCH EMERGENCY.
Be it enacted the National Assembly of the Philippines;
SECTION 1. The existed of war between the United State and other countries of Europe and Asia,
which involves the Philippines, makes it necessary to invest the President with extraordinary powers
in order to meet the resulting emergency.
SEC. 2. Pursuant to the provision of Article VI, section 16, of the Constitution, the President is
hereby authorized, during the existence of the emergency, to promulgate such rules and regulation
as he may deem necessary to carry out the national policy declared in section 1 hereof.
Accordingly, he is, among other things, empowered (a) to transfer the seat of the Government or
any of its subdivisions, branches, department, offices, agencies or instrumentalities; (b) to
reorganize the Government of the Commonwealth including the determination of the order of
precedence of the heads of the Executive Department; (c) to create new subdivision, branches,
departments, offices, agency or instrumentalities of government and to abolish any of those
already existing; (d) to continue in force laws and appropriation which would lapse or otherwise
became inoperative, and to modify or suspend the operation or application of those of an
administrative character; (e) to imposed new taxes or to increase, reduce, suspend, or abolish

those in existence; (f) to raise funds through the issuance of bonds or otherwise, and to authorize
the expensive of the proceeds thereof; (g) to authorize the National, provincial, city or municipal
governments to incur in overdrafts for purposes that he may approve; (h) to declare the suspension
of the collection of credits or the payment of debts; and (i) to exercise such other power as he may
deem necessary to enable the Government to fulfill its responsibilities and to maintain and enforce
its authority.
SEC. 3. The President of the Philippines report thereto all the rules and regulation promulgated by
him under the power herein granted.
SEC. 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval and the rules and regulations. promulgated
hereunder shall be in force and effect until the Congress of the Philippines shall otherwise provide.
Approved December 16, 1941.
The above Acts cannot validly be invoked, Executive Order No. 68 was issued on July 29, 1947. Said Acts
had elapsed upon the liberation of the Philippines form the Japanese forces or, at the latest, when the
surrender of Japan was signed in Tokyo on September 2, 1945.
When both Acts were enacted by the Second National Assembly, we happened to have taken direct part in
their consideration and passage, not only as one of the members of said legislative body as chairman of
the Committee on Third Reading population Known as the "Little Senate." We are, therefore in a position to
state that said measures were enacted by the second national Assembly for the purpose of facing the
emergency of impending war and of the Pacific War that finally broke out with the attack of Pearl Harbor on
December 7, 1941. We approved said extraordinary measures, by which under the exceptional
circumstances then prevailing legislative power were delegated to the President of the Philippines, by
virtue of the following provisions of the Constitution:
In time of war or other national emergency, the Congress may by law authorize the President, for a
limited period and subject to such restrictions as it may prescribe to promulgate rules and
regulations to carry out declared national policy. (Article VI, section 26.)
It has never been the purpose of the National Assembly to extend the delegation beyond the emergency
created by the war as to extend it farther would be violative of the express provision of the Constitution.
We are of the opinion that there is no doubt on this question.; but if there could still be any the same
should be resolved in favor of the presumption that the National Assembly did not intend to violate the
fundamental law.
The absurdity of the contention that the emergency Acts continued in effect even after the surrender of
Japan can not be gainsaid. Only a few months after liberation and even before the surrender of Japan, or
since the middle of 1945, the Congress started to function normally. In the hypothesis that the contention
can prevail, then, since 1945, that is, four years ago, even after the Commonwealth was already replaced
by the Republic of the Philippines with the proclamation of our Independence, two district, separate and
independence legislative organs, Congress and the President of the Philippines would have been and
would continue enacting laws, the former to enact laws of every nature including those of emergency
character, and the latter to enact laws, in the form of executive orders, under the so-called emergency
powers. The situation would be pregnant with dangers to peace and order to the rights and liberties of the
people and to Philippines democracy.
Should there be any disagreement between Congress and the President of the Philippines, a possibility that
no one can dispute the President of the Philippines may take advantage of he long recess of Congress
(two-thirds of every year ) to repeal and overrule legislative enactments of Congress, and may set up a
veritable system of dictatorship, absolutely repugnant to the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
Executive Order No. 68 is equally offensive to the Constitution because it violates the fundamental
guarantees of the due process and equal protection of the law. It is especially so, because it permit the
admission of many kinds evidence by which no innocent person can afford to get acquittal and by which it
is impossible to determine whether an accused is guilty or not beyond all reasonable doubt.

The rules of evidence adopted in Executive Order No. 68 are a reproduction of the regulation governing the
trial of twelve criminal, issued by General Douglas Mac Arthur, Commander in Chief of the United State
Armed Forces in Western Pacific, for the purpose of trying among other, General Yamashita and Homma.
What we said in our concurring and dissenting opinion to the decision promulgated on December 19, 1945,
in the Yamashita case, L-129, and in our concurring and dissenting opinion to the resolution of January 23,
1946 in disposing the Homma case, L-244, are perfectly applicable to the offensive rules of evidence in
Executive Order No. 68. Said rules of evidence are repugnant to conscience as under them no justice can
expected.
For all the foregoing, conformably with our position in the Yamashita and Homma cases, we vote to declare
Executive Order No. 68 null and void and to grant petition.

DIGEST:

Facts: Kuroda, Lieutenant General of the Japanese Imperial Army, was prosecuted for war crimes before
the Military Commission set up by Executive Order No. 68 of the President of the Philippines. Kuroda
challenged the legality and constitutionality of the Military Commission and contended that it lacked
jurisdiction to try him for violation of the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the Laws of War, since the
Philippines was not a signatory to these conventions.
Issue: Whether or not the established Military Commission is legal and constitutional.
Held: The court ruled that the Military Commission was legal and constitutional base on the citation of
Article II, Section 3 of the Philippine Constitution declaring that the Philippine adopts the generally
accepted principles of international law as part of the law of the nation.
The court ruled that in accordance with the generally accepted principles of international law of the
present day, including the Hague Convention, the Geneva Convention, and significant precedents of
international jurisprudence established by the United Nations, all those persons, military or civilian, who
had been guilty of planning, preparing or waging a war of aggression and of the commission of crimes and
offenses consequential and incidental thereto, in violation of the laws and customs of war, of humanity and
civilization, were held accountable therefore. Although the Philippines was not a signatory to the
conventions embodying them, our Constitution has been deliberately general and extensive in its scope
and is not confined to the recognition of rules and principles of international law as contained in treaties to
which our government may have been or shall be a signatory. Consequently, in the promulgation and
enforcement of Executive Order No. 68, the President of the Philippines had acted in conformity with the
generally accepted principles and policies of international law which are part of our Constitution.

5. Omico Mining & Industrial Corp. VS Vallejos 63 SCRA 285


(1945)
G.R. No. L-38974 March 25, 1975

OMICO MINING AND INDUSTRIAL CORPORATION and FREDERICK G. WEBBER, petitioners,


vs.
JUDGE AMADOR T. VALLEJOS, in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Cavite,
ALFREDO CATOLICO, and LEONARDO ALCID, in his capacity as City Sheriff of
Manila, respondents.
Pio R. Marcos, Guillermo B. Bangonill & Jose P. Perez for petitioners.
Jose S. Lu for respondent Alfredo Catolico.
Original petition for certiorari and prohibition with writ of preliminary injunction to set aside the orders and
judgment rendered by respondent Judge in Civil Case No. N-1963 (Alfredo Catolico v. Omico Mining and
Industrial Corporation, et al.) as having been made without or in excess of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse
of discretion.
FACTS

On June 1, 1973, Alfredo Catolico (herein private respondent), then a judge of the Court of First Instance of
Cavite, filed with said court a complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. N-1963 and assigned to Branch II
presided by respondent Judge Amador T. Vallejos, against Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation and
Frederick G. Webber, the latter in his personal capacity and as President and Chairman of the Board of
Directors of said corporation, alleging two (2) causes of action. The first, for the return of ten (10)
certificates of stock of the corporation borrowed from him by the defendants, and the second, for the
payment of his services as legal counsel for the corporation. Under the first cause of action, plaintiff
Catolico alleged among others that he is a resident of Cavite City where he is a judge of the Court of First
Instance and stockholder of the defendant Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation holding thirty (30)
certificates of stock duly paid up bearing Nos. 13437 to 13466, the same having been issued to him way
back in August, 1969; that defendant corporation, through its co-defendant Frederick G. Webber, pleaded
with him that ten (10) certificates of stock, Nos. 13437 to 13446, be allowed to remain with them under
their responsibility, jointly and severally, for the specific purpose of using said certificates as part collateral
for a loan in the amount of P10,000,000.00, the defendants were then negotiating with the Development
Bank of the Philippines, and that both defendants, jointly and severally, promised to return said certificates
of stock upon the approval or disapproval of the loan application; that when disapproval of said loan
application appeared imminent, the defendants again pleaded with him for the retention of the same ten
(10) certificates of stock because they were negotiating for the purchase of the Bunning and Company of
Tuguegarao for P2,000,000,00, and that they needed said certificates as part collateral for the transaction;
that when those two transactions failed, he demanded several times of the defendants for the return to
him of the ten (10) certificates aforementioned so that he could use them, but said demands were of no
avail; that in view of the failure of the defendants to comply with his demands, he is forced to file the
complaint seeking the return to him of said ten (10) certificates of stock. Under the second cause of action,
plaintiff after reproducing the pertinent averments in the first cause of action, among which is the
averment that he is a judge of the Court of First Instance of Cavite, further alleged that on October 13,
1968, both defendants entered into a contract of personal and professional services with him under the
terms of which he was to head defendant corporation's legal department with the condition that he should
render such services only after his office hours, "even into the dead wee hours of the night and wherever
such services would not run in conflict with his duties as Judge"; that in consideration of such services, the
defendants undertook to pay him a yearly salary of P35,000.00 from the date of the contract, but where a
case shall have been settled in and out of court, and defendants shall have won or saved money because
of such settlement, he shall be paid by way of commission ten percent (10%) of the amount involved in the
litigation and/or settlement; that, pursuant to said contract, he has rendered legal services as head of the
legal department of defendant Omico and has attended to the personal consultation of defendant
Frederick G. Webber until the filing of the complaint, when, by reason thereof, their official relations were
severed; that the defendants should render the corresponding accounting of his unpaid commission and
salaries, taking into consideration the partial payments and advances given to him as salary; that a more
detailed specification of the services rendered by him in favor of the defendants were made in a letter to
the defendants, mailed on May 28, 1973 from his official residence in Cavite City; that the defendants
refused and failed to render such accounting and to pay his emoluments, in spite of his repeated demands
to that effect. Plaintiff, therefore, prayed that, on the first cause of action, defendants be ordered to return
to him the ten (10) certificates of stock, or, in case the return thereof cannot be done, to issue in his favor
the same number and amount of certificates of stock as replacement or to pay him the par value thereof;
and, on the second cause of action, defendants be ordered to render the corresponding accounting of the
amounts due him in accordance with the averments in the complaint, and to pay him the balance as
reflected in the accounting as approved by the court; to pay him moral, exemplary, punitive and afflictive
damages, in such amounts as assessed by the court; to pay him attorney's fees and costs; and to grant
him such other reliefs available in the premises. 1
Served with the corresponding summons and copies of the complaint, the petitioners, as defendants
therein, on June 10, 1973 filed a motion to dismiss the complaint on two grounds: namely (1) improper
venue, in that the case was filed in Cavite where plaintiff is not a resident, the truth being that he is a
resident of Quezon City where he has his permanent family home; and, as to the second cause of action,
the contract of personal and professional services between plaintiff and defendants was entered into in the

City of Manila, and, therefore, the case should have been filed in Manila in accordance with Section I of
Rule 4 of the Revised Rules of Court; and (2) lack of cause of action, in that with regard to the stock
certificates the same are in the name of Vicente Resonda; and, with respect to the contract of personal and
professional services wherein it was agreed that the plaintiff shall head the legal department of defendant
Omico Mining & Industrial Corporation, the same is illegal, void and unenforceable, plaintiff being a judge
of the Court of First Instance who is prohibited by Section 35 of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court from
engaging in private practice as a member of the Bar. The motion to dismiss contains the following notice of
hearing: t.hqw
The Clerk of Court
Court of First Instance of Cavite City Branch II
Greetings:
Please include the foregoing motion in the calendar of the Honorable Court on Saturday,
June 16, 1973, and have the same submitted for resolution without further arguments on the
part of the defendants.
(Sgd.) JOSE F. PEREZ
COPY FURNISHED:
(By registered Mail)
Atty. Jaime B. Lumasag, Counsel for the Plaintiff,
5-C Banawe, Quezon City
Attached to the motion is Registry Receipt No. 45297 issued by Manila Central Post Office on June 9,
1973. 2
On June 16, 1973, the date set for the hearing of the motion to dismiss, neither the parties nor their
respective counsels appeared in court. But the court, noting that there was no clear showing in the record
that notice of hearing of said motion had been served upon counsel for the plaintiff, issued on June 18,
1973 an Order postponing consideration of the motion "until counsel for the defendants shall have shown
to the satisfaction of the Court that a copy of his motion to dismiss has been furnished counsel for the
plaintiff." The Order adds that "in said event, the Clerk of Court shall calendar anew the hearing of the
motion to dismiss furnishing a copy of the date of the bearing to counsels for the plaintiff and for the
defendants." 3 Copies of said Order were sent to the respective counsels of the parties on June 10, 1973 by
registered mail. 4
While the motion to dismiss was pending resolution by the court because defendants had not yet
presented to the court the required proof of service, plaintiff, on January 11, 1974, filed a petition to
declare the defendants in default and to allow him to present his evidence ex parte. In said petition,
plaintiff alleged, in substance, that defendants had been served with summons and copies of the complaint
on June 8, 1973; that as of January 11, 1974, or after a lapse of seven (7) months from the service of
summons, defendants had not filed their answer to the complaint; that the defendants had filed a motion
to dismiss the complaint on June 10, 1973, the hearing of which had been set to June 16, 1973 but the
notice of said hearing was addressed to the Clerk of Court, not to Atty. Jaime B. Lumasag, counsel for
plaintiff; that the Revised Rules of Court provides that petitions and motions should be sent to opposing
parties who should be notified of the date of the hearing thereof; that the notice of hearing in defendants'
motion to dismiss is fatally defective, it being addressed to the Clerk of Court; and that because of that
defect, defendants' motion to dismiss is a "useless piece of paper", citing Philippine Advertising
Counselors, Inc. v. Hon. Pedro A. Revilla, G.R. No. L-31869, promulgated on August 8, 1973. 5 By Order of
January 15, 1974, the court granted the petition 6 and, consequently, it received ex parte the evidence of

the plaintiff and rendered judgment thereon on January 29, 1974, the dispositive portion of which
reads: t.hqw
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the
defendants directing the latter:
1. To return to the plaintiff ten (10) certificates of stock corresponding to 100,000 shares of
the Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation in the name of Vicente Resonda bearing Nos.
13437 up to and including 13446 or in lieu thereof, to deliver to said plaintiff new certificates
of the above-named corporation of equivalent value;
2. To pay to the plaintiff the total amount of One Million One Hundred Eighty-six Thousand
Four Hundred Thirty-five Pesos and Eleven centavos (P1,186,435.11) at the legal rate of
interest until said amount is fully paid;
3. To pay to the plaintiff by way of attorney's fees the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000.00);
4. To pay the costs." 7
On March 5, 1974, defendants filed a motion for reconsideration, advancing the arguments (1) that the
judgment is contrary to law and the liberal interpretation of the Revised Rules of Court, in that they have
complied with the provisions of Section 10 of Rule 13, Revised Rules of Court, by stating in the motion to
dismiss that a copy thereof was furnished by registered mail to Atty. Jaime B. Lumasag, counsel for the
plaintiff, and attaching thereto the registry receipt therefor issued by the Manila Central Post Office; that
the purpose of the notice has been served because as per certification of the post office of Quezon City,
said Atty. Jaime B. Lumasag received the copy of the Motion to Dismiss before June 16, 1973, the date set
for the hearing of the motion; and that, with respect to the return card, they have not received the same,
hence, they could not comply with the submission thereof; (2) that the circumstances obtaining in the case
do not warrant the default order which finally paved the way for the rendering of judgment in favor of the
plaintiff, because counsel for the plaintiff had received a copy of the motion to dismiss one day before the
hearing thereof; that said motion should have been acted upon, considering that it contains contentious
issues which when resolved would show the complaint to be "nothing but empty claims"; and that the
ruling in Philippine Advertising Counselors, Inc. cannot apply, because the facts therein are at variance
with those of the present case; and (3) that the defendants have a valid defense and strong evidence to
rebut and/or controvert the claims of the plaintiff as shown by the affidavits of Jose F. Perez and Hilarion P.
Dugenio, legal counsel and corporate secretary, respectively, of Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation.
The motion contains a notice to counsel for plaintiff that the hearing thereof has been set for March 15,
1974. 8
On March 15,1974, plaintiff Catolico, on his own behalf, filed a motion to postpone hearing of the motion
for reconsideration to April 29, 1974, to enable him to prepare an intelligible opposition thereto.
The motion does not contain a notice of hearing. It merely states at the foot thereof that a copy of said
motion was furnished Pio R. Marcos and Guillermo Bandonil, counsel for defendants, without stating how
delivery was effected. 9 But notwithstanding absence of notice of hearing, the court, considering the
absence, of objection thereto on the part of the defendants, granted the motion for postponement, with
the condition that the defendants be furnished with a copy of the opposition; that defendants may file their
reply to the opposition within fifteen (15) days from receipt of a copy thereof; and that thereafter the
matter be deemed submitted for resolution. 10
On May 31, 1974, while defendants' motion for reconsideration was still pending before the court because
the defendants had not filed yet their reply to the opposition as they had not received a copy
thereof, 11 plaintiff Catolico filed a motion for immediate execution of judgment, alleging, among other

things, that said judgment had already become final and executory because the defendants failed to have
the order of default lifted; that the motion for reconsideration was filed out of time; that there was a
"manifest attempt on the part of the defendants to delay the proceedings to afford them an opportunity to
have all their assets and shares dissipated by continuous sale of the same to the prejudice" not only of
respondent Catolico but also of "some forty to fifty creditors who filed complaints against the defendants
for estafa and civil suits for collection amounting to hundreds of thousands of pesos"; that some 80% of
defendants' assets and properties had already been sold at fantastically low prices to defraud creditors
who had been deceitfully assured by the management that they are well protected; that the judgment
might become ineffective "due to the notoriously deceptive movements" (sic) to which the defendants
"daily and continuously expose themselves"; and that immediate execution of the judgment is the only
protection that can be rendered to plaintiff under the premises. 12
On June 18, 1974, the Court issued simultaneously two (2) Orders, one denying defendants' motion for
reconsideration, 13 and the other directing the issuance of a writ of execution of its decision of January 29,
1974. In the latter Order, the court appointed the City Sheriff of Manila, herein respondent Leonardo Alcid,
to execute said writ of execution. 14
On June 19, 1974, defendants filed their notice of appeal to this Court, an appeal bond and a record on
appeal. The record on appeal was approved on August 27, 1974 only because of the absence of the
respondent Judge from his station, he being then a participant in the seminar of Judges of Court of First
Instance in the Development Academy of the Philippines at Tagaytay City. 15
On the same date, June 19, 1974, in the afternoon, respondent Sheriff of Manila, through his Senior Legal
Assistant and Acting Executive Sheriff Dominador Q. Cacpal served a notice of garnishment to the
defendants, together with a writ of execution issued by the respondent Judge. On July 22, Pio R. Marcos, as
President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of defendant Omico Mining and Industrial Corporation,
wrote a letter to respondent Sheriff asking that the defendants be given a little chance to exhaust the legal
remedies available to hold in abeyance the execution and garnishment. Among the reasons presented by
Marcos are that defendants were not given a chance to have their day in court in the motion for immediate
execution of judgment and that they have already appealed from the lower court's decision and order of
immediate execution. 16
Because of the impending execution of the judgment by default which they believe to be illegal,
defendants, on July 25, 1974, filed with this Court the instant petition praying, among other things, that
respondent Judge be restrained from commanding the City Sheriff of Manila, or his duly authorized
representative, to execute the decision of January 29, 1974. The petition assails mainly the Order of
respondent Judge, declaring the defendants in default, the consequent reception of the evidence of the
plaintiff ex parte and the judgment by default rendered thereon, as having been made without or in excess
of jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion because said respondent Judge failed to resolve first the
defendants' motion to dismiss. In a resolution dated July 24, 1974, We required, without giving due course
to the petition, respondents to comment on said petition within ten (10) days from notice thereof, and, as
prayed for, issued a temporary restraining order. Respondent Judge and private respondent Catolico filed
separate comments. Per resolution dated August 20, 1974, We resolved to consider their comments as
their Answer to the petition.
In his answer, respondent Judge justifies his failure to act on the aforesaid motion to dismiss the complaint
in this wise: t.hqw
In insisting in their petition that it was obligatory for this respondent to grant or deny said
motion to dismiss, counsels who filed this petition seem to be feigning ignorance as to
reasons why this respondent chose to ignore their motion to dismiss and considered it a
mere scrap of paper. It is humbly submitted that said reasons have been amply set forth and
discussed in the Decision rendered in Civil Case No. N-1963 (Annex F to the petition) in

accordance with the decision of this Honorable Tribunal in the case of Philippine Advertising
Counselors, Inc., versus Hon. Pedro Revilla, et al., G.R. No. L-31869), to this effect: t.
hqw
'Finally, Section 4, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court provides that notice of a
motion shall be served by the applicant to all parties concerned, at least three
days before the hearing thereof, together with a copy of the motion, and of
any affidavits and other papers accompanying it, and Section 5 of the same
rule requires the motion to be directed to the parties concerned and to state
the time and place for the hearing of the motion. A motion which fails to
comply with these requirements is nothing but a useless piece of
paper ...' (Emphasis supplied).
Counsels who filed the instant petition know more than anybody else that their motion to
dismiss did not comply with the standards required in the decision above quoted for it was
addressed to the Clerk of Court and not to the party concerned. As such, said motion to
dismiss was but 'a useless piece of paper' without any legal standing, and, therefore, could
neither be granted nor denied, by this respondent ....
Subsequently, or on September 6, 1974, private respondent filed a motion to dismiss said petition on the
ground that the remedy of certiorari and prohibition is no longer available to the herein petitioners,
inasmuch as they had already perfected their appeal. 17 Petitioners opposed the motion to dismiss on the
ground that their appeal is inadequate to protect their rights for, without the restraining order issued by
this Court, the respondents could have executed the decision and orders in question. 18

ISSUES
The first issue to be resolved here is whether the respondent Judge acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in declaring the defendants in default, in receiving plaintiff's
evidence ex parte and in rendering judgment thereon.
The second is whether ordinary appeal, not certiorari and prohibition, is the proper remedy available to
petitioners.
1. With regard to the first issue, respondents contend that the motion to dismiss the complaint is a
"useless piece of paper" because the notice of hearing incorporated therein is addressed to the Clerk of
Court, not to the party concerned, that is, the plaintiff or his counsel, as required by the rules. We do not
agree. As copied verbatim above, the notice of hearing states the time and place of hearing, and a copy
thereof was sent through registered mail seven (7) days before the date set for the hearing of the motion
but actually received by plaintiff's counsel one (1) day before said date, as per certification of the Quezon
City Post Office.
To Our mind, what is decisive here is that plaintiff had sufficient notice of the time and place of the hearing
of the motion to dismiss. We have said in Manila Surety and Fidelity Co., Inc. v. Bath Construction and
Company, 19"unless the movant sets the time and place of hearing the court would have no way to
determine whether that party agrees to or objects to the motion, and if he objects, to hear him on his
objection, since the Rules themselves do not fix any period within which he may file his reply or
opposition." In the Matusa case, We said that granting that the notice is defective for failure to specify the
exact date when the motion to dismiss should be heard, the Court, in taking cognizance of the motion on
the date set for the hearing thereof, cured whatever iota of defect such a pleading may have had,
especially if it is taken into account that upon receipt of the motion to dismiss, plaintiff was properly
notified of the existence of said pleading. 20Indeed, We declared that there may be cases where the

attendance of certain circumstances "may be considered substantive enough to truncate the adverse
literal application of the pertinent rules violated." 21 The case at bar is such an instance, because private
respondent had sufficient notice of the place, time and date when the motion to dismiss was to be heard. It
is, therefore, evident from the foregoing that the respondent Judge acted with grave abuse of discretion
when he declared the petitioners in default. The motion to dismiss was pending before the court when
such declaration was made, and it is generally irregular to enter an order of default while a motion to
dismiss remains pending and undisposed of. 22 The irregularity of the order of default is evident from the
fact that when the petitioners were declared in default, their time for filing an answer had not yet
commenced to run anew because on said date, their counsel had not yet received any notice of the action
taken by the court on their motion to dismiss. Under Section 4 of Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of Court, if
the motion to dismiss is denied or if the determination thereof is deferred, the movant shall file his answer
within the period prescribed by Rule 11, computed from the time he received notice of the denial or
deferment, unless the court provides a different period. In other words, the period for filing responsive
pleading commences to run all over again from the time the defendant receives notice of the denial or
deferment of his motion to dismiss. Inasmuch as petitioners were declared in default while their motion to
dismiss was still pending resolution, they were, therefore, incorrectly declared in default, and the holding of
the trial of the case on the merits, in their absence, without due notice to them of the date of hearing, was
a denial of due process. 23 Consequently, the order of default, the judgment and the order of execution are
patent nullities.
In connection with the foregoing, We notice the ambivalence with which the respondent Judge applied the
rules. Thus, while he was unduly strict regarding the requirements of notice of hearing to the defendants,
he was, at the same time, unduly liberal with respect to the plaintiff. For instance, plaintiff's Motion for
Reconsideration did not contain any notice of hearing, or proof of service thereof, or even the address of
the plaintiff who signed personally said motion. Notwithstanding the absence of these data, respondent
Judge readily granted the motion. Then there is plaintiff's motion for immediate execution of judgment
pending appeal. Although it was apparent that a copy of said motion could not have been received by the
counsel for the defendants at their office in Baguio City prior to the date of the hearing on June 3, 1974,
considering that it was only on May 29, 1974 when a copy of said motion was allegedly posted by
registered mail at the Manila Post Office, respondent Judge did not require, as he did with respect to
defendants' motion to dismiss, proof of service of the notice thereof. Such conduct falls short of the
requirement that the official conduct of a judge should not only be free from impropriety, but also from the
appearance of impropriety..
2. There is, moreover, the consideration that the challenged judgment seeks to enforce a contract which is
patently void because it is contrary to law and public policy. The contract of professional services entered
into between private respondent and the petitioners, while the former was still a judge of the Court of First
Instance, constituted private practice of law and in contravention of the express provision of Section 35 of
Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court. The aforecited Rule was promulgated by this Court, pursuant to its
constitutional power to regulate the practice of law. It is based on sound reasons of public policy, for there
is no question that the rights, duties, privileges and functions of the office of an attorney-at-law are so
inherently incompatible with the high official functions, duties, powers, discretions and privileges of a
judge of the Court of First Instance. 24 This inhibitory rule makes it obligatory upon the judicial officers
concerned to give their full time and attention to their judicial duties, prevent them from extending special
favors to their own private interests and assure the public of their impartiality in the performance of their
functions. These objectives are dictated by a sense of moral decency and the desire to promote the public
interest.
Private respondent should have known or ought to know, that when he was elevated to the Bench of the
Court of First Instance as a judge thereof, his right to practice law as an attorney was suspended and
continued to be suspended as long as he occupied the judicial position. 25

It is evident, therefore, that the aforesaid contract is void because a contract, whose cause, object or
purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy, is considered inexistent and
void from the beginning. 26
3. On the question of the remedy availed of by petitioners, respondents maintain that where appeal is
available, as it has been shown to be available to the petitioners when they perfected their appeal in Civil
Case No. N-1963, the remedy of certiorari and/or prohibition cannot be resorted to. In resolving this
question, We advert to Our ruling in Matute v. Court of Appeals, supra, where We stated: t.hqw
In opposing the instant petition, the plaintiff-respondent contends that the remedy of the
defendant petitioner is not a petition for certiorari but an ordinary appeal pursuant to Rule
41, Section 2, paragraph 3 which reads: t.hqw
'A party who has been declared in default may likewise appeal from the
judgment rendered against him as contrary to the evidence or to the law,
even if no petition for relief to set aside the order of default has been
presented by him in accordance with Rule 38.' .
We do not agree. The remedy provided for in the above-quoted rule is properly, though not
exclusively, available to a defendant who has been validly declared in default. It does not
preclude a defendant who has been illegally declared in default from pursuing a more
speedy and efficacious remedy, like a petition for certiorari to have the judgment by default
set aside as a nullity.
It should be emphasized that a defendant who is properly declared in default is differently
situated from one who is improvidently declared in default. The former irreparably loses his
right to participate in the trial, while the latter retains such a right and may exercise the
same after having the order of default and the subsequent judgment by default annulled
and the case remanded to the court of origin. Moreover the former is limited to the remedy
set forth in section 2, paragraph 3 of Rule 41 by virtue of which he can contest only
the judgment by default on the designated ground that it is contrary to the evidence or the
law; the latter, however, has the option to avail of the same remedy or to forthwith interpose
a petition for certiorari seeking the nullification of the order of default even before the
promulgation of a judgment by default, or in the event that the latter has been rendered, to
have both court decrees the order of default and the judgment by default declared
void. The defendant-petitioner's choice of the latter course of action is correct for he
controverts the judgment by default not on the ground that it is not supported by evidence
or it is contrary to law, but on the ground that it is intrinsically void for having been rendered
pursuant to a patently invalid order of default..
Granting, however, that an appeal is open to the defendant-petitioner, the same is no longer
an adequate and speedy remedy considering that the court a quo had already ordered the
issuance of a writ of execution and the carrying out of such writ loomed as a great
probability. This is in consonance with the doctrine enunciated in Vda. de Saludes v. Pajarillo
and Bautista (78 Phil. 754) wherein this Court held that an 'appeal under the circumstances
was not an adequate remedy there being an order or execution issued by the municipal
court.' Hence, the rule that certiorari does not lie when there is an appeal is relaxed where,
as in the instant case, the trial court had already ordered the issuance of a writ of execution.
The above ruling applies with cogent force in the present case..
WHEREFORE, certiorari is granted and the default order, judgment and writ of execution rendered by the
respondent Judge in Civil Case No. N-1963 are hereby set aside, and the respondent Judge is ordered to

hear and decide the motion to dismiss the complaint, taking into account Our foregoing opinion. The
temporary restraining order is made permanent, with costs against private respondent.

DIGEST: X

6. People VS Villanueva 14 SCRA 109 (1965)


G.R. No. L-19450

May 27, 1965

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,


vs.
SIMPLICIO VILLANUEVA, defendant-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
Magno T. Buese for defendant-appellant.
PAREDES, J.:
On September 4, 1959, the Chief of Police of Alaminos, Laguna, charged Simplicio Villanueva with the
Crime ofMalicious Mischief before the Justice of the Peace Court of said municipality. Said accused was
represented by counsel de officio but later on replaced by counsel de parte. The complainant in the same
case was represented by City Attorney Ariston Fule of San Pablo City, having entered his appearance as
private prosecutor, after securing the permission of the Secretary of Justice. The condition of his
appearance as such, was that every time he would appear at the trial of the case, he would be considered
on official leave of absence, and that he would not receive any payment for his services. The appearance
of City Attorney Fule as private prosecutor was questioned by the counsel for the accused, invoking the
case of Aquino, et al. vs. Blanco, et al.,
L-1532, Nov. 28, 1947, wherein it was ruled that "when an attorney had been appointed to the position
ofAssistant Provincial Fiscal or City Fiscal and therein qualified, by operation of law, he ceased to engage in
private law practice." Counsel then argued that the JP Court in entertaining the appearance of City
Attorney Fule in the case is a violation of the above ruling. On December 17, 1960 the JP issued an order
sustaining the legality of the appearance of City Attorney Fule.
Under date of January 4, 1961, counsel for the accused presented a "Motion to Inhibit Fiscal Fule from
Acting as Private Prosecutor in this Case," this time invoking Section 32, Rule 27, now Sec. 35, Rule 138,
Revised Rules of Court, which bars certain attorneys from practicing. Counsel claims that City Attorney Fule
falls under this limitation. The JP Court ruled on the motion by upholding the right of Fule to appear and
further stating that he (Fule) was not actually enagaged in private law practice. This Order was appealed to
the CFI of Laguna, presided by the Hon. Hilarion U. Jarencio, which rendered judgment on December 20,
1961, the pertinent portions of which read:
The present case is one for malicious mischief. There being no reservation by the offended party of
the civil liability, the civil action was deemed impliedly instituted with the criminal action. The
offended party had, therefore, the right to intervene in the case and be represented by a legal
counsel because of her interest in the civil liability of the accused.
Sec. 31, Rule 127 of the Rules of Court provides that in the court of a justice of the peace a party
may conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that
purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. Assistant City Attorney Fule appeared in the Justice of the
Peace Court as an agent or friend of the offended party. It does not appear that he was being paid
for his services or that his appearance was in a professional capacity. As Assistant City Attorney of
San Pablo he had no control or intervention whatsoever in the prosecution of crimes committed in
the municipality of Alaminos, Laguna, because the prosecution of criminal cases coming from
Alaminos are handled by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal and not by the City Attornev of San Pablo.

There could be no possible conflict in the duties of Assistant City Attorney Fule as Assistant City
Attorney of San Pablo and as private prosecutor in this criminal case. On the other hand, as already
pointed out, the offended party in this criminal case had a right to be represented by an agent or a
friend to protect her rights in the civil action which was impliedly instituted together with the
criminal action.
In view of the foregoing, this Court holds that Asst. City Attorney Ariston D. Fule may appear before
the Justice of the Peace Court of Alaminos, Laguna as private prosecutor in this criminal case as an
agent or a friend of the offended party.
WHEREFORE, the appeal from the order of the Justice of the Peace Court of Alaminos, Laguna,
allowing the apprearance of Ariston D. Fule as private prosecutor is dismissed, without costs.
The above decision is the subject of the instant proceeding.
The appeal should be dismissed, for patently being without merits.1wph1.t
Aside from the considerations advanced by the learned trial judge, heretofore reproduced, and which we
consider plausible, the fallacy of the theory of defense counsel lies in his confused interpretation of Section
32 of Rule 127 (now Sec. 35, Rule 138, Revised Rules), which provides that "no judge or other official or
employee of the superior courts or of the office of the Solicitor General, shall engage in private practice as
a member of the bar or give professional advice to clients." He claims that City Attorney Fule, in appearing
as private prosecutor in the case was engaging in private practice. We believe that the isolated
appearance of City Attorney Fule did not constitute private practice within the meaning and contemplation
of the Rules. Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State vs. Cotner,
127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been
interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public, as customarily and demanding
payment for such services (State vs. Bryan, 4 S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644, 647). The appearance as counsel on
one occasion is not conclusive as determinative of engagement in the private practice of law. The following
observation of the Solicitor General is noteworthy:
Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in
the active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are
available to the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in consideration of his
said services.
For one thing, it has never been refuted that City Attorney Fule had been given permission by his
immediate superior, the Secretary of Justice, to represent the complainant in the case at bar, who is a
relative.
CONFORMABLY WITH ALL THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from should be, as it is hereby affirmed,
in all respects, with costs against appellant..

DIGEST:
FACTS: On September 4, 1959, the Chief of Police of Alaminos, Laguna, charged Simplicio Villanueva with
the crime of Malicious Mischief, before the Justice of the Peace Court of said municipality. Said accused was
represented by counsel de oficio, but later on replaced by counsel de parte. The complainant in the same
case was represented by City AttorneyAriston Fule of San Pablo City, having entered his appearance as
private-prosecutor, after securing the permission of the Secretary of Justice. The condition of his
appearance as such, was that every time he would appear at the trial of the case, he would be considered
on official leave of absence, and that he would not receive any payment for his services. The appearance
of City Attorney Fule as private prosecutor was questioned by the counsel for the accused.

ISSUE: Whether or not the isolated appearance of Atty. Fule as private prosecutor constitutes practice of
law.
RULING: No. Assistant City Attorney Fule appeared in the Justice of the Peace Court as a agent or friend of
the offended party. It does not appear that he was being paid for his services or that his appearance was in
a professional capacity. As Assistant City Attorney of Sail Pablo he had no control or intervention
whatsoever in the prosecution of crimes committed in the municipality of Alaminos, Laguna, because
the prosecution of criminal cases coming from Alaminos are handled by the Office of the Provincial Fiscal
and not by the City Attorney of San Pablo. As such, there could be no possible conflict in the duties of
Assistant City Attorney Fule us Assistant City Attorney of San Pablo and as private prosecutor in this
criminal case. Furthermore, the isolated appearance of City Attorney Fule did not constitute private
practice, within the meaning and contemplation of the Rules. Practice is more than an isolated appearance,
for it consists in frequent or customary action, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is
frequent habitual exercise. Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been interpreted as
customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public, as a lawyer and demanding payment for such
services. Thus, the appearance as counsel on one occasion is not conclusive as determinative of
engagement in the private practice of law. And, it has never been refuted that City Attorney Fule had been
given permission by his immediate supervisor, the Secretary of Justice, to represent the complaint in the
case at bar who is a relative. Decision affirmed.

