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[B.M. No. 1132. April 1, 2003] RE: RESOLUTION NO. 112-2002 OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF
[B.M. No. 1132. April 1, 2003] RE: RESOLUTION NO. 112-2002 OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF

[B.M. No. 1132. April 1, 2003]

RE: RESOLUTION NO. 112-2002 OF THE SANGGUNIANG PANLALAWIGAN OF ILOCOS NORTE

Gentlemen:

EN BANC

Quoted hereunder, for your information, is a resolution of this Court dated APR 01 2003.

Bar Matter No. 1132(Re: Resolution No. 112-2002 of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte, Requesting to Require Lawyers to Indicate in their Pleadings their Number in the Roll of Attorneys.)

On 12 November 2002 we granted the request of the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte to require all lawyers to indicate their Roll of Attorneys Number in all papers and pleadings filed in judicial or quasi-judicial bodies in addition to the previously required current Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) and the IBP Official Receipt or life Member Number.The requirement was meant to protect the public by making it easier to detect impostors who represent themselves as members of the Bar.It was likewise intended to help lawyers keep track of their Roll of Attorneys Number.

On 16 January 2003 Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino, Head, Academic Affairs Office, Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA), filed this Motion for Clarification dated 16 January 2003 asking that aforesaid Resolution dated 12 November 2002 be clarified so that proper instruction may be conveyed to judges during seminars, courses, and programs conducted by the PHILJA.

According to Fr. Aquino, two (2) issues needed clarification, to wit:(a) whether or not a judge may dismiss an action, expunge from the records or refuse inclusion from the records of any pleading wherein signatory counsel failed to state his roll of Attorneys Number; and (b) whether or not the Resolution of 12 November 2002 maybe construed as precluding a party who may not be a lawyer from signing his own pleadings, as presently allowed by the Rules.

With respect to the first issue, it is worth mentioning that in Bar Matter No. 287Re:Requirement that Official Receipt Number and Date of Payment of Current IBP Membership Dues be Indicated by Counsel per IBP Resolution NO. XIV-1999-63, we defined on 26 September 2000 the consequences for non- compliance with the requirement for lawyers to indicate their IBP Official Receipt Number and Date of Issue in all pleadings, motions and papers filed in court as follows -

All pleadings, motions and papers filed in court, whether personally or by mail, shall bear counsel's current IBP official receipt number and date of issue, otherwise, such pleadings, motions and papers may not be acted upon by the court, without prejudice to whatever disciplinary action the court may take against the erring counsel who shall likewise be required to comply with the requirement within five (5) days from notice.Failure to comply with such requirement shall be a ground for further disciplinary sanction and for contempt of court."

Considering that the requirement to state the Roll of Attorneys Number in all pleadings filed in court or quasi-judicial body, like that of the requirement to indicate the IBP Official Receipt Number and Date of

Issue, pertains to counsel filing the pleading or other paper in behalf of his client, we see no reason why non-compliance should not be meted the same penalty as in the case of failure to indicate the IBP Official Receipt Number and Date of Issue.Hence, we adopt by analogy in the present matter what we have already stated in our Resolution of 26 September 2000 in Bar Matter No. 287.

With respect to the second issue, it is asked whether our Resolution of 12 November 2002 may be construed as precluding a party who may not be a lawyer from signing his own pleadings, as presently allowed by the Rules.

We answer the query in the negative.As the requirement is directed against lawyers only and the purpose for which is to screen bogus lawyers and protect the public from them, the requirement and the consequent penalties therefore cannot be construed as precluding a party who is not a lawyer from signing a pleading himself as presently allowed by the Rules.

ACCORDINGLY, our Resolution dated 12 November 2002 is amended for clarification to read as

follows-

The Court Resolved, upon recommendation of the Office of the Bar Confidant, to GRANT the request of the Board of Governors of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Ilocos Norte to require all lawyers to indicate their Roll of Attorneys Number in all papers or pleadings submitted to the various judicial or quasi-judicial bodies in addition to the requirement of indicating the current Professional Tax Receipt (PTR) and the IBP Official Receipt or Life Member Number.

All pleadings, motions and papers filed in court, whether personally or by mail, which do not bear counsel's Roll of Attorneys Number as herein required may not be acted upon by the court, without prejudice to whatever disciplinary action the court may take against the erring counsel who shall likewise be required to comply with the requirement within five (5) days from notice.Failure to comply with such requirement shall be a ground for further disciplinary sanction and for contempt of court.

Strict compliance herewith is enjoined effective immediately (amendments italized).

Very truly yours,

LUZVIMINDA D. PUNO Clerk of Court

By:

(Sgd.) MA. LUISA D. VILLARAMA

Assistant Clerk of Court