7. Dia-Anonuevo VS Judge Bercasio (Tabacco, Albay) 68 SCRA


81 (1975)
A.M. No. 177-MJ November 27, 1975

CONCEPCION DIA-AONUEVO, complainant,


vs.
MUN. JUDGE BONIFACIO B. BERCACIO OF TABACO, ALBAY, respondent.
MUOZ PALMA, J.:
Respondent, incumbent Municipal Judge of Tabaco, Albay, faces this administrative complaint for conduct
unbecoming a judge on two counts: (1) engaging in the practice of law, and (2) failure to return promptly
to complainant, Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, the money deposited with him.
The following are the undisputed facts:
Mrs. Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, to whom We shall refer henceforth as complainant, claims to be a coowner of an undivided interest of a certain parcel of irrigated riceland situated in Cabilogan, Sto. Nio, Sto.
Domingo, Albay. This property was the object of a deed of sale executed by Maximo Balibado, Justo
Balibado and Petrona Balibado de Barrios in favor of Alfredo Ong and acknowledged before Municipal Judge
Bonifacio Bercacio, respondent herein, as ex-officio notary public, on January 25, 1972. Having been
apprised of the execution of this deed of sale, complainant went to the office of Judge Bercacio to verify
the matter. Upon being shown a copy of the deed of sale, complainant informed respondent judge that the
vendors owned only one-third undivided portion of the property and that she and other cousins of hers
owned two-thirds thereof. Judge Bercacio advised the complainant to redeem or repurchase the property
from the vendee, Alfredo Ong. Complainant then requested the judge to intercede in their behalf with the
vendee to allow them to redeem the property and for that purpose she gave respondent the amount of
P3,500.00 to be used to pay Alfredo Ong. Respondent agreed and received the amount of P3,500.00 for
which he issued the corresponding receipt which reads:
This is to certify that MRS. CONCEPCION DIA-AONUEVO of Sto. Domingo, Albay, has
deposited with the undersigned, the sum of THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED (P3,500.00)
PESOS Philippine Currency, for the purpose of exercising her right to the legal redemption of
the property sold to MR. ALFREDO ONG by Messrs. Maximo Balibado, Justo Balibado and Mrs.

Petrona B. de Barrios as per Doc. No. 7, Page 3, Book No. 1, Series of 1972, of the Notarial
Register of the undersigned, dated Jan. 25, 1972.
Tabaco, Albay, February 23, 1972.
(Sgd.) BONIFACIO B. BERCACIO (Exhibit C)
Judge
Respondent sent the corresponding letter to Alfredo Ong but the latter did not answer. Forthwith a
complaint was filed on March 8, 1972 with the Court of First Instance of Albay (Civil Case No. 4591)
entitled: "Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, et al., plaintiffs, versus Maximo Balibado et al., defendants" for
"annulment of sale of real property and redemption with damages." This complaint was prepared on
February 26, 1972 by "Eligio R. Berango & B.B. Bercacio & Ass." as counsel for the plaintiffs, with Eligio R.
Berango signing the complaint. (Exhibit B)
During the pendency of the civil case, complainant asked respondent judge to allow her to withdraw
P1,500.00 from the P3,500.00 she had deposited with him as she was then in need of money, but no action
was taken by respondent. The verbal request was followed by a registered letter dated January 24, 1973
advising Judge Bercacio that complainant herein was withdrawing the amount of P3,500.00 deposited with
him and requesting him to remit the said amount within ten days from receipt of the letter. (Exhibit D)
There was still no response from respondent Judge, hence, another letter was sent dated February 21,
1973, which We quote:
San Roque
Sto. Domingo
Albay
February 21, 1973
Hon. Bonifacio Bercacio
Municipal Judge of Tabaco
Tabaco Albay
Sir:
This is a tracer of my letter to you dated January 28, 1973, demanding from
you the return of the amount of Three Thousand Five Hundred Pesos
(P3,500.00), which I entrusted to you for the redemption of my land which is
involved in Civil Case No. 4591 entitled "Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, et al., vs.
Maximo Balibado, et al.," which is now pending in the Court of First Instance of
Albay, Branch III. Inasmuch as you failed to deposit that amount to the Clerk
of Court, Court of First Instance of Albay, I am demanding from your good self
the return of said amount to me because I need it very badly.
I have spent a lot of money in going back and forth from Sto. Domingo to your
residence to demand from you the amount but of no avail for almost one year.
Failure on your part to comply with the same, I will be constrained to take the
necessary action on the matter against you.
Thank you.
Very truly yours,

(Sgd.) Mrs. CONCEPCION DIA-AONUEVO


(Exhibit E)
As the foregoing letter elicited no reaction from the Judge, complainant Mrs. Aonuevo sought the
assistance of a lawyer in the person of Atty. Rodolfo A. Madrid who accordingly wrote to respondent on
March 16, 1973, giving the lattera final period of grace within which to return the sum of P3,500.00,
otherwise proper measures would be taken to protect the interests of his client. (Exhibit F)
Respondent finally broke his silence and answered with a letter given hereunder:
Tabaco
, Albay
March
21,
1973
Atty. Rodolfo A. Madrid
El Casino Bldg.
Legazpi City
Dear Dolfo:
I am in receipt today of yours dated the 16th. inst.
Frankly, I am indeed surprised at the tenor of your letter, particularly the
threat it contains despite the explanation I verbally gave you when you
dropped at my office. .
If you would re-examine the receipt I issued to Mrs. Concepcion D. Aonuevo,
dated February 23, 1972, you will note that the amount was entrusted to me
to make it available anytime "for the purpose of exercising her right to the
legal redemption of the property sold to Mr. Alfredo Ong." The case instituted
by the plaintiffs, among whom is Mrs. Aonuevo for the determination of their
right is still pending in Court due to the illness of Judge Zurbano and the
prolonged vacation of the Presiding Judge.
When the money was entrusted to me, I was made to understand that the
amount was not exclusively hers alone. I regret that legal ethics forbid me
from revealing to you what was imparted to me in confidence which I have the
moral obligation to keep inviolate.
Your insinuation of inaction on my part is false because I summoned Mrs.
Aonuevo to my office after I received her letters; she apologized and did not
insist that the money be returned pending the termination of the civil case.
From reliable sources I have learned that she is being made a conveyance tool
for sinister motives and there is ample ground to suspect that this matter is
being used as a vehicle for revenge.
The case now pending in the CFI is being handled by another lawyer who
should have some say on this matter.
Very truly yours,

(Sgd.) BONIFACIO B. BERCACIO (Exhibit G)


Due to the non-remittance of the aforementioned amount, Atty. Madrid filed with the Court of First Instance
an urgent motion dated August 20, 1973, praying that Judge Bercacio be directed to consign in court the
amount deposited with him by the plaintiff, Mrs. Aonuevo. (Exhibit H)
Upon receipt of the foregoing motion, respondent manifested to the trial judge that he would be ready to
deliver the money as soon as the plaintiffs won the case. On September 13, 1973, the trial court rendered
judgment in favor of the plaintiffs, and on the same date, issued an order directing Judge Bercacio to
deposit with the Clerk of Court the amount of P3,500.00 within five (5) days from receipt of the order (t.s.n.
February 1, 1974, p. 19). On September 17, Judge Bercacio received a copy of the order and on September
26, 1973, he turned over the amount to Atty. Rodolfo Madrid (t.s.n. Ibid. pp. 22-24)
1. Respondent violated Section 77 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, which provides in part:
All provisions relative to the observance of office hours and the holding of sessions
applicable to courts of first instance shall likewise apply to municipal judges, but the latter
may, after office hours and with the permission of the district judge concerned, engage in
teaching or other vocation not involving the practice of law ... (Emphasis supplied)
and which was implemented by Circular No. 37 of the Secretary of Justice dated June 22, 1971 to the effect
that
... no Municipal Judge shall ... engage in private practice as a member of the bar or give
professional advice to clients ... (emphasis supplied)
Respondent submits that it was Atty. Berango and not he who assisted the complainant, Mrs. Aonuevo,
and her co-plaintiffs as counsel in the civil case; that when he saw his name in the complaint as one of the
lawyers, he called Atty. Berangos attention to the mistake and this was immediately corrected in the
subsequent pleadings by deleting his name.
Respondent's claim is belied, however, by the active interest he took in the case of Mrs. Aonuevo
manifested as follows: (a) He gave Mrs. Aonuevo legal advice on the remedy available to her and her coowners with regards to the property sold to Alfredo Ong. (b) He accepted from Mrs. Aonuevo the sum of
P3,500.00 for purposes of redeeming the property from the vendee, plus P100.00 for incidental expenses
(t.s.n. January 28, 1974, p. 9). (c) He wrote to Alfredo Ong for and in behalf of Mrs. Aonuevo and her coowners offering to redeem the land in question (t.s.n. February 19, 1974, p. 89). (d) When his attempts at
an out-of-court settlement failed, he caused the filing of the complaint in Civil Case No. 4591 (t.s.n.
February 1, 1974, p. 24), for which he was issued a receipt for docket and legal research fees (t.s.n.
February 19, 1974, p. 119). (e) He was present together with Atty. Berango at the pre-trial of July 5, 1972,
and although, as he claims, it was Atty. Berango who made an appearance for that pre-trial, the trial Judge
nonetheless took note of respondent's presence so that the Order dictated on that occasion reads: "Attys.
Berango and Bercacio are notified of the date of the trial." (t.s.n. February 19, 1974, p. 67)
Moreover, it has not escaped Our attention that as claimed by complainant herein it was respondent Judge
who dealt with her all along in connection with the conduct of her case. This is borne out by the letter of
Atty. Berango asking respondent to collect from Mrs. Aonuevo the amount of P500.00 as his attorney's
fees (Annex 3 of respondent's comment, p. 11, rollo), and the fact that respondent invited Mrs. Aonuevo
to a conference in his office to discuss the matter with Atty. Berango. (see Annex A, Ibid., p. 12, rollo) If
Atty. Berango indeed was the lawyer of Mrs. Aonuevo, why did he have to seek the intervention of
respondent to collect his attorney's fees and why did respondent have to call Mrs. Aonuevo to his office
for that purpose?

The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court or participation in court proceedings but
also includes preparation of pleadings or papers in anticipation of a litigation, giving of legal advice to
clients or persons needing the same, etc. (Martin, Comments on Rules of Court, Vol. 6, 1974 Ed., p. 251;
Moran, Rules of Court, 1970 Ed., Vol. 6, p. 206) Hence, even if we were to accept respondent's explanation
that it was Atty. Berango who represented Mrs. Aonuevo and her co-plaintiffs in court, respondent's
actuations as noted above still fall within the prohibition.
The rule disqualifying a municipal judge from engaging in the practice of law seeks to avoid the evil of
possible use of the power and influence of his office to affect the outcome of a litigation where he is
retained as counsel. Compelling reasons of public policy lie behind this prohibition, and judges are
expected to conduct themselves in such a manner as to preclude any suspicion that they are representing
the interests of a party litigant.
2. Respondent's failure to return the amount of P3,500.00 to herein complainant upon her demand is
highly reproachable, to say the least.
Mrs. Aonuevo gave to respondent the aforesaid amount with the understanding that it would be offered to
Alfredo Ong for purposes of redeeming the property sold by Mrs. Aonuevo's co-owners. When Alfredo Ong
refused the extra-judicial offer of redemption, respondent should have either returned the money to Mrs.
Aonuevo or consigned it in court.
Respondent contends that he kept the money because he wanted it ready for payment to the vendee
should the complaint for redemption prosper. In fact, according to respondent, he brought the amount with
him during the pre-trial of July 5, 1972, just in case an amicable settlement would be effected between the
parties, but when this failed, he gave the P3,500.00 to Atty. Berango for custody. However, on April 9,
1973, Atty. Berango returned to him the money because Mrs. Aonuevo had secured the services of
another counsel. Due to this development, he wrote to complainant herein to come to his office for a
conference with Atty. Berango on the latter's attorney's fee and also in order that she may get back the
money she had deposited. (t.s.n. February 19, 1974, pp. 95-100)
The explanation of respondent fails to convince Us of his good faith. Even if we were to concede that his
intention in keeping the money was to have it ready at any time for payment to Alfredo Ong should the
civil case prosper, nevertheless, when complainant herein made demands on him, verbal as well as
written, to return the money, he should have immediately turned it over to complainant to forestall or
erase any possible suspicion that he had spent it; or he could have deposited it in court, anyway, his
purpose, as he said, was to keep the money available at all times.
Respondent's obstinate refusal or failure to accede to complainant's request for almost a year led the latter
to secure the services of another counsel who was compelled what to him must have been an
unpleasant task to ask from no less than a member of the Judiciary the return of the P3,500.00
deposited with the latter otherwise he would have to take the necessary steps to protect the interest of his
client. That demand of Atty. Madrid was made in March of 1973, but instead of delivering the amount,
respondent still held it putting up the excuse in a letter to Atty. Madrid (see pp. 4-5 of this Decision) that
the money did not belong entirely to Mrs. Aonuevo and that the latter had agreed to his keeping the
money during the pendency of the case. That of course was untrue, because, first, there was nothing in
the record to show that the P3,500.00 belonged to persons other than Mrs. Aonuevo from whom
respondent received it, and secondly, it was Mrs. Aonuevo who had personally been asking all along for
the return of said amount. It is to the discredit of respondent that it took a court order issued on
September 13, 1973, for him to return complainant's money to Atty. Madrid.
While the Court does not make a categorical finding that respondent made use of the money deposited
with him, nonetheless, We hold that by his actuations, respondent placed his honesty and integrity under
serious doubt.

Although every office in the government service is a public trust, no position exacts a greater demand on
moral righteousness and uprightness of an individual than a seat in the Judiciary. A magistrate of the law
must comport himself at all times in such a manner that his conduct, official or otherwise, can bear the
most searching scrutiny of the public that looks up to him as the epitome of integrity and justice. To a
certain degree, respondent herein failed to meet these exacting standards of judicial conduct.
WHEREFORE, We find respondent Judge Bonifacio B. Bercacio guilty as charged, and hereby suspend him
from office for a period of six (6) months effective immediately upon finality of this decision, with the
warning that commission of other acts unbecoming of a Judge will warrant a more severe penalty from the
Court.

DIGEST:
FACTS: Mrs. Concepcion Dia-Aonuevo, claims to be a co-owner of an undivided interest of a certainparcel
of irrigated riceland situated in Cabilogan, Sto. Nio, Sto. Domingo, Albay. This property was theobject of a
deed of sale executed by Maximo Balibado, Justo Balibado and Petrona Balibado de Barriosin favor of
Alfredo Ong and acknowledged before Municipal Judge Bonifacio Bercacio, respondentherein, as ex-officio
notary public, on January 25, 1972. complainant informed respondent judge thatthe vendors owned only
one-third undivided portion of the property and that she and other cousins ofhers owned two-thirds
thereof. Judge Bercacio advised the complainant to redeem or repurchase theproperty from the vendee,
Alfredo Ong. Complainant then requested the judge to intercede in theirbehalf with the vendee to allow
them to redeem the property and for that purpose she gave respondentthe amount of P3,500.00 to be
used to pay Alfredo Ong. Respondent agreed and received the amount ofP3,500.00. Respondent sent the
corresponding letter to Alfredo Ong but the latter did not answer.Forthwith a complaint was filed on March
8, 1972 with the Court of First Instance of Albay. During thependency of the civil case, complainant asked
respondent judge to allow her to withdraw P3,500.00 shehad deposited with him as she was then in need
of money, but no action was taken by respondent.
Issue: WON respondent is engaging in the practice of law violating Judiciary Act of 1948
Ruling: Yes. Respondent violated Section 77 of the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, which provides
inpart: All provisions relative to the observance of office hours and the holding of sessions applicable
tocourts of first instance shall likewise apply to municipal judges, but the latter may, after office hours
andwith the permission of the district judge concerned, engage in teaching or other vocation not
involvingthe practice of law ...Respondent submits that it was Atty. Berango and not he who assisted the
complainant, Mrs.Aonuevo, and her co-plaintiffs as counsel in the civil case. Respondent's claim is belied,
however, bythe active interest he took in the case of Mrs. Aonuevo manifested as follows: (a) He gave
Mrs.Aonuevo legal advice on the remedy available to her and her co-owners with regards to the
propertysold to Alfredo Ong. (b) He accepted from Mrs. Aonuevo the sum of P3,500.00 for purposes
ofredeeming the property from the vendee, plus P100.00 for incidental expenses. (c) He wrote to
AlfredoOng for and in behalf of Mrs. Aonuevo and her co-owners offering to redeem the land in question.
(d)When his attempts at an out-of-court settlement failed, he caused the filing of the complaint in CivilCase
No. 4591 for which he was issued a receipt for docket and legal research fees. (e) He was presenttogether
with Atty. Berango at the pre-trial of July 5, 1972, and although, as he claims, it was Atty.Berango who
made an appearance for that pre-trial, the trial Judge nonetheless took note ofrespondent's presence so
that the Order dictated on that occasion reads: "Attys. Berango and Bercacioare notified of the date of the
trial.The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court or participation in courtproceedings
but also includes preparation of pleadings or papers in anticipation of a litigation, giving oflegal advice to
clients or persons needing the same, etc.

8. De Guzman VS Visayan Rapid Transit Co. 68 PHIL 469 (1939)


G.R. No. 46396

September 30, 1939

ALEJANDRO DE GUZMAN, petitioner,


vs.
VISAYAN RAPID TRANSIT CO., INC., NEGROS TRANSPORTATION CO., INC., and NICOLAS
CONCEPCION,respondents.

Licerio Floirendo and Eulogio de Guzman for petitioner.


E.P. Virata for respondents.
LAUREL, J.:
This is a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals of September 20, 1938, in the
above-entitled case on various alleged errors of law.
The Visayan Rapid Transit Co. and the Negros Transportation Co., Inc., during the time the legal services
are claimed to have been rendered by the petitioner, were operating automobile lines in the Province of
Occidental Negros. The respondent, Nicolas Concepcion, was at the time the president, general manager,
and controlling stockholder of these two transportation companies. In January, 1933, Concepcion engaged
the professional services of the petitioner, who was then a law practitioner in the City of Manila. The
employment was for the purpose of obtaining the suppression, reduction and refund of certain toll rates on
various bridges along the line operated by the respondent transportation companies. According to the
petitioner, these toll bridges are in places known as Bago, Calatrava, Danao, Hinigiran, Malogo, TalavanDacu, Talabangay, Bagacay, Binmalayan and Sicaba. At the time of the employment of the petitioner, it
appears that the respondent transportation companies had paid the sum of P89,816.70 as toll charges up
to December 31, 1932, an amount said to represent one-seventh of their gross income up to that date, and
in view of their high rates, the payment of the toll charges were detrimental to the transportation business
of the respondent if not remedied in time. The herein petitioner accordingly took steps to obtain first the
suppression, and later the reduction of toll rates on said bridges and also the refund of P50,000 of toll
charges already collected by the Province of Occidental Negros. For this purpose, he appears to have
signed Exhibit A which Concepcion brought to Manila, asking that the Bago and Malogo bridges be
declared free, and said petition was filed with the Secretary of Public Works and Communications in
January, 1933.
Believing that the suppression of tolls on the Bago and Malogo bridges could not be effected, the petitioner
filed with the said Secretary of Public Works and Communication, petition Exhibit B asking for the reduction
of toll charges over the eleven (11) bridges in Occidental Negros. This fact was brought to the knowledge
of Nicolas Concepcion who in turn wrote to the petitioner, Exhibit K-1, the pertinent part of which reads
thus:
Now compadre if this toll business will not all be effected I would like to request you therefore to
work for at least 50 per cent reduction on all toll bridges, so that our little business will prosper a
bit. We will always hope of course for the best to come. (In English.)
The Insular authorities readily saw the justice of the transportation companies' petition and urged the
provincial board of Occidental Negros to act favorably. The provincial board, however, declined to follow
the suggestion. The Secretary of Commerce and Public Works warned the provincial officials by sending
them the communication, dated April 23, 1934, with the admonition that "if the toll rates have not been
revised by . . . June 15, 1934, this office, much to its regrets, will be forced to withdraw its approval of the
existing toll rates." By reason of this communication, the provincial board, on March 7, 1934, with the
conformity of Nicolas Concepcion, adopted a resolution reducing the tolls for 2-ton trucks or more, the only
kind of motor vehicles operated by the respondents, from P1.20 to P0.50 on one bridge, and from P1.20 to
0.40 on the other. And on April 10, 1935 "upon authority of the Insular Auditor, concurred in by the
Department of the Interior" the provincial board refunded P50,000 as bridge tolls illegally collected from
the Visayan Rapid Transit Company, Inc., and the Negros Transportation Company, Inc., said amount to be
applied to future payments for tolls by said companies. As a result of this reduction of tolls, the
respondents have been benefited with an economy of P78,448 for every eighteen months. (Exhibit V.)
The various incidental questions raised by the petitioner revolves around the reasonable compensation to
which he is entitled, and we pass on to the consideration of this point.

Although the professional services rendered by the petitioner are purely administrative and did not require
a high degree of professional skill and experience, the fact remains that these services were rendered and
were productive of substantial beneficial results to his clients. It is clear that for these services the
petitioner is entitled to compensation, and the only question is the reasonable amount to which he is
entitled. He claimed in the lower court the sum of P20,000. The trial court awarded him P10,000. On
appeal, the Court of Appeals reduced this amount to P3,500.
Section 29 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that "a lawyer shall be entitled to have and recover from
his client no more than a reasonable compensation for the services rendered, with a view to the
importance of the subject matter of the controversy, to the extent of the services rendered, and the
professional standing of the lawyer . . .." The following are the circumstances to be considered in
determining the compensation of an attorney: the amount and character of the services rendered; the
labor, time, and trouble involved; the nature and importance of the litigation or business in which the
services were rendered; the responsibility imposed; the amount of money or the value of the property
affected by the controversy, or involved in the employment, the skill and experience called for in the
performance of the services; the professional character and social standing of the attorney; the results
secured; and whether or not the fee is absolute or contingent, it being a recognized rule that an attorney
may properly charge a much a larger fee when it is to be contingent that when it is not. The financial
ability of the defendant may also be considered not to enhance the amount above a reasonable
compensation, but to determine whether or not he is able to pay a fair and just compensation for the
services rendered, or as as incident in ascertaining the importance and gravity of the interests involved in
the litigation. (Delgado vs. De la Rama, 43 Phil., 419; Panis vs. Yangco, 52 Phil., 499.)
The services of the petitioner in this case were not limited to the preparation and filing with the authorities
concerned of the petitions Exhibits A and B and other papers submitted in evidence, for he appears to
have had various conferences with the Secretary of Public Works and Communications, the Secretary of
the Interior, the Secretary of Labor and the Insular Auditor, and had otherwise taken steps to secure the
objectives of his clients. The importance, merits and value of professional services of a lawyer are
measured not alone by his work taken separately, but by his work taken as a whole. There are services
which, when taken separately, may not in themselves have any noticeable special merit, but when
considered in connection with the other works and services of the lawyer to which they are related, acquire
an unquestionable value. That is why even the time employed is not itself an appropriate basis for fixing
the compensation. (Haussermann vs. Rahmeyer, 12 Phil., 350; Bachrach vs. Teal and Teal Motor Co., 53
Phil., 631, 634.)
The respondents in their brief insinuate that the services of the petitioner were unsolicited and
unauthorized. The trial court as well as the Court of Appeals, upon the proof submitted, concluded that the
employment of the petitioner was duly made and solicited by the president and manager of the
respondent corporations, and such finding cannot be disturbed. "It is elementary that an attorney is
entitled to have and receive the just and reasonable compensation for services performed at the special
instance and request of his client . . . That is to say, as long as the plaintiff was honestly and in good faith
trying to serve and represent the interest of the client, he should have a reasonable compensation for his
services. . . ." (Wolfson vs. Anderson, 48 Phil., 672, 675.)
The amount of the professional fees to be paid to the petitioner had not been fixed, but the intention and
promise to pay him is evidently shown by the records in this case. And in any case, whether there is an
agreement or not, the courts can fix a reasonable compensation which lawyers should receive for their
professional services. (Panisvs. Yangco, 52 Phil., 499, 502.)
No hard and fast rule can be stated which will serve even as a guide in determining what is or what is not a
reasonable fee. That must be determined from the facts in each case. (2 Thornton on Attorney at Law, p.
783.)

We have noted in the beginning that the services here were rendered in a case of an administrative nature.
But that does not alter the application of the proper rule:
Professional services, to prepare and advocate just claims for compensation, are as legitimate as
services rendered in court in arguing a cause to convince a court or jury that the claim presented or
the defense set up against a claim presented by the other party ought to be allowed or rejected.
Parties in such cases require advocates; and the legal profession must have a right to accept such
employment and to receive compensation for their services; nor can courts of justice adjudge such
contracts illegal, if they are free from any taint of fraud, misrepresentation, or unfairness.
(Stanton vs. Embry, 23 Law. ed [U.S.], 983, 985.)
As warranted by the records, it is obvious that as a result of the reduction of the rates of the toll of the
bridges in the said province, the respondents were benefited with an economy of P78,448. The refund to
the said corporations of the amount of P50,000 is a great relief and enhancement of their business. Facts
and circumstances considered, we are of the opinion that the reasonable compensation of the petitioner is
P7,000, deducting therefrom, however, the sum of P1,280 which the petitioner had already received.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals is accordingly modified, without pronouncement regarding costs. So
ordered.

DIGEST: X

9. Cayetano VS Monsod 201 SCRA 210 (1991)


G.R. No. 100113 September 3, 1991

RENATO CAYETANO, petitioner,


vs.
CHRISTIAN MONSOD, HON. JOVITO R. SALONGA, COMMISSION ON APPOINTMENT, and HON.
GUILLERMO CARAGUE, in his capacity as Secretary of Budget and Management, respondents.
Renato L. Cayetano for and in his own behalf.
Sabina E. Acut, Jr. and Mylene Garcia-Albano co-counsel for petitioner.
PARAS, J.:p
We are faced here with a controversy of far-reaching proportions. While ostensibly only legal issues are
involved, the Court's decision in this case would indubitably have a profound effect on the political aspect
of our national existence.
The 1987 Constitution provides in Section 1 (1), Article IX-C:
There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and six Commissioners
who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at
least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been
candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding -elections. However, a
majority thereof, including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have
been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. (Emphasis supplied)
The aforequoted provision is patterned after Section l(l), Article XII-C of the 1973 Constitution which
similarly provides:

There shall be an independent Commission on Elections composed of a Chairman and eight Commissioners
who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of their appointment, at least thirtyfive years of age and holders of a college degree. However, a majority thereof, including the Chairman,
shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten
years.' (Emphasis supplied)
Regrettably, however, there seems to be no jurisprudence as to what constitutes practice of law as a legal
qualification to an appointive office.
Black defines "practice of law" as:
The rendition of services requiring the knowledge and the application of legal principles and
technique to serve the interest of another with his consent. It is not limited to appearing in
court, or advising and assisting in the conduct of litigation, but embraces the preparation of
pleadings, and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings, conveyancing, the
preparation of legal instruments of all kinds, and the giving of all legal advice to clients. It
embraces all advice to clients and all actions taken for them in matters connected with the
law. An attorney engages in the practice of law by maintaining an office where he is held out
to be-an attorney, using a letterhead describing himself as an attorney, counseling clients in
legal matters, negotiating with opposing counsel about pending litigation, and fixing and
collecting fees for services rendered by his associate. (Black's Law Dictionary, 3rd ed.)
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases in court. (Land Title Abstract and Trust Co. v.
Dworken,129 Ohio St. 23, 193 N.E. 650) A person is also considered to be in the practice of law when he:
... for valuable consideration engages in the business of advising person, firms, associations
or corporations as to their rights under the law, or appears in a representative capacity as an
advocate in proceedings pending or prospective, before any court, commissioner, referee,
board, body, committee, or commission constituted by law or authorized to settle
controversies and there, in such representative capacity performs any act or acts for the
purpose of obtaining or defending the rights of their clients under the law. Otherwise stated,
one who, in a representative capacity, engages in the business of advising clients as to their
rights under the law, or while so engaged performs any act or acts either in court or outside
of court for that purpose, is engaged in the practice of law. (State ex. rel. Mckittrick v..C.S.
Dudley and Co., 102 S.W. 2d 895, 340 Mo. 852)
This Court in the case of Philippine Lawyers Association v.Agrava, (105 Phil. 173,176-177) stated:
The practice of law is not limited to the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces
the preparation of pleadings and other papers incident to actions and special proceedings,
the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of clients before judges and
courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action taken for
them in 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. (5 Am. Jr. p. 262, 263). (Emphasis supplied)
Practice of law under modem conditions consists in no small part of work performed outside
of any court and having no immediate relation to proceedings in court. It embraces
conveyancing, the giving of legal advice on a large variety of subjects, and the preparation

and execution of legal instruments covering an extensive field of business and trust relations
and other affairs. Although these transactions may have no direct connection with court
proceedings, they are always subject to become involved in litigation. They require in many
aspects a high degree of legal skill, a wide experience with men and affairs, and great
capacity for adaptation to difficult and complex situations. These customary functions of an
attorney or counselor at law bear an intimate relation to the administration of justice by the
courts. No valid distinction, so far as concerns the question set forth in the order, can be
drawn between that part of the work of the lawyer which involves appearance in court and
that part which involves advice and drafting of instruments in his office. It is of importance
to the welfare of the public that these manifold customary functions be performed by
persons possessed of adequate learning and skill, of sound moral character, and acting at all
times under the heavy trust obligations to clients which rests upon all attorneys.
(Moran, Comments on the Rules of Court, Vol. 3 [1953 ed.] , p. 665-666, citing In re Opinion
of the Justices [Mass.], 194 N.E. 313, quoted in Rhode Is. Bar Assoc. v. Automobile Service
Assoc. [R.I.] 179 A. 139,144). (Emphasis ours)
The University of the Philippines Law Center in conducting orientation briefing for new lawyers (1974-1975)
listed the dimensions of the practice of law in even broader terms as advocacy, counselling and public
service.
One may be a practicing attorney in following any line of employment in the profession. If
what he does exacts knowledge of the law and is of a kind usual for attorneys engaging in
the active practice of their profession, and he follows some one or more lines of employment
such as this he is a practicing attorney at law within the meaning of the statute. (Barr v.
Cardell, 155 NW 312)
Practice of law means any activity, in or out of court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure,
knowledge, training and experience. "To engage in the practice of law is to perform those acts which are
characteristics of the profession. Generally, to practice law is to give notice or render any kind of service,
which device or service requires the use in any degree of legal knowledge or skill." (111 ALR 23)
The following records of the 1986 Constitutional Commission show that it has adopted a liberal
interpretation of the term "practice of law."
MR. FOZ. Before we suspend the session, may I make a manifestation which I
forgot to do during our review of the provisions on the Commission on Audit.
May I be allowed to make a very brief statement?
THE PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Jamir).
The Commissioner will please proceed.
MR. FOZ. This has to do with the qualifications of the members of the
Commission on Audit. Among others, the qualifications provided for by
Section I is that "They must be Members of the Philippine Bar" I am quoting
from the provision "who have been engaged in the practice of law for at
least ten years".
To avoid any misunderstanding which would result in excluding members of the Bar who are
now employed in the COA or Commission on Audit, we would like to make the clarification
that this provision on qualifications regarding members of the Bar does not necessarily refer
or involve actual practice of law outside the COA We have to interpret this to mean that as
long as the lawyers who are employed in the COA are using their legal knowledge or legal

talent in their respective work within COA, then they are qualified to be considered for
appointment as members or commissioners, even chairman, of the Commission on Audit.
This has been discussed by the Committee on Constitutional Commissions and Agencies and
we deem it important to take it up on the floor so that this interpretation may be made
available whenever this provision on the qualifications as regards members of the Philippine
Bar engaging in the practice of law for at least ten years is taken up.
MR. OPLE. Will Commissioner Foz yield to just one question.
MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.
MR. OPLE. Is he, in effect, saying that service in the COA by a lawyer is
equivalent to the requirement of a law practice that is set forth in the Article
on the Commission on Audit?
MR. FOZ. We must consider the fact that the work of COA, although it is
auditing, will necessarily involve legal work; it will involve legal work. And,
therefore, lawyers who are employed in COA now would have the necessary
qualifications in accordance with the Provision on qualifications under our
provisions on the Commission on Audit. And, therefore, the answer is yes.
MR. OPLE. Yes. So that the construction given to this is that this is equivalent
to the practice of law.
MR. FOZ. Yes, Mr. Presiding Officer.
MR. OPLE. Thank you.
... ( Emphasis supplied)
Section 1(1), Article IX-D of the 1987 Constitution, provides, among others, that the Chairman and two
Commissioners of the Commission on Audit (COA) should either be certified public accountants with not
less than ten years of auditing practice, or members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in
the practice of law for at least ten years. (emphasis supplied)
Corollary to this is the term "private practitioner" and which is in many ways synonymous with the word
"lawyer." Today, although many lawyers do not engage in private practice, it is still a fact that the majority
of lawyers are private practitioners. (Gary Munneke, Opportunities in Law Careers [VGM Career Horizons:
Illinois], [1986], p. 15).
At this point, it might be helpful to define private practice. The term, as commonly understood, means "an
individual or organization engaged in the business of delivering legal services." (Ibid.). Lawyers who
practice alone are often called "sole practitioners." Groups of lawyers are called "firms." The firm is usually
a partnership and members of the firm are the partners. Some firms may be organized as professional
corporations and the members called shareholders. In either case, the members of the firm are the
experienced attorneys. In most firms, there are younger or more inexperienced salaried attorneyscalled
"associates." (Ibid.).
The test that defines law practice by looking to traditional areas of law practice is essentially tautologous,
unhelpful defining the practice of law as that which lawyers do. (Charles W. Wolfram, Modern Legal
Ethics [West Publishing Co.: Minnesota, 1986], p. 593). The practice of law is defined as the performance of
any acts . . . in or out of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law. (State Bar Ass'n v.

Connecticut Bank & Trust Co., 145 Conn. 222, 140 A.2d 863, 870 [1958] [quoting Grievance Comm. v.
Payne, 128 Conn. 325, 22 A.2d 623, 626 [1941]). Because lawyers perform almost every function known in
the commercial and governmental realm, such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable.
(Wolfram, op. cit.).
The appearance of a lawyer in litigation in behalf of a client is at once the most publicly familiar role for
lawyers as well as an uncommon role for the average lawyer. Most lawyers spend little time in courtrooms,
and a large percentage spend their entire practice without litigating a case. (Ibid., p. 593). Nonetheless,
many lawyers do continue to litigate and the litigating lawyer's role colors much of both the public image
and the self perception of the legal profession. (Ibid.).
In this regard thus, the dominance of litigation in the public mind reflects history, not reality. (Ibid.). Why is
this so? Recall that the late Alexander SyCip, a corporate lawyer, once articulated on the importance of a
lawyer as a business counselor in this wise: "Even today, there are still uninformed laymen whose concept
of an attorney is one who principally tries cases before the courts. The members of the bench and bar and
the informed laymen such as businessmen, know that in most developed societies today, substantially
more legal work is transacted in law offices than in the courtrooms. General practitioners of law who do
both litigation and non-litigation work also know that in most cases they find themselves spending more
time doing what [is] loosely desccribe[d] as business counseling than in trying cases. The business lawyer
has been described as the planner, the diagnostician and the trial lawyer, the surgeon. I[t] need not [be]
stress[ed] that in law, as in medicine, surgery should be avoided where internal medicine can be effective."
(Business Star, "Corporate Finance Law," Jan. 11, 1989, p. 4).
In the course of a working day the average general practitioner wig engage in a number of legal tasks,
each involving different legal doctrines, legal skills, legal processes, legal institutions, clients, and other
interested parties. Even the increasing numbers of lawyers in specialized practice wig usually perform at
least some legal services outside their specialty. And even within a narrow specialty such as tax practice, a
lawyer will shift from one legal task or role such as advice-giving to an importantly different one such as
representing a client before an administrative agency. (Wolfram, supra, p. 687).
By no means will most of this work involve litigation, unless the lawyer is one of the relatively rare types
a litigator who specializes in this work to the exclusion of much else. Instead, the work will require the
lawyer to have mastered the full range of traditional lawyer skills of client counselling, advice-giving,
document drafting, and negotiation. And increasingly lawyers find that the new skills of evaluation and
mediation are both effective for many clients and a source of employment. (Ibid.).
Most lawyers will engage in non-litigation legal work or in litigation work that is constrained in very
important ways, at least theoretically, so as to remove from it some of the salient features of adversarial
litigation. Of these special roles, the most prominent is that of prosecutor. In some lawyers' work the
constraints are imposed both by the nature of the client and by the way in which the lawyer is organized
into a social unit to perform that work. The most common of these roles are those of corporate practice
and government legal service. (Ibid.).
In several issues of the Business Star, a business daily, herein below quoted are emerging trends in
corporate law practice, a departure from the traditional concept of practice of law.
We are experiencing today what truly may be called a revolutionary transformation in
corporate law practice. Lawyers and other professional groups, in particular those members
participating in various legal-policy decisional contexts, are finding that understanding the
major emerging trends in corporation law is indispensable to intelligent decision-making.
Constructive adjustment to major corporate problems of today requires an accurate
understanding of the nature and implications of the corporate law research function

accompanied by an accelerating rate of information accumulation. The recognition of the


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

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

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

Managerial Jurisprudence. This is the framework within which are undertaken those activities
of the firm to which legal consequences attach. It needs to be directly supportive of this
nation's evolving economic and organizational fabric as firms change to stay competitive in
a global, interdependent environment. The practice and theory of "law" is not adequate
today to facilitate the relationships needed in trying to make a global economy work.
Organization and Functioning of the Corporate Counsel's Office. The general counsel has
emerged in the last decade as one of the most vibrant subsets of the legal profession. The
corporate counsel hear responsibility for key aspects of the firm's strategic issues, including
structuring its global operations, managing improved relationships with an increasingly
diversified body of employees, managing expanded liability exposure, creating new and
varied interactions with public decision-makers, coping internally with more complex make
or by decisions.
This whole exercise drives home the thesis that knowing corporate law is not enough to
make one a good general corporate counsel nor to give him a full sense of how the legal
system shapes corporate activities. And even if the corporate lawyer's aim is not the
understand all of the law's effects on corporate activities, he must, at the very least, also
gain a working knowledge of the management issues if only to be able to grasp not only the
basic legal "constitution' or makeup of the modem corporation. "Business Star", "The
Corporate Counsel," April 10, 1991, p. 4).
The challenge for lawyers (both of the bar and the bench) is to have more than a passing
knowledge of financial law affecting each aspect of their work. Yet, many would admit to
ignorance of vast tracts of the financial law territory. What transpires next is a dilemma of
professional security: Will the lawyer admit ignorance and risk opprobrium?; or will he feign
understanding and risk exposure? (Business Star, "Corporate Finance law," Jan. 11, 1989, p.
4).
Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of Chairman
of the COMELEC in a letter received by the Secretariat of the Commission on Appointments on April 25,
1991. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not possess the required
qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years.
On June 5, 1991, the Commission on Appointments confirmed the nomination of Monsod as Chairman of
the COMELEC. On June 18, 1991, he took his oath of office. On the same day, he assumed office as
Chairman of the COMELEC.
Challenging the validity of the confirmation by the Commission on Appointments of Monsod's nomination,
petitioner as a citizen and taxpayer, filed the instant petition for certiorari and Prohibition praying that said
confirmation and the consequent appointment of Monsod as Chairman of the Commission on Elections be
declared null and void.
Atty. Christian Monsod is a member of the Philippine Bar, having passed the bar examinations of 1960 with
a grade of 86-55%. He has been a dues paying member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines since its
inception in 1972-73. He has also been paying his professional license fees as lawyer for more than ten
years. (p. 124, Rollo)
After graduating from the College of Law (U.P.) and having hurdled the bar, Atty. Monsod worked in the law
office of his father. During his stint in the World Bank Group (1963-1970), Monsod worked as an operations
officer for about two years in Costa Rica and Panama, which involved getting acquainted with the laws of
member-countries negotiating loans and coordinating legal, economic, and project work of the Bank. Upon
returning to the Philippines in 1970, he worked with the Meralco Group, served as chief executive officer of

an investment bank and subsequently of a business conglomerate, and since 1986, has rendered services
to various companies as a legal and economic consultant or chief executive officer. As former SecretaryGeneral (1986) and National Chairman (1987) of NAMFREL. Monsod's work involved being knowledgeable
in election law. He appeared for NAMFREL in its accreditation hearings before the Comelec. In the field of
advocacy, Monsod, in his personal capacity and as former Co-Chairman of the Bishops Businessmen's
Conference for Human Development, has worked with the under privileged sectors, such as the farmer
and urban poor groups, in initiating, lobbying for and engaging in affirmative action for the agrarian reform
law and lately the urban land reform bill. Monsod also made use of his legal knowledge as a member of
the Davide Commission, a quast judicial body, which conducted numerous hearings (1990) and as a
member of the Constitutional Commission (1986-1987), and Chairman of its Committee on Accountability
of Public Officers, for which he was cited by the President of the Commission, Justice Cecilia Muoz-Palma
for "innumerable amendments to reconcile government functions with individual freedoms and public
accountability and the party-list system for the House of Representative. (pp. 128-129 Rollo) ( Emphasis
supplied)
Just a word about the work of a negotiating team of which Atty. Monsod used to be a member.
In a loan agreement, for instance, a negotiating panel acts as a team, and which is
adequately constituted to meet the various contingencies that arise during a negotiation.
Besides top officials of the Borrower concerned, there are the legal officer (such as the legal
counsel), the finance manager, and an operations officer (such as an official involved in
negotiating the contracts) who comprise the members of the team. (Guillermo V. Soliven,
"Loan Negotiating Strategies for Developing Country Borrowers," Staff Paper No. 2, Central
Bank of the Philippines, Manila, 1982, p. 11). (Emphasis supplied)
After a fashion, the loan agreement is like a country's Constitution; it lays down the law as
far as the loan transaction is concerned. Thus, the meat of any Loan Agreement can be
compartmentalized into five (5) fundamental parts: (1) business terms; (2) borrower's
representation; (3) conditions of closing; (4) covenants; and (5) events of default. (Ibid., p.
13).
In the same vein, lawyers play an important role in any debt restructuring program. For
aside from performing the tasks of legislative drafting and legal advising, they score national
development policies as key factors in maintaining their countries' sovereignty. (Condensed
from the work paper, entitled "Wanted: Development Lawyers for Developing Nations,"
submitted by L. Michael Hager, regional legal adviser of the United States Agency for
International Development, during the Session on Law for the Development of Nations at the
Abidjan World Conference in Ivory Coast, sponsored by the World Peace Through Law Center
on August 26-31, 1973). ( Emphasis supplied)
Loan concessions and compromises, perhaps even more so than purely renegotiation
policies, demand expertise in the law of contracts, in legislation and agreement drafting and
in renegotiation. Necessarily, a sovereign lawyer may work with an international business
specialist or an economist in the formulation of a model loan agreement. Debt restructuring
contract agreements contain such a mixture of technical language that they should be
carefully drafted and signed only with the advise of competent counsel in conjunction with
the guidance of adequate technical support personnel. (See International Law Aspects of the
Philippine External Debts, an unpublished dissertation, U.S.T. Graduate School of Law, 1987,
p. 321). ( Emphasis supplied)
A critical aspect of sovereign debt restructuring/contract construction is the set of terms and
conditions which determines the contractual remedies for a failure to perform one or more
elements of the contract. A good agreement must not only define the responsibilities of both

parties, but must also state the recourse open to either party when the other fails to
discharge an obligation. For a compleat debt restructuring represents a devotion to that
principle which in the ultimate analysis issine qua non for foreign loan agreements-an
adherence to the rule of law in domestic and international affairs of whose kind U.S.
Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said: "They carry no banners, they
beat no drums; but where they are, men learn that bustle and bush are not the equal of
quiet genius and serene mastery." (See Ricardo J. Romulo, "The Role of Lawyers in Foreign
Investments," Integrated Bar of the Philippine Journal, Vol. 15, Nos. 3 and 4, Third and Fourth
Quarters, 1977, p. 265).
Interpreted in the light of the various definitions of the term Practice of law". particularly the modern
concept of law practice, and taking into consideration the liberal construction intended by the framers of
the Constitution, Atty. Monsod's past work experiences as a lawyer-economist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyerentrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a lawyer-legislator of both the rich and the
poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement that he has been engaged in the practice
of law for at least ten years.
Besides in the leading case of Luego v. Civil Service Commission, 143 SCRA 327, the Court said:
Appointment is an essentially discretionary power and must be performed by the officer in
which it is vested according to his best lights, the only condition being that the appointee
should possess the qualifications required by law. If he does, then the appointment cannot
be faulted on the ground that there are others better qualified who should have been
preferred. This is a political question involving considerations of wisdom which only the
appointing authority can decide. (emphasis supplied)
No less emphatic was the Court in the case of (Central Bank v. Civil Service Commission, 171 SCRA 744)
where it stated:
It is well-settled that when the appointee is qualified, as in this case, and all the other legal
requirements are satisfied, the Commission has no alternative but to attest to the
appointment in accordance with the Civil Service Law. The Commission has no authority to
revoke an appointment on the ground that another person is more qualified for a particular
position. It also has no authority to direct the appointment of a substitute of its choice. To do
so would be an encroachment on the discretion vested upon the appointing authority. An
appointment is essentially within the discretionary power of whomsoever it is vested,
subject to the only condition that the appointee should possess the qualifications required
by law. ( Emphasis supplied)
The appointing process in a regular appointment as in the case at bar, consists of four (4) stages: (1)
nomination; (2) confirmation by the Commission on Appointments; (3) issuance of a commission (in the
Philippines, upon submission by the Commission on Appointments of its certificate of confirmation, the
President issues the permanent appointment; and (4) acceptance e.g., oath-taking, posting of bond, etc. . .
. (Lacson v. Romero, No. L-3081, October 14, 1949; Gonzales, Law on Public Officers, p. 200)
The power of the Commission on Appointments to give its consent to the nomination of Monsod as
Chairman of the Commission on Elections is mandated by Section 1(2) Sub-Article C, Article IX of the
Constitution which provides:
The Chairman and the Commisioners shall be appointed by the President with the consent of
the Commission on Appointments for a term of seven years without reappointment. Of those
first appointed, three Members shall hold office for seven years, two Members for five years,
and the last Members for three years, without reappointment. Appointment to any vacancy

shall be only for the unexpired term of the predecessor. In no case shall any Member be
appointed or designated in a temporary or acting capacity.
Anent Justice Teodoro Padilla's separate opinion, suffice it to say that his definition of the
practice of law is the traditional or stereotyped notion of law practice, as distinguished
from the modern concept of the practice of law, which modern connotation is exactly what
was intended by the eminent framers of the 1987 Constitution. Moreover, Justice Padilla's
definition would require generally a habitual law practice, perhaps practised two or three
times a week and would outlaw say, law practice once or twice a year for ten consecutive
years. Clearly, this is far from the constitutional intent.
Upon the other hand, the separate opinion of Justice Isagani Cruz states that in my written opinion, I made
use of a definition of law practice which really means nothing because the definition says that law practice
" . . . is what people ordinarily mean by the practice of law." True I cited the definition but only by way of
sarcasm as evident from my statement that the definition of law practice by "traditional areas of law
practice is essentially tautologous" or defining a phrase by means of the phrase itself that is being defined.
Justice Cruz goes on to say in substance that since the law covers almost all situations, most individuals, in
making use of the law, or in advising others on what the law means, are actually practicing law. In that
sense, perhaps, but we should not lose sight of the fact that Mr. Monsod is a lawyer, a member of the
Philippine Bar, who has been practising law for over ten years. This is different from the acts of persons
practising law, without first becoming lawyers.
Justice Cruz also says that the Supreme Court can even disqualify an elected President of the Philippines,
say, on the ground that he lacks one or more qualifications. This matter, I greatly doubt. For one thing, how
can an action or petition be brought against the President? And even assuming that he is indeed
disqualified, how can the action be entertained since he is the incumbent President?
We now proceed:
The Commission on the basis of evidence submitted doling the public hearings on Monsod's confirmation,
implicitly determined that he possessed the necessary qualifications as required by law. The judgment
rendered by the Commission in the exercise of such an acknowledged power is beyond judicial interference
except only upon a clear showing of a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.
(Art. VIII, Sec. 1 Constitution). Thus, only where such grave abuse of discretion is clearly shown shall the
Court interfere with the Commission's judgment. In the instant case, there is no occasion for the exercise
of the Court's corrective power, since no abuse, much less a grave abuse of discretion, that would amount
to lack or excess of jurisdiction and would warrant the issuance of the writs prayed, for has been clearly
shown.
Additionally, consider the following:
(1) If the Commission on Appointments rejects a nominee by the President, may the
Supreme Court reverse the Commission, and thus in effect confirm the appointment?
Clearly, the answer is in the negative.
(2) In the same vein, may the Court reject the nominee, whom the Commission
has confirmed? The answer is likewise clear.
(3) If the United States Senate (which is the confirming body in the U.S. Congress) decides
to confirma Presidential nominee, it would be incredible that the U.S. Supreme Court would
still reverse the U.S. Senate.

Finally, one significant legal maxim is:


We must interpret not by the letter that killeth, but by the spirit that giveth life.
Take this hypothetical case of Samson and Delilah. Once, the procurator of Judea asked Delilah (who was
Samson's beloved) for help in capturing Samson. Delilah agreed on condition that
No blade shall touch his skin;
No blood shall flow from his veins.
When Samson (his long hair cut by Delilah) was captured, the procurator placed an iron rod burning whitehot two or three inches away from in front of Samson's eyes. This blinded the man. Upon hearing of what
had happened to her beloved, Delilah was beside herself with anger, and fuming with righteous fury,
accused the procurator of reneging on his word. The procurator calmly replied: "Did any blade touch his
skin? Did any blood flow from his veins?" The procurator was clearly relying on the letter, not the spirit of
the agreement.
In view of the foregoing, this petition is hereby DISMISSED.
SO ORDERED.
Fernan, C.J., Grio-Aquino and Medialdea, JJ., concur.
Feliciano, J., I certify that he voted to dismiss the petition. (Fernan, C.J.)
Sarmiento, J., is on leave.
Regalado, and Davide, Jr., J., took no part.
Separate Opinions
NARVASA, J., concurring:
I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. Justice Paras, albeit only in the result; it does not
appear to me that there has been an adequate showing that the challenged determination by the
Commission on Appointments-that the appointment of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the Commission
on Elections should, on the basis of his stated qualifications and after due assessment thereof, be
confirmed-was attended by error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently
merits nullification by this Court in accordance with the second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the
Constitution. I therefore vote to DENY the petition.

PADILLA, J., dissenting:


The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at bar, I voted not
only to require the respondents to comment on the Petition, but I was the sole vote for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent Monsod from assuming the position of COMELEC
Chairman, while the Court deliberated on his constitutional qualification for the office. My purpose in voting
for a TRO was to prevent the inconvenience and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the
Court to finally decide for respondent Monsod's disqualification. Moreover, a reading of the Petition then in
relation to established jurisprudence already showed prima facie that respondent Monsod did not possess

the needed qualification, that is, he had not engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior
to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment, I am even more convinced that the
constitutional requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not been met.
The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because, ultimately, the
core issue to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the constitutional provision requiring a
majority of the membership of COMELEC, including the Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten (10) years." (Art. IX(C), Section 1(1), 1987 Constitution). Questions involving
the construction of constitutional provisions are best left to judicial resolution. As declared in Angara v.
Electoral Commission, (63 Phil. 139) "upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable
obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries."
The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Among these are that
he must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." It is the bounden duty of
this Court to ensure that such standard is met and complied with.
What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood, "practice" refers to the actual performance or
application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of knowledge; it connotes
an active, habitual,repeated or customary action. 1 To "practice" law, or any profession for that matter,
means, to exercise or pursue an employment or profession actively, habitually, repeatedly or customarily.
Therefore, a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks of a nursing aide,
cannot be said to be in the "practice of medicine." A certified public accountant who works as a clerk,
cannot be said to practice his profession as an accountant. In the same way, a lawyer who is employed as
a business executive or a corporate manager, other than as head or attorney of a Legal Department of a
corporation or a governmental agency, cannot be said to be in the practice of law.
As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. Villanueva:

Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary


actions, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise
(State vs- Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the
prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out
to the public as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services (State vs. Bryan, 4 S.E.
522, 98 N.C. 644,647.) ... (emphasis supplied).
It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Memorandum it prepared,
enumerated several factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes "practice of law." It
states:
1. Habituality. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually holding one's self
out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Boyen, 4
S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment of a
law office for the general practice of law (U.S. v. Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes
the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the
Supreme Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People
v. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary action,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a habitual exercise (People v.
Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864).

2. Compensation. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the
active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are
available to the public for compensation, as a service of his livelihood or in consideration of
his said services. (People v. Villanueva, supra). Hence, charging for services such as
preparation of documents involving the use of legal knowledge and skill is within the term
"practice of law" (Ernani Pao, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988 ed., p. 8 citing
People v. People's Stockyards State Bank, 176 N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion as
to the proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is to that extent, practicing
law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing Mendelaun v. Gilbert and Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If
compensation is expected, all advice to clients and all action taken for them in matters
connected with the law; are practicing law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor, 94AL.R. 356-359)
3. Application of law legal principle practice or procedure which calls for legal knowledge,
training and experience is within the term "practice of law". (Martin supra)
4. Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the existence of
lawyer-client relationship. Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an activity which requires
knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship, such as teaching law or writing
law books or articles, he cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of his profession or a
lawyer (Agpalo, Legal Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30). 3
The above-enumerated factors would, I believe, be useful aids in determining whether or not respondent
Monsod meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at least ten (10) years at the time of his
appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
The following relevant questions may be asked:
1. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of law?
2. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually?
3. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually, did he do so HABITUALLY FOR AT LEAST TEN
(10) YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman?
Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the records, I am persuaded
that if ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the practice of law, he did not do so
HABITUALLY for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be latitudinarianly considered
activities peculiar to the practice of law, like the drafting of legal documents and the rendering of legal
opinion or advice, such were isolated transactions or activities which do not qualify his past endeavors as
"practice of law." To become engaged in the practice of law, there must be a continuity, or a succession of
acts. As observed by the Solicitor General in People vs. Villanueva: 4
Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to
be in theactive and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional
services are available to the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in
consideration of his said services.
ACCORDINGLY, my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as not qualified for the
position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years
prior to his appointment to such position.

CRUZ, J., dissenting:


I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just the same. There
are certain points on which I must differ with him while of course respecting hisviewpoint.
To begin with, I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the respondent simply
because his nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. In my view, this is not a
political question that we are barred from resolving. Determination of the appointee's credentials is made
on the basis of the established facts, not the discretion of that body. Even if it were, the exercise of that
discretion would still be subject to our review.
In Luego, which is cited in the ponencia, what was involved was the discretion of the appointing authority
tochoose between two claimants to the same office who both possessed the required qualifications. It was
that kind of discretion that we said could not be reviewed.
If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for lack of the
required qualifications, I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an appointee simply because he has
passed the Commission on Appointments.
Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an appropriate proceeding
notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less than the enfranchised citizenry. The reason
is that what we would be examining is not the wisdom of his election but whether or not he was qualified
to be elected in the first place.
Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent, I fear that the ponencia may have been too
sweeping in its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the qualification practically toothless.
From the numerous activities accepted as embraced in the term, I have the uncomfortable feeling that one
does not even have to be a lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the
application of some law, however peripherally. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the realtor
could come under the definition as they deal with or give advice on matters that are likely "to become
involved in litigation."
The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is another business
and he interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such business. That covers every company
organized under the Corporation Code and regulated by the SEC under P.D. 902-A. Considering the
ramifications of the modern society, there is hardly any activity that is not affected by some law or
government regulation the businessman must know about and observe. In fact, again going by the
definition, a lawyer does not even have to be part of a business concern to be considered a practitioner. He
can be so deemed when, on his own, he rents a house or buys a car or consults a doctor as these acts
involve his knowledge and application of the laws regulating such transactions. If he operates a public
utility vehicle as his main source of livelihood, he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of law
because he must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory Board.
The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the "performance of any acts ...
in or out of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law," which tells us absolutely nothing. The
decision goes on to say that "because lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and
governmental realm, such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable."
The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to be engaged in the
practice of law even if he does not earn his living, or at least part of it, as a lawyer. It is enough that his
activities are incidentally (even if only remotely) connected with some law, ordinance, or regulation. The
possible exception is the lawyer whose income is derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting
wrinkled ladies with pubescent pretensions.

The respondent's credentials are impressive, to be sure, but they do not persuade me that he has been
engaged in the practice of law for ten years as required by the Constitution. It is conceded that he has
been engaged in business and finance, in which areas he has distinguished himself, but as an executive
and economist and not as a practicing lawyer. The plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions
listed in his resume by virtue of his experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an attorney-atlaw whose principal attention is focused on the law. Even if it be argued that he was acting as a lawyer
when he lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform, served in the NAMFREL and the Constitutional
Commission (together with non-lawyers like farmers and priests) and was a member of the Davide
Commission, he has not proved that his activities in these capacities extended over the prescribed 10-year
period of actual practice of the law. He is doubtless eminently qualified for many other positions worthy of
his abundant talents but not as Chairman of the Commission on Elections.
I have much admiration for respondent Monsod, no less than for Mr. Justice Paras, but I must regretfully
vote to grant the petition.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:
When this petition was filed, there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a qualification for
public office would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive terms. Unfortunately, this was not the
result.
Of the fourteen (14) member Court, 5 are of the view that Mr. Christian Monsod engaged in the practice of
law (with one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave but not expressing his clear stand
on the matter); 4 categorically stating that he did not practice law; 2 voting in the result because there
was no error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of discretion; one of official leave with no instructions
left behind on how he viewed the issue; and 2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision.
There are two key factors that make our task difficult. First is our reviewing the work of a constitutional
Commission on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the qualifications of persons appointed
to high office. Even if the Commission errs, we have no power to set aside error. We can look only into
grave abuse of discretion or whimsically and arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. Monsod possesses
superior qualifications in terms of executive ability, proficiency in management, educational background,
experience in international banking and finance, and instant recognition by the public. His integrity and
competence are not questioned by the petitioner. What is before us is compliance with a specific
requirement written into the Constitution.
Inspite of my high regard for Mr. Monsod, I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. He has never engaged in
the practice of law for even one year. He is a member of the bar but to say that he has practiced law is
stretching the term beyond rational limits.
A person may have passed the bar examinations. But if he has not dedicated his life to the law, if he has
not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail to see how he can claim to
have been engaged in the practice of law.
Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also for appointment
to the Supreme Court and all lower courts. What kind of Judges or Justices will we have if there main
occupation is selling real estate, managing a business corporation, serving in fact-finding committee,
working in media, or operating a farm with no active involvement in the law, whether in Government or
private practice, except that in one joyful moment in the distant past, they happened to pass the bar
examinations?
The Constitution uses the phrase "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." The deliberate
choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is active and regular, not isolated, occasional,

accidental, intermittent, incidental, seasonal, or extemporaneous. To be "engaged" in an activity for ten


years requires committed participation in something which is the result of one's decisive choice. It means
that one is occupied and involved in the enterprise; one is obliged or pledged to carry it out with intent and
attention during the ten-year period.
I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod to the Commission
on Appointments, the latter has not been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. In fact, if
appears that Mr. Monsod has never practiced law except for an alleged one year period after passing the
bar examinations when he worked in his father's law firm. Even then his law practice must have been
extremely limited because he was also working for M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in Economics at the University
of Pennsylvania during that period. How could he practice law in the United States while not a member of
the Bar there?
The professional life of the respondent follows:
1.15.1. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in 1961
consist of the following:
1. 1961-1963: M.A. in Economics (Ph. D. candidate), University of Pennsylvania
2. 1963-1970: World Bank Group Economist, Industry Department; Operations, Latin
American Department; Division Chief, South Asia and Middle East, International Finance
Corporation
3. 1970-1973: Meralco Group Executive of various companies, i.e., Meralco Securities
Corporation, Philippine Petroleum Corporation, Philippine Electric Corporation
4. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group President, Fil-Capital Development Corporation and affiliated
companies
5. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila Chief Executive Officer
6. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer
7. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission Member
8. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup Attempt
Member
9. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following companies:
a. ACE Container Philippines, Inc.
b. Dataprep, Philippines
c. Philippine SUNsystems Products, Inc.
d. Semirara Coal Corporation
e. CBL Timber Corporation
Member of the Board of the Following:

a. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines


b. First Philippine Energy Corporation
c. First Philippine Holdings Corporation
d. First Philippine Industrial Corporation
e. Graphic Atelier
f. Manila Electric Company
g. Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc.
h. Philippine Electric Corporation
i. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises
j. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation
k. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation
l. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo, pp. 21-22)
There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent Monsod has
given the lawenough attention or a certain degree of commitment and participation as would support in all
sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in its practice for at least ten years. Instead of working
as a lawyer, he has lawyers working for him. Instead of giving receiving that legal advice of legal services,
he was the oneadvice and those services as an executive but not as a lawyer.
The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate "engaged in the
practice of law" with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor such as commerce, industry,
civic work, blue ribbon investigations, agrarian reform, etc. where such knowledge would be helpful.
I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term, which even an ordinary layman accepts as
having a familiar and customary well-defined meaning. Every resident of this country who has reached the
age of discernment has to know, follow, or apply the law at various times in his life. Legal knowledge is
useful if not necessary for the business executive, legislator, mayor, barangay captain, teacher, policeman,
farmer, fisherman, market vendor, and student to name only a few. And yet, can these people honestly
assert that as such, they are engaged in the practice of law?
The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." It is not
satisfied with having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least ten years."
Some American courts have defined the practice of law, as follows:
The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with litigation but
also services rendered out of court, and it includes the giving of advice or the rendering of
any services requiring the use of legal skill or knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract
or other instrument, the legal effect of which, under the facts and conditions involved, must
be carefully determined.People ex rel. Chicago Bar Ass'n v. Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d
693; People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill.
462,176 N.E. 901, and cases cited.

It would be difficult, if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what constitutes
the practice of law. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing as an attorney or
counselor at law according to the laws and customs of our courts, is the giving of advice or
rendition of any sort of service by any person, firm or corporation when the giving of such
advice or rendition of such service requires the use of any degree of legal knowledge or
skill." Without adopting that definition, we referred to it as being substantially correct
in People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176
N.E. 901. (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773, 776)
For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be activities peculiar
to the work of a lawyer, they should also be performed, habitually, frequently or customarily, to wit:
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. He was asked
whether or not he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-estate transactions where
he was not the procuring agent. He answered: "Very seldom." In answer to the question as
to how many times he had prepared contracts for the parties during the twenty-one years of
his business, he said: "I have no Idea." When asked if it would be more than half a dozen
times his answer was I suppose. Asked if he did not recall making the statement to several
parties that he had prepared contracts in a large number of instances, he answered: "I don't
recall exactly what was said." When asked if he did not remember saying that he had made
a practice of preparing deeds, mortgages and contracts and charging a fee to the parties
therefor in instances where he was not the broker in the deal, he answered: "Well, I don't
believe so, that is not a practice." Pressed further for an answer as to his practice in
preparing contracts and deeds for parties where he was not the broker, he finally answered:
"I have done about everything that is on the books as far as real estate is concerned."
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a lawful right to
do any legal work in connection with real-estate transactions, especially in drawing of realestate contracts, deeds, mortgages, notes and the like. There is no doubt but that he has
engaged in these practices over the years and has charged for his services in that
connection. ... (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773)
xxx xxx xxx
... An attorney, in the most general sense, is a person designated or employed by another to
act in his stead; an agent; more especially, one of a class of persons authorized to appear
and act for suitors or defendants in legal proceedings. Strictly, these professional persons
are attorneys at law, and non-professional agents are properly styled "attorney's in fact;" but
the single word is much used as meaning an attorney at law. A person may be an attorney in
facto for another, without being an attorney at law. Abb. Law Dict. "Attorney." A public
attorney, or attorney at law, says Webster, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified to
prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainerof clients. "The principal duties of
an attorney are (1) to be true to the court and to his client; (2) to manage the business of his
client with care, skill, and integrity; (3) to keep his client informed as to the state of his
business; (4) to keep his secrets confided to him as such. ... His rights are to be justly
compensated for his services." Bouv. Law Dict. tit. "Attorney." The transitive verb "practice,"
as defined by Webster, means 'to do or perform frequently, customarily, or habitually; to
perform by a succession of acts, as, to practice gaming, ... to carry on in practice, or
repeated action; to apply, as a theory, to real life; to exercise, as a profession, trade, art.

etc.; as, to practice law or medicine,' etc...." (State v. Bryan, S.E. 522, 523; Emphasis
supplied)
In this jurisdiction, we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a succession of acts. Thus,
we stated in the case of People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 [1965]):
xxx xxx xxx
... Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions, a
succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State v. Cotner, 127, p.
1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been
interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public, as a lawyer and demanding
payment for such services. ... . (at p. 112)
It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a required component
of the meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and issued by it, to wit:
l. Habituality. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding one's self
out to the public as a lawyer (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Bryan, 4 S.E.
522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment of a law
office for the general practice of law (U.S. v. Noy Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the
oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme
Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v. De
Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary action,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a habitual exercise (People v.
Villanueva, 14 SCRA 1 09 citing State v. Cotner, 1 27, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864)." (Rollo, p. 115)
xxx xxx xxx
While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge, the
use of such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated activities which do not fall under the
denomination of practice of law. Admission to the practice of law was not required for membership in the
Constitutional Commission or in the Fact-Finding Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Any specific legal
activities which may have been assigned to Mr. Monsod while a member may be likened to isolated
transactions of foreign corporations in the Philippines which do not categorize the foreign corporations as
doing business in the Philippines. As in the practice of law, doing business also should be active and
continuous. Isolated business transactions or occasional, incidental and casual transactions are not within
the context of doing business. This was our ruling in the case of Antam Consolidated, Inc. v. Court of
appeals, 143 SCRA 288 [1986]).
Respondent Monsod, corporate executive, civic leader, and member of the Constitutional Commission may
possess the background, competence, integrity, and dedication, to qualify for such high offices as
President, Vice-President, Senator, Congressman or Governor but the Constitution in prescribing the
specific qualification of having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years for the position of
COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be confirmed for that office. The Constitution charges the
public respondents no less than this Court to obey its mandate.
I, therefore, believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in
confirming the nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.
I vote to GRANT the petition.

Bidin, J., dissent


Separate Opinions
NARVASA, J., concurring:
I concur with the decision of the majority written by Mr. Justice Paras, albeit only in the result; it does not
appear to me that there has been an adequate showing that the challenged determination by the
Commission on Appointments-that the appointment of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the Commission
on Elections should, on the basis of his stated qualifications and after due assessment thereof, be
confirmed-was attended by error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of discretion and consequently
merits nullification by this Court in accordance with the second paragraph of Section 1, Article VIII of the
Constitution. I therefore vote to DENY the petition.
Melencio-Herrera, J., concur.
PADILLA, J., dissenting:
The records of this case will show that when the Court first deliberated on the Petition at bar, I voted not
only to require the respondents to comment on the Petition, but I was the sole vote for the issuance of a
temporary restraining order to enjoin respondent Monsod from assuming the position of COMELEC
Chairman, while the Court deliberated on his constitutional qualification for the office. My purpose in voting
for a TRO was to prevent the inconvenience and even embarrassment to all parties concerned were the
Court to finally decide for respondent Monsod's disqualification. Moreover, a reading of the Petition then in
relation to established jurisprudence already showed prima facie that respondent Monsod did not possess
the needed qualification, that is, he had not engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years prior
to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
After considering carefully respondent Monsod's comment, I am even more convinced that the
constitutional requirement of "practice of law for at least ten (10) years" has not been met.
The procedural barriers interposed by respondents deserve scant consideration because, ultimately, the
core issue to be resolved in this petition is the proper construal of the constitutional provision requiring a
majority of the membership of COMELEC, including the Chairman thereof to "have been engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten (10) years." (Art. IX(C), Section 1(1), 1987 Constitution). Questions involving
the construction of constitutional provisions are best left to judicial resolution. As declared in Angara v.
Electoral Commission, (63 Phil. 139) "upon the judicial department is thrown the solemn and inescapable
obligation of interpreting the Constitution and defining constitutional boundaries."
The Constitution has imposed clear and specific standards for a COMELEC Chairman. Among these are that
he must have been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years." It is the bounden duty of
this Court to ensure that such standard is met and complied with.
What constitutes practice of law? As commonly understood, "practice" refers to the actual performance or
application of knowledge as distinguished from mere possession of knowledge; it connotes
an active, habitual,repeated or customary action. 1 To "practice" law, or any profession for that matter,
means, to exercise or pursue an employment or profession actively, habitually, repeatedly or customarily.
Therefore, a doctor of medicine who is employed and is habitually performing the tasks of a nursing aide,
cannot be said to be in the "practice of medicine." A certified public accountant who works as a clerk,
cannot be said to practice his profession as an accountant. In the same way, a lawyer who is employed as
a business executive or a corporate manager, other than as head or attorney of a Legal Department of a
corporation or a governmental agency, cannot be said to be in the practice of law.

As aptly held by this Court in the case of People vs. Villanueva:

Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary


actions, a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise
(State vs- Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the
prohibition of statute has been interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out
to the public as a lawyer and demanding payment for such services (State vs. Bryan, 4 S.E.
522, 98 N.C. 644,647.) ... (emphasis supplied).
It is worth mentioning that the respondent Commission on Appointments in a Memorandum it prepared,
enumerated several factors determinative of whether a particular activity constitutes "practice of law." It
states:
1. Habituality. The term "practice of law" implies customarily or habitually holding one's self
out to the public as a lawyer (People vs. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Boyen, 4
S.E. 522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment of a
law office for the general practice of law (U.S. v. Ney Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes
the oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the
Supreme Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People
v. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968).
Practice is more than an isolated appearance for it consists in frequent or customary action,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a habitual exercise (People v.
Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Cotner, 127, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864).
2. Compensation. Practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to be in the
active and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional services are
available to the public for compensation, as a service of his livelihood or in consideration of
his said services. (People v. Villanueva, supra). Hence, charging for services such as
preparation of documents involving the use of legal knowledge and skill is within the term
"practice of law" (Ernani Pao, Bar Reviewer in Legal and Judicial Ethics, 1988 ed., p. 8 citing
People v. People's Stockyards State Bank, 176 N.B. 901) and, one who renders an opinion as
to the proper interpretation of a statute, and receives pay for it, is to that extent, practicing
law (Martin, supra, p. 806 citing Mendelaun v. Gilbert and Barket Mfg. Co., 290 N.Y.S. 462) If
compensation is expected, all advice to clients and all action taken for them in matters
connected with the law; are practicing law. (Elwood Fitchette et al., v. Arthur C. Taylor, 94AL.R. 356-359)
3. Application of law legal principle practice or procedure which calls for legal knowledge,
training and experience is within the term "practice of law". (Martin supra)
4. Attorney-client relationship. Engaging in the practice of law presupposes the existence of
lawyer-client relationship. Hence, where a lawyer undertakes an activity which requires
knowledge of law but involves no attorney-client relationship, such as teaching law or writing
law books or articles, he cannot be said to be engaged in the practice of his profession or a
lawyer (Agpalo, Legal Ethics, 1989 ed., p. 30). 3
The above-enumerated factors would, I believe, be useful aids in determining whether or not respondent
Monsod meets the constitutional qualification of practice of law for at least ten (10) years at the time of his
appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
The following relevant questions may be asked:

1. Did respondent Monsod perform any of the tasks which are peculiar to the practice of law?
2. Did respondent perform such tasks customarily or habitually?
3. Assuming that he performed any of such tasks habitually, did he do so HABITUALLY FOR AT LEAST TEN
(10) YEARS prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman?
Given the employment or job history of respondent Monsod as appears from the records, I am persuaded
that if ever he did perform any of the tasks which constitute the practice of law, he did not do so
HABITUALLY for at least ten (10) years prior to his appointment as COMELEC Chairman.
While it may be granted that he performed tasks and activities which could be latitudinarianly considered
activities peculiar to the practice of law, like the drafting of legal documents and the rendering of legal
opinion or advice, such were isolated transactions or activities which do not qualify his past endeavors as
"practice of law." To become engaged in the practice of law, there must be a continuity, or a succession of
acts. As observed by the Solicitor General in People vs. Villanueva: 4
Essentially, the word private practice of law implies that one must have presented himself to
be in theactive and continued practice of the legal profession and that his professional
services are available to the public for a compensation, as a source of his livelihood or in
consideration of his said services.
ACCORDINGLY, my vote is to GRANT the petition and to declare respondent Monsod as not qualified for the
position of COMELEC Chairman for not having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years
prior to his appointment to such position.
CRUZ, J., dissenting:
I am sincerely impressed by the ponencia of my brother Paras but find I must dissent just the same. There
are certain points on which I must differ with him while of course respecting hisviewpoint.
To begin with, I do not think we are inhibited from examining the qualifications of the respondent simply
because his nomination has been confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. In my view, this is not a
political question that we are barred from resolving. Determination of the appointee's credentials is made
on the basis of the established facts, not the discretion of that body. Even if it were, the exercise of that
discretion would still be subject to our review.
In Luego, which is cited in the ponencia, what was involved was the discretion of the appointing authority
tochoose between two claimants to the same office who both possessed the required qualifications. It was
that kind of discretion that we said could not be reviewed.
If a person elected by no less than the sovereign people may be ousted by this Court for lack of the
required qualifications, I see no reason why we cannot disqualified an appointee simply because he has
passed the Commission on Appointments.
Even the President of the Philippines may be declared ineligible by this Court in an appropriate proceeding
notwithstanding that he has been found acceptable by no less than the enfranchised citizenry. The reason
is that what we would be examining is not the wisdom of his election but whether or not he was qualified
to be elected in the first place.
Coming now to the qualifications of the private respondent, I fear that the ponencia may have been too
sweeping in its definition of the phrase "practice of law" as to render the qualification practically toothless.
From the numerous activities accepted as embraced in the term, I have the uncomfortable feeling that one

does not even have to be a lawyer to be engaged in the practice of law as long as his activities involve the
application of some law, however peripherally. The stock broker and the insurance adjuster and the realtor
could come under the definition as they deal with or give advice on matters that are likely "to become
involved in litigation."
The lawyer is considered engaged in the practice of law even if his main occupation is another business
and he interprets and applies some law only as an incident of such business. That covers every company
organized under the Corporation Code and regulated by the SEC under P.D. 902-A. Considering the
ramifications of the modern society, there is hardly any activity that is not affected by some law or
government regulation the businessman must know about and observe. In fact, again going by the
definition, a lawyer does not even have to be part of a business concern to be considered a practitioner. He
can be so deemed when, on his own, he rents a house or buys a car or consults a doctor as these acts
involve his knowledge and application of the laws regulating such transactions. If he operates a public
utility vehicle as his main source of livelihood, he would still be deemed engaged in the practice of law
because he must obey the Public Service Act and the rules and regulations of the Energy Regulatory Board.
The ponencia quotes an American decision defining the practice of law as the "performance of any acts . . .
in or out of court, commonly understood to be the practice of law," which tells us absolutely nothing. The
decision goes on to say that "because lawyers perform almost every function known in the commercial and
governmental realm, such a definition would obviously be too global to be workable."
The effect of the definition given in the ponencia is to consider virtually every lawyer to be engaged in the
practice of law even if he does not earn his living, or at least part of it, as a lawyer. It is enough that his
activities are incidentally (even if only remotely) connected with some law, ordinance, or regulation. The
possible exception is the lawyer whose income is derived from teaching ballroom dancing or escorting
wrinkled ladies with pubescent pretensions.
The respondent's credentials are impressive, to be sure, but they do not persuade me that he has been
engaged in the practice of law for ten years as required by the Constitution. It is conceded that he has
been engaged in business and finance, in which areas he has distinguished himself, but as an executive
and economist and not as a practicing lawyer. The plain fact is that he has occupied the various positions
listed in his resume by virtue of his experience and prestige as a businessman and not as an attorney-atlaw whose principal attention is focused on the law. Even if it be argued that he was acting as a lawyer
when he lobbied in Congress for agrarian and urban reform, served in the NAMFREL and the Constitutional
Commission (together with non-lawyers like farmers and priests) and was a member of the Davide
Commission, he has not proved that his activities in these capacities extended over the prescribed 10-year
period of actual practice of the law. He is doubtless eminently qualified for many other positions worthy of
his abundant talents but not as Chairman of the Commission on Elections.
I have much admiration for respondent Monsod, no less than for Mr. Justice Paras, but I must regretfully
vote to grant the petition.
GUTIERREZ, JR., J., dissenting:
When this petition was filed, there was hope that engaging in the practice of law as a qualification for
public office would be settled one way or another in fairly definitive terms. Unfortunately, this was not the
result.
Of the fourteen (14) member Court, 5 are of the view that Mr. Christian Monsod engaged in the practice of
law (with one of these 5 leaving his vote behind while on official leave but not expressing his clear stand
on the matter); 4 categorically stating that he did not practice law; 2 voting in the result because there
was no error so gross as to amount to grave abuse of discretion; one of official leave with no instructions
left behind on how he viewed the issue; and 2 not taking part in the deliberations and the decision.

There are two key factors that make our task difficult. First is our reviewing the work of a constitutional
Commission on Appointments whose duty is precisely to look into the qualifications of persons appointed
to high office. Even if the Commission errs, we have no power to set aside error. We can look only into
grave abuse of discretion or whimsically and arbitrariness. Second is our belief that Mr. Monsod possesses
superior qualifications in terms of executive ability, proficiency in management, educational background,
experience in international banking and finance, and instant recognition by the public. His integrity and
competence are not questioned by the petitioner. What is before us is compliance with a specific
requirement written into the Constitution.
Inspite of my high regard for Mr. Monsod, I cannot shirk my constitutional duty. He has never engaged in
the practice of law for even one year. He is a member of the bar but to say that he has practiced law is
stretching the term beyond rational limits.
A person may have passed the bar examinations. But if he has not dedicated his life to the law, if he has
not engaged in an activity where membership in the bar is a requirement I fail to see how he can claim to
have been engaged in the practice of law.
Engaging in the practice of law is a qualification not only for COMELEC chairman but also for appointment
to the Supreme Court and all lower courts. What kind of Judges or Justices will we have if there main
occupation is selling real estate, managing a business corporation, serving in fact-finding committee,
working in media, or operating a farm with no active involvement in the law, whether in Government or
private practice, except that in one joyful moment in the distant past, they happened to pass the bar
examinations?
The Constitution uses the phrase "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." The deliberate
choice of words shows that the practice envisioned is active and regular, not isolated, occasional,
accidental, intermittent, incidental, seasonal, or extemporaneous. To be "engaged" in an activity for ten
years requires committed participation in something which is the result of one's decisive choice. It means
that one is occupied and involved in the enterprise; one is obliged or pledged to carry it out with intent and
attention during the ten-year period.
I agree with the petitioner that based on the bio-data submitted by respondent Monsod to the Commission
on Appointments, the latter has not been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. In fact, if
appears that Mr. Monsod has never practiced law except for an alleged one year period after passing the
bar examinations when he worked in his father's law firm. Even then his law practice must have been
extremely limited because he was also working for M.A. and Ph. D. degrees in Economics at the University
of Pennsylvania during that period. How could he practice law in the United States while not a member of
the Bar there?
The professional life of the respondent follows:
1.15.1. Respondent Monsod's activities since his passing the Bar examinations in 1961
consist of the following:
1. 1961-1963: M.A. in Economics (Ph. D. candidate), University of Pennsylvania
2. 1963-1970: World Bank Group Economist, Industry Department; Operations, Latin
American Department; Division Chief, South Asia and Middle East, International Finance
Corporation
3. 1970-1973: Meralco Group Executive of various companies, i.e., Meralco Securities
Corporation, Philippine Petroleum Corporation, Philippine Electric Corporation

4. 1973-1976: Yujuico Group President, Fil-Capital Development Corporation and affiliated


companies
5. 1976-1978: Finaciera Manila Chief Executive Officer
6. 1978-1986: Guevent Group of Companies Chief Executive Officer
7. 1986-1987: Philippine Constitutional Commission Member
8. 1989-1991: The Fact-Finding Commission on the December 1989 Coup Attempt
Member
9. Presently: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the following companies:
a. ACE Container Philippines, Inc.
b. Dataprep, Philippines
c. Philippine SUNsystems Products, Inc.
d. Semirara Coal Corporation
e. CBL Timber Corporation
Member of the Board of the Following:
a. Engineering Construction Corporation of the Philippines
b. First Philippine Energy Corporation
c. First Philippine Holdings Corporation
d. First Philippine Industrial Corporation
e. Graphic Atelier
f. Manila Electric Company
g. Philippine Commercial Capital, Inc.
h. Philippine Electric Corporation
i. Tarlac Reforestation and Environment Enterprises
j. Tolong Aquaculture Corporation
k. Visayan Aquaculture Corporation
l. Guimaras Aquaculture Corporation (Rollo, pp. 21-22)
There is nothing in the above bio-data which even remotely indicates that respondent Monsod has
given the lawenough attention or a certain degree of commitment and participation as would support in all

sincerity and candor the claim of having engaged in its practice for at least ten years. Instead of working
as a lawyer, he has lawyers working for him. Instead of giving receiving that legal advice of legal services,
he was the oneadvice and those services as an executive but not as a lawyer.
The deliberations before the Commission on Appointments show an effort to equate "engaged in the
practice of law" with the use of legal knowledge in various fields of endeavor such as commerce, industry,
civic work, blue ribbon investigations, agrarian reform, etc. where such knowledge would be helpful.
I regret that I cannot join in playing fast and loose with a term, which even an ordinary layman accepts as
having a familiar and customary well-defined meaning. Every resident of this country who has reached the
age of discernment has to know, follow, or apply the law at various times in his life. Legal knowledge is
useful if not necessary for the business executive, legislator, mayor, barangay captain, teacher, policeman,
farmer, fisherman, market vendor, and student to name only a few. And yet, can these people honestly
assert that as such, they are engaged in the practice of law?
The Constitution requires having been "engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years." It is not
satisfied with having been "a member of the Philippine bar for at least ten years."
Some American courts have defined the practice of law, as follows:
The practice of law involves not only appearance in court in connection with litigation but
also services rendered out of court, and it includes the giving of advice or the rendering of
any services requiring the use of legal skill or knowledge, such as preparing a will, contract
or other instrument, the legal effect of which, under the facts and conditions involved, must
be carefully determined.People ex rel. Chicago Bar Ass'n v. Tinkoff, 399 Ill. 282, 77 N.E.2d
693; People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill.
462,176 N.E. 901, and cases cited.
It would be difficult, if not impossible to lay down a formula or definition of what constitutes
the practice of law. "Practicing law" has been defined as "Practicing as an attorney or
counselor at law according to the laws and customs of our courts, is the giving of advice or
rendition of any sort of service by any person, firm or corporation when the giving of such
advice or rendition of such service requires the use of any degree of legal knowledge or
skill." Without adopting that definition, we referred to it as being substantially correct
in People ex rel. Illinois State Bar Ass'n v. People's Stock Yards State Bank, 344 Ill. 462,176
N.E. 901. (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773, 776)
For one's actions to come within the purview of practice of law they should not only be activities peculiar
to the work of a lawyer, they should also be performed, habitually, frequently or customarily, to wit:
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent's answers to questions propounded to him were rather evasive. He was asked
whether or not he ever prepared contracts for the parties in real-estate transactions where
he was not the procuring agent. He answered: "Very seldom." In answer to the question as
to how many times he had prepared contracts for the parties during the twenty-one years of
his business, he said: "I have no Idea." When asked if it would be more than half a dozen
times his answer was I suppose. Asked if he did not recall making the statement to several
parties that he had prepared contracts in a large number of instances, he answered: "I don't
recall exactly what was said." When asked if he did not remember saying that he had made
a practice of preparing deeds, mortgages and contracts and charging a fee to the parties
therefor in instances where he was not the broker in the deal, he answered: "Well, I don't
believe so, that is not a practice." Pressed further for an answer as to his practice in

preparing contracts and deeds for parties where he was not the broker, he finally answered:
"I have done about everything that is on the books as far as real estate is concerned."
xxx xxx xxx
Respondent takes the position that because he is a real-estate broker he has a lawful right to
do any legal work in connection with real-estate transactions, especially in drawing of realestate contracts, deeds, mortgages, notes and the like. There is no doubt but that he has
engaged in these practices over the years and has charged for his services in that
connection. ... (People v. Schafer, 87 N.E. 2d 773)
xxx xxx xxx
... An attorney, in the most general sense, is a person designated or employed by another to
act in his stead; an agent; more especially, one of a class of persons authorized to appear
and act for suitors or defendants in legal proceedings. Strictly, these professional persons
are attorneys at law, and non-professional agents are properly styled "attorney's in fact;" but
the single word is much used as meaning an attorney at law. A person may be an attorney in
facto for another, without being an attorney at law. Abb. Law Dict. "Attorney." A public
attorney, or attorney at law, says Webster, is an officer of a court of law, legally qualified to
prosecute and defend actions in such court on the retainerof clients. "The principal duties of
an attorney are (1) to be true to the court and to his client; (2) to manage the business of his
client with care, skill, and integrity; (3) to keep his client informed as to the state of his
business; (4) to keep his secrets confided to him as such. ... His rights are to be justly
compensated for his services." Bouv. Law Dict. tit. "Attorney." The transitive verb "practice,"
as defined by Webster, means 'to do or perform frequently, customarily, or habitually; to
perform by a succession of acts, as, to practice gaming, ... to carry on in practice, or
repeated action; to apply, as a theory, to real life; to exercise, as a profession, trade, art.
etc.; as, to practice law or medicine,' etc...." (State v. Bryan, S.E. 522, 523; Emphasis
supplied)
In this jurisdiction, we have ruled that the practice of law denotes frequency or a succession of acts. Thus,
we stated in the case of People v. Villanueva (14 SCRA 109 [1965]):
xxx xxx xxx
... Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary actions, a
succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is frequent habitual exercise (State v. Cotner, 127, p.
1, 87 Kan. 864, 42 LRA, M.S. 768). Practice of law to fall within the prohibition of statute has been
interpreted as customarily or habitually holding one's self out to the public, as a lawyer and demanding
payment for such services. ... . (at p. 112)
It is to be noted that the Commission on Appointment itself recognizes habituality as a required component
of the meaning of practice of law in a Memorandum prepared and issued by it, to wit:
l. Habituality. The term 'practice of law' implies customarilyor habitually holding one's self
out to the public as a lawyer (People v. Villanueva, 14 SCRA 109 citing State v. Bryan, 4 S.E.
522, 98 N.C. 644) such as when one sends a circular announcing the establishment of a law
office for the general practice of law (U.S. v. Noy Bosque, 8 Phil. 146), or when one takes the
oath of office as a lawyer before a notary public, and files a manifestation with the Supreme
Court informing it of his intention to practice law in all courts in the country (People v. De
Luna, 102 Phil. 968).

Practice is more than an isolated appearance, for it consists in frequent or customary action,
a succession of acts of the same kind. In other words, it is a habitual exercise (People v.
Villanueva, 14 SCRA 1 09 citing State v. Cotner, 1 27, p. 1, 87 Kan, 864)." (Rollo, p. 115)
xxx xxx xxx
While the career as a businessman of respondent Monsod may have profited from his legal knowledge, the
use of such legal knowledge is incidental and consists of isolated activities which do not fall under the
denomination of practice of law. Admission to the practice of law was not required for membership in the
Constitutional Commission or in the Fact-Finding Commission on the 1989 Coup Attempt. Any specific legal
activities which may have been assigned to Mr. Monsod while a member may be likened to isolated
transactions of foreign corporations in the Philippines which do not categorize the foreign corporations as
doing business in the Philippines. As in the practice of law, doing business also should be active and
continuous. Isolated business transactions or occasional, incidental and casual transactions are not within
the context of doing business. This was our ruling in the case of Antam Consolidated, Inc. v. Court of
appeals, 143 SCRA 288 [1986]).
Respondent Monsod, corporate executive, civic leader, and member of the Constitutional Commission may
possess the background, competence, integrity, and dedication, to qualify for such high offices as
President, Vice-President, Senator, Congressman or Governor but the Constitution in prescribing the
specific qualification of having engaged in the practice of law for at least ten (10) years for the position of
COMELEC Chairman has ordered that he may not be confirmed for that office. The Constitution charges the
public respondents no less than this Court to obey its mandate.
I, therefore, believe that the Commission on Appointments committed grave abuse of discretion in
confirming the nomination of respondent Monsod as Chairman of the COMELEC.
I vote to GRANT the petition.

DIGEST:
Facts: Respondent Christian Monsod was nominated by President Corazon C. Aquino to the position of
chairman of the COMELEC. Petitioner opposed the nomination because allegedly Monsod does not posses
required qualification of having been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years. The 1987
constitution provides in Section 1, Article IX-C: There shall be a Commission on Elections composed of a
Chairman and six Commissioners who shall be natural-born citizens of the Philippines and, at the time of
their appointment, at least thirty-five years of age, holders of a college degree, and must not have been
candidates for any elective position in the immediately preceding elections. However, a majority thereof,
including the Chairman, shall be members of the Philippine Bar who have been engaged in the practice of
law for at least ten years.
Issue: Whether the respondent does not posses the required qualification of having engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten years.
Held: In the case of Philippine Lawyers Association vs. Agrava, stated: The practice of law is not limited to
the conduct of cases or litigation in court; it embraces the preparation of pleadings and other papers
incident to actions and special proceeding, the management of such actions and proceedings on behalf of
clients before judges and courts, and in addition, conveying. In general, all advice to clients, and all action
taken for them in matters connected with the law incorporation services, assessment and condemnation
services, contemplating an appearance before judicial body, the foreclosure of mortgage, enforcement of a
creditors 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. Practice of law means any
activity, in or out court, which requires the application of law, legal procedure, knowledge, training and
experience.
The contention that Atty. Monsod does not posses the required qualification of having engaged in the
practice of law for at least ten years is incorrect since Atty. Monsods past work experience as a lawyereconomist, a lawyer-manager, a lawyer-entrepreneur of industry, a lawyer-negotiator of contracts, and a

lawyer-legislator of both rich and the poor verily more than satisfy the constitutional requirement for the
position of COMELEC chairman, The respondent has been engaged in the practice of law for at least ten
years does In the view of the foregoing, the petition is DISMISSED.

10. In Re: Edillon 84 SCRA 554 (1978)


A.C. 1928 December 19, 1980

In the Matter of the IBP Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty. MARCIAL A. EDILLION (IBP
Administrative Case No. MDD-1), petitioner,
FERNANDO, C.J.:
The full and plenary discretion in the exercise of its competence to reinstate a disbarred member of the bar
admits of no doubt. All the relevant factors bearing on the specific case, public interest, the integrity of the
profession and the welfare of the recreant who had purged himself of his guilt are given their due weight.
Respondent Marcial A. Edillon was disbarred on August 3, 1978, 1 the vote being unanimous with the late.
Chief Justice Castro ponente. From June 5, 1979, he had repeatedly pleaded that he be reinstated. The
minute resolution dated October 23, 1980, granted such prayer. It was there made clear that it "is without
prejudice to issuing an extended opinion." 2
Before doing so, a recital of the background facts that led to the disbarment of respondent may not be
amiss. As set forth in the resolution penned by the late Chief Justice Castro: "On November 29. 1975, the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP for short) Board of Governors, unanimously adopted Resolution No.
75-65 in Administrative case No. MDD-1 (In the Matter of the Membership Dues Delinquency of Atty.
Marcial A. Edillon) recommending to the Court the removal of the name of the respondent from its Roll of
Attorneys for 'stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues' to the IBP since the latter's constitution
notwithstanding due notice. On January 21, 1976, the IBP, through its then President Liliano B. Neri,
submitted the said resolution to the Court for consideration and approval,. Pursuant to paragraph 2,
Section 24, Article III of the By-Laws of the IBP, which. reads: ... Should the delinquency further continue
until the following June 29, the Board shall promptly inquire into the cause or causes of the continued
delinquency and take whatever action it shall deem appropriate, including a recommendation to the
Supreme Court for the removal of the delinquent member's name from the Roll of Attorneys. Notice of the
action taken should be submit by registered mail to the member and to the Secretary of the Chapter
concerned.' On January 27, 1976, the Court required the respondent to comment on the resolution and
letter adverted to above he submitted his comment on February 23, 1976, reiterating his refusal to pay the
membership fees due from him. On March 2, 1976, the Court required the IBP President and the IBP Board
of Governors to reply to Edillon's comment: On March 24, 1976, they submitted a joint reply. Thereafter,
the case was set for hearing on June 3, 1976. After the hearing, the parties were required to submit
memoranda in amplification of their oral arguments. The matter was thenceforth submitted for
resolution." 3
Reference was then made to the authority of the IBP Board of Governors to recommend to the Supreme
Court the removal of a delinquent member's name from the Roll of Attorneys as found in Rules of
Court: '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. 4
The submission of respondent Edillion as summarized in the aforesaid resolution "is that the above
provisions constitute an invasion of his constitutional rights in the sense that he is being compelled, as a
pre-condition to maintaining his status as a lawyer in good standing, to be a member of the IBP and to pay
the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this compelled financial support of the said

organization to which he is admittedly personally antagonistic, he is being deprived of the rights to liberty
and property guaranteed to him by the Constitution. Hence, the respondent concludes, the above
provisions of the Court Rule and of the IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force and effect. 5 It was
pointed out in the resolution that such issues was raised on a previous case before the Court, entitled
'Administrative Case No. 526, In the Matter of the Petition for the Integration of the Bar of the Philippines,
Roman Ozaeta, et al., Petitioners.' The Court exhaustively considered all these matters in that case in its
Resolution ordaining the integration of the Bar of the Philippines, promulgated on January 9, 1973. 6 The
unanimous conclusion reached by the Court was that the integration of the Philippine Bar raises no
constitutional question and is therefore legally unobjectionable, "and, within the context of contemporary
conditions in the Philippine, has become an imperative means to raise the standards of the legal
profession, improve the administration of justice, and enable the Bar to discharge its public responsibility
fully and effectively." 7
As mentioned at the outset, the vote was unanimous. From the time the decision was rendered, there were
various pleadings filed by respondent for reinstatement starting with a motion for reconsideration dated
August 19, 1978. Characterized as it was by persistence in his adamantine refusal to admit the full
competence of the Court on the matter, it was not unexpected that it would be denied. So it turned out. 8 It
was the consensus that he continued to be oblivious to certain balic juridical concepts, the appreciation of
which does not even require great depth of intellect. Since respondent could not be said to be that
deficient in legal knowledge and since his pleadings in other cases coming before this Tribunal were quite
literate, even if rather generously sprinkled with invective for which he had been duly taken to task, there
was the impression that his recalcitrance arose from and sheer obstinacy. Necessary, the extreme penalty
of disbarment visited on him was more than justified.
Since then, however, there were other communications to this Court where a different attitude on his part
was discernible. 9 The tone of defiance was gone and circumstances of a mitigating character invoked
the state of his health and his advanced age. He likewise spoke of the welfare of former clients who still
rely on him for counsel, their confidence apparently undiminished. For he had in his career been a valiant,
if at times unreasonable, defender of the causes entrusted to him.
This Court, in the light of the above, felt that reinstatement could be ordered and so it did in the resolution
of October 23, 1980. It made certain that there was full acceptance on his part of the competence of this
Tribunal in the exercise of its plenary power to regulate the legal profession and can integrate the bar and
that the dues were duly paid. Moreover, the fact that more than two years had elapsed during which he
war. barred from exercising his profession was likewise taken into account. It may likewise be said that as
in the case of the inherent power to punish for contempt and paraphrasing the dictum of Justice Malcolm
in Villavicencio v. Lukban, 10 the power to discipline, especially if amounting to disbarment, should be
exercised on the preservative and not on the vindictive principle. 11
One last word. It has been pertinently observed that there is no irretrievable finality as far as admission to
the bar is concerned. So it is likewise as to loss of membership. What must ever be borne in mind is that
membership in the bar, to follow Cardozo, is a privilege burdened with conditions. Failure to abide by any
of them entails the loss of such privilege if the gravity thereof warrant such drastic move. Thereafter a
sufficient time having elapsed and after actuations evidencing that there was due contrition on the part of
the transgressor, he may once again be considered for the restoration of such a privilege. Hence, our
resolution of October 23, 1980.
The Court restores to membership to the bar Marcial A. Edillon.

DIGEST:
FACTS: The respondent Marcial A. Edillon is a duly licensed practicing Attorney in the Philippines. The IBP
Board of Governors recommended to the Court the removal of the name of the respondent from its Roll of
Attorneys for stubborn refusal to pay his membership dues assailing the provisions of the Rule of Court
139-A and the provisions of par. 2, Section 24, Article III, of the IBP By-Laws pertaining to the organization

of IBP, payment ofmembership fee and suspension for failure to pay the same.
Edillon contends that the stated provisions constitute an invasion of hisconstitutional rights in the sense
that he is being compelled as a pre-condition to maintain his status as a lawyer in good standing, to be a
member of the IBP and to pay the corresponding dues, and that as a consequence of this compelled
financial support of the said organization to which he is admitted personally antagonistic, he is being
deprived of the rights to liberty and properly guaranteed to him by the Constitution. Hence, the respondent
concludes the above provisions of the Court Rule and of the IBP By-Laws are void and of no legal force and
effect.
ISSUE: Whether or not the court may compel Atty. Edillion to pay hismembership fee to the IBP.
HELD: The Integrated Bar is a State-organized Bar which every lawyer must be a member of as
distinguished from bar associations in which membershipis merely optional and voluntary. All lawyers are
subject to comply with the rules prescribed for the governance of the Bar including payment a
reasonable annual fees as one of the requirements. The Rules of Court only compels him to pay
his annual dues and it is not in violation of his constitutional freedom to associate. Bar integration does not
compel the lawyer to associate with anyone. He is free to attend or not the meeting of his Integrated Bar
Chapter or vote or refuse to vote in its election as he chooses. The only compulsion to which he is
subjected is the payment ofannual dues. The Supreme Court in order to further the States legitimate
interest in elevating the quality of professional legal services, may require thet the cost of the regulatory
program the lawyers.
Such compulsion is justified as an exercise of the police power of the State. The right to practice law before
the courts of this country should be and is a matter subject to regulation and inquiry. And if the power to
impose the fee as a regulatory measure is recognize then a penalty designed to enforce its payment is not
void as unreasonable as arbitrary. Furthermore, the Court has jurisdiction over matters of admission,
suspension, disbarment, and reinstatement of lawyers and their regulation as part of its inherent judicial
functions and responsibilities thus the court may compel all members of the Integrated Bar to pay
their annual dues.

11. Tejan VS Cusi Jr. 57 SCRA 154 (1974)


G.R. No. L-28899 May 30, 1974

ALFREDO C. TAJAN, petitioner,


vs.
HON. VICENTE N. CUSI, JR., Judge, Court of First Instance of Davao, respondent.
Jose P. Arro for petitioner.
Hon. Vicente N. Cusi, Jr. in his own behalf.

ANTONIO, J.:p
In this original action of prohibition petitioner Alfredo C. Tajan challenges the authority of respondent Judge
of the Court of First Instance of Davao to hear Administrative Case No. 59 of said court involving a
disciplinary action initiated against petitioner as a member of the Philippine Bar.
In a letter dated December 5, 1967 addressed to petitioner Alfredo C. Tajan, he was required by
respondent Judge to explain within 72 hours why he should not be removed or suspended from the
practice of law for preparing, or causing to be prepared, a petition in court containing factual averments
which petitioner knew were false, to wit:
The records and the transcript of stenographic notes of Misc. Case No. 2968 of this Court
show that you prepared and/or caused to be prepared a verified petition for issuance of a

new owner's duplicate copy of Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-7312 in favor of Vicente
Calongo, alleging therein as grounds therefor, "That the aforesaid Transfer Certificate was
lost by the herein petitioner in his house in Mati, Davao; That in spite of the diligent search
of the aforesaid title, the same could not be found and is therefore now presumed to be
lost," and had the petition signed by Atty. Justo Cinco, when you know very well that the
owner's duplicate copy has always been in the custody of Municipal Judge Bernardo P.
Saludares of the Municipality of Kapalong to whom the same was entrusted by Vicente
Calongo, and that as a result of the petition, this Court, through the Hon. Vicente P. Bullecer,
Presiding Judge of Branch IV, issued an Order on June 28, 1967, directing the Register of
Deeds of the City of Davao to issue a new owner's duplicate of Transfer Certificate of Title
No. T-7312.
In view thereof, you are hereby given seventy-two (72) hours from the receipt hereof to
explain why you shall not be removed or suspended from the practice of law.
Petitioner, in answer thereto, wrote a letter to respondent Judge on December 7, 1967 denying the
material averments of respondent Judge's letter and explaining the circumstances under which he
prepared the aforementioned petition.
Apparently not satisfied with petitioner's answer, respondent Judge had his letter filed and docketed as
Adm. Case No. 59 against petitioner, and, together with Adm. Case No. 58 against Atty. Justo Cinco, gave
due course thereto and set the same for hearing on January 24 and 25, 1968. At the hearing on January 24,
1968, petitioner questioned, among others, the propriety of the proceedings, contending that since the
case was one for disbarment, respondent Judge had no jurisdiction over the person of petitioner as well as
the subject matter thereof. Petitioner orally moved that respondent Judge inhibit himself from hearing the
administrative case in view of the latter's conflicting positions as prosecutor and judge at the same time.
The oral motion was denied.
On February 1, 1968, respondent Judge proceeded to hear the evidence against petitioner. At the said
hearing Municipal Judge Saludares testified by more or less reiterating the testimony he previously gave at
the hearing of the petition for relief from the order in Misc. Case No. 2968 allowing the issuance of an
owner's duplicate of title. The continuation of the hearing was set for April 26, 1968.
On April 15, 1968, petitioner filed the present petition, and on April 17, 1968, this Court gave due course
thereto and ordered the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction upon petitioner's posting of a bond.
Petitioner's thesis is that respondent Judge has no authority on his own motion to hear and determine
proceedings for disbarment or suspension of attorneys because jurisdiction thereon is vested exclusively
and originally in the Supreme Court and not in courts of first instance. Petitioner also contends that
assumingarguendo that courts of first instance have such authority, the procedure outlined in Rule 139 of
the Revised Rules of Court should govern the filing and investigation of the complaint.
We find petitioner's contentions without merit.
1. The power to exclude unfit and unworthy members of the legal profession stems from the inherent
power of the Supreme Court to regulate the practice of law and the admission of persons to engage in that
practice. It is a necessary incident to the proper administration of justice. An attorney-at-law is an officer of
the court in the administration of justice and as such he is continually accountable to the Court for the
manner in which he exercises the privilege which has been granted to him. His admission to the practice of
law is upon the implied condition that his continued enjoyment of the right conferred, is dependent upon
his remaining a fit and safe person to exercise it. When it appears by acts of misconduct, that he has
become unfit to continue with the trust reposed upon him, his right to continue in the enjoyment of that
trust and for the enjoyment of the professional privilege accorded to him may and ought to be forfeited.

The law accords to the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance the power to investigate and
suspend members of the bar.
The following provisions of Rule 138 of the Revised Rules of Court are applicable:
SEC. 28. Suspension of attorney by the Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance. The
Court of Appeals or a Court of First Instance may suspend an attorney from practice for any
of the causes named in the last preceding section, and after such suspension such attorney
shall not practice his profession until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.
SEC. 29. Upon suspension by Court of Appeals or Court of First Instance, further proceedings
in Supreme Court. Upon such suspension, the Court of Appeals or the Court of First Instance
forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a certified copy of the order of suspension and a full
statement of the facts upon which the same was based. Upon the receipt of such certified
copy and statement, the Supreme Court shall make full investigation of the facts involved
and make such order revoking or extending the suspension, or removing the attorney from
his office as such, as the facts warrant.
SEC. 30. Attorney to be heard before removal or suspension. No attorney shall be removed
or suspended from the practice of his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon
reasonable notice to answer the charges against him, to produce witnesses in his own
behalf, and to be heard by himself or counsel. But if upon reasonable notice he fails to
appear and answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the matter ex parte.
These provisions were taken from Sections 22, 23 and 25, respectively, of the Code of Civil Procedure,
which read:
SEC. 22. Suspension of lawyers. Courts of First Instance may suspend a lawyer from the
further practice of his profession for any of the causes named in the last preceding section,
and after such suspension such lawyer will not be privileged to practice his profession in any
of the courts of the Islands until further action of the Supreme Court in the premises.
SEC. 23. Proceedings upon suspension. Upon such suspension the judge of the Court of
First Instance ordering the suspension shall forthwith transmit to the Supreme Court a
certified copy of the order of suspension and a full statement of the facts upon which the
same was based. Upon the receipt of such certified copy and statement, the Supreme Court
shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or extending
the suspension, or removing the lawyer permanently from the roll as it shall find the facts to
warrant.
SEC. 25. Hearing of charges. No lawyer shall be removed from the roll or be suspended
from the performance of his profession until he has had full opportunity to answer the
charges against him, and to produce witnesses in his own behalf and to be heard by himself
and counsel, if he so desires, upon reasonable notice. But if upon reasonable notice the
accused fails to appear and answer the accusation, the court may proceed to determine the
matter ex parte.
2. It should be observed that proceedings for the disbarment of members of the bar are not in any sense a
civil action where there is a plaintiff and the respondent is a defendant. Disciplinary proceedings involve no
private interest and afford no redress for private grievance. They are undertaken and prosecuted solely for
the public welfare. They are undertaken for the purpose of preserving courts of justice from the official
ministration of persons unfit to practice in them. The attorney is called to answer to the court for his
conduct as an officer of the court. The complainant or the person who called the attention of the court to

the attorney's alleged misconduct is in no sense a party, and has generally no interest in the outcome
except as all good citizens may have in the proper administration of justice. The court may therefore act
upon its own motion and thus be the initiator of the proceedings, because, obviously the court may
investigate into the conduct of its own officers. 1 Indeed it is not only the right but the duty of the Court to
institute upon its own motion, proper proceedings for the suspension or the disbarment of an attorney,
when from information submitted to it or of its own knowledge it appears that any attorney has so
conducted himself in a case pending before said court as to show that he is wanting in the proper measure
of respect for the court of which he is an officer, or is lacking in the good character essential to his
continuance as an attorney. This is for the protection of the general public and to promote the purity of the
administration of justice.
3. Procedural due process requires that no attorney may be "removed or suspended from the practice of
his profession, until he has had full opportunity upon reasonable notice to answer the charges against him,
to produce witnesses in his own behalf, and to be heard by himself or counsel" (Sec. 30, Rule 138, Revised
Rules of Court). 2
While the aforecited Sec. 30 of Rule 138 does not state what is a reasonable notice, Sec. 9 of Rule 139, of
the Revised Rules, provides that as far as applicable, the procedure outlined by the preceding actions of
Rule 139 "shall govern the filing and investigation of complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals
or in Courts of First Instance." Section 2 of Rule 139, provides that the respondent lawyer in disciplinary
proceedings is granted 10 days from service of a copy of the complaint within which to file his answer. It is
desirable, therefore, that a similar period should be granted by the Court of First Instance to attorneys
charged before it, for the purpose of uniformity in procedure. We find, however, that in the case at bar,
petitioner not only failed to question as unreasonable, the period granted to him by the court within which
to answer the complaint, but actually was not substantially prejudiced thereby as he filed his answer to the
complaint within the period of 72 hours from receipt thereof.
Petitioner claims that pursuant to Section 9 of Rule 139, which provides that as far as may be applicable,
the procedure for the investigation by the Solicitor General of complaints against lawyers referred to said
official by the Supreme Court shall govern the filing and investigation of complaints against lawyers in the
Court of Appeals and in Courts of First Instance, the Solicitor General, and not respondent Judge, should be
the one to conduct the present investigation. Sections 3 to 6 of Rule 139 are not applicable to the
investigation of complaints against attorneys in the Court of Appeals and in Courts of First Instance. The
investigation by the Solicitor General in Section 3 of Rule 139 refers to complaints referred to said office by
this Court and not to investigations in suspension proceedings before the Court of Appeals or Courts of
First Instance, because Sections 28 to 30 of Rule 138 authorize said courts and confer upon them the
power to conduct the investigation themselves, subject to another and final investigation by the Supreme
Court in the event of suspension of the lawyer. On the basis of the certified copy of the order of suspension
and the statement of the facts upon which the same is based, required by Section 29 of Rule 138, the
Supreme Court "shall make full investigation of the facts involved and make such order revoking or
extending the suspension or removing the attorney from his office as such, as the facts warrant." In other
words, under such circumstances the intervention of the Solicitor General would, therefore, be
unnecessary.
WHEREFORE, the present person is denied, and the writ of preliminary injunction previously issued by this
Court is ordered dissolved, with costs against petitioner.
Zaldivar (Chairman), Fernando, Barredo, Fernandez and Aquino, JJ., concur.

Footnotes

1 The practice regulating disbarment proceedings is not as we have noted regulated by


statute, but all courts of general jurisdiction have at all times in the history of the law
possessed the inherent power to suspend and disbar attorneys for professional misconduct
of such a character as showed them to be unworthy to hold the place of officers of the court;
and the books are full of cases in which the court, on its own motion, has instituted
proceedings like this. Indeed, we think that it is not only the right, but the duty, of a judge of
a circuit court to institute, upon his own motion, proper proceedings for the suspension or
disbarment of an attorney when from information laid before him, or from his personal
knowledge, it appears to his satisfaction that the attorney in so demeaning himself as to be
unworthy to continue as an officer of the court.
xxx xxx xxx
In Rice v. Com., 18 B. Mon. 472, which was a disbarment proceeding, this court, in answering
an objection that the judge of the circuit court did not have authority to institute, on his own
motion, the proceeding, said:
This objection is founded on a misconception as well of the power as of the duty of the court.
The defendant in the rule was an attorney at law and an officer of the court. All courts have
the power to control and regulate to a certain extent, the conduct of their officers, and to
inflict on them for their official misconduct such punishment as the law prescribes. If a court
have knowledge of the existence of such official misconduct on the part of any of its officers,
it not only has the power, but it is its duty, to institute an appropriate proceeding against the
offender, and to bring him, if guilty, to condign punishment. And it is much to be regretted
that this duty, which the law devolves upon the court of the country, is so little regarded,
and that the obligations which it imposes are so frequently overlooked or neglected.
In Walker v. Com., 8 Bush, 86, it was again said:
It is a well-established rule of common law that courts may inquire into the conduct of their
officers, such as attorneys and counselors who practice in their courts, and punish for
offenses.
xxx xxx xxx
In Ex parte Wall, 107 U.S. 265, 2 Sup. Ct. 569, 27 L. Ed. 552, the Supreme Court, quoting
with approval from an opinion by Chief Justice Sharswood, said:
We entertain no doubt that a court has jurisdiction without any formal complaint or petition,
upon its own motion, to strike the name of an attorney from the roll in a proper case,
provided he has had reasonable notice, and been afforded an opportunity to be heard in his
defense. (Lenihan v. Commonwealth, 176 S.W. 948, 953.)
2 In re MacDougall, 3 Phil., 70 (1903); In re Calderon, 5 Phil., 658 (1906); In re Cuenco, 41
Phil., 32

DIGEST: X

12. Alcala VS Vera 56 SCRA 30 (1974)


A.C. No. 620 March 21, 1974

JOSE ALCALA and AVELINA IMPERIAL, petitioners,


vs.
HONESTO DE VERA, respondent.
MUOZ PALMA, J.:p
On May 19, 1964, Jose Alcala (now deceased) and his wife, Avelina Imperial, filed this present petition for
disbarment against respondent Honesto de Vera, a practicing attorney of Locsin, Albay, who was retained
by them as their counsel in civil case 2478 of the Court of First Instance of Albay, entitled: "Ray
Semenchuk vs. Jose Alcala".
Complainants charge Atty. Honesto de Vera with gross negligence and malpractice: 1) for having
maliciously and deliberately omitted to notify them of the decision in civil case 2478 resulting in the
deprivation of their right to appeal from the adverse judgment rendered against them; and 2) for
respondent's indifference, disloyalty and lack of interest in petitioners' cause resulting to their damage and
prejudice.
Respondent attorney, in his answer to these charges, asserted that he notified his clients of the decision in
question and that he defended complainants' case to the best of his ability as demanded by the
circumstances and that he never showed indifference, lack of interest or disloyalty to their cause.
The Solicitor General, to whom this Court referred this case for investigation, report and recommendation,
substantially found the following:
Civil case 2478 was an action for annulment of a sale of two parcels of land (lots Nos. 1880 and 1883
covered by TCT Nos. T-12392 and 12393 respectively) filed by the vendee, Ray Semenchuk, against the
vendors, spouses Alcala, on the ground that lot 1880 "could not be located or did not exist", and for the
recovery of damages and attorney's fees.
Respondent attorney, whose legal services were engaged by complainants, filed an answer denying the
material allegations of the above-mentioned complaint and setting up a counterclaim for the balance of
the purchase price of the lots sold, the expenses of notarials, internal revenue, registration, etc. plus
damages and attorney's fees.
On April 17, 1963, the trial court rendered judgment rescinding the contract of sale, on the ground that the
vendee Semenchuk was not able to take material possession of lot 1880 it being in the possession of a
certain Ruperto Ludovice and his brothers who have been occupying the land for a number of years. The
dispositive portion of the judgment reads:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:
(a) Declaring the deed of sale (Exhibit A) rescinded;
(b) Directing the plaintiff to deliver to the defendants the possession of lot No. 1883.
(c) Ordering the defendants to return to the plaintiff the sum of P1,000.00 after deducting
the amount of P250.00 which is the consideration in the deed of sale of Lot No. 185; and
(d) Without pronouncement as to costs. (p. 11, rollo)
On April 19, 1963, respondent Atty. de Vera received a copy of the decision but he failed to inform his
clients of the judgment against them. On July 17, 1963, a sheriff came to complainants' house to serve a
writ of execution issued in said case. Totally caught by surprise, Jose Alcala immediately wrote to the trial

court and inquired for the status of case 2478. The deputy Clerk of Court, in his reply dated July 22, 1963,
informed Alcala that the case was decided on April 17, 1963, that a copy of the decision was received by
respondent attorney on April 19, 1963, and that since no appeal was taken, a writ of execution was issued
by the trial court on motion of the plaintiff Semenchuk.
On September 12, 1963, spouses Alcala instituted civil case 2723 for damages against Atty. Honesto de
Vera for having failed to inform them of the decision in case 2478 as a result of which they lost their right
to appeal from said decision. The trial court that heard case 2723 found for a fact that respondent did not
inform his clients of the decision rendered in case 2478; however, it denied damages for lack of proof that
the spouses Alcala suffered any damage as a result of respondent's failure to notify them of the aforesaid
decision. The judgment in case 2723 was appealed to the Court of Appeals 1 by respondent herein but the
same was affirmed by said appellate court.
Not content with having filed case 2723, complainants instituted this complaint for disbarment against
their former counsel.
1. "Indifference, loyalty, and lack of interest" of respondent in the handling of complainants' defense in
civil case 2478.
The basis of this particular charge is the alleged failure of Atty. de Vera to present at the trial of case 2478
certain documents which according to the complainants could have proven that lot 1880 actually existed,
to wit: a sketch of lot 1880 prepared by the vendee, Semenchuk, himself (Exh. L-Adm. Case); technical
description of lot 1880 taken from complainants' certificate of title (Exh. M-Adm. Case); sketch plan of lot
1880 in relation to the adjoining lots prepared by surveyor Miguel N. Romero (Exh. N-Adm Case); a receipt
for P10.00 issued by surveyor Romero for the preparation of the sketch, Exh. N (Exh. O-Adm. Case) all of
which documents were turned over by Jose Alcala to respondent before the trial of case 2478.
We agree with the Solicitor General that there is no merit to this particular charge.
The records of case 2478 show that upon agreement of the parties and their attorneys, the trial court
appointed a commissioner to relocate lot 1880 and after conducting such relocation, the commissioner
reported to the Courtthat the lot existed, but that the same was in the possession of other persons.
Inasmuch as the existence of lot 1880 had already been verified by the commissioner, it was therefore
unnecessary for respondent attorney to introduce in evidence Exhibits "L", "M", "N", and "O", the purpose
of which was merely to prove the existence of said lot. If the complaint for rescission prospered it was
because of complainant Alcala's failure to comply with his obligation of transferring the material or
physical possession of lot 1880 to the vendee and for no other reason; hence, complainants had nobody to
blame but themselves. The fact that the plaintiff, Semenchuk, was not awarded any damages, attorney's
fees, and costs shows that respondent attorney exerted his utmost to resist plaintiff's complaint.
2. Gross negligence and malpractice committed by respondent for failure to inform his clients of the
decision in case 2478:
The matter in dispute with respect to this specific charge is whether or not respondent notified his clients,
the complainants herein, about the decision in case 2478. Respondent claims that he did inform his clients
of the decision; complainants insist the contrary.
We agree with the Solicitor General that there is sufficient evidence on hand to prove that respondent
neglected to acquaint his clients of the decision in case 2478.
As stated in the Solicitor General's report, the reaction of complainant Jose Alcala when the writ of
execution in said civil case was served upon him and his wife by a sheriff was such that it betrayed a total
unawareness of the adverse decision. The evidence shows that when he was told about the sheriff's visit,

Jose Alcala immediately inquired from the trial Court the reason for the writ of execution and it was only
then that he was informed that a decision had been rendered, that his lawyer received a copy thereof since
April 19, 1963, and because no appeal was taken the judgment became final and executory. Alcala then
sought the help of his brother, Atty. Ernesto Alcala, in Manila and the latter wrote to respondent inquiring
as to what steps were taken, if any, to prosecute an appeal from the decision in question but respondent
chose not to answer the letter. Thereafter, Alcala instituted an action for damages and filed the instant
complaint for disbarment.
As aptly observed by the Solicitor General:
Again, we do not think petitioner Alcala would have felt so aggrieved and embittered by the
loss of his right to appeal the decision in Civil Case No. 2478 so as to take all these legal
steps against respondent, with all the attendant trouble and expense in doing so, if it is not
true, as he alleged, that the latter indeed did not notify him of said decision. We believe and
so submit, therefore, that respondent really failed to inform petitioners of the decision in
Civil Case No. 2478, and this was also the finding made by the Court of First Instance of
Albay in its decision in Civil Case No. 2723 for damages filed by petitioners against
respondent, and by the Court of Appeals in the appeal taken by respondent from said
decision. (pp. 38-39, rollo)
Is respondent's failure to notify his clients of the decision sufficient cause for his disbarment? Complainants
answer the question in the affirmative, while on the other hand, respondent prays that he be exonerated
because, according to him, granting arguendo that he failed to inform the complainants about the
decision, the truth is that said decision was fair and just and no damage was caused to complainants by
reason thereof.
On this point, We agree with the following appraisal of the evidence by the Solicitor General:
In this connection, it is indeed true that although both the Court of First Instance of Albay, in
Civil Case No. 2723 for damages filed by petitioners against respondent Atty. De Vera (pp.
30-34, Exh. "D", id.), and the Court of Appeals, in C.A.-G.R. No. 35267-R (the appeal taken by
respondent from the decision of the trial court in C.C. No. 2723), found that respondent
actually did not inform petitioners of the decision in Civil Case No. 2478, still both courts also
held that petitioners did not sustain any damages as a result of said decision, for which
reason the trial court dismissed petitioners' action for damages against respondent, which
dismissal was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. We quote the finding of the Court of First
Instance of Albay in its decision in Civil Case No. 2723 in this regard:
The second issue that has to be passed upon by the Court is neither the
plaintiffs are entitled to damages. On this issue, the Court finds that the
plaintiffs cannot recover damages from defendant Atty. Honesto de Vera. No
evidence has been presented that they sustained damages of the decision.
Neither it has been shown that the decision is not supported by the facts and
the law applicable to the case. Consequently, the plaintiffs are not entitled to
damages because of the failure of Atty. Honesto de Vera to inform them of the
decision.
"An attorney is not bound to exercise extraordinary diligence,
but only a reasonable degree of care and skill, having reference
to the character of the business he undertakes to do. Fallible
like any other human being, he is answerable to every error or
mistake, and will be protected as long as he acts honestly and
in good faith to the best of his skill and knowledge. Moreover, a

party seeking damages resulting from a judgment adverse to


him which became final by reason of the alleged fault or
negligence of his lawyer must prove his loss due to the injustice
of the decision. He cannot base his action on the
unsubstantiated and arbitrary supposition of the injustice of the
decision. (Tuzon vs. Donato, 58 O.G. 6480)."
(Exh. "D", id.; pp. 33-34)
Significantly, petitioners did not appeal from the above decision, which is an implied
acceptance by them of the correctness of the findings therein. Instead, it was respondent
Atty. De Vera who appealed said decision to the Court of Appeals (C.A.-G.R. No. 35267-R),
and the latter Court, although agreeing with the finding of the trial court that respondent
really did not inform petitioners of the decision in Civil Case No. 2478 (Exh. "T"), affirmed,
however, the lower court's finding that petitioners were not entitled to the damages claimed
by them by reason of respondent's failure to notify them of the decision in Civil Case No.
2478. ... While the rule of res judicata in civil or criminal cases is not, strictly speaking,
applicable in disbarment proceedings, which is neither a civil or a criminal proceeding
intended to punish a lawyer or afford redress to private grievances but is a proceeding sui
generis intended to safeguard the administration of justice by removing from the legal
profession a person who has proved himself unfit to exercise such trust (p. 207, Martin, Legal
and Judicial Ethics; Re Keenan, 86 ALR 679; De Jesus-Paras vs. Vailoces, Adm. Case No. 439,
April 12, 1961; In re Montague & Dominguez, 3 Phil. 577, 588), still we consider the findings
of the trial court as well as of the Court of Appeals in the damage, suit filed by petitioners
against respondent Atty. De Vera based on the same grounds now invoked in this disbarment
case relevant and highly persuasive in this case, especially as petitioners themselves have,
as already observed, accepted and admitted the correctness of said findings. And we may
add that we ourselves agree with respondent that petitioners had not been prejudiced or
damaged in any way by the decision in Civil Case No. 2478, but that said decision appears
in fact to be more favorable to them than could have been the case if the trial court had
applied the law strictly against them in said case, ... (pp. 17-19, Report. pp. 39-41, rollo;
emphasis supplied).
The Solicitor General's Report continues and says:
True it is that petitioners do not appear to have suffered any material or pecuniary damage
by the failure of respondent Atty. De Vera to notify them of the decision in Civil Case No.
2478. It is no less true, however, that in failing to inform his clients, the petitioners, of the
decision in said civil case, respondent failed to exercise "such skill, care, and diligence as
men of the legal profession commonly possess and exercise in such matters of professional
employment" (7 C.J.S. 979). The relationship of lawyer-client being one of confidence, there
is ever present the need for the client's being adequately and fully informed and should not
be left in the dark as to the mode and manner in which his interests are being defended. It is
only thus that their faith in counsel may remain unimpaired (Oparel, Sr. vs. Aberia Adm.
Case No. 595, July 30, 1971). As it happened in this case, because of respondent's failure to
notify petitioners of the decision in Civil Case No. 2478, the latter were entirely caught by
surprise, resulting in shock and mental and emotional disturbance to them, when the sheriff
suddenly showed up in their home with a writ of execution of a judgment that they never
knew had been rendered in the case, since their lawyer, the respondent, had totally failed to
inform them about the same. ... (pp. 23-24, Report, pp. 45-46, rollo; emphasis supplied).
We concur with the above-quoted observations and add that the correctness of the decision in case 2478 is
no ground for exonerating respondent of the charge but at most will serve only to mitigate his liability.

While there is no finding of malice, deceit, or deliberate intent to cause damage to his clients, there is,
nonetheless, proof of negligence, inattention, and carelessness on the part of respondent in his failure to
give timely notice of the decision in question. Fortunately for respondent, his negligence did not result in
any material or pecuniary damage to the herein complainants and for this reason We are not disposed to
impose upon him what may be considered in a lawyer's career as the extreme penalty of disbarment. As
stated in the very early case of In Re Macdougall:
The disbarment of an attorney is not intended as a punishment, but is rather intended to
protect the administration of justice by requiring that those who exercise this important
function shall be competent, honorable, and reliable; men in whom courts and clients may
repose confidence. This purpose should be borne in mind in the exercise of disbarment, and
the power should be exercised with that caution which the serious consequences of the
action involves.
The profession of an attorney is acquired after long and laborious study. It is a lifetime
profession. By years of patience, zeal, and ability, the attorney may have acquired a fixed
means of support for himself and family of great pecuniary value, and the deprivation of
which would result in irreparable injury. (3 Phil. 70, 77-78)
In the words of former Chief Justice Marshall of the United States Court:
On one hand, the profession of an attorney is of great importance to an individual and the
prosperity of his whole life may depend on its exercise. The right to exercise it ought not to
be lightly or capriciously taken from him. On the other, it is extremely that the respectability
of the bar should be maintained and that its harmony with the bench should be preserved.
For these objects, some controlling power, some discretion, ought to reside in the Court. This
discretion, ought to be exercised with great moderation and judgment; but it must be
exercised. (Ex parte Burr. 9 Wheat 529; Martin, Legal & Judicial Ethics 1972 Ed. p. 213.)
Although respondent's negligence does not warrant disbarment or suspension under the circumstances of
the case, nonetheless it cannot escape a rebuke from Us as we hereby rebuke and censure him,
considering that his failure to notify his clients of the decision in question manifests a lack of total
dedication or devotion to their interest expected of him under his lawyer's oath and the Canons of
Professional Ethics. Respondent's inaction merits a severe censure from the Court.
WHEREFORE, on the basis of the evidence, the report and recommendation of the Solicitor General, and
the fact that this appears to be the first misconduct of respondent in the exercise of his legal profession,
We hereby hold said respondent GUILTY only of simple negligence in the performance of his duties as a
lawyer of complainants, and We hereby SEVERELY CENSURE him. Let this decision be noted in respondent's
record as a member of the Bar in this Court.

DIGEST:
Fact: Jose Alcala engaged the services of Atty. Honesto De Vera to defend him in a civil case.
On April 17, 1963, the court rendered a decision against Alcala.
On April 19, 1963, Atty. De Vera received a copy of the adverse decision. Atty. De Vera failed to inform
Alcala about the adverse decision.

On July 17, 1963, the court sheriff went to Alcala to serve a writ of execution. That was the only time when
Alcala learned that he lost. And because of Atty. De Veras failure to inform him of the adverse decision, the
period within which Alcala can appeal his case had already lapsed.
As a result, in September 1963, Alcala filed a civil case against Atty. De Vera in order to collect damages as
he averred that he sustained damages due to Atty. De Veras negligence. The court however ruled that
Alcala is not entitled to damages.
Unfettered, Alcala filed a disbarment case against Atty. De Vera.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. De Vera should be disbarred because of his failure to update his client of the
status of the case.
HELD: No. Disbarment is not warranted in this case. It is true that Atty. De Vera had been remiss in his
duties as counsel for Alcala because he failed to update him of the status of the case, however, it appears
that Alcala did not sustain any damage by reason of such negligence. But this is not to say that Atty. De
Vera can go scot-free. The lack of damage to Alcala will only serve as a mitigating circumstance. The
Supreme Court found Atty. De Vera guilty of simple negligence and he was severely censured for his
negligence. Atty. De Veras failure to notify his clients of the decision in question manifests a lack of total
dedication or devotion to the clients interest expected of Atty. De Vera under the lawyers oath.
In this case, it can also be gleaned that not all negligence by counsel entitles the client to collect damages
from the negligent lawyer.

13. Catimbuhan VS Cruz 126 SCRA 190 (1983)


G.R. No. L-51813-14 November 29, 1983

ROMULO CANTIMBUHAN, NELSON B. MALANA, and ROBERT V. LUCILA, petitioners,


vs.
HON. NICANOR J. CRUZ, JR., Presiding Judge of the Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro
Manila, and FISCAL LEODEGARIO C. QUILATAN, respondents.
Froilan M. Bacungan and Alfredo F. Tadiar for petitioners.
The Solicitor General for respondents.
RELOVA, J.:+.wph!1
Appeal from the Order, dated August 16, 1979, of respondent Judge Nicanor J. Cruz, Jr., of the then
Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila, disallowing the appearances of petitioners Nelson B. Malana
and Robert V. Lucila as private prosecutors in Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 and 58550, both for less serious
physical injuries, filed against Pat. Danilo San Antonio and Pat. Rodolfo Diaz, respectively, as well as the
Order, dated September 4, 1979, denying the motion for reconsideration holding, among others, that "the
fiscal's claim that appearances of friends of party-litigants should be allowed only in places where there is
a scarcity of legal practitioner, to be well founded. For, if we are to allow non-members of the bar to appear
in court and prosecute cases or defend litigants in the guise of being friends of the litigants, then the
requirement of membership in the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the additional requirement of
paying professional taxes for a lawyer to appear in court, would be put to naught. " (p. 25, Rollo)

Records show that on April 6, 1979, petitioner Romulo Cantimbuhan filed separate criminal complaints
against Patrolmen Danilo San Antonio and Rodolfo Diaz for less serious physical injuries, respectively, and
were docketed as Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 and 58550 in the then Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro
Manila.
Petitioners Nelson B. Malana and Robert V. Lucila, in 1979, were senior law students of the U.P.assistance
to the needy clients in the Office of the Legal Aid. Thus, in August 1979, petitioners Malana and Lucila filed
their separate appearances, as friends of complainant-petitioner Cantimbuhan. Herein respondent Fiscal
Leodegario C. Quilatan opposed the appearances of said petitioners, and respondent judge, in an Order
dated August 16, 1979, sustained the respondent fiscal and disallowed the appearances of petitioners
Malana and Lucila, as private prosecutors in said criminal cases. Likewise, on September 4, 1979,
respondent Judge issued an order denying petitioners' motion for reconsideration.
Hence, this petition for certiorari, mandamus and prohibition with prayers, among others, that the Orders
of respondent judge, dated August 16, 1979 and September 4, 1979, be set aside as they are in plain
violation of Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court and/or were issued with grave abuse of discretion
amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Upon motion, the Court, on November 8, 1979, issued a temporary
restraining order "enjoining respondent judge and all persons acting for and in his behalf from conducting
any proceedings in Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 (People of the Philippines vs. Danilo San Antonio) and 58559
(People of the Philippines vs. Rodolfo Diaz) of the Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila on November
15, 1979 as scheduled or on any such dates as may be fixed by said respondent judge.
Basis of this petition is Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court which states: t.hqw
SEC. 34. By whom litigation conducted. In the court of a justice of the peace a party may
conduct his litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that
purpose, or with the aid of an attorney. In any other court, a party may conduct his litigation
personally or by aid of an attorney, and his appearance must be either personal or by a duly
authorized member of the bar.
Thus, a non-member of the Philippine Bar a party to an action is authorized to appear in court and
conduct his own case; and, in the inferior courts, the litigant may be aided by a friend or agent or by an
attorney. However, in the Courts of First Instance, now Regional Trial Courts, he can be aided only by an
attorney.
On the other hand, it is the submission of the respondents that pursuant to Sections 4 and 15, Rule 110 of
the Rules of Court, it is the fiscal who is empowered to determine who shall be the private prosecutor as
was done by respondent fiscal when he objected to the appearances of petitioners Malana and Lucila.
Sections 4 and 15, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court provide: t.hqw
SEC. 4. Who must prosecute criminal actions. All criminal actions either commenced by
complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal.
xxx xxx xxx
SEC. 15. Intervention of the offended party in criminal action. Unless the offended party
has waived the civil action or expressly reserved the right to institute it separately from the
criminal action, and subject to the provisions of section 4 hereof, he may intervene,
personally or by attorney, in the prosecution of the offense.
And, they contend that the exercise by the offended party to intervene is subject to the direction and
control of the fiscal and that his appearance, no less than his active conduct of the case later on, requires
the prior approval of the fiscal.

We find merit in the petition. Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court, clearly provides that in the
municipal court a party may conduct his litigation in person with the aid of an agent appointed by him for
the purpose. Thus, in the case of Laput vs. Bernabe, 55 Phil. 621, a law student was allowed to represent
the accused in a case pending before the then Municipal Court, the City Court of Manila, who was charged
for damages to property through reckless imprudence. "It is accordingly our view that error was committed
in the municipal court in not allowing Crispiniano V. Laput to act as an agent or friend of Catalino Salas to
aid the latter in conducting his defense." The permission of the fiscal is not necessary for one to enter his
appearance as private prosecutor. In the first place, the law does not impose this condition. What the fiscal
can do, if he wants to handle the case personally is to disallow the private prosecutor's participation,
whether he be a lawyer or not, in the trial of the case. On the other hand, if the fiscal desires the active
participation of the private prosecutor, he can just manifest to the court that the private prosecutor, with
its approval, will conduct the prosecution of the case under his supervision and control. Further, We may
add that if a non-lawyer can appear as defense counsel or as friend of the accused in a case before the
municipal trial court, with more reason should he be allowed to appear as private prosecutor under the
supervision and control of the trial fiscal.
In the two criminal cases filed before the Municipal Court of Paraaque, petitioner Cantimbuhan, as the
offended party, did not expressly waive the civil action nor reserve his right to institute it separately and,
therefore, the civil action is deemed impliedly instituted in said criminal cases. Thus, said complainant
Romulo Cantimbuhan has personal interest in the success of the civil action and, in the prosecution of the
same, he cannot be deprived of his right to be assisted by a friend who is not a lawyer.
WHEREFORE, the Orders issued by respondent judge dated August 16, 1979 and September 4, 1979 which
disallowed the appearances of petitioners Nelson B. Malana and Robert V. Lucila as friends of party-litigant
petitioner Romulo Cantimbuhan. are hereby SET ASIDE and respondent judge is hereby ordered to ALLOW
the appearance and intervention of petitioners Malana and Lucila as friends of Romulo Cantimbuhan.
Accordingly, the temporary restraining order issued on November 8, 1979 is LIFTED.
SO ORDERED.1wph1.t
Fernando, C.J., Makasiar, Concepcion Jr., Guerrero, Abad Santos, Plana, Escolin and Gutierrez, Jr., JJ., concur.
Separate Opinions
AQUINO, J., dissenting:
Senior law students should study their lessons anti prepare for the bar. They have no business appearing in
court.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., dissenting:
Section 34, Rule 138 of the Rules of Court specifically provides that it is "a party" who may conduct his
litigation in person, with the aid of an agent or friend appointed by him for that purpose in the Court of a
Justice of the Peace. Romulo Cantimbuhan, as the complaining witness in Criminal Cases Nos. 58549 and
58550 of the then Municipal Court of Paraaque, Metro Manila, is not a "party" within the meaning of the
said Rule. The parties in a criminal case are the accused and the People. A complaining witness or an
offended party only intervene in a criminal action in respect of the civil liability. The case of Laput
and Salas vs. Bernabe, 55 Phil. 621, is authority only in respect of the accused, as a "party", in a criminal
case.
Sections 4 and 15, Rule 110 of the Rules of Court, being the more specific provisions in respect of criminal
cases, should take precedence over Section 34, Rule 138 and should be controlling (Bagatsing vs. Hon.
Ramirez, 74 SCRA 306 [1976]). Section 4 provides that all criminal actions shall be prosecuted under the

direction and control of the Fiscal, while Section 15 specifically provides that the offended
party may intervene, personally or by attorney, in the prosecution of the offense.
I vote, therefore, to uphold the Order of respondent Municipal Judge, dated August 16, 1979, disallowing
the appearances of petitioners as private prosecutors in the abovementioned criminal cases. Orders set
aside.
Fernando, C.J., Makasiar, Concepcion, Jr., Guerrero, Abad Santos, Plana, Escolin and Gutierrez, Jr., JJ.,
concur.

DIGEST: X

14. Hydro Resources Contractors Corp. VS Pagalilauan 172


SCRA 399
G.R. No. L-62909 April 18, 1989

HYDRO RESOURCES CONTRACTORS CORPORATION, petitioner,


vs.
LABOR ARBITER ADRIAN N. PAGALILAUAN and the NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS
COMMISSION, public respondents, and ROGELIO A. ABAN, private respondent,
G.E. Aragones & Associates for petitioner.
The Solicitor General for public respondents.
Cirilo A. Bravo for private respondent.

GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:


This is a petition to review on certiorari the resolution of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC)
which affirmed the labor arbiter's decision ordering herein petitioner, Hydro Resources Contractors
Corporation to reinstate Rogelio A. Abanto his former position without loss of seniority rights, to pay him 12
months backwages in the amount of P18,000.00 and to pay attorney's fees in the amount of P1,800.00.
On October 24, 1978, petitioner corporation hired the private respondent Aban as its "Legal Assistant." He
received a basic monthly salary of Pl,500.00 plus an initial living allowance of P50.00 which gradually
increased to P320.00.
On September 4, 1980, Aban received a letter from the corporation informing him that he would be
considered terminated effective October 4, 1980 because of his alleged failure to perform his duties well.
On October 6, 1980, Aban filed a complaint against the petitioner for illegal dismissal.
The labor arbiter ruled that Aban was illegally dismissed.
This ruling was affirmed by the NLRC on appeal.
Hence, this present petition.

The only issue raised by the petitioner is whether or not there was an employer-employee relationship
between the petitioner corporation and Aban. The petitioner questions the jurisdiction of the public
respondents considering the alleged absence of an employer-employee relationship. The petitioner
contends that its relationship with Aban is that of a client with his lawyer. It is its position that "(a) lawyer
as long as he is acting as such, as long as he is performing acts constituting practice of law, can never be
considered an employee. His relationship with those to whom he renders services, as such lawyer, can
never be governed by the labor laws. For a lawyer to so argue is not only demeaning to himself (sic), but
also his profession and to his brothers in the profession." Thus, the petitioner argues that the labor arbiter
and NLRC have no jurisdiction over the instant case.
The contention is without merit.
A lawyer, like any other professional, may very well be an employee of a private corporation or even of the
government. It is not unusual for a big corporation to hire a staff of lawyers as its in-house counsel, pay
them regular salaries, rank them in its table of organization, and otherwise treat them like its other officers
and employees. At the same time, it may also contract with a law firm to act as outside counsel on a
retainer basis. The two classes of lawyers often work closely together but one group is made up of
employees while the other is not. A similar arrangement may exist as to doctors, nurses, dentists, public
relations practitioners, and other professionals.
This Court is not without a guide in deciding whether or not an employer-employee relation exists between
the contending parties or whether or not the private respondent was hired on a retainer basis.
As stated in the case of Tabas v. California Manufacturing Co., (G.R. No. 80680, January 26, 1989):
This Court has consistently ruled that the determination of whether or not there is an
employer-employee relation depends upon four standards: (1) the manner of selection and
engagement of the putative employee; (2) the mode of payment of wages; (3) the presence
or absence of a power of dismissal; and (4) the presence or absence of a power to control
the putative employee's conduct. Of the four, the right-of-control test has been held to be
the decisive factor.
Aban was employed by the petitioner to be its Legal Assistant as evidenced by his appointment paper
(Exhibit "A"). The petitioner paid him a basic salary plus living allowance. Thereafter, Aban was dismissed
on his alleged failure to perform his duties well. (Exhibit "B").
Aban worked solely for the petitioner and dealt only with legal matters involving the said corporation and
its employees. He also assisted the Personnel Officer in processing appointment papers of employees. This
latter duty is not an act of a lawyer in the exercise of his profession but rather a duty for the benefit of the
corporation.
The above-mentioned facts show that the petitioner paid Aban's wages, exercised its power to hire and fire
the respondent employee and more important, exercised control over Aban by defining the duties and
functions of his work.
Moreover, estoppel lies against the petitioner. It may no longer question the jurisdiction of the labor arbiter
and NLRC .
The petitioner presented documents (Exhibits "2" to "19") before the Labor Arbiter to prove that Aban was
a managerial employee. Now, it is disclaiming that Aban was ever its employee. The proper procedure was
for the petitioner to prove its allegations that Aban drank heavily, violated company policies, spent
company funds and properties for personal ends, and otherwise led the employer to lose trust and
confidence in him. The real issue was due process, not the specious argument raised in this petition.

The new theory presented before this Court is a last-ditch effort by the petitioner to cover up for the
unwarranted dismissal of its employee. This Court frowns upon such delaying tactics.
The findings of fact of the Labor Arbiter being supported by substantial evidence are binding on this Court.
(See Industrial limber Corp. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 83616, January 20, 1989).
Considering that the private respondent was illegally dismissed from his employment in 1980, he is
entitled to reinstatement to his former or similar position without loss of seniority rights, if it is still feasible,
to backwages without qualification or deduction for three years, (D.M. Consunji, Inc. v. Pucan 159 SCRA
107 (1988); Flores v. Nuestro, G.R. No. 66890, April 15, 1988), and to reasonable attorney's fees in the
amount of P5,000.00. Should reinstatement prove no longer feasible, the petitioner will pay him separation
pay in lieu of reinstatement. (City Trust Finance Corp. v. NLRC, 157 SCRA 87; Santos v. NLRC, 154 SCRA
166; Metro Drug v. NLRC, et al., 143 SCRA 132; Luzon Brokerage v. Luzon Labor Union, 7 SCRA 116). The
amount of such separation pay as may be provided by law or the collective bargaining agreement is to be
computed based on the period from 24 October 1978 (date of first employment) to 4 October 1983 (three
years after date of illegal dismissal). [Manila Midtown Commercial Corporation v. Nuwhrain 159 SCRA 212
(1988)].
WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. The petitioner is ordered to reinstate the
private respondent to his former or a similar position without loss of seniority rights and to pay three (3)
years backwages without qualification or deduction and P5,000.00 in attorney's fees. Should reinstatement
not be feasible, the petitioner shall pay the private respondent termination benefits in addition to the
above stated three years backpay and P5,000.00 attorney's fees.

DIGEST:
FACTS: Petitioner corporation hired the private respondentAban as its "Legal Assistant and received
basicmonthly salary of Pl,500.00 plus an initial livingallowance of P50.00 which gradually increased toP!0.00. n
#eptember $, %&'0, Aban received a letterfrom the corporation informing him that he would beconsidered terminated
effective ctober $, %&'0because of his alleged failure to perform his dutieswell.Aban filed a complaint against the
petitioner for illegaldismissal. (he labor arbiter ruled that Aban wasillegally dismissed. (his ruling was affirmed by the)L*+
on appeal. ence, this present petition.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was an employeremployeerelationship between the petitioner corporation
andAban.
HELD: The Supreme Court dismissed the petition for lac/ ofmerit, and reinstate Aban to his former or a
similarposition without loss of seniority rights and to pay three 1 years bac/wages without 2ualification ordeduction and
P5,000.00 in attorney3s fees. #houldreinstatement not be feasible, the petitioner shall paythe private respondent
termination benefits in additionto the above stated three years bac/pay and P5,000.00attorney3s fees.A lawyer,
li/e any other professional, may very well bean employee of a private corporation or even of thegovernment. (his
+ourt has consistently ruled that thedetermination of whether or not there is an employeremployee relation
depends upon four standards4 %1the manner of selection and engagement of theputative employee !1
the mode of payment of wages1 the presence or absence of a power of dismissaland $1 the presence or
absence of a power to controlthe putative employee3s conduct. f the four, the rightofcontrol test has been
held to be the decisive factor.6n this case, Aban received basic salary plus livingallowance, wor/ed solely for the
petitioner, dealt onlywith legal matters involving the said corporation andits employees and also assisted the Personnel
fficerin processing appointment papers of employees whichis not act of a lawyer in the e7ercise of his profession. (hese
facts showed that petitioner has the power tohire and fire the respondent employee and moreimportant, e7ercised
control over Aban by defining theduties and functions of his wor/ which met the fourstandards in determining whether or
not there is anemployeeemployer relationship.

15. Ramos VS Rada 65 SCRA 179 (1975)


A.M. No. 202 July 22, 1975

RENE P. RAMOS, complainant,


vs.
MOISES R. RADA, respondent.
CASTRO, J.:
Moises R. Rada a messenger in the Court of First Instance of Camarines Norte, Branch II, is charged with a
violation of Section 12 of Civil Service Rule XVIII, which provides as follows:
Sec. 12. No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business, vocation, or
profession or be connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural or industrial
undertaking without a written permission from the head of Department: Provided, That this
prohibition will be absolute in the case of those officers and employees whose duties and
responsibilities require that their entire time be at the disposal of the Government:....
From the respondent Rada's letters of explanation and their annexes, dated December 16, 1973 and June
27, 1974, respectively, and the letter and its annexes, dated August 12, 1974, filed by the complainant
Rene P. Ramos, by way of rejoinder to Rada's explanation, undisputed fundamental facts emerge that
justify us in dispensing with a full-blown investigation of this administrative case.
The respondent Rada receives a monthly salary of P267.75. On December 15, 1972 he was extended an
appointment by the Avesco Marketing Corporation, thru its president, Jimmy Tang, as representative to
manage and supervise real properties situated in Camarines Norte which were foreclosed by the
corporation. Rada accepted the appointment and discharged his duties as administrator. The
administrative complaint against Rada was filed with the Department of Justice on October 3, 1973. He
requested permission to accept the appointment on October 27, 1973. It is not indicated that his
acceptance and discharge of the duties of the position of administrator has at all impaired his efficiency as
messenger; nor has it been shown that he did not observe regular office hours.
Indubitably, therefore, Rada has violated the civil service rule prohibiting government employees from
engaging directly in a private business, vocation or profession or being connected with any commercial,
credit, agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission from the head of the Department.
But, indubitably, also, his private business connection has not resulted in any prejudice to the Government
service. Thus, his violation of the rule the lack of prior permission is a technical one, and he should be
meted no more than the minimum imposable penalty, which is reprimand.
The duties of messenger Rada are generally ministerial which do not require that his entire day of 24 hours
be at the disposal of the Government. Such being his situation, it would be to stifle his willingness to apply
himself to a productive endeavor to augment his income, and to award a premium for slothfulness if he
were to be banned from engaging in or being connected with a private undertaking outside of office hours
and without foreseeable detriment to the Government service. His connection with Avesco Marketing
Corporation need not be terminated, but he must secure a written permission from the Executive Judge of
the Court of First Instance of Camarines Norte, who is hereby authorized to grant or revoke such
permission, under such terms and conditions as will safeguard the best interests of the service, in general,
and the court, in particular.
ACCORDINGLY, the respondent Moises R. Rada is adjudged guilty of a technical violation of Section 12 of
Civil Service Rule XVIII, for which he is hereby reprimanded. He may however apply, if he so desires, for
permission to resume his business connection with the corporation, in the manner above indicated.

DIGEST:
Facts: Moises R. Rada is a messenger in the Court of First Instance of Camarines, Norte

He was charged with violation of Section 12 of Civil Service Rule XVIII, which provides as follows:
Sec.12. No officer or employee shall engage directly in any private business, vocation, or profession or be
connected with any commercial, credit, agricultural or industrial undertaking without a written permission
from the head of Department: Provided, that this prohibition will be absolute in the case of those officers
and employees whose duties and responsibilities require that their entire time be at the disposal of the
government
Respondent Rada was extended appointment by the Avesco Marketing Corporation on December 15, 1972
as representative to manage and supervise real properties situated in Camarines Norte which were
foreclosed by the corporation.
His acceptance of such appointment was the basis of the administrative complaint against Rada which was
filed with the Department of Justice on October 3, 1973.
Later, on October 27, 1973, Rada requested permission to accept appointment.
It was not indicated that his acceptance and discharge of the duties as administrator has at all impaired his
efficiency as messenger, nor has it been shown that he did not observe regular office hours.
Issue: Whether respondent Rada is guilty of violation of sec.12 of Civil Service Rule XVIII
Held: Rada was adjudged guilty of technical violation (lack of prior permission) of Sec 12 of Civil Service
Rule XVIII and meted a penalty of reprimand.
The duties of messenger Rada are generally ministerial which do not require that his entire day of 24 hours
be at the disposal of the government. Such being his situation, it would be to stifle his willingness to apply
himself to a productive endeavor to augment his income, and to award premium for slothfulness if he were
to be banned from engaging in or being connected with a private undertaking outside of office hours and
without forseeable detriment to the Government service.
His connection with Avesco Marketing Corporation need not be terminated, but he must secure a written
permission from proper government authority.

16. Beltran VS Elaio Abad 132 SCRA 453 (1984)


Bar Matter No. 139 October 11, 1984
RE: ELMO S. ABAD, 1978 Successful Bar Examinee, ATTY. PROCOPIO S. BELTRAN, JR., President
of the Philippine Trial Lawyers Association. Inc., complainant,
vs.
ELMO S. ABAD, respondent.
ABAD SANTOS, J.:
On March 28, 1983, this Court held respondent ELMO S. ABAD in contempt of court for unauthorized
practice of law and he was fined P500.00 with subsidiary imprisonment in case he failed to pay the fine.
(121 SCRA 217.) He paid the fine.
On May 5, 1983, Atty. Procopio S. Beltran, Jr., the complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL
METRO MANILA COURTS THE FACT THAT ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW.
Asked to comment on the Motion, Mr. Abad opposed it. He denied the allegations in the Motion that he had
been practicing law even after our Decision of March 28, 1983.

Because the Motion and the Opposition raised a question of fact, in Our resolution of April 10, 1984, We
directed "the Clerk of Court to conduct an investigation in the premises and submit a report thereon with
appropriate recommendation."
In a comprehensive and well-documented Report which is hereby made a part of this Resolution, the Clerk
of Court concluded:
The aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI,
have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of this
Court of March 28, 1983.
The Clerk of Court makes the following recommendations:
a. imposed a fine of P2,000.00 payable within ten (10) days from receipt of
this resolution or an imprisonment of twenty (20) days in case of non-payment
thereof, with warning of drastic disciplinary action of imprisonment in case of
any further practice of law after receipt of this resolution; and
b. debarred from admission to the Philippine Bar until such time that the Court
finds him fit to become such a member.
It is further recommended that a circular be issued to all courts in the Philippines through
the Office of the Court Administrator that respondent Elmo S. Abad has not been admitted to
the Philippine Bar and is therefore not authorized to practice law.
We find the Report to be in order and its recommendations to be well-taken. However, the latter are not
sufficiently adequate in dealing with the improper activities of the respondent.
The Report has found as a fact, over the denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed Exhibits B, C,
and D, and that he made appearances in Metro Manila courts. This aspect opens the respondent to a
charge for perjury.
The Report also reveals that Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels for
Antonio S. Maravilla one of the accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of the Regional
Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to account for his association with the
respondent.
WHEREFORE, Elmo S. Abad is hereby ordered to pay a fine of P12,000.00 within ten (10) days from notice,
failing which he shall be imprisoned for twenty (20) days. He is also warned that if he persists in the
unauthorized practice of law he shall be dealt with more severely.
The Court Administrator is directed to circularize all courts in the country that the respondent has not been
authorized to practice law. A copy of the circular should be sent to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.
The Clerk of Court is directed to file with the City Fiscal of Manila an appropriate complaint for false
testimony against the respondent.
Finally, Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe is required to explain within ten (10) days from notice why he should not be
disciplined for collaborating and associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is not a
member of the bar.
SO ORDERED.
Teehankee, Actg. C.J., Makasiar, Aquino, Melencio-Herrera, Plana, Escolin, Relova, Gutierrez, Jr., De la
Fuente and Cuevas, JJ., concur.
Guerrero, J., took no part.

Fernando, C.J. and Concepcion, Jr., JJ., are on leave.


Concepcion, Jr., J., on leave.
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
RE: Bar Matter No. 139
Elmo S. Abad, 1978 Successful
Bar Examinees
This report is submitted in compliance with the resolution of April 10, 1984.
In the En Banc decision of March 28, 1983 in the above-entitled case, the Court found respondent Elmo S.
Abad, who passed the 1978 Bar examinations but has not been admitted to the Philippine Bar, in contempt
of Court for illegal practice of law, and imposed upon him a fine of P500.00. Respondent paid the fine on
May 2, 1983.
On May 5, 1983 complainant filed a motion to circularize to all Metro Manila courts the fact that
respondent is not authorized to practice law. The Court in its resolution of May 26, 1983 required
respondent to comment on the said motion. Respondent filed "Opposition to Motion and Manifestation"
which was noted in the resolution of June 30, 1983.
The complainant on March 14, 1984 reiterated his motion to circularize to all Metro Manila courts that
respondent is not authorized to practice law, with prayer that the latter be punished with greater severity.
He stated that "Mr. Abad is still practicing law as evidenced by the fact that last December 8, 1983 at
about 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Abad appeared before the Regional Trial Court, National Capital
Judicial Region, Branch 100 located at the 11th Floor, City Hall, Quezon City presided by the Honorable
Judge Jorge C. Macli-ing that Mr. Abad appeared as counsel for a certain Caroline T. Velez in Criminal Case
Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 entitled People of the Philippines vs. Maravilla, et al. Mr. Abad even cited in
the pleading his Professional Tax Receipt to prove that he is a licensed legal practitioner which isutterly
false. Mr. Abad gave his address as Ruben A. Jacobe & Associates, Ground Floor, ADC Building, Ayala
Avenue, Makati, Metro Manila."
Respondent filed an "Opposition to Motion" denying the complainant's allegation, to wit:
4. ... respondent is not presenting himself to the general public as a Practicing Lawyer like
what Atty. Procopio S. Beltran insists to the Honorable Court;
5. That this motion is motivated by Atty. Beltran's personal desire to inflict malice and
oppression upon the respondent who even until now does not accede to the terms and
conditions of the former in connection with several cases filed against him by the said Atty.
Beltran;
6. Respondent respectfully submits that Atty. Beltran is trying his very best to harass the
respondent under the guise of conducting a Crusade personally with the end in view that
respondent submit to his ill-desires and veiled threats and finally come into terms with him.
In the hearings conducted by the undersigned, to prove the allegations in his motion, complainant
presented the records in Criminal Cases Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086, entitled "People of the Philippines
vs. Antonio S. Maravilla, Jr., et al." of Branch 100, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City, which were brought to
this Court and Identified by Atty. Candido A. Domingo, Clerk of Court of said trial court, and marked by the
undersigned as the following exhibits:
1. Transcript of stenographic notes taken down during the initial trial of the aforesaid criminal cases on
December 8, 1983, at 1:30 in the afternoon (Exhibit "A") where it is stated that Atty. Elmo Abad was
counsel for Juan del Gallego III (Exhibit "A-1");

2. Urgent motion for withdrawal from custody of motor vehicle filed for Caroline T. Velez by Elmo Abad
(Exhibit "B") with his name and signature appearing therein as counsel for the said movant (E exhibit "B1");
3. Page 4 of aforesaid motion (Exhibit "C") with the name and signature of Elmo Abad appearing therein as
submitting the aforesaid motion for consideration of the trial court (Exhibit "C-1");
4. Urgent motion for deferment of arraignment and trial filed for accused Antonio S. Maravilla, assisted by
counsel Ruben A. Jacobe with Elmo Abad (Exhibit "D"), with the names and signatures of Elmo Abad and
Ruben A. Jacobe appearing as counsel for the accused movant Antonio S. Maravilla (Exhibit "D-1");
5. Also page 3 of the aforesaid motion for deferment of arraignment and trial where the name and
signature of Elmo Abad, together with those of Ruben A. Jacobe, appear as submitting the aforesaid motion
for the consideration and approval of the trial court (Exhibit "D-2"); and
6. Order of Judge Jorge C. Macli-ing dated July 26, 1983 Exhibit "E") wherein on page 1 thereof appears the
statement that the urgent motion for deferment of arraignment and trial and the urgent motion for
withdrawal from court of motor vehicle were filed by "Atty. Elmo Abad (Exhibit "E-1").
Complainant also presented Exhibit "F", his letter to the branch Clerk of Court, Branch 100, Regional Trial
Court, Quezon City requesting for certification that Mr. Abad had appeared as counsel for a certain Ma.
Caroline T. Velez in the case entitled People vs. Maravilla, et al., with Exhibit "F-1" to indicate that said
Clerk of Court was the addressee of the said letter.
After the original of the above records were presented to and marked as exhibits by the Investigator, the
same were xeroxed and the xerox copies were certified by Atty. Candido Domingo, Clerk of Court of Branch
100, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City.
Complainant also testified that on December 8, 1983 he was at the 11th floor of the Quezon City Regional
Trial Court NCJR, Branch 100, Quezon City and saw respondent Abad pass by in coat and tie and because
he knew that Mr. Abad is a respondent in a case before the Supreme Court and had been declared as a
non-lawyer in its decision of March 28, 1983, he (complainant) got curious and followed respondent and
saw the latter enter the sala of Branch 100 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City; that he saw him
there and after about twenty minutes when he went back to the same sala, he saw respondent in the place
of the said court where the lawyers were supposed to be seated; that some days after, he went back to the
said sala and inspected the records of the criminal cases numbered 26084, 26085 and 26086,* which are
the subject matters of the certification of the Clerk of Court, Atty. Domingo, before the Investigator (TSN,
May 26, 1984, pp. 24-26).
Mrs. Eufrocina B. Ison the Court Reporter who took down and transcribed the stenographic notes of the
proceedings in the afternoon of December 8, 1983 in the said criminal cases in the aforesaid trial court,
appeared before the undersigned Investigator and positively Identified respondent Elmo Abad as the Atty.
Elmo Abad who appeared as counsel for Juan del Gallego III in the aforesaid proceedings that afternoon of
December 8, 1983 (pp. 1 & 2, TSN, May 11, 1984). She furthermore testified that she has no reason to be
interested in this case in Identifying respondent Abad as the one who appeared in said court on said
afternoon of December 8, 1983 (pp. 19-20, TSN, May 11, 1984).
Respondent, when asked about the aforesaid motions, Exhibits "B" and "D", and the signatures therein,
denied that he filed the same and that the signatures therein are his. He also denied that he appeared in
the hearing in the afternoon of December 8, 1983 in the said trial court. According to him, he was in
Batangas at the time. He also testified that the only explanation he could give regarding the signatures in
the aforesaid exhibits is that the same could have been effected by Atty. Beltran to show the Supreme
Court that he (respondent) was still illegally practicing law.
In connection with his defense, he filed
(1) a motion to present the video tape to show his whereabouts at the time of the said hearing in the
afternoon of December 8, 1983 in Branch 100, Regional Trial Court, Quezon City; and

(2) a motion that his signature in the aforesaid motions filed in the said trial court in said criminal cases be
compared with his genuine signature.
The Investigator orally denied respondent's motion to present the video tape for the reason that the
matter intended to be proved thereby, that is the time of day, cannot be accurately determined from the
film as the same could be doctored by lighting effects (p. 16, TSN, May 11, 1984).
As to the motion for examination and analysis of respondent's signature, the Investigator, to afford
respondent full opportunity to prove his defense, sought the assistance of the National Bureau of
Investigation to compare respondent's signature in the aforesaid exhibits with the signatures appearing in
the pleadings that he filed in the Supreme Court, which latter signature he admits as genuine and as his
own.
On August 7, 1984, the National Bureau of Investigation submitted its report regarding the questioned
signatures of respondent. Quoted hereunder are its findings and conclusion:
Findings: Comparative examination of the specimens, under magnification and stereoscopic
microscope, with the aid of photographic enlargements, reveals that there exist
fundamental, significant similarities in writing characteristics and Identifying details between
the questioned and the standard signatures ELMO S. ABAD, such as in:
1. Structural formation of the elements of the signatures
2. Proportion characteristics
3. Movement impulses
4. Direction of strokes
5. Manner of execution which is free, spontaneous and coordinated.
CONCLUSION: The questioned and the standard signatures ELMO S. ABAD were written by
one and the same person.
The aforesaid documentary and testimonial evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI, have clearly
proved that respondent Abad is still practicing law despite the decision of this Court of March 28, 1983.
Moreover, the Investigator, thru the Office of the Court Administrator, requested the Metro Manila courts to
inform said Office if a certain Atty. Elmo Abad is appearing or has appeared in their courts. In response to
said query, the Branch Clerk of Court, Branch XCIV, Quezon City sent to the undersigned certified xerox
copies of the following that showed that Elmo Abad is appearing in Civil Case No. 36501
DIGEST:
FACTS: Court held respondent Elmo S. Abad a successful bar examinee but has not been admitted to the
Philippine Bar in contempt of Court for unauthorized practice of law and he was fined P500.00 with
subsidiary imprisonment in case he failed to pay the fine. (121 SCRA 217). He paid the fine. Atty. Procopio
S. Beltran, Jr., the complainant, filed a MOTION TO CIRCULARIZE TO ALL METRO MANILA COURTS THE FACT
THAT ELMO S. ABAD IS NOT AUTHORIZED TO PRACTICE LAW. The Report has found as a fact, over the
denials of the respondent under oath, that he signed Exhibits B, C, and D, and that he made appearances
in Metro Manila courts. This aspect opens the respondent to a charge for perjury. The Report also reveals
that Atty. Ruben A. Jacobe collaborated with the respondent as counsels forAntonio S. Maravilla one of the
accused in Criminal Case Nos. 26084, 26085 and 26086 of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. (Exhibit
D.) Atty. Jacobe should be called to account for his association with the respondent.
Respondent, when asked about the aforesaid motions, Exhibits "B" and "D", and the signatures therein,
denied that he filed the same and that the signatures therein are his. He also denied that he appeared in
the hearing in the afternoon of December 8, 1983 in the said trial court. According to him, he was in
Batangas at the time. He also testified that the only explanation he could give regarding the signatures in

the aforesaid exhibits is that the same could have been effected by Atty. Beltran to show the Supreme
Court that he (respondent) was still illegally practicing law. As to the motion for examination and analysis
of respondent's signature, the Investigator, to afford respondent full opportunity to prove his defense,
sought the assistance of the National Bureau of Investigation to compare respondent's signature in the
aforesaid exhibits with the signatures appearing in the pleadings that he filed in the Supreme Court, which
latter signature he admits as genuine and as his own. The aforesaid documentary and testimonial
evidence, as well as the above report of the NBI, have clearly proved that respondent Abad is still
practicing
law
despite
the
decision
of
this
Court
of
March
28,
1983.
ISSUES: Whether or not Abad can engage in practice of law.
Whether or not Atty. Jacobe liable in his collaboration with the respondent.
HELD: No. Only those licensed by the Supreme Court may practice law in this country. The right to
practice law is not a natural or constitutional rightbut is a privilege. It is limited to persons of good moral
character with special qualifications duly ascertained and certified. The exercise of this privilege
presupposes possession of integrity, legal knowledge, educational attainment and even public trust, since
a lawyer is an officer of the court. A bar candidate does not acquire the right to practice law simply by
passing the bar examinations. The practice of law is a privilege that can be withheld even from one who
has passed the bar examinations, if the person seekingadmission had practiced law without license.
Respondent Abad should know that the circumstances which he has narrated do not constitute
his admissionto the Philippine Bar and the right to practice law thereafter. He should know that two
essential requisites for becoming a lawyer still had to be performed, namely: his lawyer's oath to be
administered by this Court and his signature in the Roll of Attorneys. (Rule 138, Secs. 17 and 19, Rules of
Court.) The regulation of the practice of law is unquestionably strict. Under Section 3 (e) of Rule 71 of the
Rules of Court, a person who engages in the unauthorized practice of law is liable for indirect contempt of
court. Mr. Elmo S. Abad is hereby fined Five Hundred (P500.00) pesos payable to this Court within ten (10)
days from notice failing which he shall serve twenty-five (25) days imprisonment.
Yes. He violated Canon 9 Rule 9.01 A lawyer shall not delegate to any unqualified person the
performance of any task which by law may only be performed by a member of the Bar. in good standing. A
lawyer shall not assist anyone who is not a member of the Bar to practice law in this country. Thus, he
must not take as partner or associate in his law firm a person who is not a lawyer, a lawyer who has been
disbarred and a lawyer who has been suspended from practice of law. The lawyer who assists in an
unauthorized practice of law whether directly or indirectly is subject to disciplinary action. Finally, Atty.
Ruben A. Jacobe is required to explain within ten (10) days from notice why he should not be disciplined for
collaborating and associating in the practice of the law with the respondent who is not a member of the
bar.

17. Baraco VS Pinatacan 127 SCRA 218 (1984)


Adm. Case No. 559-SBC January 31, 1984
CARMEN E. BACARRO, complainant,
vs.
RUBEN M. PINATACAN, respondent.

GUERRERO, J.:
This is an administrative case filed on September 2, 1975 by Carmen E. Bacarro charging Ruben M.
Pinatacan a 1975 successful Bar candidate, with moral turpitude and depravity, and lack of proper
character required of a member of the Bar.
In her Affidavit, complainant Bacarro averred that she and respondent fell in love and became engaged
while they were studying at the Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City; that when she became pregnant
as a result of their relationship, respondent abandoned her and never fulfilled his promise to marry her;
that on December 4, 1971, she gave birth to a baby girl; that because of respondent's betrayal,

complainant, her daughter and her family suffered shame, disrepute, moral distress and anxiety; and, that
these acts of respondent render him unfit to become a member of the Bar. 1
Respondent Pinatacan in his Answer by way of a sworn Affidavit admitted that complainant had been his
sweetheart for several years prior to 1971 but denied that he was the father of complainant's child. He
claimed that his relationship with complainant started to cool down in January of 1971 when, over her
vigorous objection and opposition, he applied for a direct commission with the Philippine Constabulary. He
returned to Manila and stayed there for the greater part of March, 1971, for his physical examination. He
returned to Cagayan de Oro City, but in June of 1971, he left for his hometown, Jimenez, Misamis
Occidental, and never again returned to Cagayan de Oro City. On the other hand, as far as he knew,
complainant was working from 1970-1971 in Cagayan de Oro City. Respondent likewise denied that he ever
promised marriage to complainant and that he ever cohabited with her. 2
On June 10, 1976, this Court referred this case to the Judicial Investigator for investigation, report and
recommendation. 3 Subsequently, however, upon complainant's request prompted by financial difficulties
on her part, she was allowed on July 27, 1976 to present her evidence before the City Fiscal of Cagayan de
Oro City. 4 Respondent failed to attend the hearings conducted by the City Fiscal on August 30 and
September 27, 1976 during which complainant presented her evidence, both oral and documentary. 5
In a nutshell, the evidence for the complainant tends to establish the following facts: After about a year of
courtship, she and respondent became sweethearts on March 17, 1967 while they were students at the
Liceo de Cagayan in Cagayan de Oro City. They had their first sexual intercourse on March 21, 1971, after
respondent made promises of marriage, and they eloped to Cebu City where they stayed for about a week.
They returned to Cagayan de Oro and respondent left complainant allegedly to see his parents in his
hometown and make the necessary arrangements for their intended marriage. Respondent came back in
May, 1971, but only to inform complainant that they could not get married because of his parents'
objections. When complainant told respondent that she was pregnant, he told her to have an abortion.
Complainant refused and they had a quarrel Thereafter, she did not see or hear from respondent until after
the birth of their baby girl named Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan on December 4, 1971. Complainant had
no other boyfriend or sweetheart during the time that she had a relationship with respondent. In July,
1973, she brought the child with her to see respondent in Cavite City and the latter promised to support
the child. However, respondent did not make good his promise of support so complainant went to see him
again, and once more respondent made several promises, all of which were never fulfilled, until he finished
his law course and married a singer by the name of Annie Sarabillo. 6
Forming part of the records, aside from complainant's testimony, are the birth certificate of her child,
numerous letters written by respondent covering the period from March 6, 1967 to March 25, 1971
professing his everlasting love for complaint with assurances of his sincerity and loyalty, a letter dated
January 13, 1975 from a certain Margie whom complaint Identified as the sister of respondent, and pictures
of the child Maria Rochie with said Margie Pinatacan. 7
In a Motion to Dismiss dated February 16, 1977, 8 respondent argued that based on the evidence adduced
by complainant and even assuming her averments to be true, no case had been made out to bar him from
taking the lawyer's oath. The Court's Investigator, Atty. Victor Sevilla, agreed with respondent in a Report
dated February 24, 1977, stating that "the intimacy between the parties in this case is neither so corrupt
or so immoral as to warrant the respondent's permanent exclusion from the Philippine Bar." Atty. Sevilla
recommended that respondent be allowed to take the lawyer's oath. 9
On December 12, 1977, respondent submitted a Manifestation stating among others that he is to
recognize and give support or financial assistance to complaint 's child Maria Rochie although he cannot
make assurance that he could give such support or financial assistance immediately since he is without a
source of income. 10

Upon being required to comment on the foregoing Manifestation, complainant submitted a sworn
statement expressing her adamant stand that respondent "is unreliable, untrustworthy, and without a word
of honor, not only for what he has done to me, but on several occasion in the past he had made the same
promise to support our child ..., he did not even give something to the child to buy a candy during our
several meetings ... when I tried to see him every now and then for the fulfillment of his promise."
Moreover, according to complainant, respondent's insistence that the child be aborted proves his "utter
disregard of moral values and (C)hristian doctrines," making him unfit or unsuitable for the legal
profession. Complainant stressed that she was notmotivated by revenge, for she was aware that whatever
fortunes respondent may have in life would also benefit their child as an heir, but that after a serious and
profound consideration of the matter, she was of the opinion that "respondent would be more of a liability
than an asset to the legal profession." 11
By Resolution of October 11, 1979, this Court required respondent, "as proof of his sincerity and good faith,
to acknowledge and recognize in a public document duly notarized and registered in the local civil
registrar's office his paternity over the child Maria Rochie and send the original thereof to the complainant
and a duplicate copy to this Court within ten (10) days after notice hereof. 12 On October 19, 1979,
respondent submitted proof of his compliance with the above Resolution. 13
From the foregoing narration of the background of this case, there clearly appears no question that the
complainant and respondent had been sweethearts for several years, that during the said period they have
been sexually intimate with each other, and that the child Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan is the result of
such pre-marital relations. Respondent, however, maintains that even admitting the truth of complainant's
allegations, the circumstances of their relationship with each other do not justify his disqualification from
the practice of law.
One of the indispensable requisites for admission to the Philippine Bar is that the applicant must be of
good moral character. 14 This requirement aims to maintain and uphold the high moral standards and the
dignity of the legal profession, and one of the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of this
noble profession only those persons who are known to be honest and to possess good moral
character.15 "As a man of law, (a lawyer) is necessary a leader of the community, looked up to as a model
citizen" 16 He sets an example to his fellow citizens not only for his respect for the law, but also for his
clean living. 17 Thus, becoming a lawyer is more than just going through a law course and passing the Bar
examinations. One who has the lofty aspiration of becoming a member of the Philippine Bar must satisfy
this Court, which has the power, jurisdiction and duty to pass upon the qualifications, ability and moral
character of candidates for admission to the Bar, that he has measured up to that rigid and Ideal standard
of moral fitness required by his chosen vocation.
In the two consolidated cases of Bitangcor vs.Tan and Peredo vs.Tan 18 against successful 1971 Bar
examinee Rodolfo M. Tan, it was held that therein respondent "had fallen short of the requisite morality for
admission to the Bar"for violating the honor of two women. Tan had sexual relations with both
complainants without marriage and had sired a daughter by complainant Bitangcor.
As in the Tan cases, We hold that herein respondent Pinatacan had failed to live up to the high moral
standard demanded for membership in the Bar. He had seduced complainant into physically submitting
herself to him by promises of marriage. He even eloped with her and brought her to another place. He got
her pregnant and then told her to have an abortion When complainant refused, he deserted her.
Complainant had to track him down to ask him to help support their child born out of wedlock, and during
the few times that she was able to see him, respondent merely made promises which he apparently did
not intend to keep. On top of all these, respondent had the audacity and impudence to deny before this
Court in a sworn Affidavit the paternity of his child by complaint.
These acts taken together certainly do not speak well of respondent's character and are indicative of his
moral delinquency. All the years that he has been denied the privilege of being a lawyer were truly well-

deserved. Nevertheless, eight (8) years could be punishment and retribution enough. Moreover,
considering that respondent has legally recognized and acknowledged complainant's child Maria Rochie
Bacarro Pinatacan as his own, and has undertaken to give financial support to the said child, 19 We hold
that he has realized the wrongfulness of his past conduct and is now prepared to turn over a new leaf.
Likewise, We reiterate what had been stated in Barba vs. Pedro 20 that "in offenses of this character, the
blame hardly belongs to the man alone."
In allowing respondent to take the lawyer's oath, he must be admonished that his admission to and
continued membership in the Bar are dependent, among others, on his compliance with his moral and
legal obligations as the father of Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan.
WHEREFORE, respondent Ruben M. Pinatacan is hereby allowed to take the lawyer's oath.
SO ORDERED.
Fernando, C.J., Aquino, Concepcion, Jr., De Castro, Plana, Escolin, Relova and Gutierrez, Jr., JJ., concur.
Teehankee, J., took no part.
MAKASIAR, J., dissenting:
Oath-taking should be deferred until 1985.
ABAD SANTOS, J., dissenting:
I vote that action be deferred until 1985.
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J., dissenting:
I vote to deny respondent's admission to the Bar.

DIGEST:
Facts: This is an administrative case filed against respondent with moral turpitude and immorality.
Complainant gave birth to a baby girl named Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan; that because of respondent's
betrayal, her family suffered shame, disrepute, moral distress and anxiety; and, that these acts of
respondent render him unfit to become a member of the Bar. On the other hand, respondent maintains
that even admitting the truth of complainant's allegations, the circumstances of their relationship with
each other, does not justify him for disqualification to the practice of law.
Issue: WON respondent is entitled to take the lawyers oath despite having a case involving his good
moral character
Held: Yes, the court allowed Ruben to take the lawyers oath. considering that respondent has legally
recognized and acknowledged complainant's child Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan as his own, and has
undertaken to give financial support to the said child, We hold that he has realized the wrongfulness of his
past conduct and is now prepared to turn over a new leaf. But he must be admonished that his admission
to and continued membership in the Bar are dependent, among others, on his compliance with his moral
and legal obligations as the father of Maria Rochie Bacarro Pinatacan.
Ratio: One of the indispensable requisites for admission to the Philippine Bar is that the applicant must be
of good moral character. This requirement aims to maintain and uphold the high moral standards and the

dignity of the legal profession, and one of the ways of achieving this end is to admit to the practice of this
noble profession only those persons who are known to be honest and to possess good moral character. "As
a man of law, (a lawyer) is necessary a leader of the community, looked up to as a model citizen" He sets
an example to his fellow citizens not only for his respect for the law, but also for his clean living. Thus,
becoming a lawyer is more than just going through a law course and passing the Bar examinations.

18. Diao VS Martinez 7 SCRA 475 (1963)


A.C. No. 244

March 29, 1963

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR DISBARMENT OF TELESFORO A. DIAO,


vs.
SEVERINO G. MARTINEZ, petitioner.
BENGZON, C.J.:
After successfully passing the corresponding examinations held in 1953, Telesforo A. Diao was admitted to
the Bar.
About two years later, Severino Martinez charged him with having falsely represented in his application for
such Bar examination, that he had the requisite academic qualifications. The matter was in due course
referred to the Solicitor General who caused the charge to be investigated; and later he submitted a report
recommending that Diao's name be erased from the roll of attorneys, because contrary to the allegations
in his petition for examination in this Court, he (Diao) had not completed, before taking up law subjects,
the required pre-legal education prescribed by the Department of Private Education, specially, in the
following particulars:
(a) Diao did not complete his high school training; and
(b) Diao never attended Quisumbing College, and never obtained his A.A. diploma therefrom
which contradicts the credentials he had submitted in support of his application for examination,
and of his allegation therein of successful completion of the "required pre-legal education".
Answering this official report and complaint, Telesforo A. Diao, practically admits the first charge: but he
claims that although he had left high school in his third year, he entered the service of the U.S. Army,
passed the General Classification Test given therein, which (according to him) is equivalent to a high school
diploma, and upon his return to civilian life, the educational authorities considered his army service as the
equivalent of 3rd and 4th year high school.
We have serious doubts, about the validity of this claim, what with respondent's failure to exhibit any
certification to that effect (the equivalence) by the proper school officials. However, it is unnecessary to
dwell on this, since the second charge is clearly meritorious. Diao never obtained his A.A. from Quisumbing
College; and yet his application for examination represented him as an A.A. graduate (1940-1941) of such
college. Now, asserting he had obtained his A.A. title from the Arellano University in April, 1949, he says he
was erroneously certified, due to confusion, as a graduate of Quisumbing College, in his school records.
Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved
by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not
covered by this stipulation of facts. 1wph1.t
This explanation is not acceptable, for the reason that the "error" or "confusion" was obviously of his own
making. Had his application disclosed his having obtained A.A. from Arellano University, it would also have
disclosed that he got it in April, 1949, thereby showing that he began his law studies (2nd semester of
1948-1949) six months before obtaining his Associate in Arts degree. And then he would not have been

permitted to take the bar tests, because our Rules provide, and the applicant for the Bar examination must
affirm under oath, "That previous to the study of law, he had successfully and satisfactorily completed the
required pre-legal education(A.A.) as prescribed by the Department of Private Education," (emphasis on
"previous").
Plainly, therefore, Telesforo A. Diao was not qualified to take the bar examinations; but due to his false
representations, he was allowed to take it, luckily passed it, and was thereafter admitted to the Bar. Such
admission having been obtained under false pretenses must be, and is hereby revoked. The fact that he
hurdled the Bar examinations is immaterial. Passing such examinations is not the only qualification to
become an attorney-at-law; taking the prescribed courses of legal study in the regular manner is equally
essential..
The Clerk is, therefore, ordered to strike from the roll of attorneys, the name of Telesforo A. Diao. And the
latter is required to return his lawyer's diploma within thirty days. So ordered.

DIGEST: BASAHIN ANG CASE ANG IKLI :)

19. In Re: Argosino 270 SCRA 26 (1997)


B.M. No. 712 March 19, 1997
RE: PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYERS OATH
PADILLA, J.:
Petitioner Al Caparros Argosino passed the bar examinations held in 1993. The Court however deferred his
oath-taking due to his previous conviction for Reckless Imprudence Resulting In Homicide.
The criminal case which resulted in petitioner's conviction, arose from the death of a neophyte during
fraternity initiation rites sometime in September 1991. Petitioner and seven (7) other accused initially
entered pleas of not guilty to homicide charges. The eight (8) accused later withdrew their initial pleas and
upon re-arraignment all pleaded guilty to reckless imprudence resulting in homicide.
On the basis of such pleas, the trial court rendered judgment dated 11 February 1993 imposing on each of
the accused a sentence of imprisonment of from two (2) years four (4) months :and one (1) day to four (4)
years.
On 18 June 1993, the trial court granted herein petitioner's application for probation.
On 11 April 1994, the trial court issued an order approving a report dated 6 April 1994 submitted by the
Probation Officer recommending petitioner's discharge from probation.
On 14 April 1994, petitioner filed before this Court a petition to be allowed to take the lawyer's oath based
on the order of his discharge from probation.
On 13 July 1995, the Court through then Senior Associate Justice Florentino P. Feliciano issued a resolution
requiring petitioner Al C. Argosino to submit to the Court evidence that he may now be regarded as
complying with the requirement of good moral character imposed upon those seeking admission to the
bar.
In compliance with the above resolution, petitioner submitted no less than fifteen (15) certifications/letters
executed by among others two (2) senators, five (5) trial court judges, and six (6) members of religious
orders. Petitioner likewise submitted evidence that a scholarship foundation had been established in honor
of Raul Camaligan, the hazing victim, through joint efforts of the latter's family and the eight (8) accused in
the criminal case.

On 26 September 1995, the Court required Atty. Gilbert Camaligan, father of Raul, to comment on
petitioner's prayer to be allowed to take the lawyer's oath.
In his comment dated 4 December 1995, Atty. Camaligan states that:
a. He still believes that the infliction of severe physical injuries which led to the death of his son was
deliberate rather than accidental. The offense therefore was not only homicide but murder since the
accused took advantage of the neophyte's helplessness implying abuse of confidence, taking advantage of
superior strength and treachery.
b. He consented to the accused's plea of guilt to the lesser offense of reckless imprudence resulting in
homicide only out of pity for the mothers of the accused and a pregnant wife of one of the accused who
went to their house on Christmas day 1991 and Maundy Thursday 1992, literally on their knees, crying and
begging for forgiveness and compassion. They also told him that the father of one of the accused had died
of a heart attack upon learning of his son's involvement in the incident.
c. As a Christian, he has forgiven petitioner and his co-accused for the death of his son. However, as a
loving father who had lost a son whom he had hoped would succeed him in his law practice, he still feels
the pain of an untimely demise and the stigma of the gruesome manner of his death.
d. He is not in a position to say whether petitioner is now morally fit for admission to the bar. He therefore
submits the matter to the sound discretion of the Court.
The practice of law is a privilege granted only to those who possess the strict intellectual and moral
qualifications required of lawyers who are instruments in the effective and efficient administration of
justice. It is the sworn duty of this Court not only to "weed out" lawyers who have become a disgrace to
the noble profession of the law but, also of equal importance, to prevent "misfits" from taking the lawyer's
oath, thereby further tarnishing the public image of lawyers which in recent years has undoubtedly
become less than irreproachable.
The resolution of the issue before us required weighing and reweighing of the reasons for allowing or
disallowing petitioner's admission to the practice of law. The senseless beatings inflicted upon Raul
Camaligan constituted evident absence of that moral fitness required for admission to the bar since they
were totally irresponsible, irrelevant and uncalled for.
In the 13 July 1995 resolution in this case we stated:
. . . participation in the prolonged and mindless physical behavior, [which] makes impossible
a finding that the participant [herein petitioner] was then possessed of good moral
character. 1
In the same resolution, however, we stated that the Court is prepared to consider de novo the question of
whether petitioner has purged himself of the obvious deficiency in moral character referred to above.
Before anything else, the Court understands and shares the sentiment of Atty. Gilbert Camaligan. The
death of one's child is, for a parent, a most traumatic experience. The suffering becomes even more
pronounced and profound in cases where the death is due to causes other than natural or accidental but
due to the reckless imprudence of third parties. The feeling then becomes a struggle between grief and
anger directed at the cause of death.
Atty. Camaligan's statement before the Court- manifesting his having forgiven the accused is no less than
praiseworthy and commendable. It is exceptional for a parent, given the circumstances in this case, to find
room for forgiveness.
However, Atty. Camaligan admits that he is still not in a position to state if petitioner is now morally fit to
be a lawyer.

After a very careful evaluation of this case, we resolve to allow petitioner Al Caparros Argosino to take the
lawyer's oath, sign the Roll of Attorneys and practice the legal profession with the following admonition:
In allowing Mr. Argosino to take the lawyer's oath, the Court recognizes that Mr. Argosino is not inherently
of bad moral fiber. On the contrary, the various certifications show that he is a devout Catholic with a
genuine concern for civic duties and public service.
The Court is persuaded that Mr. Argosino has exerted all efforts to atone for the death of Raul Camaligan.
We are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt, taking judicial notice of the general tendency of
youth to be rash, temerarious and uncalculating.
We stress to Mr. Argosino that the lawyer's oath is NOT a mere ceremony or formality for practicing law.
Every lawyer should at ALL TIMES weigh his actions according to the sworn promises he makes when
taking the lawyer's oath. If all lawyers conducted themselves strictly according to the lawyer's oath and
the Code of Professional Responsibility, the administration of justice will undoubtedly be faster, fairer and
easier for everyone concerned.
The Court sincerely hopes that Mr. Argosino will continue with the assistance he has been giving to his
community. As a lawyer he will now be in a better position to render legal and other services to the more
unfortunate members of society.
PREMISES CONSIDERED, petitioner Al Caparros Argosino is hereby ALLOWED to take the lawyer's oath on a
date to be set by the Court, to sign the Roll of Attorneys and, thereafter, to practice the legal profession.
SO ORDERED.

DIGEST: BASA GIRL :)

20. Collantes VS Renomeron 200 SCRA 584 (1991)


A.C. No. 3056 August 16, 1991

FERNANDO T. COLLANTES, complainant,


vs.
ATTY. VICENTE C. RENOMERON respondent.
PER CURIAM:p
This complaint for disbarment is related to the administrative case which complainant Attorney Fernando T.
Collantes, house counsel for V & G Better Homes Subdivision, Inc. (V & G for short), filed against Attorney
Vicente C. Renomeron, Register of Deeds of Tacloban City, for the latter's irregular actuations with regard
to the application of V & G for registration of 163 pro forma Deeds of Absolute Sale with Assignment of lots
in its subdivision. The present complaint charges the respondent with the following offenses:
1. Neglecting or refusing inspite (sic) repeated requests and without sufficient justification,
to act within reasonable time (sic) the registration of 163 Deeds of Absolute Sale with
Assignment and the eventual issuance and transfer of the corresponding 163 transfer
certificates of titles to the GSIS, for the purpose of obtaining some pecuniary or material
benefit from the person or persons interested therein.
2. Conduct unbecoming of public official.
3. Dishonesty.
4. Extortion.

5. Directly receiving pecuniary or material benefit for himself in connection with pending
official transaction before him.
6. Causing undue injury to a party, the GSIS [or] Government through manifest partiality,
evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
7. Gross ignorance of the law and procedure. (p. 10, Rollo.)
As early as January 15, 1987, V & G had requested the respondent Register of Deeds to register some 163
deeds of sale with assignment (in favor of the GSIS) of lots of the V & G mortgaged to GSIS by the lot
buyers. There was no action from the respondent.
Another request was made on February 16, 1987 for him to approve or deny registration of the uniform
deeds of absolute sale with assignment. Still no action except to require V & G to submit proof of real
estate tax payment and to clarify certain details about the transactions.
Although V & G complied with the desired requirements, respondent Renomeron suspended the
registration of the documents pending compliance by V & G with a certain "special arrangement" between
them, which was that V & G should provide him with a weekly round trip ticket from Tacloban to Manila
plus P2,000.00 as pocket money per trip, or, in lieu thereof, the sale of respondent's Quezon City house
and lot by V & G or GSIS representatives.
On May 19, 1987, respondent confided to the complainant that he would act favorably on the 163
registrable documents of V & G if the latter would execute clarificatory affidavits and send money for a
round trip plane ticket for him.
The plane fare amounting to P800 (without the pocket money of P2,000) was sent to respondent through
his niece.
Because of V & G's failure to give him pocket money in addition to plane fare, respondent imposed
additional registration requirements. Fed up with the respondent's extortionate tactics, the complainant
wrote him a letter on May 20, 1987 challenging him to act on all pending applications for registration of V
& G within twenty-four (24) hours.
On May 22, 1987, respondent formally denied registration of the transfer of 163 certificates of title to the
GSIS on the uniform ground that the deeds of absolute sale with assignment were ambiguous as to parties
and subject matter. On May 26, 1987, Attorney Collantes moved for a reconsideration of said denial,
stressing that:
... since the year 1973 continuously up to December 1986 for a period of nearly fifteen (15)
years or for a sum total of more than 2,000 same set of documents which have been
repeatedly and uniformly registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Tacloban City
under Attys. Modesto Garcia and Pablo Amascual Jr., it is only during the incumbency of Atty.
Vicente C. Renomeron, that the very same documents of the same tenor have been refused
or denied registration ... (p. 15, Rollo.)
On May 27, 1987, respondent elevated the matter en consulta to the Administrator, National Land Titles
and Deeds Registration Administration (NLTDRA) (now the Land Registration Authority [LRA]). In a
Resolution dated July 27,1987 (Consulta No. 1579), the NLTDRA ruled that the questioned documents were
registrable. Heedless of the NLTDRA's opinion, respondent continued to sit on V & Gs 163 deeds of sale
with assignment.

Exasperated by respondent's conduct, the complainant filed with the NLTDRA on June 4, 1987
administrative charges (docketed as Adm. Case No. 87-15), against respondent Register of Deeds.
Upon receipt of the charges, NLTDRA Administrator Teodoro G. Bonifacio directed respondent to explain in
writing why no administrative disciplinary action should be taken against him. Respondent was further
asked whether he would submit his case on the basis of his answer, or be heard in a formal investigation.
In his answer dated July 9, 1987, respondent denied the charges of extortion and of directly receiving
pecuniary or material benefit for himself in connection with the official transactions awaiting his action.
Although an investigator was appointed by NLTDRA Administrator Bonifacio to hear Attorney Collantes'
charges against him, Attorney Renomeron waived his right to a formal investigation. Both parties
submitted the case for resolution based on the pleadings.
The investigator, Attorney Leonardo Da Jose, recommended dropping the charges of: (1) dishonesty; (2)
causing undue injury to a party through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable
negligence; and (3) gross ignorance of the law and procedure. He opined that the charge of neglecting or
refusing, in spite repeated requests and without sufficient justification, to act within a reasonable time on
the registration of the documents involved, in order to extort some pecuniary or material benefit from the
interested party, absorbed the charges of conduct unbecoming of a public official, extortion, and directly
receiving some pecuniary or material benefit for himself in connection with pending official transactions
before him.
Brushing aside the investigator's recommendation, NLTDRA Administrator Teodoro G. Bonifacio on February
22, 1988, recommended to Secretary of Justice Sedfrey A. Ordoez that the respondent: (1) be found guilty
of simple neglect of duty: (2) be reprimanded to act with dispatch on documents presented to him for
registration; and (3) be warned that a repetition of similar infraction will be dealt with more severely.
After due investigation of the charges, Secretary Ordoez found respondent guilty of grave misconduct.
Our study and consideration of the records of the case indicate that ample evidence
supports the Investigating Officer's findings that the respondent committed grave
misconduct.
The respondent unreasonably delayed action on the documents presented to him for
registration and, notwithstanding representations by the parties interested for expeditious
action on the said documents, he continued with his inaction.
The records indicate that the respondent eventually formally denied the registration of the
documents involved; that he himself elevated the question on the registrability of the said
documents to Administrator Bonifacio after he formally denied the registration thereof, that
the Administrator then resolved in favor of the registrability of the said documents in
question; and that, such resolution of the Administrator notwithstanding, the respondent still
refused the registration thereof but demanded from the parties interested the submission of
additional requirements not adverted to in his previous denial.
xxx xxx xxx
In relation to the alleged 'special arrangement,' although the respondent claims that he
neither touched nor received the money sent to him, on record remains uncontroverted the
circumstance that his niece, Ms. de la Cruz, retrieved from him the amount of P800.00
earlier sent to him as plane fare, not in the original denomination of P100.00 bills but in

P50.00 bills. The respondent had ample opportunity to clarify or to countervail this related
incident in his letter dated 5 September 1987 to Administrator Bonifacio but he never did so.
... We believe that, in this case, the respondent's being new in office cannot serve to
mitigate his liability. His being so should have motivated him to be more aware of applicable
laws, rules and regulations and should have prompted him to do his best in the discharge of
his duties. (pp. 17-18, Rollo.)
Secretary Ordoez recommended to President Corazon C. Aquino that Renomeron be dismissed from the
service, with forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits, and with prejudice to re-employment in the
government service, effective immediately.
As recommended by the Secretary of Justice, the President of the Philippines, by Adm. Order No. 165 dated
May 3, 1990, dismissed the respondent from the government service (pp. 1419, Rollo).
Less than two weeks after filing his complaint against Renomeron in the NLTDRA, Attorney Collantes also
filed in this Court on June 16, 1987, a disbarment complaint against said respondent.
The issue in this disbarment proceeding is whether the respondent register of deeds, as a lawyer, may also
be disciplined by this Court for his malfeasances as a public official. The answer is yes, for his misconduct
as a public official also constituted a violation of his oath as a lawyer.
The lawyer's oath (Rule 138, Section 17, Rules of Court; People vs. De Luna, 102 Phil. 968), imposes upon
every lawyer the duty to delay no man for money or malice. The lawyer's oath is a source of his obligations
and its violation is a ground for his suspension, disbarment or other disciplinary action (Legal Ethics, Ruben
E. Agpalo, 1983 Edition, pp. 66-67).
As the late Chief Justice Fred Ruiz Castro said:
A person takes an oath when he is admitted to the Bar which is designed to impress upon
him his responsibilities. He thereby becomes an "officer of the court" on whose shoulders
rests the grave responsibility of assisting the courts in the proper. fair, speedy, and efficient
administration of justice. As an officer of the court he is subject to a rigid discipline that
demands that in his every exertion the only criterion he that truth and justice triumph. This
discipline is what as given the law profession its nobility, its prestige, its exalted place. From
a lawyer, to paraphrase Justice Felix Frankfurter, are expected those qualities of truthspeaking, a high sense of honor, full candor, intellectual honesty, and the strictest
observance of fiduciary responsibility all of which, throughout the centuries, have been
compendiously described as moral character.
Membership in the Bar is in the category of a mandate to public service of the highest order.
A lawyer is an oath-bound servant of society whose conduct is clearly circumscribed by
inflexible norms of law and ethics, and whose primary duty is the advancement of the quest
of truth and justice, for which he has sworn to be a fearless crusader. (Apostacy in the Legal
Profession, 64 SCRA 784, 789- 790; emphasis supplied.)
The Code of Professional Responsibility applies to lawyers in government service in the discharge of their
official tasks (Canon 6). Just as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials requires
public officials and employees to process documents and papers expeditiously (Sec. 5, subpars. [c] and [d]
and prohibits them from directly or indirectly having a financial or material interest in any transaction
requiring the approval of their office, and likewise bars them from soliciting gifts or anything of monetary
value in the course of any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office (See. 7,
subpars. [a] and [d]), the Code of Professional Responsibility forbids a lawyer to engage in unlawful,

dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct (Rule 1.01, Code of Professional Responsibility), or delay any man's
cause "for any corrupt motive or interest" (Rule 103).
A lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice
law, nor shall he, whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the
discredit of the legal profession. (Rule 7.03, Code of Professional Responsibility.)
This Court has ordered that only those who are "competent, honorable, and reliable" may practice the
profession of law (Noriega vs. Sison, 125 SCRA 293) for every lawyer must pursue "only the highest
standards in the practice of his calling" (Court Administrator vs. Hermoso, 150 SCRA 269, 278).
The acts of dishonesty and oppression which Attorney Renomeron committed as a public official have
demonstrated his unfitness to practice the high and noble calling of the law (Bautista vs. Judge Guevarra,
142 SCRA 632; Court Administrator vs. Rodolfo G. Hermoso, 150 SCRA 269). He should therefore be
disbarred. WHEREFORE, it is hereby ordered that Attorney Vicente C. Renomeron be disbarred from the
practice of law in the Philippines, and that his name be stricken off the Roll of Attorneys

DIGEST: X

LAWYERS DUTIES TO SOCIETY


1. Montecillo VS Gica 60 SCRA 234 (1974)
G.R. No. L-36800 October 21, 1974

JORGE MONTECILLO and QUIRICO DEL MAR, petitioners,


vs.
FRANCISCO M. GICA, MAGNO S. GATMAITAN, JOSE N. LEUTERIO, and RAMON G. GAVIOLA,
Justices of the Court of Appeals, respondents. In Re Quirico del Mar, For Disciplinary action as
member of the Philippine Bar, respondent.
ESGUERRA, J.:p
Petitioner Atty. Quirico del Mar of Cebu City in G. R. No. L-36800, and as respondent in contempt
proceedings both in the Court of Appeals and in this Court, virtually focused the limelight on himself and
relegated to insignificance the limelight on himself and relegated to insignificance the principal issue
raised in the petition forcertiorari to review the entitled "Francisco M. Gica vs. Hon. Santiago O. Taada, et
al" which was denied due course by this Court's resolution dated May 14, 1973, for lack of merit.
Although the petition for certiorari has been denied, it becomes imperatively necessary to elucidate upon
the antecedents of this case even if Our only justification in so doing is to seek a reason or motive for the
acts of contempt perpetrated by respondent Quirico del Mar that might serve to lighten the enormity of his
wrongdoing as a member of the Bar.
As a result of an alleged slander committed by Jorge Montecillo on Francisco M. Gica (the former allegedly
calling the latter "stupid" or a "fool'), Mr. Gica filed a criminal complaint for oral defamation against
Montecillo (Criminal Case No. R-28782 in Branch VII of the Cebu City Court) and a case for damages arising
from the same incident (Civil Case No. R-13075 in Branch VI of the Cebu City Court). Montecillo was
acquitted in Criminal Case No. R-28782, and in Civil Case No. R-13075, the Cebu City Court found that
Montecillo did not call Gica "stupid". Finding the counter-claim of Montecillo meritorious, the City Court
rendered judgment against Gica for him to pay Montecillo five hundred pesos as moral damages, two
hundred pesos as compensatory damages and three hundred pesos as attorney's fees, plus costs.

Francisco Gica appealed from the decision of the City Court of Cebu in Civil Case No. R-13075 to the Court
of First Instance of Cebu presided by Hon. Santiago O. Taada but the Court of First Instance upheld the
decision of the City Court. The case was then elevated to the Court of Appeals by petition for review by
petitioner Francisco M. Gica and it was docketed therein as CA-G.R. No. 46504-R.
The Fourth Division of the Court of Appeals in a decision penned by the Hon. Magno S. Gatmaitan and
concurred in by Associate Justices Jose N. Leuterio and Ramon G. Gaviola, Jr. (promulgated on Sept. 27,
1972), reversed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu; ruled in favor of petitioner Gica on the
ground that the preponderance of evidence favored petitioner Francisco M. Gica on the principle that
positive must prevail over the negative evidence, and that "some words must have come from Montecillo's
lips that were insulting to Gica". The appellate court concluded that its decision is a vindication of Gica and
instead, awarded him five hundred pesos as damages.
It is from this point that trouble began for respondent Atty. Quirico del Mar when, as counsel for Montecillo,
he moved for a reconsideration of the Appellate Court's decision with a veiled threat by mentioning the
provisions of the Revised Penal Code on "Knowingly rendering unjust judgment" and "judgment rendered
through negligence", and the innuendo that the Court of Appeals allowed itself to be deceived. When the
Appellate Court denied the motion for reconsideration in its Resolution of October 24, 1972, it observed
that the terminology of the motion insinuated that the Appellate Court rendered an unjust judgment, that it
abetted a falsification and it permitted itself to be deceived. It admonished Atty. del Mar to remember that
threats and abusive language cannot compel any court of justice to grant reconsideration. Respondent del
Mar persisted and in his second motion for reconsideration, filed without leave of court, made another
threat by stating that "with almost all penal violations placed under the jurisdiction of the President of the
Philippines, particularly Articles 171, 204 and 205 of the Revised Penal Code, as Commander in Chief of the
AFP, by virtue of the proclamation of martial law, the next appeal that will he interposed, will be to His
Excellency, the President of the Philippines."
The Appellate Court in its resolution of Nov. 27, 1972, noticed that notwithstanding its admonition in its
resolution of Oct. 24, 1972, for Atty. del Mar to refrain from abusive language and threats, he reiterated his
threats, and that the Appellate Court, impelled to assert its authority, ordered respondent del Mar to
explain within 10 days (and to appear on January 10, 1973) why he should not be punished for contempt of
court.
On December 5, 1972, respondent del Mar made a written explanation wherein he said that the Appellate
Court could not be threatened and he was not making any threat but only informing the Appellate Court of
the course of action he would follow. On the same date, respondent sent a letter to the Justices of the 4th
Division of the Court of Appeals informing them that he sent a letter to the President of the Philippines,
furnishing them a copy thereof, and requesting the Justices to take into consideration the contents of said
letter during the hearing of the case scheduled for January 10, 1973. Not content with that move, on
December 8, 1972, respondent sent another letter to the same Justices of the Court of Appeals wherein he
reminded them of a civil case he instituted against Justices of the Supreme Court for damages in the
amount of P200,000 for a decision rendered not in accordance with law and justice, stating that he would
not like to do it again but would do so if provoked. We pause here to observe that respondent del Mar
seems to be of that frame of mind whereby he considers as in accordance with law and justice whatever
he believes to be right in his own opinion and as contrary to law and justice whatever does not accord with
his views. In other words, he would like to assume the role of this Court, personally and individually, in the
interpretation and construction of the laws, evaluation of evidence and determination of what is in
accordance with law and justice.
The documented incidents as narrated in the Appellate Court's Resolution of March 5, 1973, cannot more
eloquently depict the very manifest and repeated threats of respondent del Mar to bludgeon the Justices of
the Fourth Davison into reconsidering its decision which happened to be adverse to respondent's client.
Respondent del Mar, instead of presenting lucid and forceful arguments on the merits of his plea for a

reconsideration to convince the Justices of the Fourth Division of the alleged error in their decision,
resorted to innuendos and veiled threats, even casting downright aspersion on the Justices concerned by
insinuating that for their decision they could be criminally and civilly liable for knowingly rendering unjust
judgment, or doing it through ignorance.
We quote with approval this portion of the Appellate Court's Resolution (March 5, 1973):
A just man can never be threatened, p. 145, rollo, is not at all true; any man, just or unjust,
can be threatened; if he is unjust, he will succumb, if he is just, he will not, but the offense is
committed, whether the threats do or do not succeed. As to his (respondent del Mar's
reference to the New Society, p. 150, in his letter to his Excellency, complaining against
those justices, let it be said that precisely it was under the Former Society that there had
been so much disrespect for the constituted authorities, there was abuse, worse than abuse,
there was arrogant abuse, of the so-called civil liberties, against the authorities, including
the courts, not excluding even the President; it is this anarchy that is the program to cure in
the New.
This Resolution of the Appellate Court of March 5, 1973, fittingly concluded that "counsel del Mar is found
guilty of contempt and condemned to pay a fine of P200.00 and ordered suspended from the practice of
law and pursuant to Sec. 9 of Rule 139, let certified copies of these papers be elevated to the Honorable
Supreme Court". We upheld the Court of Appeals and gave full force and effect to this order of suspension
from the practice of law when in Our resolution dated Nov. 19, 1973, the Judicial Consultant of this Court
was directed to circularize all courts about the order of the Court of Appeals suspending Atty. Quirico del
Mar from the practice of law.
Not satisfied with the wrong that he had already done against Associate Justices Magno S. Gatmaitan, Jose
N. Leuterio and Ramon Gaviola, Jr., respondent del Mar sued the three Justices for damages in Civil Case
No. R-13277 of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, trying to hold them liable for their decision in CA-G.R.
No. 46504-R; that the case for damages (R-13277)was terminated by compromise agreement after Mr. del
Mar himself moved for the dismissal of his complaint apologized to the Court of Appeals and the Justices
concerned, and agreed to pay nominal moral damages in favor of the defendants-justices. This is the
undeniable indication that respondent del Mar did not only threaten the three Justices of the Appellate
Court but he actually carried out his threat, although he did not succeed in making them change their
minds in the case they decided in accordance with the exercise of their judicial discretion emanating from
pure conviction.
To add insult to injury, respondent del Mar had the temerity to file his motion on October 10, 1973, before
Us, asking that his suspension from the practice of law imposed by the Court of Appeals be ignored
because of the amicable settlement reached in Civil Case No. R-13277 of the Court of First Instance of
Cebu which was the action for damages filed against the three Justices of the Appellate Court.
Respondent del Mar's ire at the Appellate Court, fanned by the wind of frustration, turned against Us when
We denied on May 14, 1973, his petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Appellate Court, G.
R. No. L-36800, for on May 25, 1973, he filed his motion for reconsideration and wrote a letter addressed to
the Clerk of this Court requesting the names of the Justices of this Court who supported the resolution
denying his petition, together with the names of the Justices favoring his motion for reconsideration. This
motion for reconsideration We denied for lack of merit in Our resolution dated June 15, 1973. He, then,
filed a manifestation dated July 1, 1973, before Us, stating brazenly, among other things, "I can at this time
reveal to you that, had your Clerk of Court furnished me with certified true copies of the last two
Resolutions of the Supreme Court confirming the decision of the Court of Appeals in the case entitled
Francisco M. Gica vs. Jorge Montecillo, I would have filed against the Justices supporting the same, civil and
criminal suit as I did to the Justices of the Court of Appeals who, rewarding the abhorent falsification
committed by Mr. Gica, reversed for him the decisions of the City Court and the Court of First Instance of

Cebu, not with a view to obtaining a favorable judgment therein but for the purpose of exposing to the
people the corroding evils extant in our Government, so that they may well know them and work for their
extermination" (Emphasis supplied. In one breath and in a language certainly not complimentary to the
Appellate Court and to Us, respondent del Mar again made his veiled threat of retribution aimed at the
Appellate Court and at Us for Our judicial acts in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R and G. R. No. L-36800.
Our immediate reaction to this manifestation, dictated by the impulse of placing on a pedestal beyond
suspicion the integrity and honor of this Court and that of any of our other courts of justice, was to require
by Resolution of July 16, 1973, respondent del Mar to show cause why disciplinary action should not be
taken against him for the contemptuous statements contained in his manifestation.
At this juncture, We pause to reexamine the act of the Appellate Court in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R and our
own in G. R. No. L-36800 to determine what error we might have committed to generate such a vengeful
wrath of respondent del Mar which drove him to make his contemptuous statements.
The crucial issue in the case of oral defamation filed by Francisco M. Gica against Jorge Montecillo is as to
what was the statement really uttered by Montecillo on the occasion in question "binuang man gud na"
(That act is senseless or done without thinking) or "buang man gud na siya" (He is foolish or stupid). If the
statement uttered was the former, Montecillo should be exonerated; if the latter, he would be liable. The
Appellate Court on evaluating the evidence ruled that the preponderance thereof favored Gica "on the
principle that the positive evidence must prevail over the negative" and, therefore, what was really uttered
by Montecillo on that occasion was "buang man gud na siya" (He is foolish or stupid), thus making him
liable for oral defamation. When We denied in G. R. No. L-36800 the petition for review on certiorari of the
Appellate Court's decision in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R, We did so because We could find no reason for
disturbing the Appellate Court's finding and conclusion on the aforementioned lone question of fact which
would warrant overturning its decision.
On July 13, 1973, Our resolution of May 14, 1973, denying the petition for review on certiorari of the
decision of the Appellate Court in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R, became final and executory and the Court of
Appeals was so informed.
To Our resolution of July 16, 1973, requiring respondent del Mar to show cause why he should not be
disciplined for his statements contained in his manifestation of July 1, 1973, he submitted an explanation
dated August 1, 1973, wherein he stated that "..., he is attaching hereto the criminal case he filed with the
President of the Philippines (copy marked as Annex "A") and the civil case he instituted in the Court of First
Instance of Cebu (copy marked as Annex "B") against Justices Magno S. Gatmaitan, Jose N. Leuterio and
Ramon G. Gaviola, Jr., which embody the corroding evils he complained of as extant in the Government
needing correction. He would have followed suit were it not for the fact that he is firmly convinced that
human efforts in this direction will be fruitless. As manifested, he, therefore, decided to retire from a life of
militancy to a life of seclusion leaving to God the filling-up of human deficiencies" (Emphasis supplied).
This so-called explanation is more, in its tenor, of a defiant justification of his contemptuous statements
contained in the manifestation of July 1, 1973. Its contents reveal a continued veiled threat against the
Justices of this Court who voted to deny del Mar's petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the
Court of Court Appeals in CA-G R. No. 46504-R.
Our resolution of September 4, 1973, required respondent Atty. Quirico del Mar to appear personally at the
hearing of his explanation on November 5, 1973. On September 26, 1973, respondent filed an additional
explanation with this Court, wherein he stated, among other things: "Graft, corruption and injustice are
rampant in and outside of the Government. It is this state of things that convinced me that all human
efforts to correct and/or reform the said evils will be fruitless and, as stated in my manifestation to you, I
have already decided to retire from a life of militancy to a life of seclusion, leaving to God the filling-up of
human deficiencies."

Again We noticed that the tenor of this additional explanation is a toned-down justification(as compared to
his explanation of August 1, 1973) of his previous contemptuous statements without even a hint of apology
or regret. Respondent is utilizing what exists in his mind as state of graft, corruption and injustice allegedly
rampant in and outside of the government as justification for his contemptuous statements. In other
words, he already assumed by his own contemptuous utterances that because there is an alleged
existence of rampant corruption, graft, and injustice in and out of the government, We, by Our act in G. R.
No. L-36800, are among the corrupt, the grafters and those allegedly committing injustice. We are at a
complete loss to follow respondent del Mar's logic and We certainly should, with understanding
condescension, commiserate in the pitiable state of mind of a brother in the legal profession who seems to
have his reasoning and sense of proportion blurred or warped by an all-consuming obsession emanating
from a one-track mind that only his views are absolutely correct and those of others are all wrong.
When this Court in the resolution dated November 19, 1973, directed the Judicial Consultant to circularize
to all courts concerning the order of the Court of Appeals suspending Atty. Quirico del Mar from the
practice of law, respondent del Mar filed a motion for reconsideration on December 12, 1973, requesting
Us to reconsider said directive. In Our resolution dated December 17, 1973, respondent del Mar, after he
had been interpellated by the Court, was given a period of five days to submit a memorandum in support
of his explanation. In view of respondent's manifestation that there was no need for further investigation of
the facts involved, in accordance with Section 29 of Rule 138, We resolved that the matter be deemed
submitted for decision.
In the memorandum entitled "Explanation" dated December 20, 1973, respondent del Mar stated that he
suffered repeated strokes of high blood pressure which rendered him dizzy and unstable mentally and
physically; that his sight is blurred and his reasoning is faulty; he easily forgets things and cannot readily
correlate them; that for any and all mistakes he might have committed he asked for forgiveness; he
reiterated that "blunders" were committed by the Court of Appeals in its decision and that the Justices
thereof knowingly rendered the same in violation of Article 204 of the Penal Code; he persisted in his view
that the Court of Appeals committed an error in its decision; justified his act of invoking Article 204 of the
Penal Code in trying to make the Appellate Justices liable; that he was high in his academic and scholastic
standing during his school days; that "with all the confusion prevailing nowadays, the undersigned has
decided for reasons of sickness and old age to retire from the practice of law. He hopes and expects that,
with the approval thereof by the Supreme Court, he could have himself released from the obligation he has
contracted with his clients as regards all his pending cases."
It is Our observation that the tenor of this explanation although pleading mental and physical ailment as a
mitigation of the contemptuous acts, is still that of arrogant justification for respondent's previous
statements. We quote:
The undersigned was asked if he had not filed against the Justices of the Supreme Court a
case for damages against them. He answered in the affirmative, but the case was dismissed
by Judge Villasor, of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, because of an American ruling that a
justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines cannot be civilly held liable. The ruling cited
was rendered during the American regime in the Philippines which was still subject to the
jurisdiction of the American laws. But the Philippines is now independent and Article 204 of
the Penal Code still remains incorporated therein for observance and fulfillment. Up to now,
there is not yet any definite ruling of the Supreme Court thereon
While still persistently justifying his contemptuous statements and at the same time pleading that his
physical and mental ailment be considered so that We may forgive respondent del Mar he shrewdly stated
at the end of his explanation that he has decided for reasons of sickness and old age to retire from the
practice of law, in practical anticipation of whatever penalty We may decide to impose on him and thus
making it appear that he has voluntarily done so with honor and in complete evasion of whatever this
Court may decide to do in this case.

With full realization that a practicing lawyer and officer of the court facing contempt proceedings cannot
just be allowed to voluntarily retire from the practice of law, an act which would negate the inherent power
of the court to punish him for contempt in defense of its integrity and honor, We resolve, by resolution of
January 10, 1974, to deny said prayer of Atty. del Mar without prejudice to his making arrangement directly
with his clients.
To aged brethren of the bar it may appear belated to remind them that second only to the duty of
maintaining allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws
of the Philippines, is the duty of all attorneys to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of
justice and judicial officers (Sec. 20 (b) Rule 138, Rules of Court). But We do remind them of said duty to
emphasize to their younger brethren its paramount importance. A lawyer must always remember that he is
an officer of the court exercising a high privilege and serving in the noble mission of administering justice.
It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude (People vs. Carillo, 77 Phil.
572). As an officer of the court, it is his duty to uphold the dignity and authority of the court to which he
owes fidelity, according to the oath he has taken. Respect for the courts guarantees the stability of our
democratic institutions which, without such respect, would be resting on a very shaky foundation. (In re
Sotto 82 Phil. 595).
As We stated before:
We concede that a lawyer may think highly of his intellectual endowment. That is his
privilege. And, he may suffer frustration at what he feels is others' lack of it. This is his
misfortune. Some such frame of mind, however, should not be allowed to harden into a
belief that he may attack a court's decision in words calculated to jettison the time-honored
aphorism that courts are the temples of right. He should give due allowance to the fact that
judges are but men; and men are encompassed by error, fettered by fallibility.
... To be sure, lawyers may come up with various methods, perhaps much more effective, in
calling the Court's attention to the issues involved. The language vehicle does not run short
of expressions, emphatic but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating but not
offensive (Rheem of the Philippines vs. Ferrer G. R. No. L-22979, June 26, 1967; 20 SCRA
441, 444-445)
Criminal contempt has been defined as a conduct that is directed against the dignity and authority of the
court or a judge acting judicially. It is an act obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring
the court into disrepute or disrespect (17 C. J. S. 7).
We have held that statements contained in a motion to disqualify a judge, imputing to the latter conspiracy
or connivance with the prosecutors or concocting a plan with a view to securing the conviction of the
accused, and implicating said judge in a supposed attempt to extort money from the accused on a promise
or assurance of the latter's acquittal, all without basis, were highly derogatory and serve nothing but to
discredit the judge presiding the court in an attempt to secure his disqualification. Statements of that
nature have no place in a court pleading and if uttered by a member of the bar, constitute a serious
disrespect. We said:
As an officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not
destroy unnecessarilythe high esteem and regard towards the court so essential to the
proper administration of justice(Emphasis supplied). (People vs. Carillo, 43 O.G. No. 12, p.
5021; De Joya et al vs. C. F. I. of Rizal and Rilloraza 52 0. G. 6150).
As already stated, the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R was based on its evaluation
of the evidence on only one specific issue. We in turn denied in G. R. No. L-36800 the petition for review

oncertiorari of the decision because We found no reason for disturbing the appellate court's finding and
conclusion. In both instances, both the Court of Appeals and this Court exercised judicial discretion in a
case under their respective jurisdiction. The intemperate and imprudent act of respondent del Mar in
resorting to veiled threats to make both Courts reconsider their respective stand in the decision and the
resolution that spelled disaster for his client cannot be anything but pure contumely for said tribunals.
It is manifest that respondent del Mar has scant respect for the two highest Courts of the land when on the
flimsy ground of alleged error in deciding a case, he proceeded to challenge the integrity of both Courts by
claiming that they knowingly rendered unjust judgment. In short, his allegation is that they acted with
intent and malice, if not with gross ignorance of the law, in disposing of the case of his client.
We note with wonder and amazement the brazen effrontery of respondent in assuming that his personal
knowledge of the law and his concept of justice are superior to that of both the Supreme Court and the
Court of Appeals. His pretense cannot but tend to erode the people's faith in the integrity of the courts of
justice and in the administration of justice. He repeatedly invoked his supposed quest for law and justice as
justification for his contemptuous statements without realizing that, in seeking both abstract elusive terms,
he is merely pursuing his own personal concept of law and justice. He seems not to comprehend that what
to him may be lawful or just may not be so in the minds of others. He could not accept that what to him
may appear to be right or correct may be wrong or erroneous from the viewpoint of another. We
understand that respondent's mind delves into the absolute without considering the universal law of
change. It is with deep concern that We view such a state of mind of a practicing lawyer since what We
expect as a paramount qualification for those in the practice of law is broadmindedness and tolerance,
coupled with keen perception and a sound sense of proportion in evaluating events and circumstances.
For a lawyer in the twilight of his life, with supposed physical and mental ailments at that, who dares to
challenge the integrity and honor of both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, We have nothing but
commiseration and sympathy for his choosing to close the book of his long years of law practice not by
voluntary retirement with honor but in disciplinary action with ignominy and dishonor. To those who are in
the practice of law and those who in the future will choose to enter this profession, We wish to point to this
case as a reminder for them to imprint in their hearts and minds that an attorney owes it to himself to
respect the courts of justice and its officers as a fealty for the stability of our democratic institutions.
WHEREFORE, the resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 46504-R, dated March 5, 1973,
suspending Atty. Quirico del Mar from the practice of law, as implemented by Our resolution of November
19, 1973, is hereby affirmed.
Respondent Atty. Quirico del Mar for his misconduct towards the Supreme Court, shall be, as he is hereby,
suspended from the practice of law until further orders of this Court, such suspension to take effect
immediately. (In re Almacen, No. L-27654, Feb. 18, 1970, 31 SCRA, p. 562.)
The Judicial Consultant of this Court is directed to circularize all courts and the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines regarding the indefinite suspension of Atty. Quirico del Mar from the practice of law.

DIGEST: X

2. In Re: Gutierrez 5 SCRA 661 (1962)


G.R. No. L-36800

October 21, 1974

JORGE
MONTECILLO
and
QUIRICO
DEL
MAR, petitioners,
vs.
FRANCISCO M. GICA, MAGNO S. GATMAITAN, JOSE N. LEUTERIO, and RAMON G. GAVIOLA,

Justices of the Court of Appeals, respondents. In Re Quirico del Mar, For Disciplinary action as
member of the Philippine Bar, respondent.

DECISION
ESGUERRA, J.: p
Petitioner Atty. Quirico del Mar of Cebu City in G. R. No. L-36800, and as respondent in contempt
proceedings both in the Court of Appeals and in this Court, virtually focused the limelight on himself and
relegated to insignificance the principal issue raised in the petition for certiorari to review the entitled
Francisco M. Gica vs. Hon. Santiago O. Taada, et al which was denied due course by this Courts
resolution dated May 14, 1973, for lack of merit.
Although the petition for certiorari has been denied, it becomes imperatively necessary to elucidate upon
the antecedents of this case even if Our only justification in so doing is to seek a reason or motive for the
acts of contempt perpetrated by respondent Quirico del Mar that might serve to lighten the enormity of his
wrongdoing as a member of the Bar.
As a result of an alleged slander committed by Jorge Montecillo on Francisco M. Gica (the former allegedly
calling the latter stupid or a fool), Mr. Gica filed a criminal complaint for oral defamation against
Montecillo (Criminal Case No. R-28782 in Branch VII of the Cebu City Court) and a case for damages arising
from the same incident (Civil Case No. R-13075 in Branch VI of the Cebu City Court). Montecillo was
acquitted in Criminal Case No. R-28782, and in Civil Case No. R-13075, the Cebu City Court found that
Montecillo did not call Gica stupid. Finding the counter-claim of Montecillo meritorious, the City Court
rendered judgment against Gica for him to pay Montecillo five hundred pesos as moral damages, two
hundred pesos as compensatory damages and three hundred pesos as attorneys fees, plus costs.
Francisco Gica appealed from the decision of the City Court of Cebu in Civil Case No. R-13075 to the Court
of First Instance of Cebu presided by Hon. Santiago O. Taada but the Court of First Instance upheld the
decision of the City Court. The case was then elevated to the Court of Appeals by petition for review by
petitioner Francisco M. Gica and it was docketed therein as CA-G.R. No. 46504-R.
The Fourth Division of the Court of Appeals in a decision penned by the Hon. Magno S. Gatmaitan and
concurred in by Associate Justices Jose N. Leuterio and Ramon G. Gaviola, Jr. (promulgated on Sept. 27,
1972), reversed the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu; ruled in favor of petitioner Gica on the
ground that the preponderance of evidence favored petitioner Francisco M. Gica on the principle that
positive must prevail over the negative evidence, and that some words must have come from Montecillos
lips that were insulting to Gica. The appellate court concluded that its decision is a vindication of Gica and
instead, awarded him five hundred pesos as damages.
It is from this point that trouble began for respondent Atty. Quirico del Mar when, as counsel for Montecillo,
he moved for a reconsideration of the Appellate Courts decision with a veiled threat by mentioning the
provisions of the Revised Penal Code on Knowingly rendering unjust judgment and judgment rendered
through negligence, and the innuendo that the Court of Appeals allowed itself to be deceived. When the
Appellate Court denied the motion for reconsideration in its Resolution of October 24, 1972, it observed
that the terminology of the motion insinuated that the Appellate Court rendered an unjust judgment, that it
abetted a falsification and it permitted itself to be deceived. It admonished Atty. del Mar to remember that
threats and abusive language cannot compel any court of justice to grant reconsideration. Respondent del
Mar persisted and in his second motion for reconsideration, filed without leave of court, made another

threat by stating that with almost all penal violations placed under the jurisdiction of the President of the
Philippines, particularly Articles 171, 204 and 205 of the Revised Penal Code, as Commander in Chief of the
AFP, by virtue of the proclamation of martial law, the next appeal that will he interposed, will be to His
Excellency, the President of the Philippines.
The Appellate Court in its resolution of Nov. 27, 1972, noticed that notwithstanding its admonition in its
resolution of Oct. 24, 1972, for Atty. del Mar to refrain from abusive language and threats, he reiterated his
threats, and that the Appellate Court, impelled to assert its authority, ordered respondent del Mar to
explain within 10 days (and to appear on January 10, 1973) why he should not be punished for contempt of
court.
On December 5, 1972, respondent del Mar made a written explanation wherein he said that the Appellate
Court could not be threatened and he was not making any threat but only informing the Appellate Court of
the course of action he would follow. On the same date, respondent sent a letter to the Justices of the 4th
Division of the Court of Appeals informing them that he sent a letter to the President of the Philippines,
furnishing them a copy thereof, and requesting the Justices to take into consideration the contents of said
letter during the hearing of the case scheduled for January 10, 1973. Not content with that move, on
December 8, 1972, respondent sent another letter to the same Justices of the Court of Appeals wherein he
reminded them of a civil case he instituted against Justices of the Supreme Court for damages in the
amount of P200,000 for a decision rendered not in accordance with law and justice, stating that he would
not like to do it again but would do so if provoked. We pause here to observe that respondent del Mar
seems to be of that frame of mind whereby he considers as in accordance with law and justice whatever
he believes to be right in his own opinion and as contrary to law and justice whatever does not accord with
his views. In other words, he would like to assume the role of this Court, personally and individually, in the
interpretation and construction of the laws, evaluation of evidence and determination of what is in
accordance with law and justice.
The documented incidents as narrated in the Appellate Courts Resolution of March 5, 1973, cannot more
eloquently depict the very manifest and repeated threats of respondent del Mar to bludgeon the Justices of
the Fourth Davison into reconsidering its decision which happened to be adverse to respondents client.
Respondent del Mar, instead of presenting lucid and forceful arguments on the merits of his plea for a
reconsideration to convince the Justices of the Fourth Division of the alleged error in their decision,
resorted to innuendos and veiled threats, even casting downright aspersion on the Justices concerned by
insinuating that for their decision they could be criminally and civilly liable for knowingly rendering unjust
judgment, or doing it through ignorance.
We quote with approval this portion of the Appellate Courts Resolution (March 5, 1973):
A just man can never be threatened, p. 145, rollo, is not at all true; any man, just or unjust, can be
threatened; if he is unjust, he will succumb, if he is just, he will not, but the offense is committed, whether
the threats do or do not succeed. As to his (respondent del Mars reference to the New Society, p. 150, in
his letter to his Excellency, complaining against those justices, let it be said that precisely it was under the
Former Society that there had been so much disrespect for the constituted authorities, there was abuse,
worse than abuse, there was arrogant abuse, of the so-called civil liberties, against the authorities,
including the courts, not excluding even the President; it is this anarchy that is the program to cure in the
New.
This Resolution of the Appellate Court of March 5, 1973, fittingly concluded that counsel del Mar is found
guilty of contempt and condemned to pay a fine of P200.00 and ordered suspended from the practice of
law and pursuant to Sec. 9 of Rule 139, let certified copies of these papers be elevated to the Honorable
Supreme Court. We upheld the Court of Appeals and gave full force and effect to this order of suspension

from the practice of law when in Our resolution dated Nov. 19, 1973, the Judicial Consultant of this Court
was directed to circularize all courts about the order of the Court of Appeals suspending Atty. Quirico del
Mar from the practice of law.
Not satisfied with the wrong that he had already done against Associate Justices Magno S. Gatmaitan, Jose
N. Leuterio and Ramon Gaviola, Jr., respondent del Mar sued the three Justices for damages in Civil Case
No. R-13277 of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, trying to hold them liable for their decision in CA-G.R.
No. 46504-R; that the case for damages (R-13277)was terminated by compromise agreement after Mr. del
Mar himself moved for the dismissal of his complaint apologized to the Court of Appeals and the Justices
concerned, and agreed to pay nominal moral damages in favor of the defendants-justices. This is the
undeniable indication that respondent del Mar did not only threaten the three Justices of the Appellate
Court but he actually carried out his threat, although he did not succeed in making them change their
minds in the case they decided in accordance with the exercise of their judicial discretion emanating from
pure conviction.
To add insult to injury, respondent del Mar had the temerity to file his motion on October 10, 1973, before
Us, asking that his suspension from the practice of law imposed by the Court of Appeals be ignored
because of the amicable settlement reached in Civil Case No. R-13277 of the Court of First Instance of
Cebu which was the action for damages filed against the three Justices of the Appellate Court.
Respondent del Mars ire at the Appellate Court, fanned by the wind of frustration, turned against Us when
We denied on May 14, 1973, his petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Appellate Court, G.
R. No. L-36800, for on May 25, 1973, he filed his motion for reconsideration and wrote a letter addressed to
the Clerk of this Court requesting the names of the Justices of this Court who supported the resolution
denying his petition, together with the names of the Justices favoring his motion for reconsideration. This
motion for reconsideration We denied for lack of merit in Our resolution dated June 15, 1973. He, then,
filed a manifestation dated July 1, 1973, before Us, stating brazenly, among other things, I can at this
time reveal to you that, had your Clerk of Court furnished me with certified true copies of the last two
Resolutions of the Supreme Court confirming the decision of the Court of Appeals in the case entitled
Francisco M. Gica vs. Jorge Montecillo, I would have filed against the Justices supporting the same, civil and
criminal suit as I did to the Justices of the Court of Appeals who, rewarding the abhorent falsification
committed by Mr. Gica, reversed for him the decisions of the City Court and the Court of First Instance of
Cebu, not with a view to obtaining a favorable judgment therein but for the purpose of exposing to the
people the corroding evils extant in our Government, so that they may well know them and work for their
extermination (Emphasis supplied. In one breath and in a language certainly not complimentary to the
Appellate Court and to Us, respondent del Mar again made his veiled threat of retribution aimed at the
Appellate Court and at Us for Our judicial acts in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R and G. R. No. L-36800.
Our immediate reaction to this manifestation, dictated by the impulse of placing on a pedestal beyond
suspicion the integrity and honor of this Court and that of any of our other courts of justice, was to require
by Resolution of July 16, 1973, respondent del Mar to show cause why disciplinary action should not be
taken against him for the contemptuous statements contained in his manifestation.
At this juncture, We pause to reexamine the act of the Appellate Court in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R and our
own in G. R. No. L-36800 to determine what error we might have committed to generate such a vengeful
wrath of respondent del Mar which drove him to make his contemptuous statements.
The crucial issue in the case of oral defamation filed by Francisco M. Gica against Jorge Montecillo is as to
what was the statement really uttered by Montecillo on the occasion in question binuang man gud na
(That act is senseless or done without thinking) or buang man gud na siya (He is foolish or stupid). If the
statement uttered was the former, Montecillo should be exonerated; if the latter, he would be liable. The

Appellate Court on evaluating the evidence ruled that the preponderance thereof favored Gica on the
principle that the positive evidence must prevail over the negative and, therefore, what was really uttered
by Montecillo on that occasion was buang man gud na siya (He is foolish or stupid), thus making him
liable for oral defamation. When We denied in G. R. No. L-36800 the petition for review on certiorari of the
Appellate Courts decision in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R, We did so because We could find no reason for
disturbing the Appellate Courts finding and conclusion on the aforementioned lone question of fact which
would warrant overturning its decision.
On July 13, 1973, Our resolution of May 14, 1973, denying the petition for review on certiorari of the
decision of the Appellate Court in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R, became final and executory and the Court of
Appeals was so informed.
To Our resolution of July 16, 1973, requiring respondent del Mar to show cause why he should not be
disciplined for his statements contained in his manifestation of July 1, 1973, he submitted an explanation
dated August 1, 1973, wherein he stated that , he is attaching hereto the criminal case he filed with the
President of the Philippines (copy marked as Annex A) and the civil case he instituted in the Court of First
Instance of Cebu (copy marked as Annex B) against Justices Magno S. Gatmaitan, Jose N. Leuterio and
Ramon G. Gaviola, Jr., which embody the corroding evils he complained of as extant in the Government
needing correction. He would have followed suit were it not for the fact that he is firmly convinced that
human efforts in this direction will be fruitless. As manifested, he, therefore, decided to retire from a life of
militancy to a life of seclusion leaving to God the filling-up of human deficiencies (Emphasis supplied).
This so-called explanation is more, in its tenor, of a defiant justification of his contemptuous statements
contained in the manifestation of July 1, 1973. Its contents reveal a continued veiled threat against the
Justices of this Court who voted to deny del Mars petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the
Court of Court Appeals in CA-G R. No. 46504-R.
Our resolution of September 4, 1973, required respondent Atty. Quirico del Mar to appear personally at the
hearing of his explanation on November 5, 1973. On September 26, 1973, respondent filed an additional
explanation with this Court, wherein he stated, among other things: Graft, corruption and injustice are
rampant in and outside of the Government. It is this state of things that convinced me that all human
efforts to correct and/or reform the said evils will be fruitless and, as stated in my manifestation to you, I
have already decided to retire from a life of militancy to a life of seclusion, leaving to God the filling-up of
human deficiencies.
Again We noticed that the tenor of this additional explanation is a toned-down justification (as compared to
his explanation of August 1, 1973) of his previous contemptuous statements without even a hint of apology
or regret. Respondent is utilizing what exists in his mind as state of graft, corruption and injustice allegedly
rampant in and outside of the government as justification for his contemptuous statements. In other
words, he already assumed by his own contemptuous utterances that because there is an alleged
existence of rampant corruption, graft, and injustice in and out of the government, We, by Our act in G. R.
No. L-36800, are among the corrupt, the grafters and those allegedly committing injustice. We are at a
complete loss to follow respondent del Mars logic and We certainly should, with understanding
condescension, commiserate in the pitiable state of mind of a brother in the legal profession who seems to
have his reasoning and sense of proportion blurred or warped by an all-consuming obsession emanating
from a one-track mind that only his views are absolutely correct and those of others are all wrong.
When this Court in the resolution dated November 19, 1973, directed the Judicial Consultant to circularize
to all courts concerning the order of the Court of Appeals suspending Atty. Quirico del Mar from the
practice of law, respondent del Mar filed a motion for reconsideration on December 12, 1973, requesting
Us to reconsider said directive. In Our resolution dated December 17, 1973, respondent del Mar, after he

had been interpellated by the Court, was given a period of five days to submit a memorandum in support
of his explanation. In view of respondents manifestation that there was no need for further investigation of
the facts involved, in accordance with Section 29 of Rule 138, We resolved that the matter be deemed
submitted for decision.
In the memorandum entitled Explanation dated December 20, 1973, respondent del Mar stated that he
suffered repeated strokes of high blood pressure which rendered him dizzy and unstable mentally and
physically; that his sight is blurred and his reasoning is faulty; he easily forgets things and cannot readily
correlate them; that for any and all mistakes he might have committed he asked for forgiveness; he
reiterated that blunders were committed by the Court of Appeals in its decision and that the Justices
thereof knowingly rendered the same in violation of Article 204 of the Penal Code; he persisted in his view
that the Court of Appeals committed an error in its decision; justified his act of invoking Article 204 of the
Penal Code in trying to make the Appellate Justices liable; that he was high in his academic and scholastic
standing during his school days; that with all the confusion prevailing nowadays, the undersigned has
decided for reasons of sickness and old age to retire from the practice of law. He hopes and expects that,
with the approval thereof by the Supreme Court, he could have himself released from the obligation he has
contracted with his clients as regards all his pending cases.
It is Our observation that the tenor of this explanation although pleading mental and physical ailment as a
mitigation of the contemptuous acts, is still that of arrogant justification for respondents previous
statements. We quote:
The undersigned was asked if he had not filed against the Justices of the Supreme Court a case for
damages against them. He answered in the affirmative, but the case was dismissed by Judge Villasor, of
the Court of First Instance of Cebu, because of an American ruling that a justice of the Supreme Court of
the Philippines cannot be civilly held liable. The ruling cited was rendered during the American regime in
the Philippines which was still subject to the jurisdiction of the American laws. But the Philippines is now
independent and Article 204 of the Penal Code still remains incorporated therein for observance and
fulfillment. Up to now, there is not yet any definite ruling of the Supreme Court thereon
While still persistently justifying his contemptuous statements and at the same time pleading that his
physical and mental ailment be considered so that We may forgive respondent del Mar he shrewdly stated
at the end of his explanation that he has decided for reasons of sickness and old age to retire from the
practice of law, in practical anticipation of whatever penalty We may decide to impose on him and thus
making it appear that he has voluntarily done so with honor and in complete evasion of whatever this
Court may decide to do in this case.
With full realization that a practicing lawyer and officer of the court facing contempt proceedings cannot
just be allowed to voluntarily retire from the practice of law, an act which would negate the inherent power
of the court to punish him for contempt in defense of its integrity and honor, We resolve, by resolution of
January 10, 1974, to deny said prayer of Atty. del Mar without prejudice to his making arrangement directly
with his clients.
To aged brethren of the bar it may appear belated to remind them that second only to the duty of
maintaining allegiance to the Republic of the Philippines and to support the Constitution and obey the laws
of the Philippines, is the duty of all attorneys to observe and maintain the respect due to the courts of
justice and judicial officers (Sec. 20 (b) Rule 138, Rules of Court). But We do remind them of said duty to
emphasize to their younger brethren its paramount importance. A lawyer must always remember that he is
an officer of the court exercising a high privilege and serving in the noble mission of administering justice.

It is the duty of the lawyer to maintain towards the courts a respectful attitude (People vs. Carillo, 77 Phil.
572). As an officer of the court, it is his duty to uphold the dignity and authority of the court to which he
owes fidelity, according to the oath he has taken. Respect for the courts guarantees the stability of our
democratic institutions which, without such respect, would be resting on a very shaky foundation. (In re
Sotto 82 Phil. 595).
As We stated before:
We concede that a lawyer may think highly of his intellectual endowment. That is his privilege. And, he
may suffer frustration at what he feels is others lack of it. This is his misfortune. Some such frame of mind,
however, should not be allowed to harden into a belief that he may attack a courts decision in words
calculated to jettison the time-honored aphorism that courts are the temples of right. He should give due
allowance to the fact that judges are but men; and men are encompassed by error, fettered by fallibility.
To be sure, lawyers may come up with various methods, perhaps much more effective, in calling the
Courts attention to the issues involved. The language vehicle does not run short of expressions, emphatic
but respectful, convincing but not derogatory, illuminating but not offensive (Rheem of the Philippines vs.
Ferrer G. R. No. L-22979, June 26, 1967; 20 SCRA 441, 444-445)
Criminal contempt has been defined as a conduct that is directed against the dignity and authority of the
court or a judge acting judicially. It is an act obstructing the administration of justice which tends to bring
the court into disrepute or disrespect (17 C. J. S. 7).
We have held that statements contained in a motion to disqualify a judge, imputing to the latter conspiracy
or connivance with the prosecutors or concocting a plan with a view to securing the conviction of the
accused, and implicating said judge in a supposed attempt to extort money from the accused on a promise
or assurance of the latters acquittal, all without basis, were highly derogatory and serve nothing but to
discredit the judge presiding the court in an attempt to secure his disqualification. Statements of that
nature have no place in a court pleading and if uttered by a member of the bar, constitute a serious
disrespect. We said:
As an officer of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy unnecessarily the
high esteem and regard towards the court so essential to the proper administration of justice (Emphasis
supplied). (People vs. Carillo, 43 O.G. No. 12, p. 5021; De Joya et al vs. C. F. I. of Rizal and Rilloraza 52 0. G.
6150).
As already stated, the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. R. No. 46504-R was based on its evaluation
of the evidence on only one specific issue. We in turn denied in G. R. No. L-36800 the petition for review
on certiorari of the decision because We found no reason for disturbing the appellate courts finding and
conclusion. In both instances, both the Court of Appeals and this Court exercised judicial discretion in a
case under their respective jurisdiction. The intemperate and imprudent act of respondent del Mar in
resorting to veiled threats to make both Courts reconsider their respective stand in the decision and the
resolution that spelled disaster for his client cannot be anything but pure contumely for said tribunals.
It is manifest that respondent del Mar has scant respect for the two highest Courts of the land when on the
flimsy ground of alleged error in deciding a case, he proceeded to challenge the integrity of both Courts by
claiming that they knowingly rendered unjust judgment. In short, his allegation is that they acted with
intent and malice, if not with gross ignorance of the law, in disposing of the case of his client.
We note with wonder and amazement the brazen effrontery of respondent in assuming that his personal
knowledge of the law and his concept of justice are superior to that of both the Supreme Court and the

Court of Appeals. His pretense cannot but tend to erode the peoples faith in the integrity of the courts of
justice and in the administration of justice. He repeatedly invoked his supposed quest for law and justice as
justification for his contemptuous statements without realizing that, in seeking both abstract elusive terms,
he is merely pursuing his own personal concept of law and justice. He seems not to comprehend that what
to him may be lawful or just may not be so in the minds of others. He could not accept that what to him
may appear to be right or correct may be wrong or erroneous from the viewpoint of another. We
understand that respondents mind delves into the absolute without considering the universal law of
change. It is with deep concern that We view such a state of mind of a practicing lawyer since what We
expect as a paramount qualification for those in the practice of law is broadmindedness and tolerance,
coupled with keen perception and a sound sense of proportion in evaluating events and circumstances.
For a lawyer in the twilight of his life, with supposed physical and mental ailments at that, who dares to
challenge the integrity and honor of both the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, We have nothing but
commiseration and sympathy for his choosing to close the book of his long years of law practice not by
voluntary retirement with honor but in disciplinary action with ignominy and dishonor. To those who are in
the practice of law and those who in the future will choose to enter this profession, We wish to point to this
case as a reminder for them to imprint in their hearts and minds that an attorney owes it to himself to
respect the courts of justice and its officers as a fealty for the stability of our democratic institutions.
WHEREFORE, the resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 46504-R, dated March 5, 1973,
suspending Atty. Quirico del Mar from the practice of law, as implemented by Our resolution of November
19, 1973, is hereby affirmed.
Respondent Atty. Quirico del Mar for his misconduct towards the Supreme Court, shall be, as he is hereby,
suspended from the practice of law until further orders of this Court, such suspension to take effect
immediately. (In re Almacen, No. L-27654, Feb. 18, 1970, 31 SCRA, p. 562.)
The Judicial Consultant of this Court is directed to circularize all courts and the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines regarding the indefinite suspension of Atty. Quirico del Mar from the practice of law.

DIGEST:
FACTS: Jorge Montecillo was accused by Francisco Gica of slander. Atty. Quirico del Mar represented
Montecillo and he successfully defended Monteceillo in the lower court. Del Mar was even able to win their
counterclaim thus the lower court ordered Gica to pay Montecillo the adjudged moral damages.
Gica appealed the award of damages to the Court of Appeals where the latter court reversed the same.
Atty. Del Mar then filed a motion for reconsideration where he made a veiled threat against the Court of
Appeals judges intimating that he thinks the CA justices knowingly rendered an unjust decision and
judgment has been rendered through negligence and that the CA allowed itself to be deceived.
The CA denied the MFR and it admonished Atty. Del Mar from using such tone with the court. Del Mar then
filed a second MFR where he again made threats. The CA then ordered del Mar to show cause as to why he
should not be punished for contempt.
Thereafter, del Mar sent the three CA justices a copy of a letter which he sent to the President of the
Philippines asking the said justices to consider the CA judgment. But the CA did not reverse its judgment.
Del Mar then filed a civil case against the three justices of the CA before a Cebu lower court but the civil
case was eventually dismissed by reason of a compromise agreement where del Mar agreed to pay
damages to the justices. Eventually, the CA suspended Atty. Del Mar from practice.

The issue reached the Supreme Court. Del Mar asked the SC to reverse his suspension as well as the CA
decision as to the Montecillo case. The SC denied both and this earned the ire of del Mar as he demanded
from the Clerk of the Supreme Court as to who were the judges who voted against him.
The Supreme Court then directed del Mar to submit an explanation as to why he should not be disciplined.
Del Mar in his explanation instead tried to justify his actions even stating that had he not been convinced
that human efforts in [pursuing the case] will be fruitless he would have continued with the civil case
against the CA justices. In his explanation, del Mar also intimated that even the Supreme Court is part
among the corrupt, the grafters and those allegedly committing injustice.
Del Mar even filed a civil case against some Supreme Court justices but the judge who handled the case
dismissed the same.
ISSUE: Whether or not Atty. Del Mar should be suspended.
HELD: Yes. Atty. Del Mar, by his contemptuous acts is in violation of his duties to the courts. As an officer
of the court, it is his sworn and moral duty to help build and not destroy unnecessarilythe high esteem and
regard towards the court so essential to the proper administration of justice.
It is manifest that del Mar has scant respect for the two highest Courts of the land when on the flimsy
ground of alleged error in deciding a case, he proceeded to challenge the integrity of both Courts by
claiming that they knowingly rendered unjust judgment. In short, his allegation is that they acted with
intent and malice, if not with gross ignorance of the law, in disposing of the case of his client. Del Mar was
then suspended indefinitely.

3. Oronce VS CA 298 SCRA 133 (1988)


G.R. No. 80526 July 18, 1988

J. GONZALES-ORENSE, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and PRIMA M. CAGUIAT-ALBA, respondents.
Ambrosio Padilla, Mempin & Reyes Law Offices for private respondent.

CRUZ, J.:
The novel question presented in this case is whether or not, when an award of attorney's fees by the
probate court is elevated to the Court of Appeals, a record on appeal is necessary.
The issue arose when, having been retained by the private respondent on July 1, 1982, to represent her in
the probate of her husband's will, the petitioner was subsequently dismissed on March 5, 1984. He claimed
the stipulated attorney's fees equivalent to 10% of the estate but the probate court, 1 in its order dated
December 8,1986, allowed him only P20,000.00 on the basis of quantum meruit. On December 19, 1986,
he filed a notice of appeal from this order, and the probate court then transmitted the records of the case
to the Court of Appeals, which notified the petitioner accordingly. On July 20, 1987, he submitted the brief
for the appellant. The private respondent traversed with her brief for the appellee on September 8, 1987.
On September 22, 1987, however, the Court of Appeals 2 declared the petitioner's appeal abandoned and
dismissed for his failure to submit his record on appeal as required under BP 129 and the Interim Rules and

Guidelines. The petitioner then came on appeal by certiorari to this Court to ask that the said resolution be
set aside as null and void.
The pertinent provision of BP 129 reads as follows:
Sec. 39. Appeals. The period for appeal from final orders, resolution, awards, judgment or
decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the
final order, resolution award, judgment or decision appealed from. Provided, however, that
in habeas corpuscases the period for appeal shall be forty-eight (48) hours from the notice of
the judgment appealed from.
No record on appeal shall be required to take an appeal. In lieu thereof, the entire original
record shall be transmitted with all the pages prominently numbered consecutively together
with an index of the contents thereof.
This section shall not apply in appeals in special proceedings and in other cases wherein
multiple appeals are allowed under applicable provisions of the Rules of Court.
The Interim Rules and Guidelines provide thus:
Sec. 18. Elimination of record on appeal and appeal bond. The filing of a record on appeal
shall be dispensed with except in the cases referred to in sub-paragraph (b) of paragraph 19
hereof.
No appeal bond shall be required for an appeal.
Sec. 19. Period of Appeal (a) All appeals except in habeas corpus cases and in the cases
referred to in paragraph (b) hereof, must be taken within fifteen (15) days from notice of the
judgment, order, resolution or award appealed from; (b) In appeals in special proceedings in
accordance with Rule 109 of the Rules of Court and other cases wherein multiple appeals are
allowed, the period of appeal shall be 30 days, a record on appeal being required.
The petitioner contends that under the above rules it was not necessary for him to file a record on appeal
because his appeal involves an ordinary claim for payment of attorney's fees which may be asserted
against the private respondent either in the probate case or in a separate civil action. The appeal should
therefore be covered by the general rule rather than by the exception. The probate court apparently
believed as much because it immediately directed the transmittal of the records of the case to the
respondent court in lieu of the record on appeal, and so too did the appellee for she filed her brief in due
time instead of moving to dismiss because of the non-filing of the record on appeal. He adds that he could
not be regarded as having abandoned his appeal as in fact he had filed a motion for execution pending
appeal on August 11, 1987, without prejudice to the final outcome of his appeal.
The private respondent, for her part, supports the respondent court and argues that the above-cited
provisions specifically exclude from the general rule special proceedings and other cases where multiple
appeals are allowed. The period for appeal in these cases is retained at thirty days and the record on
appeal is still necessary. Non-compliance will result in dismissal of the appeal as the requirements are
mandatory, and more so in this case since the petitioner was required to file the record on appeal and did
not choose to comply with the order of the respondent court. It is stressed that the petitioner's appeal was
in Sp. Proc. No. 35398 in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City and not in any ordinary or separate civil
action.
In the view of the Court, the decisive provision is Rule 109, Section 1, of the Rules of Court, which reads in
full as follows:

Section 1. Orders or judgments from which appeals may be taken. An interested person may
appeal in special proceedings from an order or judgment rendered by a Court of First
Instance or a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, where such order or judgment:
(a) Allows or disallows a will;
(b) Determines who are the lawful heirs of a deceased person, or the distributive share of
the estate to which such person is entitled;
(c) Allows or disallows, in whole or in part, any claim against the estate of a deceased
person, or any claim presented on behalf of the estate in offset to a claim against it;
(d) Settles the account of an executor, administrator, trustee or guardian;
(e) Constitutes, in proceedings relating to the settlement of the estate of a deceased person,
or the administration of a trustee or guardian, a final determination in the lower court of the
rights of the party appealing, except that no appeal shall be allowed from the appointment
of a special administrator; and
(f) Is the final order or judgment rendered in the case, and affects the substantial rights of
the person appealing, unless it be an order granting or denying a motion for a new trial or
for reconsideration.
It is settled that the fees of the lawyer representing the executor or administrator are directly chargeable
against the client for whom the services have been rendered and not against the estate of the
decedent. 3 However, the executor or administrator may claim reimbursement of such fees from the estate
if it can be shown that the services of the lawyer redounded to its benefit. 4
As the petitioner's claim for attorney's fees is not a claim against the estate of the private respondent's
husband, he could have filed it in an ordinary civil action, in which event an appeal therefrom will not be
regarded as involved in a special proceeding requiring the submission of a record on appeal. It appears,
however, that it was not filed in such separate civil action but in the probate case itself, which is a special
proceeding and so should be deemed governed by Rule 109 on appeals from such proceedings. The appeal
would come under Subsection (e) thereof as the order of the probate court granting the challenged
attorney's fees "constitutes, in proceedings relating to the settlement of the estate of a deceased person,
or the administration of a trustee or guardian, a final determination in the lower court of the rights of the
party appealing." The consequence is that the exception rather than the rule in BP 129 and the
Implementing Rules and Guidelines should be followed and, therefore, the record on appeal should be
required.
Rule 50, Section 1, of the Rules of Court provides in part as follows:
Grounds for dismissal of appeal. An appeal may be dismissed by the Court of Appeals, on
its own motion or on that of the appellee, on the following grounds:
xxx xxx xxx
(b) Failure to file, within the period prescribed by these rules, the notice of appeal, appeal
bond orrecord on appeal.
On the basis of the above rule, the challenged resolution of the respondent court dismissing the
petitioner's appeal cannot be faulted.

It is noted, however, that the question presented in this case is one of first impression; that the petitioner
acted in honest if mistaken, interpretation of the applicable law; that the probate court itself believed that
the record on appeal was unnecessary; and that the private respondent herself apparently thought so, too,
for she did not move to dismiss the appeal and instead impliedly recognized its validity by filing the
appellee's brief.
In view of these circumstances, and in the interest of justice, the Court feels that the petitioner should be
given an opportunity to comply with the above-discussed rules by submitting the required record on
appeal as a condition for the revival of the appeal. The issue raised in his appeal may then be fully
discussed and, in the light of the briefs already filed by the parties, resolved on the merits by the
respondent court.
ACCORDINGLY, the respondent court is directed to REINSTATE the petitioner's appeal upon his submission,
within thirty days from notice hereof, of the required record on appeal as duly approved by the probate
court. No costs.

DIGEST:
Facts: During a dispute over land, Flaminiano illegally took possession of the property in litigation using
abusive methods. She was aided by her husband, a lawyer. The illegal entry took place while the case
was pending in the CA & while a writ of preliminary injunction was in force.

Held: Atty. Flaminianos acts of entering the property without the consent of its occupants & in
contravention of the existing writ or preliminary injunction & making utterances showing disrespect for the
law & this Court, are unbecoming of a member of the Bar. Although he says that they peacefully took
over the property, such peaceful take-over cannot justify defiance of the writ of preliminary injunction
that he knew was still in force. Through his acts, he has flouted his duties as a member of the legal
profession. Under the Code of Professional Responsibility, he is prohibited from counseling or abetting
activities aimed at defiance of the law or at lessening confidence in the legal system.

4. De Ysasi VS NLRC 231 SCRA 173 (1994)


G.R. No. 104599 March 11, 1994

JON DE YSASI III, petitioner,


vs.
NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION (FOURTH DIVISION), CEBU CITY, and JON DE
YSASI,respondents.
F.B. Santiago, Nalus & Associates for petitioner.
Ismael A. Serfino for private respondent.
REGALADO, J.:
The adage that blood is thicker than water obviously stood for naught in this case, notwithstanding
the vinculum of paternity and filiation between the parties. It would indeed have been the better part of
reason if herein petitioner and private respondent had reconciled their differences in an extrajudicial
atmosphere of familial amity and with the grace of reciprocal concessions. Father and son opted instead for
judicial intervention despite the inevitable acrimony and negative publicity. Albeit with distaste, the Court
cannot proceed elsewise but to resolve their dispute with the same reasoned detachment accorded any
judicial proceeding before it.

The records of this case reveal that petitioner was employed by his father, herein private respondent, as
farm administrator of Hacienda Manucao in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental sometime in April, 1980. Prior
thereto, he was successively employed as sales manager of Triumph International (Phil.), Inc. and later as
operations manager of Top Form Manufacturing (Phil.), Inc. His employment as farm administrator was on a
fixed salary, with other allowances covering housing, food, light, power, telephone, gasoline, medical and
dental expenses.
As farm administrator, petitioner was responsible for the supervision of daily activities and operations of
the sugarcane farm such as land preparation, planting, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting, dealing with third
persons in all matters relating to the hacienda 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. During his recuperation which lasted over four months, he was under the care of Dr. Patricio
Tan. 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 from Atty. Apolonio Sumbingco, private respondent's auditor and
legal adviser, as well as for the remittance of his salary. Both demands, however, were not acted upon.
Petitioner then filed an action with the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC, for brevity), Regional
Arbitration Branch No. VI, Bacolod City, on October 17, 1984, docketed therein as RAB Case No. 0452-84,
against private respondent for illegal dismissal with prayer for reinstatement without loss of seniority
rights and payment of full back wages, thirteenth month pay for 1983, consequential, moral and
exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees.
On July 31, 1991, said complaint for illegal dismissal was dismissed by the NLRC, 1 holding that petitioner
abandoned his work and that the termination of his employment was for a valid cause, but ordering private
respondent to pay petitioner the amount of P5,000.00 as penalty for his failure to serve notice of said
termination of employment to the Department of Labor and Employment as required by Batas Pambansa
Blg. 130 and consonant with this Court's ruling in Wenphil Corporation vs. National Labor Relations
Commission, et al. 2 On appeal to the Fourth Division of the NLRC, Cebu City, said decision was affirmed in
toto. 3
His motion for reconsideration 4 of said decision having been denied for lack of merit, 5 petitioner filed this
petition presenting the following issues for resolution: (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. The discussion of these issues will necessarily subsume
the corollary questions presented by private respondent, such as the exact date when petitioner ceased to
function as farm administrator, the character of the pecuniary amounts received by petitioner from private
respondent, that is, whether the same are in the nature of salaries or pensions, and whether or not there
was abandonment by petitioner of his functions as farm administrator.
In his manifestation dated September 14, 1992, the Solicitor General recommended a modification of the
decision of herein public respondent sustaining the findings and conclusions of the Executive Labor Arbiter
in RAB Case No. 0452-84, 6 for which reason the NLRC was required to submit its own comment on the

petition. In compliance with the Court's resolution of November 16, 1992, 7 NLRC filed its comment on
February 12, 1992 largely reiterating its earlier position in support of the findings of the Executive Labor
Arbiter. 8
Before proceeding with a discussion of the issues, the observation of the labor arbiter is worth noting:
This case is truly unique. What makes this case unique is the fact that because of the special
relationship of the parties and the nature of the action involved, this case could very well go
down (in) the annals of the Commission as perhaps the first of its kind. For this case is an
action filed by an only son, his father's namesake, the only child and therefore the only heir
against his own father. 9
Additionally, the Solicitor General remarked:
. . . After an exhaustive reading of the records, two (2) observations were noted that may
justify why this labor case deserves special considerations. First, most of the complaints that
petitioner and private respondent had with each other, were personal matters affecting
father and son relationship. And secondly, if any of the complaints pertain to their work, they
allow their personal relationship to come in the way. 10
I. Petitioner maintains that his dismissal from employment was illegal because of want of just cause
therefor and non-observance of the requirements of due process. He also charges the NLRC with grave
abuse of discretion in relying upon the findings of the executive labor arbiter who decided the case but did
not conduct the hearings thereof.
Private respondent, in refutation, avers that there was abandonment by petitioner of his functions as farm
administrator, thereby arming private respondent with a ground to terminate his employment at Hacienda
Manucao. It is also contended that it is wrong for petitioner to question the factual findings of the executive
labor arbiter and the NLRC as only questions of law may be appealed for resolution by this Court.
Furthermore, in seeking the dismissal of the instant petition, private respondent faults herein petitioner for
failure to refer to the corresponding pages of the transcripts of stenographic notes, erroneously citing
Sections 15(d) and 16(d), Rule 44 (should be Section 16[c] and [d],
Rule 46 and Section 1[g], Rule 50) of the Rules of Court, which provide that want of page references to the
records is a ground for dismissal of an appeal.
Prefatorily, we take advertence of the provisions of Article 221 of the Labor Code that technical rules of
evidence prevailing in courts of law and equity shall not be controlling, and that every and all reasonable
means to speedily and objectively ascertain the facts in each case shall be availed of, without regard to
technicalities of law or procedure in the interest of due process.
It is settled that it is not procedurally objectionable for the decision in a case to be rendered by a judge, or
a labor arbiter for that matter, other than the one who conducted the hearing. The fact that the judge who
heard the case was not the judge who penned the decision does not impair the validity of the
judgment, 11 provided that he draws up his decision and resolution with due care and makes certain that
they truly and accurately reflect conclusions and final dispositions on the bases of the facts of and
evidence submitted in the case. 12
Thus, the mere fact that the case was initially assigned to Labor Arbiter Ricardo T. Octavio, who conducted
the hearings therein from December 5, 1984 to July 11, 1985, and was later transferred to Executive Labor
Arbiter Oscar S. Uy, who eventually decided the case, presents no procedural infirmity, especially
considering that there is a presumption of regularity in the performance of a public officer's
functions, 13 which petitioner has not successfully rebutted.

We are constrained to heed the underlying policy in the Labor Code relaxing the application of technical
rules of procedure in labor cases in the interest of due process, ever mindful of the long-standing legal
precept that rules of procedure must be interpreted to help secure, not defeat, justice. For this reason, we
cannot indulge private respondent in his tendency to nitpick on trivial technicalities to boost his
arguments. The strength of one's position cannot be hinged on mere procedural niceties but on solid bases
in law and jurisprudence.
The fundamental guarantees of security of tenure and due process dictate that no worker shall be
dismissed except for just and authorized cause provided by law and after due process. 14 Article 282 of the
Labor Code enumerates the causes for which an employer may validly terminate an employment, to wit:
(a) serious misconduct or willful disobedience by the employee of the lawful orders of his employer or
representative in connection with his work; (b) gross and habitual neglect by the employee of his duties;
(c) fraud or willful breach by the employee of the trust reposed in him by his employer or duly authorized
representative; (d) commission of a crime or offense by the employee against the person of his employer
or any immediate member of his family or his duly authorized representative; and (e) other causes
analogous to the foregoing.
The employer may also terminate the services of any employee due to the installation of labor saving
devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses or the closing or cessation of operation of the
establishment or undertaking, unless the closing is for the purpose of circumventing the pertinent
provisions of the Labor Code, by serving a written notice on the workers and the Department of Labor and
Employment at least one (1) month before the intended date thereof, with due entitlement to the
corresponding separation pay rates provided by law.15 Suffering from a disease by reason whereof the
continued employment of the employee is prohibited by law or is prejudicial to his and his co-employee's
health, is also a ground for termination of his services provided he receives the prescribed separation
pay. 16 On the other hand, it is well-settled that abandonment by an employee of his work authorizes the
employer to effect the former's dismissal from employment. 17
After a careful review of the records of this case, we find that public respondent gravely erred in affirming
the decision of the executive labor arbiter holding that petitioner abandoned his employment and was not
illegally dismissed from such employment. For want of substantial bases, in fact or
in law, we cannot give the stamp of finality and conclusiveness normally accorded to the factual findings of
an administrative agency, such as herein public respondent NLRC, 18 as even decisions of administrative
agencies which are declared "final" by law are not exempt from judicial review when so warranted. 19
The following perceptive disquisitions of the Solicitor General on this point deserve acceptance:
It is submitted that the absences of petitioner in his work from October 1982 to December
1982, cannot be construed as abandonment of work because he has a justifiable excuse.
Petitioner was suffering from perennial abscess in the peri-anal around the anus and fistula
under the medical attention of Dr. Patricio Tan of Riverside Medical Center, Inc., Bacolod City
(Tsn, Vol. III, Dr. Tan, February 19, 1986 at 20-44).
This fact (was) duly communicated to private respondent by medical bills sent to Hacienda
Manucao (Tsn, Vol. III, Dr. Tan, January 22, 1987 at 49-50).
During the period of his illness and recovery, petitioner stayed in Bacolod City upon the
instruction(s) of private respondent to recuperate thereat and to handle only administrative
matters of the hacienda in that city. As a manager, petitioner is not really obliged to live and
stay 24 hours a day inside Hacienda Manucao.
xxx xxx xxx

After evaluating the evidence within the context of the special circumstances involved and
basic human experience, petitioner's illness and strained family relation with respondent Jon
de Ysasi II may be considered as justifiable reason for petitioner Jon de Ysasi III's absence
from work during the period of October 1982 to December 1982. In any event, such absence
does not warrant outright dismissal without notice and hearing.
xxx xxx xxx
The elements of abandonment as a ground for dismissal of an employee are as follows:
(1) failure to report for work or absence without valid or justifiable reason; and
(2) clear intention to sever the employer-employee tie (Samson
Alcantara, Reviewer in Labor and Social Legislation, 1989 edition, p. 133).
This Honorable Court, in several cases, illustrates what constitute abandonment. In Dagupan
Bus Company v. NLRC (191 SCRA 328), the Court rules that for abandonment to arise, there
must be a concurrence of the intention to abandon and some overt act from which it may be
inferred that the employee has no more interest to work. Similarly, in Nueva Ecija I Electric
Cooperative, Inc. v. NLRC(184 SCRA 25), for abandonment to constitute a valid cause for
termination of employment, there must be a deliberate, unjustified refusal of the employee
to resume his employment. . . Mere absence is not sufficient; it must be accompanied by
overt acts unerringly pointing to the fact that the employee simply does not want to work
anymore.
There are significant indications in this case, that there is no abandonment. First, petitioner's
absence and his decision to leave his residence inside Hacienda Manucao, is justified by his
illness and strained family relations. Second he has some medical certificates to show his
frail health. Third, once able to work, petitioner wrote a letter (Annex "J") informing private
respondent of his intention to assume again his employment. Last, but not the least, he at
once instituted a complaint for illegal dismissal when he realized he was unjustly dismissed.
All these are indications that petitioner had no intention to abandon his employment. 20
The records show that the parties herein do not dispute the fact of petitioner's confinement in the hospital
for his various afflictions which required medical treatment. Neither can it be denied that private
respondent was well aware of petitioner's state of health as the former admittedly shouldered part of the
medical and hospital bills and even advised the latter to stay in Bacolod City until he was fit to work again.
The disagreement as to whether or not petitioner's ailments were so serious as to necessitate
hospitalization and corresponding periods for recuperation is beside the point. The fact remains that on
account of said illnesses, the details of which were amply substantiated by the attending physician, 21 and
as the records are bereft of any suggestion of malingering on the part of petitioner, there was justifiable
cause for petitioner's absence from work. We repeat, it is clear, deliberate and unjustified refusal to
resume employment and not mere absence that is required to constitute abandonment as a valid ground
for termination of employment. 22
With his position as farm administrator of Hacienda Manucao, petitioner unmistakably may be classified as
a managerial employee 23 to whom the law grants an amount of discretion in the discharge of his duties.
This is why when petitioner stated that "I assigned myself where I want to go," 24 he was simply being
candid about what he could do within the sphere of his authority. His duties as farm administrator did not
strictly require him to keep regular hours or to be at the office premises at all times, or to be subjected to
specific control from his employer in every aspect of his work. What is essential only is that he runs the
farm as efficiently and effectively as possible and, while petitioner may definitely not qualify as a model
employee, in this regard he proved to be quite successful, as there was at least a showing of increased
production during the time that petitioner was in charge of farm operations.

If, as private respondent contends, he had no control over petitioner during the years 1983 to 1984, this is
because that was the period when petitioner was recuperating from illness and on account of which his
attendance and direct involvement in farm operations were irregular and minimal, hence the supervision
and control exercisable by private respondent as employer was necessarily limited. It goes without saying
that the control contemplated refers only to matters relating to his functions as farm administrator and
could not extend to petitioner's personal affairs and activities.
While it was taken for granted that for purposes of discharging his duties as farm administrator, petitioner
would be staying at the house in the farm, there really was no explicit contractual stipulation (as there was
no formal employment contract to begin with) requiring him to stay therein for the duration of his
employment or that any transfer of residence would justify the termination of his employment. That
petitioner changed his residence should not be taken against him, as this is undeniably among his basic
rights, nor can such fact of transfer of residence per se be a valid ground to terminate an employeremployee relationship.
Private respondent, in his pleadings, asserted that as he was yet uncertain of his son's intention of
returning to work after his confinement in the hospital, he kept petitioner on the payroll, reported him as
an employee of thehacienda for social security purposes, and paid his salaries and benefits with the
mandated deductions therefrom until the end of December, 1982. It was only in January, 1983 when he
became convinced that petitioner would no longer return to work that he considered the latter to have
abandoned his work and, for this reason, no longer listed him as an employee. According to private
respondent, whatever amount of money was given to petitioner from that time until
April, 1984 was in the nature of a pension or an allowance or mere gratuitous doles from a father to a son,
and not salaries as, in fact, none of the usual deductions were made therefrom. It was only in April, 1984
that private respondent completely stopped giving said pension or allowance when he was angered by
what he heard petitioner had been saying about sending him to jail.
Private respondent capitalizes on the testimony of one Manolo Gomez taken on oral deposition regarding
petitioner's alleged statement to him, "(h)e quemado los (p)ue(n)tes de Manucao" ("I have burned my
bridges with Manucao") as expressive of petitioner's intention to abandon his job. In addition to
insinuations of sinister motives on the part of petitioner in working at the farm and thereafter abandoning
the job upon accomplishment of his objectives, private respondent takes the novel position that the
agreement to support his son after the latter abandoned the administration of the farm legally converts
the initial abandonment to implied voluntary resignation. 25
As earlier mentioned, petitioner ripostes that private respondent undoubtedly knew about petitioner's
illness and even paid for his hospital and other medical bills. The assertion regarding abandonment of
work, petitioner argues, is further belied by his continued performance of various services related to the
operations of the farm from May to the last quarter of 1983, his persistent inquiries from his father's
accountant and legal adviser about the reason why his pension or allowance was discontinued since April,
1984, and his indication of having recovered and his willingness and capability to resume his work at the
farm as expressed in a letter dated September 14, 1984. 26 With these, petitioner contends that it is
immaterial how the monthly pecuniary amounts are designated, whether as salary, pension or allowance,
with or without deductions, as he was entitled thereto in view of his continued service as farm
administrator. 27
To stress what was earlier mentioned, in order that a finding of abandonment may justly be made there
must be a concurrence of two elements, viz.: (1) the failure to report for work or absence without valid or
justifiable reason, and (2) a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship, with the second
element as the more determinative factor and being manifested by some overt acts. Such intent we find
dismally wanting in this case.

It will be recalled that private respondent himself admitted being unsure of his son's plans of returning to
work. The absence of petitioner from work since mid-1982, prolonged though it may have been, was not
without valid causes of which private respondent had full knowledge. As to what convinced or led him to
believe that petitioner was no longer returning to work, private respondent neither explains nor
substantiates by any reasonable basis how he arrived at such a conclusion.
Moreover, private respondent's claim of abandonment cannot be given credence as even after January,
1983, when private respondent supposedly "became convinced" that petitioner would no longer work at
the farm, the latter continued to perform services directly required by his position as farm administrator.
These are duly and correspondingly evidenced by such acts as picking up some farm machinery/equipment
from G.A. Machineries, Inc., 28 claiming and paying for additional farm equipment and machinery shipped
by said firm from Manila to Bacolod through Zip Forwarders, 29 getting the payment of the additional cash
advances for molasses for crop year 1983-1984 from Agrotex Commodities, Inc., 30 and remitting to private
respondent through
Atty. Sumbingco the sums collected along with receipts for medicine and oil. 31
It will be observed that all of these chores, which petitioner took care of, relate to the normal activities and
operations of the farm. True, it is a father's prerogative to request or even command his child to run
errands for him. In the present case, however, considering the nature of these transactions, as well as the
property values and monetary sums involved, it is unlikely that private respondent would leave the matter
to just anyone. Prudence dictates that these matters be handled by someone who can be trusted or at
least be held accountable therefor, and who is familiar with the terms, specifications and other details
relative thereto, such as an employee. If indeed petitioner had abandoned his job or was considered to
have done so by private respondent, it would be awkward, or even out of place, to expect or to oblige
petitioner to concern himself with matters relating to or expected of him with respect to what would then
be his past and terminated employment. It is hard to imagine what further authority an employer can have
over a dismissed employee so as to compel him to continue to perform work-related tasks:
It is also significant that the special power of attorney 32 executed
by private respondent on June 26, 1980 in favor of petitioner, specifically stating
xxx xxx xxx
That I, JON de YSASI, Filipino, of legal age, married, and a resident of Hda. Manucao,
hereinafter called and referred to as PRINCIPAL, am a sugarcane planter, BISCOM Mill
District, and a duly accredited planter-member of the BINALBAGAN-ISABELA PLANTERS'
ASSOCI